August 31, 2012

Top Story for Tomorrow Which Starts at 12am















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Did Colin Powell doubt his own WMD claims?Kofi A.} YES! Most Fair People KNow it

 The former U.N. secretary-general says the former secretary of State was always skeptical of the evidence he used to justify the war in Iraq
I "could only be impressed by the resilience" of Colin Powell, writes Kofi Annan, "who had endured so much to argue for a war he clearly did not believe in."
I "could only be impressed by the resilience" of Colin Powell, writes Kofi Annan, "who had endured so much to argue for a war he clearly did not believe in." Photo: AmazonSEE ALL 25 PHOTOS
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has called the run-up to the Iraq invasion "a blot" on his distinguished career. But if he's trying not to think about it, he's out of luck. Kofi Annan, who was secretary-general of the United Nations during the lead-up to war, is releasing a new memoir —Interventions: A Life in War and Peace — in which he says that Powell had greater doubts than previously believed about the Bush administration's evidence suggesting that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. How skeptical was Powell? Here, a brief guide to Annan's account:

How does Annan know what Powell was thinking?
He says Powell told him, according to The New York Times. Annan, who considers Powell a friend, says that the then-secretary of State dropped by Annan's 38th-floor office at U.N. headquarters in New York City six weeks into the war. He says Powell was ebullient after learning that U.S. forces had found what they thought were the mobile laboratories the Bush administration had claimed Hussein was using to make weapons of mass destruction. Powell, who had made an impassioned case to the U.N. Security Council that Iraq's chemical and biological weapons program justified the invasion, was excited. "Kofi, they've made an honest man of me," Annan quotes Powell as saying.

What else does Annan say about the meeting?
He says that as he sat with Powell, "the relief — and the exhaustion — was palpable." Annan wasn't convinced that Iraq really had all of the weapons the Bush administration — Powell included — had claimed. Still, Annan writes, "I could not help but smile along with my friend" and "could only be impressed by the resilience of this man, who had endured so much to argue for a war he clearly did not believe in."

How does this differ from previous accounts?
In his own memoir, Powell says his February 2003 speech at the U.N. justifying the invasion on the basis of what turned out to be bogus evidencewas "a blot, a failure [that] will always be attached to me." He doesn't say he knew the intelligence was false, but he does say, "I am mad mostly at myself for not having smelled the problem. My instincts failed me." Powell has said he was misled, and demanded that the CIA and Pentagon explain why they didn't tell him that they knew that a key informant — Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, also known as "Curveball" — had lied when he said Saddam had mobile bio-weapons labs.
What does Powell have to say?
The New York Times, which first reported the peek at Annan's book, was unable to reach him for comment. But previously, one of Powell's top aides shed light on just how bitter the memory of Powell's U.N. presentation is. "I wish I had not been involved in it," says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, who was an adviser to Powell at the time. "I look back on it, and I still say it was the lowest point in my life."
theweek.com

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Brighton’s 20th Gay Pride } Not Brooklyn Brighton-the other one across the Ocean

Revellers at Pride
  
Saturday's parade and ticketed festival in Preston Park is being run by a community interest company appointed by the city council last March)


Tens of thousands of visitors are expected in Brighton and Hove for the city's 20th Pride festival, the first to be run by business leaders.
The event was free until 2010 but dogged by money problems and complaints about overcrowding and litter.
Alexandra Burke and Fatboy Slim will headline the festival in the park.
'Rebuild bridges'
Drag entertainer Stephen Richards, who performs as Lola Lasagne, said this year's Brighton and Hove Pride was going back to its roots.
"Pride is a celebration of everything we have here," he said.
"Over the last couple of years there has been a disconnection from the community and now, with a new organisation at the helm, they have tried to rebuild those bridges to include the entire community - not just businesses but voluntary sectors as well.
"The most important thing they did was to promise that £1 from every ticket sold would go to charity and so far over £15,000 has been handed over which is more money than has been given in about 10 years."
'Great showcase'
The festival is usually held in August but has been delayed this year to avoid a clash with the London Olympics.
The parade, based on the theme the United Colours of Pride, starts at 11:00 BST from Madeira Drive and takes in King's Road, West Street and North Street before travelling up the A23 to Preston Park.
St James's Street in the city centre will be closed from 18:00 BST for the Gay Village Party.
"Pride is a great showcase for the city and one of the biggest events in the calendar," said Sussex Police Chief Supt Graham Bartlett.
"It will be business as usual in the he city centre, although we do expect some temporary disruption to traffic."
Police have warned that anyone holding unlicensed events, including on the beach, could face prosecution.


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No Gun, No Pills, Just a Knife } MOm U Have to Do it-U Promised, Please!


A Queens woman is heading to prison after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the 2011 stabbing death of her disabled son. What makes the story even worse is that the victim, 39-year-old Rene Veras, begged his mother to kill him the day of his death. 
What makes the story even more heartbreaking is that his mother, 59-year-old Migdalia Veras, tried to commit suicide immediately after stabbing her son. She failed, and will now spend the better part of the next decade behind bars.
Acting Supreme Court Justice Dorothy Chin-Brandt sentenced Veras to seven years in prison yesterday after she pleaded guilty earlier this year to first-degree manslaughter. Initially, Veras was charged with second-degree murder.


On March 2, 2011, Rene Veras -- who suffered from cerebral palsy and was confined to a wheelchair -- approached his mother with a knife and "begged" her to to kill him, which is a request he'd been making "for months," according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.
Cerebral Palsy is a developmental disability that affects body movements and muscle coordination. It causes tremendous pain and sleep disorders. It's one of the most horrible diseases known to man, so it's no surprise Veras wanted out.
The elder Veras told police that after an argument about his request, she took the knife and stabbed her son twice in the chest. She then smothered him with a pillow when she noticed he was still breathing.
The medical examiner's report about the stabbing confirmed much of Veras' story.
Immediately after killing her own son, Migdalia Veras -- who's undergone decades of psychiatric treatment -- tried to commit suicide by cutting her wrists and stabbing herself in the chest. She was treated at the New York Hospital Center of Queens and survived. She's been in police custody ever since.
Despite the rather horrific circumstances of the case, Brown feels the prison sentence was warranted.
"The sentence imposed today punishes [Veras} for her senseless act," he says. "Moreover, she must now live with the knowledge that she alone is responsible for her own son's demise. 
That's one way to look at it. Another is that she spared him a lifetime of pain and agony.
Regardless, she's going to prison, where Brown says she will continue to get psychiatric treatment.
By James King
blogs.villagevoice.com

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Mitt’s Carter Delusion } Delusions Don’t Come True

Romney's Carter delusion There’ve been indications lately that Mitt Romney’s campaign no longer believes it will be enough to depend on widespread economic anxiety for a November victory – that too many swing voters like Barack Obama too much and are too willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because of the catastrophe he inherited.
If this is the Romney team’s new thinking, the speech the GOP nominee delivered last night didn’t reflect it. It was perfectly scripted for a candidate who is confident that the basic dynamics of the race favor him and who sees boldness, specificity and unforced errors as his main obstacles on the road to the White House.
I’ve written before about Romney’s desire to function as a generic candidate, someone likable and competent enough to swing voters who are inclined to vote out President Obama and who lacks any sharp edges that might give them pause. His acceptance speech was as broad and formulaic as this strategy. As Jonathan Bernstein put it:

There’ve been indications lately that Mitt Romney’s campaign no longer believes it will be enough to depend on widespread economic anxiety for a November victory – that too many swing voters like Barack Obama too much and are too willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because of the catastrophe he inherited.
If this is the Romney team’s new thinking, the speech the GOP nominee delivered last night didn’t reflect it. It was perfectly scripted for a candidate who is confident that the basic dynamics of the race favor him and who sees boldness, specificity and unforced errors as his main obstacles on the road to the White House.
I’ve written before about Romney’s desire to function as a generic candidate, someone likable and competent enough to swing voters who are inclined to vote out President Obama and who lacks any sharp edges that might give them pause. His acceptance speech was as broad and formulaic as this strategy. As Jonathan Bernstein put it:
Everything in it was perfunctory: the biographical section (which was weirdly interrupted by a digression into Neil Armstrong and the space race and by a call-out to every elected Republican woman they could scrape up — the whole thing seemed to have a case of attention deficit disorder); the five-point economic program; the foreign policy section; the stirring rhetoric at the end; and, certainly, the delivery.
Probably the most telling passage came when Romney invoked Ronald Reagan’s famous “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” line:
That is why every president since the Great Depression who came before the American people asking for a second term could look back at the last four years and say with satisfaction: “you are better off today than you were four years ago.” Except Jimmy Carter. And except this president.
This president can ask us to be patient. This president can tell us it was someone else’s fault. This president can tell us that the next four years he’ll get it right. But this president cannot tell us that YOU are better off today than when he took office.
Let’s give Romney a pass for not mentioning George H.W. Bush, who flunked the “better off” test in 1992 and was drummed out of office with the lowest share of the popular vote of any president since Taft. This was a Republican convention, after all, and Romney has a warm personal friendship with the 41stpresident. But in calling attention to Carter’s defeat, Romney seemed to indicate that he shares a common view among Republicans about the 2012 race: that it’s a repeat of 1980.
Optimistic Republican voices have been making the claim a lot lately that, just as they were 32 years ago, swing voters are fed up with the incumbent and itching to fire him, and what’s needed from the opposition party is a modicum of reassurance. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made this case to National Journal just a few hours before Romney’s speech:
“I’m not predicting a blowout like we ended up having in ’80,” McConnell said in an interview. But the mood strikes him as similar. It’s an atmosphere “in which people really don’t think the guy’s done a very good job, and the Democrats are betting on our candidate being inadequate.”
The speech Romney delivered is the speech that a candidate who believes he’s running against another Carter would deliver. The problem for Romney and Republicans is that the 2012-as-1980 model doesn’t hold up well to scrutiny.
The first problem is that Obama is much more popular as he seeks a second term than Carter was. At this point in 1980, it was common for polls to show Carter with an approval rating in the low 30s, or even in the 20s. And his party was bitterly divided. His initial victory in 1976 had been something of a fluke – he’d understood the ramifications of the Democrats’ radically expanded primary calendar better than anyone else and snuck to the nomination without the support of many of the party’s traditional leaders and interest groups – and he’d alienated huge chunks of the Democratic coalition by governing from the center-right on many domestic issues. This gave rise to Ted Kennedy’s primary challenge, which likely would have succeeded had it not been for the sudden Iran hostage crisis at the end of 1979. As it was, Carter limped to renomination with a majority of his own party saying they disapproved of his presidency.
This just isn’t the case for Obama, whose average approval ratingssits at 47.7 percent in the Real Clear Politics average. That’s hardly enough to guarantee him a second term, or even to make him the clear favorite, but it gives him a fighting chance and puts Obama more in the category of George W. Bush in 2004 – not Carter in 1980. Moreover, Obama’s own party is squarely united behind him. He’s never had a serious problem with his own base, and his approval rating among Democrats consistently clocks in over 80 percent.
The other problem with the ’80 comparison, as John Sides detailedearlier this month, is that Carter actually trailed Reagan throughout that year, sometimes by significant margins. Yes, Carter managed to tighten the race after his party’s August convention, when the Kennedy challenge was extinguished once and for all and many (but not all) of his supporters reluctantly returned to the Carter fold, but Reagan led in the vast majority of polls conducted in 1980. The reason the race isn’t generally remembered that way is that there was a strong sense at the time among the political class that Reagan was far too extreme to win a national election – that his Goldwater-style conservatism would somehow catch up with him and erode his lead before Election Day. But it never did.
Again, Obama is in demonstrably better shape on this front than Carter was. In the wake of the debt ceiling debacle last year, Romney briefly pulled ahead of Obama in polling, but since last October, the president has consistently led in the Real Clear Politics polling average.
The speech Romney gave last night would probably be more than enough to topple a president as weak as Carter. But he’s not running against Carter.
Steve Kornacki
Steve Kornacki writes about politics for Salon. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornacki

Photo (Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite)

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Man Steals Phone from Patient at Hospital } Patient Had Ebola



JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — We'd make fun of this crook, if only we didn't feel a little bad for him.
Man steals phone ebola uganda 20120826
According to a report from the Sunday Monitor, a man stole a mobile phone from a patient in an isolation ward at Kagadi Hospital, in Western Uganda.
As it turns out, the patient was suffering from Ebola, one of numerous cases in a recent outbreak in Uganda. The patient later died from the hemorrhagic fever. But before dying, he reported the theft of his phone to hospital security, who began investigating.
Police detectives traced the suspected thief, age 40, after he began communicating with friends using the stolen phone. 
The Monitor reported that "as police zeroed in on him, he developed symptoms similar to those of Ebola and sought medication at the hospital."
“The suspect is admitted at Kagadi Hospital with clinical signs of Ebola," Dr. Dan Kyamanywa, the Kibaale District Health Officer, told the Monitor.
Ebola virus, which causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is considered one of the world's most terrifying viruses: victims tend to die bloody and painful deaths, bleeding from every orifice.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni warned in a televised broadcast that people should refrain from physical contact like shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting Ebola.
And from stealing cell phones, evidently.

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A New Germany Tx Law Changed }Gay Couples Same Taxes as Hetero



A new dawn for Germany has come in the form of a revolutionary tax exemption that gives homosexual couples the same tax rates as heterosexuals. The bill was created on Aug. 8 and has granted more rights for gay couples in Germany.
The new provisions include that legal unions, or what Germany refers to as “registered partnerships”, are exempt from the country’s land transfer tax, just like straight married couples.
The bill was fought with vigor from certain right-leaning groups, which argued that homosexuality is against the tenements of marriage. They contest the legislation under the pretense that marriage exists to produce children, which gay couples cannot do in the traditional manner.
Critics of the law raised their concerns about gay marriage through various media outlets. According to a German news interview, the Christian Social Union’s leader and whip in Germany’s parliament, Gerda Hasselfeldt stated, “The marriage of man and woman is under special protection because it is fundamentally oriented toward creating new life. This is not the case in homosexual relationships.”
To combat this point of view, the leftist Kristina Schröder, Germany’s minister for family affairs, has signaled support for the push saying, “The suggestion comes at exactly the right time. In homosexual partnerships, people take long-term responsibility for each other. They are living conservative values,” she told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
This is not a new concept in Germany, as German gay activists have a history of fighting for their rights. While Americans can relate with the German fight for equality, the U.S. fight remains on a different plane.
Professor Jack Zerbe commented on why Germany has achieved equal rights for same sex couples before the U.S.
“Seventy-six percent of youth today believe gays should have equal rights. In time, we’ll get there, but you can’t legislate shifts in attitude.”
Guilford student Chad Norton ‘14 said, “I think it’s great for the German people that they are gaining equal rights, but I wish America could follow suit in a similar way.”
For now, Germans have reason to celebrate. An example of same sex couple equality has been displayed for the world. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle not long ago publicly announced his homosexual orientation and is a leader in the fight for gay rights in Germany. This motion is on the beginning of a movement toward total social equality.
Daniel Gaskin
guilfordian.com

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A Fighter Micky Ward Bails On GOP Sen.Brown

 I still don’t understand how Micky Did Not Know that Brown is a Republican that dances to the GOP music. Anti labor and anti Gay just to mention two. I have to give him credit though that after he found that, no matter how late it was and that he was committed to endorse Sen Brown in Mass. He stood his ground like a good fighter and said F*** this No, I wont do it. I didn’t know. When you hear a Republican speak to a state audience in which the state is, liberal and progressive mainly, this man{Brown} sounds like one of them, while he holds the elephant in the room with a leach.  But the leach is made out peanuts and Brown is a by-product of the party that brought him to power.
AdamGonzalez
Nothing is sheltered from the whirlwind whims of elections season, even the squared-circle of a boxing ring.
Mill City ring king Micky Ward found himself backed into a corner Thursday when word trickled out that he was supporting U.S. Senator Scott Brown’s re-election campaign.
It started with a tweet from Republican National Convention in Florida. Then came word from Brown’s camp that the Wrentham Republican would be making an appearance Friday morning at Ward’s favorite gym, Forever Fitness in Chelmsford.
Reached on his cell, Ward said he admired Brown’s spirit and respected the way he could “go out there and listen and talk like a guy who is positive and wants to do right by us.”
Fingers struck keyboard and within minutes a brief story about Ward’s endorsement of Brown was ready for The Sun’s Friday edition and  lowellsun.com.
But hold the phone.
Roughly a half-hour after Ward confirmed he was backing Brown, ‘The Fighter’ called back. He said he had given his endorsement a little more thought.
“I can’t support Scott Brown,” Ward said. “I just can’t do it.”
Within 30 minutes, Ward either did some Googling or someone close to him reminded him about where Brown stood on some hot-button political topics.
“I found out Scott (Brown) is anti-union and I’m a Teamster guy,” said Ward. “I found out he’s also against gay marriage and I say if you love someone you should have the same rights no matter who you are.”
Ward is right. Brown was an opponent of gay marriage during his stint in the state Senate. Once he reached the national stage, Brown softened a little bit, voting to end the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Gay marriage is a topic that Brown’s camp has largely avoided, answering questions about the Senator’s stance with the response that the matter is settled in  Massachusetts.
Ward’s 30-minute endorsement of Brown came a week after U.S. Senate challenger Elizabeth Warren visited legendary boxing trainer Arthur Ramalho’s West End Gym for a campaign event in where she received the endorsement of Lowell Mayor Patrick Murphy, a registered independent. Ramalho’s gym happens to be where Ward honed his pugilistic skills and also happens to be where Murphy donned the gloves during his boxing days.
Said Warren in a Tweet: “Today I visited Ramalho’s West End Gym. I told Art that I have never been in the ring, but I’m a fighter, too.”
Ward has yet to publicly endorse Warren. Just wondering if it was Ramalho who got to him?
Ward did add that he respects Brown’s honesty. Friday’s campaign visit to Ward’s corner of the boxing ring, however, has been canceled.
(Reporter Evan Lips provided Friday’s Column Blog post).


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