Much was made during the 2008 election cycle of Obama’s trips throughout the world promising to usher in a new era of internationally respectful diplomatic relations from the United States.
Some saw this as offensive, some saw this as weakness, and some, like myself, saw this as a much needed step in for diplomacy that would enable the United States to learn from its mistakes of the past us to not repeat them in the future.
The common dialog in recent weeks has revolved around President Obama’s apparent lack of action in Egypt. President Obama truly is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If President Obama embroils himself in this issue in Egypt he will become another foil, the overzealous US President meddling in foreign matters. If he stands by the wayside stones will be cast that Barack Obama is weak and unwilling to take a stand on a key international issue.
Though President Mubarak has been loyal ally of the United States President Obama does realize that a stranglehold has been placed on Egypt by Mubarak. Obama understands that the tide is turning in Egypt against President Mubarak and that steadfast support of Mubarak would hinder our efforts in that country and in the Middle East moving forward. The people of that country have expressed an explicit desire to move in a different direction.
I firmly believe the President Obama has watched the Egypt crisis intently as well as other diplomatic relations we have, including Pakistan, in nations that we support an otherwise unpopular and sometimes repressive regime. I do believe and am glad President Obama is being much more contemplative as President of the past in determining how the US will proceed as it relates to change of leadership in foreign nations. Our track record of propping up and supporting leaders, often dictators, and other nations has led us to a troubling series of diplomatic gaffes and I am of the opinion that Obama is intent on not making the same mistakes.
It is a sound move for the President to speak to involved parties but ultimately appreciate the desires of the Egyptian people. These protests and desires for a new President, at least a new fair and open election, are what democracy is about. After all, we are the “champions of democracy,” aren’t we?…
CALHOUN COUNTY, Miss. – Emergency crews in northern Mississippi are on the scene of an accident involving a school bus and an 18-wheel truck where early reports indicate as many as 60 people were injured, some of them severely, CBS News affiliate WCBI-TV in Columbus, Miss., reports.
The wreck happened around 2 p.m. local time Tuesday at the intersection of two highways near Calhoun City. The county coroner is on the scene.
The Verizon iPhone is out in the wild, and predictably several sites have posted teardowns of the device. Although it’s ostensibly a CDMA version of the iPhone 4, this model of the iPhone actually has more than a few relevant differences from the AT&T version, according to reports by iSuppli, iFixyouri and iFixit. Our dissection of the news:
1. World-Mode CDMA/GSM Chip
The guts of the Verizon iPhone obviously contain a chip that can access Verizon’s CDMA-based network. As PCMag reported yesterday, what was unexpected is that the chip is capable of accessing GSM networks, too. While there’s a difference between having a GSM chip and having a GSM phone, the presence of Qualcomm’s MDM6600 baseband processor does suggest the possibility of a phone from Apple that works on both GSM and CDMA networks down the line.
2. Dual-Antenna Design
When the Verizon iPhone was unveiled, observers could plainly tell that the external antenna had been adjusted slightly (there were more notches visible), and Apple’s Tim Cook even said that the antenna needed to be optimized for CDMA networks. iSuppli says it suspects this is part of a “dual-antenna design” based on “early indications” (the site hasn’t published its full teardown yet). iSuppli analyst Wayne Lam told PCMag that the dual design would be on the receiver side, allowing the phone to receive signals from two different antenna segments to improve reception. Given the antenna issues the iPhone 4 has been criticized for, it’s no surprise that Verizon may have taken extra steps to prevent its phone from having a “death grip.”
3. New, uh, Vibrator
If you have a Verizon iPhone, not only will you actually be able to make calls, but you’ll be alerted about them more pleasantly, if that’s possible. According to iFixit, the entire vibration mechanism has been replaced for the Verizon model, utilizing an oscillating vibrator instead of a rotational electric motor and counterweight. The site’s tests say the new design has a “quieter, softer feel, and makes a better sound when on a table.” I’m sure we’re all relieved to hear that.
4. Integrated GPS
iSuppi’s “early analysis” says Apple has opted not to include an discrete GPS chip and instead the Verizon iPhone relies on the Qualcomm MDM6600 for its GPS abilities. Although performance is likely similar if not identical, it’s probably a cost-cutting move, says Ma, since by having a single component do the work of many, Apple simplifies design and needs fewer parts.
5. Lighter Battery
Though the Verizon iPhone’s battery looks nearly identical to AT&T model’s, iFixit says it has a different model number and shaves off 1.3 grams, or about one-twentieth of an ounce. So you’re not going to lighten your pocket much by switching, but in the game of mobile electronics, there’s no such thing as a negligible reduction in weight.
Federal authorities revealed charges Tuesday against three hedge fund portfolio managers and a hedge fund analyst, describing a paper-shredding, flash drive-destroying panic that ensued when they thought they faced the scrutiny of investigators.
The two new arrests and the announcement of two guilty pleas expanded a federal crackdown on insider trading that masks itself as legitimate market research. The case raised the number charged in the probe to 12. The Securities and Exchange Commission said the conspiracy earned more than $30 million in illegal profits.
“Shred as much as u can,” one of the men wrote to another in a string of electronic messages that were traded after they saw news reports describing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara’s assault on Wall Street insider trading, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. One of the four told investigators he even destroyed computer drives and scattered the pieces in several garbage trucks.
Bharara on Tuesday promised more arrests, saying “we are far from finished.”
The U.S. job market has returned to pre-recession levels in at least one category: layoffs.
Employers let go 1.84 million workers in December, the Labor Department said Tuesday, down from 2.05 million a year earlier and a bit lower than the levels that prevailed prior to the start of the recession in late 2007.
But hiring remains slow: There were 4.18 million people hired in December, up from 4 million a year earlier—but far below 2007′s average of 5.27 million a month. The Labor Department also said there were 3.1 million job openings at the end of December. With 14.5 million people unemployed and looking for work, that meant that there were 4.7 job seekers for every available job, three times the norm in 2007.
“The weakness is definitely in the hiring side,” said Credit Suisse economist Henry Mo.
The police have warned Facebook users posting offensive messages about the deaths of two children in west Belfast that they may face prosecution.
Ciara Doherty, 11, and 13-year-old Martin Rooney took their own lives in the past two weeks.
Using its own Facebook page, the PSNI said it was taking the “grossly offensive” messages seriously and would work to identify those responsible.
It said they could be prosecuted under the Telecommunications Act
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico — At least 17 people were killed in drug-related violence in northern Mexico this weekend, nine of them in restive Ciudad Juarez, the state attorney general’s office said.
In Mexico’s crime capital Ciudad Juarez, which is just across the border from El Paso in the southern US state of Texas, gunmen opened fire on Saturday and killed three young students at a used car dealership.
A teenager, a woman and a 40-year-old man died in a second attack by unidentified gunmen elsewhere in Juarez, a statement from the Chihuahua state attorney general’s office said.
A third triple homicide at a garage left a 13-year-old boy among the dead. Another three people were killed in separate shooting incidents in Ciudad Juarez, which has a population of 1.3 million and saw 2,900 murders last year.
Five men were also killed overnight in other parts of Chihuahua state, the official statement said.
Meanwhile, in the northern state of Nuevo Leon, the mutilated bodies of five men were found Sunday dumped on the side of a road. They were found in the town of Los Ramones.
The day before, authorities recovered the dismembered body of Francisco Martinez Ramirez, the chief of guards at a Monterrey prison who was dragged out of his house by armed men Friday. His body was found in a car in Monterrey, Mexico’s third largest city.
Northern Mexico has suffered in the bloody war between feuding drug cartels that has left over 34,200 people dead since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a nationwide crackdown that has failed to stem the tide of violence.
Separately, Mexican soldiers have shot dead 13 suspected gang members in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, including six gunmen who were killed in a town near the US border, military officials said.
Three other suspected gang members were arrested during patrols over the past week.
Tamaulipas has seen an escalation of violence recently between the rival Gulf and Zetas cartels as they vie for control of the lucrative trafficking routes to the United States.
CAIRO Feb 8 (Reuters) – Egypt has released 34 political prisoners, the state news agency said on Tuesday, the first men set free since the government of President Hosni Mubarak promised reforms to quell a popular uprising.
“Interior Minister Mahmoud Wagdy issued an order today releasing 34 political detainees considered to be among the extremist elements, after evaluating their positions,” the MENA agency said.
“They showed good intentions and expressed their desire to live peaceably with society,” it added.
It said they had handed themselves over to the authorities after escaping from prison during several days of disorder last month.
Security forces were withdrawn from the streets after failing to crush millions of protesters on Jan. 28. Security broke down at many prisons around the country.
In the 1990s, Egypt fought Islamist militant groups who wanted to replace Mubarak’s secular republic with an Islamic state. Many Islamist militants remain in jail from the time of Mubarak’s predecessor Anwar Sadat, who was assassinated by soldiers linked to a radical Islamist group in 1981.
Human rights groups say it is not clear how many people are detained in Egypt for political activities, such as joining banned groups or planning or carrying out acts of violence, but they estimate them to be in their thousands.
Mubarak has offered concessions to try to end the revolt, appointing a vice-president and a new cabinet and promising political reforms. The government said this could include freeing detainees and lifting emergency laws. (Reporting by Andrew Hammond; editing by Andrew Dobbie)