Friday, March 27, 2009

How Choosing Changes You

Tough choice. Deciding between two desirable vacation destinations may alter people's future preferences.
Credit: Photos.com
By Greg MillerScienceNOW Daily News27 March 2009

Economists generally assume that people make choices based on their preferences. And we do. But psychologists have long argued that the relationship goes both ways. Just as our preferences influence our choices, so too can choices influence preferences. A new study backs both sides in the debate and identifies a component of the brain's reward circuitry that seems to keep track of changing preferences.
In 1956, psychologist Jack Brehm published the results of a now-classic experiment in which he asked housewives to rate how much they wanted a bunch of household objects (his own wedding gifts, reportedly). After the women rated the items, they were asked to choose between items they'd found equally desirable--a toaster and a watch, for instance. Then, the women were asked to rate all of the household objects again. This time, they gave a higher rating to the objects they had chosen than they had the first time around; they also pooh-poohed the ones they'd decided against.
Brehm concluded that the act of choosing had changed the women's preferences, perhaps because they were trying to rationalize their choices. But critics of this and subsequent similar studies have argued that choosing merely reveals preferences that were already there.
The new study suggests that there is truth in both interpretations. Cognitive neuroscientists Tali Sharot, Benedetto De Martino, and Raymond Dolan, all of University College London, used fMRI to monitor brain activity in 13 volunteers as they pondered various vacation destinations. Inside the scanner, the volunteers rated how happy it would make them to go to Greece, Thailand, and dozens of other vacation hot spots. Then, outside the scanner, they chose between pairs of places they'd rated equally. Activity in the caudate nucleus, a brain region linked in previous studies to anticipating future rewards, predicted their choices. Even though they'd assigned the same rating to both places in each pair, subjects consistently chose the place that elicited greater caudate activity in the initial scanning session, the researchers report online this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.
That finding supports the critics' claim that choices uncover preexisting preferences, says Laurie Santos, a psychologist at Yale University. But the second part of the study supports the contention by psychologists (Brehm and Santos among them) that choices can change preferences. When subjects got back in the scanner and rated the vacation destinations a second time, they exhibited even higher caudate activity for their chosen locations. "[The] fMRI data suggest that a person's choice both reveals a preexisting preference and shapes future preferences," Santos says. "It's a lovely finding that actually clarifies a huge debate in the field."
As to why we have this tendency to update our preferences after making a decision, Sharot speculates that it may help us commit to our chosen course of action instead of wasting time dwelling on what might have been. So if you've chosen the Serengeti over the beaches of Brazil this year, it's time to study up on your megafauna and put your thong away.

For laid-off IBM workers, a job in India?


IBM announced a major round of US layoffs on Thursday, even as the company has been hiring workers in developing nations like India.
But over the past year, the company began offering US workers who are facing a job cut a novel carrot: If you apply for a new IBM position in a foreign country and are hired again at local wages, we will cover some of the transition costs like visa fees.
Few IBMers have taken the offer, and the firm has taken public relations lumps over it. But a handful of pioneering Americans at other firms have started to shop their skills on the Indian market, finding fulfillment and job security at a time of deep recession back home.
The IBM offer hints at a future where it’s not just skilled Indians who might have to travel halfway around the globe for a job. It’s likely that more American job seekers will have to think globally, say analysts, and the experiences of Americans who have taken jobs with companies here say it’s not something to fear.
“I was making six figures when I left the States. I’m making six figures here – in rupees,” laughs Jeanne Heydecker, a marketing executive now living outside of Delhi and working at her third Indian company. The salary for this single mother actually translates to roughly $50,000 a year. But it would be a mistake to suppose her quality of life has gone down.
Most everything she could want is available in Delhi. The healthcare, she says, has been top-notch and bottom-dollar. And like most Westerners and wealthy Indians here, she is able to hire people to cook, clean, and drive for her.
“You can come home from work and focus on your family, not on maintaining the car and the housework,” she says.She left Chicago in 2007 after realizing that she was bored at work and didn’t see companies nearby that were hiring “new people to do new things.” Through the social-networking site Linkedin.com and Skype, Ms. Heydecker talked with the head of a Calcutta technology company who eventually hired her sight unseen.
Not yet a well-worn pathHers is not yet a well-worn path. But in the coming decades, it will be, says Arvind Panagariya, an expert on the Indian economy at Columbia University in New York.
“Does the average American [worker] think globally? No. I don’t think we’re at that stage yet. But it will happen,” he says. “Such a massive technological revolution will cause the borders to blur, if not disappear.”
So far, there isn’t much evidence of Americans expanding their search beyond places less like Peoria and more like Pune.
“In previous recessions, we have seen such an increase in interest in overseas jobs, but not this time,” says Lisa Hystad, publisher of the International Career Employment Weekly. “Perhaps that is due to the many news stories stating that the economic downturn is worldwide.”
In IBM’s case, fewer than 20 people have taken up the offer for help in locating a new IBM job overseas, estimated company spokesman Doug Shelton, speaking Monday before the latest layoffs. He declined to make any employees available for interviews.
But the jobs in places like India are worth considering, Mr. Shelton suggested, saying that the cost of living is lower and international experience is highly prized in a global marketplace.
“It didn’t go down very well,” says Lee Conrad, a national coordinator with the Communication Workers of America who is trying to unionize IBM. “It was like people felt they were seeing not only their jobs offshored but their citizenship offshored.
“It’s definitely a huge loss in wages to the American worker,” he adds. “I think that’s why it isn’t being so readily accepted. In years past, IBM would transfer an employee to another country, but they would stay with their US wages. That’s changed.”
Mr. Conrad adds that IBM workers are upset at having to train Indians to do their jobs, only then to be laid off.
The sizzle of India’s growth has slowed some, declining to 5 percent this year. Prices for outsourcing services, a key industry in India’s new economy, could be slashed up to 20 percent by 2010, according to Gartner Inc. in Stamford, Conn.
Still, there remains a whiff of opportunity in the air in places like Pune, a mid-sized city in southern India that feels far from America’s economic doldrums. Construction cranes tower in the sky and spools of cable and piles of pipes line the roads as apartment buildings, office buildings, and hotels continue to be built.
In one of the new office high-rises, Mindcrest, a legal outsourcing firm, has recently hired three Americans – and has plans to hire more Westerners in the coming year. Like Heydecker in Delhi, the three women are mid-career and weren’t sent here on a temporary foreign rotation by a multinational firm back home.
“The [jobs] situation back home doesn’t make me want to go back,” says Michelle Vega, an attorney in her mid-30s who hears friends in the US describe businesses closing and mass layoffs. “I’d rather stay in Pune where people are still happy.”
It’s perhaps doubly surprising to be employed in a happy workplace when the office is a large room filled with hundreds of lawyers sitting at cubicles. The company hires mostly Indian attorneys to provide basic legal services – such as research, document reviewing, and contracts management – to large companies and law firms in the West.
Ms. Vega and her American counterparts Deirdre Byrne and Rana Rosen help the Indian attorneys understand what the Western clients want. None of them believe their work takes away American jobs, but say it instead frees young lawyers in the US from some early-career drudgery.
Over lunch, the three women laugh about stashing pine nuts, manila folders, and lint-remover rolling pins in their luggage when they come back from visits home. There are other challenges: power cuts, the bureaucracy of setting up basic services like a cellphone, and the more pervasive scenes of deep poverty on the street here.
Demanding job, nice lifestyleBut Ms. Byrne, who has worked as a high-powered Manhattan attorney and a realtor for Sotheby’s in the Hamptons, sums up the consensus: “We have a very nice life, and for a fraction of the costs at home” – even with smaller salaries.
She stresses that the work is demanding “on the scale of a New York law firm,” but comes with a “bonhomie” generally absent from Big Apple offices.
As for why more Americans are not considering work abroad, expatriates here admit it grows more complicated for those with more family ties.
Heydecker’s teenage son had to give up friends and skateboarding but has adjusted well, she says. She adds that the advantages to working abroad are often not communicated well.
“I don’t think companies like IBM are getting people in touch with those who are out here doing it, and showcasing those success stories,” says Heydecker. “It can be isolating in the beginning, but eventually, your life is pretty sweet. It all depends on how open your mind is.”

Financial Q&A: Some price advice for investors about to join the gold rush


Q: What is the best way to purchase 100 percent gold coins, what kind are best, and from whom should one buy?
A.M.B., via e-mail
A: Gold-coin and gold-bullion dealers can be found in nearly every major city as well as on the Internet. All are happy to sell you gold, as will the US Mint (usmint.gov).
Because gold is soft and can get damaged in handling, the closest you'll actually come to 24-karat pure gold is 99.99 percent pure. In this arena, the most popular choices are Canadian Maple Leafs and US Buffalos, says David McCarthy, senior numismatist at Kagin's, a coin-and-gold dealership in Tiburon, Calif. Each coin is minted by their respective governments.
The biggest selling coin, however, is the 22-karat American Eagle. Because it is less pure, it weighs slightly more than one ounce. But it still contains precisely one ounce of this increasingly popular metal.
Because all of these coins, as well as the South African Krugerrand, contain one ounce of gold, their price calculations are fairly easy. Other coins may have a lesser content or a lower karat weight, so you'll need a calculator whenever you try to peg it to the commonly traded price of one troy ounce.
After you find a seller, determine which coins you want and the price. This is a very volatile market, and Mr. McCarthy says that a quoted price is basically good for as long as you hold the coin in your hand. If you see a price you like, be prepared to act.
But more important, ask the dealer how much of a premium he'll assess. McCarthy says he typically charges a 2-to-3 percent markup over his cost of a coin. He's seen it 10 percent or more elsewhere. One ad, for example, listed a Gold Eagle at $1,025, or 11.8 percent more than the going rate of $916 per ounce as of March 7.
Gold prices are set twice daily by the London Bullion Market Association, at lbma.org.uk, or throughout the day by the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, at nymex.com.
Q: Can one own too many charitable annuities? It seems a wonderful way to donate to worthy causes and help them over the long term, especially since the funds (in my case) are directed to them. For me, the added quarterly or monthly income is welcome. I'm now considering this type of donation to a summer camp program for children. That would make it No. 4. Is that too many?
V.C., via e-mail
A: It's perfectly fine to have several gift annuities. In fact, it isn't uncommon for a single donor to have 20 or even 30 gift annuities at a time, says Johni Hays, an attorney with Stelter Co., a Des Moines-based firm that supports the charitable giving industry.
Briefly, a charitable gift annuity involves donating funds to a qualified charity of your choice – a college, hospital, or summer camp, for example. In return, donors will likely be entitled to a tax break for their gifts, and the charity will give them a predetermined amount of money each year. When a donor dies, the nonprofit keeps any of the original gift amount that remains.
Ms. Hays says these annuities have become popular because they provide higher rates of return than a typical stock dividend or savings account. And the repayment amount rises with your age.
The underlying question to ask might be more about how much of your total net worth is comprised of gift annuities. Because you no longer have access to the principal once it's given to a charity in exchange for a charitable gift annuity, Hays says that you'll want to be certain that you still have access to other funds in the event you might need them later on.

Infinite dictionary




Chicago
Erin McKean doesn’t look much like a revolutionary. She speaks softly. She sews her own skirts and writes a daily blog entry about vintage patterns. She does work out of a basement, but it’s got carpeting and good lighting and roughly 1,500 books, many of whose titles involve the word “words.” Her suburban Chicago home is not exactly the picture of subversion.
This week, though, she is slated to launch what may be the biggest revolution in the printed word since, well, printed words.
Ms. McKean’s brainchild is called Wordnik, and it combines the best practices of the old-fashioned desk reference with Internet innovations. Words can be tagged like a blog entry, their pronunciation recorded and replayed like streaming radio, their related words cataloged like a list of books customers also bought at an online book depot. When the paper page gives way to the Web page, everything about the way we think of words will change, McKean says. “This project,” she predicts in a quiet voice devoid of bravado, “is going to completely revolutionize all of dictionarymaking forever.”
Granted, a dictionary is closer to a database than a mystery thriller, its authors nothing like, say, John Grisham. But to McKean, nothing has ever seemed more fascinating than collecting and organizing American words.
McKean was 8 years old when she decided that when she grew up, she wanted to be a lexicographer – the technical term for a writer or editor of dictionaries. She first found it in her daily scouring of The Wall Street Journal. Her father was a Journal devotee, and McKean liked the human interest stories (but, she jokes, “even then, I knew enough not to read the editorial page.”) A feature article celebrated Oxford University Press’s 1980 Word of the Year – ayatollah – and talked about preparing the newest edition of its most famous title, the Oxford English Dictionary.
“I think I was really attracted by the fact that it was taking 21 years to make the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary,” she recalls. “I was 8. Twenty-one years was forever.”
The lexicography bug stuck, in part because McKean loved language. She was a voracious reader, plowing through her local libraries’ stacks and devouring anything she found at home, she says. “If it was lying around, I read it. If my parents didn’t want me to read it,” she says, “they had to hide it.”
As her classmates abandoned childhood dreams of firefighting or Broadway stardom for teaching or nursing, McKean stuck with words. “Nobody ever tried to talk me out of it. Nobody knew enough about it to know if it was easy or difficult,” she recalls. “Nobody had a brother who was a lexicographer the way they might have a brother who was a firefighter or an English teacher or a doctor or a lawyer. Nobody had ever met one.”
For good reason, she found out as she pursued joint bachelor’s and master’s degrees in linguistics at the University of Chicago: There aren’t a whole lot of jobs for lexicographers. McKean estimates there may be 200 working lexicographers in America today, and that the field sees about two full-time openings a year.
McKean got her start through a combination of luck and ingenuity: She called up the only dictionary publisher based in Chicago and asked for an internship. After graduation, the internship turned into a job, which eventually turned into a career at Oxford University Press, a move she likens to “being called up by the Yankees.” At age 29, McKean was the chief editor of the American dictionaries group. “If it had Oxford and American in the title,” she says, “it was my fault.”
She could dream up bestsellers, like the Oxford American Writers Thesaurus, but among her favorite books is the first one she acquired at her new home, a publishing house with a reputation for erudition. “It was called Slayer Slang.…[It] is a treatment of the slang of Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” the title character in a hit television drama from the late 1990s.The purchase revealed as much about McKean’s sensibility as it did about her business sense. And when it comes to dictionaries, McKean says, sensibility is key. “People have this idea of the Platonic ideal of the dictionary. That’s why they call it ‘the dictionary’…. They think that all dictionaries are pretty much the same.” Not so, she says. There are five print dictionary publishers in the US, each choosing which of the billions of words they’ve collected will make it into print.
What gets left out depends on the personality of the publishing house. On the other hand, how to evaluate what gets in is a task beyond most people. “Most consumers don’t have a good metric for deciding on whether the dictionary they want to use is a good one … so they flip the book over, then go to the back, and it says, ‘over 250,000 entries.’ And they go, ‘Great, this dictionary must be awesome!’ ” she says. “Because if you don’t know a word, how do you judge the quality of the definition?”
Enter Wordnik, McKean’s newest project. In the infinite space of the Internet, she can define as many words as she wants.
“There are hundreds of thousands of words that aren’t in any print dictionary today … because there’s no space for all of them.”
Wordnik has space for many of them, and for their bells and whistles. Her team of seven has analyzed what print and online dictionaries do and don’t do well. They’ve built a user-friendly resource that should be the best – and biggest – of both worlds. Wordnik generates its content from a database of 4 billion words, twice as many as that of her last employer. “Four billion words,” she says with a shrug, “is what you can pick up lying around on the floor of the Internet.”
Want to evaluate a definition of a word you’ve never met? No problem; other users can tell you if they favor that definition. Want to know what other words often appear in the same sentence as what you’ve just looked up? There’s a section called “related” for words used in the same context as yours. Need to know what a farthingale, for instance, looks like? Images are imported to the page from photo-depot giant Flickr. Unsure if you really understood the definition? Every word has several example sentences, culled at random from that Internet floor and then sorted so the best rise to the top of your search page.
These, McKean says, are critical. They’ve been vanishing from print dictionaries as publishers try to cram them with more words, but contextual sentences are what make people pick up reference books in the first place. “We think people go to a dictionary to find out what a word means,” she says. Not so. “Most people go to the dictionary because they don’t want to look stupid.”
They don’t want to sound stupid, either, which is why every word has an audio file of its pronunciation. Users can record their own pronunciations, too.
Print dictionaries do have one clear advantage, though: They show more than one word at a time. That makes skimming the print page fun, and McKean has tried to mimic that feeling with a “serendipity” feature, which generates words at random.
Perhaps the most surprising element of McKean’s new dictionary is a frequency graph, which shows how often the word you’ve looked up was used, as a written word, in a year. That can tell you more about history than just the etymological: Take “chad,” for instance. The word’s frequency in 2000 is high – thanks, of course, to that year’s presidential election controversy. But there are signs of heavy usage much earlier. [Editor’s Note: The original version of this story incorrectly used the word “entymological” instead of “etymological.” A reader pointed this out here. You can read our response here.]
“We have one text from 1870 that has the word ‘chad’ a lot, because it’s about Jacquard [weaving] looms, which used to be run on punch cards,” McKean explains. “They had the same chad problems as the Florida ballots.”
Ultimately, McKean’s goal is rather humble, when judged against the volume of words that have accumulated in the 400-year history of modern English.
“Ideally my goal is, before I die, to have some information about every word that’s ever been used in print.”That may be the real revolution: digitizing a bit of data about every word we English speakers have ever put on the old-fashioned page. Byte by byte, the soft-spoken lexicographer will see her revolution through.

Washington
President Obama unveiled a new Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy Friday that includes new troops — beyond the 17,000 additional US soldiers the president has already ordered ­ new civilian development personnel, and new aid.
But the plan also for the first time sets benchmarks – or, as the president preferred to call them, “metrics” – for US involvement in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, suggesting the military engagement is not open-ended and that both the Afghan and Pakistani governments must deliver on particular objectives. Those include reining in corruption for the Afghans and closing down Al Qaeda and Taliban safe havens for the Pakistanis.
The new “comprehensive” strategy underscores how both Afghanistan, where 38,000 US troops are already on the ground, and Pakistan, a nuclear power threatened by a growing Islamic militancy, are crucial to the battle with Islamic extremism. The futures of the two countries are “inextricably linked,” Mr. Obama said.
In explaining the new strategy before an audience of military and diplomatic officials and flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Mr. Obama invoked the memory of the 9/11 attacks more forcefully than ever before in his young presidency.
He revisited the history of Al Qaeda planning the attacks from camps in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and he insisted that Al Qaeda is now “actively planning attacks on the United States” from “safe havens in Pakistan.” As a result, Obama says, “For the American people, this border region has become the most dangerous place in the world.”
More limited goals than Bush
Perhaps mindful that the strong reference to 9/11 might remind listeners of the former administration’s justification for and handling of two wars, Obama also pointedly declared that the US was “not blindly staying the course” in Afghanistan. The new strategy is designed to “restore basic security in Afghanistan,” he said, without reference to the lofty goals of democratization and freedom set by former president Bush.
The new strategy calls for 4,000 additional troops to focus on training Afghanistan’s army and police. Such training is already under way by US and NATO forces, but the addition of several thousand new trainers reflects reports from the field that the training undertaken so far is yielding results. The plan also calls for several hundred additional civilian government and development experts, while it endorses a proposal before Congress for $1.5 billion in development aid to Pakistan over each of the next five years.
Announcement of the anticipated plan is the result of a two-month inter-agency review that consulted military, diplomatic and civilian development officials and experts as well as the leaders of the two principle countries involved and NATO partners. It paves the way for discussing the new strategy with international partners next week.
Secretary Clinton will attend an international conference on Afghanistan in The Hague next Tuesday armed with the new strategy. Subsequently, Obama will take it up with NATO leaders when he attends the Alliance’s 60th anniversary summit in Strasbourg, France, next Friday. Those two events will permit Obama to underscore his point that the challenge presented by Afghanistan and Pakistan “is not simply an American problem — far from it — [but] is instead an international security challenge of the highest order.”
To support that position, Obama reminded the foreign ambassadors who attended the strategy unveiling that terrorist attacks in London, Bali, North Africa, and Kabul and Islamabad have been linked to “Al Qaeda and its allies in Pakistan.”
Situation in the region deteriorating
The new strategy reflects concerns that surfaced even before the new administration took office that the situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan was rapidly deteriorating, in part because the US and Allied presence in Afghanistan lacked a clear objective. Dispatched during the transition between administrations to the region, Vice-President Joe Biden returned to Washington “very worried” about the absence among US troops and officials of a clear idea of what they were doing, administration officials say.
“When this administration came into office we found a policy adrift and a lack of focus on the central challenge,” says Denis McDonough, White House deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.
The administration says the new strategy narrows the focus of US involvement to Al Qaeda.
“Disrupting, dismantling, and defeating Al Qaeda – the president set down a marker that this is our goal in Afghanistan,” adds Caitlin Hayden, National Security Council director for communications.
History of foreign occupation
But the heavy emphasis on economic development and governance, while eschewing the imposition of Switzerland-level foreign standards, also reflects an understanding that the US and its allies cannot succeed if they are seen by locals to be simply serving their own interests. Foreign armies installed in Afghanistan with expressly domestic security objectives — the Soviet Army invasion of the 1990’s for example – have come to be seen as occupiers and have not fared well.
In unveiling his plan, Obama made no mention of the growing use of unmanned Predator drones to attack and kill terrorists located in Pakistan’s autonomous tribal regions. The missile attacks have stirred already strong anti-American sentiment among Pakistanis – a challenge that would surely be exacerbated if the US decides to follow through on the idea of extending the drone strikes to areas of western Pakistan under the Pakistani government’s control.
The new focused strategy is viewed as a step forward by many analysts, though some are seconding the president’s warning that the road ahead in Afghanistan and Pakistan remains perilous.
Pointing to data showing an expansion last year of Afghan territory where the Taliban holds a permanent presence to 72 percent, and significant increases in the number of suicide and roadside bombing attacks, Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says almost all indicators point to a “rising threat.”
In a new report, Mr. Cordesman commends recent efforts to lay out to the American public the challenge the US faces, but says more “transparency” and honesty about the complexity of the conflict is necessary.
Critics urge more limited role
Others fault Obama’s new plan, saying more troops and more money are not the answer. Saying that “most of the greatest successes scored against Al Qaeda since 9/11 have not relied on large numbers of US troops,” Malou Innocent of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, says small-team special operations and short-term “capacity building” are a better answer. Extensive development projects, she adds, require security coverage “at a level we cannot provide.”
The president’s strategy also includes a nod towards Tehran. To emphasize his conviction that the challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan require a regional approach, Obama announced creation of a “contact group” of countries from Central Asia, the Gulf, China, India, and notably including Iran.
Administration officials say no official invitations to join such a group have been extended, but inclusion of Iran reflects both memory of the helpful role Iran played early in the war with Afghanistan’s Taliban, and recognition that Tehran is more likely to do mischief if left outside.

مبارك يتدخل لإنهاء أزمة الحضري







طالب الرئيس المصري حسني مبارك، سمير زاهر رئيس الاتحاد المصري لكرة القدم بضرورة التدخل لإنهاء أزمة حارس مرمى المنتخب والنادي الأهلي عصام الحضري.
وقالت الصحف المصرية الصادرة الثلاثاء إن مبارك اجتمع بزاهر خلال حفل تكريم للفرق المصرية الفائزة ببطولات اقليمية ودولية لمطالبته بإنهاء الأزمة حفاظا على تاريخ الحضري كلاعب وانجازاته على الصعيدين المحلي والدولي خاصة انه كان عنصرا فعالا في الفوز ببطولتي افريقيا عامي 2006 و 2008 .
ونقلت صحيفة الأهرام المصرية شبه الرسمية عن مبارك مطالبته بضرورة "الكف عن الحملات العشوائية التي يتعرض لها الحارس ووصفه بصفات لا تليق بتاريخه الكروي مشيرا الى ان من حقه الاحتراف رسميا بعد ان تخطى عمره 35 عاما خصوصا أن الاحتراف هو بوابة مصر لتعبر عن نفسها في المحافل الدولية الرياضية"
وقالت الصحيفة إن مبارك شدد على رئيس الاتحاد بضرورة حسم القضية خلال الساعات القليلة المقبلة.
واضافت الصحيفة ان من المنتظر ان يعقد زاهر اجتماعا موسعا مع مجلس ادارة النادي الأهلي لتنقية الاجواء والوصول الى حل مثالي يحل القضية.
وكان الحضري من بين المكرمين خلال الحفل حيث حصل على وسام الرياضة من الطبقة الاولى وهو الوسام نفسه الذي حصل عليه باقي لاعبي الفريق.
في المقابل اعتبر آخرون ان تدخل مبارك تسييس للقضية وان مسألة احتراف اللاعب يجب أن يتم تناولها في النطاق المتعارف عليه في مثل هذه الخلافات. عودة
وكان الحارس قد عاد الى مصر يوم الجمعة الماضية بعد قرابة اسبوع قضاه في سويسرا حيث أعلن أنه سيقبل بأي عقوبة سيفرضها النادي عليه.

وقع الحضري للنادي السويسري دون موافقة الأهلي المصري
وقال الحارس في تصريحات تلفزيونية إنه لن يعود الى نادي سيون السويسري الا في اطار تسوية قانونية وسليمة تضمن لناديه الاهلي حقوقه.
وتدرب الحضري بالفعل مع فريق الناشئين في النادي الأهلي كما حضر جلسة تحقيق معه تردد انه عرض على النادي خلالها مبلغ مليون ونصف دولار للسماح له بالانتقال لسيون.
وينظر الاتحاد الدولي لكرة القدم (فيفا) حاليا في امر اللاعب لتحديد المسار الذي ستتخذه القضية لاحقا والتي قد تنتهى في المحكمة الرياضية الدولية في ظل أن اللاعب وقع بالفعل للنادي السويسري بينما لايزال عقده ساريا مع الأهلي حتى 2010. البطاقة الدولية
وكان الاتحاد المصري لكرة القدم قد تلقى استفسارا من الفيفا بشأن أسباب رفض إرسال البطاقة الدولية للاعب.
وتلقى الأهلي الخطاب من الاتحاد المصري ظهر السبت وعقد مسؤلوه اجتماعا طارئا لبحث الوسائل القانونية التي سيتم من خلالها الرد على الفيفا.
يشار إلى انه بعد إحراز مصر كأس أمم أفريقيا في العاشر من الشهر الجاري زار وفد من نادي سيون مصر في محاولة للاتفاق مع الأهلي على انتقال الحضري.
لكن ادارة النادي الأهلي رفضت العرض الرسمي الذي تقدم به الوفد لضم الحضري معتبرة انه لايليق باسم افضل حارس في أفريقيا، وقال الأهلي إن سيون عرض فقط 400 ألف دولار لضم اللاعب.
وتضامن اتحاد كرة القدم المصري مع الاهلي و رفض إرسال بطاقة اللاعب الدولية بينما أعلن النادي المصري تمسكه بلاعبه حتى نهاية فترة عقده الحالي عام 2010.
وكان سفر اللاعب دون اذن الأهلي قد اثار موجة استهجان وغضب لدى قطاعات عريضة من المصريين وصلت الى درجة المطالبة بمنعه من اللعب للمنتخب المصري بل و"تجريده من الجنسية المصرية".
إلا انه بعد عودة اللاعب و"اعترافه بخطئه" تصاعدت الدعاوى المطالبة بالسماح له بالاحتراف وعدم توقيع عقوبات قاسية عليه

قطر ترغب في استضافة نهائيات كاس العالم 2022




قال الاتحاد الدولي لكرة القدم، الفيفا ان قطر هي احد الدول الاحد عشر التي اعربت عن رغبتها استضافة نهائيات كاس العالم 2022.
وتعد قطر بذلك اول دولة خليجية تتقدم بطلب استضافة المونديال.
وتضم القائمة الرسمية للدول التي ترغب في استضافة النهائيات 11 دولة حيث يجب عليها تقديم الطلب الرسمي قبل الموعد النهائي في ديسمبر/كانون الاول.
وابدت كل من قطر وكوريا الجنوبية رغبتهما في استضافة نهائيات 2022 فيما ابدت الدول التسع الاخرى رغبة في استضافة أيا من نهائيات 2018 او 2022.
وتشمل القائمة اليابان والمكسيك والولايات المتحدة الامريكية واربع دول اوربية هي انجلترا وروسيا واسبانيا والبرتغال اللتان تقدمتا بطلب مشترك، وكذلك بلجيكا وهولندا.
وكانت قطر قد استضافت بطولة الالعاب الاسيوية في 2006، وتعتزم استضافة نهائيات كاس اسيا لكرة القدم 2011.
وقال محمد بن حمد ال ثاني، رئيس ملف ترشح قطر لاستضافة النهائيات ان بلاده "تقدمت بالطلب لان لديها القدرة على استضافة نهائيات كبيرة كهذه، ويضاف الى ذلك قدرتها على تمثيل منطقة الشرق الاوسط في مضمار كرة القدم".
ووصف اقرار الفيفا لرغبة قطر بالتقدم بطلب استضافة النهائيات باالخطوة الايجابية لمنطقة الشرق الاوسط.
ويتوجب على الدول الراغبة في استضافة النهائيات التقدم بملفها بحلول 11 ديسمبر/كانون الاول 2009.
وقال سيب بلاتر، رئيس الفيفا ان الهيئة فخورة بالاقبال الكبير على استضافة النهائيات مع تاكيد الدول المرشحة بشكل اولي لرغبتها بالتقدم لاستضافتها

شهادات جنود اسرائيليين بارتكاب الجيش انتهاكات في غزة




تكشفت الجمعة بشكل متزايد صورة لسلوك الجيش الاسرائيلي خلال حرب غزة الاخيرة، حيث اوضحت شهادات جديدة لجنود اسرائيليين ان القوات الاسرائيلية قامت بتخريب مسرف لمنازل فلسطينية، واذلال المدنيين علاوة على قواعد اشتباك فضفاضة اسفرت عن اعمال قتل غير ضرورية.
وقد ادى ما تكشف خلال اليومين الماضين بشأن سلوكيات الجنود الاسرائيليين في حرب غزة الى ذعر في المجتمع الاسرئيلي حيث يحظى الجيش باحترام كبير.
كما ردد الادعاءات الفلسطينية بان الهجوم الاسرائيلي لم يميز بين المدنيين والعسكريين، في وقت تقول فيه منظمات حقوق انسان ان اسرائيل انتهكت قوانين الحرب.
وتصر الحكومة الاسرائيلية على انها فعلت كل ما بوسعها لمنع سقوط ضحايا بين المدنيين، الا ان الجيش امر الخميس باجراء تحقيق بشأن تقارير لجنوده تفيد ان ان بعض القوات قتلت مدنيين من بينهم اطفال عن طريق فتح النيران بسرعة لانهم كانوا واثقين ان قواعد الاشتباك الفضفاضة ستوفر لهم الحماية.
وعرضت مؤسسة أكاديمية إسرائيلية عدداً من الروايات حول أفعال قام بها جنود إسرائيليون خلال العمليات الأخيرة في قطاع غزة من بينها قتل مدنيين.
وتقول إحدى الروايات إن قناصاً قتل أم وأطفالها من مسافة قريبة بعد أن دعتهم القوات الإسرائيلية للخروج من منزلهم.
وزعم أن المرأة واثنين من أطفالها قتلا بعد أن أساؤوا فهم التوجيهات الصادرة إليهم بشأن الطريق الذي يجب أن يسلكوه للخروج من المنزل.
ووصف متحدث آخر في الندوة التي نظمتها الأكاديمية العسكرية في كلية اورانيم ما رآه خلال حرب غزة بأنه قتل امرأة فلسطينية "بدم بارد".
وفي رواية ثالثة أمر قائد إسرائيلي جنوده بقتل امرأة مسنة تسير في الطريق على الرغم من سهولة تمييزها واتضاح أنها لا تشكل تهديداً. تدخل الحاخامات
كما أشارت عدة شهادات لجنود إلى تدخل كبير وغير معهود من قبل الحاخامات المدنيين والعسكريين الذين وزعوا منشورات تصف الحرب بمصطلحات دينية.
احتوت المنشورات على رسالة واحدة واضحة، علينا أن نقاتل لاجتثاث غير اليهود
أحد الجنود الذين أدلوا بشهاداتهم
وقال أحد الجنود أن هذه المنشورات احتوت على "رسالة واحدة واضحة؛ نحن أهل إسرائيل، نحن وصلنا إلى البلاد بمعجزة تقريباً، والآن علينا أن نقاتل لاجتثاث غير اليهود الذين يتدخلون لإعادة احتلال الأرض المقدسة".
ودافع الجيش الإسرائيلي عن أدائه خلال الهجوم على غزة، لكنه قال إنه سيحقق في أمر هذه الشهادات.
من جانبه قال وزير الدفاع الإسرائيلي ايهود باراك في تصريحات للإذاعة الإسرائيلية إنه سيتم التحقيق في هذه الروايات بجدية.
وأضاف باراك "لا زلت أقول إن لدينا أكثر الجيوش أخلاقية في العالم، بالطبع ربما تكون هناك تجاوزات، لكن لا شك لدي على الأطلاق أن ذلك سيتم التحقيق فيه حالة بحالة".
ونشرت الأكاديمية العسكرية هذه الشهادات، كما تحدث عنها خريجون من الأكاديمية عملوا في غزة. قوة غير مقيدة
وقال مدير الأكاديمية داني زامير إن هذه الشهادات "تعكس جواً يشعر فيه الشخص بأنه مخول لاستخدام قوة غير مقيدة ضد الفلسطينيين".
لا أعرف كيف أصف الجو العام، دعنا نقول إن أرواح الفلسطينيين كانت أقل أهمية بكثير من أرواح جنودنا
أحد الجنود الذين أدلوا بشهاداتهم
وفي رواية أخرى يقول قائد وحدة إسرائيلية "لا أعرف كيف أصف الجو العام، دعنا نقول إن أرواح الفلسطينيين كانت أقل أهمية بكثير من أرواح جنودنا".
وتضمنت الشهادات التي أدلى بها طيارون وجنود إسرائيليون روايات حول تدمير غير ضروري لمبان فلسطينية.
ويقول مراسلون إنه لو ثبتت صحة هذه الشهادات فإنها ستقلل من شأن الادعاءات الإسرائيلية بأنها قواتها تأخذ حذرها لحماية غير الأشخاص المقاتلين واتهاماتها لحماس بالمسؤولية عن تعريض حياة المدنيين للخطر.
وقال أحد الجنود الذين أدلوا بشهاداتهم إنه كانت تصدر لهم أوامر بإلقاء كل محتويات المنازل في الخارج، مضيفاً "كل شىء؛ ثلاجات، أطباق، أثاث، ...".
وكانت جماعات حقوق الإنسان الإسرائيلية انتقدت الجيش لفشله في التحقيق بصورة صحيحة في انتهاكات لقوانين الحروب اثناء الهجوم على غزة على الرغم من العديد من الأدلة على إحتمال وقوع جرائم حرب.
يذكر أن الحرب على غزة التي استمرت ثلاثة أسابيع في ديسمبر/ كانون الأول ويناير/ كانون الثاني الماضيين خلفت 1300 قتيلاً بينهم 440 طفلاً و110 امرأة وعدد كبير من المسنين الفلسطينيين، بينما سقط على الجانب الإسرائيلي 13 شخصاً بينهم ثلاثة مدنيين.
وكان هدف إسرائيل من شن الحرب هو منع الصواريخ وقذائف الهاون التي يطلقها المسلحون الفلسطينيون من قطاع غزة على إسرائيل.

هاآرتس: مصر تشدد الاجراءات الامنية على حدودها مع السودان

يقول مسؤولون استخباريون اسرائيليون إن مصر عززت حدودها مع السودان لمنع تهريب الاسلحة الى غزة.
قالت صحيفة هاآرتس الاسرائيلية يوم الجمعة إن مصر قد عززت قواتها على الحدود مع السودان في محاولة لمنع تهريب الاسلحة الى قطاع غزة عن هذا الطريق، وذلك استجابة لضغوط دولية متصاعدة اعقبت الهجوم العسكري الاسرائيلي الاخير على القطاع الخاضع لسيطرة حركة حماس.
ونقلت الصحيفة عن مصدر استخباري اسرائيلي رفيع قوله "إن المصريين يقومون بمراقبة الحدود، الامر الذي لم يكونوا يفعلونه الى الآن. لقد بدأ المصريون بتعزيز اجراءاتهم الامنية على الحدود بسبب الضغوط الدولية التي تعرضوا لها، ولكن النتائج الى الآن جزئية."
ونقلت الصحيفة عن المصدر قوله إن ايران قلقة من مذكرة التفاهم التي توصلت اليها اسرائيل مع الولايات المتحدة الامريكية لمكافحة عمليات التهريب الى غزة، بينما تعهدت ثمان من الدول الاعضاء في حلف شمال الاطلسي بالمشاركة في جهود منع التهريب.
وقال المصدر الاستخباري الاسرائيلي إن ايران اعتبرت اعتراض سفينة الشحن (مونشيجورسك) التي كانت تنقل شحنة من السلاح الى سورية كمؤشر الى الصعوبات التي ستواجهها من الآن فصاعدا في ايصال الاسلحة الى حلفائها.
وكانت السفينة المذكورة قد اقتيدت الى قبرص حيث صودرت شحنتها.
وقال المصدر للصحيفة إن ايران اسست شبكات لتهريب الاسلحة تشمل الخليج وعدن ودول شرقي افريقيا والسودان.
وتأتي هذه الانباء عقب التقارير التي تحدثت عن احتمال قيام القوة الجوية الاسرائيلية بمهاجمة قافة كانت تقل اسلحة ايرانية المنشأ اثناء مرورها في الاراضي السودانية في طريقها الى قطاع غزة في شهر يناير/كانون الثاني الماضي.
وقد رفض مسؤولون اسرائيليون تأكيد او نفي هذه التقارير.

دراسة : شرب الشاي ساخنا قد يكون له علاقة بسرطان المرئ


قال باحثون ايرانيون إن شرب الشاي شديد السخونة قد يكون له علاقة بسرطان المرئ.
وقالت دراسة نشرت في صحيفة بريتيش ميديكال جورنال إن الشاي الأسود الذي تم إعداده عند درجة حرارة تزيد عن 70 درجة مئوية يزيد من خطر الاصابة بالسرطان.
وقال الخبراء إن ذلك يفسر ارتفاع الاصابة بسرطان المرئ بين بعض الشعوب غير الغربية.
يذكر ان إضافة اللبن للشاي، كما يفعل معظم شاربي الشاي في الغرب، يلطف من حرارة الشاي ويقلل فرص الاصابة بالسرطان.
وكانت دراسات سابقة قد ربطت بين التبغ والخمور والاصابة بسرطان المريء.
وقد أجريت الدراسة على عادات شرب الشاي لنحو 300 شخص مصابين بسرطان المريء و571 اخرين من رجال ونساء اصحاء من نفس المنطقة.
سرعة الشرب
وتعتبر السرعة التي يشرب بها الشاي من العوامل المهمة أيضا.
وقال الباحثون ان الاشخاص الذين يتناولون الشاي بسرعة، أي بعد اقل من دقيقتين من صبه، تزيد 5 مرات فرص إصابتهم بالسرطان مقارنة بأولئك الذين ينتظرون لمدة أربع دقائق او أكثر.
وكانت دراسات بريطانية سابقة قد ذكرت ان الناس يفضلون تناول الشاي عند درجة حرارة تتراوح بين 56 و 60 درجة مئوية.

اكتشف العلماء أن من الممكن مداواة القلوب المحطمة والمكلومة.
وأجرى باحثون أمريكيون تجارب على سبعين من المرضى يعانون "ظاهرة القلب المحطم"، وهي ظروف صحية ناجمة عن الضغوط التي تسببها متاعب عاطفية ونفسية.
وتبين أن هؤلاء المرضى يتماثلون للشفاء بمجرد تناولهم للأسبرين أو للعقاقير التي توصف عادة للمرضى بالقلب، على الرغم من أن نسبة 20 في المئة كانوا في حال حرجة.
وقال هؤلاء الخبراء في تقرير نشر بالمجلة الأمريكية لطب القلب إن ارتفاعا في هرمون الضغط والقلق قد يكون السبب في "ظاهرة القلب المحطم".
وتعرف هذه الظاهرة علميا باسم تاكوتسوبو كارديوميوباثي، وكان باحثون يابانيون هم أول من العقاقير قد تساعد على تجاوز الآثار السلبية للمشاكل العاطفية علىت القلباكتشفها في تسعينيات القرن الماضي.
وعلى الرغم من أن أعراض الظاهرة تشبه إلى حد ما أعراض الأزمة القلبية من قبيل آلام الصدر وضيق التنفس، فإنها تظل ظاهرة مؤقتة يمكن الشفاء منها تماما إذالا ما عولجت على وجه السرعة.
يُذكر أن العينة التي خضعت للبحث -وهي مكونة من مرضى مستشفيين من بروفيدانس بولاية رود أيلند الأمريكية- عانى أفرادها من أعراض الظاهرة ما بين سنتين 2004 و2008.

الجيش الاسرائيلي يعاقب واحدا من جنوده




يقول الجيش الاسرائيلي إنه قرر معاقبة احد جنوده بنقله من الوحدات الامامية، وذلك لقيامه باطلاق النار على امرأة فلسطينية واصابتها "بطريق الخطأ" اثناء الهجوم الاخير الذي شنه الاسرائيليون على قطاع غزة.
ويقول الجيش إن الحادث وقع عندما كانت مجموعة من الجنود تطلق النار في الهواء لحث عدد من الفلسطينيين على الاستسلام.
وتعتبر هذه اول حالة يعاقب الجيش الاسرائيلي فيها احد جنوده بسبب سلوكه اثناء الحرب على غزة.
وكان سلوك العسكريين الاسرائيليين اثناء تلك الحرب قد هوجم بشدة من اوساط مختلفة.
وجاء في بيان اصدره الجيش الاسرائيلي ان الجنود في هذه الحادثة بالذات كانوا قد تلقوا تحذيرا من احتمال وجود انتحاري في المنطقة.
وقالت صحيفة هاآرتس الاسرائيلية إن العسكري الذي عوقب جندي مشاة تابع لفرقة (جيفاتي)، وان رتبته قد انزلت ووضع قيد المراقبة.
ويقول المراسلون إن هذه الحالة تعتبر بسيطة نسبيا اذا ما قورنت ببعض التهم الاخرى التي وجهت الى الجيش الاسرائيلي، كقيام جنوده باطلاق النار على مدنيين كانوا يرفعون الاعلام البيضاء، واستخدامهم للاعتدة الثقيلة واعتدة الفسفور الابيض دون مبرر وبشكل عشوائي، ومنعهم اخلاء المدنيين المصابين.
وكان عدد من خبراء ومنظمات حقوق الانسان قد اعربوا عن قلقهم من احتمال ارتكاب جانبي النزاع جرائم حرب اثناء حرب غزة التي دامت 22 يوما.
ويأتي صدور العقوبة بحق الجندي المذكور بعد مضي اسبوع واحد من قيام عدد من الجنود الاسرائيليين بالادلاء بتصريحات الى وسائل الاعلام قالوا فيها إن الجيش قتل العديد من الفلسطينيين بينهم نساء واطفال بفتح النار عليهم دون تمحيص بسبب التساهل الذي اتسمت به الاوامر الصادرة لهم.
ولكن جنودا اسرائيليين آخرين ينفون ذلك، ويقولون إن هذه الادعاءات لا تنطبق الا على نسبة قليلة من الجنود بينما تتسم الاغلبية بالحرفية العالية.
ولم يتقدم الا عدد قليل من الضباط للدفاع عن سلوك الجيش وتفنيد الادعاءات المطلقة ضده، وذلك مخافة ان تعرف هوياتهم ويتم اعتقالهم عند سفرهم خارج اسرائيل.
ولكن آمر وحدة مظليين - الذي كان من ارفع الضباط رتبة من المشاركين في الحرب على غزة - قال لبي بي سي يوم امس الخميس إن جنوده "نجحوا في تفادي ايذاء اي مدني تقريبا" في حرب مدن صعبة جدا.
وقال الآمر، ويدعى "الآمر هرزي" لأن تعليمات الرقابة العسكرية الاسرائيلية تمنع نشر اسمه الصريح، "لم نسجل ولا حتى حالة واحدة قتلنا او آذينا فيها مدنيين."
وقال إن جنوده اقتحموا آلاف المساكن في غزة، "ووجدوا في كل بيت تقريبا بنادق وقاذفات صواريخ وقنابل يدوية."
واضاف الضابط الاسرائيلي ان جنوده كانوا يشاهدون مقاتلي حماس وهم يتنقلون من بيت الى بيت حاملين الاعلام البيضاء للتمويه.
واناح الضابط باللائمة على حماس لتعريضها سلامة المدنيين للخطر بالتجائها في المؤسسات والمرافق المدنية.
ويقول الجيش الاسرائيلي إن 1166 فلسطينيا قتلوا في الحرب، بينهم 709 ممن يصفهم بـ"الارهابيين"، بينما تقول احدى المنظمات الفلسطينية لحقوق الانسان إن عدد القتلى بلغ 1434 بينهم 960 مدنيا و235 مقاتلا و239 من رجال الشرطة الفلسطينية.

ايران: مواقف متباينة من عيد النوروز

تمثل احتفالات النوروز للايرانيين رمزا لبداية جديدة مع انطلاق الربيع.
منذ ثورة 1979، تبنى المسؤولون الايرانيون موقفين متباينين من عيد النوروز، بداية السنة الفارسية الجديدة التي تنطلق الجمعة، فهم اما قامو برفضها او احتواءها.
فقد دأب رجال الدين المحافظون على احتقار بل وانكار الاحتفالات التي تستمر لاسبوعين واعتبارها رجوعا الى التقاليد الفارسية التي سبقت الاسلام.
وكان ايه الله الخميني قد اعلن في اول خطاب له بعد انتصار الثورة الاسلامية انه لن يتم الاحتفال بعيد النوروز طالما استمرت معاناة العالم بسبب عدم العدالة.
وقال اردالان اتاربور، الصحفي المقيم في طهران، ان الذين تعودوا على استقبال الربيع بحفاوة، فسروا رسالة آية الله الخميني بانها محاولة للتقليل من اهمية النوروز. خرافة
وعلى الرغم من محاولة العديد من رجال الدين الرسميين التوفيق بين احتفالات النوروز والقيم الاسلامية، يعتقد حسين باستاني، المراقب السياسي المقيم في فرنسا بان العلماء المتشددين اعطوا قيمة اعلى للاحتفالات الاسلامية مقارنة بالاحتفالات التقليدية الايرانية.
وقال باستاني ان هؤلاء العلماء وصفوا الاحتفال بعيد النوروز بانها خرافات.
وقد حاول المرشد الاعلى الحالي ايه الله علي خامنئي والرئيس محمود احمدي نجاد تخفيض عدد ايام الاحتفال الحالية بالنوروز والتي تستمر لاسبوعين بدعوى الرغبة في رفع الانتاجية، الا ان هذه الرغبة ووجهت بمعارضة شعبية عامة.
وفي حال ترافقت النوروز مع اي مناسبات اسلامية اخرى، يلجأ المسؤولون الايرانيون عادة الى البدء بالتهنئة بالمناسبة الاسلامية.
ويمثل الاحتفال بالنوروز بداية فصل الربيع، حيث تعود الناس على تنظيف منازلهم، وشراء ملابس جديدة في علامة على بداية جديدة.
وخلال الاعياد، يتبادل الناس الزيارات. فيما تشهد عشية النوروز احتفالات النار التي يقوم بها الناس بالقفز فوق النيران لـ "حرق ذنوبهم".

علي اشغار راميزانبور بي بي سي

نُقل ضياء الدين جاد، في 24 فبراير/شباط، إلى سجن القطا في الجيزة على مشارف العاصمة، القاهرة، وتمكَّن من الالتقاء بعائلته وبمحاميه هناك في 7مارس/آذار. كما يتلقى العلاج من طبيب السجن. ولم يُعرف ما إذا كانت قد وجهت أية تهم إليه، ويرجح أنه محتجز بمقتضى أمر اعتقال إداري صادر عن وزير الداخلية بموجب قانون الطوارئ.
وقد اشتكى بأنه لم يعامل باحترام لدى وصوله السجن، وقال إنه أعلن إضراباً عن الطعام في يومه الأول هناك للمطالبة بمعاملة أفضل وزنزانة أنظف. وأوقف إضرابه عن الطعام بعد يومين، بحسب محاميه، بعد الاستجابة لمطالبه.
وكان ضياء الدين جاد قد اقتيد إثر القبض عليه في 6فبراير/شباط إلى فرع "مباحث أمن الدولة" في مدينة طنطا، حيث بقي ليوم واحد. ثم تم نقله أولاً إلى المقر الرئيسي "لمباحث أمن الدولة" في لاظوغلي، في وسط القاهرة، ومن ثم إلى مرفق رئيسي "مباحث أمن الدولة" في مدينة نصر، شمال شرقي القاهرة.
وأثناء الاستجواب، هدده ضباط "مباحث أمن الدولة" بصورة متكررة بالتعذيب وبإساءة معاملته، وأُحضر معتقلون آخرون أمامه، على ما يبدو، وجرى تعذيبهم بالصعقات الكهربائية. وأُبقي عليه معصوب العينين وهو يسمع صرخات الأشخاص الذين كانوا يتعرضون للتعذيب، على ما يبدو. ولم يتعرض ضياء الدين جاد للضرب، إلا أنه تلقى إساءات لفظية وأُخبر بأنه لن يفرج عنه أبداً. ولم يسمح له بتلقي العناية الطبية رغم معاناته من اعتلال صحي يؤثر على قدرته على التنفس، ويستدعي تناوله عقاقير مسكنة وأدوية أخرى.
وتضمن التحقيق مع ضياء الدين جاد استجوابه عن مدونته وعن مشاركته في مظاهرات الاحتجاج التضامنية مع أهالي غزة أثناء الحملة العسكرية الأخيرة على القطاع، وعن مصريين يُشتبه بأنهم قد دخلوا غزة أثناء النـزاع، وعما إذا كانت له أية صلات مع حماس. كما استُجوب حول انخراطه في حركات الاحتجاج المصرية، بما في ذلك "الحركة المصرية للتغيير"، المعروفة بحركة "كفاية"، وبحركة "شباب 6أبريل".
وتعتبر منظمة العفو الدولية ضياء الدين جاد سجين رأي معتقل لا لسبب إلا لممارسته السلمية لحقه في حرية التعبير، ولذلك ينبغي الإفراج عنه فوراً ودون قيد أو شرط.
الشكر الجزيل لجميع من بعثوا بمناشداتهم. ومن غير المطلوب القيام بأي تحركات إضافية من شبكة التحركات العاجلة. وستواصل منظمة العفو الدولية حملتها من أجل ضياء الدين جاد عبر وسائل أخرى.

المصدر-منظمة العفو الدولية

U-F-Os







There have been over 3,500 documented sightings of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena by military, civilian and commercial airline pilots. These observations span the entire history of powered flight. Many of these cases come from declassified US government reports and investigations, international reports from official sources and the direct testimony of military and commercial pilots, air traffic controllers, anPILOTS & AVIATION EXPERTS
If UFOs had not been reported by pilots of scheduled airliners, and military pilots in operation all over the globe, there might be some justification in writing off reports of ground observers as mistaken observations. For, if unknown objects are maneuvering in our skies, pilots would be among the most likely to see them. (Others whose professions cause them to spend many hours watching the skies, such as General Mills Corporation balloon trackers, also have reported numerous UFOs. [1])
Airline and military pilots are among the most experienced observers of the sky. Their profession requires them to spend hundreds of hours per year in the air. Few, if any, occupations require more practical knowledge of weather, other aircraft, and unusual activity such as missile tests. Undoubtedly, few groups of observers have seen more meteors or watched planets under a wider variety of sky conditions. In addition, professional pilots normally are trained in rapid identification of anything which may endanger a flight. Therefore, it is significant that airline and military pilots have reported a large number of totally unexplained UFO sightings.
Recognizing that airline pilots have special training and are in a unique position for observation, the Defense Department includes them in the military system of reporting vital intelligence sightings (CIRVIS), as detailed in the Joint Chiefs regulation JANAP-146(D). [See Section IX.] In 1954, the groundwork for CIRVIS reports was laid by meetings between representatives of the airlines and Military Air Transport Service (MATS) intelligence branch. The reason? "The nation's 8,500 commercial airline pilots have been seeing a lot of unusual objects while flying at night, here and overseas," Scripps-Howard reported. "But," the report continued, "there hasn't been much of an organized system of reporting to military authorities. . . [the airlines and MATS] agreed to organize a speedy reporting system so that a commercial pilot spotting strange objects could send the word to the Air Force in a hurry. The Air Force could then send jet fighters to investigate." [2]
With a few exceptions, most UFO reports on record from military pilots have come from the World War II and Korean War eras, or from recently retired officers. Military pilots, naturally, are restricted from discussing the sightings freely while they are on active duty. But airline pilots (although in recent years some times under pressure from their companies not to discuss sightings) have contributed some of the best reports on record.
There had been scattered reports by airline pilots previously but "In the Spring of 1950," the former Chief of the Air Force UFO project reported, "the airline pilots began to make more and more reports - - good reports. . . In April, May, and June of 1950 there were over thirty-five good reports from airline crews." [3] That June, Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker said in an interview:
"Flying saucers are real. Too many good men have seen them, that don't have hallucinations." Flying magazine, July 1950, published a roundup report on pilot sightings, giving them very serious treatment (as did other aviation journals in later years; for example, see RAF Flying Review, July 1957).
When NICAP was formed in 1956, four airline pilots (two of whom had personally sighted UFOs) joined the NICAP Panel of Special Advisers. Federal Aviation Agency personnel, aviation industry engineers, and other aviation experts also related their sightings and offered their services. Why are UFOs taken so seriously by professional pilots and aviation experts?
Pages 33 - 38: What The Pilots Have Seen - (Charts)THE PATTERNS
What professional and private pilots have seen is readily classifiable into three general types of UFO phenomena (corresponding very well with the Air Force Project Grudge Report; see Section XII):
* Geometrical objects, generally circular (disc, oval, ellipse)* Maneuvering or gyrating lights* Cigar-shaped or rocket-like objects (Since military pilot sightings are covered in previous sections, they will not be detailed here. In general, they correspond to nonmilitary reports, so the latter are discussed in this section as typical pilot sightings.)
Geometrical Objects
The earliest recorded UFO sighting by an airline pilot, during the initial flurry of sightings in the United States, was the report by Capt. E. J. Smith, United Airlines, July 4, 1947. Flying a DC-3 from Boise, Idaho, to Portland, Oregon, Captain Smith and his crew observed two separate groups of flat round objects ahead, silhouetted against the sunset. The UFOs were visible for about 10 minutes over a distance of about 45 miles, opening and closing formation. In the second group of UFOs, three operated close together, and a fourth was off to one side by itself. [31]
Since that date, dozens of pilots on all the major airlines have reported UFOs.
Private pilots, also, have witnessed typical geometrical UFOs. During July 1948, in Pasco, Washington, Don Newman (former Air Force pilot) watched a disc-shaped UFO with a dome on top maneuvering over the city at 1:00 p.m. "The exterior finish appeared to be spun or brushed aluminum," Newman said in his report to NICAP. The UFO alternately slowed and accelerated rapidly, diving, and climbing over the area. [32]
On March 18, 1950, Robert Fisher was flying his family from Chicago to Keokuk, Iowa. Near Bradford, Illinois, at 8:40 a.m., he spotted an oval, metallic-appearing disc ahead and slightly to the left of his Bonanza NC 505B. The UFO was moving on a course of about 120 degrees true. (Fisher was flying a southwesterly course, approximately 225 degrees.) The UFO shone in the sunlight, but when it flew below an overcast continued to glow, indicating that it was self-illuminated. It quickly moved off into the distance, at a speed estimated to be 600 to 1,000 mph. [33]
Near Goshen, Indiana, April 27, 1950, a bright orange-red disc paced a Trans World Airways DC-3, which was piloted by Capts. Robert Adickes and Robert F. Manning. As the crew and many passengers watched, the UFO pulled alongside the plane. It looked "like a big red wheel rolling along." Each time the pilot moved toward the object, it moved away as if controlled by repulse radar. When the pilot turned, the disc dove (presenting an edge-on view) and sped off to the north toward South Bend. [34]
A month later (May 29), an American Airlines plane departed Washington, D. C., enroute south over Virginia. About 9:30 p.m., First Officer Bill Gates noticed a light approaching the airliner head-on and notified Capt. Willis T. Sperry. Flight Engineer Robert Arnholt also witnessed what followed. An unidentified object with a brilliant bluish light on the leading edge neared, and seemed to stop. Suddenly it darted to the left of the plane, stopped for a few seconds, then circled around to the right. There it was silhouetted against the moon, revealing a torpedo-shaped or narrow elliptical body. Finally the UFO sped away to the east. Captain Sperry called the speed "fantastic," and said it was "without a doubt beyond the limits of any known aircraft speeds." [35]
A "perfectly round disc" hovering above the Hanford atomic plant, Richland, Washington, was observed by four veteran pilots July 5, 1952. The four Conner Airlines pilots were interviewed by United Press when they landed in Denver, Colorado, and their story was put on the newswires that day.
Capt. John Baldwin (former Air Force pilot, with 7000 hours airline pilot experience at the time) said he was flying near the Hanford atomic plant at about 9000 feet. The UFO was noticed above the plane about 6:00 a.m. It was "just below a deck of wispy clouds about 10,000 to 15,000 feet directly above us," Baldwin said. He described it as "a perfectly round disc, white in color and almost transparent with small vapor trails off it like the tentacles of an octopus." [cf., September 24, 1959 FAA case below]
Capt. George Robertson, D. Shenkel (both former Air Force pilots) and Steven Summers confirmed Baldwin's report. "All of us have been flying a number of years," Baldwin said, "and we've seen all kinds of clouds and formations, but none of us had ever seen anything like this before."
At first, the UFO was hovering. Then it "seemed to back away" and tilt edge-on. "It became flat, gained speed and then disappeared quickly," Baldwin reported.
DISC FORMATION
On the evening of July 14, 1952, a Pan American Airways DC-4 airliner, flying at 8,000 feet, was approaching the Norfolk, Virginia, area enroute to Miami. The senior Captain was back in the cabin and Capt. William B. Nash, temporarily acting as First Officer, was at the controls. In the right hand cockpit seat was Second Officer William Fortenberry. The night was clear and visibility unlimited. Norfolk lay about 20 miles ahead, on the plane's course of 200 degrees magnetic. Off to the right were the lights of Newport News.
About 8:10 p.m. EST, both men noticed a red brilliance in the sky, apparently beyond and to the east of Newport News. The light quickly resolved itself into six bright objects streaking toward the plane, at lower altitude. The UFOs were fiery red. "Their shape was clearly outlined and evidently circular," Captain Nash stated. "The edges were well-defined, not phosphorescent or fuzzy in the least." The upper surfaces were glowing red-orange.
Within seconds, "we could observe that they were holding a narrow echelon formation--a stepped-up line tilted slightly to our right, with the leader at the lowest point and each following craft slightly higher," Captain Nash said.
38
Abruptly, the leader seemed to slow. The second and third objects wavered slightly and almost overran the leader. The pilots estimated that the UFOs were a little more than a mile below them, at about 2,000 feet, and about 100 feet in diameter.
When the line of discs was almost directly underneath the plane and slightly to the right front, the UFOs abruptly flipped up on edge in unison and reversed direction. (See diagram.) Captain Nash described the maneuver: " . . . they flipped on edge, the sides to the left of us going up and the glowing surfaces facing right. Though the bottom surfaces did not become clearly visible, we had the impression that they were unlighted. The exposed edges, also unlighted, appeared to be about 15 feet thick, and the top surface, at least seemed flat. In shape and proportion, they were much like coins.
"While all were in the edgewise position, the last five slid over and past the leader so that the echelon was now tail foremost, so to speak, the top or last craft now being nearest to our position. Then, without any arc or swerve at all, they all flipped back together to the flat attitude and darted off in a direction that formed a sharp angle with their first course, holding their new formation.
"Immediately after these six lined away, two more objects just like them darted out from behind and under our airplane at the same altitude as the others."
As the two additional discs joined the formation, the lights of all eight blinked out, then came back on again. Still in line, the eight discs sped westward north of Newport News, climbed in a graceful arc above the altitude of the airliner. Then the lights blinked out one by one, though not in sequence.
Captain Nash also noted that the original six discs had dimmed slightly before their angular turn, and brightened considerably after making the turn. The two discs speeding to join the formation were brightest of all. Captain Nash and Third Officer Fortenberry radioed a report of the sighting to be forwarded to the Air Force. d radar operators. (Ted Roe, NARCAP)

Australia says Web blacklist combats child porn



CANBERRA, Australia – Australia's communications minister has defended a proposed Internet blacklist as necessary to combat child pornography but admitted that at least one site had been wrongly blocked during trials.
Stephen Conroy also told Australian Broadcasting Corporation television on Thursday night that the blacklist was not censorship of the type practiced by China or Saudi Arabia.
"It is possible to support a blacklist and support free speech," Conroy said. He did not explain how.
His comments came a week after a whistle-blower organization published a list of 2,400 sites that it said were on the government's secret blacklist, including a dentist's office, poker sites and a PG-rated site displaying images by a controversial Australian photographer.
Conroy said the dentist's site had been hacked and child pornography photos were posted. The office confirmed last week it had been hacked more than a year ago, and visitors were temporarily redirected to an adult Web site. The office said it quickly switched to a different Internet provider and hasn't had a problem since.
The minister said a site showing photos by Bill Henson, whose images of nude children have caused complaints by child advocates, was also wrongly blocked because of a "technical issue."
The blacklist, maintained by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, is provided to creators of Internet filtering software that people can opt to install on their computers.
But Conroy wants a mandatory implementation of the blacklist by all Internet service providers. That would make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among democratic countries.
The proposal has prompted protests across the country, with critics slamming it as censorship. Internet providers argue that a filter could slow browsing speeds, and point out that illegal material such as child pornography can be traded on peer-to-peer networks or chats, which would not be covered by the filter.
Several Internet providers are conducting trials of the filter through June though three of Australia's biggest ISPs have withdrawn from the trial.
The authority said the list largely contains the addresses of Web sites promoting child pornography and sexual violence, but it has refused to release its contents publicly.
Conroy said the list was needed to tackle pro-rape, pro-child pornography and pro-incest Web sites, adding it would give parents the choice to block certain sites.
But opposition politician Greg Hunt warned there was a danger of the government encroaching on political freedoms to combat the "worst of the worst" Web sites.
"We need to increase the resources to take on people who will engage in child pornography and increase penalties for those acting illegally," Hunt said.

depressed...maybe?!

Depression Basics
Some people say that depression feels like a black curtain of despair coming down over their lives. Many people feel like they have no energy and can't concentrate. Others feel irritable all the time for no apparent reason. The symptoms vary from person to person, but if you feel "down" for more than two weeks, and these feelings are interfering with your daily life, you may be clinically depressed.
Most people who have gone through one episode of depression will, sooner or later, have another one. You may begin to feel some of the symptoms of depression several weeks before you develop a full-blown episode of depression. Learning to recognize these early triggers or symptoms and working with your doctor will help to keep the depression from worsening.
Most people with depression never seek help, even though the majority will respond to treatment. Treating depression is especially important because it affects you, your family, and your work. Some people with depression try to harm themselves in the mistaken belief that how they are feeling will never change. Depression is a treatable illness.
Life with depression
Working with your doctor, you can learn to manage depression. You may have to try a few different medications to find the one that works best for you. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a therapist and/or make certain lifestyle changes.
Change won't come overnight—but with the right treatment, you can keep depression from overshadowing your life.

Gorilla gets MRI at Bronx Zoo

Talk about house calls! The Wildlife Conservation Society thanks The Brain Tumor Foundation and its "Road To Early Detection" campaign for their assistance in performing a brain scan on a gorilla at the Bronx Zoo.
The on-site procedure--performed by dozens of wildlife veterinarians, zookeepers, and medical personnel from several institutions--was made possible by the Bobby Murcer Mobile MRI Unit, a 48-foot-long MRI facility on wheels that conducted a comprehensive neurological scan on the brain of Fubo, a 42-year-old western lowland gorilla. Fubo is one of two adult males, or silverbacks, living in the Bronx Zoo's Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit, which houses one of the largest breeding groups of western lowland gorillas in North America (more than 20 individuals). Fubo recently suffered a seizure, prompting WCS health and curatorial staff to seek out a neurological diagnosis.
The Brain Tumor Foundation responded to WCS's request for assistance with Fubo by sending its mobile MRI facility and staff to the Bronx Zoo's campus, free of charge. The gorilla was sedated for the two-hour procedure, placed into the MRI's magnetic tube for the scans (a snug fit for a patient with gorilla-sized shoulders), and returned to the Congo Gorilla Forest as planned. Under strict protocol, the MRI Unit was cleaned and sanitized after the procedure.
The MRI images were interpreted by staff of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and reviewed with WCS's Global Health Program staff. The findings indicated that Fubo's condition was caused by a lesion in the left temporal lobe of his brain. The specific cause of the problem has not yet been determined. Veterinary staff has concluded that Fubo's condition is not treatable with surgery, so they will continue to treat the gorilla with medication in an effort to control his seizures and other clinical signs.
"Thanks to the generosity of The Brain Tumor Foundation, we were able to perform an MRI of Fubo's brain and this gave us insights into the possible cause of his illness. The ability to use their mobile MRI unit allowed us to perform this procedure right here at the Bronx Zoo," said Dr. Paul P. Calle, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's Zoological Health Program and a participant in the MRI procedure. "These images have given us a better understanding of the possible causes of Fubo's problem and have helped to guide his care. It was a great opportunity to enlist the most progressive technology for the diagnosis of people with similar problems to our close relative the endangered gorilla. The procedure contributes to the knowledge of veterinary healthcare of gorillas and other primates which will help WCS's health care programs and those of all facilities that house and care for gorillas."
The Brain Tumor Foundation's Mobile Unit has recently embarked on the "Road to Early Detection," a national campaign that promotes the early detection of brain tumors. The Unit travels New York City and its five boroughs offering free brain scans to everyone, especially those who do not have medical services available to them. The Unit is named after Bobby Murcer, the professional baseball player and broadcaster who was an advocate for The Brain Tumor Foundation's "Road to Early Detection" campaign. Murcer succumbed to a brain tumor in July of 2008.
"We were pleased to help the Wildlife Conservation Society in the diagnosis of Fubo's condition. Our message of early detection extends to all New Yorkers. We need to build awareness about the importance of early detection in the battle against brain tumors," said Dr. Patrick Kelly, Founder and President of The Brain Tumor Foundation. "If found early, most brain tumors can be removed before symptoms become apparent. The only way to do this is with an MRI brain scan. Our goal is to make MRI brain scans as routine as examinations for breast, colon, and prostate cancer."
An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a frequently used technique for imaging structures within the body. The method is more effective at imaging organs and soft tissue than the CT scan (computed tomography) and is often used in neurological scans. The scans are achieved with a powerful magnetic field that aligns hydrogen atoms within the body of the patient. The hydrogen atoms then produce magnetic fields of their own that can be manipulated with additional magnetic fields and detected by the scanning mechanism.
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Old men chasing young women: A good thing

It turns out that older men chasing younger women contributes to human longevity and the survival of the species, according to new findings by researchers at Stanford and the University of California-Santa Barbara.Evolutionary theory says that individuals should die of old age when their reproductive lives are complete, generally by age 55 in humans, according to demographer Cedric Puleston, a doctoral candidate in biological sciences at Stanford. But the fatherhood of a small number of older men is enough to postpone the date with death because natural selection fights life-shortening mutations until the species is finished reproducing."Rod Stewart and David Letterman having babies in their 50s and 60s provide no benefit for their personal survival, but the pattern [of reproducing at a later age] has an effect on the population as a whole," Puleston said. "It's advantageous to the species if these people stick around. By increasing the survival of men you have a spillover effect on women because men pass their genes to children of both sexes.""Why Men Matter: Mating Patterns Drive Evolution of Human Lifespan," was published Aug. 29 in the online journal Public Library of Science ONE. Shripad Tuljapurkar, the Morrison Professor of Population Studies at Stanford; Puleston; and Michael Gurven, an assistant professor of anthropology at UCSB, co-authored the study in an effort to understand why humans don't die when female reproduction ends.Human ability to scale the so-called "wall of death"—surviving beyond the reproductive years—has been a center of scientific controversy for more than 50 years, Puleston said. "The central question is: Why should a species that stops reproducing by some age stick around afterward?" he said. "Evolutionary theory predicts that, over time, harmful mutations that decrease survival will arise in the population and will remain invisible to natural selection after reproduction ends." However, in hunter-gatherer societies, which likely represent early human demographic conditions and mating patterns, one-third of people live beyond 55 years, past the reproductive lifespan for women. Furthermore, life expectancy in today's industrialized countries is 75 to 85 years, with mortality increasing gradually, not abruptly, following female menopause.Grandmother hypothesisIn 1966, William Hamilton, a British evolutionary biologist, worked out the mathematics describing the "wall of death." Since then, the most popular explanation for why humans don't die by age 55 has been termed the "grandmother hypothesis," which suggests that women enhance the survival of their children and grandchildren by living long enough to care for them and "increasing the success of their genes," Puleston said. However, Hamilton's work has been difficult to express as a mathematical and genetic argument explaining why people live into old age.Unlike previous research on human reproduction, this study—for the first time—includes data on males, a tweak that allowed the researchers to begin answering the "wall of death" question by matching it to human mortality patterns. According to Puleston, earlier studies looked only at women, because scientists can reproduce good datasets for humans entirely based on information related to female fertility and survival rates."Men's fertility is contingent on women's fertility—you have to figure out how they match up. We care about reproduction because that is a currency by which force of selection is counted. If we have not accounted for the entire pattern of reproduction, we may be missing something that's important to evolution."Men and longevityIn the paper, the researchers analyzed "a general two-sex model to show that selection favors survival for as long as men reproduce." The scientists presented a "range of data showing that males much older than 50 years have substantial realized fertility through matings with younger females, a pattern that was likely typical among early humans." As a result, Puleston said, older male fertility helps to select against damaging cell mutations in humans who have passed the age of female menopause, consequently eliminating the "wall of death.""Our analysis shows that old-age male fertility allows evolution to breach Hamilton's wall of death and predicts a gradual rise in mortality after the age of female menopause without relying on 'grandmother' effects or economic optimality," the researchers say in the paper.The scientists compiled longevity and fertility data from two hunter-gatherer groups, the Dobe !Kung of the Kalahari and the Ache of Paraguay, one of the most isolated populations in the world. They also looked at the forager-farmer Yanomamo of Brazil and Venezuela, and the Tsimane, an indigenous group in Bolivia. "They're living a lifestyle that our ancestors lived and their fertility patterns are probably most consistent with our ancestors," Puleston said about the four groups. The study also looked at several farming villages in Gambia and, for comparison, a group of modern Canadians.In the less developed, traditional societies, males were as much as 5-to-15 years older than their female partners. In the United States and Europe, the age spread was about two years. "It's a universal pattern that in typical marriages men are older than women," Puleston said. "The age gaps vary by culture, but in every group we looked at men start [being reproductive] later. At the end of reproduction, male fertility rates taper off gradually, as opposed to the fairly sharp decline in female fertility by menopause." Despite small differences based on marriage traditions, all women and most men in the six groups stopped having children by their 50s, the researchers found. But some men, particularly high-status males, continued to reproduce into their 70s. The paper noted that the age gap is most pronounced in societies that favor polygyny, where a man takes several wives, and in gerontocracies, where older men monopolize access to reproductive women. The authors also cite genetic and anthropological evidence that early humans were probably polygynous as well.Older male fertility also exists in societies supporting serial monogamy, because men are more likely to remarry than women. "For these reasons, we argue that realized male fertility was substantial at ages well past female menopause for much of human history and the result is reflected in the mortality patterns of modern populations," the authors say. "We conclude that deleterious mutations acting after the age of female menopause are selected against … solely as a result of the matings between older males and younger females."According to Puleston, the "grandmother hypothesis" may be true, but the real pattern of male fertility extends beyond this explanation. "The key question is: Does the population have a greater growth rate if men are reproducing at a later age? The answer is 'yes.' The age of last reproduction gets pushed into the 60s and 70s if you add men to the analysis. Hamilton's approach was right, but in a species where males and females have different reproductive patterns, you need a two-sex model. You can't correctly estimate the force of selection if you leave men out of the picture. As a man myself, it's gratifying to know that men do matter."Grants from the U.S. National Institute on Aging supported this study.

New study suggests Rx estrogen delivery through the skin may show safety benefits as opposed to oral delivery

NEW YORK, NY (March 25, 2009) - Transdermal delivery of estrogen therapy available by prescription "seems not to alter" the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), or blood clotting, in postmenopausal patients when compared to oral delivery, a new study suggests. The study was conducted by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and was published in the latest issue of Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society.
Prescription transdermal estrogen therapy is bioidentical to estrogen produced by a woman's ovaries before menopause and delivered through the skin. Transdermal estrogen is available in a variety of formulations which have been quality controlled and approved safe and effective by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The team at NYU Langone sought to determine the effects of delivery of estrogen therapy on postmenopausal women. Blood obtained from 84 postmenopausal women was tested for clotting activity before and after administration of oral or transdermal estrogen for a period of eight weeks. Women with borderline clotting issues showed "a significant acceleration" of clotting after oral estrogen therapy, but no significant change after transdermal estrogen therapy.
"Venous thromboembolic complications or blood clots represent an established risk factor of estrogen therapy, and evidence is now mounting that the route of estrogen administration influences this risk," said researcher Lila Nachtigall, M.D., Director of the Women's Wellness Program at NYU. "These new data on the safety of transdermal HT delivery may prove to be useful information for postmenopausal women deciding whether to take estrogen therapy and whether to take it orally or through the skin."
The research team studied platelet activity in the study participants' blood. Platelets serve a central role in forming pathological arterial thrombosis that causes myocardial infarction and stroke. The study's authors further concluded that the ability to identify postmenopausal women with an increased risk of arterial thrombosis or clotting before even starting estrogen therapy is an important goal to help physicians determine which women may be at the least risk to benefit from estrogen therapy.
"The effect of estrogen therapy on cardiovascular risk remains a point of controversy; however, these data suggest that estrogen delivered transdermally may not increase the likelihood of clotting for women who are at borderline risk," said Dr. Nachtigall. "This study supports the emerging data suggesting that oral, not transdermal estrogen may increase the risk of venous thromboembolism in postmenopausal women."

أبو ظبي الاولى في العالم تتزود بالطاقة الشمسية

قالت شركة "مصدر" مقرها في أبوظبي ان محطة لتوليد الطاقة الشمسية تحت الانشاء ستوفر الكهرباء لمدينة مصدر التي ستكون اول مدينة في العالم خالية من الكربون في أواخر عام 2009. وقالت مصدر في بيان ان المحطة ستكون الاولى من نوعها في المنطقة وستمد الكهرباء الاضافية لشبكة كهرباء أبوظبي. وستضم مدينة المصدر التي تتكلف 22 مليار دولار 50 الف ساكن و1500 شركة. ولن يسمح بدخول السيارات في المدينة الخضراء التي ستقام في الصحراء. وقالت مصدر ان محطة الطاقة الشمسية التي تتكلف 50 مليون دولار ستمنع انبعاثات قدرها 15 الف طن سنويا من ثاني أوكسيد الكربون. وأسست حكومة أبوظبي شركة مصدر لتطوير مصادر الطاقة المتجددة غير المضرة بالبيئة. وتملكها بالكامل حكومة أبوظبي من خلال شركة مبادلة للتنمية. وستقوم شركة انفيرومينا باور سيستمز ومقرها أبوظبي بتصميم وتركيب محطة الطاقة الشمسية. وتوقع البيان أن تولد المحطة طاقة قدرها 10 ميجاواط والتي تتألف مناصفة من الألواح الشمسية الرقيقة والكريستالين بسعة 17500 ميغاواط في الساعة من الطاقة النظيفة في السنة مع خفض انبعاث غاز ثاني أكسيد الكربون بمقدار خمسة عشر الف طن سنويا حيث أن كل كيلو واط من الطاقة النظيفة يعادل انخفاضاً قدره 0.8 غرام في انبعاثات غاز ثاني أكسيد الكربون وذلك تبعاً لشبكة المنطقة المعنية ومصدر إنتاج الطاقة المستخدم فيها. وستربط المحطة بالشبكة العامة بعد تركيب 87777 من الألواح الشمسية الرقيقة وخلايا السيلكون المتبلور الضوئية. وقال الدكتور سلطان أحمد الجابر الرئيس التنفيذي لـ"شركة أبوظبي لطاقة المستقبل/مصدر" ان هذه المبادرة "تشكل خطوة طموحة في مسيرة تبني الطاقة البديلة في المنطقة .. وسيوفر ذلك القاعدة الأساسية لبناء مدينة مصدر كما يؤكد جدوى التوسع في إنشاء المحطات المماثلة وتطبيق تكنولوجيا الطاقة الكهروضوئية في المنطقة الى جانب دعم جهودها الرامية إلى عقد المزيد من الشراكات العالمية ونقل المعرفة العلمية الأمر الذي يشكل جزءاً هاماً من الخطة الإستراتيجية لعام 2030 والتي أرستها قيادتنا الرشيدة". وأوضح أن محطة "إنفايرومينا" التي تقدر تكلفة إنشائها بـ185 مليون درهم إماراتي وتبلغ طاقتها الإنتاجية 10 ميغاواط وتعد أحد أكثر مشاريع الطاقة الكهروضوئية كفاءة وأقلها تكلفةً على مستوى العالم إذا ما أخذنا بالاعتبار حجم إنتاجها المتوقع من الطاقة. من جهته قال سامي خريبي الرئيس التنفيذي لشركة إنفايرومينا "نحرص في تصميم وإنشاء هذه المحطة على استخدام مكونات عالمية المستوى والاستعانة بمقاولين محليين من أجل دعم تطور ونمو هذه الصناعة في دولة الإمارات"، مشيرا الى هذا النظام الاقتصادي سيشجع تطبيق واستخدام تكنولوجيا الطاقة الشمسية في المنطقة والعالم على حد سواء.
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وداعاً للحرية،

وداعاً للحرية، وداعاً للخصوصيةانتبه! هاتفك الخلوي يتجسَّس عليك
التكنولوجيا تتيح للمخابرات تصوير أي مطلوب أو التنصت عليه أو تعقبه عبر تحويل أي جهاز رقمي يملكه إلى جاسوس الكتروني.
ميدل ايست اونلاينلندن ـ من شريف كتَّاني
وصلت تكنولوجيا التجسس في العالم إلى مرحلة مرعبة مع التقدم التكنولوجي الهائل الذي تشهده البشرية.
وأصبح بمقدور المؤسسات الاستخبارية أن تصور أي مطلوب أو تتنصت عليه أو تتعقبه على أقل تقدير بواسطة عدد من الأجهزة الالكترونية التي يقتنيها.
واعترفت وكالة التحقيقات الفدرالية الأميركية "اف بي آي" العام الماضي بنجاحها في تعقب مطلوبين والقبض عليهم عبر استغلال هواتفهم النقالة.
ولا يقتصر الأمر على التنصت على المكالمات بل إنه يتعدى ذلك خطورة بكثير.
إذ يمكن تحويل الهاتف النقال نفسه الى أداة للتجسس بتشغيل المايكروفون الداخلي أو الكاميرا بحيث يتسنى تسجيل كل حركات المطلوب وسكناته دون علمه حتى وان لم يكن يجري مكالمة.
والمخيف هو ان بمقدور الأجهزة الأمنية تحويل الهاتف الى جهاز للتجسس حتى وان كان مطفأً.
ونقلت شبكة فوكس نيوز الأميركية عن أحد خبراء التجسس باستخدام هذه التقنية ان الاف بي آي توصلت بالفعل إلى طريقة للتجسس في حال إطفاء الهاتف، وأنه لا يمكن وقفها الا بنزع بطاريته نزعاً تاماً.
وتقوم الفكرة على تلغيم جهاز الضحية ببرنامج خاص يقوم بتحويل عدد من القطع الالكترونية الداخلية للجهاز إلى أدوات تسجيل وبث خاصة.
وتعتمد المعلومات التي يمكن للاستخبارات أن تتوصل إليها على ذكاء الهاتف؛ فكلما زاد الجهاز تعقيداً وجدَّة، زادت نسبة النجاح في الحصول على معلومات مهمة.
فإذا لاحظت نشاطاً غير اعتيادي في هاتفك النقال، كالاستنزاف غير المعتاد لشحن البطارية، أو السخونة الدائمة، أو زنَّة مكالمة عند تقريبه من سمَّاعات وانت غير متصل بأحد، فاعلم أن هذه مؤشرات تدل على أن هاتفك الخلوي قد يكون يتجسس عليك.
ولا يقتصر الأمر على أجهزة الهواتف النقالة، فكل جهاز رقمي حديث تقريباً يمكن تلغيمه على هذا النحو، بدءاً من أجهزة الكمبيوتر وليس انتهاء بشاشات البلازما والـ"ال سي دي" ومشغلات الموسيقى الرقمية والأجهزة الرقمية الموجودة في السيارات.
ولا يكاد يخلو بيت في العواصم العالمية من هذه الأجهزة.
وطرحت شركات عالمية شاشات "ال سي دي" وبلازما تحتوي على كاميرات مراقبة خفيَّة، ويمكن توفيرها بحسب رغبة الزبون، لمراقبة الأطفال أو البيت في حال غيابه عنه.
لكن طرح هذه التكنولوجيا تجارياً يعني أن من الممكن أنها استخدمت من قبل أجهزة الاستخبارات سابقاً كذلك، مما يعني أن بالامكان تصوير المطلوب بدقة عالية حتى ولو كان في غرفة نومه.
ويعزز هذا الاحتمال تقارير حول اكتشاف عدد من المستخدمين لكاميرات خفية في شاشاتهم دون طلبهم ولا حتى إعلامهم من قبل الشركات المصنعة.
وتقوم الأجهزة الأمنية الأميركية بمراقبة كل رسائل البريد الالكتروني، وتخزن نسخاً منها ومن التسجيلات الصوتية للمكالمات المراقبة في أجهزة كمبيوتر عملاقة لاستخدامها ضد المطلوب لاحقاً.
والتطور الجديد في هذا المجال هو اتفاق هذه الاجهزة مع عدد من مزودي خدمة الانترنت لتسجيل كل الحركات التي تتم على الشبكة العنكبوتية، وبوسع بعض الشركات أن تسجل نحو 10 غيغابايت من النشاط في الثانية باستخدام أجهزة عملاقة، وهذا يعني رصد النشاط على مواقع ضخمة كمكتبة الكونغرس في أقل من ربع ساعة.
ورغم أن التجسس بهذه الطريقة يكون غالباً موجهاً نحو أشخاص بعينهم، إلا أنه يمكن للمخترقين بدورهم أن يستغلوا هذه التكنولوجيا لمراقبة من شاءوا وكيفما شاءوا دون ضوابط ولا حتى علم الضحية.
فبرامج التجسس مطروحة في الانترنت بشكل تجاري، ويمكن لأي شخص اقتناء أحدها بضغطة زر وبطاقة ائتمان، ومع بعض المهارات التقنية بإمكانهم اختراق خصوصية الجميع.
ويبدو أن هذه التكنولوجيا إن استمرت بالتطور غير المنضبط على هذه النحو ستدفع البشرية إلى توديع الخصوصية والحرية إلى الأبد.

هذا الدعم هدية مقبولة من وزارة البترول في مصر



الجيش الإسرائيلى يقرر تشغيل سياراته بالغاز الطبيعى كتب محمد عبود ١١/ ٣/ ٢٠٠٩
أعلنت شعبة التكنولوجيا والشؤون اللوجستية فى الجيش الإسرائيلى أنها تدرس مشروعا ضخما لتحويل جميع السيارات العسكرية العاملة فى خدمة الجيش الإسرائيلى إلى استخدام الغاز، خلال السنوات العشر القادمة. ومن المقرر أن تبدأ عملية التحويل، خلال العام الجارى، بعدد قليل من سيارات ليسينج Leasing التى تستخدمها إدارات الجيش الواقعة فى المنطقة المركزية.
ووفقا لبيان صادر عن المتحدث الرسمى باسم الجيش الإسرائيلى، نقلته معظم الصحف العبرية، فإن عملية تحويل أسطول سيارات الجيش الإسرائيلى للعمل بالغاز، من شأنها أن توفر ربع مليار شيكل سنويا من ميزانية وزارة الدفاع المخصصة لنفقات الوقود.
علاوة على حماية البيئة فى إسرائيل من الأضرار الناجمة عن احتراق البنزين والسولار المستخدم حتى الآن فى وحدات الجيش.
غير أن الجيش الإسرائيلى، وفقا لصحيفة «ذا ماركر» الاقتصادية، يعانى مشكلة فى العبور من السولار والبنزين إلى الغاز الطبيعى بسبب عدم امتلاكه ماكينات التزود بالغاز داخل قواعده العسكرية.
علاوة على بعض المخاوف من انخفاض الوعى البيئى فى أوساط الجمهور الإسرائيلى الذى لا يفضل شراء السيارات العاملة بالغاز. وهو الأمر الذى يحرم الجيش من تحقيق أرباح كبيرة، عندما يقرر تكهين أسطول سيارات الليسينج، وبيعها للجمهور.
ويعتبر مشروع تحويل سيارات الليسينج إلى التزود بالغاز الطبيعى واحدا من مشروعات تعرف بالثورة الخضراء فى الجيش الإسرائيلى. وتتبنى المشروع شعبة التكنولوجيا والشؤون اللوجستية فى الجيش التى نجحت، حتى الآن، فى تحويل عدد كبير من أجهزة التدفئة المركزية فى الجيش لاستخدام الغاز، بدلا من السولار. ومن المقرر أن تنتهى الشعبة هذا العام من المرحلة الأولى التى تنتهى بتحويل ١٠ آلاف جهاز تدفئة للعمل بالغاز الطبيعى.

US PRESIDENT




US President Barack Obama said he expected "steady progress" resolving disputes with Iran after he made an unprecedented video appeal to the Islamic republic.
Obama last week urged an end to three decades of animosity in a message for the Iranian New Year Nowruz, marking a sharp break from his predecessor George W. Bush.
"Some people said, 'Well, they did not immediately say that we're eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism,'" Obama told a news conference.
"Well, we didn't expect that. We expect that we're going to make steady progress on this front," he said.
Obama was explaining how he planned to be persistent despite setbacks, saying he would also push ahead with peace efforts in the Middle East.
"If you are persistent, then these problems can be dealt with," Obama said.
"That whole philosophy of persistence, by the way, is one that I'm going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come as long as I'm in this office."
Washington and Tehran broke off diplomatic relations following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, in which Iranians overthrew the pro-Western shah.
Iran has come under UN sanctions for refusing to suspend sensitive uranium enrichment, which the United States and its allies say is a cover to develop nuclear weapons.
Iran is also accused of funneling arms to the militantly anti-Israeli movements Hezbollah and Hamas. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has stirred outrage by doubting the Holocaust.
In a decisive break with Bush, who branded Iran part of an "axis of evil," Obama said in his Nowruz message that Iran could take its "rightful place" in the world if it renounced terror and embraced peace.
"For nearly three decades, relations between our nations have been strained," he said. "But at this holiday, we are reminded of the common humanity that binds us together."
Iran responded by welcoming Obama's olive branch but urged him to take concrete steps to repair US "mistakes."