In The News
On Iran, US policy implosion causes grief for Europe International Herald Tribune
Human Evolution Speeding Up, Study Says National Geographic The pace of change accelerated about 40,000 years ago and then picked up even more with the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago ...... while humans are evolving quickly around the world, local cultural and environmental factors are shaping evolution differently on different continents. ...... in Europe natural selection has favored genes for pigmentation like light skin, blue eyes, and blond hair. .......... "Europeans and Asians are both bleached Africans, but the way they got bleached is different in the two areas"
Israeli military rolls into Gaza Strip
Hillary Clinton, according to Bill Los Angeles Times
Hillary Clinton ties with Barack Obama in polls Telegraph.co.uk Three weeks before voting begins, Hillary Clinton's lead in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination has shrunk to a statistical tie with Barack Obama in the states that go to the polls first. ...... What was strongly forecast to be a procession to the finishing line has turned into a frantic scramble, with the former First Lady glancing anxiously over her shoulder towards the Illinois senator. ...... the candidates are effectively equal in all three states for the first time. ........ Though Mrs Clinton retains the lead in national polls, it has been cut by more than half in a couple of months to 10 points. ......... Yesterday a second Clinton volunteer in Iowa was forced to resign after forwarding a hoax email saying Mr Obama, a practising Christian, was a Muslim possibly intent on destroying the United States. ........... Mrs Clinton's support at its lowest yet in all three early states, which often set the tone for later results. ...... dated the start of her troubles to Oct 30, when at a televised debate ........ Her support had also dropped markedly among black Americans in South Carolina, who constitute 47 per cent of likely primary election voters, even before Mr Obama appeared with Oprah Winfrey before 50,000 people in the state on Sunday.
Saint Barack of Iowa
Last duel for White House hopefuls before voting starts
Maoists attack Bihar village, kill four Hindustan Times Hundreds of armed Maoists attacked a village in Bihar's Vaishali district on Monday night and killed four people in apparent retaliation for attacks on the rebels. ...... The rebels also attacked the house of the village body head and tried to set it ablaze. ..... Official sources said Sukki village was targeted as it is dominated by landed upper caste-Bhumihars, who have been countering Maoist rebels in the area. .... Armed Maoists surrounded the village from all sides and stood guard while their comrades carried out the attack.
Laureate Gore puts heat on US, China The Australian
Central US Reeling From Deadly Ice Storms New York Times
Nokia Prepares for Fisticuffs with Google PC World
Amitabh Bachchan gets clean chit in land scam Hindustan Times The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday gave a clean chit to Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in the Barabanki farmland scam. ...... Bachchan had challenged the order of the Faizabad additional commissioner who had dismissed his petition relating to purchase of government farmland at Daulatpur village in Uttar Pradesh`s Barabanki district
Kroger profit jumps 18%; grocer upbeat on full year MarketWatch
Dell Unveils Its First Tablet PC
Culture Speeds Up Human Evolution
Summing Up Oprah & Obama Almost all of the 8,500 people packing the Center were white — and they were there to see two black people. Neither of whom would sing or throw a ball. ...... The wave was just one of the ways the audience tried to work off its nervous energy. They danced, they chanted. ...... her patented mix of girlfriend-style dish ("When Gayle and I talk... mmmm-mmm... we also talk about real things...") and campaign-style sermonizing ("Experience... means nothing unless that person is accountable for the judgments they made during the time they had.") ......... Oprah's role as a cultural arbiter ...... The slave Jane Pittman, Oprah said, looks for the one who might free her for years ....... The frenzy that then greeted Obama .... awe and hysteria ..... A lot people get excited to shake a politician's hand; not so many greet one as though he were about to heal them by laying his on them. ......... Secret Service agents stood every ten feet at the edges of the in-the-round stage, their impassivity glaring ..... the four rallies Opr-ama did over the weekend were not intended to change people's minds. They were about creating the kind of audacious political theater that makes supporters believe they're going to win, and casual observers into interested ones ....... less as an outreach program than as a reward system, distributing tickets to volunteers and those who had pledged to volunteer with higher priority than the general public
Attack in Algiers: A Warning to Europe a pair of powerful car bombs exploded, and claimed what early estimates placed as 62 lives ..... the work of al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), a group that formed an alliance with Osama bin Laden's global jihad in 2006. ...... AQIM is ramping up its violent struggle to bring down the Algerian government. And as the fourth big hit by AQIM in less than a year, the incident highlights the group's increasing organizational skills and establishes it as the greatest potential terror threat to continental Europe as well. ........ The point of impact was located outside two highly symbolic institutions of the Algerian state: the nation's supreme court, and neighboring constitutional court. ...... badly damaging the offices of two United Nations organizations: the U.N. High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), and the U.N. Development Program (UNDP). ....... The ability and determination of the AQIM to strike in stunning fashion was made even clearer two days earlier, when a suicide bomber charged the cortege of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika during a visit to the city of Batna, killing 22 people and injuring more than 100. ......... the effective recruitment among disenfranchised youths ....... The 15-year old terror group took on that name after affiliating with bin Laden on September 11, 2006. Since that time, AQIM has adopted the structured, stylized recruitment and attack methods of the original al-Qaeda. ........ The message is clear: We're now battling enemies wherever we can find them. ........ The threat of that kind of imported strike has grown since the AQIM promised to extend its Algerian jihad to Europe. Bin Laden deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri has repeatedly threatened Europe — and France in particular — as enemies of jihadist forces.
The Top 10 Everything of 2007
The Early Word: Storming Iowa New York Times the last debate in this state before the Jan. 3 caucuses. ..... Not one of the Republican candidates is viewed favorably by even half the Republican electorate ..... Democrats are happier with their field and more settled in their decisions. For all the problems Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to be having holding off her rivals in Iowa and New Hampshire, she remains strong nationally ..... what her aides acknowledge have been two of the roughest months of her candidacy ........ As governor of Arkansas, he implored President Bush to end the trade embargo with the communist nation ....... As governor, Huckabee supported in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants and stood up for illegal workers caught in a raid of a meatpacking plant. Now he wants all illegal immigrants to return to their native countries within 120 days. ....... he wrote a letter to Bush in 2002 describing how the Cuba trade embargo was hurting Arkansas rice growers. ...... Romney is broadcasting the first — well, sort of the first, negative ad of the campaign ..... the Arkansas Republican firing off yet another one of his memorable one-liners ...... You can expect immigration to continue to boil over at tomorrow’s debate. ...... “The correct, loving, caring social policy is to engage, not ignore … to discourage, not encourage” ..... “We would tell them, you can’t live on the street; you’re not allowed to.” ...... “If you need help finding something, we’re here to help … the one thing we’re not going to allow is just to live on the street,” he said. “That isn’t a good right. It’s not good for them. It’s not good for the city … it means they are crying out for help, and it should not be ignored.” ....... a grassroots Ron Paul home office in Manchester, N.H., and came out with frat house-like tales of cheese pizza, chips — even Coronas served in mugs ....... At first glance, the abundance of T-shirted youths with laptops gives this outpost the air of a fraternity or an Internet startup. Instead it represents a new type of political fundraising and may be a sneak peek at campaigns to come. … ...... He spends his days online ...... When filled, each of these houses — soon to number 20 across the state—will have different people and missions. But all will share certain tools of success: new technology, little hierarchy, microdonations and a democratic delegation of work. You could call it wiki-paigning. ......... “Innovation often comes from outsiders. It’s the people who have to throw the long bomb” ....... The country has not elected a bachelor president since 1884 ..... The last unwed candidate chosen by a major party was Adlai Stevenson, the divorced Democrat ...... his star-studded past love life ..... Ms. Shea-Porter earlier said she would remain neutral in the race, but now she’ll join the state’s other representative, Paul Hodes, in supporting Mr. Obama. ........ Michelle Obama campaigns in Iowa City, Sigourney, Fairfield, Mount Pleasant and Burlington, Iowa. ...... Hillary Rodham Clinton attends a “Conversation with Warren Buffett” in San Francisco.
Starting Gate: The Fog Of Primaries CBS News an opportunity for his primary opponents to try and define him on their own terms, and those efforts are well underway. ....... "I'm convinced as people take a good hard look at Mike Huckabee's record, they'll see this is a guy who is soft on criminals, soft on illegal aliens, but hard on taxpayers. ....... 96 percent of GOP primary voters in the CBS poll say illegal immigration is a "very serious or somewhat serious" problem and the issue tops the list of concerns for activists in Iowa in most surveys. ...... While Huckabee has blown up in the polls, he faces money and organizational problems. ..... Giuliani has pegged Florida for his big breakthrough but Romney, Thompson and now Huckabee are making noise there as well. ....... a Baptist minister from a town called Hope. And the forecast is for fog with a chance of severe surprises. ....... Noting the failed health care reform push the former First Lady led in the 1990s, Clinton insisted, "when she got beat she did what she’s always done when we got beat, she didn’t fold her tent. She started working for the Children’s Health Insurance program, which today insures 6 million kids in America, the biggest expansion since Medicare. We got better health care for cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and diabetes. We immunized 90 percent of our kids against serious illness for the first time in the history of the country and guess what? For the first time in a dozen years, the number of people with health insurance went down, not up like it is today.” .......... Clinton claimed yesterday that "over half of all the bankruptcies in this decade can be tied to personal health emergencies." ..... A day after Oprah-palooza, Obama goes Hollywood. ..... From The Road .... Renowned poet Maya Angelou voices a new radio ad for Clinton in South Carolina in which she refers to the candidate as, "my girl." ...... In yet another sign that the nation's media is desperate for a Bloomberg independent candidacy, the AP reports that the New York City Mayor is – a bachelor.
He received loud applause when he promised to end the Iraq war and end the genocide in Darfur. Obama also joked that he will be releasing his kindergarten papers in the morning – a reference to a jab from Hillary Clinton who said recently that Obama has wanted to run for president since he was in kindergarten. ..... “There is some scandalous stuff,” Obama said, “I experimented with coloring outside the lines when I was in kindergarten. Pulled on a girl’s pony tail once…and liked it.”
Colorado killer 'hated Christians,' police official says Houston Chronicle
New poll shows big shake-up in GOP race CNN Rudy Giuliani leads Mike Huckabee 24 percent to 22 percent in new poll ...... Clinton leading Sen. Barack Obama 40 percent to 30 percent ..... December 6-9 ...... Huckabee doubled his support in October and doubled it again in November, going from 5 percent in October ...... who has spent the least time criticizing his opponents ...... The race is also tightening on the Democratic side. Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York is still the front-runner, with 40 percent of Democratic voters backing her in the new CNN poll, down from 44 percent last month. ....... at 30 percent, up from 25 percent last month ..... "a similar thing is happening in both parties. Candidates are emerging who are likeable and who appeal to the party's base ....... "Obama's support has not hit 30 percent in any national poll since July; the fact that he has cracked that barrier this close to the start of the primary season indicates that he may finally be chipping away at Clinton's core constituency" ....... Forty percent in a late-December poll is a position most candidates in past years would envy.
Minister, 3 mps resign in Nepal
On Iran, US stumbles and Europe grumbles
Why Oprah Gives Obama Political Leeway FOX News Oprah-palooza is a big test for her famous power to bring in women, particularly white women. White women are, of course, the basis of her great success. ....... So she is telling her female audience don't buy that solidarity thing and vote for a woman — Hillary — but telling black people do buy the solidarity thing and vote for the black man. ....... It's odd listening to her appearance before church people. She slipped easily into a slower and more sing-songy Southern cadence, and we know when Hillary tried the same thing she got slammed for it. Oprah won't be criticized. She can affect a "Color Purple" voice and get away with it. .... the messianic tone of her introduction to Barack Obama ..... when she's around, nobody notices anything else but Oprah.
Oprah leads the way for Obama