Sunday, February 20, 2011

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has been declared the winner of Friday’s presidential poll. Mr. Museveni’s win gives him another five year elective term, setting the incumbent on course to lead Uganda for a cumulative 30 years since 1986.

The Electoral Commission said Museveni won with 68.38% of the vote.

But the main opposition candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye has rejected the results and described the elections as a sham.

“Well, no surprises at all. We have just concluded what we always knew was a sham election,” said Dr Besigye, the flag bearer for the Inter Party Cooperation (IPC) a four-party coalition, and the president of the Forum for Democratic Change party (FDC).

He said IPC made all arrangements to safeguard the opposition votes but the kind of electoral abuses and malpractices were of such a nature that “our protective mechanisms were simply rendered useless.”

“We completely reject the outcome of the elections and any government that will be formed out of this election,” said Besigye.

He noted that many of the declaration of results forms could not be retrieved by agents of the opposition as they were denied access making it difficult to tally the votes at the IPC tally center.

Admiral Mike Mullen's visit to the Gulf comes
amid an unprecedented wave of revolts in the region
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Saudi Arabia on Sunday for the first stage of a Gulf tour to boost US relations with its allies in the region.

"Part of what I want to accomplish is to reassure our friends and also just listen to what's on their mind," Mullen told journalists.

The highest ranking US military officer's visit comes as an unprecedented wave of revolts challenges Arab authoritarian regimes, notably in Bahrain and Yemen, after uprisings toppled rulers in Tunisia and Egypt.

The purpose of his mission is to "reassure, discuss and understand what is going on," Mullen said, adding the "trip was scheduled for other reasons but as it turns out the context has changed."

In his two-day stay in Saudi Arabia, US President Barack Obama's top military adviser will meet high-ranking Saudi military officials.

LAKE FOREST, Ill. — The Chicago Bears have signed punter Richmond McGee to a two-year contract.

McGee spent parts of last season on Chicago's practice squad, and he was with the Bears during the off-season and 2009 preseason, averaging 36.3 yards on four punts while landing two inside the 20.

The Bears announced the move Friday.

A member of Texas' 2005 NCAA championship team, McGee entered the league as an undrafted free agent with Philadelphia in 2008. He could be in line to replace veteran Brad Maynard, who is due to become an unrestricted free agent.
Late Thursday evening, former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson was discovered dead in his home, killed instantly by a fatal gunshot wound to the chest that has been ruled a suicide by Miami-Dade Police Department.

At the wishes of Duerson, his family has made the decision to donate his brain for trauma research. It was Duerson's personal wish to aid in making football a safer sport for children in the future and his brain has
since been turned over to a research facility. It has been concluded the suicide was not connected with any foul play. According to witnesses, there were no other visitors to enter nor exit the home of Duerson for at least two days prior to the shooting.

At 50 years old, Duerson's football career landed him at the Super Bowl in January 1986. That was also the year the Chicago Bears took home the title. Just a few short years later, Duerson also successfully began a youth football group geared toward spreading knowledge and preventative measures against drug and alcohol abuse. In 1987 the former Bears safety even received an outstanding Walter Payton Award as the NFL Man of the Year.

Though Duerson retired from football in 1993, his kindness and efforts within the community did not end there. To family, friends and anyone who had the privilege of knowing him.

The draw for the FA Cup quarter-finals takes place on Sunday at about 1600 GMT, with clubs potentially one win away from a semi-final date at Wembley.

Everton knocked out holders Chelsea on Saturday, while Premier League leaders Manchester United scraped into the hat by edging past non-league Crawley 1-0.

The lowest ranked side, League One's Notts County, will be in the draw if they avoid defeat at Manchester City.

The 130th FA Cup final takes place at Wembley on Saturday, 14 May.

Other teams definitely in the draw include West Ham United and Burnley, whose fifth round tie takes place on Monday.

Stoke and Birmingham are two Premier League sides definitely in the last eight, while Everton now face Championship club Reading in the fifth round, where Fulham and Bolton will also do battle for a quarter-final berth.

The draw - which you can watch live online, on ITV1, or follow on the BBC Sport website - will take place at 1600 GMT dependant on there being no extra time or penalties in the tie between Manchester City and Notts County, which kicks off at Eastlands at 1400 GMT.

BEIJING _ Chinese officials on Sunday cracked down against protests, or rumors of them, sending police to detain dissidents and breakup public gatherings in the capital and Shanghai.

After Internet messages calling for demonstrations in 13 cities surfaced on Saturday, apparently from overseas sites used by Chinese living abroad, there were reports of activists being preemptively hauled away.

Very few Chinese responded, and in only a couple of cities, but Beijing’s authoritarian regime still mobilized large teams of police to ensure all remained quiet.

The heavy response by Chinese officials was a reminder of the government’s low tolerance for any hint of political discord. The country’s combination of surveillance, sophisticated management of information, and a willingness to deploy large numbers of security forces has so far allowed it to cut off even the most remote of challenges to the Chinese Communist Party.

Thousands of protesters took the streets in Morocco on Sunday to demand sweeping changes to the nation's constitution, defying predictions that this thousand-year-old monarchy would prove an exception to the demands for greater democracy that are sweeping the region.

In Rabat, the capital, a crowd of up to 10,000 people marched through the streets chanting: "Down with autocracy" and "The people want to change the constitution," as well as slogans against the government, corruption and state television.

Morocco is one of the last of the so-called Maghreb countries of Northern Africa to take to the streets in the wake of the fall of Tunisia's president this year, and many analysts have predicted it would prove an exception.

Indeed, as protests began Sunday, there was virtually no visible uniformed police presence in Rabat and no sign by early afternoon of the state violence witnessed in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain or Iran. Stores were largely unshuttered and cafes open along the protesters' route toward the parliament, as patrons watched from their sidewalk tables sipping cafe au lait in the partly Francophone capital.

Yet Sunday's demonstrations, triggered as in Egypt by a Facebook campaign, underscore the potential for political tension. Morocco has seen some steps toward democracy over the past decade, including two elections that international observers declared largely free and fair, but most powers remain with the king and his appointees.

Henry Fonda plays the lawyer and future President Abraham Lincoln
in the 1939 film "Young Mr Lincoln."
So there is Abraham Lincoln -- Henry Fonda, actually, in a stovepipe hat -- walking toward the horizon as the gorgeous strains of an orchestra swell up behind him. Soon the orchestra is joined by a choir, the strings and the voices blending into a beautiful, almost ethereal, rendition of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Thunder crackles in the cinematic sky.

Monday is Presidents Day, and in anticipation I treated myself to a viewing of "Young Mr. Lincoln," the 1939 movie about the 16th president's early life as a lawyer in Illinois. The film was purposefully inspiring, of course, sentimental and warmhearted. As it concluded -- the viewer was left to surmise that where Lincoln was heading, bathed in all that music and all that thunder, was toward his, and the nation's, future -- the thought occurred that such movies may be a thing of the past.

Not movies about Lincoln; there will always be a market for those, and in fact a spate of them are said to be either in production or in the planning stages. But uplifting feature-film biographies about more contemporary presidents -- life stories told admiringly, earnestly, with the intent to attract paying customers to brick-and-mortar movie theaters -- seem now to be an anachronism. And it may be worth taking a moment to ask ourselves whether this is the fault of our presidents, or of the times we live in, or of us.

Close to 17 years ago, Kurt Cobain died. Conspiracy theories about his death abound — as they tend to do with people of note — but most agree it was Cobain’s own decision to end his life. Since today would have been his 44th birthday, we bring you 44 facts about the man who struggled with drug addiction, being misunderstood, and those record industry types willing to defang the music from Cobain’s Pacific Northwest for the sake of money, power, and instant, yet fleeting success.

Details have emerged of huge casualty figures in the Libyan city of Benghazi, where troops have launched a brutal crackdown on protesters.

More than 200 people are known to have died, doctors say, with 900 injured.

The most bloody attacks were reported over the weekend, when a funeral procession was said to have come under machine-gun and heavy weapons fire.

One doctor, speaking amid the sound of fresh gunfire on Sunday, told the BBC that "a real massacre" had happened.

Human Rights Watch says at least 173 people have been killed in Libya since demonstrations began on Wednesday.

Benghazi, the country's second city, has been a leading focus of protests against four decades of rule by Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Libya is one of several countries in the region to have seen pro-democracy campaigns since the fall of long-time Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January. Egypt's Hosni Mubarak was forced from power on 11 February.

BBC Middle East correspondent Jon Leyne says the unrest in Libya is the most serious challenge yet to Col Gaddafi.

Reports are difficult to verify as the Libyan authorities have imposed severe media restrictions.

Foreign media are largely absent from the country and internet traffic from Libya has been throttled in recent days, web analysts report.
'Stop the massacre'

The Benghazi doctor, known as Braikah, described to the BBC how casualties had been brought to the city's Jala hospital - most of them with gunshot wounds.

"Ninety per cent of these gunshot wounds [were] mainly in the head, the neck, the chest, mainly in the heart," she said.

Best Buy's laptop discovery tool is doing a slightly overzealous job this morning by listing a set of "new SKU" laptops from Apple Computer before said company has had a chance to announce them. This seems to corroborate recent rumors of a MacBook Pro refresh coming next week, as do the $1,199, $1,499, $1,799, and $2,199 price points, all of which are presently occupied by current-gen 13- and 15-inch MBP variants.

There is an additional $2,499 sticker for a laptop identified only as "New SKU I," which presumably points to an upgrade to Apple's 17-incher. Regrettably, there's nothing more than the pricing for us to go on, but feel free to fill your time until Best Buy populates its listings with speculation about the hot new processing, storage, and interconnect options Apple might have in store for us.
BEIJING – Jittery Chinese authorities wary of any domestic dissent staged a concerted show of force Sunday to squelch a mysterious online call for a "Jasmine Revolution" apparently modeled after pro-democracy demonstrations sweeping the Middle East.

Authorities detained activists, increased the number of police on the streets, disconnected some mobile phone text messaging services and censored Internet postings about the call to stage protests at 2 p.m. in Beijing, Shanghai and 11 other major cities.

The campaign did not gain much traction among ordinary citizens and the chances of overthrowing the Communist government are slim, considering Beijing's tight controls over the media and Internet. A student-led, pro-democracy movement in 1989 was crushed by the military and hundreds, perhaps thousands, were killed.

On Sunday, police took at least three people away in Beijing, one of whom tried to lay down white jasmine flowers while hundreds of people milled about the protest gathering spot, outside a McDonald's on the capital's busiest shopping street. In Shanghai, police led away three people near the planned protest spot after they scuffled in an apparent bid to grab the attention of passers-by.

Snipers shot protesters, artillery and helicopter gunships were used against crowds of demonstrators, and thugs armed with hammers and swords attacked families in their homes as the Libyan regime sought to crush the uprising.

"Dozens were killed ... We are in the midst of a massacre here," a witness told Reuters. The man said he helped take victims to hospital in Benghazi.

Libyan Muslim leaders told security forces to stop killing civilians, responding to a spiralling death toll from unrest which threatens veteran leader Muammar Gaddafi's authority.

Mourners leaving a funeral for protesters in the eastern city of Benghazi came under fire, killing at least 15 people and wounding many more. A hospital official said one of those who died was apparently struck on the head by an anti-aircraft missile, and many had been shot in the head and chest.

The hospital was overwhelmed and people were streaming to the facility to donate blood. "Many of the dead and the injured are relatives of doctors here," he said. "They are crying and I keep telling them to please stand up and help us." 

Is 'The King Of Limbs' just the first part of a larger body of work? Lots of Radiohead fans seem to think so.

For a start, the album ends with ‘Separator’, so titled - perhaps - because it’s a pivot point between this album and the next. And if that’s not the case, how come they scrapped the original title, 'Mouse Bird Dog'? Though admittedly, the supposed ‘giveaway’ lyric (“If you think this is over then you’re wrong”) was in the song even then.

Then there’s the fact that the physical edition of ‘The King Of Limbs’ comes with two 10” vinyl records. As Stephen Ackroyd of This Is Fake DIY points out, that’s a red herring, since an entirely separate album would not fit on to a 10” record.

That doesn’t mean the theory itself is flimsy, however. Note that orders from the site were numbered ‘TKOL1’, suggesting there may yet be a ‘TKOL2’.

Hundreds have been killed in Libya since protests broke out across the North African nation six days ago, according to rights watchdogs and eyewitnesses across the country.

Residents told Al Jazeera that at least 200 people had died in the eastern city of Benghazi alone, while the New York-based Human Rights Watch on Sunday put the countrywide death toll at 104. The rights group said the figure was "conservative".

Protests have also reportedly broken out in other cities, including Bayda, Derna, Tobruk and Misrata.

In the capital, Tripoli, supporters of the government took to the streets in large numbers, and security forces prevented large demonstrations against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year reign.

Benghazi "a war zone"

Moftah, a resident of Benghazi - Libya's second largest city - who requested Al Jazeera use only his first name, said the city had become a "war zone" in recent days.

Residents have barricaded the streets with overturned trash cans and debris, and security forces have largely confined themselves to two compounds, though snipers continue to target protesters, he said.

The forces who remain are "thugs" loyal to Gaddafi, Moftah said, and they are firing high-calibre ammunition at protesters.

Mariam, a doctor speaking from a hospital in Benghazi, said the military had shot at protesters with live ammunition and that even the hospital was not safe. An eight-year-old boy who had been shot in the head was among the dead, she said.

Security forces reportedly opened fire at a funeral in the eastern, coastal city on Saturday, killing at least 15 people and injuring scores more.

The funeral was to honour protesters killed by security forces during the ongoing protests, which began on Monday after the arrest of a prominent lawyer, and have continued to call for Gaddafi's downfall.

Another doctor from Benghazi's al-Jalah hospital said staff there had received 15 bodies and were treating numerous people following the shootings at the funeral. The hospital counted 44 deaths in three days and was struggling to treat the wounded, he said.

"This is not a well-equipped hospital and these injuries come in waves," he said. "All are very serious injuries, involving the head, the chest and the abdomen. They are bullet injuries from high-velocity rifles."

A top U.S. diplomat says that Arab leaders facing mass protests need to lead the way rather than resist reform, and she denies that the Obama administration has abandon its allies in the Middle East.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, says that the U.S. has pressed allied governments not to stage violent crackdowns on peaceful protests and has urged them to embrace the demands for democracy. She says that the U.S. has not pushed any leaders out or decided that they should stay.

Rice also says the U.S. is "very concerned" about reports of security forces firing on peaceful protesters in Libya, where nearly a week of protests have left at least 200 dead.

Rice spoke Sunday on NBC's "Meet The Press."