Echo Chamber: New You Could Have Read Anywhere
by Artvoice - posted 9:07 am, March 31, 2008
- The Sabres squeaked by the Bruins at home last night in a 2-1 overtime victory, keeping playoff hopes alive, but gasping. With three games left, they are still five points behind the 8th place Flyers the 7th place Bruins and 6th place Rangers. Buffalo needs all three remaining games, and for Washington and Philadelphia, Boston or New York to drop each of their remaining three if the Sabres want to make the post season. Of the five teams, Buffalo has the second easiest schedule remaining. One slip-up, though, and it’s all over.
- The governor and legislators have reached a final budget agreement for the state with well over 24 hours remaining to enact it before the 2008 fiscal year begins tomorrow. Major changes include increased school funding, a $1.25-per-pack increase in the cigarette “sin” tax, increased funding for the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and rejection of a gasoline tax. The total budget—about $124 billion—constitutes a 4.5 percent increase from the 2007 state budget.
- Shiite cleric Moktada Al-Sadr called for his Mahdi Army to cease fighting Sunday, officially beginning a cease fire between his militia and the American-backed Iraqi army. Though fighting in the southern port city of Basra died down, heavy fighting continued in the Sadr City district of
Baghdad. The Mahdi Army has held off the Iraqi assault on Basra for six days now, and negotiations between the cleric and the Iraqi government was seen as a blow to Iraqi PM Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who had promised to carry the battle through to military victory.
- Early results indicate that Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe may have lost by a landslide to opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai in Saturday’s national election. Mugabe has been president for 28 years, years that have seen Zimbabwe’s economy fall to tatters under the autocrat’s rule. The 2002 election showed similar beginnings, however, with Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party far ahead of Mugabe in early counts. After a long pause in the broadcast of election results, Mugabe’s party “stormed back,” causing many to cry foul. Since then, the voting rules have changed to reduce the chances of voter fraud.
- Islam has surpassed Catholicism as the world’s leading religion, according to Vatican officials. Roman Catholics account for 17.4 percent (1.1 billion) of the world’s population, while Muslims comprise 19.2 percent (1.3 billion), a number that continues to rise. The total for all Christians of all denominations is roughly 2.1 billion, or a third of the world’s population. “For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us,” said Monsignor Vittorio Formenti. He, of course, was neglecting the first 200,000 years of human history when he made that statement.
- The wind is blowing hot out of the Koreas, as more threats pass between the South’s new conservative government and the communist North. Kim Jong-il threatened Sunday to reduce South Korea to “ashes” is the South Korean government made the “slightest move” to attack. At the root of the strained relations is South Korea’s new president, Lee Myung-bak, who announced last week that he would decrease traditional aid to the North if it didn’t abandon its nuclear programs. The latest threat is a step up from the 1994 crisis between the countries, when the North promised to turn the South into a “sea of fire.” The full quote this time around, made by a military affairs coordinator, was “Everything will be in ashes, not just a sea of fire, if our advanced pre-emptive strike once begins.”
- The Earth could be swallowed this summer by a man made black hole.
- Somebody do Spitzer a favor and have him read this before it’s too late.