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More than 1,000 species discovered in Mekong: WWF


Written on 3:23 AM by yahoo

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BANGKOK (AFP) – Scientists have discovered more than 1,000 species in Southeast Asia's Greater Mekong region in the past decade, including a spider as big as a dinner plate, the World Wildlife Fund said Monday.

A rat thought to have become extinct 11 million years ago and a cyanide-laced, shocking pink millipede were among creatures found in what the group called a "biological treasure trove".

The species were all found in the rainforests and wetlands along the Mekong River, which flows through Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese province of Yunnan.

"It doesn't get any better than this," Stuart Chapman, director of WWF's Greater Mekong Programme, was quoted as saying in a statement by the group.

"We thought discoveries of this scale were confined to the history books."

The WWF report, "First Contact in the Greater Mekong", said that "between 1997 and 2007, at least 1,068 have been officially described by science as being newly discovered species."

These included the world's largest huntsman spider, with a leg span of 30 centimetres (11.8 inches), and the

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  • Online Advertising And Its Impact On Web Design


    Written on 9:55 PM by yahoo

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    By Steven Snell

    In recent years, advertising has become a major revenue source for many websites. Not too long ago, online ads were often met with disapproval from visitors, and advertisers were unsure about their value or effectiveness. Today, most visitors have come to expect ads on commercial websites, and advertisers have recognized the potential of various online ad opportunities. Ads have long been a part of print publications, such as magazines and newspapers, and now they essentially have the same role in online periodicals and publications.

    Although advertising is a concern for website owners and those pushing products or services, it is also has an impact on Web designers, because they have to be able to design and develop websites that can produce ad revenue and still meet the needs of visitors. Clients with websites that depend on ad revenue need a design that provides the necessary screen space and a proper layout for selling ads, and advertisers need placement that will get them the exposure they seek.

    While advertisements are hardly the primary concern of Web designers in general, not accounting for them will result in a very awkward layout that can either detract from the flow of the website or put the ads in a spot where they will not receive enough attention from visitors. In order to maximize ad revenue for the client, with minimal interference in the appearance and usability of the website, the designer must take advertising needs into consideration throughout the design process.

    Ads on The Raw Story seem to be squeezed in wherever possible, to the detriment of the content.



    Written on 5:01 PM by yahoo


    This brutality happens every year, Dantesque, bloody slaughter in the Faroe Islands, which belongs to Denmark .
    A country supposedly 'civilized' and a EUROPEAN UNION country. For many people this cruel practice is unknown, how insensitive!
    This bloody slaughter is just to attend Moz to 'show' entering adulthood! It's absolutely incredible that nobody dares to do something to prevent this
    barbaric act that is committed against Calderon, an intelligent dolphin who has the peculiarity of approaching people out of sheer curiosity.
    Forward this to everyone, PLEASE

    lifestyle & leisure ~ SUBIC 24 HOUR ENDURANCE CHALLENGE


    Written on 10:20 PM by yahoo

    delivers the latest breaking news and info

    for Carl's contacts



    1ST: ARMY 100 LAPS
    2ND: TMM 100 LAPS



    2ND: ARITAO 111 LAPS

    1ST: ARMY 100 LAPS
    2ND: TMM 100 LAPS







    other photos from carl valenzona


    Posted By web magazine staff to WEB MAGAZINE

    Election 2008: An Online Adult Industry Perspective


    Written on 8:09 PM by yahoo

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    By Stephen Yagielowicz
    Thursday, Nov 6, 2008 Text size:
    LOS ANGELES — Less than 24 hours after Sen. John McCain's concession speech, the online adult entertainment industry is reacting to America's choice of Barack Obama as its new president elect.

    "Today's proof that anything is possible in America," said XBIZ President Alec Helmy, as he summed up much of the industry perspective on the day after the most significant election in recent American history.

    "For adult, an Obama presidency is likely to be a very good thing," offered Stewart Tongue of "Not because Obama favors Internet porn, but because his eye is on much more important aspects of U.S. policy and as a result the adult industry is likely to be left alone for the next four years."

    "Obama's victory was history in the making, and will do wonders to help restore the image the rest of the world has of America, the land where anything is possible — as Obama's own story so aptly demonstrates," said Password-By-Phone's Marc Jarrett, as he offered an international perspective on the election.

    "ASACP is very excited about President-elect Barack Obama," ASACP's CEO Joan Irvine said.

    And it is this sort of optimism that is driving adult operators at all levels and in all market segments to look forward to a more co-operative era, or at least a less-hostile one, between the industry and federal lawmakers.

    "ASACP's advocacy group, The Raben Group, is positioned to be very well connected with the new administration and I am looking forward to visiting Washington on a regular basis in 2009 in order to let them know what the adult industry is doing to protect children online," Irvine said. "In addition we are expecting there to be a committee on online child protection and we are working towards being a part of that committee."

    Of course, much industry concern centers around child protection and the steps that we take, such as support of ASACP and adoption of the Restricted to Adults website label, as well as the steps that the government takes, such as 2257 record-keeping inspections.

    "The Justice Department does get its orders from the President, so pushing to enforce 2257 when there has been basically no real proof of children being used in adult entertainment, should put the focus on protecting children from predators," said Brandon Shalton, an industry long-timer and founder of

    "Many FBI agents have been pulled off of fighting against CP and onto Homeland Security matters: 2257 doesn't protect children. The dedicated work of FBI agents assigned to CP issues is what shuts down the pedophiles and websites that distribute the vile content," Shalton said. "Efforts such as ASACP on behalf of the adult industry should demonstrate to the President that the adult industry is against CP and is doing what it can to assist law enforcement with catching the bad guys."

    2257 isn't the only problematic compliance issue facing the adult industry that a new administration might impact, however.

    "Obscenity will still be a troubling issue for anyone in the food chain of adult content, and I don't see a democratic president as one that will stop or deter the enforcement of those obscenity issues," Shalton concluded.

    But even some who may not have supported the candidate realize that it is time for the country, and the industry, to come together in support of the new president — and that political and economic realities might prevent a continued onslaught of our interests.

    "With everything that is wrong with the country right now, I don't believe the presidency will have time to make any big changes in the way we do day-to-day business," Brett Gilliat of Playboy said. "Regardless of how it affects our business in the future, Obama is our new president, so I support him and hope he keeps his promises."

    For others, practical issues set the stage for how they view the shifting balance of power.

    "Barack Obama's position on Net neutrality and his voting record indicate that he will most likely be supportive on the issues that are important to us here in the adult industry," Vegas Ken of TheBestPorn said. "I am optimistic and look forward to seeing how the future progresses and changes under the new administration."

    "It means I did not have to think about going into work today [and fear a government raid]," Stephen Bugbee of Matrix Content said. "I can just keep working on all the other things in adult, like tubes, cross-sales, business models, etc. and I do not have to worry as much about the presidency as I could have."

    "With change comes opportunity," observed Jason Tucker of Falcon Foto. "The eight year devil wore a RED dress and his fire and fury will be extinguished with soothing BLUE waters."

    "The President Elect understands the power of the Internet. Throughout the campaign he provided real time information and access to his thoughts and plans. This was the same vehicle that allowed him to collect a considerable amount of donations. Obama has already sent out a note that this direct contact will continue throughout his Presidency," Tucker told XBIZ. "I believe that this fresh approach to governing combined with the unraveling of the horrid decisions and executive orders of the past eight years will allow us to get back on track. It is my hope that once righted and since Hollywood was paramount to his success, Obama will tackle key issues that affect the entertainment business such as the poorly defined Digital Millennium Copyright Act and through the appointment of new Federal Judges."

    "These efforts will enable our industry to remain free to conduct its business under the First Amendment that was written on the paper that seems to have been forgotten under the Bush Administration," Tucker added.

    And for others still, a more pragmatic, wait-and-see attitude to what will really happen in an Obama administration is called for.

    "I think the jury will be out on the question of how Obama's election will affect our industry until well after he has taken his oath of office," opined TopBucks' Q. Boyer.

    "Will we see less emphasis on obscenity prosecution from the U.S. DOJ?" Boyer asked. "More than likely, we will, in part because money is thin, and the DOJ will need to focus its efforts and resources on higher priority areas,"

    "Will Congress cease its attempts to pass legislation regulating the adult industry, including bills that could substantially constrain our ability to operate?" Boyer continued. "I sincerely doubt it. The adult industry remains a convenient punching bag for politicians, and if there's one thing congressmen love, it is the opportunity to exploit people's love for their children by passing legislation with names like 'The Child Online Protection Act' — regardless of whether that legislation offers any prospect for protecting children in any way."

    Regardless of any personal political feelings that industry operators may have had before the election, or today, what is clear is that a new and vastly different American president has been elected; and with him, a democratic congressional majority that will steer the nation into unknown waters over the next four years.

    The best we can hope for is to all work together to support our livelihoods and our country and to enjoy a more profitable and less legally challenging future.

    For many in adult, an Obama presidency is a step in the right direction.

    paradise philippines~tagaytay-laurel bike ride


    Written on 6:24 PM by yahoo

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    paradise philippines~tagaytay-laurel bike ride


    Written on 5:52 PM by yahoo

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    paradise philippines~tagaytay-laurel bike ride


    Written on 5:00 PM by yahoo

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    Written on 7:52 PM by yahoo

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    Nov. 29 - Dec.01, 2008

    DAY 1 Nov. 28 / FRIDAY
    11 00 pm -- Assembly at Dagupan bus terminal- cubao
    12 00 pm -- ETD Rosario La union

    DAY 2 Nov. 29 / SATURDAY
    5 30 am -- ETA Rosario La union, arrange jeep or bus going to camp 2
    6 00-6 30 am -- ETD camp 2- twin peaks / breakfast
    7 30 am -- Start trek
    12 00 pm – Lunch along the trail.. PACKED-LUNCH.
    01 00 pm – Start trek
    03 00 pm – ETA- BLUE, get h2o
    04 00 pm – Start trek ulet
    06 00 pm – ETA Campsite/ prepare for dinner/ dniner /socials

    10 00 pm – Lights out

    DAY 3 Nov. 30 / SUNDAY

    06 00am – Wake up call /prepare breakfast- packed lunch/ breakfast/down tent…
    9 00 am -- Start trek
    12 00 pm – Lunch along the trail
    01 00 pm – Start trek
    03 00 pm – Cabuyao – viewdeck
    04 00pm – Bedrock campsite / prepare for dinner/ diner /socials
    10 00 pm – Lights out

    Day 4 Dec. 01/ MONDAY

    06 am – Wake up call / breakfast

    8 00 am – Rappel / rock climb / mummy cave / explore

    11 00am – Early lunch /down tent

    12 00pm – Start descend

    02 30pm - ETA Junction-Cabuyao

    03- 03 30pm ETA Baguio

    1100 reg. fee includes : 1way manila-Rosario, la-union/jeep to camp2/ guide fee/

    Rappelling / junction-baguio fare.

    Pls. contact mike- 09194678961 / Vincent-09166974266 / Ricky-09208047545


    philippines travel~Romblon Adventure Race


    Written on 10:00 PM by yahoo

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    The First Adventure Race for 2009

    The Municipality of Romblon

    Invites you to


    Festival 2009

    January 9-19, 2009

    Romblon, Romblon


    Fluvial Parade

    Ati-Atihan Street Dancing Competition


    King of the Mountain (MTB Competition)

    Bancathon and Barotohan


    Romblon will be celebrating its festival with a new twist, a new concept incorporating the eco-adventure challenge held into different places and adapting it into their activities as one of the main event highlights of the Biniray Festival. The beautiful and virgin islands of Romblon will be hosting and will thus be promoting eco-tourism as well as outdoor adventure activities that will enable the Biniray Festival to make a mark in tourism community calendar for years to come.

    The eco-adventure challenge and mountain biking competition is just a kick-off activity with its continuity for the following months of organizing such adventure challenges and events that this beautiful island can offer.

    Our goal is to attract amateur and professional sporting events and extreme adventure challenges and make Romblon not only popular with its Biniray Festival but as a NEW tourist and sporting venue as well.


    2 days. 2 tough race.

    30 teams. 90 individuals.


    Get your gears and pack your bags.

    Untouched… unspoiled… unexplored…

    The ISLAND is waiting for you!

    Pure mountain biking challenge







    -Discover the island and take up the challenge-

    1st Place - 50,000

    2nd Place - 30,000

    3rd Place - 20,000

    and consolation prizes for the next 10 teams after the top three and featuring a home stay program for all the racers to be provided by the residents of Romblon.

    Images to be uploaded soon.

    contact person:

    Jah-Mez - 09185109711

    Dinos Alive World Tour in Manila


    Written on 12:10 AM by yahoo

    delivers the latest breaking news and info

    Dinos Alive World Tour in Manila

    This 2008, we will be astounded by a visit from the past. Dinosaurs will soon walk back to land and set foot in the Philippines. Dinos Alive! World Tour is set to bring adventure of a lifetime to the Filipino people through these creatures.

    The Dinos alive tour is a traveling exhibit which adopts a themed - park environment. An authentic prehistoric recreation of the Jurassic period will display more than 30 life-size robotic dinosaurs including a spectacular 30 feet T-Rex. The place will be set-up to enhance the visitors experience of going back to time wherein these creatures roam the earth with specially designed sound and lighting effects.
    Visitors will also be able to interact with these moving creatures and enjoy other fun and entertaining activities. Kids and grown ups can enjoy in fossil hunting, games, quizzes, rock climbing, a dino inflated playland and more.

    Food and drinks will be available for hungry stomachs in a dino-inspired café. There will be retail stores as well selling dinosaur-themed merchandises like T-shirts and toys visitors can carry as souvenirs or bring home to friends and family. You can also have time to capture dino moments with the photo booth set - up inside and together with your dinosaur of choice.

    Join the fun of Dinos Alive World Tour here in Manila with your family and friends. Have the kids enjoy a world of discovery and learning. And take time to bond with all the activities offered.

    The ‘Dinos Alive World Tour’ - Manila will be set up next to the SM Mall of Asia from 28th November to 11th January, 10am-10pm on weekends and 12pm-10pm on weekdays. Tickets are available for purchase from Ticket World by calling 891-9999 or online at Ticket prices for adults are Php 600, kids below a meter are Php 450 and the family package costs Php 1,750 (2 adults+2 kids+1 free ticket).

    Labels: dino live, dino tour, dinos tour in manila

    apo island~dumagete


    Written on 11:15 PM by yahoo

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    apo island~dumagete

    Sept. 27-28-29

    First day
    We meet at the at the new airport NIA3 at 6:00am better to get early to get a ticket and waiting for the others but sudenly at 6:45 some one calling our attention a crew of cebu pacific because the plane schedule going to dumagete is boarding na and ready to go, We are the only passenger there waiting. We are running fast going to the plane and unfortunately the mr. pogi photographer is late and mising. After a while we see a yellow shirt and we know that is mr pogi photographer then sakay sa plane
    and sitback and relax sabay tawa, lol....

    apo island~dumagete


    pantalan to malatapay

    We : Chris, Grace, Geoff, Angel, James and her mom, I forgot her name, are here in Dumagete around 8:30 to 9:00am. So we decided to eat first early lunch and taste the best food in Dumagete, We choose to go to the market place from the airport going to market just ride a jeep cost of 8php then go to panties carinderia, there are many cheap fast food available. I ordered karahay, karahay stands for kawale, karahay is like litson kawale. sarap the best. Another one is Babakwa, balbakwa is like bulalo but more seasoning and taste like bulalo.

    And after that we decided to go to the port by tricyle. Going in apo island is 30mins to 1 hour estimated time of arrival by boat or by bus but we have a choice to ride a bus, we go to bus station of ceres then the sign board is bayawan to malatapay, then while we are walking going to the port one of us meet a friend inside the bus of malatapay to apo island is boat transfer, boat ride 1500php per boat balikan.

    waiting for the boat transfer

    8:30am Dumagete airport

    9:05 am market place

    9:48am Chowking

    11:01 am Bayawan ceres

    11:35am pump boat

    12:08 pm Registration in PAMB of apo island

    1:00 pm Check in Mary aljon for only 400 php

    1:30 pm Snorkeling area,

    4:30 pm trekking going to Light house

    5:07 pm back track

    5:30 pm food trip

    6:00 pm Electric power is on up to 9:00 pm only

    photo finish

    duds pogi

    Posted by Picasa

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    Jenna Jameson Pregnant With Twins


    Written on 5:28 PM by yahoo

    delivers the latest breaking news and info

    LOS ANGELES — Veteran adult performer Jenna Jameson has announced she’s expecting twins with boyfriend Tito Ortiz, a mixed-martial arts fighter.

    The announcement was reported exclusively on celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton’s website.

    After debunking earlier rumors of her pregnancy, Jameson informed Perez that she was indeed pregnant.

    "Funny enough, that story was fake, but I just found out I am pregnant," Perez quoted her as saying.

    Quoting sources, Perez also reports Jameson and Ortiz have recently bought a beachfront home in Los Angeles.

    china and dairy scandal


    Written on 5:36 AM by yahoo

    delivers the latest breaking news and info

    WHO China representative Hans Troedsson said on Monday quality issues could occur anywhere from the farm to the retail outlet.

    He said "it's clearly something that is not acceptable and needs to be rectified and corrected," according to The Associated Press. Troedsson said the WHO was discussing with officials how to strengthen China's food quality system.

    Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has called milk manufacturers "heartless" and promised stricter laws to protect the public.

    China's Health Ministry said Sunday that about 13,000 children were hospitalized, while another 40,000 had undergone outpatient treatment for illnesses related to suspected melamine-tainted milk products.

    The scandal has spread beyond the mainland with melamine being found in three Chinese-made dairy products in Singapore.

    The country's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority said tests on "White Rabbit Creamy Candy" showed that it was contaminated with melamine and it ordered stores to remove the product from shelves.

    Taiwan announced Monday it was banning the importation of all dairy products from China because of melamine contamination in milk supplies on the mainland, Taiwan's Health Ministry said Monday.

    Google sours on $1 billion AOL investment


    Written on 10:29 AM by yahoo

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    Google acknowledged late Thursday that it may have made a bad bet on AOL.

    The search giant said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its $1 billion investment for a 5 percent stake in Time Warner's Web unit "may be impaired" and that it may have to take a charge in the future:

    Based on our review, we believe our investment in AOL may be impaired...We will continue to review this investment for impairment in the future. There can be no assurance that impairment charges will not be required in the future, and any such amounts may be material to our Consolidated Statements of Income.

    The December 2005 investment secured a renewal of Google's search advertising deal with AOL, preventing its largest ad partner from defecting to Microsoft. The deal gave AOL a valuation of $20 billion at the time.

    Google didn't estimate in its filing what AOL might be worth today, but observers have suggested a figure closer to $10 billion.

    Google's deal allows it to demand that Time Warner spin off AOL in an initial public offering of stock or buy back its stake, which would result in a $500 million loss for Google.

    Time Warner, perhaps signaling its intention to dispose of AOL to focus on its media business, announced Wednesday that it will split AOL's dial-up unit from its advertising business by early 2009.

    Egypt to test fetuses from King Tutankhamun tomb


    Written on 5:46 PM by yahoo

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    CAIRO, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian scientists will carry out DNA tests on two mummified fetuses found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun to determine their link to the young pharaoh, Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities said in a statement Wednesday.

    The face of Tutankhamen displayed in a climate-controlled case at his tomb near Luxor in Egypt.

    The face of Tutankhamen displayed in a climate-controlled case at his tomb near Luxor in Egypt.

    The two tiny female fetuses -- found in the tomb in Luxor as part of the 1922 King Tut discovery -- may be his stillborn children, the Council said.

    The statement quoted Zahi Hawass, the head of the Egyptian antiquities, as saying that the tests will also try to determine Tutankhamun's family lineage, a source of ambiguity among many Egyptologists.

    "All of these results will be compared to each other, along with those of the mummy of King Tutankhamun," Hawass said.

    There has been no archaeological indication that the young pharaoh, who died around the age of 19 under mysterious circumstances over 3,000 years ago, left any offspring.

    Scholars believe that at the age of 12, Tutankhamun married his half-sister, Ankhesenamun -- the third daughter of Pharaoh Akhenaten by his wife Nefertiti -- but the couple had no surviving children.

    Tutankhamun was one of the last kings of Egypt's 18th Dynasty and ruled during a crucial, turmoil-filled period.

    Ashraf Selim, a radiologist and member of the Egyptian team, said the tests could take several months. So far, the team has carried out CT scans on the two fetuses and taken samples for DNA tests.

    "We want to find out the truth and facts relevant to the history of these kings," Selim told The Associated Press.

    Since they were found in King Tut's tomb, the mummified fetuses were kept in storage at the Cairo School of Medicine and were never publicly displayed or studied, Selim said.

    Hawass has announced ambitious plans for DNA tests on Egyptian mummies, including tests on all royal mummies and the nearly two dozen unidentified ones stored in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. He has said the tests may show that some royal mummies on display are not who archaeologists thought them to be.

    Last year, Egypt announced that archaeologists had identified the mummy of Hatshepsut, Egypt's most powerful queen and the only female pharaoh. But scientists later said they were still analyzing DNA from the bald, 3,500-year-old mummy to try to back up the claim.

    There is some secrecy surrounding Egypt's DNA testing of mummies.

    Hawass has long rejected DNA testing on Egyptian mummies by foreign experts, and only recently allowed such projects on condition they be done exclusively by Egyptians. He has never disclosed the full outcome of the examinations of Hatshepsut's mummy or submitted results for a test by second lab, as it is a common practice in a DNA testing.

    This has raised concerns about the validity of the Egyptian results.

    Abdel-Halim Nour el-Deen, a former head of the council and a leading Egyptologist said DNA testing on mummies thousands of years old is very difficult.

    "It is doubtful that it could produce a scientific result to determine such important issues such as the lineage of pharaohs," el-Deen told the AP. El-Deen also criticized the Council for not making public the results of the tests already carried out.

    "We haven't seen any of their results," he said. "Such announcements are good for publicity ... They sell well in the media.

    Bush chides China over human rights


    Written on 9:09 PM by yahoo

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    BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- U.S. President George W. Bush expressed "deep concerns" over religious freedom and human rights in China on the eve of the 2008 Beijing Olympics in a wide-ranging Asian policy speech delivered Thursday in Bangkok, Thailand.

    President George W. Bush meets with Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Wednesday in Bangkok.

    President George W. Bush meets with Thailand's Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej Wednesday in Bangkok.

    "America stands in firm opposition to China's detention of political dissidents, human rights advocates, and religious activists," Bush said.

    "We speak out for a free press, freedom of assembly, and labor rights not to antagonize China's leaders, but because trusting its people with greater freedom is the only way for China to develop its full potential," he said. "And we press for openness and justice not to impose our beliefs but to allow the Chinese people to express theirs."

    Despite the harsh critique, Bush praised what has become a "constructive relationship" between the United States and China in trade and diplomacy. He also said that the association "has placed America in a better position to be honest and direct on other issues."

    Bush spoke at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center in Bangkok.

    The trip to Asia is Bush's last as president, and he took the opportunity to shine a light on the well-publicized crackdowns on political dissenters in the "people's republic" -- a communist country that has emerged as a symbol of soaring capitalistic growth.

    "I have spoken clearly, candidly, and consistently with China's leaders about our deep concerns over religious freedom and human rights," he said. "And I have met repeatedly with Chinese dissidents and religious believers. The United States believes the people of China deserve the fundamental liberty that is the natural right of all human beings."

    China cracked down on protests this year in Tibet. Some demonstrators advocated autonomy and greater religious freedom there while others sought outright independence from China.

    On Wednesday, four Tibet activists unfurled Tibetan flags and pro-independence banners near National Stadium in Beijing, a main Olympic venue.

    Two men in the group scaled electric poles to display the banners, police said, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. Police took away "four foreigners" -- three men and a woman, it said.

    Students for a Free Tibet, a Tibet activist group, issued a statement saying those involved in the demonstration were from the United States and Britain.

    According to the group, one of the signs read, "One World, One Dream: Free Tibet" in English, while the second read, "Tibet Will Be Free" in English and "Free Tibet" in Chinese.

    The group said the signs were on display for about an hour, but police said it was about 12 minutes. The demonstrators entered China on tourist visas, police said, according to Xinhua.

    Meanwhile, the government's reaction to people protesting in northwestern China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, home to a Sunni Muslim ethnic minority, also has generated concerns. The Uygur people in that region are supposed to enjoy autonomy, guaranteed by China's constitution, but some seek independence.

    Millions of Han Chinese, the country's dominant ethnic group, have migrated into Xinjiang over the past 60 years, prompting complaints that they dominate local politics, culture and commerce at the Uygurs' expense.

    In the Xinjiang city of Kashgar, Chinese paramilitary police beat two Japanese journalists Monday night, hours after a deadly attack that killed 16 police officers, journalist groups said.

    China has also been widely criticized for its policies toward Sudan. It has been perceived as backing the African regime and widely accused of gross human rights abuses in a crackdown against citizens in the Darfur region after a rebellion in 2003. The United States has condemned the campaign of killing in Darfur as genocide.

    Team Darfur, a group of athletes committed to raising awareness about Darfur, complained that former speedskating gold medalist Joey Cheek had his visa revoked by the Chinese Embassy.

    White House spokeswoman Dana Perino, speaking to reporters en route to Thailand, said, "We were disturbed to learn that the Chinese had refused his visa. We are taking the matter very seriously."

    She said U.S. diplomats are asking the Chinese to reconsider their actions and emphasized that the administration hopes China changes its mind.

    In Thursday's speech, Bush also focused on other issues, including the economic strides in China -- which endured "rampant" poverty three decades ago.

    Beijing is "sprinting into the modern era -- covered in skyscrapers, filled with cars, home to international businesses, and hosting the Olympic Games," Bush said.

    He said the "growth sparked by China's free market reforms is good for the Chinese people" and that "China's new purchasing power is also good for the world, because it provides an enormous market for exports from across the globe."

    Bush urged China to adhere to the "rules of the international economic system" and "act responsibly on issues such as energy, the environment and African development."

    He said the United States and China are embarking on "a new strategic economic dialogue," saying they will "discuss ways to ensure long-term growth and widely shared prosperity in both our economies, as well as issues like currency exchange rates and intellectual property rights."

    Bush cited two areas of diplomatic cooperation -- the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program and the easing of tensions along the Taiwan Strait.


    PETA to Obama: Melting Pot Deserves a National Mutt


    Written on 2:42 AM by yahoo

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    America is a mishmash of races and proud of it. Whoever denies that fact obviously slept through American history class. To put it simply, we are a nation of mutts!

    So PETA President Ingrid Newkirk has sent a letter to Sen. Barack Obama and his family stressing this very point—and urging them to adopt a "pound pup," or Great American Mutt, rather than buy a dog from a breeder or a pet store.

    In her letter, Ingrid says, "Senator, no one needs to tell you that this country is proud to be a melting pot and that there is something deeply wrong and elitist about wanting only a purebred dog. Millions of Great American Mutts—the dog that should be our national dog—are set to die in our nation's extremely overcrowded pounds and shelters for lack of good homes. When you are ready, please adopt a homeless pound puppy—a grateful refugee from a society that has not always treated the true "underdog" kindly—rather than cater to special interests who do not have dogs' interests at heart."

    Let me break it down for you: Mutts want to live in a good home, eat good food, and live with responsible, loving, patient caretakers just as much as any purebred dog does. It doesn't take a genius to see that if we as Americans were treated the same way that we treat mutts—essentially, ourselves in the dog world—then we'd all be locked up, wasting away in cages, and hoping for someone to take us for "walkies." If we can't be true to mutts, then we can't be true to ourselves.

    Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky

    Note: PETA supports animal rights and opposes animal neglect and educates the public on those issues. PETA does not directly or indirectly participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.


    Anthrax suspect, scientist, kills self as FBI closes in


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    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Prosecutors likely would have sought the death penalty against a researcher who killed himself after learning he was going to be charged in the 2001 anthrax killings, two sources told CNN on Friday.

    Former U.S. Army researcher Bruce Ivins was found unconscious in his Frederick, Maryland, home on Sunday.

    Former U.S. Army researcher Bruce Ivins was found unconscious in his Frederick, Maryland, home on Sunday.

    Three sources familiar with the investigation said the case soon will be closed because a threat no longer exists. No information has been made public about what charges were planned.

    Authorities had been investigating Bruce Ivins, 62, a former researcher at the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, a bioweapons laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is still officially open. Ivins had been working at Fort Detrick trying to develop a vaccine against the deadly anthrax toxin.

    A U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation told CNN on Friday that authorities were looking at whether Ivins released anthrax as a way to test his vaccine.

    A spokesman for Maryland's medical examiner told CNN Friday the official cause of Ivins' death on Tuesday was suicide. One of CNN's sources said Ivins knew he was about to be charged.

    The medical examiner's spokesman said he could not confirm a report in the Los Angeles Times that Ivins had taken Tylenol mixed with codeine. The Times first reported Ivins' death on its Web site early Friday.

    Ivins' attorney said Friday his client was innocent of the anthrax deaths, and said he is disappointed that he "will not have the opportunity to defend his good name."

    In a written statement, attorney Paul Kemp said his firm had represented Ivins for more than a year.

    "The relentless pressure of accusation and innuendo takes its toll in different ways on different people, as has already been seen in this investigation. In Dr. Ivins' case, it led to his untimely death. We ask that the media respect the privacy of his family, and allow them to grieve."

    The anthrax mailings, which killed five people, shook the nation just weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

    There have been no arrests in the case, which started after someone sent letters laced with spores of deadly anthrax to congressional offices and several news organizations. Among those who died were two postal workers. Two contaminated letters were sent to senators, exposing 30 staffers.

    A spokesman for the Frederick County, Maryland, Fire and Rescue Service told CNN that someone called the 911 center at 1:08 a.m. Sunday to report an unconscious person at a home at 622 Military Road.

    Frederick Police Capt. Kevin Grubb said Ivins was found unresponsive on the floor of a bathroom. He was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital. Ivins' modest two-story home is located across from Fort Detrick.

    Court documents show that a judge issued a restraining order against Ivins on July 24, days before his suicide.

    A woman sought the order against "Dr. Bruce Edward Ivins," whom she accused of making threats of violence, harassment and stalking in the previous 30 days.

    In the order, Ivins is told not to contact the woman -- whom CNN is not identifying -- by telephone or other means, and to stay away from her place of employment.

    A hearing on the order had been scheduled for Thursday, and according to court documents, she had been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Washington on Friday.

    John Ezzell, former chief of special pathogens at Fort Detrick, said he was involved in hiring Ivins, who worked at the facility for years before retiring in 2006.

    He declined to describe Ivins' exact job responsibilities, but said, "He was an interesting character."

    Ezzell said Ivins was the one who examined an anthrax-laced letter that was sent to Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, in November 2001. The envelope, which was opened in the lab, contained 23,000 anthrax spores and was postmarked October 9 in Trenton, New Jersey.

    Ivins' brother, Tom, said the FBI questioned him about his brother about a year and a half ago. Investigators "asked you about your personal life, how you got along with your brothers when you grew up," he said.

    "They said they were investigating him when they talked to me," said Tom Ivins, who said he was not close to his brother and never spoke to him about the anthrax investigation.

    "I stay away from him," he said.

    An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment about Ivins on Friday. A Justice Department spokesman could not be reached for comment.

    Police believe the anthrax was made at Fort Detrick, one of CNN's sources said.

    Fort Detrick issued a statement mourning the death of Ivins, who worked at the U.S. Army Medical Institute of Infectious Diseases for more than 35 years as a civilian microbiologist.

    "In addition to his long and faithful government service, Bruce contributed to our community as a Red Cross volunteer with the Frederick County chapter. We will miss him very much," the statement said.

    Ivins had been questioned previously by the FBI, as had many scientists assisting the FBI, the source said.

    Investigators believed the culprit might be a scientist because of the amount of knowledge needed to process the anthrax.

    FBI Director Robert Mueller told CNN in July that "there have been breakthroughs" in the investigation and he was confident it would be resolved.

    "We've made great progress in the investigation and it's in no way dormant," Mueller said. "I'm confident in the course of the investigation, I'm confident of the steps that have been taken in the course of the investigation, and I'm confident that it will be resolved."

    Early in the investigation, Attorney General John Ashcroft publicly identified a "person of interest" in the anthrax case -- Steven Hatfill, a former civilian researcher on anthrax.

    Hatfill and Ivins both worked at the bioweapons lab at Fort Detrick.

    Hatfill was not charged and strongly denied involvement. He sued the Justice Department, claiming his privacy rights were violated when his name was leaked to the media in connection with the ongoing federal investigation into the biological attacks.

    The Justice Department reached a settlement with Hatfill in June. He is to receive a one-time payment of $2.8 million and $150,000 a year for life.


    McCain defends charge that Obama playing race card


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    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. John McCain defended his campaign Thursday for saying that Sen. Barack Obama is playing the race card.

    Sen. Barack Obama says Sen. John McCain offers a continuation of failed policies.

    Sen. Barack Obama says Sen. John McCain offers a continuation of failed policies.

    McCain's campaign manager charged that Obama falsely accused the McCain campaign of injecting race into the presidential contest.

    Asked by CNN's John King whether that was fair criticism, McCain said it was.

    "I'm sorry to say that it is. It's legitimate. And there's no place in this campaign for that. There's no place for it, and we shouldn't be doing it," he said in Racine, Wisconsin.

    The Obama campaign has denied the accusation, but McCain said, "I'll let the American people judge."
    In a statement earlier Thursday, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said, "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

    The charge came one day after Obama alluded to his race during several stops in Missouri.

    An Obama spokesman immediately denied the assertion but noted that the presumptive Democratic nominee believes that the McCain campaign was "using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues."

    "This is a race about big challenges: a slumping economy, a broken foreign policy and an energy crisis for everyone but the oil companies," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said. "Barack Obama in no way believes that the McCain campaign is using race as an issue, but he does believe they're using the same old low-road politics to distract voters from the real issues in this campaign, and those are the issues he'll continue to talk about."

    At three stops in the battleground state of Missouri, Obama told audiences that his opponent is trying to make voters "scared" of him because he doesn't look like past presidents -- an apparent reference to being black -- and has a "funny name."

    "Nobody really thinks that Bush or McCain have a real answer for the challenges we face," Obama said Wednesday in Springfield, Missouri. "So what they're going to try to do is make you scared of me. You know, he's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. You know, he doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills, you know. He's risky."

    This is not the first time Obama has delivered this line. He made similar comments dating back to the Democratic presidential primary. But a McCain adviser said Davis reacted strongly because the McCain campaign said Obama was directly responding to a new McCain campaign ad.

    The political ad, which the McCain campaign released Wednesday, features starlets Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad calls Obama the "biggest celebrity in the world" and asks, "But is he ready to lead?"

    Responding to the ad, Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "on a day when major news organizations across the country are taking Sen. McCain to task for a steady stream of false, negative attacks, his campaign has launched yet another. Or, as some might say, 'Oops! He did it again.' "

    The Obama campaign released a response ad declaring that McCain has taken the "low road" over the course of the presidential campaign.

    The ad compares McCain to President Bush and says McCain is "practicing the politics of the past."

    Tucker Bounds, spokesman for the McCain campaign, released the following statement in response to the ad: "Pointing out your opponent's worldwide celebrity is not the 'low road,' and neither is pointing out that he opposes oil drilling and supports higher taxes."

    As McCain campaigned Wednesday, he stressed his independence from Bush and highlighted times he's spoken against the administration.

    "My independence hasn't always made me friends in Washington. I was not elected Ms. Congeniality in the United States Senate," he said at a town hall in Aurora, Colorado.

    McCain praised Obama for his speaking abilities and success but said, "my concern with Sen. Obama is -- that on issues big and small -- what he says and what he does are often two different things."

    McCain said Obama's solution is to raise taxes and promised that he would not do the same.

    "I want to look you in the eye. I will not raise your taxes nor support a tax increase. I will not do it," he said.

    Obama charged that McCain doesn't have any new ideas and said that's why the Arizona senator's campaign is focusing its energy on anti-Obama ads.

    "You haven't heard a positive thing out of that campaign in a month. All they do is try to run me down," he said.


    Group tasks world over Darfur aid


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    NEW YORK (AP) -- A Darfur advocacy group complained Wednesday that nations aren't doing enough to help the U.N. peacekeeping mission for the stricken Sudanese region, urging them to provide helicopters and other equipment needed to protect civilians.

    Police ask a woman holding her baby to stand prior to the arrival of President Omar al-Beshir to West Darfur.

    Police ask a woman holding her baby to stand prior to the arrival of President Omar al-Beshir to West Darfur.

    "Without helicopters, the force's ability to respond quickly to events and fulfill its mandate to protect civilians is severely compromised," said a report released by the Save Darfur Coalition.

    The report, written by aviation expert Thomas Withington, said military powers like the U.S., Britain and France are tied down in wars and other peacekeeping operations.

    But it singled out the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania, Spain, Ukraine and India, saying they have suitable aircraft needed for the mission.

    The report came on the first anniversary of the U.N. Security Council resolution that authorized the Darfur peacekeeping mission, which is struggling to get enough troops and equipment. Council members are debating this week the mission's renewal, which expires Thursday.

    The peacekeeping force, a joint operation of the United Nations and African Union, has only about a third of its authorized 26,000 personnel.

    A U.N. official in Darfur told The Associated Press the mission has only 27 transport helicopters, all commercially leased.

    U.N. documents say the mission needs 18 medium-lift military helicopters and the force has sought to get six attack helicopters. But the U.N. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk with journalists, said it has none and an offer from Ethiopia of five combat helicopters was still being discussed.

    Many military helicopters that could be used by the UNAMID mission in Darfur are sitting in hangars or being used in air shows, the report said.

    It said NATO nations "could provide as many as 104 suitable helicopters for the UNAMID force," saying the alliance members best placed to provide the aircraft are the Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and Spain. In addition, it said, "Ukraine and India could together contribute 34 helicopters."

    There was no immediate comment from the governments of those nations.

    The report was endorsed by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has repeatedly expressed frustration over the lack of attack and transport helicopters and other critical gear that he says is crucial for the Darfur peacekeeping mission.

    "Given the terrain and security situation in Darfur, it is critical that member states provide missing aviation assets," Ban said in a statement released by his office.

    Officials say such helicopters could have been used to help when an armed group in Darfur attacked a convoy of peacekeepers July 8. Seven peacekeepers were killed and at least 19 suffered wounds.


    Daddy ko... starts to walk


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