Gunmen with rocket-launchers massacre 60 at market in Mahmoudiya, Iraq

Monday, July 17, 2006

For 30 minutes, a mob of heavily-armed gunmen tore through a Shiite populated market town in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, exploding car bombs and shooting at people.

Police Capt. Rashid al-Samaraie said the assault which killed at least 60 began at 9 a.m. when mortars were fired into the town and a group of men in cars stormed a checkpoint, killing three Iraqi soldiers.

The gunmen proceeded to attack shoppers and passers-by with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades. Some of the 50 strong attack force threw grenades into open restaurants and cafes. Two car bombs also were detonated leading to further casualties.

Local town official Sheik Bassem Anizi said he was an eyewitness to the events as they unfolded. “I saw the armed gunmen shooting randomly at the people. The terrorists wanted to send a message saying we can attack anywhere we want and kill civilians,” he said. Anizi escaped the massacre by hiding behind a wall in a hardware shop.

Early reports said a total of 60 people died and about 50 people were injured.

2006 Commonwealth Games open in Melbourne

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The XVIIIth Commonwealth Games were opened officially by Queen Elizabeth II tonight, in Melbourne, Australia in a two-and-a-half hour spectacular Opening Ceremony held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. About 80,000 spectators were in attendance, and hundreds of thousands lined the riverbank of the nearby Yarra River, watching as the Queen’s baton made its way to the stadium.

The Queen’s Baton final runner was John Landy, the current Governor of Victoria, and a Bronze medalist in the 1956 Summer Olympics.

The ceremony began with the flags of Australia, England, (previous host) and India, (next host) being raised.

In a change from the traditional format, the teams did not enter in alphabetical order; instead, they entered in order of regions of the Commonwealth, starting with the European nations. Then Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean and finally Oceania entered the stadium.

Melbourne funk band The Cat Empire provided musical accompaniment as the athletes marched into the arena, playing music specifically written for each continent.

The Queen, dressed in gold and accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, received the baton, which has travelled to all 71 competing nations, where she read the message placed within the baton (366 days earlier on Commonwealth Day, March 14, 2005).

The Queen’s said “I am glad to have this opportunity to offer my best wishes to every athlete and official taking part in these friendly Games …. It now gives me the greatest pleasure to declare the 18th Commonwealth Games open.”

The Queen, who is 80 next month (21 April), was taken aback when the audience joined in a tribute of Happy Birthday, ending with eight bars from God Save the Queen, led by New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

4,500 athletes representing 71 teams from 53 Commonwealth countries will be competing at the games this year. A potential global television audience of 1.5 billion is expected to tune in. The Commonwealth Games will run through to the 26th March.

FDA issues proposed rules requiring calorie content on menus

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued proposed calorie labeling rules requiring most retail food vendors to display the calorie counts in items on their menus and menu boards. The proposed rules, issued Friday and expected to be finalized in 2012, would apply to most restaurants, snack bars, vending machines, coffee shops, drive-through restaurants, and convenience and grocery stores.

The US Congress required the rules in the health-care reform law passed in 2010. The rules proposed by the FDA must undergo a public comment period before they are finalized and take effect, said Michael R. Taylor, Deputy Director for Foods at the FDA.

The proposed regulations pertain to businesses devoting more than 50 percent of their floor space to the sale of food or that consider themselves restaurants, specifically food-selling chains with at least 20 stores nationally. Included are candy stores, bakeries, and ice-cream parlors.

The FDA’s proposed guidelines specify that chains post the calorie counts of foods and drinks on menus and menu boards or next to the food item, such as at a salad bar. The menu is to prominently exhibit the calorie content of each item in a way customers can see easily, giving them the same information packaged foods prepared at home currently provide. The information must be displayed in “clear and conspicuous” print and colors.

Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.

Many cities and states have passed laws requiring calorie labeling on menus, beginning with New York City in 2008. California implemented a similar law in January, although many counties are waiting for the release of the federal guidelines before they begin enforcement. Some fast-food chains there, such as McDonald’s and Starbucks, are displaying calorie counts on menus in some of their stores.

The rules are intended to curb the national obesity epidemic since, according to FDA estimates, one third of the calories people consume yearly come from food eaten out. In a statement issued yesterday, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services said, “Giving consumers clear nutritional information makes it easier for them to choose healthier options that can help fight obesity and make us all healthier.”

Excluded from the rules are businesses whose primary product is not food sales but that sell it, such as bowling alleys, airports and airplanes, amusement parks, hotels and movie theaters. Alcohol is also excluded.

Grow Taller Supplement To Improve The Natural Height Law}

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How To Make Shopping For Beautiful And Durable Outdoor Living Furniture A Fun Experience}

Submitted by: Ann Marier

The outdoors is a place that many people enjoy being and have some of the very best times of their lives. Grilling, camping, fishing, hunting, playing sports or just relaxing by the beach are all pleasurable experiences that millions of people enjoy on a regular basis. Even outdoor parties such as barbeques and pool parties can be great fun and a memorable experience as well. For this reason, outdoor living furniture is always a popular item for those who own their own home or for corporations or companies who want to decorate their facilities so employees and/or customers can enjoy a natural atmosphere.

Outdoor Living Furniture In Many Shapes And Styles

When one thinks of outdoor living furniture, a table with a large umbrella in the center may come to mind, with four chairs surrounding the table. While this can be one style of outdoor living furniture, it is by no means the only option available. There are thousands of designs and trends when it comes to furniture, and outdoor living furniture is no exception. Furniture is created to be trendy or modern, more traditional and conservative, or somewhere in between.

The trendy look tends to lean toward more out of the ordinary shapes and sizes, even colors. Black or bright red may be used to draw attention to the table and/or chairs. Often, choices such as plastic or other materials may be used in these kinds of designs as well. The more traditional pieces may be hand-made with wrought iron or aluminum. They are usually more expensive and very durable for many years. These conservative pieces of outdoor living furniture normally include chaise lounges, swings, and comfortable chairs with cushions and pillows included. The furniture itself can be made of wood also, such as teak, which is quite popular yet expensive. These pieces of furniture are very attractive and soothing, especially within a garden setting.

Those individuals who like to entertain guests on a regular basis usually choose the more conservative style of outdoor living furniture for its comfort and attractive look. A bench is often purchased, as well as a couch with cushions that are weather-resistant. Sometimes, a small fire pit or oven may even be placed in the center of the furniture in order to relax by a soothing fire. An outdoor bar may also be part of the furniture as well, offering guests any number of fruity drinks in the summer time. Regardless of ones need or purposes for their outdoor living furniture, it is a wonderful investment to make to any home or office.

About the Author: Ann Merier writes articles about family health,house and garden Topics.

Outdoor Living Furniture Other Deck Patio Furniture Ideas


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Austrian man who imprisoned daughter pleads guilty at start of trial

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

An Austrian man charged with keeping his daughter prisoner in a dungeon for 24 years and fathering her seven children, has pleaded guilty to rape, incest, false imprisonment and coercion but innocent to enslavement and Murder|murder at the start of his trial today.

Josef Fritzl, 73, allegedly began imprisoning and raping his daughter Elisabeth, now 42, on August 8, 1984. He lured her to the basement where she was locked in a room, handcuffed and drugged. He is charged with incest, false imprisonment, murder, rape and the enslavement. The murder charge stems from allegations that Fritzl murdered a twin of one of the children. He then disposed of the body by placing the corpse into a heated oven, burning the body. Police say the child had died shortly after being born.

Police became suspicious when a 19-year-old daughter, Kerstin, was taken to hospital with a mysterious life-threatening illness, and the family’s medical records were checked. Police say that Elisabeth F. appeared to be “greatly disturbed” psychologically, and only agreed to talk after the authorities assured her that she would not have to have contact with her father, and that her children would be cared for. When authorities arrived at his home, Fritzl told police what he had done. Of the surviving six children, there are three boys and three girls, between 5 and 20 years old.

The 27 page indictment says that Fritzl “had equipped it [the cellar] with a double bed, a wash basin, a toilet, a TV, a video recorder, an oven and plastic crockery. In the cellar there was no daylight or fresh air. The only opportunity to wash was in a sink, there was no shower. There was also no hot water or heating.” The indictment also stated that Fritzl’s actions were “premeditated.”

Fritzl’s lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, opened the trial saying that Fritzl was “not a monster” and that Fritzl “was scared [and] regrets his actions”. As a precaution to prevent media infiltration and Fritzl’s escape, authorities issued a no-fly warning above the courtroom.

Fritzl was arrested on April 27, 2008, in his home in Amstetten and if convicted, he would spend the rest of his life behind bars without the possibility of parole. The minimum sentence is said to be at least 15 years in prison. The trial is expected to last one week.

Quiznos restaurant chain airs controversial commercial

Friday, April 3, 2009

Quiznos, a fast food restaurant chain that specializes in selling submarine sandwiches, has aired a controversial television commercial, with an extended version only appearing in the late-night lineups. The commercial is a promotion for the company’s new sandwich, the ‘Toasty Torpedo’. Bob Sassone, a writer for, argues that it is homosexually themed and compares it to pornography.

The commercial begins with a toaster oven talking to Scott, a Quiznos sandwich maker, in a male voice. “Scott, I want you to do something,” says the toaster to Scott. As he takes a bite of a Torpedo and appears to look in the direction of his genitals, Scott says to the toaster, “[sic] not doing that again. That burned.” The toaster replies, “We both enjoyed that.”

Later in the commercial, the toaster asks Scott to make one of the sandwiches and says the price of it is “sexy” and then “sexier.” Scott grins and does so. The toaster then asks Scott to “stick it in me”. The sandwich just happens to be 12 inches long, giving the appearance of a special relationship between Scott and the toaster oven.

Quiznos published a press release on March 24 announcing the new line of sandwiches. They stated that their price of US$4 helps to ease the economic pinch. In a statement to Wikinews Quiznos stated that their commercials are within the company’s character and they were designed to get people talking.

“We developed our new ads to be consistent with the Quiznos brand and to get people excited about our new Toasty Torpedoes. Some of the ads are edgy and provocative, but they’re well within the confines of the Quiznos brand character,” said Rebecca Steinfort, chief marketing officer for Quiznos to Wikinews.

“Since Quiznos has a broad range of consumers that eat at its more than 4,500 restaurants nationwide, we tailor our commercials to be relevant and appeal to our diverse customers – all of whom are watching different kinds of programming. The new ads are fun and entertaining, and the edginess and innuendo of the ads are designed to get people talking about our new Toasty Torpedoes, and that’s exactly what we want: people to talk and taste our new sandwiches,” added Steinfort.

Bob Sassone a writer for, one of the Internet’s top television weblogs, compared the commercial to a pornography film.

“The new Quizno’s commercial is probably the closest we’ll get to a gay porn flick in a mainstream sub shop ad,” Sassone wrote.

In 2007, the company made another controversial commercial. It featured people on the street eating samples of a Quiznos ‘Prime Rib Dinner’ sandwich. They promoted it as having a lot of “meat” and near the end it featured two women eating a sandwich saying, “It’s not lacking any meat. And that’s what real women need”.

“Nevertheless, Quiznos remains committed to providing its customers with high-quality ingredients at everyday lower prices, all with excellent service. As such, we encourage consumers to give feedback on the commercials to our corporate marketing department through the website,” said Steinfort.

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Camping Do You Love It Or Hate It?

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By D Ruplinger

In my family, we have camping lovers and camping haters. My husband, kids, and I love to go camping. My mother just stares at me every time I talk about an upcoming camping trip and asks why I want to leave my brand new home that has a brand new bed with a brand new mattress so that I can go sleep in the woods on a mattress I fill with air. Being the articulate person I am I say, ‘Because it’s fun.’

It’s hard to explain to a non camper how relaxing it is to be out in the open air all day at a campground with miles of trails to hike and bike; or by a lake to go swimming, boating, or fishing in.

I tell my Mom how it’s fun to explore the area trails; looking at the views, the vegetation, and the wildlife. For example, during a recent camping trip an evening bike ride brought me within 10 feet of a baby deer out with its mother. It’s hard to explain how fun it is to be able to see something like that.

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But instead my Mom asked me how bad the bugs bit and if I got sunburned during that day’s hike.

Then I try to explain to her about how much fun it is to sit around the campfire at night. It’s a great time for casual conversation and to have a beverage and maybe a few toasted marshmallows or S’mores. I love watching the flames and listening to the wood crackle and pop. My mom asks how we keep the mosquitoes away (lots of tiki torches and mosquito repellant) and says, ‘Doesn’t it get boring after a half hour?’ Again, being the articulate person I am my answer is, ‘Ummmm, no.’

I try to explain the food cooked outdoors just tastes better. Campfire coffee along with bacon and eggs is hard to beat. And those little S’more makers you can buy in the store are nothing like the delicious S’mores you make over a real campfire. And if you’ve never had a pudgie pie made over a campfire, you’re missing out on one of the best camping foods there is! But when I explain to my Mom how good camping food is, she wonders if the bugs buzz around the food we’re trying to eat and asks if I miss my dishwasher. Thanks Mom! My pop-up camper doesn’t have hot water so I have to do things the old fashioned way and heat the water I need to wash dishes.

When it comes to camping though, most non campers could deal with sleeping in a tent or a pop-up camper and wouldn’t mind cooking their food outside. But the one sticking point for many non-campers is the bathroom and shower facilities at campgrounds (unless you’re lucky enough to have a camper with its own bathroom and shower facilities). Camping is not like staying at a 5 star hotel. The bathroom and shower amenities take a little getting used to. Some people will wait as long as possible to go to the bathroom because they want to avoid using the pit toilets at the campground any more than necessary. My sister-in-law doesn’t mind the pit toilets as much as she minds the spiders that are usually in them.

Camping is what you make of it. Nobody says you have to like it. My Mom doesn’t but I sure do. It’s a way to get away from the daily stresses of your normal life, kick back, relax, and enjoy yourself for a few days. You’ll have responsibilities no more taxing than deciding what clothes to wear that day, what to eat, and whether you want to go for a walk or a bike ride or just sit in a chair and relax by the campfire.

About the Author: D Ruplinger shares her camping experiences and advice at Make sure you get her outstanding

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Obrador supporters block streets in Mexico City

Monday, July 31, 2006

Tents began sprouting in Mexico’s capital Sunday afternoon after leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel López Obrador called on his supporters to set up camp on the capital until a recount is ordered by the Federal Electoral Tribunal.

The encampments are to be placed along a 4.6-mile stretch of the city. As of now, the number of people in the camps is unknown but the encampments themselves are expected to block most of the streets in the city, an expectation made much more believable by the fact that in Sunday, only hours after Obrador’s message, one of the capital’s major avenues was blocked for miles. This was only the latest action in a series of protests after the controversial elections that took place in July 2, when Felipe Calderón beat López Obrador, the candidate considered most popular, by less than a percentage point. López Obrador stated he will only back down if the recount is made and a winner is re-chosen, subsequently the protests are not expected to stop until the Federal Electoral Tribunal makes a decision upon the disputed election.