WASHINGTON -- Louisiana's hopes for repairing and restoring its tattered coast took a major step forward Thursday as the Bush administration approved the state's plan to use $255 million in federal money for more than 100 conservation and diversion projects, including major efforts in the New Orleans area.


Louisiana's share is based largely on the royalty revenue from oil and

gas production off its shores
, MMS spokeswoman Eileen Angelico said.





Does that mean Louisiana will finally get it's "fair share"?


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By Peter Griffiths


LONDON (Reuters) - A "cyber cold war" waged over the world's computers threatens to become one of the biggest threats to security in the next decade, according to a report published on Thursday.


About 120 countries are developing ways to use the Internet as a weapon to target financial markets, government computer systems and utilities, Internet security company McAfee said in an annual report.


Intelligence agencies already routinely test other states' networks looking for weaknesses and their techniques are growing more sophisticated every year, it said.


Governments must urgently shore up their defenses against industrial espionage and attacks on infrastructure.



Cyber attacks stem from China and Russia among others.


Mcafee Report


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Tibet’s spiritual and political leader says that he or the Tibetan government-in-exile will recognise successor. Lama tells AsiaNews that first option “is the best choice possible, an exceptional move decided in a moment of need.”


Rome (AsiaNews) – The Dalai Lama’s decision to name his own reincarnation to avoid further Chinese influence on Tibet “is currently the best possible option. The Tibetan people agree with its leader who is taking an importance decision right when it is necessary,” Lama Geshe Gedun Tharchin, founder of the Lam-Rim Institute of Tibetan Culture and professor at the Institute for Oriental and African Studies in Rome, told AsiaNews.



This is becoming decidedly strange.


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Dhaka, Nov 24 - Several hundred activists of the radical Islamic group Hizb ut Tahrir staged protests here before the arrival of two ships of the US Navy for distributing relief supplies among cyclone-affected people.


Two warships, USS Essex and USS Kearsarge -- each carrying 20 helicopters and 3,500 marines on board with emergency relief supplies, medical and emergency evacuation teams -- are scheduled to enter Bangladesh waters Saturday and Tuesday.


The

protesters Friday carried a banner reading 'Prevent American ships from

entering the Bay of Bengal in the name of distributing relief' and

chanted slogans 'Go back to America' and 'US has no place in

Bangladesh'.



Hizb ut-Tahrir Spokesman on Dateline Australia

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Here's an offer to win a free LapTop without filling out endless surveys. All you have to do is blog about it. Like this example provided:


Big Giveaway, Real Prize: RuffBook Water Resistant Laptop! ~ The Thinking Blog ~ Knowledge Grows When Shared: "The Thinking Blog is holding a free laptop giveaway and to participate, you just have to write about it! Sponsored by Ruff PC, it is a brand new, rugged, water resistant laptop called RuffBook Tech with magnesium alloy casing built to survive under harsh conditions where ordinary laptops fail. So, this is my entry - now give me the laptop! "


But Ilker has me just wondering if he will update the RuffTop prize with all the microsoft substitutes he lists on his list of great Microsoft Substitutes


The rest of his requirements are posted on the links provided.


More joy. He's got some great sites.


René



Big Giveaway, Real Prize: RuffBook Water Resistant Laptop!

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Here's an offer to win a free LapTop without filling out endless surveys. All you have to do is blog about it. Like this example provided:

Big Giveaway, Real Prize: RuffBook Water Resistant Laptop! ~ The Thinking Blog ~ Knowledge Grows When Shared: "The Thinking Blog is holding a free laptop giveaway and to participate, you just have to write about it! Sponsored by Ruff PC, it is a brand new, rugged, water resistant laptop called RuffBook Tech with magnesium alloy casing built to survive under harsh conditions where ordinary laptops fail. So, this is my entry - now give me the laptop! "


But Ilker has me just wondering if he will update the RuffTop prize with all the microsoft substitutes he lists on his list of great Microsoft Substitutes

The rest of his requirements are posted on the links provided.

More joy. He's got some great sites.

René

Chinese Imports hurt another traditional US industry. First they put the Washington applegrowers out of business, now it's the shrimpers.


"I never thought I could deal with this in America, especially in my hometown," said Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle, also a licensed commercial fisher. "We've got the best seafood in the world in our back yard .¤.¤. that's all they know how to do, get on the boats and make a living."


Prices force closure


...starting in 2001, the price at which Wayne Estay Shrimp Co could sell shrimp to
processors kept sinking due to an influx of cheaper imported seafood.
From 1995 until last year, the domestic shrimp industry's share of the
U.S. market was cut in half; it now is responsible for less than 10
percent of the total value of shrimp brought into the United States.


Making less profit, Estay took more risks, such as cutting back on insurance for his buildings and equipment.


Those cutbacks proved fatal when Katrina wiped away everything he
owned. Still, he spent $800,000 rebuilding from the ground up, prodded
by his wife and encouraged by initially higher shrimp production in the
months after the storm.


But prices remained flat.



Who's next?


Gulf Shrimper- Grand Isle- Chinese imports threaten On the Brink- China strikes again

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For the first time in over two decades the New Orleans City Council has a white majority. Although the split between white and black voters is about 50-50, successful candidates pulled votes from both sides.



White candidates win key black-held seats


"Katrina rearranged the political deck in New Orleans," Xavier University pollster and sociologist Silas Lee said.

Never has the new dynamic been more in play than in Saturday's at-large race.

The Criminal District Court judge seat  was won by a white candidate for the first time in years.

"In the future you're going to have to satisfy the entire city of New Orleans," said Lambert Boissiere, a former City Council member and state senator. "You can't just . . . satisfy one sector."

 University of New Orleans political scientist Ed Chervenakstudies have shown that as the racial composition of a city's electorate approaches a 50-50 split, the political atmosphere tends to grow more contentious as the former majority group suddenly must share the stage.


"Since one group has been dominant for so long, they've just had their way politically, and now they're being challenged," he said. "No one likes to give up power."


Whether that angst will take hold in New Orleans will depend largely on whether newly elected leaders, particularly Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, who won the at-large seat on the New Orleans City Council, consider the needs of all residents when governing and forming alliances with other politicians.


"You may see candidates represent both sides better than they have in the past," Boissiere said. "Hopefully it will end some of the racial connotations on elections and you'll see people, black and white, start to represent both sides of the equation."


Times-Picayune story by Michelle Krupa, Nov. 19, 2007



Upcoming elections promise to be interesting, for a change. 


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Why I won't go to Egypt

Daily News Egypt - Full Article: "Decade-old Luxor massacre changed tourism, terrorism in Egypt
By Daily News Egypt: November 16, 2007 [AP ]
AP: Coffins of 36 victims of the Luxor massacre, 35 Swiss and one foreign Swiss resident, are lined up in a hangar of Zurich airport late in this Nov. 19, 1997 file photo after arriving on an Egyptair flight from Cairo. A total of 58 foreigners were massacred at the Hatshepsut temple
CAIRO: It was a stunning attack, still recalled with horror a decade later: Terrorists armed with knives and automatic weapons massacred 58 foreign tourists, mainly Germans, Swiss and Japanese, at one of Egypt's most popular pharaonic temples. But despite the dramatic bloodshed, the Nov. 17, 1997 attack at Hatshepsut temple in Luxor turned out to be the last gasp in the wave of terrorism that struck Egypt in the 1990s.(?) The 10-year anniversary of the attack highlights the changes that have happened since in Egypt — both in tourism and terrorism.

An Egyptian fundamentalist living in exile in London, says radicals in Egypt have only gone underground, shifting from organized groups to more fragmented ones more difficult to spot.

"Egypt might be witnessing a period calmness but it's just temporarily," said El-Sirri who is facing two death sentences in Egypt for alleged involvement in terrorist groups.

"Groups in Egypt ... might exploit the current social and economic crises to wage new, more dangerous round of terrorism."


Who are they trying to fool?
"...the last gasp in the wave of terrorism that struck Egypt in the 1990s."??


Terrorists have struck tourists in Egypt again and again since then.

Would you go?
René

New Orleans resident landlords of small rental properties are SOL from Road Home program.


A program designed to replace thousands of affordable rental units destroyed by Hurricane Katrina has not rebuilt a single one.



FH000035 lower 9th ward.9.a standing house IMG_1291 The duplex - side view Tale of two cities: Biloxi and New Orleans

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Gambit Weekly : November 13, 2007: The Road Home's Small Rental Property Program isn't a traditional loan program at all; instead, it's an 'incentive" program. Worse yet, the rules apply in a Catch-22 fashion: Only after construction is completed " at the landlord's sole expense " and a rehabilitated property is thoroughly inspected (and a qualified low-income renter identified) can an applicant receive a forgivable loan. Until construction is finished and all paperwork and inspections are completed, landlord-applicants are on their own. Most difficult of all, they have to get their own financing to rebuild. While a forgivable SRPP loan sounds great, the banks that are financing reconstruction work expect timely repayment of every loan they make to SRPP applicants.

Somehow, that crucial bit of information didn't filter out to thousands of small-scale landlords like Mattie Mack.

A program designed to replace thousands of affordable rental units destroyed by Hurricane Katrina has not rebuilt a single one.

Louisiana Recovery Authority's Road Home 'Small Rental Property Program" (SRPP). The SRPP is a companion of sorts to the Road Home homeowners program, which has received tons of publicity. Both programs are administered by ICF International Inc.

SRPP started taking applications in January 2007.
Unfortunately, SRPP isn't helping them. In fact, since January, SRPP hasn't helped any landlords. As of last week, SRPP had not issued a single check for one of the forgivable loans, despite its $869 million budget and Louisiana's loss of 82,000 rental units as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

By David Winkler-Schmit for Gambit Weekly : Stuck on Stuck : November 13, 2007


From Ashley's buddy Skip in Vienna, the latest in fashion for the well-heeled New Orleanian.

Ashley Morris: the blog: Well-heeled

Tut's Mummy Moved



Yesterday morning I cried. I didn't know why until I checked my forum on Glyphdoctors.com.

News | Africa - Reuters.com: "LUXOR, Egypt (Reuters) - Egypt put the mummy of the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun on display in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings on Sunday, giving visitors their first chance to see the face of a ruler who died more than 3,000 years ago. In the dimly lit burial chamber workmen removed the gilded lid of Tutankhamun's mummy case and then hoisted the padded box containing the mummy out of the stone sarcophagus where it has lain for most of the time since Tutankhamun's early death. They then moved it to a climate-controlled acrylic glass showcase in the tomb's antechamber and sealed the cover. His wizened face is visible at one end, a white linen cloth covers his body and his blackened feet protrude at the other end. The mummy's face has high cheekbones and cracked and blackened skin with an intact nose."

Zahi Hawass, the Egyptian government's chief archaeologist and a passionate promoter of ancient Egypt, supervised the operation, broadcast live on some television channels.

"The face of Tutankhamun is different from the face of any king at the Cairo Museum," Hawass told reporters.

"He has these beautiful buck teeth and ... the tourists will see a little bit of a smile on the face of the golden boy," he added. "This will ... make the golden boy live forever."

The mummy will be visible to the general public from Monday.

First reactions from tourists were mixed.

Sergei Gostev, a Russian who said he based his opinion on his Christian beliefs, opposed the display. "I think any corpse of a body, even a mummy, should stay in its original place. It should not be a subject of a show," he told Reuters.

Although the artefacts have toured the world, the mummified body has been examined in detail only a handful of times.

Until Sunday, Tutankhamun's mummy had rested in a gilded coffin inside the stone sarcophagus inside the tomb.

But Hawass said humidity caused by the breathing of thousands of visitors a day threatened to further damage the mummy, which has deteriorated over the years.


Here's some of the photos of the operation from Fox News:



They take Tut out of his beautiful gold-covered coffin and his sarcophagus.



And put him in a plain wooden box under glass, with his bare head and feet exposed.

No beaded skull cap nor the golden headband. What did they do with them? Did they remove them for the xrays or the Cat scan?

And what about the gold covered coffin? Where is that?

And Hawass promised to open the last remaining offerings left this King who has brought economically untold millions, perhaps billions, to Egypt since his tomb was discovered and stripped in 1922.

He'll undoubtedly remove those too, "for safe-keeping'.

René O'Deay

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