Sunday, June 22, 2008

World Publics Reject Criminal Penalties for Abortion in Nigeria and other Countries

The World Pubblics has rejected the criminal penalties for Abortion in Nigeria and other countries.

The following report has addressed the critical issues in the prosecution of those who commit Abortion where it is illegal.

18 Jun 2008 22:00 Africa/Lagos

World Publics Reject Criminal Penalties for Abortion

COLLEGE PARK, Md., June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- finds that in 17 out of 18 nations polled around the world, majorities reject using criminal penalties, such as fines and imprisonment, as a means to prevent abortion.

Nations differ on whether the government should make any effort to discourage abortion. In nine nations majorities believe their government should simply leave these matters to individuals.

Seven nations favor government efforts to discourage abortions, but in only one--Indonesia--does a majority endorse their government using criminal penalties. The other six that favor government efforts are divided between minorities who favor criminal penalties and who favor only non-punitive government efforts to discourage abortion, such as education, counseling and adoption services.

In seven nations the public is at odds with their country's laws. Contrary to their public's preferences, there are criminal penalties for abortion in Egypt, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, the Palestinian Territories, Poland and South Korea.

On average across all 18 countries, 52 percent favor leaving the matter of abortion to the individual, while 42 percent think their government should try to discourage abortions. Those who back government efforts include 18 percent who support criminal enforcement, while 23 percent favor education, counseling, and adoption services but not criminal enforcement.

"While it does appear that many people around the world are uncomfortable with abortion, few think that the government should use punitive means to try to prevent it," said Steven Kull, director of "Clearly many governments around the world using criminal penalties to try to prevent abortions are out of step with their publics."

Interviews with 18,465 respondents were conducted in 18 countries representing 59 percent of the world's population. This includes most of the largest countries in the world--China, India, the United States, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Russia--as well as Mexico, Britain, France, Poland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, the Palestinian Territories, Thailand and South Korea. The survey was fielded between Jan. 10 and May 6. Margins of error range from +/-2 to 4 percent. is a collaborative research project of research centers from around the world, managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland.

More details can be found at

Source: Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland

CONTACT: Steven Kull of Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA)
at the University of Maryland, +1-202-232-7500

Web Site:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

President George W. Bush Radio Address On the High Cost of Gasoline

President George W. Bush at the White House on Friday June 20, 2008.

21 Jun 2008 15:06 Africa/Lagos

Radio Address by President Bush to the Nation

President's Radio Address Audio En Español

WASHINGTON, June 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following transcript was released today by the White House Press Office:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Americans are concerned about the high price of gasoline. Everyone who commutes to work, purchases food, ships a product, or takes a family vacation feels the burden of higher prices at the pump. And families across our country are looking to Washington for a response.

The fundamental problem behind high gas prices is that the supply of oil has not kept up with the rising demand across the world. One obvious solution is for America to increase our domestic oil production. So my Administration has repeatedly called on Congress to open access to new oil exploration here in the United States. Unfortunately, Democrats on Capitol Hill have rejected virtually every proposal. Now Americans are paying the price at the pump for this obstruction. So this week, I asked Democratic congressional leaders to take the side of working families and small businesses and farmers and ranchers and move forward with four steps to expand American oil and gasoline production.

First, we should expand American oil production by increasing access to the Outer Continental Shelf, or OCS. Experts believe that the OCS could produce enough oil to match America's current production for almost ten years. The problem is that Congress has restricted access to key parts of the OCS since the early 1980s. So I've called on the House and Senate to lift this legislative ban and give states the option of opening up OCS resources off their shores while protecting the environment. There's also an executive prohibition on exploration in the OCS, which I will lift when Congress lifts the legislative ban.

Second, we should expand American oil production by tapping into the extraordinary potential of oil shale. Oil shale is a type of rock that can produce oil when exposed to heat and other processes. One major deposit in the Rocky Mountain West alone would equal current annual oil imports for more than a hundred years. Unfortunately, Democrats in Congress are standing in the way of further development. In last year's omnibus spending bill, Democratic leaders inserted a provision blocking oil shale leasing on Federal lands. That provision can be taken out as easily as it was slipped in -- and Congress should do so immediately.

Third, we should expand American oil production by permitting exploration in northern Alaska. Scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach this oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife. With a drilling footprint that covers just a tiny fraction of this vast terrain, America could produce an estimated 10 billion barrels of oil. That is roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia. I urge members of Congress to allow this remote region to bring enormous benefits to the American people.

Finally, we need to expand and enhance our refining capacity. It has been 30 years since a new refinery was built in our Nation, and lawsuits and red tape have made it extremely costly to expand or modify existing refineries. The result is that America now imports millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad. This imposes needless costs on American families and drivers. It deprives American workers of good jobs. And it needs to change.

I know Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past. Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act.

This is a difficult time for many American families. Rising gasoline prices and economic uncertainty can affect everything from what food parents put on the table to where they can go on vacation. With the four steps I've laid out, Congress now has a clear path to begin easing the strain high gas prices put on your family's pocketbook. These proposals will take years to have their full impact, so I urge Congress to take action as soon as possible. Together, we can meet the energy challenges we face -- and keep our economy the strongest, most vibrant, and most hopeful in the world.

Thank you for listening.

Source: White House Press Office

CONTACT: White House Press Office, +1-202-456-2580

Web Site: White House

20 Jun 2008
High Gas Prices Drive U.S. Consumers to Find Deals on the Internet, According to comScore
Gas Saving Tips that Make the Most 'Cents' ... and Ones that are 'Non-Cents'
'My Retirement is in My Gas Tank'

DNC Files FOIA Request Over McCain's Latest Campaign Impropriety

Senator John McCain

20 Jun 2008 20:50 Africa/Lagos

DNC Files FOIA Request Over McCain's Latest Campaign Impropriety

McCain Campaign Event in Ottawa Runs Afoul of Hatch Act

WASHINGTON, June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Democratic National Committee today filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the U.S. Department of State seeking information about possible violations of the Hatch Act in connection to John McCain's events in Ottawa today. The FOIA request follows reports that McCain campaign officials requested assistance in arranging a $100-a-plate luncheon speech from U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins.

(Logo: )

According to reports, Senator Lindsey Graham, a McCain campaign co-chair, asked Ambassador Wilkins "for advice about logistics, venues and cities" for the event. Ambassador Wilkins also reportedly contacted a Canadian business leader to help sell tickets to the event. McCain's appearance is a campaign event being paid for by his campaign. The Hatch Act forbids U.S. Ambassadors from engaging in any partisan activity whatsoever on foreign soil. The DNC today called on the State Department to turn over all records related to Senator McCain's visit.

Today's report follows news this week that Senator McCain has refused to reimburse a private company for the use of its corporate jet. Senator McCain is also skirting the law by unilaterally withdrawing from the primary funds program after using the promise of taxpayer money to secure a loan and gain free ballot access. Earlier this year, outside groups filed another FEC complaint related to Senator McCain's fundraiser in London's Spencer House in April.

"By apparently running afoul of the Hatch Act during his trip to Canada today, it appears that Senator McCain is once again putting his political aspirations ahead of following the law," said DNC spokeswoman Karen Finney. "Between his refusal to pay for his campaign's use of a corporate jet and his illegally attempting to withdraw from the primary funds program, this is becoming a disturbing pattern of impropriety on the part of Senator McCain and his campaign. How can the American people trust John McCain if he is unwilling to follow the law when it gets in the way of his political aspirations?"

For a copy of the FOIA Request, click here



McCain Campaign Asked Ambassador to Skirt Hatch Act. "A Canadian newspaper reported Thursday that Friday's scheduled $100-a-plate luncheon speech by Sen. John McCain in Ottawa was organized in part by U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, a former South Carolina lawmaker whom President Bush appointed in 2005... The article in the Edmonton Sun, and an earlier one in the Globe and Mail, says that Wilkins contacted Thomas d'Aquino, the president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, to help set up what they described as a fundraiser before McCain's visit. McCain is scheduled to give a speech at the Chateau Laurier Hotel and to meet with several Canadian officials... The Hatch Act circumscribes political activity for government employees. According to the American Foreign Service Association Web site, the State Department's ethics office prohibits fundraising activities for its presidential appointees."
The Trail blog, Washington Post, 6/19/08: The Trail Blog

McCain Campaign Approached Canadians Seeking Visit & CEO Reception Hosts. Two weeks ago, U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins telephoned big-business lobbyist Tom d'Aquino, head of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives. Wilkins had been contacted by the McCain campaign about a Canadian visit, and the ambassador wanted to know if some of d'Aquino's group of corporate chief executives might be interested in meeting the Republican presidential candidate. Almost instantly, d'Aquino jumped at the opportunity, and an additional $100-a-plate luncheon organized by the Economic Club of Canada sold out in 30 minutes with tickets now reselling at up to $1,000 a pop. Edmonton Sun, 6/19/08: Edmonton Sun

Coming to Canada McCain's Choice; Visit Arranged By Lindsey Graham Who Passed Word that McCain Was Interested in Coming to Canada. Mr. McCain's visit came together very quickly. About two weeks ago, his organization contacted the Economic Club of Canada, whose president, Mark Adler, has strong business connections. Coming to Ottawa was the McCain organization's choice, club spokeswoman Nicolee Tattersall says. As well, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, who is from South Carolina, is a close friend of South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close with Mr. McCain. According to the U.S. source, Mr. Graham called the ambassador to tell him that Mr. McCain was interested in coming to Canada. He asked for advice about logistics, venues and cities that would be appropriate for the presidential nominee.
Globe & Mail, 6/13/08: Globe & Mail.


Wall Street Journal: McCain Campaign Fails to Reimburse For Up To Four Campaign Flights. "She used the jet on several trips last year that included campaign-related activity but never got campaign reimbursement, according to flight-tracking records and campaign-finance reports verified by the McCain campaign. At the New York fund-raiser, she spoke on stage, warming up the audience for her husband. If the campaign had paid for Mrs. McCain's trip to New York and three others that appear to have included some campaign work, it would likely have cost a total of about $15,000, the equivalent of first-class fare for the trips combined."
Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08: Wall Street Journal.

Republican Expert: McCain Should Have Paid for the Flights. "Jan Baran, a Republican campaign lawyer, said the campaign should have paid. 'I don't know why they want to fight it,' he said. 'The chutzpah is not that they're not paying for this trip, it's that they're using a corporate airplane at a highly discounted rate.'" [Wall Street Journal, 6/18/08: c4Wj.html ]

New York Times: McCain Used Unresolved Loophole in His Own Reform Law to Get Discounted Flights. "Mr. McCain's campaign paid a total of $241,149 for the use of that plane from last August through February, records show. That amount is approximately the cost of chartering a similar jet for a month or two, according to industry estimates. The senator was able to fly so inexpensively because the law specifically exempts aircraft owned by a candidate or his family or by a privately held company they control. The Federal Election Commission adopted rules in December to close the loophole -- rules that would have required substantial payments by candidates using family-owned planes -- but the agency soon lost the requisite number of commissioners needed to complete the rule making. Because that exemption remains, Mr. McCain's campaign was able to use his wife's corporate plane like a charter jet while paying first-class rates, several campaign finance experts said. Several of those experts, however, added that his campaign's actions, while keeping with the letter of law, did not reflect its spirit." [New York Times, 4/27/08:]


FEC Did Not Grant McCain Permission To Withdraw From Public Financing System in the Primary. According to the Washington Post, "The nation's top federal election official told Sen. John McCain yesterday that he cannot immediately withdraw from the presidential public financing system as he had requested, a decision that threatens to dramatically restrict his spending until the general election campaign begins in the fall... Mason notified McCain that the commission had not granted his Feb. 6 request to withdraw from the presidential public financing system." [Washington Post, 2/22/08]

FEC Raised Questions About A Loan the McCain Received. According to the Associated Press, "The government's top campaign finance regulator says John McCain can't drop out of the primary election's public financing system until he answers questions about a loan he obtained to kickstart his once faltering presidential campaign... Federal Election Commission Chairman David Mason, in a letter to McCain this week, said the all-but-certain Republican nominee needs to assure the commission that he did not use the promise of public money to help secure a $4 million line of credit he obtained in November." [AP/MSNBC, 2/21/08]


Judicial Watch Files Complaint Over London Fundraiser. "Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it filed a formal complaint, dated April 22, 2008, with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) related to a fundraising luncheon held at London's Spencer House to benefit Senator John McCain's presidential campaign. The venue for the event was apparently donated to the campaign by foreign nationals, in violation of federal campaign finance laws." [Judicial Watch release, 4/24/08:
Judicial Watch release on Reuters

Paid for and authorized by the Democratic National Committee,

This communication is not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.

AP Archive:
PRN Photo Desk
Source: Democratic National Committee

CONTACT: Damien LaVera of the Democratic National Committee,

Web Site: Democratic National Committee

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Niger Delta Palaver


The ruling People's Democratic Party(PDP)is wasting time setting up kangaroo Rivers State Truth and Reconciliation Commission where the former governor Dr. Peter Odili has been telling lies in defence of the PDP, the most corrupt and notorious political party in Africa. It has been a comedy of errors so far.
The rogue gallery is a mockery of democracy and the rule of law.

The Niger Delta Summit is going to be another opportunity for the misappropriation of our revenue allocations by the political contractors in power and cannot bring the chief perpetrators of the Niger Delta crisis to book.

The Niger Delta crisis can be solved within one month if we have a fearless revolutionary leader like Jerry Rawlings of Ghana to sack the PDP and commence the arrest and trial of all the top dogs and pigs who have acquired illegal oil blocks they shared among themselves since 1979 to date.

The plutocratic oligarchy has been in power since 1979 when the retired General Olusegun Obasanjo handed over power to Alhaji Shehu Shagari of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) controlled by the Northern Mafia and they engaged themselves in political power tussle with military coups until they murdered Chief M.K.O Abiola who had fallen out of favour with them and killed General Sani Abacha who was too mad for them to control. Then to compensate retired General Olusegun Obasanjo, they rigged the presidential election of 1999 to let him win and become the President on the agreement that he would hand over to them in 2007.

From 1979 to date, they have plundered the Niger Delta region and squandered our oil revenues on themselves, their families, cronies and shareholders. They used the ill-gotten wealth to open the new generation banks. Check the members of the board of directors of each of the new generation banks and probe their sources of wealth and they would be traced to illegal oil bunkering, illegal oil blocks, corruption in the allocations of tenders in public office and they invested the misappropriated public funds in the private sector.

The serving and retired Nigerian Army generals, Naval officers and political big wigs should all be arrested like Jerry Rawlings did in Ghana and then probe them on how civil servants on salary could become millionaires and billionaires in dollars and pounds while in office.

They are not more than 500 and we can identify them all.

Until they are arraigned to face the Law, there can never be peace and economic stability in the Niger Delta region and the rest of Nigeria.

No Justice, No Peace.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reclaiming Honor in Jordan: A National Public Opinion ...

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
In early 2003, Ellen R. Sheeley began to educate herself about "honor" killings, particularly those that take place in Jordan. That summer she journeyed from her home in San Francisco, California, USA to Amman, Jordan, where she learned of the needs for empirical, objective, baseline data pertaining to the Jordanian public's attitudes, opinions, and beliefs about "honor" killings and for a sustained marketing campaign to change hearts and minds. As a seasoned marketing professional, she was confident she had the ability and the qualifications to fulfill these needs. Unable to secure funding or sponsorship from the obvious and even the not-so-obvious sources and, yet, unwilling for mere lack of financial support to give up on the needs of the at-risk individuals and the victims, she quit her job, moved from her home, placed her personal effects in storage, bade adieu to her loved ones, and returned to Amman in October 2005 to perform the work pro bono, funded by her private savings. "Reclaiming Honor in Jordan" is a result of this effort and reveals a number of surprising findings about public opinion on this subject. Profits from this book will contribute to "honor" killings work.

About the Author
Ellen R. Sheeley is the Founder and CEO of Nob Hill Consulting, a San Francisco, California, USA based management and marketing consulting firm specializing in the international financial services and the technology sectors. She possesses an M.B.A. degree with a marketing concentration, a B.A. degree in psychology, and over 25 years' professional experience. Ellen has served on the boards of a number of nonprofit and technology corporations and on the faculties of four American universities. She has lived and/or worked in the United States, the CIS, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific Rim and traveled to over 80 countries throughout the world. The research about which this book was written is a labor of love for Ellen and was wholly funded from her personal savings. In addition, all time and labor devoted to it were provided pro bono. Information on how to make a most welcome contribution to this effort may be received by sending an e-mail inquiry to

Amazon: Reclaiming Honor in Jordan: A National Public Opinion

TechCrunch Bans AP News and Stories

In a swift reaction to the crack down on bloggers by the Associated Press, TechCrunch has banned all links to AP news and stories.

So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.

~ Michael Arrington

I was one of the first bloggers to react to the decison of the Associated Press on the Huffington Post yesterday. The following is the full text of my comment.

Bloggers should ask for permission before using copyrighted news materials or they should register to use syndicated news and features.

When I blog what I have read on the Huffington Post, I simply link to the title and address it with my own original content.

The terms of service for the Associated Press is published on their website and every reasonable blogger should read the terms and privacy policy before using content from the AP.

I wrote to the AP for permission before posting references from their news reports and I wrote photo agencies before using their photographs like newscom.

Most of the millions of bloggers are ignorant of the simple rules of copyrights and they are like bulls in a china shop. But many professional bloggers and blogging journalists do not abuse the terms of service of news websites and other sources.
posted 06/16/2008 at 10:30:05

The TechCrunch should not misinterprete the decision of the AP, because the AP has the right to set guidelines to protect their copyright. The AP is not spending millions of dollars for paid content for bloggers to turn it into a public domain.

This is not a case of de minimis non curat lex, because most of the blogs using materials lifted from the AP are not "trivial things". Many of them are making thousands of dollars from their blogs and using the smart excuse of Fair Use and the United States Online Copyright Infringement Liability Limitation Act under the United States copyright law to escape from the liabilities.

Checks and balances are imperative in the control and prevention of Copyright infringement.
This is the only legal way to stop the rampant violations of the exclusive rights of the authors and publishers of Intellectual Property.

You can read How Bloggers Can Work with Mainstream News Reporters Without Stress.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nancy Pelosi Statement on Death of Tim Russert

New York Post Photo: Tim Russert speaks during a taping of "Meet the Press" in Washington. The "Meet the Press" host died of a heart attack while recording a voiceover at the NBC studio. He was 58.

Timothy John Russert, Jr. (May 7, 1950June 13, 2008)

14 Jun 2008 01:43 Africa/Lagos

Pelosi Statement on Death of Tim Russert

WASHINGTON, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement on the death of Tim Russert:

"Today, broadcast journalism lost one of its giants, who will be remembered along with names like Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and David Brinkley. The City of Buffalo has also lost its favorite son, who loved his city and its hometown team, the Bills. The smile that came across Tim's face whenever he spoke of the place of his birth and his favorite football team was one of true joy and I will never forget it.

"Tim Russert embodied the very best in broadcast journalism and has been a fixture in millions of living rooms every Sunday morning on NBC's 'Meet the Press' an institution that he shaped into one of the most influential news and opinion programs of our time. A stellar journalist, Tim also touched our hearts with his loving portrait of his father in the best-selling book, 'Big Russ and Me.'"

"To everyone at NBC News, who today lost not only a colleague, but a true friend, I offer my deepest condolences. Most of all, my thoughts are with Tim's wife, Maureen, and his son, Luke. I hope it is some comfort that so many throughout the world have the Russert family in their thoughts and prayers at this difficult time."

Source: Office of the Speaker of the House

CONTACT: Brendan Daly or Nadeam Elshami, +1-202-226-7616

UNITY Mourns the Loss of Tim Russert

13 Jun 2008
Howard Dean on the Passing of Tim Russert
Newt Gingrich Statement on the Passing of Tim Russert
Comment of Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on The Death of Tim Russert

Mikhail Gorbachev To Receive 2008 Liberty Medal at The National Constitution Center

Mikhail Gorbachev

13 Jun 2008 17:00 Africa/Lagos

Mikhail Gorbachev To Receive 2008 Liberty Medal at The National Constitution Center

Award to be presented by President George H.W. Bush

PHILADELPHIA, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Constitution Center's 2008 Liberty Medal will be awarded to former Soviet leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Mikhail Gorbachev for his courageous role in ending the dangerous, decades-long Cold War and in giving hope and freedom to millions who lived behind the Iron Curtain. The public Liberty Medal ceremony will take place on Thursday, September 18, 2008, at the National Constitution Center in Historic Philadelphia, and will set the stage for international commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2009.

Joseph M. Torsella, National Constitution Center President and CEO, made the announcement today, saying, "This year's ceremony will be a memorable tribute to a revolutionary thinker with courage and conviction who believed in the power of liberty and openness. Mikhail Gorbachev is someone who truly changed the course of history, and we are honored to recognize him."

"During the Cold War, Gorbachev helped replace confrontation with negotiation and established a new climate between East and West," said Torsella. "He bravely opened the doors of Soviet society to the winds of freedom and change, and he continues to be a voice for an open society today. His vision and strength were central to bringing about a peaceful end to the Cold War, and his remarkable leadership has led to profound and lasting consequences for our nations and for all people who treasure liberty."

This took both vision and courage. As Mikhail Gorbachev said in his Nobel Lecture, "Steering a peaceful course is not easy in a country where generation after generation of people were led to believe that those who have power or force could throw those who dissent or disagree out of politics or even in jail. For centuries all the country's problems used to be finally resolved by violent means. I will never agree to having our society split once again into Reds and Whites, into those who claim to speak and act 'on behalf of the people' and those who are 'enemies of the people.'"

Fittingly, the Liberty Medal will be presented to Gorbachev by President George H.W. Bush, Chairman of the National Constitution Center. While serving as President of the U.S., Bush's friendship and political alliance with Gorbachev enabled the world's two superpowers to peacefully end their decades- long rivalry. In fact, Gorbachev trusted and valued their friendship so much that, as the Soviet flag was being lowered for the final time at the Kremlin, the person he called was President Bush. Their partnership is symbolic of the way in which Gorbachev has transcended old animosities to spread the blessings of liberty.

President George H.W. Bush said in a statement that he and the Center's Board of Trustees are proud to pay tribute to this year's recipient. "It is a true honor for me to participate in this year's Liberty Medal ceremony to celebrate the achievements of someone whom I consider a great world leader and a dear friend. Regardless of the dividing lines between us, President Gorbachev opened up new possibilities for the world to come together and solve its problems in the pursuit of liberty. When Eastern Europeans were living in the dark shadow of the Cold War, he provided a beacon of light. Now, almost twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are still witnessing the positive impact his efforts have had across the globe. President Gorbachev is always looking ahead at a better future and helping all of us work to get there."

"Mikhail Gorbachev came of age when Russia was ruled by a totalitarian regime, but his thinking as a political leader broke free of this repressive straight-jacket," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. "Caring about the freedom and prosperity of his people, he negotiated the end of the costly and dangerous Cold War and oversaw the demise of the very political system that brought him to power. He was a true agent of change on the global stage."

After becoming the youngest full member of the Politburo in 1980, Gorbachev was named General Secretary of the Communist Party in 1985, ready to make long overdue reforms in the Soviet system. For six years he pressed for democratization by promoting glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring). These policies gave a voice to the people of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, resulting in an unprecedented extension of the freedoms of assembly, speech, and travel, as well as religious freedom. In 1988, Gorbachev announced that the

Soviet Union would abandon the Brezhnev Doctrine and allow the Eastern bloc nations to determine their own internal affairs. Gorbachev's refusal to intervene militarily in Eastern European affairs gave hope to those struggling to end four decades of Soviet control. Ultimately, his policies created the environment which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989. Gorbachev was elected as the first executive President of the Soviet Union in 1990. He was, wrote Lance Morrow in TIME, "a visionary enacting a range of complex and sometimes contradictory roles," bringing the East closer to the West, acknowledging the power of the free market and religious expression, while managing a recalcitrant party establishment and attempting to revive a stagnant economy. The reforms he initiated had global implications, dramatically reducing East-West tensions and transforming geo-politics.

Gorbachev was also a tireless advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons, which led to the first major reduction of U.S. and Soviet weapons stockpiles. Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990. In a move unprecedented in Soviet history, Gorbachev voluntarily resigned as leader of the Soviet Union in 1991. At that time, he told President Bush that he wished to remain in public life to encourage "new thinking to prevail in world politics." Keeping in line with this goal, he launched Green Cross International, a non-profit organization that focuses on global ecological law. Gorbachev fervently crusades for clean air and water, and against toxic wastes and chemical weapons, in addition to working with businesses, industry, and governments to make sustainable environmental policy a top global priority. He also serves as President of the Gorbachev Foundation, which conducts political and economic research, and promotes international exchange.

Established in 1988 by We the People 200 to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, the Liberty Medal annually honors men and women of courage and conviction who strive to secure the blessings of liberty to people the world over. The Liberty Medal was administered by the National Constitution Center for the first time in 2006, when Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were honored for their bi-partisan humanitarian efforts on behalf of the victims of the tsunami in Southeast Asia and the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast. Last year's Liberty Medal was awarded to Bono and DATA, the advocacy organization he co-founded to combat poverty and disease in Africa.

"Two of the twenty Liberty Medal recipients were significantly influenced by Gorbachev," added Torsella. "Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel could not have become presidents of their countries if Gorbachev had not paved the way by abandoning the Brezhnev Doctrine. His refusal to interfere in the domestic politics of Eastern Europe allowed for these great men to triumph in their pursuits of liberty."

Other past Liberty Medal winners include Nelson Mandela, Shimon Peres, Kofi Annan, and Sandra Day O'Connor. The Medal has also been awarded to organizations, including Doctors Without Borders and CNN International. Six former recipients of the Medal have subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Details about the 2008 Liberty Medal ceremony at the National Constitution Center will be released at a later date and made available online at . In keeping with tradition, a limited number of tickets to the ceremony will be made available to the public for free on a first come, first served basis.

The Liberty Medal ceremony will be broadcast live on CBS 3 on Thursday, September 18 at 7:00 p.m. The CW Philly 57 will rebroadcast the ceremony that same evening at 10:00 p.m. CBS 3 (KYW-TV) and The CW Philly 57 (WPSG-TV) are part of CBS Television Stations, a division of CBS Corporation.

Ira Lubert and Independence Capital Partners have renewed their support for the Liberty Medal ceremony and will co-sponsor the Liberty Medal Award in 2008. The Liberty Medal is also generously supported by the Hamilton Family Foundation. Citizens Bank is the presenting sponsor for the President's Reception prior to the Liberty Medal ceremony. This is the third consecutive year that Citizens Bank has partnered with the Center for the Liberty Medal.

The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Center serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, "Freedom Rising." The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which serves as the hub for national constitutional education. Also, as a nonpartisan forum for constitutional discourse, the Center presents -- without endorsement -- programs that contain diverse viewpoints on a broad range of issues. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit .

A complete list of Liberty Medal winners follows.

Past Recipients of the Liberty Medal

2007 Bono and DATA (joint prize)

2006 George H.W. Bush and William J. Clinton, former U.S. Presidents
(joint prize)

2005 Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine

2004 Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan

2003 Sandra Day O'Connor, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

2002 Colin Powell, U.S. Secretary of State

2001 Kofi Annan, United Nations Secretary-General*

2000 Dr. James Watson and Dr. Francis Crick, co-discoverers of the
structure of DNA (joint prize)

1999 Kim Dae Jung, President of South Korea*

1998 Senator George J. Mitchell, Irish peace negotiator

1997 CNN International

1996 King Hussein I of Jordan and Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister of
Israel (joint prize)

1995 Sadako Ogata, United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees

1994 Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic

1993 F.W. de Klerk, President of South Africa* and Nelson Mandela,
President of the African National Congress* (joint prize)

1992 Thurgood Marshall, former Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court

1991 Oscar Arias, President of Costa Rica and Medecins sans Frontieres
(Doctors Without Borders)* (joint prize)

1990 Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President*

1989 Lech Walesa, founder of Solidarity, Poland

* Liberty Medal recipients who subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize

Source: The National Constitution Center

CONTACT: Ashley Berke, Senior Public Relations Manager, +1-215-409-6693,

Web site:

13 Jun 2008
Domestic Travel to Rise to 2.005 Billion Person-Trips in 2008
Dubai China Sourcing Fairs Attract 7,113 Volume Buyers
Video: The Mirage Welcomes Tiger Cubs to Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat
New Report: Carly Fiorina the Latest McCain Advisor Linked to Iran, Says Democratic National Committee

Thursday, June 12, 2008

National Black Arts Festival 20th Anniversary - Our Gift of Creativity to You

12 Jun 2008 18:31 Africa/Lagos

National Black Arts Festival 20th Anniversary - Our Gift of Creativity to You

Gladys Knight, Wynton Marsalis, Alice Walker, Judith Jamison, Hugh Masekela, Charles S. Dutton, Carrie Mae Weems, Los Hombres Calientes, Dr. Cornell West, and much much more

ATLANTA, June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The 20th Anniversary of the National Black Arts Festival will be a birthday celebration where the audience receives the gifts. Taking place in metro Atlanta over a ten day period beginning July 18, 2008, the highly acclaimed festival will take fans on an awe inspiring journey through visual arts, music, film, dance, theatre, literary, spoken word and the humanities.

Festival attendees will travel from throughout the nation and around the world to witness an astounding array of events brought together with one common goal: to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of an artistic institution -- The National Black Arts Festival.

Highlights of the Festival include appearances and performances by Gladys Knight, Wynton Marsalis and his trio, Alice Walker, Carrie Mae Weems, Dr. Cornell West, Charles S. Dutton, Judith Jamison, Urban Bush Women, Ron K. Brown/EVIDENCE, and more. The Official NBAF Artist Market will be moving to its new home at the Georgia World Congress Center. The International Vendor Marketplace and World Music Festival featuring Hugh Masekela, Roy Ayers, Toots and the Maytals, Los Hombres Calientes, Julie Dexter, and the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, among many others will take place during the final weekend of the festival at Centennial Olympic Park.

"This is an exciting moment in history for us," said Executive Producer Stephanie Hughley, speaking of the NBAF's 20th Anniversary. "It speaks to the importance of the institution. The fact that we're still here is quite significant, and it's something we're extremely proud of."


Visual Arts

-- Constructing History: A Requiem To Mark the Moment, an exhibition by
Carrie Mae Weems, Woodruff Arts Center, July 15-August 1
(Co-commissioned with Savannah College of Art and Design)
-- Art, Beats and Lyrics, The Foundry at Puritan Mill, July 26
-- High Museum: Road to Freedom, Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement,
June 7-Oct. 5
-- Too Black, Too Fast, painting and sculptures of African American
jockeys by Michael McBride and George Nock (formerly with the NY Jets)


-- Legends Celebration: An Evening with Gladys Knight, Civic Center,
July 19
-- Hot Ice International Groove Lounge, Center State, July 19
-- Robert Spano conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, featuring Wynton
Marsalis and his trio, Woodruff Arts Center, July 19
-- Millie Jackson, Rialto Center for the Arts, July 25
-- World Music Festival at Centennial Olympic Park, featuring: Hugh
Masekela, Vinx, Orquestra MaCuba, Julie Dexter, Habib Koite, Rio Negro,
Roy Ayers, Los Hombres Calientes, Toots and the Maytals, July 26 & 27


-- Oprah Winfrey Presents the Color Purple, The Fox Theatre Atlanta,
July 15-August 3
-- True Colors Theatre Company presents James Baldwin's The Amen Corner,
July 16-August 3
-- Horizon Theatre Company presents Hallelujah Street Blues, July 11
August 24
-- Theatrical Outfit presents Gee's Bend, July 16-27
-- Discover: A New Play Development Project of the National Black Arts
Festival w/ Andrea Frye, Alliance Theatre, July 26


-- Dance! A Tribute to Judith Jamison, artistic director of the Alvin
Ailey American Dance Theatre, featuring performances by Urban Bush
Women, Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE and dancers from the Alvin Ailey
American Dance Theater, Rialto Center for the Arts, July 19 & 20


-- Pan African Film Festival In Retrospect featuring Charles S. Dutton,
Rich Theater, July 21


-- Creatively Speaking: Alice Walker and Pearl Cleage, Woodruff Arts
Center/Rich Theater, July 20
-- Creatively Speaking: Dr. Cornell West and Wynton Marsalis, moderated
by Carrie Mae Weems, Woodruff Arts Center/Rich Theater, July 20

The following perennial favorites will be returning to the NBAF in 2008:

-- Embrace: the fine arts fair of the NBAF, July 17-20
-- NBAF Children's Educational Village at Woodruff Arts Center, July 17-19
-- NBAF Summer Institute, Hammonds House Galleries, July 21-25
-- Pan African Film Festival, Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Auditorium and
Hill Auditorium, July 18-27
-- Friday Night Jazz at the High NBAF Edition and Late Night Latin Dance
Party, High Museum of Art, July 18
-- Funk Jazz Kafe, Tabernacle, July 26
-- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra free concert, Ebenezer Baptist Church,
July 27
-- Official NBAF Artists' Market, (new location) Georgia World Congress
Center, July 24-27
-- Jazz Around Town, (various locations), July 18-26
-- Ebb and Flow: Spoken Word Institute, Auburn Ave. Research Library,
July 26

About NBAF

The National Black Arts Festival ( is one of the premier national and international celebrations of the art, music and culture of people of African descent. The mission of the NBAF is to engage, cultivate and educate diverse audiences about the arts and culture of the African Diaspora and provide opportunities for artistic and creative expression. Major funding for this organization is provided by the Fulton County Commission under the guidance of the Fulton County Arts Council, Georgia Black United Fund, Georgia Council for the Arts, The Kendeda Fund, The Nonprofit Finance Fund/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Woodruff Arts Center: Alliance Theatre, Young Audiences, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, 14th Street Playhouse.

Major sponsors: The Coca-Cola Company, UPS, Turner Broadcasting, Inc., AT&T, Wachovia, Delta Airlines, Fulton County Arts Council, Georgia Pacific, City of Atlanta, ING and Allstate.

Source: National Black Arts Festival

CONTACT: Andre Ledgister of IMAGES USA for The National Black Arts
Festival, +1-404-892-2931, Ext. 224,

Web site: National Black Arts Festival

NOTE TO EDITORS: NBAF Logo, artist and performer photos available upon request.

Nigeria, The Truth and the Hypocrisy of Humanity

The most brutish and foolish creatures on earth must be Africans, from Nigeria to Rwanda and from the Sudan to the Congo. Africans have committed more atrocities in Africa since the independence of African countries than the atrocities of the imperialists in two centuries.

The rest of the world said they were shocked by the Rwanda holocaust, but more people are being killed in the Congo and yet we have not done anything to stop it. The emergency in the Congo is worse than the Darfur crisis, but how many times have we seen the horrors making headlines online and offline?

I have decided to be distant from the hordes of hypocrites who claim to be citizen journalists and human rights activists in the blogosphere and claiming to be global voices or whatever tag they use for their hypocritical impressionism, but have not addressed the emergencies in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Others among them are busy looking for American and Western European endorsements for their gay rights and other Sexual perversions and feminist rights while thousands of fellow humans are being killed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and women are being raped, murdered in honor killings and other violent crimes. The Muslims among them would prefer to cover up the Thousands of Women Killed for Family "Honor" in the falsehood of their satanic religion.

They are busy counting hits, unique visitors and contesting for Webby or other impressionistic awards, but how many of them are competing for the best reports on the 5,400,000 Dead in Congo?

Today is June 12 Day in Nigeria to mark the 15 years of the undemocratic annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, and remember the martyrdom of Chief M.K.O. Abiola. But from the news making headlines in Nigeria, from the Niger Delta crisis to the catastrophic pipeline explosions and from electoral malpractices to the perpetuation of corruption in the corridors of power, we can see that the majority of Nigerians have not learnt lessons from the terrible mistakes of the past as Nigeria has gone to the dogs. Almost everybody in Nigeria behaves like a dog. They are either the top dogs or the street dogs, but dogs are dogs. They are the most unscrupulous people on earth. Shameless liars, crooks, rogues, prostitutes, parasites, ingrates and opportunists living in in a state of infamy and ignominy.

I have addressed the corruption plaguing Nigeria and the solution in Dear Nigerians, Only The Best Is Good Enough For Us.

God bless those who speak the truth and damn the wrath of the earth.

Read "The Mandate of MKO Abiola"
by Adeleke O. Adeyemi

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why There is Scarcity of Gasoline in America, But Not in Norway:

Newt and Callista participate in a sea safari in Bodo, Norway.
Newt and Callista participate in a sea safari in Bodo, Norway.

Newt Gingrich and his beautiful Callista sent the following report from their vacation in Norway and he has addressed the energy crisis plaguing the United States and the solution to end the high price of gasoline. He tells us why there is scarcity of gasoline America, but not in Norway. This is a must read.

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

The Publisher and Editor of Nigerian Times International Online Media Network

Report From Norway: Why They Don't Have an Energy Crisis and We Do
by (more by this author)
Posted 06/10/2008 ETUpdated 06/10/2008 ET

I am writing to you this week from Norway, where Callista and I have witnessed extraordinary natural beauty - and some things America could learn about creating a more sensible balance between protecting the environment and finding more domestic sources of energy.
You see, Norway, unlike the United States, has successfully avoided the "everywhere versus nowhere" trap when it comes to drilling offshore for oil and gas.

The "everywhere versus nowhere" trap results when aggressive energy developers demand the unconstrained right to drill everywhere while environmental extremists assert that drilling can occur nowhere. This is the stalemate we currently have in the United States, with disastrous consequences. Emotion trumps science. Regulation blocks innovation. And sound methods of achieving energy independence are overlooked and underdeveloped. And gas prices go up, up, up.

A Case Study in Green Conservatism
The six days Callista and I have spent traveling around Norway have convinced us that Norway is a case study in Green Conservatism. Norway has struck a remarkable balance between respect for the environment and energy independence; between stewardship of the earth and global economic competition. It is a place of both enduring natural beauty and the third largest oil exporter in the world.

Our cruise on Hurtigruten cruise line has to rank among the most beautiful voyages in the world.
We visited an island with 1.3 million puffins, watched reindeer running five feet away from us through a fishing village (it was startling), saw sea eagles which are enormous and were once endangered but have had a huge comeback. There are now 2,500 pairs of sea eagles in Norway due to ending the use of the pesticides which were decimating them (proving, in good Green Conservative fashion, that there are good environmental causes).

All of this in a country that has made itself the 10th largest oil and gas producer in the world by doing something that is virtually off limits in the United States: Drilling offshore for oil and gas.
The U.S. Was Once a Leader in Offshore Drilling. Today Norway Is

The United States was a leader in the creation of the offshore drilling industry in the 1950s and early 1960s, but today it's countries like Norway that are leaders in the field.
Norway's annual output of 1.6 billion barrels of oil comes exclusively from offshore drilling. Oil and natural gas are transported through a network of sub seafloor pipelines. Norway is the home to the world's largest natural gas drilling platform. And the truly remarkable fact is that Norway has built this robust offshore oil and gas drilling industry alongside large and thriving fishing and tourism industries.

The Norwegian Model: Trust, Common Sense, and Green Conservatism
Norway has avoided the "everywhere versus nowhere" trap that has paralyzed U.S. offshore drilling through a common sense approach that is textbook Green Conservatism.
In Norway, strong environmental protections were part of exploration, drilling and transportation of oil and natural gas from the outset. This initial environmental emphasis has built the sense of trust necessary to allow Norway to move to a cooperative, performance-based model rather than a regulation-based model like we have in the U.S.

Norway has relatively few laws, regulations and government agencies that govern offshore drilling. Their equivalent of our Supreme Court - the Hoyesterett - reportedly declined jurisdiction over offshore drilling on the grounds that it lacks expertise!

The result is a policy in which environmental concerns are carefully balanced with energy needs. Norwegians have put some areas off-limits to drilling. In some areas, drilling is carefully circumscribed. But the point is that drilling occurs. Environmental concerns have informed - not pre-empted-Norway's oil and gas industry.

The American Model: Distrust, Stalemate and Energy Crisis
Compare that to the United States, where a series of congressional prohibitions and presidential moratoria on offshore drilling - fed by public mistrust and largely unfounded environmental fears - have placed virtually all of the offshore United States off limits to drilling.
The United States is the only country in the world that so dramatically limits the exploration and development of its offshore oil and gas deposits.

The hysteria is so acute that both of our current presidential candidates even voted in 2005 in favor of willful ignorance about our domestic energy resources. Each voted for an amendment that would have removed from the energy bill that ultimately passed a provision for a comprehensive inventory of the oil and natural gas resources in the offshore continental shelf of the United States. Fortunately the amendment failed -- even though one of the two candidates is still the sole sponsor of a bill to repeal the authorization of the inventory. You can read the inventory here that 44 U.S. Senators didn't want you to read and learn that the U.S. Minerals Management Service estimates a mean of 85.9 billion barrels of undiscovered recoverable oil and a mean of 419.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered recoverable natural gas in the Federal Outer Continental Shelf of the United States.

I'm not suggesting that the United States adopt the level of government involvement in oil and gas that Norway has (its major petroleum producer, Statoil, is a public-private company). And I'm too much of a realist to think that the U.S. oil and gas industry and the environmental groups are going to suddenly sit down, hold hands together, and forget their differences.
What I am advocating is a more informed public making its demands of energy independence clear to our government.

New Poll Shows Broad, Bipartisan Support for Tapping Domestic Energy Sources, Including Offshore
Last week American Solutions released the results of new survey research dealing with energy security, coal and climate change. The adults surveyed made clear that Congress should prioritize increasing the availability of affordable energy over battling climate change.
In pursuit of the immediate goal of energy security, clear majorities of Americans of every political and ideological stripe advocated the U.S. tap into its voluminous domestic energy resources, including the oil located off its coasts and in Alaska and the coal deep within its grounds. Clean coal was particularly popular and Americans urged the swift building of zero emissions coal plants.

Americans prefer a greater use of domestic energy sources and an innovation-encouraging tax policy that rewards businesses for new energy solutions. While there were some political and ideological differences, for the most part, Americans stood united in favor of a smart, practical energy policy that would allow them to drive to work and power their homes without breaking their bank accounts. For additional information, including the survey results, click here.

A Vote to Watch: The Peterson Amendment to Lift the Offshore Drilling Moratorium
This week, Congressman John Peterson (R-Pa.) will offer an amendment to the Interior Appropriations bill that would lift the congressional moratorium on offshore drilling.
Contact your member of Congress today and urge them to support the Peterson Amendment to restore sanity and common sense to our domestic energy policy.
Every American should keep their eyes on the House Appropriations Committee this week to see whether members vote to support our desire for environmentally responsible increased domestic energy production, or whether they continue to bury their heads in the sand.

The Dictators' Roman Holiday
Now on to a completely different topic.
In a display of arrogance and hypocrisy that was outrageous even for the United Nations, UN food development officials last week accused the United States of raising global food prices by subsidizing ethanol production.

Actually, the outrage began even earlier.
Only the United Nations would invite a dictator who has purposefully starved his own people to a summit on the international food crisis. But that is precisely what happened in Rome last week. Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, who has starved his political enemies and channeled food aid to only favored groups, was in attendance, as was the Iranian dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. It has already been one year since the U.S. Congress voted 411-2 to call on the UN Security Council to punish Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for violating the UN Charter and the UN Convention on Genocide for his repeated incitement of genocide against the Israeli people, yet the Iranian dictator is still welcome at UN events.

True to form, Ahmadinejad used the international spotlight to once again predict the demise of the state of Israel and accuse the U.S. of plotting an attack on him.
Mugabe accused the West, not his own genocidal policies, of starving his people.
In other words, it was a typical gathering for the United Nations.

Europe's Resistance to GM Foods, Not America's Support for Biofuels, Has Contributed to the Global Food Crisis
But the infuriating arrogance of UN bureaucrats lecturing the world's largest provider of food aid - and the single greatest contributor to the UN food fund - cannot be allowed to pass without comment.

In fact, it is the Europeans irrational resistance to genetically modified (GM) crops - aided and abetted by extremists on the left

-- that is responsible for much of the hunger in Africa and the rest of the developing world.
GM crops that are commonplace in the U.S.

- crops that don't need expensive pesticides and even potentially are drought resistance - are banned in Europe. And Europe and the Left's misinformation about the health and safety of these foods has led most African nations to ban them too for fear of being shut out of lucrative European export markets.

South Africa is the only African nation that grows GM crops. And while food production in the rest of Africa is 20 percent per capita less than it was in 1970, South Africa is producing surplus amounts of crops through biotechnology.

The U.S. Should Refuse to Participate in Future UN Charades
The UN food crisis gathering ignored the issue of GM foods, of course, but it did call on member nations to kick in at least $20 billion a year to help ease global hunger.
President Bush, who has tripled U.S. aid to Africa during his presidency, should ignore this demand and publicly refuse to participate in farces with vicious, murdering thugs like Mugabe and Ahmadinejad like the one in Rome last week.

President Bush should transition U.S. assistance to direct, bilateral forms only. Our willingness to allow UN bureaucrats and international dictators to lecture us in public strengthens them and isolates us. Far from feeding hungry people, it consigns them to lives of poverty, desperation and premature death.

For their good, and for our national self-respect, we should stop being a part this charade.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich

P.S. -- "The pacing of the book can sometimes leave you breathless, and more than once I found myself reading "just one more page" after I'd just finished two chapters. This is a great beach read for people who don't always read beach books." So says one reviewer of historian William Forstchen and my new novel, Days of Infamy. It makes a great Father's Day gift. To get a signed copy by Father's Day, place your order here by 5:00 pm EST Tuesday.

P.P.S. -- I am tremendously gratified to report that our "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" petition drive has gathered the support of an astounding 450,000-plus Americans. But why stop here? If you haven't signed the petition, do so now here. If you have already signed, send this link to five friends and ask them to become a part of the campaign to lower energy prices by developing our domestic energy resources.

Several elected officials endorsed the DRILL HERE, DRILL NOW, PAY LESS campaign last week along with several radio/television talk show hosts.
Many thanks to these leaders for taking a stand for real change by endorsing the "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
U.S. Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.)
State Sen. Amy Koch (R-Minn.) - "Feel free to add my name to the list. I think it is simple and clear. Bravo!"
State Rep. Kevin Lundberg (R-Colo.) - "I have been and continue to be a strong advocate for the oil shale development here in Colorado and our nation as a whole."
Treasurer of Indiana, Richard Mourdock - " THIS is the 08 equivalent of the Contract with America if used correctly because everyone 'gets it.' "
President, Arkansas Republican Women Anne Britton
2010 Candidate for Georgia Governor, John Oxendine
Also watch this YouTube video and hear what Americans think of the high gas and diesel prices and what we should do about it.

Mr. Gingrich is the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and author of "Winning the Future" (published by Regnery, a HUMAN EVENTS sister company

Monday, June 09, 2008

NEWSWEEK Cover: A New Kind of Recession

In the June 16, 2008 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, June 9), "A New Kind of Recession," Senior Editor Daniel Gross and Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria explain why upbeat forecasts for a quick economic turnaround were wrong and what can pull us out of this financial crisis. Plus: Barack Obama and John McCain's shortlists for vice president, the bizarre side of the Gitmo trial, Tufts University's Nerd Girls and the latest mercenary videogame, Metal Gear Solid 4. (PRNewsFoto/NEWSWEEK) NEW YORK, NY UNITED STATES

8 Jun 2008 17:18 Africa/Lagos

NEWSWEEK Cover: A New Kind of Recession

Changing Our Approach in Handling the Current Financial Crisis Will Be Key to Turning Economy Around

Despite Optimism, Employment Rates, Oil Prices and Market Drops Indicate a Quick Economic Turnaround is Not Likely

NEW YORK, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Hopes for a quick economic turnaround were essentially dashed on Friday when the Labor Department reported that American employers axed 49,000 jobs in May, the fifth straight month of job losses, an event that signals a recession and inspired a 394-point decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. In the June 16 Newsweek cover package "A New Kind of Recession" (on newsstands Monday, June 9) Senior Editor Dan Gross writes that despite the grim news of a looming recession, hope springs eternal that the second half of 2008 will be better than the first. That is, if we take a different approach than in the past.

(Photo: )

As it seeks to regain its footing in the second half, the U.S. economy faces two significant obstacles, neither of which was evident in 2001. The first is entirely homegrown: the self-inflicted wounds of the promiscuous extension and abuse of credit in the housing and financial sectors. The second is a global phenomenon that has comparatively little to do with American behavior: rampant inflation in commodities such as oil, food, and steel. These trends have conspired to inflict genuine economic pain and deflate consumer confidence. The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index in May slumped to a 16-year low.

"While the treatment of the current malaise has been essentially identical to the reaction to the 2001 slump-aggressive Federal Reserve rate cuts and tax rebates-the symptoms are quite different," Gross writes. "In 2001, an implosion in the technology sector and a slump in business investment pushed the economy over the edge. Even though some 3 million jobs were shed between 2001 and 2003, consumers soldiered on through the downturn. This time, it's the opposite. While businesses -- especially those that export -- are holding up, the economy is being dragged down by the cement shoes of a freaked-out consumer and a punk housing market."

Not all of the news is doom and gloom. For signs that tomorrow really is a day away, look to the thing that got us into this mess: housing. "Housing doesn't have to return to the bubble era. It's just that the rate of decline has to stop," says Lakshman Achuthan, managing director at the Economic Cycle Research Institute. Reductions in the level of housing inventories for sale will be a hopeful sign. Other indicators are the weekly reports on jobless claims, retail chain stores, and mortgage application activity. "This will give you an early read on potential trend shifts in consumption," says Ian Morris, chief U.S. economist at HSBC.

Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria writes in an accompanying column that the period of economic growth for the U.S. has ended and getting the economy back on track will require a great deal of changes. "The policy debate in Washington is focused on the wrong question: how to spark a short-term, cyclical recovery. Congress has already passed a fiscal stimulus bill, and the Federal Reserve has cut interest rates. All we can do now is wait for these policies to have their effect, which they will. The real debate," he writes, "should be about how to move the American economy back onto a high-growth trajectory. It can be done, but it would require large-scale and smart government policies across a whole range of issues."

Zakaria points out that the problems are obvious. The retirement of the baby boomers is going to have a crippling effect on all government budgets -- federal, state and local. Unless entitlements are trimmed substantially, America is headed for fiscal bankruptcy. Immigration policy needs reform, most urgently so that the United States can once again attract the world's most talented people. Spending on research, technology and infrastructure needs a big boost. (U.S. spending on infrastructure as a percentage of GDP is the lowest in the industrialized world today.) Energy policy needs to be overhauled. Trade policy needs to be revitalized. Tax and regulatory codes need to be simplified in order to keep America a competitive place to do business.

"In most of these areas, the solution involves some short-term pain in exchange for long-term gain," Zakaria writes. "But Washington has become incapable of that. Passing a pork-laden bill takes no time. Trimming subsidies, raising taxes or making strategic investments are near impossible." Zakaria concludes that although compromises are hard and no one gets all or even most of what they want, in a "continental land of 300 million, people are going to disagree. No compromise means nothing will get done. And America will slowly drift down in the roll of nations."

As a part of the cover package, Newsweek gathered a number of business experts and asked them to assess the country's current financial situation and offer solutions. Participants included Larry Lindsey, former governor of the Federal Reserve and former economic adviser to President George W. Bush; Robert Reich, secretary of Labor under Bill Clinton; Robert Rubin, Treasury secretary under Clinton, now chairman of the Citi executive committee; Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody's; Bart Van Ark, chief economist of The Conference Board and professor of economics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience at Google.

(Read cover story at

Newsweek's Business Roundtable

Fareed Zakaria: How to Get Back to Growth

Photo: NewsCom:
AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN2
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Newsweek

CONTACT: Brenda Velez of Newsweek, +1-212-445-4078,

Web site: NEWSWEEK

Sunday, June 08, 2008

The Magnanimous End of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign

Senator Barack Obama received the most important endorsement of his presidential campaign from his archrival, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton when she conceded the highly coveted presidential nomination of the United States Democratic Party to him on Saturday June 7, 2008. Then she called on her estimated 18 million voters and donors to support and vote for him in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election in November.
“I endorse him and throw my full support behind him, and I ask of you to join me in working as hard for Barack Obama as you have for me," Senator Hillary Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton said this was not the kind of finale she had hoped for when she began her presidential campaign in 2007, but she certainly loved the company of the mammoth crowd of her enthusiastic supporters and well-wishers who thronged the National Building Museum in Washington D.C, .to witness the suspension of her historic presidential campaign. She has proved that she is a formidable presidential candidate after the grueling six months of primaries and caucuses in 50 U.S. states and in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Democrats Abroad..

Senator Hillary Clinton definitely would have been the inevitable presidential nominee of the Democratic Party if the political phenomenon of Obamania never erupted. She was overwhelmed by the sudden popularity of Senator Barack Obama who became the new poster boy of American Democracy since former President Bill Clinton. The Clintons could not checkmate the Black Knight in shining armor and all the pawns they threw at Barack Obama failed to stop him. They thought he would not do better than Rev. Jesse Jackson who was the most ambitious African-American presidential candidate before Senator Barack Obama, but he became the irresistible superstar of the American Dream.

The so-called inevitability or invincibility of the presidential candidacy of Senator Hillary Clinton was a myth created by the American mainstream news media until they were dazzled and fazed by the superlative sensationalism of the presidential candidacy of Senator Barack Obama and his big budget. He attained rock star status and won the hearts of millions of American youths with his flowery speeches and suave mannerisms and off the hook political correctness and practical understanding of political rhetoric.

Millions of his fans and the detractors of the Clintons who preferred the new kid on the block of American politics flooded the most popular American online social networks of the new generation, such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube. He beat Hillary Clinton in the first presidential contest when he won the Iowa Democratic caucuses on January 3, 2008 and made one of the best political speeches in American political history. America has never had such a charismatic presidential candidate since President John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Robert F. Kennedy (RFK) and the media dubbed Barack Obama the new JFK and even Caroline Bouvier Kennedy endorsed him as a President like her father. But the undaunted Hillary Clinton stopped the momentum of Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa when she defeated him in the next contest in the New Hampshire Democratic primary on January 8. She defeated him again at the Nevada Democratic precinct caucuses until he routed her in the South Carolina primary after using his campaign and news media to rubbish and tarnish the public image of the Clintons over their inappropriate remarks at their political campaign rallies.

The Super Tuesday Democratic primaries and caucuses were keenly contested, but Hillary Clinton won the most populous states and became the frontrunner until he overtook her after his winning streak in ten states. She miscalculated the projections of her presidential campaign after the Super Tuesday and she could not stop his insurmountable lead to clinch the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party and became the first African-American to become the presidential nominee of a major political party in the history of the United States of America.

It was the great Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue" and that is what I saw in the honorable personality of Senator Hillary Clinton as she acknowledged the best qualities of Senator Barack Obama and became his strongest ally when she honorably endorsed him as being worthy to be elected as the next President of the United States of America in November, 2008.

By her remarkable and laudable exemplary leadership, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has defined the dignity, integrity, nobility, tenacity, and magnanimity of the heroic American woman in the political history of America.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima
One of Hillary Clinton’s HillRaisers.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

President George W. Bush To Write A Book On The War In Iraq

President George W. Bush in an interview on Friday told Gianni Riotta of Rai TV, Italy, that he will write a book on the Iraq War to defend his decision on the invasion and occupation of Iraq, because he wants the true story of what really happened to be documented for history. He spoke on the historic achievement of Senator Barack Obama as the first African-American presidential nominee of a major political party in the history of the United States and the remarkable accomplishment of Senator Hillary Clinton who lost the presidential nomination of the United States Democratic Party to Barack Obama. He also spoke on his determination to help the presumptive Republican Party nominee Senator John McCain to win the 2008 U.S. Presidential election in November.

It was a definitive interview on the justification of the critical foreign policy of President George W. Bush, the energy crisis and the future of America.

The following is the full transcript of the important interview.

7 Jun 2008 21:22 Africa/Lagos

Interview of President Bush by Gianni Riotta, Rai TV, Italy
WASHINGTON, June 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of an interview of President Bush by Gianni Riotta, Rai TV, Italy:

Map Room
June 6, 2008
10:28 A.M. EDT

Q Mr. President, the world has known tremendous change during your tenure, and three areas of concern remain: Iraq., Iran, and Afghanistan. What's your assessment of those three theaters? And looking back in perspective, would you do anything different?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that's an interesting question on doing anything different. Of course, history is going to be the judge of that. But the decision, for example, on Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision then and it's the right decision now.

The progress in Iraq has been substantial. For a period of time, democracy was in doubt, primarily because sectarian violence was really unacceptable. I decided to put more troops in, rather than pull back, and now the violence is the lowest it's been since March of 2004. And politics is beginning to happen. So I'm encouraged about Iraq.

Afghanistan is also difficult because of a new democracy emerging from the shadows of a brutal regime. Last year, of course, the Taliban announced they were going to go on the offense; in fact, our coalition went on the offense and, from a security perspective, made some progress against the Taliban. The best progress, though, is the advance of better-trained police forces -- and I thank the Italian government for helping -- as well as a better Afghan army, which over time needs to provide the security for the country. Iraq will probably -- progresses quicker because it's got wealth. Afghanistan is broke.

Iran -- the free world must continue to send a clear message to the Iranians that their ability to enrich which could be transferred to a program to develop a nuclear weapon is unacceptable. And so I will continue to work on this trip to talk about the dangers of a nuclear Iran -- not civilian nuclear power, but a program that would be aimed at blackmail or destruction -- and that we've got to work to stop them from learning how to enrich. And there's other ways to approach it.

Q Should Iran resist the international pressure, military option remains open?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, it does.

Q Italy wants to join the five-plus-one group of contacts negotiating with Iran. Germany is skeptical, they don't want us. What do you say?

THE PRESIDENT: I say that whatever is effective in terms of sending a clear message to Iran. I will be spending time talking to this with the Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. I talked to Condi about this issue, and I said, look, whatever works. Let's make sure we're effective. Italy can be an effective voice in sending a message to the Iranians, and that you don't have to choose isolation. There's a better way forward. Verifiably suspend your enrichment program, and there's a better way forward for you and your people.

And Italy can be a critical part of that. And so we'll work -- I haven't really taken the temperature that much, but my judgment is Italy can be a very important contributor.

Q The relationship between the United States and Europe has been strained sometimes in the recent past. During your trip, what do you suggest we can do together vis-a-vis the oil crisis, the food crisis, and the recession coming?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, you know -- first of all, let me talk about strained relations. Look, I've had great relations with many of the leaders. America and Italy remain incredibly close. Do we agree on every issue? No. But do we agree on common values? Absolutely. We believe in human rights and human dignity, and free press and free religion. And so what unites us is a heck of a lot stronger than those moments where we don't necessarily agree on every single issue. And so I will remind people of that. I'll remind people that we've got a lot of work to do.

In terms of the current energy issue, we're too dependent on hydrocarbons. World demand is such, relative to supply, that the price of energy is high. And therefore, we need to be spending monies on new technologies to enable us to become less dependent on oil. And I'm a big nuclear power guy. I believe the United States must be much more aggressive expanding nuclear power -- for two reasons: one, less dependency on hydrocarbons; and two, it will make us better stewards of the environment. I mean, if you're concerned about global warming, one thing you ought to be concerned about then is making sure that we've got power generated from a clean source of energy -- a renewable source of energy, which is nuclear power.

The food prices concern me, obviously. But the truth of the matter is, one reason why food price is so high is because energy prices are high. I mean, when you think about it, farming is a pretty energy-intensive business -- fertilizer is an energy; driving a tractor is an energy; crops to markets require energy. And so the crux of a lot of the problem is the energy prices.

Q Looking to Prime Minister Berlusconi, what areas will you encourage Italy to work with the United States, especially?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, Iran, of course, which I happen to see as a major threat. Look, we got a lot of common areas: Afghanistan -- and I will thank the Italian people for their sacrifices to help this young democracy. Silvio Berlusconi and I worked a lot of big issues together in the past; I know him well, I trust him, I like him. I find him to be one of the really interesting world leaders. And I'm really looking forward to seeing him again in his capacity, once again, as the Prime Minister.

We ought to work on trade matters; we ought to work on diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria on the continent of Africa, for example. I mean, there's a lot we can do together.

Q You met the Pope while in the United States, and how do you see his role in trying to reopen the dialogue between different civilizations and religions?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, I think it's -- look, the Holy Father is a significant world figure. And we had a fabulous visit here, and it was such an honor to welcome him here to the South Lawn of the White House. I wish you could have seen it. Maybe you did see it. I wish your viewers could have seen the reception he was given here. I think it was one of the largest crowds ever on the South Lawn, like 13,000 people. And my own personal visit with him was so uplifting.

And we did talk about interfaith dialogue, that I think is really important for people to find common ground through religion to deal with the violence that is used by some in the name of religion, to perpetuate an ideology -- and to remind people that peace -- religion is peace. And there's no better person to carry that message than His Holy Father.

I talked to the King of Saudi Arabia about his visit with the Holy Father, and those are two very important figures when it comes to, obviously, Christianity and Islam. And I think it's great that he's reaching out.

Q I know you don't want to comment on the presidential elections, but the world is watching and is very excited because --


Q There is a former war hero, there is an African American candidate, there's been Italian Americans, there's been a lady running for President. How do you see vitality of the American democracy, looking at this?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, I'm for McCain, and everybody knows that. On the other hand, I thought it was a really good statement, powerful moment when a major political party nominates a African American man to be their standard bearer. And it's good for our democracy that that happened. And we also had a major contender being a woman. Obviously Hillary Clinton was a major contender. So I think it's a good sign for American democracy.

Now the debate begins as to who could be the best President. And I'm in an interesting position -- I ran hard for presidency twice; I campaigned hard in the off years, and now I'll be passing the mantle on to Senator McCain, particularly at the convention when he becomes the official nominee of our party. Obviously he's going to be the nominee, but there's a moment at the convention where it's -- "here he is." And I'll do my part to help him win, but it's going to be up to him. He'll be the man sitting in the Oval Office making the tough decisions for peace and security.

Q You mentioned history at the beginning of this interview. And you know, you're aware that history will ask you about Iraq. What do you think, now when you look back to Iraq, especially after the report yesterday, are you still happy with all these positions?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, I want to remind people, the report yesterday was one of many reports that -- everybody thought Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. I will remind people -- and one of the things important about history is to remember the true history. And so the UN Security Council resolution was 15 to nothing on Saddam Hussein: disclose, disarm or face serious consequences. European nations -- France, Great Britain -- supported that -- 1441 -- because everybody thought he had weapons of mass destruction, including many of the people who -- of the Democratic Party here in the United States. You should listen to their words, and listen to their quotes.

And so, absolutely, getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right thing. And it was -- we're all disappointed the intelligence wasn't what it was. But now the challenge is to help this young democracy survive. And a democracy in the heart of the Middle East is going to be, in my judgment, a powerful part of change. And we've got to work to free people in the Middle East from tyranny, because that is the place from which the terrorists have launched their attacks.

Q In the few seconds that are left, what will you do next?

THE PRESIDENT: You know, good question. I haven't had much time to think about it, because I've got a lot to do. But I will probably write a book, talking about the decisions I had to make, precisely to make sure that history understands the conditions and the environment during which I had to make decisions. Start a freedom institute at what's called Southern Methodist University in Dallas, to talk about the universal values of freedom abroad and at home. And other than that, I'm open for suggestions.

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, sir. Thanks. Looking forward to going. Looking forward to going back to Rome. It's a fabulous city, one of the great cities of the world.

Q Especially after you leave the White House, come and I will take you around. (Laughter.) Without the constraint of official --

THE PRESIDENT: I'd love to.

END 10:38 A.M. EDT

Source: White House Press Office

CONTACT: White House Press Office, +1-202-456-2580

Web site: