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Palestine wins UNESCO seat

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/envoy/palestine-wins-unesco-seat-143002573.html

 

Palestine won full admission into UNESCO, the United Nations science, education and cultural heritage organization, in a closely watched vote in Paris Monday. Global diplomacy hands view the 107-14 vote as a benchmark carrying larger implications for the Palestinians’ bid for state recognition before the UN Security Council. Both the United States and Israel have strongly opposed both initiatives.

 

The United States, Israel, Canada, Germany, Sweden and Australia were among the 14 nations voting against the Palestinians’ UNESCO bid, while 107 countries–including France, Spain, Ireland, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, India, Russia, China, South Africa and Indonesia–voted in favor. Fourteen nations–including the United Kingdom and Italy–abstained.

Washington, which called the UNESCO vote “premature” Monday, has threatened to cut off funding to UNESCO if Palestine is granted membership. The United States currently accounts for about one-fifth of the organization’s budget.

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also rejected the UNESCO vote, and warned it would set back peace process.

“This is a unilateral Palestinian maneuver which will bring no change on the ground but further removes the possibility for a peace agreement,” the Israeli ministry said in a statement.  “This decision will not turn the Palestinian Authority into an actual state yet places unnecessary burdens on the route to renewing negotiations.”

Palestine’s successful UNESCO bid comes as Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair is due to meet with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Monday.

Blair has been trying to advance the Quartet’s efforts to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, asking each side to lay out their specific terms for resolving the issues of borders and security for a two-state solution. Meanwhile, Israeli officials have been depicting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as an unworthy peace partner.

Abbas, in turn, has recently reiterated his periodic threat to dissolve the Palestinian Authority–a move that if carried out would presumably give Israel the burden of administering, funding, and coordinating security for the West Bank’s Palestinian population.

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Homecoming

Hey people what’s up? Things are going great here in Mississippi. What’s going here is homecoming. This year we get to do stuff that we haven’t down in a while. Such as tacky day and twin day. This year, however, we get to do something new (or at least for me anyway). This year we get to have a cartoon day. This is the one day were we get to dress up and be our favorite cartoon character. From what I hear from my friends there is going to be a wide rage of characters that are going to make an appearance. Everything from Spongebob to Final Fantasy. This is going to be an interseting day. We’ll just have to wait and see. Later guys!

Well in a few weeks school will start

Hello WordPress users. How are ya’ll? As you can tell by todays title school is about to start in a few weeks ,August 2nd, and I’m ready for it. Because as many of you know this is my last year of high school. Yes, I will be a senor this year and all I can think about is where did time go? It feels like only yesterday I walk into Grenada High School as a freshman.

After this year I’ll be heading off to college hopefully. I am happy about that but it’s going to be at first because I’ve spent pretty much my entire life in the Grenada School District. But, I don’t see myself spending the rest of my life here in Grenada.

Hopefully, this year will go over well and I’ll have a great school year.

Japanese Prime Minister Kan leaves a gathering with members of his ruling Democratic Party of Japan in Tokyohttp://beta.news.yahoo.com/japan-pm-kan-says-wants-3-bills-passed-132108781.html

 

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said on Monday he wanted to oversee the passage of a small extra budget to help finance post-disaster reconstruction, a bill on deficit financing bonds and a law on renewable energy before stepping down.

Kan, under fire for his response to a March 11 earthquake and tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis, pledged early this month to step down to quell a rebellion in his party and survive a no-confidence vote, but has declined to say when he will go.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota, writing by Tomasz Janowski)

 

 

Japan Plans Nuclear Regulatory Reform

TOKYO — Responding to criticism that lax oversight played a role in the Fukushima nuclear accident, Japan’s government could give its nuclear regulatory agency more independence as early as next year, the country’s minister of trade and industry said.

The minister, Banri Kaieda, said the government wanted to separate the agency from his ministry, which is in charge of promoting Japan’s nuclear industry. Cozy ties between government and industry are now widely blamed for allowing the Fukushima Daiichi plant to operate despite inadequate backup power systems or protections against large tsunamis before the devastating earthquake on March 11.

Mr. Kaieda made the vague pledge of reform on Monday in Vienna, during a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the global nuclear watchdog. At the meeting, the head of the I.A.E.A., Yukiya Amano, said that nuclear regulators must be “genuinely independent,” echoing a criticism that his agency has repeatedly made of Japan’s nuclear oversight in the past.

There has also been widespread criticism in Japan that the regulators’ lack of independence contributed to the nation’s clumsy handling of the nuclear accident in the early days of the crisis, when the government largely left the response up to the plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company. Officials in the prime minister’s office have since complained that they were getting inadequate information from not only Tokyo Electric, but also from the ministry and regulators, who seemed to be shielding the company.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/22/world/asia/22japan.html

Mr. Kaieda said spinning off the regulatory body, the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, from the ministry was one of several proposals being considered to strengthen oversight.

The I.A.E.A. has criticized the Japanese agency’s lack of independence several times, most recently in a report completed last week by an investigative team that visited the stricken Fukushima plant in May. In 2007, following an earthquake in another part of Japan that also damaged a different nuclear plant, the international agency called for creating a firewall between regulators and the ministry, which guided the establishment of Japan’s nuclear industry.

Breaking Dawn

http://blog.movies.yahoo.com/blog/1459-first-images-of-breaking-dawn-wedding

‘Twilight’ fans have received an early treat: A new clip of the wedding between Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) has hit the Web.

In the 15-second promo from Breaking Dawn: Part 1, Bella is seen from behind walking down the aisle in the middle of the forest as Edward waits at the altar under a stunning arch of flowers.

Bella’s wedding dress appears to be long-sleeved and fitted at the top; blue and white crystals adorn the top of her veil.

VIDEO: Robert Pattinson: End of ‘Breaking Dawn’ Was an Anticlimax

When it came to the dress, Stewart said she had little say. “It’s such a big deal,” she told MTV News last year. “It’s such a big decision. I have a little hand in having a decision–or having an opinion more–but I think it’s pretty much up to Stephenie [Meyer],” author of the best-selling book series.

In the book, Bella’s dress is described as old-fashioned with a contemporary twist. “You look like you just stepped out of an Austen movie,” Bella’s mother tells her in one passage.

Stewart said she had no doubt the dress would be “beautiful.” 

Summit Sues to Identify Who Tweeted ‘Breaking Dawn’ Pics

The wedding scene “was like a real wedding, in that it was stressful,” co-star Elizabeth Reaser – who plays vampire matriarch Esme Cullen – recently told MTV. “It took a lot of planning, a lot of organization. That was stuff we were all dealing with [and it was like] you were planning a real wedding.

“And the nerves … I mean, there was an added element of nervousness when we were shooting it, maybe because there were helicopters and people jumping out of trees with cameras, but it was definitely a heightened couple of days on set,” she continued, referring to the paparazzi who were trying to snap photos. “It took several days to shoot, and at a certain point you don’t want to be in a corset anymore.”

PHOTO: Edward, Bella Honeymoon Destination

Nevertheless, Reaser said: “It was really magical, and vampires aren’t supposed to cry, and that created a real obstacle for all of us vampires. Seeing Kristen walk down with aisle with [her movie dad] Billy Burke. I mean, seeing Billy Burke killed me. I understood in that moment what it’s like to be a parent and seeing Kristen and see her really be nervous and see Rob really, really be nervous, and the two of them [together with] the families coming together; it was an emotional day for real.”

A longer clip will be played during the MTV Movie Awards, which air Sunday, June 5 at 9 p.m. ET. Saturday Night Live‘s Jason Sudeikis is host.

The Twilight franchise is up for eight awards, including Best Movie, Best Fight and Best Kiss.

Breaking Dawn: Part 1 hits theaters Nov. 18. Part 2 is slated for theaters on Nov. 16, 2012. It will be the last big-screen adaptation of Stephenie Meyer‘s vampire saga series.

http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/journeys-neal-schon-talks-new-album-eclipse-the-sopranos-guitars-and-gear-455206

Neal Schon played mostly Paul Reed Smith guitars on Journey’s new album, Eclipse. © Travis Shinn

“I don’t feel like a guitar hero,” says Journey’s Neal Schon. “It’s flattering when people say nice things about what I do, but really, I’m just another guitar player. There’s so many guys who are much better than me. That’s not false modesty – it’s the truth. In the end, it all comes down to trying to express yourself. If you can establish a signature sound or style, that’s a major feat. I’ve been at this a long time, so hopefully I’ve accomplished those things.”

Since founding Journey in 1973 (this after joining Santana at the tender age of 15!), Schon, whose tenure in the band has been a constant, despite what has sometimes appeared to be a revolving door of members, has done more than carve out a recognizable guitar sound. He’s created a rich catalogue of songs that – pardon the cliche, but it’s entirely fitting here – have become part of the soundtrack of millions of people’s lives across the globe. From proms to weddings to even funerals, Journey songs have played a prominent role.

And as for pop culture, screw the critics, who have hurled brickbats at the group since Day One. That Sopranos finale, the last scene? Fuggedaboudit – unthinkable without Don’t Stop Believin’ playing on the jukebox. Game, set match – Journey won the title of Coolest Band Around without even setting foot on the court.

But here we are in 2011, and Journey (which also includes longtime members Jonathan Cain on keyboards, bassist Ross Valory and drummer Deen Castronovo, along with 2007 YouTube recruit, the Filipino-born singer Arnel Pineda who has tackled the unenviable task of replacing vocalist Steve Perry) have just released Eclipse, their most musically diverse and challenging album since 1983’s Frontiers.

There’s hooks a-plenty on Eclipse (a joint production between Kevin Shirley, Schon and Cain), and yes, there’s a couple of unabashed love tunes, but much of the time the group flips the bird at their reputation as ‘sensitive, power-balladeers,’ dishing out muscular, complex cuts that routinely clock in at well over the five-minute mark.

Which suits Schon just fine. “Eclipse is a Catch-22,” he says. “Most people really love it. Occasionally, I’ll hear a snide remark: ‘Oh, they should’ve stuck to the formula. With a song like Don’t Stop Believin’ being bigger than ever, where’s one of those?’ But that’s the thing: We’ve already done that song. We’ve got a ton of those songs. I don’t feel like sitting in neutral. Right now, there’s pretty much nothing we can’t do. We’re going for it.”

Gearing up for a two-year world tour in support of Eclipse, Neal Schon sat down with MusicRadar to discuss the new album and the state of Journey, which he calls a “very happy, very together unit.” In addition, we chatted guitars and gear and strolled down memory lane to talk about the one song that, in Schon’s words, “just doesn’t go away.” Not that he’s complaining.

Once again, you worked with Kevin Shirley, who is known for his speedy manner in the studio. Does that kind of rapid pace inspire you?

“Not particularly. Kevin is quick, and I’ll be honest, he was a little too quick with me. We don’t take forever in the studio; we don’t waste time. But I don’t like to be rushed. Put it this way: I’d rather spend my days playing in the studio instead of having somebody Pro Tool.

“Actually, the record is co-produced by Kevin, Jonathan and myself. After Kevin split and went to work with Joe Bonamassa, I went in and redid things. I heard what we’d recorded, and I thought we weren’t even close to being done. So I recut quite a few guitars and solos. Arnel sang practically the whole record over again. Then we did more keyboard overdubs and moved string parts around.

“We produced a lot of this record by ourselves. But I was very passionate about it and wanted it to be great, so I stuck with it till the very end. From the mixing to the sequencing, I put in a lot of work. In my opinion, when it was done, it was really done.”

http://new.music.yahoo.com/blogs/realityrocks/422572/why-lauren-alaina-will-outsell-scotty-mccreery/

Scotty McCreery was just declared the 10th “American Idol” winner, but as the past two seasons’ Crystal Bowersox and Adam Lambert can tell you, winning isn’t everything. Both of those runners-up have sold more albums than the respective contestants who beat them, and I have a feeling this season’s runner-up, Lauren Alaina, will continue that pattern when she and Scotty release their albums later this year.

Why, do you ask? Read on.

1) Lauren May Get More Airplay – “Idol” fans loved Scotty, yes, but country radio staffers don’t seem to be quite as enthusiastic. Stark Radio recently reported that country radio broadcasters are already resistant to Scotty; WFRE’s Jess Wright even said, “If Scotty McCreery gets signed, I’m gonna need to change my phone number,” and KUZZ’s Toni-Marie quipped, “I’m calling in sick the day they bring Scotty by on the radio tour.” These same programmers also seemed to think Lauren has a good shot, with the right material and proper handling.

2) Lauren May Get Better Material – For her first single, Universal Records honcho Jimmy Iovine gave her “Like My Mother Does,” a catchy, heartstring-plucking ballad about a young girl’s admiration for her mom. Aw. Scotty, on the other hand, got the grammatically awkward “I Love You This Big,” with a silly chorus a boy might sing to his mom at age 5, not age 17. Were the “Idol” powers-that-be, who clearly wanted a girl winner this year, trying to sabotage him by giving him the weaker song? I don’t know–but I don’t think “I Love You This Big” did him any favors, and if he gets material like that for his first album, those above-mentioned radio programmers aren’t going to change their minds about him.

3) Lauren May Get More Label & Management Support – It’s been proven that if the “Idol” powers-that-be don’t get the winner they wanted, they’ll proceed with their original plans anyway. For instance, Taylor Hicks won Season 5, but all the 19 Entertainment marketing efforts that year went into making Chris Daughtry a star. Way more support was given to Adam Lambert than Kris Allen, and we all see how much effort the “Idol” machine put into launching Lee DeWyze’s career. On this week’s final showdown it was obvious how hard Lauren was pimped over Scotty, and while that attempt failed, that doesn’t mean Lauren won’t get a bigger marketing budget and bigger push later on.

4) Lauren Has More Crossover Potential – Let’s face it, most modern country music nowadays doesn’t sound very country at all, save for a bit of steel guitar buried in the mix and the teeniest hint of twang in the singer’s Pro-Tooled voice. I personally like the fact that Scotty doesn’t try to mix too much pop in his country, and keeps it old-school, hearkening back to the classic hat acts of yore. But Lauren’s poppier style does seem more in tune with today’s country scene. Those radio programmers’ comments cannot be discounted, nor can the fact that two of “Idol’s” most successful alums ever are Carrie Underwood and Kellie Pickler. (Lauren has also been compared to that other mega-selling “Idol” lady, Kelly Clarkson.) Carrie and Lauren’s finale night duet almost seemed like a staged symbolic torch-passing, and Lauren later told reporters backstage that Carrie told her, “Wow, that was incredible. We should take that on the road!” So Lauren has the potential to become Underwood 2.0.

5) Girls Dominate The Charts – The biggest sellers right now are Adele, Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rihanna, and the like, and ladies rule the country charts, too (Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, the female-fronted Lady Antebellum, and of course, Carrie Underwood). Girls don’t tend to do too well on “Idol” anymore–we’ve had four male winners in a row now–but they sure do well in the real world.

Of course, this is no diss on Scotty; he is the superior performer of the two, a real showman, so he may pick up even more diehard (read: record-buying) fans as he headlines the Idols Live Tour this summer. But hopefully getting all the way to “Idol” finale gave Lauren a confidence boost, and the sassy girl we saw back in Nashville, the one who had the guts to challenge Steven Tyler to a “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” duet, will soon reemerge onstage and on record. On “Idol” Lauren sometimes seemed like a butterfly turning back into a caterpillar, as the pressure of competing got to her, but now it’s time for her to her to break out of her cocoon. So don’t rule out Lauren just yet.

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