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November 25, 2007

Howard put out of office

Australian Prime Minister John Howard was defeated Saturday in the countries latest election. His loss came at the hands of the Labor parties Kevin Rudd.

Howard is a conservative and was one of the Bush administrations largest allies and his views on Iraq and his refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol global warming agreement. Australia and the United States are the only two industrialized nations who have yet to agree to it.

Rudd has vowed to sign the Kyoto Protocol as soon as possible and to pull Australia's 550 combat troops from Iraq.

Several other countries have recently elected new leaders who are against the war in Iraq. Donald Tusk, Poland's new prime minister, has promised to change relation with the United States and said he would pull out all 900 of Poland's troops from Iraq.

Related:

Rudd wins, Howard out

Australian voters oust Bush ally

November 19, 2007

U.S. called on to be more responsible

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the United States and China to take a more conservative role during his U.N. report on climate changes in Valencia.

The U.S. and China are the worlds two largest greenhouse gas producing countries and this request will not come easily. However, members of the panel claim efforts must be made immediately to start cutting greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid a global disaster.

If the average temperature were to rise just 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 20 to 30 percent of all plant and animal species would be at risk of extinction. Increase the number to 6.3 degrees and 40 to 70 percent could be wiped out.

With the U.S. and China both major players in global politics they are looked to to set a good example for smaller, less powerful countries. For the good of the world both of these countries are being told exercise more caution with their greenhouse gas emissions. I hope they listen.

Related:

U.N. Environmental Panel Releases Images Of A Bleak World By 2012

U.N.: 2012 is deadline for action

November 12, 2007

Guns sold to public

Businessman Kassim al-Saffar was instructed by U.S. officials to distribute weapons to Iraqi police in training at the Baghdad Police Academy. However, al-Saffar not only gave the police in training but also to the general public, selling them to anyone with enough money.

Stories like this shed some light as to the ways the U.S. military misplaced around 190,000 weapons that were supposed to be supplied to Iraq in 2004-05. Luckily none of these missing weapons have been linked to any American deaths.

Al-Saffar claims he did nothing wrong, however, sources have said his business was no secret around the armory. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the situation.

Related:

Broken supply channel sent arms for Iraq astray

Iraqi ran his own private arms bazaar

November 5, 2007

Rice not convincing enough for Turks

According to Turkish officials, Secretary of State of State Condoleezza Rice failed to convince them not to send troops to attack Kurdish rebels in Irag. Rice had spent two days attempting to prevent this.

A Turkish attack on Iraq would be a major blow to the U.S. since we are responsible for Iraq's security. This is a major concern because the region targeted for attack is one of the few regions in Iraq that is relatively peaceful and enjoying an economic boom.

The only person who can now persuade the Turks to not pursue military action is President Bush, who has a meeting today in Washington with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Related:

Rice To Turks: Kurdish Rebels Are 'Common Threat'

Rice failed to change our minds, Turks say

October 29, 2007

Wait is over for Guitar Hero III

After months of waiting gamers finally got their hands on Guitar Hero III on Sunday. The third installment of the cultural phenomenon that is the Guitar Hero series is poised to be the hardest rocker yet as it is the first one to be available on all major consoles (Xbox360, Playstation 2 & 3, and Wii). Opening up the game to these other consoles will hopefully allow the game to penetrate an entirely new market of gamers.

The original Guitar Hero started a craze that has now almost turned into a lifestyle. Gone are the days of going to bars for karaoke, many bars now have Guitar Hero nights. In an even more bizarre story Detroit Tigers pitch Joel Zumaya missed numerous games in last years American League Championship Series because of a fingure injury on his pitching hand that he sustained by playing too much of the the game.

Guitar Hero III will get some competition when the highly touted game, Rockband, releases closer to Christmas, but for now it remains the undisputed king of the music video game market.

Related:

Guitar Hero III

'Guitar Hero III' cranks up the hype

October 22, 2007

Putin welcomes comparisons to FDR

Russian President Vladimir Putin began his presidency in a time when Russia had problems on top of problems. However, Putin lead the country out of the chaotic 1990's by attacking the corrupt billionaires and making the image of Russia respectful once again.

Because of his staunch leadership Putin is receiving many comparisons to on of Americas great presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR ran for a third term when he felt he was the only person who could finish the plans that he started, and now, as Putin's term is coming to an end, many feel he too should try to return for a third term to finish what he started.

The comparison to FDR is an important one, as Russians hold him in the highest regard and still looked upon as the great ally who helped turn back the Nazis. It also helps with campaigning. Videos have began playing comparing America's time with FDR and Russia's time with Putin.

Regardless of whether Putin stays for a third term or not, he is flattered to be compared to someone who is still looked at with such fondness.

Related:

Russia's Putin: Echoes of FDR

Putin Finds Expedient Hero In Four-Term U.S. President

October 15, 2007

Ancient secret revealed

In the last few years Dan Brown and Tom Hanks captivated audiences with the "The Da Vinci Code" and its story about the Knights Templar. The Knights Templar was formed after the first crusade in 1118 to help defend travelers in the holy land of Jerusalem.

As the years went by the Templar Knights gained vast power and wealth. Fearful of their power and secretive ways, King Phillip IV of France, who it is believed owed money to the Templar Knights, arrested and executed the knights under the charge of heresy. There were plans to reform the order later but it never happened.

However, recently discovered documents detailing the Templar Knights heresy trial have been discovered. It is now known that Pope Clement V initially found the knights not guilty of heresy but, pressured by King Phillip, he reversed his decision and the knights were suppressed in 1312.

800 copies of the recently discovered document are being printed. One of the 800 is going to Pope Benedict and the other 799 will be sold for $8,377 a piece.

Related:

Knights Templar secrets revealed


Vatican archive yields Templar secrets

October 8, 2007

WWII interrogators speak against todays methods

The group of World War II veterans you were responsible for the interrogation of Nazi prisoners at Fort Hunt, Va have kept quiet for over six decades. However, recently they decided to speak out against todays methods of interrogation.

They said that back then they wrestled with the morality of bugging a prisoners cell and even felt bad about having to censoring the prisoners letters. They said that they got more information from the German officers through friendly conversation then interrogators do today with torture and other modern practices.

It had apparently been commonplace to take the German prisoners out to steak dinners and entertain them with games of chess and pingpong.

Because of their decades of silence, the events that took place in Fort Hunt have always been a mystery to many people, but with the former interrogators decision to speak out it seems that this mystery has finally been solved.

Related:

WWII secret interrogators break their silence

WWII interrogators decry methods being used today

October 1, 2007

Solo removed from team

U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo has been ejected from the team for Sunday's third-place game against Norway. The ejection come after Solo harshly criticized her coach and teammate, Briana Scurry, after Thursdays semifinal game which the U.S. lost 4-0 to Brazil.

Before the Brazil game, U.S. coach Greg Ryan decided to bench Solo and go with the more experienced Scurry in goal, despite the fact that Solo had not allowed a goal in the last 300 minutes she had played. After the embarrassing defeat Solo lashed out at coach Ryan about his decision and criticized Scurry's play.

The decision to kick Solo off the team was supported by the teams remaining 20 players.

The U.S. women had been unbeaten in their previous 51 outings and were heavy favorites to win the Womens' World Cup, but now may be forced to settle for third place.

Related:

No Hope: Angry U.S. goalie booted off team

Goalie's words lead to ejection from team

September 24, 2007

Man relives history

Tim Cope may seem like your ordinary 28-year-old former law student, however, he recently arrived in Hungary, ending a 6,200 mile trip in which he retraced the steps of Genghis Khan. The trip took him through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, southern Russia, and Ukraine.

The trip began in 2004 and Cope anticipated that it would take 18 months. In the end it took three years.

Cope endured many hardships throughout his journey. He had to retrieve his horses from thieves two separate times, and in the Kazakh town of Akbakai had his dog Tigon, which was a gift from a Kazakh local, stolen only to be found near death a week later. Tigon was nursed back to health.

Cope spent many of his nights in a tent and at the locals advice threw firecrackers out of his tent each night to keep away the wolves. The nights he didn't spend in his tent he spent in the homes of gracious locals.

Cope is hoping to make a book and film about his journey, before finding another.

Related:

Adventures abound in the footsteps of Genghis Khan

September 17, 2007

New shipping route may be possibility

Global warming has been in the news plenty in the past few years and, whether you agree with it or not, the bottom line is that the ice in the Arctic is melting its way to record lows.

Satellite photos from this month show that ice is now covering only 1 million square miles of the Arctic Ocean. This is a record low as the previous low was 1.5 million square miles in 2005.

With this increase in melting ice comes possibilities for new shipping routes. The satellite pictures also showed an ice free passage moving from Alaska to northern Canada to Greenland. If this new route is usable for shipping it would save many vessels thousands of miles when compared with the use of the Panama Canal.

Environmentalists are worried that the increased traffic could upset the Arctic's delicate ecological balance. Not to mention there is always the possibly for an oil spill or other disaster that would harm the environment and its wildlife.

Related:

As ice melts, debate over Northwest Passage heats

September 10, 2007

Bush met with differing views in Sydney

President Bush had an interesting trip to Sydney, Australia last week. Bush was in Australia for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. However, the president received very different press coverage during his four day visit.

One local television station set up a camera outside of President Bush's hotel and checked in on his doings frequently. One afternoon he went for a bike ride, and was followed by a helicopter and news crew.

A Sydney newspaper also had a special feature online in which browsers were able to dress a picture of President Bush in an assortment of different local outfits such as a Crocodile Dundee hat or a koala costume.

One Bush protest group even showed the president what they thought of him by attempting to set the world record for mooning, claiming, "Only 4,000 cheeks are needed."

Bush has a close friendship with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, and because Howard is as unpopular in Australia as Bush is in the U.S. the locals tend to have a negative view of the president.

Related:

Anti-War Protests Await Bush in Sydney