Dubai news station Al-Aan claims that it received video of Muammar Gaddafi’s funeral somewhere in the Sahara Desert. The video also appears to show both former Libyan dictator and his son inside caskets.
The funeral reportedly took place Tuesday at a secret location.
Muammar Gaddafi’s family is reportedly planning to sue NATO in the International Military Court. Gaddafi’s family cited “war crime charges” which they believe led to the late leader’s death last Thursday, according to the Agence France-Presse.
October 27, 2011
October 26, 2011
The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said it will sue SeaWorld for allegedly holding orca whales as slaves "in violation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution."Read it all here.
The federal lawsuit calls for SeaWorld to release three orca whales in San Diego and two in Orlando. PETA says the orcas (also known as killer whales), are, by definition, slaves.
The lawsuit will be filed in a San Diego court Wednesday.
"All five of these orcas were violently seized from the ocean and taken from their families as babies. They are denied freedom and everything else that is natural and important to them while kept in small concrete tanks and reduced to performing stupid tricks," said PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk in a statement. "The 13th Amendment prohibits slavery, and these orcas are, by definition, slaves."
SeaWorld officials called the lawsuit "baseless" and an offensive publicity stunt. [...]
Former Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi's capture and subsequent death last Thursday was met with tremendous joy. Qaddafi, without a doubt, was an evil tyrant who terrorized his people for 42 years.Read it all here.
The late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat characterized Muammar Qaddafi as the "madman" of Tripoli for his reckless, violent behavior. Prior to the bombing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, Qaddafi's government funded dozens of terror organizations in the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. His fomentation of violence ranged from the Philippines to India. Reports during fighting over the last months indicated that Qaddafi distributed Viagra to his troops so that they could rape more women. Dissidents were captured and charged with trumped up crimes. One such case that received international attention involved Eman al-Obeidy, the woman who became a symbol of Libyan resistance when she fought back against the government for suggesting she was "insane" or a prostitute after she accused 15 of Qaddafi's troops of gang raping her.
But, despite the triumph over Tripoli's flamboyantly-clad despot, will Libya move from bad to worse? And will the West, which supported Qaddafi's ouster, lose face if the immediate power vacuum in Libya is filled by Islamic totalitarian entities?
The very manner in which Qaddafi was executed can only be described as a vulgar lynching, casting doubt over the likelihood that a post-Qaddafi Libya can maintain a semblance of democracy. On the one hand, such a violent human being was literally dealt the same fate he had bestowed upon so many others. However, not surprisingly, the violation of international standards has been met with calls for an international inquiry—justifiable when one considers Qaddafi did not appear to resist capture. Would it not have been preferable for Libyans to see Qaddafi humiliated in a court of law for his crimes against humanity?
It's worth noting that since civil war broke in Libya, reports, sometimes underplayed in the Western press, documented the Libyan rebels' ties to Islamic totalitarian organizations and their penchant for summary killings. Most recently, 53 decomposing bodies of Qaddafi loyalists found in Sirte reconfirm reports that the rebels are no more humane than Qaddafi's Viagra warriors. [...]
More than half of the adult population is overweight or obese in Los Angeles County. Statistics show that low-income areas in Los Angeles are at higher risk for preventable diseases linked to obesity, including, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and even cancer.Read it all here.
Experts say that poorer communities around Los Angeles have less access to healthy foods.
"Being able to have access to healthy foods is very compromised in these communities," said Karen Lincoln, associate director of the USC Roybal Institute. "If people want to eat healthier they have to have access to healthy foods."
Lincoln notes that health disparities exist in various groups, with African-Americans and Hispanics at a higher risk of diseases linked to poor nutrition habits.
"There's a saying if you know someone's zip code, you know their health," said Lincoln. "It's very clear when you look at Los Angeles County."
In 2007 the Department of Public Health and the American Diabetes Association of Los Angeles found that 22% of residents suffer from obesity--up from 14.3% in 1997.
The epidemic of childhood obesity is also growing, which means that health care providers will be dealing with more chronic, debilitating diseases in the future. [...]
October 21, 2011
Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s 42-year rule came to a violent end on Thursday when rebels apparently killed the leader in his hometown of Sirte.Read it all here.
The Gaddafi regime, which gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003, has a long history of terror not limited to the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
The late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat characterized Muammar Gaddafi as a “madman” for his reckless, violent behavior. For decades Gaddafi’s government funded dozens of terror organizations in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Gaddafi's fomentation of violence has ranged from the Philippines to India. He was also no stranger to extreme anti-Jewish attitudes, which prompted a remaining minority population of Libyan Jews to flee.
Gaddafi, who often referred to his enemies as vermin, was ironically captured in a sewage tunnel in his hometown.
“He called us rats, but look where we found him,” Ahmed Al Sahati, a 27-year-old fighter, told Reuters.
A video captured the last few minutes of Gaffafi’s life, showing angry rebels dragging him while chanting “Allahu Akbar” (“God is Great”).
In another video, Gaddafi appears to be dead as rebels forcibly remove his clothes and kick him. The details are still murky, as the videos provide only a brief glimpse and don’t show who pulled the trigger. But what is clear is that Gaddafi died the same way he lived—violently. [...]
A coalition of 45 human rights groups are calling on the United Nations to apologize for granting Libya’s recently deceased leader Muammar Gaddafi influential posts at the UN. Gaddafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, was killed on Thursday by rebels after surviving a NATO airstrike in his hometown of Sirte, according to reports.Read it all here.
"It’s time for the UN to formally apologize for having legitimized Gaddafi’s regime by electing Libya to its Human Rights Council last year, to the Security Council in 2008-2009, and as General Assembly president in 2009," said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based organization.
UN Watch specifically called on UN chief Ban Ki-moon and human rights commissioner Navi Pillay "to acknowledge the UN was wrong to support Gaddafi by granting him key posts on its most influential bodies."
The appeal calls out Jean Ziegler from the UNHRC Advisory Committee who helped to create the Muammar Gaddafi Prize for Human Rights in 1989. According to UN Watch, a Swiss TV report confirmed Ziegler’s role in creating the Gaddafi prize and described it as "an instrument of propaganda for the dictator." [...]
Patricia McAllister, a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) substitute teacher, was fired from her job earlier this week over anti-Jewish comments she made at the Occupy Los Angeles protest.Read it all here.
"The Zionist Jews who are running these big banks and the Federal Reserve, which is not run by the Federal Government, they need to be run out of this country," said McAllister who identified herself as a LAUSD employee during an interview with Reason.tv. The short clip went viral quickly.
McAllister made similar comments in a later interview with Fox 11.
"Jews have been run out of 109 countries throughout history, and we need to run them out of this one," she told Fox 11.
In a statement LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy condemned McAllister’s remarks, acknowledging "freedom of speech rights of public employees" but noting that she is an "at-will" employee. [...]
October 13, 2011
Academy Award-winning actress Hillary Swank said Thursday that she regrets attending an Oct. 5 gala featuring Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, who human rights activitsts say utilizes terror tactics to stifle dissent in the Russian republic.Read it all here.
"I deeply regret attending this event, which has thrown into question my long and deeply-held commitment to the protection of human rights. I would never intentionally do anything that raised doubts about such commitment,” said Swank. “I will continue to donate my time and my financial resources not only to the charities with which I am currently affiliated, but also those dedicated to the preservation of human rights.”
Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organization, criticized the celebrities who attended Kadyrov's bash.
"Ramzan Kadyrov is linked to a grim record of abuse," said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a press release. "When stars get paid to turn up to party with him, it trivializes the suffering of countless victims of human rights abuses."
A representative for Swank told TheWrap that the star plans to donate money she earned by attending Kadyrov’s party.
"She is donating her personal appearance fees from this event to various charitable organizations," Swank’s spokesperson said Thursday. [...]
The chief executive of Solyndra, who invoked his right against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions from angry lawmakers on Capitol Hill last month, has resigned amid scandal over a $535 million federal loan that was given to the struggling company.Read more here.
Papers filed in a Delaware bankruptcy court Tuesday noted that that Brian Harrison, the former CEO, resigned last Friday and asked to hire R. Todd Nielson from the California-based Berkeley Research Group LLC.
Nielson, a high-profile bankruptcy expert, acted as the bankruptcy trustee for boxer Mike Tyson and the rap label Death Row Records, according to the court filing.
Solyndra said it expected Harrison's resignation before the FBI raided its Fremont offices in California last month. Harrison became Solyndra’s CEO in July 2010. He and other company officials are accused of hiding the fact the solar company was struggling.
The scandal surrounding the company has only escalated in recent weeks. [...]
Despite a gloomy global economic outlook, Google Inc. has managed to surpass earning estimates for the third quarter. Google’s quarterly earnings show that the company’s revenue has risen to 33 percent while net income grew to 26 percent, surpassing—even surprising—analysts' expectations.Read it all here.
"We had a great quarter,” said Google CEO Larry Page in a statement. Page also said people are “flocking” to Google+, a social networking application that recently passed the 40 million users mark.
Google’s net revenue rose to $7.51 billion while estimates were at around $7.31 billion—$200 million more than analysts predicted. The company’s acquisition costs were $2.21 billion.
Google also managed to add 2,585 new employees during the last quarter, bringing the company’s total to 31,353. [...]
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said they will continue to protest the city of Glendale's float, which features a depiction of a circus elephant, for the 2012 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade.Read it all here.
Animal activists are pointing to inhumane treatment of elephants in the circus. They say the name of the float, "Just Imagine the Music, Fun, and Freedom," presents a misleading idea of what circus animals endure.
"These chained and beaten animals enjoy no freedom and have no fun; theirs is a life of misery and torment. This is like changing the name of the slave novel 'Roots' to 'Fun and Freedom,'" said David Perle, a senior media coordinator for PETA, in an email.
Perle added that city officials are inviting "national embarrassment by cozying up to such a horrifically cruel industry."
Glendale City officials considered altering the float design during an Aug. 30 council meeting. Glendale's Mayor Laura Friedman suggested the design could be altered to feature an elephant in the wild. Another council member, Rafi Manoukian, suggested featuring a disclaimer. [...]
October 6, 2011
The official in charge of the U.S. Energy Department's loan program that promised a $535 million federal loan to Solyndra, a now-bankrupt solar company, announced he was resigning Thursday. Jonathan Silver, the former head of the Loan Programs Office, will now join the group Third Way, according to Fox News.Read it all here."The career change comes in the middle of heavy scrutiny from Congress over the department's handling of the Solyndra agreement. Documents that have emerged over the past month show officials were warned about potential problems with the company as it sought government help."
Silver was sharply criticized during a House subcommittee three weeks ago.
White House e-mails unveiled this week also showed Energy Department officials were concerned about monitoring of the loan program. Energy Secretary Steven Chu accepted responsibility for decisions made about Solyndra.
Officials said Silver has decided to leave his position as head of the Loan programs Office in July. [...]
Vice President Joe Biden compared Occupy Wall Street protesters to Tea Party members on Wednesday, arguing both groups are driven by middle-class discontent.Read it all here.
“What is the core of that protest, and why is it increasing in terms of the people its attracting? The core is that the bargain has been breached with the American people,” said Biden at a Washington Ideas Forum. “The core is that the American people do not think the system is fair or on the level."
Biden also criticized Bank of America for their new policy which will charge a $5 monthly debit card fee.
“At a minimum, they are incredibly tone deaf. At a minimum,” Biden said about Bank of America. “At a maximum, they are not paying their fair share of the bargain here. And middle-class people are getting killed.”
Earlier on Wednesday President Obama empathized with Wall Street protesters. [...]
A video posted on Tuesday shows a young man spewing anti-Semitic rhetoric at an observer of the Occupy Wall Street protests in Zuccotti Park. The protester mocked the older Jewish man and told him to “go back to Israel.”Read it all here.
National Review correspondent Charles Cooke explained what happened:Moments after I arrived, I saw a Jewish gentleman being berated when he criticized a protester. (Shortly after my video camera was switched off, he (inexplicably) shouted the N-word at the same man.)
Here's the video:
The event appears to be the second anti-Semitic incident captured on video at an “Occupy Wall Street” protest. [...]
October 5, 2011
Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, arguably one of the world’s most revolutionary inventors, passed away Wednesday. Jobs was 56. He died surrounded by his family, according to a statement.Read it all here.
Jobs was a master innovator even throughout a debilitating illness. Perhaps that — his unwillingness to let his illness stop him from creating — is one of the reasons he is such an inspiration.
In 2004 Jobs fought against a rare form of pancreatic cancer. In 2009, he underwent a liver transplant, ultimately stepping down on Aug. 24, 2011 as Apple’s chief executive due to health issues.
“I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple's CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs’ resignation letter read. [...]
October 3, 2011
Bacteria-powered fuel cells created by a team of University of Southern California scientists have very practical, self-sustaining applications that can save some U.S. city services millions, Geobiologist Kenneth H. Nealson, the Wrigley Chair in Environmental Studies at USC, said at a meeting last week.Read it all here.
Nealson is working with the City of San Diego's Environmental Services Department, which is responsible for costly waste management services.
"We believe we can take their system and make it one-tenth the size," said Nealson. "That would save them on the order of $80 million a year."
Nealson said the waste could be cycled without creating any sewage sludge. [...]
Los Angeles is often perceived as the land of perpetual youth. The Sunset Strip is filled with aspiring models and actors, some beyond their prime, perfectly coiffed, with sprayed on tans and face-lifts galoreRead more here.
There is a sense of trepidation people feel about aging, so it's hardly surprising so many of us try to delay it as long as possible. Yet we can't ignore that our population is now aging faster than ever before.
"There seems to be a sort of fear, if you will, of aging," said Valentine Villa, a Cal State Los Angeles Social Work professor and the director of the Applied Gerontology Institute. "In aggregate we are doing better in terms of health, in terms of socioeconomic status. We've been living longer."
However, there are shortcomings. [...]
American college student Amanda Knox, convicted by an Italian court of killing her roommate Meredith Kercher, successfully appealed her murder conviction and was ordered immediately released from prison on Monday.Read it all here.
Knox, 24, nearly collapsed as the verdict was read. She has been in prison for nearly four years.
Raffaele Sollecito, Knox's former boyfriend, was also found not guilty. Knox, however, monopolized most of the headlines in Italy and abroad.
A Perugia court found Knox and Sollecito guilty in 2009 of sexually assaulting and murdering Kercher, a British student, in the apartment shared by Knox and Kercher. Prosecutors argued Sollecito held Kercher while Knox stabbed her and another man, Rudy Guede, attempted to rape Kercher. [...]