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Libyan forces destroy Misrata fuel tanks: rebels

TRIPOLI :- Libyan government forces destroyed four fuel storage tanks and set several others ablaze in rebel-held Misrata, dealing a blow to the port city’s ability to withstand a government siege, rebels said on Saturday.

The bombardment of the western city came as artillery rounds fired by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi fell in Tunisia in an escalation of fighting near the border with rebels trying to end Gaddafi’s rule of more than four decades.

Misrata, the last remaining city in the west under rebel control, has been under siege for more than two months and has witnessed some of the war’s fiercest fighting.

Rebels gave varying accounts of the bombardment but said the attack hit fuel used for export as well as domestic consumption.

“Four (fuel) tanks were totally destroyed and a huge fire erupted which spread now to the other four. We cannot extinguish it because we do not have the right tools,” rebel spokesman Ahmed Hassan said.

“Now the city will face a major problem. Those were the only sources of fuel for the city. These tanks could have kept the city for three months with enough fuel,” he said by telephone.

Video of the incident posted on YouTube by Libyan students in Misrata showed firefighters turning water hoses on a raging fire in a vain attempt to extinguish it.

NATO SAID:

Hassan said rebels notified NATO about the planes before the attack but there had been no response. Government forces last month flew at least one helicopter reconnaissance mission over Misrata, according to rebels.

NATO coalition aircraft have been bombing Libyan government military targets and enforcing a no-fly zone under a U.N. resolution. Western and Arab countries this week agreed to provide rebels with millions of dollars in non-military aid to help them keep services and the economy running.

Rebels have long been demanding they also need more heavy weapons to take on the Libyan leader’s better-armed and trained forces.

On Saturday, the rebels said they had reached an agreement with Italy to supply them with weapons, but the former colonial power denied the report.

Abdel-Hafiz Ghoga, spokesman for the rebel Transitional National Council, told journalists at a news conference in Benghazi that the weapons would be supplied to the rebels soon.

In Rome, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said no such agreement had been reached.

“There has been no agreement to supply them with weapons,” the spokesman said.

Italy has thrown its full support behind the rebels, formally recognizing the transitional council as the only legitimate representatives of the country, but it is unlikely it would go further than other countries in the anti-Gaddafi coalition.

BORDER FIGHTING

Fighting has intensified in Libya‘s Western Mountains region as Gaddafi loyalists and rebels, backed by NATO bombing, reached stalemate on other fronts in the civil war.

Government forces surrounding the rebel-held Zintan fired 300 rockets into the town on Saturday, rebel spokesman Abdulrahman al-Zintani said. He gave no details of casualties in Zintan, which is largely empty of civilians.

“NATO aircraft can be heard but there have been no air strikes,” al-Zintani said.

The Tunisian town of Dehiba has been hit repeatedly by stray shells in recent weeks, and on Saturday Tunisia condemned the “extremely dangerous” shelling and said it would take all necessary measures to protect its sovereignty.

The Libyan government denied it targeted Tunisian soil deliberately.

“We said this (shelling) was an error and we have apologized that this took place and have asked the military forces to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi told a news conference in Tripoli.

The battle is for control of the Dehiba-Wazzin border crossing, which gives the rebels a road from the outside world into strongholds in the Western Mountains region.

Although the rebels hold the border point, Gaddafi’s forces are in charge of a far bigger one to the north.

On Saturday Dehiba’s schools were evacuated and residents scurried for safety as close to 100 mortars and missiles fell.

The crackle of small arms fire as well as larger weapons could also be heard about 4 km (2.5 miles) inside Libya, a ‘source’ witness on the border said.

“We are very afraid. The missiles are falling right around us, we don’t know what to do,” said Tunisian Mohammed Naguez, a resident of Dehiba. “Our children are afraid. The Tunisian authorities have to stop this.”

Most of the people in the Western Mountains belong to the Berber ethnic group and are distinct from other Libyans.

They rose up two months ago and say towns such as Zintan and Yafran are under repeated bombardment from Gaddafi’s forces, running short of food, water and medicine.

The civil war over Gaddafi’s rule has split the oil-producing desert state into a government-held western area round the capital Tripoli and an eastern region held by ill-disciplined but dedicated rebel forces.

The revolt is the bloodiest yet against long-entrenched rulers across the Middle East and North Africa, which saw the overthrow of the veteran presidents of Tunisia and Egypt.

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Posted by on May 7, 2011 in World News

 

Gold tops $1,500 for first time

Gold prices topped a record $1,500 for the first time ever on Tuesday, shattering an important psychological barrier as investors seek out investments thought to be safe during times of upheaval.

Many investors see gold as the best place to park their money when there’s economic or policital uncertainty, and there has been plenty of that to go around.gold The price spike also comes against the backdrop of market uncertainty that has sent investors looking for an alternative to the weak U.S. dollar. And gold has been the marquee beneficiary.

On Monday, it was a dour outlook on U.S. debt that sent gold prices higher.

Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook for America’s long-term debt to “negative” from “stable,” based on uncertainty surrounding the nation’s fiscal problems.

That’s exactly the type of news that creates a flight to safe haven assets like gold.

Gold futures for June delivery hit an intraday record of $1,500.50 an ounce near midday, before retreating to settle at $1,495.10 an ounce — also a new record.

The price of gold has tracked steadily higher in recent months, as a cavalcade of unsettling world events created uncertainty in global markets.

Since the start of the year, investors have been forced to consider the implications of a Japanese tsunami, earthquake and nuclear disaster. That’s in addition to a spike in crude prices and a slew of revolts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Inflation — which gold is often used to hedge against — has been rising sharply in emerging economies and is becoming more of an issue in Europe.

Gold and silver keep shining..

Carlos Sanchez, director of commodities management at New York-based CPM Group, said prices could go as high as $1,550 in the next couple weeks as investors focus on political gridlock in Washington.

The next major event for the gold market is the May deadline for the government to raise the debt ceiling, Sanchez said.

On Tuesday, silver prices were also on the rise. The understudy commodity settled at $43.75 an ounce — its highest level in three decades.

Of course, the records this week are not adjusted for inflation. Gold rose to $825.50 per ounce on Jan. 21, 1980, which is $2,211.65 in today’s dollars rate.

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2011 in Business, World News

 

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‘The Killers’ Singer Brandon Flowers and Wife Welcome Baby Boy

 

PEOPLE confirmed on Tuesday that the baby boy was actually born on March 9. The third child for Flowers and his wife Tana Mundkowsky, Henry Flowers joins his brothers Gunnar and Ammon in the happy family.killer's singerAfter years of nonstop touring and a typically over-the-top schedule with the Killers, Flowers decided to pursue a solo career last year while his bandmates sought some well-deserved time off.

Having released his solo album, ‘Flamingo,’ in the fall, Flowers is now ready for some downtime himself. “Downtime” being a loose term here, of course, as Flowers wants to use the time to focus on being a good father.

“I love music but I want to spend more time with my children,” he told the Daily Mail back in September. “I’d like to be around when they start school.”

 
 

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Meredith Vieira Expected to Leave ‘The Today Show’

Looks like Matt Lauer might lost another co-host. Meredith Vieira will most likely step down as co-anchor of ‘Today‘ when her contract expires in September, according to a new report from TV Guide.

Vieira is apparently “beloved” by the ‘Today’ cast and crew, but a combination of long, tiring hours and personal struggles (her husband is battling multiple sclerosis and cancer) are likely the reason why she’d leave. Vieira would only sign a one-year deal when her contract expired last year, and has been open about her husband’s health problems.

However, NBC doesn’t want to see her go. “NBC is doing everything they can to convince her to stay,” an insider told TV Guide.

The former ‘View’ panelist joined Matt Lauer on ‘Today’ after Katie Couric left to anchor the CBS Evening News. Just yesterday, word came that Couric would step down from her post to host a daytime talk show when her contract is up in June.

NBC responded to TV Guide via statement, saying “The ‘Today’ show anchors are currently under contract and firmly in place.”

When Vieira does leave ‘Today’ — whether that’s in September or a year after that — Ann Curry, the show’s current news anchor, will likely replace her.

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2011 in Entertainment / Music / TV

 

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Sheryl Crow Singing a New Tune With Cookbook ‘If It Makes You Healthy’

Sheryl Crow is a busy rock star and activist raising two boys as a single mother. When Crow battled breast cancer five years ago, she took that as a wake-up call to eat better. Around this time she met chef Chuck White, who taught Sheryl how to eat seasonal, vitamin-rich food that would boost her health and singing voice.

The two have now teamed up on a cookbook called ‘If It Makes You Healthy,’ which is brimming with delicious and nutritious recipes.

#How did you meet Chuck ??
I have worked with Chuck off and on for three years. He’s extraordinarily talented. We have this mutual love for incorporating the healthy components of food and the knowledge of wellness and disease with prevention and I wanted him to share what it is that he does. He had been on tour with me and cooked in my home while I had been recording.

#When you’re not touring or doing albums do you cook for yourself ??
For the most part when I’m home I cook for me and my kids. We sit down and eat meals. I cook the things I learned from Chuck. I’m always looking for healthy ways to feed my kids. My 10-month-old eats everything. Wyatt’s a little pickier. The one thing he loves is pasta and there are lots of different ways to make pasta with quinoa or spaghetti squash so he’s not just eating plain carbs. There’s always creative ways to feed kids.

#Does the music business today depress you?
For somebody like me who makes records to go out and play, I would play no matter what; it’s unfortunate that the climate is what it is. I enjoy playing live.

#Before you got diagnosed w/cancer, did you eat a lot of junk food ??
We would eat what was at the gig. Not to knock the catering companies, but you would eat catering that was sitting out all day or eating from room service and then when I was diagnosed five years ago and I became a student of nutrition and wellness and really wanted to be proactive in getting well. I think now what we know from the information we get about antibiotics in the meat and pesticides in produce that there’s a direct correlation to disease and there are components of food that are very disease-defensive and it’s food that we can incorporate. We wanted everything in the book to be delicious and not boring.
#What do you say to people who can’t afford to buy organic ??
It’s really tricky. I’m able to afford organic meat but I think ultimately in the long run you pay for food and not pay as much in medical bills. For someone like me, had I not been insured I would have paid upward of $170,000 and that was just for radiation, that wasn’t my entire treatment. It is an investment. Also there are great meat companies online that will deliver; you can buy into a side a beef. The internet has allowed us to be creative.

#You’re a single mom. Are you constantly exhausted ??
If it’s 9:30 and I’m still awake I feel like I had a great day. I usually crash. I’m the most boring rock star right now, but that’s okay, it’s exciting in a different way.
I saw you were part of the White House salute to Motown.
It was the most nerve-wracking thing I’ve ever done, without question. To be singing Motown in front of Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy, and not to mention the President.

#Did you hang with Obama afterwards??
There was a party afterwards but it’s not the kind of thing where the President hangs out. I can’t fathom what it’s like to be in the kind of stressful climate he’s in everyday with everything that’s going on and then take a break and sit with an audience for two hours. I’m sure he wasn’t for a moment not thinking about what was going on.

#What’s something surprising about you ??
I like to sew. I have a sewing machine. I can actually read a pattern and make a skirt. I’ve made pillows, quilts and jackets.

 

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Angelina Jolie’s New Tattoo Sparks Adoption Rumors

An additional line to an existing tattoo has sparked rumors that Angelina Jolie may be adopting another child.

Wonderwall is reporting that Jolie was on a goodwill trip to the TunisiaLibya border recently where she was visiting with refugees, when a photograph showed a new set of map coordinates on her arm, just beneath the six tattoos of coordinates of the birthplaces of her six children.

angelina jolieThe discovery of the new tattoo has rumors swirling that Jolie may be planning to adopt another child.

While the coordinates are difficult to make out in its entirety, the first part of the tattoo read ’35 degrees north’ which could possibly indicate Algeria.

But it is being reported that a source close to Jolie has said not to read too much into her skin art.

Jolie has adopted three children, Maddox, 9, from Cambodia, Pax, 7, from Vietnam and Zahara, 6, from Ethiopia.

 

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Keanu Reeves Reveals Info on ‘Bill and Ted 3’

Excellent! After much speculation, Keanu Reeves has confirmed that the long-awaited final installment of the ‘Bill and Ted‘ trilogy is on its way.

The previous two films in the stoner-comedy franchise, released in 1989 and 1991, respectively, detailed two high school misfits’ excellent and bogus journeys through time.Keanu Reeves

“I believe the writers are six weeks away from a draft,” says Reeves, who adds that the original writers have returned to pen the final installment of the series.

And what will Bill and Ted be up to in this one? Having escaped history and death, the former teen heroes are back to hang out, play some air guitar and begin their quest to write a song that saves the world.

 

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