« on: June 22, 2007, 12:38:59 AM »
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Topics - obamacon
« on: June 21, 2007, 08:43:50 PM »
General Off-Topic Board / ITT we give the most cogent argument possible in favor of a position we abhor« on: June 20, 2007, 02:26:29 PM »
« on: June 20, 2007, 01:24:52 AM »
Looters raid Arafat's home, steal his Nobel Peace Prize
Khaled Abu Toameh, THE JERUSALEM POST Jun. 16, 2007
Enraged Fatah leaders on Saturday accused Hamas militiamen of looting the home of former Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat in Gaza City.
"They stole almost everything inside the house, including Arafat's Nobel Peace Prize medal," said Ramallah-based Fatah spokesman Ahmed Abdel Rahman. "Hamas militiamen and gangsters blew up the main entrance to the house before storming it. They stole many of Arafat's documents and files, gifts he had received from world leaders and even his military outfits."
Abdel Rahman said the attackers also raided the second floor of the house and stole the personal belongings of his widow, Suha, and daughter, Zahwa. "They stole all the widow's clothes and shoes," he added. "They also took Arafat's pictures with his daughter."
# Comment: What to do about Gaza
# Israel won't let Fatah slaughter Hamas in W. Bank
Eyewitnesses told The Jerusalem Post that dozens of Palestinians participated in the raid, which took place late Friday.
"Most of the looters were just ordinary citizens," they said. "They stole almost everything, including furniture, tiles, water pipes, closets and beds."
According to the Fatah spokesman, the raid on Arafat's house, which has been empty since 2001, occurred despite promises from Syria-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to prevent such an attack.
"The Palestinian people will never forgive the Hamas gangs for looting the home of the Palestinian people's great leader, Yasser Arafat," Abdel Rahman said. "This crime will remain a stain of disgrace on the forehead of Hamas and its despicable gangs."
The homes of several other Fatah leaders have also been looted over the past few days, Palestinian reporters in Gaza City said over the weekend. Among them are the homes of Muhammad Dahlan and Intisar al-Wazir (Um Jihad).
Wazir complained that looters stole her jewelry, furniture, clothes and family albums and the personal belongings of her husband, Khalil al-Wazir (Abu Jihad), a top PLO leader who was assassinated by Israel in 1988 in Tunis.
She said the looting occurred in broad daylight and under the watchful eye of Hamas militiamen. "We don't feel secure any more," she said. "We fear for our lives and property."
The Popular Resistance Committees, an alliance of various armed groups, announced over the weekend that its men stormed Dahlan's house and confiscated a suitcase full of gold, forged US and Pakistani passports and an ID card belonging to Nissim Toledano, an Israeli Border Police officer from Lod who was kidnapped and murdered by Hamas in December 1992.
Following the raid, hundreds of Palestinians rampaged the house and stole all of Dahlan's furniture and clothes.
Dahlan and some 80 top Fatah officials are now staying in hotels in Ramallah. On Friday night, a group of 15 senior Fatah security commanders arrived in the city after Israel gave them permission to leave the Gaza Strip. At least 150 other Fatah security commanders and activists have fled to Egypt aboard fishing boats.
The Fatah officials who fled to Ramallah had been abducted by Hamas militiamen late Thursday night and released a few hours later. They include Jamal Kayed, commander of the PA's National Security Force; Musbah al-Buhaisi, commander of Abbas's Presidential Guard, and his deputy, Hamoudeh al-Sheikh; Tawfik Abu Khoussa, Fatah's spokesman in the Gaza Strip; and Majed Abu Shamalah, a Fatah legislator.
"What's happening in the Gaza Strip these days reminds me of the first days after the US invasion of Baghdad," said Omar al-Ghul, a columnist from Gaza City. "In Baghdad, the Iraqis stole everything they could get their hands on inside Iraqi ministries and institutions. And in Gaza City the Palestinians stormed security installations and stole everything, including windows, doors and food."
« on: June 15, 2007, 01:39:19 AM »
Plants 'recognize' their siblings
Submitted by Vidura Panditaratne on Wed, 2007-06-13 17:18.Sci | Non-geographical | News
Plants are able to recognise their siblings, according to a study appearing today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.
Researchers at McMaster University have found that plants get fiercely competitive when forced to share their pot with strangers of the same species, but they’re accommodating when potted with their siblings.
“The ability to recognize and favour kin is common in animals, but this is the first time it has been shown in plants” Susan Dudley, associate professor of biology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, said. “When plants share their pots, they get competitive and start growing more roots, which allows them to grab water and mineral nutrients before their neighbours get them. It appears, though, that they only do this when sharing a pot with unrelated plants; when they share a pot with family they don’t increase their root growth. Because differences between groups of strangers and groups of siblings only occurred when they shared a pot, the root interactions may provide a cue for kin recognition.”
Though they lack cognition and memory, the study shows plants are capable of complex social behaviours such as altruism towards relatives, says Dudley. Like humans, the most interesting behaviours occur beneath the surface.
Dudley and her student, Amanda File, observed the behavior in sea rocket (Cakile edentula), a member of the mustard family native to beaches throughout North America, including the Great Lakes.
So should gardeners arrange their plants like they would plan the seating at a dinner party?
“Gardeners have known for a long time that some pairs of species get along better than others, and scientists are starting to catch up with why that happens,” says Dudley. “What I’ve found is that plants from the same mother may be more compatible with each other than with plants of the same species that had different mothers. The more we know about plants, the more complex their interactions seem to be, so it may be as hard to predict the outcome as when you mix different people at a party.”