Monday, October 31, 2011

The truth GOP are to blame for the USA economy failures

Jared bernstein ....huffington post blogger

Why, you may be wondering, do politicians refuse to take the necessary fiscal steps to dislodge the unemployment rate from its elevated perch of 9.1%? Why, to the contrary, do they seem if anything intent on austerity measure that will push it in the wrong direction?

I can think of three reasons:

1) They want the president to fail;

2) They don't believe fiscal measures will work;

3) They irrationally fear a higher budget deficit, even temporarily.

Re 1, what can anyone say? If you're willilling to throw the economy under the bus to gain political advantage, you -- not the millions hurt by your actions -- should be the one who loses his job.

Re 2, I've got more sympathy for you. Folks have a hard time accepting counterfactuals -- the idea that things would have been worse absent the Recovery Act. But the evidence is at this point pretty plain to see: here, where the economy improved while the Recovery Act was in place and stumbled as fiscal stimulus come off too soon, in the UK, where austerity is clearly stifling growth, and in southern Europe as well.

Re 3, it can't be emphasized enough that temporary spending measures, even large one, are not what drive the long-term debt problem. Note how the Recovery Act -- all $800 billion of it -- adds nothing to the growth of the debt/GDP ratio starting around now. The culprit there would be the Bush tax cuts -- it's the permanent spending, not the temporary stuff that whacks you here.

I'm all for laying the groundwork to get on a sustainable budget path once the private sector is back in the business of creating jobs for people here in America. For now, the question regarding budget deficits should be: are they large enough to help pick up the slack until that moment arrives?

Boothstars positive Leo message and more

October 31st, 2011

Leo- Monday, October 31, 2011

The hard work you have invested towards the accomplishment of a vital goal will pay off. You’ve been sifting through the daily dross of life in hopes of finding gold. The reward when it comes, and it won’t be long now, will bring a sense of joy and relief. You truly deserve the very best and it’s exactly what the universe will give you.

White house says no to legalization of weed...

When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug's effects.
According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health -- the world's largest source of drug abuse research -- marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health -– especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20's. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.
Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.
As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.
That is why the President's National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we've seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We're also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.
Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.
Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President's approach to drug control to learn more.

7 billionth babie

India and Philippines welcome 'symbolic' India and Philippines welcome 'symbolic' 7 billionth babies

The world's population touched another milestone on Monday as India and the Philippines welcomed "symbolic" seventh-billionth babies. A baby girl, born to 23-year-old Vinita and Ajay at a local community health centre at 7.20am in Mall on the outskirts of Lucknow, was welcomed as the seventh-billionth baby, Bhagyeshwari, executive director of NGO Plan India, which is conducting the exercise, said. The girl has been named Nargis, she said.

|The Philippines also welcomed a seven-billionth baby at a government hospital in Manila. Danica May Camacho was born just after midnight. As the world's population touched the landmark seven billion mark, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for "unity of purpose" among people across nations to address problems of climate change, economic crisis and inequality.

Meanwhile, Russia also announced that the seven-billionth person was born in the country's Far East in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city. "A boy named Alexander was born in a maternity ward in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky on the night of Oct 31. A certificate of the seven-billionth inhabitant on Earth was given to the mother of the newborn, Marina Bogdanova," the press service of the Russian presidential envoy's office in the Far East said today.

According to the governor of Kamchatka, Alexander's parents will be given a certificate for a new apartment in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

"Of course, there are many contenders for the title of the seven-billionth baby on the planet. But our country is known to start from Kamchatka. Therefore, we believe that this child was the seven-billionth child and born in Kamchatka, Russia," the governor said.

The six-billionth person born on the planet was in 1999 in the Bosnian city of Sarajevo.

(with Agency inputs)

Doctors refuse to authorize marijuana use for pain relief

Postmedia News Oct 30, 2011 – 9:45 PM ET

By Sharon Kirkey

A decade after Canada legalized the medical use of marijuana, most doctors are still refusing to sign the declarations patients need to get legal access to pot — meaning patients in pain risk being jailed if they use a drug that helps them function.

It’s a predicament that threatens to become worse because of proposed changes to how Health Canada regulates access to the drug.

At first glance, it appears the government is easing up on strict rules for obtaining medicinal marijuana. Health Canada has proposed removing itself as the ultimate arbiter in approving or rejecting applications to possess.

Instead, doctors alone would sign off on requests.

But the nation’s largest doctors’ group said the proposals would have the perverse effect of putting even greater pressure on MDs to control access to a largely untested and unregulated substance they know little to nothing about; a drug that hasn’t gone through the normal regulatory review process. Their licensing bodies have told doctors that they are under no obligation to complete a medical declaration under the current regulations and that any one who chooses to do so should “proceed with caution.”

Dr. John Haggie, president of the 75,000-member Canadian Medical Association, said the changes being proposed would essentially off load all responsibility for using and monitoring marijuana to the doctors who sign an authorization — “and they’d be kind out of out there, without any infrastructure around them to assess it, to monitor it and to know if they were doing the right thing.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate or fair,” he said.

Observers said doctors fear doing harm, exposing themselves to legal action and becoming the “go-to” source for people seeking pot not to alter their pain but to alter their consciousness.

Haggie said physicians want fundamental research into some basic questions — is it safe? Who does it work for? Who should not use it? Yet the Conservative government abruptly terminated a medicinal marijuana research program in 2006. According to Health Canada, the government believes clinical research is “best undertaken by the private sector, such as pharmaceutical companies.”

A world leader in cannabis research said the logic defies him.

“I cannot imagine how a government agency can supervise (a marijuana access) program knowing that there is very little data out there — on safety issues in particular — and not try to stimulate research,” said Dr. Mark Ware, head of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, a non-profit network of more than 150 clinicians and researchers investigating the potential role of cannabinoids in diseases from arthritis to glaucoma.

No drug company wants to evaluate smoked marijuana as a medicine, Ware said, because there’s no money in it for them. Funding agencies have been less than approachable, he added, because there’s little appetite to support studies involving a product that’s often smoked. In clinical parlance, “They don’t see it as a safe, viable drug delivery system,” said Ware, director of clinical research at the Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit at the McGill University Health Centre.

Ware said he wonders how much the government’s disinterest in research might be tied to its tough-on-crime political agenda — “that somehow facilitating research on medicinal cannabis is a way of accepting that it may have some value as a medicine.”

The Montreal doctor, who is helping reform medical school curricula to better educate physicians around pain, received about $2 million under the now-dead medicinal marijuana research program. In a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal last year that involved 21 patients with neuropathic pain — a common and dreaded condition that causes electric, stabbing pain — Ware’s group found that smoked cannabis at low doses reduces pain, improves mood and helps sleep, without making people high. All had “refractory” pain, meaning pain that had defied all traditional treatments. No serious or unexpected side effects were reported.

Ware avoids prescribing cannabis to patients with a history of psychosis or schizophrenia, because it’s psychoactive at high doses — and sometimes even therapeutic doses. It can also be dangerous to people with unstable heart disease.

Still, there has never been a proven overdose death caused by marijuana in humans, according to Ontario’s highest court. Ware said that for patients for whom it works, cannabis can achieve about 30 per cent reduction in pain intensity.

But doctors remain wary — their chief concern being: How do I know when a patient is seeking a licence for a legitimate medical purpose and not simply to get legal access to an otherwise illicit drug?

Ware’s consortium has been working hard to educate and support doctors around the use of cannabis. He said data from Health Canada suggest that the average medical user is consuming two grams per day — about four joints when smoked. “It’s just taking that information and getting it into the hands of practising physicians. Then at least they know what the ballpark is.”

Some patients were getting authorizations for far higher amounts, because doctors didn’t know that 30 or 40 grams a day could be outside the “normal” range, he said.

Health Canada said the proposed changes to the program — which would include removing the rights of patients to grow their own supply of marijuana or to appoint designated growers, forcing users to get their pot from a licensed commercial producer instead — would make the program less complicated for seriously ill Canadians.

Paul Lewin begs to differ.

Doctors already are boycotting the program en masse, the Toronto lawyer said. Lewin said medical regulators and insurers sent letters to the government, “saying, ‘Don’t put us in charge, don’t make us a gatekeeper, we don’t know anything about pot, this is a plant product, it’s an unapproved drug.’ ”

Lewin said the court heard stories of how some doctors encouraged their patients to use pot for their pain. The patients would return, reporting that the marijuana was helping, that they were feeling less pain. But when they asked the doctors to sign their forms, “that’s when the mood changes,” Lewin said.

“That’s when they say, ‘Get out. I’m not risking my practice over you.’ ”

Lewin’s client, Matt Mernagh, started growing marijuana when he found it provided some relief from chronic pain and other symptoms of scoliosis, fibromyalgia and epilepsy. But he couldn’t get a licence to grow, because he couldn’t find a doctor to sign his declaration.

Police found Mernagh’s plants in 2008 when they were in his apartment building on an unrelated call. He was charged with production.

Lewin took the case to the Superior Court in Ontario. The court declared the federal medical marijuana program unconstitutional. The case is scheduled to go to the Court of Appeal for Ontario in March.

Lewin said the proposed changes to the marijuana access program are likely to scare off some of the few doctors willing to sign declarations, meaning “more seriously ill, law-abiding Canadians will be wrongfully treated as criminals” and subjected to humiliating arrests, medicine seizures and possibly even jailed, he said.

Ware said doctors need education and guidance. They would need to know whether patients who come seeking a licence for medical pot have been arrested for trafficking or diversion in the past. Abuses of the designated production licenses have occurred and Ware believes they should be phased out. But the consortium of cannabinoid researchers said that it’s not only easier and cheaper for patients to grow their own supply but the act of growing their own “medicine” may be therapeutic in itself. “It gives them a sense of control and ownership of their health and treatments.”

The following information was provided by Health Canada to Postmedia News:

In 2001, 727 doctors supported an application for an authorization to possess marijuana. In 2010, 3,187 doctors signed a declaration. Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 25, 3,803 doctors supported an application for an authorization to possess.

As of Sept. 30, 12,216 people in Canada held authorization to possess marijuana for medical purposes.

Who has authority to approve or reject submissions in the new system?

Under the proposed changes, patients would continue to consult with their physician in order to obtain access to marijuana for medical purposes. Once it has been determined that the use of marijuana for medical purposes is appropriate, the physician would provide the individual with a document. Health Canada is consulting the medical community on the form that this document would take.

Individuals would then send the physician’s document directly to a licensed commercial producer of their choice. The licensed producer would validate the document from the physician by confirming that the physician is licensed to practice medicine in Canada. The licensed producer would register the individual as a customer and would process the order for a specific amount of dried marijuana. Health Canada would maintain an up-to-date list of licensed producers on its website, and work with the medical community to disseminate this information as widely as possible.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

David Frum...shines a light on republicans The Party Of No

Recently, Tablet magazine ran a profile of me by Michelle Goldberg that remarked, "These days the former Bush speechwriter sounds more and more like a Democrat."

Michelle had in mind items like this blogpost, in which I enumerate the ways the GOP is wrong about the present economic crisis.

That latter post prompted a rejoinder from Scott Galupo at US News. Galupo's comment is especially noteworthy since he's a former staffer to Speaker John Boehner and a writer for the Washington Times. Galupo says of my "GOP is wrong" list:

"This is, to put it mildly, an exhaustive and damning litany. But the actual point of Frum's blog post was that former Gov. Mitt Romney kinda-maybe-sorta doesn't agree with this consensus, and therefore offers the best hope (but only a "slender" hope!) that the Republican candidate will be on the right side of the 'most urgent economic issue of the day...'

"I have to ask: Dude, why are you over there? You just more or less said you're going to vote for the guy who might agree with you and not for the guy who definitely does.

"As someone who's working through these issues myself, I'm being sincere here; I'm not playing 'gotcha.' This seems like an awfully risky bet.

"David: What's the dealbreaker for you?"

Galupo's question is one I hear a lot, both from puzzled Democrats and from annoyed Republicans.

My answer begins on this basis:

Yes I am dismayed that my party is wrong on the most urgent issue of the day. But in addition to what is most urgent, I am guided by concerns that if less immediate remain very important -- and on which I trust the GOP more than I trust the party of Barack Obama.

The Republicans are the party of American nationalism. We live in a world in which powerful economic, demographic and cultural forces are breaking down the concept of the nation altogether. But if nations don't matter, why should rich Americans care about the distress of poorer Americans -- who, after all, remain inconceivably wealthy by the standards of poor Africans? The flag-and-country themes of the GOP can be kitschy. They also are the indispensable basis of any idea of social cohesion across the vast continent.
Republican policies of lower taxes, less regulation, and restrained social spending may be poor medicine for the immediate crisis. But they remain the best formula to support the longer-term growth of the economy -- way better than the Democratic preference for high taxes and opportunistic economic interventions. The difference between the U.S. growing at an average of two per cent vs. three per cent over the next decades will determine not only the life-chances of the next generation of Americans, but the power balance of the planet between the U.S. and China.
Like the late Herb Stein, my preferred approach to federal budgeting starts with national defence. Defence and national security are the supreme priority of the state. Only after fully funding defence can you then worry about the appropriate level of spending for everything else, and the appropriate level and form of taxation to pay for that spending.
I intensely oppose any aid or subsidy to particular companies or firms except in cases of the most extreme national necessity, e.g. TARP. Solyndra is only the latest example of the zeal of Democratic administrations dating back to Jimmy Carter's to solve America's energy problems by inserting government into the business of "picking winners." Now as in 1977, I say no, no, no.
The omnipresent system of racial preferences built since the late 1960s in hope of compensating for the effects of slavery and segregation is not only a moral inequity, but also a practical disaster. The gap in wealth between white and black families -- 10 times greater than the gap in income -- has widened under affirmative action. As the Pew Foundation's research shockingly demonstrates, the children of the black middle-class experience frightening downward mobility, discrediting the most basic assumption on which the racial preference system has been built. And this system is one of the most basic political commitments of the modern Democratic party.
I remember that from Teddy Roosevelt and the national parks to George HW Bush and acid rain, real progress on the environment almost always comes under Republican presidents.
Public sector unions rank as one of the most important obstacles to the improvement of public services from education to transit. And the Democrats are the party of the public-sector unions.
Democrats were wrong on crime from the 1970s through the 1990s, and I'm still mad about it.
I believe that the elected prime minister of Israel is a better judge of Israel's national security than the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern Affairs. Democratic administrations typically seem guided by the opposite theory.
I admire business people, and the GOP is the party more sympathetic to business concerns and challenges.
Modern democracies generate a choice between one party offering more public services and higher taxes and another offering fewer services and lower taxes. Under the pressure of the current crisis -- intoxicated by anti-Obama feelings and incited by talk radio and Fox -- Republicans have staked out an extreme position on the role of government. They are expressing opinions they have never acted on in office and won't act on if returned to office. They're talking to relieve their feelings, always a big mistake. I remain convinced that the Tea Party moment is a passing infatuation, a rhetorical over-indulgence, that will fade as soon as Republicans re-encounter the responsibilities of governing -- just as the Democrats' over-heated type rhetoric about the war on terror was quietly retired by President Obama in favor of continuing most of the anti-terrorism policies of the Bush years. In a more normal kind of contest between the party of less (not zero) government and the party of more and bigger government, I'm with the party of less government. Especially because I feel confident that as the passions of the current crisis fade, Republicans will return to the kinds of ideas we've been advocating at my website, FrumForum.
For three years, my political party has veered in a direction I cannot follow. And if the GOP insists on framing the 2012 election as a ballot question on fiscal and monetary austerity, or if they nominate somebody manifestly incompetent to do the job of president, they're going to lose me -- and a lot more people beside me.

But I don't believe they will do either of those things. I believe that as the election draws closer, the GOP will recover its bearings and its good sense.

Those of us who publish at FrumForum have taken a stance -- not against the Republican party, but in favor of what we regard as the party's true nature, best traditions, and highest ideals. We remain confident that the party will rediscover those ideals, and as it does so, we'll be here, waiting.

GOP jostling : Prime time : SunNews Video Gallery

George Will Washington Post Column on Romney

Mitt Romney, the pretzel candidate

By George F. Will, Published: October 28

The Republican presidential dynamic — various candidates rise and recede; Mitt Romney remains at about 25 percent support — is peculiar because conservatives correctly believe that it is important to defeat Barack Obama but unimportant that Romney be president. This is not cognitive dissonance.

Obama, a floundering naif who thinks ATMs aggravate unemployment, is bewildered by a national tragedy of shattered dreams, decaying workforce skills and forgone wealth creation. Romney cannot enunciate a defensible, or even decipherable, ethanol policy.

Life poses difficult choices, but not about ethanol. Government subsidizes ethanol production, imposes tariffs to protect manufacturers of it and mandates the use of it — and it injures the nation’s and the world’s economic, environmental, and social (it raises food prices) well-being.

In May, in corn-growing Iowa, Romney said, “I support” — present tense — “the subsidy of ethanol.” And: “I believe ethanol is an important part of our energy solution for this country.” But in October he told Iowans he is “a business guy,” so as president he would review this bipartisan — the last Republican president was an ethanol enthusiast — folly. Romney said that he once favored (past tense) subsidies to get the ethanol industry “on its feet.” (In the 19th century, Republican “business guys” justified high tariffs for protecting “infant industries”). But Romney added, “I’ve indicated I didn’t think the subsidy had to go on forever.” Ethanol subsidies expire in December, but “I might have looked at more of a decline over time” because of “the importance of ethanol as a domestic fuel.” Besides, “ethanol is part of national security.” However, “I don’t want to say” I will propose new subsidies. Still, ethanol has “become an important source of amplifying our energy capacity.” Anyway, ethanol should “continue to have prospects of growing its share of” transportation fuels. Got it?

Every day, 10,000 baby boomers become eligible for Social Security and Medicare, from which they will receive, on average, $1 million of benefits ($550,000 from the former, $450,000 from the latter). Who expects difficult reforms from Romney, whose twists on ethanol make a policy pretzel?

A straddle is not a political philosophy; it is what you do when you do not have one. It is what Romney did when he said that using Troubled Assets Relief Program funds for the General Motors and Chrysler bailouts “was the wrong source for that funding.” Oh, so the source was the bailouts’ defect.

Last week in Ohio, Romney straddled the issue of the ballot initiative by which liberals and unions hope to repeal the law that Republican Gov. John Kasich got enacted to limit public employees’ collective bargaining rights. Kasich, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, is under siege. Romney was asked, at a Republican phone bank rallying support for Kasich’s measure, to oppose repeal of it and to endorse another measure exempting Ohioans from Obamacare’s insurance mandate (a cousin of Romneycare’s Massachusetts mandate). He refused.

His campaign called his refusal principled: “Citizens of states should be able to make decisions . . . on their own.” Got it? People cannot make “their own” decisions if Romney expresses an opinion. His flinch from leadership looks ludicrous after his endorsement three months ago of a right-to-work bill that the New Hampshire legislature was considering. So, the rule in New England expires across the Appalachian Mountains?

A day after refusing to oppose repeal of Kasich’s measure, Romney waffled about his straddle, saying he opposed repeal “110 percent.” He did not, however, endorse the anti-mandate measure, remaining semi-faithful to the trans-Appalachian codicil pertaining to principles, thereby seeming to lack the courage of his absence of convictions.

Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable; he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate. Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the Tea Party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming.

Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis, a technocratic Massachusetts governor who takes his bearings from “data” (although there is precious little to support Romney’s idea that in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants is a powerful magnet for such immigrants) and who believes elections should be about (in Dukakis’s words) “competence,” not “ideology.” But what would President Romney competently do when not pondering ethanol subsidies that he forthrightly says should stop sometime before “forever”? Has conservatism come so far, surmounting so many obstacles, to settle, at a moment of economic crisis, for this?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

“I’m 74 and I’m Tired” – by Bill Cosby (Unverified)

“I’m 74 and I’m Tired” – by Bill Cosby

I’m 74. Except for brief period in
the 50′s when I was doing my National Service, I’ve worked hard since I was 17.
Except for some some serious health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and
didn’t call in sick in nearly 40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t
inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy,
it looks as though retirement was a bad idea, and I’m tired. Very tired.

of being told that I have to “spread the
wealth” to people who don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the
government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to
people too lazy to earn it.

of being told that Islam is a “Religion
of Peace,” when every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing
their sisters, wives and daughters for their family “honour”; of Muslims rioting
over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they
aren’t “believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals
of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and Shari’a law
tells them to.

of being told that out of “tolerance for
other cultures” we must let Saudi
Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques and
mandrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand, UK, America
and Canada, while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church,
synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other Arab country to teach
love and tolerance..

of being told I must lower my living
standard to fight global warming, which no one is allowed to

of being told that drug addicts have a
disease, and I must help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do.
Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up
their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it

of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers
and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes
or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I’m really
of people who don’t take responsibility
for their lives and actions I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or
discrimination or big-whatever for their problems.

I’m also tired and fed up
with seeing young men and women in their teens and early 20′s bedeck themselves
in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves un-employable and claiming
money from the Government.

Yes, I’m damn
But I’m also glad to be 74.. Because,
mostly, I’m not going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just
sorry for my granddaughter and her children. Thank God I’m on the way out and
not on the way in.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Gaddafi 'killed with his own golden gun

MUMMAR Gaddafi was killed with his favorite golden pistol, a witness said, as Libya's new rulers argued over what do with the former dictator's remains and a key henchman appeared to escape.

Gaddafi was carrying the golden pistol when he was captured by Transitional National Council (TNC) fighters in a sewage pipe outside his hometown of Sirte on Thursday, following a NATO airstrike on his convoy, an official told The (London) Times.

"Gaddafi was first captured by rebels from the east," the source said. "Then the Misrata group showed up to take him. The eastern rebels didn't like this and the soldier pulled Ghadafi's golden gun and shot him, telling the Misrata guys, 'You can have him now'."

The source hailed the young man who killed Gaddafi a "Libyan hero," adding, "We know who killed him. He's a Libyan citizen, so we'll protect him. He was under-age, so he can't go to court anyway."


Iraq PM says failed talks on immunity for US soldiers led to full American ...

Washington Post -
BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister says disagreements about legal protection for US soldiers scuttled months of negotiations to keep American troops in Iraq beyond this year.

Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

Wall Street Journal - Angus Mcdowall -
Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud managed Saudi Arabia's massive defense spending programs for nearly a half century and, as one of the so-called "Sudairi Seven", was a powerful figure in the kingdom for decades.

Redford takes flak after halting power projects

Calgary Herald - Dina O'Meara -
By Dina O'Meara, Calgary Herald October 22, 2011 5:05 AM Premier Alison Redford, right, embraces British Columbia counterpart Christy Clark in Calgary after the two discussed BC's tough, new impaired driving laws, which Redford said Alberta is ...

Myths about piling on pounds go belly up in study

Vancouver Sun - Larry Kusch -
A University of Manitoba study on obesity debunks some myths about piling on the pounds - it seems big people are not taxing the health-care system as much as one would think.

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