Bush’s Iraq ‘Strategy’ seen as public relations exercise

Sunday, December 4, 2005

The US commander of the Multinational Security Transition Command in Iraq said that he had no knowledge of the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq document released by the US President. This, along with speculation that the document was chiefly authored by a public opinion analyst recruited by the White House have led to some critics claiming that the drafted ‘strategy’ is targeting US public opinion, not the Iraqi insurgency.

The military, political and economic strategy for Iraq, outlined last week by President Bush in a speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, was based by a 35-page document titled the National Strategy for Victory in Iraq. A metadata tag on the document posted on the White House website identified its author as a computer user ‘feaver_p’. It is believed to refer to Dr. Peter D. Feaver, a special advisor to the National Security Council staff.

A political scientist at Duke University, Dr. Feaver analyzed public opinion polls about the Iraq war and attitudes towards war casualties. Dr. Feaver found that US public opinion will support military engagement abroad, despite growing casualties, provided that the public believed that the war was being fought for a worthy cause and that victory was achievable.

Dr. Feaver was one of the people who helped “conceive and draft” the document, according to a White House staffer, who said that Meghan L. O’Sullivan, the deputy national security adviser for Iraq and Afghanistan, and her staff played a larger role. White House officials confirmed to the New York Times that the document’s “creation and presentation strongly reflected the public opinion research”.

The document “reflects the broad interagency effort under way in Iraq” according to an NSC spokesman Frederick Jones and had received major contributions from the Departments of Defense, State, Treasury and Homeland Security, as well as the director of National Intelligence.

On Friday, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, whose Multinational Security Transition Command is responsible for building Iraq’s security forces, told reporters that he had seen the strategy document for the first time when it was released to the public. The White House had said that not all senior officers in Iraq had necessarily seen the document and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has said that he had read and critiqued the document on several occasions.

Earlier, replying to questions about the President’s strategy, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that the document was an “inter-agency document” and an “unclassified version” of the administrations “strategy for victory in Iraq” published for the public to view.

Christopher F. Gelpi, of Duke University, who co-authored Dr. Feaver’s work titled Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq, stated, “The Pentagon doesn’t need the president to give a speech and post a document on the White House Web site to know how to fight the insurgents. The document is clearly targeted at American public opinion.” In their work together, Gelpi, Feaver and Reifler found that the most important factor which determines the US public’s tolerance for US military deaths in a war is the public’s beliefs about the likelihood of success, and a secondary, but still important, factor, was found to be the public’s belief in the rightness of a war.

No Comments

South Downs to get National Park status in UK

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The South Downs, an area of chalk downland in southern England is to gain National Park status under measures announced earlier today.

In the announcement, Environment Secretary Hillary Benn was quoted as saying “It is fitting that in this year, the 60th anniversary of the radical legislation that gave birth to National Parks, we are celebrating an addition to the family.”

The designation has not been met with approval by some. Nigel Waterson, an MP for nearby Eastbournce, alleges to Channel 4 News that “ministers have ignored the views of almost all local authorities in the area, as well as local people.”

The new park and associated management is expected to be in place in two years’ time.

No Comments

TD Financial to acquire Hudson United Bancorp

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Canadian TD Financial Group has come to a deal with the regional U.S. bank, Hudson United Bancorp, to buy Hudson for US$1.9 billion. The new addition will be folding into itsMaine-based TD Banknorth, which is 51% owned by TD Financial. The acquisition will bring in 204 new branches and increase TD’s footprint to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. In total this will give TD 590 branches, 751 banking machines and more than US$26-billion in deposits across eight northeastern states.

Hudson specialises in commercial real estate, consumer and credit card loans to individuals and businesses. The bank also had $8.85 billion US in assets at the end of it’s first quarter, on March 31. The company’s shares had been dropping in the course of the past year because of allegations of money-laundering violations and after an earnings warning, making it a good steal for TD. The acquisition will greatly increased TD’s influence in America.

This continues the recent trend for Canadian banks expanding into the U.S. where regulation on bank mergers is less strict than in their home country.

“This transaction delivers on our shared vision for growth and marks a significant milestone in TD Banknorth’s expansion strategy,” TD Bank CEO and president Ed Clark said in a statement.

No Comments

What To Consider Before Buying Led Light}

Submitted by: Carol Oon

When it comes to deciding which type of LED light to buy for your home it can prove somewhat challenging as there is such a wide selection to choose from today. So it is a good idea if you spend some time learning more about what is available. The best place of course to do this kind of research will be online.

There are plenty of places offering advice and information on these items so helping to ensure that you make a more informed decision as to which form of LED light you should be buying.

However as you do look into these lights there are certain things that you need to be taking into consideration. In this article we take a look at just what some of these things are and of course which we hope will help you to purchase the right kinds of LED lights for your home.

YouTube Preview Image

Consideration 1 – It is important that when deciding what size lights to buy you choose ones that will produce enough light to illuminate the room in which they are being installed. The best way to determine what size you need is to look at the number of watts the lights use. So of course the higher the wattage then the much brighter the light emitted from the bulbs used in the lights will be.

Consideration 2 – Another thing that you need to be taking into consideration when it comes to buying these forms of lights is the type of color they emit. You will find that this will have an effect on the brightness of the light that they are emitting. Of course you will need to make sure that you choose lights that are suitable for the way in which they are going to be used. If you are installing such lighting in say your kitchen then the color must be much brighter than that you would be using in say your living room, bedroom or bathroom.

What you will find today is that the range of colors for LED lights is almost endless as the colors can be created using RGB techniques. Today however there is generally two to three shades of white light that these can emit commonly referred to as cold, warm or natural white. The first shade is the one that emits the brightest light that will have a slight bluish tinge to it. The second type is the kind where the light emitted has a more yellowish tinge to it and feels very similar to that of the sun. Whilst the final type is the one that is a combination of the two already discussed.

Consideration 3 – One other thing of course that will affect what kind of LED light you buy is how much you can afford to spend. Again the more you spend the better quality lighting you will have which means the type of light they emit will be far better. However if you want to save money on the cost of your purchase it is worth considering purchasing what you want online.

About the Author: For more information on

Ai LED lights

, pls visit

LED lights




Permanent Link:


No Comments

Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the middle of July, Sony Corporation refreshed their senior laptop brand VAIO from “Video Audio Integrated Operation” to “Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer”. According to Sony Taiwan Limited, this refreshment is an attempt to relocate the laptop consuming market for business and entertainment factors.

In the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Europe, Sony promoted their new product series for different populations including BZ for business, FW for home entertainment, Z for ultra-slim, and SR for complex applications.

Different with past series, Sony added “Clear Bright” screening technology for high-definition display, and “full-carbon production” features. BD-burning and Intel Centrino 2 processing technologies will be featured in all the new models. For security issue, Sony also embedded fingerprint system to prevent personal data to be stolen. Continued from TZ series, innovative designs including “Green Power Button”, “Situational Switch” are also added in newly-launched series.

“Due to consuming market differences, Sony only promoted BZ series in Europe and America but not included Asia. Although the TICA Show in Taipei will be different, functionality will be the greatest issue when a consumers choose a notebook [computer] before buying.” addressed by executives from Sony Taiwan Limited, during the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Taiwan.

No Comments

Venezuela provides discounted heating oil to Massachusetts

Friday, November 25, 2005

Venezuela will provide heating oil at a 40% discount to low income families in Massachusetts this winter. According to an agreement signed on Tuesday Citgo, the Houston-based subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, will provide 12 million gallons of discounted home heating oil. The oil will be distributed through two nonprofit organizations, Citizens Energy Corp. and the Mass Energy Consumer Alliance.

In August William Delahunt (D-Mass) met President Hugo Chávez in Caracas. The meeting between a member of Congress and a head of state so critical of the White House, sparked negotiations that led to the deal. Mr Delahunt said he was simply trying to smooth strained US-Venezuelan relations while helping low-income people in his home state.

Hugo Chávez says he is leading a Bolivarian Revolution and calls his program an act of justice for poor Americans, whom he says have been neglected by their government. Mr Chávez is one of Latin America’s harshest critics of U.S.-style capitalism, which he calls a major cause of poverty.Venezuela has been selling fuel on preferential terms to countries across Latin America and the Caribbean, extending low-interest loans and accepting partial payment in goods ranging from bananas to sugar.

Critics said Delahunt should not be working so closely with Chávez, an outspoken leftist. Steve Johnson, a Latin American specialist at the conservative oriented Heritage Foundation, said “Meeting with the leader who calls himself a revolutionary populist is not something I’d like my congressman to be doing.”

Representative Delahunt said “This is a humanitarian gesture,” and that his constituents’ needs for heating assistance trump any political points the Chavez administration can score. Asked if he was subverting State Department policy toward Chávez, Mr Delahunt said, “I don’t work for Condoleezza Rice. I don’t report to the State Department. I report to the people who elected me in the state of Massachusetts. I belong to an independent branch of government.”

Over 10 percent of US oil imports come from Venezuela, and while Mr Chávez seeks to diversify his markets, the US remains his leading trade partner.

When the discounted oil arrives early December Citizens Energy will determine suitable recipients with the help of local organizations that serve the poor. 350 local dealers will then distribute three-fourths of the oil to local families.

The remaining quarter will be distributed or sold to homeless shelters, food banks, and low-income housing groups by MassEnergyConsumer Alliance. Larry Chretien, the nonprofit group’s executive director says home heating oil prices are expected to increase by 30 percent to 50 percent this winter because of rising oil prices. The CITGO agreement could help ease the crunch on some families.

No Comments

Save Money And Time When Small Medical Emergencies Arise

byAlma Abell

It’s happened to every family. The baby wakes up with a fever on Sunday morning. Junior splits his lip open at a Saturday afternoon little league game. Mom or Dad comes home early from work with a stomach bug. The family’s regular doctor’s office is either closed or fully booked. There are two options. The first is the emergency room. Unfortunately, that choice can result in a long wait time, and an expensive hospital bill. The second option is to visit a Doctor’s Office in Middletown NY that provides urgent care services. Urgent care is a great way to deal with minor medical emergencies.

Urgent care centers are staffed with board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, RNs, and other qualified medical staff. In addition to having personnell available to evaluate at treat patients Orange Urgent Care has the equipment on site to perform x-rays and do lab work. The ability to receive lab results quickly means that doctors can start patients on anti-biotics or other medications immediately. Anyone who has ever suffered from strep throat or an ear infection knows how important this is to getting better quickly.

These days, most families are concerned with keeping their health care costs down. This includes avoiding high co-payments and penalties. Many insurance companies charge a higher co-payment for emergency room visits than for visits to the doctor’s office. In addition to this, there may also be an additional penalty charged if the insurance company determines the visit to the emergency room was not necessary. Fortunately patients who use a Doctor’s Office in Middletown NY for urgent care services are usually only charged the standard doctor’s visit co-payment.

Finally, the issue of convenience should not be overlooked. It is very rare that a doctor’s office schedules appointments on weekends or after five in the evenings. Urgent care centers on the other hand have hours every day of the week, and are able to schedule same day appointments around their customers busy schedules. In addition to this, urgent care medical centers are also able to accept walk-ins.

Families who wish to receive high quality medical care that works around their schedules, and save money should become familiar with their local urgent care office. When small emergencies come up, urgent care centers are the ideal middle ground between the emergency room and the family’s primary care physician.

No Comments

Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics

Monday, December 3, 2007

At Thanksgiving dinner David Shankbone told his white middle class family that he was to interview Reverend Al Sharpton that Saturday. The announcement caused an impassioned discussion about the civil rights leader’s work, the problems facing the black community and whether Sharpton helps or hurts his cause. Opinion was divided. “He’s an opportunist.” “He only stirs things up.” “Why do I always see his face when there’s a problem?”

Shankbone went to the National Action Network’s headquarters in Harlem with this Thanksgiving discussion to inform the conversation. Below is his interview with Al Sharpton on everything from Tawana Brawley, his purported feud with Barack Obama, criticism by influential African Americans such as Clarence Page, his experience running for President, to how he never expected he would see fifty (he is now 53). “People would say to me, ‘Now that I hear you, even if I disagree with you I don’t think you’re as bad as I thought,'” said Sharpton. “I would say, ‘Let me ask you a question: what was “bad as you thought”?’ And they couldn’t say. They don’t know why they think you’re bad, they just know you’re supposed to be bad because the right wing tells them you’re bad.”


  • 1 Sharpton’s beginnings in the movement
  • 2 James Brown: a father to Sharpton
  • 3 Criticism: Sharpton is always there
  • 4 Tawana Brawley to Megan Williams
  • 5 Sharpton and the African-American media
  • 6 Why the need for an Al Sharpton?
  • 7 Al Sharpton and Presidential Politics
  • 8 On Barack Obama
  • 9 The Iraq War
  • 10 Sharpton as a symbol
  • 11 Blacks and whites and talking about race
  • 12 Don Imus, Michael Richards and Dog The Bounty Hunter
  • 13 Sources

No Comments

Icelandic government passes Icesave deal; €12,000 debt per citizen

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and her coalition government narrowly escaped a commitment to resign as a €3.8 billion bill to repay British and Dutch savers following the collapse of Icesave online banking passed. The vote margin was only three votes.

Only a matter of hours before the anticipated final vote, Wikileaks announced the disclosure of one of 23 documents suppressed by the Icelandic Minister of Finance: an apparent legal summary of meetings between Icelandic and EU representatives held in Brussels in November 2008. The leaked document discusses the then-assessed liabilities of Iceland at 60% of GDP, considerably higher than the reported 40% which repaying Icesave deposit holders entails.

Amongst the other details in the report is emphasis of the deep-seated anger of the Icelandic people at the situation around the financial collapse, particularly the UK’s use of anti-terrorism legislation in its approach to the country’s banks. Iceland’s interpretation of the situation, and its financial treaty obligations with the EU, considered foreign deposits lost through force majeure. All 27 EU members disagreed with Iceland’s interpretation and Peter Mandelson, although he resigned from the Barroso Commission in October, presented the legal position that Iceland could not pass legislation that did not ensure treaty-mandated minimum balance returns from failed Icelandic banks.

Leaked private communication from Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Iceland’s then-foreign minister, compared the potential liabilities the country faced with the reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles in the wake of World War I.

Three banks failed in the financial crisis: Kaupthing, Glitnir, and Landsbanki. As the list of creditors emerged it was found that, among others, UK councils had around £900 million with the banks. Landsbanki agreed to repay the majority of funds held, giving council depositors priority status. Approximately £200 million on deposit with Glitnir is at-risk; the bank has stated the councils will be treated equally with all other creditors seeing them likely to only recover 30% of the amount Glitnir held.

Kaupthing faces other difficulties. The UK’s Serious Fraud Office began an investigation earlier this month into the bank’s UK activities. At issue are allegations savers were misled into selecting one particular account type, plus suspicious financial activity suggesting substantial amounts were moved out of the bank in the days prior to its collapse.

At present, UK councils have received little more than ten percent of their over £900 million deposits. They are among over 8,500 creditors claiming a staggering total of £20 billion. The largest single claimant is the British Depositors’ and Investors’ Guarantee Fund seeking €5 billion, and, of some note, Formula One racing team Williams claiming around £10 million in unpaid sponsorship from Glitnir who took on the liability from the Icelandic buyers of Hamleys.

This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.

Debt to 84% government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) by Glitnir stands at around £500 million; much of the actual debt written off in 2008 as RBS posted £24 billion losses. Further write-offs by the bank are expected to total less than £50 million.

Icelanders resented the discovery that fifteen senior ex-employees of Landsbanki claim €14 million between them, including a single claim of €2.7 million. Suspicion exists that the banks arranged substantial interest-free loans for various of their shareholders and executives.

Today’s announcement of the Icelandic government’s agreement to pay out €3.8 billion keeps their application for EU membership on-track, although each one of the country’s 320,000 citizens effectively faces a €12,000 debt.

No Comments

Restrictions imposed in China textile trade with U.S.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

In an effort to ease complaints by the U.S. and Europe about a heavy influx of low priced Chinese goods, China will raise export tariffs on 74 categories of textile products in June. This follows plans from the U.S. to impose quotas on Chinese textiles and clothing.

Products likely to see an increase from the Chinese move include synthetic fiber shirts, trousers, knit shirts and blouses, cotton shirts, and combined cotton yarn. Last week, similar restrictions were imposed by the U.S. on cotton trousers, knit shirts, and underwear. Currently, a 2.5 cent charge per item is imposed; the new tariff will raise this to the equivalent of 12 cents per piece now. While this is a fourfold increase, it is not expected to affect consumer prices. Because of this, some doubt the tariff will have any effect on correcting the trade imbalance.

This move is in response to U.S. trade quotas imposed due to concerns that increased Chinese goods would put U.S. textile manufacturers out of business. According to Auggie Tantillo, executive director of the American Manufacturing Trade Action Coalition, a textile industry group in the U.S., the move will preserve 10,000 U.S. jobs. The new U.S. trade quota will limit the growth of Chinese textile imports to 7.5 percent compared with shipments over the past year.

Prior to January 1, a global quota system helped regulate the trade. With the quota system gone, fears have arisen that a flood of Chinese goods could undercut U.S. competitiveness in the market. China is able to market its goods cheaply due to an artificially weak yuan. The U.S. Treasury criticized the China yuan policy as “highly distortionary”, posing a major risk to China’s economy itself and to global economic growth. They challenged China to revalue its currency to bring it to a level they believe will allow fairer competition between global manufacturers.

China has disputed the charges of the U.S. Treasury. Chinese Commerce Minister Bo Xilai said, “I believe they are not reasonable”.

Laura Jones, a representative of large retailers, also criticized the move, saying “These restrictions on imports from China will do absolutely nothing to help the U.S. textile industry — and the government knows it.”

China has seen a boom in economic growth in recent years due to growing trade surpluses with the West, but economists worry that the trade gap will cause longer term global economic problems. China’s textile and apparel exports are the most noteworthy example, with exports up over 1,000 percent in some categories this year and the rapid loss of marketshare and jobs by U.S. textile manufacturers.

Beginning in 1978, the Chinese economy has been transforming from a Soviet-style centrally planned economy to more of a free market style system, under the rigid political control of Communist Party of China.

To this end, the government has leveraged foreign trade to stimulate economic growth. The result has been a fourfold increase in GDP, making China the sixth largest economy in the world. By 2012 the People’s Republic of China may have the highest GDP in the world.

According to U.S. statistics, from 1999 to 2004 China’s trade surplus with the U.S. doubled to $170 billion. Wal-Mart is China’s seventh largest export partner, just ahead of the United Kingdom.

However, the gains from their “socialist market economy” have not been without problems. The Chinese leadership has often experienced the worst results of socialism and capitalism: bureaucracy, lassitude, corruption, and inflation. Inflation rates have been an on-going challenge, reaching as high as 17% in 1995.

Environmental deterioration is a longer-term threat to economic growth. In 1998, the World Health Organization reported that China had seven of the 10 most-polluted cities on Earth. Another concern among some economists is that China’s economy is over-heating, and due to its global economic expansion this could have major repercussions among other nations.

Typically, wages have been low and working conditions poor, with workers living in restrictive dormitories and working at boring factory jobs. However, recent labor shortages have started improving conditions, and raising the minimum wage towards the equivalent of 100-150 US dollars per month. The labor shortages are in part a result of a demographic trend caused by strict family planning.

No Comments