Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Anatoly Perminov said the space agency will hold a meeting soon to assess a mission to Apophis, telling Golos Rossii radio that it would invite NASA, the European Space Agency, the Chinese space agency and others to join the project once it is finalized.
When the 270-meter (885-foot) asteroid was first discovered in 2004, astronomers estimated the chances of it smashing into Earth in its first flyby in 2029 were as high as 1-in-37.
Further studies ruled out the possibility of an impact in 2029, when the asteroid is expected to come no closer than 18,300 miles (29,450 kilometers) above Earth's surface, but they indicated a small possibility of a hit on subsequent encounters.
In October, NASA lowered the odds that Apophis could hit Earth in 2036 from a 1-in-45,000 as earlier thought to a 1-in-250,000 chance after researchers recalculated the asteroid's path. It said another close encounter in 2068 will involve a 1-in-330,000 chance of impact.
Scientists have long theorized about asteroid deflection strategies. Some have proposed sending a probe to circle around a dangerous asteroid to gradually change its trajectory. Others suggested sending a spacecraft to collide with the asteroid and alter its momentum, or using nuclear weapons to hit it.
Without mentioning NASA findings, Perminov said that he heard from a scientist that Apophis is getting closer and may hit the planet. "I don't remember exactly, but it seems to me it could hit the Earth by 2032," Perminov said.
He wouldn't disclose any details of the project, saying they still need to be worked out. But he said the mission wouldn't require any nuclear explosions.
Hollywood action films "Deep Impact" and "Armageddon," have featured space missions scrambling to avoid catastrophic collisions. In both movies space crews use nuclear bombs in an attempt to prevent collisions.
"Calculations show that it's possible to create a special purpose spacecraft within the time we have, which would help avoid the collision without destroying it (the asteroid) and without detonating any nuclear charges," Perminov said. "The threat of collision can be averted."
"People's lives are at stake. We should pay several hundred million dollars and build a system that would allow to prevent a collision, rather than sit and wait for it to happen and kill hundreds of thousands of people," he added.
Boris Shustov, the director of the Institute of Astronomy under the Russian Academy of Sciences, hailed Perminov's statement as a signal that officials had come to recognize the danger posed by asteroids.
"Apophis is just a symbolic example, there are many other dangerous objects we know little about," he said, according to RIA Novosti news agency.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
2. On 17 December 2009 with Executive Order 12425, Barack Hussein Obama gave foreign police force INTERPOL immunity from Congressional action and the US Constitution’s Fourth Amendment in order to provide cover to anything and everything said police force plans to do on Obama’s behalf — and under his orders — while in the USA. From the Patriot Room, a portion of the Tyrant Obama’s order reads: “property and assets of [INTERPOL], wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation.” Whether We-the-People like it or not, Obama is internationalizing the US Constitution, minimalizing and decreasing US sovereignty and may now, also, be setting up the American people for dissolution of all of their rights under said US Constitution.
3. Despite the fact that the majority of We-the-People are strongly opposed to the ObamaCare Death Plan (some polls show the opposition as high as 72%), Obama and his Marxist Congress are determined to ram it down our throats. The ObamaCare Death Plan is the virtually all-encompassing proposal that will lead very quickly to complete ObamaControl over everything the American people do and will give Obama’s commissars and Czars total control over who lives and who dies. The Obama Death Panels are back — and with a vengeance, folks! What will happen is that Obama & Co will have complete control over 1/6 of what’s left of the US economy. Can you say “another Marxist-Democrat slush fund with no healthcare, whatsoever?
4. Even though global warming has now been exposed as merely another scheme to steal money from the USA and its people, Obama traveled to Copenhagen and pledged $100 Billions to solving the, now admittedly unsolvable, manmade global warming issue. It can’t be solved because mankind dos not control climate change.
5. Obama and his fellow Marxists still plan to push the faux Cap & Trade (realistically “Cash & Tax”) program. And, as was accomplished with his despotic ObamaCare Death Plan, Obama will use any and all bribes (if money, it’s out of yours and my pockets) necessary to do so. The Chicago mob/syndicate is firmly in control of the US government.
6. The Obama has taken control of and nationalized our banks
7. The Obama has taken control of and nationalized our automobile industry
8. Obama is now establishing his own police force and said prior to his election: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
9. Dispelling any rumors that Obama is not — himself — a criminal, Obama and his US Attorney General Eric Holder have said that Obama’s unlawful election-fraud unit ACORN WILL be funded. Note: Besides, Obama will need them for both the 2010 and 2012 elections
There are hundreds more examples of what The Obama has accomplished in his first year of office. But, I’ve almost made myself sick telling the truth about those listed above. The facts are there for all to see. Are you preparing for your own eradication under the hammer and sickle of the tyrant? Still feeling peaceful?
by Sher Zieve
read full post at http://bit.ly/7zREPn
Ms. Zieve is currently working on her first political book: “The Liberal’s Guide To Conservatives.”
Thursday, December 24, 2009
“It does not surprise me that China and Russia would take greater positions in the Canadian dollar than they have previously,” Flaherty, 59, said during an interview in his office in Ottawa. “I would expect countries looking around the world to invest in market currencies that are reliable.”
The U.S. dollar has declined against all but one of the 16 most-active currencies this year, prompting major reserve- holding countries such as Russia and China to express concern about their U.S.-denominated investments. Russia last month said it will add Canadian dollars to its reserves to lower its dependence on the U.S. currency.
The Bank of Canada has warned “persistent strength” in the currency is a main risk for the economy, potentially acting as a “significant” drag on growth. Canada’s currency has gained 15 percent this year against the U.S. dollar. Chinese purchases of Canadian dollars would also cement growing economic links between the U.S.’s two largest trading partners.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in March that the nation was “worried” about the safety of its investment in U.S. debt, as a weakening dollar eroded the value of its reserves. China’s currency regulator said earlier this month it will “improve” its utilization of foreign-exchange reserves.
PetroChina Co., China’s largest oil company, this year bought its first stake in the Canadian oil sands, paying C$1.9 billion ($1.8 billion) for 60 percent of a project run by Athabasca Oil Sands Corp. Vancouver-based Teck Resources Ltd., Canada’s biggest base-metals producer, sold a 17 percent stake to China’s sovereign wealth fund for C$1.74 billion in July.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, seeking to cut dependence on the U.S., traveled to China earlier this month to secure Asia’s second-biggest economy as a customer for oil, natural gas, uranium and other commodities.
“We know that China has been interested in things in Canada, whether it’s the bond market or the oil sands or oil companies,” said David Watt, senior currency strategist in Toronto at RBC Capital Markets, a unit of Canada’s biggest bank. “They’ve been sniffing around in the past. We know they’ve been interested.”
Watt said an amount equal to 2 percent of Asian reserves would mean about C$100 billion of currency flows into Canada.
“It would certainly be a positive backdrop for the currency,” Watt said.
Move to Parity
The Canadian currency gained 0.9 percent to C$1.0484 per U.S. dollar at 3:07 p.m. in Toronto, from C$1.0575 yesterday. One Canadian dollar purchases 95.38 U.S. cents.
Canada’s currency will appreciate to parity with the U.S. dollar by the middle of next year, Bank of Nova Scotia predicts. The median estimate of 38 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News is for the currency to strengthen to C$1.04 in that period. The currency last traded on a one-for-one basis in July 2008.
Asked whether the Canadian dollar’s gain was a concern, Flaherty said the government is worried about “sudden” moves that don’t give companies “sufficient time to adjust.”
Canada’s currency has gained in part as investors bet an accelerating economic recovery will prompt the central bank to raise interest rates sooner than in the U.S. Canada also sits on the largest pool of oil reserves outside the Middle East and is a major exporter of other commodities such as gold. A Canadian commodity price index compiled by the Bank of Canada has advanced more than 20 percent this year.
Canada also has the lowest debt levels among the Group of Seven nations, making its currency a relatively safer investment, Flaherty said in the interview on Monday.
“It’s been clear for some time now that the downward pressure on the U.S. dollar is significant and that results in the other reliable market currencies having some upward pressure,” Flaherty said from his 21st-floor office that looks out to the hills of Gatineau Park. “I see it as a reflection of the relative strength of the Canadian dollar and the relative strength of our fiscal situation.”
Flaherty said China might relieve pressure on Canada’s dollar if the Asian country did more to loosen restrictions on movements of its currency.
Global “imbalances” will be a “primary subject” of discussion at a meeting of Group of Seven officials in February, he said. Canada will host a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the group on Feb. 5-6 in Iqaluit, a northern town near the Arctic Circle.
Lawmakers around the world are redesigning their financial architecture in the wake of the worst financial crisis in a generation that forced governments to spend more than $500 billion in the past year bailing out banks.
Officials will discuss “mutual assessment systems” to ensure the G-7 countries can be “checking on each other,” and developing so-called macro-prudential regulations that focus on risks to the financial system instead of a single financial institution, Flaherty said.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Mayor Trent Crewe says five hostages are inside the building, including three employees and two customers. Shots have been fired, but Crewe says no injuries have been reported.
The situation began at about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The suspect has not been identified.
A state police spokeswoman confirmed the shooting, but could not confirm whether the situation involves the threat of explosives.
Wytheville is the county seat of Wythe County, a southwest Virginia locality with fewer than 30,000 people.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tens of thousands of people have already fled their homes. More than 9,000 families -- a total of 44,394 people -- are being housed in evacuation camps after authorities raised the alert status of the country's most active volcano, Albay Province Gov. Joey Salceda said.
The Philippine Institute on Volcanology and Seismology was considering ratcheting up the volcano alert to the highest level, which would mean an eruption was underway, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.
But officials said not everyone is heeding their warnings -- some villagers were spotted within the danger zone checking on their homes and farms on the foothills of the volcano.
The government is trying to enforce a "no man's land" rule in the designated danger zone, with military and police instructed to double the personnel manning the nine checkpoints and double their foot patrol operation inside the restricted area, PNA reported.
"Mayon continued to show an intense level of activity during the past 24-hour observation period. Seismic activity remained elevated in number and size as the seismic network detected a total of 1,266 volcanic earthquakes," it said in a statement about the last 24 hours to 7 a.m. local time on Tuesday (6 p.m. ET on Monday).
People in surrounding Albay Province have flocked to town centers to catch a glimpse of glowing lava cascading down the slopes of Mayon since the mountain began oozing fiery lava and belching clouds of ash last week.
The volcano, located about 500 km (310 miles) south of the Philippine capital of Manila, has erupted 49 times since its first documented eruption in 1616.
The Philippines is situated in the so-called Ring of Fire, an arc of fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Mayon's most violent eruption, in 1814, killed more than 1,200 people and devastated several towns. Its last major eruption was in 1993. Since then, it has remained restless, emitting ash and spewing lava.
Friday, December 18, 2009
A new Islamic mosque will open its doors just steps from Ground Zero where Muslim terrorists murdered 2,751 people in the name of Allah on Sept. 11, 2001 – and its leading imam, who conducts sensitivity training sessions for the FBI, has reportedly blamed Christians for starting mass attacks on civilians.
The five-story building at Park Place, just two blocks north of the former World Trade Center site, was the site of a Burlington Coat Factory. But a plane's landing-gear assembly crashed through the roof on the day 19 Muslim terrorists hijacked the airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers in 2001.
Now Muslim worshippers currently occupy the building, and they plan to turn it into a major Islamic cultural center.
"The men and women stand up, raise their hands on either side of their head, murmur 'Allahu akhbar,' bow and kneel again," reports Spiegel Online.
"Only in New York City is this possible," Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, or ASMA, told the magazine. Khan is the wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of ASMA.
They have leased the new prayer space as an overflow building for another mosque, Masjid al-Farah, at 245 West Broadway in TriBeCa, where Rauf is the spiritual leader.
The building – vacant since that fateful day when time stood still as millions of Americans grieved the loss of loved ones, friends, family members, co-workers and strangers – was purchased in July by real-estate company Soho Properties, a business run by Muslims. Rauf was an investor in that transaction.
Just down the street, the Museum of Jewish Heritage honors victims of the Holocaust, and St. Peter's Church, New York's oldest Catholic house of worship, is located around the corner.
Rauf has announced his plans to turn the building into a complete Islamic cultural center, with a mosque, a museum, "merchandising options," and room for seminars to reconcile religions, "to counteract the backlash against Muslims in general, " Speigel reports. The project may cost as much as $150 million.
Rauf told the New York Times purchasing the building "where a piece of the wreckage fell sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11."
"It was almost obvious that something like this had to arise from the ashes of 9/11," Khan told Spiegel. "In some way, this has the hand of the divine written over it. It's almost as if God wanted to be involved."
The move is supported by the city. The mayor's director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Fatima Shama, told the Times, "We as New York Muslims have as much of a commitment to rebuilding New York as anybody."
The city's Department of Buildings records show the building has been the focus of complaints for illegal construction and blocked exits in the last year. Recent entries from Sept. 28 and 29, 2009, indicate inspectors have been unable to access the building. One complaint states, "Inspector unable to gain access – 1st attempt – No access to 5 sty building. Front locked. No responsible party present." The second, just a day later, states, "Inspector unable to gain access – 2nd attempt – no access to building. No activity or responsible party. Building remains inaccessible at Park Place."
Agency spokeswoman Carly Sullivan told the Times the complaints were listed as "resolved" under city procedures since the inspectors were unable to gain access.
Imam Rauf, born in Egypt, has written three books: "What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West," "Islam: A Sacred Law" and "Islam: A Search for Meaning."
WND reported in 2003 when, at least four times that year, the FBI's New York field office held all-day sensitivity training sessions, not far from Ground Zero, featuring Rauf.
Speaking for about two hours each session, "he gave an overview of Islamic culture and some of the differences between what fundamentalist terrorist groups say are the teachings of the Quran and what he believes, as a student of religion, the Quran actually says," said special agent James Margolin, spokesman for the FBI New York office.
Rauf asserted that the Quran "certainly doesn't counsel terrorism, murder or mayhem," Margolin said. And he said terrorists have misinterpreted the Quranic term "jihad" to mean violent, or armed, struggle against nonbelievers. Rauf claims it means internal struggle.
Rauf was invited to speak in Sydney, Australia, by Premier Bob Carr in 2004. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he said the U.S. and the West must acknowledge the harm they've done to Muslims before terrorism can end.
He said the West must understand the terrorists' point of view – and he blamed Christians for starting mass attacks on civilians.
"The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets," he said.
According to the report, Rauf said there would be little progress until the U.S. acknowledged backing dictators and the U.S. president gave an "America Culpa" speech to the Muslim world.
On June 4, 2009, President Obama gave a speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, in which he stated:
I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings. … So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed. That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn't. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.
Rauf praised Obama for "embracing Islam in the peacemaking process" in his speech to the Muslim world. He wrote in the Washington Post:
The historic significance of President Obama's speech to the Muslim world in Cairo cannot be overstated. Never before has an American president spoken to the global Muslim community. His speech marked a major shift in American foreign policy. … In just a few sentences he demolished the phony theory of the 'Clash of Civilizations,' which insists that Islam and the West must always be in conflict. Instead, he declared the United States is not at war with Islam and outlined a plan for how the conflict can be resolved. … He captured the attention of Muslims because, unlike most politicians, he was willing to critique both his own country and Muslims where they fell short of their ideals.
In an interview with Beliefnet on Islam and America, a reporter asked Rauf, "Some Islamic charities are being investigated for terrorist ties. Have you seen what you consider to be reputable Islamic charities being financially damaged?"
"We believe that a certain portion of every charity has been legitimate," he responded. "To say that you have connections with terrorism is a very gray area. It's like the accusation that Saddam Hussein had links to Osama bin Laden. Well, America had links to Osama bin Laden – does that mean that America is a terrorist country or has ties to terrorism?"
In 2004, Rauf participated in a 30-second advertisement, broadcast on Arabic television, in which he apologized for alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib prison.
The Times reported Rauf said he believes "Islamic terrorists do not come from another moral universe – that they arise from oppressive societies that he feels Washington had a hand in creating."
Readers of various blogs are outraged at the news of the mosque. Comments include the following:
Muslims are doing this only to see if they get away with it.
It's the way Islam spreads in every country these days, like a cancer – through incremental totalitarianism.
In this case, they'll quietly open the mosque, then, as they get away with it, they'll ramp up their outrages until someone finally points it out. At that time, their lawyers, backed by the ACLU and various liberal organizations, will pounce.
This is not different than allowing the Nazis to establish their headquarters and propaganda office in NYC in 1938. How come people could tell right from wrong then and not now?
What bonehead allowed this to happen?
That's disgusting. That truly is low. I feel bad for the people who lost family members.
This is outrageous. I just don't have word.
This is called "staging" for the KSM trial.
You've got to be kidding me. If this is true, our beloved country is already gone. We no longer have the America I know and love.
Who wants to bet this place becomes a "tourist attraction" for Muslims? This mosque will become one of Islam's holiest shrines as it sits upon the site of their greatest modern military victory.
Good idea. Maybe terrorists will be less likely to bomb this area if there's a mosque there.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
They said Obama warned President Hu Jintao during the American's visit to Beijing a month ago as part of the U.S. attempt to convince the Chinese to support strict sanctions on Tehran if it does not accept Western proposals for its nuclear program.
The Israeli officials, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter, said the United States had informed Israel on Obama's meetings in Beijing on Iran. They said Obama made it clear to Hu that at some point the United States would no longer be able to prevent Israel from acting as it saw fit in response to the perceived Iranian threat.
After the Beijing summit, the U.S. administration thought the Chinese had understood the message; Beijing agreed to join the condemnation of Iran by the International Atomic Energy Agency only a week after Obama's visit. But in the past two weeks the Chinese have maintained their hard stance regarding the West's wishes to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
The Israeli officials say the Americans now understand that the Chinese agreed to join the condemnation announcement only because Obama made a personal request to Hu, not as part of a policy change.
The Chinese have even refused a Saudi-American initiative designed to end Chinese dependence on Iranian oil, which would allow China to agree to the sanctions, said the Israeli officials.
Saudi Arabia, which is also very worried about the Iranian nuclear program and keen to advance international steps against Iran, offered to supply the Chinese the same quantity of oil the Iranians now provide, and at much cheaper prices. But China rejected the deal.
Since Obama's visit, the Chinese have refused to join any measures to impose sanctions. The Israeli officials say the Chinese have been giving unclear answers and have not been responding to the claims by Western nations. Beijing has been making do with statements such as "the time has not yet arrived for sanctions."
China's actions are particularly problematic because China will take over the presidency of the UN Security Council in January. Western diplomats say China would have no choice but to join in sanctions if Russia agrees to support them, but China could delay discussions and postpone any decision until February, when France becomes council president.
The Israeli officials say Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is showing a greater willingness for sanctions on Iran, despite hesitations by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
The improved Sejil 2 missile can reportedly hit targets 1,250 miles away - putting it in reach of Israel as well as US bases in the Gulf, and south-east Europe.
The US said the move, which follows earlier testing in May, only worked to "undermine Iran's claims of peaceful intentions".
National Security Council spokesman Mike Hammer said: "Such actions will increase the seriousness and resolve of the international community to hold Iran accountable for its continued defiance of its international obligations on its nuclear programme."
Gordon Brown immediately condemned the missile test and warned Iran it faced tougher sanctions.
The Prime Minister discussed the development when he met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at climate change talks in Copenhagen.
He said: "This is a matter of serious concern to the international community and it does make the case for us moving further on sanctions.
"We will treat this with the seriousness it deserves."
Neither Israel nor the US have ruled out military action if diplomacy fails to resolve the row over Iran's nuclear programme.
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has vowed to retaliate in the event of any attack.
Concern increased this week after a document emerged suggesting Iran was working on testing a key nuclear bomb part.
The Times newspaper said it had obtained notes describing a four-year plan to test a neutron initiator, the component of a nuclear bomb that triggers an explosion.
Experts believe the documents are the strongest indicator yet of a continuing nuclear weapons programme in Iran.
The technical document describes the use of a neutron source, uranium deuteride, the Times said, which is feared to have no possible civilian or military use other than in a nuclear weapon.
Uranium deuteride is reportedly the material used in Pakistan's bomb, from where Iran obtained its blueprint.
Last month, Iran unveiled plans to build 10 new uranium enrichment plants in breach of UN resolutions.
The announcement came just two days after Tehran was censured by the international community over its existing nuclear activities.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
“There must be 200 bodies buried there and not a single one of them is human,” Dr. Hugo Childs, the Swiss anthropologist, told reporters in Kigali, Rwanda.
“They are in amazing state of preservation to be so old,” he added. “Soil and tissue samples indicate the bodies have been in the ground since the 1400s. We’re now trying to figure out where they came from – and what killed them.”
Dr. Childs and his colleagues reportedly discovered the alien graveyard on a routine survey of the Rwandan jungle.
They originally thought they had stumbled on the remains of a centuries-old village. But excavation reportedly revealed nothing but alien bodies – stacked in fives in a jungle clearing.
“The creatures themselves were much taller and skinnier than humans,” said the expert.
“They stood about 7 feet tall and they were not any bigger around than small sapling trees.
“Their heads were larger than the average man’s and they had no mouth, nose or eyes to speak of.
“I assume that they communicated with one another telepathically and moved around like bats with some kind of biological radar.”
Without further study there is no way to tell for sure what killed the extraterrestrials.
But Dr. Childs speculated that the 200 aliens were part of a single landing party that encountered a deadly virus. Because they would have had no immunity to Earth disease, he added, something as simple as the flu could have wiped out the entire party.
“Some of them must have survived because there is no evidence of a spaceship to be found,” said Dr. Childs. “Of course, as our excavation effort continues, there’s no telling what we may run across.”
Dr. Childs would not take reporters to the site, for fear of the bodies being disturbed. However, he promised to reveal the location once the excavation was complete. “It will change the world,” Dr. Childs said.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Four newfound planets orbiting two nearby stars add weight to the promise of detecting habitable worlds within the next few years, researchers said today.
Two of the extrasolar planets are considered super-Earths, more massive than Earth but less massive than Uranus and Neptune. Spotting true Earth-sized planets is challenging with current technology, but the presence of super-Earths suggests finding a world like ours is just a matter of time, researchers say.
"These detections indicate that low-mass planets are quite common around nearby stars," said study team member Steven Vogt, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the University of California, Santa Cruz. "The discovery of potentially habitable nearby worlds may be just a few years away."
The astronomers are not sure if the super-Earths are rocky like our own world or if they have some other composition.
The team found the new planet systems by combining data gathered at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT) in New South Wales, Australia. They inferred the existence of the planets by noting the worlds' gravitational effects on the parent star's orbit. This method is called the radial velocity, or wobble, technique.
The objects have not been photographed.
Three of the exoplanets orbit the star 61 Virginis, which is virtually a twin of the sun and lies 28 light-years away in the constellation of Virgo. (At this time of year, Virgo can be seen rising a few hours before the sun.)
The researchers estimated the minimum mass of each planet as: 5.1 Earth masses for 61 Vir b, 18 Earth masses for 61 Vir c, and 23 Earth masses for 61 Vir d, according study team member Chris Tinney of the University of New South Wales.
"So the smallest one is in the super-Earth mass range, and is the first planet like this to be found around a sunlike star," Tinney told SPACE.com.
Other super-Earths have been found around stars that are cooler and redder than the sun, he said.
Tinney added, "This is exciting, because it demonstrates the ability of our team to find planets at these interesting, small masses around solar-mass stars. If we want to one day find habitable planets that are really like the Earth in systems that are really like ours, then those are the sorts of stars we need to be able to find low-mass planets around."
The second new system found by the team features a 7.5-Earth-mass planet orbiting HD 1461, another near-perfect twin of the sun located 76 light-years away in the constellation Cetus. The scientists say at least one and possibly two additional planets also orbit the star.
HD 1461 can be seen with the naked eye in the early evening under good dark-sky conditions.
The researchers say they aren't sure whether the planet, now called HD 1461b, is a scaled-up version of Earth, composed largely of rock and iron, or whether, like Uranus and Neptune, it is composed mostly of ices.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Some may have thought it was a prelude to a close encounter of the third kind. But evidence quickly emerged that it was probably a result of a Russian ballistic missile test.
While almost everyone who saw the video of a luminous spiral of gas in Norway at dawn on Wednesday agreed it was beautiful, UFO believers have staunchly held to their views that the phenomenon was not man made, even after Russia’s Defense Ministry disclosed it had test launched a Bulava ballistic missile – which has a range of 5,000 miles – from a submarine in the White Sea Wednesday morning. The Russians said problems emerged when the missile deployed its third stage engine and it went off course and out of control.
The Russian explanation makes the most sense to William Dimpfl, a senior research scientist at the Aeorospace Corporation.
Dr. Dimpfl, whose non-profit conducts missile research for the US Air Force and NASA, and who has carried out research on the way exhaust is emitted from rockets and the space shuttle, says he’s fully convinced that the spiral plume was caused by a man-made missile.
“I looked at the video and my first thought was it’s surprising how pretty it is,” says Dimpfl. “But I had an understanding very quickly of what was going on. There’s nothing surprising in (the video).”
Dimpfl says he doesn’t have inside knowledge of Russian missile testing protocols, but estimates that the Russian plan was for the missile to splash down in the Pacific Ocean. He says that when the US conducts missile tests it also tries to ensure that the missile will splash down in the ocean if something goes wrong and it falls short.
He said after watching the video that he observed no “atmospheric drag” on the event, which implied the missile was higher than 100 kilometers from the earth’s surface – beyond the line between our atmosphere and space. The large, white spiral in the video and images is, in his opinion, “an illuminated solid propellent motor.” The spiral, he says, “comes when you have a motor firing off the axis of the vehicle at right angles to the line that connects to the center of mass” yielding a “pinwheel.”
As to the tighter, bluish covered spiral that UFO believers have pointed to, he says: “The blue plume was from a motor that was still attached to the vehicle.” He says the bluish color was from aluminum oxide that is typically added to the solid propellant used for such motors. “What I believe is that the blue is from solar fluorescence from chemicals in the plume. That’s just aluminium oxide that the sunlight is scattering from. Aluminum oxide is the chemical formula for sapphires, so what you’re looking at is sunlight scattering off lots of tiny sapphires.”
A computer simulation on YouYube (below) demonstrates how the spiral cloud seen over Norway may have been formed.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
A number of experts have suggested, alternatively, that the foundations of yet another alleged ancient Martian structure, demonstrating that civilization once existed on the red planet, are seen in this photo. Others have claimed that the picture simply shows oddly shaped rocks and nothing more.
The notion that Mars was once home to a technological civilisation is not new and dates back to the 1800s. It has been suggested by some UFO researchers that humans might have originated in Mars, having fled the planet after a climactic catastrophe. On arrival to earth these new settlers discarded their spaceships and eventually forgot their origins.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Ahmadinejad reportedly claims he has documented evidence that the U.S. is blocking the return of Mahdi, the Imam believed by Muslims to be the savior.
“We have documented proof that they believe that a descendant of the prophet of Islam will raise in these parts and he will dry the roots of all injustice in the world,” Ahmadinejad said during a speech on Monday, according to Al Arabiya.
"They have devised all these plans to prevent the coming of the Hidden Imam because they know that the Iranian nation is the one that will prepare the grounds for his coming and will be the supporters of his rule," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying.
Ahmadinejad continued the rant by claiming there have been plots by both the West as well as countries in the East to wipe out his country, according to Iranian news Web site Tabak.
"They have planned to annihilate Iran. This is why all policymakers and analysts believe Iran is the true winner in the Middle East," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by the site. He also alleged that foreign nations seek to control Iran's oil and natural resources.
"In Afghanistan, they are caught like an animal in a quagmire. But instead of pulling their troops out to save themselves, they are deploying more soldiers. Even if they stay in Afghanistan for another 50 years they will be forced to leave with disgrace — because this is a historical experience," Ahmadinejad reportedly said.
"They know themselves that they need Iran in the Middle East, but because of their arrogance they do not want to accept this reality. They are nothing without the Iranian nation and all their rhetoric is because they don't want to appear weak."
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Richard Ravitch said New York and other states had historically relied on temporary measures to balance budgets in downturns as a bridge to recovery, a strategy that was unsustainable.
“If nothing changes, you will see significant cracks in the $3,000bn [municipal bond] market,” said Mr Ravitch, a long-time fixture in New York public office who served as an adviser to the governor during New York City’s financial crisis in the 1970s. He is now devising a four-year financial plan for New York state.
The US recession has sapped state tax receipts, with revenue falling for four consecutive quarters, says the Nelson A Rockefeller Institute of Government, a research group. That has left states grappling with budget shortfalls projected to reach $350bn in the fiscal years 2010 and 2011, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Yields in the municipal bond market, where state and local governments raise money, have begun to rise amid concerns about the health of local economies. But thanks to federal subsidies and demand from retail investors, they remain near the historical lows reached this autumn.
In October, the Bond Buyer 11-bond GO index, which tracks 20-year bonds with an average rating of Aa1, dropped to 3.69 per cent, which is the lowest since 1967. It has risen to 4.06 per cent but remains below the 10-year average of 4.73 per cent.
Mr Ravitch, speaking at a conference on state finances held by the Rockefeller Institute, warned that in spite of the size of the fiscal problems, “the message has not gotten through”.
New York governor David Paterson late on Monday said that talks to close a deficit of more than $3bn for the fiscal year ended March 31 have ended and he would use his powers to make cuts. Mr Paterson is withholding payments on unspecified local assistance programmes to prevent the state from running out of cash before the end of the fiscal year.
The state may face significant lay-offs as well as cuts to healthcare and education spending, said Mr Ravitch.
During the past 10 years, New York had used $20bn to $24bn of “one shots”, such as borrowings, asset sales, or non-recurring revenue items, to close deficits while spending had risen consistently, said Mr Ravitch. In addition to banking on economic cyclicality rather than long-term measures to close gaps, states have looked to the federal government for help, which they received through the Obama administration’s stimulus package.
Mr Ravitch said additional stimulus was a “dubious proposition”, given what he saw as a shifting political paradigm in the US based on the sharp criticism of the administration’s healthcare reform efforts.
Unlike municipalities, US states cannot use bankruptcy to restructure budgets because they are not eligible under the US bankruptcy code.
“We need to rethink what is most important about what states do,” said Mr Ravitch, including the role that state, federal and local governments play in funding and delivering public services.
“It is going to be impossible to continue to borrow as we and other states have to fund budget gaps.”
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Climategate: MSM Writers Try to Ignore Scandal in Global Warming Stories But Readers Bring Them Back to Reality
An example is this Houston Chronicle editorial which asserts in its headline, "As a crucial climate change conference nears, more evidence of a warming globe." And as the editorial reveals its "evidence," note what is conspicuously missing although the readers will bring it up much to the embarrassment of the Chonicle:
The Global Carbon Project study concludes that unless emissions are substantially reduced, the result would be a rise in average global temperature by nearly 10 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. That is on par with previous worst-case scenarios outlined by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Scientists have estimated that temperature spikes above 2 degrees could have disastrous consequences, including large rises in sea level, droughts and stronger storms.
One of the authors of the study, Professor Corinne Le Quere of the University of East Anglia, says the conclusions raise the stakes for delegates to the Copenhagen gathering, who will try to hammer out a successor to the Kyoto Accords that committed signatory governments to emission reduction goals. The United States did not sign on to that agreement.
University of East Anglia? Hmmm... Where have I heard about this university in the recent past? Something about hacked e-mails, manipulated data, and a coverup? This editorial won't bring up the scandal that dare not speak its name but the readers are not shy about bringing it up over and over and over again:
Oh dear .. I think you have a bit of catching up to do.
Scandal? What scandal? We're as willfully clueless about this as Charlie Gibson is about the ACORN scandal.
Apparently, the clowns on the Houston Comical editorial board do zero research prior to sitting down at the keyboard to compose their lies. The "researchers" at East Anglia have been exposed as the perpetrators of a massive fraud by manipulating statistics. Yet, here comes the Comical citing the liars at East Anglia in support of their thesis. It's all over the news - even the Houston Comical. (Maybe the editorial board doesn't read the Comical - only the press releases of the DNC.)
AIIIEEEEE!!! Stop with the truth! It's too painful!
This is incredible. Warmists rig climate data, block publication of peer-reviewed papers challenging the AWG theory and the Chronicle publishes this scare-screed. The liberal media barons are flummoxed by thefollowing developments and like the 6 year old who finally realizes there is no Santa Claus, are in deep denial.
We will continue to believe in our global warming Santa no matter what the facts are to the contrary.
More unadulterated BS from the whiners on the Chronicle's Editorial Board. With these phoney scientists now exposed via some hacked emails and hundreds of other highly credentialed climate scientists saying the whole man-made global warming theory is a hoax, why a newspaper thinks it knows more than the skeptics is beyond me.
Considering the information that has come out in the last few days about the East Anglia researchers, this cannot be a well-informed and sincere editorial. The editorial board is either ignorant of the facts, deliberately obscuring them, or simply insulting its readers.
Stop, will you?
You are kidding me. Over the weekend we learned a server at East Anglia was hacked and emails were distributed that contradict Global Warming. In addition, they discuss how to overstate the findings in order to further their agenda. Yet, The Chronicle still blindlly pushes the Global Warming agenda. If that is not enough, tempatures have not risen over the last ten years. In fact, they have dropped slightly. How can any reader take a publication seriously when they refuse to report facts.
Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave?
The ClimateGate scandal exposes man-made global warming fears as quite simply the best science that agenda driven activists can "manufacture". Claims that the UN IPCC is the 'gold standard' of scientific research have been forever tarnished.
Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave.
Hey Chron - quit being a stupid doosh and get your facts straight. It came to be known last week that these scientists were fudging data. Perpetrating Al Gore's fraud.
Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going.
The IPCC chefs and their lackeys in the press have cooked the books to create a Soviet casserole of lies, flavored with phony data, suppressed research, bullied colleagues and topped with a garnish of elitist arrogance. And they want us to not only to eat it, but to pay trillions for the privilige. They now have all the credibility of an ACORN ethics officer and the public is vomiting at the smell.
There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a…fraid.
The Houston Chronicle editorial writers have completely ignored the breaking scandal that is evidencing the climate change hypothesis for what it is -- a pack of lies and manipulations delivered by establishment science. "Climate change" has always been about one agenda: Giving governments more power to control what you do. This one is so big and blatant even the mainstream media can't cover it up.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do.
How embarrassing for the Chronicle! With all that has happened in the past week, shouldn't you have at least taken the line out about the GCP saying '10-degree rise by the end of the century'? Don't you think it is out of your hands by now anyway? We are so close to the summit, how could recycling this old 'news' have any positive impact on the outcome? It just makes the 'collective' look even more foolish to people who have opened their minds and taken the time to truly evaluate the facts that are available to us. Why didn't you run a story on those hacked emals and bring us up-to-date on what is really going on?
I'm half crazy, all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage. I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two …
Bottom line here for the MSM; you can try to avoid mentioning Climategate in your global warming stories but your readers are sure to remind you of your deliberate oversight. Oh how they will remind you!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
EDITORIAL: Hiding evidence of global cooling
Actual EMAILS that were found
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Scientific progress depends on accurate and complete data. It also relies on replication. The past couple of days have uncovered some shocking revelations about the baloney practices that pass as sound science about climate change.
It was announced Thursday afternoon that computer hackers had obtained 160 megabytes of e-mails from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in England. Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims.
Professor Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit, and professor Michael E. Mann at Pennsylvania State University, who has been an important scientist in the climate debate, have come under particular scrutiny. Among his e-mails, Mr. Jones talked to Mr. Mann about the "trick of adding in the real temps to each series ... to hide the decline [in temperature]."
Mr. Mann admitted that he was party to this conversation and lamely explained to the New York Times that "scientists often used the word 'trick' to refer to a good way to solve a problem 'and not something secret.' " Though the liberal New York newspaper apparently buys this explanation, we have seen no benign explanation that justifies efforts by researchers to skew data on so-called global-warming "to hide the decline." Given the controversies over the accuracy of Mr. Mann's past research, it is surprising his current explanations are accepted so readily.
There is a lot of damning evidence about these researchers concealing information that counters their bias. In another exchange, Mr. Jones told Mr. Mann: "If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone" and, "We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind." Mr. Jones further urged Mr. Mann to join him in deleting e-mail exchanges about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) controversial assessment report (ARA): "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re [the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report]?"
In another e-mail, Mr. Jones told Mr. Mann, professor Malcolm K. Hughes of the University of Arizona and professor Raymond S. Bradley of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst: "I'm getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data. Don't any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act!"
At one point, Mr. Jones complained to another academic, "I did get an email from the [Freedom of Information] person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn't be deleting emails." He also offered up more dubious tricks of his trade, specifically that "IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on." Another professor at the Climate Research Unit, Tim Osborn, discussed in e-mails how truncating a data series can hide a cooling trend that otherwise would be seen in the results. Mr. Mann sent Mr. Osborn an e-mail saying that the results he was sending shouldn't be shown to others because the data support critics of global warming.
Repeatedly throughout the e-mails that have been made public, proponents of global-warming theories refer to data that has been hidden or destroyed. Only e-mails from Mr. Jones' institution have been made public, and with his obvious approach to deleting sensitive files, it's difficult to determine exactly how much more information has been lost that could be damaging to the global-warming theocracy and its doomsday forecasts.
We don't condone e-mail theft by hackers, though these e-mails were covered by Britain's Freedom of Information Act and should have been released. The content of these e-mails raises extremely serious questions that could end the academic careers of many prominent professors. Academics who have purposely hidden data, destroyed information and doctored their results have committed scientific fraud. We can only hope respected academic institutions such as Pennsylvania State University, the University of Arizona and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst conduct proper investigative inquiries.
Most important, however, these revelations of fudged science should have a cooling effect on global-warming hysteria and the panicked policies that are being pushed forward to address the unproven theory.
Monday, November 23, 2009
According to the government's broadest measure of unemployment, some 17.5 percent are either without a job entirely or underemployed. The so-called U-6 number is at the highest rate since becoming an official labor statistic in 1994.
The number dwarfs the statistic most people pay attention to—the U-3 rate—which most recently showed unemployment at 10.2 percent for October, the highest it has been since June 1983.
The difference is that what is traditionally referred to as the "unemployment rate" only measures those out of work who are still looking for jobs. Discouraged workers who have quit trying to find a job, as well as those working part-time but looking for full-time work or who are otherwise underemployed, count in the U-6 rate.
With such a large portion of Americans experiencing employment struggles, economists worry that an extended period of slow or flat growth lies ahead.
"To me there's no easy solution here," says Michael Pento, chief economist at Delta Global Advisors. "Unless you create another bubble in which the economy can create jobs, then you're not going to have growth. That's the sad truth."
Pento warns that forecasts of a double-dip ("W") or a straight up ("V") recovery both could be too optimistic given the jobs situation.
Instead, he believes the economy could flatline (or "L") for an extended period as small businesses struggle to grow and consequently rehire the workers that have been furloughed as the U-3 unemployment rate has doubled since March 2008.
As that trend has happened, the U-6 rate has expanded at an even more dramatic pace. Economists cite several reasons for the phenomenon.
For one, more workers are becoming discouraged as real estate—the focal point for the expansion in the earlier part of the decade—has collapsed and taken millions of directly related and ancillary jobs with it.
Many workers believe those jobs aren't coming back, and have thus quit looking and added themselves to the broader unemployment count.
"In the earlier part of this decade, 40 percent of all new jobs created were in real estate. Attorneys, mortgage brokers, agents, construction—they were all circled around housing," Pento says. "We've had a jobless recovery in the last two recessions. This is going to be the third jobless recovery in a row."
Another factor that may be leading people onto the rolls of those no longer looking for jobs is the government's accommodative extensions of jobless benefits.
"Workers are unemployed for a much longer span than we've seen historically," says David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International in New York. "Part of that may be affected by the longer availability of benefits. It reduces the incentives for an urgent job search."
The U-6 rate debuted in January of 1994 at 11.8 percent, while the U-3 was at 6.6 percent. The measure hit a low of 6.9 percent in April 2000 while U-3 sat at 3.8 percent.
While the current methodology only dates back 15 years, a former U-6 gauge was in existence previously and peaked at 14.3 percent in 1982. Economists predict the current measure would fall just below that number using the same methodology.
"We're in the process of discovering how severe this recession and the long-run impact on certain industries will be and what that will do to overall employment," Resler says. The U-6 rate "portends a very slow, sluggish recovery."
If that holds and the US economy stays weak, that presents challenges for investors.
"People focus too much on that 10 percent number and not on the larger number," says Kevin Mahn, chief investment officer at Hennion & Walsh in Parsippany, N.J. "There's a humongous inventory of people out there looking for work and have been looking for work for a long time. Where are those jobs going to come from?"
High unemployment and the resulting pressure on consumers is driving many investors to look for opportunities overseas and in other assets.
Walsh says that trend is going to continue, with clients going to foreign markets, real estate investment trusts, certain bonds—anywhere that can offer profits above the slow-growth mire of US-based investments.
"If full employment is 4 percent, people are wondering how we're going to get from 10 (percent) to 4. Well, try getting from 17 to 4. We may not get back to full employment for a decade," Mahn says. "As an investor, that causes me to look for different places now. Maybe you can't just put money in US large caps and ride out this recovery."
Thursday, November 19, 2009
TRUE - CHECK:
Open Letter from Procter & Gamble Exec to Obama
Please read, even if you are an Obama fan. It is legitimate, written by respected, Lou Prichett, formerly of Proctor and Gamble. Lou Pritchett is one of corporate America 's true living legends- an acclaimed author, dynamic teacher and one of the world's highest rated speakers. Successful corporate executives everywhere recognize him as the foremost leader in change management. Lou changed the way America does business by creating an audacious concept that came to be known as "partnering." Pritchett rose from soap salesman to Vice-President, Sales and Customer Development for Procter and Gamble and over the course of 36 years, made corporate history. _______________________________________________________
AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
Dear President Obama:
You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me..
You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.
You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.
You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.
You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.
You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.
You scare me because you lack humility and 'class', always blaming others.
You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.
You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the 'blame America' crowd and deliver this message abroad.
You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.
You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.
You scare me because you prefer 'wind mills' to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.
You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.
You scare me because you have begun to use 'extortion' tactics against certain banks and corporations.
You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.
You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.
You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.
You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.
You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaughs, Hannitys, O'Relllys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.
You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.
Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will
probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.
TRUE - CHECK:
This letter was sent to the NY Times but they never acknowledged it. Big surprise! Since it hit the internet, however, it has had over 500,000 hits. Keep it going. All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing. It's happening right now.
Monday, November 16, 2009
LONDON (AFP) – The dollar fell on Monday as China accused the United States of increasing protectionism and following unexpectedly strong Japanese economic growth figures, pushing gold prices to a record high point.
US President Barack Obama is in China for a three-day mission aimed at convincing Beijing that Washington is its partner, not its rival.
As the dollar dropped against the euro and yen, gold struck an all-time peak of 1,133.20 dollars an ounce.
In late morning trading here, the euro climbed to 1.4969 dollars from 1.4918 dollars late in New York on Friday.
Against the Japanese currency, the dollar fell to 89.42 yen from 89.66 yen late on Friday.
"Far better than expected Japanese third-quarter GDP data...spurred risk appetite," said Jane Foley, an analyst for online trading firm Forex.com.
"This pushed the euro close to 1.50 dollars in early European hours."
Japan's gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.2 percent in the third quarter of 2009 from the previous quarter -- the fastest pace in two-and-a-half years and much better than expected, the government reported.
The euro also gained as higher commodity prices, driven by hopes of a global economic recovery, spurred investor risk appetite, market watchers said.
"Gains in gold prices lifted demand for currencies of commodities-exporting nations like the Aussie against the US dollar," Osao Iizuka, chief foreign exchange trader at the Sumitomo Trust and Banking Co, told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Then the selling of the US dollar spread across other currencies, causing the euro to gain ground," he said.
Comments from a Chinese commerce ministry spokesman accusing the US of protectionism earned a quick rebuttal from senior US officials speaking in Beijing, who said a trade war was in neither country's best interests.
"We used to see that the United States was an innovation-driven US. But what we are seeing now is an increasingly protective US," commerce ministry spokesman Yao Jian told reporters at a regular monthly briefing.
"It is necessary to create for enterprises a stable and predictable environment, including (stable) economic and foreign exchange policies, to help the global economy grow steadily and China's exports recover," he said.
Yao added that the United States had "continued" to let the dollar drop "to improve its competitiveness" while pressing for the yuan's appreciation.
"It is detrimental to the global recovery and is unfair for (the US) to require other (currencies) to rise while allowing the dollar to keep slumping," Yao told reporters.
But US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said Washington was not at fault.
"The United States is not engaged in increased protectionism," Locke told a luncheon in Beijing.
Obama is expected to raise trade tensions with his counterpart Hu Jintao and also urge China to reconsider the value of the yuan, which has been effectively pegged to the dollar since July 2008 and is deemed by Washington as being kept artificially low to boost Chinese exports.
In London on Monday, the euro was changing hands at 1.4969 dollars against 1.4918 dollars late on Friday, at 133.85 yen (133.57), 0.8966 pounds (0.8937) and 1.5096 Swiss francs (1.5093).
The dollar stood at 89.42 yen (89.66) and 1.0085 Swiss francs (1.0117).
The pound was at 1.6695 dollars (1.6693).
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold jumped to 1,131.70 dollars an ounce from 1,104 dollars an ounce late on Friday.
Friday, November 13, 2009
In what could prove to be one of the biggest counterterrorism seizures in U.S. history, prosecutors filed a civil complaint in federal court against the Alavi Foundation, seeking the forfeiture of more than $500 million in assets.
The assets include bank accounts; Islamic centers consisting of schools and mosques in New York City, Maryland, California and Houston; more than 100 acres in Virginia; and a 36-story glass office tower in New York.
Confiscating the properties would be a sharp blow against Iran, which has been accused by the U.S. government of bankrolling terrorism and trying to build a nuclear bomb.
A telephone call and e-mail to Iran's U.N. Mission seeking comment were not immediately answered. Nor was a call to the Alavi Foundation.
It is extremely rare for U.S. law enforcement authorities to seize a house of worship, a step fraught with questions about the First Amendment right to freedom of religion.
The action against the Shiite Muslim mosques is sure to inflame relations between the U.S. government and American Muslims, many of whom are fearful of a backlash after last week's Fort Hood shooting rampage, blamed on a Muslim American major.
The mosques and the skyscraper will remain open while the forfeiture case works its way through court in what could be a long process. What will happen to them if the government ultimately prevails is unclear. But the government typically sells properties it has seized through forfeiture, and the proceeds are sometimes distributed to crime victims.
Prosecutors said the Alavi Foundation managed the office tower on behalf of the Iranian government and, working with a front company known as Assa Corp., illegally funneled millions in rental income to Iran's state-owned Bank Melli. Bank Melli has been accused by a U.S. Treasury official of providing support for Iran's nuclear program, and it is illegal in the United States to do business with the bank.
The U.S. has long suspected the foundation was an arm of the Iranian government; a 97-page complaint details involvement in foundation business by several top Iranian officials, including the deputy prime minister and ambassadors to the United Nations.
"For two decades, the Alavi Foundation's affairs have been directed by various Iranian officials, including Iranian ambassadors to the United Nations, in violation of a series of American laws," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.
There were no raids Thursday as part of the forfeiture action. The government is simply required to post notices of the civil complaint on the property.
As prosecutors outlined their allegations against Alavi, the Islamic centers and the schools they run carried on with normal activity. The mosques' leaders had no immediate comment.
Parents lined up in their cars to pick up their children at the schools within the Islamic Education Center of Greater Houston and the Islamic Education Center in Rockville, Md. No notices of the forfeiture action were posted at either place as of late Thursday.
At the Islamic Institute of New York, a mosque and school in Queens, two U.S. marshals came to the door and rang the bell repeatedly. The marshals taped a forfeiture notice to the window and left a large document sitting on the ground. After they left a group of men came out of the building and took the document.
The fourth Islamic center marked for seizure is in Carmichael, Calif.
The skyscraper, known as the Piaget building, was erected in the 1970s under the shah of Iran, who was overthrown in 1979. The tenants include law and investment firms and other businesses.
The sleek, modern building, last valued at $570 million to $650 million in 2007, has served as an important source of income for the foundation over the past 36 years. The most recent tax records show the foundation earned $4.5 million from rents in 2007.
Rents collected from the building help fund the centers and other ventures, such as sending educational literature to imprisoned Muslims in the U.S. The foundation has also invested in dozens of mosques around the country and supported Iranian academics at prominent universities.
If federal prosecutors seize the skyscraper, the Alavi Foundation would have almost no way to continue supporting the Islamic centers, which house schools and mosques. That could leave a major void in Shiite communities, and hard feelings toward the FBI, which played a big role in the investigation.
The forfeiture action comes at a tense moment in U.S.-Iranian relations, with the two sides at odds over Iran's nuclear program and its arrest of three American hikers.
But Michael Rubin, an expert on Iran at the American Enterprise Institute, said the timing of the forfeiture action was probably a coincidence, not an effort to influence Iran on those issues.
"Suspicion about the Alavi Foundation transcends three administrations," Rubin said. "It's taken ages dealing with the nuts and bolts of the investigation. It's not the type of investigation which is part of any larger strategy."
Legal scholars said they know of only a few cases in U.S. history in which law enforcement authorities have seized a house of worship. Marc Stern, a religious-liberty expert with the American Jewish Congress, called such cases extremely rare.
The Alavi Foundation is the successor organization to the Pahlavi Foundation, a nonprofit group used by the shah to advance Iran's charitable interests in America. But authorities said its agenda changed after the fall of the shah.
In 2007, the United States accused Bank Melli of providing services to Iran's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and put the bank on its list of companies whose assets must be frozen. Washington has imposed sanctions against various other Iranian businesses.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
In its third-quarter monetary policy report, the People's Bank of China departed from well-worn language on keeping the yuan "basically stable at a reasonable and balanced level." It hinted instead at a shift from an effective dollar peg that has been in place since the middle of last year.
"Following the principles of initiative, controllability and gradualism, with reference to international capital flows and changes in major currencies, we will improve the yuan exchange-rate formation mechanism," the central bank said in a 46-page monetary policy report.
The comments, published just days before a visit to Shanghai and Beijing by U.S. President Barack Obama, set out the possibility of a return to exchange rate appreciation that began with a landmark July 2005 revaluation.
The yuan strengthened by nearly 20 percent against the dollar until concern over the impact of the global financial crisis prompted Beijing to hit the brakes in the middle of last year to protect exporters.
The yuan has been stuck at around 6.83 per dollar ever since, drawing increasing ire from other countries, especially as it has followed the dollar downwards against other currencies.
The dollar has dropped 13 percent against a basket of major currencies including the yen and euro since mid-February.
Back to a Basket?
Some analysts have called for the return to a genuine basket of currencies, which the central bank said in 2005 it would use as a reference for the yuan.
"I think the wording change ... shows that it is an irresistible trend for China to resume yuan appreciation," said Xing Ziqiang, an economist at China International Capital Corp (CICC) in Beijing.
"It is not sustainable for the yuan to always be pegged to the U.S. dollar; after all, the repegging since late 2008 was just part of China's measures to address the global financial crisis, and now the impact of the financial crisis is fading, so the yuan should resume appreciation sooner or later."
The central bank's report came just hours after data that showed the world's third-largest economy had firmly put the worst of the global financial crisis behind it. Factory output growth surged to a 19-month high of 16.2 percent in October.
While exports were still down in year-on-year terms, economists pointed to the likelihood that they would start growing again soon.
Some analysts said the statement could have been timed to send a signal ahead of Obama's Nov. 15-18 visit to China.
Obama told Reuters on Monday that he planned to raise the currency issue during his trip.
However, Beijing is increasingly facing complaints about its currency from other emerging economies, which see an undervalued yuan as undercutting them in global markets.
No Sudden Shift
Those concerns were evident in a draft statement from APEC finance ministers circulated on Wednesday, in which they call for flexible interest rates and exchange rates as a way of redressing economic balances.
"We agreed that flexible prices, including exchange rates and interest rates, play a critical role in allocating resources efficiently, and can facilitate the adjustments needed to support balanced and sustainable global growth," said the latest draft statement by the finance ministers dated Nov. 10.
While the statement could change in its final form, a deputy Chinese finance minister was present at discussions on it, suggesting some level of agreement by Beijing on the wording.
However, analysts were quick to caution against expecting any sudden shift in the yuan's actual value, given China's penchant for carrying out any reforms gradually.
"The central bank's worries about capital flows, liquidity, and inflation signal growing pressure for yuan appreciation," said Ben Simpfendorfer, strategist with the Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong.
"But I'm not looking for gains in the currency until the second quarter as the export sector still faces large challenges and margin pressure." Markets priced in a slightly greater appreciation over the coming year.
Offshore one-year dollar/yuan non-deliverable forwards (NDFs) fell to 6.6075 bid late on Wednesday compared with Tuesday's close of 6.6320.
Yuan appreciation implied by NDFs, which moves inversely with the forwards, was around 3.3 percent in a year compared with 3.06 percent before the announcement.
Xing with CICC said he was expecting even greater appreciation, of 3 to 5 percent next year, in the face of growing external and internal pressure.
"For China's own sake of balancing its economic growth and reducing its large surplus in the trade account, it is also necessary for the government to make the yuan more flexible."
Friday, November 6, 2009
By ROBERT A. GEORGE
Updated 9:18 AM CST, Fri, Nov 6, 20009
President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.
After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed. The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance. At about 5 p.m., cable stations went to the president. The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective.
But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks. At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner." Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?
Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur.
indeed, an argument could be made that Obama should have canceled the Indian event, out of respect for people having been murdered at an Army post a few hours before. That would have prevented any sort of jarring emotional switch at the event.
Did the president's team not realize what sort of image they were presenting to the country at this moment? The disconnect between what Americans at home knew had been going on -- and the initial words coming out of their president's mouth was jolting, if not disturbing.
It must have been disappointing for many politically aware Democrats, still reeling from the election two days before. The New Jersey gubernatorial vote had already demonstrated that the president and his political team couldn't produce a winning outcome in a state very friendly to Democrats (and where the president won by 15 points one year ago). And now this? Congressional Democrats must wonder if a White House that has burdened them with a too-heavy policy agenda over the last year has a strong enough political operation to help push that agenda through.
If the president's communications apparatus can't inform -- and protect -- their boss during tense moments when the country needs to see a focused commander-in-chief and a compassionate head of state, it has disastrous consequences for that president's party and supporters.
All the president's men (and women) fell down on the job Thursday. And Democrats across the country have real reason to panic.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Henry Wm. Wallace
So I was browsing patents and came across a very cool one that I thought might be of interest to any budding scientists.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
He is vehemently AGAINST this bill:
Denny tells us there is a second bill also to be voted on regarding physicians for the elderly.
It will cost 200B$.
It is only 13 pages and can be read here:
The whole thing is so ridiculous it has become surreal.
Hard to even fathom the world they are planning for us.
Not sure how long these links will last, so grab this while you can.
Also here is a snipit from Denny Rehberg's site...
Rehberg Shines Sunlight Into Secretive Pelosi Health Care Bill Using Social Media
"Every Montanan has the right to know what is in this legislation," said Rehberg, a member of the House Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee. "Unfortunately, the bill has doubled in size since August and when every one of the 400,000 words matters, it takes time to digest. At this point, I don’t think anyone can honestly say they completely understand this bill, but the more eyes the better. The internet lets me deputize Montanans to dig into the specifics of this legislation."
In late July, another health care bill was passed through Committee. That bill was 1,017 pages long, and the subject of sixteen Rehberg listening sessions held around the state and attended by thousands of Montanans during August. The new bill is nearly twice as long, and a vote may be called as early as next week. Rehberg has asked for time to hold a similar series of listening sessions in Montana, but his request has been ignored by House leaders. He scheduled an emergency town hall in his hometown of Billings for Saturday.
"In the absence of time to meet folks face-to-face, the internet can be a virtual town hall," said Rehberg. "I can interact with Montanans online, and together we can decide if this bill is good for our state and our nation."
Rehberg’s Twitter account can be read at:
His Facebook profile is at:
Here are some of the messages that Rehberg sent today:
Health Care Bill 1,990 Pages. 400,000 words. $1 Trillion CBO Score. That’s $2.5 million PER WORD! http://tinyurl.com/ykhjjh7
Who actually believes that this $1,000,000,000,000 bill won’t add “a thin dime” to our deficit? http://tinyurl.com/ykhjjh7
Don’t forget 13-page companion bill that will cost over $200 billion. It was introduced separately to hide cost. http://tinyurl.com/ykhjjh7
Page 111 establishes new board of fed bureaucrats to dictate the health plans that all individuals must buy http://tinyurl.com/ykhjjh7
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, has utilized social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to solicit public input on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s brand new 1,990-page health care bill, which was first unveiled to the public yesterday morning. Hours after the public announcement of the bill – which, ironically, was not open to the public – Rehberg posted the full text of the legislation in the "Transparency Center" of his Congressional website
Monday, November 2, 2009
NASA STS 88 Pics Unknown Spacecraft (UFO)
Click HERE for Video.
What is the "Black Knight" satellite? It is a mysterious satellite, of unknown origin, discovered in 1960 which shadowed Sputnik. It is believed to have been of extraterrestrial origin, and signaled back old radio waves from the 1920s and 1930s before it disappeared. In short wave patterns analyzed by astronomer Duncan Lunan, it revealed its origin as Epsilon Boötes (or the star system as it was 13,000 years ago).
In "Disneyland of the Gods", by John Keel, he reports in depth on this satellite:
"In February 1960 the US detected an unknown object in polar orbit, a feat that neither they or the USSR had been able to accomplish. As if that wasn't enough, it apparently was several sizes larger than anything either country would have been able to get off the ground.
And then, the oddness began. HAM operators began to receive strange coded messages. One person in particular said he managed to decode one of the transmissions, and it corresponded to a star chart. A star chart which would have been plotted from earth 13,000 years ago, and focused on the Epsilon Bostes star system.
On September 3, 1960, seven months after the satellite was first detected by radar, a tracking camera at Grumman Aircraft Corporation's Long Island factory took a photograph of it. People on the ground had been occasionally seeing it for about two weeks at that point. Viewers would make it out as a red glowing object moving in an east-to-west orbit. Most satellites of the time, according to what little material I've been able to find on the black knight satellite, moved from west-to-east. It's speed was also about three times normal. A committee was formed to examine it, but nothing more was ever made public.
Three years later, Gordon Cooper was launched into space for a 22 orbit mission. On his final orbit, he reported seeing a glowing green shape ahead of his capsule, and heading in his direction. It's said that the Muchea tracking station, in Australia, which Cooper reported this too was also able to pick it up on radar traveling in an east-to-west orbit. This event was reported by NBC, but reporters were forbidden to ask Cooper about the event on his landing. The official explanation is that an electrical malfunction in the capsule had caused high levels of carbon dioxide, which induced hallucinations."
Friday, October 30, 2009
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko announced a three-week period of precautionary measures and health officials are said to be considering introducing quarantine across the country..
An outbreak of flu and pneumonia has killed 30 people in western Ukraine since mid-October, but until now officials have been insisting the H1N1 strain was not the cause.
A health ministry spokeswoman said not all the dead were tested, but checks on one body have proved positive.
Rail traffic in Ukraine will be restricted due to the epidemiological situation in the country, Health Minister Vasyl Kniazevych has said.
Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said earlier that travelling between the regions and abroad could be restricted. Border guards also tightened controls, and if they find any symptoms of flu in people who cross the state border, they will immediately send them to local hospitals. Quarantine was imposed in the country’s nine western regions due to the epidemic of the H1N1 influenza, commonly known as swine flu. It was also decided to declare a three-week ban on all mass events and introduce a three-week holiday period at all educational institutions.
Tymoshenko said the government would also be banning “all public gatherings, every concert and every cinema showing for three weeks.” The government will also introduce “special regimes” to limit the movement of Ukraine’s citizens from one region to another for non-urgent purposes, she said. Ukraine has borders with four EU countries
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
It paves the way for a cure for infertility and could help those left sterile by cancer treatment to have children who are biologically their own.
But it raises a number of moral and ethical concerns. These include the possibility of children being born through entirely artificial means, and men and women being sidelined from the process of making babies.
Opponents argue that it is wrong to meddle with the building blocks of life and warn that the advances taking place to tackle infertility risk distorting and damaging relations between family members.
The U.S. government-funded research also offers the prospect of a 'miracle pill' which staves off the menopause, allowing women to wait longer to have a child.
It centres on stem cells, widely seen as a repair kit for the body.
Scientists at Stanford University in California found the right cocktail of chemicals and vitamins to coax the cells into becoming eggs and sperm.
The sperm had heads and short tails and are thought to have been mature enough to fertilise an egg.
The eggs were at a much earlier stage but were still much more developed than any created so far by other scientists.
The double success, published in the journal Nature, raises the prospect of men and women one day 'growing' their own sperm and eggs for use in IVF treatments.
The American team used stem cells taken from embryos in the first days of life but
hope to repeat the process with slivers of skin.
The skin cells would first be exposed to a mixture which wound back their biological clocks to embryonic stem cell state, before being transformed into sperm or eggs.
Starting with a person's own skin would also mean the lab-grown sperm or eggs would not be rejected by the body.
The science also raises the possibility of 'male eggs' made from men's skin and 'female sperm' from women's skin.
This would allow gay couples to have children genetically their own, although many scientists are sceptical about whether it is possible to create sperm from female cells, which lack the male Y chromosome.
The U.S. breakthrough could unlock many of the secrets of egg and sperm production, leading to new drug treatments for infertility.
Defects in sperm and egg development are the biggest cause of infertility but, because many of the key stages occur in the womb, scientists have struggled to study the process in detail.
Researcher Rita Reijo Pera, of Stanford's Centre for Human Embryonic Stem Cell
Research, believes new fertility drugs are just five years away.
However, safety and ethical concerns mean that artificial sperm and eggs are much further away from use.
Dr Reijo Pera said any future use of artificial eggs and sperm would have to be subject to guidelines.
'Whether one builds the boundaries on religion or just on an internal sense or of right and wrong, these are important. In this field, it is not "anything goes".'
Scientists at Newcastle University claimed to have made sperm from embryonic stem cells earlier this year but the research paper has been retracted.
Dr Allan Pacey, a Sheffield University expert in male fertility said: 'Ultimately this may help us find a cure for male infertility. Not necessarily by making sperm in the laboratory, I personally think that is unlikely, but by identifying new targets for drugs or genes that may stimulate sperm production to occur naturally.
'This is a long way off, but it is a laudable dream.'
Dr Peter Saunders, of the Christian Medical Fellowship, said that IVF should be the preserve of married couples.
'The question is, why are we creating artificial gametes (eggs and sperm) and aborting 200,000 babies a year when there are many, many couples willing to adopt?'
Josephine Quintavalle, of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, warned that any flaws in the artificial sperm or eggs could be passed on to future generations.
Anthony Ozimic, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, said: 'The use of artificial gametes in reproduction would distort and damage relations between family members.
'There are no instances of any major medical advance achieved by abandoning basic ethical principles such as safeguarding the right to life.'