Waziristan, Bajaur and Baluchistan, western regions of Pakistan that border Afghanistan, are plagued by violence between militants and government security forces, although the causes of conflict differ.
Some of the militant violence has spilled into other parts of Pakistan. The recent political crisis has also seen an increase in suicide attacks on troops and other targets across the country, including opposition leader Benazir Bhutto who was killed at the end of 2007 shortly before general elections.
In the semi-autonomous tribal area of Waziristan, the Pakistani army has for years conducted military operations to root out foreign pro-Taliban and al-Qaeda militants who fled there after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. A 2006 peace pact initially reduced clashes, but crumbled 10 months later. The deal collapse followed the storming of a radical Islamabad mosque by the army, which provoked an increase in suicide bombings and attacks on troops across Pakistan, particularly in the northwest.
The main battle ground is now in Bajaur, a tribal area to the north of Waziristan. In Baluchistan, Pakistan’s largest and poorest province, tribal militants are engaged in a long-running, low-level insurgency to gain greater control of the southwestern region’s natural resources and political power. But analysts say the Taliban is also using Baluchistan as a base. The death of a veteran rebel in a military offensive in August 2006 boosted tensions in the region. The area was also hit by severe flooding in 2007. The violence has affected civilians, with growing numbers killed and thousands driven from their homes. Aid agencies have also come under attack.
The 21-year-old says that marriage is “something that is very dear to my heart” and she’s in Washington to help save it.
She says many people have thanked her for standing up for traditional marriage.
Prejean was named the first runner-up to Miss North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant April 19.
Her response to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton’s question about legalizing same-sex marriage caused a firestorm.
When asked by pageant judge Hilton — who is openly homosexual — whether she believed in gay marriage, Prejean said, “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
Many have argued that the answer cost Prejean the crown. In addition, she has also faced intense criticism in liberal-leaning Hollywood – being labeled everything from a “dumb [expletive]” to an ignorant disgrace.
But many have also offered overwhelming support to Prejean as well.
According to the owner of the Miss Universe franchise, Donald Trump, Prejean did a “wonderful job” answering a question that he termed as “a bit unlucky,” arguing that regardless of how she answered, she “was going to get killed.”
Representatives for NOM responded to the ad last week, telling FOXNews.com:
“While I haven’t seen this particular parody, I have seen and enjoyed others; it’s important not to take yourself so seriously you can’t take a good joke, and we appreciate how the controversy has helped spread our message.” said Maggie Gallagher, President of the National Organization for Marriage.
“On a more serious note: the vitriolic response by [those] mischaracterizing the millions of people who have these concerns expressed in our ad as ‘liars and bigots’ only tends to confirm our main message: same-sex marriage is not about tolerance, it’s about using the power of law to impose a new morality on an unwilling American people.”
FOXNews.com’s Hollie McKay and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Washington, D.C., April 30, 2009) — The head of the World Health Organization says the world now stands on the brink of a global pandemic. She is urging governments and health professionals to act quickly to stop of a terrible plague that could cost many lives, given how horrific past pandemics have been.
“The 1918-19 pandemic of “Spanish flu” killed around 2.64 million Europeans, according to a French study, which says that despite its name, the pathogen probably originated outside Europe,” reports Agence France Presse.
Excerpts from remarks by Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO director-general:
* “Influenza pandemics must be taken seriously, precisely because of their capacity to spread rapidly to every country in the world. For the first time in history we can track the evolution of a pandemic in real time. Influenza viruses are notorious for their rapid mutation and unpredictable behaviour.
* “All countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans. Countries should remain on high alert for unusual outbreaks of influenza-like illness and severe pneumonia….Based on assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the current level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5. This change to a higher phase of alert is a signal to governments, to ministries of health and other ministries, to the pharmaceutical industry and the business community that certain actions now should be undertaken with increased urgency and at an accelerated pace.”
Please be praying that the Lord would be gracious to those suffering with the swine flu, and that He would prevent a full-blown pandemic from breaking out. At the same time, let us remember that Jesus said in the last days “nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues…and there will be terrors.” (Luke 21:10-11)
JAKARTA – AN ELDERLY Christian priest and his wife were hacked to death with machetes in Indonesia, police said on Monday.
Frans Koagow, 64, and his wife, Femy Kumendong, 73, were found in the priest’s home in Manado city, North Sulawesi province, on Saturday with deep slash wounds to their heads and necks, provincial police spokesman Benny Bella said.
‘The priest was cut from behind in the neck while his wife was cut in the head while she lay down sick with a stroke,’ Mr Bella said.
‘The priest had been squatting down to tie his shoes when he was attacked… there was no time for him to fight back.’
“People of faith who love and cherish freedom have nothing to celebrate today. We must make our voices heard loud and clear for the next 1,360 days left in Obama’s first term!
Below is a list of what Obama has done in the first 100 days in office. People, he has 1,360 days left to continue his campaign against AMERICA as we know it. Suit up and move out! We have work to do!!”
“THE FIRST THING WE HAVE TO DO IS TAKE THE TELEPROMPTER AWAY FROM HIM…..AND THEN LISTEN TO HIM SPEAK! HERE IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW THE MATERIAL HE’S TALKING ABOUT! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT”
TOTUS (Teleprompter of the United States)
Obama’s First 100 Days
1. Calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act on the White House website.
2. Calling on the White House website for the expansion of federal hate crimes to include homosexual behavior.
3. Calling on the White House website for policies like the “Fairness Doctrine” that could silence conservative and Christian talk radio.
4. Repealing limitations on taxpayer-funding of human embryonic stem cell research.
5. Repealing limitations on taxpayer-funding of abortions overseas.
6. Pledging $50 million to the United Nation’s Population Fund, which supports China’s draconian one-child policy.
7. Proposing new rules to gut conscience clause protections for pro-life doctors and other medical personnel who don’t want to be forced to perform abortions or other procedures that violate their values.
8. Proposing increased funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.
9. Calling on the White House website for “a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year,” (mandatory volunteerism).
10. Inviting homosexual families to the White House Easter Egg Roll.
11. Allowing his attorney general to call for the reinstatement of Clinton-era restrictions on the Second Amendment.
12. Breaking his promise not to appoint lobbyists to his administration. He hired 17 in his first two weeks.
13. Breaking his promise to sign legislation only after a five-day period of public comments.
14. Asking that the monogram for Jesus Christ be covered up during a televised speech at a Catholic university in which Obama quotes the Sermon on the Mount.
15. Apologizing for America in Europe and Latin America.
16. Bowing before the Muslim king of Saudi Arabia.
17. Pledging to base America’s foreign policy toward Iran on “mutual respect” in a video to the Iranian people and Iran’s Holocaust-denying dictator.
18. Returning the bust of Winston Churchill given to George Bush after 9/11 by our British allies.
19. Giving British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the leader of America’s most loyal ally, a box of DVDs that don’t work in British DVD players.
20. Ordering Guantanamo Bay closed without any idea of where to send the terrorist suspects held there.
21. Suggesting that some of those terrorists now at GITMO may kill again, but may also be released onto U.S. soil and set up with welfare benefits.
22. Caving to communist Cuba by relaxing travel restrictions and remittances for Cuban Americans before any Cuban political prisoners have been released.
23. Shaking hands with Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.
24. Sitting silently though a 50-minute anti-American diatribe by Nicaragua’s communist president, Daniel Ortega.
25. Releasing Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the suspected of masterminding the 2000 suicide bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
26. Releasing classified CIA memos outlining our interrogation techniques.
27. Telling our CIA agents not to be discouraged when he acknowledges their “mistakes.”
28. Declaring a new openness to “truth commissions” and prosecuting intelligence officials involved in enhanced interrogations of terrorists.
29. Proposing to send a $900 million foreign aid package to Palestinians in Gaza.
30. Asking Congress to relax the law so that some of that money could go to the terrorist organization Hamas.
31. Calling for the U.S. to eliminate its nuclear weapons.
32. Telling Russian President Demitri Medvedev that America’s commitment to missile defense is negotiable.
33. Dropping the term “enemy combatants” for GITMO detainees.
34. Dropping the term “terrorism” for “man-made disaster.”
35. Dropping the term “Global War on Terror” for “overseas contingency operations.”
36. Giving his first interview as president to the Arab language network Al-Arabiya.
37. Telling the Muslim world that his “job” was to communicate “that the Americans are not your enemy,” when it’s Muslim extremists who have declared war on us.
38. Proposing that military veterans use private insurance for the cost of a service-related injury before they would be eligible for coverage through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
39. Signing the trillion-dollar plus so-called “stimulus” bill, which the Congressional Budget Office said would actually hurt long-term economic growth.
40. Saying Caterpillar wouldn’t lay off workers if his trillion-dollar stimulus bill passed Congress. Obama signed the bill on Feb. 17th. On March 17th, Caterpillar laid off nearly 2,500 workers.
41. Hosting a “Fiscal Responsibility Summit” one week after signing the trillion-dollar “stimulus” bill.
42. Railing against “outrageous recklessness and greed” of AIG bonuses that were legally protected in the so-called “stimulus” bill he signed four days after it passed, not five as he promised.
43. Breaking his promise on earmark reform by signing the $410 billion “omnibus” spending bill with billions in earmarks.
44. Proposing a $3.6 trillion budget that doubles the national debt in five years and triples it in ten years.
45. Proposing a “carbon cap and trade” scheme that will raise energy taxes by hundreds of billions, even trillions, of dollars.
46. Burning more than 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to fly to Iowa for Earth Day to promote “wind power.”
47. Proposing $634 billion in higher taxes for socialized health care.
48. Proposing to raise taxes on small business owners.
49. Saying the White House is open to the idea of taxing employer-sponsored health care benefits as income.
50. Signing a massive expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, calling it “a down payment on my commitment to cover every single American.”
51. Establishing the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research to give bureaucrats the power to ration health care and tell your doctors what care you can and cannot have.
52. Signing the 2009 Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which the Sierra Club praised specifically because it “will safeguard millions of acres … from oil and gas leasing.”
53. Suggesting he has found $1.5 trillion in bogus “savings” by not spending money in Iraq that we were not planning to spend years from now.
54. Ordering his Cabinet to “cut” $100 million in spending in 90 days, after proposing nearly $5 trillion in spending in his first 90 days.
55. Proposing to limit tax deductions for home mortgage interest.
56. Proposing to limit tax deductions for charitable donations.
57. Refusing to allow banks to repay TARP money.
58. Bailing out AMTRAK with a 10% increase in its taxpayer subsidies.
59. Bailing out the United Auto Workers Union with billions of taxpayer dollars to GM and Chrysler.
60. Bailing out the United Auto Workers by giving it a majority ownership stake in Chrysler. Yes, the union will own the company.
61. Bailing out Big Labor by issuing an executive order mandating that infrastructure projects paid for with “stimulus” funds must use union labor, guaranteeing higher costs for the taxpayer.
62. Bailing out Big Labor again by repealing regulations requiring the disclosure of how union dues are spent. So much for “transparency.”
63. Saying, “The United States government has no interest in running GM,” then vowing that the government will back auto warranties.
64. Saying, “The United States government has no interest in running GM,” then firing the CEO of General Motors.
65. Allowing states to set their own fuel efficiency and emissions standards, making it harder for struggling auto makers to compete.
Personnel Is Policy
66. Nominating Timothy “The Turbo Tax Evader” Geithner as Treasury Secretary to oversee the IRS.
67. Nominating as attorney general Eric Holder, who urged Bill Clinton to pardon tax evader Marc Rich and 8 FALN terrorists.
68. Nominating David Ogden, a prominent attorney for the pornography industry, to be Deputy Attorney General.
69. Nominating Tom Daschle, who owed more than $140,000 in back taxes, as Health and Human Services Secretary.
70. Nominating Kathleen Sebelius, who is ardently pro-abortion and owed $8,000 in back taxes, to be HHS Secretary.
71. Nominating Janet Napolitano, who said, “crossing the border is not a crime per se,” as Homeland Security Secretary.
72. Nominating Steven Chu as Energy Secretary. Last September, Chu said, “Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” which at that time were roughly $8.00 a gallon.
73. Nominating Ron Kirk, who owed more than $6,000 in back taxes, as Trade Representative.
74. Nominating Bill Richardson, who was embroiled in an ethics scandal, as Secretary of Commerce.
75. Nominating Nancy Killefer, who also owed back taxes, to be the government’s “Efficiency Czar.”
76. Nominating Rosa Brooks, a leftwing acolyte of George Soros, as an advisor to the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.
77. Nominating Harold Koh, an ardent supporter of using international law in the interpretation of our Constitution, to be the top legal advisor to the State Department.
78. Nominating Carol Browner, who was a member of the Socialist International, to be “Climate and Energy Czar.”
79. Nominating John Holdren, an environmental extremist and advocate of population control, as the White House Science Advisor.
80. Nominating Dawn Johnsen, who is so pro-abortion she once compared pregnancy to slavery, to to direct the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department.
81. Nominating Charles Freeman, an anti-Israel, pro-Arab apologist, to be head of the National Intelligence Council.
82. Nominating Tony West, who represented American Taliban John Walker Lindh and exposed the Bush Administration’s terrorist surveillance program, to the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
83. Nominating Annette Nazareth to be Deputy Treasury Secretary, who withdrew after a month-long probe into her taxes.
84. Trying to nominate pro-abortion Catholics to be ambassador to the Vatican, a move even John Kerry opposed.
85. Appointing Ellen Moran of the pro-abortion group Emily’s List as his White House communications director.
86. Appointing Melody Barnes, a board member of Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood, as his director of the Domestic Policy Council.
87. Appointing Harry Knox of the Human Rights Campaign (the largest homosexual rights lobbying group) to the White House’s Faith Based Advisory Council.
88. Appointing Adolfo Carrion as Director of White House Office of Urban Affairs, even though he is under investigation for kickbacks in a scandal nearly identical to one that cost GOP Senator Ted Stevens his election.
89. Nominating David Hamilton as his first appointment to a federal appeals court. Judge Hamilton has issued a number of controversial rulings, including prohibiting the Indiana House of Representatives from opening sessions with prayers in the name of Jesus.
90. Telling congressional Republicans to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh.
91. Coordinating attacks on Rush Limbaugh, Rick Santelli and Jim Cramer out of the White House.
92. Hosting weekly parties at the White House, serving up $100-a-pound Waygu beef during what Obama called, “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
93. Laughing it up on 60 Minutes as the country is mired in a recession.
94. Allowing Air Force One to buzz the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, creating panic in New York City.
95. Disparaging Special Olympians on the Tonight Show.
96. Allowing his Department of Homeland Security to issue a report accusing pro-life, smaller government conservatives and returning Iraq/Afghanistan veterans of being “rightwing extremists.”
97. Promising to push for comprehensive immigration reform, i.e., amnesty.
98. Killing the school voucher program in the District of Columbia, while sending his two daughters to an elite private school, rather than D.C.’s public schools.
99. Moving the Census out of the Department of Commerce and into the White House.
Clinton punted on the Sanger question and instead offered a full-throated defense of international abortion rights. Clinton answered Smith’s question about the “reproductive health” terminology directly, saying that “reproductive health includes access to abortion.” While this isn’t news, it does shed some light on President Obama’s assertion in 2007 that “reproductive care” is “at the heart” of his health care plan. (read more)
CLINTON GRILLED OVER ABORTION VIEWS AT CMTE HEARINGS
By Kayleigh Harvey – Talk Radio News Service
Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, answered questions for almost four-hours on foreign policy priorities in the Obama administration in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing today.
Upon entering Clinton was met with protest signs from Code Pink asking the State Department to begin talks with the Palestinian government even if it did include Hamas, as they were democratically elected to their positions. One protester shouted, “It is called the ‘state’ not ‘hate’ department.”
During the hearing Clinton made it clear that talks between the Obama administration and Hamas. She said, “The President’s policy…is very clear, we will not deal with, nor in any way fund, a Palestinian government that includes Hamas unless and until Hamas has renounced violence, recognized Israel and agreed to follow the previous obligations of the Palestinian authority. That is our policy, but we want to leave open the door so that can happen.”
This was Clinton’s first appearance to the House since her confirmation hearings earlier this year. In her opening statement she spoke of the progress she had made nearly 100-days into her new role. Clinton reiterated the Presidents goals in Afghanistan and and Pakistan and stated the administrations “core goal to disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda, to prevent their return to safe havens in Afghanistan or Pakistan.”
On Iran Clinton said, “We are deploying new approaches to the threat posed by Iran, and we are doing so with our eyes wide open and with no illusions. We no the imperative of preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons after years, during which the United States basically sat on the sidelines, we are now a full partner in the P5+1 talks.”
Before taking questions Clinton told the committee, “We are in this together. We have to row in the same direction for the benefit of our country and our children.” (read more…)
“What we’re seeing is not what we’re getting…….Bill Clinton was right when he said, “This is the biggest fairy-tale I’ve ever seen,” referring to Obama’s very choreographed image during the 2008 presidential campaign. They are still choreographing even in the White House.
This is an interesting article from the Chicago Tribune this week.”
By Peter Wallsten and Faye Fiore |Tribune Newspapers
April 20, 2009
WASHINGTON — In the short time Americans have come to know their new first family, they’ve learned that the president doesn’t want a puppy sleeping on his bed, the girls hate green veggies but at least one loves peanut butter, and the first lady believes her husband should keep out of her closet.
Like a reality show set on the glorified soundstage at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the details of one family’s life have captivated the country — if not the world — making the Obamas seem within reach, an ordinary family that just happens to be living an extraordinary existence.
These glimpses into President Barack Obama‘s household are far from spontaneous. Instead, they are part of a careful strategy that has helped bolster the new president’s popularity and political clout — even as he promotes some economic policies, such as bailouts for banks and automakers, that lack broad appeal.
The White House, eager to cultivate an image-making media machine that thrives on personality, has invited coverage from such outlets as television’s “Access Hollywood” and “Extra.” Aides dole out exclusives accordingly, acutely aware of the shelf life for cover stories in glamor and celebrity magazines. (read more…)
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