Friday, April 10, 2009

Two people are dead at a Michigan, United States community college in what police are calling a murder-suicide on Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The victims, a 28-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman, were found in the Fine Arts Building of Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan.

The Free Press reports that the suspected gunman entered classroom F-111 with a shotgun, killed the female and then shot himself. The two were in the same theater class, but police have yet to determine if there was a further relationship between the two.

“The original call was some kind of assault … shots in the building,” Police Deputy Chief Gregg Brighton told the Free Press.

“Officers responded to the scene, were able to get a perimeter on the building,” Brighton said. “An entry team entered the south hallway … as they entered they heard another gunshot. Officers were able to enter one of the rooms, and discovered two deceased parties. We cleared the building.”

Dearborn police and campus police secured the crime scene after evacuating some students from the building. The Free Press also reports that four Michigan State Police detectives are assisting local authorities in the investigation.

The school was locked down for several hours shortly after a 911 call was received. The lockdown has now been lifted.

The school will be closed for the rest of the day and the school will be offering counseling services.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Militants in north-west Pakistan blew up a fuel tanker carrying supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan on Monday. More than ten armed men shot at the tanker and fired a rocket at the vehicle outside Peshawar city, and the driver and a passenger were injured in the attack, although no loss of life is reported.

Head of the north-western city’s administration, Sahibzada Anees, said “About ten armed people fired at a tanker carrying petrol for NATO forces and later lobbed a rocket at the vehicle, which set alight some 78,000 litres (17,000 gallons) of fuel”.

According to witnesses, the tanker was quickly in flames. The residents of the areas were successfully rescued by police and fire fighters and the blaze was brought under control. Police have launched a search operation in nearby areas, although with no success.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Oil tankers and trucks bringing goods from port city of Karachi for allied forces battling the Taliban in Afghanistan have been regularly attacked. About 80% of supplies destined for the more than 113 thousand NATO troops in Afghanistan have to pass through Pakistan. The coalition forces bring 70% of supplies through Pakistan every month, from a total of two thousand truckloads.

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By Larry J. Reaves

That blender sitting on your kitchen counter is more than just a fancy umbrella drink machine. With a little bit of creativity and some helpful recipes, you can use your blender to make creamy, smooth, gourmet style soups.

Making your own fresh soup is an excellent way to get your daily servings of vegetables. Blending your own soups is a healthy alternative. Canned soups are loaded with preservatives and sodium. When you blend your own, you control what goes in.

So below are some suggestions for blending your own soup. You’ll need to make sure that your blender is powerful enough to liquefy the contents. It may be necessary to chop or dice the ingredients so that you’re sure to have a good consistency.

Follow these recipes to make some great blender soups.


1 whole zucchini (or substitute with yellow summer squash)

1-2 whole plum tomatoes or 2-3 small Campari tomatoes

1-2 stalks of celery

1 sliver of red onion (optional, to taste)

1/2 – 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

Spices: A dash of dill, some cilantro (fresh or dried). Add a dash of sea salt and pepper to taste.

1 and 1/2 to 2 cups hot water.

Blend the ingredients together until your soup is smooth and thick. Then heat in a soup pan on medium heat.

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Tomato-Carrot Soup

1 whole carrot

1-2 whole plum tomatoes or 2-3 small Campari tomatoes

1-2 stalks of celery

1 sliver of red onion (optional, to taste)

1/2 – 1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)

Season to taste trying different combinations of oregano, basil, dill or Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

1 and 1/2 to 2 cups hot water

This recipe will blend and be similar to a vegetable smoothie. Again, blend to the desire consistency then heat on the stove.

Black Bean Soup

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 celery ribs, finely chopped

1/4 large red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 small chicken bouillon cubes

1 -1 1/2 cup boiling water

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 lemon, juice of

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Combine the first six ingredients in a soup pot and simmer on the stove for about ten minutes. Add half a can of beans, the salt and cumin. Cook for an additional five minutes. Puree the soup in your blender. If you have an immersion blender you can do that right on the stove. Add the remaining beans. Combine the cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Add the lemon and cornstarch and cook until thickened.

If you prefer to make a chilled soup, you can make gazpacho with fresh ingredients. Put fresh chopped tomatoes, a little bit of red-wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, a few fresh garlic cloves, a dash of cayenne pepper, a dash of extra-virgin olive oil and cilantro into your blender. Customize your soup by adding your choice of fresh summer vegetables such as cucumbers, onions or peppers.

Chilled Cucumber and Dill Soup

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (reserve 4 thin slices for garnish)

12 ounces soft or silken organic tofu, drained and cubed

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (save a bit for garnish)

1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped

1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon vegan brown sugar

Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

Place all of the ingredients in your blender and blend on medium until the soup is thick and creamy. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least four hours. Chill four bowls. When ready to serve, put the soup into the bowls. Garnish with the remaining cucumber slices and fresh dill.

These are just a few options for soups made from your blender. Try these out. And when you get creative make up your own recipe and blend it all together.

The results can be amazing.

About the Author: Written by Lawrence Reaves for Hamilton, a good thinking company, providing a variety of

slow cookers

and all types of


for making soup.


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Friday, April 3, 2009

A gunman attacked a downtown Binghamton, New York-based immigration services center today, killing up to 13 people before killing himself.

New York Governor David Paterson at a news conference indicated that 12 or 13 people were killed at the American Civic Association. It is unclear whether or not the attacker was included in the number of the deceased.

An anonymous law enforcement official indicated the presumed gunman’s body was found in an office of the immigration services center building. The attacker blocked the rear building door with his car and entered through the front door. He then opened fire.

The gunman held over 40 hostages, some in a closet and the rest in the boiler room. Police and EMS started arriving at 10:30 A.M (EDT). SWAT sharpshooters and the Endicott police bomb squad were called to the scene. Nearby residencies and businesses were evacuated, while a nursing home and the high school were placed on lockdown. FBI hostage negotiators and evidence response team were being sent to the scene. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents were headed to Binghamton. About noon, the shooter released ten hostages, then another ten out the back 40 minutes later. At 2:40 p.m., the local police said the standoff had ended and a SWAT team was checking the building for anyone remaining.

In Johnson City, Wilson Medical Center staff are treating three to five gunshot wounds, while Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton is treating a single such case. Both hospitals called in additional staff and cancelled all elective surgeries.

A national law enforcement source identified the shooter as 42-year-old Jiverly Voong. The police asked Broome Community College Assistant Professor Tuong Hung Nguyen, a fluent Vietnamese speaker, to translate for discussions between police and Voong.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Just two weeks after China sent global markets into a tumble, growing worries about sub-prime mortgage lenders in the United States are sending jitters through stock exchanges around the globe. The three major US stock market indices each fell two percent from Monday’s closing price, marking the second-biggest loss of 2007. London’s FTSE 100, Paris’ CAC 40 and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 indices each closed down more than 1 percent.

As the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that late payments on mortgages and home foreclosures in the US homes rose in the fourth quarter to their highest level in years, investors are concerned that not only US banks but also multi-national banks around the globe could have exposure.

More than two dozen sub-prime lenders have closed or sold operations as defaults on those mortgages have risen. “The delinquencies and defaults have started to soar,” said Nicolas Retsinas, director of Housing Studies at Harvard University. “A lot of these lenders started to make loans and lost track of some of the fundamentals.”

New Century Financial Corporation, the second largest sub-prime lender in the US, has recently revealed that its creditors were no longer providing funds and, further, it has become subject of an SEC investigation. The New York Stock Exchange has said it will delist New Century. Accredited Home Loan Lending, another major sub-prime mortgage specialist, said it was seeking fresh capital and waivers on its lending covenants.

Sub-prime lenders provide mortgages to people who do not qualify for loans from mainstream lenders, typically due to their credit histories. The lenders then bundle these mortgages as collateral for loans that they obtain from other financing firms, such as GMAC. Such firms can then repackage these loans and sell them as mortgage-backed securities. These securities may end up in the hands of major multi-national banks such as Citibank, HSBC, and Commerzbank. Each level of lending assumes a level of financial risk, but trouble can arise when the risk tolerances are exceeded. If too many homeowners default on their mortgages, the sub-prime lender can end up defaulting. If too many of these lenders default, as it is feared may be happening now, the defaults can cascade upward. While no one is predicting major bank failures at this point, it is feared that their profits could be hurt.

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By Bill Yaconis

Are you interested in planning a trip to Honolulu Hawaii? If you are, have you started examining your overnight accommodation options? If you have yet to do so, it is a step that you will want to soon take. Why? Because many travelers are surprised to learn just how many options they do have. For your convenience, a few of those options are outlined below.

Honolulu hotels are a popular way to stay when visiting the area. In fact, staying at a hotel may have been the first thought that entered into your mind. Why? Aside from the fact that travelers are most familiar with hotels, their rates are often preferred. Staying at a Honolulu hotel is likely your cheapest approach. This is great if you are traveling on a budget.

If you opt to stay at a Honolulu hotel, be sure to examine your options closely. Hotels come in a number of different formats. Due to the warm climate of Hawaii, it is a wise idea to choose a hotel with an onsite swimming pool.

As nice as Honolulu hotels are, some are limited in the number of features and services that guests are provided with. If you are looking for more ‘perks,’ you should examine Honolulu vacation resorts. Although there tends to be some confusion between hotels and resorts, you should be able to spot a Honolulu vacation resort right away just by the services, features, and facilities you gain access to.

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Honolulu vacation resorts tend to be family oriented. It is not uncommon to find a game room for children or another fun activity onsite. Swimming pools and hot tubs are common fixtures as well. Luxury vacation resorts typically have spas, golf courses, and tennis courts onsite. As for services that you are provided with, room service, child care service, and dry cleaning are occasionally available.

If you opt for staying at a Honolulu vacation resort, be sure to examine beachfront resorts, as they come highly rated and recommended.

As great as Honolulu vacation resorts and hotels are, you may be looking for more privacy. If you are, you will want to examine Honolulu vacation home rentals. Vacation home rentals are nice, as they provide you with the ultimate level of privacy. Why? Because your traveling party are the only renters in the home. This means that you don’t have to worry about running into other travelers in the hallway. You also shouldn’t have to share the features that you gain access to.

Speaking of Honolulu vacation home rental features, you will like what you find. Despite the possibility of a variance, most rentals come equipped with air conditioning, cable or satellite television, internet access, and a washer and dryer. Other extras that may be included and features that you should look for include a view of the ocean, a private garden or patio area, a swimming pool, or a hot tub.

If you want privacy on your next Hawaii vacation, but don’t feel as if you need to rent a whole home, you will want to examine Honolulu condos. As with Honolulu vacation home rentals, they are often stocked full of amazing features. These features should include a fully furnished kitchen, internet access, television programming, and air conditioning. Other features, such as a swimming pool, hot tub, and garden or patio area may also be included with a condo rental, but these typically need to be shared with other renters.

If you like the sound of renting a Honolulu condo, but can’t afford the rental rates, you should examine apartment rentals. Honolulu apartment rentals do come in a number of different sizes, but most are relatively small in size. For that reason, they are perfect for those traveling with only a small group. Vacation apartment rentals are attractive due to their price. They are often much cheaper than renting a vacation home or condo.

If you opt to stay at a Honolulu vacation apartment rental, look for those that provide you with an amazing view. Apartment complexes with onsite facilities and features, such as a patio area, swimming pool, and tennis courts are also nice.

As you can see, you have a number of different options, in terms of overnight accommodations, when taking a Honolulu vacation. To start examining all of your options today, visit

About the Author: Let Hawaiian Beach Rentals help you make your Hawaii travel arrangements. They list a large selection of affordable Honolulu vacation rentals, including homes, condos, apartment rentals, cottages, and villas.


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Friday, November 7, 2008

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark, said on Tuesday that he will seek broad parliamentary support for a national referendum on joining the euro, the common currency of the Eurozone.

“I’m convinced that we need broad support in parliament to hold a referendum, because it’s about the Danish currency and about stability and safety,” he said, speaking at his weekly press conference. “Recent events have shown the necessity to give the population the opportunity to vote on Denmark joining the euro.”

Berlingske Tidende is reporting that Rasmussen is meeting with political leaders to negotiate support for the referendum.

In 1992, Danish voters rejected the Maastrict Treaty in a referendum. It was only able to pass the following year after the Edinburgh Agreement granted Denmark an opt-out of the third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU).

In 2000, Denmark again rejected the common currency in a euro referendum. The current currency of the Scandinavian country is the Danish krone. As part of stage two of the EMU, the exchange rate of the krone is allowed to fluctuate within a ±2.25% range to the euro.

In order to maintain this peg Danmarks Nationalbank, the central bank, adjusts interest rates and performs foreign exchange operations by buying and selling currency. To do this, Danmarks Nationalbank has had to raise rates twice, even as other central banks, including the European Central Bank (ECB), were lowering rates to deal with the current economic crisis.

As a result, interest rates in Denmark are now 175 basis points higher than the ECB’s rates. As recently as May, the difference was only 25 basis points.

Rasmussen heads the Venstre party which leads a minority coalition government. The main opposition party, the Social Democrats, also support adopting the euro as the nation’s currency.

While there has long been support among the politicians, the euro has failed when it has been put before the voters. However, recent opinion polls have shown a growing support for the euro among Danes. The most recent of these have seen those in favor just topping the 50% level needed to pass a referendum.

Rasmussen has said he wants a referendum put before voters before 2011. His government had originally planned to hold a referendum this past September to abolish the EMU opt-outs, but that was scrapped when Ireland voted down the Treaty of Lisbon.

On October 30, while in Stockholm, Sweden, Rasmussen said: “The euro ensures political and economical stability in Europe and the current financial turmoil makes it evident that Denmark has to join the Euro.”

Analysts consulted by Berlingske Tidende have said that an endorsement from the Socialist People’s Party (SF) could prove to be the tide-turner.

“If there was a vote, then I would vote Yes. But I am of the opinion that it is stupid to hold a vote unless we first have a real debate. We haven’t had a debate in eight years and all arguments need to be tested,” said Margrete Auken of SF.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two men have been found guilty of murdering shopkeeper Gurmail Singh in a robbery at his shop in West Yorkshire, England. During the robbery at Cowcliffe Convenience Store in Huddersfield in February, Singh was hit over the head with bottles of wine and died the next day.

Muawaz Khalid, aged twenty, and Nabeel Shafi, aged eighteen, both from Huddersfield were convicted of murder after a six-week trial at Bradford Crown Court. Three other men were cleared of murder but two were convicted of robbery; the third had previously admitted to assisting an offender. They will be sentenced on November 16.

The court was told how smokers at a public house opposite the shop became aware of the robbery when two of the gang were seen fleeing the scene. A man attempted to trap two remaining members of the gang inside the shop but they escaped through a back door. Other members of the public tried to stop them but they were able to get away.

Detective Superintendent David Pervin of West Yorkshire Police, speaking after the convictions said, “[l]ocal people showed great courage in attempting to tackle and capture those responsible at the time of the attack and, after the tragic events of that night, the wider community united and showed massive support in helping us to put these people before the courts. I cannot thank them enough for that.”

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By Simon Volkov

Do you have unclaimed money sitting dormant in a state agency database? If you or a direct lineage relative have ever held a bank account, stored valuables in a safe deposit box, owned a life insurance policy, or had a distant relative die, chances are high you might have money owed to you.

Locating unclaimed money isn’t as hard as you might think. With a little detective work and computer access, anyone can research databases to find out if state depositories are holding cash, stocks, bonds, or valuable property belonging to them.

U.S. property laws require states to hold unclaimed money and property for a specific time period to grant rightful owners time to submit a claim. The timeframe varies depending on the type of property and state where it is held. Dormancy periods typically extend for 1 to 10 years.

If property goes unclaimed beyond dormancy periods it is then held in ‘escheat’ for another 1 to 3 years. At the end of escheat the money becomes property of the state.

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There are several ways to search for unclaimed money. The most common include searching state databases or hiring a company to conduct searches on your behalf. Those who elect to search on their own should start by determining what agency holds property in your state of residence or in states where relatives resided.

A good starting point is; a non-profit organization that publishes an extensive list of missing money databases within the U.S. Visitors can conduct money searches in all 50 states, as well as British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec directly from the website.

Another good source for locating money or property belonging to you is Currently, this provider does not offer searches in all 50 states, but do provide links to nationwide databases.

Searching databases is a simple process that involves typing in first and last name or business name. It can be beneficial to type in deceased relatives’ surnames, maiden names, and via business entities owned by family members.

If money or property is found, rightful owners are required to fill out a form to verify ownership rights. Each state handles the process differently, but most require claimants to provide full name, date of birth, social security number, and home address. In some cases, claimants may have to provide a copy of their social security card, birth certificate, or driver’s license.

When unclaimed property belongs to a person who is deceased, claimants should be prepared to provide the holding agency with a copy of the decedent’s last will or death certificate. Claiming decedent assets typically requires additional proof of evidence than claiming property that belongs to you.

If unclaimed money databases do not reveal missing property that doesn’t necessarily mean no property exists. If you strongly believe money or property is held in state escheat it can be beneficial to expand searches to various state agencies. These can include each state’s Department of Commerce, Department of Revenue, State Treasurer, and State Controller.

Those who are unsuccessful in locating unclaimed property, but certain it exists, may find it helpful to hire a money finder agency. These private detectives charge an upfront fee and retain a percentage of located funds, so it is best to be certain money is owed to you before retaining their services.

Uncovering unclaimed money is exciting. After all, everyone loves receiving unexpected cash. It is estimated 9 of 10 U.S. citizens are entitled to unclaimed money sitting dormant in state agencies. Don’t turn over money or valuable property to the state. Instead, spend a little time conducting research. You never know what you may find!

About the Author: Author and real estate investor, Simon Volkov offers additional resources for finding

unclaimed money

, along with personal finance, money management, and estate planning information via his website at



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