You are herepeople

people


Reasons for invading Iraq? "Misleading", former Bush aide McClellan writes in a book and testifies

“Ideals of candor, transparency and integrity,” ... should outweigh “loyalty to an individual officeholder.” - Scott McClellan

former White House press secretary Scott McClellan testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Friday

(quote)

WASHINGTON — Scott McClellan, President Bush’s former press secretary, told the House Judiciary Committee on Friday that he had been unfairly vilified by Bush supporters for his recent book criticizing former White House colleagues over the Iraq war and their involvement in leaking the identity of an intelligence officer. Mr. McClellan, however, offered little new information in his testimony on those issues beyond what he wrote in the book, “” (PublicAffairs), which was published in May and last week topped the nonfiction best-seller list in The New York Times.

In the book, Mr. McClellan says senior White House officials misled the nation about the reasons for invading Iraq and maneuvered him into lying to the public about their roles in the leak case. The book, with Mr. McClellan’s lacerating criticism of his former colleagues, has generated a rich discussion about the obligations of political loyalty, and his appearance Friday on Capitol Hill provided another stage for that debate. The man who once regularly and seemingly by rote defended Mr. Bush in the White House press room was attacked by the committee’s ranking Republican, Representative Lamar Smith of Texas, who grilled Mr. McClellan as ferociously as any reporter had in his three years as press secretary. Committee Democrats, on the other hand, were much gentler, treating Mr. McClellan as if he were an author promoting a book in an interview.  read more »

US arrests 406 in mortgage crackdown, 60 yesterday alone, handcuffed 2 executives whose attorneys say they are used as scapegoat

former Bear Stearns hedge fund manager Ralph Cioffis surrendered this morning after being indicted for securities fraud

(quote)

More than 400 real estate industry players have been indicted since March, including dozens over the last 2 days, in a crackdown on mortgage fraud stemming from America’s housing crisis.

Two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers today became the first executives to face criminal charges related to the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, following a federal criminal probe into the collapse of two funds they oversaw. In an indictment unsealed in New York, Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin were charged with conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud. Cioffi was also charged with insider trading. Cioffi, 52, and Tannin, 46, surrendered to officials and were paraded in handcuffs in front of reporters and onlookers en route to their arraignment today. Their lawyers said they will fight the charges.

Since the beginning of March, 406 people have been arrested in the sting dubbed Operation Malicious Mortgage resulting from 144 cases across America. Sixty people were arrested yesterday alone, including in Chicago, Miami, Houston and a dozen other regions policed by the FBI. Law enforcement officials said their stepped-up focus on mortgage cases aims to combat problems that have grown out of the risky lending practices prevalent until the mortgage market collapse started last year.

Matthew Tannin being walked out of Federal Plaza after his arrest

Across the country, reports of mortgage fraud have soared over the past year as the subprime mortgage market collapsed, and defaults and foreclosures soared. Banks reported nearly 53,000 cases of suspected mortgage fraud last year, up from more than 37,000 a year earlier and about 10 times the level of reports in 2001 and 2002, according to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. In recent months, the FBI has been investigating more than 1,400 mortgage fraud cases and 19 companies - including Bear Stearns - tied to the subprime mortgage crisis.

Edward Little, lawyer for Cioffi, said the two men were being used as scapegoats in a crisis that was not their fault. “The subprime crisis took everyone by surprise, including the Fed and Treasury, and dozens of the largest financial institutions have lost over $US300 billion to date on the same investments,” the lawyer said in a statement. “We are shocked and disappointed that the government has seen fit to fix blame on these two decent men. The good news though is that there will be a trial, and we look forward to the day they will be vindicated.”

US officials on Thursday indicted more than 400 people in a major operation aimed at derailing mortgage fraud

Officials declined to say who might be the next corporate target, but FBI Director Robert Mueller said the investigations focus on accounting fraud, insider trading, and failure to disclose the value of mortgage-related securities and other investments. Under review for potential fraud are: investment banks, hedge funds, credit rating agencies, brokerage houses and due diligence firms - which evaluate loans packaged into investments. Similar to the federal investigations of Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc., the cases are complex and rely on intense scrutiny of documents, Mueller said.

(unquote)

Images courtesy of Lanzano/AP, Hermann for News and AFP/Getty Images/File

Original Source: The West Australian

With bare essentials, just crumbs to eat, young hikers lost for 6 days in 9,400-square-mile Denali National Park, Alaska, found

Abby Flantz talks to reporters about being lost for six days in Denali National Park and Preserve in Healy, Alaska

(quote)

DENALI NATIONAL PARK, Alaska (AP) — Two young backpackers rationed peanut butter sandwiches and granola bars, growing hungrier as they wandered for six days in the dense vegetation of Denali National Park. Erica Nelson and Abby Flantz were down to their last granola bar Wednesday, the day they were rescued. Trekking through the remote park, they regularly clicked on their cell phone until they finally found reception that led to their rescue. "We got a signal and I said, 'Wow, I have to call my mom,'" Nelson told reporters before heading with her family to Houston, where she plans to serve as maid of honor Saturday in her sister's wedding.

What started as an overnight hike June 12 turned into an intensive search that cost more than $118,000 and sometimes involved 100 people from volunteer groups and state and federal agencies, according to park spokeswoman Kris Fister. Rangers estimate the women logged at least 20 miles before they were picked up by a helicopter crew outside the northeastern side of the 9,400-square-mile park, Fister said.

Abby Flantz, of Gaylord, Minnesota, and Erica Nelson, of Las Vegas, Nevada, headed into the park back country on Thursday

Nelson, 23, of Las Vegas and Flantz, 25, of Gaylord, Minn., had no idea they had trigged a search of that magnitude. They were reported overdue when they failed to show up at work Saturday at Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge, a hotel outside the park. But after a few days of being lost, they did figure that people might be concerned. "We were gone long enough, we knew there might be searches for us, but we didn't know it would be this big," Flantz said.

The women said they each packed only bare essentials, such as two sandwiches and granola bars, thinking that would be enough for their short trek. They brought a compass and a map but still lost their bearing, mistaking one river for another. They tried to follow the river, but that proved impossible many times, Flantz said. "There were steep hills, so we had to get away from them and there was this high brush we had to push through," she said. "I cried a little bit, but not much."

Abby Flantz reunited with her parents Kathy and Jim Flantz Wednesday afternoon

The days wore on and they rationed their food, but ran out of water and drank river water or melted snow. They ripped up a shirt to bandage scratches and blisters. Hiking exhausted them, but they trudged on when the weather was good, hoping their destination was over the next bend. At night they slept in a tent. Along the way, they saw plenty of bear tracks, steering far from the fresh prints. The only wildlife they saw, however, was a porcupine. The last couple of days it rained, so they mostly stayed in the tent, conserving their waning energy.

Johnny Nelson of Las Vegas hugs his daughters Erica and Alecia Wednesday afternoon at the Denali Park airstrip in Alaska

By Wednesday, the cell phone's battery was weak, but Nelson finally got through to her mother, Ellane, who was listening to park officials give a morning briefing on the search. That was the day Nelson's sister, Alecia, and her future brother-in-law were to decide whether to postpone their wedding. Nelson told her mother she and Flantz were alive and well but gave the wrong location of their whereabouts, so searchers couldn't find them. She called her mother again about 3:30 p.m., and officials told her to hang up and text message instead to save the dying battery. Then they were able to locate the signal several miles north of the 100-square-mile area they had been searching.

The search area, about 180 miles north of Anchorage, is a mix of national park and state-owned lands. It includes dense alder and willow, some black spruce forest, but also miles of tundra. Flantz, who plans to return to work on Saturday, said she's not giving up on outdoor adventures — but next time she'll be better prepared.

missing young women hikers found in Denali National Park

Officials said it was unlikely the women merely decided to extend their camping trip. Nelson was scheduled to fly Sunday night to Houston so she could be maid of honor in her sister's wedding. Nelson said she thought a lot about her sister when she was lost. "The whole time I was just, we got to keep going. I got to make it to her wedding," Nelson told KTUU.

Fister said she believed the wedding was still on.

(unquote)

Photos courtesy of AP Photo/Matt Hage and Laurent Dick

Original Source: Associated Press and KATU

Charm of diplomatic optimism: EU, Britain, France, Germany, Russia & China, direct talks with Iran while Bush quick to condemn

Mr Solana was on a charm offensive in Iran

(quote)

They are not usually used to the limelight. In fact you might imagine them blinking as they emerge into the sunshine. The political directors of the foreign policy departments of the great powers are the archetypal bureaucrats - more used to influencing policy behind closed doors, than appearing before the glare of television lights.

But in the stylish residence of the German ambassador to Iran, they took their place alongside the EU foreign policy envoy Javier Solana, in what was, not for the first time in Tehran, a rather bizarre news conference. The aim was to demonstrate the unity of the international community, in the face of Iran's nuclear programme. In the event, it showed rather the opposite.

Mr Solana's mission was to bring a new package of incentives, designed to encourage Iran to suspend the enrichment of uranium - the process the West fears could be used to make a nuclear bomb.

Ahmadinejad says Iran's nuclear intentions are peaceful

Diplomatic optimism

But while he was in the process of delicately explaining his offer to various Iranian officials, US President George W Bush jumped the gun, and announced that Iran had already rejected the package "out of hand".

In fact, as Mr Solana quietly explained later on, Iran has agreed to take away the ideas and think about them.

It was more than just a misunderstanding on Mr Bush's part.

What was so striking was the difference in tone. President Bush was quick to condemn the Iranian government at the earliest opportunity.  read more »

European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana denies agreement on new sanctions against Iran

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel hold joint news conference in Luxembourg June 16, 2008

(quote)

LUXEMBOURG, June 16 - European Union foreign ministers neither discussed nor agreed a new round of sanctions against Iran at a meeting on Monday, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said.

Asked about a statement by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announcing new EU sanctions on Iran's financial, oil and gas sectors, the spokeswoman said: "There was no discussion of sanctions today. I know nothing about that."

"No decision has been taken today. That is the answer to your question: no decision has been taken today," said Solana when asked to clarify whether the ministers have come up with a decision on Iran. He emphasized the EU's "double track" strategy to Iran -- offer to open negotiations on the one hand and UN sanctions on the other.

(unquote)

Photo courtesy of Xinhua Agencies

Original Source: Reuters and Xinhua

George Washington: "It is my most ardent desire...to introduce on every occasion as great a share of tenderness and humanity."

It is my most ardent desire, not only to soften the inevitable calamities of war, but even to introduce on every occasion as great a share of tenderness and humanity, as can possibly be exercised in a state of hostility.

— George Washington

Ron Paul: "I am just really concerned that this is going to lead to hostilities". Putin warns against military action

(quote)

*Update* Dec 15 2009
Statement of Congressman Ron Paul, United States House of Representatives, December 15, 2009

I rise in strongest opposition to this new round of sanctions on Iran, which is another significant step toward a US war on that country. I find it shocking that legislation this serious and consequential is brought up in such a cavalier manner. Suspending the normal rules of the House to pass legislation is a process generally reserved for “non-controversial” business such as the naming of post offices. Are we to believe that this House takes matters of war and peace as lightly as naming post offices?

This legislation seeks to bar from doing business in the United States any foreign entity that sells refined petroleum to Iran or otherwise enhances Iran’s ability to import refined petroleum such as financing, brokering, underwriting, or providing ships for such. Such sanctions also apply to any entity that provides goods or services that enhance Iran’s ability to maintain or expand its domestic production of refined petroleum. This casts the sanctions net worldwide, with enormous international economic implications.

...

Mr. Speaker, I am concerned that many of my colleagues opposing war on Iran will vote in favor of this legislation, seeing it as a step short of war to bring Iran into line with US demands. I would remind them that sanctions and the blockades that are required to enforce them are themselves acts of war according to international law. I urge my colleagues to reject this saber-rattling but ultimately counterproductive legislation.

Date: 12/15/2009
Location: Congress
Legislation: Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act (H.R. 2194)

Transcript  read more »

Contact Us

Contact Us

RSS feed

Subscribe to WcP Blog RSS feed

Twitter

WcP Blog on Twitter

Facebook

WcP Blog on Facebook

Custom Search



Archive Calendar

September 2020
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930


Random image

Poem in Art: A deep below the deep... - Alfred Lord Tennyson

Poll

Search the Web

Custom Search

Featured Videos

Latest Quote

"We come from the earth.
We return to the earth.
And in between we garden."
- Author Unknown

"If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need."
- Cicero

Recent comments

Reader Reviews

  • "Great culture sharing. This is really important to show all over the world and different cultures and nature to whole world." - Anonymous (January 27, 2019)
  • "This is one of the most incredible blogs I've read in a very long time. The amount of information in here is stunning, like you practically wrote the book on the subject. Your blog is great for anyone who wants to understand this subject more. Great stuff; please keep it up!" - Anonymous (May 29, 2018)
  • "I am just happy to know about your website. It's informative and valuable for me. Thanks for sharing interesting info with us. Keep doing best in future." - Kelvin (May 28, 2018)
  • "Very good and creative website, graphics are wonderful." - Ricky (October 7, 2017)
  • "This is absolutely fantastic photography. I recommended to lovers of photography." - Christina (June 30, 2017)
  • "Your website seems to have precious gemstones on the subject of penning." - Bryce (March 29, 2017)
  • "Your articles are constantly awesome. You compose with exactness and your data is constantly precise. What's more, those two things make an article go from great to awesome! Continue distributing more extraordinary articles." - Ayesha (March 19, 2017)
  • "You are doing an amazing job." - Jake (January 4, 2017)
  • "I am an anthropology student and this site has helped me a lot to know more about the various cultures across the world. This is the reason I visit the site so often. Keep on sharing more and more posts like this. Thank you." - Anonymous (April 3, 2016)
  • "Your site is valuable. Appreciative for sharing! Awe inspiring Blog!" - Anonymous (March 16, 2016)
  • "This blog is the book which has feelings for around their lives. Will you produce intense addons." - Anonymous (January 26, 2016)
  • "Interesting quote. I have gone through different posts in this website. I could see different themed quotes and interesting posts here. I am much impressed with this website. Keep up the good work and keep sharing interesting stuff." - Howard (January 25, 2016)
  • "I was so impressed by it I felt I would reach out to you to say thank you. Great work...that's one great blog you've got there!" - Kayla (January 8, 2016)
  • "This is incredible. Finally something new. I was reading comics the whole time. This is the real fact, which I do not think anyone else has such a well written and updated blog like yours." - Zach (January 7, 2016)
  • "The Superbly defined stuff of reading, you constructed a masterpiece with your magical mind. Your writing skills are simply awesome. Great work!" - Katie (December 28, 2015)
  • "This really shows that you can still find folks that care about the things they post online. I really liked browsing the comments." - Myles (December 23, 2015)
  • "Yes i agree with the above poem that window is the world so far i have come across. Every thing comes from it. You have written in a very poetic way. Looking forward for more poems from this." - Anonymous (December 11, 2015)
  • "Every last tip of your post is incredible. You're really great to share. Keep blogging..." - Anonymous (December 8, 2015)
  • "I always take pleasure in your articles. You have a gift for discussing such stirring topics in ingenious yet amusing ways. Your posts help us realize that our troubles are typical, and we can solve them in ready to lend a hand ways..." - Angela (October 05, 2015)
  • "We all appreciate the power of words you always provide!" - Anonymous (October 05, 2015)
  • "So poetic..." - Anonymous (September 15, 2015)
  • "The method for composing is phenomenal furthermore the substance is first class. A debt of gratitude is in order for that knowledge you give the perusers!" - Anonymous (July 23, 2015)
  • "Your configuration, man...too astonishing! I cant hold up to peruse what you've got next.Thanks for your superb posting!" - Anonymous (July 16, 2015)
  • "I found myself starring at these photos. I cannot believe that I haven't seen them before, taking into account that I am mesmerized by sea and ocean as one can be by forces of nature. Thank you so much for putting them out here, because even though they were posted by such a giant as National Geographic, I still have missed them. Well, “dazed” is the exact word that describes the feeling that I felt when I first set my eyes in these photos." - Anonymous (July 14, 2015)
  • "I will check your different articles without further ado. Continuously so fascinating to visit your site. Thank you for sharing, this will help me such a great amount in my learning." - Anonymous (July 10, 2015)
  • "Extraordinary stuff, just basically astonishing! Keep it up in future. I am truly inspired by this site!" - Anonymous (July 3, 2015)
  • "I was reading your post since 2012 and you are writing so much outstanding ideas I must say you are a talented person." - William (June 29, 2015)
  • "I have never seen such amazing thoughts displayed in composing. Your author has an extremely one of a kind method for exhibiting data so as to catch the peruser's consideration." - Anonymous (June 27, 2015)
  • "Mind boggling posting! I really like the way you are sharing the exceptional tackle this subject." - Anonymous (June 25, 2015)
  • "I unquestionably appreciated all of it and I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post in the future." - Anonymous (June 13, 2015)
  • "I was very thrilled to find this website. This is really interesting and I have recommended this site for my friends also. I had a fantastic read from this blog." - Anonymous (June 2, 2015)
  • ""The exposition seeks to discover a haven inside character and communicate gratitude for life during its peaceful and thoughtful vibe." - Micheal (May 19, 2015)
  • "Fantastic Blog! I might want to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post." - James (May 15, 2015)
  • "You are a good photographer your photography is good you click very nice shots which are very attractive and beautiful keep it up." - Ashlyn (May 5, 2015)
  • "Amazing! Great post! Wonderful pictures and well written article!" - Anonymous (March 10, 2015)
  • "Certainly worthwhile content! This is an excellent reference to spent time and gets authentic observation by reading." - Anonymous (February 12, 2015)
  • "Certainly exceptional blog! It is so wonderful content and acceptable with a clear concept. Thanks much!" - Lisa (January 13, 2015)
  • "Photography is my passion and like to learn something new about it. From your blog i have learned many things and i loved to read it thanks for sharing such a useful post" - Anonymous (January 1, 2015)
  • "Magnificent web blog! This is your superb consideration and appreciate your notion with this matter. Thanks a lot for sharing!" - Lisa (December 20, 2014)
  • "Undoubtedly enjoyed this blog! You set the subject content with exceptional abilities and a bit on the right track." - Lisa (December 17, 2014)
  • "It's an extraordinary joy perusing your post. It's loaded with data I am searching for and I want to post a remark that the substance of your post is wonderful. Thanks! :)" - Lilia (July 31, 2014)
  • "I do not even understand how I finished up right here, but I thought this to be great. I do not recognise who you are however certainly you
    are going to a famous blogger for those who are not already. Cheers!" - Gerald (July 24, 2014)
  • "Your blog is very informative. Also the images in it are beautiful!" - Anonymous (January 8, 2014)
  • "It is tempting to comment because of the amazing content on this blog. I wish I had a blog like this." - Anonymous (December 27, 2013)
  • "Thanks for trying to make the world a better place." - Anonymous (July 16, 2013)
  • "I have added to my favorites. I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. I believe this really is excellent information. Most of men and women will concur with you and I ought to thank you about it. Thanks for sharing." - Anonymous (May 16, 2013)
  • "This is awesome! Your photos are perfectly taken! It captured the decisive moment. I am a fan already." - Sarah (Apr. 15, 2013)
  • "Can I just say what a relief to obtain a person who truly knows what they're talking about on the web. You certainly know easy methods to bring an issue to light and make it critical. Extra individuals must read this and comprehend this side of the story. I can't believe you're not even more well-liked considering that you absolutely have the gift." - Anonymous (Jan. 23, 2013)
  • "I wish to show my thanks to the creator of this blog. Keep contributing a good concepts and strategies. Many people will surely improve their skills by reading blogs like this." - Anonymous (Dec. 25, 2012)
  • "I really like your style but mostly your initiative. The world needs more writers like yourself." - Steve (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "It must be very rewarding to have a long term project like this and too see the progress being made! Thanks for sharing it." - Mika (Jan. 18, 2012)
  • "This was a very eye opening video. It's made an impact on me. We're so unaware of the things that we do every day can destroy our ecosystem. The statistics are mind blogging especially the fact that 90% of big fish are gone. We need to stop this somehow. I'm going to spread this page to my mutual friends. Thanks for this." - Joseph (Jan. 15, 2012)
  • "I enjoy this blog a lot." - Liz (California, USA; Oct. 17, 2011)
  • "Keep up the good work you're doing." - Casper (Melbourne, Australia)
  • "Thanks for sharing some great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read." - Anonymous
  • "Always fresh and fascinating." - Anonymous
  • "Cool bio[mission statement]." - Darin (California, USA)
  • "You have some beautiful images. Love your site!" - Susan (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I love your Blog." - Kate (Ireland)
  • "A great site highlighting many important issues." - Bob (New Zealand; Feb. 20, 2010)
  • "Love the images on this blog..there are some interesting articles about health I noticed...we tend to run a 50/50 risk of a heart attack...I noticed when in the USA recently everyone seemed huge..they ate massive meals...I reckon that is one cause of heart failure...just my opinion..but yeah these articles can be worrying to some folk so just heed the advice...I know I will." - Mick (The Sunshine Coast, Australia; Aug 29, 2009)
  • "Excellent blog." - Bill (Vancouver Island, Canada)
  • "Fantastic blog and educational articles, much enjoy visiting...Thank you!" - Lotus1150 (Alberta, Canada; Aug 28, 2009)
  • "Great site and awesome photos." - David (Washington DC, USA)
  • "I loved your website. Even finding some news about Turkey made me surprised." - Anonymous (Turkey)
  • "Gorgeous site ... the kind of place you could lose yourself for hours (suppose that was intentional?). Also, cartoons, commentary on the events of the times, etc. Great stuff." - Daniel (Nevada, USA; Jan. 03, 2009)
  • "...may your blog, ideas and efforts help many more people." - Anonymous (New Mexico, USA)
  • "Very cool site..." - Anonymous
  • "Amazing site, worth the visit every time... enjoy." - Sam (Saudi Arabia)
  • "Easy to read and well-designed." - Colin (Arizona, USA; Apr. 22, 2009)
  • "Unique mix of news, photos and poetry." - Frasier (Virginia, USA)
  • "Worldculturepictorial.com/blog is an extremely interesting collection of news articles. It calls itself "A Window On the World". The site contains a wide variety of topics, all very informative and pertinent to life in today's world." - Cynthia (Massachusetts, USA; Aug. 07 2008)
  • "Wow. Cool." - Christopher (Melbourne, Australia; Dec. 10 2008)
  • "An interesting way to check out the wonders of our world." - Anthony (Ohio, USA)
  • "Nice site, especially the rss icon." - Daniel (California, USA; Sep 10, 2008)
  • "Good blog - Everything from news to photography. Very informative." - "explicitmemory" (Texas, USA)
  • "Very informative site by prose and picture..." - Jeff (Michigan, USA)

AdSense unconfigured block. Click to configure.