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Thursday, August 30, 2012

London Metropolitan University "Highly Trusted Status Revoked"



             London Metropolitan University had its Highly Trusted Status for sponsoring international students revoked


The Government should have considered other options before stripping a university of its right to admit foreigners, critics have said.
More than 2,000 students could face ejection from the country after the Government revoked London Metropolitan University's highly-trusted status (HTS) for sponsoring international students.
The move, which critics said sent a damaging message that the UK deports foreign students to all corners of the globe, comes after more than a quarter of students sampled studying at the university did not even have permission to stay in the country.
Professor Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK, said there were other ways to address UK Border Agency concerns and the university's licence should only have been revoked as a last resort.
"We believe that there were alternative ways of addressing UKBA's concerns, and that revocation of a university's licence should only be a decision of last resort," he said. "We will be working with UKBA to ensure that compliance issues can be addressed in a more constructive way in the future."
London Metropolitan University's HTS status was suspended last month while the UK Border Agency (UKBA) examined alleged failings.
Immigration minister Damian Green said that along with more than one in four students sampled not having permission to stay in the country, a "significant proportion" of students did not have good English and there was no proof that half of those sampled were turning up to lectures.
The move could mean more than 2,000 students being deported within 60 days unless they find another sponsor, according to the National Union of Students.
Professor Malcolm Gillies, vice chancellor at London Metropolitan University, described the claims made against the institution as "not particularly cogent" and said it would be disputing them.
He said the university had set up a hotline for those affected on 020 7133 4141 and would try to help them find places at other universities.

Via Yahoo

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

50 Cent - New Day ft Alicia Keys And Dr. Dre

Ice Prince - Aboki

                                           

Aboki

"Corruption Came Into Petroleum Sector During Babangida,Obasanjo And Jonathan Era


 Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, in the last general polls, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari (rtd) said Monday that lack of sincerity on the part of Nigerian leaders was responsible for the security problems confronting the nation.
He added  that the Federal Government, since the administration of Gen Ibrahim Babangida till date was responsible for the “high level of corruption and destruction” in the petroleum industry.
                                   

The former military ruler said these while receiving leaders and members of CPC led by House of Representative representing Funtua/Dandume Federal Constituency of Katsina State, Dr. Mansur Abdulkadir who paid him a visit ahead of the forthcoming local government election in Katsina State.
Via Vanguard

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ukrainian Police Defer Charges Against Pastor Sunday Adelaja



Ukrainian police on Tuesday morning refrained from arresting the prominent Nigerian pastor, Sunday Adelaja who had been summoned to report at its offices in Kiev, as international pressure mounted on the controversial case which has been on for several years, Empowered Newswire reports.
Speaking with Empowered Newswire on Tuesday on phone after he returned from the police invitation, Pastor  Adelaja said "they turned me back on arrival, they did'nt even let me inside, they said they had changed the date till next week Tuesday."
But while the famous pastor may have got a respite, he said he has just discovered recently that his assets in the country, including his house, cars and accounts have been frozen by the police.
Adelaja who is based in Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine was described by New York Times as one of the "best known public figures" in Ukraine, where he leads what is perhaps the largest church in the country, The Embassy of God.
According to him, he was told at the Bogomoltsa street facility of the Ukrainian police in Kiev that "the charges against him are not ready yet," as at yesterday. But he added that "they gave me another warrant for next week."
In the last few days, he said while trying to use some of his assets, he discovered to his shock that they had been seized by the police.
Said he: "I did not know, this was done behind my back, so when we checked we discovered that my assets have been seized."
But he continued to assert his innocence in the collapse of the business King's Capital, for which he is being investigated amid speculations of charges of fraud and running a criminal organization.
According to both Adelaja and the owners of the company, he has no formal links to the company neither did he receive any form of benefits from the company.
Building up to his Tuesday visit to the Ukrainian police, a groundswell of international pressure has been mounting, especially in the US where Adelaja's church has local chapters.
Other US-based church leaders including the Chairman of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in North America, Dr. James Fadele wrote to the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking the American government to intervene on the side of the rule of law and democratic tenets.
In his letter to the Secretary of State, Pastor Fadele said "I am writing to express our concern on the fate of a prominent pastor in Ukraine, a country which the United States maintains an active diplomatic relations. Media reports say Pastor Sunday Adelaja of the Embassy of God in Kiev, arguably the country's largest Christian church has been summoned by the country's national police for possible arrest and detention tomorrow August 28, 2012, over the failure of a business company owned by some members of the church".

Continuing, the RCCG leader in the US added that the Ukrainian police is curtailing Adelaja's freedoms, "
violating every known norm of fundamental human rights. Even Ukraine's own constitutional and legal stipulations governing arrest and detention of persons have been breached."
  
He then asked the US government and Mrs Clinton to "use your good offices and the diplomatic clout of the US government to mediate in this possible political stunt against a religious leader in Ukraine."
Besides, an online petition at ipetition website was also garnering signatories across the world in support of Pastor  Adelaja.
According to Adelaja's representative in the US, Pastor Dala Alphonso, it was at the same police facility in Kiev where Adelaja reported on Tuesday morning that three members of the church reported exactly a week ago, and were arrested, charged and currently still detained without a hearing or trial.

However, Alphonso said that those backing Adelaja should not relent as yet but should be "reminded that Pastor Sunday Adelaja's personal assets which includes his home, vehicles and bank accounts have been possessed by the government without any trial or due process of the rule of law; nor have the allegation been formally dismissed".

According to him, "while we celebrate today's victory, we are much more determined to end this protracted persecution of Pastor Sunday Adelaja and the Church members in Kiev!




Via The Nation

Ice Prince - More

                                            





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Video: Freke - Ibaha + More Songs Off The Open Heavens Album

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Open Heavens



Chukwu Nonso



Better Go Follow Me



Mary's Little Lamb

The Hip Hop World Awards 2012 Nominees

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Via HIP TV

Friday, August 24, 2012

Prince Harry Nude Photo Story



What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’ – sadly in this era of smartphones, social media and internet at the click of a button; Prince Harry found out the hard way that being a Royal makes you an exception to that rule.
Early yesterday morning, TMZ published photos of Prince Harry buck naked and holding on to the ‘crown jewels’ in what was determined to be a three-bedroom Wynn Encore Tower suite which costs a cool $8,100 a night. Apparently the pictures had been sent in by one of Prince Harry’s ‘new friends’ who was present in the suite as they all played a game of ‘strip billiards’.


Reports are now emerging that the Prince and his 2 best friends (or cohorts in this case) had been planning a ‘road trip to end all road trips’; which started with a first class flight to Sir Richard Branson’s private British Virgin Island paradise of Necker, to celebrate his son’s birthday.
Fast forward to last weekend and the group arrive Las Vegas and were put up at the Wynn Casino complex where they wasted no time in hitting the tables. Shortly after they met some ‘hot chicks’ and proceeded to take the games back to the suite where a game of boozing and strip billiards ensued.
According to reports, his handlers at this time dropped the ball as they refused to have the ‘new friends’ surrender their phones – a costly mistake these pictures attest to. Not only did they not ban phones from coming in but they did nothing when pictures were being taken – in plain sight!
The Royal family is understandably furious over the incident particularly as Harry’s wild side is well known and his minders could have contained the situation.

VIA 1976AD

South African Man Found Dead Inside Landing Gear Bay Of British Airways Flight

South African man found dead in British Airways landing gear bay, on arrival in the UK from Cape Town



Sadly, the body of a South African man has been discovered in the landing gear bay of the Boeing 747 after a 6,000-mile (9,656km) flight from Cape Town, South Africa.
According to Police, he was not a passenger or a member of the crew on the flight from South Africa.
Investigations have revealed that authorities in South Africa spotted a man jumping a fence at the transport hub before running towards a BA flight as it waited to take off last night.

Security staff gave chase but backed off for safety reasons and a subsequent search of the airport failed to find the man.
A spokeswoman for Airports Company South Africa (which runs the airport) said: “Last night at approximately 8.40pm a person was detected scaling the perimeter fence at Cape Town International Airport (CTIA).
“The airport immediately responded and, as a security patrol officer attempted to apprehend the man, he ran in the direction of a British Airways aircraft already in its holding pattern ready for take-off.
“For safety reasons the security officer could not approach the aircraft.
“A search of the airfield was immediately conducted but the person was not found.
“British Airways, in addition to various other parties, were notified. Further sweeps were conducted of the runway and the broader airfield.
“This morning, reports from London’s Heathrow Airport confirmed that a stowaway was found on board a British Airways aircraft. The person was found dead.
“Airports Company South Africa is concerned about the loss of life and thus views this incident in the utmost serious light. A full investigation will be undertaken.”
The Metropolitan Police said they were called to the scene at 6.25am along with paramedics and the man was confirmed dead at shortly after 7am.
“The death is being treated as non-suspicious,” a spokesman said.
“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the man’s identity.”
British Airways confirmed the body was found inside the landing gear bay of a Boeing 747, which can carry 345 passengers and has a top speed of 614mph (988kph).
They can fly at heights of up to 45,000ft (13,716m).
A company spokesman said: “We are liaising with the South African authorities and Cape Town airport after a body was found in the landing gear bay of one of our aircraft.
“They are investigating how this incident took place, which involved a Boeing 747 which arrived this morning from Cape Town.
“This is a very rare and sad event and our thoughts are with the individual’s family.”

Russian Language Now An Official Language In Ukraine

 Despite public opposition and political wrangling, President Viktor Yanukovych signed Ukraine's controversial language bill into law earlier this month. 

                         


The bill passed through the Ukrainian Parliament - the Verkhovna Rada - in early July, gaining the support of 248 deputies, thus easily clearing the required minimum of 226, albeit under controversial circumstances.

Dismissing superficial government measures to quell popular discontent, hundreds of Ukrainians took to the streets after the bill passed, in some of the biggest demonstrations since the so-called Orange Revolution.

The protesters dressed in traditional clothes, waved national flags and brandished portraits of the country's poets such as Taras Shevchenko and Volodymyr Sosyura, who are lauded for their works in Ukrainian.

Among those fighting back the tears caused by police pepper spray was heavyweight boxing champ and leader of the UDAR opposition party, Vitaliy Klytschko.

People blocked the capital's streets, picketed the Ukrainian House political and cultural center in Kiev and some even declared themselves on hunger strike.

The passage of the bill triggered a fresh round of infighting inside the chamber and prompted speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn to tender his resignation amid allegations that parliamentarians had voted on behalf of absent colleagues.

However, a little more than a month later and despite mass protests and major controversy, the bill got the final stamp of approval it needed to become law - the president's signature.

The new law states that, while Ukrainian is still the official language of the country, other "minority" languages used in Ukraine will gain official status.

Local authorities now have the right to choose which language will be considered as the official one in any given region.

This means that about 13 of 27 Ukrainian administrative units will recognize Russian as an official language.

The regions that border neighboring countries may choose Hungarian or Romanian, while some parts of the Crimea are likely to exclusively use the Tatar language.

The law allows officials to issue statements and documents in the regionally chosen language, with the same rules applying to the media and business spheres.

Supporters say the law will help to abolish discrimination against Russian-speaking citizens, improve the status of other minorities living in Ukraine and recognize the fact that for many Ukrainians, their native and everyday language is not Ukrainian.

Citizens who were brought up speaking a different language than Ukrainian will not now have to learn the official language of the country, since it will not be needed even to perform state-level duties or interact with government.

In addition to the advantages for many non-Ukrainian speakers, this may be a beneficial move for the current government's credibility given that both Yanukovych and Prime Minister Mykola Azarov are notorious for having major problems with Ukrainian grammar and pronunciation.

On the other hand, opponents have expressed fears that the law will lead to the eventual loss of Ukrainian sovereignty, citing the key role of language as a transmitter of, and focal point for, national culture and arguing that neglecting the Ukrainian language will inevitably lead to a decline in Ukrainian culture.

Those such as the leader of the opposition Svoboda party Oleg Tyahnybok reject government claims that they are doing all they can to preserve the priority status of Ukrainian language, stating that Yanukovych has now taken up personal responsibility for "neglecting the Ukrainian Constitution and laws, as well as conducting Ukrainophobic politics from the very first day of ruling."

The language issue is traditionally a salient topic in Ukrainian politics, and the Yanukovych period has been no exception.

The relative positioning of Ukrainian and Russian languages and the symbolic and practical effects that this has on Ukrainian identity and self-determination have been linked to myriad issues.

When Education Minister Dmytro Tabachnik proposed in 2011 to slash Ukrainian language and literature teaching in schools, local intelligentsia as well as international watchdog groups launched a campaign for his immediate dismissal.

Belarusian journalist Konstantin Shayan captured Ukrainian fears in this regard when recounting his own experience of living in a country where Russian has long been a second official language.

"Belarusians consider books, press and TV shows in their own language to be inferior," and so they come to consider themselves as provincial to someone else's center, he said.

Shiyan also said that all Ukrainians, whatever their mother tongue, should fight against the language law, unless they want to risk a similar fate to that of contemporary Belarus.

Despite all the good the newly implemented law may bring to the country, for many Ukrainians, this is outweighed by the effect it will have in undermining the key self-identification mechanism for a country that has only been independent for 20 years.

"By tearing the informational and educational spheres of the country to pieces, the government created feudal mini-ghettos inside the country pursuing the only goal: To reduce the resistance of the fractious nation," former Foreign Affairs Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko commented.

However, a step that could ostensibly have seemed to reduce the linguistic aspect of division in Ukraine may end up exacerbating it.

Ukraine Sets Record In Rocket Launch Precision

                      

The Ukrainian-Russian expandable carrier rocket Zenit 3SL set world record in the precision of a satellite launch.
The carrier launched commercial satellite Intelsat 21 from a mobile platform in the Pacific Ocean on August 19, 2012.

The satellite will service major direct-to-home and cable programmers in Latin and North America, Europe and other regions for at least 18 years.

The closest to the Earth point on the satellite's orbit had nil deviation from the planned coordinates, informed one of the project contributors RKK Energia.

The farthest point had minor deviation.

"The precision of the launch is unique," said the President and General Designer of RKK Energia Vitaly Lopota.

Notably, a team of 30,000 people worked on the project.

The preparation and launch of the carrier Zenit 3SL is fully automated, making it easy to use.

Moreover, the rocket is safe for environment as it uses liquefied oxygen and kerosene.

Their combustion leads to the release of water and carbon dioxide, reports UNIAN.

Zenit 3SL consists of the carrier Zenit 2S, accelerator DM-SL, and the actual cargo - satellite equipment - that needs to be put into orbit.

Zenit 2S combines the first two stages of the rocket.

It was developed and produced in Ukraine, by the state-owned design bureau Yuzhnoe and industrial enterprise Pivdenmash.

Russia's RKK Energia produced the rocket booster, while American Boeing constructed the cargo department.

In October 2011, the Ukrainian expandable carrier rocket Zenit-3SLB launched commercial satellite Intelsat 18.

It now provides telecommunications services to Eastern Asia, Western Pacific, North America, French Polynesia, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and other areas.

Earlier in 2011, Ukrainian rocket Zenit 3M put into orbit the Russian astrophysical observatory Spectrum-R.

The unique characteristics of the Ukrainian space launcher allowed Russia to launch their research observatory into an untypical orbit around the Earth.

The chosen low orbit allows for better quality images to be taken by the observatory's equipment.

Additionally, jointly with Brazil Ukraine is currently working on the Alcantara Cyclone Space project.

Partners are constructing a rocket launching platform in Brazil.

It is located close to the equator, reducing the cost of rocket launch from this platform by 20 percent, according to the Ukrainian Ambassador to Brazil Ihor Hrushko.

Ukrainian President Officially Addresses Ukrainians In The Now Officially Approved Russian Language

            President Viktor Yanukovych used the Russian language on Wednesday to address the people in Kharkiv while opening a monument dedicated to Ukraine’s independence at the city’s downtown square.      

                     


    Yanukovych, who ended his two-month vacation in Crimea, made the official speech in Russian for the first time since signing controversial language legislation earlier this month.

The legislation allows wide official use of the Russian language throughout many Ukrainian regions that have at least 10% Russian-speaking population.

The legislation led to weeks of protests and was denounced by opposition groups as discouraging the use of Ukrainian and splitting the country by languages spoken.

Asked by reporters why he used the Russian language to address the people in Kharkiv, Yanukovych had replied: “I always speak the language of the people that live there.”

“Ukraine is being split by the people who ask the questions like that without taking into account opinions of the people that live on that land,” Yanukovych said.

The legislation, dubbed by some opposition figures “a death sentence to the Ukrainian language,” was signed into law on Aug. 8.

The legislation is widely seen as an attempt by the Regions Party, which battles declining popular support, to energize their supporters ahead of the October 28 parliamentary elections.

At least six regions have moved over the past two weeks to approve the Russian language as their “official regional” language, a status that allows its use by local governments, schools and legal system.

Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zaporizhia, Odessa, Luhansk and Kherson regions, as well as cities of Odessa, Sevastopol, Kharkiv, Mykolayiv and Izmail, have voted to approve the use of the Russian language.

The legislation, drafted by the Regions Party, has been suggested as supporting ethnic groups and languages in line with the European charter.

But when Bulgarian ethnic group, which exceeds 10% of the population of Izmail in the Odessa region, suggested approving the Bulgarian as a regional language in the city, local lawmakers had declined.

The Bulgarian community threatened to appeal to Yanukovych and to courts to “defend their right” to use their language in the city.

The legislation was criticized by many prominent Ukrainians, and most recently by former President Leonid Kuchma.

“This law is not promoting the national idea and the independence of the state,” Kuchma said in a recent interview with Ukrinform, the state-owned news agency.

“I was always the supporter of the idea that there is one state language in the country.”

Kuchma said the law has been hurting Yanukovych politically because it was splitting the country.

“This is a headache for politicians, and especially for the president, because he bears responsibility,” Kuchma said.

“We have to start looking for a civilized exit out of this. They have to sit down at the table and to find something constructive.”

Yanukovych agreed that the legislation requires some changes, but disagreed that it was hurting the Ukrainian language.

“I disagree that the law weakens the Ukrainian language,” Yanukovych said, adding that he had ordered the government to come up with a state program that would support the Ukrainian language.

“It will be drafted by the Cabinet,” Yanukovych said. “It will not be temporary, it will be permanent.”

Clashes in Kenya Kill 48

Attackers armed with machetes, bows and arrows and spears locked Kenyan villagers in their houses, set the structures alight and killed anyone who tried to escape, leaving at least 48 dead overnight, police and aid workers said.
The raid in Kenya's coastal region was part of a long-running dispute between the area's Pokomo and Orma groups over grazing land and water, said police.
"They were armed with crude weapons: machetes, bows and arrows and spears. Some had guns. As a result we have lost 31 women, 11 children and six men, all totaling 48," area deputy police chiefRobert Kitur told Reuters by telephone.
A Kenyan Red Cross official who asked not to be named, said they had counted 59 bodies, and the group had ferried more than 40 injured people to a hospital in Malindi town, 150km (93 miles) away from the scene.
"Many of the injured are women and children with severe burns. Eleven have deep cuts on their heads and other body parts," the official told Reuters.
"I have counted seven with bullet wounds. We have tried to stabilize them, but honestly it will be a miracle if all of them arrive at hospital alive."
About 100 raiders from the Pokomo attacked Rekete village, inhabited by Ormas, late on Tuesday, said police.
The raid was in retaliation for an attack by Orma youths on Pokomo farmers which killed two people, officers added.
The long dispute between the two groups erupted after the farmers accused the pastoralists of grazing their cattle in their farms.
Cattle rustling and clashes over grazing and farming land are relatively common between communities in arid areas of east Africa and often escalate into revenge attacks.
Coast provincial commissioner Samuel Kilele said he had held a meeting with leaders from both groups last week which had appeared to resolve the dispute and he was shocked at the latest attacks.
"This is a case of our people who have decided to fight amongst themselves, and unless they decide to resolve themselves, there is little we can do," he told reporters.
"It's risky even for me. I cannot go there as an administrator and am forced to coordinate from here," he added, speaking from his office in Mombasa.
In a separate overnight incident in north eastern Kenya, five people died after cattle rustlers attacked a village in Mandera near Kenya's border with Somalia and Ethiopia.
Kenya Red Cross said 11 people, including a six-year old child, had died and scores had been wounded in that region over the past two days.
Similar clashes in January killed at least 21 in Kenya's north.Over 50 Kenyans hacked, burned to death: police

Court Says Samsung Did Not Violate Apple Design


Samsung Electronics Co's flagship Galaxy smartphone looks very similar to Apple's iPhone, but the South Korean firm has not violated the iPhone design, a Seoul court ruled on Friday.
The South Korean ruling comes as the two technology titans are locked in a high-stakes global patent battle that mirrors a fierce rivalry for industry supremacy between two companies that control more than half the world's smartphone sales.
The Seoul court ruling on Friday comes ahead of more crucial U.S. verdicts. Nine jurors began deliberation on Wednesday in California in one of many disputes between the two firms around the world that analysts see as partly aimed at curbing the spread of Google Inc's Android, the world's most used mobile software.
"There are lots of external design similarities between the iPhone and Galaxy S, such as rounded corners and large screens ... but these similarities had been documented in previous products," a judge at the Seoul Central District Court said on Friday.
"Given that it's very limited to make big design changes in touch-screen based mobile products in general ... and the defendant (Samsung) differentiated its products with three buttons in the front and adopted different designs in camera and (on the) side, the two products have a different look," the judge said.
The judge said it was difficult to say that consumers would confuse the iPhone with the Galaxy given they clearly have the respective company logos on the back of each model, and consumers also factor in operating systems, brand, applications, price, and services when buying a phone.
The judge ordered Samsung to immediately stop selling 10 products, including the Galaxy S II, and also banned sales of four Apple products, including the iPhone 4 and iPad 2.
The court ruled that Apple infringed on two of Samsung's wireless technology patents and was ordered to pay Samsung 40 million won ($35,400). Samsung was fined 25 million won for violating one patent relating to so-called bouncing-back function used when scrolling electronic documents.
The compensation sought by both Apple and Samsung in South Korea is small due to the relatively small size of the market.
The wrangle was triggered by Apple's lawsuit in April last year claiming Samsung slavishly copied Apple's smartphones and tablets. Samsung has countered that it simply developed its own "unique" products in a bid to "best the competition," and that Apple actually owes money for using its patented technology.
In the United States, Apple is demanding more than $2.5 billion in damages and an order to permanently ban Samsung from selling patent-infringing products. Samsung argues Apple owes $422 million for violating a clutch of its patents.
Neither Apple nor Samsung had an immediate comment on the Seoul ruling.
In Seoul, Samsung shares last traded down 1.3 percent, in line with the broader market.
($1 = 1130.5750 Korean won)

Anti - Doping Agency To Strip Lance Armstrong of His Titles


 With stunning swiftness, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday night it will strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he dropped his fight against drug charges that threatened his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.
Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive, said Armstrong would also be hit with a lifetime ban on Friday. Under the World Anti-Doping Code, he could lose other awards, event titles and cash earnings while the International Olympic Committee might look at the bronze medal he won in the 2000 Games.
Armstrong, who retired last year, effectively dropped his fight by declining to enter USADA's arbitration process — his last option — because he said he was weary of fighting accusations that have dogged him for years. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests he passed as proof of his innocence while piling up Tour titles from 1999 to 2005.
"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."
"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he said. "The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today — finished with this nonsense."
USADA reacted quickly and treated Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, hanging the label of drug cheat on an athlete who was a hero to thousands for overcoming life-threatening testicular cancer and for his foundation's support for cancer research.
"It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and athletes," Tygart said. "It's a heartbreaking example of win at all costs overtaking the fair and safe option. There's no success in cheating to win."
Tygart said the agency had the power to strip the Tour titles, though Armstrong disputed that.
"USADA cannot assert control of a professional international sport and attempt to strip my seven Tour de France titles," he said. "I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours."
Still to be heard from was the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union, which had backed Armstrong's legal challenge to USADA's authority and in theory could take the case before the international Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Tygart said UCI was "bound to recognize our decision and impose it" as a signer of the World Anti-Doping Code.
"They have no choice but to strip the titles under the code," he said.
USADA maintains that Armstrong has used banned substances as far back as 1996, including the blood-booster EPO and steroids as well as blood transfusions — all to boost his performance.
The 40-year-old Armstrong walked away from the sport in 2011 without being charged following a two-year federal criminal investigation into many of the same accusations he faces from USADA.
The federal probe was closed in February, but USADA announced in June it had evidence Armstrong used banned substances and methods — and encouraged their use by teammates. The agency also said it had blood tests from 2009 and 2010 that were "fully consistent" with blood doping.
Included in USADA's evidence were emails written by Armstrong's former U.S. Postal Service teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive drug test. Landis' emails to a USA Cycling official detailed allegations of a complex doping program on the team.
USADA also said it had 10 former Armstrong teammates ready to testify against him. Other than suggesting they include Landis and Tyler Hamilton, both of whom have admitted to doping offenses, the agency has refused to say who they are or specifically what they would say.
"There is zero physical evidence to support (the) outlandish and heinous claims," Armstrong said. "The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of (doping) controls I have passed with flying colors."
Armstrong sued USADA in Austin, where he lives, in an attempt to block the case and was supported by the UCI. A judge threw out the case on Monday, siding with USADA despite questioning the agency's pursuit of Armstrong in his retirement.
"USADA's conduct raises serious questions about whether its real interest in charging Armstrong is to combat doping, or if it is acting according to less noble motives," such as politics or publicity, U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks wrote.
Even if UCI and USADA differ on the Tour titles, the ultra-competitive Armstrong has still done something virtually unthinkable for him: He quit before a fight is over.
It was a stunning move for an athlete who built his reputation on not only beating cancer, but forcing himself through grueling offseason workouts no one else could match, then crushing his rivals in the Alps and the Pyrenees.
"Today I turn the page. I will no longer address this issue, regardless of the circumstances," he said. "I will commit myself to the work I began before ever winning a single Tour de France title: serving people and families affected by cancer, especially those in underserved communities."
Armstrong could have pressed his innocence in USADA's arbitration process, which would have included a hearing during which evidence against him would have been presented. But the cyclist has said he believes most people have already made up their minds about whether he's a fraud or a persecuted hero.
Although he had already been crowned a world champion and won individual stages at the Tour de France, Armstrong was still relatively unknown in the U.S. until he won the epic race for the first time in 1999. It was the ultimate comeback tale: When diagnosed with cancer, doctors had given him less than a 50 percent chance of survival before surgery and brutal cycles of chemotherapy saved his life.
Armstrong's riveting victories, his work for cancer awareness and his gossip-page romances with rocker Sheryl Crow, fashion designer Tory Burch and actress Kate Hudson made him a figure who transcended sports.
His dominance of the Tour de France elevated the sport's popularity in America to unprecedented levels. His story and success helped sell millions of the "Livestrong" plastic yellow wrist bracelets, and enabled him to enlist lawmakers and global policymakers to promote cancer awareness and research. His Lance Armstrong Foundation has raised nearly $500 million since its founding in 1997.
Jeffery C. Gervey, chairman of the foundation, issued a statement of support saying:
"Faced with a biased process whose outcome seems predetermined, Lance chose to put his family and his foundation first," Gervey said. "The leadership of the Lance Armstrong Foundation remain incredibly proud of our founder's achievements, both on and off the bike."
Created in 2000, USADA is recognized by Congress as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic sports in the United States. Its investigators joined U.S. agents during the federal investigation of Armstrong. Tygart dismissed Armstrong's lawsuit as an attempt at "concealing the truth," saying the agency is motivated by one goal — exposing cheaters.
Armstrong had tense public disputes with USADA, the World Anti-Doping Agency, some former teammates and assistants and even Greg LeMond, the first American to win the Tour de France.
"He had a right to contest the charges," WADA President John Fahey said after Armstrong's announcement. "He chose not to. The simple fact is that his refusal to examine the evidence means the charges had substance in them."
Others close to Armstrong were caught up in the investigations, too: Johan Bruyneel, the coach of Armstrong's teams, and three members of the medical staff and a consultant were also charged. Bruyneel is taking his case to arbitration, while two medical team staffers and consulting doctor Michele Ferrari didn't formally contest the charges and were issued lifetime ban by USADA. Ferrari later said he was innocent.
Questions surfaced even as Armstrong was on his way to his first Tour victory. He was leading the 1999 race when a trace amount of a banned anti-inflammatory corticosteroid was found in his urine; cycling officials said he was authorized to use a small amount of a cream to treat saddle sores.
After Armstrong's second victory in 2000, French judicial officials investigated his Postal Service team for drug use. That investigation ended with no charges, but the allegations kept coming.
Armstrong was criticized for his relationship with Ferrari, who was banned by Italian authorities over doping charges in 2002. Former personal and team assistants accused Armstrong of having steroids in an apartment in Spain and disposing of syringes that were used for injections.
In 2004, a Dallas-based promotions company initially refused to pay him a $5 million bonus for winning his sixth Tour de France because it wanted to investigate allegations raised by media in Europe. Testimony in that case included former teammate Frankie Andreu and his wife, Betsy, saying Armstrong told doctors during his 1996 cancer treatments that he had taken a cornucopia of steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.
Two books published in Europe, "L.A. Confidential" and "L.A. Official," also raised doping allegations and, in 2005, French magazine L'Equipe reported that retested urine samples from the 1999 Tour showed EPO use.
Armstrong fought every accusation with denials and, in some cases, lawsuits against media outlets that reported them.
He retired in 2005 and almost immediately considered a comeback before deciding to stay on the sidelines — in part because he didn't want to keep answering doping questions.
"I'm sick of this," Armstrong said in 2005. "Sitting here today, dealing with all this stuff again, knowing if I were to go back, there's no way I could get a fair shake — on the roadside, in doping control, or the labs."
Three years later, Armstrong was 36 and itching to ride again. He came back to finish third in the 2009 Tour de France.
Armstrong raced again in 2010 under the cloud of the federal investigation. Early last year, he quit the sport for good, making a brief return as a triathlete until the USADA investigation shut him down.
During his sworn testimony in the dispute over the $5 million bonus, Armstrong said he wouldn't take drugs because he had too much to lose.
"(The) faith of all the cancer survivors around the world. Everything I do off the bike would go away, too," Armstrong said then. "And don't think for a second I don't understand that. It's not about money for me. Everything. It's also about the faith that people have put in me over the years. So all of that would be erased."


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Thursday, August 23, 2012

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Ukrainian Roads Among The Worst In The World


American Institute for Public Opinion Gallup conducted a survey of motorists' satisfaction of roads around the world.Most residents of 148 countries were surveyed. The largest number of unsatisfied were in the former Soviet Union.
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Speaking of larger geographic units, the best is the road situation in Asia and Europe, but the countries of the former Soviet Union have settled at the bottom.People Were Very satisfied by the post-Soviet country of Georgia with very good roads, while Russia, Ukraine and Moldova on the last three lines of the rating.
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If we talk about the world as a whole, the greatest satisfaction with their roads are residents of the United Arab Emirates - 90% dissatisfied with only 9%. Russia is situated between Sierra Leone and Bulgaria, with a score of 33% satisfied and 66% dissatisfied citizens, Ukraine was almost at the bottom on the satisfaction with the quality of roads. Ukraine took place between Mali and Yemen with a score of 27% of residents that are satisfied and 68% dissatisfied with the road surface. 5% of Ukrainians did not answer the question.  Experts Gallup say, countries with poor roads should pay particular attention to road safety,and long-term work on the modernization of the road network, improve driver and road awareness and off the road vehicles should meet safety standards.