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  1. I think Fenty is the best candidate for mayor. He is well respected and has fresh ideas to improve our educucation system.
  2. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today announced that the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Energy (DOE) have jointly awarded nine grants totaling $5.7 million for biobased fuels research that will accelerate the development of alternative fuel resources. Bodman commented, "These research projects build upon DOE's strategic investments in genomics, to accelerate scientific discovery and promote the development of alternative energy sources vital to America's energy and economic security." "To be a reliable renewable energy source, farmers and ranchers will need to be able to grow biomass in large quantities," Johanns said. "This joint research initiative will address our nation's need for alternative energy resources and improve the efficiency with which biomass and plant feedstocks are used to produce renewable fuels such as ethanol." USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) and DOE's Office of Biological and Environmental Research (OBER) awarded the grants. CSREES and OBER jointly initiated this fundamental research program to facilitate the use of woody plant tissue, specifically lignocellulosic materials, for bioenergy or biofuels. The research projects will focus on poplar, alfalfa, sorghum, wheat and other grasses. This is the first year CSREES and OBER have solicited competitive grants in this joint program. DOE is funding six projects for a total of nearly $3.9 million. USDA granted more than $1.8 million to fund three projects. Initial funding will support research projects for up to three years. Awards have been given to: Purdue University, Ind., $1.4 million. The Noble Foundation, Okla., $800,000. Texas A&M University, Texas, $800,000. USDA-Agricultural Research Service, University of Wisconsin, $333,000. Carnegie Institute of Washington, $359,100. Brookhaven National Laboratory, NY, $300,000. North Carolina State University, $700,000. Kansas State University, $700,000. University of Georgia, $445,000. CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. Visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov for more information. OBER manages a diverse portfolio of research to develop fundamental biological information and to advance technology in support of DOE's missions in biology, medicine and the environment. Visit http://sc.doe.gov/ober/ober_top.html for more information.
  3. The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior today announced that routine surveillance has indicated the presence of H5 and N1 avian influenza subtypes in samples from two wild mute swans in Michigan, but testing has ruled out the possibility of this being the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain that has spread through birds in Asia, Europe and Africa. Test results thus far indicate this is low pathogenicity avian influenza, which poses no threat to human health. The swans were sampled as part of the expanded avian influenza surveillance program. They were showing no signs of sickness, which suggests that this is low pathogenicity avian influenza. Additionally, genetic analysis of the virus conducted at USDA's National Veterinary Services laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, suggests that it is similar to a low pathogenicity strain that has been found in North America. It is possible that these birds were not infected with an H5N1 strain, but instead with two separate avian influenza viruses, one containing H5 and the other containing N1. The confirmatory testing underway at NVSL will clarify whether one or more strains of the virus are present, the specific subtype, as well as pathogenicity. These results are expected within two weeks and will be made public when completed. It should be noted that wild birds are known to harbor many influenza viruses, and the finding of one or more of these viruses during routine testing is not unusual. The swans were sampled August 8 at the Mouillee state game area located on the coast of Lake Erie in Monroe County, Michigan. The samples were taken by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service personnel as part of an expanded wild bird monitoring program. The Departments of Agriculture and Interior are working collaboratively with States to sample wild birds throughout the United States for the presence of highly pathogenic avian influenza. Initial screening tests on the swan samples were conducted by Michigan State University's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health--part of USDA's National Animal Health Laboratory Network. These tests indicated the presence of an H5 avian influenza virus. Confirmatory testing at NVSL confirmed the H5 and the N1. This testing also suggests, but has not yet confirmed, that this is low pathogenicity avian influenza. Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) commonly occurs in wild birds, where it typically causes only minor symptoms or no noticeable symptoms. These strains of the virus are not a human health concern. This includes LPAI H5N1, commonly referred to as the North American H5N1. This strain of low pathogenicity avian influenza is very different from the more severe HPAI H5N1 circulating overseas, which is commonly referred to as the Asian H5N1. Evidence of LPAI H5N1 has been found on two occasions in wild birds in the United States. In 1975 and 1986, it was detected in wild ducks. These detections occurred as part of routine sampling. LPAI H5N1 has also been detected in Canada, most recently in 2005.
  4. The U.S. Senate ratified the Council of Europe's Convention on Cyber Crime, the first multinational, multilateral treaty to require cooperation among law enforcement agencies in the investigation and prosecution of computer network crimes. The treaty has more than 40 signatory nations, including Canada, Japan, South Africa, the United States and the countries of Europe, and was supported by, among others, the Information Technology Association of America, the Cyber Security Industry Alliance, and the Business Software Alliance (BSA). The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, and deals particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child **inappropriate material**ography and violations of network security. Its stated main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation. The Convention also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception. Additionally, it has been supplemented by an Additional Protocol intended to make any publication of racist and xenophobic propaganda via computer networks a criminal offence. The Council of Europe's own summary of the Convention on Cybercrime reads as follows: The Convention is the first international treaty on crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, dealing particularly with infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child **inappropriate material**ography and violations of network security. It also contains a series of powers and procedures such as the search of computer networks and interception. Its main objective, set out in the preamble, is to pursue a common criminal policy aimed at the protection of society against cybercrime, especially by adopting appropriate legislation and fostering international co-operation. The Convention is the product of four years of work by Council of Europe experts, but also by the United States, Canada, Japan and other countries which are not members of the Organisation. It has been supplemented by an Additional Protocol making any publication of racist and xenophobic propaganda via computer networks a criminal offence.

    Avian Flu Epidemic

    Indonesia has reported two deaths from avian influenza this week, bringing the country's death toll from the disease to 44. The island nation now has the dubious honor of being the worst bird flu-hit country in the world. The World Health Organization confirmed that a 17-year-old girl from Jakarta province and a 6-year-old boy from West Java province had succumbed to the potentially fatal disease, which has killed at least 138 people since it was initially reported to be affecting humans in 2003. According to WHO, the boy, Megi Saputra, died Monday. He had been in regular contact with sick and dying chickens -- later found to be carrying an H5 strain of avian influenza -- in his home, authorities said. After falling ill, he was initially told he was sick with typhoid. Avian flu was only raised as a possibility several days after symptoms first appeared, by which point it was too late to save his life. Members of his family and others with whom he was in close contact have been put under medical surveillance. CNN.com quoted Megi's mother, Sadiah Saputra, as saying: "I knew about bird flu from the TV and radio, but when my son got sick I had no clue it was bird flu. I had no idea he was going to leave me." The girl, whose name has not yet been released to the media, died Tuesday. She kept pigeons in her home, and lived in an area where many kept poultry. Local flocks are currently being tested for signs of H5N1 infection. "Animal health authorities have collected samples from birds in the neighborhood and these will be tested as part of the continuing investigation," the WHO said in a statement. Meanwhile: -- Vietnamese state media reported early Friday that there had been an outbreak of an H5 strain of avian influenza among poultry in the south of the country. Dong Manh Hoa, head of the Ho Chi Minh City Regional Veterinary Centre, told Saigon Giai Phong newspaper that infected ducks and geese had been found in Tien Giang, Long An and Ben Tre provinces. It is believed that this outbreak -- which may yet be revealed to be of a different variety than the highly publicized H5N1, although that is doubtful -- is the result of the disease remaining dormant in many waterfowl, which are still being raised by significant numbers of Vietnamese farmers in the Mekong Delta despite official bans in place till early 2007. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung Thursday urged officials "to focus strongly on instructing and deploying forces to carry out synchronized, preventive measures" in counteracting the spread of avian influenza. -- Indonesia has culled 5.9 million birds in response to the latest news of avian influenza outbreaks in the country, Agriculture Minister Anton Apriantono has said. Speaking following a Jakarta meeting for bird flu response coordination at the offices of the Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare earlier this week, he said: "Besides that, the government has also provided free vaccines for 262 million birds." Despite routine surveillance being conducted by the government, the minister said, the fact that 30 million Indonesian households kept birds meant that controlling outbreaks and the potential spread of the disease remained an ongoing problem. "However, there's no guarantee that culling will totally stop the spread of the virus, but it definitely will reduce cases of infection in both poultry and humans," he said. "The key word should be 'bio-security.' People should increase the sanitation of their backyard farms." -- China this week confirmed earlier suspicions, raised by a letter printed in the New England Journal of Medicine in June, that the country's first case of an avian influenza fatality in a human -- in 2003 -- had originally been attributed to the SARS outbreak which was affecting the country at the time. According to Chinese Vice Minister of Health Jiang Zuojun, who was speaking at a press conference, the mix-up occurred as a result of communications problems between the scientific and research communities and government agencies. An investigation into the issue revealed that the man who died, a soldier, had been examined by military scientists upon his death. H5N1 was detected, but government agencies were not informed. "This issue has exposed problems in our scientific research organizations," he said. "Their communications with disease prevention organizations should be strengthened in future." Jiang said the military scientists considered the cause of the man's death -- believed by the WHO to be the first case of human avian influenza infection in the world -- as a puzzle to be solved, and added that the H5N1 diagnosis was reached slowly and cautiously. "At the time, we had incomplete standards for diagnosis. ... From the data we have at hand, which starts from 2003, that was the first case," the minister said.
  6. In response to a serious terrorist threat to international aviation security, the Secretary of Homeland Security has elevated the Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Condition to Severe, or Red, for all commercial flights from the United Kingdom to the United States, and to High, or Orange, for all other international flights and all domestic commercial aviation. There are approximately 106 flights per day between the United Kingdom and the United States. Although numerous arrests have been made in the U.K. to disrupt and neutralize this threat, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is taking a number of heightened protective measures to ensure the continued safety and security of our international and domestic air travel. Protecting the Aviation System. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be implementing a series of security measures – some visible and some not visible – to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation's transportation system. TSA is immediately implementing following changes to airport screening procedures: NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency. Exception: Baby formula and breast milk if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines Beverages purchased in the sterile area must be consumed before boarding because they will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. Passengers traveling from the U.K. to the U.S. will be subject to a more extensive screening process. Some measures will not be visible to the public. In light of the elevated threat level, the Federal Air Marshals Service (FAMS) will provide expanded mission coverage for flights from the United Kingdom to the United States. These measures will be constantly evaluated and updated when circumstances warrant. DHS and its components have coordinated closely with the air carrier industry, airports, and state and local stakeholders to implement these significant, but necessary, security measures. The traveling public can assist these agencies in carrying out their important security duties by: Packing lightly, without clutter to facilitate easier screening. Check with your air carrier well before your flight departs for information on when you shoudl arrive at the airport. Cooperating with TSA personnel at all checkpoints and gates because TSA Security Officers will be checking carry-on baggage at the gate. Being attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity. Protecting U.S.Borders. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will increase enforcement efforts in international arrival areas including the use of advanced targeting tools, special response teams including baggage and aircraft search teams, baggage x-ray equipment, specially-trained canine units, and explosive detection technology. DHS has also mandated that all flights from the U.K. transmit passenger manifest information for intensive screening prior to departure from the gate. In addition, passengers on these flights and all other international flights will be subject to heightened inspection upon arrival in the U.S.
  7. I just wanted to say that I think the District has come along way since I was a kid. I remember when people used to get beat up on 14th. Now its nice. Everywhere I am seeing positive change. Thanks Mayor.

    Usa Government Sucks!

    I agree with not sure. We are not perfect, but we are the best.
  9. What type of machines are that?
  10. JetBlue stated that all flights are operating normally. To help expedite airport experience , they encourage you to: Pack all liquid-, lotion- and gel-based products, such as shampoo, toothpaste, suntan lotion and contact lens solution in your checked bags. These items will not be allowed on board the aircraft. Please allow additional time for security checkpoints at the airport today. Check in online and print your boarding pass at home. You can check bags in online as well and go directly to our Online Bag Drop counter at the airport. ******************************************* Here is US Airways Baggage policy for all flights: NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND WILL BE PERMITTED IN CARRY-ON BAGGAGE. ITEMS MUST BE IN CHECKED BAGGAGE. This includes all beverages, shampoo, suntan lotion, creams, tooth paste, hair gel, and other items of similar consistency. Exception: Baby formula or breast milk if a baby or small child is traveling; prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger's ticket; and insulin and essential other non-prescription medicines Beverages purchased in the sterile area must be consumed before boarding because they will not be permitted onboard the aircraft. US Airways will continue to monitor the situation and adjust ticketing policies as needed. ****************************************** This one is from United Airlines The TSA has implemented the following changes to airport screening procedures, effective August 10, 2006. These procedures will remain in place as circumstances warrant. NO LIQUIDS OR GELS OF ANY KIND CAN BE CARRIED ON THE AIRCRAFT. Items that fall within this category include: All beverages of any type in any size container, including bottled water. Shampoo Suntan lotion Creams Toothpaste Hair gel Other items of similar consistency Such items may be transported in checked baggage. Exceptions include: Baby formula, breast milk or juice, only if a baby or small child is traveling Prescription medicine with a name that matches the passenger’s ticket Insulin and essential other non-prescription medications Please note that all of these approved items must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint. ******************************** In light of these directives, passengers may experience delays at security checkpoints. Departing flights may also experience delays as a result. Please arrive three hours prior to scheduled departure time for domestic and international flights. United would also like to advise customers on steps they can take to ease their travel experience during this period. Pack lightly. Try to reduce clutter to facilitate easier screening. Arrive at the airport three hours prior to scheduled departure time for domestic and international flights. Cooperate with security personnel at all checkpoints and gates. Be attentive and vigilant to any suspicious activity and report it to authorities. Never leave baggage or personal items unattended. United will do everything practical to ensure we provide the most accurate flight status information at all times. However, situations change quickly and many factors affect our scheduled operations. Please visit united.com or call 1-800-UNITED-1 for flight status information. You may also take advantage of: Our United EasyUpdate service, which automatically provides flight status notifications via email, mobile phone or pager. Our free customer-paging service, which will automatically notify you of your flights' status via email or your text-enabled cellular phone or pager. At the airport you may check monitors located throughout the terminal for flight status updates. ******************************************* Northwest Airlines is reminding its customers of a new requirement from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) affecting all airline passengers. Click here for current Travel Waiver information. Effective today, the TSA has informed Northwest that travelers are not allowed to transport any liquids, gels, lotions or similar items in their carry-on luggage. This includes items such as beverages, hairspray, toothpaste and shampoo. Customers are advised to transport these items in their checked luggage. The TSA will remove these items from customers' carry-on luggage at airport security checkpoints. These items must now be placed in checked luggage or they will be discarded. Baby formula, breast milk or juice will still be allowed as carry-on items if a baby or small child is traveling. Other TSA policy exceptions include prescription medicine with a name that matches the name on the passenger's ticket, insulin and non-prescription medicines, but these items must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint. Expect to be asked to remove all shoes at security checkpoints. While this is a common occurrence, you can expect these checks to be nearly universal. Northwest Airlines will not accommodate unaccompanied minors or pets connecting through its Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul or Memphis hubs on flights scheduled Thursday, August 10, 2006. Follow all directives from Transportation Security Administration personnel. This is a developing situation and protocols may change as new information becomes available. Leave extra time. These new security procedures will require travelers to allow more time to transit the airport. For future travel, we encourage domestic customers to arrive two hours prior to departure; those flying to international destinations should arrive three hours prior to departure. The airline is suggesting that customers consider checking all of their luggage, in an effort to minimize delays at airport security checkpoints. As additional information on this new TSA security requirement becomes available, it will be posted on the TSA's Web site at www.tsa.gov, and Northwest will post information to its Web site at www.nwa.com All passengers should check flight and gate status prior to leaving for the airport. ************************************ Delta had no information on the page. Shame on them. Question: How can I get a job on DCpages? I cannot find a place to contact anyone.
  11. Here is the type of bomb they planning to make. "This liquid explosive type of attack is particularly worrying," Peter Neumann, director of the Centre for Defence Studies at London's King's College university, said. "Planes remain vulnerable and in the coming weeks terrorists will be thinking of something else to do that we have no idea about," he said. Neumann said the suspected plot appeared similar to a 1995 plan to blow up 11 planes using nitroglycerine mixed in contact lens solution and a battery powered detonator hidden in a shoe. That's two posts now.
  12. Here is my first post to win those tickets. Metro is ramping up security today as a precaution after an aviation terror plot was thwarted in Britain. Transit police are doing random sweeps of stations, trains and buses. Passengers also may see other law enforcement officers conducting inspections. Rail and bus employees also have stepped up inspections of buses, trains, stations, MetroAccess vehicles and other Metro facilities. The transit agency also has closed all public restrooms in rail stations today. Additional measures include increased security announcements and dumping trash cans more often. “There is no threat to mass transit, but it’s prudent to step up security given that mass transit has been a terrorist target in the past,” said Metro Transit Police Chief Polly Hanson. “We also want to remind passengers that they are our eyes and ears to report any unattended packages, unusual behaviors and anything that seems suspicious.” Riders are advised to call Transit Police at 202-962-2121 or alert a Metro employee about unattended packages, unusual behaviors and anything that seems suspicious. Below is a list of security enhancements at Metro since the July 2005 bombings of the London transit system. Policing 1. Targeted Train Inspections A large contingent of Metro Transit Police officers, including a K9 team, blankets a Metrorail station to look for suspicious activity. They choose random stations at random times for “surprise” station and train inspections. The officers spread out along the length of the station platform and inspect all trains passing through the station. 2. TSA Canine Program MTPD participated in the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program. Three MTPD officers completed the TSA training and the department gained two new explosive detection dogs. Under the program, TSA provides Metro with the dogs, training, yearly evaluations and partial reimbursement to cover costs associated with the program. 3. Partnering with federal and local policing agencies In the days following the July 7, 2005, attack in London, officers from other police agencies, including U.S. Park Police, U.S, Capitol Police, Pentagon Police Force, Arlington County Police Department and Metropolitan Police Department, were deployed to Metro facilities in their jurisdictions. 4. Explosive-containment trash cans Continue to install explosive-con trash cans to Metrorail station platforms. Trash cans were removed from station platforms as a security precaution following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. We purchased trash cans last year and began installing them in stations last year after Metro riders noted more trash on trains and in stations. 5. Metrobus Enforcement Division (MED) We plan to add 20 Metro Transit Police officers to the Metrobus Enforcement Division to strengthen security efforts on buses and at Metrobus garages. 6. High Intensity Targeted Enforcement MTPD has increased security on Metrobuses with the High Intensity Targeted Enforcement (HITE) effort. MTPD will saturate select bus routes with both uniformed and plainclothes officers. The officers ride the buses, patrol busy bus stops, talk with passengers, bus drivers and community residents. 7. Video cameras on Metrobuses Security cameras installed on more Metrobuses. Currently, 585 Metrobuses (roughly 40 percent of the Metrobus fleet) have on-board cameras. All new Metrobuses arrive equip with video cameras. 8. Increased tunnel inspections MTPD officers ride alongside Metrorail operators through tunnels, adding another level of inspection in Metro’s infrastructure. 9. New uniforms for police Starting July 4, MTPD will wear a new uniform. The bright blue uniform shirts make the police officers more visible and easily identifiable. 10. Communications with the federal agencies MTPD has regular communications with the FBI and other federal agencies. An MTPD Captain now participates on the FBI’s National Terrorism Task Force. 11. Regional transit cooperation MTPD participates in Northeast Corridor Initiative, working closely with Amtrak Police and other police agencies in the Northeast Corridor. 12. Upgrades to public announcement system The public address system is being upgraded in 39 underground stations. The new public address system will serve as a valuable tool to disseminate information during an emergency. 13. Replacement of closed circuit television monitors 30 Metrorail stations are getting new closed circuit television monitors. Training 1. Behavioral Assessment Screening System (BASS) Training 300 Metro Transit Police and regional law enforcement officers took a highly specialized training course to spot behaviors of would-be terrorists planning or executing an attack, and learn how to take action to mitigate danger, including confronting a suicide bomber in spring 2006. 2. Warning Signs video by the National Transit Institute Warning Signs video posted on Metro’s intranet for Metro employees to view. The video by the National Transit Institute, was created specifically to give transit employees information on system security. Topics covered include observing, identifying and reporting suspicious activities and behaviors, how to determine whether items are suspicious or unattended, and how to respond to incidents. 3. System Security—Warning Signs MTPD and Operations training developed a one-hour class on system security using the Warning Signs video as a starting point. All Operations were required to take the class last year. The class covered prevention, suspicious activities and packages, incident response, reporting, vehicle inspections and specific Metro procedures. 4. Terrorist Activity Recognition and Reaction class for employees MTPD offered the Terrorist Activity Recognition and Reaction training class to all employees in August. The class covers the role of all Metro employees in safeguarding the Metro system, customers and fellow employees. 5. Increased participation/interest in training for local police, first responders and citizens Metro hosts a variety of safety and training classes for local police, first responders and citizens: A. More than 8,000 firefighters, police officers and first responders have trained at Metro’s Emergency Response Training Facility. The tunnel is available 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week for local jurisdictions and other emergency responders to use for mock fire and rescue exercises, terrorism and disaster drills, and other simulations involving Metrorail trains and tunnels. B. More than 1,500 first responders have attended the Managing Metro Emergencies course, hosted by Metro Transit Police. The class covers mitigation, evacuation, transportation of evacuated rail riders and recovering from incidents, such as fires, crashes and acts of terrorism. The course focuses on better management of pedestrian and vehicle traffic after any evacuations of rail stations. C. More than 200 citizens across the region have received Metro Citizens Corps training. The program provides Metro-specific training ranging from rail safety, and emergency preparation and response to identification of terrorist activity. Area residents who have received specialized safety/emergency response training within their local jurisdictions are eligible to join the Metro Citizens Corps. Customer Outreach 1. Metro Safety Tips Metrorail train operators regularly deliver safety/security announcements at station stops over the train’s public address system. The announcements range from reporting suspicious behavior to rail car evacuation procedures. 2. Outreach campaign Began the “See It? Say It!” campaign, encouraging riders to report unusual behavior, unattended packages and suspicious activity to Metro employees. 3. Advertising campaign—Terrorism the threat. We continually refresh our security messages aimed at our riders – updating public address announcements and posters in the rail and bus system. The most recent ad reminds Metro riders to remain vigilant, and specifically mentions the London attack. The headline of the ad reads, “Terrorism in the threat. Complacency is the accomplice.”

    Win Counting Crows and Goo Goo Dolls Concert Tickets

    I love the Goo Goo Dolls. You might as hand them over to me. I am going to win those tickets.