No more advertisements for bras, sexy undies, sex toys, or related items in China. That goes for "llegal 'sexual medication' advertisements and other harmful ads [which] pose a grave threat to society." The sex police say, "no more for you!"
BEIJING - China has banned television and radio ads for push-up bras, figure-enhancing underwear and sex toys in the communist government’s latest move to purge the nation’s airwaves of what it calls social pollution.
Regulators have already targeted ads using crude or suggestive language, behavior, and images, tightening their grip on television and radio a few weeks ahead of a twice-a-decade Communist Party congress at which some new senior leaders will be appointed.
The latest move by the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television, or SARFT, also bans advertisements for sexual aids such as tonics that claim to boost performance in bed.
The notice indicated that regulators were concerned about both lascivious imagery and outrageous or insupportable claims about some products' benefits or effectiveness. [snip]
China has already also issued strict rules for TV talent shows, including the banning of "American Idol"-style mass audience voting by mobile phone text message or the Internet. [snip]
Regulators have also banned television shows about cosmetic surgery and sex changes, and a talent show that they deemed coarse. (AP via Peace and Freedom II)
That sounds like Iran rather than China. Now, on to other/more serious news:
Kingdom Urges New Approach to Middle East, Arab News
Addressing the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal said the Israeli occupation of Arab territories was the main reason for the spread of extremism and terrorism in the region.
“Current circumstances in the Middle East are extremely dangerous. The Israeli occupation of Arab land continues to transform the whole region into multiple crisis zones (more)
A state of denial about the real Middle East? A forced effort to salvage Bush's legacy? A stubborn determination to persist with flawed policies? What to make of Condi Rice's spin (such as here and here) in New York this week, as she rallied support for Bush's proposed international meeting on the Middle East and laid down her narrative of what the administration has accomplished in the region thus far. (more)
Figuring out where you stand in the confusing, semi-factual, frequently context-free torrent of charges and counter-charges [against the IDF/military] is hard for some to do. But absolutely essential if we’re going to stop terror. (more)
Memetically, Islam is a very successful memeplex (group of memes). Several embedded memes help make it so. For example:
If Muslims drift away from Mohammed's teachings, God will end the world. That makes converting others and promoting Islam a matter of survival. It also motivates Muslims, as Lynch points out, "to dissuade each other from losing faith." (more)
Let’s start with this: Iran is a threat. Iran has long harbored ambitions of expanding its influence in the Middle East, and the destruction of Iraq removed the biggest barrier to their goals. Iran is the leader of the Shi’ite world, a part of Islam much smaller than the majority Sunni, but also a group whose people happen to be situated in several countries (Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq) on top of large oil deposits. (more)
... they [ Iran] have legitimate interests in the region could go a long way toward calming the place down. But Iran has to accept that the U.S. has interests, too, and those need to be taken into account as well. If the U.S. steps away from the zero-sum politics of the last 28 years, then Iran has a responsibility to do so as well. (more)
This is most forcefully demonstrated by the fact that after Muhammad’s flight [from Mecca to Medina], Muhammad revelations take on a vastly more political tone (almost to the point of legal minutiae) and a much more intolerant tone (as, being the indisputed leader, he no longer had to tolerate or appease anyone). (more)
Iran is not a dictatorship. It's an oligarchy with certain aspects of democracy, including meaningful elections and a meaningful parliament with some real power. Sort of a hybrid system. It is true that, as the Iran-is-not-so-bad posters have it, women vote and have full political rights, and there are Jews and Christians and Zoroastrians in parliament. Ultimately, however, power rests with the Supreme Religious Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and the Guardian Council (which can overrule the parliament and which must approve all candidates for the presidency.) (more)
Since most U.S. military services, formerly carried out by the U.S. military itself, are now privatized and handled by U.S. corporations using mostly non-Iraqi and non-U.S. citizens, much and possibly most Iraqi spending will go to them. Much of this spending will go to services that never get done or are done with much greater cost than was previously accomplished by U.S. military workers: (more)
The Israelis attacked a nuclear research facility at Dir a-Zour! Nowhere else but here on this blog and at two links only will you find Dir A-Zour listed on Google. Wikipedia has nothing at all on Dir a-Zour. The other Google link refers to the area as a source of oil exports and a “research facility”. A search for Syrian oil resources, research, exports and so on produces absolutely no mention of Dir a-Zour! (more)
Yesterday I reported that The US State Department was funding a business training course for middle east residents, run by the University of California (no surprise there). This program was initially open to citizens of "Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel (limited to Israeli Arab citizens), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, West Bank/Gaza and Yemen." (read it all)
Even though encounters with the microscopic bug are extraordinarily rare, it's killed six boys and young men this year. The spike in cases has health officials concerned, and they are predicting more cases in the future.
"This is definitely something we need to track," said Michael Beach, a specialist in recreational waterborne illnesses for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"This is a heat-loving amoeba. As water temperatures go up, it does better," Beach said. "In future decades, as temperatures rise, we'd expect to see more cases."
According to the CDC, the amoeba called Naegleria fowleri (nuh-GLEER-ee-uh FOWL'-erh-eye) killed 23 people in the United States, from 1995 to 2004. This year health officials noticed a spike with six cases — three in Florida, two in Texas and one in Arizona. The CDC knows of only several hundred cases worldwide since its discovery in Australia in the 1960s.
In Arizona, David Evans said nobody knew his son, Aaron, was infected with the amoeba until after the 14-year-old died on Sept. 17. At first, the teen seemed to be suffering from nothing more than a headache.
"We didn't know," Evans said. "And here I am: I come home and I'm burying him."
After doing more tests, doctors said Aaron probably picked up the amoeba a week before while swimming in the balmy shallows of Lake Havasu, a popular man-made lake on the Colorado River between Arizona and California.
Though infections tend to be found in southern states, Naegleria lives almost everywhere in lakes, hot springs, even dirty swimming pools, grazing off algae and bacteria in the sediment.
Beach said people become infected when they wade through shallow water and stir up the bottom. If someone allows water to shoot up the nose — say, by doing a somersault in chest-deep water — the amoeba can latch onto the olfactory nerve.
The amoeba destroys tissue as it makes its way up into the brain, where it continues the damage, "basically feeding on the brain cells," Beach said. (By CHRIS KAHN, Associated Press Writer)
Not at all related, but probably of much more interest than the brain eating amoeba:
IDIOTS!!! "Israeli-made bullets bought by the U.S. Army to plug a shortfall should be used for training only, not to fight Muslim guerrillas in Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. lawmakers told Army generals on Thursday." via Useful Fools:
Since the Army has other stockpiled ammunition, “by no means, under any circumstances should a round (from Israel) be utilized,” said Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii, the top Democrat on a House of Representatives Armed Services subcommittee with jurisdiction over land forces.
[ … ]
Although the Army should not have to worry about “political correctness,” Abercrombie was making a valid point about the propaganda pitfalls of using Israeli rounds in the U.S.-declared war on terror, said Rep. Curt Weldon, the Pennsylvania Republican who chairs the subcommittee on tactical air and land forces.
“There’s a sensitivity that I think all of us recognize,” Weldon told the Army witnesses, including Maj. Gen. Buford Blount, who led the U.S. Third Infantry Division that captured Baghdad in April 2003.
By their fruits we shall know them and so we know them. As desperate as State is for translators, that won't hire Jews that speak Arabic. And now this. YidwithLid has the full story. Throughout history State has abetted evil and abandoned American interests.
Where was the ACLU? How come Congressman Ellison isn't screaming about profiling. Here we go again with another example of how the PC police only cares when things are convenient for them. According to Israel National News. The US State Department was funding a business training course for middle east residents, run by the University of California (no surprise there). This program was initially open to citizens of "Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Israel (limited to Israeli Arab citizens), Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, West Bank/Gaza and Yemen."
That was of course until an Israeli Jew you checked the program out. When she saw the biased criteria, she took action via emails, and publicized this issue enough that individuals and journalists became interested too, leading to the changes made by the Beyster Institute.
(IsraelNN.com) A U.S. State Department-funded University of California program which provides business training for residents of the Middle East specifically excluded Israeli Jews - until Jewish journalists protested.
The University of California has now altered the program's eligibility requirement that initially barred Israeli Jews. The turnaround in policy also may have saved the State Department, whose Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) finances the program, from having to provide an embarrassing explanation. MEPI also selects the participants. [snip]
Israeli Jews originally were excluded despite the program’s stated advantage as "an important cultural exchange." Fuller did not explain the initial "confusion" in barring Israeli Jews.
The programs are to be held in Jordan, Egypt and Morocco, all of which have relations with Israel.
Following the e-mail complaints to Beyster, the US Embassy of Yemen online document which announces the program was down for more than a day until the words "limited to Israeli Arab citizens" were deleted. [View the document announcing the program by clicking here. When prompted with "Do you want to open or save this file," click on "Open."] (more)
I did not give the link for the above-mentioned file, because "the document from the State Department’s web site apparently contains a virus called the “tibs dialer.” It’s now removed for that reason." via YID With LID
. . . until the U.N. nuclear agency reports on Tehran's disclosure of its past suspicious nuclear work at the end of the year, France's foreign minister said Thursday.
Bernard Kouchner said France, the United States and Britain are trying to persuade the Russians and Chinese not to wait to consider a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would toughen sanctions on Iran for defying council demands to suspend uranium enrichment.
But he said he did not think the council would be able to take up a new sanctions resolution until after December, when the International Atomic Energy Agency's report is due.
"I think that it would be very difficult to convince the Russians and the Chinese before," Kouchner told reporters at a breakfast meeting. "We'll do our best to convince them, but honestly, the position was difficult to tackle."
Earlier in the day, Russia's foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, told Russian news agencies that new sanctions would undermine the IAEA's work.
"The U.N. Security Council measures on Iran should be balanced and respond to the steps taken by Tehran itself that obliged to answer all questions," Lavrov was quoted as saying by ITAR-Tass and RIA-Novosti.
On missile defense averting war with Iran:
"Our intent is to address emerging threats in the Middle East," U.S. Assistant Secretary of State John Rood said in an interview with The Associated Press during a visit to London to attend a conference on defense trade. "Countries like Iran are developing long-range missile systems. And we're concerned not only about the emerging capability but of the hostile intent from countries in the region."
Washington plans to place a radar facility in the Czech Republic and a battery of up to 10 interceptor missiles in Poland. The European sites would be added to two other interceptor sites — in California and Alaska — that are primarily in place to counter a threat from North Korea.
Moscow objects to the plans, saying the system is meant for spying on Russia. (more)
Texas Fred emailed me this image today. He says, FEAR THIS !!!
The dead al-Qaeda leader, Abu Usama al-Tunisi, a Tunisian described as a in line to succeed Abu Ayyub al-Masri, Al-Qaeda in Iraq's Egyptian leader -- DEAD -- killed in a US air strike in Iraq. The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist. He won't need any ACLU supplied attorneys. That's right, the ACLU is providing FREE attorneys for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other Gitmo detainees. As Stop the ACLU says, "Nothing but the best for our enemies!"
Tunisi also led a cell in Yusifiyah that kidnapped and killed two US soldiers June 16, 2006 -- Kristian Menchaca, 23, and Thomas Tucker, 25, according to Anderson.
"Abu Usama al-Tunisi was one of the most senior leaders within Al-Qaeda in Iraq," said Anderson, the chief of staff of Multi-National Corps Iraq.
The general said the September 25 strike that killed al-Tunisi was a "significant blow" to al Qaeda in Iraq, which he said has been severely disrupted by US operations and may now be reassessing its position in Iraq.
He said his opinion was that Al-Qaeda will shift its forces from Iraq to Afghanistan, and try to expand its operations there.
"All we can tell you is that by numbers and how the groups are operating in very remote locations and not collaboratively they're fractured, ruptured, mitigated here. And the question becomes, where would they go? What would they do?" he said.
Anderson detailed a series of raids this month in Baghdad, Mahmudiyah, Yusufiyah and Musayyib in which scores of suspects were detained and nearly 20 others killed. Among those captured were other associates of Tunisi. (more at AFP)
Wal-Mart is expanding it's very popular and successful prescription drug program. Its $4-a-month generic drug program "is adding about seven new compounds including generic versions of the widely used heart medication Coreg and the anti-fungal drug Lamisil." (NYT)
The company said it would also sell a month’s supply of two popular birth control medications and a fertility drug for $9 each, a move meant to lure young women shoppers to the store. The company said it decided to offer those drugs at $9 because they would not have been profitable at $4.
While the additional drugs seem likely to attract some new pharmacy shoppers to Wal-Mart, the changes are more an incremental move than a broad expansion of the company’s $4 drug program.
In all, the company said its $4 generic plan would now total 361 prescriptions, an increase of about 30 prescriptions. Because those include different formulations of the same compound, the number of different drugs in the program is actually less than 160.
The company said its $4 program now covered about 40 percent of the prescription drugs sold at its Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Neighborhood Market pharmacies.
The program’s expansion was announced a year after Wal-Mart introduced its $4 generic plan, which has been copied by other retailers. Government economists recently credited those pricing plans with contributing to a slowdown of inflation in the Consumer Price Index for prescription drugs. (more)
This should be a good thing. Wal-Mart should be getting praise for this program. I know Wal-Mart is the evil empire to some, but what about some kind words when they do something good like this?
Sept 24 2007 -- PRETORIA, South
Africa. NASA satellite images show that all of southern Africa is becoming a
devastated landscape -- stripped bare of all vegetation.
Especially Zimbabwe but also its borders with South Africa
and Mozambique have been stripped of nearly all its trees, and in some places,
even the grass is gone.
due to the fact that millions of Zimbabweans (pop.14-million) are now so
chronically hungry that they have stripped the entire landscape of everything
edible - first the wildlife, livestock and edible field-foods, and now they are
even eating the bark from the trees and setting alight the veldt to hunt fleeing
rodents. More than 4-milllion Zimbabweans have already fled to neighbouring
countries, mostly to South Africa, where they are forced to live rough, without
any aid agencies to help feed or house them.
latest NASA images show the thousands of bush fires and the grey smoke which is
covering the whole of Southern Africa.
fires have been burning for months already and in South Africa, many are still
smouldering underground local farmers warn -- flaring up again as soon as dry
leaves and branches provide fresh tinder.
Mozambique and Zambia, where there is still something left to burn, the veld
fires are still raging.
continues to promote its exports to Iran, despite the Holocaust denial and
threats to annihilate Israel from Iran’s president, Mahmoud
to Iran have been covered by government guarantees. In 2005, Iran was fifth
among nations benefiting from such guarantees, according to the “Österreichische
an effective sanctions regime by a “coalition of the willing” that would go
current U.N. Security Council resolutions. The government even intends to grant
new Hermes export credit guarantees for trade with Iran. “There are no recent
changes with respect to loan guarantees for German exports to Iran. … According
to the German Minister for Economy … Iran related export credit guarantees are
still available,” the semi-official Nachrichten für den Außenhandel (News for
Foreign Trade) wrote in February 2007:. The “Österreichische Kontrollbank” put
out the same message on the very same day: cover for export credits would
continue to be available.
This year, the
Vienna-based company OMV signed a letter of intent to complete a joint natural
gas project in Iran (for more details, see below).
officials have made clear that they have no plans to reverse their expanding
economic ties with Iran
In June 2007,
Austria’s Economy Minister, Martin Bartenstein, described Iran as a significant
source of energy supply to Europe, stressing the importance of energy
2003, Bartenstein, announced that Iran became Austria’s most important trade
partner in Southern Asia. He added that this position should be tightened and
strengthened in the future.1
President of Austria’s Chamber of Commerce added: “What can not be connected
through politics can be connected through trade and
officials have returned the favor:
2006, the President of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce, M. Kamoushi emphasized
that: “Austria for us is the gate to the European Union.”
of Finance and Economic Affairs, Davoud Danesh Ja'fari, underlined Iran's
strategic position in the Middle East and Austria's unique position in Europe,
calling for enhancement of mutual economic
policy of strengthened economic ties with Iran is a stab in the back for Iranian
student and human rights groups, because a policy of “change through trade” is
very unlikely to change the behavior of Tehran’s radical regime.
Joint Natural Gas Project With Iran
On April 21,
2007, the Vienna-based company OMV signed a letter of intent to complete a joint
natural gas project in Iran.
according to OMV, will go toward the development of part of the South Pars gas
field in the Persian Gulf, a liquefaction facility as well as subscriber
agreements for liquefied natural gas.
company did not release any information about the size of the investment, the
Standard reported that the contract with NIOC is valued at nearly 22 billion
Euros during the next 25 years.4
in Iran began with the signature of an exploration contract for the Mehr block
with the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) in May 2001.
Here are some
key facts about OMV:
largest listed industrial company
largest oil company
production activities in 18 countries on five continents
35% stake in
Borealis A/S 50% stake in AMI Agrolinz International GmbH 10% stake in the
Hungarian MOL group 45% stake in BAYERNOIL Raffineriegesellschaft mbH 50% stake
in EconGas GmbH 51% stake in Petrom SA 34% stake in the Turkis Petrol
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