Friday, May 31, 2013

At least 2 dead from Tornadoes in Oklahoma city area

2 dead when tornado hits Oklahoma City area

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Tornadoes rolled in from the prairie and slammed Oklahoma City and its suburbs Friday, trapping people in their vehicles as a storm swept down an interstate highway while commuters tried to beat it home.
A mother and her baby were killed, but meteorologists who had warned about particularly nasty weather said the storm's fury didn't match that of a deadly twister that struck suburban Moore last week. Violent weather also moved through the St. Louis area, ripping part of the roof off a suburban casino.
Friday's broad storm hit during the evening rush hour and stuck around, causing havoc on Interstate 40, a major artery connecting suburbs east and west of the city, and dropping so much rain on the area that streets were flooded to a depth of 4 feet.

To the south, a severe storm with winds approaching 80 mph rolled into Moore, where a top-of-the-scale EF5 tornado killed 24 on May 20.
Rick Smith, the warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service at Norman, said in a text message relayed by the Storm Prediction Center that Friday's storm was "not even close" to causing the type of destruction like the one that hit Moore.
The U.S. averages more than 1,200 tornadoes a year and most are relatively small. Of the 60 EF5 tornadoes to hit since 1950, Oklahoma and Alabama have been hit the most — seven times each.
Heavy rain and hail hampered rescue efforts in Oklahoma City. Frequent lightning roiled the skies well after the main threat had moved east. Highways and streets were clogged late into the night as motorists worked their way around flooded portions of the city.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph said troopers found the bodies of a woman and an infant near their vehicle. Randolph said it's not known if the woman was driving into the storm when it hit around 7 p.m. Friday.
Emergency officials reported that numerous injuries occurred in the area along I-40, and Randolph said there were toppled and wrecked cars littering the area. Troopers requested a number of ambulances at I-40 near Yukon, west of Oklahoma City.
"We're scrambling around," said Lara O'Leary, a spokeswoman for the local ambulance agency. "There is very low visibility with the heavy rain ... so we're having trouble getting around.
Standing water was several feet deep, and in some places it looked more like a hurricane had passed through than a tornado.
In Missouri, the combination of high water and fallen power lines closed dozen of roads, snarling traffic on highways and side streets in the St. Louis area. At the Hollywood Casino in suburban of Maryland Heights, gamblers rushed from the floor as a storm blew out windows and tore off part of the roof.
Rich Gordon, of Jefferson City, said he was on the casino floor when he heard a loud "boom."

"I didn't know if it was lightning or what, but it was loud," Gordon said.
In Oklahoma, storm chasers with cameras in their cars transmitted video showing a number of funnels dropping from the supercell thunderstorm as it passed south of El Reno and into Oklahoma City just south of downtown. Police urged motorists to leave I-40 and seek a safe place.
"I'm in a car running from the tornado," said Amy Sharp, who last week pulled her fourth-grade daughter from the Plaza Towers Elementary School as a storm approached with 210 mph winds. "I'm in Norman and it just hit Yukon where I was staying" since last week's storm.
"I'm with my children who wanted their mother out of that town," Sharp said, her voice quivering with emotion.
At Will Rogers World Airport southwest of Oklahoma City, passengers were directed into underground tunnels and flights were canceled. However, people near the area said they weren't aware of any damage.
Television cameras showed debris falling from the sky west of Oklahoma City and power transformers being knocked out by high winds across a wider area.
As the storm bore down on suburban Oklahoma City, Adrian Lillard, 28, of The Village, went to the basement of her mother's office building with a friend, her nieces, nephews and two dogs.
"My brother's house was in Moore, so it makes you take more immediate action," Lillard said while her young nieces played on a blanket on the floor of the parking garage. "We brought toys and snacks to try our best to keep them comfortable."
Well before Oklahoma's first thunderstorms fired up at late afternoon, the Storm Prediction Center in Norman was already forecasting a violent evening. From the Texas border to near Joplin, Mo., residents were told to keep an eye to the sky and an ear out for sirens.
Friday evening's weather came after flash flooding and tornadoes killed three people in Arkansas late Thursday and early Friday. Three others were missing in floods that followed 6 inches of rain in the rugged Ouachita Mountains near Y City, 125 miles west of Little Rock.
This spring's tornado season got a late start, with unusually cool weather keeping funnel clouds at bay until mid-May. The season usually starts in March and then ramps up for the next couple of months.
Associated Press writers Ken Miller and Tim Talley in Oklahoma City, Justin Juozapavicius in Tulsa; Jeannie Nuss in Texarkana, Texas; and Jim Salter in Maryland Heights, Mo., and freelance photographer Nick Oxfrod in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

end quote from:

My understanding was that the first two who died, a mother and a baby might have been coming through from another area and just traveling through and drove right into a tornado likely just thinking it was a rain storm because they had never been in tornado country before during tornado season. They likely didn't know about the possible tornadoes.

Since then, 3 more deaths have been reported. However, the weather lady said the most fatalities are from flooding. And because 6 to 8 inches of rain have also come down around Oklahoma City on top of the floods and baseball size hail they are worried about more deaths from record flooding as well.

Hagel issues stern warning to China

Hagel issues stern warning to China

SINGAPORE (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged message to Beijing — holding out hope for a slowly improving military relationship with the Asian giant while issuing a stern warning on cyberattacks coming from that country. But he was met with immediate skepticism from the…
Associated Press50 mins ago

Hagel issues stern warning to China

SINGAPORE (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a two-pronged message to Beijing — holding out hope for a slowly improving military relationship with the Asian giant while issuing a stern warning on cyberattacks coming from that country. But he was met with immediate skepticism from the Chinese delegation in the audience, who questioned America's role in the Pacific.
Speaking Saturday at a security conference in Singapore that he helped to form more than a decade ago, Hagel said: "The United States has expressed our concerns about the growing threat of cyber intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military." While he is not the first U.S. official to publicly blame China for computer-based attacks that steal data from U.S. government and corporate networks, he delivered the rebuke in China's backyard, with members of Beijing's government in the audience.
His comments triggered a wry response from Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations, at the People's Liberation Army's Academy of Military Science, who challenged him to better explain America's intentions in its building up of the military across the region.
"Thank you for mentioning China several times," she told Hagel, minutes after he concluded his remarks, and began taking questions from the audience. As an audible murmur and some quiet chuckles rose from the audience, she added that America's new shift to the Pacific has been widely interpreted as an "attempt to counter China's rising influence, and to offset the increasing military capabilities of the Chinese PLA. However, China is not convinced."
She asked Hagel how he can assure China that the increased military deployments to the region are part of an effort to build a more positive relationship with Beijing.
"That's really the whole point behind closer military-to-military relationships," Hagel responded. "We don't want miscalculations and misunderstandings and misinterpretations. And the only way you do that is you talk to each other."
He said the U.S. welcomes a strong and emerging China that takes on responsibilities for security in the region, and that Beijing and Washington have to be inclusive and direct with each other. "I think we've made continued progress," he said. "And we'll make more progress."
In his speech, Hagel said the U.S. is determined to work closely with China and other nations to establish appropriate standards for behavior in cyberspace. And the U.S. will also be looking to China for help in resolving ongoing problems with North Korea, which in recent months has ratcheted up tensions in the region with a series of rocket launches, an underground nuclear test and threats of nuclear strikes against the U.S. and its allies.
Noting America's longstanding tensions with China, Hagel said: "The key is for these differences to be addressed on the basis of a continuous and respectful dialogue." The two nations, he said, must build trust in order to avoid military miscalculations.
Much of the speech, however, was designed as a follow-up to last year's gathering, when then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta first detailed what has been called the military's new pivot to the Pacific. Hagel assured Asian nations that despite sharp budget cuts, the Pentagon will continue to shift its military troops, ships and aircraft to the Pacific region.
Where Panetta had laid out promises, Hagel was able to point to results. Marines have been deployed to the northern city of Darwin in Australia, a combat ship has arrived in Singapore and plans are unfolding for Army units that will rotate in and out of the region.
Hagel also suggested that the Pentagon's five-year budget plan continues to plan for additional F-22 Raptor fighter jets and F-35 Joint Strike Fighters in the region, along with a fourth fast-attack submarine deployed to Guam.
He provided a glimpse into the broad review he ordered to determine whether budget cuts will force the U.S. military strategy to change — a year after Panetta unveiled it.
International leaders have been watching the deliberations in Washington closely to see what the roughly $487 billion in automatic spending cuts over the next 10 years will mean to America's commitment's abroad. Already the military services have curtailed flight and combat training for many units, grounded some Air Force squadrons and delayed or canceled some ship deployments.
The Pentagon has also announced it will furlough about 680,000 civilian employees for up to 11 days through the end of the fiscal year.
The initial report on the strategy review was due to Hagel on Friday, and while he said the outcome is not final, it should reflect the rise of Asia.
"For the region, this means I can assure you that coming out of this review, the United States will continue to implement the rebalance and prioritize our posture, activities and investments in Asia-Pacific," he said.
The Asia-Pacific, said Hagel, is at the epicenter of historic changes around the world and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its military, economic and diplomatic partnerships with nations across the region. As part of that he noted that the U.S. will set aside $100 million to expand its military exercises in the region.
Just finishing his third month as Pentagon Chief, Hagel used the speech to introduce himself on a more personal level to the audience. For many he is a familiar face, since he was one of the founders of the conference in 2002, and as a U.S. senator, was a speaker at the first three gatherings.
He talked about his long ties to the region, including his father's service in World War II flying B-25 bombers in the South Pacific, and his own service in Vietnam with his brother. Hagel was wounded and twice received the Purple Heart.
Later, he traveled to Asia as the co-founder of a cellular telephone company and then, as a GOP senator from Nebraska, he served on the Foreign Relations Committee.
"What I took away from all these experiences," Hagel said, "was a firm belief that the arc of the 21st century would be shaped by events here in Asia."
end quote from:

Hagel issues stern warning to China

A Corporation functions much differently than a country usually does. However, China now resembles the biggest corporation now on earth more than anything else. A Corporation tends to do what it can get away with more than anything else. I think Hagel isn't going to get very far in talking to China as a country in this way. But what is the solution?

50 miles of tornadic activity around Oklahoma City

I am watching CNN on TV and it appears that there are two tornado creating cells that now stretch about 50 miles to the west and east of Oklahoma city. The news people said it was very dangerous because they are having level 3 tornadoes touching down there. To make matters worse there are so many people out on roads right now likely because it is Friday night and this is putting people in danger too because in a traffic jam if a tornado comes you cannot escape them because in an F3 or above tornado it is going to lift your car into the air and likely kill everyone on board. So, they were saying how dangerous this situation is around Oklahoma City.

A large tornado just hit El Reno in Oklahoma. One of the storm chasers had his hood of his fortified vehicle ripped off by one of the tornadoes. Large tornado coming across I-35 right now in Oklahoma city near the fairgrounds. They are very worried about people stuck in traffic in their cars now.

People in Oklahoma City need to know that there are two cells. So even after this cell passes another one just as strong is coming through there too.
If a tornado come police woman says, "Lay in a ditch or on your belly under an overpass if you can't get underground in a shelter. Don't stay in your car or truck if the tornado is coming because you likely won't survive it. Don't Drive into any of the black areas where the tornadoes are."

However, if there are flash floods and baseball sized hail, leaving someone's car unless you actually see the tornado coming might be questionable.

The following was the CNNTV crawl as I watched the tornadoes and problems live on CNN TV

National Weather service: If you are stuck on I-35 in Oklahoma City you are in danger.
so far 21,000 people in Oklahoma city without power. Overturned tractor trailers on I-40 west of Oklahoma City. Multiple injuries on I-40, Multiple vehicles flipped over. Parts of I-40 shut down due to tornado damage. Softball size hail also a threat in the area. Tornado confirmed near already ravaged city of Moore. NWS warns drivers to leave cars and seek shelter. Multiple vortex tornado has already hit near El Reno, Oklahoma. Tornado warnings active in Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas.
Also, North Dakota town urging evacuation of 200 or more homes as river overflows it's banks. Flash flood warnings in place for much of the plains and the Midwest.

A large asteroid 1.2 miles across safely zipped past earth dragging it's own moon along behind it.

Tornado emergency issued for Oklahoma City, including downtown, Airport, City of Moore. Multiple tornado locations being tracked by National Weather Service. Tornado confirmed near already ravaged City of Moore, Oklahoma. 71 mph wind gust recorded at Will Rogers Airport.

At least 4 firefighters killed with at least 6 injured in Houston Hotel Fire.
Oklahoma City Airport Evacuated, Travelers take cover in basement.
Developing storm movign toward Tinker Air Force Base
50,000 people now without power in Oklahoma City
Severe Weather is causing dangerous Flash Flooding as well
Tornado threat is decreasing in Central Oklahoma, but brief tornados still possible
1000 people in the Will Rogers airport basement seeking shelter there
Several Tornadoes presently on Ground in Oklahoma
Other tornado warnings active in Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas
Multiple tornadoes being tracked presently
At least 3 tornadoes have touched down right now near Oklahoma City
City of Norman, Home to University of Oklahoma, preparing for 80 to 90 mph winds
and embedded tornadoes-from national Weather service.
confirmed Tornado near Moore, Oklahoma
At least 3 confirmed tornadoes confirmed near Oklahoma City at present.
Police: Multiple crashes on Highways caused by tornadic activity
Police warning power lines are down all over
Police woman describes a "Nightmare like situation in Oklahoma City area".
NWS confirms Large, dangerous tornado near St. Louis Airport
end quotes from CNN TV live crawl on the bottom of the screen

Killer Robots on the Battlefield


Ban the killer robots before it's too late

By Noel Sharkey, Special to CNN
updated 11:09 AM EDT, Wed April 3, 2013
A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile on the tarmac at Kandahar military airport in June 2010.
A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile on the tarmac at Kandahar military airport in June 2010.
  • UK robotics professor leading calls for a worldwide ban on autonomous weapons
  • We can't rely on robots to conform to international law, says Noel Sharkey
  • Sharkey is chairman of and NGO leading a campaign to "Stop Killer Robots"
  • Autonomous robots could destabilize world security and trigger unintentional wars
Editor's note: Noel Sharkey is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Professor of Public Engagement at the UK's University of Sheffield and Chairman of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control.
(CNN) -- As wars become increasingly automated, we must ask ourselves how far we want to delegate responsibility to machines. Where do we want to draw the line?
Weapons systems have been evolving for millennia and there have always been attempts to resist them. But does that mean that we should just sit back and accept our fate and hand over the ultimate responsibility for killing to machines?
Over the last few months there has been an increasing debate about the use of fully autonomous robot weapons: armed robots that once launched can select their own targets and kill them without further human intervention.
"We just shouldn't grant machines the decision about who lives or dies
Noel Sharkey, Chairman of ICRAC
Professor Noel Sharkey
Professor Noel Sharkey
Some have argued that robots could be more accurate on the battlefield than human soldiers and save more civilian lives. But this is speculation based on assumptions about future developments of computer hardware and software. It is no more than "hopeware" -- since the 1950s, Artificial Intelligence has moved at a snail's pace compared to what proponents have predicted.
Others argue that even if robots could be more accurate under some restricted circumstances at some unknown time in the future, we just shouldn't grant machines the decision about who lives or dies.
At this point, we cannot rely on machines having the independent facility to conform to international law. Current sensing systems are not up to the task. And even if machines had adequate sensing mechanisms they would still be missing the vital components of battlefield awareness and common sense reasoning to make decisions about who and when it is appropriate to kill.
Robots do not have the agency to decide if striking a target is proportional to the expected military advantage. There is no metric for this. Much of war is art and not science. A military commander must make a qualitative decision about the number of civilian lives that can be risked for a particular military objective. And that commander can be held accountable.
A robot doesn't have the moral agency to be held accountable. Some would argue that the commander who sends a robot on a mission would be responsible (last point of contact). But that could be unfair since it could be the fault of the mission programmer, the manufacturer or one of dozens of little companies providing components. Maybe it should be the senior staff or policy makers who had the idea to use robots. Or the device could have been tampered with in the industrial supply chain or even damaged in action. Forensics are extremely difficult with such complex devices.
"Is anyone considering how autonomous weapons could destabilize world security and trigger unintentional wars?
Noel Sharkey, Chairman of ICRAC
Yet a recent U.S. DoD directive (November 2012) gives a green light to research and development of autonomous weapons systems while presenting a cautious route to their deployment.
This is borne from a culmination of U.S. military road maps dating back to 2002 and it is a bad move. It sends the wrong message to other nations. As the most militarily advanced nation on the planet, the U.S. has the opportunity to take the take the lead in halting these developments.
Thanks to the U.S.'s use of drones, more than 70 other countries have acquired the technology in a new arms race. It is simply blinkered to think that they will not follow suit with autonomous weapons. Is anyone thinking about how an adaptive enemy will exploit the weaknesses of robot weapons with spoofing, hacking or misdirection?
Is anyone considering how unknown computer programs will interact when swarms of robots meet? Is anyone considering how autonomous weapons could destabilize world security and trigger unintentional wars?
In April this year in London, a group of prominent NGOs will launch a large civil society campaign to "Stop Killer Robots." They are seeking a new legally binding preemptive international treaty to prohibit the development and deployment of fully autonomous robot weapons.
The aim is to stop these weapons getting into the arsenals of the world's militaries while there is still an opportunity. Once there has been large national investments in the technology, it may be too late.
Do you think autonomous robot weapons should be outlawed? Leave your comments below.
end quote from:

Historically, every new weapon developed eventually is used on human beings somewhere on earth. So this is something to think about regarding killer robots. Though movies like "The Terminator" are popular (when I saw it with my programming background I saw in coming then in the 1980s). It was all a matter of when.

Computer programs run in autonomous machines will likely make much different mistakes than humans do. And on the battlefield this likely will always (to a greater or lesser degree allow humans to win). All a human has to do is to be aware of the presence of a killer robot in the air, water or land and to know it's weaknesses to defeat it. 

But the problem is often drones in the air are quiet and we don't even know there are there watching us. So, people are completely defenseless against armed drones that they can't even hear or know they are there at all. You could be working in your garden outside and be perfectly happy outside one day in the sun only to be blown apart completely by a hellfire missile one day. But, you wouldn't have time to be in distress or to even feel any pain. You would just be scattered all over your yard in pieces. Here one moment and gone the next. And that likely is the actual future of killer robots that the world needs to address. 

Here for me is the nightmare scenario: For example, right now we have the sectarian war between Sunnis and Shia Muslims in Syria. For example, what if one side or the other got flying drones to target and extinct the other sect?

This isn't limited to Shias and Sunnis. It could be Christians versus Muslims. It Could Be Muslims versus Hindus. It could be any group that didn't like any other group even politically. The main problem I see with flying drones in the future is genocide of whole groups worldwide.

Drones make possible genocide of whole nations or groups of people without any accountability whatsoever. Whoever had enough money to do it might get away with it if the weapons couldn't be traced back to them.

Ungoverned, flying drones could reduce human populations by half by 2100 through various means.
I'm saying this as an intuitive looking into the future right now.

Tornado Warnings in Oklahoma City and Moore

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  1. Parts of central Oklahoma -- where a devastating and deadly twister struck earlier this month -- were under a tornado warning Thursday afternoon. - Cached
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    Tornado warnings in Oklahoma, risk includes hard-hit Moore

    The warnings were put in effect for Logan and Pawnee counties, both north of Oklahoma City, according to Corey Mead, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
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    Volunteers from Brookfield's Elmbrook Church recover items from the remains of Kathy and Don Easter's home, May 27 in Moore, Oklahoma.
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    Tornado warnings urging residents to seek cover immediately in two counties north of Oklahoma City were issued on Thursday, raising concern about another powerful storm after a twister in the area killed 24 people and injured more than 300 last week.
    The warnings were put in effect for Logan and Pawnee counties, both north of Oklahoma City, according to Corey Mead, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center.
    Oklahoma City and Moore, Oklahoma, which were struck by the fatal EF5 tornado on May 20, were not immediately part of Thursday's warnings but were within a severe weather forecast area extending over a wide area of the Plains states and Midwest.
    "It looks like it is going to be an active severe weather day," Mead said. "The Oklahoma City area is definitely at risk of tornadoes."
    Severe weather is forecast for a large area of the central United States extending from north of Dallas, Texas all the way to near the Canadian border in Wisconsin, according to a National Weather Service map.
    Major cities potentially in the path of the storms include St. Louis; Little Rock, Arkansas; and near the Chicago and Milwaukee areas.
    The tornado that struck Moore, a suburb of Oklahoma City, damaged some 13,000 homes.
    end quote from:
    Tornado warnings in Oklahoma, risk includes hard-hit...

best 5 months for Stock Market since 1997?

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange
Wall Street Drops 1% on the Day, but Still Up for May ReutersStocks ended down 1% on Friday, extending losses into the close, but the three major indexes closed out May with gains. The S&P 500 rose 14.34% for the first five months of 2013 - its best first five months since 1997.

Wall Street drops in late slide, but ends May with gains


By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks sold off in late trading to close sharply lower on Friday, with the S&P 500 posting consecutive weekly losses for the first time since November, as investors retreated after a seven-month run of gains.
Traders attributed some of the selling to global index rebalancing and reallocation of investments to bonds from stocks, but a desire to protect profits also contributed to the exodus late in the session.
"As you sensed the weakening market with drifting lower underlying bids, I think sellers started to get a little nervous, and you started to see different areas of the market coming a little more unglued," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities, in Los Angeles.
The S&P 500 ended May up 2.1 percent, its seventh straight month of gains and its longest streak of monthly gains since 2009.
The benchmark S&P 500 index is up 14.3 percent in 2013 after repeatedly scaling record highs, scoring its best five-month start to the year since 1997. Over the past seven months, the S&P 500 has climbed 15.5 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI) slid 208.96 points, or 1.36 percent, to close at 15,115.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index (.SPX) lost 23.67 points, or 1.43 percent, to finish at 1,630.74. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) fell 35.38 points, or 1.01 percent, to end at 3,455.91.
For the week, the Dow fell 1.2 percent, the S&P 500 lost 1.1 percent and the Nasdaq dipped 0.1 percent.
For the month of May, the Dow rose 1.9 percent and the Nasdaq gained 3.8 percent.
Trading has been volatile for most of the week on concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve may ease its monetary policy, the main engine behind the strong rally in equities this year.
Data on Friday gave mixed signals on the U.S. economy and failed to quell speculation about possible actions by the Fed to trim its stimulus measures. Manufacturing rose more than expected in May and reflected expansion of business activity after contraction in April.
But consumer spending fell in April for the first time in almost a year and inflation pressures were subdued.
"The economic data we have seen over the last week or so has been quite positive. It's the positive nature of that data, though it supports the market, it also speaks to the fact that tapering or a shift in monetary policy is more likely - the more positive it is," said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"As a result, people are more than happy to ring the register - you never go broke ringing the register on a winning trade."
Selling accelerated near the market's close with the rebalancing of the MSCI indexes at the end of the day. Credit Suisse forecast $19 billion in total trading as a result of the rebalancing, with $15 billion related to developed markets.
According to Credit Suisse, U.S. stocks were expected to see the greatest amount of net selling at the close as a result of the MSCI rebalancing, with a net outflow of about $300 million from indexes.
"What's happened in the last hour here, there's some index and month-end rebalancing that accelerated the downturn," said Bucky Hellwig, senior vice president of BB&T Wealth Management in Birmingham, Alabama.
Hellwig also said the weakness in the bond market in May could have prompted some fund managers to reallocate from stocks to bonds. U.S. Treasuries suffered their worst month since December 2010.
Energy and healthcare stocks were among the session's worst performers, with Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) the two biggest drags on the S&P 500. Pfizer lost 3.6 percent to $27.23, while the S&P healthcare sector index (.SPXHC) dropped 2.2 percent. Exxon Mobil slid 1.8 percent to $90.47. The S&P energy sector index (.SPNY) lost 2 percent.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final reading on consumer sentiment for May was 84.5 - the highest level since July 2007 - and above expectations for a reading of 83.7.
Volume was heavy due to the MSCI rebalancing, with about 7.64 billion shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE MKT and Nasdaq, well above the daily average of 6.37 billion.
Declining stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by 2,572 to 459. On the Nasdaq, decliners beat advancers by 1,787 to 693.
(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr and Herb Lash; Editing by Jan Paschal)
end quote from:
Wall Street Drops 1% on the Day, but Still Up for May

The most interesting thing for me isn't that the stock market is down 1% today mostly in profit taking. The most interesting thing is that the last 5 months are the best months for the stock market since 1997. This means that the last 5 months are the best in 16 years. In other words if you have a 16 year old kid he or she was born the same year it was this good last. That is impressive. I have a 17 year old and I'm still impressed.

Equality Versus Sovereignty?

Sovereignty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sovereignty is the quality of having independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make laws that rests ...

Equality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Equality. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Jump to: navigation, search. Look up equality in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. Equality may refer to: Contents ...

Now you know from reading the above to definitions of both sovereignty and Equality what they mean. 


Now, let us apply them to what is going on in Syria today. Russia's point of view is that sovereignty is the most important issue and because of Sovereignty Assad shouldn't be kicked out as the government of Syria.


In opposition to this point of view is the United States and Europe who believe that equality is the most important thing to be considered. To the U.S. and Europe and much of the rest of the world, "Majority rule" which comes directly from equality is the most important thing. 


So, to better understand what is going on with Russia in it's opposition is to realize that Russia does not want it's sovereignty to be questioned like the Sovereignty of Syria has been. They are also in Russia very disturbed by what has already happened in the Middle east the past few years during Arab Spring.

Understanding these opposite points of view will eventually cause some kind of peace eventually in Syria sometime in the next 10 to 20 years. Hopefully, this can be done without collapsing any more countries in the region. Hopefully, more people understanding these divergent points of view will help bring peace to this region and reduce the number of deaths there ongoing.

Gluten Free Diet: What's allowed and what's not

  1. Gluten-free diet: What's allowed, what's not -
    Gluten-free diet — Learn which foods are acceptable for people eating a gluten-free diet.
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    How to go gluten-free- a quick start guide from Gluten-Free Goddess.
  3. Gluten Intolerance, Sensitivity, & Gluten-Free Diets - WebMD
    Dec 19, 2008
    Does gluten cause intestinal trouble? What to know about celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and gluten-free diets.
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  5. The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free ... › Celiac Disease
    Apr 9, 2010 – 04/09/2010 Receiving a celiac disease diagnosis or being told you need to be on a gluten-free diet can be an overwhelming ...
  6. Gluten Free Diet Center | Eating Well › Diet & Health
    Our nutrition experts offer gluten free diet guidelines and expert gluten free Q and A , as well as an interactive quiz that tests your knowledge. Plus, delicious ...
  7. Gluten-Free for the Gluten Sensitive -
    Feb 4, 2013 – That is the core, draconian commandment of a gluten-free diet, ... Although she does not have celiac, she adopted a gluten-free diet last year.
    The Mayo Clinic Diet Book, learn more



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    Gluten-free diet: What's allowed, what's not

    By Mayo Clinic staff


    A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes the protein gluten. Gluten is found in grains such as wheat, barley, rye and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye).
    A gluten-free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Gluten causes inflammation in the small intestines of people with celiac disease. Eating a gluten-free diet helps people with celiac disease control their signs and symptoms and prevent complications.
    Initially, following a gluten-free diet may be frustrating. But with time, patience and creativity, you'll find there are many foods that you already eat that are gluten-free and you will find substitutes for gluten-containing foods that you can enjoy.


    The gluten-free diet is a treatment for celiac disease.

    Diet details

    Switching to a gluten-free diet is a big change and, like anything new, it takes some getting used to. You may initially feel deprived by the diet's restrictions. However, try to stay positive and focus on all the foods you can eat. You may also be pleasantly surprised to realize how many gluten-free products, such as bread and pasta, are now available. Many specialty grocery stores sell gluten-free foods. If you can't find them in your area, check with a celiac support group or go online.
    If you're just starting with a gluten-free diet, it's a good idea to consult a dietitian who can answer your questions and offer advice about how to avoid gluten while still eating a healthy, balanced diet.
    Allowed foods
    Many healthy and delicious foods are naturally gluten-free:
    • Beans, seeds, nuts in their natural, unprocessed form
    • Fresh eggs
    • Fresh meats, fish and poultry (not breaded, batter-coated or marinated)
    • Fruits and vegetables
    • Most dairy products
    It's important to make sure that they are not processed or mixed with gluten-containing grains, additives or preservatives. Many grains and starches can be part of a gluten-free diet:
    • Amaranth
    • Arrowroot
    • Buckwheat
    • Corn and cornmeal
    • Flax
    • Gluten-free flours (rice, soy, corn, potato, bean)
    • Hominy (corn)
    • Millet
    • Quinoa
    • Rice
    • Sorghum
    • Soy
    • Tapioca
    • Teff
    Always avoid
    Avoid all food and drinks containing:
    • Barley (malt, malt flavoring and malt vinegar are usually made from barley)
    • Rye
    • Triticale (a cross between wheat and rye)
    • Wheat
    Avoiding wheat can be challenging because wheat products go by numerous names. Consider the many types of wheat flour on supermarket shelves — bromated, enriched, phosphated, plain and self-rising. Here are other wheat products to avoid:
    • Bulgur
    • Durum flour
    • Farina
    • Graham flour
    • Kamut
    • Semolina
    • Spelt
    Avoid unless labeled 'gluten-free'
    In general, avoid the following foods unless they're labeled as gluten-free or made with corn, rice, soy or other gluten-free grain:
    • Beer
    • Breads
    • Cakes and pies
    • Candies
    • Cereals
    • Cookies and crackers
    • Croutons
    • French fries
    • Gravies
    • Imitation meat or seafood
    • Matzo
    • Pastas
    • Processed luncheon meats
    • Salad dressings
    • Sauces, including soy sauce
    • Seasoned rice mixes
    • Seasoned snack foods, such as potato and tortilla chips
    • Self-basting poultry
    • Soups and soup bases
    • Vegetables in sauce
    Certain grains, such as oats, can be contaminated with wheat during growing and processing stages of production. For this reason, doctors and dietitians generally recommend avoiding oats unless they are specifically labeled gluten-free.
    You should also be alert for other products that you eat or that could come in contact with your mouth that may contain gluten. These include:
    • Food additives, such as malt flavoring, modified food starch and others
    • Medications and vitamins that use gluten as a binding agent
    • Play dough
    Watch for cross-contamination
    Cross-contamination occurs when gluten-free foods come into contact with foods that contain gluten. It can happen during the manufacturing process, for example, if the same equipment is used to make a variety of products. Some food labels include a "may contain" statement if this is the case. But be aware that this type of statement is voluntary. You still need to check the actual ingredient list. If you're not sure whether a food contains gluten, don't buy it or check with the manufacturer first to ask what it contains.
    Cross-contamination can also occur at home if foods are prepared on common surfaces or with utensils that weren't thoroughly cleaned after being used to prepare gluten-containing foods. Using a common toaster for gluten-free bread and regular bread is a major source of contamination, for example. Consider what steps you need to take to prevent cross-contamination at home, school or work.


    People with celiac disease who eat a gluten-free diet experience fewer symptoms and complications of the disease. People with celiac disease must eat a strictly gluten-free diet and must remain on the diet for the remainder of their lives.
    In some severe cases, a gluten-free diet alone can't stop the symptoms and complications of celiac disease. In these cases, doctors might prescribe medications to suppress the immune system.


    Not getting enough vitamins
    People who follow a gluten-free diet may have low levels of certain vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Many grains are enriched with vitamins. Avoiding grains with a gluten-free diet may mean eating fewer of these enriched products. Ask your dietitian to review your diet to see that you're getting enough of these key nutrients:
    • Iron
    • Calcium
    • Fiber
    • Thiamin
    • Riboflavin
    • Niacin
    • Folate
    Not sticking to the gluten-free diet
    If you accidentally eat a product that contains gluten, you may experience abdominal pain and diarrhea. Some people experience no signs or symptoms after eating gluten, but this doesn't mean it's not damaging their small intestines. Even trace amounts of gluten in your diet may be damaging, whether or not they cause signs or symptoms.
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    Gluten-free diet: What's allowed, what's not -