Archive for March 28, 2013

Britain’s prince william

The public is getting a new and in-depth look at the high-risk, high-thrill day job of Britain’s Prince William just as the prince is considering taking a step back to focus on fatherhood and royal duties.

William, 30, is one of the stars of the new “Helicopter Rescue” show set to premiere on the BBC next month.  On the show, Prince William opens up about being a search-and-rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force (RAF), a role that has previously garnered him headlines – as when, in August, he completed two rescues in four days – but never before been seen in such an up-close way.

From Crib to Captain: Prince William Through the Years

“I don’t think there’s any greater calling in life… to be able to see a son or daughter’s face when you bring their mother or father back from the edge of death,” he says on the show, according to the BBC.  “It’s quite powerful.”

READ MORE: Prince William Spends New Year’s Morning in Daring Rescue

Prince William became an RAF search-and-rescue captain last May.  His No. 22 Squadron is based in Anglesey, close to where the rescue took place and where he and wife, Kate Middleton, set up home, prior to her becoming pregnant with the couple’s first child.

For Complete Coverage of the Royal Baby, Please Visit Our Special Section – Click Here

Now that Middleton, 31, is expecting and spending most of her time in London, royal watchers are wondering whether Prince William will shift from full-time pilot to full-time father and royal.

“An insider tells us Prince William has submitted his formal notice with the search-and-rescue effort at the Royal Air Force Valley in Anglesey, Wales,” said Brody Brown, a reporter for Us Weekly magazine.

Also adding to the speculation is the fact that William’s current tour of duty is due to end this September.

“It’s going to be very difficult for him to move on from this role that he so enjoyed,” said Vicki Arbiter, royal contributor for ABC News.

Prince William himself acknowledged the difficulties of choosing between family life, his professional career and his royal duties when he spoke to ABC News’ Katie Couric last year, prior to the pregnancy news.

“It’s a really difficult one because I really enjoy my time in the Air Force and I’d love to continue it, but the pressures of my other life are building,” he said.

Middleton is due to give birth in July.

Source:http://abcnews.go.com

A gas station seems like an odd place to dump eyeballs.
A gas station seems like an odd place to dump eyeballs.

The Kansas City Police Department is investigating a pair of eyeballs that were found in a box in the trash of a Conoco station at Northwest 112th Street and North Ambassador Drive in the Northland. The peepers were in a cardboard box labeled “Keep refrigerated” when they were discovered Wednesday night.The AP reports that KCPD spokesman Steve Young said the department is trying to determine if the eyes were human.

The only reported lead in the story is that the gas station’s security footage shows two men in a blue Toyota leaving the eyes. Adding to the strangeness of the story is that police say no area hospitals were expecting a delivery of eyes last night.

Young told The Star, “We are not sure whether a crime has been committed. We truly are not sure the eyes are even human.”

It’s the second time this year that Missouri has made national news with removed body parts. In January, a Kirksville man allegedly killed someone, severed the victim’s arms and threw them at neighbors as police arrived on the scene.

Source:http://www.pitch.com

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) should be struck down. There’s no doubt that it’s discriminatory, unconstitutional and impacts LGBTQ communities in ways that are problematic and damaging. This damage is particularly drastic and tangible in the context of immigration, social security, bereavement benefits, and other federal programs that are distributed to LGBTQ people unequally, if at all.

However, while getting caught up in the excitement of what’s going on at the Supreme Court, it’s important to ask why these benefits and basic rights are tied to marriage at all. It’s important to ask why healthcare and federal programs that are ostensibly meant to keep us healthy, safe, and out of poverty are often only fully accessible to those who choose to get married. And if in order to get these benefits, marriage is required, how that requirement marginalizes and disadvantages people who cannot or choose not to get married, in ways that LGBTQ people are currently marginalized and disadvantaged.

My personal opinion is that all people should have the freedom to structure their relationships in whichever way they chose, whether the government is involved or not, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. I also believe, though, that things like healthcare, federal anti-poverty measures, housing, and other forms of economic justice should not be tied to whether or not a person chooses to marry, a position which has been articulated in great detail by scholars like Nancy Polikoff and groups like Beyond Marriage.

While the debate around marriage is an important one, it’s also important to recognize that LGBTQ justice is not just, or even primarily, about marriage–especially for those people who are still struggling to have their most basic needs met.

According to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey (NTDS), trans communities in particular experience disproportionately high levels of poverty, homelessness, lack of basic healthcare and unemployment because of systemic discrimination that our current laws, for the most part, do not recognize or protect us from. Trans people all over the country, in every age group, are becoming more visible, and with that visibility, experiencing a backlash against their ability to access accommodations and systems as basic and important as bathrooms, comprehensive healthcare, safe schools, or freedom from over-criminalization and policing. Not to mention, the serious epidemic of murder and assault, particularly against trans women of color, that has gone largely unnoticed by mainstream media. This type of animus is also responsible for the disproportionately high suicide rates among trans youth and adults that exist not just because of bullying in school, but because of pervasive and suffocating everyday discrimination, legally and interpersonally, that seeks to invalidate and undermine what people know to be the most fundamental truths about who they are and how they want to be recognized.

Hopefully DOMA will be struck down. Hopefully we’ll be able to wake up to a world soon where at least one federal law that hurts LGBTQ people is no longer on the books.

But in debating what justice and equality for LGBTQ communities looks like, how historic this moment is, and what other historic accomplishments are yet to be had, it’s important for us to consciously support all types of relationships (married or not) and all forms of justice, particularly racial and economic justice, within LGBTQ communities.

We also can’t forget that there is still an overwhelming number of LGBTQ people whose most basic needs are not being met and who will still need all of the vigorous attention and enthusiasm that marriage equality has received from so many people in the past several months, even if DOMA is struck down.

Source:http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Nelson Mandela in July 2012
Nelson Mandela’s health has been a cause of concern for some time

Former South African President Nelson Mandela is “responding positively” to treatment for the recurrence of a lung infection, the presidency says.

A statement said the 94-year-old anti-apartheid leader remained under treatment and observation.

Mr Mandela was admitted to hospital just before midnight, the office of President Jacob Zuma said earlier.

He spent 18 days in hospital in December undergoing treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.

The presidency has not identified the hospital where Mr Mandela is being treated.

In an update on his condition, the presidency statement thanked the media and the public “for their co-operation in respecting the privacy of Madiba [Mr Mandela] and his family”.

Mr Mandela is regarded by many South Africans as the father of the nation for leading the struggle against apartheid.

He served as South Africa’s first black president from 1994 to 1999. However, his health has caused concern for some time.

Earlier, a presidential spokesman told the BBC that Mr Mandela was conscious in hospital.

“I think we need to be clear that the doctors are attending to Madiba [Mr Mandela] on a continuous basis,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said.

“They prefer to act on the side of caution, and the moment they felt there was a recurrence of the lung infection, they felt that it warranted immediate hospitalisation given his age and given his history.”

Prayers urgedPresident Zuma urged people around the world to pray for the former leader.

“We appeal to the people of South Africa and the world to pray for our beloved Madiba and his family and to keep them in their thoughts. We have full confidence in the medical team and know that they will do everything possible to ensure recovery,” President Zuma said in a statement.

The former president is often fondly referred to by his clan name, Madiba.

The governing African National Congress also called for prayers for Mr Mandela.

 

“During these trying times we wish President Mandela well and for his family to be strong,” the ANC said in a statement.

“We are confident that the treatment will be successful as he is in professional and competent hands,” it added.

It is the fourth time Mr Mandela has been admitted to hospital in just over two years.

He first contracted tuberculosis in the 1980s while detained on the windswept Robben Island where he served 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned for sabotage.

His lungs are said to have been damaged when he worked in a prison quarry.

Despite his long imprisonment, Mr Mandela forgave his former enemies and as president urged South Africans of all races to work together and seek reconciliation.

In 1993 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

The treatment Mr Mandela received in December 2012 was his longest spell in hospital since leaving prison in 1990.

Earlier this month he spent a night in hospital following a check-up.

Mr Mandela retired from public life in 2004 and has been rarely seen in public since.

His main home is in Qunu, a small rural village in Eastern Cape province, where he says he spent the happiest days of his childhood.

However, doctors said in December he should remain at his home in the Johannesburg neighbourhood of Houghton to be close to medical facilities.

Source:http://www.bbc.co.uk

Mortar attacks on Damascus University killed at least 15 students as fighting in the capital spread to the airport.

A man being treated after he was injured in a mortar attack that hit the architecture faculty of Damascus University A man being treated after he was injured in a mortar attack that hit the architecture faculty of Damascus University

 

The students were killed on Thursday when rebel mortar bombs landed on the canteen of Damascus University’s College of Architecture, two pro-government television channels said.

One station, Ikhbariya, showed images of doctors pumping the chests of at least two young men and blood splattered on the floor of what appeared to be an outdoor canteen.

A young women was shown walking in a hospital and bleeding heavily from her face.

The college is in Baramkeh, a central Damascus suburb where mortar attacks by rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad have intensified this week.

The university is surrounded by government buildings, including the Ministry of Defence, the headquarters for state media and the president’s official residence.

 

Once a bastion for Assad’s forces, the capital has become a focal point of the two-year-old uprising against four decades of family rule that has developed into civil war in which more than 70,000 people have been killed.

Rebels have formed a semi-circle around the capital and are trying to gain control of strategic areas to help them break into the centre of Damascus.

State television blamed rebels who have stepped up attacks in the heart of the Syrian capital.

“The number of students killed in the mortar attack on the architecture faculty in Damascus University has risen to 12,” said the broadcaster. “The National Students Union condemns the cowardly terrorist attack that targeted the architecture faculty of Damascus University.”

SANA, the state newsagency, added that six others were hurt by “mortars that targeted the faculty cafeteria”.

Rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad have this week escalated their mortar attacks on central Damascus, including Umayyad Square in the middle of the capital, which houses the state television headquarters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group that relies on sources on the ground for its information, also reported Thursday’s attack, although it put the toll at 10 people dead.

The United Nations refugee agency voiced deep concern on Thursday at reports of mass deportations of Syrians from Turkey and said it had taken up the issue with Turkish authorities.

Turkish officials said that Turkey sent hundreds of refugees back to Syria after clashes with military police at their camp near the border in a protest over living conditions, although the foreign ministry later said 50-60 Syrians had returned voluntarily.

“UNHCR is very concerned with reports of a serious incident and allegations of possible deportations from Akcakale Tent City in the past 24 hours,” Melissa Fleming, chief spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said.

Source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk

 

Amanda Bynes‘ behavior continues to puzzle and concern us.

On Tuesday, the 26-year-old’s best attempt to thwart the paparazzi was all for naught, as she was clearly spotted roaming around Times Square. The fact that the self-described retired multi-millionaire chose one of the world’s busiest and most public places to try to avoid the cameras isn’t even the strangest part. What’s more peculiar is that Bynes tried to hide from photographers by putting a blue button-down shirt over her head.

Bynes’ attempt at hiding proved to be almost dangerous, as she couldn’t see where she was going and almost ran into a metal pole and into oncoming traffic.

The Times Square incident is just the latest in a string of increasingly erratic behavior, which reportedly has her family “concerned for her welfare.”

Bynes made headlines last week when she tweeted that she wanted Drake to “murder [her] vagina,” and has since been back on Twitter complaining that she looks “pudgy.”

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After her run-in with the paparazzi, Bynes turned to Twitter again, this time posting a series of selfies (and she still hasn’t seemed to figure out that she should turn her flash off when taking them), writing:

We’re worried. So worried, that we fear the actress might be hallucinating, since we can’t imagine who would possibly think launching an Amanda Bynes clothing and perfume line at this time would be a good idea.

Wait Is Over!! ‘G.I. Joe : Retaliation‘ 3D Released Today…..
G.I. Joe: Retaliation Is Simply Spectacular…

Here is the trailer…

 

Offering a more straight-faced brand of idiocy than its cheerfully dumb 2009 predecessor, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” might well have been titled “G.I. Joe: Regurgitation,” advertising big guns, visual effects and that other line of Hasbro toys with the same joyless, chew-everything-up-and-spit-it-out efficiency. Largely devoid of personality, apart from a few nifty action flourishes courtesy of helmer Jon M. Chu, Paramount’s late-March blockbuster, pushed back from a 2012 release (ostensibly to allow for a 3D conversion), may have trouble matching “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’s” $302 million worldwide gross. But with no shortage of merchandising and other cross-promotional opportunities, it should still score significant attention from targeted male viewers.

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Appreciably rougher and grittier in feel than the Stephen Sommers-directed “The Rise of Cobra,” “Retaliation” makes any number of ham-fisted bids for topical relevance, and naturally almost every one of them represents an affront to good taste. Among other things, the film is a sort of accidental comedy about nuclear warfare, as much of the silly plot concerns a global summit where the hope of mass disarmament soon gives way to the threat of mass annihilation. Elsewhere, the script (by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick) finds our trusty Joes raiding a North Korean compound shortly before they head to Islamabad, where they wind up framed for the assassination of Pakistan’s president.

All this geopolitical mayhem is being orchestrated by the U.S. commander-in-chief (Jonathan Pryce) — or rather, the dastardly doppelganger who’s impersonating him with the aid of super-sophisticated “nanomite” technology (because latex is just a little too “Mission: Impossible”). The president’s stand-in is a high-ranking member of Cobra, a secret network of megalomaniacs bent on wiping out the G.I. Joes once and for all, and in the early going, they come perilously close.

Probably aware that no one in the audience could possibly care about any sense of continuity with “The Rise of Cobra” and its eminently forgettable characters, the filmmakers have opted to retain just a few key players this time around. In what feels like an odd miscalculation given the actor’s recent popularity, Channing Tatum’s Duke is around for only about 10 minutes to pass the baton to a fresh G.I. Joe unit led by the physically imposing Roadblock (Dwayne Johnson) and rounded out by Flint (D.J. Cotrona) and Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki), both of whom evince far less charisma than the military-grade weapons provided them by Gen. Joe Colton (Bruce Willis, phoning it in).

Providing a bit more interest is the Joes’ ninja faction, chiefly Snake Eyes (Ray Park), whose inexpressive mask stands in marked contrast to the piercing gaze of his longtime nemesis, white-clad swordfighter Storm Shadow (Korean star Byung-hun Lee). Along with newcomer Jinx (Elodie Yung), these returning characters figure prominently into the picture’s finest moment, a fight scene in the Himalayas that employs wirework and stereoscopy to highly vertiginous effect. The visual grace of this sequence is no surprise coming from Chu, who demonstrated a real flair for staging in the two “Step Up” pics he directed. But as in those movies, sustaining a narrative or transcending a patchy script seem beyond his abilities.

One of the least savory aspects of the franchise is the unseemly pleasure it takes in the wholesale destruction of foreign cities, which goes hand-in-hand with its jingoistic portrait of American military might. Audiences who thrilled to the sight of Paris under biochemical attack in “Cobra” will be pleased to watch London endure an even more horrific fate here, although the sequence is tossed off in quick, almost ho-hum fashion, with no time to dwell on anything so exquisitely crass as the spectacle of the Eiffel Tower collapsing.

Meatheaded and derivative as it is, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” is hardly the nadir, as hollow corporate products go; certainly it’s nowhere near as aggressively off-putting as the “Transformers” movies, the other action-figure adaptations in the Hasbro universe. The dialogue has improved markedly since the earlier outing, and the lensing and editing, while hardly models of coherence, just about manage to avoid excessive jumpiness. Andrew Menzies’ production design, with sets standing in for everything from a Tokyo skyscraper to a Nepalese monastery, proves resourceful within the confines of a largely New Orleans-shot production.

With the exceptions of the often mesmerizing Lee and the ever-reliable Johnson, the performances are merely serviceable.

Cast

G.I. Joe: Retaliation

A Paramount release presented with MGM and Skydance Prods., in association with Hasbro, of a di Bonaventura Pictures production. Produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Brian Goldner. Executive producers, Stephen Sommers, Herbert W. Gains, Erik Howsam, Gary Barber, Roger Birnbaum, David Ellison, Dana Goldberg, Paul Schwake.

Directed by Jon M. Chu. Screenplay, Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, based on Hasbro’s G.I. Joe characters. Camera (Deluxe color, Panavision widescreen, 3D), Stephen Windon; editors, Roger Barton, Jim May; music, Henry Jackman; production designer, Andrew Menzies; supervising art director, Tom Reta; art directors, Alan Hook, Scott Plauche, Sebastian Schroeder, Luke Freeborn; set decorator, Cynthia La Jeunesse; costume designer, Louise Mingenbach; sound, Pud Cusack; supervising sound editors/sound designers, Ethan Van der Ryn, John Marquis, Erik Aadahl; re-recording mixers, Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell; special effects coordinator, Mike Meinardus; visual effects supervisor, James Madigan; ILM visual effects supervisor, Bill George; visual effects and animation, Industrial Light & Magic; special visual effects and digital animation, Digital Domain; visual effects, Method Studios Vancouver, Luma Pictures; special makeup effects, Illusion Industries; stunt coordinator, Steven Ritzi; 3D conversion, Stereo D; assistant director, Phillip A. Patterson; second unit director, George Marshall Ruge; casting, Ronna Kress.

Visit the official website here.

Collected from-http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/film-review-g-i-joe-retaliation-1200329541/