Ok, so it's winter in Alaska and ... surprise!! ... it's super-cold. And people who live there are complaining ...
Extreme Alaska cold grounds planes, disables cars
But I lived in Fairbanks Alaska for 3 years, 1982-85. In January 1983, for 10 days the temperature ranged from -52 to -68 F ... -47 to -56 C. Literally, I remember those exact numbers. And then in my last "Spring" season there, March-April 1985, we had temps of -40 for 3 weeks or more.
Now remember, we're talking about Alaska, about 1/3 of which is above the Arctic Circle. So can't we reasonably assume that super-cold temperatures in Alaska are "normal"?
So what are those wimps complaining about??? If they can't take a little cold weather, they should move to Florida! Or maybe Crete!
Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...
I'm comming back here
Man sells 14-year-old daughter into marriage for beer
updated 11:47 a.m. ET Jan. 13, 2009
A California man is under arrest for allegedly trying to sell his 14-year-old daughter into marriage for 100 cases of beer and other items. Police say 36-year-old Marcelino De Jesus Martinez arranged for his daughter to marry an 18-year-old man for several cases of Corona beer, 50 cases of Negra Modelo, six bottles of wine, fifty cases of soft drinks and 50 cases of Gatorade. Several cases of meat were also promised.
The daughter moved in with the man, but the father never received payment so he called police. Police brought the daughter home along with a surprise for the father; an arrest warrant. De Jesus Martinez and the 18-year-old are both in jail charged with felonies. The father is charged with receiving money for causing person to cohabitate and the other man is charged with statutory rape.
Police say arranged marriages are common in many cultures and are not against the law as long as both people are over the legal age.
Chinese chef 'lived in freezer at restaurant'
By Nick Britten
Last Updated: 2:14PM GMT 05 Jan 2009
The cook had turned one of the industrial freezers into a makeshift bed.
During a crackdown on illegal immigration, officers raided two restaurants in Llandudno, north Wales.
When they arrived at the Llandudno's Sakura Japanese and Korean restaurant, they found the chef, who was from China and who had overstayed his visa.
They were taken downstairs to his living quarters and found he had removed the freezer's door and laid out a bed in it.
His suitcase, passport and visa documents were found next to it.
He was arrested, sent to London and deported back to China within 72 hours. His employer has been served with a Notice of Potential Liability and could face a £10,000 fine.
Officers found other staff staying there and also at the next-door Beijing restaurant. In all, 10 people were rounded up and four found to be illegal immigrants.
Richard Johnson, Senior immigration officer with the UK Border and Immigration Agency, said: "As well as the freezer case, we have also had cases where five people have been found living in a bathroom and another where three people were found sleeping in a kitchen larder surrounded by meat and vegetables.
"The workers we find working illegally do not pay tax or national insurance and society gets nothing from them, and they have no protection from exploitation."
All 155 survive as pilot ditches plane in Hudson
NEW YORK – A cool-headed pilot maneuvered his crippled jetliner over New York City and ditched it in the frigid Hudson River on Thursday, and all 155 on board were pulled to safety as the plane slowly sank. It was, the governor said, "a miracle on the Hudson."
One victim suffered two broken legs, a paramedic said, but there were no other reports of serious injuries.
US Airways Flight 1549, an Airbus A320 bound for Charlotte, N.C., struck a flock of birds just after takeoff minutes earlier at LaGuardia Airport, apparently disabling the engines.
The pilot, identified as Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III of Danville, Calif., "was phenomenal," passenger Joe Hart said. "He landed it — I tell you what, the impact wasn't a whole lot more than a rear-end (collision). It threw you into the seat ahead of you.
"Both engines cut out and he actually floated it into the river," he said.
In a city still wounded from the aerial attack on the World Trade Center, authorities were quick to assure the public that terrorism wasn't involved.
The plane was submerged up to its windows in the river by the time rescuers arrived, including Coast Guard vessels and commuter ferries that happened to be nearby. Some passengers waded in water up to their knees, standing on the wing of the plane and waiting for help.
Helen Rodriguez, a paramedic who was among the first to arrive at the scene, said she saw one woman with two broken legs. Fire officials said others were evaluated for hypothermia, bruises and other minor injuries. An infant was on board and appeared to be fine, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.
"We had a miracle on 34th Street. I believe now we have had a miracle on the Hudson," Gov. David Paterson said.
The crash took place on a 20-degree day, one of the coldest of the season in New York. The Coast Guard said the water temperature was 36 degrees.
Dave Sanderson, who was flying home to Charlotte after a business trip, said the sound of an explosion was followed by passengers running up the aisle and people being shoved out of the way.
As the plane descended, passenger Vallie Collins tapped out a text message to her husband, Steve: "My plane is crashing." He was desperately trying to figure out whether she had been on the downed plane when the message arrived.
Another passenger, Jeff Kolodjay, said people put their heads in their laps and prayed. He said the captain instructed them to "brace for impact because we're going down."
"It was intense. It was intense. You've got to give it to the pilot. He made a hell of a landing," Kolodjay said.
Witnesses said the pilot appeared to guide the plane down. Barbara Sambriski, a researcher at The Associated Press, watched the water landing from the news organization's high-rise office. "I just thought, 'Why is it so low?' And, splash, it hit the water," she said.
As water slowly filled the cabin, Sanderson said he and another passenger helped people out onto the wing. One woman had a 3-year-old child, he said, and safely tossed the toddler onto a raft before climbing on herself.
One commuter ferry, the Thomas Jefferson of the company NY Waterway, arrived within minutes of the crash, and some of its own riders grabbed life vests and lines of rope and tossed them to plane passengers in the water.
"They were cheering when we pulled up," ferry captain Vincent Lombardi. "We had to pull an elderly woman out of a raft in a sling. She was crying. ... People were panicking. They said, 'Hurry up, hurry up.'"
Paramedics treated at least 78 patients, fire officials said. Coast Guard boats rescued 35 people who were immersed in the frigid water and ferried them to shore. Some of the rescued were shivering and wrapped in white blankets, their feet and legs soaked.
Two police scuba divers said they pulled another woman from a lifeboat "frightened out of her mind" and lethargic from hypothermia. Another woman fell off a rescue raft, and the divers said they swam over and put her on a Coast Guard boat.
The plane took off at 3:26 p.m. for a flight that would last only five minutes. It was less than a minute after takeoff when the pilot reported a "double bird strike" and said he needed to return to LaGuardia, said Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. He said the pilot apparently meant that birds had hit both of the plane's jet engines.
The controller told the pilot to divert to an airport in nearby Teterboro, N.J., but it was not clear why the pilot did not land there.
Church said there was no mayday call from the plane's transponder. The plane splashed into the water off roughly 48th Street in midtown Manhattan — one of the busiest and most closely watched stretches of the river.
US Airways CEO Doug Parker said 150 passengers, three flight attendants and two pilots were on board the jetliner.
An official speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still ongoing identified the pilot as Sullenberger. A woman answered and hung up when the AP asked to speak with Sullenberger's family in Danville.
Sullenberger, 57, described himself in an online professional profile as a 29-year employee of US Airways. He started his own consulting business, Safety Reliability Methods Inc., two years ago.
Bank of America and Wells Fargo said they had employees on the plane. Charlotte is a major banking center.
Eric Doten, a Florida aviation safety consultant, said he could not recall another example of a modern jetliner water crash in which everyone survived. He said many things had to go right to avert catastrophe: The plane didn't cartwheel when it hit, the fuselage remained intact, and the fuel did not ignite — in fact its buoyancy probably helped the plane stay afloat.
The plane sank slowly as it drifted downriver. Gradually, the fuselage went under until about half of the tail fin and rudder was above water. A Fire Department boat tugged the plane to the southern tip of Manhattan and docked it there.
The Federal Aviation Administration says there were about 65,000 bird strikes to civil aircraft in the United States from 1990 to 2005, or about one for every 10,000 flights.
"They literally just choke out the engine and it quits," said Joe Mazzone, a retired Delta Air Lines pilot. He said air traffic control towers routinely alert pilots if there are birds in the area.
The Hudson crash took place almost exactly 27 years after an Air Florida plane bound for Tampa crashed into the Potomac River just after takeoff from Washington National Airport, killing 78 people. Five people on that flight survived.
On Dec. 20, a Continental Airlines plane veered off a runway and slid into a snowy field at the Denver airport, injuring 38 people. That was the first major crash of a commercial airliner in the United States since Aug. 27, 2006, when 49 people were killed after a Comair jetliner took off from a Lexington, Ky., runway that was too short.
Martian methane belch: From rocks or microbes?
WASHINGTON – A surprising and mysterious belch of methane gas on Mars hints at possible microbial life underground, but also could come from changes in rocks, a new NASA study found. The presence of methane on Mars could be significant because by far most of the gas on Earth is a byproduct of life — from animal digestion and decaying plants and animals.
Past studies indicated no regular methane on Mars. But new research using three ground-based telescopes confirmed that nearly 21,000 tons of methane were released during a few months of the late summer of 2003, according to a study published Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science.
"This raises the probability substantially that life was there or still survives at the present," study author Michael Mumma of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center told The Associated Press.
But Mumma also said claims of life need far more evidence and this isn't nearly enough. By 2006, most of the methane had disappeared from the Martian atmosphere, adding to the mystery of the gas, he said.
The Mars belch is similar to what comes out of the waters near Santa Barbara, Calif., which comes from decaying life in the sea floor. Microbes in the Arctic and other extreme Earth environments that don't use oxygen still release methane and they have been examples of the type of life astronomers look for on other planets.
Mumma and other scientists said NASA is likely to tinker with its long-held method of looking for life on Mars by seeking water and concentrating on signs of long-gone life. Instead NASA should think about methane hotspots as a "bull's-eye" for future missions and search for present-day life below the surface, said Indiana University geologist Lisa Pratt, who spoke during a NASA press conference. She was not involved in the research.
That's because methane is not only a waste product of life, it can be a food for other life, which makes these temporary methane hotspots good places to explore, Pratt said. She said it was "slightly more plausible" that the methane came from some form of life than geological changes.
Two major geological causes of those changes are volcanic molten rock and the mixture of water, carbon dioxide and other chemicals deep underground. The molten rock explanation would have meant higher levels of sulfur dioxide, which haven't been seen, Mumma said. And the underground reaction would involve fracturing and fissures and plugged cracks; those could be there, but haven't been noticed yet, Pratt said.
There is a very slight chance that the methane came from comets or asteroids hitting Mars, but it is unlikely, said Sushil Atreya, a professor of atmospheric and space sciences at the University of Michigan, who also spoke at the press conference.
Until the study, astronomers had debated whether "whiffs of methane" on Mars were real, said Brown University geologist Jack Mustard, who wasn't part of the research. That debate is pretty much over with this paper, he said in an interview.
Now "we can start the even more contentious debate about the source," said Carnegie Institution astronomer Alan Boss, an expert on looking for life on other planets.
Mustard said he leans against believing that the methane is from life.
The methane was released in three areas in the Martian western hemisphere, near an area called Nili Fossae. That spot was considered but rejected last month as a possible landing site for NASA's next Martian rover.
NASA may reconsider using a Nili Fossae landing site in the 2011 mission, but it was going to be hard to get to, said lead NASA Mars scientist Michael Meyer.
I can't post news from Gazza, I'm really sorry..
Every day I watch news I find just new bad news... It's too much for me, because I always cry... So I just read the tittle when they talk about the possibility of peace or something like that..
I just realized that I can't read anything about war or people dieing this way
P.S. It's no about it doesn't matter to me, it just hurts my soul too much.. really sorry.
Last edited by MaresLejanos; 01-15-2009 at 11:12 PM.
New anti-psychotic medications as risky as older ones: study
Thu Jan 15, 1:54 pm ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Newer anti-psychotic medications used to treat schizophrenia, dementia and other psychiatric disorders appear to double a patient's risk of sudden heart failure, research published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine found.
The major study is the latest in recent months to show that these newer drugs, dubbed "atypical medications," are not much safer than the older generation of "typical" treatments, as scientists had widely thought.
"Although a link between the use of typical anti-psychotic drugs and both torsades de pointes (a form of heart disorder) and sudden cardiac death has been established, this risk was thought to be lower with the use of atypical drugs," the authors wrote.
They said that now "limited data available" suggest the "electrophysiological effects" of both types of drugs are similar.
The new generation of drugs examined in the study -- which also are significantly more expensive than their predecessors -- include Johnson and Johnson's Risperdal; AstraZeneca's Seroqueland Eli Lilly's Zyprexa.
The three drugs are among the top sellers in their class with more than 14.5 billion dollars in sales worldwide in 2007.
Some doctors have warned against these drugs being prescribed "off-label" or for conditions not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
That includes Alzheimer's and hyperactivity in young people.
"Current users of typical antipsychotic drugs and of atypical antipsychotic drugs in the study cohort had a similar dose-related increased risk of sudden cardiac death," said the authors of the study led by Dr Wayne Ray of Vanderbilt University Medical School in Tennessee.
"This finding suggests that with regard to this adverse effect, the atypical antipsychotic drugs are no safer than the older drugs."
Drinking coffee reduces risk of Alzheimer's: study
Thu Jan 15, 10:45 am ET
STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Middle-aged people who drink moderate amounts of coffee significantly reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, a study by Finnish and Swedish researchers showed Thursday.
"Middle-aged people who drank between three and five cups of coffee a day lowered their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease by between 60 and 65 percent later in life," said lead researcher on the project, Miia Kivipelto, a professor at the University of Kuopio in Finland and at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.
The study, which was also conducted in cooperation with the National Public Health Institute in Helsinki and which was published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease this month, was based on repeated interviews with 1,409 people in Finland over more than two decades.
They were first asked about their coffee-drinking habits when they were in their 50s and their memory functions were tested again in 1998, when they were between 65 and 79 years of age.
A total of 61 people had by then developed dementia, 48 of whom had Alzheimer's, the researchers said.
"There are perhaps one or two other studies that have shown that coffee can improve some memory functions (but) this is the first study directed at dementia and Alzheimer's (and) in which the subjects are followed for such a long time," Kivipelto told AFP.
She said it remained unclear exactly how moderate coffee drinking helped delay or avoid the onset of dementia, but pointed out that coffee contains strong antioxidants, which are known to counter Alzheimer's.
Some studies have also shown that coffee helps protects the nerve system, which can also protect against dementia, she said, pointing out that yet other studies show that coffee protects against diabetes, which in turn is known to be linked to Alzheimer's.
"Going forward, researchers should try to nail down exactly what the protective elements in coffee consist in," Kivipelto said.
The Finnish-Swedish research results surfaced just a day after a separate study published by psychologists at Durham University showed a link between heavy coffee drinking and hallucinations.
"I guess this shows that you shouldn't exaggerate," Kivipelto said when asked about the British study, pointing out that her research showed "insignificant" benefits to drinking more than five cups of coffee a day when it came to protecting against dementia.
"Too much is simply too much," she said.
So ridiculous & sad...
Ohio Teen Killed Mom Over Video Game
By M.R. KROPKO, AP
ELYRIA, Ohio (Jan. 13) - Although a teenager's obsession with a violent video game may have warped his sense of reality, the boy is guilty of murdering his mother and wounding his father after they took "Halo 3" away from him, a judge ruled Monday.
"I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents they would be dead forever," Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge said.
Nonetheless, Burge rejected the defense attorneys' argument that Petric, 17, was not guilty by reason of insanity.
The defense didn't contest that Petric shot his parents in October 2007 after they took the game away from him, but insisted that the teen's youth and addiction made him less responsible.
Petric may have been addicted, but the evidence also showed he planned the crime for weeks, said Burge, who found the teenager guilty of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and other charges.
Tried as an adult, Petric faces a maximum possible penalty of life in prison without parole. The judge didn't set a sentencing date.
The teen's mother, Susan Petric, 43, died of a gunshot wound to the head. Her husband, Mark Petric, a minister at New Life Assembly of God in Wellington, also was shot in the head but survived.
After the verdict was announced, Petric turned to look at his father seated behind him in the courtroom. Mark Petric, who previously said he has forgiven his son, gave an encouraging nod.
Mark Petric and other relatives left the court without comment.
Prosecutors said Petric planned to kill his parents because he was angry that his father would not allow him to play the video game, in which players shoot alien monsters that have taken over the Earth.
On the night of the shooting, Petric used his father's key to open a lockbox and remove a 9 mm handgun and the game.
Mark Petric testified that his son came into the room and asked: "Would you guys close your eyes? I have a surprise for you." He testified that he expected a pleasant surprise. Then his head went numb from the gunshot.
Deputy prosecuting attorney Anthony Cillo argued during the trial that the teenager had planned to make it appear to be a murder-suicide by putting the gun in his father's hand.
Defense Attorney James Kersey said that when the teenager fled the grisly scene, he only took one item with him: the "Halo 3" game.
Bungie LLC, once part of Microsoft, developed the Xbox 360-exclusive Halo 3, and Microsoft owns the game's intellectual property. Microsoft declined to comment beyond a statement: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."
Nu ştiu de ce lupt aşa pentru tine.
Ti it l'avìe tut ma adess 't as nen gnente.
Exchange the sunshine for brown eyes & dark skies, replace this dull life with you.
Yes.. that's ridiculous, sad, and show us how seek was that teenager...
But... I think it his parent's fault. Because even when I had computer and videogames in home, we had a restriction time for it, 1 or 2 hours per day, and not more. The new life with both parents too busy, makes them to try to keep their kids busy (not annoying them... sadly). So they let the children play videogames for long hours, and they lost all the respect from them... I'm seeing it with many of friends... They kids don't respect them, so they lost for complete any authority. The kids don't stop playing just because the parents say they have to stop... There are not any authority anymore....
And children so much hours in front a computer/console is a biiiiiiig problem, for their own minds and for their oun heatlh.. Some have died just because they where playing for more than 48 hours long, or because they forget to eat.... OMG!!!! I really don't like it !!!!
And do you remember the case of a baby that Inconsolable89 posted here... The teenagers killed the baby exactly like in the video game they were used to play....
2 men survive 25 days at sea bobbing in a cooler
By ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press Writer Rod Mcguirk, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 1 min ago - today
CANBERRA, Australia – Two desperate, dehydrated men found bobbing in a bathtub-sized cooler off Australia told authorities they spent 25 days adrift after their fishing boat sank, officials said Tuesday. There was no sign of 18 other crew members.
The men apparently lived on monsoon water and fish chunks stored in the cooler.
Authorities were amazed that the men, from the Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, were spotted by a routine customs service flight that patrols for far larger craft such as illegal trawlers in Australia's northern waters.
A photograph taken from the patrol plane shows the men standing shirtless in the pink cooler — a waist-high container often used to store freshly caught fish — and waving frantically.
The men, 22 and 24, were rescued by helicopter Saturday, Maritime Safety Authority spokeswoman Tracey Jiggins said. They were treated for dehydration and released Tuesday.
"These two people being spotted is miraculous in itself in the huge expanse of ocean after drifting for 25 days," Jiggins said.
Authorities have not said what the men ate or drank during their ordeal. Media reports have said they survived on fish chunks that had been stored in the cooler and rain water that pooled on the floor.
One rescuer, pilot Terry Gadenne, told Seven Network television that each man drank about four pints of water within seconds of being hoisted aboard the helicopter.
"They were dehydrated, there's no doubt about it, and very keen to get out," Gadenne said.
The men told police they had been aboard a 30-foot (9-meter) wooden fishing boat that sank Dec. 23 with a total crew of 20 from Thailand and Myanmar.
Jiggins said the men found refuge inside an insulated box that held ice on the boat. "At the time of the sinking, the two survivors also witnessed other crew in the water with no flotation devices," she said.
Officials did not know why the boat sank, Jiggins said, but the two men said the vessel had been taking on water for some time before it went down. The survivors could not give accurate details of where the boat sank.
Australian authorities did not plan to search for other survivors.
"We've made an assessment ... that the remaining crew members would not be able to survive 25 days in the water without any form of flotation device," Jiggins said.
Greg Edwards, a commercial boat operator, said there had been a lot of rain and 50-knot (58 mph; 93 kph) gusts in the Torres Strait, where the men were picked up, since Christmas.
"It's been pretty miserable weather," Edwards said.
Immigration Department spokesman Sandi Logan said the men likely would be kept under department supervision while officials determined their identities. Neither man had identity documents.
The Myanmar Embassy in Canberra said it had not contacted the men and did not intend to make a public statement about the incident.
Graeme Reberger, director of the Australian cooler manufacturer Techni Ice, said the men appeared to have been in one of his company's 800-liter (210-gallon) models manufactured in Thailand.
"I'm just surprised that they were able to stay in it without it tipping over," Reberger told Nine Network television news.
Obama takes office, saying choose 'hope over fear'
WASHINGTON – Stepping into history, Barack Hussein Obama grasped the reins of power as America's first black president on Tuesday, saying the nation must choose "hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord" to overcome the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
In frigid temperatures, an exuberant crowd of more than a million packed the National Mall and parade route to celebrate Obama's inauguration in a high-noon ceremony. They filled the National Mall, stretching from the inaugural platform at the U.S. Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial in the distance.
With 11 million Americans out of work and trillions of dollars lost in the stock market's tumble, Obama emphasized that his biggest challenge is to repair the tattered economy left behind by outgoing President George W. Bush.
"Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed," Obama said in an undisguised shot at Bush administration policies. "Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and begin the work of remaking America."
The dawn of the new Democratic era — with Obama allies in charge of both houses of Congress — ends eight years of Republican control of the White House by Bush, who leaves Washington as one of the nation's most unpopular and divisive presidents, the architect of two unfinished wars and the man in charge at a time of economic calamity that swept away many Americans' jobs, savings and homes.
Obama's election was cheered around the world as a sign that America will be more embracing, more open to change. "To the Muslim world," Obama said, "we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."
Still, he bluntly warned, "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy."
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."
Two years after beginning his improbable quest as a little-known, first-term Illinois senator with a foreign-sounding name, Obama moved into the Oval Office as the nation's fourth youngest president, at 47, and the first African-American, a barrier-breaking achievement believed impossible by generations of minorities.
He said it was a moment to recall "that all are equal, all are free and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."
Obama called for a political truce in Washington to end "the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics."
He said that all Americans have roles in rebuilding the nation by renewing the traditions of hard work, honesty and fair play, tolerance, loyalty and patriotism.
"What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility, a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."
With the economy in a long and deepening recession, Obama said it was time for swift and bold action to create new jobs and lay a foundation for growth. Congressional Democrats have readied an $825 billion stimulus plan of tax cuts and spending for roads, bridges, schools, electric grids and other projects.
"The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works," the new president said.
A mighty chorus of cheers erupted as Obama stepped to the inaugural platform, a midday sun warming the crowd that had waited for hours in the cold. There were some boos when Bush and Vice President **** Cheney came onto the platform.
In his remarks, Obama took stock of the nation's sobering problems.
"That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood," he said.
"Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age," Obama said. "Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet."
It was the first change of administrations since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Crowds filled the Mall for a distant glimpse of the proceedings or just, in the words of many, simply "to be here." Washington's subway system was jammed and two downtown stations were closed when a woman was struck by a subway train.
Bush — following tradition — left a note for Obama in the top drawer of his desk in the Oval Office.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said the theme of the message — which Bush wrote on Monday — was similar to what he has said since election night: that Obama is about to begin a "fabulous new chapter" in the United States, and that he wishes him well.
The unfinished business of the Bush administration thrusts an enormous burden onto the new administration, though polls show Americans are confident Obama is on track to succeed. He has cautioned that improvements will take time and that things will get worse before they get better.
Culminating four days of celebration, the nation's 56th inauguration day began for Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden with a traditional morning worship service at St. John's Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Park from the White House. Bells pealed from the historic church's tower as Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived five minutes behind schedule.
The festivities won't end until well after midnight, with dancing and partying at 10 inaugural balls.
By custom, Obama and his wife, and Biden and his wife, Jill, went directly from church to the White House for coffee with Bush and his wife, Laura. Michelle Obama brought a gift for the outgoing first lady in a white box decorated with a red ribbon.
Shortly before 11 a.m., Obama and Bush climbed into a heavily armored Cadillac limousine to share a ride to the Capitol for the transfer of power, an event flashed around the world in television and radio broadcasts, podcasts and Internet streaming. On Monday, Vice President **** Cheney pulled a muscle in his back, leaving him in a wheelchair for the inauguration.
Just after noon, Obama stepped forward on the West Front of the Capitol to lay his left hand on the same Bible that President Abraham Lincoln used at his first inauguration in 1861. The 35-word oath of office, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts, has been uttered by every president since George Washington. Obama was one of 22 Democratic senators to vote against Roberts' confirmation to the Supreme Court in 2005.
The son of a white, Kansas-born mother and a black, Kenya-born father, Obama decided to use his full name in the swearing-in ceremony.
To the dismay of liberals, Obama invited conservative evangelical pastor Rick Warren — an opponent of gay rights — to give the inaugural invocation.
About a dozen members of Obama's Cabinet and top appointees were ready for Senate confirmation Tuesday, provided no objections were raised. But Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas indicated he would block a move to immediately confirm Secretary of State-designate Hillary Rodham Clinton. Still, she is expected to be approved in a roll call vote Wednesday.
More than 10,000 people from all 50 states — including bands and military units — were assembled to follow Obama and Biden from the Capitol on the 1.5-mile inaugural parade route on Pennsylvania Avenue, concluding at a bulletproof reviewing stand in front of the White House. Security was unprecedented. Most bridges into Washington and about 3.5 square miles of downtown were closed.
Among the VIPs at the Capitol was pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the hero of last week's US Airways crash into the Hudson River.
Obama's inauguration represents a time of renewal and optimism for a nation gripped by fear and anxiety. Stark numbers tell the story of an economic debacle unrivaled since the 1930s:
_Eleven million people have lost their jobs, pushing the unemployment rate to 7.2 percent, a 16-year high.
_One in 10 U.S. homeowners is delinquent on mortgage payments or in arrears.
_The Dow Jones industrial average fell by 33.8 percent in 2008, the worst decline since 1931, and stocks lost $10 trillion in value between October 2007 and November 2008.
Obama and congressional Democrats are working on an $825 billion economic recovery bill that would provide an enormous infusion of public spending and tax cuts. Obama also will have at his disposal the remaining $350 billion in the federal financial bailout fund. His goal is to save or create 3 million jobs and put banks back in the job of lending to customers.
In an appeal for bipartisanship, Obama honored defeated Republican presidential rival John McCain at a dinner Monday night. "There are few Americans who understand this need for common purpose and common effort better than John McCain," Obama said.
Young and untested, Obama is a man of enormous confidence and electrifying oratorical skills. Hopes for Obama are extremely high, suggesting that Americans are willing to give him a long honeymoon to strengthen the economy and lift the financial gloom.
On Wednesday, his first working day in office, Obama is expected to redeem his campaign promise to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq under a 16-month timetable. Aides said he would summon the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Oval Office and order that the pullout commence.
It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; thru sickness we recognize the value of health; thru evil, the value of good; thru hunger, the value of food; thru exertion, the value of rest.
Man Utd 2 Tottenham 1
MANCHESTER UNITED hit a quick-fire first-half double to book their place in the FA Cup fifth round.
Alex Ferguson's side were given an early shock when Roman Pavlyuchenko’s deft header put Spurs ahead.
But former Tottenham midfielder Michael Carrick twice unlocked their defence to turn the tie on its head.
The playmaker spotted Paul Scholes on the edge of the box, with his deflected strike drawing things level on 36 minutes.
And a beautiful chipped pass just moments later released former White Hart Lane striker Dimitar Berbatov, who coolly controlled the ball before slotting home.
Spurs boss Harry Redknapp blasted TV pundits Andy Townsend and Teddy Sheringham after they accused the visitors of not trying.
Redknapp rapped: "That criticism is unfair.
"I don't know what game they can have been watching. How can they say we didn't try?
"I think people are jumping on a bandwagon. This is a tough place to come and it is not like we have been beaten 6-1. We have lost 2-1.
"Everyone wants to jump on Tottenham at the moment. I was happy with the effort today."
Ferguson saw teenagers Fabio and Danny Welbeck join his growing injury list, while the United boss also revealed Cristiano Ronaldo had a virus.
He said: "Cristiano has picked up a little bug.
"We had to get the doctor to him this morning and I didn't think he was anywhere near ready but he showed the appetite to play and it is always good to have him on the pitch. He will be better by Tuesday.
"We could do without these things but Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher are fresh, so it is just the full-backs that are giving us concern."
Predictably, Bulgarian hitman Berbatov was jeered by the visiting supporters the first time he touched the ball.
But the travelling support quickly swiched to cheering, when their side took a shock lead.
Brazilian debutant Fabio saw his clearance drop for Tom Huddlestone, who quickly swung over a cross.
Pavlyuchenko got half a yard in front of Nemanja Vidic and, diving low, steered his header beyond Ben Foster in the United net.
Carlos Tevez then kicked into action, hurrying the Spurs defence and testing Ben Alnwick and the crossbar with stinging drives.
The Argentine then won a corner off Gareth Bale, from which his side drew level.
Octuplets born in California doing ‘very well’
NBC, msnbc.com and news services
updated 8:57 p.m. ET Jan. 27, 2009
BELLFLOWER, Calif. - Just think: eight cribs, eight highchairs, eight strollers (or maybe four double-strollers) and far too many dirty diapers to count.
A woman in Southern California gave birth Monday to the second set of octuplets ever delivered alive in the United States.
Doctors described the six boys and two girls as a feisty bunch who made their entrance kicking and crying and seemed to be doing remarkably well, despite arriving nine weeks premature. They ranged in weight from 1 pound, 8 ounces, to 3 pounds, 4 ounces
STUDENT Elliott Gibson has become his royal shyness because women think he’s the newly-single Prince Harry.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Elliott, 21, earns £500 a day as a lookalike thanks to his striking resemblance to Harry.
But he says since the Prince split with Chelsy Davy he has been bombarded by mistaken girls desperate to become the next royal girlfriend.
Strapping 6ft 2in Elliott said he feared for his life at the weekend when one group of screaming teens chased him on the London Underground.
He’s now vowing to stay indoors as much as possible to reduce the risks – until Harry finds another girlfriend.
Elliott said: "People have been staring at me my entire life because of how much I look like Harry - and, as embarrassing as it is, a lot of girls come up to me to get a picture.
"But the past few days have been like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
"I was in London on the underground on Sunday and there was a group of 50 American teenagers heading up the opposite escalator from me.
"One of the girls saw me and shrieked 'It’s Harry!' and another shouted 'Chelsy didn’t deserve you!'.
“Before I knew it there was a stampede of young women coming down the wrong way down the escalator.
"They were coming at me full throttle - I’m sure they knocked down a person or two along their way.
"I bolted for the platform, and just as I jumped on to the train the doors closed."
He added: "I seriously thought I might be injured. I couldn’t even begin to think what they’d do to me if they caught me."
Elliott, a second year economics student at Newcastle University, began his lookalike career at the age of 12 when he was signed to modelling agency Fake Faces.
He has the same ginger locks, facial features and build as the young royal, and even sports the same accent.
He bears such a likeness that he often signs autographs or poses for pictures, and has made cameo appearances in America and across Europe.
But since Harry’s split with Chelsy last weekend Elliott says things have gone "through the roof".
The Prince, 24, and Chelsy, 23, finished after five years together in what was said to be an "amicable parting".
Elliott added: "It was embarrassing before, but since Harry’s been single it’s gone to a whole new level.
"On Sunday night it was the same problem at the nightclubs. I was swarmed by fanatical girls as soon as I stepped inside a place.
"I kept saying: 'I’m not him! I’m not him!' but people don’t listen.
"They just start flashing their cameras, and some really aggressive women start grabbing and pulling at me."
Modest Elliott, who has a girlfriend at university, said some of the offers he receives are sexually explicit, adding: "Some of the offers I’ve been given by women are so graphic I can’t even repeat them."
Now Elliott says he will stay inside until Harry’s break-up blows over.
He said: "I just hope he gets taken off the market again soon - I can’t cope with all this attention.
"I’m definitely staying in at night for a while."
Mares, this is even more strange about the octuplets: According to ABC News, the mother has 6 other children, and she lives with her parents ... ... I can't even imagine .....
Having problems with vertigo for 2-3 days ... it's temporary, a mild case and it will pass, but for now I can't stay on the computer as much as normal :-/ ...
Obama urged not to backburner climate change
By ANGELA CHARLTON, Associated Press Writer Angela Charlton, Associated Press Writer – 01/30/09
AVOS, Switzerland – Don't put off action on global warming just because times are lean — that's the message Al Gore, world environmental leaders and U.S. executives sent Friday to President Barack Obama.
Worries are mounting that economic troubles are sapping momentum, in the U.S. Congress and in other world capitals, for costly investment in clean energy and cutting carbon emissions.
"The oceans are being choked off of oxygen. They are dying as a result of this process we are seeing before our eyes the melting of the polar ice cap," Gore said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. "The assumption that we can continue on this path is an assumption that is collapsing."
Many countries are looking to Obama for aggressive action after frustration at the Bush administration's refusal to sign international pacts on reducing emissions of carbon, blamed for global warming.
Gore, U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer and executives were discussing the fate of a U.N. meeting in Copenhagen this December aiming for a global agreement on reducing emissions. Questions remain over the new U.S. government's position on the Copenhagen meeting, which is seen as crucial.
"We need an agreement this year, not next year or some other time," Gore said.
Still, Gore expressed optimism in Obama, calling him "the greenest person in the room" for making environmental funding a big chunk of the $819 billion economic stimulus bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives this week.
But he and other panelists acknowledged that the financial crisis will be a key challenge. Governments could shy from forcing polluting industries to pay for their carbon emissions or using taxpayer money for expensive new clean energy investments — even if they prove more efficient in the long term.
"Undeniably the financial crisis is making things more difficult," U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer, told Associated Press Television News. "There is a shortage of finance, you see that many renewable energy projects are being put on the back burner."
But he added, "If you look at the economic recovery packages of the European Union, the United States, Japan, China — they are all using this as an opportunity to change the direction of economic growth, and that I find encouraging."
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who will host the Copenhagen meeting, urged countries to agree to reduce global emissions by 50 percent by 2050, and said industrialized countries should reduce by 80 percent.
"We have to be vigilant so that the crisis does not derail this," he told the AP.
The onus is not only on Obama. Climate negotiators are looking anxiously at developing giants and heavy emitters China and India. And Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin disappointed some activists with his non-committal stance on climate change in his keynote address at the Davos forum.
Media magnate Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp., joined the call to ensure that investment in clean energy doesn't collapse.
"There's a real risk that the alternative energy industry could die again," he said later. "I really hope that the new president will not let that happen."
The head of the New York Stock Exchange, Duncan Niederauer, agreed.
"We've got to stay the course on energy efficiency," he said. "It's time we get serious about it and push it through."