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Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Found


Interesting stuff… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: SPACE.com

SPACE.com

Brightest Galaxy in the Universe Found

A newfound galaxy 12.5 billion light-years from Earth is the most luminous one known in the universe, blazing more brightly than 300 trillion suns, a new study reports.

The engine behind the galaxy’s brilliance may be a supermassive black hole, researchers said. Such behemoths lurk at the heart of most, if not all, galaxies; material spiraling down into the black holes’ maws heats up tremendously, emitting huge amounts of light in visible, ultraviolet and X-ray wavelengths.

If this is indeed what’s going on with the newly discovered galaxy, which is known as WISE J224607.57-052635.0, it raises an interesting question: How did the supermassive black hole get so big, so fast? After all, astronomers are seeing the object as it existed 12.5 billion years ago, when the universe was just 1.3 billion years old.

The black hole may simply have been born big, researchers said.

“How do you get an elephant?” study co-author Peter Eisenhardt, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. “One way is start with a baby elephant.”

But there are other possible explanations as well.

“Another way for a black hole to grow this big is for it to have gone on a sustained binge, consuming food faster than typically thought possible,” said study lead author Chao-Wei Tsai, also of JPL. “This can happen if the black hole isn’t spinning that fast.”

The feeding rates of black holes are limited by the light emitted by superheated infalling material, which pushes away surrounding gas. The more slowly the black hole spins, the less future food it blasts away into space, researchers explained.

Such supermassive black holes “could be gorging themselves on more matter for a longer period of time,” said co-author Andrew Blain, of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. “It’s like winning a hot-dog-eating contest lasting hundreds of millions of years.”

NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft — for which Eisenhardt serves as project scientist — spotted WISE J224607.57-052635.0 along with 19 other “extremely luminous infrared galaxies,” or ELIRGs. The powerful light from the ELIRGs’ cores heated up surrounding dust clouds, which then emitted infrared radiation that WISE detected.

“We found in a related study with WISE that as many as half of the most luminous galaxies only show up well in infrared light,” Tsai said.

The new study appears in the May 22 issue of The Astrophysical Journal.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com.

Syria says Islamic State executes hundreds in Palmyra


What is happening in Syria (and Iraq) is disgusting. The fact that the president of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, is still in power is a joke. In fact, Muslims are a joke! These people can’t govern themselves. They are ruthless, barbaric tribal people still living in the sixth century, and their political leaders are basically scum; all of them. There is no hope for this region of the world. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters have executed at least 400 people in Palmyra since capturing the ancient Syrian city four days ago, Syrian state media said on Sunday.

It was not immediately possible to verify the account, but it was consistent with reports by activists that the Islamist fighters had carried out executions since capturing the city from government troops.

The militants seized the city of 50,000 people, site of some of the world’s most extensive and best preserved ancient Roman ruins, on Wednesday, days after also capturing the city of Ramadi in neighboring Iraq.

The two near simultaneous victories were Islamic State’s biggest successes since a U.S.-led coalition began an air war against the fighters last year, and have forced an examination of whether the strategy is working.

The Sunni Muslim militants have proclaimed a caliphate to rule over all Muslims from territory they hold in both Syria and Iraq. They have a history of carrying out mass killings in towns and cities they capture, and of destroying ancient monuments which they consider evidence of paganism.

“The terrorists have killed more than 400 people.. and mutilated their bodies, under the pretext that they cooperated with the government and did not follow orders,” Syria’s state news agency said, citing residents inside the city.

It added that dozens of those killed were state employees, including the head of nursing department at the hospital and all her family members.

Islamic State supporters have posted videos on the Internet they say show fighters going room to room in government buildings searching for government troops and pulling down pictures of President Bashar al-Assad and his father.

Activists have said on social media that hundreds of bodies, believed to be government loyalists, were in the streets.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors violence in the country with a network of sources on the ground, says that some people were beheaded in the town since it fell but has not given an estimate for the death toll among civilians.

It says at least 300 soldiers were killed in the days of fighting before the city was captured.

“A bigger number of troops have disappeared and it is not clear where they are,” Rami Abdulrahman from the Observatory told Reuters.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; editing by Peter Graff)

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ISIS is about to make A LOT of money off ‘the archaeological equivalent of a beheading’


In just a few days a group such as Islamic State can destroy thousands of years of history.

At first thought it boggles my mind that the combined armies of Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, the Emirates, etc. cannot destroy this group. But thinking about it, I can see why they don’t unite in a concerted effort to destroy ISIS. For one thing, deep down inside (and maybe not even that deeply) these other governments sympathize with ISIS, as for the most part they also have a hard-core Islamic mentality, especially Saudi Arabia. Also, these Arab countries all have their differences; they tolerate one another but that’s as far as it goes. At the end of the day Muslims are tribal, they have tribes within tribes. As such, there is little chance that entire nations would unite for a common cause. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Business Insider

Business Insider

 Palmyra

The Islamic State terror group continued its rampage across areas of the Middle East this week, seizing the ancient town of Palmyra in Syria.

Palmyra is strategically located — as The Wall Street Journal notes, it’s at a crossroads between Damascus, the capital of Syria, Homs, a supply center for the Syrian army, and Deir al-Zor, a government stronghold.

Another big motivating factor for the terror group (also known as ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) is money.

Palmyra is an ancient city that has been occupied for thousands of years and has seen many civilizations pass through it. It’s home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many valuable artifacts.

Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Business Insider that ISIS makes most of its money from racketeering, which includes collecting “taxes” from the residents who live within the borders of the territory it has taken over, plundering people’s homes, and looting historical sites and selling antiquities on the black market.

“It’s a racket. And that’s how ISIS continues to survive and thrive,” Schanzer said. “They need to jump from community to community in order to sustain themselves financially.” 

ISIS Islamic State Iraq Syria map

Smugglers who talked to BuzzFeed News described Palmyra as a potential windfall to their business. One Syrian smuggler said he was sure ISIS would sell the artifacts they could get their hands on in Palmyra.

Museum workers reportedly removed as many artifacts as they could before Palmyra fell earlier this week, but there are likely many antiquities left behind that ISIS could still plunder.

“[The regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad] is trying to mitigate the damage and perhaps prevent ISIS from being able to cash in” on the antiquities in Palmyra, Schanzer said. He added that there is major profit to be gained from treasures that can be taken to market. Analysts are unsure of specifics, but ISIS could make tens of millions of dollars from one archaeological area, Schanzer noted.

There’s also evidence of ISIS digging up archaeological sites in other areas and taking whatever they can, according to The New Yorker. One archaeologist said some sites looked like “Swiss cheese” because of all the holes.

Palmyra

ISIS likely works with smugglers who have networks in the Middle East and can transport looted goods into Turkey and other countries where there is a black-market demand for them.

“There are almost certainly going to be antiquities dealers waiting in the wings waiting to spirit this stuff out of [Palmyra],” Schanzer said. “In Turkey in particular … you’ve got these fairly lawless borders, borders that have been exploited repeatedly … so the assumption is that we’ve got established smuggling routes and people bringing illicit goods over the border.”

The looting also serves another purpose: ISIS releases propaganda videos of militants destroying ancient sites in a bid to attract recruits and get media attention from the shock value of the destruction. Much of the media coverage surrounding the seizure of Palmyra focused on the fact that a UNESCO World Heritage Site was now in danger.

“The horror and shock, this is the archaeological equivalent of a beheading,” Schanzer said. “Certainly there will be the shock value of this and that will jolt people.”

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Atop One World Trade Center, high-tech views of bustling NYC


This is what Americans do; we re-build, we move forward. We’re a compassionate people, but we never, ever give up and we never forget… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Atop One World Trade Center, observatory offers high-tech displays along with sweeping views

The One World Trade Center Tower is seen from West Street in New York

NEW YORK (AP) — From the top of One World Trade Center, the nation’s tallest building, it really does seem as if you can “see forever.”

Those two words are the motto of the center’s new observatory that opens May 29, offering spectacular, wraparound views stretching 50 miles past the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty to the Atlantic Ocean.

But even when the 1,776-foot building disappears into the clouds, as it did on a recent day, there are still plenty of high-tech videos and multimedia displays that reflect the hope and optimism of a building and a city that rose from the ruins of the nation’s deadliest terror attack.

“This is a reminder of moving forward,” said David Checketts, the CEO of Legends, which operates the $86 million observatory atop the 104-story skyscraper. “The World Trade Center got knocked down, and we built it back up.”

Visitors who enter the One World Observatory — its official name — encounter a delicate balance of future and past, with only brief references to the twin towers that were slammed by terrorist-hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing more than 2,700 people.

Just above the street-level entrance, faces of men and women who toiled to erect the mammoth, gleaming tower appear in a jagged tunnel that replicates the trade center’s bedrock, their recorded voices filled with both pain and pride.

One World Trade Observatory

Stepping from the elevator, visitors are greeted with display panels showing 3-D, bird’s eye scenes of the metropolis. The panels then lift to reveal New York City — right now.

There’s another display called “City Pulse,” a ring of high-definition video monitors marking popular city activities, neighborhoods and “hot spots.” A wave of the hand in the direction of any of these subjects opens the latest details on everything from sports and theater to the best pizza locations. For an additional $15, visitors may use iPads that scan the skyline, popping up imagery and information narrated by novelist Jay McInerney.

There’s no need to creep to the observatory’s edge for a dizzying view of the city about a quarter-mile below. Visitors can stand on a round video platform that shows an actual livestream of the view straight down.

And perhaps the most hair-raising moment of the whole visit is the elevator ride down. LED screens surrounding passengers simulate the flight of a bird or plane high above the site, dipping and soaring around the skyscrapers all the way back to the ground.

The observatory is open to adults for $32, and less for seniors and children — comparable to Empire State Building fees. Tickets may be purchased online, for a precise time to avoid overcrowding.

Checketts, who expects about 3 million to 4 million visitors a year, said the symbolic importance of the building makes a visit to the observatory a special experience.

One World Trade Observatory

“I was just looking out at the Statue of Liberty, and frankly, I got emotional about it,” he said of his first visit. “It’s this point in New York, in this city that we all love and it’s rebuilt. It’s back up.”

____

Online:

One World Observatory: https://oneworldobservatory.com

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Sam Harris on Islam: Message to the Left/Liberals


Sam Harris discusses Islam… TGO

Video: YouTube

Suicide bomber strikes Saudi Shi’ite mosque, many dead or wounded


KABOOM! Another mental cripple, Muslim of course, blows himself up. What a moron! For all of you sane people out there, those who are not Muslims, just consider the amount of indoctrination required to strap oneself with explosives and willingly kill himself, while killing innocent people! Unbelievable… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters
Still image of people looking at debris scattered around the floor of a mosque in Al-Qadeeh, Saudi Arabia

DUBAI (Reuters) – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Shi’ite mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, residents said, killing around 20 people and wounding more than 50, local residents and a hospital officials said.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, the first to target Shi’ite Muslims in Saudi Arabia since November when gunmen killed at least eight people in an attack on a Shi’ite religious anniversary celebration, also in the east where most of the country’s minority Shi’ites live.

The attack could further harm relations between Sunnis and Shi’ites in the Gulf region, where tensions have risen during weeks of military operations in Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition against Houthi fighters seen as proxies of regional Shi’ite power Iran.

One witness described a huge explosion at the Imam Ali mosque in the village of al-Qadeeh where more than 150 people were praying.

“We were doing the first part of the prayers when we heard the blast,” worshipper Kamal Jaafar Hassan told Reuters by telephone from the scene.

A spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry, calling the attack an act of terrorism, said the bomber detonated a suicide belt hidden under his clothes inside the mosque, causing a number of people to “martyred or wounded”.

“Security authorities will spare no effort in the pursuit of all those involved in this terrorist crime,” the official said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

A hospital official told Reuters by telephone that “around 20 people” were killed in the attack and more than 50 were under treatment at the hospital, some of them suffering from serious injuries. He said that a number of other people had been treated and sent home.

A photograph posted on social media showed the mutilated body of a young man, said to be the bomber. Other pictures showed ambulances and bloodied victims being taken away on stretchers.

In April, Saudi Arabia said it was on high alert for a possible attacks on oil installations or shopping malls.

In Yemen, a bomb at a Houthi mosque in the capital Sanaa on Friday was claimed by Islamic State.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi, Amena Bakr in Doha, Reem Shamseddine in Khobar and Omar Fahmy in Cairo; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Luxury hotel in Saudi Arabia to become world’s largest hotel


These Arabs have more money than they know what to do with. Yet on the other hand, many of them live in rudimentary, makeshift stone dwellings out in the desert. The difference in wealth among people in Arab countries is vast. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Relaxnews

Relaxnews
Artist rendering of Abraj Kudai

Saudi Arabia is set to become home to the largest hotel in the world with a whopping 10,000 rooms.

To be built just two kilometers away from the site of Mecca, which attracts about two million Muslim pilgrims a year for the annual Hajj, the $3.5 billion Abraj Kudai will become the world’s largest hotel when it opens in 2017, reports Arabian Business.

Once complete, the mixed-use development project will span 1.4 million square meters and feature a hotel that can fit the population of a small town, shopping mall, full-size convention center, rooftop helipads, food court and bus station.

Twelve towers will make up the building with certain spaces geared to accommodate Hajj visitors, house prayer halls and dining spaces.

Renderings reveal a series of monolithic towers encircling a main domed tower, designed to hearken a traditional desert fortress.

According to Arabian Business, 10 towers will provide four-star accommodations, while two will be reserved for their most well-heeled clientele offering five-star amenities.

London-based firm Areen Hospitality has been tapped to design the rooms and hotel interior.

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Frustration with Latin America’s left on the rise


South America is arguably (maybe with very little arguing) the richest continent on the planet, and yet it seems that every single country in this region is struggling, and that’s being kind. The problem is corruption, and corruption is rampant in socialist societies as there is little incentive for individuals to prosper. Of course, the ignorance of the masses doesn’t help, as they continue supporting these “strong” leaders, leaders who milk the country for all it’s worth while the people starve. There is no better example of this than Cuba, whose communist leaders are now kissing and sucking the ass of the United States for help. If socialism/communism is such a great ideology, why does Cuba need the United States? Haven’t they had over 56 years to ‘perfect’ their political system? The answer is a resounding NO! You see, the problem with a failed ideology is that the longer it runs its course, the more it deteriorates because the more its innate flaws are exposed. And let’s face it, socialism and/or communism, or any combination thereof, is as flawed a political system as there is. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

FILE - In this Friday, May 8, 2015, file photo, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro is on his arrival at Vnukovo airport in Moscow. Whether it’s from corruption scandal or stagnant growth, the prospects for the crop of leftist Latin American presidents that have been running the region since the start of the millennium appear to be dimming. No leader has been harder hit than Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who's approval ratings have tumbled amid the crisis to 28 percent, near the lowest in 16 years of socialist rule, and while there’s no sign the sometimes violent street protests that overwhelmed the country a year ago will return anytime soon, polls indicate that the opposition will coast to victory in legislative elections expected to take place by year end. (RIA Novosti Pool Photo via AP, File)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s socialist government is struggling to put food on the shelves amid runaway inflation. Brazil’s president is facing calls for impeachment. And even Cuba’s communist government, an iconic touchstone for generations of leftists, is embracing closer ties with the U.S.

Whether it’s because of corruption scandals or stagnant growth, the popularity of the crop of leftist Latin American governments that have been running the region since the start of the millennium appears to be waning. Voters who embraced what became known as the pink tide that swept away the pro-Washington, free-market policies dominant in the 1990s are increasingly turning against the populist firebrands they once rallied behind.

Across the region, polling numbers are tanking and street protests are on the rise.

Triggering the growing disenchantment are some serious economic headwinds. Most leaders came into power just as China’s economy was soaring and with it demand for South America’s abundant natural resources. Now that the world’s second-largest economy is cooling, the commodities boom that allowed governments to spread the wealth and endear themselves to the poor is ending.

“It’s not easy to govern in Latin America right now,” said Raul L. Madrid, a University of Texas at Austin professor and co-editor of a 2010 book on leftist governments in the region. “Many of these governments rode frustration with high levels of inequality and corruption to power. But you can’t rail against the establishment as effectively as you once did when you are the establishment at this point.”

No leader has been harder hit than Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro’s approval ratings have tumbled to 28 percent, near the lowest in 16 years of socialist rule, and while there’s no sign the sometimes violent street protests that overwhelmed the country a year ago will return anytime soon, polls indicate that the opposition will coast to victory in legislative elections expected to take place by year end.

Perhaps sensing the troubles of his closest ally, Cuban President Raul Castro in December agreed to talks with the U.S. aimed at normalizing relations, a move expected to fuel growth in the communist-run economy. Currently, Venezuela provides Cuba with the bulk of the oil it consumes at subsidized prices.

A string of headline-grabbing corruption scandals are also exposing the ethical breaches that befall many parties after more than a decade in power.

In Chile, the region’s best-managed economy but one highly dependent on copper exports, President Michelle Bachelet reshuffled her Cabinet recently to stem the fallout from revelations that her son used his influence to secure a favorable loan. It’s one of the scandals that have prompted widespread outrage at the sway of money over politics, both for her Socialist Party and the opposition.

“When the economy is growing nobody pays attention to corruption,” said Patricio Navia, a political scientist who teaches at New York University and Chile’s Diego Portales University. “But when the pie stops growing, and voters see others profiting, they start to ask ‘where’s my piece?'”

The first major test of the shifting public mood will take place in October, when Argentines head to the polls in the region’s only major presidential election this year.

President Cristina Fernandez’s Peronist party is facing a tough battle to elect her successor as 30 percent inflation and a restriction on dollar purchases erode support. The president’s credibility has also been tainted by her sometimes erratic response to the shocking death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman as he was investigating an alleged cover-up deal between her government and Iran to shield the Islamic Republic from prosecution in the 1994 bombing of Jewish center. Nisman’s accusation was recently dismissed by Argentina’s top Cassation Court.

To be sure, it’s not just leftists. Incumbents across the ideological spectrum are facing the heat.

The growing frustration with the left could prompt several leaders to moderate their policies and pivot toward the center.

Already in Brazil, the region’s biggest economy, President Dilma Rousseff is starting to roll out a more conservative message of austerity, including cuts in unemployment and welfare benefits, to tame a record budget deficit widened by the biggest economic slowdown in 25 years.

With approval rating in the low teens just five months into her second term, Rousseff’s also struggling to win back the public trust amid Brazil’s biggest corruption investigation, an inquiry into a massive kickback scheme at state-run oil company Petrobras. Rousseff served as chairwoman of Petrobras’ board as the graft took place, though there has been no evidence to show wrongdoing on her part.

Navia says moderate governments that are more flexible will have an easier time attracting foreign investment and boosting savings while those pursuing a more transformative, ideology-driven agenda, like Argentina and Venezuela, will face a rougher time making adjustments.

Mario Toer, a professor of Latin American studies at the University of Buenos Aires, says many of the scandals are being hyped by opposition-leaning media and that corruption, long rampant in Latin America, has actually been on the decline in the past decade. However he recognizes that the left is at a crossroads.

“It is something inherent to the process,” says Toer. “But the global crisis and media offensive add a dimension that goes beyond the real difficulties governments are facing.”

___

AP writers Peter Prengaman from Buenos Aires and Bradley Brooks from Rio de Janeiro contributed to this report.

___

Follow Goodman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjoshgoodman

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Noah’s Ark-God, Giraffes & Genocide


Yes, folks, the story of Noah’s Ark is still believed by millions of fundamentalist Christians right here in the good ‘ol USA. Amazing isn’t it? The fact that grown men and women believe this silly fairy tale says something about the intellect of the religious masses in America! TGO

Video: YouTube

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Pope canonizes 2 saints from 19th-century Palestine


Oh boy, here we go again with the silliness of the Catholic Church, more saints…

Christians in the Middle East must be really easy to please if they are “encouraged” by the canonization of nuns whom they never met. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a canonization ceremony of four new saints in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, May 17, 2015.  Among them are Arab nuns Sts. Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis canonized two nuns from what was 19th-century Palestine on Sunday in hope of encouraging Christians across the Middle East who are facing a wave of persecution from Islamic extremists.

Sisters Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas were among four nuns who were made saints Sunday at a Mass in a sun-soaked St. Peter’s Square. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and an estimated 2,000 pilgrims from the region, some waving Palestinian flags, were on hand for the canonization of the first saints from the Holy Land since the early years of Christianity.

Church officials are holding up Bawardy and Ghattas as a sign of hope and encouragement for Christians across the Mideast at a time when violent persecution and discrimination have driven many Christians from the region of Christ’s birth.

They were canonized alongside two other nuns, Saints Jeanne Emilie de Villeneuve from France and Maria Cristina of the Immaculate Conception from Italy.

“Inspired by their example of mercy, charity and reconciliation, may the Christians of these lands look with hope to the future, following the path of solidarity and fraternal coexistence,” Francis said of the women at the end of the Mass.

Bawardy was a mystic born in 1843 in the village of Ibilin in what is now the Galilee region of northern Israel. She is said to have received the “stigmata” — bleeding wounds like those that Jesus Christ suffered on the cross — and died at the age of 33 in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where she founded a Carmelite order monastery that still exists.

In his homily, Francis praised Bawardy as having been “a means of encounter and fellowship with the Muslim world,” while Ghattas “shows us the importance of becoming responsible for one another, of living lives of service to one another.”

“Their luminous example challenges us in our lives as Christians,” he said.

The canonization was celebrated in the Holy Land as well as by Palestinians in Rome. Bassam Abbas, a Palestinian-born doctor who has lived in Italy for 35 years, traveled from Civitavecchia, northwest of Rome, for the event with his wife and three children. They are Muslim, but their children go to a Catholic school.

“We are proud of this event,” Abbas said outside St. Peter’s Square as he waved a giant Palestinian flag. “We want peace for Palestine, peace which transcends religion.”

In addition to the Palestinian delegation on hand for the Mass, Israel sent a delegation headed by its ambassador to the Holy See, while France, Italy and Jordan also sent official delegations.

In the birthplace of Christianity, Christians make up less than 2 percent of the population of Israel and the Palestinian territories. Although they have not experienced the violent persecution that has decimated Christian communities elsewhere in the region, the population has gradually shrunk over the decades as Christians have fled conflict or sought better opportunities abroad.

Francis has raised the plight of Christians across the Middle East as a cause for concern, denouncing how the Islamic State group has violently driven thousands of religious minorities from their homes in Syria and Iraq.

___

Follow Nicole Winfield at http://www.twitter.com/nwinfield

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Shakira – Loca (Live From Paris)


Shakira, and her dancers, can really move… TGO

Video: YouTube

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She has a cool look about her. TGO

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Proto Star Cluster a Cosmic ‘Dinosaur Egg’ Ready to Hatch


Interesting stuff… TGO

Refer to story below. Source: SPACE.com

SPACE.com

Stars

The youngest example of one of the oldest objects in the universe may have been discovered by astronomers, who say it appears ready to hatch millions of stars.

The object, which astronomers are calling the “Firecracker,” is a dense, massive cloud of molecular gas and may be the youngest example of what’s known as a globular cluster. Millions of stars can form from the material inside a globular cluster, but observations show that not a single star twinkles within the depths of the newly discovered Firecracker. You can see a video of this incredible discovery on Space.com.

“We may be witnessing one of the most ancient and extreme modes of star formation in the universe,” lead author Kelsey Johnson, an astronomer at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, said in a statement. “This remarkable object looks like it was plucked straight out of the early universe. To discover something that has all the characteristics of a globular cluster, yet has not begun making stars, is like finding a dinosaur egg that’s about to hatch.”

Beating the odds

Globular clusters are common throughout the universe — the Milky Way contains over 150 known clusters, and may hide others. As the dense clouds form new stars, heat and radiation from the newborns change the environment around them, making it difficult for scientists to understand the original conditions that birthed the clusters.

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Johnson and her team studied a famous pair of interacting galaxies, NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, known as the Antennae galaxies. The forces generated by the two merging galaxies, which lie approximately 50 million light-years away, trigger star formation at a rapid clip.

But in one region, dubbed the Firecracker by the researchers, star formation has yet to begin. This allows the astronomers a first-ever look at the conditions that may have led to the creation of most, if not all, of these massive clusters.

“Until now, clouds with this potential have only been seen as teenagers, after star formation has begun,” Johnson said. “That meant that the nursery had already been disturbed. To understand how a globular cluster forms, you need to see its true beginnings.”

While most globular clusters formed around 12 billion years ago, when the first galaxies started out, a smaller population was created in more recent times by the merger of existing galaxies. The window for formation is relatively short, as the clusters are thought to evolve out of their star-free stage within a million years. Such clouds are rare, as they may be torn apart by gravitational forces.

“The survival rate for a massive young star cluster to remain intact is very low — around 1 percent,” said Johnson.

“Various external and internal forces pull these objects apart, either forming open clusters like the Pleiades or completely disintegrating to become a part of the galaxy’s halo.”

The scientists think that the Firecracker stands a good chance of beating these odds, however. Containing more than 50 million times the mass of the sun in molecular gas, the object should be dense enough to withstand destructive forces and eventually begin to form new stars.

The research has been accepted for publication in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal.

Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Google+. Original article on Space.com.

Sexy…


 A real handful… TGO

Sexy 904

 

Pat Condell: Muslims Controlling Sweden – Women’s Rights?


What a shame. Sweden has long been one of the top countries (not only in Europe) but in the entire western world, which of course is to say ‘the world’, as with the exception of Japan, Australia and possibly a handful of others, the rest of the world is garbage. TGO

Video: YouTube

 

Jury sentences Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death


I stand corrected, and am shocked at the verdict! Never in a million years did I think for one minute that this douche-bag would be sentenced to death. Congratulations to the jury!

By the way, Sister Helen Prejean, in addition to being a bull-dyke, you’re a moron! TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Yahoo News

Holly BaileyYahoo News

BOSTON — After 10 weeks of heart-wrenching and often gruesome testimony from more than 150 witnesses, including survivors with missing limbs and an anguished father who spoke of watching his young son die on the sidewalk in front of him, a jury sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the death penalty for his role in the deadly 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

Tsarnaev offered no visible reaction.

The decision came a little over two years after a pair of pressure-cooker bombs ripped through a crowd of unsuspecting spectators near the marathon’s finish line in April 2013, killing three and injuring nearly 300. Among the injured: 17 amputees, many of whom took the stand against Tsarnaev with bomb shrapnel still embedded in their bodies.

The same jurors — seven women and five men — convicted Tsarnaev on April 8 on all 30 counts related to the bombings, including the shooting death of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer days after the attacks. They then heard roughly three weeks of testimony in the penalty phase of the case, in which they were asked to determine whether to sentence Tsarnaev to life in prison without parole or the death penalty for his role in the bombings

Though Tsarnaev pled not guilty, Judy Clarke, his attorney, admitted her client’s role on day one of the first phase of the trial in March and repeatedly reiterated it, right up until the closing statements in the penalty phase. “I’m not asking you to excuse him,” Clark told jurors. “There are no excuses. I’m not asking you for sympathy.”

But Clarke did plead for “mercy” for her client, asking jurors to spare his life in spite of the “senseless and catastrophic acts” he committed. She cast Tsarnaev, now 21, as a troubled teenager from a dysfunctional family who came under the sway of his radicalized older brother, Tamerlan. The defense argued Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who died from wounds sustained during a shootout with police days after the bombings, plotted the attack and built the bombs — and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who had been abandoned by his mentally ill parents and was flunking out of college, merely followed.

“If not for Tamerlan, this wouldn’t have happened,” Clarke said. “Dzhokhar would never have done this but for Tamerlan. The tragedy would never have occurred but for Tamerlan. None of it.”

Though Tsarnaev did not take the stand on his behalf and often appeared dispassionate in court, even during the most emotional and horrific testimony, the defense called as its final witness , a Catholic nun and death penalty opponent who inspired the film “Dead Man Walking.” She told the jury of several meetings she had with the convicted bomber starting right before the trial and how, in one meeting, he had expressed sympathy for the bombing victims. “He said it emphatically. He said, ‘No one deserves to suffer like they did,’” Prejean testified.

But government prosecutors ridiculed Prejean’s testimony, implying she would say anything to prevent the death penalty. Tsarnaev’s statement to her, they argued, merely echoed a note the bomber left in a Watertown, Mass., boat before he was captured, in which he wrote that he didn’t “like killing innocent people,” but that it was “allowed.”

“The fact that now, while he’s on trial for his life, the defendant is willing to go so far as to say that no one should have to suffer like that doesn’t tell you much about his core beliefs,” prosecutor William Weinreb told the jury. “When you stack that up against his actions, does it really make a difference to your decision?”

Throughout the trial, prosecutors painted Tsarnaev as a cold-blooded killer who deceived even his closest friends about his jihadist leanings and remains unrepentant about what he did. They argued he was an “equal partner” who walked in lockstep with his brother to carry out an attack aimed at inflicting terror and mayhem at one of Boston’s most celebrated public events to avenge the deaths of Muslims in wars overseas.

The government repeatedly showed the jury surveillance video of Tsarnaev dropping a backpack that contained one of the bombs behind the family of 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest victim of the bombings, and of him casually buying milk 20 minutes after the attack. They pointed to video of Tsarnaev flashing the middle finger to a security camera in a court holding cell before his July 2013 arraignment as proof that he remains defiant.

“No remorse, no apology,” Steven Mellin, another prosecutor, argued. He insisted there was no other “just” punishment for what Tsarnaev did than the death penalty.

The jury’s decision to condemn Tsarnaev to death was a huge victory for the federal government, who pursued the sentence in spite of misgivings among some victims and family members of those killed. Among the most notable opponents of the death penalty: Richard’s parents, who, in a statement published on the front page of the Boston Globe, pleaded for prosecutors to accept a plea deal of life in prison for Tsarnaev to “end the anguish” of the trial and likely years of appeals. There was also strong opposition from residents of Boston, where many people oppose the death penalty on moral or religious grounds. Even after some of the most heinous testimony in the trial, a WBUR poll of Boston residents found that 62 percent of them favored a life sentence for Tsarnaev.

Tsarnaev will be formally sentenced at a hearing in coming weeks, where victims will be allowed to give impact statements and address the defendant. And Tsarnaev, too, will be given the opportunity to speak — though it’s unclear if he will.

Even at the conclusion of the nearly three-month-long trial, there were still many mysteries around the bombing plot. Prosecutors never said where the two pressure-cooker bombs were built — though it was strongly implied it was at the Tsarnaev family apartment in Cambridge, though they couldn’t prove it.

There was also the mystery of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife, and what, if anything, she knew of the plot. According to defense evidence, Russell was copied on many emails that Tamerlan Tsarnaev sent to his brother containing jihadist videos and writings. And in early 2012, just after Tamerlan Tsarnaev traveled to Russia to pursue jihad, someone using Russell’s computer searched phrases including “rewards for wife of mujahedeen” and “If your husband becomes a shahid, what are the rewards for you?”

Through her attorney, Russell has denied knowledge of the plot. Though her mother, best friend and former roommate testified, Russell was never called as a witness in the trial, and she has never been formally cleared by federal investigators.

Perhaps the biggest enigma of all remains Tsarnaev. Though his defense team went into great detail about his family’s troubles — including a father who was so mentally ill he saw imaginary lizards crawling on his body — the jury learned more about the motivations of Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, than his.

A litany of former teachers and friends testified, often tearfully, about the kind and gentle “Jahar” they had known — a smart kid who seemed to thrive in spite of his dysfunctional family. Sitting in court just feet away from him, they stared at Tsarnaev and expressed shock that the boy they knew committed one of the most horrific crimes Boston has seen. They testified about Tsarnaev’s hopes and dreams, how he’d talked about being an engineer or becoming an attorney.

While the jury heard testimony about the relationship between Tsarnaev and his domineering older brother, Tamerlan, the defense did not definitively answer the questions of why and how a 19-year-old college kid who spent most of his time smoking pot and playing video games with his friends came to be a terrorist.

“If you’re looking to me for a simple and clean answer as to why this young man, who had never been arrested, who had never sassed a teacher, who spent his free time in school working with disabled kids … if you expect me to have an answer, a simple, clean answer as to how this could happen, I don’t have it,” Clarke told jurors in her closing statement. “I don’t have it.”

If he had stayed on track, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev likely would have graduated Friday with the rest of the class of 2015 at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Sexy…


Enjoying the outdoors… TGO

Sexy 903

 

 

IS leader urges Muslims to move to ‘caliphate': recording


Well, the crazed lunatic, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, did say one thing which is completely true and no one can argue (at least not intelligently) when he said: “O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war.” TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

AFP

Image grab taken from a propaganda video released on July 5, 2014 by al-Furqan Media allegedly shows the leader of the Islamic State jihadist group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, adressing Muslim worshippers at a mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul
 

Baghdad (AFP) – The leader of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Thursday urged Muslims to emigrate to his self-proclaimed “caliphate”, in the jihadist supremo’s first audio recording in six months.

“And we call upon every Muslim in every place to perform hijrah (emigration) to the Islamic State or fight in his land wherever that may be,” he said.

The voice reading the half-hour speech appeared to match previous audio recordings of Baghdadi, the latest of which was released in mid-November.

As did his previous speech, the audio tape recording released on Thursday comes a few days after media reports that he might have been seriously wounded in a strike by the US-led coalition bombing IS in Iraq and Syria.

There was no way for AFP to immediately authenticate the latest recording nor date it but Baghdadi speaks of developments in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces launched an air campaign against Shiite rebels in late March, that suggest it is recent.

Echoing his previous exhortations, Baghdadi said moving to the caliphate he declared over parts of Iraq and Syria in June 2014 or waging jihad (holy war) at home was an obligation for Muslims.

“Has the time not come for you to know that there is no might nor honour nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of the Caliphate?,” he said in the speech, transcripts of which were released in five languages.

“O Muslims, Islam was never for a day the religion of peace. Islam is the religion of war,” he said, calling for mass mobilisation on the battlefield.

– ‘Desperate’ Saudi war –

He criticised Sunni civilians fleeing fighting in the western province of Anbar to seek shelter in Baghdad and other government-controlled areas.

“So return to your lands, and remain in your homes, and seek shelter — after first seeking shelter with Allah — with your people in the Islamic State, for you will find therein, by Allah’s permission, a warm embrace and a safe refuge,” he said.

“Their war is nothing but an attempt to prove themselves once again to their masters from amongst the Jews and Crusaders,” he said.

“It is nothing but a desperate attempt to turn the Muslims away from the Islamic State.”

He also warned that IS would carry out more prison breaks, which have become one of the group’s trademarks.

“I will not forget to mention the captives in the prisons of the apostate tyrants everywhere,” the IS leader said.

More than 40 inmates, including IS militants, escaped in a prison break which IS claimed last week in the Iraqi town of Khalis.

– Raqa before Mosul –

The group, which already controlled parts of Syria, swept across the Sunni heartland of Iraq last year before proclaiming a “caliphate” and drawing record numbers of foreign fighters.

A US-led air campaign launched in August helped the central government in Baghdad and the autonomous Kurds in the north to turn the tide on IS.

The jihadists have since lost significant ground but still hold the vast province of Anbar and Mosul, the country’s second city where Baghdadi was last seen in public in July.

The IS leader said in his speech he thought anti-IS forces would attack the group’s strongholds in Syria before Mosul.

“We believe that their mobilisation will be for Raqa and Aleppo before Mosul. So be cautious,” he said.

Baghdadi praised the fighters in Anbar, who have largely held their ground despite coalition strikes and government-led ground operations.

In some parts of the province, IS fighters have continued to advance and Baghdadi egged them on to push towards Baghdad and the holy Shiite city of Karbala.

Sexy…


A beautiful physique. TGO

Sexy 902

Three-decade quest backs physics’ ‘Standard Model’


Meanwhile, religious lunatics, Muslims of course, are beheading people because they belong to the wrong brand of Islam, as well as westerners for being infidels…

The two extremes of mankind’s intellect at work; on the one hand you have science (civilized and rational) and on the other you have religion (barbaric and irrational). Any guess as to which one will be the downfall of man? The answer is clear, and has been for the last 5000 years. TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

AFP
A scientist looks at a section of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Meyrin, near Geneva, during maintenance works on July 19, 2013

Paris (AFP) – Scientists on Wednesday said that after a nearly three-decade bid they had detected a telltale change in a sub-atomic particle, further backing a key theory about the Universe.

Researchers at the world’s biggest particle collider said they had observed an extremely rare event — the decay of the neutral B meson into a pair of muons, the heavy cousins of electrons.

The results provide further support for the so-called Standard Model, the conceptual framework for the particles and forces that constitute the cosmos, they said in the journal Nature.

Neutral B mesons are unstable composites of two kinds of particles called quarks, bound by the “strong” force.

Their decay into muons is predicted under the Standard Model. But getting evidence to confirm the prediction has been a puzzler since the mid-1980s.

For one thing, neutral B mesons themselves are produced in extreme conditions — in particle colliders or in cosmic-ray interactions, for instance — which makes them hard or very costly to study.

And the transition into muons only occurs about four times in every billion “decays.”

Rival teams at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC) — the massive underground lab near Geneva that straddles the Franco-Swiss border — worked separately on detecting the elusive event.

They released individual results in July 2013, but, separately, the data batches fell just short of the demanding threshold of accuracy for claiming a discovery.

Their combined analysis, now published in the benchmark peer-reviewed science journal, “easily exceeds this requirement,” the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said in a statement.

The paper said the experiments showed that Standard Model, which dates to the 1970s, had cleared another hurdle but others lay ahead.

“In the course of the past few decades, the Standard Model has passed critical tests derived from experiment, but it does not address some profound questions about the nature of the Universe,” the authors said.

The framework does not, for instance, explain dark matter, the stuff that composes nearly 85 percent of the mass in the cosmos and is currently only detectable through its gravitational effect on visible matter.

The quest to understand dark matter is one of the priorities of the current work programme at the LHC, which began last month after a two-year upgrade.

The collider comprises a ring-shaped tunnel where proton beams are whizzed around in opposite directions at speeds approaching that of light.

At four locations in the tunnel, powerful magnets bend the beams, bringing them together so that some of the protons smash together — a brief, intense collision.

The sub-atomic rubble that results is then analysed to look for novel particles or clues about known ones.

In 2012, the LHC confirmed the Higgs Boson, the long-sought Standard Model particle that confers mass.

It earned the 2013 Nobel physics prize for two of the scientists who back in 1964 had theorised the boson’s existence.

Eloping Indian couple beaten to death, cremated in “honor killing”


There are so many f*cked up people in this world. Imagine beating to death a sixteen year-old girl and then burning her, along with her 26 year-old boyfriend. As if that’s not bad enough, imagine doing this to your own daughter, sister, cousin or niece! Mind you, these people do this because they are “honorable” and have been shamed. What they are is brain-dead barbarians! TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Reuters

Reuters

PATNA, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Police in eastern India have arrested one person and are searching for 14 others after a couple who had eloped together were beaten to death and cremated by relatives as a crowd looked on, police said on Thursday.

Jairam Manjhi, 25, and his 16-year-old girlfriend Parvati Kumari were stopped by Kumari’s relatives at a railway station in Gaya district as they tried to run away together on Wednesday morning, police said.

“They were brought back to the girl’s village under heavy protection, beaten to death and then cremated together outside the village,” Gaya’s Sub-Divisional Police Officer Manoj Kumar Sudhanshu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“This is a clear case of ‘honor killing’. They took the law into their own hands.”

Manjhi, who was married and had three children, had been in a relationship with Kumari for six months, and this had angered Kumari’s family in Amaitha village, police said.

No one in the village tried to stop the attack on the couple, and police heard of it only when someone from a neighboring village reported the crime.

Kumari’s aunt has been arrested and police are carrying out raids and searching for 14 other people, some of them Kumari’s relatives, police said.

“Honor killings” – when a person is killed by a family member who believes the victim has brought shame on the family, clan or community – are common in parts of South Asia, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and some regions of India.

Government figures show that 18 “honor killings” were reported in India in 2014. Activists say the crime is under-reported and many such killings are covered up and made to look like suicides from poisoning or hanging.

In India, Khap Panchayats – community groups made up of powerful men who set the rules in villages – are often seen as instigating such killings. Police said preliminary evidence did not suggest the village council was involved in this case.

(Editing by Nita Bhalla and Tim Pearce)

Sexy…


Sexy Latina. TGO

Sexy 901

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