Monday, October 31, 2016

Three suicide car bombers had tried to stop the advance before the army took control of Bazwaya, but the troops destroyed them, he said. The army said another unit, its 9th Division, had moved toward Mosul and was about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from its eastern outskirts, the neighborhood of Gogjali.

Three suicide car bombers had tried to stop the advance before the army took control of Bazwaya, but the troops destroyed them, he said. The army said another unit, its 9th Division, had moved toward Mosul and was about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from its eastern outskirts, the neighborhood of Gogjali.

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Nick Quidwai shared a link: UW-Stout Student Dies After Being Assaulted In Menomonie – WCCO | CBS Minnesota

UW-Stout Student Dies After Being Assaulted In Menomonie – WCCO | CBS Minnesota from Imraan Siddiqi's Tweet

Alnahdi was assaulted shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday in downtown Menomonie, Meyer said. The incident occurred on the 400 block of Main Street East, near Topper's Pizza. He was being treated at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire.

Alnahdi came to UW-Stout in 2015. His family is from Buraydah, Saudi Arabia.

Anyone with information about the assault should call Menomonie Police Investigator Kelly Pollock at 715-231-8511.

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Sent from my iPhone by Nick Iqbal Quidwai Newbury Park CA

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fisk:Saudi Arabia ‘deliberately targeting impoverished Yemen’s farms and agricultural industry’


"The Yemen war uniquely combines tragedy, hypocrisy and farce. First come the casualties: around 10,000, almost 4,000 of them civilians. Then come those anonymous British and American advisers who seem quite content to go on "helping" the Saudi onslaughts on funerals, markets and other obviously (to the Brits, I suppose) military targets.
Then come the Saudi costs: more than $250m (£200m) a month, according to Standard Chartered Bank – and this for a country that cannot pay its debts to construction companies. But now comes the dark comedy bit: the Saudis have included in their bombing targets cows, farms and sorghum – which can be used for bread or animal fodder – as well as numerous agricultural facilities.

In fact, there is substantial evidence emerging that the Saudis and their "coalition" allies – and, I suppose, those horrid British "advisers" – are deliberately targeting Yemen's tiny agricultural sector in a campaign which, if successful, would lead a post-war Yemeni nation not just into starvation but total reliance on food imports for survival. Much of this would no doubt come from the Gulf states which are currently bombing the poor country to bits."

The fact that Yemen has long been part of Saudi Arabia's proxy war against Shiites and especially Iran – which has been accused, without evidence, of furnishing weapons to the Shia Houthi in Yemen – is now meekly accepted as part of the Middle East's current sectarian "narrative" (like the "good" rebels in eastern Aleppo and the "very bad" rebels in Mosul). So, alas, have the outrageous bombings of civilians. But agricultural targets are something altogether different.
Academics have been amassing data from Yemen which strongly suggests that the Saudis' Yemen campaign contains a programme for the destruction of rural livelihood."

Saudi Arabia 'deliberately targeting impoverished Yemen's farms and agricultural industry'

Increasing evidence suggests Kingdom is not merely bombing civilians in neighbouring country, but systematically targeting infrastructure survivors will need to avoid starvation when the war is over

Editorial - Vote no on SOAR and SUSTAIN VC Oct 30 16

Editorial - Vote no on SOAR and SUSTAIN VC

Ventura County Star (CA) - October 30, 2016
  • CountyStar
  • Section: Opinion
  • It was more than 20 years ago that voters in the city of Ventura first adopted a measure to require voter approval of development projects wanting to convert existing agricultural, rural or open space land into urban use. Over the next six years, voters in the county and six other cities adopted similar measures, all of which became known as SOAR – Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources.

    Those ordinances have been successful in preserving Ventura County as a rural, agricultural county with pockets of urban development. That is what the voters said they wanted back in the late 1990s and that is what they got.

    Most of the SOAR laws expire at the end of 2020, so supporters – led by county supervisors Steve Bennett and LInda Parks and attorney Richard Francis – decided to return to the ballot this year to extend the laws until 2050.

    A group of farmland owners, who believe SOAR ties their hands on what they can do with their land, began negotiating with SOAR leaders to alter the law after recognizing that a move to kill it altogether had little chance among voters.

    The negotiations brought modifications to SOAR language to make it more friendly to agriculture but failed to go far enough for the farm group. So they created their own, competing ballot initiative which, among other things, would only extend the ordinance to 2036.

    So now voters have two separate countywide initiatives on the Nov. 8 ballot. In addition, voters in eight cities have initiatives to extend their local SOAR controls until 2050, and two of those cities – Fillmore and Oxnard – have alternative initiatives to extend the law until only 2030.

    That leaves 12 separate measures on the ballot, with the potential to create a crazy quilt of laws and expiration dates for how we want to deal with efforts to urbanize our county.

    We find much to like in both the countywide SOAR plan, Measure C on your ballot, and its rival SUSTAIN VC proposal, Measure F.

    Measure C keeps in place the key components to the law that the majority of residents believe is vital to protecting our future. It still requires a vote of the people before any current agricultural, rural or open space land outside city urban boundaries is converted into a more urban use. The measure also tries to make it easier to build farmworker housing and food-processing facilities, although both still have severe limitations.

    We are bothered, though, by the length of the extension. We believe 2050 is too far in the future to extend this measure. Too much can – and will – happen to our county, its people and its needs in the next 34 years to lock us into this severe limitation.

    We were distressed to hear the 2050 time frame was inserted mostly for the benefit of SOAR organizers, because of the difficulty in bringing together the grassroots organization needed to get such measures on the ballot again. That, to us, is a weak justification for such a lengthy extension.

    The SUSTAIN VC initiative pushes the core voting requirement out 20 years, which we believe is the correct amount of time before voters are asked again whether to continue or alter the growth-control laws.

    But Measure F has its own flaws. It rewrites county goals to be far too accommodating to all agricultural projects coming before county planners, giving those projects clearly preferential treatment over any other project. Our biggest concern, however, is the open-ended allowance for development of agricultural land next to school sites. It is an idea without limits that clearly has the support of the owners of those pieces of property, who are the major financial supporters of the initiative.

    Given all the problems, The Star Editorial Board recommends a no vote on SUSTAIN VC and all SOAR-related measures, both county and city. While we do not oppose the ideas behind the city measures, we again believe the time frames are flawed.

    There are two more general elections before our current SOAR provisions expire. We urge all those involved to return to the negotiating table to find compromises that can serve the interests and needs of the agricultural community and the vision of limited urbanization of our county.

    We are convinced it can be done and a unified measure can be presented to voters in 2018 or, at the latest, 2020, to extend this unique Ventura County law for another 20-year generation.

    An aide says he once arranged for $50 million in payments for Bill Clinton la times

    An aide says he once arranged for $50 million in payments for Bill Clinton

    Joseph Tanfani

    A close aide to Bill Clinton said he arranged for $50 million in payments for the former president, part of a complicated mingling of lucrative business deals and charity work of the Clinton Foundation mapped out in a memo released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

    The report was written by Doug Band, who has transitioned from his job as a Clinton aide to a partner in Teneo Consulting, a firm whose client roster now includes some of the biggest companies in the world. Along the way, Band wrote, he also pushed his clients and contacts to donate millions of dollars to the Clinton Foundation, and to help win business deals for Bill Clinton.

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    Band wrote the memo in November 2011 to John Podesta, now chairman of the Hillary Clinton campaign, and sent copies to other key Clinton aides, apparently to explain and justify his work in the face of criticism from others in the Clinton orbit — notably Chelsea Clinton. 

    WikiLeaks has been releasing thousands of hacked emails from Podesta's account in recent weeks, revealing the rivalries and controversies roiling inside the Clinton family network as Hillary Clinton prepared to run for president.

    Earlier that month, another hacked email shows, Chelsea Clinton had written Podesta, saying it was time to professionalize the foundation's operations and complaining that her father had heard of "multiple examples of Teneo 'hustling' business" at Clinton Global Initiative meetings.

    In the memo, Band depicts himself as the indispensable linchpin of the Clinton family's finances even as he acknowledges that the arrangement is unusual: "We appreciate the unorthodox nature of our roles," Band wrote.

    A spokesman for the Clinton campaign declined to comment; the campaign has refused to confirm whether the emails are authentic. Band did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    In the November 2011 memo, Band lays out how he founded Teneo five months earlier with Declan Kelly, one of Hillary Clinton's top fundraisers during her 2008 presidential campaign. When Clinton became secretary of State, Kelly was named an envoy to Northern Ireland, holding the post even as he continued to represent several clients.

    "Rightly or wrongly," Band said, because other fundraisers couldn't deliver, he and Kelly pushed their clients to donate to the foundation; he also lined up speaking and consulting deals for Bill Clinton. In some cases, it worked the other way, with Teneo winning consulting contracts from foundation donors.

    One example, he said, was Laureate International University, the for-profit international school that donated more than $1.4 million to the Clinton Foundation and was paying Bill Clinton $3.5 million a year to serve as "honorary chancellor."

    The company paid Clinton more than $17 million before the relationship ended last year, as Hillary Clinton was launching her presidential bid.

    Band said handling the Laureate relationship was "very time-consuming," not to mention all the other tasks he handled for Bill Clinton. 

    "We have in effect served as agents, lawyers, managers and implementers," he said, hauling in $50 million in personal work for Clinton and lining up $66 million more. "Neither Justin nor I are separately compensated for these activities," he wrote, referring to Justin Cooper, another Clinton aide who had joined him in Teneo.

    The disputes continued through that year, emails show, with Band carping about Chelsea Clinton's involvement — at one point he called her a "spoiled brat" — and pushing back against proposals to separate the foundation's activities from business dealings. Band finally resigned from the foundation last year.

    Twitter: @jtanfani

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    ​Southwest Airlines seeks more revenue, but rules out bag fees la times oct 30 16

    Southwest Airlines seeks more revenue, but rules out bag fees la times oct 30 16

    Bags will continue to fly free at Southwest Airlines. For now.

    Under pressure to generate more revenues, the chief executive of the Dallas-based carrier rejected suggestions that the airline start charging customers to check luggage, even though bag fees have generated billions of dollars for other airlines.


    The nation's top 13 airlines collected $3.8 billion in bag fees during 2015, plus another $3 billion in charges paid by passengers who change or cancel reservations, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation

    Southwest is the only major airline in the United States that doesn't charge passengers to check their first two bags or to change flight reservations.

    During a quarterly earnings conference call with analysts this week, Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly said he won't consider instituting such fees, as some industry analysts have urged.

    "We have a unique and beloved position in the industry with this approach and we would be foolish to squander it, so no thought whatsoever on charging bags," Kelly said.

    Southwest's net income declined to $388 million in the three months ended Sept. 30, compared to $584 million in the year-earlier period. Kelly blamed part of the decline on a technology outage in July.

    Kelly said the airline is considering other money-making ideas. When asked to elaborate, he declined.

    "Well, it's just not ready for prime time," he said of his plan. "And I'd rather not share with our competitors where we see opportunities for a variety of reasons."

    ​Once again, Apple's new design won't accommodate your old cords la times oct 30 16

    Once again, Apple's new design won't accommodate your old cords

    Not everyone was happy when Apple removed the headphone jack from its new line of iPhones, forcing customers to go wireless or use an adapter.

    And, unsurprisingly, not everyone was happy Thursday when owners of Apple's new iPhones realized they won't be able to charge them using the latest MacBook Pro models without using a different adapter. 


    The revelation came as the tech giant unveiled new MacBook Pro laptops featuring a touch-sensitive bar atop the keyboard. But it was the USB ports — or lack thereof — that were the center of attention for some users. 

    The iPhone 7 will no longer plug directly into Apple's premier laptops because the smartphone comes with a Lightning cable that fits into a standard USB port. The new laptops use different USB-C ports — and they don't ship with cords that match an iPhone. 

    To make them compatible, Apple customers will have to buy a $19 adapter, more commonly known in the tech world as a "dongle." Or they could buy a $25 charger cable that directly connects the USB-C port to their phone. 

    The future's tangle of cords and dongles elicited some heated tweets from users.

    Apple is known for its proprietary cords and it's willingness to frequently change them. 

    This latest shift is part of Apple's move toward a wireless future — meaning the company may be hoping that customers don't wind up using dongles.

    "Going forward, wireless will be the more convenient thing," said Werner Goertz, research director of personal technologies at research firm Gartner. "It offers all the bandwidth things need to communicate with each other."

    Apple wants iPhone users to rely on iCloud, its data storage service, to transfer files between devices, leaving the cord only for charging.

    On its laptops, the smaller size of the USB-C port — which is becoming more common in personal devices — helps keeps the device slim. 

    "I would say that's very much a part of Apple's DNA — 'ever thinner,' and sometimes that means making sacrifices," said Tom Mainelli, vice president for devices at market research firm IDC.

    But, if you're someone who likes to plug in your devices to your laptop, "you're going to use a lot of dongles to get your stuff plugged in," he said.

    And if you want those dongles, you're going to have to pay for them. 

    While the cords are much less expensive than the company's laptops, forcing customers to buy them could provide a bit of extra revenue as its computer line faces increased competition. 

    In its fourth quarter report released this month, Apple said many of its rivals have broader product lines and cheaper prices, meaning the Mac has to "maintain its functional and design advantages."

    Apple sold about 18.4 million Mac computers in 2016, compared to about 20.5 million in 2015.

    Twitter: @smasunaga


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