A New Year´s Eve fireworks display in Ivory Coast turned from celebration to tragedy early Tuesday when more than 60 people were crushed to death in a stampede, officials said. Interior Minister Hamed Bakayoko said another 40 people were injured, two of them seriously. Earlier, state media reports suggested that between 100 and 200 people had been hurt. The 60 dead included 26 children, 28 women and six men, said Minister of Youth Alain Lobognon, via his official Twitter feed, after visiting the hospital morgue where the bodies were taken. The official AIP news agency earlier said
Comments: [With Gemma Parellada] Have an early exit plan if you find yourself in a huge crowd.
In order to avoid future disasters of this sort, I submit that the Ivory Coasters (not a bunch of White guys singing MoTown) ban shoes, especially in the wide sizes and likewise all footwear that mimic those worn by members of the military, i.e. combat boots.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Friday he was reassessing the relationship with Russia because of a growing number of issues on which the two countries differ, and he lamented what he called his mixed success in trying to convince Russian leader Vladimir Putin to abandon a Cold War mentality. At a news conference while senior officials from the U.S. and Russia put a brave face on badly strained relations between Washington and Moscow, Obama said Putin´s return to the Kremlin last year had brought about "more rhetoric on the Russian side that was anti-American, that played
Moscow - President Barack Obama´s decision to cancel a planned Moscow summit with President Vladimir Putin next month was brought on by a wide spectrum of US frustrations with Russia, not least of which was its decision to grant temporary asylum to fugitive ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. But another issue, one that´s just beginning to come into public focus, may carry the long-term potential to do far more damage to Mr. Putin´s and Russia´s already deteriorating image in the West. That is the widespread impression, based on a new Russian law that bans "homosexual propaganda,"
To most people, climate change means melting snowcaps and helpless polar bears sweltering under escalating temperatures. But most of the world’s populations aren’t likely to see an iceberg in their lifetimes, much less a stranded polar bear in the wild. Which explains why the dangers of these environmental changes haven’t exactly earned high priority on most people’s list of attention-worthy crises. (Does anyone remember Al Gore’s $300 million We Campaign?) The politicization of climate change — the never-ending debate over whether it exists, for example, and the ensuing back-and-forth over its causes, its implications and potential solutions
MOSCOW — Russia on Wednesday faced a mounting campaign against its hosting of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi after passing what campaigners called "barbaric" anti-gay legislation, six months before the opening of its biggest ever sporting event. British actor Stephen Fry called for Russia to be barred from hosting the Games in the Black Sea resort while gay rights campaigners handed over a 320,000-signature petition to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) urging it to condemn the law. Russian President Vladimir Putin in June signed into law legislation that punishes the dissemination of information about homosexuality to minors
Older chocoholics may have a new excuse to indulge their cravings: The dark stuff not only soothes the soul, but might also sharpen the mind. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Neurology, researchers reported that chocolate may help improve brain health and thinking skills in the elderly. The Boston-based team found that older people who initially performed poorly on a memory and reasoning test and also had reduced blood flow to their brains showed improvement after drinking two cups of cocoa every day for a month. The researchers had set out to test whether chocolate
MIAMI — Guards were preparing to serve the first in a series of special meals Wednesday to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay to mark the end of the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, which this year brought a lull in a long-running hunger strike. The military planned to serve lamb, bread, dates and honey as the last daylight fasting period of Ramadan ends, followed by three traditional holiday dinners on Thursday, said a spokesman for the prison, Navy Capt. Robert Durand. There will also be a special hour-long prayer for the holiday known as Eid al-Fitr in addition to the
Justice´s delay isn´t necessarily justice denied for Jill Kelley, the Tampa socialite entangled in the scandal that toppled former CIA director David Petraeus. The Justice Department has asked for a 30-day extension, until Sept. 4, to respond to her lawsuit against the government for violating her family´s privacy, rifling through her e-mails and leaking confidential information about her. And Kelley is fine with the extension, says her lawyer, Alan Raul. The government says it needs the time to sort through the allegations in the 65-page complaint.
A 320,000-signature petition protesting Russia´s stance on gay rights ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi early next year was presented to Olympic bosses in Switzerland on Wednesday. The petition, delivered to the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Lausanne by gay rights group All Out, calls on Russia to repeal its anti-gay propaganda law in advance of the Sochi Games. It also urges the IOC to condemn the law and urged Russia to ensure the security of all visitors, athletes and Russian people before, during, and after the Games. Implemented last month, after Russian President Vladimir Putin
Get ready to shell out more money for individual health insurance under Obamacare ... in some states, that is. While many residents in New York and California may see sizable decreases in their premiums, Americans in many places could face significant increases if they buy insurance through state-based exchanges next year. That´s because these people live in states where insurers were allowed to sell bare-bones plans and exclude the sick, which has kept costs down. Under Obamacare, insurers must offer a package of essential benefits -- including maternity, mental health and medications -- and must cover all who apply.
WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plan to meet here in Washington with their Russian counterparts on Friday for a day of talks that could determine the fate of a September summit meeting between President Obama and the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. State Department officials on Tuesday afternoon confirmed the meeting with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergei K. Shoigu, the defense minister. Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said the four officials would discuss “a number of pressing bilateral and global issues.” “There’s a lot to discuss,´´Ms. Psaki said.
The story of climate change is largely a story about what´s happening to the ocean. Most of the damage during Superstorm Sandy, after all, had nothing to do with the rain or wind. It was the rising ocean that swamped Staten Island, flooded the Rockaways, and knocked out power and subway service in lower Manhattan for days. People noticed the hurricane sweeping up the coast. But it was the already high ocean that did the damage. Which is why it´s worth paying attention to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration´s newly-completed assessment of how climate changed during 2012.
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, a rising star in the Democratic Party, confirmed on Monday that if she doesn´t run for re-election, she´ll run for governor. "I can say with absolute certainty I will run for one of two offices: either my state Senate seat, or the governor," Davis said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. "I´m working very hard to decide what my next steps will be. I do think in Texas people feel like we need a change from the very fractured, very partisan leadership that we´re seeing in our statewide leadership right now."
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie holds a narrow lead among Republicans for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination, but even more GOP voters say he’s the candidate they least want to see nominated. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that Christie earns 21% support when Republican voters are asked whom they would vote for if the party’s primary in their state were held today. Florida Senator Marco Rubio runs a close second with 18% of the GOP vote, followed by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 16% and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul with 15% of the vote.
The owner of a shop in Zurich where US talk show host Oprah Winfrey says she encountered racism has called the incident a "misunderstanding". Winfrey, one of the world´s richest women, claimed an assistant refused to serve her in an upmarket handbag shop. She was apparently told one of the bags on display was "too expensive" for her. Shop owner Trudie Gotz told the BBC that Winfrey was "absolutely allowed" to look at the $35,000 (£22,500) bag, which was kept behind a screen. "My salesperson wanted to give her the handbag in her hand. But she didn´t want
Barack Obama delivered one gaffe after another in his August 6 interview with Jay Leno, but the networks that usually mock every mistake or slip of the tongue made by Republicans ignored the President´s verbal mishaps. ABC´s Good Morning America, CBS´s This Morning and NBC´s Today show, on Wednesday morning, all bypassed the chance to criticize Obama for: downplaying the threat of terrorism; falsely claiming Vladimir Putin once ran the KGB; placing the Atlantic coast cities of Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville on the Gulf of Mexico; confusing the Winter Olympics with the Summer Olympics. First up, on the
Ending a war is a good thing. Killing civilians a bad thing. Deliberately targeting civilians is murder, and is never morally licit, even in pursuit of a good thing such as ending a war. The tens of thousands of Japanese non-combatants we killed 68 years ago this week with two nuclear bombs were not “collateral damage” of military strikes. They were the intended targets. We hoped that mass murder would bring the Japanese emperor to surrender. It worked, and American and Japanese soldiers’ lives were probably saved by it —
Last month we learned that Megyn Kelly was leaving her daytime anchor gig to take over a Fox News primetime slot. According to an “exclusive” Drudge Report flash this afternoon, that time slot will be 9 p.m. ET. “Superstar newswoman Megyn Kelly has landed the 9 PM slot, top sources reveal,” the Drudge Report wrote. “The shock announcement is set for later this month.” Fox’s 9 p.m. hour is currently helmed by Sean Hannity, leading to speculation over whether he could be out of a primetime gig. There are many possible outcomes from this lineup change,
In a move some claim is tantamount to social engineering, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America’s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory. The policy is called, "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing." It will require HUD to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every single neighborhood and try to remedy it. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan unveiled the federal rule at the NAACP convention in July. "Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest hit communities, no matter how hard
Retired 68-year-old US Army general and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander Wesley K. Clark has won yet another esteemed decoration — he is dating 30-year-old Shauna Mei, the founder of online retailer AHAlife.com. Clark, who was married to Gertrude Kingston Clark for 45 years before filing for divorce last year, is spending time with the young New York-based entrepreneur, who graduated from MIT and worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker before launching her luxury e-commerce site. Clark and Mei were spotted together recently in the Hamptons,
National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden extended his 15 minutes of fame Wednesday, as headlines tied his saga to President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel a planned summit meeting in Moscow next month with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But analysts said the talk of Snowden’s role in the cancellation obscured a more basic reality: The U.S.-Russia relationship is now so frosty that it didn’t appear the two presidents would actually accomplish enough to merit such a high-profile meeting. After four years, the much-vaunted reset in U.S.-Russian relations has devolved into a chilly standoff over issues like the Kremlin’s support for Syria
Nanny State: If any question remained about the Obama White House´s appetite for running everyone´s life from Washington, it should be settled now. This administration even wants to dictate neighborhood makeup. Like your neighborhood? Don´t get used to it. The Obama Department of Housing and Urban Development might decide it wants to dictate changes. HUD is, according to Fox News, considering "a new rule that would allow the feds to track diversity in America´s neighborhoods and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory." The proposed rule, disclosed last month by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan at
In a remarkable admission that is likely to rock the Internal Revenue Service again, testimony released Thursday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp reveals that an agent involved in reviewing tax exempt applications from conservative groups told a committee investigator that the agency is still targeting Tea Party groups, three months after the IRS scandal erupted.. In closed door testimony before the House Ways & Means Committee, the unidentified IRS agent said requests for special tax status from Tea Party groups is being forced into a special "secondary screening" because
“IQ is a metric of such dubiousness that almost no serious educational researcher uses it anymore,” the Guardian’s Ana Marie Cox wrote back in May. It was a breathtakingly ignorant statement. Psychologist Jelte Wicherts noted in response that a search for “IQ test” in Google’s academic database yielded more than 10,000 hits — just for the year 2013. (Snip) There is a large discrepancy between what educated laypeople believe about cognitive science and what experts actually know. Journalists are steeped in the lay wisdom, so they are repeatedly surprised when someone forthrightly discusses the real science of mental ability.
You can get a deconstruction of the media at many places. The people who visit the Treehouse want to see the entire context; The entire truth, as it presents. So here we go…. In any endeavor of corruption and misleading governance, the control of, and support by, the media, is an absolute necessity. The USSR needed Pravda to keep the ruse of governance for decades. The need of/by the U.S. government has steadily grown over the course of several progressive decades; but the urgency has increased exponentially over the past five years with the extremes