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  • LMAO at jackass!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

    National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

    Comment


    • Comment


      • Originally posted by mike_2007:
        I guess they don't have enough felons to put to jail. LOL!
        Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.

        --John Wesley

        Comment


        • To quote Nightline, this is "a sign of the times" - when an ambassador of a country can be a cartoon character!

          http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080519/...an_hello_kitty

          Hello Kitty is named Japan tourism ambassador By TOMOKO A. HOSAKA, Associated Press Writer
          Mon May 19, 3:11 PM ET


          Hello Kitty "” Japan's ubiquitous ambassador of cute "” has built up an impressive resume over the years. Global marketing phenom. Fashion diva. Pop culture icon. Now the moonfaced feline can add "government envoy" to the list. The tourism ministry on Monday named Hello Kitty as its choice to represent the country in China and Hong Kong, two places where she is wildly popular among kids and young women.

          Officials hope that tapping into that fan base will lead to a bigger flow of tourists into Japan, and closer toward their goal of attracting 10 million overseas visitors every year under the "Visit Japan" campaign.

          Last year the number of foreign tourists traveling to Japan hit a record high of 8.35 million, up 60 percent since the government began the marketing effort in 2003.

          Arrivals from China and Hong Kong, who accounted for 16.5 percent of visitors to Japan last year, are poised this year to become the second-largest group of tourists after South Koreans.

          At a press conference, Sanrio Co. President Shintaro Tsuji called Hello Kitty's new appointment "an honor" and pledged to "work hard to attract many visitors."

          Japan's other goodwill tourism ambassadors include Korean singer Younha, Japanese actress Yoshino Kimura and Japanese pop/rock duo Puffy AmiYumi.

          Although this is the first time the tourism ministry has tapped a fictional character for the role, the foreign ministry in March inaugurated blue robo-cat Doraemon as Japan's "anime ambassador."

          Designed in 1974 by Sanrio, Hello Kitty first appeared on a plastic coin purse. Her image today has become one of the most powerful brands in the world, adorning some 50,000 products in 60 countries.

          In China, Kitty-fever has already broken out.

          A multi-million-dollar musical featuring Hello Kitty opened earlier this year in Beijing and is in the midst of a national tour. "Hello Kitty's Dream Light Fantasy" is then scheduled to travel to Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. over its three-year run.

          According to her official profile from Sanrio, Hello Kitty lives with her family in London. It does not mention how often she visits Japan.



          Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.


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          Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.

          --John Wesley

          Comment


          • In related news, Mattel has announced that Barbie will become the official ambassador for Guam.
            --------------------
            "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. " - Thomas Jefferson

            Comment


            • Originally posted by JermCool:
              In related news, Mattel has announced that Barbie will become the official ambassador for Guam.
              I bet that Aroha feels lucky to have a guy with a good sense of humor and a guy who is domesticated! LOL!
              Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, as long as ever you can.

              --John Wesley

              Comment


              • I bet that Aroha feels lucky to have a guy with a good sense of humor and a guy who is domesticated! LOL!
                Shh! She can't know I'm domesticated or she won't cook for me again once she's here!
                --------------------
                "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. " - Thomas Jefferson

                Comment


                • Originally posted by JermCool:
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I bet that Aroha feels lucky to have a guy with a good sense of humor and a guy who is domesticated! LOL!
                  Shh! She can't know I'm domesticated or she won't cook for me again once she's here! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  Too late JC..she already told me that she is now the new age woman..and you new age man..you will now be doing all the housework and cooking
                  Apparently you do such a good job thesedays lol

                  Have you done that kitchen yet?
                  -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                  National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                  1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                  Comment


                  • Have you done that kitchen yet?
                    I'm still working on cleaning carpets that are probably going to be replaced shortly after she arrives despite the fact they're coming up like new.
                    --------------------
                    "I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. " - Thomas Jefferson

                    Comment


                    • ok you are off the hook..as you are working hard lol



                      Jeez why didn't I marry a domesticated one! lol

                      Aroha you are one lucky woman!
                      -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                      National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                      1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                      Comment


                      • Sunday May 25, 2:17 pm ET
                        By Dan Caterinicchia, AP Business Writer
                        Gas not only accelerating cost for drivers; tuneups, oil changes, rentals become more costly


                        WASHINGTON (AP) -- Does filling the gas tank leave your wallet empty and spirit sputtering? Get used to both because almost everything car-related is costing more.
                        From oil changes to parking lot fees, sticker shock will make this summer even stickier.




                        "Everything is more expensive," said Raj Amber, a partner at AAA Limousine in Alexandria, Va., bemoaning the recent oil change cost increase to $30, up from $25.

                        Amber's frustration is common among consumers facing $4 a gallon for gasoline, $45 a day for car rentals that cost $31 last year, and bigger bills from mechanics, tire shops and parking garages. Cost-fighting tactics are somewhat schizophrenic: vigilant tune ups to stave off new car purchases or bare-minimum crucial fixes combined with a hope-for-the-best mentality.

                        Fuel remains the single biggest expense for car owners over the lifetime of a vehicle at about 30 percent of costs, followed closely by depreciation and insurance. But the prices for maintenance and repairs, which combined account for less than 10 percent of an automobile's costs, are creeping up.

                        Travel agency AAA estimates that the average cost of owning and operating a car in 2008 will be $8,121, up from $7,823 last year.

                        "Purchases I'm making for our cars now are all driven by a preventative mentality," said Tony Farrell, a freelance writer in Richmond, Va., who has a 2001 minivan and a 20-year-old Honda Civic he had considered selling. "A year ago, I would have let it run ragged. Now I want that car in good working order because I want it to last."

                        Mirwais Niaz, manager of a Midas franchise in Arlington, Va., said many customers are opting for the most basic repairs, trying to buy time and save for more expensive work.

                        For example, a recent Midas customer whose car needed extensive brake work told Niaz: "I don't care about the squeaking, just do something so the car stops." Another customer, whose car needed a transmission fluid flush asked if it could last another three months without the $159 service since gas prices had sapped his funds.

                        Shell Oil subsidiary Jiffy Lube has seen its car count drop by roughly 2 percent in the last year as gas prices have surged and new vehicle technology gives drivers a better idea of when maintenance is needed, said Lisa Carlson, global director of marketing for Jiffy Lube International.

                        The dollar's decreased value, which makes imports more expensive, is an important factor driving up prices for oil, steel and other raw materials used in auto parts, said Harry Veryser, an economist at the University of Detroit Mercy and former chairman of an automotive parts supplier.

                        One spot of relief is auto insurance. Rates have remained steady or fallen in many states because insurers are losing less money on claims and face competitive and regulatory pressures to avoid rate increases, said Donald Light, senior analyst for Celent in San Francisco. If high gasoline prices prompt less driving, accidents -- and insurance rates -- should drop further, Light said.

                        In big cities, drivers are finding it more expensive to park. An annual survey by real estate services provider Collier's International found that daily parking rates rose in 2007 for the fourth straight year, a trend the company expects to continue in 2008.

                        But Benjamin Sann, founder of the Web site bestparking.com, which tracks rates in Boston, Manhattan, Philadelphia and Washington, said more companies have dropped prices recently as they struggle to attract and maintain business.

                        Indeed, some automobile-related businesses are trying to avoid passing their rising costs onto customers.

                        To retain his best limousine clients, Amber has not yet raised rental rates but has been forced to include a fuel surcharge of up to $5 on some trips. Customers, he said, "are not happy."

                        Midas has stopped advertising prices for promotions among its 1,700 shops in the U.S. and Canada after a deal on brakes last year was too low in busy metropolitan areas and too high in more rural locations, said Bob Troyer, director of corporate affairs at the company's Itasca, Ill., headquarters. Prices are set by individual owners based on their costs and local competition.

                        Despite motor oil costs rising 15 percent in recent months, Niaz has maintained his Midas location's prices to remain competitive and meet any local promotions. Visible from his front desk is an Exxon Mobil station where regular-grade gasoline was selling for nearly $4 a gallon.

                        "I'm complaining myself," said Niaz, who recently spent $62 to fill up his 4-cylinder Toyota Camry.

                        Comment


                        • By SAM F. GHATTAS, Associated Press Writer




                          BEIRUT, Lebanon - Lebanon's parliament elected a new president Sunday, taking a step to stabilize the country after a long, violent political crisis and ushering in a shift in the balance of power in favor of Iranian-backed Hezbollah.



                          The election of army chief Michel Suleiman brought palpable relief to ordinary Lebanese who feared in recent weeks that their country was in danger of another civil war.

                          Celebratory gunfire reverberated across the capital Beirut as the election results were announced in the early evening. Glittering fireworks lit the night sky over downtown a couple hours later as cars formed motorcades and honked their horns.

                          "He will be the savior. He is the hope for the future," Amer Eido, 29, said of Suleiman as he watched the fireworks. "All the people are placing hopes on him and, God willing, he will bring prosperity."

                          One motorcade was adorned with fluttering Qatari flags and pictures of the emir of Qatar, who brokered the deal last week that ended an 18-month political deadlock between the Hezbollah-led opposition and the Western-backed government. Red-and-white Lebanese flags and pictures of the new president were everywhere.

                          "I call on you all, people and politicians, for a new beginning," Suleiman said after he was sworn in. "Let us be united.

                          "The people have given us their confidence to fulfill their aspirations, not to afflict them with our petty political disputes," he added.

                          Political bickering prevented parliament from electing a president 19 times, leaving the country without a president since Emile Lahoud left office in November.

                          Suleiman's election is the first tangible step in the deal to end the political crisis which erupted this month into the worst violence since Lebanon's 1975-90 civil war.

                          The Arab-mediated deal reached in Doha, Qatar, was a major victory for Hezbollah and its allies, who got their long-standing demand for veto power over all government decisions.

                          The Shiite militant group won that concession after it demonstrated its military power earlier this month. Gunmen overran large parts of Muslim west Beirut after the government tried to rein Hezbollah in.

                          The show of force gave Hezbollah new political leverage and it is now reaping the spoils of clashes that left 67 dead.

                          With the president's election, Prime Minister Fuad Saniora's Cabinet automatically dissolved, though Suleiman asked him to stay on as caretaker until a new prime minister and government is named.

                          The outgoing government and the opposition have agreed to form a new unity government. The majority will choose the prime minister but will have to seek consensus with Hezbollah on key decisions and appointments.

                          Hezbollah's ascendancy is a setback for the U.S., which had strongly backed the Lebanese government for three years and is concerned that Iran's influence is spreading in the Middle East. Nevertheless, the U.S. welcomed the developments in Lebanon and its diplomats and visiting Congressmen attended Suleiman's election.

                          "I am hopeful that the Doha Agreement, which paved the way for this election, will usher in an era of political reconciliation to the benefit of all Lebanese," President Bush said in a statement.

                          Suleiman, who as president has limited influence over government policy, faces a difficult challenge in unifying the rival factions as the country's political leadership comes to grips with a more potent Hezbollah.

                          He was a compromise candidate agreed by the government coalition and opposition and in his first speech as president, he offered words to comfort both sides.

                          He praised Hezbollah's fight against Israel but also said there needs to be a dialogue over the future of its arsenal, a key majority demand.

                          He called for a close relationship with neighboring Syria, a major state supporter of Hezbollah which dominated Lebanon for almost three decades.

                          But he also backed the international tribunal to try the killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a position aligned with that of the majority, which accuses Syria of killing him.

                          Syria has denied that, and the divisive issue sparked the political crisis 18 months when opposition ministers resigned.

                          Beirut's once-vibrant downtown had become a virtual ghost town because of an opposition sit-in there over the past 17 months. But over the weekend, it was coming back to life as restaurants and shops reopened and streets filled once again with strolling pedestrians.

                          Politicians are speaking optimistically about foreign investment and foreign tourists returning and injecting a much-needed boost into the economy.

                          "Suleiman's election in itself is a solution to the Lebanese crisis," said Hassan Ayyoub, a 20-year-old university student.

                          Heading with two friends to downtown Beirut late Sunday, he said he was confident the election "will lure tourists and investors back to the country and consolidate security and stability."

                          But Jihad Nasrallah, a 22-year-old university student, was among the few who think more trouble lies ahead.

                          Suleiman's election gives the country "a truce until next year's parliamentary elections after which the situation will blow up again," he predicted.

                          In Suleiman's hometown of Aamchit on the Mediterranean coast in the Christian heartland north of Beirut, church bells tolled, several thousand broke out in cheers and danced in the main square as they watched the vote on a giant screen.

                          Many waved Lebanese flags or those of Christian political parties in the fishing town. A group dressed in traditional baggy pants beat drums as others performed a sword folk dance.

                          Huge pictures of the new president, who must be a Christian under Lebanon's traditional power-sharing formula, towered over the town's main square and banners praised him.

                          "He is a symbol of the unity of Lebanon because he led the army," said Najwa Bishara, a young woman who said came by bus to Aamchit with other youths from the north to celebrate.

                          Security officials said five people were wounded in and near Suleiman's hometown by stray bullets.

                          In nearby regions, where Shiites are a minority, mosque minarets blared Quranic verses in a show of unity.

                          The relief was also evident in parliament, where political rivals smiled and shook hands, sitting together in the chamber to vote for the first time in 1 1/2 years. Foreign ministers of regional rivals Saudi Arabia, which backs the outgoing government, and opposition supporters Iran and Syria attended, as did the emir of Qatar.

                          Comment


                          • Remains found at WWI 'mass grave

                            Archaeologists in France excavating the suspected mass grave of hundreds of British and Australian World War I soldiers have found human remains.

                            The dig at Fromelles has uncovered body fragments, including part of a human arm, but experts believe the site may hold the remains of almost 400 troops.

                            They died during a disastrous mission in north-east France in July 1916.

                            Many relatives are anxious for the team to find their loved ones so they can finally be given a proper burial.

                            Bloody failure

                            The Battle of Fromelles was intended to divert German troops from the Battle of the Somme which was raging 50 miles to the south.

                            But due to poor planning, the mission was a complete and bloody failure which greatly soured relations between the Australians and their British commanders.


                            For Australia, Fromelles saw one of the single greatest losses of life in the whole of the war.

                            In total, 5,000 Australians were killed, injured or captured, with around 2,000 lives lost in the first 27 hours of fighting.

                            Alongside them, some 1,500 British soldiers were also killed.

                            A young Adolf Hitler, then a 27-year-old corporal in the Bavarian reserve infantry, is believed to have been involved in the operation.

                            The dig, by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (Guard), is examining ground near woods where it is believed the Germans buried the dead in pits.

                            With Australian soldiers standing guard close by, the team is sifting through the soil for bone, weapons and uniform fragments. So far remains have been found in five of the eight burial pits.

                            Peter Barton, a WWI historian involved in the dig, said he hoped to be able to determine the nationality of any remains found.


                            "By looking at fragments of uniform, experts can tell whether they are British or Australian because they had different buttons," he said.

                            Mr Barton said that after the battle the dead soldiers' personal possessions had been removed by the Germans and eventually returned to their families.

                            He said it was "possible" more personal items could be uncovered if the Germans had "missed anything".

                            German stretchers

                            Tony Pollard, head of Guard, said markings in the ground showed the shape of the German spades that were used to cut the burial pits.

                            And he said metal rings from German stretchers used to carry the bodies had also been found.

                            Major General Mike O'Brien, who is overseeing the dig, told the BBC the battle had been "a disastrous day" for Australia, with "terrible casualties".

                            "On the other hand, the aim of the battle was to distract the Germans from reinforcing the battle of the Somme and you could look at that as one of the achievements of the battle - but an achievement at a terrible price."

                            Maj Gen O'Brien said the "slow and methodical" excavation was important for the whole of Australia.

                            "If the remains are still here, we need to find out the number and condition and perhaps decide whether there is a better way of commemorating them than leaving them here just as they are in this field," he said.

                            On the site of the nearby battlefield stands a statue of an Australian soldier carrying a wounded comrade.

                            In a local cemetery, the remains of 410 unidentified Australians are buried alongside the names of 1,300 others who have no known grave.

                            The work is being overseen by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and has the consent of the French, British and Australian governments.

                            If a mass grave is discovered, the countries must decide whether to exhume and rebury the bodies in a new cemetery, or to leave them in place but build a memorial on the site.
                            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                            National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                            1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                            Comment


                            • Not so much world news, but Sprint's article reminded me that we commemorated ANZAC Day here in New Zealand a few weeks ago. It marks the anniversary of the day New Zealand and Australian troops landed at Gallipolli during WWI. Every year since 1916, a dawn service is held. The practice of US soldiers displaying their service medals on Memorial Day was inspired by those commemorations. Many New Zealanders and Australians travel to Anzac Cove, as the Peninsula has been renamed, and one day, I hope to be among them.

                              New Zealand has also just concluded Tribute08, during which the Kiwi soldiers that served in Vietnam were recognized. They received a public apology from the government and each of the leaders of the opposition parties, as well as an official welcome home. My family was represented at the ceremonies as we lost a loved one during that war.
                              **************************************
                              The whole of life is but a moment of time. It is our duty, therefore to use it, not to misuse it - Plutarch

                              Comment


                              • That is very interesting thanks Aroha. The link is an interesting read. The song is a very touching and appropriate too, know it well.
                                -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

                                National Domestic Violence Hotline:
                                1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

                                Comment

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