Friday, December 28, 2012

News Headlines (101) 21 December 2012




► Mayan Ceremony Marks End of Calendar Cycle. Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: A traditional Mayan ceremony at Guatemala's Temple of the Giant Jaguar marked the end of a cycle on the ancient Mayan calendar. The calendar has sparked numerous doomsday theories, although other Mayan calendars stretch far into the future. (Dec. 21)



► Boston Student Wins Miss Universe.  Published on Dec 20, 2012 ::  Boston University student Olivia Culpo was crowned Miss Universe Wednesday night in Las Vegas. She talks about almost tripping in her evening gown, the question she was asked by the judges, and comments on the Newtown tragedy. (Dec. 20)


► Biden: 'We Have to Take Action' on Gun Control.  Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: Vice President Joe Biden says the Obama administration is 'absolutely committed' to curbing gun violence in the United States and will push to tighten gun laws in response to last week's schoolhouse massacre in Connecticut. (Dec. 20) (VIDEO

► Boehner: Obama Not Standing Up to Democrats.  Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: House Speaker John Boehner says President Barack Obama is not standing up to his fellow Democrats as the clock ticks down on the dispute over the "fiscal cliff." (Dec. 20) (VIDEO)

► Susan Rice 'political liability for US administration'. Published on Dec 13, 2012 :: Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, has withdrawn her name for consideration for the position of US secretary of state. Rice was in the running to replace current Hillary Clinton who will step down from her post in January. The envoy, who is close to US President Barack Obama, had been the target of Republican attacks on the administration's handling of the raid on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11 this year. Al Jazeera's Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, said Rice has become "a huge political liability for the Obama administration" since the US consulate attack in Benghazi. 


► Putin held presidential End of Year Q& A Press Conference with 1,000+ journalists in Moscow. Published on Dec 20, 2012 by WestEndNews :: Moscow, Russia | December 20, 2012 :: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday held his traditional presidential end-of-year Q&A press conference with more than 1,000 journalists in Moscow. In a wide-ranging, four-hour discussion, the Russian president touched on topics both serious and silly, from Syria to doomsday.

Putin spoke about the Russian bill banning US citizens from adopting Russian children, which comes in response to the US Magnitsky Act that targets Russians accused of human rights violations. Vladimir Putin said, "I understand that this response from the State Duma is an emotionally-charged one, but I believe it is an adequate response."

He added,"The problem is that [the US] replaced one anti-Soviet law [the Jackson--Vanik amendment] with another one. They can't live without it... This certainly poisons our relationship."

Commenting on retiring and his future successor, Putin said it is the job of the citizens to choose the right person to lead. "I want future leaders of the country, including the president, to be even more successful. I believe though that if we compare this period with other periods of Russia's development, this period has been far from the worst. Perhaps it has been one of the best. I want though for future leaders of the country to be even more successful, luckier, because I love Russia."

On being asked to comment on the reduction of former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky's prison term, he said that there were certain amendments to the law, and probably grounds for taking the decision. He also added that the attempts to present it as a political case have nothing to do with the truth.

Commenting on Russia's entrance to the WTO, he said: "Are there challenges? Yes, there are. Are there advantages? There certainly are, particularly the systemic benefits related to the task of providing an investment-friendly environment, which we keep addressing today. It is very important for a prospective investor whether a host country is a member of the WTO or not. We have been the world's 157th nation to join the organization. Practically every fairly-developed market in the world is already there."

During his four-hour press conference, Putin also spoke on the Syrian crisis, corruption in the defense ministry, on his daughters' futures, as well as on doomsday and the French actor Gerard Depardieu's possible Russian citizenship.


► Keeping Traditional Russian Crafts Alive. Published on Dec 2, 2012 :: The Kursk Woodcrafts company was founded in the 1970s and its artists are preserving the Russian folk art of hand-painted wares. This video shows the processes that each decorated souvenir undergoes.







Believers ready for 'apocalypse'
Thousands of people have gathered at ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico and Central America in anticipation of what they believe will be the end of the world. 111
* Crowds gather for 'end of world' - VIDEO
* World's end, or new beginning?
► Tsunami survivor's impossible story hits the big screen. 21 December 2012  - Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor star in The Impossible, a film based on the true story of one family who were caught in the deadly Boxing Day tsunami eight years ago. On December 26 2004 a powerful earthquake off the Indonesian coast triggered a tsunami that devastated countries around the Indian Ocean, killing more than 230,000 people. The film - directed by Juan Antonio Bayona - is based on a story from one of the survivors, Maria Belon, a Spanish tourist who was lounging by a pool in Thailand along with her husband and three young sons when the tsunami hit. (VIDEO)

A novel twist on space launches

X-47B stealth drone targets new frontiers


Pocket-sized guides to flyer's rights





Putin: I know when world will end, not afraid of apocalypse. Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: As frenzied doomsayers around the world prepare for the apocalypse on December, 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin put his trust in science, saying at a yearly Q&A that the earth won't end for another 4.5 billion years, when the sun goes out  || NEWS



Pressing President: Putin grilled by journalists in Q&A marathon.  Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: Vladimir Putin has slammed America's human rights record, citing indefinite detention and sanctioned torture in overseas prisons. While speaking to journalists, the President also defended Moscow's response to Washington's decision to sanction Russian officials || NEWS 


War or prosperity? UK announces higher price tag for Afghan war while cutting vital social services  || VIDEO

House Republicans cancel 'fiscal cliff' vote, leaving decision to Obama and Senate 

Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too 

'End of the road' for ACTA in Europe as EC withdraws court appeal over treaty 

Greece abuses refugees, violates their human rights and EU law - Amnesty International 

Citizen drone warfare coming to the streets?

Air Force asks sports network to help analyze drone intelligence

Yes, Ma'am? United Russia deputy supports military draft for women

L a v r o v  to RT: "We are not in the business of regime change"


The G20, Russia and Syria, Nuclear Talks, Arms Sales, Missile Defense, Job Growth (2012). Published on Jul 20, 2012 by thefilmarchived



Ban on US adoptions is 'adequate reaction' - Putin 

New era in Russia-US trade relations : Obama scraps Jackson-Vanik amendment ( = The Jackson-Vanik amendment (Section 401, Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, P.L. 93-618) affects U.S. trade relations with communist or former communist countries that restrict freedom of emigration and other human rights. It was a response to the Soviet Union's "diploma taxes" levied on Jews attempting to emigrate. It was signed into law on January 3, 1975 by President Gerald Ford following a unanimous Congressional vote and continues to influence trade relations with a number of states. || english.ruvr.ru 

'If Depardieu wants Russian passport - it’s settled' - P u t i n

Facebook makes you fat

Merry Christmas from Nazi soldiers: Holiday letters reach their destinations 71 years late






► Inside Story Americas - The mental health versus gun control debate. Published on Dec 19, 2012 :: In the wake of the Newtown shooting, is the discourse on gun control being sidelined by a focus on mental healthcare? Shihab Rattansi on Inside Story Americas discusses with Ari Ne'eman, president and co-founder of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network; David Hemenway, and professor of Health Policy at Harvard University; Richard Friedman, professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College. (VIDEO)


Inside Story - South Korea: Which way forward? Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: It was a hard-fought contest between the conservative daughter of a former military ruler and the liberal son of North Korean refugees. What are the challenges ahead for South Korea? Guests: Kwang Ho-chun, John Swenson-Wright, Doug Bandow.


► The Stream : America after Newtown. Published on Dec 20, 2012 ::  Could Newtown unite a country deeply divided over gun control and mental health care? We look at reactions to the shooting at Sandy Hook. (VIDEO

► US gun control contends with state laws. Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: As more victims of the Newtown school shooting are laid to rest, there's been an increase in gun sales in some parts of the United States. President Barack Obama is promising stricter gun laws by early next year, but any federal effort could be at odds with laws in each state. Al Jazeera's John Hendren reports from Chicago. (VIDEO)


Fighters arriving in Syria from abroad. Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: The Syrian crisis may have begun simply as a battle to push President Assad out - but the two sides are increasingly split along sectarian lines. That is the assessment from UN investigators, who say fighters from around the world are arriving in Syria to take up arms for both sides. Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports.



► The Stream : Apocalypse No? Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: Will December 21st bring an end to the world? We look at why some insist on believing in apocalyptic scenarios. (VIDEO)


Russia's Putin backs US adoption ban. Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that a draft bill banning US adoptions of Russian children is a legitimate response to a new US law that calls for sanctions on Russians deemed to be human rights violators. But he has not committed to signing it. At his annual marathon news conference on Thursday he said that the measure, which has received preliminary approval in parliament, is also a response to an alleged US failure to protect the rights of adopted Russian children. Many Russians have been angered by cases of adopted children who have died or suffered abuse at the hands of their adopted parents. They also complain that US courts have been lax about punishing abusers. Robin Forestier Walker reports from Moscow.


Putin's character have a class, that's all. The Americans intended by Putin's definitely the white people, right? Well, it means, his basic emotions is not racist. He is just - in my opinion --- the type that if you slap somebody one time, then be prepared to be slapped once from somebody.

► 101 East - Indonesia's Killing Fields.  Published on Dec 20, 2012 :: Executioners from Indonesia's dark past speak out for the first time to reveal a chilling and bloody truth the country now has to face. 101 East speaks exclusively to some of those who participated in the systematic murder of millions. (VIDEO)





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There is no harm if we try to understand a quite behaviour from Susan Rice. A few days ago, Rice had shot her conscience about how dignity was upheld. She was unwilling to be nominated by Barack Obama to be the United States Secretary of State because it would threaten her dignity. Whereas, in fact, Rice is the strongest candidate to replace Hillary Clinton who will retire.

Rice might have imagined if she held the post, then it would be a bad precedent on her. She would be attacked by her political opponents, the Republican politician in the senate. Actually, it's just a normal thing in politics world. But, well, that is, Rice has behaved.

Republican resistance to Rice started from the statement which was considered problematic. Her comments about the armed attack to the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya -- which has killed Ambassador Chris Stevens as an action spontaneity after the release of anti-Muslim video -- was rated wrong.

Thus, rather than raise tensions about her candidacy, she asked Obama to cancel his intention. Rice did not want Obama to waste the energy to argue in implementing his agenda.

In terms of personality, Rice apparently trying to find a solution to the herself problem based on the truth of her belief. And, what she has decided was perceived as a reassuring resolution.

I can see her decision is truly sublime. Whereas in the U.S., the foreign minister is the most prestigious position, after the president/vice president. Rice puts her prestige on the most valuable position in her life.

She did not want her dignity was pawned and torn apart, just because the office or position. She chose --- if she was still trusted by Obama --- to remain in her old post, as the U.S. ambassador to the UN.

She upheld the dignity and resolved her problems with the approach of conscience. Solution with a conscience would be more transparent and closer to the truth than the settlement by logic and power of words or arguments.

Salute to you, ma'am.
***

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CZ

"Thank you for your perception! I like your romantic side, even if I do not always comment and I'm glad that you're in my circle of friends."
(Courtesies by: Wolfgang A. Gerhardt)

Wolfgang A.Gerhardt : May be you like this Sunday collage

Cisca Zarmansyah : Before today, there never was a person doing this to me. You create a simple matter to look special. This is a special thing for me.

Cisca Zarmansyah : Thank you. I love it. I love you, my friend.

CieL- FreYa Ceastle : Hmm, he's so nice...















"I am me.
In all the world,
there is no one else exactly like me.
Everything that comes out of me
is authentically mine,
because I alone chose it --
I own everything about me:
my body,
my feelings,
my mouth,
my voice,
all my actions,
whether they be to others or myself.
I own my fantasies,
my dreams,
my hopes,
my fears.
I own my triumphs and successes,
all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me,
I can become intimately acquainted with me.
By so doing,
I can love me
and be friendly with all my parts.
I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me,
and other aspects that I do not know
-- but as long as I am friendly
and loving to myself,
I can courageously and hopefully
look for solutions
to the puzzles and ways
to find out more about me.
However I look and sound,
whatever I say and do,
and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time
is authentically me.
If later some parts of how I looked,
sounded,
thought,
and felt
turn out to be unfitting,
I can discard that which is unfitting,
keep the rest,
and invent something new
for that which I discarded.
I can see,
hear,
feel,
think,
say, and do.
I have the tools to survive,
to be close to others,
to be productive,
and to make sense
and order out of the world of people
and things outside of me.
I own me,
and therefore,
I can engineer me.
I am me,
and I am okay."

VIRGINIA SATIR
(American Phychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)