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Main St wonders "people responsible for this are making half a million a year, why do we have to bail them out?"

Christopher Tocchio, with sons Max and Domenic and wife Nicole behind him, is frustrated by government bailouts

(quote)

Melissa Hamlet worries that the stock market's wild swings will mean fewer potential buyers for her home. Restaurant owner Christopher Tocchio fumes that the government isn't holding failing businesses accountable for their reckless decisions. And Mary Vaughan, a recent widow, wonders why government rescues corporate America while she struggles to pay her bills. "I'm paying enough taxes now, and the taxpayers have to bail these big guys out?" she said.

Anger, fear, and shock about the Wall Street meltdown are percolating through conversations along Massachusetts' main streets. A whirlwind week of unprecedented government intervention to prop up the nation's financial system seemed to confirm people's worst fears: The economy is in peril and recovery is far off. Seemingly overnight, nearly everyone felt poorer - homes lost value, 401(k) investments were battered, and jobs, for some, were in jeopardy.

the New York financial district is seen from Brooklyn  read more »

Tony Blair begins Faith and Globalization lecture series at Yale, says religion has potential to harm or heal

Tony Blair goes back to school - as Yale religion professor

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair went back to school Friday, launching his new role as a lecturer on religion at top US university Yale. During the first seminar, he said that religious faith inspired some people to do harm but it also had the potential to do great things in the modern world. The "faith and globalization" course is intended to explore religious faith's power to bring the world's people together instead of driving them apart.

"I genuinely believe that the issue to do with faith and globalization is the single-most determining issue of the 21st century", said Mr Blair During the first seminar, "Faith is important because it motivates people...to do harm. But it also has the potential to do good." The course he is co-teaching as Yale's Howland Distinguished Fellow is linked to the work of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which seeks to work for peace between religions in an age of globalization. Blair is also a special envoy of the Mideast Quartet, the group of big powers attempting to coordinate a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

former British prime minister Tony Blair with student Lita Tandon  read more »

World's most decorated penguin: Sir Nils Olav, honorary colonel-in-chief of Norwegian King's Guard, now a knight

King penguin Nils Olav walks past soldiers from the Norwegian King's Guard after he was given a Knighthood at Edinburgh Zoo August 15, 2008. Edinburgh Zoo penguin Olav has been an honorary member and mascot of the Norwegian King's Guard since the 1980s and was made Honorary Colonel-in-Chief in 2005

*UPDATE 22 Aug 2016* Knighted penguin Sir Nils Olav inspects his guard and gets promoted to Brigadier

(quote)

For the com- manding officer of the Nor- wegian King's Guard, it was a moment as surreal as it was moving. As Lieutenant-Colonel Ingrid Gjerde surveyed the scene before her in Edinburgh yesterday, she must have wondered whether she was dreaming. For the King's Guard was about to award a knighthood to what was already the world's most decorated penguin.

Nils, or now Sir Nils Olav, waddled into the history books Friday when he was knighted by a visiting royal Norwegian regiment in Scotland. The king penguin became the first black-and-white pint-sized Norwegian Sir with wings after inspecting the Norwegian King's Guard, which is visiting Edinburgh for the annual Military Tattoo.  read more »

Ron Paul addresses crowd of more than 10000 people at Minneapolis rally, counter-convention rivals RNC next door

Ron Paul addresses the crowd of 10,000+

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MINNE- APOLIS, Minnesota (CNN) -- While Republicans pow- wowed in St. Paul, sup- porters of Ron Paul threw their own party in neighboring Minneapolis. "Freedom brings people together," Paul said before a sold-out crowd at Tuesday's Rally for the Republic.

Paul, who said he entered the presidential race reluctantly, told the roaring audience, "I lost my skepticism. I hope you lost your apathy." As the congressman stepped on stage, red, white and blue confetti fell from the ceiling during a two-minute standing ovation.

Paul said he entered the presidential race not because of what he wanted to do but because of what he did not want to do. "I did not want to run people's lives. I did not want to run the economy and I did not want to run the world. I didn't have the authority to do it, and I didn't have the Constitution behind me to do it," said Paul, who has served in the House of Representatives for more than 30 years.

Ron Paul's 'counter-convention' rivals RNC next door  read more »

Iraq Prime Minister pushes for firm withdrawal date, demands all foreign troops out by 2011

Hundreds of Shiite Muslims march in a rally in the holy city of Najaf, 100 miles south of Baghdad, to denounce the surprise visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Iraq last week. Maliki publicly demanded a deadline for the U.S. departure from Iraq

(quote)

BAGHDAD — Days after top Iraqi and American officials suggested that a draft of the security pact between the countries was close, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki toughened his language, reiterating earlier Iraqi demands for a fixed date for the withdrawal of American troops. “It is not possible for any agreement to conclude unless it is on the basis of full sovereignty and the national interest, and that no foreign soldiers remain in Iraqi soil after a defined time ceiling,” Mr. Maliki said in a speech to Shiite tribal leaders in Baghdad’s Green Zone.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki  read more »

3 a.m. call. Obama announces running mate: Joe Biden, six-term senator from Delaware

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his vice presidential running mate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., wave to supporters outside the Old State Capitol on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2008, in Springfield, Ill.

(quote)

The long- awaited text message announcing Obama- Biden '08 arrived in cell phones and inboxes just after 3 a.m. ET on Saturday. The 3 a.m. timing may evoke memories of an attack ad run by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., questioning whether Obama would be ready to lead in the event of a 3 a.m. phone call. In the end however, Obama supporters got a 3 a.m. cell phone text message and e-mail about Biden, rather than Clinton.

Media reports in the hours before the official announcement strongly hinted at the Obama pick: A private plane was tracked flying from Chicago's Midway airport to New Castle, Del., and the Secret Service had been dispatched to protect Biden, the six-term senator. In the early morning hours, those hints were confirmed prior to the Obama camp's text message.  read more »

Missions of the largest aircrafts: Western H-4 Hercules & Airbus A380, Russia’s Antonov An-225 Mriya & ‘Caspian Sea Monster’

AlphaSim has released the LUN Ekranoplan, ‘Caspian Sea Monster’

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The one Lun-class ekranoplan originally developed by the Soviet Union military transports, and based mostly on the shores of the Caspian Sea and Black, at a naval base near Kaspiysk. During the Cold War, ekranoplans were sighted for years on the Caspian Sea as huge, fast-moving objects. The name Caspian Sea Monster was given by US intelligence operatives who had spotted the huge vehicle, which looked like an airplane with the outer halves of the wings removed. After the end of the Cold War, the "monster" was revealed to be one of several Soviet military designs meant to fly only a few meters above water, saving energy and staying below enemy radar.

The 8-engined sea skimmer could have been a deadly weapon of war with it’s 6 ‘Sunburn’ anti-ship missiles and ability to travel at high speed under the radar of patrol aircraft. The Lun-class (Russian: "Hen Harrier") (NATO reporting name: "Utka"; Russian: "Duck") ekranoplan Wing-In-Ground effect vehicle was an extremely unusual aircraft designed by Rostislav Evgenievich Alexeev and used by the Soviet & Russian navies from 1987 to sometime in the late '90s. Wing-in-ground-effect aircraft use the extra lift of their large wings when in proximity to the surface (about one to four meters). It is also interesting to note that this is the largest military aircraft ever built, with a length of 73m, rivaling that of the Hughes H-4 Hercules "Spruce Goose" and many modern jumbo jets.  read more »

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