On Sept. 29, 2006, while on a mission in Ramadi, Iraq, Monsoor and other members of a Navy SEAL sniper team were within a moment of death. An insurgent had tossed a grenade into their hideout, hitting Monsoor in the chest before bouncing to the floor.
In an instant, Monsoor was on the grenade, using his body to shield his comrades from the blast.
"He never took his eye off the grenade, his only movement was down toward it," said a lieutenant who sustained shrapnel wounds to both legs that day. "He undoubtedly saved mine and the other SEALs' lives, and we owe him."
For that action, President Bush on Monday announced that Monsoor will be posthumously honored on April 8 with the the nation's highest military honor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In a historic but little-noticed change in policy, the Army is allowing scores of husband-and-wife soldiers to live and sleep together in the war zone - a move aimed at preserving marriages, boosting morale and perhaps bolstering re-enlistment rates at a time when the military is struggling to fill its ranks five years into the fighting.
"It makes a lot of things easier," said Frazier, 33, a helicopter maintenance supervisor in the 3rd Infantry Division. "It really adds a lot of stress, being separated. Now you can sit face-to-face and try to work out things and comfort each other."
On March 14, the Soldiers took Noor and her uncle to the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad to get an evaluation done on the two, which showed a higher potential for success with Noor.
"We're on standby now, waiting for a doctor in L.A.," Kendrick said.
He said they are now trying to find a local Iraqi doctor who would be willing to travel with Noor and her family to California. An Iraqi doctor is needed who could be shown the necessary follow-up care.
But he does accept money from executives and other employees of oil companies and two of his fundraisers are oil company executives. As of Feb. 29, Obama's presidential campaign had received nearly $214,000 from oil and gas industry employees and their families, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Clinton had received nearly $307,000 from industry workers and their families and Republican Sen. John McCain, the likely GOP presidential nominee, received nearly $394,000, according to the center's totals.
Two of Obama's fundraisers are Robert Cavnar, the chairman and chief executive of Houston-based Mission Resources Corp., and George Kaiser, the president and CEO of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co.
In January and February alone, Obama received nearly $18,000 from Exxon Mobil workers, according to Federal Election Commission records. Most of the donations were of $250 or less; the money came from workers ranging from executives to engineers to geologists to shift supervisors. Overall, he has raised about $34,000 from Exxon Mobil workers since the beginning of his campaign. Exxon Mobil employees have given Clinton about $16,000 since the beginning of last year.
Obama's lips are moving and he's a politician and lawyer so...
"Our silence is deafening" by Justice Malala of the South African Times gives a perspective form the African continent on the impact of Robert Mugabe's reign of terror on Zimbabwe as that country has gone to the polls. His plea is all too familiar - didn't we all say "Never again" after the Holocaust - only to see world hot spots, particularly on the African continent, devolve into barbaric situations of unspeakable horror.
By the elections of March 29 2008, our children will read, the average life expectancy of a Zimbabwean woman was 34 years and that of a man 37.
Television footage of that day will show women with babies on their backs crawling under barbed-wire fencing into South Africa in the hope of finding food, safety and a life for their children.
Election day 2008 will be a slice of tragic history.
Our children will learn that, in a country with one of the highest literacy rates in the developing world and blessed with a vibrant press for more than two decades, only two daily newspapers inside Zimbabwe reported on these elections.
Both were owned by the state and neither published a single positive story about the opposition in the run-up to elections.
On that day, election observers from Europe and the US were banned from the country. Only SADC observers were allowed in.
Webb, a former Republican and military man, would give Obama needed military and foreign policy cred when going up against Senator John McCain - and help swing Virginia his way in the general election.
Strickland, who is a Clinton booster, could bring a governor with executive experience and a huge swing state into play with Ohio where he is very popular.
But will he have to take Hillary and Bill to assuage the party and keep their knives sheathed...
“He’s attractive, he was knowledgeable, he didn’t stumble too many times, so I don’t think that he suffers from foot-in-mouth disease,” Card says. “He is appropriately respected for his understanding of the economy and how it works and what decisions must be made that complement the ability for people to have jobs. He’s filled with integrity, and he’s a proven winner in a Democratic state.”
It would seem he would be on the short list with the above assets - depending on how much the party feels they need a Southern strategy to appeal to social conservatives who wouldn't vote for a Mormon or distrusted Romney.
One is that he is a wuss - not a good thing to be when going up against a man in the general election who is known alternatively as a war hero, maverick or straight talker - in other words, the farthest thing from a wuss.
The second is that he is arrogant - not something that is unusual in celebrities - and the handling of the Rev. Wright affair is Exhibit A - and his underdeveloped bowling skills on the trail could point up a dent in his attempts to look like a regular guy.
Both of these are underdeveloped in the mainstream media - but highly noticed by many in the electorate...
"Obama's tutu a Hawaii banking female pioneer" from the Honolulu Advertiser paints a picture of Barack Obama's grandmother as a powerful woman in the banking business in Hawaii - before the women's liberation or feminist movements had paved the way for women in the financial - or any other world. She hardly sounds like the "typical white person" that Obama alluded to in a radio interview - or someone who held deep prejudices - but probably in fact was the target of some herself as she sought to break the proverbial glass ceiling as she helped raise Barack Obama.
While Obama's views on race relations in America were being shaped, his maternal grandmother — Madelyn Dunham, now 85 — received a series of promotions at Hawai'i's top bank. And in December 1970, she was named one of the first two female vice presidents at Bank of Hawaii.
The collider will simulate conditions less than a billionth of a second after the big bang, by smashing protons together at enormous energies. Physicists hope to resolve long-standing questions, such as why particles have mass and whether space has hidden extra dimensions.
But Wagner and Sancho's court papers raise theoretical scenarios in which the LHC could create particles that gobble up the Earth, such as "killer strangelets". Strangelets are hypothetical blobs of matter containing "strange" quarks, as well as the usual "up" and "down" types that make up ordinary matter.
If a strangelet were stable and negatively charged, it might begin eating the nuclei of ordinary matter, converting them into strange matter. Eventually the menacing chain reaction could assimilate our entire planet and everyone on it.
CIA Director General Michael Hayden appeared on NBC's "Meet The Press" with Tim Russert - and the new director appeared forthright and authentic on a wide range of issues. His most disturbing revelation was that "people who look like us" are training with al-Qaeda - which would make the identification process of potential terrorists extremely difficult. He handled the fact that Iraqi Prime Minister apparently didn't let the US know about the Iraqi forces going into Basra - and then needing US air power support - as well as the pre-war intelligence errors - and how the agency is now titrating its intelligence to avoid too much forward leaning on spurious evidence. He explained well why he was supporting insurance for his agents so that they wouldn't have their savings decimated if faced with a lawsuit at some point and genuinely seemed supportive of his agents and building up the agency for the future.
Altogether he appeared to be one administration official who wasn't nuancing or spinning, but seemed to answer questions directly and honestly.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH NIH News National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) <http://www.nhgri.nih.gov/> National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) <http://www.niddk.nih.gov/> For Immediate Release: Monday, March 31, 2008
MAJOR COLLABORATION UNCOVERS SURPRISING NEW GENETIC CLUES TO DIABETES Analysis Identifies Potential New Therapeutic Targets; Suggests Possible Ties to Prostate Cancer
An international team that included scientists from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today reported it has identified six more genetic variants involved in type 2 diabetes, boosting to 16 the total number of genetic risk factors associated with increased risk of the disease. None of the genetic variants uncovered by the new study had previously been suspected of playing a role in type 2 diabetes. Intriguingly, the new variant most strongly associated with type 2 diabetes also was recently implicated in a very different condition: prostate cancer.
The unprecedented analysis, published today in the advance online edition of Nature Genetics, combined genetic data from more than 70,000 people. The work was carried out through the collaborative efforts of more than 90 researchers at more than 40 centers in Europe and North America.
"None of the genes we have found was previously on the radar screen of diabetes researchers," said one of the paper's senior authors, Mark McCarthy, M.D., of the University of Oxford in England. "Each of these genes, therefore, provides new clues to the processes that go wrong when diabetes develops, and each provides an opportunity for the generation of new approaches for treating or preventing this condition."
When considered individually, the genetic variants discovered to date account for only small differences in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But researchers say when all of the variants are analyzed together, some significant differences in risk are likely to emerge. "By combining information from the large number of genes now implicated in diabetes risk, it may be possible to use genetic tools to identify people at unusually high or low risk of diabetes. However, until we know how to use this information to prompt beneficial changes in people's treatment or lifestyle, widespread genetic testing would be premature," said another senior author, David Altshuler, M.D., Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard in Cambridge, Mass.
Type 2 diabetes affects more than 200 million people worldwide, including nearly 21 million people in the United States. Previously known as adult-onset, or non-insulin dependent diabetes (NIDDM), type 2 diabetes usually appears after age 40, often in overweight, sedentary people. However, a growing number of younger people and even children are developing the disease.
Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease and stroke in U.S. adults, as well as the most common cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations not related to trauma. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the resistance of target tissues to respond to insulin, which controls glucose levels in the blood; and a gradual failure of insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas.
"These new variants, along with other recent genetic findings, provide a window into disease causation that may be our best hope for the next generation of therapeutics. By pinpointing particular pathways involved in diabetes risk, these discoveries can empower new approaches to understanding environmental influences and to the development of new, more precisely targeted drugs," said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., who is a co-author of the study. Dr. Collins' laboratory is a participant in the Finrisk 2002 and Finland-United States Investigation of NIDDM Genetics (FUSION), which were among the studies that contributed data to the new analysis. FUSION is funded by NHGRI's Division of Intramural Research and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
Researchers said more work is needed to understand the impact of their discovery that a genetic variant called JAZF1 appears to be involved in diabetes as well as prostate cancer. One of the study's lead authors, Eleftheria Zeggini, Ph.D., of the University of Oxford, said, "This is now the second example of a gene which affects both type 2 diabetes and prostate cancer. We don't yet know what the connections are, but this may have important implications for the future design of drugs for both of these conditions."
The research was conducted by the DIAbetes Genetics Replication And Meta-analysis (DIAGRAM) consortium, which brought together many groups active in the field of diabetes research. In the Nature Genetics paper, DIAGRAM researchers combined the data from three previously published genome-wide association studies in an effort to boost the statistical power of their searches -- an approach that scientists refer to as meta-analysis. The strategy paid off, enabling researchers to identify six genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes that had gone undetected in the smaller, individual studies.
NHGRI is one of 27 institutes and centers at NIH, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services. The NHGRI Division of Intramural Research develops and implements technology to understand, diagnose and treat genomic and genetic diseases. For more, visit <www.genome.gov>.
NIDDK, part of NIH, conducts and supports research on diabetes; endocrine and metabolic diseases; digestive diseases, nutrition, and obesity; and kidney, urologic and hematologic diseases. Spanning the full spectrum of medicine and afflicting people of all ages and ethnic groups, these diseases encompass some of the most common, severe, and disabling conditions affecting Americans. For more information about NIDDK and its programs, see <www.niddk.nih.gov>.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) -- The Nation's Medical Research Agency -- is comprised of 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit <www.nih.gov>.
Few athletes will have faced the obstacles 21-year-old Abdul-Razzaq has overcome to reach Beijing, from a sniper's bullets to a paucity of adequate training facilities and religious and cultural opposition to female athletes.
"I love running, I have the persistence to keep practising and I have ambition despite all the problems that I face," she told Reuters at Baghdad's crumbling Shaab stadium