Monday, March 08, 2010

Vice President Biden arrives in Israel with Jill.

There is a lot going on.

Arrival at Ben Gurion International airport

Last update - 21:54 08/03/2010
Israel and U.S. launch indirect peace talks (click title to entry - thank you)
By Natasha Mozgavaya, Haaretz Correspondent and Haaretz Service

...The United States announced earlier Monday that Israel and the Palestinians have formally agreed to indirect peace negotiations brokered by its special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell.

Mitchell, who is visiting the region along with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, said in a statement that he was "pleased" the two sides had accepted the proposal that will see him shuttle between Israel and the Palestinian territories over the next several weeks.

"We've begun to discuss the structure and scope of these talks and I will return to the region next week to continue our discussions," Mitchell said. "As we've said many times, we hope that these will lead to direct negotiations as soon as possible.

In his statement, Mitchell appealed to the two sides to be careful and void any actions that might jeopardize the talks....

Israel to allow UN chief to visit Gaza Strip (click here)

Ban, EU foreign affairs chief Ashton will be able to visit Strip, which has been under Israeli blockade since 2007

Roni Sofer


03.08.10, 21:38 / Israel News

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided Monday to grant a request by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and European Union High Representative of Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton to enter the Gaza Strip. According to the ministry's statement, the two wish to "closely monitor" humanitarian efforts in the Strip.

Israel has denied senior officials' visits to Gaza in the past, claiming that such visits could strengthen the Hamas regime and legitimize it.

A spokesman for Ashton gave the news a cautious welcome. "As you know the high representative has expressed her wish to go to Gaza and has been in discussions with the Israeli authorities about facilitating this visit," the spokesman said in Strasbourg.

"It is true that the Israeli government has so far reacted positively to this request. We are continuing to work on the final program for the trip and are continuing to talk with the Israeli government in relation to this."...

PLO forms negotiations committee (click here)
Published yesterday (updated) 08/03/2010 (March 8, 2010) 21:37
Ramallah - Ma'an - The PLO has announced the creation of a Supreme National Committee on Monday to discuss developments in US-brokered proximity talks with Israel.

Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muheisin said on Monday that the body would be formed under the auspices of Fatah, and would be comprised of leaders within the PLO and other national movements.

Although the movement is forming the new committee, it will be supported by the PLO at large, Muheisin told Palestine Radio. He added that Fatah was discussing the matter with other Palestinian factions....

Iran allows China to drill in the Gulf (click here)


WASHINGTON: Iran and China have signed an agreement to allow China to set up an oil rig in the Gulf despite increasing international calls to enforce tougher sanctions against Iran.

In a deal worth $143 million between the Iranian North Drilling Company and China Petroleum Technology Development Corporation, the latter will be allowed to drill for oil in the Gulf, according to the official Iranian news agency Press TV.

"In recent months with the Chinese US bilateral problems, China is using Iran as a leverage against the US and not complying with the (United Nations) Security Council in applying sanctions against Iran," Mehrdad Khonsari, Senior Research Consultant, Center for Arab and Iranian Studies in London, told The Media Line.

"The story is that in the field of oil China has become a vital part of the Iranian oil sector," he added. "China has previously signed deals for oil exploration on land that was taken over by Japan who backed out over Western pressure."

According to Press TV, China has commitments of more than $80 billion in the country's energy sector, receiving more than 15 percent of its oil from Iran....

France seizes 35 Somali 'pirates' (click here)

Page last updated at 12:58 GMT, Monday, 8 March 2010

The French navy has captured 35 piracy suspects off Somalia's coast - hailing it as the most successful mission since EU operations began in 2008.

French officials said four mother ships and six smaller boats had been seized in four operations since last Friday.

EU forces used helicopters and fired warning shots to capture the pirates, France's defence ministry said.

The EU launched its anti-piracy mission in December 2008, but the pirates have since attacked ships in a wider area.

The EU's mission has focused on the Gulf of Aden, one of the world's busiest shipping lanes which was being ravaged by pirates.

But recently, the attackers have struck hundreds of miles further south - near the Seychelles and even as far afield as Madagascar....

Rhode Island Democrats to Run for Kennedy's Seat

Five R.I. gubernatorial candidates back marriage for gays and lesbians (click here)
by Joe Siegel
EDGE New England Editor
Monday Mar 8, 2010
n an unprecedented show of support for marriage for same-sex couples, five Rhode Island gubernatorial candidates have pledged to sign a bill that would allow gay and lesbian couples to wed in the Ocean State.

A rally at the State House on Wednesday, March 3, featured former U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Attorney General Patrick Lynch, Treasurer Frank Caprio and Todd Giroux, who is openly gay. A representative for Moderate Party candidate Kenneth Block spoke on his behalf. And Republican John Robitaille opposes nuptials for gays and lesbians.

The event drew nearly 400 people, some of whom unfurled banners and carried signs in support of marriage....

William Lynch, the state Democratic Party chairman for the last 12 years and a candidate to succeed Patrick J. Kennedy, speaks with reporters at his law firm in Providence.

Newsmakers 1/31: William Lynch

Head of RI Democrats talks politics (click here for video)

Updated: Friday, 29 Jan 2010, 5:23 PM EST
Published : Friday, 29 Jan 2010, 5:22 PM EST

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - This week: State of the Democratic Party.

Democratic State Party Chairman William Lynch discusses the local and national landscape of the left.

His brother, gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Patrick Lynch has been fielding questions about a campaign contribution to someone under investigation by the state police and Chairman Lynch analyzes the Democrats bruising loss in the Massachusetts Senate race.

Mayor David Cicilline

Update: Cicilline offers 3-point plan to rebuild police (click here)

2:57 PM Mon, Mar 08, 2010
Amanda Milkovits

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Flanked by high-ranking officers and Police Chief Dean M. Esserman, Mayor David N. Cicilline announced a series of actions that he wants the chief to take in the aftermath of the three officers in a state police drug investigation.

Cicilline said he has directed Esserman to:

* Institute random drug testing in the police department, effective immediately.

* Review assignment rotation policies within the narcotics division.

* Review the department's protocol for loaning officers to other agencies.

Sgt. Stephen Gonsalves, narcotics Detective Joseph Colanduono, and school resource officer Robert Hamlin were among six people charged Thursday in "Operation Deception," a months-long wiretap investigation that targeted a high-level drug operation.

The accused drug dealer is Hamlin's younger brother, Albert; state police also arrested Khalid Mason, a felon with a violent criminal record, and Jameson Hassett, who is the son of a police officer.

On Friday, three narcotics officers and one patrol officer were placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

The original version of this story was posted at 11:02 a.m.

Mayor Cicilline Connection (click here for video)

Bryan Monaghan

ABC 6 News Reporter Mark Curtis has more on Rhode Island State Police's 'Operation Deception', including how the facts of the case hit hard for Providence Mayor David Cicilline, and those who work close to him.

Cicilline's police driver arrested in RI drug bust (click here for video)

Posted: Today at 2:15 pm EST
Last Updated:
Today at 2:26 pm EST

PAWTUCKET, R.I. -- A drug arrest could turn into a political problem for Providence Mayor David Cicilline.

His former police driver was one of the officers arrested last week in the bust of a cocaine dealing ring.

People are now questioning Cicilline’s personal relationships as he runs to replace Rep. Patrick Kennedy in Congress.

Cicilline was already facing questions about his brother, who was recently released from federal prison.

The mayor says he has no plans to resign.

Massa wanted to close the Mexican Border when Swine Flu discovered. The guy is a little bizarre.

The Republican Right is finding profit in elevating Massa to saint status.


One might half believe his rantings if he stated them BEFORE the ethics violation. He didn't.
In a continuation of this 'harassing' behavior, now, he is trying to deflect HIS issue by bringing 'notice' to others. I hope his health improves after he doesn't have to deal with the stress of sincere leadership.
By Susan Crabtree - 03/04/10 06:45 PM ET

The House ethics committee confirmed it has launched a subcommittee to investigate allegations involving Rep. Eric Massa.

In a one-line statement, the panel on Thursday evening announced it is “investigating and gathering additional information concerning matters related to allegations” against Massa (D-N.Y.).

Massa, a cancer survivor, announced Wednesday afternoon that he would not seek reelection because he is once again battling the disease...


The weather at Glacier Bay National Park (Crystal Wind Chime) is above freezing. Things happen when temperatures are above freezing.

Arctic: 8mn tonnes of methane seeping out annually

16:37 HRS IST

London, Mar 6 (PTI) Methane, the second most common greenhouse gas from human activities after carbon dioxide, is bubbling out from the frozen Arctic much faster than expected and could stoke global warming, scientists have warned.

A study by researchers from the University of Fairbanks in Alaska showed that methane, trapped in the permafrost - soil at or below the freezing point of water for two or more years - over time and now 8 million tonnes of it is seeping out every year due to rising temperatures.

According to co-author of the study Natalia Shakhova, "Release of just a small fraction of the methane held in East Siberian Arctic Shelf sediments could trigger abrupt climate warming".

"Subsea permafrost is losing its ability to be an impermeable cap.

The permafrost of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf (an area of about 2 million kilometers squared) is more porous than previously thought. The ocean on top of it and the heat from the mantle below it warm it and make it perforated like Swiss cheese. This allows methane gas stored under it under pressure to burst into the atmosphere. The amount leaking from this locale is comparable to all the methane from the rest of the world's oceans put together. Methane is a greenhouse gas more than 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Image: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation

Scientists took sonar measurements to record clouds of methane bubbles rising from the seafloor. Photo: Igor Semiletov, University of Alaska

Local Time: 9:23 AM AKST (GMT -09)

Lat/Lon: 58.8° N 137.0° W

Elevation :: 33 feet

Temperature :: 34 Fahrenheit

Conditions :: Overcast

Windchill :: 21 Fahrenheit

Humidity :: 56%

Dew Point :: 19 Fahrenheit

Wind :: 24 mph out of the East Southeast

Wind gust :: 36 mph

Pressure :: 29.63 inches (Falling)

Visibility :: 9.0 miles

UV :: 0 out of 16

Scattered Clouds 3700 feet

Clouds :: Overcast 4000 feet

(Above Ground Level)

Sarah Palin talks to God and the Washington Post buys it.

Tablets, honey. It was tablets.

...The $150-a-ticket event largely attracted a different crowd. (click here) The parking lot featured more Lexuses and BMWs than minivans and Dodge Dakotas. The 1,200 cramped seats were filled with lawyers, lobbyists and politicians: former Alberta premier Ralph Klein, Conservative MPs Lee Richardson and Cabinet minister Stockwell Day and Alberta MLA Dave Rodney....

In case anyone missed the message by Rick O'Berry it read, Text Dolphin to 44144

The Camera cut to a different shot as soon as O'Berry held up his poster. It was fairly obvious the Academy didn't care about the passions of the folks on the stage, so much as the ? integrity ? of its award ceremony.

The score of awards to this film was made longer last night. That's all.

Tom Hanks is making a good Front Man for the corruption at the Academy.

I thought Slumdog Millionaire would turn the corner on the hideous tributes this institution plays to its 'patrons,' but, alas I believe it was the "Millionaire" in the title that did it.

It was 'nice' to have a woman recognized for winning an oscar, but, it was also very obvious the 'tone' of the Oscars last night. Did she have to sell her soul for a war picture?

The Academy must be running for office in Texas along with Perry, because, the pictures that won awards had conservative themes. For a moment when I started to hear the winners I thought I was at a Tea Bagger rally.

War, Country Music Loser becomes Sober and White woman meets Black Boy.


Such social conscience I can't stand, ya know?

When is the Academy AT LEAST going to recognize pure, unadulterated entertainment when it sees it?

I am not going to pay money to see The Hurt Locker, if I were I would have by now.