Sunday, 1 February 2009

Changing the face of the World

Iceland’s political parties have reached an agreement that will give the country its first female prime minister and the world its first openly gay leader.

Johanna Sigudardottir, 66, will lead the government when it is sworn in at 6 p.m. (1 p.m. Eastern) on Sunday, her political advisor Hrannar Arnarsson told CNN via e-mail.

Iceland has been in political turmoil since October, when its currency, stock market and leading banks collapsed amid the global financial crisis.

TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) — Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal arrived in Tehran on Sunday to meet with Iranian leaders, his first visit to the country since Israel’s recent military offensive on Gaza, according to an Iranian media report.

Meshaal — who lives in exile in Damascus, Syria — is scheduled to meet with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, according to the semi-official Mehr News Agency.

Meshaal is the head of Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) — Nearly 4,000 women are running for office in Iraq’s provincial elections Saturday, and many of them will be guaranteed a seat under an electoral quota system.

Regardless of the votes their candidates receive, parties are required to give every third seat to a female candidate on their list, according to a report this week from the International Crisis Group.

The ultimate share of seats held by women will depend on the distribution of votes among parties, the report said.

(CNN) — Moderate Islamist leader Sheikh Sharif Sheekh Ahmed was sworn in as Somalia’s new president Saturday after he was voted in by the country’s parliament, a Somali journalist told CNN.

Journalist Omar Faruk Osman told CNN that Sheikh Sharif was sworn in at about 11 a.m. (3 a.m. ET) in Djibouti, which lies northwest of Somalia.

The vote and swearing-in took place in Djibouti because the international community wanted to be present to observe the voting process and could not do so in Somalia for safety reasons.

The Djibouti location had been chosen before radical Islamic fighters took over the Somali parliament building and the presidential palace earlier this week.

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Expanding Consciousness

Expanding Consciousness
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Expanding Consciousness

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Area 51-Fact or Fiction?

Area 51 is a military base, and a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base. It is located in the southern portion of Nevada in the western United States, 83 miles (133 km) north-northwest of downtown Las Vegas. Situated at its center, on the southern shore of Groom Lake, is a large secretive military airfield. The base's primary purpose is to support development and testing of experimental aircraft and weapons systems.[1][2]

The base lies within the United States Air Force's vast Nevada Test and Training Range. Although the facilities at the range are managed by the 99th Air Base Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, the Groom facility appears to be run as an adjunct of the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, around 186 miles (300 km) southwest of Groom, and as such the base is known as Air Force Flight Test Center (Detachment 3).[3][4]

Though the name Area 51 is used in official CIA documentation, other names used for the facility include Dreamland, Paradise Ranch, Home Base, Watertown Strip, Groom Lake, and most recently Homey Airport. The area is part of the Nellis Military Operations Area, and the restricted airspace around the field is referred to as (R-4808N), known by the military pilots in the area as "The Box" or "the Container".

The intense secrecy surrounding the base, the very existence of which the U.S. government barely acknowledges, has made it the frequent subject of conspiracy theories and a central component to unidentified flying object (UFO) folklore.