AIDS Conference: Clinton and Gates defend Bush program

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AIDS Conference: Clinton and Gates defend Bush program

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

On Tuesday, at the XVI International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada, both former President Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder/chairman Bill Gates defended President George W. Bush and his Adminstation‘s PEPFAR program.

Clinton said that the United States is spending more to fight HIV than any other government. He did criticize the program, saying that 33% of PEPFAR funds are dedicated to abstinence-only programs. Clinton said he does not believe that abstinence-only programs work. Also, he spoke out against a US law that requires organizations that apply for PEPFAR funds to pledge to oppose prostitution.

“I wish they would just amend the law and say ‘we disapprove of prostitution but here’s the money – go save lives’,” said Clinton.

“The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has done a great deal of good, and President Bush and his team deserve a lot of credit for it,” Gates said.

PEPFAR, which Bush unveiled in 2003, is to spend $15 billion over five years in 15 target countries. It provides medicine to HIV patients, distributes condoms and funds programs run by many aid groups. It is the largest international health initiative in history initiated by one nation to address a single disease.

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  • Pashmina Shawls: Where To Get Them

    By Christopher Granger

    Since the popularity of pashmina shawls, there are several markets that produce pashminas and either sell it online or sell it through any fashion boutiques. However, its mass production can sometimes create confusion to those who are first time buyers of pashmina. Some of the stores claim that they sell authentic pashmina shawls but unfortunately, it is not made of 100% pashmina or cashmere wool. To know where to buy the best pashmina is to check every store details. If a person is buying for the first time, they could try researching first about pashminas.

    Next is to check all stores that sell pashmina, if the person is buying online there are information about that particular stores and information about the products that they sell. Original pashminas are very expensive, the ones that are made in Nepal and India. These are pashmina shawls made directly from the wool of a special breed of goat that lives in the mountain ranges of Himalayans. These kinds of pashminas are hand woven and intricately made by craftsmen who have become an expertise into weaving delicate cashmere fiber. It can be very hard to identify the original pashmina to the other variations; however, a person can tell the difference by touching the fabric.

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    A combination of cashmere and silk are the most produced type of pashmina. It is cheaper and is easier to find. Because of its availability, most market can produce large numbers of pashmina where they can benefit from since it is in demand in the market. Cashmere and silk can produce a soft and lightweight fabric, which can be a good alternative for an original pashmina. Another variation is the combination of acrylic and viscose, which is a synthetic fiber. It is also mistaken sometimes as being the original pashmina. It can also provide comfort and warmth, however the softness is subtler. Unlike cashmere and silk, viscose and acrylics are more easier to find and much more cheaper to buy.

    It is available in most stores and has also achieved popularity as the so-called pashmina shawl. Pashmina production can also be either hand woven or machine woven. With the development of the technology today most factories would opt to use machines when producing pashminas. It is much easier and faster, plus it can produce huge quantities in one day. However, what made hand woven pashmina very special is the extra effort that is being put into the product. What determines the price of a pashmina is its quality and material.

    With proper care and proper storage, pashmina shawls can last a long time. It can be a great investment for most people. Imagine one item that can do a lot of things, a person can explore fashion with different styles that they can do with a pashmina shawl. Always remember that when buying a pashmina, always look at the quality of the material. Do not just look at the price, cheaper pashmina could mean cheaper quality and with cheaper quality, a person does not need to expect a longer lasting pashmina that can withstand time.

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    Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

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    Wikinews interviews Frank Moore, independent candidate for US President

    Saturday, March 1, 2008

    While nearly all coverage of the 2008 Presidential election has focused on the Democratic and Republican candidates, the race for the White House also includes independents and third party candidates. These parties represent a variety of views that may not be acknowledged by the major party platforms.

    Wikinews has impartially reached out to these candidates, throughout the campaign. We now interview independent Presidential candidate Frank Moore, a performance artist.

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    How To Soak Through Grill Features

    Posted in Bbq Products And Accessories | October 17th, 2021

    How are you suppose to select the grill that is best for you if you are doing not understand what you’re browseing? whereas the language used when describing grills won’t get any easier to read, understanding what the majority if what it means that will assist you build an informed decision. Perhaps one of the foremost vital stuff you ought to contemplate is the fuel kind. Charcoal grills are one amongst the foremost used types of grills. Charcoal grills utilize charcoal and lighter fluid to heat up and cook your food. Charcoal grills come in all shapes and sizes, and vary in price. Charcoal needs you to buy charcoal and lighter fluid each time you cook with it. It should even be cleaned out whenever. Charcoal grills come in little sizes, which are ideal for apartment dwellers or folks with little homes. Once you have got used your charcoal grill, you’ll clean it, and store it away. Propane grills are also helpful for someone in tiny areas, since they will come in smaller sizes. Propane grills use propane gas to cook your food. If you want to quickly cook foods while still maintaining a grilled flavor, you will want to consider Propane grills. Natural gas grills are alittle a lot of sophisticated then smaller grills, so they need additional room. Natural gas grills are meant to hook up directly to your homes natural gas line, and may cook meat in record time. Smoker Grills are used when flavor is that the much loved priority. Smoker grills use wood to slow cook your meat. Flavor are often controlled by using different types of woods.BTU is that the live of the amount of cooking power the barbeque grill as. basic math are going to be required in determining the amount of warmth that your grill produces. Take the number of area on the market for cooking (typically measured by sq. inch) and divide it by the whole amount of BTUs. Ideally you will want at least ninety five to one hundred BTUs per sq. inch of cooking house. therefore as an example, if you have a grill with 50,000 BTUs and 450 square inches of cooking house, then you may be receiving regarding 111 BTUs of cooking power per sq. in.. something less, and you’ll want to contemplate a distinct grill.The next issue you may want to consider is the cooking surfaces. how much house does it have? can you be able to cook for just yourself, or you entire family? reckoning on your scenario, you’ll want to contemplate a larger or smaller grill.What concerning cleaning? will your grill have something type of features that allow you to scrub it easier? Some grills supply such things as a cleaning door, which allows you to easier take away the used fuels. this is often handy if you opt on a charcoal and smoker grill. Some grills have a none stick surface, which allows you to cook without food sticking, and allows for very straightforward cleanup.Another feature some grills supply the ability to regulate completely different areas of your grill with different temperatures. this is often usually controlled by knobs on the front, just like an oven. this allows you to cook differing kinds of foods at constant time. If you want to cook a whole meal on the grill, this will be potential.Starting your grill changed drastically with every form of grill. Smokers and Charcoal burners require you to lightweight the media, the sit up for it to burn out and switch to embers before cooking. this will take anywhere from twenty to 45 minutes. Natural gas and propane gar grills will be started instantly, wither by lighting the burners with a lighter, or by a knob on the front, that is attached to atiny low hammer that slams into a crystal, inflicting enough spark to ignite the fuel.

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    Wikinews Shorts: August 14, 2009

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    Wikinews Shorts: August 14, 2009
    Posted in Uncategorized | October 16th, 2021

    A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, August 14, 2009.

    A body recovered by Indonesian police on August 8th is not that of Noordin Mohammed Top. The Indonesian authorities had been optimistic that Top, the mastermind behind the 2002 Bali bombings, had been killed on Saturday in a gun battle that concluded a 17 hour siege in the Temanggung district of Central Java.

    DNA tests suggests that the body is that of a man identified only as Ibrahim, a florist who was the inside man in the attacks on luxury hotels in Jakarta this July.

    Sources

    • Dicky Christanto and Mustaqim Adamrah. “Ibrohim played key role in Jakarta hotel bombings: Police” — The Jarkarta Post, August 13, 2009
    • “Bali bombing mastermind escaped deadly police siege” — Xinhua News Agency, August 12, 2009
    • Anne Tang. “DNA test shows JI leader Top still alive” — Xinhua News Agency, August 12, 2009

    Attempts by President Barack Obama to reform the health care in the United States has been met with grassroots opposition. Critics fear that Obama’s reforms are an attempt to socialise health care. However, the President has dismissed such apprehension as an attempt to “scare and mislead” by vested interests hoping to derail the reforms.

    Opposition adverts which feature the alleged failures and rationing of healthcare in the British National Health Service (NHS), have been rebutted by citizens, politicians and the media. Spurred on by American commentators that described that the NHS as “evil’ and Orwellian, with over a million responses to an on-line Twitter campaign, called welovetheNHS started in support of the NHS.

    Sources

    • Patrick Foster. “Anti-healthcare lobbyists duped us, say Katie Brickell and Kate Spall” — The Times, August 14, 2009
    • Clare Ellicott. “‘I owe my life to the NHS’: Stephen Hawking tells US to stop attacking health service” — The Daily Mail, August 13, 2009
    • “Tough questions, frustrations continue in town halls” — CNN, August 13, 2009
    • Kerry Sheridan. “Obama aims to sooth concerns amid healthcare fury” — Agence France-Presse, August 13, 2009

    Three British soldiers of have been killed by an explosion whilst on foot patrol near the town of Sangin in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

    The death of the soldiers — two from the 2nd Battalion The Rifles and one from 40 Regiment Royal Artillery — brings the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 199.

    “[These deaths] brings us very close to the sad milestone of 200 fatalities in this conflict. We cannot help but reflect on the toll the mission has taken…” said Bob Ainsworth, the British Secretary of State for Defence.

    Sources

    • “Three UK soldiers die in Helmand” — BBC News Online, August 13, 2009
    • “Soldiers killed in Afghanistan to be named: report” — Agence France-Presse, August 13, 2009

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    Bat for Lashes plays the Bowery Ballroom: an Interview with Natasha Khan

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    Bat for Lashes plays the Bowery Ballroom: an Interview with Natasha Khan
    Posted in Uncategorized | October 11th, 2021

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Bat for Lashes is the doppelgänger band ego of one of the leading millennial lights in British music, Natasha Khan. Caroline Weeks, Abi Fry and Lizzy Carey comprise the aurora borealis that backs this haunting, shimmering zither and glockenspiel peacock, and the only complaint coming from the audience at the Bowery Ballroom last Tuesday was that they could not camp out all night underneath these celestial bodies.

    We live in the age of the lazy tendency to categorize the work of one artist against another, and Khan has had endless exultations as the next Björk and Kate Bush; Sixousie Sioux, Stevie Nicks, Sinead O’Connor, the list goes on until it is almost meaningless as comparison does little justice to the sound and vision of the band. “I think Bat For Lashes are beyond a trend or fashion band,” said Jefferson Hack, publisher of Dazed & Confused magazine. “[Khan] has an ancient power…she is in part shamanic.” She describes her aesthetic as “powerful women with a cosmic edge” as seen in Jane Birkin, Nico and Cleopatra. And these women are being heard. “I love the harpsichord and the sexual ghost voices and bowed saws,” said Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke of the track Horse and I. “This song seems to come from the world of Grimm’s fairytales.”

    Bat’s debut album, Fur And Gold, was nominated for the 2007 Mercury Prize, and they were seen as the dark horse favorite until it was announced Klaxons had won. Even Ladbrokes, the largest gambling company in the United Kingdom, had put their money on Bat for Lashes. “It was a surprise that Klaxons won,” said Khan, “but I think everyone up for the award is brilliant and would have deserved to win.”

    Natasha recently spoke with David Shankbone about art, transvestism and drug use in the music business.


    DS: Do you have any favorite books?

    NK: [Laughs] I’m not the best about finishing books. What I usually do is I will get into a book for a period of time, and then I will dip into it and get the inspiration and transformation in my mind that I need, and then put it away and come back to it. But I have a select rotation of cool books, like Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés and Little Birds by Anaïs Nin. Recently, Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch.

    DS: Lynch just came out with a movie last year called Inland Empire. I interviewed John Vanderslice last night at the Bowery Ballroom and he raved about it!

    NK: I haven’t seen it yet!

    DS: Do you notice a difference between playing in front of British and American audiences?

    NK: The U.S. audiences are much more full of expression and noises and jubilation. They are like, “Welcome to New York, Baby!” “You’re Awesome!” and stuff like that. Whereas in England they tend to be a lot more reserved. Well, the English are, but it is such a diverse culture you will get the Spanish and Italian gay guys at the front who are going crazy. I definitely think in America they are much more open and there is more excitement, which is really cool.

    DS: How many instruments do you play and, please, include the glockenspiel in that number.

    NK: [Laughs] I think the number is limitless, hopefully. I try my hand at anything I can contribute; I only just picked up the bass, really—

    DS: –I have a great photo of you playing the bass.

    NK: I don’t think I’m very good…

    DS: You look cool with it!

    NK: [Laughs] Fine. The glockenspiel…piano, mainly, and also the harp. Guitar, I like playing percussion and drumming. I usually speak with all my drummers so that I write my songs with them in mind, and we’ll have bass sounds, choir sounds, and then you can multi-task with all these orchestral sounds. Through the magic medium of technology I can play all kinds of sounds, double bass and stuff.

    DS: Do you design your own clothes?

    NK: All four of us girls love vintage shopping and charity shops. We don’t have a stylist who tells us what to wear, it’s all very much our own natural styles coming through. And for me, personally, I like to wear jewelery. On the night of the New York show that top I was wearing was made especially for me as a gift by these New York designers called Pepper + Pistol. And there’s also my boyfriend, who is an amazing musician—

    DS: —that’s Will Lemon from Moon and Moon, right? There is such good buzz about them here in New York.

    NK: Yes! They have an album coming out in February and it will fucking blow your mind! I think you would love it, it’s an incredible masterpiece. It’s really exciting, I’m hoping we can do a crazy double unfolding caravan show, the Bat for Lashes album and the new Moon and Moon album: that would be really theatrical and amazing! Will prints a lot of my T-shirts because he does amazing tapestries and silkscreen printing on clothes. When we play there’s a velvety kind of tapestry on the keyboard table that he made. So I wear a lot of his things, thrift store stuff, old bits of jewelry and antique pieces.

    DS: You are often compared to Björk and Kate Bush; do those constant comparisons tend to bother you as an artist who is trying to define herself on her own terms?

    NK: No, I mean, I guess that in the past it bothered me, but now I just feel really confident and sure that as time goes on my musical style and my writing is taking a pace of its own, and I think in time the music will speak for itself and people will see that I’m obviously doing something different. Those women are fantastic, strong, risk-taking artists—

    DS: —as are you—

    NK: —thank you, and that’s a great tradition to be part of, and when I look at artists like Björk and Kate Bush, I think of them as being like older sisters that have come before; they are kind of like an amazing support network that comes with me.

    DS: I’d imagine it’s preferable to be considered the next Björk or Kate Bush instead of the next Britney.

    NK: [Laughs] Totally! Exactly! I mean, could you imagine—oh, no I’m not going to try to offend anyone now! [Laughs] Let’s leave it there.

    DS: Does music feed your artwork, or does you artwork feed your music more? Or is the relationship completely symbiotic?

    NK: I think it’s pretty back-and-forth. I think when I have blocks in either of those area, I tend to emphasize the other. If I’m finding it really difficult to write something I know that I need to go investigate it in a more visual way, and I’ll start to gather images and take photographs and make notes and make collages and start looking to photographers and filmmakers to give me a more grounded sense of the place that I’m writing about, whether it’s in my imagination or in the characters. Whenever I’m writing music it’s a very visual place in my mind. It has a location full of characters and colors and landscapes, so those two things really compliment each other, and they help the other one to blossom and support the other. They are like brother and sister.

    DS: When you are composing music, do you see notes and words as colors and images in your mind, and then you put those down on paper?

    NK: Yes. When I’m writing songs, especially lately because I think the next album has a fairly strong concept behind it and I’m writing the songs, really imagining them, so I’m very immersed into the concept of the album and the story that is there through the album. It’s the same as when I’m playing live, I will imagine I see a forest of pine trees and sky all around me and the audience, and it really helps me. Or I’ll just imagine midnight blue and emerald green, those kind of Eighties colors, and they help me.

    DS: Is it always pine trees that you see?

    NK: Yes, pine trees and sky, I guess.

    DS: What things in nature inspire you?

    NK: I feel drained thematically if I’m in the city too long. I think that when I’m in nature—for example, I went to Big Sur last year on a road trip and just looking up and seeing dark shadows of trees and starry skies really gets me and makes me feel happy. I would sit right by the sea, and any time I have been a bit stuck I will go for a long walk along the ocean and it’s just really good to see vast horizons, I think, and epic, huge, all-encompassing visions of nature really humble you and give you a good sense of perspective and the fact that you are just a small particle of energy that is vibrating along with everything else. That really helps.

    DS: Are there man-made things that inspire you?

    NK: Things that are more cultural, like open air cinemas, old Peruvian flats and the Chelsea Hotel. Funny old drag queen karaoke bars…

    DS: I photographed some of the famous drag queens here in New York. They are just such great creatures to photograph; they will do just about anything for the camera. I photographed a famous drag queen named Miss Understood who is the emcee at a drag queen restaurant here named Lucky Cheng’s. We were out in front of Lucky Cheng’s taking photographs and a bus was coming down First Avenue, and I said, “Go out and stop that bus!” and she did! It’s an amazing shot.

    NK: Oh. My. God.

    DS: If you go on her Wikipedia article it’s there.

    NK: That’s so cool. I’m really getting into that whole psychedelic sixties and seventies Paris Is Burning and Jack Smith and the Destruction of Atlantis. Things like The Cockettes. There seems to be a bit of a revolution coming through that kind of psychedelic drag queen theater.

    DS: There are just so few areas left where there is natural edge and art that is not contrived. It’s taking a contrived thing like changing your gender, but in the backdrop of how that is still so socially unacceptable.

    NK: Yeah, the theatrics and creativity that go into that really get me. I’m thinking about The Fisher King…do you know that drag queen in The Fisher King? There’s this really bad and amazing drag queen guy in it who is so vulnerable and sensitive. He sings these amazing songs but he has this really terrible drug problem, I think, or maybe it’s a drink problem. It’s so bordering on the line between fabulous and those people you see who are so in love with the idea of beauty and elevation and the glitz and the glamor of love and beauty, but then there’s this really dark, tragic side. It’s presented together in this confusing and bewildering way, and it always just gets to me. I find it really intriguing.

    DS: How are you received in the Pakistani community?

    NK: [Laughs] I have absolutely no idea! You should probably ask another question, because I have no idea. I don’t have contact with that side of my family anymore.

    DS: When you see artists like Pete Doherty or Amy Winehouse out on these suicidal binges of drug use, what do you think as a musician? What do you get from what you see them go through in their personal lives and with their music?

    NK: It’s difficult. The drugs thing was never important to me, it was the music and expression and the way he delivered his music, and I think there’s a strange kind of romantic delusion in the media, and the music media especially, where they are obsessed with people who have terrible drug problems. I think that’s always been the way, though, since Billie Holiday. The thing that I’m questioning now is that it seems now the celebrity angle means that the lifestyle takes over from the actual music. In the past people who had musical genius, unfortunately their personal lives came into play, but maybe that added a level of romance, which I think is pretty uncool, but, whatever. I think that as long as the lifestyle doesn’t precede the talent and the music, that’s okay, but it always feels uncomfortable for me when people’s music goes really far and if you took away the hysteria and propaganda of it, would the music still stand up? That’s my question. Just for me, I’m just glad I don’t do heavy drugs and I don’t have that kind of problem, thank God. I feel that’s a responsibility you have, to present that there’s a power in integrity and strength and in the lifestyle that comes from self-love and assuredness and positivity. I think there’s a real big place for that, but it doesn’t really get as much of that “Rock n’ Roll” play or whatever.

    DS: Is it difficult to come to the United States to play considering all the wars we start?

    NK: As an English person I feel equally as responsible for that kind of shit. I think it is a collective consciousness that allows violence and those kinds of things to continue, and I think that our governments should be ashamed of themselves. But at the same time, it’s a responsibility of all of our countries, no matter where you are in the world to promote a peaceful lifestyle and not to consciously allow these conflicts to continue. At the same time, I find it difficult to judge because I think that the world is full of shades of light and dark, from spectrums of pure light and pure darkness, and that’s the way human nature and nature itself has always been. It’s difficult, but it’s just a process, and it’s the big creature that’s the world; humankind is a big creature that is learning all the time. And we have to go through these processes of learning to see what is right.
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    Top 10 Most Expensive Homes In The United States

    Posted in Management Software | October 10th, 2021

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    By Real Estate Advisor

    A $135 million home tops the list of the most expensive homes for sale in America. Forbes.com compiled a list of the world’s most valuable homes on the market for the year 2007. The following are the top ten of America’s priciest mansions pulled out from the Forbes list. Interestingly six of the top ten of the world’s most expensive homes in 2007 are American.

    The top 10 most expensive homes for sale in the United States in 2007 are:

    1. Hala Ranch – Aspen, Colorado, $135 million: This 95-acre ranch estate consists of an expansive 56,000-square-foot mansion, with 15 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms. America’s priciest mansion, owned by Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, former Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, also boasts several smaller buildings, stables, a tennis court, an indoor pool, a steam room, an exercise room, cross-country ski trails and a fishing pond.

    2. Fleur de Lys – Beverly Hills, California, $125 million: Modeled after the palace of Louis XIV at Versailles, this 45,000-square-foot Beverly Hills mansion is priced at $125 million making it the second most expensive home in the U.S. It had taken five years to complete this palatial home.

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    3. Maison de L’Amitie – Palm Beach, Florida, $125 million: Previously owned by former health care magnet Abe Gosman, the home was purchased by New York billionaire Donald Trump in 2004 at a bankruptcy auction for $41.25 million. Now refurbished, the mansion, featuring a ballroom, conservatory, a 100-foot swimming pool and 475 feet of ocean-front, is on the market for sale for $125 million.

    4. Tranquility – Lake Tahoe, Nevada, $100 million: This expensive mansion sitting on a sprawling 210 acres is located on the tax-free Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. The property is owned by Joel Horowitz, the co-founder of Tommy Hilfiger. The 20,000-square-foot main house is modeled after a northern European mountain home. The Lake Tahoe house boasts of several luxuries such as a 3,500-bottle wine cellar, a giant indoor swimming pool and atrium, and a 19-seat movie theater.

    5. Three Ponds – Bridgehampton, New York, $75 million: This home, designed by architect Allan Greenberg, is located amidst three lakes on 60 acres of Hamptons farmland. It features its own USGA-rated Rees Jones golf course, 14 gardens, a 75-foot-long swimming pool, golf pro shop, grass tennis court, and a guest house. The main house has a great room with a domed ceiling, 28 foot high.

    6. The Portabello Estate – Corona del Mar, California, $75 million: This modern estate home built in 2002 is located on a triple oceanfront lot along the Pacific Ocean. The 30,000-square-foot home features eight bedrooms and 10 full baths.

    7. Malibu, California, $75 million: This is a beach home with a difference. Located on a flat seven-acre lot the beach house is surrounded by picturesque ocean views. It features seven bedrooms, two riding stables, a riding ring, swimming pool, tennis court, and private access to the beach.

    8. The Pierre Penthouse – New York City, $70 million: The eight most expensive home in the U.S. is a penthouse with balconies and windows that offer 360-degree views of Manhattan, Central Park, the East River, and the Hudson River. Consisting of the top three floors of one of the grandest hotels in New York, the Pierre is located overlooking Central Park. The penthouse features a grand salon that has a 23-foot high ceiling.

    9. Belvedere, California, $65 million: This 10,000-square-foot home California home features six-bedrooms, herringbone floors, marble baths and front gates designed by Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan. The home offers the combined beauty of the scenic San Francisco Bay, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge.

    10. San Francisco, $65 million: This limestone palace is on the market for $65 million. It was sold for $32 million two years ago. It is significant that the limestone that the Gold Coast palace is clad in comes from a single quarry in France. Among the elite billionaires’ row neighbors are the Getty family. The mansion features European windows and the guest house has a 19th-century Italian tile roof.

    About the Author: San Diego CondosSan Diego Homes For SaleCarmel Valley Real Estate

    Source: isnare.com

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    Afghan women’s rights official shot dead

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    Afghan women’s rights official shot dead
    Posted in Uncategorized | October 10th, 2021

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    Safia Ahmed-jan, the director of the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs for the Khandahar province and an advocate of women’s rights and a strong critic of the Taliban‘s repression of those rights, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen outside her home in Khandahar city in southern Afghanistan on Monday.

    Safia Ama-jan, as she was known locally, is the first woman official to be targeted by the Taliban-led insurgency since it was deposed in 2001.

    Safia Ahmed-jan taught at a girls’ school and was a high-school principal in Khandahar prior to the Taliban’s 1996 rise to power in Afghanistan. When the Taliban regime banned education for girls and forbade women from working outside the home, she ran an underground school for girls at her home, said her son Naqibullah, speaking to the Associated Press.

    After the Taliban government was overthrown in 2001, Ahmed-jan became the provincial chief for women’s affairs in 2002, when the ministry was established and has since then held that position, worked for women’s rights and particularly, championed the cause of educating girls. Her secretary, Abdullah Khan told Associated Press that among her most successful projects were the vocational training schools she opened in Khandahar, where almost 1000 women were taught baking, tailoring and other skills.

    Ahmed-jan has also been fiercely critical of the repression of women during the Taliban rule, in a region that has remained conservative and emerged as a hotbed of the Taliban’s insurgent activity. Her requests for personal security guards and transport went unheeded by the government, according to local media reports, though her nephew, Muhammad Asif told the New York Times that Ahmed-jan preferred to keep a low profile and used a taxi or public transport even though her office maintained cars and drivers.

    Ahmed-jan was shot dead outside her house at about 7:30 a.m. local time (UTC+4:30) on Monday, as she left for work in a taxi. The gunmen are believed to have left scene on a motorcycle, and tyre marks have been found by the police, said the provincial governor Asadullah Khaled, who visited the scene of the attack.

    Ahmed-jan was shot four times with a pistol, Muhammad Haidar, who worked in her office told the New York Times. Mohammad Nader, the head nurse at Khandahar’s main hospital where Ahmed-jan was taken to, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that she was shot four times, including once in the head.

    She was about 65 years old.

    Accounts of the shooting are sketchy, several reports suggesting no one witnessed it. However, one man, identified as Allaudin told Al Jazeera that he saw two men on motorcycles waiting on the road, who attacked Ahmed-jan as she left her house.

    A spokesman for the Khandahar governor, Daud Ahmadi confirmed the death and said that Ahmed-jan had died on the spot. An investigation into the attack has begun, and local officials have blamed the Taliban.

    Hundreds of men and women, including the Governor Asadullah Khaled were present at Ahmed-jan’s funeral on Monday evening, which took place in Khandahar’s main Shia mosque.

    The killing has been strongly condemned by the Afghan President Hamid Karzai as well as aid and human rights organisations in Afghanistan.

    Aleem Siddique, a spokesman for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that UNAMA was “appalled at the senseless murder” of a woman who was working to ensure a full and equal part in the future of Afghanistan for its women. He added, “We share the sentiment of the majority of Afghan people who are appalled at this killing.”

    Abdul Quadar Noorzai, head of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) for the Khandahar region told IRIN News that Ahmed-jan’s death will have a “serious impact on women’s activities in the south where women are already suffering from … the deteriorating security and conservative traditions,”.

    Fariba Ahmedi, a woman MP from Khandahar who was present at Ahmed-jan’s funeral told the Associated Press, “The enemy of Afghanistan killed her, but they should know it will not derail women from the path we are on. We will continue on our way,”.

    Sonja Bachmann, a U.N. political officer who knew Ahmed-jan well told the New York Times that Ahmed-jan “did a good job, she worked in a very low-key way and worked hard to raise awareness about women’s issues.”

    Reuters and Associated Press received phone calls, claiming responsibility for the attacks on behalf of Mullah Sadullah, a regional Taliban commander, but no confirmation of the claim has been possible.

    Another caller, who identified himself as Taliban commander Mullah Hayat Khan told Al Jazeera that Ahmed-jan was killed because she worked for the government.

    The Taliban-led insurgency has stepped up attacks in recent months, killing hundreds of people this year.

    Last week, 19 Afghans working for reconstruction projects in the region were killed after their bus was ambushed.The Governor of Paktia province, a close associate of President Karzai, was killed in a suicide bombing on September 10.

    Attacks on schools have also been stepped up. According to the Afghan education ministry, there have been 158 attacks on schools this year, compared to 146 last year. The attacks on schools are believed to be due partly to the Taliban’s opposition to educating girls, as well as a way to undermine the Afghan government and it’s reconstruction efforts.

    Twelve suspected militants and two Afghan police officers were reported killed on Monday in separate incidents which also left eight others and a U.S. soldier wounded.

    “People are scared, of course,” Ahmad-jan’s co-worker Haidar said, “How can we feel secure when the head of our department is killed in front of her house?”

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    Search-and-rescue dog that found 9/11 survivor to be cloned

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    Search-and-rescue dog that found 9/11 survivor to be cloned
    Posted in Uncategorized | October 10th, 2021

    Thursday, July 3, 2008

    A German shepherd who recovered the last survivor of the September 11, 2001 attacks is to be cloned. His owner, James Symington, a former police officer from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada entered an essay writing contest about why his dog should be cloned.

    Trakr, the 15 year old German shepherd suffering from degenerative neurological disorder, was the subject of a contest-winning essay about why Trakr should be cloned that was written by Symington. Trakr and Symington received Humanitarian Service Awards from Jane Goodall for their heroics at Ground Zero. Symington is now an actor of film and television, sometimes credited as Peter James.

    BioArts International sponsored the essay-writing contest. Five more dogs are to be cloned by its Best Friends Again program. While Trakr will receive free replication, the other dogs will have to participate in an auction with a starting bid of US$100,000.

    BioArts is going to send the DNA of the 6 dogs to Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, South Korea. A Sooam researcher said that the dog should be born in November.

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    Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

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    Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away
    Posted in Uncategorized | October 9th, 2021

    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Buffalo, New York —A massive warehouse complex of at least 5 buildings caught on fire in Buffalo, New York on 111 Tonawanda Street, sending a plume of thick, jet black colored smoke into the air that could be seen as far away as 40 miles.

    As of 6:40 a.m., the fire was under control, and firefighters were attempting to stop it from spreading, but could not get to the center of the fire because of severe amounts of debris. Later in the morning, the fire was extinguished.

    “The fire is mostly under debris at this point. It’s under control, but it’s under some debris. We really can’t get to it. We’re just going to have to keep on pouring water on it so it doesn’t spread,” said Thomas Ashe, the fire chief for the North Buffalo based fire division who also added that at one point, at least 125 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. One suffered minor injures and was able to take himself to the hospital to seek medical attention.

    Shortly after 8:00 p.m. as many as 3 explosions rocked the warehouse sending large mushroom clouds of thick black smoke into the air. After the third explosion, heat could be felt more than 100 feet away. The fire started in the front, one story building then quickly spread to three others, but fire fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading onto the 3 story building all the way at the back.

    According to a Buffalo Police officer, who wished not to be named, the fire began at about 7:00 p.m. [Eastern time], starting as a one alarm fire. By 8:00 p.m., three fire companies were on the scene battling the blaze. Police also say that a smaller fire was reported in the same building on Saturday night, which caused little damage.

    At the start of the fire, traffic was backed up nearly 4 miles on the 198 expressway going west toward the 190 Interstate and police had to shut down the Tonawanda street exit because the road is too close to the fire.

    At one point, traffic on the 198 was moving so slow, at least a dozen people were seen getting out of their cars and walking down the expressway to watch the fire. That prompted as many as 10 police cars to be dispatched to the scene to force individuals back into their cars and close off one of the 2 lanes on the westbound side.

    One woman, who wished not to be named as she is close to the owner of the warehouse, said the building is filled with “classic cars, forklifts, and money” and that owner “does not have insurance” coverage on the property. The building is not considered abandoned, but firefighters said that it is vacant.

    Officials in Fort Erie, Ontario were also swamped with calls to fire departments when the wind blew the smoke over the Niagra River and into Canada.

    It is not known what caused the fire, but a car is suspected to have caught on fire and there are reports from police and hazmat crews, that there were also large barrels of diesel fuel being stored in one building. Firefighters say the cause of the blaze is being treated as “suspicious.” The ATF is investigating the fire and will bring dogs in to search the debris.

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