What realy killed Yasser Arafat, and guess who’s going to be blamed if they don’t find out?

Palestinians: 2 teams to probe Arafat’s death

Investigators from France and Switzerland will conduct parallel probes into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Palestinian officials said Monday. His remains will be exhumed, at a date kept secret, to give each team a chance to draw samples to test for poisoning.


Associated Press

In this May 31 photo, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat pauses during the weekly Muslim Friday prayers in his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.


In this May 31 photo, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat pauses during the weekly Muslim Friday prayers in his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“Suspicions of poisoning surrounding Arafat’s death emerged when a deadly… (October 1, 2012, by sanjuander) MORE
And when they find proof that it was AIDS that killed him will they admit it or… (October 1, 2012, by T Mister) MORE


RAMALLAH, West Bank —Investigators from France and Switzerland will conduct parallel probes into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, Palestinian officials said Monday. His remains will be exhumed, at a date kept secret, to give each team a chance to draw samples to test for poisoning.The two teams are acting separately on behalf of Arafat’s widow Suha Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, who each had misgivings about the other’s investigation.

The push to re-examine Arafat’s 2004 death come after a Swiss lab’s recent discovery of polonium-210, a deadly radioactive isotope, on clothes said to belong to the Palestinian leader. This fueled new suspicions of poisoning.

The French team is composed of criminal investigators acting at the request of Suha Arafat, while the Palestinian Authority invited the Swiss lab to also come to examine the remains of the longtime leader and determine how he died eight years ago. A spokesman for neither team could be reached immediately for comment.

Arafat’s death in a French hospital in November 2004 has remained a mystery for many. While the immediate cause of death was a stroke, the underlying source of an illness he suffered in his final weeks has never been clear, leading to persistent, unproven conspiracy theories that he had cancer, AIDS or was poisoned.

Suha Arafat has long had rocky relations with the Palestinian Authority’s president Mahmoud Abbas, and the probes’ potential to be politically explosive appears to have fueled more distrust. She had asked the Palestinian Authority to suspend any other probe or ensure that it was coordinated with the French investigation. Some Palestinian officials, for their part, said they were unhappy with the way Suha Arafat had forced a foreign investigation on them.

While their probes are separate, the French and Swiss investigators are set to visit the grave together and will only be allowed one chance to draw samples, said Tawfik Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee investigating the death.

“The grave will be opened only one time for the two teams to take the samples,” he said.

That precaution may be part of an attempt by Palestinian officials to keep the exhumation out of the public eye in hopes of avoiding a spectacle.

A senior Palestinian official said the process of digging out Arafat’s remains will be conducted privately. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss plans for the exhumation.

But keeping the event a secret will likely be a challenge. Arafat lies in a giant mausoleum built by the Palestinians outside government headquarters in a central area of Ramallah. The official declined to discuss how the public and media would be kept away.

A date for the exhumation is also being kept under wraps. Tirawi refused to reveal a date, saying only that the teams were working on coordinating their arrival.

Arafat, who was 75, died at a French military hospital on Nov. 11, 2004, two weeks after he was rushed there from his West Bank headquarters with a mysterious illness.

According to French medical records, he had suffered inflammation, jaundice and a blood condition known as disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC, before the stroke.

The records were inconclusive about what brought about the DIC, which has numerous causes including infections, colitis and liver disease. The uncertainty fanned to speculation about the cause of his death, including the possibility of AIDS or poisoning.

Many in the Arab world believe he was killed by Israel, a charge Israel vociferously denies.

Arafat was the face of the Palestinian struggle for independence for four decades and remains a beloved figure in Palestinian society.

Israel viewed him as an obstacle to peace, holding him responsible for the Palestinian uprising that broke out in 2000 and confining him to his headquarters in Ramallah in his final years.


More Girls then boys in the Juvinal system?

Girls and Boys in the Juvenile Justice System:
Are There Differences That Warrant Policy Changes in the Juvenile Justice System?
While girls have historically made up a small percentage of the juvenile justice
population, offending by girls is on the rise. Not only is the overall number of juvenile
delinquency cases for non-violent crimes on the rise, girls are accounting for a larger
proportion of the delinquency pie than they did during the 1980s. While violent crime by
juveniles has decreased overall since 1985, girls are committing more of those offenses
than they did in 1985.

California PaintCare new program for paint recycling was launched today October 19, 2012

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California PaintCare will launch October 19, 2012

Press Release

California is the second state in the U.S. to enact industry-supported, paint stewardship legislation. This model legislation ensures environmentally-responsible management for postconsumer (leftover) architectural paint and relieves local and state governments of the economic burden of postconsumer paint management. PaintCare’s California Program begins October 19, 2012.

Legislation and Regulations
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle)
PaintCare Program Plan
Information for Consumers
Information for Retailers
Information for Manufacturers
Information for Municipal Paint Management Programs
Legislation and State Oversight
California’s PaintCare Program is a result of Assembly Bill 1343 (Huffman), passed in 2010. The legislation is further clarified through regulations. Links to the law, regulations, and to the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) – the state agency overseeing implementation of the paint stewardship law – are provided here:

PaintCare Program Plan
The California Paint Stewardship Law requires manufacturers (either individually or through a stewardship organization such as PaintCare) to design their own stewardship program and present it to CalRecycle in the form of a Program Implementation Plan. The Plan specifies how postconsumer paint will be collected, transported, recycled and processed at its end-of-life, as well as how consumer education and outreach will be done to promote proper purchasing, using up remaining paint, and properly recycling or disposing of unwanted postconsumer paint. CalRecycle approved PaintCare’s Implementation Plan in July 2012. The initial and approved Program Plans are provided here:

Information for Paint Consumers

PaintCare Recovery Fees
Starting October 19, 2012, paint consumers will see the following PaintCare Recovery Fees added to the purchase price of architectural paints and coatings. As described in the section above, these fees will be used to fund all aspects of the paint stewardship program, including postconsumer paint collection, transportation, recycling, public outreach and program administration:

Half pint or less   $ 0.00
More than half pint to 1 less than 1 gallon   $ 0.35
1 gallon   $ 0.75
More than 1 gallon to 5 gallons   $ 1.60

Paint Drop-off Sites
Also beginning October 19, 2012, PaintCare will establish hundreds of retail and municipal postconsumer paint drop-off sites throughout the state. More than 450 sites have expressed interest in servicing as a drop-off site, however not all sites will be set up by October 19. PaintCare will work diligently to set up interested sites as soon as possible, so please check our site locator tool frequently for sites in your area.

Additional Information
The following documents provide additional information about the PaintCare program:

Information for Paint Retailers

Retail Responsibility
The California Paint Stewardship Law requires retailers to (1) include the PaintCare Recovery Fee in the sale price of program products, (2) only sell products registered for the program, and (3) maintain certain records for three years. More details are provided here:

1. Add Assessment Fee: Manufacturer must add the following Recovery Fees to their wholesale price of paint. Retailers much ensure these fees stay on the program product and are passed down to the consumer.

Half pint or less   $ 0.00
More than half pint to 1 less than 1 gallon   $ 0.35
1 gallon   $ 0.75
More than 1 gallon to 5 gallons   $ 1.60

The following poster can be downloaded and displayed in your store to assist with consumer education.

2. Sell Registered Brands: Make sure you are not selling unregistered architectural paint brands. Please note that the following manufacturer and brand lists are regularly updated. If you do not see a manufacturer or brand sold in your store on this list, please contact PaintCare at (202) 719-3683.

3. Maintain Required Records. Retailer must maintain required records. CalRecycle has the right to inspect these records to ensure compliance with the Paint Stewardship Law. Records must be retained by retailers for three years. Specifically, retailers must provide access to records on all architectural paint sold or offered for sale in the state including:

  1. The manufacturer of the paint;
  2. The date(s) the retailer purchased the paint from the manufacturer; and
  3. The date(s) the retailer sold the paint.

CalRecycle does not specify the form or method of documentation; retailers may maintain this information in any way they believe will verify compliance in the event of a review by CalRecycle.

CalRecycle may use a variety of mechanisms to verify retailer compliance, including, but not limited to program awareness, physical inspection, product review, and inspection of records as noted above.

CalRecycle has stated that it takes a progressive enforcement approach, with education being the first step in the case of non-compliance. CalRecycle staff can be reached at paint@calrecycle.ca.gov

Program Factsheets
The following factsheets provide additional information about program requirements for retailers:

Becoming a Paint Drop-off Site
Retailers may volunteer to be a paint drop-off site for residents and certain businesses in their community. To learn more about this, please see the following factsheet and sign-up form, and review the material under the next subsection (Drop-off Site Materials).

Drop-off Site Materials
PaintCare provides the following materials to drop-off sites as part of their training. Updates are made to these materials from time to time, and may be downloaded as needed.

Point-of-Sale (POS) Materials
All California paint retailers were mailed a starting packet of POS Trifold Brochures and POS Mini Cards prior to the California program launch. To order additional quantities please fill out the order form provided here. To discuss co-branding opportunities, please contact PaintCare at (202) 719-3694. Also available for downloading are bill inserts to notify business customers of the PaintCare program.

Retail Webinars
Webinars were held in August 2012 to provide California paint retailers an overview of the new California Paint Stewardship Law and to discuss the responsibilities and opportunities for paint retailers. A copy of the presentation is posted here.

Additional webinars are schedule for October and November. To register, please see the dates below:

Information for Manufacturers of Architectural Coatings

State Compliance
By participating in the PaintCare Program, you will fulfill your obligations of the California Paint Stewardship law. The PaintCare program is funded by a per-can assessment fee (“PaintCare Recovery Fee”) paid by architectural paint manufacturers to PaintCare based on their sales in California. The fees fund all aspects of the required program. The following factsheet provide additional information about the California Paint Stewardship Law and PaintCare program.

PaintCare Registration
To register your company and paint brands with PaintCare, please fill out the following form and return as instructed. Following submittal of the form, PaintCare will update its registered manufacturer and brand lists and provide the update to CalRecycle. You will also receive a response from PaintCare with information on how to establish a confidential on-line profile for sales reporting and Recovery Fee remittance.

Registered Manufacturers and Brands
PaintCare maintains a list of registered manufacturers and brands. After October 19, 2012, brands not registered with the PaintCare program may not be sold in California. Retailers use these lists to verify that they are only selling registered architectural coatings. CalRecycle uses these lists to conduct compliance audits and enforcement.

Remitter Agreement
Agreements may be used to transfer the payment function from the manufacturer to a distributor or retailer. The following factsheet details how and under what circumstances a Remitter Agreement may be used, and why the agreement may be helpful in a complex distribution chain. There are two types of Remitter Agreements – one that moves the reporting and fee remittance function from a manufacturer to a retailer or distributor, and one that moves it from the distributor to a retailer – both are provided below.

Information for Municipal Paint Management Programs

Letter of Interest
PaintCare welcomes partnerships with household hazardous waste collection programs, transfer stations, retailers and other convenient paint collection sites for the public. To establish a partnership, please begin by completing the following Letter of Interest and submit it to info@paintcare.org.

Municipal Drop-off Site Contract

Once a letter of interest has been submitted to PaintCare, contract negotiations may begin. The following model contract describes the participation requirements and partnership opportunities. PaintCare covers the cost of paint storage bins, paint transportation and recycling, and public outreach and education. There is no monetary compensation for serving as a drop-off site; however, compensation may be negotiated for additional services provided beyond serving as a drop-off site (see Attachment C of the contract for a list of services). If you have any question about the model contract, please contact PaintCare at (202) 719-3683 or by email at info@paintcare.org.

In partnership with the California Product Stewardship Council PaintCare held a series of webinars in 2012 for municipal agencies. The webinars covered how household hazardous waste facilities, transfer stations, landfills, public works yards, ABOPs (Recycle-only facilities) and other non- retail sites can become PaintCare drop-off sites. To view presentations and Questions & Answers from these webinars, please go to PaintCare Webinars. Additional webinars will be held in the Fall of 2012. Updates will be posted here.

new sanctions now on medical supplies on Iran, putting civilians life at risk

Iran sanctions ‘putting millions of lives at risk’
Western sanctions hitting import of medicines for diseases including multiple sclerosis and cancer, charity warns
from the UK Guardian by Saeed Kamali Dehghan
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 17 October 2012 18.05 BST Ban Ki-moon has warned the UN that humanitarian operations in Iran are being hampered because of economic canctions. Photograph: Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty
Millions of lives are at risk inIranbecause western economic sanctions are hitting the importingof medicines and hospital equipment, the country’s top medical charity has warned.Fatemeh Hashemi, head of the Charity Foundation for Special Diseases, a non-governmentorganisation supporting six million patients in Iran, has complained about a serious shortage of medicines for a number of diseases such as haemophilia, multiple sclerosis and cancer.Sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme are not directly targeting hospitals but measuresimposed on banks and trade restrictions have made life difficult for patients, according toHashemi, the daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Two of her siblings are in prison on separate anti-state charges.”More than anything else, we have a lack of medicines for patients suffering from cancer andmultiple sclerosis,” Hashemi told the conservative website Tabnak. “Those with thalassaemia or in need of dialysis are facing difficulties too – all because of sanctions against banks or problemswith transferring foreign currency.”
Iran’s central bank, the only official channel for Iranians to transfer money abroad, is a major target of the sanctions. Ordinary Iranians, including academics thereforehave no way of payingfor services overseas, such as booking a hotel or subscribing to international journals.Although foreign providers are not legally bound to refuse services to Iranians, they err on thesafe side for fear of getting into trouble. Many Iranian Britons or Iranian Americans living in thewest have complained they have had their credit accounts closed even though they have noconnection with the Iranian regime or, in some cases, when they are allied with the opposition.In midsummer, Hashemi wrote to United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon calling on himto intervene for the health of Iranian patients who, she said, have had “their basic human right”taken away from them because of sanctions.Earlier this month, it emerged Ban had warned the UN in a report that humanitarian operations inIran were being harmed because of sanctions.”The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on thegeneral population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs,an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine,”he said.”The sanctions also appear to be affecting humanitarian operations in the country,” he wrote.”Even companies that have obtained the requisite licence to import food and medicine are facingdifficulties in finding third-country banks to process the transactions.”Mozhgan Elmipour, the mother of a four-year-old Iranian girl who was brought to London fromTehran for a life-saving surgery on her oesophagus, said: “Iranian hospitals have seriousdifficulties because of sanctions and not everyone in the country is as lucky as my daughter to beable to afford to come here.”Rojan Pirsalehi, whose oesophagus was damaged after swallowing a battery at the age of two, is being treated at Great Ormond Street hospital in London.Her parents could not afford to bring her to the UK but thanks to a media campaign in Iran andhelp from the Iranian government enough funds were raised. The UK government facilitated her  journey to London by granting visas to her family.The Guardian initially highlighted her caseinJune.A Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We’ve been clear that financial sanctions against Iran arenot intended to affect humanitarian goods and payments. That’s why the UK argued for andsecured specific exemptions to allow humanitarian transactions to take place.”The spokesperson added: “Whilst it is true that sanctions are having an impact on the Iranian population, this is compounded by the Iranian government’s economic mismanagement. Iran’sleaders are responsible for any impact on their people and can make the choices which would bring sanctions to an end.”

Western sanctions targeting sectors from banking to trade and energy are aimed at forcing Iran’sleaders to comply with their international obligations on nuclear activities.Tehran’s leaders have remained defiant against six UN security council resolutions calling onthem to halt enrichment of uranium and they have refused to co-operate fully with theInternational Atomic Energy Agency over their nuclear program

Taliban gunmen shot teen activist, her crime?….wanting access to a school to learn a trade.

Taliban attack wounds teen activist blogger

By Shaan Khan, CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Malala Yousufzai’s courageous blogging against the Taliban set her apart from other 14-year-old Pakistani girls.

Growing up in a region once dominated by the Islamic extremists, she knew the fear associated with the word Taliban.

One of her fears came to pass Tuesday, when gunmen sought her out and opened fire on her school van, leaving her seriously wounded along with two other classmates.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, Taliban spokesman Ihsnaullah Ishan told CNN. Ishan blamed the shooting on Malala’s activist blogging.

Although she is now hospitalized in stable condition and “out of immediate danger,” a bullet is lodged in Malala’s neck and will be difficult to remove, her doctor said.

The attack began when armed militants stopped a van as it was taking her and two other girls home from school. The attackers asked which girl was Malala, said Kainat Bibi, one of the wounded girls. When the girls pointed Malala out, the men opened fire, Bibi said, wounding the girls before the van’s driver was able to speed away. The other two girls’ injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Malala lives in northwest Pakistan’s Swat Valley — one of the nation’s most conservative regions. Her frustration with the Taliban’s restrictions on female education in her town prompted her to use the Internet and speak out, effectively making herself a target.

She reached out to the outside world online, taking a stand by writing about her daily battle with extremist militants who used fear and intimidation to force girls to stay at home.

“I had a terrible dream yesterday with military helicopters and the Taliban,” she wrote in January 2009. “I have had such dreams since the launch of the military operation in Swat. My mother made me breakfast and I went off to school. I was afraid going to school because the Taliban had issued an edict banning all girls from attending schools.”

Malala’s shooting has sparked national outrage — forcing Pakistanis to take a harsh look at how extremist elements are shaping the nation. “Our society is going through a very critical phase,” said Aazadi Fateh Muhammad, a professor of mass communications at Federal Urdu University Karachi, in an e-mail to CNN. “Civil society and civilians are in a war with militants and terrorists in every part of the region.”

The attack on Malala, Muhammad said, is an example of this war. “Dark hands,” she said, tried to attack Malala’s cause, “but it will discourage many others who are fighting for light.”

Read Malala’s blog here

The Taliban controlled Malala’s valley for years until 2009, when the military cleared it in an operation that also evacuated thousands of families.

Last year, Malala told CNN she feared “being beheaded by the Taliban because of my passion for education. During their rule, the Taliban used to march into our houses to check whether we were studying or watching television.”

She described how she used to hide her books under her bed, fearing a house search by the Taliban.

Malala’s online writing against the Taliban led to her being awarded Pakistan’s first National Peace Prize last November. Former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani directed Pakistan’s Cabinet to award the prize each year to a child under 18 who contributes to peace and education.

President Asif Ali Zardari strongly condemned the attack, which prompted outrage among residents on local media sites. Also condemning the attack was Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who spoke with Malala’s father on the phone Tuesday, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

Read more: Taliban’s vaccination ban may affect 280,000 children

Journalists Nasir Habib and Noreen Shams contributed to this report.

7 Fundraising Tips to Help Nonprofits Weather the Recession

Fundraising in a Recession

by Joanne Fritz

Yes, we agree that “desperate times require desperate measures,” but we also like the saying, “don’t let them see you sweat.”

Marc A. Pitman, author of Ask Without Fear!, has written that fundraisers need to avoid these “deadly” mistakes during a recession:

  • spend less on fundraising
  • become pessimistic
  • apologize when you’re asking

In that spirit we offer these suggestions:

1. Don’t become or sound desperate.

Instead, emphasize to your donors that every year, good or bad, your needs continue. Don’t talk about grand plans for expansion, but do talk about solid plans for today. Don’t lose your enthusiasm and optimism about your cause. Donors will notice and pull back if they think that you, the fundraiser, has doubts.

If your organization is in human services and the need for those services increases during a recession, let the public know. Emphasize that your organization’s survival is crucial because of the clients you serve. Tell your client’s stories but not in a desperate way that demeans them. Show their strength in the face of diversity and invite your supporters to help them.

2. Prove that you are responsible.

Let your donors know that you are doing your part by being fiscally responsible. Cut costs where you can, make sure you have good controls in place, and that you are examining marginal programs for possible deletion. Keep your money safe by making sure it is in FDIC insured banks. Avoid non-insured investments.

3. Don’t give up on your corporate and cause-marketing activities.

Gifts may decrease, but keep your corporate contacts strong. It is very hard to get back on the corporate charitable list if you are dropped. Avoid this by staying visible, and keep cultivating your contacts within the company. Likewise, don’t give up on cause-related marketing. Companies are finding that these activities pay off for them with consumer loyalty.

Remember too that just because a company’s stock price has been depressed doesn’t mean that it is not a strong company. Look at the balance sheet to identify companies that are in a good position, and that will likely come back strong from the economic meltdown.

4. Diversify your funding sources by identifying all types of financial support.

Avoid depending on one or two major donors or foundations. Most charitable giving is made up of small donations. If you are not doing direct mail to a large base of supporters, start working toward doing so.

Use the Internet to reach more people. The cost is low so that donations can be smaller. Those add up quickly. Explore payment options with low transaction costs and online donation sites.

5. Put your fundraising programs under the microscope.

Determine which fundraising programs work best and are the most efficient in terms of resources. Then cut the least efficient ones and shift those resources to the ones that are doing the most good.

Maybe that big special event eats up precious time and resources for very little return. Or the product sale you started last year just doesn’t seem worth the time and effort. But, don’t let the money and volunteer time you use in those efforts just dissipate. Put them to use by expanding the annual campaign or making more major donor calls or doing another planned giving seminar.

6. Don’t pull the plug on major campaigns, but do slow down.

If you were starting a capital campaign (or endowment campaign) when the economic crisis hit, don’t stop. But do slow down. Recognize that getting those lead gifts in the size you want will take longer and be dependent on how the economy is doing.

If you ask for a multi-year gift, and the donor resists, fall back to asking for part of that gift now, and plan to go back later for the rest. Donors are understandably shy about making long-term commitments in this economic environment.

7. Keep up your marketing and PR.

Building buzz about your good work will help you with your donors. The more they know and see your name about, the more likely they are to contribute to your cause. Got PR professionals on your board or committees? Seek their advice before you launch anything big. Let them organize a PR/Marketing Committee that might bring in other professionals to help. See if their firms can do pro bono work or work at a discount. This kind of help is really priceless.