Families trying to contact loved ones caught in the path of Hurricane Katrina are getting some help from a network of amateur radio operators.Colorado Hams helping communications in Katrina's aftermath
They've teamed up with the Salvation Army to form the Salvation Army Team Emergency Network. Through the crackling and static of shortwave radio, comes a clear call for help.
A lack of power and phone service has cut off virtually all communications within New Orleans and other devastated areas. But ham radio operator Richard Ferguson says it doesn't take much to operate a shortwave radio.
"Most of the modern equipment runs on 12-volt batteries so you could take pretty much any radio today and just hook it up to any car battery and you're in business," says Richard Ferguson.
Ferguson and other volunteers have set up an elaborate network that uses shortwave radio and the Internet.
Here in Denver and other Colorado cities, including Larkspur and Colorado Springs, the volunteers have been relaying messages to emergency service workers on the Gulf Coast in hopes of connecting hurricane victims with relatives across the rest of the country.
Anyone wishing to check up on a friend or relative can e-mail a request, which is then relayed through various stations to hams on the Gulf Coast. They check with local emergency service providers and then relay information back. The friend or relative then gets a reply e-mail.
"Whatever I can do to be helpful, I'm happy to do it," says Ferguson.
Iranian Americans opposed to Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday denounced his upcoming visit to the United Nations, citing the new leader's alleged ties to terrorist activities abroad and repressive policies at home.I suggest arresting Mr. Ahmadinejad right in Kennedy International then investigating whether there are possibilities to try him on court based on former hostages' account.
"He's a terrorist and should not be allowed in this country. What kind of message is that giving for him to come here right after the September 11 anniversary," Shirin Nariman, spokeswoman for the NY Committee against Ahmadinejad (NYCA), said at a press briefing Tuesday.
The briefing was organized by the NYCA to announce its campaign against Ahmadinejad's plan to address the annual U.N. General Assembly session in September.
A judge allowed corrections officials to forcibly feed convicted sniper John Allen Muhammad while he awaits trial in the county for six October 2002 killings.
Muhammad had not eaten anything since being transferred to the Montgomery County, Md., jail on Monday, corrections officials said in court documents filed Thursday. He was apparently upset with the food he was being served and the handling of his legal material.
Doctors had concluded that Muhammad, 44, was at risk of serious injury or death of he continued his hunger strike, corrections officials said. Judge James L. Ryan issued an order allowing officials at the county jail to forcibly feed and hydrate him.
Muhammad and Lee Malvo, 20, are accused of killing 10 people and wounding three in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., during an October 2002 shooting rampage.
Muhammad has already been sentenced to die following a 2003 conviction for a sniper shooting in Manassas, Va. Malvo was sentenced to life in prison for a shooting in Falls Church, Va.
Montgomery County prosecutors plan to try the two men together for the shootings in their county, as insurance in case their Virginia convictions are overturned. They will be returned to Virginia when their trial is over.
The two have also been linked to shootings in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and Washington state.
Western intelligence sources said Iran no longer trusts Syrian President Bashar Assad and his regime. Iran sees Assad as weak and susceptible to Western and particularly U.S. pressure.On a funny note, I love what they named this picture. Dead man walking!
Assad visited Teheran several weeks ago in an effort to improve relations. But sources said the Syrian president was given a cool reception. Iran has been quietly promoting alternatives to Assad, including members of his family deemed as more capable of resisting U.S. pressure, the sources said.
Iran has long distrusted Assad. But relations plunged when Assad ordered the military withdrawal from Lebanon in April 2005. Sources said Assad's decision was taken without consultation with Teheran and left Iran, with several hundred military operatives in Lebanon, in a lurch.
Iran was concerned that the Syrian pullout would also leave Hizbullah susceptible to an effort by the Lebanese government to dismantle the Shi'ite insurgency group. Hizbullah is Iran's leading tool to strike its adversaries, particularly Israel and the United States.
The high-handed Iranian approach resulted in a slowdown in joint strategic programs with Damascus. Joint missile development and production have been stalled as Iran has found more reliable and capable suppliers.
Syria also owes Iran money and favors for previous technology transfers.
Iran's supreme leader Khameini and his new President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad do not plan to sever strategic relations with the Assad regime; that's not how Iran works. Instead, Iran was expected to keep relations with Syria on a low-burner as Teheran quietly reaches out directly to the European Union and the United States.
Syria's concern is that Iran has already reached agreement with the United States on a deal that would reduce Washington's pressure on Teheran's nuclear weapons program. The purported deal would guarantee Iranian support to help quell the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Assad has been the leading supporter of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.
"Over the past few years and despite the rhetoric, Iran has followed a very pragmatic foreign policy," stated Marwan Al Kabalan, a lecturer in media and international relations at Damascus University.
"It adapted quickly to the changes in the international system and reaped the profit in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is looking today for a deal with the West to resume its nuclear program," he wrote in an analysis. "Isn't it wiser for Syria to follow the lead, stop relying on unreliable regional alliances and adjust its policies to the post-9/11 era?"
Matthew Miller was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania on June 30th 1979, corresponding to the Jewish date of the 5th of Tamuz 5740. Shortly after his birth, the Miller family moved to Berkeley, CA and eventually settled in White Plains, NY. Growing up, Matisyahu's parents sent him to Hebrew School a couple of times a week, but like many kids, he resisted the additional school hours and was frequently threatened with expulsion for disrupting the lessons. By the age of 14, Matthew Miller slid comfortably into the laid-back lifestyle of a teenage hippie. Having fallen in with the "Dead-Head" crowd, he grew dreadlocks and wore his Birkenstocks all winter long. He played his bongos in the lunchroom and learned how to beat-box in the back of class. By 11th grade, despite his carefree days, Matisyahu couldn't ignore the void in his life. After nearly burning down his chemistry class, he knew his mission must begin immediately. He decided to set off on a camping trip in Colorado. Away from his suburban life in White Plains, Matisyahu had the opportunity to take an introspective look at himself and contemplate his environment. It was there in the awe-inspiring landscape of the Rocky Mountain's, that Matisyahu had an eye-opening realization: there is a G-d.
I'm a little ambivalent about reggae. I do love the old school stuff like Bob Marley, Toot's and the Maytals Prerssure Drop, Desmond Dekker's The Israelite, and By the Water's of Babylon. But much of reggae, especially the newer stuff gets tiresome. Blame George Lucas, but more than half of the songs they play on the college station I get on my ride home conjure an auditory and visual image of a skankin Jar-Jar Binks. When I heard "King without a Crown", it was instant gooseflesh. The accent was so authentic, I just though it was odd the singer was referring to "HaShem" and "Moschiach", instead of Jah, but there is so much borrowing from the Old Testament in Rastafarianism that I just shrugged it off. When the announcer mention "That was by the controversial Hasidic reggae artist Matisyahu.." I literally drove right to the record store to buy it. I can't remember the last time I've been so thrilled to discover a new artist.
After Colorado, his spiritual curiosity piqued and Matisyahu took his first trip to Israel. There, for the first time in his life, he felt a connection to the G-d he discovered in Colorado. Israel was a major turning point. Matisyahu relished the time he spent there, praying, exploring, and dancing in Jerusalem. In every nook he encountered, his dormant Jewish identity stirred into consciousness.
Living in a neighborhood with a small Hasidic congregation, I feel a strong affinity with Orthodox Jews. Matisyahu's music brings this to life for me in a completely different way. The sincere devotion to G-d and longing for the Messiah are so moving I find myself weeping uncontrolably during certain songs, which I don't recommend when you have a long commute. I was not at all surprised to discover that the Chabad-Lubavitch shul he attended after moving to New York was the one that Shlomo Carlebach attended.
A person who was once skeptical of authority and rules, Matisyahu began to explore and eventually fully take on the Lubavitch Hasidic lifestyle. He thrived on the discipline and structure of Judaism, making every attempt to abide by Jewish Law. The Chabad-Lubavitch philosophy proved to be a powerful guide for Matisyahu. It surrounded him with the spiritual dialogue and intellectual challenge he had been seeking for the past decade. The turmoil and frustration of his search subsided, and now, 2 years later, Matisyahu lives in Crown Heights, splitting his time between the stage and his yeshiva.
I have absolutely no vocabulary for musical criticism. Fortunately Matisyahu's record company has posted the entire video of "King without a Crown" on their website. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Finally, since the democrats bred this beast of fringe madness, I now call on them to call off these protests. Where are you Senator Clinton? Why are you not supporting our troops now? Where are you Senator Reid? This is not the war in Iraq, this is supporting the troops here at home. Where are you Howard Dean? You say democrats are here to support the troops - get down to Walter Reed and start supporting them.
If the democrats cannot lift a finger to protect our injured soldiers now, when they are in need of the support from all of us, then all their statements about supporting the troops can be thrown away as political BS. And we will never, ever trust them to protect this country, and the people who protect it for us, again.
Britain will join an international alliance to confront George Bush and salvage as much as possible of an ambitious plan to reshape the United Nations and tackle world poverty next week .
The head-to-head in New York on Monday comes after the revelation that the US administration is proposing wholesale changes to crucial parts of the biggest overhaul of the UN since it was founded more than 50 years ago.
A draft of that plan had included a review of progress on the UN's millennium development goals - poverty eradication targets set in 2000 for completion by 2015 - and the introduction of reforms aimed at repairing the damage done to the UN's reputation by Iraq, Rwanda and the Balkans.
But it was revealed this week that Mr Bush's new ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, was seeking 750 changes to the 36-page draft plan to be presented to a special summit in New York on September 14 to 16. Mr Bolton's amendments, if successful, would leave the plan in tatters.
The Foreign Office confirmed yesterday that Britain was standing behind the original plan, putting it at odds with Mr Bush.
The concern in British and other international circles is that the American objections, if adopted, would severely undermine the UN summit, the biggest-ever gathering of world leaders.
At least 175 world leaders have accepted an invitation to attend. The UN said yesterday that Mr Bush had confirmed that he would be there.