Thursday, May 20, 2010

No alert for U.S. troops in Korea, Pentagon says

This is no small matter. Any miscalculation could lead to devastating war between the Korea's. The U.S. and South Korea must international help on this matter. They should take their case to the UN and world community. The Chinese should be smoked out on this. They support North Korea and have some influence over them. The innocent people killed must get justice. This matter can be pursued without it leading to a major war.

U.S. troops based in South Korea have not been put on a heightened state of alert in the wake of that country's announcement that North Korea was behind the sinking of one of its warships in March, the Pentagon said Thursday.

At a Pentagon press briefing, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States supports the findings of the investigation -- that the ship was sunk by a North Korean torpedo -- but he would not say what the United States is prepared to do, if anything, militarily.

"We are in close consultations with the South Koreans," Gates said. "The attack was against one of their ships and, naturally, they will have the lead in laying out the path forward and we will be consulting with them very closely as we move ahead."

China Aims to Stifle Tibet’s Photocopiers

China Aims to Stifle Tibet’s Photocopiers -

The authorities have identified a new threat to political stability in the restive region of Tibet: photocopiers. Fearful that Tibetans might mass-copy incendiary material, public security officials intend to more tightly control printing and photocopying shops, according to reports from the Tibetan capital, Lhasa.

A regulation now in the works will require the operators of printing and photocopying shops to obtain a new permit from the government, the Lhasa Evening News reported this month. They will also be required to take down identifying information about their clients and the specific documents printed or copied, the newspaper said.

A public security official in Lhasa, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the regulation “is being implemented right now,” but on a preliminary basis. The official hung up the phone without providing further details.

A Step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell

A step to artificial life: Manmade DNA powers cell

Scientists announced a bold step Thursday in the enduring quest to create artificial life. They've produced a living cell powered by manmade DNA. While such work can evoke images of Frankenstein-like scientific tinkering, it also is exciting hopes that it could eventually lead to new fuels, better ways to clean polluted water, faster vaccine production and more.

Is it really an artificial life form?

The inventors call it the world's first synthetic cell, although this initial step is more a re-creation of existing life — changing one simple type of bacterium into another — than a built-from-scratch kind.

But Maryland genome-mapping pioneer J. Craig Venter said his team's project paves the way for the ultimate, much harder goal: designing organisms that work differently from the way nature intended for a wide range of uses. Already he's working with ExxonMobil in hopes of turning algae into fuel.

"This is the first self-replicating species we've had on the planet whose parent is a computer," Venter told reporters.

Obama's Top Intelligence Adviser Resigns

I will repeat: we need an intelligence agency that is specifically set up to fight terrorism, domestic and foreign. Until that happens we will have more terrorist attacks on Americans in the U.S.:

The president's top intelligence adviser, Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair, has announced his resignation, effective Friday.

Blair, a retired four-star Navy admiral, has served in the post since January 29, 2009. His office oversees 17 federal agencies of the U.S. intelligence community, including the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Word of Blair's resignation comes two days after the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report that sharply criticized the National Counterterrorism Center, overseen by Blair's office, for failing to properly coordinate intelligence activities to detect the alleged attempted Christmas Day airline bombing in advance.

The report said the center, created after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to coordinate U.S. intelligence efforts, was "not organized adequately to fulfill its missions."

Rand Paul Feeds Suspicions About Tea Party Racism

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Video: Rand Paul: Businesses Should be Allowed to Discriminate

Rand Paul was the candidate of the Tea Party. He also represents their racially insensitive attitudes. Paul appeared on the Rachel Maddow Program and tried to explain his views. Judge for yourself whether you think he explained himself adequately:

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Senate Fails to end Debate on Bank Reform bill

More proof that the Wall St./banks own the Congress. The Democrats promised results because they had a filibuster-proof majority. Just another promised not kept. Along with Obama's promise of change:

In a setback for the Obama administration, Senate Democrats failed to muster enough votes on Wednesday to end debate on the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s, delaying a vote on passage.

But analysts still expect the legislation eventually to pass. More debate on amendments was likely, with banks on alert for changes that could threaten their profits.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid scheduled another vote for 2:30 p.m. EDT Thursday.

In the 57 to 42 vote, two Democrats sided against invoking "cloture" to limit debate and move toward final passage. Sixty votes are needed to end debate in the Senate. Two Republicans voted with a majority of Democrats for cloture.

The loss seemed to come as a surprise to Democrats on a measure that enjoys widespread public support.

As backers of the bill scrambled for votes, Democratic Senator Arlen Specter was nowhere to be found one day after he lost a primary challenge in his home state of Pennsylvania.

"I don't have a sense on when he will be back," an aide said.

Reid said one lawmaker had gone back on his word to support the bill. He declined to name the lawmaker, but a Democratic aide said it was Republican Scott Brown, who has backed Democrats on other tight votes.

Video: Newt Gingrich Compares Obama to NAZIs, Stalin's Russia

More Republican demonization of Barack Obama. What is frightening is that this is a major figure in the Republican Party. It further proves that the GOP has become the party of hate.

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