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Push for futuristic guns builds on embattled past

It sounds, at first, like a bold, next-generation solution: personalizing guns with technology that keeps them from firing if they ever get into the wrong hands.
But when the White House called for pushing ahead with such new technology as part of President Obama's plan to cut gun violence, the administration did not mention the concept's embattled past. As with so much else in the nation's long-running divisions over gun rights and regulation, what sounds like a futuristic vision is, in fact, an idea that has been kicked around for years, sidelined by intense suspicion, doubts about feasibility and pressure tactics.
Now proponents of so-called personalized or smart guns are hoping the nation's renewed attention on firearms following the Newtown school massacre will kick start research and sale of safer weapons. But despite the Obama administration's promise to "encourage the development of innovative gun safety technology," advocates have good reason to be wary.
In the fiery debate over guns, personalized weapons have long occupied particularly shaky ground — an idea criticized both by gun-rights groups and some gun control advocates.
To the gun groups, the idea of using technology to control who can fire a gun smacks of a limitation on personal rights, particularly if it might be mandated by government. At the same time, some gun control advocates worry that such technology, by making guns appear falsely safe, would encourage Americans to stock up on even more weapons then they already have in their homes.
Without the politics, the notion of using radio frequency technology, biometric sensors or other gadgetry in a gun capable of recognizing its owner sounds like something straight out of James Bond. In fact, it is. In the latest Bond flick, "Skyfall," Agent 007's quartermaster passes him a 9 mm pistol coded to his palm print.
"Only you can fire it," the contact tells the agent. "Less of a random killing machine. More of a personal statement."
In real life, though, there's no getting around the politics, and the debate over personalized guns long ago strayed well beyond questions of whether the technology will work.
Those were the first questions asked in 1994 when the research arm of the Justice Department began studying prospects of making a police gun that a criminal would not be able to fire if he wrestled it away during a struggle. Scientists at Sandia National Laboratories examined available technology in 1996 and found it promising, but wanting.
By then the notion of a safe gun had long captivated Stephen Teret, a former attorney and public health expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore who had gone after automakers for not including air bags in their cars. In 1983, he got a call that the 22-month-old son of a couple he knew had been killed by a 4-year-old who found a loaded gun in a nightstand drawer.
"Very definitely, that was the genesis," said Teret, who went on to found Hopkins' Center for Gun Policy and Research. "Because when one thinks of something as a public health person the first thing is you're sick with grief and the second thing that comes to mind is why in the world would there be a handgun operable by a 4-year-old?"
Teret began trying to get lawmakers and gun makers interested in the concept of personalized weapons. He convinced Democratic U.S. Rep. Pat Schroeder to earmark funding for the Justice study. And in the mid-1990s he voiced support for a project at Colt's Manufacturing Co., the legendary but beleaguered gun maker that saw an opportunity to sell safe guns to police officers and parents of young children.
Colt's developed a gun equipped with a microchip that would prevent it from firing unless the user was wearing an enabling device located in a special wristband. But gun rights activists were skeptical, partly because the government was funding research of the concept and because gun control advocates like Teret embraced it. At about the same time, New Jersey lawmakers began discussing a measure requiring all new handguns sold in the state to be personalized, three years after the technology came to market. The measure passed in 2002.
Owners' skepticism was heightened in 1997 when Colt's CEO Ronald Stewart wrote an editorial in American Firearms Industry magazine calling on fellow manufacturers to parry gun control efforts by backing a federal gun registry and developing personalized weapons.
"While technology such as this should not be mandated it should be an option for the consumer," Stewart wrote. "If we can send a motorized computer to Mars, then certain we can advance our technology to be more childproof."
Stewart did not respond to a message seeking comment left at a Connecticut company where he now serves on the board of directors.
Soon after, the Coalition of New Jersey Sportsmen — a state affiliate of the National Rifle Association — began calling for a boycott of Colt's. It warned that personalized technology might make it difficult for gun owners to defend themselves and called the company's conduct "detrimental to American-style freedoms and liberties."
Stewart was replaced as CEO of Colt's in 1998 and the company eventually abandoned development of a personalized gun.
In 1999, New Jersey's lawmakers approved a grant to researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology to study personalized gun technology. Those efforts focused on adding transducers to a gun's handle to detect the grasp of an authorized user. Meanwhile, the Justice Department offered a challenge grant to gun makers and although two responded, they made limited headway by the time $7 million in funding ran out.
Work on personalized weapons suffered another setback after gun rights' groups boycotted Smith & Wesson over a 2000 agreement it signed with the Clinton administration in which the manufacturer made numerous promises, including one to develop smart guns.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey school, funded by Congressional earmarks, tried repeatedly to find a commercial partner for its work. But even as NJIT bolstered the reliability of its prototype, which now has a recognition rate of about 97%, it found it a hard sell. Talks with a Florida gun maker at first seemed productive until industry activists pressured the company to back away, said Donald Sebastian, NJIT's senior vice president for research and development .
"Their claim that these are just blue state liberals looking to take your guns away, it just inflames people to not think a little more rationally," Sebastian said.
"Yes it's a frustrating experience, but we have to be adults," he said. "I think it's been a long lesson to learn that this intermingling of the concepts of gun safety and gun control are ultimately poison."
Mike Bazinet, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gun manufacturers, said questions remain about whether the technology has been improved enough to assure police officers and civilians a personalized weapon would fire when they need protection. But there are also concerns "about individual consumers' ability to choose the firearm that they think is best for them," Bazinet said.
But gun makers and owners have not been the only critics. Activists from the Violence Policy Center, an outspoken gun control group, also spoke against personalized weapons.
"If a smart gun did exist what would its effect be, taking into consideration the nature of gun violence in this country?" said Josh Sugarmann, the group's executive director. "Would you place families at risk or people at risk by giving this impression that this is a safe gun? You know, people who wouldn't normally buy a gun, would they buy one now?"
NJIT's Sebastian, who joined a group of personalized gun advocates who met recently with Attorney General Eric Holder to push for their development, said his school has seen some renewed interest and is talking with officials at Picatinny Arsenal, which develops weapons for the U.S. military.
Meanwhile, two European companies working on personalized gun technology have their eyes on the U.S. market. One of those firms, TriggerSmart Ltd. of Limerick, Ireland, has developed a system using Radio Frequency Identification that would be built into the handle of a gun and triggered by a device the size of a grain of rice inside a user's ring or bracelet. Co-founder Robert McNamara said he is seeking to license the technology to a U.S. manufacturer, but is looking at the possibility of producing kits for retrofitting existing guns.
Another venture, Armatix GmbH of Unterfoehring, Germany, says it has developed a personalized gun, with settings based on radio frequency technology and biometrics, that was approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in late 2011. Armatix said it hopes to begin selling the gun as well as accompanying safety and locking systems in the U.S. this year, but would not provide details.
Teret, who long ago launched the campaign for personalized guns, acknowledged much has to happen before they become a reality. But the White House has promised to issue a report on the technology and award prizes to companies that come up with innovative and cost-effective personalized guns, and its interest has rejuvenated hopes that the gun of the future may actually have one.
"For 30 years, at best we've been inching forward at a glacial pace," he said. "And now this puts it up to warp speed."

American pastor sentenced to 8 years in Iran

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. State Department says an American pastor who has been jailed in Iran since September has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Spokesman Darby Holladay said Sunday that the department is calling on Iran to respect Saeed Abedini's human rights and release him.

Earlier this month Iran's semi-official news agency, ISNA, quoted Abedini's attorney as saying his client stood trial in the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes.

The pastor, who is of Iranian origin but lives in Boise, Idaho, has rejected the charges.

Holladay says the State Department is in close contact with Abedini's family and actively engaged in the case.

The agency says it condemns Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion.

Ray Lewis calls win over Broncos among greatest in Ravens history

Ray Lewis,  the Ravens' soon-to-be-retired middle linebacker, tried to grasp the question of where the 38-35, double-overtime victory over the Denver Broncos ranked.
After shaking his head, blowing some air through his lips and saying, "God is amazing," the future Hall of Famer said it would have to rank as "one of the greatest victories in Ravens history."

Lewis is a two-time NFL defensive player of the year and was the heart and soul of a Ravens team that won Super Bowl XXXV. He was selected MVP of that Super Bowl, so he knows a great deal about the biggest victories in Ravens history.

The 13-time Pro Bowler said he challenged the Ravens to ignore everything outside of the locker room and practice field in preparation for the trip to Denver.

"When you look back at [the win] and recap, let all the emotions run down, it'll probably rank as one of the greatest victories in Ravens history," Lewis said.

He didn't have a bad outing himself. Lewis made 17 tackles in the game. Not bad for a 17-year veteran who was supposed to be lost for the season when he tore a triceps in a win over the Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 15.

Petrol bombs thrown at Egyptian protesters

Unknown attackers threw petrol bombs at tents housing protesters outside the Egyptian presidential palace in Cairo on Saturday and fired rubber bullets at security forces, injuring at least 15 people, officials and witnesses said.
Four tents were burnt in the attacks, injuring several protesters. One police officer and six soldiers, deployed to the scene to arrest the attackers, were wounded by rubber bullets, according to the interior ministry. The health ministry said a total of 15 people were injured.
Protesters opposing an Islamist-backed constitution have been camped outside the residence of President Mohamed Morsi for weeks. Around 20 chanted "Down, down Morsi!" and "We will not leave!"
In December, Morsi signed into law the first constitution since the overthrow of veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak in a 2011 revolution.
The text, which Morsi fast-tracked through parliament and a national referendum, was fiercely opposed by many of the liberals, secularists and leftists who had helped to topple Mubarak, and has prompted often violent protests on the streets of Cairo.
A Reuters reporter saw several ambulances driving away from the scene late on Saturday evening, and plumes of black smoke billowed in the air.
"The police and military police have been negotiating with us since yesterday to leave the square," said protester Karim el-Shaer. "Today suddenly and only half an hour after the negotiations failed, we found thugs attacking us and burning our tents under the eyes of the security forces."
Access to rubber bullets and guns is easy in post-revolution Egypt given the lax security and a rise in arms smuggling. The interior ministry said it had launched an investigation.

Tips on How to Speed Up Internet Connection

This day and age we are used to life at its top speed thanks to various means of instant communication. That's why there are very few things that are more frustrating than slow Internet that can basically turn your life into a nightmare. Sometimes speeding up Internet is a simple question of upgrading your plan or changing your service provider.
However, sometimes even users who are paying for high speed Internet access can experience surprisingly slow Internet connection. Fortunately, there are ways to speed up Internet without having to change your ISP or buying a more powerful computer. Here are some tips on how to speed up your computer Internet connection without too much hassle.

1. Talk to your provider

First of all, call your service provider and check whether they are doing their job properly and delivering the service you are paying for. Or perhaps your package is outdated and the company will upgrade you to a better one either for free or for a small upgrade fee.
Keep in mind, though, that very few people are getting the top speed (remember the words "up to" in your contract?) because of distance exchange, congestion, and traffic shaping.

2. Find the browser that works for you

Most people still use Internet Explorer, even though it's not the fastest browser out there. If you are an active Internet user, it would be a good idea to check out different browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, and Opera to see which one works best for your connection type and your hardware configuration. For example, Chrome is particularly good for computers that are low on RAM, as it's not as memory hungry as Firefox and IE.

3. Tweak your router

If you are using a router, you can probably speed up Internet by adjusting the router settings. There are too many routers to give specific advice, but most routers can be tweaked to open up ports and boost your Internet speed. Just check the manual for things that can be done to improve performance or use Google to find answers for your particular router.
Before you do any tweaking, check whether you are close enough to the router when you use the Internet. Being too far away from it can make the connection really slow and unstable.
Another thing you should try before changing any settings is to restart your router. Sometimes this simple action can dramatically speed up your Internet connection.

4. Prevent unauthorized access

If you are using wireless Internet connection, make sure that you are not sharing it with the whole neighbourhood. The more people use your connection, the slower it is for you. So at the very least set up a WEP password to stop unauthorised users from using your Internet connection. Or if your hardware is compatible, set up WPA encryption.

5. Control your bandwidth usage

There are many applications that will use your bandwidth in the background, like Windows Update, Windows Live Messenger, Skype, Real player, Adobe Reader updates, and other similar software. Most of them usually start automatically when you log on to Windows and connect to the Internet as soon as there is a connection. This means that these programs use your bandwidth when you are not actually using them.

Most of these applications can be configured not to start on Windows log-on or to at least ask permission to connect to the Internet. If you are not sure which programs are secretly using your bandwidth, you can use a free tool called Auslogics Task Manager. With the help of this program you can track which applications and processes are consuming your network traffic.
If your Internet connection speed dropped all of a sudden for no apparent reason, check your computer for malware and spyware. Malicious software often uses your Internet connection to send information to its developers.

6. Perform some basic PC maintenance

If your computer is slow, it doesn't matter how fast your Internet connection is – everything will be slow because you computer can't cope. The answer to that is to keep your computer in good shape and perform regular maintenance like disk cleanup and defrag, registry repair, and other tasks like monitoring your startup items and optimizing Windows services. This way you will not only speed up computer performance, but also speed up your Internet connection.
There are many tools that will help you do the job, from the Windows built-in ones to complete PC optimization suites like Auslogics BoostSpeed that offers one-click maintenance and advanced tools to improve computer performance even more. It also has a tool called Internet Optimizer that will help you optimize your Internet connection for maximum speed.

MP3 Song - MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer 3

MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented encoding format for digital audio which uses a form of lossy data compression. It is a common audio format for consumer audio storage, as well as a de facto standard of digital audio compression for the transfer and playback of music on most digital audio players.
MP3 is an audio-specific format that was designed by the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) as part of its MPEG-1 standard and later extended in MPEG-2 standard. The first MPEG subgroup – Audio group was formed by several teams of engineers at Fraunhofer IIS, University of Hannover, AT&T-Bell Labs, Thomson-Brandt, CCETT, and others. MPEG-1 Audio (MPEG-1 Part 3), which included MPEG-1 Audio Layer I, II and III was approved as a committee draft of ISO/IEC standard in 1991, finalised in 1999 and published in 1993 (ISO/IEC 11172-3:1993. Backwards compatible MPEG-2 Audio (MPEG-2 Part 3) with additional bit rates and sample rates was published in 1995 (ISO/IEC 13818-3:1995)
The use in MP3 of a lossy compression algorithm is designed to greatly reduce the amount of data required to represent the audio recording and still sound like a faithful reproduction of the original uncompressed audio for most listeners. An MP3 file that is created using the setting of 128 kbit/s will result in a file that is about 1/11 the size[note 1] of the CD file created from the original audio source. An MP3 file can also be constructed at higher or lower bit rates, with higher or lower resulting quality.
The compression works by reducing accuracy of certain parts of sound that are considered to be beyond the auditory resolution ability of most people. This method is commonly referred to as perceptual coding. It uses psychoacoustic models to discard or reduce precision of components less audible to human hearing, and then records the remaining information in an efficient manner.

Discover how to write romantic love peoms and notes!

Amaze that special someone in your life with your own Romantic Poetry
By now we all realize that one of the most important things to remember in a committed relationship is to keep the romance alive and thriving.
It is all too easy to take one another for granted after a period of time passes.  Doing this, though, will not produce a strong love life and is not conducive for ongoing passion.
Easily the most effective way of keeping your relationship fresh and filled with love and appreciation is to simply nurture romance.
Here is a helpful meditation to keep your love alive!
I won’t ever take you
. . . for granted
I won’t ever forget
what it was like before you
or how I would feel without you
I won’t ever forget
our first kiss
our last warm touch
I won’t ever let a day go by
without telling you

how very much you mean to me
how very deeply I love you
how very much I need you
You need never doubt
the way I feel about you
how much happier I am
. . . with you in my life!
I love you now and always!
Wouldn’t a wonderful declaration of your love be a nice and romantic gift?
Declare your love in a love note or with romantic poetry
I find the words difficult
with just so many emotions tumbling through my mind
I feel only pride in you for who you are and what you mean to me
I struggle to put my thoughts to paper....but I must
You mean everything to me and more
even when the words don’t come out quite right
I still feel such peace and complete assurance
that you understand
I will forever be right by your side
I feel so whole when you are near
it all feels so good and so true
How can I thank you?
For the many dreams
for such wonderful times
Even if I should awake to be alone and scared
you are there
in my fondest hopes and memories
and when morning comes

we will still be on this journey
for we made a vow....
You make my life complete
You heal my heart and show me pure joy
You touch my soul and teach me to laugh
You heal my mind and teach me to dream
You kiss my spirit and teach me to fly
You are the best part of my life.
Probably the dearest and sweetest show of your affection would be to pen your own thoughts of your loved one.  Why not get started now?  You have so much to gain!
Use all the tips above often, and keep the flames of romance kindled in yours and your partner’s lives!

Useful Flirting Tips and Advice

Discover how to flirt to attract using body language and other tips

It is rather difficult to be romantic without first flirting.  What exactly is flirting and how can you adapt some flirting into your own romantic moods and play?  To begin, you don’t want to be too aggressive.  Start with very friendly gestures and once you have gotten those moves down, and then go for the romantic flirting!
Flirting is a frame of mind:
Be self-confident and do not be afraid to take risks.
Be enthusiastic about romance and be positive!
Start a sexy conversation:
Start with a simple, opening line by saying hello.
Talk about anything at all, whatever will get the romance going.
Enjoy yourself and have fun:
Be playful, light-hearted and above all, be spontaneous.
Show that you can be vulnerable.
Make good use of all props:
Always use a prop.
Props will get the conversation started naturally. They encourage conversation and others will want to start talking to you.
Great props are: pets, children, great jewelry, a wonderful scent, a sweatshirt with your favorite sports team’s emblem, an interesting book or magazine.
Play host:
Take the lead by taking on the role of host.
Do not be the passive person in waiting, but rather the lead.
Introduce yourself first:
Move closer to the person you want to meet and introduce yourself confidently!
Everyone loves to be heard and when you are a good listener your partner will be drawn to you.
Make bold eye contact:
Look your partner in the eye gently (no more than 2-4 seconds) and then look away. You don’t want to stare!
Pay a genuine compliment:
Your partner will be pleased and will warm up to you more.
Show a beautiful smile:
You will look so much more approachable. Everyone is attracted to a genuine and heartfelt, smile.
So there you go!  These are all ground-breakers when wanting to approach someone with romance.  We must always be mindful of the fundamentals.
When we just dive right in, unexpected, we can turn our loved one off.  Go slow, a step at a time and feeling confident, approach with your best romance moves.

Kissing Advice and Tips : Learn the true art of kissing for success, including french kissing techniques, tips and advice for the ultimate kiss

What is romance without a kiss?

When wishing for romance, your kisses had better be good to make a favorable impression. It may not be fair, but some will judge you on your first kiss as to whether or not they will want to see you again. In other words, there needs to be good chemistry when kissing.
A good kiss delivers a powerful impact! If you're a great kisser, you're going to turn your date on and you will have a definite edge.
What distinguishes a good kisser from the kisser we all want to forget? The key is to be soft and gentle and follow their lead.  Here are some good romantic kissing tips to enhance your love life:
  • Be careful not to startle - watch and wait for the signal to proceed
  • Avoid the ‘ambush’ kiss (although these can be exciting as your relationship progresses.)
  • Look deeply into your partner’s eyes.  This will send the message that you like them and want to be closer to them. 
  • Look for their signals as well. Look for a warm, kind smile (even a slight smile is good; it doesn’t have to be BIG.)
  • Pay attention to the look on your loved one’s face.  This will indicate where they want to go with this kiss.
Look for good balance.  As you move closer to that magical kiss, you don’t want to be leaning too forward awkwardly to get there.
As you move closer you are sending signals. You want your body to be in a comfortable position during the kiss, so you can enjoy every moment of it.
Go for a light touch just before the kiss. While a hand lightly on the face is a definite signal of intimacy, holding hands combined with eye contact and a warm look can indicate the beginning of a great kiss to come.
Make sure you are aligned correctly at this point. This means not only getting your lips on track with theirs, but getting the head tilted correctly as well.
Tilt your head slightly to one side first. Your partner will likely react and tilt the other way. This is a mutual sign that the kiss will be very welcomed.
Relax your lips, close your eyes.
Move in slowly. During step number two you made sure the two of you were aligned correctly, now you can close your eyes as you’re just about to make contact.
Relax your lips, not tightly pressed together. Give your partner the pleasant experience of feeling your lips softly against theirs.
Your lips should be recently moistened, but not wet.
Relax your lips, tilt your head and breathe evenly.
Moving in, you can part your lips slightly just before contact. Keep your lips relaxed, your tongue in your mouth.
Keep your head tilted so both of you can still breathe comfortably on contact and as the perfect kiss is held...
SAVOR every moment ... be slow, gentle, easy.
Keep it sweet, not too long and not too wet.
Don’t pull away too quickly or make any quick movements. Savor. Savor. Savor. Feel the power and romance of the kiss.
Enjoy the moment!
Take your time and don’t rush. Make eye contact, nonverbal and verbal messages.
To end, pull away slowly and make eye contact again. Show a satisfied, warm smile to reinforce how you feel.
Enjoy the closeness, relax, and finish the kiss with a warm embrace.
A few, thoughtful words, such as, “That was nice,” can be whispered.  Try to reinforce how you felt about your kiss with positive words.  Your partner will appreciate this and this can break the ice a little.
Now that you have mastered the romance of a kiss....you are well on your way to learn even more about how to enhance your romance life!
What is that feeling people get from a good kiss that's so hard to explain?  How does kissing come into play when being romantic?
Women often compare a good kiss to "melting butter" and like being "hit by a wave," according to a recent survey. Men often describe it as similar to "vibrations at a concert" or a "three pointer at the buzzer to win the NCAA basketball tournament," according to the same survey.
Experts have proven there is a lot of physiology behind the warm and fuzzy feelings that come from a good kiss.
Feelings of romantic love, and kissing, stimulate the same type of brain activity as many sports, such as: parachuting, bungee jumping and distance running, for example. These same types of activities cause the brain to experience a surge in norepinephrine, dopamine and phenylethylamine (or just PEA to some.) These neurotransmitters attach to pleasure receptors in the brain and create feelings of euphoria, giddiness, elation and such.
So, next time you feel romantic and want to show your love to someone special, go for that wonderful kiss -- it will definitely leave a lasting impression!

How to solve relationship problems with our "romantic week" plan

Day 1:
Leave a note professing your love for your partner to find during the day. Put the note where it will be found, easily. Try their briefcase, the driver's seat of their car, in their coat pocket, in their lunch bag, taped to the receiver of the phone, taped to their computer, or left taped to a doorknob.
As soon as you arrive home for the day seek out your partner and offer a big, loving kiss.  Tell your partner how much you love him or her and ask about their day. Make this a new, daily habit.
As an alternate idea, when your partner arrives home for the day, take their hand and pull them towards you aggressively.  Offer a huge hug, kiss and say, "I missed you today!”
Day 2:
While your partner showers, heat up his or her towel in the dryer.
Have flowers delivered to partner at work.
Surprise your partner by arriving home with their favorite drink, snack, or ice-cream.
Day 3:
Arrange for an intimate lunch date with your partner. Afterward, send a virtual card. Tell them how much you enjoyed lunch together.
Day 4:
Call your partner in the middle of the day to discuss your romantic plans for that evening.
Print out some love coupons (find them on-line) and present them to your partner.  One might say:  this entitles loved one to a full-body massage, and sign your name.
Day 5:
For the kid in all of us!  Use multi-colored, sidewalk chalk to draw a BIG heart in red and write.  Print out the words, “I love you" in the middle of the heart.  Do this someplace that is prominent such as on your driveway so that when your partner comes home he or she will see it.
Cook a favorite meal for your partner and then eat it, slowly, by candlelight.
Day 6:
When the weather is best, take a brisk walk through a nature trail with your love and talk about all the reasons why
he or she is so special to you.
If the weather is dreary, have an indoor picnic.  Spend the time together, inside enjoying your favorite board games and just relaxing and talking.
Cuddle up in your pj’s and relish a romantic movie together.
Day 7:
Just sleep in and cuddle together.  Call into work and explain you are “under the weather” and need to rest a bit more before coming in.
Make a long list of the many reasons why you love your partner as you do and then have them framed and present it to him or her.
If you don’t live together, call your loved one just to say goodnight. Recite a favorite love poem over the phone and end with, “Sweet dreams, until we meet again!”


It is quite impressive that people actually read and comment on this irrelevant issue. Why not comment on the Catholic priest that are pedophiles! The swinger clubs in All-American cities where wife and husband swapping is a weekend ritual; strip clubs filled with foreign born women bought into prostitustion mostly from Eastern Europe to please the American men; trips to Cuba, Cancun and the far east to buy cheap sex - sex with young teens for a dollar or more! Why not talk about the escorts ads in most daily newspapers and the massage parlours that provide body rubs, body slides and nude reverse for different rates like going to a store. If you want sex stories there are many right here under our nose. Visit the battered women centers and see the issues right here - see the neglegted seniors in nursing homes; walk down the road after sunset in any city and see the prostitues coming out of the corner; what about the churches that support polygamy - in Utah, and other areas. Why go so far in finding issues in Muslim world when you can find the sensational items right here. Was it not the New York Governor Spitzer that hired an young expensive escort at taxpayer's expense. HA!

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments"

Become a Master Networker: 5 Quick Tips

Networking advice from Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media, and Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council.

 I do think you are so right with how to build relationships I do also believe in good krama! so I do try to help others first then my happiness comes with the helping. that is what I try to do with both my blogs

Being involved in recruitment for a Fortune 500 company I see these tips used successfully by people every other month, really sets the good networkers a part from the bad.

Here is another post with great tips from someone that knows corporate networking: bit.ly/networkideas

//Mr Kaan

I have been studying social network analysis and believe that your approach and resources would lend themselves to employing some of the methods and principles I have come across.

I would appreciate the chance to discuss this with someone in your organization.

Bring your own name tag to events, just in case they don't have one for you or to make you stand out
- Always have a pen, to write a few details about the person the back of their card
- Always follow-up with a nice-to-meet-you 2-liner email within 24 hours to cement yourself in their mind

Hello. I have been employed for several years untill recently when i decided to embrace net work marketing. Can you kindly advise me on the things i need to do in order to be one of the greatest net workers in the world. I have always loved talking to people and also being able to share stories that have the potential to change and improve the life of other people. It is this desire that most importantly led me to make this decision among other things. Waiting for your rich and wise advice. Thanks in advance.

Einstein once said: Be less a man of success and focus on being a man of value. Absolutely true. Gerber's video is spot on. Prospecting and networking are two very distinct things. We can also put these lessons to use on LinkedIn and other social media outlets.

Helpful and useful tips Gerber. Thanks for sharing. To me, great relationships require a mentality of being WITH. Would love feedback on my 5 WITH/Principles to help surround yourself and others for success. http://bit.ly/J8LVLo

9 Daily Habits That Will Make You Happier

Happiness is the only true measure of personal success. Making other people happy is the highest expression of success, but it's almost impossible to make others happy if you're not happy yourself.
With that in mind, here are nine small changes that you can make to your daily routine that, if you're like most people, will immediately increase the amount of happiness in your life:

1. Start each day with expectation.

If there's any big truth about life, it's that it usually lives up to (or down to) your expectations. Therefore, when you rise from bed, make your first thought: "something wonderful is going to happen today." Guess what? You're probably right.

2. Take time to plan and prioritize.

The most common source of stress is the perception that you've got too much work to do.  Rather than obsess about it, pick one thing that, if you get it done today, will move you closer to your highest goal and purpose in life. Then do that first.

3. Give a gift to everyone you meet.

I'm not talking about a formal, wrapped-up present. Your gift can be your smile, a word of thanks or encouragement, a gesture of politeness, even a friendly nod. And never pass beggars without leaving them something. Peace of mind is worth the spare change.

4. Deflect partisan conversations.

Arguments about politics and religion never have a "right" answer but they definitely get people all riled up over things they can't control. When such topics surface, bow out by saying something like: "Thinking about that stuff makes my head hurt."

5. Assume people have good intentions.

Since you can't read minds, you don't really know the "why" behind the "what" that people do. Imputing evil motives to other people's weird behaviors adds extra misery to life, while assuming good intentions leaves you open to reconciliation.

6. Eat high quality food slowly.

Sometimes we can't avoid scarfing something quick to keep us up and running. Even so, at least once a day try to eat something really delicious, like a small chunk of fine cheese or an imported chocolate. Focus on it; taste it; savor it.

7. Let go of your results.

The big enemy of happiness is worry, which comes from focusing on events that are outside your control. Once you've taken action, there's usually nothing more you can do. Focus on the job at hand rather than some weird fantasy of what might happen.

8. Turn off "background" TV.

Many households leave their TVs on as "background noise" while they're doing other things. The entire point of broadcast TV is to make you dissatisfied with your life so that you'll buy more stuff. Why subliminally program yourself to be a mindless consumer?

9. End each day with gratitude.

Just before you go to bed, write down at least one wonderful thing that happened. It might be something as small as a making a child laugh or something as huge as a million dollar deal. Whatever it is, be grateful for that day because it will never come again.

12 Great Motivational Quotes for 2013

At the start of every year, I create a list of quotes to guide and inspire me for the next 12 months. Here are the quotes I've selected for 2013:
  1. "Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements."
    Napoleon Hill

  2. "The key to success is to focus our conscious mind on things we desire not things we fear."
    Brian Tracy

  3. "Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get."
    Dale Carnegie

  4. "Obstacles are necessary for success because in selling, as in all careers of importance, victory comes only after many struggles and countless defeats."
    Og Mandino

  5. "A real decision is measured by the fact that you've taken a new action. If there's no action, you haven't truly decided."
    Tony Robbins

  6. "If you can't control your anger, you are as helpless as a city without walls waiting to be attacked."
    The Book of Proverbs

  7. A mediocre person tells. A good person explains. A superior person demonstrates. A great person inspires others to see for themselves."
    Harvey Mackay

  8. "Freedom, privileges, options, must constantly be exercised, even at the risk of inconvenience."
    Jack Vance

  9. "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live."
    Jim Rohn

  10. "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."
    Zig Ziglar

  11. "The number of times I succeed is in direct proportion to the number of times I can fail and keep on trying."
    Tom Hopkins

  12. "You have everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself."
    Seth Godin

Readers: I want to begin this year with a huge burst of motivation. Can you help me out? What quotes or thoughts inspire YOU to be the best that you can be?  (Leave a comment!)

5 Things That Really Smart People Do

Most people don't really think much about how they learn. Generally you assume learning comes naturally. You listen to someone speak either in conversation or in a lecture and you simply absorb what they are saying, right? Not really. In fact, I find as I get older that real learning takes more work. The more I fill my brain with facts, figures, and experience, the less room I have for new ideas and new thoughts. Plus, now I have all sorts of opinions that may refute the ideas being pushed at me. Like many people I consider myself a lifelong learner, but more and more I have to work hard to stay open minded.
But the need for learning never ends, so your desire to do so should always outweigh your desire to be right. The world is changing and new ideas pop up everyday; incorporating them into your life will keep you engaged and relevant. The following are the methods I use to stay open and impressionable. They'll work for you too. No matter how old you get.

1. Quiet Your Inner Voice

You know the one I am talking about. It's the little voice that offers a running commentary when you are listening to someone. It's the voice that brings up your own opinion about the information being provided. It is too easy to pay more attention to the inner voice than the actual speaker. That voice often keeps you from listening openly for good information and can often make you shut down before you have heard the entire premise. Focus less on what your brain has to say and more on the speaker. You may be surprised at what you hear.

2. Argue With Yourself

If you can't quiet the inner voice, then at least use it to your advantage. Every time you hear yourself contradicting the speaker, stop and take the other point of view. Suggest to your brain all the reasons why the speaker may be correct and you may be wrong. In the best case you may open yourself to the information being provided. Failing that, you will at least strengthen your own argument.

3. Act Like You Are Curious

Some people are naturally curious and others are not. No matter which category you are in you can benefit from behaving like a curious person. Next time you are listening to information, make up and write down three to five relevant questions. If you are in a lecture, Google them after for answers. If you are in a conversation you can ask the other person. Either way you'll likely learn more, and the action of thinking up questions will help encode the concepts in your brain. As long as you're not a cat you should benefit from these actions of curiosity.

4. Find the Kernel of Truth

No concept or theory comes out of thin air. Somewhere in the elaborate concept that sounds like complete malarkey there is some aspect that is based upon fact. Even if you don't buy into the idea, you should at least identify the little bit of truth from whence it came. Play like a detective and build your own extrapolation. You'll enhance your skills of deduction and may even improve the concept beyond the speaker's original idea.

5. Focus on the Message Not the Messenger

Often people shut out learning due to the person delivering the material. Whether it's a boring lecturer, someone physically unappealing, or a member of the opposite political party, the communicator can impact your learning. Even friends can disrupt the learning process since there may be too much history and familiarity to see them as an authority on a topic. Separate the material from the provider. Pretend you don't know the person or their beliefs so you can hear the information objectively. As for the boring person, focus on tip two, three, or four as if it were a game, thereby creating your own entertainment.

Email Doesn't Have to Suck

Email is a pain. There are simply too many messages to handle—and I'm not even talking about spam from marketers (I use a separate address to collect those emails). The headache is the increasing number of legitimate business messages—it's a humongous time-suck that only seems to be getting worse.
Two years ago I answered nearly every message. A year ago I downgraded to at least trying to read them all. Last winter I started scanning the sender subject fields concentrating on the ones coming from people I knew or looked like they might contain information I needed. And lately, I've been considering closing my account and starting over with a private address reserved for only work colleagues and select sources.
Until, that is, I tried SaneBox.
It's like Gmail's Priority Inbox feature in that it looks at your messages and prior history engaging with those senders and decides which emails you're likely to deem most important.
When you turn on the Priority Inbox feature in Gmail, Google separates your email into three categories: Important and unread, Starred, and Everything Else; all the mail is still in your inbox, but the important messages are up top.
SaneBox is a bit different in that it removes less important messages from your inbox completely, moving them to an @SaneLater folder that you can peruse whenever you want. If SaneBox puts an important message into that folder you can move it to your inbox and it remembers the action so the next time you receive a message from that person, it will go to your inbox.
Priority Inbox is trainable in this way, as well; the more you move stuff around, the better it gets at categorization. But I prefer SaneBox.

SaneBox vs. Gmail's Priority Inbox

SaneBox gives you a custom dashboard including a timeline that graphs how many important and less important emails you get every day. My current average, according to SaneBox, is 81 a day. If I took a minute to read, digest, and respond to each one of them, that's nearly an hour and a half a day going through email. If you figure there's at least 250 work days in a year, I'm spending 375 hours annually on email. That's not acceptable.
In addition to the @SaneLater folder that stores non-essential messages, you can also enable folders such as @SaneNews for newsletters and @SaneBlackHole for those messages you want to send straight to your Trash. (Ha! Finally I'm getting revenge on a certain five-letter-titled fitness magazine that has not let me unsubscribe to its newsletters for two full years!)

Automated nagging!

And it also has a nifty feature that lets you CC or BCC a message to @SaneBox.com to remind you if someone doesn't respond.
So let's say you need an answer from your boss about a project and you need it no later than two days from now. In the CC field just include the address 2days@SaneBox.com and in two days SaneBox will put the message back in the top of your inbox if she never replied to it. This way you remember to bug her again.
SaneBox also creates an @SaneRemindMe folder that lets you keep track of all the messages to which you still need replies. Use oneweek@SaneBox.com, June5@SaneBox.com or 5minutes@SaneBox.com; it doesn't matter, SaneBox will figure out the time frame you need.
The service is $5 a month and works with email clients such as Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, iPhone, and Android and as well most email services like Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, AOL, and Gmail.  The only service it doesn't currently support is Hotmail.

Sexy breast cancer campaigns anger many patients

Many breast cancer survivors say a crop of pink-ribbon campaigns have hit a new low -- by sexualizing breast cancer.
An online porn site this month has been using breast cancer to increase its Web traffic by offering to donate 1 cent for every 30 views of its videos. The intended recipient for the donation, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, rejected the offer and instructed the site to stop using its name.
Yet pornographers are only the most extreme example of a disturbing trend: using sex to sell breast cancer -- or simply get attention, say Gayle Sulik, author ofPink Ribbon Blues. Sulik, who recently lost a friend to the disease, notes that magazines and advertising campains now routinely use topless young women to illustrate a disease whose average victims are in their 60s.
"I don't see the porn site to be much different from the 'Feel your boobies' T-shirts," says Sulik, referring to the Pennsylvania-based Feel Your Boobies Foundation. "It sexually objectifies women, trivializes breast cancer . . . and uses the objectified woman as window dressing for the profit-making machine."
Newer cancer groups are embracing slogans such as "Save the Ta-Tas" and "I Love Boobies" in the name of humor and reaching out to a younger, less conservative audience. Other groups say they're trying to stand out from the crowd of public service announcements that arrive every October, during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A poster for the "Save 2nd Base" fundraiser at Tao restaurant in Las Vegas last month, for example, depicted a curvy model in a string bikini, noting "everyone in pink bathing suits receives open bar." An online version of the ad went viral, spread by outraged cancer survivors. The Las Vegas restaurant did not return phone calls for this story.
Although proceeds were to benefit Komen, the cancer group's spokeswoman Andrea Rader says Komen hasn't heard how much was raised, and won't accept the donation. Rader says the Las Vegas restaurant was supposed to get Komen's approval before launching the ads, but did not. "We would never have approved that," Rader says. Rader notes that Komen, which has been criticized for its "cause marketing" partnerships with companies such as KFC, disapproves of coy language for body parts. "We just say 'breasts,'" Rader says.
Breast cancer survivor Kathi Kolb used her skill with computer graphics to create an alternative "2nd Base" poster on her blog, the Accidental Amazon. Kolb's version makes the bikini model look more like a real cancer patient: with a catheter port in her chest, a prosthesis in her bra and a compression sleeve on her arm to prevent swelling.
"It's thinly disguised prurience," says Kolb, 58. "The average guy may be moderately obsessed with breasts, but any guy who's ever known any woman with breast cancer, the last thing he thinks is that breast cancer is sexy."
Kolb says she's been disgusted by sexy breast cancer campaigns for years, noting that many companies are manipulating customers' compassion for commercial gain. But this year, she says, "is worse than ever."
But Kimmy McAtee, spokeswoman for the Keep A Breast Foundation, says its "I Love Boobies!" campaign aims to "speak to young people in their own voice about a subject that is often scary and taboo." T-shirts and bracelets "speak directly to our target audience in a way that is authentic, inspiring and refreshing. We always want to take a positive approach to breast cancer awareness, rather than a funny or sexy one."
Even mainstream groups, such as the American Cancer Society, are using humor to get their message across. "It's OK to look at our chests," the society announces, with videos showing close-ups of women's chests. On a site calledmakingstrideswalk.org/boobs, the society announces that a fundraising walk "was created to focus on breasts, and women are glad their chest has our undivided attention."
The American Cancer Society says the "boobs" video was created to get people's attention. In a written statement, the society said, "People are exposed to a wide variety of breast cancer information during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, and this video was intended to break through the clutter to capture the attention of social media users, who we want to encourage to spread the word about an important message: empowering women to take control of their breast health and fight back in their communities."
Breast cancer survivor Lani Horn, 41, from Nashville, says these groups are missing the point. "All of us are really fed up," Horn says. "Save the tatas? No, save the women. A lot of us had to give up our tatas to live."
Karuna Jagger, executive director of Breast Cancer Action, an advocacy group, says, "The implicit message in these campaigns is that it is breasts that are sexy; sexy is what is important; and we should care about breast cancer because it takes those lovely, sexy breasts out of the world . . . Every October, the stunts just gets more bizarre and further removed from what's needed for this epidemic."
Horn, who blogs atchemobabe.com, scoffs at the notion that campaigns such "Feel Your Boobies" educate women about breast self-exams.
While many women with cancer do find breast lumps themselves, that tends to happen more by accident, such as while getting dressed, than during formal self-exams. Medical authorities such as the American Cancer Society and U.S. Preventive Services Task Force no longer promote monthly breast self-exams.
Overall, teaching women to do structured monthly self-exams causes more harm than good; it doesn't save lives, but does cause needless worry, says physician Virginia Moyer, chair of the federal task force. "This doesn't mean women shouldn't be 'breast-aware,' but it does mean that we know that clinicians spending time teaching the techniques of breast exam and promoting its uptake is a poor use of time," Moyer says.
Yet ogling-as-fundraising isn't limited to the USA.
A British group, Coppafeel!, urges women to do a "boob check." In an imitation of Janet Jackson's infamousRolling Stonecover, Coppafeel has been promoting its campaign with images of a topless member of the Spice Girls, Mel B, and her husband, Stephen Belafonte, who clutches her breasts.
A French website calledBoobstragramencourages women to post photos of themselves in a bra, advising, "showing your boobs on the web is good; showing them to your doctor is better."
Writer Peggy Orenstein, who has been treated for breast cancer twice, says she's appalled at what is being marketed on behalf of "women like me."
The new campaigns do real harm, she says, by reinforcing the image that breasts are a woman's most valued asset. That only increases the pain suffered by women who undergo mastectomies, Orenstein says.
"On one hand, women with cancer are told -- or have to learn -- that we are not our breasts, that our sexuality, our femininity are not located in the mammary gland," Orenstein says. "That's a complicated, sometimes painful reckoning. Then these organizations come along and reinforce the notion that boobs are the most important things about us, particularly if they're hot and apparently most particularly if they're actually fake."
When diagnosed with aggressive cancer at age 38, Horn says, saving her breasts was the last thing on her mind. All she could think about, she says, was staying alive for her three young children. "Every time I thought, 'I can't climb back into that chemo chair,' I thought, 'I have to be able to tell my kids, 'I did everything possible.'"
The new breed of ads is especially cruel, Horn says, because breast cancer strips women of many features associated with femininity and beauty. Chemotherapy and surgery to remove the ovaries can both improve a woman's odds of survival, but at the cost of plunging her into instant menopause.
Chemo can make women lose their hair, eyebrows and eyelashes. Radiation can leave women's chests feeling, as one survivor has described it, like "a raw piece of meat."
And beyond the chemo-induced nausea, diarrhea and vomiting, Horn says, long-term hormonal therapy can cause severe vaginal dryness, making intercourse too painful to contemplate. While many cancer survivors want more information about preserving their fertility and alleviating sexual side effects, very few get help, Horn says.
Cancer "doesn't make you feel terribly sexy. Pain is not terribly sexy," Horn says. "There's a cruelty to this, when you're in danger of losing the very sexuality that they're selling."

Amateur radio enthusiast reaching for the moon

Sending a voice signal 239,200 miles to the lunar surface and back, is not an easy task. But for amateur radio buffs or “hams”, as they call themselves, the ultimate dream is to reach for the moon. “Earth-moon-earth (EME) radio communication has been my life-long ambition. For an amateur radio enthusiast, EME is similar to what Mount Everest means for a mountaineer,” said Muneem Hossain Rana. Further likening his hobby to mountaineering, the Dallas-based expatriate said, “There is no pecuniary interest involved in this amateur radio thing. It is an expensive hobby that requires real technical expertise and lot of time.”
Rana said hams could be very useful in assisting emergency efforts and working with public service agencies, during times of disaster, when regular communications channels are disrupted. “This is because radio amateurs use a variety of voice, text, image and data communications. They also have access to frequency allocations, throughout the radio frequency (RF) spectrum, to enable communication across a city, region, country, continent, or even into space,” he added.
Explaining about EME communication, he said the technique relies on propagation of radio waves from an earth-based transmitter, directed via reflection from the surface of the moon, back to an earth-based receiver. “In other words, it is a two-way communication via radio, where the moon surface is used, instead of atmosphere, to bounce back the signal,” he said.
EME requires a higher grade of ham-radio technology than that used for traditional earth-bound communication, across parts of the radio spectrum approved by governments for amateur use, he added.
“At present, EME provides the longest bi-directional communication path between two stations on Earth. Only about 1,000 hams worldwide have stations capable of moon-bouncing,” Rana said. “My proposal is unique, because I plan to transmit signal from my house at Dallas, Texas, which will be received by a team stationed in Bangladesh, after the signal bounces back from the moon”, he said.
According to websites on EME, the use of the moon as a passive communication satellite was proposed by WJ Bray of the British General Post Office in 1940. It was calculated that with the available microwave transmission power and low noise receivers, it would be possible to beam microwave signals up from the Earth and reflect off the moon.
The “moon bounce” technique, however, was developed by the US military after World War II, with the first successful reception of echoes off the moon being carried out at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, on January 10, 1946, by John H DeWitt, as part of Project Diana. Later, the technique was used by non-military commercial users, and the first amateur detection of signals from the moon took place in 1953.
So why this particular EME communication planned by Rana is unique? He explained that the moon must be above the horizon, in order for EME communications to be possible. But Bangladesh and the US are opposite directions in reference to the moon. “We will get only a couple of minutes at early morning or evening to release the signal, when moon can be sighted both from the US and Bangladesh. No one in the amateur radio community has tried this sort of communication, so far”, he said.
Rana said EME communication needs absolute precision, as the moon is a poor sounding board as it is spinning and has a rough surface that can disrupt signals. The hams’ voices must survive atmospheric interference over the long round-trip journey in a discernible form, he said.
In the backyard of his Dallas house, Rana has already started arrangements to establish the set-up for his communication. At first, he will try it with a 32-element beam antenna, and then it will be an array of four beam antennas. He will start transmit an array of signals from the MHz frequency band to the G Hz band.
Rana, who recently visited Bangladesh, said he already had meetings with the Bangladeshi team. “There are about 100 registered hams in Bangladesh. I have teamed up with some of them. We are now doing groundwork to select a suitable location in Bangladesh, where the signal can be received without interruption, after it bounces back from the moon”, he said.
Considering all the complexities involved, Rana said that their experiment needed a lot of patience. “We may pass six months or even a year without success, but that is the way our hobby is. Theoretically it is possible, so we will keep on trying,” he said.
Rana said that he has been an amateur radio enthusiast from his early years. “I was one of the first hams in Bangladesh. We started the movement in Bangladesh from the early 70s. It was due to our constant persuasion that the government gave official permission to have communication, through the amateur radio in 1992,” he added.

Judges cross-examined in Ctg arms haul cases

Defence lawyers cross-examined Muntasir Ahmed, senior assistant judge of Chandpur, and Abu Hanan, joint district judge of Noakhali, before the court of the judge of the Special Tribunal-1, SM Mujibur Rahman, for the second consecutive day on Tuesday. It was in connection with arms haul cases. Sources said the two judges, who were working in the port city as metropolitan magistrates during the procedure of the arms haul cases, testified before the court about the recording of statements of some of the accused persons under Section 164 at that time.
Muntasir started giving his testimony at 1 pm. After that, advocate Kamrul Islam Sajjad, lawyer of accused Rejjakul Hyder, advocate Abdus Sobhan, lawyer of accused Lutfozzaman Babar, and advocate Md Ahsan, lawyer of accused Liakot Hossain, cross-examined him.
Muntasir said he had recorded the statement of Maj. Gen. (retd) Sadik Hasan Rumi on April 13, 2011. “I recorded nine pages of statement given by Rumi,” he added.
Abu Hanan, after completion of his testimony, was cross-examined by advocate Mahamudul Haque, lawyer of  accused Md Shahabuddin.
Abu Hanan said he had recorded the confessional statement of Wing Commander (retd) Shahabuddin on May 15, 2009. “I also recorded the statement of a witness, AKM Mohiuddin Chowdhury,” he added.
The court summoned four judges, who were metropolitan magistrates during the procedure of the arms haul cases.
The other two judges will testify before the court on Wednesday. They are Osman Gani, joint district judge of Rangamati, and Mahabubur Rahman, secretary of the CHT Land Commission.
The court was adjourned till Wednesday.
It may be mentioned that Mobin Hossain Khan, the then assistant security officer of the Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Company Limited (CUFL), testified before the court on Monday. He said Nurul Amin, then acting secretary of the industry ministry, was monitoring the unloading of arms from ships at the CUFL jetty.
“KM Enamul Haque, former CUFL managing director and general manager, was informed about the arms smuggling. He had given permission for the unloading at the CUFL jetty. Nurul Amin was staying at the CUFL guest house to monitor the unloading operation,” he added.
“After the arms haul at the CUFL jetty, the authorities damaged several establishments, including temporary shops, at the jetty area. I don’t know the reasons for such action,” he noted.
He said the arms were smuggled for ULFA, and that senior CUFL officials and government officials were in the know.
“I was framed for my knowledge of the involvement of senior officials in the case. I've lost my job through illegal means for the same reason,” he added.
Earlier, Mobin Hossain Khan had testified before the court on June 26 and 27, 2006.

KSA urged to recruit more Bangladeshi workers

Leader of the opposition in Parliament Khaleda Zia on Tuesday requested the Saudi government to recruit more skilled and half-skilled workers from Bangladesh. She made the request while a Saudi delegation led by Speaker of Majlis-e-Shura of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Ibrahim Al-Sheikh called on the BNP chairperson at her Gulshan residence in the city. The opposition leader requested the visiting Speaker to utilize his good office to recruit more Bangladeshis in Saudi Arabia, said BNP coordinator Tariqul Islam to the reporters after the meeting.
In response to the call of the BNP chairperson, the Speaker apprised her that massive development for the Holy Kaba Sharif is in progress and the development works will also start for Madina and Khaleda Zia requested the Speaker to employ skilled and half-skilled manpower from Bangladesh to work for those development works.
The BNP leader said, both the leaders discussed several bilateral issues during the meeting which began at 2 pm.
He said, the discussion between the two leaders was a fruitful one.
Talking to the reporters, the Saudi Speaker said, the matter of developing bilateral relations came up in the discussion with the opposition leader.
He highly appreciated the role of Khaleda Zia in strengthening the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The visiting Speaker said, the meeting with the opposition leader was held in a friendly atmosphere and he awarded a crest to the BNP chairperson during the meeting.
BNP standing committee members MK Anwar, BNP chairperson's Advisers Reaz Rahman and Sabih Uddin Ahmed, BNP chairperson's Special Assistant to KSA Enamul Haque were present at the meeting.
Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abdullah Bin Naser Al-Busairi was also present with the 13-member parliamentary delegation.
The Saudi Speaker arrived in Dhaka on Sunday on a four-day visit at the invitation of Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate.
During the visit, the visiting Speaker held meetings with President Md Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Speaker Abdul Hamid Advocate.

Gang-raped Tangail school girl recovering slowly

The 14-year-old gang-rape victim in Tangail, now being treated in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), starts recovering slowly from her illness, physicians said on Tuesday.
"The girl was suffering in fever till last Monday but the fever has been down and came in control from Tuesday," Dr Bilkis Begum, the coordinator of the One-Stop Crisis Centre (OSCC) at the DMCH told The Independent. Dr Bilkis, also the member secretary of the seven member medical team which was formed to look after the girl, said that on Tuesday the girl sit on bed and talk with her mother which is a sign that she is recovering slowly.
Besides this the girls wouldn't take anything since December 14 but she starts taking orange juice from January 4, which is better sign for her health," she said, adding that as the juice is not sufficient for her health, so we still giving her saline to fulfil it.
About the physical examination result of the girl, who was admitted to the hospital on the first day of the year in critical condition and was shifted to the OSCC in the evening, Dr Bilkis said that we have done blood test, X-ray and Ultra sonogram of her and found all reports are well excepts some infection on her urine test. We would make some more test of the girl as per medical board decision, she said.
Dr Bilkis also said that they would examine the actual age of the girl by operating Radiology examination. The doctors of the seven member medical team that formed with Neuron Medicine department head Kazi Din Mohammad as a convener of it regularly examining the girls in due time.
Earlier, the girl was abducted on December 7, 2012 and raped for three days, according to the police and the family. She was later found unconscious by the railway at Madhupur in Tangail on December 10.
The girl was admitted to Tangail General Hospital on December 11 from where she was shifted to the DMCH as her conditioned deteriorated. Bithi Akhter, close to the girl, invited her to a wedding ceremony on December 7 from where she was taken to a  house in a nearby forest, the victim's mother said.
The police have so far arrested five suspects, including Bithi, in this connection and produced them in court. The court allowed Bithi and the other four Shahjahan Ali, Nuruzzaman Geda, Harunur Rashid, Moniruzzaman Moni for police remand. The victim's brother filed a case with the Madhupur police on December 31, 2012.

Non-govt primary schools, teachers to be nationalised

The government has decided to nationalise 26,193 non-government primary schools and its 103,845 teachers across the country. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to declare this today (Wednesday) at the teachers’ grand rally at National Parade Ground,” Primary and Mass Education Minister Dr Afsarul Ameen told reporters at a press briefing at the ministry on Tuesday. He said that jobs of 1,03,885 teachers would be nationalised in three phases under the scheme.
The minister expected that over one lakh teachers would attend the grand rally.
A total of 22,981 schools that have already been getting Monthly Pay Order (MPO) from the government, will be nationalised in the first phase, the minister said, adding, “A total of 2,252 schools, which are not getting the MPO benefits, will be nationalised in the second phase on July 1.”
He further said that nationalisation of the remaining 960 schools, which have either got approval or have been waiting for approval, will take place in the third phase on January 1, 2014.
Once nationalised, the teachers of these schools will get the same salaries and benefits as those in government primary schools, Dr Ameen said.
“A total of Tk 100 crore will be needed in the first phase, Tk 371 crore in the second and Tk 651 crore in the third phase as an additional cost,” the minister said. Earlier, the Premier assured the primary teachers to meet their demand and directed the ministry to prepare a draft policy to nationalise these schools and teachers on May 27 last year.
The ministry then formed a committee that prepared the draft policy and submitted before the Prime Minister’s office.
The government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman first nationalised 36,165 primary schools including over one lakh fifty thousand teachers across the country in 1973. Since then, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of the father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is going to nationalise 26,193 non-government primary schools and its 103,845 teachers across the country at a time for the second time in the history. There are now over 85,000 government and non-government  primary schools across the country.

Constitutional fight over Chavez status intensifies

A constitutional fight over ailing President Hugo Chavez’s status intensified Tuesday with the government planning a massive show of support in the streets on the day he is supposed to be sworn in to a new term. Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said late Monday that Chavez’s medical condition has remained “stationary” since the latest complication from surgery was reported four days ago. Chavez, who underwent his fourth round of cancer surgery in Havana nearly a month ago, is suffering from a severe pulmonary infection that has resulted in a respiratory insufficiency.
The call for a rally January 10 outside the Miraflores presidential palace comes amid a stormy debate over whether Chavez and his current government can remain in office if he is too sick to take the oath of office.
The Catholic church waded into the controversy for the first time Monday, with a warning that it would be “morally unacceptable” to override the constitution and that Chavez’s prolonged absence had put the country’s stability at risk.
But the leftist government and the conservative opposition brandished conflicting interpretations of the constitution, with Chavez’s allies
calling the president’s swearing-in a “formality” that can be fulfilled sometime after January 10.
“We rule out absolutely nothing,” said National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello, when asked at a news conference if Chavez’s return in time for the inauguration had been ruled out.
“But we’re not going to get to the 10th and not know what we are going to do. We know what we’re going to do,” he said.
Part of the plan is to hold a huge pro-Chavez rally, with the participation of as yet unidentified foreign leaders, in a reminder of the 55 percent support that won the leftist firebrand re-election to another six-year term October 7.
“All of Venezuela will come here in front of the Miraflores presidential palace, the people supporting our president—the people supporting comandante Chavez—in an overwhelming manner, the people in the street,” said National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello.

India says two soldiers killed in clash with Pakistan

SRINAGAR: Pakistani troops killed two Indian soldiers on Tuesday near the tense disputed border between the nuclear-armed neighbours in Kashmir and one of the bodies was badly mutilated, the Indian army said.
The firefight broke out at about noon on Tuesday (0630 GMT) after an Indian patrol discovered Pakistani troops about half a kilometre (1,600 feet) inside Indian territory, army spokesman Rajesh Kalia told AFP.

A ceasefire has been in place along the Line of Control that divides the countries since 2003, but it is periodically violated by both sides and Pakistan said Indian troops killed a Pakistani soldier on Sunday.

"The government of India considers the incident as a provocative action and we condemn it," said a statement from India's defence ministry over the latest clash. "The government will take up the incident with the Pakistan government."

Relations between the neighbours had been slowly improving over the last few years following a rupture in their slow-moving peace process after the 2008 attacks on Mumbai, which were blamed by India on Pakistan-based militants.

"There was a firefight with Pakistani troops," Kalia told AFP from the mountainous Himalayan region, confirming the names of the men as sergeants Hemraj Singh and Sudhakar Singh.

"We lost two soldiers and one of them has been badly mutilated," he added, declining to give more details on the injuries.

"The intruders were regular (Pakistani) soldiers and they were 400-500 metres (1,300-1,600 feet) inside our territory," he said of the clash in Mendhar sector, 173 kilometres (107 miles) west by road from the city of Jammu.

In Islamabad, a Pakistan military spokesman denied what he called an "Indian allegation of unprovoked firing", adding that the Indian account was "propaganda to divert the attention of the world from Sunday's raid on a Pakistani post".

Pakistan's army says Indian troops crossed the Line of Control on Sunday and stormed a military post in an attack that left one Pakistani soldier dead and another injured.

It lodged a formal protest with India on Monday.

India denied crossing the line, but a foreign ministry spokesman said Indian troops had undertaken "controlled retaliation" on Sunday after "unprovoked firing" which damaged a civilian home.

The deaths deal a serious blow to efforts to ease tension in South Asia and improve diplomatic relations, such as opening up trade and offering more lenient visa regimes which have been a feature of recent high-level talks.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is a Himalayan region which India and Pakistan both claim in full but rule in part. It was the cause of two of three wars between the neighbours since independence from Britain in 1947.

The chief minister of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, condemned the alleged mutilation as "unacceptable in any civilised society".

"Clearly someone up the chain of command (in Pakistan) wants to do everything to derail any dialogue between the two countries," he wrote on Twitter.

WB panel's report on Padma issue likely by month end

DHAKA: World Bank's (WB) Country Director in Dhaka Ellen Goldstein Tuesday said the World Bank expert panel was expected to issue its report on the Padma Bridge issue by the end of the current month.
"I remain optimistic" about the World Bank financing of the Padma Bridge project, she said on the sidelines of a programme at the ICDDRB auditorium here as approached by newsmen on the Bank's latest position on the issue.

"Of course, it (the report) will become public," she added.

She said the three-member expert panel, which earlier visited Dhaka twice to review Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigations into the alleged "graft plot" involving the project, was currently reviewing the First Information Report (FIR) against the suspects.

World Bank officials familiar with the process said the ACC provided the Bank with the original Bangla version of the FIR and a translated version of the copy was given to the panel for review.

Goldstein said after the submission of the report, the lead financer WB and co- financiers-Asian Development Bank, JICA and Islamic Development Bank will have to talk and take decision also.

"It is two-stage process-the panel of experts will submit report and then all lenders need to make their own decisions about the financing," she explained.

On June 29, 2012, the WB announced the cancellation of a $1.2 billion IDA credit for the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project and it announced its engagement anew in the Padma Multipurpose Bridge on September 20 under some conditions.

The External Panel of anti-corruption experts of the World Bank visited Dhaka twice -first in October and then in December last year to assess the progress of the Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) investigation into evidence of corruption under the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project.

The three-member panel is chaired by Luis Moreno Ocampo, former chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The two other panel members are Timothy Tong, former commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China; and Richard Alderman, former director of Britain's Serious Fraud Office.

I love a girl who does not care ( Quotes)

Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.

10 ways to love: Listen, speak, give, pray, answer, share, enjoy, trust, forgive, promise.

While most people think it’s our brain that controls our actions, it’s often our heart that gets the biggest workout.

Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned into family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love.

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

There’s a difference between who we love, who we settle for, and who we’re meant for.

Never chase love, affection, or attention. If it isn’t given freely by another person, then it isn’t worth having.

If you’ve never lost your mind, then you’ve never followed your heart.

You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.

There’s always that one person, no matter how long it’s been or how badly they’ve treated you, if they say “I love you”, you will always say it back.

The person who really loves you will never leave your side no matter how hard things get through better or worse.

Fight for the people and the things you love, no matter what tasks or risks you may face, it will be worth it.

When you truly love someone, you don’t judge them by their past. You leave it there. Just be happy that their future is with you.

Find someone worth your tears, your laughter, and your heart. Someone that loves you as much as you love them.

I don’t have the prettiest face for you to look at or the skinniest waist for you to hold, but I do promise I have the BIGGEST heart to love you with.

Find a guy who would jump fences to be with you, not a guy who is on the fence about being with you.

Most people spend their time trying to find someone to sleep with, instead of finding someone worth waking up to.

To fall in love is easy, even to remain in it is not difficult; our human loneliness is cause enough. But it is a hard quest worth making to find a comrade through whose steady presence one becomes steadily the person one desires to be.

It’s quite ironic that in life, the person that brings out the best in you and makes you strong is actually your weakness.

They ask me what I see in you and I smile, look down and say nothing because I don’t want them to fall in love with you too.

When you truly love someone, no matter what happens and no matter what mistakes get made, you never give up the fight to make things right.

Just the thought of being with you tomorrow is enough to get me through the day.


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Anika Devi received her Bachelor’s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University in 2012. She began freelancing for Business Solutions BD in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor.
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