The Controversial Gas Tax: What Is It And How Does It Work

Author: Admin  |  Category: Tax Specialist

The Controversial Gas Tax: What Is It and How Does It Work



The United States is one of the many countries in the world that extracts federal excise tax on gasoline. The decades-long policy was in danger of being placed on the chopping block after some representatives in Congress expressed the desire of letting the gas tax expire on September 30th of this year. According to The New York Times, the Republican right supports ending the gas tax; the organization Americans for Tax Reform was already planning on asking legislators to phase out the gas tax way before its September 30 expiration. The debate about the gas tax also entered the picture during the presidential campaigns of 2008, wherein presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain pushed for what they called a gas tax holiday. At that time, Barack Obama dismissed the idea as nothing but a gimmick, citing that any moves to reduce or remove the gas tax will not be beneficial in any way to consumers and to the countrys dependency on foreign oil.

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In Defense of the Gas Tax The New York Times shares this stand, as featured in its August 2011 editorial where it cited several reasons why the Gas Tax needs to be extended. The excise tax collected on fuels goes to the Highway Trust Fund, which in turn finances the upkeep and building of bridges, highways, and mass transit systems all over the country. The gas tax is the primary source of the trust fund. It comprises almost nine-tenths of the Highway Trust Fund which, at present, stands at $37 billion. According to the NY Times, this amount can hardly cover the expenses of maintaining the nations roads and railways; as of 2011, $72 billion is still required to meet the demands of bridge repairs alone, and billions of dollars more are needed to ensure road serviceability and enhance traffic safety in both roads and railways. The Treasury Department had to step in to make sure the Highway Trust Fund is able to break evenand yet its obligations continue growing. At present inflation rates, the gas taxs buying power is only 11 cents a massive loss compared to the growing number of motorists and longer driving mileage that contribute greatly to the declining state of the American highway system. The gas tax collects 18.4 cents per gallon exclusive of state taxes; this number remains unchanged since 1993. When state taxes are computed in, American consumers pay an average of 43 cents per gallon of gasoline. This is ten times less than whats being paid by motorists in the United Kingdom, where a gallon of gasoline costs $4 in taxes. Considering the comparative differences in gas taxes and the requirements of the Highway Trust Fund, parties from both sides of the Congress (except some select representatives from the House Republicans who push for the tax to lapse) back an increase in the gas tax in order to support the United States highway transport system. Another reason cited for the extension and possible hike of the gas tax rests on the argument that gas tax receipts, when used in public investment, ultimately put that money back into the American economy. Increasing the gas tax is also seen as a way to create additional jobs (a great balm in the face of this economy) as well as put pressure on motorists to switch to more fuel efficient vehicles. A tax hike may be unwelcome for some, but it clearly is a solution not only to the Highway Trust Fund but also to the economy and the environment. This article is brought to you by your local Scottsdale car accident attorney

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Call them today at 1-888-736- 4248 for a free consultation. DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website or the web site linked here in are not a substitute for professional medical or legal advice, diagnosis or treatment. In addition, viewing the content on these websites, requesting additional information, or transmitting information through a contact form does not form an attorney-client relationship with the sponsoring attorney. Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case or scientific study and do not represent a promise or guaranty regarding similar outcome or causes. The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and should never interfere with a patient/site visitor and his or her healthcare provider. Internet subscribers or online readers should not act upon any information contained herein without seeking professional legal and/or medical advice. This firm is licensed to practice law only in the state of California, but is affiliated with a network of licensed attorneys in other states. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. and JD Law Group make no representation or warranty regarding the accuracy, reliability, completeness, currentness, or timeliness of the content, text or graphics. Links to other sites are provided for information only they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

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UK announces £200 million polar research ship

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, April 25, 2014

UK Chancellor George Osborne today announced a new £200 million research ship to ply Arctic and Antarctic waters.

The new vessel will make Nerc’s entire fleet, ton for ton, the most advanced scientific fleet in the world

“One of the final frontiers in the world where there is still much discovery to be done are the polar oceans” said Osborne, explaining “our two current polar exploration ships are nearing the end of their life and need replacing. So I am delighted that we are investing in a new polar research ship to carry cutting edge British technology to put British scientists at the forefront of research in both the Antarctic and the Arctic oceans”.

The icebreaking ship is to belong to the British Antarctic Survey and is funded from a £7 billion pot earmarked for science over the next six or seven years. Osborne told those gathered at Cambridge’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology today he had “made it [his] personal priority in government to support [scientific] endeavour.”

Funding body the Natural Environment Research Council (Nerc) says the current ships, RRS James Clark Ross and RRS Ernest Shackleton, are to carry on operating at least until 2020. They were built in 1990 and 1995 respectively; RRS Ernest Shackleton is a leased Norwegian vessel. The new vessel is intended to be able to stay in the field longer and, unlike RRS James Clark Ross, feature a helipad.

Other specifications include the ability to launch unmanned submarines and scientific gliders, devices towed behind ships to gather data, as well as power through 2m (6.6ft) thick ice at three knots.

Osborne also announced the start of consultations on how to spend the rest of the £7 billion. The announcements come shortly after Nerc completed upgrades to ocean-going ‘bluewater’ ships RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook. “The new vessel will make Nerc’s entire fleet, ton for ton, the most advanced scientific fleet in the world” according to Nerc head Professor Duncan Wingham, speaking to the BBC.

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Anthrocon 2007 draws thousands to Pittsburgh for furry weekend

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — Local caterers get ready for big business, as almost three thousand fans converge on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center over the Independence Day weekend for the world’s largest ever furry convention, Anthrocon 2007.

Many hope to renew acquaintances, or meet new friends. Others look to buy from dealers and artists, or show off new artwork or costumes. Some attend to make money, or even learn a thing or two. But one thing unites them: They’re all there to have fun.

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Your Best Five Options As A Student In Need Of Financial Aid

Author: Admin  |  Category: Bed Linen

By Adam Masterson

The U.S. Department of Education makes available 67 billion dollars in grants, loans as well as campus-based aid each year to help out students pay for their postsecondary education. The fact is, graduate school can be very expensive and student financial assistance plays a significant role in the students decision-making process.

1. How it works

Student financial aid helps and aimed to make up the difference concerning what amount your family could afford for college and the exact college costs. Currently, more than 50 percent of college students enrolled receive some type of financial assistance so to help them pay college expenses. The system of student financial aid is based primarily on the objective of equal or access. Meaning anybody must and is entitled to go to college, in spite of financial situations.

Students as well as their families actually are anticipated to contribute or make a payment to their college cost to the amount that they are able to. If, therefore the students family is not able to supply the whole cost, then student financial aid is obtainable so to connect the gap.

2. The Federal Pell Grant program

Federal Pell Grant provides grants unto undergraduate students that needs financial help and also meet other FSA assistance requirements. This is a need-based form of financial aid and not like a student loan, the money need not be repaid.

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Qualified students generally receive a particular amount every year under the Pell Grant program, where formulas decide how much a student can receive as well as FSA determines the students EFC or Expected Family Contribution.

Whereas schools are not in the position to make certain decisions regarding who can receive Pell funds and how much will they receive, schools still have a lot of responsibilities in overseeing the program, and are primarily responsible for making certain that each student is qualified for any assistance they disburse.

3. Scholarships

Scholarships are reserved generally for students who have special qualifications like athletic, academic and artistic talent. Likewise, awards are accessible for students interested in specific areas of study, members of under represented groups, those living in specific locations in the U.S. or those demonstrating financial need.

Scholarships are financial assistance that need not be repaid by students making it the second most excellent way to compensate for your education in college.

4. Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity FSEOG

FSEOG or Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is generally for undergraduates having exceptional financial necessity. Meaning, students who have the lowest EFC or Expected Family Contribution thus giving top priority unto students who are receiving Federal Pell Grants. FSEOG need not be repaid.

The U.S. Department of Education ensures that every participating school receives adequate amount of money in order to compensate the Federal Pell Grants of its qualified students. Take note however, that there is no assurance every qualified student is able to obtain an FSEOG because students are awarded FSEOG based on fund availability of the school.

A student can acquire 100 to 4,000 dollars a year that depends on when the applied, the level of financial need, youre attending schools funding level and the guidelines of the student financial aid headquarters where you are attending school.

Generally, either your school pays you directly by check or credit to your account or combine all methods, paying you typically once per semester, term, quarter or trimester.

5. Federal WorkStudy

While you are in school, you can fund your education through working part-time, whether you are a graduate or an undergraduate student. This is called the Federal WorkStudy program and is governed by participating universities and colleges, providing beneficiaries with a particular number of paid hours of work throughout the school year.

Not only does work-study programs offer students the funds they need, but also provides them with excellent work experience. In particular, Co-ops, that are work-study arrangements that include off-campus employment, can actually help you to make get in touch with possible employers that can lead to work after graduation.

6. Federal Perkins Loans

These loans generally are awarded at a very low interest of usually 5 percent on a per need basis by the Student Financial Aid office to qualified students attending in at least a half-time degree program.

This is funded by the U.S. government therefore repayment postponed while schooling and no interest accumulates until you start repayment that is after your college graduation. College is your investment for your future. There are a lot of available choices for financing this investment, check out the internet or the office of your local government for details. Make your move today.

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UK and U.S. bombing raids against Iraq increased in 2002

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Monday, May 30, 2005

New information surfaced on Saturday, 28 May, that suggest that the US and UK increased air strikes against Iraq in mid 2002. The Ministry of Defence figures, provided in response to a question from Sir Menzies Campbell, the Liberal Democrat foreign affairs spokesman, show that allied aircraft doubled the rate at which they were dropping bombs on Iraq beginning in May of 2002.

This apparent escalation in the number and intensity of air strikes was initiated prior to the passage of UN Resolution 1441 in November 2002 and prior to the US Congress authorizing the use of force against Iraq in October 2002. Critics claim that this was an attempt to provoke Saddam Hussein or soften his military infrastructure in preparation for a more comprehensive military campaign, and that it reaffirms their assertions that the Bush administrations was determined to go to war long before the official decision was made.

In August 2002, allied commander Tommy Franks admitted that this operation was designed to “degrade” Iraqi air defences in the same way as the air attacks that began the 1991 Gulf war, but according to legal guidance appended to the Downing Street memo (dated 23 July 2002) the allied aircraft were only “entitled to use force in self-defence where such a use of force is a necessary and proportionate response to actual or imminent attack from Iraqi ground systems”.

According to military documents shown to the Sunday Express in 2002, the Allies invaded Iraq from Turkey on August 8th, 2002, after an air strike on the 6th that took out a crucial air defence system.

Pentagon officials initially denied there had been any military action or incursion, but when challenged with specific military details a spokesman called back two hours later issuing the terse statement: “We can’t comment on current or future operations.”

The evidence seems to corroborate information in the Downing Street memo:

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.
The two broad US options were:
(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).
(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.
The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:
(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.
(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.
(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.
The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun “spikes of activity” to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.”

In light of these revelations, Representative John Conyers has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield. A draft of the letter is available here.

In Conyer’s draft, he states:

“The allegations and factual assertions made in the May 29 London Times are in many respects just as serious as those made in the earlier article. If true, these assertions indicate that not only had our nation secretly and perhaps illegally agreed to go to war by the summer of 2002, but that we had gone on to take specific and tangible military actions before asking Congress or the United Nations for authority.”
Thus, while there is considerable doubt as to whether the U.S. had authority to invade Iraq, given, among other things, the failure of the U.N. to issue a follow-up resolution to the November 8, 2002 Resolution 1441, it would seem that the act of engaging in military action via stepped up bombing raids that were not in response to an actual or imminent threat before our government asked for military authority would be even more problematic from a legal as well as a moral perspective.
As a result of these new disclosures, I would ask that you respond as promptly as possible to the following questions:
1) Did the RAF and the United States military increase the rate that they were dropping bombs in Iraq in 2002? If so, what was the extent and timing of the increase?
2) What was the justification for any such increase in the rate of bombing in Iraq at this time? Was this justification reviewed by legal authorities in the U.S.?
3) To the best of your knowledge, was there any agreement with any representative of the British government to engage in military action in Iraq before authority was sought from the Congress or the U.N.? If so, what was the nature of the agreement?
In connection with all of the above questions, please provide me with any memorandum, notes, minutes, documents, phone and other records, e-mails, computer files (including back-up records) or other material of any kind or nature concerning or relating thereto in the possession or accessible by the Department of Defense.”
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China overtakes Germany as world’s biggest exporter

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chinese officials have said that their country’s exports surged last December to edge out Germany as the world’s biggest exporter.

The official Xinhua news agency reported today that figures from the General Administration for Customs showed that exports jumped 17.7% in December from a year earlier. Over the whole of 2009 total Chinese exports reached US$1.2 trillion, above Germany’s forecast $1.17 trillion.

Huang Guohua, a statistics official with the customs administration, said the December exports rebound was an important turning point for China’s export sector. He commented that the jump was an indication that exporters have emerged from their downslide.

“We can say that China’s export enterprises have completely emerged from their all-time low in exports,” he said.

However, although China overtook Germany in exports, China’s total foreign trade — both exports and imports — fell 13.9% last year.

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Health Insurance Guide

Author: Admin  |  Category: Insurance

Health has always been uncertain. We can try our best to keep fit, but after a certain age the expenses on health do increase. Its better to keep ourselves insured under a Medical Plan to make sure that our medical expenses are taken care of.If we talk about Individual Health Insurance Plans in US, they are designed to help an individual and their families access care and cover the medical cost of receiving medical services from any physician, hospital or other provider.There are different types of Medical Plans: Indemnity Health Maintenance Organization Preferred Provider Organization Point of Service Plan Exclusive Provider Organization Consumer-DrivenHealth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Protected Health Information.Under HIPAA Privacy, unauthorized individuals cannot ask or inquire about any clinical or personal health information when counseling participants about their Medical Plans.Indemnity Plans These plans are sometimes called Free-for-Service Plans, where: An individual pays the medical care provider directly for services Files claim to be reimbursed by the PlanAn Individual can seek care from any doctor or hospital and receive benefits.Hospital precertification is required for some services in order to receive the highest level of benefits.This plan: Pays reasonable and customary deductible coinsurance amounts, up to an out-of-pocket maximum Rely on Utilization Management to control costsHealth Maintenance Organization (HMO) An HMO provides prepaid benefits for most health care needs with no bills or claim forms. It provides services through a selected group of doctors, hospitals and other providers who are under contract to the HMO. To choose an HMO option, an individual must live or work in an area supported by the HMO network as defined by their home ZIP Codes. An individual choose a Primary Care Physician (PCP) from a list of physicians They pay copayment (instead of deductibles) each time they visit a provider Services rendered by the PCP or from a provider referred by PCP is reimbursed HMOs provide preventive care and rely on Utilization Management to control costsPreferred Provider Organization (PPO) A PPO is a network of contracted participating physicians and hospitals that agree to render their services at discounted rates.PPOs maintain networks of participating doctors and hospitals; however, individuals are not required to choose a PCP to coordinate their care. They have the choice of using in-network and out-of-network providers, using in-network providers offers higher benefits though.Point of Service Plan (POS) POS Plans have networks of participating doctors and hospitals that provide medical care at negotiable rate. Individuals living in a POS service area, according to their home ZIP Codes, are eligible to join the plan and must choose an in-network PCP or facility from the list of providers Using in-network providers offer the highest level of benefitsExclusive Provider Organization (EPO) EPO Plan resembles to HMO. Benefits are provided within a specific contracted network of physicians and hospitals with no out-of-network benefits available. Individual chooses a PCP from the list of physicians Individual are required to pay a predetermined copayment (instead of a deductible) each time they visit a provider. Services rendered by PCP or by a provider referred by the PCP will be reimbursed EPOs provide preventive care and rely on Utilization Management to control costs

2012 Report on Gender Equality and Development looks at women’s issues in India

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Yesterday, World Bank released its 2012 World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. India was mentioned over 300 times in the report, many more times than more developed countries like Spain which was mentioned 48 times, New Zealand which was mentioned 15 times, and Canada which was mentioned 22 times.

The report mentions the importance of gender equality for national development as it ties into improve productivity, improved outcomes for the next generation, and more representative decision making. Across the board for India, improved gender equality on the local level led to improvements in sanitation, water supplies, irrigation, and schools.

Nationally, the report found that a woman’s income correlated positively with the number of years her children spent in school. There is no gender gap in male/female school attendance for the richest 20% of Indian families, but males outnumber females by a ratio of 5 to 1 for the poorest 20% of Indian families. Girls in the bottom 20% on average only finish Grade 1 while males finish Grade 6. By age 15, according to Young Lives, Indian parents from Andhra Pradesh prioritize family outcomes for their male children over their female ones.

Indian women earn $0.64 for every $1 earned by their male counterparts. They fare better proportionally than their female German counterparts who earn $0.62 and Georgia who earn $0.60. In the developing world, they lag behind Malawi where women earn $0.90 for every $1 earned by men, Egypt where women earn $0.82, and Benin and Mexico at $0.80. A fifth of married Indian women, including those with their own income, do not make decisions on household spending. The 18% average puts Indian female control of their earnings equal to their counterparts in Mozambique. India is between Nigeria at 14%, and Zambia and Rwanda at 20%.

Indian women are having fewer children. The report found that while it took 100 years for the average woman in the United States to go from having six children to having three, it took India only 35 years. Women still have high maternal mortality rates, especially when compared to neighboring Sri Lanka. India’s rate is six times as high. Very young females still die at very high rates in India, especially in North India, because of gender preferences for male children. While according to the report this trend is spreading nationally, the overall number of excess females deaths dropped by 8,000 from 265,000 in 1990 to 257,000 in 2008. In China, the total excess female deaths grew by 202,000. The report cites improved access to ultra-sound and similar technologies as a cause for the very high rates in both India and China because it allows parents to select the sex of their child.

In a national exception, the height of North Indian women increased more slowly and they had worse anthropometric outcomes proportional to their male counterparts.

Estimates by the World Bank report writers based on Demographic and Health Surveys suggest 15% of Indian women think it is acceptable for a husband to beat his wife if she refuses to have sex with him, 20% if she burns food and 30% if she argues with him.

Economic well being plays a role in the number of children a woman has. The richest 20% of women average around 1.5 total children. The poorest 20% average about 4 children. India’s poorest 20% is comparable to Colombia and the Dominican Republic. The number is much lower than many Afrian countries including Niger, Mali, Zambia, Malawi, Liberia, Nigeria, Tanzania and Kenya where the poorest 20% average over 7 children.

The Indian gains highlighted include several local ones. This includes using women’s self-help groups focused on taking best practices from research and applying them in farming in the state of Orissa. The Self Employed Women’s Association has assisted women in Gujarat by providing childcare. Quotas for women elected in local governments led to changes in underlying beliefs about the effectiveness of women in government. The creation of an all-women’s police force in Tamil Nadu led to increased reporting of crimes against women and general comfort in going to the police to report a problem.

The report offers several pieces of advice for Indian policy makers, including trying to change current role models to include more women who do not follow social norms. It advises laws be created and enforced to prevent sex selection of children. The report also encourages strengthening ownership and land rights, which should also address the agricultural productivity gender-gap.

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Swan in Fife, Scotland dies with H5N1 bird flu virus infection

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, April 6, 2006

It has been confirmed that tests done on a dead Mute Swan found in the village of Cellardyke in Fife, Scotland has tested positive for the deadly strain of H5N1 Bird Flu virus. The swan is believed to have been native to Scotland.

Two other swans found in Richmond Park in Glasgow are being tested for the H5N1 virus. They are among at least 14 other dead birds and 12 more swans found in Glasgow, that are being tested for the H5N1 virus.

This is the United Kingdom‘s first confirmed case of the H5N1 virus and would make the U.K. the 14th country to report the virus.

“The risk to humans has not changed by the fact that we have found the virus in the U.K.. There is a better chance of a person winning the national lottery than catching bird flu in the U.K. today,” said Doctor Jim Robertson from the National Institutes for Biological Standards and Control in a press conference.

“We also have to work on the assumption that there is some spread among wild birds. There is no doubt we are getting closer to the day when moving birds indoors will be necessary,” said former President of the British Veterinary Association, Bob McCracken. “The situation is that the virus is there, and it will probably continue to circulate among the birds. It will spread through close contact, irrespective of species. There is one big question mark: Will the virus disappear from wild birds after a period of six months, or will it still be present after a period of six years?” added McCracken.

McCracken also said that the virus could turn up in more birds saying, “I would start from the assumption that a small pool of wild birds in the Fife area are infected and potentially passing it on to other birds” and that seagulls could pose a threat of passing on the virus because they have been known to peck at the bodies of other dead birds that were infected. “We have to assume that,” he said.

In a statement by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, released yesterday, the Scottish Executive confirmed that a “highly pathogenic H5 avian flu” virus was found in a sample taken from the dead swan.

The swan was discovered March 29, 2006 and has been confirmed as a domestic species and officials say that it may have caught the virus from another infected bird. Officials also report that the area where the swan has been found is being sealed off.

“In accordance with a recent EU decision the Scottish Executive is putting in place a protection zone of a minimum of three kilometres radius and a surveillance zone of 10 kilometers. Keepers of birds in the protection zone are being instructed to isolate their birds from wild birds, by taking them indoors where ever possible,” said the Scottish Executive in a statement.

Samples from the swan were sent to the European Union Bird Flu Laboratory at Weybridge.

“Bird keepers outside the protection zone should redouble their efforts to prepare for bringing their birds indoors if that becomes necessary. They must also review their biosecurity measures to ensure that all possible precautions have been taken,” said Charles Milne, Chief Veterinary Officer for Scotland yesterday in the statement.

An exercise named ‘Exercise Hawthorn’ was to prepare people for a possible pandemic was taking place yesterday and was halted just after the discovery of the dead swan. Officials were in the second phase of the exercise. Taking part in the exercises were the Ministry of Defence, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Environment Agency and several other areas of the British government.

“I brought to an end the national avian influenza exercise to ensure that we can bring all our resources to bear on this situation. We are already in a high state of readiness and I have every confidence that officials north and south of the border will work together to manage this incident successfully,” said the United Kingdom’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Debby Reynolds.

However; today Reynolds stated “there is no reason for public health concern” and also stated that in order for Bird Flu to infect humans, it would require “extremely close contact with infected birds, particularly feces.”

According to the World Health Organization H5N1 has killed 109 people worldwide since 2003.

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Al-Qaeda says bin Laden death will ‘not be wasted’; Pentagon releases videos of terrorist leader in compound

Author: Admin  |  Category: Uncategorized

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Al-Qaeda has said it will continue to launch more terrorist attacks on the U.S. and warned the death of their leader Osama bin Laden, would “not be wasted”. The statement from the organization, posted on jihadist internet forums, came as the Pentagon released videos filmed inside the terrorist leader’s compound which was raided last weekend. Intelligence officials said at a briefing in Washington, D.C. that the videos showed that bin Laden was still playing an active role in al-Qaeda plotting.

Although the video tapes have no audio, they show bin Laden watching news coverage of himself on television and preparing to record a propaganda film. The tapes are the latest intelligence to emerge from computer equipment seized from bin Laden’s compound during the raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan by U.S. special forces last weekend. Earlier this week it emerged bin Laden had been planning an attack on the American rail network on the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks this year. U.S. officials yesterday stressed that the al-Qaeda plot was only “aspirational”, but involved derailing multiple trains by damaging rail lines at various sites.

Their happiness will turn into sorrow, and their blood will be mixed with their tears.

Tonight one intelligence official said the information gleaned from the computers was the “single largest collection of senior terrorist materials ever.” The computer equipment also revealed that there were hopes of attacking major transportation hubs, and that during the six years he lived at the compound in Pakistan, bin Laden stayed in close contact with senior affiliates and played an active role in developing terrorist plots. An unnamed U.S. official told The New York Times that bin Laden “wasn’t just a figurehead,” but “continued to plot and plan, to come up with ideas about targets and to communicate those ideas to other senior al-Qaeda leaders.”

Confirming the death of bin Laden in a statement this week, al-Qaeda said his killing would be a “curse” on the U.S. and its allies. “Their happiness will turn into sorrow, and their blood will be mixed with their tears. We call upon our Muslim people in Pakistan, on whose land Sheikh Osama was killed, to rise up and revolt.” The revelation that al-Qaeda was planning more attacks against the U.S. comes only several days after officials warned the terrorist group was likely to be plotting a revenge attack to avenge the death of bin Laden.

Four days after the raid on the compound, U.S. president Barack Obama visited Ground Zero in New York on Thursday to pay tribute to the 3,000 people killed in the September 11 attacks, for which al-Qaeda was found responsible. Bin Laden is believed to have masterminded the attacks on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. “When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say,” Obama told firefighters in the city. He laid a wreath made from red, white and blue flowers after meeting with relatives of the victims of the attacks. “We are going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act will see justice,” he said. After the wreath was laid, he stood with his head bowed for a moment of silence.

When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say. We are going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act will see justice.

The news of bin Laden’s death after a team of U.S. Navy Seals descended into the compound was greeted with celebrations across the U.S. on Sunday night, but concerns have been raised as to whether the killing was lawful after the terrorist leader’s daughter told Pakistani authorities that he had been captured and then killed. But Attorney General Eric Holder contradicted the statement, saying: “If he had surrendered, attempted to surrender, I think we should obviously have accepted that, but there was no indication that he wanted to do that and therefore his killing was appropriate.”

Obama’s visit came a day after he announced he would not be releasing images of bin Laden’s body. In an interview to be aired on CBS News, the president said: “It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence, as a propaganda tool.” The images—described as “very gruesome”—are reported to show bin Laden shot above the left eye, with parts of his brain exposed.

As Obama travelled to New York, the growing rift between the relations of the U.S. and Pakistan was continuing to grow after officials in Islamabad said the U.S. president may have breached U.N. rules by ordering the raid, because Pakistan was not told in advance. Senior officials within the Pakistani army also ordered the number of American military personnel in the country to be cut to “minimum essential” levels. Salman Bashir, the Pakistani foreign secretary, strained relations further at a press conference when he said there were serious concerns that the U.S. had breached U.N. resolutions on sovereignty, and said Pakistan is determined to “uphold our sovereignty and safeguard our security”. Pakistani army officials risked tautening relations between the two countries again on Thursday as they announced they would consider cutting ties with Washington, D.C. if the U.S. mounted another unannounced raid on their soil, and said they would be expelling U.S. military personnel in retaliation.

The conflict stems from the raid during the weekend on the Abbottabad compound. Pakistan says it was not informed about the raid, which involved U.S. helicopters flying into Pakistani airspace to drop commandos who raided the house. The rift has grown further after U.S. officials questioned how Pakistani intelligence allowed bin Laden to live in the compound, a short distance from a military training academy, and suggested the terrorist leader may have been harbored by the government. The director of the CIA said earlier this week that Pakistan was not informed about the raid because of fears he was being harbored by Pakistani officials who might warn him about the raid. The president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, dismissed “baseless speculation” that his administration was sheltering bin Laden.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted tension between Washington and Pakistan over the raid had been exaggerated, and said she was keen to keep relations with Islamabad. “It is not always an easy relationship. You know that,” she said. “But, on the other hand, it is a productive one for both our countries and we are going to continue to cooperate between our governments, our militaries, our law-enforcement agencies, but most importantly between the American and Pakistani people.”

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