MAJOR FAiL! Lebanon issues jail sentence for tweet insulting president – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Assy added that he wrote his famous tweets “because he felt provoked after the army was attacked in Arsal.”

“My brother is a soldier, and I felt that the president was not playing his role to protect the army. On the contrary, he sent people to negotiate with the army’s attackers. I am not saying insults are the right way to go, but why insist on trying me when people who are publicly inciting murder and bloodshed of the innocent are left alone? Why is the government afraid of the tweets of Ahmad al-Assir and Fadel Shaker, but is acting all tough on my tweets? Why is the president preoccupied with my case, while he has much bigger fish to fry that is of concern to the Lebanese? I am an ideal citizen. I don’t even have a speeding ticket, and I have never broken the law. I will not accept to be imprisoned in the same cell as terrorist bombers,” Assy stated.

via Lebanon issues jail sentence for tweet insulting president – Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East.

Arab Donald Duck Quacks No More After Anti-Israeli Tweet


In Egypt, it appears the voice of Donald Duck may also be the voice of the people. Wael Mansour, the young Cairo resident who voiced Donald in Arabic dubs of Disney cartoons, lost his job over a post on Twitter calling for Israel to be “demolished.” The episode has unfolded at the intersection of popular culture and social media, bringing instant fame to a buff young voice artist in a country where anti-Israel sentiments are still embedded in the population 35 years after leaders of the two countries made formal peace. The last reminder came in September 2011 when rioters breached the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Mansour announced his dismissal in a Feb. 6 Tweet, punctuating the news with a single word: “Proud.” By the next day, he was celebrating his 5,000th follower. By Wednesday the total had tripled to 30,000.  His most recent post linked to a Lebanese…

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Paula Deen Plots $75M Comeback

“Interesting – racist to get support from firm whose CEO is Vice Chairman for the Phoenix Suns and an A Governor on the board of the National Basketball Association. So indirectly the NBA and Phoenix Suns will be investing in racism?”

Paula Deen has found a key ingredient to bringing some sizzle back to her career — a cash infusion worth at least $75 million from a private investment firm.

The Savannah-based celebrity cook announced Wednesday that she’s launched an umbrella company that will oversee her restaurants, cookbooks, product endorsements and other remaining slices of her media empire. The new company, called Paula Deen Ventures, said private-equity firm Najafi Companies is investing $75 million to $100 million to help Deen make a comeback.

Deen’s fortunes took a dive last year after comments she made under oath during proceedings in a lawsuit, namely that she had used racial slurs in the past, became public. The Food Network dropped Deen, as did pork producer Smithfield Foods, book publisher Ballantine and several other companies that paid her to endorse their products.

via Paula Deen Plots $75M Comeback.

Avian Flu Diary: Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported H7N9

We have met the enemy who will perhaps spread a world pandemic that may kill half or more of the human race – It is us!

Last month, in Start Spreading the Flus, we talked about the potential downsides of using antipyretic meds (ibuprofen, acetaminophen or paracetamol, etc) when experiencing flu-like symptoms, as they can lull one into going to work or school, or even on vacation, and end up exposing others to the virus.

In 2009, in Vietnam Discovers Passengers Beating Thermal Scanners we looked at reports of people using fever reducing meds to evade airline passenger screening during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
When the bills have to be paid, a deadline has to be met, or a long-planned vacation is at risk, most people will try to find a way to fight through what they believe is a `minor’ viral infection.
And while penny wise and  pound foolish, society tends to reward perfect attendance and `toughing it out’ when sick, while punishing those who follow the advice of medical authorities to `stay home’ when sick.  All of which conspires to make it virtually impossible to stop even a moderately infectious respiratory virus from spreading rapidly in a susceptible population.


Avian Flu Diary: Malaysian MOH Statement On Imported H7N9.

Amazon CARES: Deforestation of Peru’s Rainforest Threatens The Amazon & The World

But now, the Romero Group, a wealthy and powerful conglomerate of several international corporations, has started to destroy the Amazon rainforest at an accelerated pace. They are planning to destroy as much as 43million acres (18 million hectares) of our forests, to create palm oil plantations.

via Amazon CARES: Deforestation of Peru’s Rainforest Threatens The Amazon & The World.

Top 10 states dependent on federal aid are Republican-led | Latina Lista

Oklahoma ranks seventh in the nation in its reliance on federal funding to supplement state revenue, according to calculations by State Treasurer Ken Miller.

Of each dollar spent by Oklahoma government during the 2011 fiscal year, more than 43 cents was provided by the federal government, Miller said in his latest Oklahoma Economic Report, released Friday.

Only six states relied more on federal funds. In Mississippi, almost 53 cents of every dollar spent came from the feds. At the other end of the spectrum, the federal government provided less than 10 cents of every dollar spent in Connecticut…

via Top 10 states dependent on federal aid are Republican-led | Latina Lista.

Tim’s El Salvador Blog: News drone covered El Salvador election

What’s that buzzing I hear as I line up to vote for president?   Last week El Salvador’s La Prensa Grafica newspaper and media outlet used a remote drone-mounted camera to provide scenes from El Salvador’s elections.  As reported on one website:

During El Salvador’s recent presidential elections, Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Gráfica found a unique angle from the skies. LPG used a quadcopter to capture scenes on voting day as voters flocked to the polls in the Central American country. It’s fascinating to see drones find more acceptance in journalism, but the story also serves to highlight the fact that US journalists currently are barred from doing the same thing.

via Tim’s El Salvador Blog: News drone covered El Salvador election.

Brother and Sister Confirmed First Two Deaths from Bird Flu This Year

Two siblings from Kratie province have died from bird flu, the first cases in the country for 2014, health officials confirmed Wednesday.

The boy, 8, and girl, 2, were brought to the Kampong Cham provincial hospital on Feb. 7, after falling ill with fever, sore throat and runny nose on Jan. 31, the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization said. They died in the hospital on the same day.

About 350 birds died from the H5N1 virus, also known as avian influenza, in their home village in mid-January, officials said. The children had contact with dead birds that were being prepared for cooking.

Sok Touch, head of the Ministry of Health’s communicable disease department, said the boy tested positive for the H5N1 virus, but his sister perished before she could be tested.

via Brother and Sister Confirmed First Two Deaths from Bird Flu This Year.