Venus makes last in a lifetime move across face of sun

(Reuters) – The planet Venus made a slow transit across the face of the sun on Tuesday, the last such passing that will be visible from Earth for 105 years.

Transits of Venus happen in pairs, eight years apart, with more than a century between cycles. During Tuesday’s pass, Venus took the form of a small black dot slowly shifting across the northern hemisphere of the sun.

Armchair astronomers watched the six-hour and 40-minute transit on the Internet, with dozens of websites offering live video from around the world.

Closeup views from the Prescott Observatory in Arizona, fed into’s webcast, showed a small solar flaring in the making just beneath Venus’ sphere.

Tuesday’s transit, completing a 2004-2012 pair, began at 6:09 p.m. EDT (2209 GMT).

Skywatchers on seven continents, including Antarctica, were able to see all or part of the transit. Even astronauts aboard the International Space Station joined in the spectacle.

“I’ve been planning this for a while,” space station flight engineer Don Pettit said in a NASA interview. “I knew the transit of Venus would occur during my rotation, so I brought a solar filter with me.”

It’s not all about pretty pictures. Several science experiments were planned, including studies that could help in the search for habitable planets beyond Earth.

Telescopes, such as NASA’s Kepler space telescope, are being used to find so-called extrasolar planets that pass in front of their parent stars, much like Venus passing by the sun.

During the transit of Venus, astronomers planned to measure the planet’s thick atmosphere in the hope of developing techniques to measure atmospheres around other planets.

Studies of the atmosphere of Venus could also shed light on why Earth and Venus, which are almost exactly the same size and orbit approximately the same distance from the sun, are so different.

Venus has a chokingly dense atmosphere, 100 times thicker than Earth’s, that is mostly carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

Its surface temperature is a lead-melting 900 degrees Fahrenheit (480 degrees Celsius) and towering clouds of sulfuric acid jet around the planet at 220 miles per hour dousing it with acid rain.

“Venus is known as the goddess of love, but it’s not the type of relationship you’d want,” an astronomer said on the webcast. “This is a look-but-don’t-touch kind of relationship.”

Scientists are interested in learning more about Venus’ climate in hopes of understanding changes in Earth’s atmosphere.

During previous transits of Venus, scientists were able to figure out the size of the solar system and the distance between the sun and the planets.

Tuesday’s transit is only the eighth since the invention of the telescope, and the last until December 10-11, 2117. It also is the first to take place with a spacecraft at Venus.

Observations from Europe’s Venus Express probe will be compared with those made by several ground and space-based telescopes, including NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, the joint U.S.-European Solar and Heliospheric Observatory and Japan’s Hinode spacecraft.

(Editing By Cynthia Johnston and David Brunnstrom)

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The wealth of nations

An alternative approach to measuring national well-being

GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT, better known by its initials, GDP, has been economists’ chosen measure of a nation’s well-being for over 70 years. But it has limitations; it takes no account of environmental degradation and excludes unpaid services such as volunteering and housework, for example. In the words of Bobby Kennedy, speaking in 1968, “it measures everything…except that which makes life worthwhile.” In an attempt to address these shortcomings the OECD, a mainly rich-country think-tank, has created the “Better-Life” index. Now in its second year, the index uses 24 variables (which include both hard data and survey data) across 11 sectors to create a measure of welfare for 34 of its member countries, plus Brazil and Russia. The Economist has grouped these 11 sectors into four broader categories. America excels most in money and jobs, Switzerland in health and education. This year the OECD has adjusted the index for equality to give an estimate for the top and bottom 20% of each country’s population. America scores particularly poorly on this account, with the bottom 20% having an index score some 25% below that of the top 20%.

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Cindy Cindy – Rio Bravo Ricky Nelson

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أنباء غير مؤكدة عن مقتل الرجل الثاني في القاعدة

أبو يحيى الليبي

دبي – ياسر محمد علي، العربية.نت
قال مسؤولون بالمخابرات الباكستانية اليوم الثلاثاء إن أبو يحيى الليبي أحد أكبر المخططين في تنظيم القاعدة، والرجل الثاني بعد زعيم التنظيم أيمن الظواهري، ربما قتل في هجوم شنته طائرة بدون طيار في شمال غرب باكستان.

وإذا تأكدت وفاته فإنها ستكون أكبر ضربة توجه إلى القاعدة منذ أن قتلت قوات أمريكية خاصة أسامة بن لادن في غارة سرية في باكستان في مايو أيار 2011، وفق وكالة “رويترز”.

وقالت مصادر أمريكية إن الليبي، وهو رجل دين ليبي يحمل درجة علمية في الكيمياء نجا من هجمات سابقة نفذتها طائرات بدون طيار، كان هدفا لضربة شنت في وقت مبكر من أمس الاثنين في منطقة شمال وزيرستان القبلية.

ووصف مسؤولون أمريكيون الليبي، واسمه الحقيقي محمد حسن قائد، بأنه الرجل الثاني بعد الظواهري الطبيب المصري الذي تولى زعامة القاعدة بعد وفاة بن لادن.

وأبلغ مسؤولو استخبارات باكستانيون رويترز أنهم يعتقدون أن الليبي كان بين سبعة متشددين أجانب قتلوا في هجوم الاثنين.
من هو أبو يحيى الليبي؟
وأبو يحيى الليبي هو أحد 4 فروا من سجن باغرام الأمريكي في أفغانستان صيف العام 2005.

نجم أبو يحيى الليبي، ابن 49 عاماً، صعد سريعاً بعد سنة واحدة من الهروب الكبير من السجن شديد الحراسة، وهو في الأصل قاعدة عسكرية رئيسة للجيش الأمريكي في أفغانستان.

انضم الليبي إلى مجموعة يقودها سلفه أبو الليث الليبي، وتحول سريعاً إلى المنظر الشرعي للتنظيم، وأصدر العديد من التسجيلات المرئية والصوتية المطولة، قدمها بطابع ديني يبيح فيها القتال والقتل في أفغانستان وباكستان والسعودية والصومال.

بداية الليبي كانت من علاقته بالجماعة الإسلامية المقاتلة، التي نشطت قبل عقدين في ليبيا، ومن ثم انتقل إلى موريتانيا، طلباً للعلم الشرعي، وفيها تزوج وأنجب عدداً من الأبناء، قبل أن ينتقل إلى أفغانستان، ويعتقل بعد سقوط نظام طالبان.

ورغم أهميته داخل التنظيم إلا أن قيمة رأسه عند الاستخبارات الأمريكية لم يتجاوز نصف مليون دولار، هي المكافأة المعلنة لمن يدلي بمعلومات تقود إليه.

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Top al Qaeda strategist may have been killed in Pakistan

By Jibran Ahmad and Saud Mehsud
PESHAWAR/DERA ISMAIL KHAN | Tue Jun 5, 2012 10:11am EDT
(Reuters) – Abu Yahya al-Libi, one of al Qaeda’s top strategists and seen as the most prominent figure in the network after leader Ayman al Zawahri, may have been killed in a drone strike in Pakistan, Pakistani intelligence officials said on Tuesday.

Abu Yahya al-Libi
If his death is confirmed it would be the biggest blow to al Qaeda since U.S. special forces killed Osama bin Laden in a secret raid in Pakistan in May 2011.

The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan, stepped up under the administration of President Barack Obama, has made the South Asian nation a perilous place for al Qaeda.

If a drone strike did kill Libi, it would bolster the American argument that the unmanned aircraft are a highly effective weapon against militants.

The United States has also escalated drone strikes against al Qaeda figures in Yemen, where militants gained a foothold during a popular uprising against former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The pressure may encourage al Qaeda to seek new havens in areas where it has come under less scrutiny. A growing number of experts point to an influx of militants into Mali, for instance.

U.S. sources said Libi, a Libyan cleric with a degree in chemistry who has survived previous attacks by drones, was a target of a strike early on Monday in northwest Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region, home to some of the world’s most notorious militant groups.

Sajjan Gohel, chief executive of the Asia-Pacific Foundation security research consultancy, said Libi was one of the few remaining key figures within al Qaeda’s core.

“Libi has also been at the centre of al Qaeda’s plans to reconstitute itself and try and remount a trans-national terror campaign. This is one of the reasons he was viewed as a high value target,” he told Reuters by email.

Some U.S. officials describe Libi, whose real name is Mohamed Hassan Qaid, as number two to Zawahri, the Egyptian doctor who took over al Qaeda after bin Laden’s death.

Diplomats and some Pakistani intelligence officials say funding for al Qaeda in Pakistan dried up after Bin Laden’s death, forcing some fighters to return to their home countries, mostly in the Arab world.

Still, some analysts say the death of an al Qaeda leader does not necessarily spell disaster for the group, arguing it is de-centralized and offers inspiration to militants and not just logistical support or financing.

“Even if he’s killed it doesn’t matter much to the organization as long as Dr Zawahri remains alive,” said Imtiaz Gul, author “The Most Dangerous Place”, a book about the lawless border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Drone strikes have undoubtedly made it more difficult for al Qaeda leaders and fighters to operate along the border.

Pakistan says that while the CIA-run drone campaign has some advantages, it fuels anti-American sentiment and is counterproductive because of collateral damage.

Drones are a sticking point in talks between the United States and Pakistan aimed at repairing ties damaged by a series of issues, including the recent imprisonment of the Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA hunt down bin Laden.

Pakistan on Tuesday summoned the U.S. charge d’affaires to the Foreign Ministry to convey its “serious concerns” over drone strikes, the ministry said in a statement.

Pakistani intelligence officials told Reuters they believe Libi, which means Libyan in Arabic, may have been among seven foreign militants killed in Monday’s strike by a drone aircraft.

One of the officials said Pakistani authorities had intercepted telephone chatter about Libi, an al Qaeda theologian and expert on new media whose escape from a U.S.-run prison in Afghanistan in 2005 made him famous in al Qaeda circles.

“We intercepted some conversations between militants. They were talking about the death of a ‘sheikh’,” one of the Pakistani intelligence officials said, referring to the title given to senior religious leaders.

“They did not name this person but we have checked with our sources in the area and believe they are referring to Libi.”

The intelligence official said according to informants, Libi was seriously wounded in the strike and was taken to a private hospital where he died.


But a militant commander in North Waziristan closely associated with foreign fighters said Libi ad not been killed.

“This is not the first time claims have been made about his death. The Americans are suffering heavy losses in Afghanistan so they have resorted to making false claims,” he said.

It can take months to confirm whether drone strikes have killed an Islamist militant leader because the area of the attack is often sealed off by the Taliban in the lawless northwest of Pakistan.

Residents of the village where Pakistani intelligence officials says Libi may have been killed, Hesokhel, noted an unusually high number of militants gathered there after the drone strike and they kept people away.

“They usually bury the bodies after a drone strike in the nearest graveyard,” said one of the villagers, describing the aftermath of previous strikes in the area. “This time they put all the bodies in their cars and took them away.”

A senior Taliban commander in North Waziristan said Libi had been living in Pakistan near the Afghan border since 2005 when he escaped along with three cell mates from the Bagram military base north of Kabul, where U.S. forces run what is considered the most secure U.S. prison in Afghanistan.


For the United States, Libi is one of al Qaeda’s most dangerous figures. In September last year, the United States Treasury imposed financial sanctions against him. It said Libi, in his late 40s, released 68 public messages on al Qaeda’s behalf and was second in visibility only to Zawahri.

Recently released letters written by bin Laden and captured during the U.S. raid in which he was killed last year show Libi to have been one of a handful of al Qaeda officials relied upon by bin Laden to argue al Qaeda’s case to a worldwide audience of militants, in particular to the young.

Believed to have received more theological training than either bin Laden or Zawahri, Libi has a reputation as a man of action, a jihadi scholar and a populist propagandist.

He was also a unifying figure in al Qaeda, said Gohel.

“There has often been a terse relationship between the Libyan and Egyptian factions within al-Qaeda and it is believed that Libi had bridged that gap,” said Gohel.

“His death ‘if confirmed’ will be another significant blow to al-Qaeda and another example that the controversial drone strike policy is working.”

A Western expert on al-Libi, U.S. scholar Jarret Brachman, wrote on his blog: “If true (Libi’s death), (this would be) a cataclysmic blow to the future of al-Qaeda’s General Command. For my money, there’s no recovering from this one.”

Libi, reportedly born in 1963, made repeated appearances on al Qaeda videos and wrote prolifically, becoming one of the group’s most prominent media warriors.

Brachman, also a biographer, says Libi was seen as having made al Qaeda “cool” for a younger generation.

(Additional reporting by Mark Hosenball in WASHINGTON and William Maclean in LONDON; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Video: First Test Flight for Military’s Mega-Drone

Up, up, and very far away.

At least, that’s the U.S. military’s eventual goal for Phantom Eye — a ginormous, hydrogen-powered uber-drone. The vehicle, manufactured by Boeing and designed as a huge surveillance tool, performed its first test flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center last week, the company announced on Monday.

But Phantom Eye, which boasts a mammoth 150-foot wingspan, isn’t soaring to great heights just quite yet. During last week’s test, shown in the video above, the mega-drone reached an altitude of 4,080 feet and stayed airborne for a total of 28 minutes, reaching a cruising speed of 62 knots.

That’s a far cry from what the military wants the drone to eventually do. Phantom Eye is supposed to reach a maximum altitude of 65,000 feet and stay aloft for up to 96 hours — that is, four whole days — at speeds reaching 150 knots. That would make the flying spy the biggest and longest-loitering drone the United States has. (Don’t worry, it’s not armed.)

The Phantom Eye’s size means the drone can be loaded up with a whopping 450 lbs. of sensors and cameras — which will come in handy for toting the military’s forthcoming spy gear, like Gorgon Stare, designed to spy on “city-size” areas, or the Army’s ARGUS sensor, which collects the equivalent of 79.8 years of video footage each day. Combine that capacity with a lengthy loiter time, and you’ve got a high-flying spy system that can peek on entire cities for days at a time.

Phantom Eye’s flight debut was a small step forward for the ambitious drone, which Boeing first introduced in 2010. But the test wasn’t flawless — the giant spy machine sustained a broken landing gear upon touchdown. This isn’t the first time the mega-drone has encountered technical difficulty. Although Boeing initially planned to test-fly the Phantom Eye in 2011, that date was pushed back because of unspecified tech concerns.

Not to mention that, in 2010, the company aspired to an initial test flight of 8 hours. Last year, company officials told Danger Room that the Phantom Eye’s first flight had been scaled back to “maybe two to four hours.” Obviously, those goals are both far cries what Phantom Eye ended up accomplishing: 28 minutes in the air.

Of course, that’s what testing is for, and in any event, Phantom Eye is years away from actual military use. Still, it’s a little unclear what value a gigantic drone has, given that Congress is pushing the Air Force to deploy giant spy-blimps, which can lug even more spy gear while loitering for longer periods of time. But the blimps are technically complex and expensive, and the Air Force is getting cold feet about them.

Whether blimp-crazed politicians like it or not, Phantom Eye might turn out to be the military’s long-distance surveillance champ.

Video: Boeing

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Hurray for Ikhwan girls with a hejab الحجاب يا هلا لفتيات الإخوان

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Coca-Cola Advertising Slogans from 1886 – 2005

Drink Coca-Cola

Delicious and refreshing
For headache and exhaustion, drink Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a delightful, palatable, healthful beverage
Coca-Cola satisfies
Delicious and Refreshing
Drink Coca-Cola in bottles – 5¢

Drink a bottle of carbonated Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola revives and sustains
Drink Coca-Cola at soda fountains
The favorite drink for ladies when thirsty, weary, and despondent
Good all the way down
Flows from every fountain
Sold in bottles

The drink of quality
The Great National Temperance
Thirst quenching – delicious and refreshing

Delicious Coca-Cola, sustains, refreshes, invigorates
Cooling… refreshing… delicious
Coca-Cola is full of vim, vigor and go – is a snappy drink

Sparkling – harmless as water, and crisp as frost
The satisfactory beverage

Delicious, wholesome, refreshing
Delicious, wholesome, thirst quenching
Drink delicious Coca-Cola
Whenever you see an arrow think of Coca-Cola

Drink bottled Coca-Cola – so easily served
It satisfies
Quenches the thirst as nothing else can

It’s time to drink Coca-Cola
Real satisfaction in every glass

Demand the genuine – refuse substitutes

Ask for it by its full name – then you will get the genuine
The best beverage under the sun
It will satisfy you
A welcome addition to any party – anytime – anywhere

Demand the genuine by full name
Exhilarating, refreshing
Nicknames encourage substitutions
Pure and wholesome

The standard beverage

It’s fun to be thirsty when you can get a Coca-Cola
Just one glass will tell you

Three million a day
The taste is the test of the Coca-Cola quality
There’s a delicious freshness to the flavor of Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is a perfect answer to thirst that no imitation can satisfy
It satisfies thirst
Quality tells the difference

Drink Coca-Cola with soda
Delicious and refreshing
The hit that saves the day

Quenching thirst everywhere
Thirst knows no season
Thirst can’t be denied
Thirst reminds you – drink Coca-Cola

Refresh yourself
A perfect blend of pure products from nature
There’s nothing like it when you’re thirsty

Pause and refresh yourself

Six million a day
The sociable drink
Stop at the red sign and refresh yourself

Thirst and taste for Coca-Cola are the same thing
Stop at the red sign

Around the corner from anywhere
At the little red sign

A pure drink of natural flavors

The pause that refreshes

Meet me at the soda fountain

Ice-cold sunshine
The drink that makes the pause refreshing

Don’t wear a tired, thirsty face

Carry a smile back to work
Ice-cold Coca-Cola is everywhere else – it ought to be in your family refrigerator
When it’s hard to get started, Start with a Coca-Cola

The drink that keeps you feeling right
All trails lead to ice-cold Coca-Cola
The pause that brings friends together

What refreshment ought to be
Get the feel of wholesome refreshment

America’s favorite moment
Cold refreshment
So easy to serve and so inexpensive
Stop for a pause… go refreshed

Anytime is the right time to pause and refresh
At the red cooler
The best friend thirst ever had
Pure sunlight

Coca-Cola goes along
Make lunch time refreshment time
Makes travel more pleasant
The drink everybody knows
Thirst stops here

Bring in your thirst and go away without it
The package that gets a welcome at home
Try it just once and you will know why

A stop that belongs on your daily timetable
Completely refreshing

The only thing like Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola itself
Refreshment that can’t be duplicated
Wherever you are, whatever you do, wherever you may be,
when you think refreshment, think ice-cold Coca-Cola

That extra something
A taste all its own
The only thing like Coca-Cola is Coca-Cola itself
It’s the real thing

How about a Coke
High sign of friendship
A moment on the sunnyside

Whenever you hear “Have a Coke,” you hear the voice of America
Passport to refreshment
Happy moment of hospitality
Coke means Coca-Cola

Coke knows no season
Serving Coca-Cola serves hospitality
Relax with the pause that refreshes

Delicious and refreshing
Where there’s Coca-Cola there’s hospitality
Think of lunchtime as refreshment time

Coca-Cola….Along the highway to anywhere

Help yourself to refreshment

Good food and Coca-Cola just naturally go together

Coke follows thirst everywhere
What you want is Coke
The gift of thirst

Dependable as sunrise

For people on the go
Matchless flavor

Almost everyone appreciates the best
America’s preferred taste

Feel the difference
Friendliest drink on earth
Makes good things taste better

Sign of good taste

Refreshment the whole world prefers
The cold, crisp taste of Coke

Cold, crisp taste that deeply satisfies
Make it a real meal

Relax with Coke
Revive with Coke

Coke and food – refreshing new feeling

Enjoy that refreshing new feeling
Coca-Cola refreshes you best

A chore’s best friend
Things go better with Coke

You’ll go better refreshed

Something more than a soft drink

Coke…after Coke…after Coke

It’s the real thing

I’d like to buy the world a Coke

Look up America

Coke adds life

Coke Adds Life television commercial

Have a Coke and a Smile

Have a Coke and a Smile mean Joe Green commercial

Coke is it!

We’ve got a Taste for You (Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola classic)
America’s Real Choice

Catch the wave (Coca-Cola)
Red White & You (Coca-Cola classic)

Can’t Beat the Feeling

Can’t Beat the Real Thing


Always Coca-Cola
Taste it all

Play Red Hot Summer

Play Red Hot Summer Again


Life is Good

Life tastes good


Make It Real

Welcome to the Coke side of life

Live on the Coke Side of Life

Open Happiness

Open Happiness


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إلهام شاهين ويسرا وبوسي وعمرو دياب في بيت شفيق معالي زايد وعُلا غانم وطلعت زكريا وشعبان عبدالرحيم ووائل نور يعلنون تأييدهم له Egyptian Stars supporting Ahmed Shafik


واصل المرشح الرئاسي أحمد شفيق اختراقه لملفات لم يتعرض لها منافسه. فبعد خطابه في المؤتمر الصحافي، أمس الأحد، عن عدة قضايا وهجومه اللاذع على جماعة الإخوان المسلمين ومرشحها محمد مرسي.

قالت صحيفة مصرية إنه عقد سلسلة من اللقاءات غير المعلنة مع عدد من المفكّرين والفنانين والصحافيين والشخصيات العامة، أبرزها اللقاء الذي تمَّ في حديقة فيلته بالتجمع الخامس في القاهرة الجديدة يوم الجمعة الماضي ليلة النطق بالحكم في قضية مبارك.

مكرم محمد أحمد وعبدالرحيم علي
وحظي اللقاء باهتمام خاص من الفريق شفيق، وحضره عدد كبير من نجوم الثقافة والفن والمجتمع، منهم الكاتب الصحافي مكرم محمد أحمد، نقيب الصحافيين السابق، وعبدالرحيم علي الباحث في الإسلام السياسي.

ومن الفنانين إلهام شاهين، ويسرا، وعمرو سعد، وأميرة فتحي، وبوسي، التي اعتذرت عن عدم حضور نور الشريف نظراً لسفره خارج مصر، لكنها اتصلت به خلال اللقاء وأعطت الهاتف للفريق شفيق.

أميرة فتحي وعمرو سعد
وكشف أحد من حضروا اللقاء لصحيفة “الأهرام”، الاثنين، أن شفيق اتصل بنفسه بالحاضرين لبحث الوقوف في وجّه الدكتور محمد مرسي مرشح جماعة “الإخوان المسلمون” في الجولة الثانية من انتخابات الرئاسة التي تعقد بعد أسبوعين.

وأضاف المصدر الذي فضل عدم ذكر اسمه، أن عشرات قد حضروا الاجتماع وأنه كان مفتوحاً وأن الحاضرين لم يأتوا لمنزل شفيق في وقت واحد وكذلك لم ينصرفوا معاً، وأن كلاً منهم كان حسب ظروفه.

وقال المصدر إن اللقاء كان في حديقة فيلا شفيق بالتجمع الخامس، وإنهم تناولوا الشاي، وإن شفيق أجاب على أسئلة الحضور ومنها سؤال: “هل هتدبح الثوار زي ما بيقولوا وهل هترجع الحزب الوطني تاني؟”.

وأضاف المصدر أن عدداً من الحاضرين ناقشوا شفيق ليس باعتبارهم مؤيدين له، ولكن باعتبارهم يريدون التعرف إلى اتجاهاته تجاه عدد من القضايا.

عمرو دياب وعلا غانم
وأكد المصدر أن شفيق شدد على أنه من دعاة الدولة المدنية، فيما لفت المصدر أن الفنانين الذين حضروا اللقاء عبروا عن استيائهم من جماعة “الإخوان المسلمون” وأعلنوا تأييدهم لشفيق، من أجل دولة مدنية تضمن استمرار أعمالهم الإبداعية، على حد وصفهم.

شعبان عبد الرحيم وطلعت زكريا
وكان عدد من المشاهير قد أعلنوا تأييدهم لترشيح أحمد شفيق في انتخابات رئاسة الجمهورية، ومنهم الكاتب الساخر أحمد رجب، والدكتورة هدى عبدالناصر ابنة الرئيس الراحل جمال عبدالناصر، ومن الفنانين عمرو دياب، الذي زار شفيق في منزله، والممثلون معالي زايد وعُلا غانم وطلعت زكريا وشعبان عبدالرحيم ووائل نور.

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