Monday, December 10, 2012

Eat in to keep from spreading out

In an era of deficits, we Americans have one surplus: calories. In the U.S., there's enough food in the supply chain to provide every person with 3,800 calories a day — but we need only about two-thirds of that (2,350 calories a day). Unfortunately, we chow down those extra calories, especially when we eat out. Guys who eat fast food or at full-service restaurants munch 500 more calories a day than those who eat at home. Young kids take in about 130 additional calories; teens and adult women, 250-300 extra. If you eat out four or five times a week, that could boost your weight 12 to 24 pounds a year!

So our recommendation to control your weight, protect your heart, keep your brain sharp, skin wrinkle-free and sex life revved? Put on an apron (always a turn-on) and cook at home. 

1. Steam assorted veggies: Toss with a dash of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a grind of pepper. Add spices (rosemary, garlic, or peppers) for flavor and health! 

2. Broil fish: Salmon and trout are loaded with heart-saving omega-3s — using a marinade of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lime juice. Or brush on a mustard coating or a crust of walnuts. 

3. Stir up Grandma's chicken soup: Saute a mixture of chopped celery, carrots and onions. Add chicken parts (no skin!) and water; boil for 30 or more minutes. Remove chicken and dice; add back to liquid with 100 percent whole-grain pasta and a quarter-cup frozen peas. Cook until done. Yum!


Telltale signs of hard living are unmistakable: Think of 26-year-old Lindsay Lohan's once-unlined face. But those of you with less raucous lives also can display physical signs that you're older than your chronological age — and are at risk for heart disease. 

A new study identifies a receding hairline at the temples, baldness on the top of the head, horizontal earlobe creases and yellow, fatty deposits around the eyes as markers of aging associated with heart disease. Got any three? Your chance of a heart attack goes up 57 percent.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Civil armed forces under-equipped due to fund shortage

The Senate’s Committee on Interior on Tuesday was informed that the civil armed forces of the country, including Pakistan Rangers, Frontier Corps (FC) and Pakistan Coast Guards lack necessary equipment and are understaffed due to funds shortage.

The Ministry of Interior accused the Finance Ministry for not releasing allocated funds for purchase of weapons and other necessary equipments for the civil armed forces.

“Parliament allocates budget for civil armed forces, but Ministry of Finance did not release funds to Ministry of Interior using various delaying tactics such as controlling the fiscal deficit,” said Additional Secretary Najibullah Khan during a meeting of the committee on Tuesday.

Senator Muhammad Talha Mehmood, chairman of the committee, presided over the meeting and senator Sardar Ali Khan, Syed Tahir Hussain Mashhadi, Pervaiz Rashid, Begum Najma Hameed, additional secretary interior Najibullah Khan, the Pakistan Coast Guard director general, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) Dr Moen Masood and other senor officials attended the meeting.

The Pakistan Coast Guard DG told the committee that PCG is currently very much under-staffed and has no reserved unit.

“PCG has sent a summary to Ministry of Finance through Ministry of Interior for recruitment of two battalions, but the summary is pending with Ministry of Finance for the last several months”, he said. 50 percent of the PCGs are performing their duties without ammunition, he added.

“We do not have practice ammunition for the last many years”, he said. The PCG release human smugglers after their arrest in few days due to lack of space in the prison. He requested the committee that its service structure should be improved in the line with FC.

“A number of PCG troops comprise soldiers beyond 45 years of age. Health and medical problems affect their efficiency and render them only for administration duties,” he said.

He requested the committee to allow PCG to recruit doctor on contract bases as army medical crops is unable to provide doctors to the PCG on deputation due to excessive commitments. On this senator Talha Mehmood directed secretary committee to call secretary ministry of Finance, representative of Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) in the next meeting.

The committee expressed serious concern over the absence of minister for interior and secretary interior in the meeting. Senator Tahir Mashhadi said that under the rules even the PM could not call a Minister when parliament calls him. The minister is bound to attend standing committee meeting, he said.

Senator Sardar Ali Khan asked the chairman to take stern action against the Minister and secretary interior for not attending the meeting. “If minister for interior is busy then it was the responsibility of minister of state for interior to attend the meeting,” he said.

While discussing the bill titled, ‘The Provincial Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2012’, moved by Rehman Malik, the committee also expressed concern over the amendment in Section 116-A by addition of Sub Section 6. Dr Moen Masood said that some of the traffics violations by the drivers have been accepted internationally as hazardous and potentially dangerous. Therefore these violations are necessary to be included in the list of declared traffic violations, which are being enforced in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT). “Due to lack of law, ITP are facing many problems”, he said.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weird news: Iranian news agency reposts Onion article

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addresses the 67th United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)(Credit: AP)
A major Iranian news agency, the Fars News Agency, is evidently not familiar with America’s most popular parody news source. Without attribution, the news site affiliated with the Islamic Revolutions Guards Corps reprinted an Onion story, which read, “According to the results of a Gallup poll released Monday, the overwhelming majority of rural white Americans said they would rather vote for Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than US President Barack Obama.”

The Onion’s made-up poll was accompanied by made-up comments, reprinted in full by the Fars News Agency, including: ”[Ahmadinejad] takes national defense seriously, and he’d never let some gay protesters tell him how to run his country like Obama does.”

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1985 D.C. murder convictions will stand, judge rules

Seven men who sought to have a judge overturn their convictions for the high-profile 1984 murder of a Northeast D.C. woman failed to prove their innocence during a series of hearings that reexamined the case earlier this year, a judge ruled Monday.

The ruling by D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick H. Weisberg means that six of the men — Kelvin Smith, Levy Rouse, Clifton Yarborough, Timothy Catlett, Russell Overton and Charles Turner — will serve out their sentences from their 1985 convictions on charges of felony murder in the beating death of Catherine Fuller. A seventh man already has been released from prison.

The ruling formally ends a process that began in the spring. During three weeks of hearings in April, prosecutors squared off against defense attorneys, who argued that authorities, pressured by city residents and elected officials, rushed their investigation and arrested the wrong men; purposely withheld important evidence that hurt the defendants’ case; and threatened witnesses into lying. Prosecutors maintained that the seven men were responsible for the killing.

Weisberg ruled that the defense attorneys had failed to produce evidence that their clients were innocent.
“After considering all of the evidence, both at trial and at the hearings, the court concludes that petitioners have not come close to demonstrating actual innocence,” Weisberg wrote in his ruling.

Attorneys for the seven men said they plan to appeal.

“We are disappointed that the fight to clear the names of these defendants will have to continue, but we continue to believe that there is overwhelming evidence that Catherine Fuller was not murdered by these defendants,” Barry J. Pollack, one of the lead attorneys for the men, said in an interview Monday.

In 1985, a jury found eight neighborhood friends — then between 16 and 21 years old — guilty of first-degree murder in connection with Fuller’s death. The men were sentenced to 35 years to life in prison. One of them, Steven L. Webb, died in prison after a brief illness. Another, Charles Turner’s brother Christopher, was paroled in 2010 after more than 25 years behind bars.

Prosecutors outlined a horrific scenario during the 1985 trial: Fuller, 48, a cleaning woman, wife and mother of six, left her K Street NE home on a rainy afternoon to fill a prescription. The suspects were smoking marijuana and listening to go-go music at a nearby park.

A group of about 30 people confronted Fuller, prosecutors said. She was grabbed from behind and pushed into an alley, where she was beaten; a 12-inch-long metal pole was shoved into her rectum. Her liver was shattered, a lung was punctured and four of her ribs were broken, according to authorities. Her body was found in a garage in the same alley that evening.

In all, 17 people were charged in the murder. Five indictments were dismissed, two defendants pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and two others were acquitted.

During the April hearings, defense attorneys presented four witnesses who told Weisberg that detectives had forced them to lie about seeing the men in the alley when Fuller was killed. In his ruling, Weisberg said there was no evidence that the witnesses made up their accounts and called the recantations “incredible.”
Weisberg also highlighted the failed testimony of Melvin Montgomery. Defense attorneys had expected Montgomery, 45, to testify that he had been pressured into lying when he said he saw the men in the alley at the time Fuller was killed.

Instead, in a surprise turn that sent defense attorneys scrambling, Montgomery took the stand and told Weisberg that he had been truthful during his 1985 testimony.

Weisberg called Montgomery’s testimony a “bad turn of events. Whatever else can be said of Mr. Montgomery’s ‘recantation,’ it certainly cannot be said that his testimony helps petitioners to meet their burden of proving actual innocence,” the judge wrote.

In the hearings, defense attorneys also argued that prosecutors during the trial had withheld key evidence, including information about other possible suspects. For example, several witnesses told authorities they had seen another man, James McMillan, in the alley at the time of the attack. McMillan, 46, whose house was located on the alley where Fuller was killed, is serving a life sentence in a Virginia prison for a deadly attack on another woman.

Weisberg agreed that prosecutors should have disclosed the information about other possible suspects, but ruled that even if McMillan had been in the alley, it did not mean the other men were not there. McMillan, Weisberg said, “could have been a participant” in the attack.

After a 2001 Washington Post article, attorneys from the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project and nearly a dozen volunteers began petitioning for a new trial.

Weisberg had ordered a retrial in another case in 2009, ruling that a prosecutor deliberately withheld information in a murder trial. On Monday, he declined to do the same for the seven men convicted in the Fuller killing.

“Unquestionably, they have not proved by clear and convincing evidence that they are actually innocent, and just as surely they have not established their innocence by a preponderance of the evidence,” Weisberg wrote.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Modi bats for ‘clean, innocent’ Sangma

Backing the candidature of P A Sangma for the Presidential election, Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday showered praise on the former Union minister and said the time has come for him to become the first tribal President. 

“From Gujarat, no leader has been elected as MP nine times. He (Sangma) has served as Union minister for 18 years and also served as the CM of Meghalaya. And in his long career, no agency, be it CBI, CAG or any other, has ever tried to touch him. He has not got any black spot in his long career,” Modi said with Sangma on his side at a function organised by the Netaji Subhas Bose’s INA Trust. 

“Tribals of the country are waiting for a tribal in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Fourteen parties have supported him and I believe that miracles do happen today,” he said. “The sun rises in the east and the time has come that Sangmaji, who hails from North-East, becomes the first tribal President... We wish an innocent tribal leader be the First Citizen of India,” Modi added. 

Sangma, who was “overwhelmed” by the colourful reception he got right from his landing at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Airport where Sidi tribals and others performed, avoided speaking on his candidature at the function. 

Later, at a press conference, he said, “I have come hear to request all the tribals, Dalits, OBCs and minority MLAs from all the parties to support my candidature like they had supported the first SC President, K R Narayan.”