Friday, 30 September 2011

Thousands of Yemenis rally to urge Saleh's resignation

Tens of thousands of anti- government protesters on Friday staged rallies across Yemen to press President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign, in a relative-calm way after week-long deadly clashes between Saleh's troops and the defected army.
The anti-government protesters dubbed the day as "Friday of victory for Yemen and Syria", in reference to a joint cooperation between protesters in the two countries.
"Freedom for Yemen ... People want to build new Yemen," the protesters chanted after they finished their midday Friday prayers, according to eyewitnesses. The protesters also called the international community to adopt a strict stance against what they said "the violence against the protesters."
Saleh's supporters also gathered in a massive rally by thousands of demonstrators in Sabeen Street nearby Saleh's presidential palace in Sanaa, calling the day "Friday of dialogue. "
"People want Ali Abdullah Saleh," Saleh's supporters shouted as rising banners reading "Yes for dialogue for the safety of Yemen."

The impoverished Arab country has faced nationwide protests since the beginning of this year, calling for ousting embattled President Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years.
The veteran president returned to Yemen last Friday after spending more than three months in Saudi Arabia for recovering from injuries he sustained in an attack on his Sanaa palace on June 3.
Saleh's return sparked week-long deadly clashes between forces loyal to him and the defected army in Sanaa and the southern restive province of Taiz, leaving more than 100 protesters killed and more than 1,000 others wounded.
On Thursday, Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi announced an initial negotiation with the opposition to implement a Gulf- brokered initiative for power transfer and end eight-month-long turmoil that left hundreds of people dead and more than 2,000 others injured.
Saleh on Sept. 12 authorized his deputy, Hadi, to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative for power transfer after holding dialogue with the opposition.
The GCC deal, which was initiated in April and was signed by the opposition in May, stipulated Saleh to step down in 30 days and hand over power to his deputy, who will then form an opposition-led national government and arrange presidential elections in 60 days. Saleh has backed out of signing the deal for three times in the last minute.
Unconfirmed reports said Friday that a deal based on the GCC initiative could be reached late this night between Saleh's ruling party and the opposition under the supervision of Hadi, Yemen's UN convoy Jamal bin Omar and the United States.
The international community and other Arab countries fear that continuing turmoil in Yemen could provide more space to the resurgent al-Qaida wing to operate and threaten oil shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

Obama under fire over targeted killing of cleric

Barack Obama has hailed the killing of fiery US-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi in a CIA airstrike in Yemen, but the militant's death also raises awkward questions for the US.

The leader of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Awlaki was regarded as one of the most dangerous threats to the West.

Mr Obama says the successful strike is a tribute to the US intelligence community and to the cooperation of Yemen and its security forces

But it also raises some tough questions for the US president, who is said to have personally ordered the killing.

Born in New Mexico, al-Awlaki is thought to be the first American citizen deliberately killed in the fight against terrorism.

Civil liberties groups and lawyers are questioning the government's authority to effectively execute one of its own citizens who had not be charged with any crime.

"As we've seen today ... US citizens far removed from the battlefield can be executed by their own government without judicial process and on the basis of standards and evidence that are secret," said Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union.
Mary Ellen O'Connell, an international law professor, questioned whether the targeted killing was legal.

"The fact that [al-Awlaki] was a dual US-Yemeni citizen means that he had extra protections under the US constitution than he would not have had if he was just a Yemeni citizen," she said.

"So the president has done something in my view that is highly questionable under our own constitution."

The issue dominated the White House briefing.
"Don't the American people deserve to understand our government's justification for killing, or deciding where and when an American can be killed; in this case, someone who's unindicated?" one reporter asked.

There are suggestions another US citizen of Pakistani descent was also killed in the attack, but White House press secretary Jay Carney would not be drawn.

"Questions about the circumstances of his death I'm not going to get into. So I think the question that you just asked contains within it assumptions that I just won't address," he said.

'Murderous agenda'

Yemen's embassy in Washington said al-Awlaki had been killed some miles from the town of Khashef in the northern province of Jawf, adjacent to Saudi Arabia, about 9.55 am on Friday (local time).

The successful strike comes at a chaotic time in Yemen, with president Ali Abdullah Saleh facing widespread protest and armed insurrection - unrest that has had the US worried about the country's ability to tackle extremists.

The Obama administration is not officially saying it was a US strike, but unnamed American officials have confirmed the attack involving missiles fired by multiple CIA drones.

"[Al-Awlaki] took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans and he repeatedly called on individuals in the United States and around the globe to kill innocent men, women and children, to advance a murderous agenda," Mr Obama said.

"The death of Awlaki marks another significant milestone in the broader effort to defeat Al Qaeda and its affiliates."

Attorney-General Robert McClelland also welcomed the news, but warned Al Qaeda was still a threat.

"While the news of his death represents a significant blow to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, it does not eliminate the ongoing terrorist threat," he said.

"We need to realise that Al Qaeda's ability to adapt and change its leadership endures."

String of plots

Earlier in his career, al-Awlaki, who was born in New Mexico, preached at mosques in the United States attended by some of the hijackers in the September 11, 2001 attacks by Al Qaeda, whose leader, Osama bin Laden, was killed in a US raid on his hideout in Pakistan in May.

Al-Awlaki, born in 1971, was implicated in a series of terrorist plots around the world; both as an inspiration and in an operational sense.

He was linked to last year's failed plot to blow up cargo planes bound for the US and the foiled attempt to attack New York with a car bomb in Times Square.
He is said to have exchanged emails with the army psychiatrist blamed for killing 13 people in the shooting rampage at Fort Hood in Texas in 2009.

Cables released by WikiLeaks last month also showed he had alleged links to 23 Australians, who were reportedly placed on a terrorism watch list.

Hugh Hefner's Ex-Fiancee to Auction Off Engagement Ring

Hugh Hefner's Ex-Fiancee to Auction Off Engagement Ring-Crystal Harris is getting rid of the engagement ring she got from ex-fiance Hugh Hefner. TMZ reported the former Playboy Playmate, who called off her wedding to the 85-year-old just days before the big day in June, has put her 3.39 carat diamond ring up for auction which will take place in October at Christie's in New York. A description put on the auction house's site read, "A diamond ring. Set with a circular-cut diamond, weighing approximately 3.39 carats, to the circular-cut diamond hoop, mounted in platinum." In its listing, it was revealed that the sparkler is expected to sell somewhere in between $20,000 and $30,000.

On the reason behind the auction, a source told TMZ that Crystal "couldn't bear to look at the ring anymore because it brought back bad memories." The 25-year-old, however, wrote recently on Twitter, "dont believe everything you hear," in response to a follower's criticism, "When you break the engagement, you give the ring back. Maybe no one told you that. It's the honorable thing. Golddigging c**t."

Crystal got engaged to Hef on Christmas night, December 25, 2010, but five days before the big day she called off the wedding. Following the split, she reportedly tried to return the $90,000 engagement ring and Bentley car the Playboy founder gave her, but he allegedly told her to keep them.

Demi Moore & Ashton Kutcher Together At Kabbalah

Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore played down split reports on Friday (30Sep11) by celebrating the Jewish New Year together at the Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles.

The couple has been dogged by infidelity rumours and stories suggesting its union is under threat ever since Kutcher and Moore spent their sixth wedding anniversary apart, on different U.S. coasts, last weekend (24Sep11).

Moore fuelled the split speculation in New York this week (beg26Sep11) by refusing to talk about her husband on the red carpet at a premiere and then failing to show up at a film launch in Hollywood.

But Kutcher took to to cryptically downplay the rumours on Thursday (29Sep11), directing fans to Public Enemy's Don't Believe The Hype on his playlist and then writing, "When you Assume to know that which you know nothing of you make an Ass out of U and ME."

He also gave fans a visual sign his marriage is still intact during a visit to a Los Angeles motorbike shop - he was photographed leaving the store with two new bike helmets and he was wearing his wedding ring.

There was further proof that the couple is together on Friday morning (30Sep11) when Kutcher and Moore attended a Kabbalah service.

Marsden’s Wife Files For Divorce

James Marsden's Wife Files for Divorce After 11 Years of Marriage-James Marsden and his wife, Lisa Linde, are set to part ways after 11 years of marriage. TMZ recently broke the news that Lisa filed for divorce from the actor, who is known for his portrayal of Cyclops in three "X-Men" movies, around a week ago on September 23 In the court documents, the daughter of country music songwriter Dennis Linde cited irreconcilable differences as the reason for her separation from the 38-year-old actor. She's seeking spousal support and joint legal and physical custody of their two young children, 10-year-old Jack and 6-year-old Mary.

On the same day Lisa filed for divorce, James was caught on tape singing with a group of friends. The video, which was shared by the gossip site, was taken at 4:30 A.M. outside the Papaya King hot dog shop in New York.

Commenting on the end of marriage, a representative for James told TMZ, "This was a mutual decision." The rep went on to assure that despite the separation, the estranged couple "are committed to raising their kids together and remain great friends."

Back when the couple are still together in 2008, James said in an interview with PEOPLE, "It's always been about being together and keeping the family together." The "Straw Dogs" actor further gushed, "When I'm not working, I want to be home, and that's all I want to do."

Three dead in boating accident off Batemans Bay in NSW

Three dead in boating accident off Batemans Bay in NSW-Three people have been killed in a boating accident off New South Wales' south coast.
A YOUNG girl and two elderly people have died and a 47-year-old man is missing after a catamaran capsized in waters off the NSW south coast.
Shortly before 2pm (AEST) today, emergency services responded to reports a vessel with five people onboard had capsized off Batemans Bay.
They found one person alive, while three bodies were pulled from the water.
Grave fears are held for the missing man, who was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the capsize.
"The water is very, very cold so survival becomes very limited," a spokesman for Westpac Rescue Helicopter said today.

The survivor, whose age and gender has not been released, was taken to hospital with minor injuries, NSW Ambulance Service said in a statement.
It's believed the elderly man and woman were in their 70s.
A helicopter is being used to search for the missing man.

Candied bugs catching on in Australia

Candied bugs catching on in Australia

Candied bugs catching on in Australia.A bugs candy is new trend?
Australia have been feasting on bugs for centuries, and today it seems that bugs are becoming something of a mainstream  trend . This past year event"Father's Day" ,

one bug shop sold gift packs that included chocolate-covered bugs , insect lollipops , and chocolate chip mealworm cookies.

Mexico City mulls short-term marriage licenses

Mexico City mulls short-term marriage licenses. 

Mexico City mulls short-term marriage licenses. Mexico mulls 2-year short-term marriage licenses,Leftists in Mexico City are proposing reformation of the civil code so that couples can decide on the length of
their marriages before tying the knot. The minimum contract would be for two years and include provisions on children and property in case of a split.

Half of marriages in Mexico City end in divorce, and leftists claim these contracts would take the pain out of the process. The church, which is already angry with Mexico City’s legalization of gay marriage, calls the contract “absurd.”
Mexico City mulls short-term marriage licenses

Crocodile turns orange

Crocodile turns orange

Crocodile turns orange.A crocodile, named Snappy, in an Australian park suddenly turns bright orange . Officials say Snappy is perfectly healthy and his original color is expected to return eventually,

although they don't know when. 

Brad Pitt reveals odd phobia

Brad Pitt reveals odd phobia.

Brad Pitt reveals odd phobia. Brad Pitt has a odd phobia - he hates travelling backwards in his car.
The Hollywood icon has confessed he's obsessed with moving forwards in life and it has sparked an irrational fear of reversing in a vehicle or returning to his house if he forgets his keys.

Pitt tells Empire magazine, "If I'm walking out the door and I've forgotten something, I can't go back and get it. It is something in my nature. If I'm driving down the road and I miss a turn,

I have to keep going forward. I can't reverse. It's some kind of psychological defect.
"I don't know the reason why... But it's just that, for better or worse, I want to keep moving on. I don't like to go backwards. It's not what I'm good at."

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