Archive for April, 2011

Uganda’s only hope to escape tyranny – break it up

The Eastern region could be called Elgon Republic; the Northern region could be called Nile Republic; the Central region could be called Kingdom of Buganda the Western region could be called Rwenzori Republic or they could maintain a monarchy system i.e Kingdom of Toro and Bunyoro Kingdom; Ankole could then appoint Museveni as their lifetime emperor.

Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda — The video circulating the Web on how Uganda opposition leader Kizza Besigye was brutalized on Thursday during an arrest, by government forces shows that the current regime in Uganda will go down as one of the most brutal and ruthless toward its citizens. The video below speaks for itself.


secret police displaying vigilantism and ruthless conduct toward Ugandans


After the most recent elections in Uganda, several political analysts including the opposition parties believed the general election had been rigged. The current National Resistance Movement headed by Yoweri Museveni has been in power for 25 years and are gunning for five additional years. During Idi Amin’s regime, historians say, it was rare to see military personnel walking the streets because they were confined to barracks. The same applies to Amin’s police. The crimes that are said to have been committed by either Amin or under his direction have conflicting theories. Indeed several prominent Ugandans like Archbishop Janani Luwum, Chief Justice Benedicto Kiwanuka, Basil Bataringaya and many others, died under mysterious circumstances. Most of the people who were victims during Amin’s reign simply disappeared, are have been unaccounted for.

What many historians seem to agree on is that Idi Amin had the most disciplined soldiers and police, Uganda has ever known. There was never looting or police vigilantism during that time. Amin claims he was framed and never committed the crimes they said he did, while others insist that he was the mastermind. Again these are still issues being debated so it is hard to reach a solid conclusion as to
what may or may not have happened, or who may or may have not committed the crimes.

One thing Idi Amin was able to succeed in during his reign was to unite Ugandans as a people. There was no tribalism or sectarianism as we see happening today. The current regime has been the most polarizing regime, and the tribalism in Uganda is at peak levels, it is hard to believe how people discriminate against each other and are so utterly prejudiced against one another, yet they come from the same country and are all native Africans.

In America, if one is discriminated against because of skin color or based on their country or origin, it comes as no surprise. It is not just Blacks discriminated against, you also have reverse-racism where Whites are discriminated against. In some situations it is tougher for a White male to get a job or a scholarship, than somebody from a minority race. It happens to all Americans whether Black, White,
Mexican or Chinese. That’s why there are Affirmative Action and Equal Employment Opportunity laws to solve this problem in the US. However, when you have people of the same skin color, same country of origin who speak the same tongue discriminate against each other because of tribal origin, then such a problem cannot be solved by simply giving people racial diversity or sensitivity lessons or creating laws against such acts.

Uganda’s remedy for oppression

The only remedy to the oppression and brutality that has caused Ugandans to be hostages in their own country would be to break the country up into separate nation states. None of these problems existed when the separate regions governed themselves independently. After the nation-states where combined into one country called Uganda, certain tribes became opportunistic while others became ruthless, brutal and oppressive. The problem of tribalism in Uganda will not go away. In political office, certain tribes are favored over others and dominate the landscape, giving little chance to tribes from other regions of the
country to participate in the dialogue. It would therefore make sense to free Ugandans from the psychological slavery they face, by allowing the nation-states to return to their previous status.

Modus operandi

Rwanda is a perfect case-study. It is a very small nation and was once declared a “failed state” however, within a decade, Rwanda had surpassed its neighbors in prosperity and is a success story that can be duplicated, if the various regions of Uganda collectively decide to secede. This is how the model would work:

(i) The East would choose an effective and respected leader like Nandala Mafabi to lead them and could call themselves the Elgon Republic, with their capital in Jinja or Soroti, or simply build a new one.

(ii) The Central region already has a local government in place and could call itself the Kingdom of Buganda, (if they choose to a monarchy), or if the they decide upon a republic it could be called Republic of Buganda. They could keep Kampala as their capital, or move it to Mengo or Rubaga, and build a new capital around the man-made lake they have. It would create a spectacular scenery for the city that could flow with fountains, and have bridges over the lake.

(iii) The North could call itself the Nile Republic and choose the leadership of Norbert Mao or Olara Otunnu, and could make Gulu their capital city. The North is already well-developed so there isn’t much work that needs to be done. The North also has the bravest men, so they would form a formidable army. Their southern neighbors in Buganda tend to be docile, until you try to harm their King or encroach upon their land, that’s when the warrior in them comes out, and at that point not even the bravest forces can stop them.

(iv) The West comprises Bunyoro and Toro kingdoms, and the names suggest they are closely related one being a sub-set of the other. These two can either agree to a dual-mornachy, or form a new republic and perhaps call it the Rwenzori Republic, with Fort Portal as the capital.

(v) Ankole, could then form its own republic called Republic of Ankole and have Museveni rule them, with Mbarara as their capital city. People from Ankole are closely related to those from Rwanda, so I’m sure Rwanda’s Kagame would embrace having a healthy partnership with the newly-formed republic and
provide for them the same model for success that Rwanda used to get to where it is now.

Transportation and border issues:

In regard to travel, they could still use the current Ugandan passports, until each newly-formed republic prints new ones. The current passports would then be gradually phased out. As for border-crossings, the current African system where Africans can freely travel to other African countries, would be the same model used. Unless of course a country wants to isolate itself.

A Trans-Great Lakes highway or railway system, could efficiently transport passengers from one region to another, however, such a system would take years to complete due to poor funding and little investment in infrastructure. This suggested model of governance, could be Uganda’s solution to overcoming living in a police state under constant fear of vigilantism by the government as depicted in the above video.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 28, 2011 at 6:54 pm

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Franklin Graham on Obama, Palin and Donald Trump

Newscast Media — In an ABC interview, Franklin Graham said Sunday that the nation is in big trouble under the leadership of President Obama and that he is having an increasingly positive view of billionaire Donald Trump running for president as he hears more from him.

“Obama is a very nice man and very gracious,” said Graham to Christiane Amanpour. “But I think our country is in big trouble,” said Graham, the president/CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan’s Purse.

When asked whether Trump was justified in asking Obama to produce his birth certificate, Graham said, “I don’t know why he can’t produce that birth certificate. I don’t know, but it’s an issue that looks like he could answer pretty quickly.”

Graham also finds himself gravitating toward Donald Trump, and has described him as “very capable” and someone who has “proven himself.”

“Donald Trump, when I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has ot to be a joke. But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know? Maybe the guy’s right,” said Graham.

Graham in the ABC interview also questioned Obama’s definition of Christian, saying for Obama a Christian might be simply someone that goes to church.

“For me, the definition of a Christian is whether we have given our life to Christ and are following him in faith, and we have trusted him as our Lord and Savior,” said Graham. “That’s the definition of a Christian, it’ not as to what church you’re a member of. A membership doesn’t make you a Christian.”


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm

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State Department asks American citizens to leave Syria


Newscast Media DAMASCUS, Syria — Usually before something big happens in a chaotic nation, the US government asks its citizens to leave as it has just done in Syria. The US State Department also said some non-essential embassy staff and all embassy dependants would be leaving, in addition, the Obama administration is contemplating sanctions against Syria.

Several media outlets have reported violence, crackdowns and arrests in Syria despite the lifting of an emergency law last week. More than 350 people are reported to have been killed in the violence since the protests started in March. In a statement carried by the official news agency, the Syrian government said it had sent troops to several cities on the request of citizens who were worried about “armed extremists”.

Arrests were made and those people would be processed through the civil courts, the government statement added, following the lifting of emergency laws last week.

“The bullets continue against the people, but we are resisting,” local activist Abazid Abdullah told AFP news agency.

The British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, has called for an end to the “violent repression” of protests in Syria, and said London was working to send a “strong signal” to Damascus.

“This includes working with our partners on the United Nations Security Council to send a strong signal to the Syrian authorities that the eyes of the international community are on Syria, and with our partners in the European Union and the region on possible further measures.”

According to a UN Security Council diplomat, the UK and other European states are circulating a draft statement condemning the violence in Syria. The Obama administration is considering sanctions to put pressure on the government of President Bashar al-Assad to stop its crackdown, US officials say. The steps could include a freeze on the assets of Syrian leaders and a ban on business dealings in the US, but no time scale has been given for the measures.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 5:39 pm

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A nation under siege – Uganda descends into chaos

Uganda opposition leaders arrested for walking to work

Newscast Media KAMPALA, Uganda — Disturbing images and footage continue to emerge from Uganda, depicting police brutality against unarmed civilians and detentions without trial. News reports across the world from the New York Times to every prominent European and African news outlet paint an unflattering image of the way the Ugandan government is treating its citizens.

The arrests started when former presidential candidates decided to walk to work in solidarity with the common man, to protest the escalating food and gas prices. Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni blames the high cost of living on lack of rainfall. However, his critics blame Museveni’s government for its lavish and extravagant spending of State funds on themselves.

“People are right to be dissatisfied. They spent one trillion shillings during elections and sh600b in a supplementary budget. What’s haunting them is that their desire to buy votes has caused inflation,” former presidential candidate Kizza Besigye said.

In an interview with the Daily Monitor, Museveni was asked by Siraje Kalyango, BBC Kiswahili, “It is said your May 12 swearing-in ceremony will cost Shs3b and if that is true, why don’t you do a simple ceremony at Parliament?”

Another journalist asked, “Shs1.7 trillion fighter jets and have they arrived in the country yet?”

The president did not give satisfactory answers to prevent further demonstrations from happening, because they have now become bi-weekly events. Museveni said, “I think we are now earning something like $1 billion from tourism annually.”

It may be true that Uganda was making $1billion annually on tourism, but after the images and videos surfaced of how brutal and ruthless the Uganda Police and soldiers treat their own people, tourists will think twice about exposing themselves to the possibility of being unintended casualties in the right place at the wrong time. In a police state, the casual observer becomes a casualty.

There are reports that former presidential candidates Olaro Otunnu, Norbert Mao and Kizza Besigye are being arrested and jailed, pregnant women are being shot, and some extremely graphic pictures of infants being shot to death by the law enforcement, are printed in the local newspapers.

The Uganda government has to immediately contain this situation because they are already in violation of International law and the Rome Statute. On June 14, 2002, Uganda Ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and is therefore held accountable and bound by the Rome Statute.

Article 7(e), Article 7 (h) and Article 7(k) -
Crimes against humanity and Rome Statute Article 5(d): Crime of Aggression Rome Statute Article 7(e): For the purpose of this Statute, “Crimes against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack: Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

Rome Statute Article 7(h): Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

Rome Statute Article 7(i): “Enforced disappearance of persons” means the arrest, detention or abduction of persons by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, a State or a political organization, followed by a refusal to acknowledge that deprivation of freedom or to give information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons, with the intention of removing them from the protection of the law for a prolonged period of time.

Rome Statute Article 7(k): Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.

Rome Statute Article 7(g) “Persecution” means the intentional and severe deprivation of fundamental rights contrary to international law by reason of the identity of the group or collectivity;

Rome Statute Article 5(d) – Crime of Aggression:
The Court shall exercise jurisdiction over the crime of aggression once a provision is adopted in accordance with articles 121 and 123 defining the crime and setting out the conditions under which the Court shall exercise jurisdiction with respect to this crime. Such a provision shall be consistent with the relevant provisions of the Charter of the United Nations.

The entire Rome Statute can be viewed or downloaded here:

Every time an arrest is made or unarmed civilians are killed in violation of their God-given freedoms the Ugandan government loses credibility. International law supercedes all other law that not even heads of States or their generals are immune to being arrested for crimes committed under their watch. The Magistrate Judges in Uganda also have to be held accountable if they violate these laws. These judges should know that they are not exempt from abiding by the very laws they purport to interpret.

The arrest of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in London in 1998 ended the immunity leaders had largely enjoyed. Britain had no choice but to act on an extradition request by Spain over the murders of Spanish citizens in Chile when he was in power. The arrest warrant for Pinochet can be viewed here.

The targeting of US politicians began in earnest during the Bush administration after the opening of Guantánamo Bay detention center, the invasion of Iraq and revelations of secret CIA prisons overseas and rendition flights.

In 2005, the then US secretary of state, Donald Rumsfeld, was threatened with arrest in Germany for war crimes relating to abuses at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Rumsfeld threatened to pull out of a prestigious defense conference in Munich until German prosecutors assured him that he would not be apprehended.

Israeli politicians have also been the subject of arrest attempts on visits to Europe. A British court issued a warrant in 2009 for Israel’s then foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, below, on behalf of Palestinian victims. But she postponed her trip to London, saying scheduling problems were to blame. Watch video below:

There is still time for Museveni to turn this around before the intervention of an outside hand is activated, by the cries for help of the oppressed. First, as advised by all foreign dignitaries, Museveni should stop arresting people who are simply walking to work, and immediately release those that have been detained, whether he agrees with their political views or not. Freedom is a fundamental human right.

Second, he needs to arrest all military and police officers who have violated the Rome Statute and the human rights of unarmed innocent Ugandans who were minding their own business. These officers should all be locked up and tried for their crimes against humanity and use of excessive force.

Third, Museveni must address the fuel and gasoline problem and implement immediate solutions to calm the public spirit. He needs to show that he feels the pulse of the nation and is not detached from the common man, just because he lives in an Ivory tower. This is not a time to blame people who are walking, it is a time to be a pragmatist. If Uganda has storehouses of grain, flour or sugar, which they probably have since Uganda is an agricultural nation, they need to flood the market with these commodities to bring the prices down. Uganda is an exporter of foodstuffs so there has to be a storehouse where these commodities are stored, before they are loaded onto cargo ships for export. All the government has to do is release some of these products into the marketplace. This is all about the law of Supply and Demand. The greater the supply of goods, the lower the demand will be, therefore the lower the prices will become.

In regard to perishable items like milk, meat, eggs and so forth, the government can balance out the high prices by waiving tax or license fees for fishermen, which would lower the price of fish. Uganda has the largest freshwater body in Africa (Lake Victoria) and is the source of the river Nile, so I suspect they have a thriving fishing industry. Lower prices of fish can compensate for the higher prices of other meats. In regard to gasoline, if the government does have strategic fuel reserves, they can also release some reserves to lower gas prices, and if Uganda has a gasoline tax, they can temporarily waive that, until prices are within a comfortable range. These are very practical solutions that can yield immediate results.

As for dialogue with the opposition, at this point nothing meaningful will happen so the only gesture of goodwill Museveni can extend, is to release them immediately, and allow them to walk to work, perhaps being accompanied by traffic policemen to ensure that the streets aren’t blocked by people and the daily traffic maintains its constant flow. He cannot deploy armed police with teargas to use against the unarmed public and gain a favorable outlook from them or the international community.

These hardworking Ugandans’ taxes put food on the tables of the policemen and soldiers who are firing bullets at them. The people’s taxes are the ones that afford Museveni the luxury of buying those guns and bullets that are killing innocent men, women and children. In exchange, the president should at least restrain his men from biting the hands that have fed them for the past 25 years. The very people that are being shot, once fed the president and his men when they were guerrillas living in the wilderness, during their humble beginnings. As a goodwill gesture, the least he can do is allow people to freely move in the nation their forefathers built with their own sweat and blood.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 24, 2011 at 5:36 am

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People power sweeps Kenya as they protest high cost of living

Newscast Media NAIROBI, Kenya — Encouraged by their cousins in Uganda who are conducting peaceful walks to work in protest of the unjustifiably high food and fuel prices, Kenyans took to the streets because they too are discontent with the ever-increasing cost of living. Since the post-election violence of early 2008, the people have endured the bickering of a bloated, corruption-tainted coalition government.

Unlike Ugandans, Kenyans tend to be more docile, and the demonstrations are for now too small to be a threat. One reason is in Kenya there is no political opposition. Apart from poor publicity, another reason the protests aren’t gaining much traction could be the population has been cowed. For years during Daniel Arap Moi’s presidency, people risked brutality at the hands of the feared police if they dared protest. Moi succeeded in breaking the people’s will with his heavy handedness.

About 100 people blocked and disrupted traffic near Kenyan Parliament as the protesters found the other day’s cut in taxes of kerosene and diesel too small. Corruption is also an issue which is the hallmark of the Great Lakes countries in East Africa, with the exception of Rwanda which is practically corrupt-free and enjoys a 99 percent confidence rate from its citizens.

Right now in Kenya, the politicians are the pied pipers who call the shots, while the people who voted them into office are viewed by the same politicians as their pawns.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 21, 2011 at 7:47 pm

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Jonathan Goodluck of Nigeria declared winner in presidential election

Nigeria's Jonathan Goodluck

Newscast Media LAGOS Nigeria — Oil-rich Niger -Delta born President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, yesterday, became the opening product of the first ever credible presidential polls conducted in Nigeria. He is also the first South-South minority tribesman to be elected to the nation’s stool, in Aso Rock Villa; in a general election that has been adjudged as free, fair, credible and the best in this part of the world, by local and international election observers.

The unassailable son of Otuoke soil in Bayelsa State, who once “had no shoes to wear”, defeated 19 rivals including retired Maj. Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (CPC), Governor Ibrahim Shekarau (ANPP) and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (ACN), among others in the decisive election victory.

Report Card presented by the Returning Officer for Presidential Election, Prof. Attahiru Jega, shows that Dr. Jonathan a Christian, polled 22,495,187 votes which is close to twice 12,214,853, the number of his main rival, Gen. Buhari who has a strong showing in his mainly Muslim strongholds. Prof Jega declared that Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the PDP having satisfied the requirement of the law and having scored the highest number of votes is hereby declared the winner.

The Nigerian constitution says that a candidate must win at least a quarter of the ballots in 24 states to avoid a run-off. Running battles between protesters and troops broke on Monday in Kano, the main city in the north, the majority-Muslim part of the country from which most of Buhari’s support comes.

A mob used wooden planks to beat two people whose clothing indicated they were probably Christians and protesters stopped cars and demanded that passengers declare support for Buhari, a correspondent of the AFP news agency said. According to unconfirmed reports, several people have been killed in various parts of the north and a Baptist church has been burnt in Zaria, the hometown of Vice-President Namadi Sambo. The homes of ruling party members were attacked and gunshots were heard in Kaduna state, the state where Zaria is situated, while an explosion injured eight people in a hotel in Kaduna city. Rioting has also taken place in parts of Sokoto, Bauchy and Gombe states.

Observers, including European Union observers’ chief Lojze Peterle, described the election as credible but extraordinary results for Jonathan in some parts of his native south have given rise to charges of vote-rigging. Official results gave Jonathan 95 per cent in Akwa Ibom, 99 per cent in Anambra state and 99.63 per cent in Bayelsa – his home state.

The number of deaths has not been released for the moment. But an estimated 15,000 people have already been displaced since the beginning of the troubles at the weekend. Curfews are in place in various places in Kano city and Kaduna state.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 19, 2011 at 10:28 pm

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Great Britain sends in ground troops to mop up job in Libya

British ground forces

Newscast Media LONDON, England — British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the British ground troops would be deployed to the opposition stronghold of Benghazi to protect civilians in Libya. The moves may be setting the scene for a clash with Libyan forces. Libyan government said today that it will fight any foreign troops on its soil.

“If there is any deployment of any armed personnel on Libyan ground, there will be fighting,” Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim told reporters at a news conference in Tripoli. “The Libyan government will not take it as a humanitarian mission. It will be taken as a military mission.”

Mr Hague said: “The UK National Security Council has decided that we will now move quickly to expand the team already in Benghazi to include an additional military liaison advisory team. This contingent will be drawn from experienced British military officers.

“These additional personnel will enable the UK to build on the work already being undertaken to support and advise the NTC [opposition National Transitional Council] on how to better protect civilians.

“In particular they will advise the NTC on how to improve their military organizational structures, communications and logistics, including how best to distribute humanitarian aid and deliver medical assistance.”

Meanwhile, British military chiefs have been giving details of the latest action by the RAF to enforce the no-fly zone. Maj Gen John Lorimer said Tornado and Typhoon aircraft attacked rocket launcher vehicles and light artillery observed firing on Misrata, and a second pair of RAF planes destroyed a gun and tank on a transporter. Tomahawk cruise missiles were also fired by the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Triumph.

Maj Gen Lorimer said: “It will take time for the full impact of these attacks to become clear. “But they do illustrate in the clearest manner Nato’s resolution to take all necessary action to safeguard wherever possible the Libyan people under threat of attack and its ability to strike, with sophisticated targeting and effective precision firepower, at the heart of the apparatus used by Colonel Gaddafi to terrorize the civilian population.”


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 7:14 pm

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Meeting in Qatar on Libya’s future concludes Gadhafi must leave the country

Leaders demand Gadhafi's exit

Newscast Media — The Leaders of the contact group on Libya meeting in Qatar concluded that in order for a peaceful climate to be realized by Libyans, the embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi must leave power. The group affirmed in a final statement that Gadhafi’s regime has lost all legitimacy and he should leave and allow the Libyan people to decide their future. Gadhafi’s son Seif al-Islam previously admitted that it was time for “new blood” in Libya, but called talk of his father stepping down “ridiculous.”

“The Libyan Guide (Gadhafi) does not want to control everything. He is at an advanced age. We would like to bring a new elite of young people onto the scene to lead the country and direct local affairs,” he told France’s BFM TV.

“We need new blood — that is what we want for the future — but talk of the Guide leaving is truly ridiculous,” he added.

In Benghazi, rebel leader Mustafa Abdul Jalil said the African initiative did not go far enough.

“From the first day the demand of our people has been the ouster of Kadhafi and the fall of his regime,” he said.

“Gadhafi and his sons must leave immediately if they want to be safe… Any initiative that does not include the people’s demand, the popular demand, essential demand, we cannot possibly recognize.”

NATO, meanwhile, said it struck more loyalist targets around Ajdabiya and the besieged port of Misrata on Sunday and Monday, destroying 11 Gadhafi regime tanks and five military vehicles.

The regime warned that any foreign intervention under the pretext of bringing aid into Misrata would be met by “staunch armed resistance,” the official JANA news agency quoted the foreign ministry as saying. Diplomats in Brussels said on Friday that the EU was gearing up to deploy military assets for a humanitarian mission to evacuate wounded from Misrata and deliver food, water and medicine to the city.

In their first appearance on the international scene, the rebel Transitional National Council urged NATO to step up air strikes on Moamer Gadhafi’s tanks and missile sites. Foreign relations chief Ali al-Essawi claimed that civilians were not being sufficiently protected.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has commanded military operations in Libya since the end of last month, says 30 percent of Gadhafi’s forces have been destroyed since UN-authorized strikes were launched 19 March. Essawi also said Libyan rebels were willing to hold talks with “any defector” from Gadhafi’s regime, including former foreign minister Mussa Kussa.

Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has warned that as many as 3,6 million people, or more than half of Libya’s population, could need humanitarian aid. He said approximately 490,000 people — almost half a million people — have left the country since the crisis began.

On Wednesday, a French government-chartered plan carrying 10 tonnes of medical supplies landed in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. The plane also carried members of non-governmental organizations including surgeons and other medical staff.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm

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Texas legislators defund Planned Parenthood by $61 million

Planned Parenthood defunded in Texas

Newscast Media AUSTIN, Texas — During the recent debate on the General Appropriations Act, several Republican Party members successfully defunded Planned Parenthood by $61 Million. The members’ actions diverted tax money from abortion procedures and instead funneled the funds to worthwhile programs such as Alternatives to Abortion.

The representattives who are credited for bringing the efforts to fruition are representatives Dwayne Bohac, Warren Chisum, Wayne Christian, Bryan Hughes, Jodie Laubenberg, Sid Miller, Jim Murphy, Charles Perry, Randy Weber, and Bill Zedler are all to be applauded for their cooperative efforts. This alliance of conservatives ensured that fewer taxpayer dollars go to abortion procedures.

Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri stated, “I am proud of the dedication to life issues demonstrated by these representatives. Taxpayers have let us know they do not want their money to go to abortion providers. These Republicans responded to that call. Throughout the budget process, the obvious focus was on balancing Texas’ books and restricting government functions within Texas’ means. These members additionally realized the number of unborn lives at stake, and acted effectively.”

House Bill 1 is on its way to the Senate. After the Senate approves its own version of the budget, the two chambers will negotiate a final budget in conference committee.


2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 6:37 pm

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Mitt Romney forms Exploratory Committee for President of the United States

Newscast Media –On his Facebook page, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney announced that he is forming an Exploratory Committee for President of the United States. It has been an open secret the sooner or later Romney would make the announcement which comes at a time when presidential hopeful Donald Trump seems to be surging in the polls. Whether or not Sarah Palin will run is anybody’s guess, but Romney now has the advantage of building an emotional connection with voters, that will eventually translate to loyalty.

A recent Mason-Dixon poll that should be encouraging to Romney, shows him polling ahead of Obama in Florida, 48 percent to 43 percent. Romney seems to be the most organized of all potential candidates because he has had the chance to explore the landscape of voters through his support of several conservative candidates.

The St. Petersburg Times, NBC News, National Journal and the Florida Council of 100 announced Monday that they will co-sponsor a Republican presidential primary debate early next year. The Florida Council of 100, the first of its kind in the United States, is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of key Florida business and civic leaders.

“Florida has played a pivotal role in every presidential election of the past century and could very well be the stage for history again in 2012,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. “Each partner in this debate brings a unique set of tools and expertise that will all combine to present a substantive and stimulating dialogue to the voters of the state and the whole country.”

Romney is favored to win the GOP if Sarah Palin doesn’t run, however, since he is a northerner, he would have to choose a southerner as a running-mate to help him capture the South. Huckabee would have to be ruled out because the two don’t seem to be fond of each other. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is from the East, so he too is ruled out. Michele Bachmann is a strong candidate but she is a northerner too. Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida seem to be the only possible choices that can help propel Romney into the White House. As for Sarah Palin, it is unclear whether she would want to run as VP again since she already did that in 2008.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm

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Rebels in Benghazi reject African Union’s plan for a cease-fire

Beghazi rebels reject AU's truce plan

Newscast Media — The African Union attempted to convince the rebel forces in control of East Libya to accept a truce plan from Gaddafi, but the rebels immediately rejected it because it doesn’t include plans for Gaddafi or his family stepping down from power. Gaddafi lost his credibility when a no-fly zone was declared and he announced a fake cease-fire plan, yet he continued to butcher his own people.

The US, Britain and France aren’t buying it and have demanded that not only must Gaddafi step down from power, he must leave Libya at once. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a press conference said: “We have made it very clear that we want to see a ceasefire, we want to see the Libyan regime forces pull back from the areas they have forcibly entered. We want to see a resumption of water, electricity and other services to cities that have been brutalized by the Gaddafi forces. We want to see humanitarian assistance reach the people of Libya. These terms are non-negotiable. Clinton continued to say:
“We believe, too, that there needs to be a transition that reflects the will of the Libyan people and the departure of Gaddafi from power and from Libya.”

From the language being used by the West, Gaddafi might as well start looking for a host nation to accommodate him, because if he doesn’t while he still has a chance, the same thing that happened to the stubborn and hard-headed Gbagbo who refused to step down and was captured, might happen to Gaddafi and his sons.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 5:56 pm

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International Criminal Court seeks arrest warrants for Gaddafi and sons

ICC seeks arrest warrants for Gaddafi clan

Newscast Media — International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo said he plans to request arrest warrants for Gaddafi, his sons and close aides, for the violence and crimes they have committed against civilians. The ICC says even before the Libyan uprising, Gaddafi already had plans in place to kill civilians in an effort to discourage protests.

On Tuesday, rebel commander Gen Abdul Fattah Younis complained that bureaucracy was causing Nato to take hours to respond to calls for air strikes.

“[Nato] is letting the people of Misrata die every day,” he told reporters in the de acto rebel capital Benghazi. “If Nato should wait another week, there will be no more Misrata.”

In The Hague on Tuesday, Mr Moreno-Ocampo said: “We have evidence that after the Tunisia and Egypt conflicts in January, people in the regime were planning how to control demonstrations inside Libya.

“The planning at the beginning was to use tear gas and [if that failed to work]… shooting,” Ocampo said.

Nato says international air strikes have reduced Col Gaddafi’s military capabilities by nearly a third, but his forces have deliberately moved weaponry into civilian areas and are creating human shields to hide the weapons.

ICC’s original intent to prosecute the Libyan leader was published in a statement that said: “The decision to do justice in Libya should be taken by the Libyan people. Currently, Libya is not a State Party to the Rome Statute. Therefore, intervention by the ICC on the alleged crimes committed in Libya can occur only if the Libyan authorities accept the jurisdiction of the Court, (through article 12(3) of the Rome Statute). In the absence of such step, the United Nations Security Council can decide to refer the situation to the Court. The Office of the Prosecutor will act only after either decision is taken”.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 6, 2011 at 7:17 pm

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Ivory Coast’s embattled Gbagbo under seige in own residence

Ivory Coast

Newscast Media — French foreign minister Alain Juppe has said negotiations led by France to secure the departure of Ivory Coast’s embattled leader have hit a snag.

“The negotiations which were carried out for hours yesterday between the entourage of Laurent Gbagbo and Ivorian authorities have failed because of Gbagbo’s intransigence,” Juppe told parliament on Wednesday.

President-elect Alassane Ouattara’s supporters descended upon Gbagabo’s residence earlier on Wednesday looking for him, however a spokesperson from the Ouattara camp said troops had been ordered not to kill Ggagbo.

“Alassane Ouattara has given formal instructions that Gbagbo is to be kept alive because we want to bring him to justice,” a spokesperson said.

The news came hours after Edouard Guillaud, the French armed forces chief, said on Wednesday Gbagbo’s departure would come in “a matter of hours”. South Africa, Togo and Angola are possible safe havens for Gbagbo should he negotiate an exit from his West African country, African Union (AU) sources said on Wednesday. Gbagbo, meanwhile, said it was not his “aim to die” fighting Ouattara forces and called for direct talks with his rival.

“I’m not a kamikaze. I love life. My voice is not the voice of a martyr, no, no, no, I’m not looking for death. It’s not my aim to die,” Gbagbo, speaking from his residence on Tuesday, told the French TV channel LCI.

“For peace to return to Ivory Coast, I and Ouattara, the two of us, have to talk,” he added.

Despite all his talk about his desire to resolve the conflict Gbagbo refused to “sign a document” in which he had to say he was ready to step down. This refusal infuriated his opponents who are now determined to capture him.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 6:04 pm

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The more a leader is feared, the more people hate that person


Newscast Media — Perhaps the greatest mind in all ancient history and the most gifted orator of all time, Marcus Tullius Cicero the Roman statesman, courtier, philosopher, political and legal psychoanalyzer, exemplified mastery in communication and oratory that transcends even the greatest of all Greek minds combined. Cicero’s surviving speeches have been translated from Latin to English and haven’t lost the depth and richness from the original Latin texts. The words of Cicero who lived between 106 BC – 43 BC ring more true today than ever, and are directly applicable to the political and social dynamics we face in the Twenty-first century.

Cicero always has great come-back lines for all his detractors, that were infused with satire in bold and public utterances, which created a problem because by so doing, he created several enemies. The Roman Senators came from prestigious families and it was very difficult for a common man to become one. What propelled Cicero to be the greatest mind Rome has ever known, was his gift of oratory and his ability to read situations accurately. A snobbish Senator condescendingly once asked Cicero, “Who was your father?” to which Cicero replied: “Your mother has made it difficult for me to answer that question.” Of course the Senator knew Cicero was indirectly referring to his mother as a whore. With utterances like that, Cicero found himself with as many enemies as he had admirers.

On the other hand, even his detractors greatly admired his intellect, including both Julius and Augustus Caesar. Augustus went as far as commissioning a scribe to write down everything Cicero uttered, so he (Augustus) could savor the words and infuse them in his speeches too.

In analyzing politics and why people choose to support a particular political candidate, Cicero explains it this way: “It could be sheer goodwill – because for some reason or another, they like the person. It could be respect, because they admire the person’s character and think that person deserves success. Or the person may inspire their confidence in such a way that it seems to be in their own interests to support that person. Or perhaps they fear that person’s power. Alternatively, they may be hoping for some future profit for themselves, such as presents, for example or favors. Or they may actually have been promised a payment for their services.”

Cicero lays out different reasons as to why some leaders are supported even though the people who support them may not love that particular leader. After such leaders are in positions of power, Cicero reasons that rulers who keep the populations down by force will obviously have to employ brutal methods, like masters who feel compelled to treat their servants harshly because they cannot keep them in order in another way. However, to make oneself feared deliberately, in a free state, is a lunatic procedure. For freedom suppressed and then regained bites more sharply than if it had never been in peril. It is therefore better to win affection than to win fear. Leaders who oppress others will inevitably become frightened of the very people they are intimidating.

How to earn an impressive reputation as a leader

Cicero lays out three ways in which this can be achieved:

1. By inspiring goodwill. – The most important way to achieve this is by doing someone a service. The second way to inspire goodwill is to show that someone would like to perform such a service, even though resources do not actually permit one from doing so. For popular favor is profoundly influenced by a name and reputation for generosity, fair dealing, loyalty and all other benefits associated with agreeable and attractive character. Nature itself impels us to love the people who appear to possess these assets.

2. By winning confidence. – There are two requirements for this. A person must be intelligent; and must be regarded as just. We feel confidence in people we believe are wiser than we are, and better judges of the future – people who seem capable of dealing with critical situations and making whatever decisions circumstances require. The second requirement for gaining confidence according to Cicero is, one should have a name for justice — justice is the same thing as goodness, and the designation of a just person is bestowed upon the person whose character is untouched by any suspicion of dishonesty and unfair dealing. The sort of person it is safe entrust our lives, our fortunes and our children.

Goodness or justice is more effective than intelligence in inspiring trust, and indeed, even when intelligence is absent, justice still carries great weight; whereas intelligence without justice creates no confidence at all. If a man is not regarded as honest, the more shrewd and sharp he is, the more he will be disliked and distrusted. Justice without intelligence will be able to accomplish a lot, but intelligence without justice, is useless. It is therefore more profitable to possess a combination of both justice and intelligence.

3. The third prerequisite for building a strong reputation is that people should admire us and deem us worthy of high honors. In general, people admire everything that strikes them as fine, or finer than they had expected; and in fellow human beings too, they admire qualities that exceed their expectations. So they heap praises and respect upon any individual in whom they claim to discern remarkable and exceptional features; whereas anyone who shows neither character nor spirit nor vigor earns their scorn and contempt.

The objects of contempt, are those who benefit neither their neighbors nor themselves: idle, slothful and indifferent. Admiration on the other hand, goes to individuals who seem finer than the rest of the community because they are free from any taint of disrepute and lack of vices which so many others find it hard to resist. The ability to rise above outward circumstances, then, wins special admiration and that is why justice, which is a peculiar mark of a good person, is universally regarded as marvelous. Most importantly, people admire someone who refuses to be influenced by money.

In essence, if one should claim to be a just person, all three ingredients for a glorious reputation will already be at hand: Goodwill, because the favorable effects of one’s just dealings have conferred widespread benefits; Confidence, for the same reason; and admiration, because someone who is just is admired for disregarding and scorning the very things most people are spurred on by greed to try to lay their hands on.

Herodotus tells us that the Medes always chose a good man to be their king, because they wanted to make sure that they would receive just treatment. His job was to defend the weaker members of the community against tyranny and to establish equitable conditions which guaranteed such protections for the great and humble alike.

However, even though Cicero emphasizes on the importance of building a solid reputation, I personally would like to add perhaps the most important ingredient to effectively gaining people’s confidence — character. Character is what you do when nobody is watching, unlike reputation which is what others think of you. A person of character is not easily enticed, even though the enticement may never come to light. It is more about refraining from doing that which is against a person’s conscience. The most devastating event that can happen to a human is to be numb to one’s conscience. When you see countries that are police states with ruthless rulers, these rulers are people whose consciences are now silent. They feel no remorse for their atrocities. They feel no sympathy even when a blatant injustice happens for which they are responsible. They have lost their sense of shame, and because they are very much aware of their injustices, such rulers are more concerned about instilling fear in a populace, and they themselves live in fear, because they know that people will always hate the person they fear.

It is therefore important for a person to be lenient in the demands one makes upon others. Cicero admonished all statesmen when he said: “It is incumbent upon everyone who holds high governmental office to make absolutely sure that the private property of all citizens is safeguarded, and that the State does not encroach on these rights in any way whatsoever. To use affairs of the State for one’s personal gain is not only immoral, it’s a crime. The best way for leaders to exercise goodwill is through self-restraint, and self-denial.”


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 3, 2011 at 3:19 am

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The benefits of speaking well of your spouse or loved one

Michael Hyatt

by Michael Hyatt

Newscast Media NASHVILLE, Tennessee –As a leader, the health of your marriage directly affects the impact of your leadership. I have witnessed this time and time again. Being effective at work or in ministry begins by being effective at home.

Early in our marriage, Gail and I attended a church led by a dynamic, thirty-something pastor. He was an extraordinary communicator. He was a wise and empathetic counselor. As a result, the church grew rapidly.
But as we got better acquainted with him and his wife, we started noticing a disturbing trend in the way they related to one another. They would often make disparaging remarks about the other in public. At first, it seemed cute. Their comments seemed playful and humorous. Everyone laughed. But over time, they became more and more pointed, thinly masking their frustration with one another.

We ultimately left that church. But several years later we learned they suffered an ugly divorce, both admitting to multiple affairs. They lost their family, and, of course, their ministry. To this day, it grieves me to think about it. Conversely, I noticed that Sam Moore, my predecessor at Thomas Nelson, always spoke highly of his wife. He would often say, “I hate to leave her in the morning, and I can’t wait to see her in the evening.” They have been married now for nearly 60 years. Last time Gail and I were with them, they were holding hands. It was obvious they were still in love.

In reflecting on these two experiences, I am convinced that praising your spouse in public is one of the most important investments you can make-in your family and in your leadership.

This is important for at least five reasons:

1. You get more of what you affirm. Have you ever noticed that when someone praises you, you want to repeat the behavior that caused it? This is just human nature. It can be a form of manipulation if it isn’t genuine. But it can be a powerful way to motivate others when it is authentic.

2. Affirmation shifts your attitude toward your spouse. Words are powerful tools. They can create, or they can destroy. They can build up, or they can tear down. I believe most people have a drive to align their actions-and their attitudes-with their words. If you start speaking well of someone, you start believing what you say.

3. Affirmation helps strengthen your spouse’s best qualities. Encouragement is also a powerful force for good. All of us need positive reinforcement. This is why when we are losing weight and people notice, it gives us the strength to stick with the program. This is true in every area of life.

4. Affirmation wards off the temptation of adultery. When others see you are happily married, they are less likely to proposition you. It’s like a hedge that protects your marriage from would-be predators. You simply stop being a target.

5. Affirmation provides a model to those you lead. To be a truly effective leader, you must lead yourself, and then you must lead your family. Your marriage is a powerful visual of how you treat the people you value the most. When you speak highly of your spouse, your followers are more likely to trust you. It takes your leadership to another level.

Affirming your spouse in public is an investment that pays big leadership dividends. In a world where fewer and fewer marriages last, it can be a difference-maker.

Michael Hyatt is Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.


1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - April 2, 2011 at 1:47 am

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UN workers killed by Afghans in revenge for burning Qu’ran


Newscast Media — After hundreds of angry radical Afghan protestors stormed a UN building in Afghanistan, seven foreign aid workers were killed by the mob on Friday in retaliation against the burning of a Qu’ran by an American pastor in Florida last month.

The violence began when demonstrators gathered at the Blue Mosque in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif after Friday prayers and marched toward the headquarters of the UN mission. A small group reportedly broke away from the main crowd and overwhelmed security personnel at the compound, seizing weapons from the guards and firing on the embassy.

“This was an outrageous and cowardly attack against UN staff which cannot be justified under any circumstances and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said to reporters while visiting the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Ban confirmed that UN employees have been killed, though he said “the details are not completely clear.”

Reports are circulating that those killed included local and foreign employees, UN guards and Nepalese Gurkha soldiers hired to protect the building. Two of the foreign workers were beheaded while the others were shot.
At least five of those killed included locally hired Afghan security guards, police sources report. Bodies continue to be brought to the hospitals, suggesting that the death toll may rise.

On March 20, a Quran was burned by preacher Wayne Sapp in Florida after a mock trial was overseen by Pastor Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla. The church said on its website that the Qu’ran would be “executed” if it was “found guilty of causing murder, rape and terrorism.”

Later on the website, the church posted that the “Koran was found guilty” during the mock trial and that a copy of the Islamic holy book was burned inside the building.

On Friday, an unrepentant Jones said he was “not responsible” for the killings in Afghanistan during an interview broadcast live on BBC. “They used the Qu’ran burning as an excuse to promote their violent activities,” Jones said.


Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Joseph Earnest - at 12:03 am

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