Friday, April 24, 2015

Statue Of Liberty Evacuated

The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island have been evacuated following a phoned bomb threat and reports of a suspicious package in a locker.  National Park Police have responded with canine units, while the NYPD has sent an ordnance disposal unit.

Read more at Newsweek, Yahoo News, CBS New York, CNN and MyFoxNY.

Italy Goes After Terrorists

Italian police have targeted 18 Islamic terrorists for their involvement in a failed plot to attack the Vatican in 2010 and a bombing at a market in Pakistan in 2009, carrying out raids in mainland Italy and Sardinia.  They have not indicated how many have been arrested, nor how many have left Italy.

Read more at Fox News, The Guardian, ABC News, CNN and the Express.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Virginia Tech To Lose Radio Announcer

Bill Roth, who has been Virginia Tech's radio football and men's basketball play-by-play announcer for 27 years, will soon leave my alma mater to assume the same duties at UCLA.  He will replace Chris Roberts, who retired from his position at UCLA in March.  Roth was born in Mount Lebanon, PA, and graduated from Syracuse University.  On his football broadcasts, he was joined by color commentator Mike Burnop, a former Hokie tight end.

Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Washington PostHokiesports(dot)com, the Daily Press and Virginia Tech's student newspaper, the Collegiate Times.  The first three links were found at TechSideline.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Morsi And Co-Defendants Get 20 Years

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, for his role in the deaths of anti-government protesters during his time in office.  Twelve other defendants, mostly members of the Muslim Brotherhood, were also sentenced to 20 years.

Read more at Fox News, BBC News, FT(dot)com and the International Business Times.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday Links

Some things in the news, as the work week begins:

From, while union leaders criticize others for being rich, many of them aren't doing too badly, either.  (via Fox News)

From the New York Post, a 13-year-old boy in Spain goes on a murderous rampage in a school - with a crossbow.

From National Review, the IRS has promised an atheist group that it will monitor churches.

From Al-Monitor, people evacuated from Idlib, Syria mourn their city.

From Church Militant, a vice president of Catholic Relief Services has been practicing a lifestyle contrary to the church's teachings.

From TV by the Numbers, the show The Big Bang Theory showed the largest gain in ratings among adults aged 18-49.

From the Los Angeles Times, six Somali men have been arrested in Minneapolis or after driving from there to San Diego on charges of "conspiracy to aid and support a terrorist organization", which is alleged to be ISIS.

From Arutz Sheva, a guide put out by ISIS teaches how to trick and kill Westerners, and praises the Tsarnaev brothers.

From Reuters, equity markets have posted gains, responding to news that China is trying to stimulate its economy.

From Anadolu Agency, Turkish President Reccip Erdogan is expected to help open a Turkish mosque in Maryland, possibly with help of American President Barack Obama.  (via The Right Scoop)

From Watts Up With That?, a message from Lord Christopher Monckton of Benchley to the American Physical Society.

From Conservative Review, how the New York Times can't deal with Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) on the subject of immigration.

From Fox News, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Caroline Rotich of Kenya win the men's and women's races, respectively, of the Boston Marathon.

From CNN, a poll they took in conjunction with ORC shows Hillary Clinton leading among Democrats and no candidate clearly in the lead among Republicans.  (via Hot Air, whose headline indicates that Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has improved his numbers)

From UPI, a man in Baltimore dies while in police custody after his neck was broken.

And from CNET, the impressive nebula known as Thor's Helmet.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mecca Becomes "Las Vegas"

Via Women's Power Book:

People in Mecca have given their city a new knickname, which is not meant as a compliment.  They have started to refer to the place as "Las Vegas", after the American city full of skyscraper hotels and conspicuous materialism.  From The Independent:
Over the past 10 years the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, one that has divided opinion among Muslims all over the world.
Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.
To the al-Saud monarchy, Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride.
Note that last paragraph.  When you buy gasoline, this is where some of your hard-earned dollars end up.  I would think that the encroachment of big business on Islam's holiest site would be frowned upon, not just by the people but also by Saudi Arabia's theocratic government, but as it turns out, I would be wrong.  Also from The Independent:
The Washington-based Gulf Institute estimates that 95 per cent of Mecca's millennium-old buildings have been demolished in the past two decades alone.
The destruction has been aided by Wahabism, the austere interpretation of Islam that has served as the kingdom's official religion ever since the al-Sauds rose to power across the Arabian Peninsula in the 19th century.
The destruction being referred to here has been done to make room for these new buildings, some of which ominously overlook the mosque that contains the Kaaba, as seen in the picture in the Women's Power Book article, linked above.  Instead of being opposed, the transformation of Mecca appears to have the full blessing of their theocracy.  Read the full story at The Independent.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Oklahoma To Have Asphyxiation As Backup Execution Method

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R) has signed legislation that makes nitrogen-induced hypoxia the main backup method of execution, if the state's primary method, lethal injection, cannot be used.  Under this method, a variety of inert gas asphyxiation, a condemned prisoner is made to breath nitrogen gas, which contains little or no oxygen, causing the prisoner to lose consciousness.  While supporters of the law claim that this method is quick and painless, it has never been used to execute anyone.  The state's other backup execution methods, the electric chair and firing squad, remain available.

Read more at The Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, UPI and the Tulsa World.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Music Break

Since I didn't put up a music post last month, I'd better do one this month.  These are mostly obscure songs, but one is very well known, and I'd even say obvious.

In the tradition of "ladies first", the opening song is by the all-female group Fanny, consisting of June Millington (guitar), Jean Millington (bass), Nickey Barclay (keyboards) and Alice de Buhr (drums).  All contributed vocals to some extent.  On this live version of Blind Alley, recorded for the German TV show Beat Club, Barclay sings lead and moves (literally) between the piano and the organ.  The Millington sisters were born in the Philippines, but with their family immigrated to California.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton Appears To Use Handicapped Parking Space

Tweeted to my attention by Gulf Dogs:

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton recently arrived in Council Bluffs, Iowa for a meeting with some local Democratic Party leaders.  As noticed by Bizpac Review, when she walked back to her "Scooby" van, it was parked in a handicapped space, as shown in a video put out by KETV.  If you watch the video, at about the 28 second mark, you'll see the "reserved parking" sign.  You'll have to be patient, because there is an ad before the actual video of Hillary's brief appearance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Follow Up: Man Lands Copter At Capitol

More has come out on the landing of a small helicopter, called a gyrocopter, near the Capitol this afternoon, which I added as an update to my links post earlier today.  From the New York Post:
A Florida mailman delivered a bizarre message to DC lawmakers by landing his tiny gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the US Capitol, prompting a temporary lockdown, according to reports.
The looney aviator – who was promptly arrested by Capitol Police – was not immediately identified by authorities. But the Tampa Bay Times said it was Dough Hughes, 61, a Ruskin native who had been planning a protest flight that would violate the highly protected airspace.
The Post also includes the following video, made by a witness and shown by the Associated Press.

Read the full story.