Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Yemeni Airlines Flight 626 Crashes into Indian Ocean

A Yemeni Airlines Airbus A310 Jet carrying 153 people crashed into the Indian Ocean during severe weather. This would be the third Airbus jet to crash under similar situations. The first being back on November 12th, 2001 when the A300 American Airlines flight 587 crashed as a result of the overuse of the rudder control caused the tail section to rip off. The root cause of this crash was faulty air speed tubes which provided the pilot with faulty air speed readings.

More recently, Air France flight 447 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009. Although the cause of this crash has not been released yet, there is speculation it may have been as a result of faulty air speed tubes as the tail was ripped off in a manner similar to that of the American Airlines flight.

This problem with faulty air speed tubes is a known issue and Air France Pilots union in Paris France said all pilots should refuse to fly Airbus 330's on any long haul flights unless the flight speed detectors are upgraded with improved airspeed detectors.

According to French Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau, the Yemeni Airlines A310 was inspected in 2007 by French transportation authorities who "noticed a certain number of faults. Since then the plane had not returned to France,". It is not known if these faults were in relation to the Air Speed sensors or if they have even been repaired.

A report from the Yemen news agency Saba said preliminary reports blamed the crash of Yemeni Airlines flight 626, over the Indian Ocean on bad weather in the region. Deputy general manager for Yemenia operations, Mohammad Sumairi said "We still do not have information about the reason behind the crash or survivors, the weather conditions were rough: strong wind and high seas. The wind speed recorded on land at the airport was 61 kilometers [38 miles] an hour. There could be other factors."

At this time, rescue crews are on the scene of the Yemeni Airlines crash and have found 1 surviving toddler. This find is giving rescuers attending the Yemeni Airlines crash in the Indian Ocean hope of finding more survivors.

Yemeni Airlines flight 626 originated in Paris, and passengers changed planes in Sana for the Moroni leg of the journey. The plane was carrying 142 passengers and 11 crew when it crashed into the Indian Ocean.

Related links

Air France flight 447 Disappears over Atlantic Ocean

New clues as to a link between Airbus Crashes

Monday, June 29, 2009

Michael Jackson Autopsy Results Leaked

The horrifying state of Michael Jackson in his final days is evident in the leaked autopsy of Michael Jackson. The details of leaked autopsy of Michael Jackson show he was a mere skeleton. The Michael Jackson Autopsy showed a stomach full of nothing but partially dissolved pills. In his Autopsy report, the Coroner also noted Michael Jackson's hips, thighs and shoulders were riddled with needle wounds which could be the result of Michael's daily injections of Demerol. The leaked autopsy report of Michael Jackson also showed a large number of surgery scars which are thought to be the legacy of at least 13 cosmetic surgeries.

At the time of his death, Michael Jackson was a mere 112 pounds, which is well below the average weight for someone 5 foot 10 inches tall. In addition, the leaked autopsy of Michael Jackson indicated the bridge of his nose had been removed and one side had collapsed.

As if that wasn't enough, the Coroner, also noted in his now leaked autopsy report of Michael Jackson, that the pop star was completely bald with nothing more than peach fuzz underneath his jet black wig.

Michael Jackson died from a heart attack on Thursday afternoon. early reports indicated the cause of Michael Jackson's death may have been a result of his Demerol injections. Judging from the details of the leaked Michael Jackson autopsy, the cause of Michael Jackson's death may have been a combination of factors triggered by one last Demerol injection.

In other Michael Jackson news, BET kicked of a tribute to the life of Michael Jackson with a speech from sister Janet Jackson which went as follows:
"My entire family wanted to be here tonight, but it was too painful," she told the crowd — including her father Joe Jackson — which cheered and stood on its feet. She then said her comments would be brief.

"To you, Michael is an icon," Janet said. "To us, Michael is family. He will forever live in all of our hearts.

"On behalf of my family and myself, thank you for all of your love, thank you for all of your support. We miss him so much. Thank you so much."

In addition, Jamie Foxx did a tribute performance of Michael Jackson's hit "Beat it" complete with Moon walk and genital grasping. You can see the Video of Jamie Foxx performing Beat It at the 2009 BET Awards below

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Death of Michael Jackson - Questions Answers and Mysteries

Not since Michael Jackson was photographed dangling his infant son over a balcony has the freaky one garnered so much internet activity. Since the death of Michael Jackson on thursday afternoon, the internet has been flooded with fans and foes alike searching for some little tidbit about the last moments of Michael Jackson's life.

Searches include Micahel Jackson Death photo's; Michael Jackson Autopsy results; pictures of Michael Jackson's children (Blanket and Prince Michael II); Michael Jackson Sperm Doner; Michael Jackson 911 call; Michael Jackson Demerol which brought way to Michael Jackson Doctor missing and of course Michael Jackson Funeral Plans.

Here is a picture of Michael Jackson being carried away in a stretcher although Michael Jackson was not officially pronounced dead at that point in time, he was not breathing and the paramedics were tyring to bring Michael Jackson back to life with a recesitator.

The cause of Michael Jacksons death seems to be an accidental overdose of Demerol. For those searching for "what is demerol, Demerol is a powerful morphine based painkiller which Micheal Jackson frequently had injected. At this point, it appears Michael Jackson's doctor (Dr. Conrad Robert Murray) is missing and has not commented on why he prescribed Michael Jackson the ongoing Demerol injections which seem to have cause Michael Jacksons death. Although the Michael Jackson Sutopsy results are not in yet, they are expected today and the suspicion is that his Demerol injection was the cause. Perhaps Michael Jackson had a glass of wine (Jesus Juice) alongside his demerol.

Now that Michael Jackson is dead, this leaves the question of his massive estate and who gets Michael Jackson's money. Well, first I guess the large list of creditors would be in line as Michael Jackson was known to have a slight shopping problem. One simply has to look at the items in the last Michael Jackson memoriabilia auction and the items of Michael Jacksons up for sale.

After the creditors, there is of course Michael Jackson's children. This brings up an interesting scenario. We know Debbie Rowe is the biological mother of Michael Jacksons children Blanket and Prince Michael II. The question arises, who is the biological father of Michael Jackson's children.
Apparently there was a sperm doner involved in the whole thing. This would mean there is a Biological father of Michael Jacksons children Blanket and Prince Michael II. It is unclear whether the sperm doner would have any parental rights to the children of the late Michael Jackson. Why the fuss, well, whoever gets custody of Michael Jacksons children will also have some level of control over Michael Jackson's estate and money. The mother of Michael Jackson's children, Debbie Rowe, apparently knows who the sperm doner and Biological father of Blanket and Prince Michael II is, but she is not telling.

Speaking of Michael Jackson and his children Blanket and Prince Michael II, whose photo's are above, remember the Michael Jackson baby dangling incident? In case you forgot, here is a picture of Michael Jackson dangling his infant child Blanket over a balcony.

Back to the death of Michael Jackson. We have obtained an MP3 Audio file of the Michael Jackson 911 call which can be downloaded from here MICHAEL JACKSON 911 CALL Here is a transcript of the Michael Jackson 911 Call

Caller: Uh, sir, I have—we have, uh, a gentleman here that needs help, and he's not breathing. He's not breathing and we need to—we're trying to pump him, but he's not. . .He's not.
911 Operator: OK, how old is he?
Caller: He's 50 years old, sir.
911 Operator: 50? OK. He's unconscious, he's not breathing?
Caller: Yes. He's not breathing, sir.

a few moments after, the caller tells the dispatcher that Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Robert Murray, was performing CPR but Michael Jackson was still not breathing.
The dispatcher asks the caller if the doctor saw what happened, at which point a voice is heard in the background shouting, "They need to come!"

Caller: Sir, if you just, uh, um, if you can please—
911 Operator: We're on our way, we're on our way, I'm just passing these questions on to my, uh, paramedics that are on the way there, sir.
Caller: Thank you, sir. He's pumping, he's pumping his chest, but he's not responding to anything, sir, please.

File under

michael jackson 911, michael jackson autopsy results, michael jackson 911 call, michael jackson death photos, michael jackson been michael jackson 911 tape death tape. demerol, demerol injection, demerol side effects, demerol michael jackson, what is demerol. michael jackson autopsy, michael jackson funeral, michael jackson autopsy photos, michael jackson death photos, michael jackson autopsy pictures. Jesus Juice alcohol and demerol.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009


Earlier this afternoon, MICHAEL JACKSON was rushed to a Los Angelas area hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest. When the Paramedics arrived at Michael Jackson's home in the A fire department official said Jackson was not breathing when paramedics arrived at his rented Bel Air mansion at 12:26 p.m., the freeky one was not breathing.

The paramedics tried in vain to bring Michael Jackson back from the dead. Prior to Michael Jackson being pronounced dead, A member of Michael Jackson's family member reportedly said that Michael was in "really bad shape" and his brothers are headed to UCLA. Michael Jackson's father, Joe, reportedly said that his son is "not doing too well."

Although many details are sketchy, some reports indicate Michael Jackson is still hanging on for dear life at the UCLA Medical centre in Los Angeles. Sorry folks, Michael Jackson is indeed dead... deceased... passed on... gone to meet his maker...

The report of Michael Jackson's death comes shortly before his much anticipated performances in London's O2 arena. These shows were scheduled with the financial backing of two billionaires. Prior to the announcement of Michael Jackson'd death, British newspapers reported on a mad rush for some newly released Limited number of tickets. It is unsure how refunds for the Michael Jackson O2 arena performances will be handled although some people are expected to hold onto their tickets as collectors items.

GOOGLE VOICE - Sign up and get your own GOOGLE PHONE NUMBER

GOOGLE will be launching their very own VOIP type service known as GOOGLE VOICE. This service will allow GOOGLE VOICE members to obtain their very own GOOGLE VOICE PHONE NUMBER from Google Voice which would expand on existing Google Chat features.

according to rumors, Google Voice will give Google Voice members a Google Voice Mail box which would enable friends from all over the world to leave messages. Rumors also indicate a rich offering of features from Google Voice which would include Call forwarding of your Google Voice calls to any phone around the world. Details on the cost of Google Voice are not available at this time, however Google Voice is a service currently going through testing via GrandCentral, a company Google purchased awhile back.

Apparently, GOOGLE VOICE has already purchased 1 Million phone numbers from a provisioning company to test out the many features of GOOGLE VOICE.

Some of the features of Google Voice include


Call screening - Announce and screen callers
Listen in - Listen before taking a call
Block calls - Keep unwanted callers at bay
SMS - Send, receive, and store SMS
Place calls - Call US numbers for free
Taking calls - Answer on any of your phones
Phone routing - Phones ring based on who calls
Forwarding phones - Add phones and decide which ring

Voicemail transcripts - Read what your voicemail says
Listen to voicemail - Check online or from your phone
Notifications - Receive voicemails via email or SMS
Personalize greeting - Vary greetings by caller
Share voicemail - Forward or download voicemails

Conference calling - Join people into a single call
Call record - Record calls and store them online
Call switch - Switch phones during a call
Mobile site - View your inbox from your mobile
GOOG-411 - Check directory assistance
Manage groups - Set preferences by group

At this time, it appears GOOGLE VOICE is available only to GrandCentral users. If you are looking to get an Invite to join Google Voice via GrandCentral click here

More information on Google Voice, including HOW TO SIGN UP FOR GOOGLE VOICE can be found here


Sexy Starlet Megan Fox has apologized for brushing of a young British fan now known as "Yellow Rose Boy". The story started when Megan Fox was leaving the June 15 London premiere of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen." As you can see from the picture, a chubby little fat kid wanted to get a little closer to Megan Fox by offering her a Yellow Rose.

Since the release of the "Megan Fox Yellow Rose Boy" picture, Megan Fox has apologized to Yellow Rose Boy stating "There were, like, 80 million people everywhere, It’s dark, all I see are flashes. Everyone’s yelling different things… and I didn’t know that was happening. I’m sorry, sweet boy, I would never do that to you, and I would gladly accept your rose if I see you again."

Megan Fox went as far as to say "I feel so sad for him. That’s so terrible. That kills me."

Touched by the sincerity of Megan Fox's Apology, (and the potential world wide exposure - no pun intended) Kodak is offering to help the "Yellow Rose Boy" with his dream to reach out and touch Megan Fox. Kodak is urging "Yellow Rose Boy" to come forward and identify himself so that the company can help him meet the Megan Fox. Kodak is even offering to cover travel expenses for the young fan and his family and offering up a brand new Yellow Rose.

Related Links


File under
megan fox rose boy, rose des sables, rose boy, megan fox, transformers 2, shia labeouf

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Ed McMahon, Johnny Carson's ever constant sidekick is back by his old friends side.

Ed McMahon, who spent nearly three decades as late night TV King Johnny Carson’s sidekick on “The Tonight Show” as well as several other public appearances, died today at the age of 86. The late Ed McMahon's publicist Howard Bragman told the Associated Press that Ed McMahon died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center surrounded by his family. Howard did not indicate a cause of death, saying Ed McMahon had suffered through a "multitude of health problems the last few months."

Johnny Carson and Ed McMahon were a late night TV team beyond compare. Carson and McMahon were always perfect in bouncing routines off each other. Where Johnny Carson would jump in with a quick witted retort, Ed McMahon would always be by his side ensuring the audience appreciated the humour behind the joke.

Ed McMahon outlived his boss and buddy by just over 4 years since Johnny Carson died on January 23, 2005. Since Johnny Carson gave up the Tonight show Ed McMahon could be found as an always ready promoter of various products as his booming voice was so recognizable to the American public from his famous line "Heeeeere's Johnny!!!"

Since the death of Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon has gone through financial turmoil and several health issues. More recently Ed McMahon's penned a book about his life beside Johnny Carson entitled "Here's Johnny"

Collectors of TV memorabilia are rushing to purchase whatever Ed McMahon collectables they can get their hands on as these things sadly tend to increase in value after a stars death. This is a fever Ed McMahon sure could have enjoyed during his 86 year life.

file under

ed mcmahon dead, johnny carson death ed mcmahon, johnny carson, ed mcmahon death, ed mcmahon died

Saturday, June 13, 2009

MEMPHIS Hit hardest by Tropical Storm

Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee were hit hard by a violent storm system which started on Friday afternoon. The severe rain and wind knocked out power lines, toppled trees and smashed through windows leaving people in the region unsure of what was hitting them.

At this time, Memphis Light Gas and Water is reporting 129,000 customers are without power and it is estimated some homes in the Memphis area will not have power for at least a week.

The NOAA radar map is not showing any HURRICANES following the storm which started in Memphis. For UP TO DATE HURRICANE COVERAGE check out the Hurricane Tracker website

Below is some local news from the Memphis region on the storm.

Team 3 Coverage: Storm Damage
WREG Staff
10:33 PM CDT, June 12, 2009

Violent storms hit the Mid-South
129,000 MLGW customers without power
Could be a week before all power is restored

( Memphis June 12, 2009 ) -- Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee were hit hard by a violent storm system that swept through the region just as the evening rush hour started Friday. Trees toppled onto houses and power lines blocked roads. In Northeast Memphis a truck rolled over on Interstate 40 near Covington Pike injuring the driver. The heavy rains forced drivers on every interstate and stretch of road to slow down or stop.

North Memphis was hit hard. The roof was blown off an old Sears building and trees fell on several homes. People in the area say their calls for help went unanswered leaving them to come together and clean up the mess.

Investigators from the National Weather Service will be in town Saturday checking out the damage and determining if tornados or powerful winds caused the destruction.

Power crews are spread out all across the Mid-South trying to get the lights back on in many neighborhoods. Right now Memphis Light Gas and Water is reporting 129,000 customers are without power. Midtown, North Memphis and the Bartlett area have the most outages. Entergy is reporting 2,000 customers without power. Most of them in Forrest City and Wynne.

Tree Falls on West Memphis Man During Storm

MEMPHIS, TN – Memphis police say a man was hurt when a tree fell on him while he was trying to take refuge from a strong storm that rolled through the city.

According to a Memphis police spokesperson, the West Memphis man and his daughter were at the Pyramid when the storm crossed the Mississippi River into Memphis. Police say they were trying to take cover from the storm when a tree fell and hit the man.

The 40 year-old was taken to The MED in critical condition and has since been upgraded to serious condition.

Severe Storm Slams
Downtown Memphis
Updated: Friday, 12 Jun 2009, 9:24 PM CDT
Published : Friday, 12 Jun 2009, 9:16 PM CDT

Memphis, TN - Broken glass was the majority of damage found in Downtown Memphis immediately after Friday's afternoon storms.

"It was worse than I expected," said art gallery owner, Deborah Taylor.

Taylor owns D Edge Art Gallery on South Main. It lost one of it's store front windows following whipping winds.

"I was told roofing blew off and hit the window but I don't see any roofing," Taylor said.

The sharpness of the glass shattering punctured a piece of folk art but the rest was saved. Across the street at Central Station Apartments even more damage.

"I didn't have any damage to my apartment, just my car windows blown out," James Stone said.

A string of cars along the Main Street entrance took a real beating.

"In a matter of 2 or 3 minutes because we were looking at the storm come through from the apartment," Stone said.

In the Midtown area a tree snapped at Poplar and Avalon, knocking out power lines. Not far from the Memphis Zoo, more toppled trees. One uprooted onto a house on Hawthorne. No one was home. But the family pets inside at the time are ok. And in the Chickasaw Gardens area on Central Avenue, another fallen tree.

"The house is fine, it just messed up our parking situation a little bit," said Ryan Fuess.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Texas Police use Taser on 72 Year old Grandmother

72-year-old woman tasered

AUSTIN, Tex. - A police dashboard camera shows exactly what happened between a deputy constable and a 72-year-old woman in Austin, Texas right before the officer tased her.

The officer says Kathryn Winkfein -- a great-grandmother -- mouthed off and got physical during a traffic stop on May 11, 2009.

Deputy Chris Bieze stopped Winkfein for speeding. After he completed the paper work -- she refused to sign it. That's when things got ugly. According to the deputy, he shoved Winkfein so she would get away from the side of the highway.

The elderly woman started to tease the officer... "daring" him to use his taser on her. He warned her several times she was in danger of being tasered.

The officer eventually did use the device that delivers a shock. Winkfein wasn't hurt, but you can hear here moans of agony on the tape right after it happened.

Travis County, Texas Sergeant Major Gary Griffin says after reviewing the footage the officer followed policy and stands by his decision to use it.

The dash cam video of this incident lasts about 1:45.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Investigators searching the WRECKAGE OF AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447 have found more clues as to the cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447.

The clue to the cause of the crash of Air France Flight 447 comes in the way of the fairly intact TAIL SECTION OF AIR FRANCE FLIGHT 447. The Tail of Air France Flight 447 was found almost intact which is similar to that of the November 12, 2001 crash of AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 587 which was also an AIRBUS A300. In the American Airlines Flight 587 crash, investigators found the cause to be the first officers overuse of the rudder controls which caused the Tail section to rip off the ill fated Airbus A300.

In addition, there is some indication the Autopilot for Air France Flight 447 was disengaged for some four minutes prior to the crash. Although the reason for the shut off of the Autopilot on Air France Flight 447 is unknown, some experts are speculating the pilot of Air France Flight 447 may have disengaged the autopilot feature due to severe storm conditions, which is a common practice.

At the same time, a representative of the Air France Pilots union in Paris France said all pilots should refuse to fly Airbus 330's on any long haul flights unless the flight speed detectors are upgraded with improved airspeed detectors.

Although there is no official announcement on the topic, speculation indicates the Pilot of Air France Flight 447 may have over compensated on the rudder control due to lack of proper knowledge of the planes air speed.

Air France recently announced it had accelerated a program to replace the three independent flight speed detectors, known as PILOT TUBES or PILOT PROBES. Air France officials indicated the upgrading initiative was conducted "without making any assumptions" that faulty or outdated air speed indicators caused the crash of Air France Flight 447.

The discovery of the intact Tail Section of Air France Flight 447 gives raised hope to the possible discovery of the flight data recorders or "Black Box". The US Navy is enroute with high-tech underwater listening devices which investigators hope will help them to detect pings emitted from the data and voice recorders or "Black Box" of Air France Flight 447.

Brazilian and French military ships that have so far recovered 16 bodies and large amounts of plane wreckage searched amid a sea of floating debris.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


A THAI NEWSPAPER, the THAI RATH has released a PICTURE OF the late actor DAVID CARRADINE HANGING in his hotel room. Speculation is already floating around about DAVID CARRADINE COMMITTING SUICIDE BY HANGING HIMSELF and this picture may add fuel to the fire. The odd thing about the THAI RATH picture of DAVID CARRADINE HANGING (if it is indeed a PICTURE OF DAVID CARRADINE HANGING) it seems David's hands are bound.

Aside from the near impossibility of tieing his own hands, the question arises, if DAVID CARRADINE was to hang himself, why would he do it in such a fashion?

72 year old David Carradine starred in the 1970s-era U.S. television show "Kung Fu" and the more recent "Kill Bill" movies. His body was discovered on Thursday by a maid in the Bangkok hotel suite where David Carradine was staying while filming the upcoming movie "Stretch."

The family of David Carradine has asked U.S. authorities to help unravel the mystery of his death, amid conflicting reports about how DAVID CARRADINE's body was found HANGING naked in a Bangkok hotel.

Some rumours say David Carradine was found Castrated as his Genitalia had been cut off Pre-mortum.

Related Links

"Stretch" Producers work on re-write since the death / murder of David Carradine

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Thursday, June 4, 2009


Obama Speech Gets Solid Reaction World-Wide

In a major speech aimed at repairing ties between the U.S. and the Muslim world, President Barack Obama drew a somewhat positive response from corners of the globe not given to complimenting the U.S.

From Cairo to Baghdad, Arabs watching President Obama's speech said he won their admiration for peppering the address with the type of moral message Muslims receive at weekly homilies as well as the straightforward talk that they rarely get from their own leadership.

"He seems like a committed and serious man," said Ahmed Farouk, a 25-year-old movie producer who sat in an Egyptian coffee house a few minutes drive from Cairo University, where Mr. Obama spoke. "Just one of him is worth 10 George Bushes."

Muslims in Nairobi, Kenya, generally were encouraged by Mr. Obama's outreach Thursday, especially his emphasis on living in peace with the Muslim world, saying his speech had done much to repair damage to that relationship. But they still are waiting for action to match his words.

On a hot, busy Thursday afternoon, Muslims caught bits of the address before or after midday prayers, in their offices or on screens in quiet cafes downtown.

Sadiki Hamisi Halfani, a 42-year-old Islamic studies teacher, said he admired Mr. Obama's message of tolerance as a universal ideal.

"He was brave to talk about the things he did," Mr. Halfani said, standing outside the Jamia Mosque, the main mosque downtown, as men came from their midday prayers. Mr. Halfani was particularly struck by Mr. Obama's reference to Jerusalem as a town of the children of Abraham. "He said that Muslims, Christians and Jews were supposed to live together. And Muslims are supposed to live like brothers with other people."

But he and others were disappointed that Mr. Obama didn't include leaders of autocratic African nations in his address. "He could have talked about Africa, and insisted Africans maintain peace, just like he did with Iran," Mr. Halfani said.

Al-Amin Kimathi, the leader of the Muslim Human Rights Forum in Kenya, also wanted Mr. Obama to go further in addressing dictatorial governments. "He really toned down on addressing the autocratic behavior of Muslim regimes," Mr. Kimathi said. "But from the venue he chose, we didn't expect much."

Mr. Kimathi said the speech did mark a major shift in the American attitude toward the Muslim world that he hoped would spread. "The leadership in these parts, the Kenyan government for instance, needs to see that change of attitude. That would signify that they also need to change their attitude toward Muslims in this country."

Abdi Rahaman Ibrahim, who is 45 and unemployed, learned about the speech today and made sure he was at a café in time to watch. He followed Mr. Obama's words closely and was pleased with his bid for equality for all people, in particular the Palestinians.

"Most of us were suspicious of him, but… he knows about the Quran and the roots of Islam," Mr. Ibrahim said.

But now, he and others want action. "The Palestinians must now be given independence, so we will believe him more," Mr. Ibrahim said, as others who had gathered around to listen to him speak nodded in agreement. They also expect the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to be closed, as Mr. Obama has ordered, and fair trials held for the detainees. "That place is not good at all for the human being," he said.

"What we were expecting [from the speech], mostly he has done it," said Abdulahi Galgalo. "Now, we are waiting for him."

Meanwhile, in Iraq, Mr. Obama's speech failed to generate a lot of interest. Many Iraqis were unaware that the American president was giving such a speech, and several Baghdad residents said they hadn't watched it. The major local newspapers didn't feature preview stories on it in Thursday's editions.

Ali Hussein, a Baghdad shop owner, happened to be flipping through channels on his television in his store when he came upon the broadcast of Mr. Obama's speech. He decided to tune in but wasn't impressed by what he heard. "There didn't seem to be anything new in it and it was similar to things he had said when he was campaigning," Mr. Hussein said. "I wanted to hear something new about Iraq because of what America did here so I was disappointed."

Ahmed Dagher, a government employee, caught the speech after he arrived home from work. He said Mr. Obama spoke as if he was halfway between a Muslim cleric and a Christian priest. But because of Mr. Obama's past ties to Islam, Mr. Dagher said the American president's speech sounded more authentic, as he wouldn't have believed those words if they came out of the mouth of former President George W. Bush.

"It was a good speech, and I enjoyed listening to it," Mr. Dagher said. "But I don't think it will bring any real changes to this region."

When focused on the details of the speech, instead of the tone, many Muslims saw disappointing holes and fewer specifics than they would have liked, especially when it came to the vexing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Since being sworn into office, Mr. Obama has taken a tougher line towards Israel than the Bush administration did. On Thursday, he reiterated his view that Israeli settlement building in the West Bank must stop, a message that has been rejected by the Israeli government.

Zafarul-Islam Khan, president of the All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat, the umbrella body of Indian Muslim organizations, said that he was waiting for actions, not words, as evidence that Mr. Obama represented a tangible change from President Bush.

"He was rather mild on Israel and did not tell us what he proposes to do if Israel rejects peace with its neighbors and continues to subjugate Palestinians and occupy their land," said Mr. Khan. "In general, this is a good beginning but only future will tell how far America is ready to go after eight years of a totally uncalled for war on Islam."

—Sarah Childress in Nairobi, Kenya, Gina Chon in Baghdad and Sonya Misquitta in Mumbai contributed to this article.

File under

obama speech to muslims, al qaeda, obama, obama speech in egypt, osama bin laden

President Obama has spoken proudly of American Muslims, even referencing his heritage as the son of a Muslim man, ahead of his highly anticipated speech Thursday in Cairo aimed at shoring up relations between the U.S. and the Muslim world.

Obama's openness about his own Muslim heritage may seem startling after his presidential campaign last year went to great lengths to debunk false rumors about his religion -- he is Christian -- but the president showed long ago that he is comfortable talking about his roots, which are addressed in his two biographical books, "Dreams From My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."

Now, Obama appears to be citing those roots as a tool for encouraging more moderate elements of Islamic society to rise up and ally with the United States.

He referred to his childhood in Indonesia in an interview with the BBC ahead of his trip. Adviser Denis McDonough did the same on Friday.

In an interview with a French television network, Obama also stressed the need for a better dialogue and the common ground between East and West.

"One of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world," he said.

And while addressing the Turkish Parliament two months ago, Obama said the United States has been "enriched" by Muslims.

"Many other Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim-majority country -- I know, because I am one of them," Obama said.

Obama administration officials acknowledged Wednesday that they have emphasized certain elements of the president's Muslim background as he prepares to deliver his speech.

"The background is appropriate in this speech," a senior administration official said. "It partially opens the door to dialogue. I don't think there's any question he has a unique background that has value."

Obama's father, stepfather, brother and grandfather were Muslims, and his name means "Blessed" in Arabic. But "although my father had been raised a Muslim, by the time he met my mother he was a confirmed atheist," Obama wrote in "Audacity of Hope."

When Obama was 2 years old, his parents divorced and his father moved away from the family's home in Hawaii. Four years later, his mother married an Indonesian man, Lolo Soetoro, who moved his new wife and stepson to Jakarta. Obama attended a Muslim school in Indonesia for two years as a child, he wrote in in "Dreams From My Father," his first memoir.

"The teacher wrote to tell my mother that I made faces during Koranic studies," he said.

Obama was exposed to a variety of religious experiences at a young age.

"During the five years that we would live with my stepfather in Indonesia, I was sent first to a neighborhood Catholic school and then to a predominately Muslim school," Obama wrote in "Audacity." "In our household, the Bible, the Koran, and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf."

And yet, he was not raised as a Muslim. Nor was he raised as a Christian by his mother, an American named Stanley Ann Dunham who was deeply skeptical of religion.

As a result, he said, "I was not raised in a religious household."

As an adult, while working as a community organizer for a group of churches in Chicago, Obama was repeatedly asked to join Christian congregations, but begged off.

"I remained a reluctant skeptic, doubtful of my own motives, wary of expedient conversion, having too many quarrels with God to accept a salvation too easily won," he wrote, but after much soul searching, he was baptized at Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ.

"It came about as a choice and not an epiphany; the questions I had did not magically disappear," he explained. "But kneeling beneath that cross on the South Side of Chicago, I felt God's spirit beckoning me. I submitted myself to His will, and dedicated myself to discovering His truth."

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


High security on Tiananmen Square

BBC - China has boosted security in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, ahead of Thursday's anniversary of the killings in 1989. Many dissidents say they have been told to leave Beijing or are confined to their homes. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of people died in the Tiananmen crackdown, and open discussion of the events of 20 years ago remains taboo in China. Even in Hong Kong, where freedom of expression is guaranteed, some dissidents have been denied entry.

Xiang Xiaoji, now a US citizen, was trying to come to Hong Kong on Wednesday to join commemorative events being held to mark the anniversary. But he was refused entry and returned to New York. Another prominent protest leader, Wu'er Kaixi, flew from his home in Taiwan to Macau on Wednesday, but was detained on arrival. Mr Kaixi told reporters that he had wanted to go from Macau into mainland China, to see his parents.

On the eve of the anniversary, police have been examining visitors at checkpoints dotted around Tiananmen Square, and checking the bags and papers of people in the area. Some journalists say they have been turned away from the site.
Ding Zilin, the head of a group called Tiananmen Mothers - made up of women whose children were shot dead in the crackdown - has reportedly been blocked from leaving her home, as has the wife of jailed dissident Hu Jia.

Bao Tong - a former official who was purged for sympathising with the Tiananmen protesters - was escorted out of Beijing last week. The Chinese Communist Party has never held an official inquiry into what happened in and around the square 20 years ago, and discussion of the issue is banned on the mainland. In the run-up to the anniversary, the authorities are also blocking social networking sites such as Twitter and Flickr.

Even the architect of Beijing's Bird's Nest Olympic stadium, Ai Weiwei, says his blogs have been blocked. "Three of my blogs have all been shut down," he told the BBC. "I don't know the exact reason, but I can sense it's about the coming-up anniversary."

While one exiled Tiananmen leader, Xiong Yan, was allowed into Hong Kong at the weekend, another student leader, Xiang Xiaoji, and a Danish sculptor who made a statue entitled Pillar of Shame were both denied entry. As a former British colony, Hong Kong is guaranteed autonomy and freedom of expression by the Chinese, but bans on Mr Xiang and others are adding to a growing sense of unease over how solid the territory's rights record really is.

According to the BBC's Vaudine England in Hong Kong, the ruling elite of Beijing-appointed civil servants and powerful business figures believes closeness to Beijing is the only guarantee of survival. Yet the majority of Hong Kong people consistently suggest in surveys that they want the freedoms they were promised.

The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 culminating in the Tiananmen Square massacre (referred to in Chinese as the June Fourth Incident, to avoid confusion with two other Tiananmen Square protests) were a series of demonstrations in and near Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the People's Republic of China (PRC) beginning on April 14. Led mainly by students and intellectuals, the protests occurred in a year that saw the collapse of a number of communist governments around the world.

The protests were sparked by the death of pro-market, pro-democracy and anti-corruption official, Hu Yaobang, whom protesters wanted to mourn. By the eve of Hu's funeral, 100,000 people had gathered on the Tiananmen square. While the protests lacked a unified cause or leadership, participants were generally against the government's authoritarianism and voiced calls for economic change and democratic reform within the structure of the government. The demonstrations centered on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, but large-scale protests also occurred in cities throughout China, including Shanghai, which remained peaceful throughout the protests.

The movement lasted seven weeks from Hu's death on 15 April until tanks cleared Tiananmen Square on 4 June. In Beijing, the resulting military response to the protesters by the PRC government left many civilians dead or severely injured. The number of deaths is not known and many different estimates exist. There were early reports of Chinese Red Cross sources giving a figure of 2,600 deaths, but the Chinese Red Cross has denied ever doing so. The official Chinese government figure is 241 dead, including soldiers, and 7,000 wounded.

Following the violence, the government conducted widespread arrests to suppress protesters and their supporters, cracked down on other protests around China, banned the foreign press from the country and strictly controlled coverage of the events in the PRC press. Members of the Party who had publicly sympathized with the protesters were purged, with several high-ranking members placed under house arrest, such as General Secretary Zhao Ziyang. The violent suppression of the Tiananmen Square protest caused widespread international condemnation of the PRC government.