SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – We all know about the importance of contraception in preventing unwanted pregnancy -- in 2013 more women are aware of their reproductive options than ever before.
While there have been great strides to make birth control and contraception common knowledge, women's options in terms of fertility are often not widely known. During National Infertility Awareness week, we have the unique opportunity to discuss reproductive aging, a topic that affects all women yet is rarely addressed.
As a woman, you are born with every single egg you will ever have for the rest of your life -- a fact most women should know and many find shocking. Unlike men, who are constantly able to produce new, viable sperm throughout their life, a woman's eggs begin to age even before birth and continue to do so until their final depletion at menopause.
This may seem like a terrifying concept for most women who plan on having children later, but it doesn't have to be. With egg freezing and the many new related technological advances in the field of reproductive medicine, women are now able to have children later in life. The key is not only knowing your options, but knowing them before it's too late.
Egg freezing is one of the easiest ways a women can radically slow down her biological clock, and it's something I recommend to all women concerned with their fertility. Here are some of the most common questions I am asked regarding egg freezing.
Q: How old should I be when I start thinking of freezing my eggs?
IVF to help 'balance' families?
Freezing reproductive potential in time
A: The best time to freeze your eggs is in your 20s and 30s. Younger eggs freeze better and have a better a chance of withstanding the freezing process -- ultimately providing you a greater chance of creating a baby.
The egg-freezing process is much simpler than many might think. Once the patient has been qualified as a candidate, we plan a cycle around her menstrual period. Soon after a menstrual period begins, we start administering fertility hormones. Patients take the fertility hormones in daily injections for up to two weeks. At the end of the two-week period, we extract the eggs, which is done with light sedation while the patient is asleep. The process is completed in 30 minutes or less. It is painless and quick -- and just like that, you've got yourself a great insurance policy against future infertility.
Q: Will I run out of eggs earlier if I freeze my eggs now?
A: This is a common misconception that could not be further from the truth. We're using eggs that you would have otherwise lost.
As human beings, we are designed to reproduce -- this is what nature wants us to do. So to make sure this happens, instead of choosing one egg per month to be "the" egg, nature chooses between 10 and 20 eggs. But, a woman is only able to produce enough fertility hormones to ovulate one of these eggs. So the others that weren't able to get that fertility hormone and make it to the "finish" line in time just die.
What we're doing is stepping into the equation and offering more fertility hormone to take advantage of those eggs that would have otherwise died off. So in actuality, we are saving your eggs.
Opinion: Women, consider freezing your eggs
Q: Does insurance pay for this?
A: In almost all instances, insurance does not yet cover egg freezing. Fertility preservation is seen as an elective procedure, much like plastic surgery or anti-aging medical procedures. However, if a woman is diagnosed with cancer or has to undergo surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or some sort of medical procedure that will render her infertile, we can usually get the insurance company to cover the process.
Q: How long are frozen eggs good for?
A: That's a question we don't really have an answer for simply because it is such a new science -- we haven't been freezing for all that long.
In the beginning, the odds were not very good at all, but the technology has been around for more than 10 years now and it has definitely enhanced. We now flash-freeze instead of slowly freezing eggs, which has improved the success rate tremendously. We have healthy babies from eggs frozen five to nine years, and babies from sperm that has been frozen for over 30 years. There is no reason to think that eggs would react any differently to the freezing process than sperm.
Q: Are babies created via in vitro fertilization (using frozen eggs) just as healthy as other babies?
A: Babies created via IVF, whether by frozen or fresh eggs, are just as healthy as babies born the old-fashioned way.
Occasional studies examining the very fine health details of IVF babies versus their non-IVF counterparts have shown that there may be a very slight increase in birth defects or subsequent health problems in IVF babies. When studying all problems, babies in the general population show a 6.6% risk of having a minor or major birth defect, versus 9% of the IVF babies.
What should also be taken into consideration is that many of these studies did not account for the fact that many couples undergoing IVF for infertility have other medical problems that may increase the chance for a problem in their resulting baby, or may be of advanced reproductive age and using older, more mature eggs.-www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Facebook has unveiled a new product, Facebook Home, at an event everyone knew would have something to do with phones and apps and operating systems.
"We're not building a phone and we're not building an operating system," CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday. "But we're also building something that's a whole lot deeper than just another app."
Um, OK. Thanks for clarifying that, Zuck.
In all seriousness, though, here's the breakdown on Home, a feature Facebook hopes will make it part of everything you do on your phone.
What is it?
As described by Zuckerberg and others, Home is a "family of apps" that essentially push Facebook content front and center on your Android phone.
Once the phone "wakes up," the home screen and lock screen are replaced with something called "Cover Feed." Images and posts from friends will appear as the new screen's background. Users can flip through and interact with them -- "like" an update, or post a comment -- immediately without having to open a specific Facebook app. One touch takes the user to their apps, or back to the last app they were using.
Home's other big feature was called "Chat Heads," which is a basically a tool that combines Facebook Messenger with the phone's regular SMS text-message tool. Messages pop up regardless of what the user is doing at the time, along with the sender's profile picture, enclosed in a little circle.
The user can decide whether to open the message (without leaving the app or other screen they're on), dismiss it or save it for later with a single touch.
When and where can I get it?
Home will be available in the Google Play mobile store on April 12 for at least some Android phones. Users will be able to choose whether to install it permanently, or for a one-off trial session.
At release, it will only be optimized for Samsung's Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II and the HTC One line of phones. It will run on the Galaxy S 4 and the HTC One when those phones are released, with other phones being added in the coming months.
Facebook said a version for tablets will be released "within several months."
How about my iPhone?
Your wait might be quite a bit longer. Or, you know, forever.
During the event, Zuckerberg repeatedly talked about how Google's open Android system was the perfect place to build Home. It's not unusual for mobile-device makers, most notably Amazon with its Kindle Fire tablets, to tweak the system to suit their own needs.
Apple, on the other hand, has a very closed operating system, giving its developers far less leeway in exchange for what the company says is a smoother, better-developed user experience. Creating something like Home for Apple's iOS system would require an almost unprecedented partnership between the companies.
"Anything that happens with Apple is going to happen with partnership," Zuckerberg said. "Google's Android is open so we don't have to work with them."
Still, Facebook isn't ruling out the possibility, at least not officially.
"This is a first step and we're continuing to iterate," a Facebook spokeswoman said in response to iPhone questions. "We chose to start building on Android because we could build a more deeply integrated mobile experience. We'll continue to test and iterate on the Facebook experience across all platforms. "
What happened to the Facebook phone I was hearing about?
Well, there's not one. While rumors to that effect have swirled for a couple of years, Facebook has always maintained it wasn't "making" a phone. That remains technically true.
But at Wednesday's event, HTC unveiled the HTC First, an AT&T exclusive Android phone that will be released the same day Facebook Home goes live. The phone will have Home pre-loaded as the default version of its operating system.
So it's the closest thing to a Facebook phone for now.
Unveiled by CEO Peter Chou, the First will be a mid-range phone that looks vaguely like an iPhone 5, with a 4.3-inch screen and dual-core Snapdragon processor. It will sell for $99 in the United States.
Folks looking for a high-end HTC phone may be more inclined to wait for the HTC One, which launches on April 19.
What are folks saying?
"Jokes aside, I think Home is a very smart thing for Facebook to do. At least for now. Really is a blanket over Android. Need to play with it." -- MG Siegler, columnist, TechCrunch
"Wonder when Twitter and others will introduce their own "super apps" that take over lock screen, home page.... ." -- Stephen Levy, senior writer, Wired
"It's nice-looking enough, for what it is. But what it is is an assumption that users want to use Facebook to filter everything they do with their smartphones ... . Putting friends first isn't a bad concept for the smartphone experience. But Facebook thinks that friends = Facebook and Facebook = friends. If this were ever true, it isn't now." -- Jesse Brown, columnist, Maclean's- www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Do you feel like a fraud when your kids ask why the grass is green? (Because it contains chlorophyll—ring a bell?—a green pigment plants use to make their food.)
Behold this parental compendium of uncommon knowledge, which explains a few mysteries of the universe.
What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups usually occur when the stomach rubs against and irritates the diaphragm, a muscle at the bottom of the rib cage. An irritated diaphragm pulls back fast, forcing air sharply into the lungs, says Dr. Norman H. Edelman, the chief medical officer for the American Lung Association. When the air hits your voice box, you hiccup. This happens repeatedly until the irritation stops.
Why Doesn't Gum Stick to My Teeth?
You know how you tend to slip on wet floors? The same thing happens to your gum when it touches your teeth, which are wet with saliva. Also, when you chew, you produce extra saliva, which makes the inside of your mouth even more moist, says Irwin Smigel, D.D.S., the president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics.
Why Does My Stomach Make Noise When I'm Hungry?
According to the Mayo Clinic, when you haven’t eaten for a while, your brain sends a message to your stomach to get ready for some grub. That signal jump-starts the grumbling, rumbling release of acids and other digestive juices. Just the sight or the smell of food can trigger the sounds, too.
Why Can't I Tickle Myself?
When somebody tickles you and you squirm and scream, you’re responding more to the surprise than to the sensation, says Dr. Ellen Marmur, the vice chair of cosmetic and dermatologic surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York City. Since our brains can predict our own movements, we’re less sensitive to them.
But we’re very sensitive to unexpected touches, which is why we flail around when the Tickle Monster comes calling. Scientists believe the response might date back to our cave-dwelling ancestors, who needed to be on the alert for the skittering of bugs and rodents.
Why Do Feet Smell?
They’re covered in tons of bacteria—and when bacteria excrete waste (or, in kid terms, poop), it really stinks, says Dr. Jane Andersen, a podiatrist in Chapel Hill, N.C. Why the feet in particular? Bacteria thrive in wet places, and our tootsies (which have a startling 250,000 sweat glands apiece) are among the body’s dampest spots.-www.shfaqna.com/English
Source: Fox News
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Omar Khadr is currently being assessed at the Millhaven Institute, a maximum-security prison in eastern Ontario. He returned to Canada over the weekend after being released from the U.S.-run detention camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Under a plea agreement in 2010, Khadr plead guilty to five war crimes, including the death of American Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Speer. As part of that plea agreement, he was transferred to Canada to serve out the rest of his eight-year sentence.
But his return to Canada has also raised questions as to what lies ahead for the 26-year-old.
Where will Khadr spend the rest of his sentence?
That’s still unknown. Khadr is in custody under a 23-hour-a day lockdown at Millhaven, where he gets an hour a day of exercise in the courtyard.
He is in the assessment unit where correctional officials are determining the appropriate level of security required for him and where he will be placed for the long term. That process could take weeks.
His lawyers have argued that while in Guantanamo Bay, Khadr was a model prisoner and does not need to be placed in maximum security, meaning he could be transferred to another facility. (Although, his lawyer Brydie Bethell told the Globe and Mail, it may make sense to be in maximum security for his own safety.)
The Toronto Star reported it is also possible that Khadr could be transferred to the Special Handling Unit. Also known as SHU, located in Sainte-anne-des-Plaines, Que., the maximum security facility holds others who have been convicted of terrorism offences.
Will Khadr undergo any rehabilitation programs while in custody?
Constitutional and human rights lawyer Paul Champ told CBC News that because Khadr is considered a child soldier, Canada would have an obligation to provide rehabilitation and counselling to him under international law.
Like all federal inmates entering the Correctional Service of Canada, Khadr will be provided with a correctional plan. In an email to CBC News, a spokesperson for CSC said the department provides a number programs to "help offenders to address the factors that led to their offences and to assist in their safe reintegration into our communities."
CSC also states it offers inmates "meaningful rehabilitation programs" and employment activities.
But it's unclear whether the CSC has any specific deradicalization program and whether Khadr would partake.
When will Khadr be eligible for parole?
Khadr's eight-year sentence started on Oct. 31, 2010, meaning he has six years left. Khadr's previous lawyers believed their client should be released immediately upon his return to Canada because his rights were violated during his time in Guantanamo Bay. So far, his current lawyers have said they have not made any decisions yet regarding the application for parole but have said Khadr could be eligible as early as the spring or summer of 2013.
As Public Safety Minister Vic Toews said, ultimately it will be up to the National Parole Board to decide whether Khadr should be released and under what conditions. The NPB's decision will be based on a number of factors including his risk to society and likelihood of reoffending. If his application is rejected, he would be able to reapply every year.
It's possible that parole conditions could include parts of a 'deradicalization' plan mapped out by his then lawyers in 2008, based on DDR programs: disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.
That plan would have included treatment for Khadr in a secure facility at Toronto's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, where he would be psychologically assessed for risk of terrorist activity.
They had also proposed Khadr live with his maternal grandparents, who were said to have not been associated with radical ideologies, in a Toronto suburb for two to three years.
The final stage of that plan would see Khadr on a supervised release, lasting from one to three years, and under strict conditions such as forcing him to refrain from drug use, petty crime or interacting with specific individuals. He would also be involved in a religious deradicalization program with help from a prominent Islamic figure in the community.
What will Khadr do once released?
Khadr’s sentence finishes Oct. 30, 2018, meaning at that point he will be released into the public without conditions, having served his time.
Khadr’s lawyers have said that Khadr wants to pursue education and become a health-care practitioner. Arlette Zinck, an English professor at Edmonton's King’s University College, has spent the past two years visiting and tutoring Khadr at Guantanamo Bay.
In an email to CBC News, King's vice-president of institutional advancement Dan VanKeeken wrote, "Once his prison term is over, if he decided to apply to King's we would treat him as any other applicant." In 2010, during his sentencing, Khadr said he would “be honoured” to attend the university and said he hoped someday to go into medicine.
But some have suggested that Khadr could be kept under close watch by Canada's security agency.
Are there any conditions placed on Khadr upon his release?
As part of his plea bargain, Khadr agreed to certain conditions. He said he would never enter the United States or take legal action against the U.S. in regards to his capture and detention.
Khadr also agreed he would not make money from his experiences and that he would hand over to the Canadian government any profits or proceeds he may receive in connection with the "publication or dissemination of information" relating to his crimes.
Khadr also said he would not assign the "rights to my story" that would provide financial benefit to him, his associates or family members.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Within the guarded walls of the Palestinian presidential compound, known as the Muqata, the body of Yasser Arafat lies inside a gleaming limestone and glass mausoleum. It is here that political figures, dignitaries, devotees and tourists come to pay their respects to a man who was revered and reviled across the world as the face of the Palestinian struggle for decades.
The mausoleum is closed to visitors for renovations to the Muqata. So the next group to cross the smooth pale flagstones between the compound's southern gate and Arafat's tomb is likely to comprise three French judges, expected to arrive in Ramallah in the next few weeks. Their mission is to investigate allegations that the former Palestinian president did not die of natural causes but was murdered, poisoned by agents acting for “Israel”.
There has been no shortage of rumours and theories about the cause of Arafat's death in November 2004, following a sudden deterioration in his health after more than two years of virtual incarceration inside the Ramallah compound. Claims that the 75-year-old leader had Aids or cirrhosis were swiftly discounted, but suggestions that he was poisoned have proved more durable. Now scientists are attempting to prove or quash such theories.
The exhumation of Arafat's body will be a delicate and emotive undertaking, given the deep affection and respect in which he continues to be held by Palestinians almost eight years after his death. The corpse will be removed from the tomb and transferred to a hospital in Ramallah for samples to be taken and tested for the presence of toxins.
According to Tawfik Tirawi, the head of the Palestinian committee investigating the death and one of those who was holed up with Arafat in the Muqata under “Israeli” siege for more than two years, there will be no cameras to record the event. "Due to the particular situation, there will probably be no media coverage. It's very difficult to allow journalists to be around because of all the difficulties of the operation," he told the Guardian.
Tirawi has requested details of the French investigating magistrates' requirements in order to iron out any objections. But the Palestinian leadership has stated its willingness in principle to co-operate with the murder inquiry, launched last month at the request of Arafat's widow, Suha, a French citizen. Her move followed a claim in July, broadcast by al-Jazeera, by a Swiss laboratory that it had detected the presence of a deadly radioactive substance, polonium-210, on Arafat's personal effects.
Despite having refused permission for an autopsy on Arafat's body, last year Suha handed over items including a toothbrush and underwear to scientists at the Institute of Radiation Physics in Lausanne.
"We measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids," François Bochud, the institute's director, told al-Jazeera. Saying tests on Arafat's corpse were required to confirm the findings, Bochud added: "We have to do it quite fast because polonium is decaying, so if we wait for too long, any possible proof will disappear."
Polonium, the substance linked to the death of the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in 2006, depletes rapidly in bones and soft tissue. The institute has estimated a 50% chance of finding traces in samples from Arafat's body.
The al-Jazeera claims reignited suspicions long held among Palestinians that Arafat had been a victim of foul play – the work of “Israel's” fabled intelligence agency, Mossad, the architect of the deaths of many of the Jewish state's enemies. "Yasser Arafat was assassinated by “Israel” – all Palestinians know that," said Samer Karaka, minding a shop opposite the Muqata a few days ago. But he was sceptical that the new investigation would produce proof. "”Israel” will not allow it," he shrugged.
The new claims also stirred old animosity between Suha Arafat and the Palestinian Authority. She pointedly asked the PA "to suspend all initiatives", saying the French investigation "should take precedence over all other procedures, because it is the incontestable guarantee of independence and neutrality". Her statement suggested a lack of faith in the PA to conduct a credible inquiry, despite its re-establishment of an investigations committee in 2010. Ms Arafat's involvement with al-Jazeera – another bete noire of the PA following its disclosure last year, along with the Guardian, of the Palestine papers detailing peace negotiations with “Israel” – also rankled with Palestinian officials.
Ms Arafat was not popular among Palestinians. Many were sceptical about her conversion from Christianity to Islam, resented her affluent lifestyle and harboured suspicions about how it was funded. While Arafat was besieged in Ramallah, his wife lived in comfort in Tunis.
For the two and a half years before his death, Arafat was a virtual prisoner inside the ruins of his presidential compound. “Israeli” tanks and bulldozers had reduced much of the Muqata to rubble during the second intifada, the Palestinian uprising from 2000-05. Arafat feared that if he left the compound, “Israeli” forces would finish the job – and quite possibly assassinate him. His fears were not unfounded. In September 2003, the then “Israeli” deputy prime minister, Ehud Olmert, said in a radio interview: "Expulsion is certainly one of the options. Killing is also one of the options."
Life inside the Muqata was not conducive to good health. "The living conditions in the last days were very difficult," said Tirawi. "Sometimes there was not enough oxygen. Sometimes there was not enough clean water. We were completely surrounded. The health of all the people in the Muqata was suffering."
About 270 people were confined inside the compound, including Arafat's close aides, security guards and dozens of Palestinian militants wanted by “Israel”. "Imagine – 270 people living in such a small space. People were sleeping over each other," Tirawi recalled.
Arafat's private quarters comprised a small, windowless room with a narrow camp bed. According to Tirawi, who was then the Palestinian intelligence chief, the leader preferred to sleep alongside his cohorts. Accustomed to travelling the world to meet heads of state and political leaders, Arafat found his isolation dispiriting. "No one from the outside world would call him," said Tirawi, claiming that US pressure was the reason.
Supplies of food, drinking water and other essentials passed through “Israeli” hands on their way to the Muqata, he said. "The “Israelis” would take everything for one or two hours, and then let it come in." The diet was meagre but healthy: chicken, fish, honey, vegetables.
But in mid-October 2004, Arafat fell ill, with vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pains and fever. Doctors were summoned but his condition worsened. Vivid red patches appeared on his cheeks and his weight loss accelerated. "He knew he was sick, but he would say, 'It's nothing,'" recalled Tirawi.
Arafat needed urgent and sophisticated medical treatment, beyond the facilities available in Ramallah. Eventually senior officials sought – and received – assurances from the “Israeli” government that if the president left the Muqata, he would be allowed to return.
Visibly frail, and with an unfamiliar woollen beanie in place of his trademark chequered keffiyeh, Arafat was flown to a military hospital in Paris on 29 October. Less than two weeks later, he was dead.
A medical report by French doctors who attended Arafat concluded that he had a stroke after suffering from a blood disorder known as disseminated intravascular coagulation. But rumours of poison soon began to circulate. Last month, Dov Weisglass, an aide to the then “Israeli” prime minister Ariel Sharon, rejected allegations of foul play. While acknowledging Arafat as "one of “Israel's” worst enemies", he told Army Radio: "”Israel” did not have any hand in this." Another senior Sharon aide, Raanan Gissin, told the Associated Press that “Israel” "never touched a hair on his head".
According to Tirawi, two Muqata residents died of unknown causes soon after Arafat's death. "We need to know why they died too." He would not be drawn on the polonium issue – "I cannot pre-empt the investigation" – but if Arafat was poisoned, Tirawi conceded, it must have been with inside help, as “Israeli” agents outside the Muqata would have had no idea which food was destined to be consumed by Arafat.
"Some days we would get 100 chickens delivered. If someone put polonium or any sort of poison in his food, it must have been a Palestinian. Maybe – maybe – there was inside collaboration."
In the past, Tirawi has expressed scepticism over claims that Arafat's food or water was poisoned. But, he insists, “Israel's” siege of the Muqata contributed to Arafat's death. "Regardless of how, of the way it happened, the “Israelis” killed Yasser Arafat. The situation that was around him, the living conditions. But it's not an easy task to get at the truth. There's a chance we might never know."— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) —In his latest weekly address to the nation, President Obama asserts that America’s questions about 9/11 have been answered. If only it were so.
The questions of 9/11 have only continued to pile up higher since that fateful day, and despite official platitudes we are no closer to having those questions answered today then we were when they first arose. In fact, for some of the most important 9/11 questions, the government’s own documents and records that could conceivably answered them have been destroyed, meaning we may never have answers.
The unanswered questions of 9/11 are too numerous to enumerate, but they include:
-Why has NIST classified the data that they used to make their computer animation of the WTC7 collapse? Would knowledge of how NIST believes the building collapsed really “jeopardize public safety“?
-Why did the DIA destroy more than 2.5 terabytes of data on their Able Danger investigation that reportedly identified four of the alleged hijackers years in advance of the attack? Why did the Pentagon buy up and burn the entire first print run of Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer’s book on the program?
-Why did the SEC destroy their records on the 9/11 insider trading question, presumably the most important investigation in the agency’s history?
-Why did the alleged “mastermind” of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, confess not only to plotting 9/11 “from A to Z” but also confess to masterminding numerous crimes that he could not have committed?
-Why did Osama bin Laden repeatedly deny any involvement in the attacks until a series of mistranslated and otherwise manipulated videos came along appearing to portray him as taking credit for those attacks?
-Why was the report of US State Department official Frank Taylor supposedly proving the case for Al Qaeda’s role in 9/11, which NATO used to justify its invasion of Afghanistan, presented in a classified briefing? Why is that report still classified to this day?
-Why did the 9/11 commission rely so heavily on the confessions extracted through torture which even the Senate’s Armed Services committee points out is specifically used to extract false confessions?
-Why did the CIA destroy 92 videotapes of their illegal torture sessions after being specifically ordered by a court not to do so? Why did the courts eventually absolve the CIA of any culpability for this crime?
-Why did Donald Rumsfeld announce a new “war” on September 10, 2001? What was the reason for the 2.3 trillion missing dollars which the Pentagon had lost up until that point, what did Rumsfeld’s “war on bureaucracy” hope to achieve, how was that “war” hindered when the budget analyst office in the Pentagon was destroyed the following morning, and where are the public records into this accounting scandal?
-Why did Rumsfeld go into a regularly scheduled meeting with a CIA officer in his office on the morning of 9/11, after both of the Twin Towers had been struck by airplanes and it had been determined that “America was under attack.” Why did the highest ranking official in the US military remain in that meeting and unavailable for contact even by his highest staff members as the worst attack on US soil in history continued to unfold? Why did he suddenly come out for a photo op on the Pentalawn after the explosion instead of helping to coordinate the defense of the nation?
-Why is there such a massive discrepancy between the 9/11 commission’s official finding of the time of entry of Dick Cheney into the Presidential Emergency Operation Center on the morning of 9/11 and Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta’s testimony of the timing of that arrival?
-Why did the US government contract with Ptech, an enterprise architecture software firm, to install its backdoor access software on some of the most sensitive databases in the US government? Why did they continue to use Ptech even after it was discovered that its sweetheart investor was a specially designated global terrorist on the Treasury’s own terror list? Why did they declare that there was nothing untoward in the software mere hours after raiding Ptech’s offices in 2002? And what was Ptech doing in the basement of the Pentagon on 9/11? What interoperability tests was it running on the link between FAA and NORAD systems on 9/11, and how did that interfere with the FAA and NORAD’s response?
-And, perhaps most tellingly of all, how did four highjacked aircraft fly so wildly off course for such lengthy periods of time without being confronted by a single fighter interceptor, and why did the Pentagon admittedly and on the record lie to the American public about the timing of its response that day?
These and many, many questions like them have been asked by the victims’ family members, the first responders, members of the US military, American congressmen and women, intelligence agents, foreign dignitaries and heads of state, and concerned members of the public across America and around the globe. And still, 11 years after the events themselves, the American president has the gall to suggest that all questions have been answered and it is time for Americans to move on.
On the contrary, Mr. President. Those who are concerned with 9/11 truth and justice will continue to fight on, to answer the questions that your government cannot and will not answer, whether those answers come now, 11 years from now, or generations from now. Those who fight for 9/11 truth will not give up until these questions have been answered. Echoing the words of those brave souls in the wake of that other great American tragedy, the OKC bombing:
“We search for the truth. We seek justice. The courts require it. The victims cry for it. And God demands it.”—www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association)— Mitt Romney has hit back on attacks about his record as CEO of Bain Capital in interviews with US broadcasters.
"I had no role whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after 1999," the Republican candidate said.
Mr Romney was responding to reports suggesting he was still listed on Bain's regulatory filings several years after he said he left the company.
He called on Barack Obama to apologise, after the president said Mr Romney's time at Bain should be scrutinised.
The timing is key because between 1999 - when Mr Romney said he left the company he founded - and 2001, Bain was responsible for closing down American firms and shipping jobs overseas.
Speaking to WJLA-TV a few hours before Mr Romney's own media appearances, President Obama said the Republican candidate would have to answer questions about when he stepped down from Bain Capital.
"Ultimately, I think Mr Romney is going to have to answer those questions because if he aspires to being president, one of the things you learn is you're ultimately responsible for the conduct of your operations," Mr Obama said.
But Mr Romney said attacks on his record at Bain, an investment company he co-founded in 1984, were "simply beneath the dignity of the presidency of the United States".
"He [Obama] sure as heck ought to say that he's sorry for the kinds of attacks that are coming from his team," he told ABC News on Friday night.
With November's election now less than four months away, the Obama and Romney campaigns have spent much of the week trading accusations of dishonesty over Mr Romney's time at Bain.
In a series of television and web advertisements, the Obama campaign argued that Mr Romney had "pioneered" outsourcing US jobs during his time at Bain. The Romney campaign responded with their own ad, calling Mr Obama the "outsourcer-in-chief".
The Boston Globe reported on Thursday that documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission conflicted with Mr Romney's statements that he gave up control of the firm in 1999.
The filings list him as "sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president" from 1999 to 2001.
That period covers a time when Bain ran companies that fell into bankruptcy, as well as moved jobs abroad - issues highlighted by Obama campaign advertisements.
The Obama campaign has accused Mr Romney of lying in his official campaign disclosure forms. Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter suggested that Mr Romney had broken federal law by doing so - an accusation the Romney camp firmly denied.
Mr Romney and his aides say he left Bain in 1999 to run the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.
In a statement, the company said Mr Romney "remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999".
Independent website FactCheck.org said on Thursday it had found no evidence that Mr Romney actively managed Bain after leaving in February 1999, describing him as "a passive, absentee owner".
The site had previously said that Mr Romney would open himself up to felony charges if he had actively managed Bain after 1999 but said otherwise on his disclosure form.—www.shafaqna.com/english