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Is Mosque a Symbol of Jihad – the problem in New York ..

The United States has never been more divided on any issue in recent past that this issue. The issue that has brought up this situation is the building of a Mosque near the September 11 site. It is not exactly a mosque but a community building which will include a mosque, sports facilities, theater, restaurant and possibly a day care, and would be open to all visitors. The community center will be called Cordoba House and will approximately cost USD 100 million. The site on which the proposed community center is currently occupied by the 152 year old Burlington building and was also struck by a piece of one of the hijacked planes. The building has been used in a variety of ways from manufacturing to retail stores and currently serves as a makeshift Muslim prayer center.
Even US president Barrack Obama who initially backed the plan of building a Muslim community center had to change his stance. Later Obama changed his loyalties by saying that he would not like to comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. A New York community board already gave a green signal for the construction of the building in May. In a desperate attempt to stop this building a request had been raised to the New York Landmarks Preservation Commission to grant landmark status to the building currently on site. The request was later discarded by a rather unanimous decision. The opponents of the building raise question about the source of the funding of the project and also about the connections of the father of the main proponent of the mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf with radical group Muslim Brotherhood. Some people say that it would be humiliating that you build a shrine to the very ideology that inspired attacks on 9/11. People are also of the view that even if the building is built it will be a permanent sore point and a lighting rod for anti-Muslim feelings. Socially liberal Muslims are even urging Imam Feisal to abandon the project.
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Openbook vis-à-vis Facebook: The privacy issue

You are aware of facebook and I am sure many of you are using it. Yes, I am talking about the social networking website Facebook. But what about Openbook? Any why you should know it? Read on…..
Well, more often than not, users of Facebook post careless updates for their own small group of friends can now be read by anyone with the help of a new internet search engine. This new search engine named Openbook can scan all “public” updates left by members of the social networking site. Ultimately it makes the updates available to anyone through internet. The software has been created to highlight Facebook’s complex privacy settings. The Facebook privacy settings have been blamed for perplexing users into revealing personal information more than they intend while updating Facebook.
The content explored by Openbook is already in the public domain and can be viewed by all. This will certainly land the social networkers in a uncomfortable situation. It was only in last month that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced simplification of Facebook privacy settings. This was in relation to mounting complaints that users were being duped into sharing private information.
The new website, Openbook is the idea of three website developers from San Francisco: Will Moffat, Peter Burns and James Home. It offers internet users a search engine that allows them to search for updates on public Facebook profiles. Reports are just in that by typing a keyword they can now easily get access to tens of thousands of updates from the last few hours. I tried the infectious word “booze” in the search box of Openbook and got so many posts with Facebook photo of the user. I am sure, most of them have not dreamt of this while posting in the Facebook. Facebook’s has almost 500 million users. Most of are unaware that their profile is not only available to their intended small circle of friends, but to the whole internet community. Openbook has been created to highlight this issue. The Openbook privacy campaigners desire people to think twice before sharing any information. The story (and this may not be unique) of unnecessary status updates with unlucky consequences include: A girl who posted “bored” on her Facebook status while at work was later fired because of revelation of the incident.

Aftermath of BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – Impact on other deep water drilling

Now regarding safety measures, let me tell you that BP isn’t the only company ill-prepared for disaster. Lawmakers in US argued at a House energy committee hearing this afternoon. Although executives from Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corp., and Royal Dutch Shell tried to refute allegations that their contingency plans were “carbon copies” of BP’s, all the evidence suggested otherwise. Testifying before the panel, executives protested that they would not have behaved like BP in the face of crisis. However, lawmakers pointed out that a single firm named ‘The Response Group’ wrote contingency plans for all the companies. Funny things you may find in serious pages of the plan too. For example, the plan includes details of protecting walruses in the event of a spill hit the Gulf although Walruses don’t live in the Gulf. Such lapses in plan diluted their claim that their working practices differ from those of BP and that the catastrophe would not have happened if the leaking well had been theirs.
The executives were unanimous in maintaining that the six-month ban on offshore drilling could be more economically dangerous in the short-term. Now on this public has rightly questioned about ‘Economically dangerous for who? Themselves? Since when did they become so concerned with anything other than their bottom-line.’
An early BP document put the spill rate at between 1,000 and 14,000 barrels a day. Recently, a panel of US scientists presented a grim picture: “most likely flow rate of oil today” ranges from 35,000 to 60,000 barrels per day. The range is once more far higher than previously suggested figures. The warning bell is already ringing. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill has switched the focus of American about a clean energy future. Said Eileen Clausen, President of America’s foremost climate think-tank, the Washington-based Pew Center on Global Climate Change: American citizens are “horrified” by the pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, and are starting to think more about cleaner energy sources such as wind and wave power.

Britain’s split verdict – the Conservatives have it, but not fully

Tony Blair must be having the last laugh; he was pushed out of the Labour party by a much less flamboyant personality, Gordon Brown; and now Gordon Brown has lost the election for the Labour Party, leading to the Conservatives becoming the leading party in the elections. There have been a number of factors that have contributed to the decline of the Labour Party, with the overall economic recession being one of the biggest contributory factors, as well as the unpopular wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (although it is a moot point whether the Conservative Government would have not sent armed forces to these 2 countries). Voters have voted with their feet towards the policies of the Labour Government in overcoming the recession, as well as their policies on many other areas such as Immigration (and feelings against immigration harden) when the economy starts dropping, when the impact of immigration on jobs and social security networks becomes more prominent.
However, the fractured mandate from this 2010 election is pushing Britain towards a new era (or rather a pushback to a previous era, since the last time that such a situation happened was in 1974 when a Labour Government finally took office). Britain, with this election, has moved away from the stage of a 2 party Parliament (with a majority leading party and an opposition that is also numerically strong), and moved to coalition politics where the leading party has to depend on a third party for MP’s, and where some policies of the government are dictated by coalition politics rather than being totally driven by the leading party.
Continue reading Britain’s split verdict – the Conservatives have it, but not fully