Underwear Bomb Revealed as Terror Suspect Warns More Attacks Coming Tuesday, Dec 29 2009 

Undated: The underwear which contained an explosive packet used on a failed plot to blow up Northwest Flight 253.

Photographs of the charred remains of explosives sewn into underwear allegedly worn by 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on a Detroit-bound Christmas flight were revealed Monday.

The bomb, seen for the first time, is reported to have contained a six-inch pack of highly-explosive powder called PETN sewn into the briefs, weighing about 80 grams.According to ABC News, a government test with 50 grams of PETN blew a hole in the side of an airliner — the same amount carried by so-called shoe bomber Richard Reid over Christmas in 2001.

A global search for accomplices in the Detroit airliner plot is under way after an Al Qaeda group based in Yemen claimed responsibility for the operation and the would-be bomber was reported to have said that more attacks were being planned.

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Obama defends war as he picks up Nobel Peace Prize Friday, Dec 11 2009 

President Barack Obama has said the US must uphold moral standards when waging wars that are necessary and justified, as he accepted his Nobel Peace Prize.

Dec. 10: Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Obama delivers the Nobel Lecture during the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony in Oslo City Hall (Reuters).

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world: I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations — that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. (Laughter.) In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who’ve received this prize — Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela — my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women — some known, some obscure to all but those they help — to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries — including Norway — in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.Still, we are at war, and I’m responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict — filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.

Now these questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease — the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.And over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers and clerics and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a “just war” emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.

Of course, we know that for most of history, this concept of “just war” was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations — total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of 30 years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it’s hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.In the wake of such destruction, and with the advent of the nuclear age, it became clear to victor and vanquished alike that the world needed institutions to prevent another world war. And so, a quarter century after the United States Senate rejected the League of Nations — an idea for which Woodrow Wilson received this prize — America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace: a Marshall Plan and a United Nations, mechanisms to govern the waging of war, treaties to protect human rights, prevent genocide, restrict the most dangerous weapons.

In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Commerce has stitched much of the world together. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty and self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.And yet, a decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats. The world may no longer shudder at the prospect of war between two nuclear superpowers, but proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale.

Moreover, wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations. The resurgence of ethnic or sectarian conflicts; the growth of secessionist movements, insurgencies, and failed states — all these things have increasingly trapped civilians in unending chaos. In today’s wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sown, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed, children scarred.I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: “Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones.” As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there’s nothing weak — nothing passive — nothing naive — in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world’s sole military superpower.

Mysterious Giant Spiral Dominates Norway’s Sky Friday, Dec 11 2009 

A mysterious giant spiral of light that dominated the sky over Norway on Wednesday has stunned experts — raising the possibility of an entirely new astral phenomenon.

Stunning ... mystery light glows in the sky

Thousands of awe-struck Norwegians bombarded the Meteorological Institute to ask what the incredible light — which could be seen in the pre-dawn sky for hundreds of miles — could possibly be.

Phenomenon ... unexplained sighting

Theories have ranged from a misfired Russian missile, meteor fireball, never-before-seen type of northern light, black hole and even alien activity.

Blue tail ... stunned Norwegians

Witnesses across Norway all described seeing a spinning “Catherine wheel-style” spiral of white light, centered around a bright moon-like star. A blue “streaming tail” appeared to anchor the spiral to earth, before the light “exploded” into a rotating ring of white fire.

Mystery ... missile theory

Sightings of the spiral spectacle, which lasted for two minutes, were reported as far north as Finnmark to Trondelag in the south.Chief Scientist Erik Tandberg, at the Norwegian Space Centre, said that he too was “totally amazed” by the spiral.He agreed with many other experts that the spiral pattern could have been caused by a missile from Russia — something the Russian military have strongly denied.

Astonishing ... spinning UFO

Adolf hitler Image Gallery Tuesday, Dec 8 2009 

The Uninvited-Michaele and Tareq Salahi Wednesday, Dec 2 2009 

WASHINGTON — The attention-hungry couple that crashed the Obama administration’s first state dinner admitted to a friendly Pentagon official that they went without a confirmed invitation — just in case they got approved at the last minute.Tareq and Michaele Salahi claimed a dead cell phone battery prevented them from hearing a voicemail earlier that day advising them they did not make the guest list.

The Salahis gave that account in an e-mail sent just hours after last week’s dinner to Pentagon official Michele Jones, who had tried to get them invited. A collection of e-mails between the Salahis and Jones was obtained Tuesday night by The Associated Press from a source who got them in manner that confirmed their authenticity.

Tareq & Michaele at the White House State Dinner

Vice President Biden & Michaele!

The White House Marines welcome Michaele to the State Dinner

Tareq, Vice President Biden & Michaele

AR Rahman ( who sings JAI HO from Slum Dog Millionaire) & Michaele & Tareq Salahi

President of Pepsi World Wide Indra Nooyi with Michaele.

President of Pepsi World Wide Indra Nooyi with Michaele..

President Barack Obama greets Michaele and Tareq Salahi during a receiving line in the Blue Room of the White House before the State Dinner with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India.

Obama: 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan by summer Wednesday, Dec 2 2009 

West Point, New York (CNN) President Obama said Tuesday that the deployment of 30,000 additional U.S. troops to Afghanistan is part of a strategy to reverse the Taliban’s momentum and stabilize the country’s government.

The new deployment over six months will bring America’s troop strength in the country to more than 100,000, in the fight against Taliban militants.Mr Obama also urged America’s allies in Nato to send more troops.Defending the war, he insisted there were no parallels with Vietnam and that world security was at stake(More News).

President Barack Obama announced Tuesday he was dispatching 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, accelerating a risky and expensive war buildup, even as he assured the nation that U.S. forces will begin coming home in July 2011.

We will continue to advise and assist Afghanistan’s security forces to ensure that they can succeed over the long haul. But it will be clear to the Afghan government and, more importantly, to the Afghan people that they will ultimately be responsible for their own country, Obama said.Obama also leaned heavily on NATO allies and other countries to join in escalating the fight.

We must come together to end this war successfully, the president said. For what’s at stake is not simply a test of NATO’s credibility. What’s at stake is the security of our allies, and the common security of the world.