Sunday, January 9, 2011

An aide to Sarah Palin said images of cross-hairs were never meant to evoke violence, in the Palin camp's first extended comment on yesterday's attack.

" We have nothing whatsoever to do with this," Palin aide. Rebecca Mansour told the talk radio host Tammy Bruce in an interview. "We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. It was simply cross-hairs like you'd see on maps," she said, suggesting that it is a "surveyor's symbol."

There is "nothing irresponsible about our graphic," she said.

She called attempts to link Palin to the violence "obscene" and "appalling," and said she was "disgusted" with the politicization.

"We can't ban the words 'targeted swing districts' from the English language," she said. "We did nothing wrong here."

"I don't understand how anybody could be held responsible for somebody who is completely mentally unstable like this. Where I come from the person that is actually shooting is the one that's culpable," Mansour said, speculating that the shooter is a paranoid schizophrenic. "It seems that the people that knew him said that he was left-wing and very liberal -- but that is not to say that I am blaming the left."

"I never went out and blamed Al Gore or any environmentalist for the crazy insane person who went to shoot up the Discovery Channel," she said.

Mansour recalled that her father was shot and badly wounded by drug addicts when she was a child in Detroit, and cited his model of forgiveness and avoiding politicization and blame. Her father, then the Assistant Dean of the Business School at the University of Detroit, was shot in July 1984, she said this morning.

The interview was first reported by the Alaska Dispatch.
It's not clear how it started, but a ridiculous rumor that Facebook is shutting down is spreading fast on social networks.

The hot rumor -- evidenced by Google Trends and gaining traction on Twitter -- says that on March 15, 2011, Facebook will be closing down. Not taking a day off, not undergoing maintenance, but ending entirely.

The rumor has led to such frantic tweets as, "Facebook will be shutting down on March 2011? I hope not!" (@MissAyl) and "So the rumor is Facebook is shutting down....please don't jump to twitter & ruin my social networking experience" (@jjelksboss).

Facebook users are also concerned. Says one: "Facebook is shutting down on March 15, 2011 for good D: Is there any way we can stop this!?!?" And a group has already started to stop Facebook from shutting down.

Ironically, Yahoo announced last month that its "Yahoo Video" will be closing down on the date in question, March 15, 2011, and videos can be seen for the last time on March 14. But that hardly means it's taking the rest of the Internet down with it.

Just a day ago, an opinion piece published on CNN said that the recent Goldman Sachs investment was the "beginning of the end" for Facebook. That post went viral with more than 5,000 Facebook "likes" and could be partially to blame for the ensuing panic.

Whatever the reason for this rumor, it's safe to say that as a site with more than 500 million users and a $500 millon investment from Goldman Sachs recently, Facebook won't be shutting down anytime soon.

Roxanna Green, the mother of the 9-year-old killed during the mass shooting in Arizona on Saturday, has implored the country to "stop the violence, stop the hatred" that led to her daughter's violent death.

In an emotional interview Sunday morning on MSNBC, Green spoke about how her daughter had been born on Sept. 11, 2001 and had been featured in a book called "Faces of Hope." Less than 24 hours after Christina Green died, her mother asked for people not to forget her daughter, the youngest victim in the shooting rampage.

"I just want her memory to live on, she's a face of hope, a face of change," Roxanna Green told MSNBC. "Stop the violence, stop the hatred."

Green said she initially thought her daughter had been hurt in a car accident when a family friend first called to say they were on their way to the hospital. But Christina had been shot in the chest, and doctors were unable to save her.
TUCSON — A heroic young intern for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords - who had been on the job for only five days - quickly rushed to stop the bleeding moments after she had been shot and his quick thinking is being credited with saving the congresswoman’s life.

The Arizona Republic published a profile of 20-year-old University of Arizona junior Daniel Hernandez, revealing he was standing 30 feet from Giffords when shots were fired outside a local Safeway — and that he ran toward them.

“I don’t even know if the gunfire had stopped,” he told the Arizona Republic Saturday night at the University Medical Center in Tucson.

Outside the hospital just before midnight, in an exchange witnessed by POLITICO, Tuscon Mayor Bob Walkup briefed a group of about a dozen locals who had gathered around a make-shift vigil and pointed to Hernandez as the “young man” likely responsible for saving Giffords’ life.

Moments after the shootings, Hernandez checked the pulses of other shooting victims who were lying on the pavement and spotted Giffords.

He applied pressure on the bullet entry point to stop the bleeding and pulled Giffords into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn’t choke on her own blood. Giffords was conscious, but quiet, the Republic reported.

He then instructed another bystander how to apply pressure to the wounds suffered by Giffords’ district director Ron Barber.

According to the Republic, Barber told Hernandez, “Make sure you stay with Gabby. Make sure you help Gabby.”

Christina-Taylor Green, 9, had just
been elected  to the student council
and wanted to meet Giffords
Aspiring politician Christina-Taylor Green was born in the midst of tragedy on Sept. 11, 2001, and died Saturday morning while trying to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

The strong-willed 9-year-old third-grader had gone to meet Giffords with a neighbor when she was shot. She died later at University Medical Center.

Her neighbor was shot four times and was recovering from surgery Saturday evening.

Christina-Taylor had just been elected to the student council at Mesa Verde Elementary School and had been interested in politics from a young age, her father, John Green, said Saturday night.

"She was a good speaker. I could have easily seen her as a politician," her father said.

The brown-eyed athletic girl had one sibling, an 11-year-old brother named Dallas, and the two loved to go swimming together.

She'd already told her parents she wanted to attend Penn State one day and have a career that involved helping those less fortunate than her.

She also loved animals and was a passionate dancer who loved ballet, hip-hop, jazz and gymnastics and was the only girl on her Canyon del Oro Little League baseball team, "The Pirates." She played second base.

Christina-Taylor came from a family of baseball players. Her grandfather, former major-league pitcher Dallas Green, was team manager for the Philadelphia Phillies when they won the World Series in 1980.

"She kept up with everyone, she was a strong girl, a very good athlete and a strong swimmer," said her mother, Roxanna Green. "She was interested in everything. She got a guitar for Christmas so her next thing was learning to play guitar."

Christina-Taylor also enjoyed singing in a church choir at St. Odilia's Catholic Church, where she had received her first Holy Communion in the spring.

"'Let the children come to me,' Jesus said (Matthew 19:14). Christina is with Him," Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas wrote in a letter to parishioners sent from Jordan, where he is attending a bishops' meeting.

Already aware of inequalities in the world around her, Christina-Taylor often repeated the same phrase to her mother: "We are so blessed. We have the best life."

Her birth date no doubt helped inspire Christina-Taylor's interest in politics, Roxanna Green said. She was one of 50 9/11 babies featured in a book called "Faces of Hope."

"She was born back east and Sept. 11 affected everyone there, and Christina-Taylor was always very aware of it. She was very patriotic and wearing red, white and blue was really special to her," her mother said.

"She was all about helping people, and being involved. It's so tragic. She went to learn today and then someone with so much hatred in their heart took the lives of innocent people."
(CNN) -- David Beckham's proposed loan move to Tottenham has been called off, but the soccer superstar will still train with the English club to maintain his fitness during the U.S. off-season.

Tottenham had hoped the former England captain would join up in a temporary three-month move to boost the club's Premier League and Champions League hopes.

The 35-year-old LA Galaxy player could have made his debut against former team Manchester United, where he made his name, next Sunday.

However, the London side's website said the midfielder's Major League Soccer club would not let Beckham stay longer than February 10.

"We'd love to have him here for longer but we respect his commitments to LA Galaxy. They wanted him back in early February so that made it difficult to do a playing deal on the basis of three weeks," manager Harry Redknapp said on Sunday.

Niamey, Niger (CNN) -- Two French citizens who were kidnapped in Niger's capital were executed by their abductors during an attempted rescue mission, the French Defense Ministry said Sunday.

"During this rescue operation, the two hostages were killed, probably executed by their kidnappers. Two French soldiers were injured and many terrorists were killed," said a statement on the ministry's website.

The two were seized by masked gunmen who burst into Le Toulousain, a restaurant owned by a French citizen, in Niamey Friday night. A witness said the bar was crowded and many people did not realize what was going on at first.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defense said it's believed that "those behind the kidnapping were probably part of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). However, AQIM has not yet claimed responsibility. The group did acknowledge it was responsible for the abduction of five French citizens who've been missing since September.

The spokesman said French Defense Minister Alain Juppe will travel to Niamey Monday to hold a news conference.

No other details, including the identities of the two who were slain, were immediately available.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- The 9-year-old girl killed by a gunman who opened fire at an Arizona congresswoman's event is the granddaughter of former manager Dallas Green, The Philadelphia Phillies said Sunday.

Christina-Taylor Green was shot outside a Tucson grocery story when she went to see Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was meeting with constituents there. Giffords was among 13 people wounded in the melee that killed six people, including Arizona's chief federal judge and an aide for the Democratic lawmaker.

"The Phillies organization expresses our heartfelt condolences to Dallas and Sylvia and the entire Green family on the senseless, tragic loss of Christina's life," team president David Montgomery said. "She was a talented young girl with a bright promising future. Her untimely death weighs heavily on our hearts. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families affected by yesterday's horrific shooting."

An uncle of the 9-year-old girl tells the Arizona Republic that a neighbor was going to the event and invited her along because she had just been elected to the student council and was interested in government.

Dallas Green is a former pitcher and manager in the major leagues. He's an executive advisor for the Phillies, the team he managed to the World Series championship in 1980.