Egypt’s vice-president has announced his resignation, on the day the country completed its voting in a controversial referendum on a draft constitution.
Mahmoud Mekki, a former judge who was appointed vice-president in August, said the “nature of politics” did not suit his professional background.
Polls have now closed in the second leg of the referendum, which is widely expected to approve the draft.
However, opponents say this will not end the country’s unrest.
They say the constitution favours Islamists and betrays the revolution that overthrew Hosni Mubarak last year.
President Mohammed Morsi and his supporters say the document will secure democracy.
Late on Saturday, state television announced that the central bank governor, Farouq al-Uqdah, had also resigned from his post. However, a cabinet official later denied the report.
It was the Year of the Big Tuna in sportfishing, so it’s appropriate that 2012 end with the International Game Fish Association approving the 427-pound yellowfin caught in September by Dana Point’s Guy Yocom as the new all-tackle world record.
The IGFA announced that the giant tuna Yocom caught while fishing on his boat, El Suertudo (The Lucky One), approximately 100 miles off Cabo San Lucas, is the new standard for yellowfin.
The morning of March 4, 2012 was an unusually warm day in Southern California. Eugenio Velázquez, 50, a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico. That sunny morning, he tried to cross the border from Tijuana into San Diego. It was 9 a.m.
Velázquez, a renowned architect responsible for various buildings in Tijuana, was a trusted traveler enrolled in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s SENTRI program. He’d passed the requisite background check and personal interview needed for SENTRI pass holders.
But that morning, a drug sniffing dog caught scent of narcotics under the hood of the architect’s Nissan minivan.
Maximino Melchor, a rising opera star from Tijuana, is involved in a similar case. It unfolded on Sept. 19, 2012, when Melchor, 23, was pulled over on Interstate 5 in north San Diego County, near Camp Pendleton. Law enforcement officers discovered 44 pounds of methamphetamine in the vehicle he was driving. He, too, was arrested.
Both men pled guilty to smuggling drugs. Their respective defense attorneys said both were forced into trafficking — that they operated under duress.
The young singer was sentenced to nine years in jail, while the architect got just six months. He was able to produce witnesses who testified that he’d been threatened.
Not all drug smugglers are vicious cartel thugs. The war on drugs has a large and varied cast of characters, not always simple to categorize as either perpetrators or victims.
There are audio of this story and video of the opera star at the link.
Downloading a gun’s design plans to your computer, building it on a three-dimensional printer and firing it minutes later. No background checks, no questions asked.
Sound far-fetched? It’s not. And that is disquieting for gun control advocates.
Rep. Steven Israel, D-NY, said the prospect of such guns becoming reality is reason enough for the renewal of the Undetectable Firearms Act, which makes illegal the building of guns that can’t be detected by X-ray or metallic scanners. That law expires at the end of 2013.
At least one group, called Defense Distributed, is claiming to have created downloadable weapon parts that can be built using the increasingly popular new-generation of printer that utilizes plastics and other materials to create 3-D objects with moving parts. University of Texas law student Cody Wilson, the 24-year-old “Wiki Weapons” project leader, says the group last month test fired a semiautomatic AR-15 rifle — one of the weapon types used in the Connecticut elementary school massacre — which was built with some key parts created on a 3-D printer. The gun was fired six times before it broke.
Granted, if you believe that what LaPierre was trying to do today was to sincerely join in a national conversation over school shootings, or offer a coherent set of preventative policy options, or even just demonstrate some baseline sensitivity for the lives that were lost, it is easy to see why you’d deem LaPierre’s press conference to be an ineffective, tone-deaf failure. But what you should remember that the National Rifle Association does not exist to offer sensible public policy or participate in conversations or pretend to be sensitive about tragedies. The National Rifle Association exists to assist the manufacturers of guns and gun-related accoutrements in selling guns and gun-related accoutrements to people. That is their job, summed up, in its entirety.
The NRA are lobbyists who represent a bunch of gun retailers, and this is what lobbyists do — they help their clients sell their products. And every action that LaPierre took today can and should be viewed through that prism.
Creationism won’t be taught in Orleans Parish Public Schools. That is the message from the School Board this week after it voted in favor of keeping religion out of science classes.
“It was a unanimous vote. I was very pleasantly surprised,” said outgoing School Board President Thomas Robichaux.
After years of debate, the Orleans Parish School Board voted on Tuesday night to keep creationism out of its classrooms. The decision means students won’t learn about the religious theory that God created the universe and everything in it — at least not in science class.
“To teach anything but scientific theory in a science class is just wrong for our kids. The (Louisiana Science Education Act) is a direct attack on our children’s future and this is a direct defense to that,” said Robichaux.
The new policy approved by OPSB bans creationist textbooks from being used in the classroom.
Following up on earlier theoretical predictions, MIT researchers have now demonstrated experimentally the existence of a fundamentally new kind of magnetic behavior, adding to the two previously known states of magnetism.
Ferromagnetism — the simple magnetism of a bar magnet or compass needle — has been known for centuries. In a second type of magnetism, antiferromagnetism, the magnetic fields of the ions within a metal or alloy cancel each other out. In both cases, the materials become magnetic only when cooled below a certain critical temperature. The prediction and discovery of antiferromagnetism — the basis for the read heads in today’s computer hard disks — won Nobel Prizes in physics for Louis Neel in 1970 and for MIT professor emeritus Clifford Shull in 1994.
“We’re showing that there is a third fundamental state for magnetism,” says MIT professor of physics Young Lee. The experimental work showing the existence of this new state, called a quantum spin liquid (QSL), is reported this week in the journal Nature, with Lee as the senior author and Tianheng Han, who earned his PhD in physics at MIT earlier this year, as lead author.
Conservative politicians in Germany are outraged after one of their own, Family Minister Kristina Schröder, suggested that God might not have a gender. Critics argue she has gone one step too far in her political correctness.
Just in time for Christmas, Germany’s conservative Family Minister Kristina Schröder has sparked a contentious debate about the word most central to the Christian faith: God.
In an interview with the weekly newspaper Die Zeit in which she discussed gender roles in children’s literature, Schröder also took on God’s gender, and fellow members of her Christian Democratic Union and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, are not impressed.
The German language has three definite articles for nouns to indicate their gender — der (masculine), die (feminine) and das (neuter). The noun der Gott, or God, is masculine. But Schröder told Die Zeit that the article for God shouldn’t matter. It could just as easily be the gender-neutral das Gott, she said, saying the article “doesn’t mean anything.”
Such a suggestion is an outrage, her colleagues say.