Wednesday, December 31, 2014

PICS of 25 Countries as they are known





 

12-31-2014

To: FAMILY/FRIENDS


 

Date: Sat, 27 Dec 2014 06:36:56 -0500


25 Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners


Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Flickr/Frank-Vassen
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Flickr/David-Baxendale
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Flickr
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Flickr
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images
Countries Best Described In These Hilarious One Liners
© Thinkstock Photos/Getty images







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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Rival gangs make war in Thousand Oaks TO Acorn 919115

Rival gangs make war in Thousand Oaks TO Acorn 919115
2015-01-01 / Front Page

Rival gangs make war inThousand Oaks

Fight on Warwick results in the arrest of six people
By Becca Whitnall
Six people were arrested last week in connection with a Dec. 18 gang fight in Thousand Oaks in which one person was stabbed, according to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
The department received a call about 6:20 that night reporting that 10 people were fighting with bats and guns in the 800 block of Warwick Avenue, an area known for its high crime rate and the home territory to one of the gangs, said Senior Dep. Dillan Alvarez.
Where’s the story? Points Mentioned
The other gang is centered in the Conejo Creek condominiums on Calle Diamonte in Newbury Park.
During the fight, according to the sheriff’s department, 19-year-old Brahin Valencia ofThousand Oaks stabbed rival gang member Salvador Arroyo, also 19 and of Thousand Oaks.
Marco Gutierrez, 22, of Oxnard and Edgar Guzman, 22, ofThousand Oaks were both injured after being struck with blunt objects, according to the sheriff’s report.
Arroyo was arrested Dec. 22 on suspicion of conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and disturbing the peace by fighting.
The next day, Robert Dighero, 30, Victor Lopez, 21, Samuel Gonzalez, 20, Valencia and a male minor, all of Thousand Oaks, were arrested in connection with the incident.
Dighero, Lopez and Gonzales were each arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and disturbing the peace and were booked into the county pre-trial detention facility with bail set at $250,000, according to the sheriff’s office.
Valencia was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and was also booked into the pre-trial detention facility, the department said. His bail was set at $500,000.
The juvenile, whose identity was not released due to his age, was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, being an accessory to a crime and disturbing the peace and was lodged at the county juvenile justice facility, according to the sheriff’s department.
The fight is the latest in an uptick of recent gang-related crime in the area to the sheriff’s office, which said that in the first week of December there was an increase in gang-related graffiti in the 800 block of Warwick and in the rival gang area in Newbury Park.
On Dec. 10, two unidentified juveniles were arrested after officers saw them spray painting over gang graffiti in the 800 block of Warwick Avenue, according to the sheriff’s department.
Other incidents include attacks and assaults with deadly weapons using sticks, rocks and knives, Alvarez said.
He said the gangs have been in the area since the 1980s, though the names have changed and new members have joined as older members have moved on.
Gang members are generally between 15 and 25, he said, adding that the rivalry has been going on since the gangs have been in the area.

Not all pleased with citywide repaving effort By Anna Bitong Thousand Oaks Acorn 010115

2015-01-01 / Community

Not all pleased with citywide repaving effort

By Anna Bitong
An $11-million effort to smooth out about 54 miles of city streets is nearly complete, but some residents are unhappy with the condition of the work.
Thousand Oaks used a multiphase cape seal resurfacing process for the first time, a strategy that allowed the city to pave more streets for less money.
Where's the story?2 Points Mentioned
The method seals minor cracks on distressed streets, extending the life of the surfaces for at least a decade and deferring costly asphalt overlay, which was reserved mostly for arterial roads this year. In the past, $11 million might have been enough to overlay, or replace, just 15 miles of streets.
Three people told the City Council on Dec. 16 that the cost-saving plan left their streets bumpy and unsightly.
“Our streets have been through the process and they are just unacceptable,” Linda Cohen told the City Council on Dec. 16. “I simply cannot imagine that it will get it to the point that’s acceptable to the neighborhood. . . .These streets don’t look like they’re worthy of neighborhoods of multimillion dollar homes.”
Eugene Comroe, who lives on Mesa Ridge Avenue, said his street was not in bad shape before it was resurfaced.
“Now it looks like we’re in a third-world country,” he said. “There are pretty substantial homes in our neighborhood. The work seems to be substandard.”
Cliff Finley, deputy director of public works, told the Acorn that the streets will get smoother in the coming months. In addition, he said, the city has arranged for loose debris to be swept up weekly over the next month.
“The streets will actually be smoother than they were before,” Finley said. “ What most people are comparing them to are the streets that have just been overlaid, which are new streets. And those are very smooth.”
“The city is middle aged. We’re 50 years old now,” he continued. “We have streets that are older and the question is, how in the long run are we going to maintain our 380 miles of streets? We can’t afford necessarily to keep replacing them with overlays or new streets.”
Finley said he has met with residents to address their complaints.
“After the first of year we’re going to look again and see if street conditions are getting smoother and becoming more tolerable,” he said. “The contractor still has a punch list. So there are still items that have not been fixed.”
The city will also evaluate whether to use the cape seal process again. In February, the council will discuss a five-year pavement management plan.
“I’m sure that this discussion of cape seal, which is included as an option in that plan, will be discussed further,” Finley said.
From a pavement repair standpoint, we are very pleased. It’s a good structural improvement to the pavement. Whether or not it’s acceptable to the community, we still have to wait and see.”

Ventura College applies to offer four-year degree VC star

Ventura College applies to offer four-year degree

VENTURA, Calif. - Ventura College has officially applied to be one of 15 community colleges statewide offering four-year degrees.
If the college is accepted to the pilot program in January, it will offer a four-year degree in technical supervision and management. The program would allow students in fields such as automotive technology or culinary sciences to learn management skills, growing in their careers, said college President Greg Gillespie.
“The degree will help those in technical fields obtain the skills they need to open their own business or move into management or supervision,” Gillespie said. “We chose it because it’s broad-based, rather than focusing on a narrow discipline.”
Under a recent state law, some California community colleges will be able to offer four-year degrees in fields not covered by nearby California State University or University of California campuses. Students would pay $84 per unit for upper-division courses — more than the $46 per unit they pay for lower-division courses but less than the tuition in the CSU and UC systems.
A total of 34 community colleges or districts applied for the pilot program by the Dec. 19 deadline, said Paul Feist, the community college system’s vice chancellor for communications.
“We knew there would be a lot of interest,” Feist said. “That’s about half the districts in the system. ... And it’s a broad range of areas.”
Proposals include degrees in health information management, mortuary science and applied technology in viticulture.
The chancellor’s office plans to announce Jan. 20 which 15 colleges have been selected for the program.
If Ventura College is chosen, the program would start in fall 2016 with about 70 students, Gillespie said. In its application to the state, the college predicts the program would grow to 442 students in its fourth year.
The program would be organized to accommodate working students, so classes would be offered primarily in the evenings and on weekends. The courses would be a mix of online and in-class instruction to give students more flexibility.
Proposed course focuses include workplace ethics and law, quality-control systems and financial management.
The program would be developed by a team of faculty members representing technical disciplines at the college, as well as representatives from sister schools Moorpark College and Oxnard College, Gillespie said.
Community colleges in 21 other states already offer four-year degrees, and management has proved popular, Gillespie said.
Miami Dade College in Florida, for example, awarded 428 degrees in supervision and management this year — 41 percent of all the school’s bachelor of applied science degrees.
(Search the database, or sort by hovering over each column to find your college.)

Family of woman killed by Congresswoman Capps aide gets $2.5 million settlement VC Star 12/20/14

Family of woman killed by Capps aide gets $2.5 million settlement

The U.S. government has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by the parents of a Santa Barbara woman who was fatally struck by a former aide to Rep. Lois Capps.
The parents of Mallory Dies signed a $2.5 million settlement last month, the Santa Barbara News-Press reported.
The lawsuit alleged Raymond Morua was working as a field representative for Capps, D-Santa Barbara, in December 2013 when he hit Dies as she crossed a street in downtown Santa Barbara. It claimed the congresswoman hired Morua despite being aware he had prior drunken driving convictions, then failed to monitor him.
Morua, of Santa Barbara, was arrested twice in three months on suspicion of drunken driving when he lived in Ventura in 2006.
Capps, whose 24th Congressional District contains a coastal sliver of Ventura County, maintained Morua wasn’t working for her the night of the fatal crash.
Morua is serving 20 years to life in state prison after pleading guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the death of Dies, a 27-year-old bartender and UC Santa Barbara graduate.

Sony insider -- not North Korea -- likely involved in hack, experts say

Sony insider -- not North Korea -- likely involved in hack, experts say
http://lat.ms/1vF67Hi


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Fire in Lahore shopping centre leaves 13 dead, 2 injured – The Express Tribune

Fire in Lahore shopping centre leaves 13 dead, 2 injured – The Express Tribune: "MS Mayo Hospital Dr Amjad Shahzad confirmed that 12 bodies had been brought to them, including that of a woman. He added that initial examination of the dead showed that most had died of suffocation, while some had also suffered from burns.
One of the injured Mazhar Afzal, who suffered 15 per cent burn injuries was discharged after treatment.
The dead were identified by their relatives as Syed Sheraz Ali, Sanaullah, Ateequr Rehman, Nauman Khan, Waleed bin Ateeq, Azam Khan, Haji Ijaz.
Meanwhile, CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the fire and asked the city district government to submit the report of the incident within 24 hours.
“All the resources should be utilized in saving the lives of the people who are in the Khalid Plaza and best treatment facilities should be provided to the injured people who are rescued,” said Sharif."



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Bookbinding businesses keep the pages turning — for now - LA Times

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-bookbinding-20141230-story.html?track=lat-email-topofthetimes


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Monday, December 29, 2014

Amazon.com: DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal: Camera & Photo

Amazon.com: DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal: Camera & Photo: "DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ Quadcopter with FPV HD Video Camera and 3-Axis Gimbal
by DJI
218 customer reviews | 224 answered questions
List Price: $1,399.00
Price: $1,099.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $300.00 (21%)
In Stock.
Sold by Sonic Copters and Fulfilled by Amazon.
Want it Wednesday, Dec. 31? Order within 17 hrs 7 mins and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Style: Base Quadcopter Only"



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Sunday, December 28, 2014

10 states missing out on the housing recovery

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

10 states missing out on the housing recovery

http://usat.ly/1AX28LD


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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Host Your Domain Email at Gmail (Without Forwarding) | Smarterware

Host Your Domain Email at Gmail (Without Forwarding) | Smarterware

Some States See Budgets at Risk as Oil Price Falls - NYTimes.com

Some States See Budgets at Risk as Oil Price Falls - NYTimes.com: "To some Texans, the volatility and uncertainty are a routine part of life in an oil state.

“We have these cycles,” said Jerry Patterson, the Texas land commissioner and a former state senator who recalled being laid off from a job as a salesman in Houston during the oil bust of the 1980s. “I can remember 30 years ago when $40 oil was a big-time plus. And it went down to, I think, under $10, and you would see bumper stickers that said, ‘Dear Lord, please bring back $40 oil. I promise I won’t screw it up this time.’”

Manny Fernandez reported from Houston, and Jeremy Alford from Baton Rouge, La. Kirk Johnson contributed reporting from Seattle.

A version of this article appears in print on December 27, 20"



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Friday, December 26, 2014

Saudis demand non-OPEC to cut oil production - Kavkazcenter.com

Saudis demand non-OPEC to cut oil production - Kavkazcenter.com: "However, Hirs disagrees, reminding that North Americas’ contribution to world markets will diminish through 2015, due to its high oil production costs, which will reduce the glut of oil supply in the markets, and eventually bring prices up.

"We can see $ 100 per barrel of oil in 2016 with robust economic activity around the world," Hirs said.

Colgan concluded: "In the oil industry we should never say never."

OPEC members met on Nov. 27 to devise a strategy against the price slump, but decided to maintain production at 30 million barrels of oil per day for the first half of 2015. OPEC is to meet again on June 5 in Vienna."



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Saudis demand non-OPEC to cut oil production - Kavkazcenter.com

Saudis demand non-OPEC to cut oil production - Kavkazcenter.com: "However, Hirs disagrees, reminding that North Americas’ contribution to world markets will diminish through 2015, due to its high oil production costs, which will reduce the glut of oil supply in the markets, and eventually bring prices up.

"We can see $ 100 per barrel of oil in 2016 with robust economic activity around the world," Hirs said.

Colgan concluded: "In the oil industry we should never say never."

OPEC members met on Nov. 27 to devise a strategy against the price slump, but decided to maintain production at 30 million barrels of oil per day for the first half of 2015. OPEC is to meet again on June 5 in Vienna."



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LAPD inappropriately downgraded aggravated assault

View "LAPD inappropriately downgraded aggravated assault" article at http://eeditionmobile.latimes.com/Olive/Tablet/LATimes/SharedArticle.aspx?href=LAT%2F2014%2F12%2F26&id=Ar01401


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Cutting the Cord: 'TV Everywhere' in 2015

Check out this article from USA TODAY:

Cutting the Cord: 'TV Everywhere' in 2015

http://usat.ly/1ARgjSk


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The Private Life of Chairman Mao - encyclopedia article about The Private Life of Chairman Mao

The Private Life of Chairman Mao - encyclopedia article about The Private Life of Chairman Mao: "They also criticise Li's claims regarding Mao's personal life, for instance challenging his assertion that Mao was sterile, in which they are supported by Professor Wu Jieping, who was another of Mao’s medical carers. They theorise that Li had fabricated this story in order to explain why Mao did not have many illegitimate children with the many women that, Li controversially claimed, he had sexual intercourse with.[19]"



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Mao Zedong - encyclopedia article about Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong - encyclopedia article about Mao Zedong:



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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

'No place like home for the holidays': NYC's homeless endure the winter | Al Jazeera America

'No place like home for the holidays': NYC's homeless endure the winter | Al Jazeera America: "by Wilson Dizard @willdizard
“There’s no place like home for the holidays,” sings Perry Como in music piped through New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal. Played at a low volume the late crooner’s voice does little to stir the slumber of dozens of homeless New Yorkers who camp here overnight. They're used to it — for some, the transport hub is the nearest they have to a home during the cold nights of the holiday season.

Deborah Absalam, who said she has lived on the streets since 1997, has come to rely on the bus terminal for shelter and other facilities.

The 55-year-old woman describes sneaking a wash in the Port Authority bathroom each morning. It’s prohibited, but can be done. “If nobody sees you, it’s allowed,” she said standing in the basement of nearby Penn Station, where Amtrak, New Jersey Transit, the Long Island Railroad and city subway lines converge.

Her daily routine — sleeping on trains, bathing in public bathrooms, relying on about $5 worth of panhandling change to buy breakfast — is all too common for those down on their luck in New York City."



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Cheap oil is a costly holiday present | Al Jazeera America

Cheap oil is a costly holiday present | Al Jazeera America    

Saudi Arabia needs $100 oil, the IMF says, to keep its economy humming.


The Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told reporters at the United
Nations climate conference in Peru two weeks ago that he had no plans to
cut production even if demand weakens, which implies even lower prices.
“This is a market, and I’m selling in a market. Why should I cut?” he
said.


Saudi Arabia can do this because it enjoys a strong national balance
sheet, with foreign reserves equal to roughly a year’s gross domestic
product. It holds about $26,000 per person in foreign reserves, compared
with just $450 for the U.S. Many other oil-exporting countries cannot
sustain their current economies with cheap oil, meaning that some
adjustment must occur, be it more poverty or violence or both.


So enjoy cheap oil and natural gas while it lasts. But beware that it
comes at a price that may not be fully reflected on financial
statements. On the universal ledger every cost must be paid one way or
another. And the real price of cheap oil may be in turmoil, bloodshed
and faster climate change, which is not quite the wonderful gift we
imagine when we see falling prices at the pump.

Action likely against seminaries involved in militancy - Pakistan - DAWN.COM

Action likely against seminaries involved in militancy - Pakistan - DAWN.COM: "LAHORE: The Punjab government has hinted at the possibility of taking action against the religious schools found to be involved in militancy in any way.

“We’ve completed mapping of registered and unregistered madaris in the province and may initiate action against 10 percent of them,” Punjab Home Minister retired Col Shuja Khanzada told reporters at the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday.

He chose not to divulge detail of the madaris to be targeted, and said the provincial government had formed a panel, consisting of political and security leaders, to suggest precautionary measures to meet security needs besides implementing the decisions to be taken by the federal government on this issue.

Also read: Madressah reform"



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Re: A brave Pakistani family's 1st person account "BURNT Alive"

No, Mushtaq reality is that money rules and the Saudis in USA after 9-11 were allowed to fly away and we are slaves to the House of Saud as they give billions!
By the way the children, older village folk, even young men KILLED by drones, Pak Air Force, missiles, blown to BITS and not photographed, we need to pray for those victims as well.
We can pray & do our collective part!


On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 8:27 AM, Mushtaq

this is not possible … it just cannot be …
i'm not able to absorb what has been done to children, to the teachers, to the country.
I'm not able to read the expressions of grief, of poems to those killed.
This is 10 days later, and something in me still cannot comprehend.
There is  grim determination not bring up what I feel; I am with Gen. Raheel Sharif in his focused response  to the terrorists, to the hanging of 500+ terrorists.
Yet I feel this is not the answer, because the enablers and creators of these terrorists are within Pakistan and in those countries who are funding the extremist madrassas.
Are we willing to take them on and get them out?

From: i.quidwai@gmail.com
Date: Tue, 23 Dec 2014 22:59:16 -0800
Subject: A brave Pakistani family's 1st person account "BURNT Alive"
To: Pakistan_Futures@yahoogroups.com

Tariq Saeed added 3 new photos — with Saima Tariq and 2 others.

16th Dec was a sad day and known for "East Pak debacle". However, for Pakistani nation from now on it will be remembered for different reasons in general and for many of us in particular. The incident has hurt the nation deep inside which is evident from the response by the masses.
Saima Tariq , my beloved wife was one of victims of this tragedy. She had just joined the school on 5th Nov as teacher. She was an educationist and had taught for16 years in APSACS. On my arrival at Peshawar, Pakistan i was strictly against her teaching job and wanted her to pursue her higher studies which she was already undergoing at City University. In spite of my resistance she forced me change my decision and joined APS Peshawar in order to follow her passion of teaching and educating the next generation. She was a soft spoken lady with a very kind heart and extremely popular with her students (fact which can be confirmed by her students and colleagues).
Now coming to the incident on 16th Dec 14, i have seen a lot of stories circulating on the social media with different versions (some facts and some not) and based upon rumours. The fact is she embraced shahadat with courage and stood up against these perpetrators for her students. What happened and how it happened is painful to pen down but the fact is she was burned by the terrorists. Beyond this i believe we should not discuss anything as it is painful for us the family specially when it is not based upon facts.
I also saw people's remarks about the response being slow and all kind of criticism of security agencies. I want to clarify to every reader of this status that there are 84 schools alone within the Cantt premises let alone hundreds of schools in Peshawar. It is not possible to protect each and every school by the security agencies due to the lack of human resource. I am an affectee of the incident and still salute the wonderful response placed by the security forces in general and Army in particular. While criticizing we tend to overlook one fact that there were approximately 1100 kids in the school and over 950 have walked out safe and alive. Had it not been for the courageous response by my brothers in arms (being an eye witness and present on the spot) the loss could have been much much more. The SSG fought valiantly and took out each culprit. My sincere thanks to all of them who stood like a wall between the terrorists and 950 students saved. Let us all stop condemning the forces response and stand by them and appreciate them.
If the aim of this attack was to terrorize us or scare us i must admit that then they (TTP) have chosen the wrong enemy. I may be grieved b/c after all i am a human and have lost a near and dear one but i am not scared and my resolve to fight them has multiplied many folds. I am proud of my wife's sacrifice and courage. She has not only made her family but whole nation proud and sowed the seed for change IA.
Finally i along with my family want to thank each and every person including my family members, colleagues, friends, course mates, Aviators, General offrs, PTI MNA's, PTI MPA's, ministers, Ex CM of KPK who spared time to visit me and shared my grief. I also want to thank all those who couldn't join me in these trying times due to unavoidable commitments and called me or my brothers on telephone or messaged me for sharing their feelings. We are indebted to all of you for standing by me.
Saima you have toiled your blood but become immortal (as stated in holy Quran) but you have made us hold our heads high. You will always be missed and remembered by us all.

Tariq Saeed's photo.
Tariq Saeed's photo.
Tariq Saeed's photo.