15 British Sailors Released as Gift from Iran

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore”Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says 15 British naval personnel captured in the Gulf are free to leave… and said they were being released as a “gift” to Britain.” (BBC)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Chilean Miners Appear With Celebrities On CNN Hero Awards Show

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreAnderson Cooper Heroes Award GalaWalking the red carpet at this year’s CNN Hero awards tribute show, to be televised on Thanksgiving night, will be movie stars, like Halle Berry, Demi Moore and Jessica Alba, Grammy winners John Legend and LL Cool J, along with the Chilean miners and their rescuers as surprise guests. All to honor this year’s extraordinary citizen heroes.Rock legend Bon Jovi also shared the stage with the top ten CNN Heros of 2010 on the two-hour broadcast, “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” taped Saturday. Anderson Cooper hosted the fourth annual show from Los Angeles, where the Chilean miners have been touring Disneyland, Universal Studios and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.The inspiring ongoing CNN Hero news segments spotlight everyday people who are changing the world, like a woman who saves girls from sex trafficing and a young man who educates youth in Asian slums. More than 10,000 nominations for CNN Heroes are received over the year from more than 100 countries.The top 10 CNN Heroes were selected by a blue-ribbon panel of judges, which included Muhammad Ali, Richard Branson, cellist Yo Yo Ma, singer Ricky Martin and Olympic speed skater Apolo Anton Ohno.The public began voting on September 23 for the best CNN Hero of the year. The winner will be revealed at the tribute show and receive $100,000 Each of the top 10 CNN Heroes received $25,000 as thanks for their work.“CNN Heroes has illustrated the best of humanity through the telling of stories of selfless acts of kindness, courage and perseverance” said Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide. “We are honored to bring these Heroes the recognition they so deserve. It is a program the entire CNN family is proud of and excited to share with our viewers on Thanksgiving night.”Walton said they invited the miners from Chile and five of their rescuers because they symbolize the resilience and endurance of the human spirit. “The heroic efforts of the rescue of these miners was one of the most unifying and inspirational events of the year,” Walton said.WATCH the video below, highlighting the gala that was taped last night…“CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” Thanksgiving night at 8 p.m ET/5 p.m. PT on CNN/U.S. The show airs on CNN International on Thursday, November 25 at 8 p.m. ET and Friday, November 26 at 5 a.m. ET, 1100/2200 Berlin and 0900/1800 Hong Kong.The 2009 CNN Hero of the Year was Efren Peñaflorida, who started a “pushcart classroom” in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Top Ten Highlights of Clean Technology in Mexico

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreThe Mexican government has opened new venues for energy not involved with oil, placing greater importance on the development of renewables. By 2005, the government had already approved 50 renewable energy projects, that were completed by 2007 and supplying 1,400 MW of energy.They currently sell geothermal power produced in Mexico to Los Angeles and Belize — with a Guatemala deal in the works. Aside from exporting, renewable energy manufacturing is also big. There is a photovoltaic module manufacturing plant, a Sanyo solar manufacturing plant, two wind turbine blade manufacturing plants, as well as a German thin-film solar cells manufacturing plant.  (READ the full story in CleanTechies.com)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Hero Cat Tips Off Owner to Blaze, Everyone in Apartment Building Escapes

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA foster cat named Nino alerted Claudia D’Argenio to a fire in the apartment two doors down. Everyone in her Murray Hill building was able to escape the blaze.Claudia D’Argenio, 47, had taken in the black-and-white foster cat just a week-and-a-half earlier when the normally quiet kitty started meowing frantically at her Wednesday afternoon and wouldn’t stop. (READ the story in NY Daily News)File photo of black catAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img

Strawberries and Roses for Strangers Turn This City’s Monday Around (WATCH)

first_img“All of the people laughed so much that it was contagious. We got to interact with so many random people. Project 30 has grown bigger than all of us,” said group member Andrea Pecatikov.This was Day 21 of Project 30’s month-long spree of doing 30 things they’ve “always wanted to do.” They are posting a video for each event on their YouTube Channel.Thomas Brag, the leader of Project 30, says the initiative has always been about inspiring others and getting his team out of their comfort zones.So far, those daring adventures have included eating insects and meeting with the mayor. Their videos have tallied over 200,000 views.(WATCH to see everyone’s reaction to the Random Acts of Kindness…)Get Your Friends to Smile. It’s Simple… (Share below)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreWhen a group of 20-somethings hit the streets of Montreal to hand out roses and strawberries, they asked for only a smile and transformed everyone’s Monday blues—including their own.The group collectively said they were amazed by how many smiles they conjured this week among the people–we counted 54. Even more amazing was how very simple it was.Watch Adorable Father-Daughter on a Kindness Spree for Their Birthdayslast_img read more

Repo Man Pays-off Car for Elderly Couple After Towing It

first_imgThe repo man created a GoFundMe asking for $2,500 to cover the rest of the car payments. After seeking help from his fellow mechanic friends and the community, the campaign made its goal in hours – and people are still paying to help cover the couple’s prescriptions.MORE: Teen Volunteer Wins $70,000 SUV in Charity Raffle, Then Stuns Crowd“They’d fallen behind because on the price of her husband’s medications that have doubled over the last year,” Jim wrote on the page. “I was told he has the beginning stages of dementia and that they couldn’t even afford to get a few of his scripts this month because of the price increases!”While Jim’s friend took the money to the bank and settled the debt, the team topped off the fluids and changed the headlights. Then, they put the extra cash earned from the campaign into an envelope along with a Thanksgiving turkey in the passenger seat to boot.WATCH: Homeless Girl‘s Precious Reaction to a Surprise On Her 4th BirthdayWhen they returned the car to the Kipping home, Patty and Stanford were shocked.“It’s like a miracle,” Patty whispered in amazement.Jim says that in the 20 years that he’s been a repo man, he’s seen a lot. Car owners have shot at him, tackled him, and even attempted to run him over. By the time he was done with the Kippings, however, he was beaming from ear to ear.(WATCH the video below) AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreJim Ford has repossessed a lot of cars in his day – but never has he felt as terrible about taking someone’s automobile than when he had to take Stanford and Patty Kipping’s 1998 Buick.Jim knew that the elderly couple had fallen on tough financial times, causing them to miss five car payments. So when he did tow the car, he resolved to lend a hand instead. Drive This Story Over To Your Friends: Click To Share – Photo by BNDAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

New program targets future Domers

first_imgEvery student has a unique story of their first experience at Notre Dame, whether they are legacy students who watched “Rudy” hundreds of times as a child, or just visited the campus their senior year of high school and unexpectedly fell in love. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions’ High School Ambassador (HSA) program, led by assistant director of admissions Jordan Schank, works to share the Notre Dame experience with as many students as possible. “Each year, Admissions Counselors travel to hundreds of high schools across the United States and internationally to meet with prospective students,” Schank said. “However, time and resources limit the number of schools that the counselors are able to visit. The High School Ambassador program extends the reach of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions by sending trained current Notre Dame students to their hometowns to share their experiences with prospective students.” Schank said the high school ambassadors are volunteers who may be from any class and any college. “High school ambassadors must attend a training session offered by the Admissions Office,” Schank said. “The high school ambassadors are also responsible for contacting their own high schools to schedule the meetings with prospective students.”  HSAs are given an outline of topics that can be covered during their meetings with prospective students, Schank said. “Many HSAs will prepare a formal presentation that covers student life, residential life, the First Year of Studies and other topics that help introduce Notre Dame to high school students. We have also encouraged HSAs to show our new video, ‘Any Given Day’ during their visits,” Schank said. “[However,] the most valuable meetings and presentations will include storytelling and personal anecdotes.” Shank said HSAs are free to share their personal experience with the application process, but they are overall discouraged from giving application advice or suggesting whether a particular student would be competitive or not. “Rather, HSAs are to encourage prospective students to continue the conversation with their regional admissions counselor in our office,” Schank said. “We value the work and enthusiasm of our high school ambassadors. The stories and experiences shared by high school ambassadors carry a certain authenticity that is well-received by prospective students.” In the future, Schank said he hopes to expand the program and send ambassadors to represent the University internationally. “Currently, students are preparing to visit their high schools over fall break. We hope to offer the program over other breaks this year,” he said. “We hope that students will enjoy the experience and volunteer again to visit additional schools in their hometowns. Finally, we hope to recruit and train a large number of international high school ambassadors to supplement our current recruiting efforts overseas.” Contact Catherine Owers at [email protected]last_img read more

Panelists dispute nature of conflict, potential solutions

first_imgThree preeminent Notre Dame faculty members debated the relative merits and consequences of American military and political intervention in Syria on Tuesday. David Cortright, director of policy studies at the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, moderated the panel discussion. Although a proposition by Russia earlier Tuesday all but mooted the question of imminent military intervention, the panel still engaged in a lively discussion of the United States’ options with regard to Syria. Asher Kaufman, Mary Ellen O’Connell and Michael Desch presented three distinct views about how the United States should approach the recent developments in the Middle Eastern nation.  Kaufman, associate professor of history and peace studies, said the situation in Syria involves not only internal turmoil, but also conflict with neighboring states.  “This conflict is beyond one circumscribed within the boundaries of Syria,” Kaufman said. “It has become a regional issue, and this is how it needs to be understood.” Kaufman named several contributors to the regional nature of the Syrian conflict, including an influx of thousands of Islamists from neighboring countries and upheaval resulting from the internally displaced people and from the millions of refugees spreading beyond Syria’s borders.  “The numbers are disturbing, mind-boggling – over two million refugees outside of the boundaries of Syria are in neighboring countries,” Kaufman said. “The hosting countries need to provide them with basic needs – jobs, roofs over their heads – and in countries such as Lebanon, with an estimated 500,000 Syrian refugees and a native population of only four million, you can imagine the pressure on Lebanese resources to try and support these Syrian refugees.”  In contrast to Kaufman’s illustration of the regional conflict, O’Connell, a research professor of international dispute resolution and professor of law, focused on the need to uphold the integrity of international law in approaching a resolution for the Syrian conflict.  “The heart of the matter of this moment is the international legal norm against the use of chemical weapons,” O’Connell said. “It is binding on Syria: Syria is a full sovereign party to the Geneva gas protocol of 1925.” Although she acknowledged Syria to be in clear violation of international norms against chemical weapons, O’Connell stressed the importance of legitimizing further intervention in Syria by acting in strict accordance with the United Nations Charter.  “If we start saying legitimacy is something other than what is commensurate with international legality, we are weakening the very system of norms that have banned the use of military force,” she said. “These principles, developed and reported on by a high-level [United Nations] panel, were brought together in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document – to which the United States and every other member of the UN agreed – and it said that the Charter is sufficient to address the full range of threats to international peace and security.” While Kaufman and O’Connell discussed political frameworks for approaching the conflict in Syria, Desch, a professor of political science, evaluated possible military tactics the United States could employ in Syria and the political feasibility and consequences of these scenarios.  “Despite the relatively formidable Syrian military, the United States has lots of conceivable military options,” Desch said. “From a purely objective military standpoint, military operations in Syria would be a cakewalk. We can do basically anything we want to do.”  Despite a plethora of available tactics, ranging from ground interventions to airstrikes, Desch said the solution to the Syrian problem would have to remain largely political in nature. “The limiting factor in the administration’s decision calculus is not so much the military factor, but rather, the political factor,” he said. “Would any use of military force actually advance [American] political interest? My Clausewitzian assessment is that none of our military options will achieve any political objectives that we have.”last_img read more

Popes John Paul II, John XXIII canonized in Vatican City

first_imgOn Sunday, the legacies of four popes combined in St. Peter’s Square when John XXIII and John Paul II were canonized by Pope Francis in a Mass attended by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.Vatican Radio estimated that around 800,000 people flocked to the St. Peter’s Square area Sunday, making it the largest event in Vatican City since Pope Francis’s 2013 election.Timothy O’Malley, director of the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, said because the canonization of popes is a rare occassion, the celebration of two in a single ceremony was unique.“There’s a special joy in this ceremony of John Paul II being canonized, because he canonized the greatest number of saints by far, more than anyone else before him,” O’Malley said. “He had a very deep commitment to the lives of the saints, and so it’s fitting that he’ll be canonized now and join their ranks.”O’Malley said John XXIII’s canonization was prompted by the whole Church asking for him to be recognized as a saint and to celebrate his feast day.“John XXIII has been Blessed for a long time … but when you’re beatified, you’re not put automatically on the universal calendar of the Church,” he said. “Dioceses asked to celebrate his feast, showing that John XXIII has become universally important, and thus his canonization is a recognition that the whole Church already perceives him as a saint.”The dual papal canonization took place on Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast day very important to John Paul II’s spirituality — but while the Polish pontiff had more connections to the specific date, O’Malley said the decision to canonize the two together is significant.“John XXIII was someone who set forth the Second Vatican Council, and John Paul II had such a force on implementing it in the way that he did,” O’Malley said. “There’s a way in which both popes are taken up into this [date].” Photo courtesy of Michael Kane Pope Francis celebrates Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City on April 20. The pontiff led a dual papal canonization ceremony in the Vatican on Sunday, recognizing the sainthood of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII.John XXIII led the Church from 1958-1963, succeeded by Paul VI and John Paul I. John Paul II was pope from 1978-2005, then Benedict XVI led from 2005 until February 2013, and Francis was installed March 13, 2013. O’Malley said all four popes were interested in the relationship of the Church to the modern world and sought particular ways to deal with that. “You can see John XXIII’s calling of the Second Vatican Council as a promulgation of the Church’s openness to the world,” he said. “And with Pope John Paul II, in some ways he was responsible for the fall of communism in Poland. When he went to Poland in the earliest days of his papacy, it changed the world.”He said as a scholar, Benedict has used his writing and explanations of the faith “to engage seriously with the world,” even writing a letter “as a very serious response … in a spirit of love and charity” to an atheist who critiqued his book “Introduction to Christianity.” O’Malley said Francis also has sought to actively engage the world with Catholicism.“I think you can say that they all have different understandings of the world … but all of them are serious about the Church’s engagement in the world,” he said.O’Malley said he had no doubt that the legacies of John XXIII and John Paul II have shaped Notre Dame and its mission.“John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council, and perhaps nothing has done more to shape the University’s mission and identity than its understanding of its relationship to the world,” he said. “As far as John Paul II goes … it’s a remarkable thing to think that basically from the late 70s to the year 2005, every student who came to Notre Dame knew John Paul II as Pope, the only Pope they’d had.“So that means a great deal of religious life, religious philosophy, the things that we study in the classroom, Catholic Social Teaching — it was shaped by John Paul II. Which means that a great deal of the religious intellectual life here on campus has been formed by that pope.“Notre Dame is different because these two popes existed, just as the whole Church is.”Tags: canonization, Catholic, John Paul II, John XXIII, Pope, saint, Vaticanlast_img read more

Lecture focuses on racism, systematic oppression

first_imgFollowing the backlash against a lecture given by political scientist Charles Murray last spring, the department of Africana Studies initiated the Race and Ideas Lecture Series in partnership with several other academic departments. The second speaker in that series, Dr. Carol Anderson of Emory University spoke on Wednesday night about her most recent book, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Nation’s Divide.”Anderson explained that racism does not always manifest itself in expected ways. Runjie Pan | The Observer Dr. Carol Anderson speaks as part of the Race and Ideas Lecture Series Wednesday. Her talk, “White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of our Nation’s Divide” focused on resistance to racial progress in America.“White rage is not about the way we often think about racism,“ Anderson said. “White rage is not overtly violent. It’s not a [Ku Klux] Klan cross burning. White rage works smoothly, calmly, efficiently, through the legislature, through the courts, through the White House, through Congress, through school boards, through zoning commissions. It works subtly, it works corrosively. And I also began to realize that for white rage to become operational, it wasn’t the presence of black people that did it … Black advancement is the trigger for white rage.”While the seed of Anderson’s understanding of white rage was planted by the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed, 23-year-old black man, by four New York City police officers, it was not until the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the death of Michael Brown that her ideas fully formed. Part of it comes from the narrative of black pathology.“It didn’t matter if it was MSNBC, CNN, or Fox. It didn’t matter. They were all saying the same thing: look at black people burning up where they live … because when you begin to think about it, underneath all of that is a key element that lives vibrantly in American society,“ Anderson said. ”And that is the narrative of black pathology, that there is something systemically wrong with black people.”Anderson said this perspective fails to consider the crippling of the African-American population through policy.“I saw the way that African-Americans’ rights were systematically undermined, but what I also saw, being in this nation, is that we are so focused in on the flames that we miss the kindling. We see the fire and we don’t see what started that fire. And that fire, that kindling, are the policies,” she said.Anderson went on to describe that “kindling,” from policing strategies and voter ID laws to apathetic school boards and mass incarceration. Many of the policies that disenfranchise the African-American population, Anderson said, are couched in patriotic terms that are difficult to argue with. One such instance is the War on Drugs, which many studies show disproportionately targeted African-Americans, Anderson said.“What the War on Drugs actually does is that it eviscerates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 … The rights that are protected under the Civil Rights Act do not apply to felons. So if you have mass incarceration of African-Americans, you have just reversed the gains of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And, as an added bonus, you have permanent felony disenfranchisement, which means that if you have a felony conviction, you cannot vote,” Anderson said.Anderson pointed to the recent focus on voter identification laws following the 2008 election and the subsequent state policy changes that make it virtually impossible for many African-Americans and other minorities to obtain the appropriate identification. In reality, voter fraud is an incredibly rare occurrence, according to a study conducted by Justin Levitt of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.“He looked at voter impersonation fraud because this is what voter ID laws go after … he looked, and what he found, from the years 2000 to 2014 or 15, out of one billion votes there were 31 cases. Yet we have 33 states that have implemented voter suppression laws using the language of protecting the integrity of the ballot box,” Anderson said.Anderson then traced the history of white rage, linking every gain for the rights of African-Americans to a massive pushback from white supremacy embedded in governmental institutions. Anderson finished with a reading from her book, calling for honest conversation and a refusal to stand by and allow oppression to continue.“Not even a full month after Dylann Roof gunned down nine African-Americans at Emmanuel AME, Republican presidential front runner Donald Trump fired up an audience of thousands in July 2015 with a macabre promise: ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take our country back.’ No. It’s time, instead, that we take our country forward, into the future. A better future,” Anderson said.Tags: Africana Studies, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Dr. Carol Anderson, Race and Ideaslast_img read more