SMITH ET AL. v. CITY OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 03–1160.
Argued November 3, 2004—Decided March 30, 2005 In revising its employee pay plan, respondent City granted raises to all police officers and police dispatchers in an attempt to bring their starting salaries up to the regional average. Officers with less than five years’ service received proportionately greater raises than those with more seniority, and most officers over 40 had more than five years of service. Petitioners, a group of older officers, filed suit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), claiming, inter alia, that they were adversely affected by the plan because of their age. The District Court granted the City summary judgment. Affirming, the Fifth Circuit ruled that disparate-impact claims are categorically unavailable under the ADEA, but it assumed that the facts alleged by petitioners would entitle them to relief under Griggs v. Duke Power Co., 401 U. S. 424, which announced a disparate-impact theory of recovery for cases brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
Held: The judgment is affirmed. 351 F. 3d 183, affirmed. March 30, 2005 FULL TEXT in PDF Format SMITH. v. CITY OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI No. 03–1160
Thursday, March 31, 2005
SMITH ET AL. v. CITY OF JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI, ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT No. 03–1160.
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Canada and the United States Cooperate to Shut Down One of the Last Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production Reactors in Russia
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and United States Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to assist with the permanent closure of one of the final operating weapons-grade plutonium production reactors in Russia.
Under the MOU, Canada will contribute $9 million Canadian (U.S. $7 million) to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Elimination of Weapons-Grade Plutonium Production (EWGPP) program. The Canadian contribution to this initiative is part of its $1 billion pledge under the G8-led Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction.
The goal of the EWGPP program is to permanently shut down three Russian nuclear reactors and replace them with fossil energy plants. These reactors, which provide necessary heat and electricity to two regions in Siberia, also generate a significant amount of plutonium that could be used to make nuclear weapons. The Russian government has agreed to permanently shut down the reactors once replacement energy is provided.
“This agreement is key to halting the production of nuclear weapons materials,” said Minister Pettigrew. “We are pleased to be able to cooperate with our U.S. partners on this important security initiative.”
“Ending the production of weapons-grade plutonium is a non-proliferation priority for the United States and the international community,” said Secretary Bodman. “The signing of this MOU with our Canadian partners is another key step toward meeting this priority.”
The Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction is a critical initiative for preventing terrorism relating to weapons of mass destruction. Canada is currently contributing to projects in all four of its priority areas: dismantlement of nuclear submarines; destruction of chemical weapons; re-employment of former weapons scientists; and disposition of fissile materials. The United States pledges approximately US$1 billion annually for activities under the Global Partnership.
SOURCE: energy.gov Media contacts: Mike Waldron, 202/586-4940 Sébastien Théberge, 613/995-1851 Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Number: R-05-092 March 30, 2005
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DeLay Statement on Terri Schiavo , SUGAR LAND, Texas – House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) today released the following statement mourning the passing of Terri Schiavo:
“Mrs. Schiavo’s death is a moral poverty and a legal tragedy. This loss happened because our legal system did not protect the people who need protection most, and that will change. The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior, but not today. Today we grieve, we pray, and we hope to God this fate never befalls another. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Schindlers and with Terri Schiavo's friends in this time of deep sorrow. ”
SOURCE: Majority Leader : Tom DeLay Thursday, March 31, 2005 The Office of the House Majority Leader H-107 The Capitol Washington, DC 20515 p. (202)225-4000 f. (202)225-5117
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United States Congratulates the Central African Republic on Its Election
The United States congratulates the people of the Central African Republic for peaceful presidential and legislative elections held on March 13. The United States views the elections as a positive first step in the Central African Republic’s progress towards democratic governance.
Voter turnout was high, in the country’s first presidential election in more than five years. This affirmed the strong interest of the Central African people in the election and their commitment to the democratic process.
The parties have pledged to abide by the results of this election and to resolve all disputes through peaceful, legal means. The United States looks forward to a free, fair, and transparent runoff election on May 1.
2005/364 Press Statement Richard Boucher, Spokesman Washington, DC March 31, 2005
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Macedonian Municipal Elections
Question: Does the State Department have any comment on the recent elections in Macedonia, specifically on the way they were conducted?
Answer: We fully concur with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) preliminary findings and conclusions regarding the second round of local elections in Macedonia on March 27. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe found that, despite some efforts, the Government of Macedonia failed to adequately address the shortcomings identified in the first round. Although the second round was generally well conducted and orderly in most parts of the country, it did not meet key Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe commitments guaranteeing universal and equal suffrage and ensuring ballot secrecy.
We are concerned that voting in a number of municipalities was marred by the same serious irregularities observed in the first round of voting on March 13. We call on the leaders of the political parties in those areas to condemn publicly the attempts by some supporters to weaken the democratic system by violating the electoral code. We also call on the responsible government authorities to investigate and prosecute those implicated in electoral violations. We urge the Government of Macedonia to heed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recommendations and to take immediate steps to bring its electoral laws and practices in line with Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe standards.
2005/363 Released on March 30, 2005
Taken Question Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC March 30, 2005 Question Taken at March 30, 2005 Daily Press Briefing
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President Discusses Schiavo, WMD Commission FULL STREAMING VIDEO, Report Room 450 Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building President's Remarks 11:31 A.M. EST
WMD Report Full Commission Report (PDF): The unclassified document released by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities. FULL TEXT
THE PRESIDENT: Today millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schiavo's families. I appreciate the example of grace and dignity they have displayed at a difficult time. I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life, where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others. The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life.
The most solemn duty of the American President is to protect the American people. Since September the 11th, 2001, we've taken bold and vigorous steps to prevent further attacks and overcome emerging threats. We face a new and different kind of enemy. The threats today are unprecedented. The lives of our citizens are at stake. To protect them, we need the best intelligence possible, and we must stay ahead of constantly changing intelligence challenges.
So last year I issued an executive order creating an independent commission to look at America's intelligence capabilities, especially our intelligence about weapons of mass destruction. I asked two fine Americans to chair this commission, Judge Laurence Silberman and former Senator Chuck Robb. They have done an excellent job. I appreciate your service to our country.
I also want to thank the other members of the commission -- Senator John McCain, Rick Levin, Harry Rowen, Walt Slocombe, Bill Studeman, Judge Patricia Wald, Chuck Vest and Lloyd Cutler. I want to thank them for their hard work. They spent a lot of time on this project. I asked these distinguished individuals to give me an unvarnished look at our intelligence community, and they have delivered.
This morning the commission presented me with their recommendations, which are thoughtful and extremely significant. The central conclusion is one that I share: America's intelligence community needs fundamental change to enable us to successfully confront the threats of the 21st century.
My administration has taken steps consistent with the commission's recommendations. In February, I named John Negroponte the first Director of National Intelligence, a post that was created to help ensure that our intelligence community works as a single, unified enterprise. It's important for Congress to move quickly on John's confirmation, because he'll have a key role in the continued reform and restructuring of intelligence capabilities.
Today I've directed Homeland Secretary advisor Fran Townsend to oversee the interagency process, to review the commission's findings, and to ensure that concrete action is taken. The commission report delivers a sharp critique of the way intelligence has been collected and analyzed against some of the most different intelligence targets, especially Iraq.
To win the war on terror, we will correct what needs to be fixed, and build on what the commission calls solid intelligence successes. These include the uncovering of Libya's nuclear and missile programs. In Pakistan, our intelligence helped expose and shut down the world's most dangerous nuclear proliferation network. Where we have had success, the commission reports we have seen innovative collection techniques and a fusion of interagency intelligence capabilities. We must work to replicate these successes in other areas.
The men and women of our intelligence community work hard. And the sacrifices they have made have helped protect America, and our nation is grateful for their hard work. The work they're doing is critical. We need to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on the weapons of mass murder they would like to use against our citizens.
The work of our intelligence community is extremely difficult work. Every day, dangerous regimes are working to prevent us from uncovering their programs and their possible relationships with terrorists. And the work our intelligence men and women do is, by nature, secret, which is why the American people never hear about many of their successes. I'm proud of the efforts of our intelligence workers and I'm proud of their commitment to the security of our country, and the American people should be proud, too.
And that's why this report is important. It will enable these fine men and women to do their jobs in better fashion, to be able to more likely accomplish their mission, which is to protect the American people, and that's why I'm grateful to the commission for this hard work.
The President and his national security team must have intelligence that is timely and intelligence that is accurate. In their report today, the commission points out that America needs to know much more about the weapons programs and intentions of our most dangerous adversaries. They have given us useful and important guidance that will help us transform our intelligence capabilities for the needs of a dangerous new century.
In other words, we need to adjust. We need to understand the threats and adjust our capabilities to meet those threats. We will work to give our intelligence professionals the tools they need. Our collection and analysis of intelligence will never be perfect, but in an age where our margin for error is getting smaller, in an age in which we are at war, the consequences of underestimating a threat could be tens of thousands of innocent lives. And my administration will continue to make intelligence reforms that will allow us to identify threats before they fully emerge so we can take effective action to protect the American people.
I'm grateful for your hard work, and now the chairman of the commission and the co-chairman of the commission have agreed to answer your questions. Thank you, sir.
END 11:38 A.M. EST For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 31, 2005
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DaimlerChrysler Commits Over $70 Million to Fuel Cell Development in the U.S.
The United States Department of Energy and DaimlerChrysler work together for further development of Fuel Cell Vehicles . DaimlerChrysler has more Fuel Cell Vehicles in the U.S. than any other manufacturer , Vehicles are part of the 100-plus DaimlerChrysler Fuel Cell Worldwide Fleet
Washington, D.C., Mar 30, 2005 - DaimlerChrysler, the world's leading manufacturer of fuel cell vehicles, has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to further develop fuel cell vehicles in the United States. DaimlerChrysler will invest over $70 million, returning valuable information about the future of hydrogen transportation.
The five-year partnership, part of the DOE Controlled Fleet and Hydrogen Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project, links DaimlerChrysler, BP and other companies as partners to help increase public awareness through outreach programs about fuel cell vehicles, the hydrogen economy and the benefits to society.
"DaimlerChrysler has worked with the Department of Energy from the beginning. We have a fleet of fuel cell vehicles ready to go into service in this demonstration program," said Deborah Morrissett, Vice President - Regulatory Affairs, Chrysler Group. "This is an example of the type of partnership that is necessary to accelerate the evolution of the fuel cell vehicle and to reduce the dependency on oil in the United States."
By working closely with Ballard Power Systems, DaimlerChrysler has succeeded in developing a range of fuel cell-powered vehicles for different applications:
The Mercedes F-Cell is a four-door passenger car being manufactured under volume production conditions.
The company also is currently testing the Dodge Fuel Cell Sprinter van with UPS; this is the first medium-duty fuel cell vehicle used commercially in the United States.
In addition to the Mercedes F-Cells and Dodge Fuel Cell Sprinters, the company operates a fleet of fuel cell-powered Mercedes Citaro buses in public transportation worldwide.
The varying models are part of the company's 100 fuel cell vehicle fleet and places DaimlerChrysler at a unique advantage to put numerous fuel cell-powered vehicles within the United States in early 2005.
"DaimlerChrysler has more fuel cell vehicles in use than any other company," said Morrissett. "The DOE program will further expand our knowledge of fuel cell technology, demonstrate our commitment to zero emission transportation and support our nation’s long term vision of a hydrogen economy."
Through the DOE Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project, DaimlerChrysler will place more fuel cell vehicles in the hands of customers who will provide valuable feedback about performance in different conditions. DaimlerChrysler is testing over 100 fuel cell vehicles under varying weather, traffic conditions and driving styles in different locations worldwide. This experience will benefit the development of the fuel cell automobile and how it will be refueled. BP is the energy partner of DaimlerChrysler in the project. BP recently opened the first public hydrogen refueling station in Southfield, Mich., with DTE Energy Company. Another station was opened in a cooperative effort between BP and Praxair at the Los Angeles International Airport.
DaimlerChrysler has been involved in fuel cell technology for more than 10 years. Fuel cells release energy from the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen with a catalyst. This clean technology operates to a high level of efficiency and is true zero emission. Hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles emit only pure water vapor as exhaust. Fuel cell vehicles are part of DaimlerChrysler's advanced propulsion technology umbrella, which also includes exceptionally efficient gasoline engines, advanced diesels, alternative fuels and hybrid powertrain systems.
SOURCE: Newsroom (Home), Additional information and news from BP is available on the Internet at bp.com/hydrogen
Posted by sookietex at 2:39 PM || ||
STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT Room 450 Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building 11:31 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Today millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schaivo. Laura and I extend our condolences to Terri Schaivo's families. I appreciate the example of grace and dignity they have displayed at a difficult time. I urge all those who honor Terri Schaivo to continue to work to build a culture of life, where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected, especially those who live at the mercy of others. The essence of civilization is that the strong have a duty to protect the weak. In cases where there are serious doubts and questions, the presumption should be in the favor of life.
For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 31, 2005 Statement by the President
Posted by sookietex at 1:23 PM || ||
Wednesday, March 30, 2005
Disabled Veterans Take to the Slopes at Winter Sports Clinic
WASHINGTON – More than 350 disabled veterans will ski the Rocky Mountains at the 19th National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic in Snowmass Village, Colo., April 3-8, 2005.
The clinic is an annual rehabilitation program open to all U.S. military veterans with spinal cord injuries or diseases, visual impairments, certain neurological conditions, orthopedic amputations or other disabilities, who receive care at any Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facility.
This year, more than 60 newly injured veterans from Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom will join their fellow veterans at the clinic.
During the six-day program, the veterans will learn adaptive Alpine and Nordic skiing and be introduced to a variety of other adaptive activities and sports, such as rock climbing, scuba diving, snowmobiling and sled hockey. The U.S. Secret Service will also teach a course on self-defense for people with disabilities.
Updates, photos and news releases about these events and about allparticipating veterans will be posted on the Winter Sports Clinic Web siteduring the week at wintersportsclinic.org under "ParticipantInformation."
Jointly sponsored by VA and the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), the clinic is hosted each year by the Grand Junction (Colo.) VA Medical Center and VA's Rocky Mountain Network.
"The Winter Sports Clinic is rehabilitation in action," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson. "These veterans teach all of us about determination, grace and courage."
Known for inspiring "Miracles on the Mountainside," the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic shows that the lives of disabled veterans can be changed forever when they discover the challenges they can overcome.
"The National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic is a fantastic example of the partnership between DAV and VA, with both organizations committed to serving the rehabilitative needs of our nation's disabled veterans," said DAV National Commander James E. Sursely. "I have been a participant in this event and eagerly anticipate returning to Snowmass to represent DAV as its national commander. I know this year's Winter Sports Clinic will be a life-changing experience for everyone involved."
Grammy award-winning singers Vince Gill and Amy Grant will perform a private concert at the Winter Sports Clinic, courtesy of Challenge Aspen, a local organization for people with disabilities. Challenge Aspen has played a key role in supporting the Winter Sports Clinic for the past five years.
Actress Bo Derek, National Honorary Chairperson for VA's National Rehabilitation Special Events, will also attend the clinic this year to meet with veterans. On Friday, April 8, "Race Day" at the event, she will join VA and DAV leaders to present medals to the veterans as they complete their runs down the mountainside.
VA is a recognized leader in rehabilitation, with recreational therapy programs at each of its 158 hospitals. DAV, which has co-sponsored the event since 1991, is a nonprofit, congressionally chartered veterans service organization, with a membership of more than one million wartime disabled veterans.
For further information, contact Jenny Shafer Tankersley, VA publicaffairs coordinator, Winter Sports Clinic, at (757) 728-3450; or Rob Lewis,DAV communications, at (859) 442-2049. Or, log on to the event's web site at: wintersportsclinic.org People wishing to receive e-mail from VA with the latest news releases andupdated fact sheets can subscribe at the following Internet address:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 29, 2005
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ATF Arrests Ex-Steeler Terry Long on Arson and Mail Fraud Charges
PITTSBURGH - Mark W. Potter, Special Agent in Charge of the Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and Mary Beth Buchanan, United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, announced today the arrest of former Pittsburgh Steeler Terry Long, 45, in connection with an alleged mail fraud scheme and the alleged malicious destruction of property by fire. The 2003 fire destroyed Long’s business, Value Added Foods, at 1112 Galveston Avenue in Pittsburgh.
The 18-month investigation led to a federal indictment charging Long, of Sewickley, Pa., with seven counts of mail fraud in which false information was allegedly provided on business loan applications to both private and government lenders. As a result of these misrepresentations and an alleged fraudulent insurance claim stemming from the losses incurred from the fire, Long received more than $2.3 million in illegal proceeds. Long is also charged with the arson of his poultry processing business.
After negotiations between ATF and Long’s attorney, the defendant turned himself in to ATF today.
“Arson presents a danger to the citizens of a community and the on-scene firefighters,” said Potter. “ATF will continue in its dedication to combating arson, one of the most costly of public safety problems.”
The indictment and arrest are the culmination of a complex, time-consuming investigation conducted by investigators and forensic auditors from ATF, as well as the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Arson Unit and the City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Safety, Fire and Arson Investigation Division.
SOURCE: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ##### Contact: PIO/Special Agent John Hageman (412) 395-0540 – Pittsburgh (215) 717-4700 – Philadelphia (609) 743-2987 - Cellular For Immediate Release March 29, 2005
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NASA SELECTS 27 SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PHASE 2 PROJECTS
NASA has selected 27 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research proposals for Phase 2 contract negotiations. The STTR projects total approximately $16 million and directly support NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. The contracts will be awarded to 24 small high-technology firms in 15 states.
The goals of the NASA STTR program are to stimulate technological innovation, increase the use of small business -- including women-owned and disadvantaged firms -- in meeting federal research and development needs, and increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federally-funded research. In addition, the STTR program requires a collaborative research effort between small business and research institutions.
NASA evaluated 41 STTR proposals submitted by U.S.-owned small business concerns. Phase 2 continues development of the most promising Phase 1 projects. Only Phase 1 participants can compete for continuation of their efforts with Phase 2 contracts. Selection criteria for Phase 2 includes technical merit and innovation, Phase 1 results, value to NASA, commercial potential and company capabilities. Phase 2 contracts are funded up to $600,000 for a performance period of up to two years.
The NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office is hosted at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, with executive oversight by NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. Individual STTR projects are managed by the NASA’s nine field centers.
A listing of the selected companies can be accessed on the Internet at: sbir.nasa.gov
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program 2003 STTR Phase 2 Press Release March 29, 2005 J.D. Harrington Headquarters, Washington, D.C. (Phone: 202/358-5241) RELEASE: 05-xx
Posted by sookietex at 4:53 PM || ||
Update 04/04/05 Remarks by the President in Medal of Honor Ceremony for Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith FULL STREAMING VIDEO President's Remarks, FULL TEXT Medal of Honor Ceremony for Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith
First Medal of Honor to be awarded in Operation Iraqi Freedom
WASHINGTON (Army News Service, March 30, 2005) -- The White House announced March 29 that President George W. Bush will honor Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith by presenting his family the Medal of Honor on April 4, the second anniversary of his courageous actions during the Battle of Baghdad Airport.
Smith is the first to receive the military’s highest award for actions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
In action near the Baghdad Airport on April 4, 2003, Smith, a Soldier in Company B, 11th Engineer Battalion, working with units of the 3rd Infantry Division, was tasked to build a compound to hold enemy prisoners, when his small force came under attack by more than 100 enemies.
Smith threw two grenades and fired rocket launchers at the enemy before manning a .50-caliber machine gun on an M-113 Armored Personnel Carrier to protect his troops. While engaging an enemy attacking from three sides, Smith fired more than 300 rounds from the machinegun before being killed.
He prevented the enemy from overtaking his unit’s position, protected his Task Force’s flank, and defended the lives of more than 100 Soldiers, according to his award citation.
Smith was serving as a platoon sergeant in Bravo Company, 11th Engineer Battalion, Task Force 2-7, 3rd Infantry Division. He had been serving in the Army since October 1989.
For more information about Smith, including detailed accounts of his action, see other stories on the Army News Service Web site at army.mil/ocpa/news/or visit the special tribute Web site at army.mil/medalofhonor/
Posted by sookietex at 4:42 PM || ||
Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex Inc. Agrees to Pay $1.2 Million Civil Penalty
WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex Inc., (HB/PS) of Glen Allen, Va., has agreed to pay a $1.2 million civil penalty. The penalty, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, settles allegations that the company failed to report to CPSC in a timely manner defects with three separate products: countertop toasters, juice extractors, and slow cookers. Under federal law, manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers must immediately report information about potentially hazardous products to the Commission.
“Companies who report late to CPSC about incidents or injuries involving their products prevent us from taking action to protect consumers from harm,” stated CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. “CPSC will not hesitate to enforce the law against those companies who do not report critical safety information in a timely way, but our goal is to have companies work cooperatively with us to keep consumers safe.”
In agreeing to settle this matter, HB/PS denies that it violated the Consumer Product Safety Act by failing to report its countertop toasters, juice extractors, and slow cookers in a timely manner. HB/PS says it continues to improve its methods for satisfying all CPSC reporting requirements.
CPSC alleged that certain models of HB/PS toasters could remain “on” even after the food in the toaster “popped up.” This could set whatever was in the toaster on fire. These toasters were manufactured for HB/PS by Durable Electrical Metal Factory Ltd., of China, from March 1997 to October 1999.
Between 1997 and 1999, HB/PS received about 230 consumer complaints involving toasters that may have failed to turn off and three consumer reports of damage to kitchen cabinets or countertops due to fires. The company also knew of product changes to attempt to correct the problem.
HB/PS reported this product to the Commission in November 1999 and voluntarily recalled 95,000 of its countertop toasters in April 2000. HB/PS offered consumers a replacement toaster.
HB/PS distributed the defective juice extractors between 1992 and October 2001. CPSC alleged that the juicer strainer baskets could break apart, posing a risk to nearby consumers who could be struck by pieces of metal or plastic. Between 1992 and 2001, HB/PS received 59 consumer complaints related to the alleged defect. The injuries included four consumers who received lacerations requiring stitches and five consumers alleging eye injuries.
HB/PS reported this product to the Commission in October 2001 and voluntarily recalled 2.4 million juice extractors in November 2001. HB/PS offered consumers a replacement strainer basket, a replacement juicer, or a $10 refund, depending upon the model of juicer the consumer owned.
HB/PS imported and distributed from 1999 through December 2002, 18 different models of slow cookers manufactured by Huamei Electronics Co. Ltd., in China. CPSC alleged the slow cookers were defective because their handles could break off when the product was lifted, exposing consumers to a risk of burns. Between 1999 and 2001, HB/PS received over 2000 complaints of cracked or broken slow cooker handles, including two reports of consumers who required medical attention for burns from hot food, as well as information regarding product changes to attempt to address the problem of handles breaking.
HB/PS first notified the Commission about this product in February 2002 and voluntarily recalled 2.7 million slow cookers in July 2003. In January 2005, Wal-Mart recalled an additional 600,000 slow cookers imported by HB/PS. Consumers were offered a replacement slow cooker base.
Consumers who have any of these recalled products should call the company toll-free at (800) 672-5872.
IMAGES: toaster 1 -- toaster 2 -- slow cookers -- Juicers
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270, or visit CPSC's web site at cpsc.gov/talk. To join a CPSC email subscription list, please go to cpsc.gov/cpsclist. Consumers can obtain this release and recall information at CPSC's Web site at cpsc.gov.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 30, 2005 Release #05-144 CPSC Consumer Hotline: (800) 638-2772 CPSC Media Contacts: Leonardo Alcivar or Scott Wolfson (301) 504-7908 or (301) 504-7051
NEWS from CPSC U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Information and Public Affairs Washington, DC 20207
Posted by sookietex at 4:07 PM || ||
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the Women's Teacher in Training Institute in Kabul, Afghanistan
Thank you for your warm welcome. It is, indeed, an extraordinary privilege to be with you today to celebrate the incredible progress that has been made by the people of Afghanistan over these past four years. I have especially watched with great pride as courageous women across your country have taken on leadership roles as teachers, students, doctors, judges, business and community leaders, and politicians. And no where is that more evident than on this University campus. The United States Government is wholeheartedly committed to the full participation of women in all aspects of Afghan society, not just in Kabul, but in every province.
The National Women's Dormitory and the Women's Teacher Training Institute will allow women to come from every corner of the country and have a safe place to stay and study so that they can return home and share one of life's greatest gifts with their communities - the gift of an education.
I want to thank Mina Sherzoy, the Head of the Afghan Business Women's Council, for organizing the marketplace today which showcases some of the local wares being produced by women entrepreneurs. Mina recently led a delegation of 14 exceptional women entrepreneurs to the U.S. to participate in a mini MBA program spearheaded by Barbara Barrett and Thunderbird University - one of our nation's top international business schools. One of these exceptional women, Hamira Nassary, was my guest at President Bush's State of the Union address in the United States Capitol.
I would also like to thank Dr. Ashraf Ghani, the President of Kabul University for the opportunity to speak with you today. You are doing such important work and we greatly appreciate your devotion to the education of the people of Afghanistan.
It is said that big things have small beginnings. Two years ago, the teacher training institute was just a dream. In July of 2003, the US-Afghan Women's Council visited one of my husband's top advisers, Karen Hughes, in her home town of Austin, Texas. As Karen talked with them about the most pressing needs facing the women of Afghanistan, the consensus from her Afghan counterparts, including the Women's Minister, Habbiba Sarabi, was a dire need for teachers in the remote and rural communities. Karen was told that women hoping to attend the University did not have a place to stay. The dormitories had historically only been for men. Karen told me of these needs, and as a teacher and librarian myself, I hoped that the United States Government could help build this institute. Many of you here today have all played a critical role in making this dream a reality. And from today's small beginnings we expect the Institute will yield great things
There is much more to this place than the bricks and mortar you see around us. The ordinary business that will take place here is, in fact, a symbol itself of the extraordinary leap forward Afghan women have taken.
We are only a few years removed from the rule of the terrorists, when women were denied education and every basic human right. That tyranny has been replaced by a young democracy, and the power of freedom is on display across Afghanistan.
We must be mindful though, that democracy is more than just elections. The survival of a free society ultimately depends on the participation of all its citizens, both men and women. This is possible if institutions like this exist to give women the basic tools they need to contribute fully to society-and the most critical tool of all is an education.
So the hard work of the Institute has begun. Future teachers will come here for an innovative teacher training course. The Afghan Literacy Initiative, an accelerated literacy, math, and life skills curriculum for remote rural communities, where many girls still do not have access to schools, should have over 2,000 pupils by the end of the year. These students will be trained in their communities, as a result of a cascading system of training that begins with the development of the master trainers, here with us today.
Another program is Learning for Life, a health-focused course that is designed to help reduce maternal and child mortality. This program addresses two critical needs for Afghan women: literacy and healthcare. It will help people learn to read with materials that are focused on health. This makes literacy directly relevant to something women care about greatly-the well-being of their families. Over the next two years, Learning for Life will reach 8,000 women, and of those, 5,500 young women across thirteen provinces will qualify to be trained as health care workers and midwives.
The Teacher Training Institute is public-private partnership and it will continue to require the assistance of the Ministry of Education, numerous private donors, non-governmental organizations, and of course, the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council.
I would also like to extend a special thanks to two United States corporations - Microsoft and Dell Computers - for their extraordinary generosity on behalf of both the Teacher Training Institute and the International Association of Women Judges. These companies heard that the women of Afghanistan had a need for technology assistance and they immediately provided computers, printers, and teaching application software. This is just one more example of the American people's commitment to the success of the people of Afghanistan.
Today I am proud to announce the United States' commitment to another initiative. The United States is supporting the establishment of the American University of Afghanistan with a multi-year commitment of more than 15 million dollars. This will provide a modern facility with an international faculty to educate future leaders.
The American University will aggressively reach out to young Afghan women, to ensure they feature prominently in the school and bring to it their invaluable perspective and determination. There will be appropriate facilities and housing for women, and care will be taken to be sure the faculty of this co-ed institution is inclusive of women. The school will also offer scholarships to outstanding young women who otherwise may not able to attend. Classes will be offered in business, management, information technology, and other professional areas of study.
Finally, I'm pleased to announce the development of another education initiative- the International School of Afghanistan. The school will provide Afghan children from kindergarten through high school with a first-rate education through a classical curriculum including mathematics, language, literature and grammar, the sciences, social studies, culture and arts. We have dedicated $3.5 million for the establishment of this school.
These three initiatives are each significant. They are all part of an overall commitment by President Bush to Afghan education projects totaling 80 million dollars.
These are more than just development projects-they also signify the bond between the American and Afghan people. They are symbols of our shared hopes and dreams for the future. That dream is of a prosperous, peaceful, and above all, a free Afghanistan, where both men and women stand upright in equality.
As we have worked together these past years, we have accomplished much and launched projects that will yield great results in the coming years. We have also learned a great deal about each other. We have come to know what is in each other's hearts, and is so doing, come to understand that we are very much alike.
At this time, I would like to invite Margaret Spellings, America's Secretary of Education, Noor Mohammed Qarqeen Afghanistan's Minister of Education, and Dr. Sayed Amir Shah Hassanyaar, Afghanistan's Minister of Higher Education to join me on the stage to sign an agreement between our two governments on these important initiatives. I would also like to ask the American Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, Paula Dobriansky, United States Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, and Jim Kunder, Assistant Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to join us for the signing ceremony.
# # # For Immediate Release SOURCE: Office of the First Lady March 30, 2005 Kabul, Afghanistan
Posted by sookietex at 3:54 PM || ||
U.S. Department of State Issues "Request for Applications" for Humanitarian Mine Action Grants
The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (WRA) in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs is issuing a new Request for Applications for grants to advance humanitarian mine action. Grant applications will be accepted from non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and international organizations. The State Department may provide up to $2 million in funding for the grants for projects ranging from $20,000 to $500,000. Depending on the quality of the proposals and changes in programming assumptions, WRA reserves the right to make no awards.
Four specific categories are being considered: 1.) development of methodologies to support national mine action planning processes using current landmine impact survey data; 2.) enabling transition of mine action programs to host nation management; 3.) encouraging private sector support for mine action and destruction of abandoned ordnance; and 4.) to match funds raised from non-U.S. Government sources, up to a total of $100,000 maximum, for demining and mine risk education projects in countries that receive U.S. mine action assistance.
Applications for unsolicited projects relevant to WRA’s goals and objectives, including projects to abate small arms, light weapons and Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS), may also be submitted.
Details about the grants process; forms; WRA plans for countries to which it gives mine action assistance; requesting a Data Universal Numbers System (DUNS) Number; registering with the Central Contractor Registry; and electronic submission procedures are available at Grants.gov. For consideration, applications for this new round of grants must be electronically filed through the Grants.gov website no later than 12:00 midnight Eastern Time on Monday, May 2, 2005 and will not be accepted by other means unless approved in advance by Mr. Richard G. Stickels Jr., Grants Officer, telephone (202) 663-0107; email: Stickels@pmwra.org.
To examine the complete Request for Applications announcement on the Grants.gov website; click "Get Started" on the homepage; click "Browse by Agency," then click "Department of State;" and finally scroll to the entry posted by the WRA office.
General information about WRA office is available at state.gov/wra. 2005/362 Released on March 29, 2005 Media Note Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC March 29, 2005
Posted by sookietex at 3:12 PM || ||
Text of a Letter from the President to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate March 30, 2005
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Consistent with section 2103(c)(2) of the Trade Act of 2002, I ask that the Congress extend trade promotion authority procedures for 2 years, and I enclose a report prepared by my Administration on trade negotiations conducted under those procedures.
Trade promotion authority is essential to expanding opportunities for American businesses, workers, and farmers. Working with the Congress, my Administration has completed trade agreements with 12 nations on 5 continents that will open a combined market of 124 million consumers for America's farmers, manufacturers, and service providers.
We must continue to pursue bilateral and regional agreements to open new markets, and we must complete negotiations in the World Trade Organization to reduce global barriers to trade. We will continue to enforce vigorously the trade laws so that American businesses and workers are competing on a level playing field.
Free and fair trade creates jobs, raises living standards, and lowers prices for families here at home. Trade agreements also deepen our partnerships with countries that want to trade in freedom. I look forward to the continued close cooperation with the Congress in pursuing these objectives.
Sincerely, GEORGE W. BUSH # # # For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 30, 2005
Posted by sookietex at 3:00 PM || ||
President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate seven individuals to serve in his Administration:
The President intends to nominate Rachel Brand, of Iowa, to be Assistant Attorney General (Legal Policy) at the Department of Justice. Ms. Brand currently serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Legal Policy at the Department of Justice. She previously served as Law Clerk to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Earlier in her career, Ms. Brand served as Associate Counsel to the President. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota - Morris and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
The President intends to nominate Suzanne C. DeFrancis, of Maryland, to be Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services (Public Affairs). She previously served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Communications. Prior to this position, Ms. DeFrancis served as Senior Vice President and Director of Public Affairs at Porter Novelli. Earlier in her career she served as Deputy Director of Communications and Congressional Affairs at the Republican National Committee and as a speechwriter in the Nixon Administration. Ms. DeFrancis earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado.
The President intends to nominate Alice S. Fisher, of Virginia, to be Assistant Attorney General (Criminal Division) at the Department of Justice. Ms. Fisher is currently a Partner with Latham & Watkins, LLP. She previously served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. Earlier in her career, Ms. Fisher served as Deputy Special Counsel to the U.S. Senate Special Committee to Investigate Whitewater Development and Related Matters. She earned her bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and her J.D. from Catholic University of America.
The President intends to nominate Philip J. Perry, of Virginia, to be General Counsel at the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Perry currently serves as a Partner with Latham & Watkins, LLP. Previously, he served as General Counsel in the Office of Management and Budget in the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Perry has also served as Acting Associate Attorney General and Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General at the Department of Justice. He earned his bachelor's degree from Colorado College and his J.D. from Cornell Law School.
The President intends to nominate Regina B. Schofield, of Virginia, to be Assistant Attorney General (Office of Justice Programs) at the Department of Justice. Ms. Schofield currently serves as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and White House Liaison at the Department of Health and Human Services. She previously served as Manager of Government Relations at the United States Postal Service. Ms. Schofield earned her bachelor's degree from Mississippi College and her master's degree from Jackson State University.
The President intends to nominate the following individuals to be Members of the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service:
Michael Dolan, of New York, for a five-year term expiring October 6, 2009
Robert M. Duncan, of Kentucky, for the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 10, 2009
# # # For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 29, 2005 Personnel Announcement
Posted by sookietex at 2:47 PM || ||
Blogger Status Tuesday, March 29, 2005
We're currently in the process of rolling back a bad kernel upgrade that has significantly impacted the service. Restored app servers are coming back online and all should be repaired by the end of today.
Update: The rollback has been completed and performance is starting to stabilize across the appservers.
Posted by Jason at 11:45
Posted by sookietex at 2:24 PM || ||
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
New High Set for Organ Transplants Nearly 27,000 individuals received transplants last year
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt announced today that 26,984 Americans received an organ transplant last year, setting a new national record. The increase in organ donations come in the wake of concentrated efforts led by HHS to boost consent rates for organ donation, which began in 2001.
"I am heartened that the promise of organ donation continues to save more and more lives every year," Secretary Leavitt said. "For each life saved, hope, for others in need, grows; we must continue to grow and share that hope across the nation."
Deceased donors can give multiple organs that will improve or save the lives of several people. In 2004, there were more than 20,000 transplant operations utilizing organs from more than 7,000 deceased donors, an increase of close to 11 percent over the 2003 total. That increase was the largest in the last 10 years and the second highest annual increase since national records began to be collected in 1987. Organ transplants from deceased donors rose by 1,368 (18,650 to 20,018) from 2003 to 2004, a 7.3 percent increase.
In addition, transplant operations using an organ donated by a living person also hit a new high -- 6,966 -- in 2004. That number grew by 154 (6,812 to 6,966) from 2003 to 2004, a 2.3 percent increase. Organ donations from living persons are limited to a single organ, usually the kidney, or piece of a single organ. Human beings have two kidneys but can lead healthy lives with only one.
Citing the growing need for organ donation to save and improve lives, Tommy G. Thompson, within his first 100 days as HHS Secretary, announced his commitment to develop a new national effort to encourage organ donation. That commitment, also known as the Gift of Life Donation Initiative, led to 2004's record transplant totals through which the number of transplant candidates who died waiting for an organ fell below 6,000 for the first time in six years.
In 2003, HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) launched the "Organ Donation Breakthrough Collaborative," to bring together donation professionals and hospital leaders to identify and share best practices to maximize donation rates from potential organ donors who die in their facilities. While donation from deceased donors rose both in hospitals participating in the collaborative and in those not taking part, the increase was higher for those in the collaborative (16 percent compared to 2003) than for non-participating hospitals (9.4 percent).
According to preliminary data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), the two most common transplant procedures in 2004 increased substantially over 2003 totals: kidney transplants rose more than 5 percent and liver transplants increased nearly 9 percent. The number of heart transplants decreased slightly in 2004; demand for heart transplants has slowed due to advances in other medical and surgical procedures to treat heart disease. OPTN maintains data on donors, transplants and the national patient waiting list under contract from HRSA.
More information about the official U.S. Government Web site for organ and tissue donation and transplantation, please visit organdonor.gov. ### News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, March 29, 2005 HRSA Press Office (301) 443-3376 SOURCE: United States Department of Health and Human Services
Posted by sookietex at 4:34 PM || ||
Secretary Leavitt Names Additions to Senior Staff Senior Department Leadership and Past Colleagues Fill Key Roles
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today formally named six people to his senior staff, including a Chief of Staff, Deputy Chief of Staff and four counselors. The appointments are the first in a series of appointments that will comprise Secretary Leavitt's senior team at the Department.
"I've selected a very seasoned and competent team of professionals to help guide the work of the Department," Secretary Leavitt said. "Each offers valuable experience, subject-matter expertise and a proven track record of performance that will help me fulfill the President's aspirations for the Department."
Rich McKeown will serve as Chief of Staff. Mr. McKeown will oversee operations for all Department functions. He has previously served as Chief of Staff to Secretary Leavitt at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Utah Governor's Office. He has also served as a Commissioner of the Utah State Tax Commission and practiced law in Salt Lake City. Mr. McKeown brings proven management and policy experience, outstanding personal skills and sound judgment to the Department.
Kerry Weems will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff and assist the Chief of Staff with the management of day-to-day operational functions, as well as serve as a policy advisor. Mr. Weems is a 21-year veteran of the Department, who has most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary for Budget, Technology and Finance since January 2003. He began his career as a budget and program analyst for the Social Security Administration (then part of HHS) and has served in numerous capacities since then. Mr. Weems' detailed understanding of the budget, management issues, policies and institutional history add significant depth to the senior team.
Jennifer Young will serve as Acting Senior Counselor for Health Policy, a new role within the Department that will function as senior policy advisor to the Secretary for the health portfolio. Ms. Young will advise the Secretary on Medicaid, Medicare, public health and other health care matters, as well as legislative strategy. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Young was appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Legislation, the principal legislative liaison for the Bush Administration on health and human service legislation. She will continue in this role until a replacement is named. Ms. Young plays a lead role in the implementation of the Medicare Modernization Act at HHS. Throughout her career, she has held numerous health policy positions, including staff work for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and the National Governors Association.
William F. Raub will serve as Acting Counselor for Science Policy. In this role, he will function as senior policy advisor for science and oversee a portfolio of issues that include activities, among others, at the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Raub also will serve as a key advisor to the Secretary on counterterrorism. His experience includes multiple roles at HHS, including serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness and earlier as Acting Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. Dr. Raub also served previously as Deputy Director of the National Institutes of Health, the Science Advisor to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Special Assistant for Health Affairs in the Office of Science and Technology Policy at the White House. He brings a rich and distinguished background to Secretary Leavitt's senior team.
Richard M. Campanelli will serve as Acting Counselor for Human Service Policy. In this role, he will function as senior policy advisor to the Secretary on issues relating to children and families, seniors, people with disabilities, life issues, civil rights, privacy, faith and community-based activities and other human service matters. Mr. Campanelli will continue in his capacity as Director of the Office for Civil Rights. Prior to this, Mr. Campanelli spent nearly 20 years in public and private work, including service in private law practice, as Senior Special Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, as Legal Counsel to the U.S. Department of State South Africa Working Group and as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. He brings considerable public- and private-sector experience in civil rights, public policy and government regulation to Secretary Leavitt's senior team.
Natalie Gochnour will serve as Counselor to the Secretary. An economist by training, Ms. Gochnour will advise the Secretary on communication and policy matters. She has worked in numerous roles with Secretary Leavitt since 1993. Most recently, she served as Associate Administrator for Public Affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Her previous public service included serving as Director of Policy and Communications for the Utah Governor's Office, Utah State Planning Coordinator and Deputy Director of the Utah Governor's Office of Planning and Budget. She brings a multi-faceted background of public policy depth and communications experience to Secretary Leavitt's senior team.
In addition to these new appointments, Laura Lawlor, Deputy Chief of Staff, who served in the same capacity under Secretary Thompson, is taking maternity leave and will rejoin the senior team upon her return in May. Ms. Lawlor previously served President Bush in various capacities, both in the White House and when he was Governor of Texas. In the White House, she served as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Cabinet Affairs. In the Texas Governor's Office, she served as his Health Policy Advisor and Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs. Ms. Lawlor brings years of experience working on health and human service policy and governmental affairs at the state and federal level.
### News Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, March 28, 2005 HHS Press Office (202) 690-6343 SOURCE: United States Department of Health and Human Services
Posted by sookietex at 4:16 PM || ||
U.S. Meetings with Syrian Groups
Question: How often have we met with representatives of Syrian NGOs and activists as part of our consultations on democratization, either bilaterally or in larger meetings with representatives from other nations? When was the most recent meeting, prior to last week’s, with such individuals/organizations?
Answer: We meet regularly with Syrians from across the political spectrum, both in Washington and in Damascus. We have met with members of Syrian civil society on a number of occasions as part of a continuing dialogue determining the ways to support civil society throughout the region. We are interested in everyone’s views.
2005/361 Released on March 28, 2005
Taken Question Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC March 29, 2005 Question Taken at March 28, 2005 Daily Press Briefing
Posted by sookietex at 4:01 PM || ||
Under Secretary for Global Affairs Leads U.S. Delegation to Afghanistan for U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council Meeting
Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky will travel to Afghanistan March 29-31, 2005 to convene the sixth formal meeting of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council. Under Secretary Dobriansky co-chairs the Council with Afghan Minister of Women’s Affairs Massouda Jalal and Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Abdullah.
Under Secretary Dobriansky will be accompanied by the following high-level delegation of Americans from the government, private and philanthropic sectors: Claude Allen, Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; Barbara Barrett, Chair, President’s Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy; Cheryl Benard, RAND Corporation; Reverend Kathleene Card, Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church, McLean, VA; Connie Duckworth, Founder, Arzu Carpets and Chair, Committee of 200; Carolyn Firestone, Global Partnership for Afghanistan; Anne Heiligenstein, Deputy Executive Commissioner for Social Services, Texas Department of Health and Human Services; James Kunder, U.S. Agency for International Development Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East; Tim McBride, Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Freddie Mac; Charlotte Ponticelli, State Department Senior Coordinator for International Women’s Issues; Diana Rowan, Founder, Afghan Women Leaders Connect; and Cindi Williams, Special Assistant, White House Office of Public Liaison.
The Council, which meets twice annually alternating between Kabul and Washington D.C., was created by Presidents Bush and Afghan President Hamid Karzai on January 28, 2002. Comprised of members from the private sector and government, the Council is devoted to empowering Afghan women to play a critical role in the rebuilding of that nation. The Council specifically promotes public/private partnerships between U.S. and Afghan institutions, and mobilizes private resources to ensure Afghan women gain the practical skills and education they need to improve their status and economic well-being. The Council also seeks to improve women’s access to health care and to reduce the adult illiteracy that impedes Afghan women’s status in all sectors of society.
In Afghanistan, the Council will meet with highest-level Afghan leaders, to discuss current and future programs, and visit programs that are underway under Council sponsorship to assist Afghan women.
For more information contact Susan Crais Hovanec, (202) 312-9675. 2005/360 Released on March 29, 2005 Media Note Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC March 29, 2005 SOURCE: State.gov
Posted by sookietex at 3:26 PM || ||
President Discusses Freedom and Democracy The Rose Garden GOLL STREAMING VIDEO
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all. Thank you. Good morning. Welcome to the White House. Please be seated. Senator Warner, it's good to see you, sir. Thank you for coming. I appreciate citizens from Iraq who have joined us. I appreciate my fellow citizens who have joined us. Thanks for coming.
Before I talk about Iraq, I do want to say that on behalf of the American people, Laura and I offer our condolences to the victims of yesterday's earthquake in Indonesia. This earthquake has claimed lives and destroyed buildings in a part of Indonesia that is only now beginning to recover from the destruction caused by the tsunami three months ago. Our officials have offered initial assistance and are moving quickly to gather information to determine what additional relief is needed.
I appreciate Andrew Natsios of USAID being with us today, and I know he and his team are ready to respond, to help. People of Indonesia can know, as well, that they have our prayers and that our government is ready to assist.
Just a few minutes ago I met with a group of people dedicated to building a new Iraq. Most of them were born in Iraq. They come from different backgrounds; they practice different religions; they have one thing in common -- they all voted in the January elections. (Applause.)
We're also joined today by Iraqi law students visiting the United States for an international competition, by members of Iraq's religious communities in town to learn about democracy, and by others who helped organize the -- Iraq's elections held in the United States. I want to welcome you all. I want to thank you for your strong belief in democracy and freedom. It's a belief that, with their vote, the Iraqi people signal to the world that they intend to claim their liberty and build a future of freedom for their country. And it was a powerful signal.
I commend the more than 8 million Iraqis who defied the car bombers and assassins to vote that day. (Applause.) I appreciate the determination of the Iraqi electoral workers who withstood threats and intimidation to make a transparent election possible. I salute the courageous Iraqi security forces who risked their lives to protect voters.
By electing 275 men and women to the transitional national assembly, the Iraqi people took another bold step toward self-government. Today, Iraqis took another step on the road to a free society when the assembly held its second meeting. We expect a new government will be chosen soon and that the assembly will vote to confirm it. We look forward to working with the government that emerges from this process. We're confident that this new government will be inclusive, will respect human rights, and will uphold fundamental freedoms for all Iraqis.
We have seen many encouraging signs in Iraq. The world has watched Iraqi women vote in enormous numbers. (Applause.) The world has seen more than 80 women take their seats as elected representatives in the new assembly. (Applause.) We've also seen the beginnings of a new national dialogue, as leaders who did well in the last election have reached out to Sunnis who did not participate.
In a democracy, the government must uphold the will of the majority while respecting the rights of minorities. (Applause.) And Iraq's new leaders are determined that the government of a free Iraq will be representative of their country's diverse population. The new transitional national assembly includes people and parties with differing visions for the future of their country. In a democratic Iraq, these differences will be resolved through debate and persuasion, instead of force and intimidation.
In forming their new government, the Iraqis have shown that the spirit of compromise has survived more than three decades of dictatorship. They will need that spirit in the weeks and months ahead, as they continue the hard work of building their democracy. After choosing the leaders of their new government, the next step will be the drafting of a new constitution for a free and democratic Iraq. In October, that document is scheduled to be put before the Iraqi people in a national referendum. Once the new constitution is approved, Iraqis will return to the polls to elect a permanent, constitutional government.
This democracy will need defending. And Iraqi security forces are taking on greater responsibility in the fight against the insurgents and terrorists. Today, more than 145,000 Iraqis have been trained and are serving courageously across Iraq. In recent weeks, they've taken the lead in offensive operations in places like Baghdad and Samara and Mosul. We will continue to train Iraqis so they can take responsibility for the security of their country, and then our forces will come home with the honor they've earned. (Applause.)
Iraqis are taking big steps on a long journey of freedom. A free society requires more than free elections; it also requires free institutions, a vibrant civil society, rule of law, anti-corruption, and the habits of liberty built over generations. By claiming their own freedom, the Iraqis are transforming the region, and they're doing it by example and inspiration, rather than by conquest and domination. (Applause.) The free people of Iraq are now doing what Saddam Hussein never could -- making Iraq a positive example for the entire Middle East. (Applause.)
Today, people in a long-troubled part of the world are standing up for their freedom. In the last few months, we've witnessed successful elections in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Palestinian Territories; peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Beirut, and steps toward democratic reform in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The trend is clear: Freedom is on the march. Freedom is the birthright and deep desire of every human soul, and spreading freedom's blessings is the calling of our time. And when freedom and democracy take root in the Middle East, America and the world will be safer and more peaceful. (Applause.)
I want to thank you all for coming. We ask for God's blessings on the brave souls of Iraq, and God continue to bless the American people. Thank you. (Applause.)
END 11:35 A.M. EST For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 29, 2005 President's Remarks 11:25 A.M. EST
Posted by sookietex at 2:39 PM || ||
Monday, March 28, 2005
Earthquake Activity Updated as of Mon Mar 28 22:06:32 UTC 2005.
DATE-(UTC)-TIME , Latitude, Longitude, Depth, Magnitude, Comments
yyyy/mm/dd hh:mm:ss degrees degrees km
2005/03/28 20:19:09, 4.95N, 92.32E, 30.0, 5.0, OFF W COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA
2005/03/28 20:06:26, 1.08N, 97.37E, 30.0, 5.4, NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
2005/03/28 19:02:19, 1.01N, 97.82E, 30.0, 5.8, NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
2005/03/28 18:48:52, 2.73N, 95.96E, 30.0, 5.5, SIMEULUE, INDONESIA
2005/03/28 18:30:43 , 0.90N, 97.80E, 30.0, 6.7, NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
2005/03/28 16:38:43 , 1.37N, 97.36E, 30.0, 6.0, NIAS REGION, INDONESIA
2005/03/28 16:09:36 , 2.06N , 97.01E, 30.0, 8.7, NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
At least 50 people killed, 100 injured and 300 houses Destroyed on Nias. Extensive damage on Simeulue. Felt in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and as far north as Bangkok, Thailand.
Posted by sookietex at 5:20 PM || ||
04-480 MGM STUDIOS, INC., ET AL. V. GROKSTER, LTD., ET AL. DECISION BELOW: 380 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. 2004) Tuesday, March 29 MGM Studios v. Grokster Docket No. 04-480
Whether the Ninth Circuit erred in concluding, contrary to long-established principles of secondary liability in copyright law (and in acknowledged conflict with the Seventh Circuit), that the Internet-based "file sharing" services Grokster and StreamCast should be immunized from copyright liability for the millions of daily acts of copyright infringement that occur on their services and that constitute at least 90% of the total use of the services.
Cert. Granted 12/10/04 Doument in PDF Format MGM V GROKSTER
Tuesday, March 29 MGM Studios v. Grokster Docket No. 04-480 Documents in PDF format.
Motion Picture Studio and Recording Company Petitioners -- Songwriter and Music Publisher Petitioners -- Respondent's brief -- Reply brief for Motion Picture Studio and Recording Company Petitioners -- Reply brief for Songwriter and Music Publisher Petitioners
Posted by sookietex at 4:08 PM || ||
Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Depositaries Joint Statement on 30th Anniversary
Following is the text of a joint United States/United Kingdom/Russian Federation statement in support of the 30th anniversary, on March 26, of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.
On the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the United States, United Kingdom and Russian Federation, as Depositary Governments, reaffirm their strong support for the Convention. We seek practical realization of all Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention obligations. Our Governments will continue to work to strengthen the Convention by participating fully in the current three-year work program, by encouraging its universality, and by pressing for full implementation of, and compliance with, the Convention by all its States Parties.
In particular, we stress the necessity of adoption by all States Parties of relevant penal legislation for violations of the Convention. The Sixth Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention Review Conference in 2006 will give all States Parties an opportunity to review steps taken to counter the biological weapons threat since the last Review Conference and to renew their commitment to the Convention and its full implementation, to their compliance, and to strengthening further the Convention.
END TEXT 2005/358 Released on March 28, 2005 Press Statement Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman Washington, DC March 28, 2005 SOURCE: State.gov
Posted by sookietex at 3:12 PM || ||
Meeting of the Defense Trade Advisory Group , The Defense Trade Advisory Group (DTAG) will meet on Tuesday, May 3, 2005, from 9:00am to 12:00 noon in Room 1912 of the Harry S Truman Building. The plenary meeting will be hosted by the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs, Ambassador Rose M. Likins and the Defense Trade Advisory Group Chairman, William Schneider, Jr.
The Defense Trade Advisory Group advises the U.S. Government on current policies, regulations, and technical issues affecting defense trade. During the May 3rd meeting, current defense trade issues and related will be discussed.
The meeting is open to the public – though seating is limited. Admittance to the Department of State building will be by pre-arranged clearance. To be placed on the clearance list, provide by April 25, 2005, your name, title, company/affiliation, phone number, social security number, date of birth, and citizenship to Mary Sweeney, Office of Defense Trade Controls Management, by e-mail (Sweeneymf@state.gov) or by phone (202) 663-2865 .
Please use the entrance located at 23rd Street, NW, Washington, DC, between C and D streets to enter the Harry S Truman building.
2005/357 Released on March 28, 2005 Media Note Office of the Spokesman Washington, DC March 28, 2005 SOURCE: State.gov
Posted by sookietex at 2:55 PM || ||
Magnitude 8.7 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA Monday, March 28, 2005 at 16:09:36 UTC Preliminary Earthquake Report U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center World Data Center for Seismology, Denver
The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A great earthquake occurred NEAR THE COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA about 205 km (125 miles) west northwest of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia or about 1410 km (880 miles northwest of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia at 9:09 AM MST, Mar 28, 2005 (11:09 PM local time in Indonesia). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. No reports of damage or casualties have been received at this time; however, this earthquake may have caused substantial damage and casualties due to its location and size. Earthquakes of this type sometimes cause tsunamis, however the USGS has no information that an actual tsunami has been generated. For information about tsunamis, contact the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers at tsunami,gov. 2005 March 28 16:09:36 UTC Preliminary Earthquake Report
Posted by sookietex at 2:34 PM || ||
Preliminary Earthquake Report U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center World Data Center for Seismology, Denver
The following is a release by the United States Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center: A great earthquake occurred NEAR THE COAST OF NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA about 205 km (125 miles) west northwest of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia or about 1410 km (880 miles northwest of Jakarta, Java, Indonesia at 9:09 AM MST, Mar 28, 2005 (11:09 PM local time in Indonesia). The magnitude and location may be revised when additional data and further analysis results are available. No reports of damage or casualties have been received at this time; however, this earthquake may have caused substantial damage and casualties due to its location and size. Earthquakes of this type sometimes cause tsunamis, however the USGS has no information that an actual tsunami has been generated. For information about tsunamis, contact the NOAA Tsunami Warning Centers at tsunami.gov SOURCE: U.S. Geological Survey
RELATED: earthquake magnitude 8.2 NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
Posted by sookietex at 1:24 PM || ||
Magnitude 8.2 - NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA 2005 March 28 16:09:3 7 UTC Preliminary Earthquake ReportU.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Information Center World Data Center for Seismology, Denver
A great earthquake occurred at 16:09:37 (UTC) on Monday, March 28, 2005. The magnitude 8.2 event has been located in NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA. (This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.)
Date-Time, Monday, March 28, 2005 at 16:09:37 (UTC)= Coordinated Universal Time Monday, March 28, 2005 at 11:09:37 PM = local time at epicenter Time Earthquake other Time Zones
Location, 2.093°N, 97.016°E
Depth, 30 km (18.6 miles) set by location program
Region, NORTHERN SUMATRA, INDONESIA
Distances, 205 km (125 miles) WNW of Sibolga, Sumatra, Indonesia245 km (150 miles) SW of Medan, Sumatra, Indonesia535 km (330 miles) WSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia1410 km (880 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
Location Uncertainty, horizontal +/- 6.1 km (3.8 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters, Nst= 65, Nph= 65, Dmin=535.9 km, Rmss=0.85 sec, Gp= 61°,M-type=moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
Source, USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
Event ID, usweax
SOURCE: U.S. Geological Survey
Posted by sookietex at 12:39 PM || ||
White House Easter Egg Roll Closes Early Due to Inclement Weather
The White House Easter Egg Roll closed at 10:00 a.m. due to inclement weather. Easter Egg Roll Bags may still be picked up at the Ellipse Visitors Center with an unused, child event ticket until 2:00 p.m.
# # # For Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 28, 2005
Posted by sookietex at 12:25 PM || ||
2005 White House Easter Egg Roll Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long has this event been a White House tradition?
A. President Rutherford B. Hayes officially opened the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter Monday in 1878. Successive Presidents have continued the tradition of inviting children to the South Lawn for egg rolling and other activities and entertainment. On occasion, the Easter Egg Roll has been cancelled, either due to inclement weather or in times of war (World War I and World War II).
Q. Is this event open to the public?
A. Yes. Tickets to this year's White House Easter Egg Roll were distributed to the public on Saturday, March 26th. Remaining tickets were made available to the public on the morning of the event, Monday, March 28th.
Q. Were any special groups invited to participate?
A. Yes. Mrs. Bush has extended a special invitation through USA Freedom Corps to organizations promoting youth mentoring programs.
Q. How many people will attend the event?
A. 16,000 tickets were distributed for this event.
Q. Who is hosting the 2005 Easter Egg Roll?
A. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings and Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt will be co-hosting this year's event.
Q. What kinds of activities will guests participate in?
A. Easter Egg Roll activities begin on the Ellipse with food and entertainment. On the White House South Lawn, children ages 7 or younger can take part in the egg roll. Children of all ages can enjoy the reading corners, egg coloring, art activities, face painting, music, magicians and other activities. Strolling characters will interact with the children as they roam the South Lawn. At the reading corners, visitors will be treated to storytelling by authors of popular children's books, Cabinet members and senior administration officials.
Q. Who dyes the eggs? How many are dyed?
A. The American Egg Board provided approximately 7,200 real eggs for the annual Egg Roll activity. Another 4,000 dyed eggs were provided for the Egg Hunt, and an additional 4,000 were boiled and will be provided for children to dye at an activity area on-site.
Q. Who designed the art for the commemorative egg?
A. Jennifer Carrasco, from Seattle, Washington, designed this year's commemorative wooden egg and the commemorative poster. Jennifer has taught art in the United States, Japan and Korea, in addition to spending 13 years teaching with the Department of Defense Schools in the Philippines and Taiwan.
Q. What will Children receive upon departure from the Easter Egg Roll?
- A commemorative White House wooden Easter egg
- An activity coloring book
- A USA Freedom Corps bookmark
- A children's book
- Easter Egg Roll commemorative poster
- Easter candy
- Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings
- Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael O. Leavitt
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson
- Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta
- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales
- Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez
- Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao
- Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Steve Johnson
- White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card
- Director of the Office of Management and Budget Josh Bolten
- Chief of Staff to Mrs. Bush Anita McBride
- Susan Stevens Crummel; Jackalope
- Doreen Cronin; Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type
- Sonia Manzano; No Dogs Allowed!
- Shutta Crum; Bravest of the Brave
- Mo Willems; Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
- Doreen Rappaport; Martin's Big Words
- Pam Munoz Ryan; Mice and Beans
- Michael Stadther; A Treasure's Trove
- Shandi Finnessey - Miss USA 2004; The Furrtails
A. All for KIDZ, Arne Dixon and his team of world-class yoyo professionals, perform an interactive show featuring more than thirty outstanding yoyo tricks. The NED Show, teaches three essential characteristics for becoming a champion in school and in life: Never Give Up, Encourage Others and Do Your Best.
Barbara Bailey Hutchison, This Grammy Award winner for "Best Musical Recording For Children" is high energy, FUN with every song inviting willing participation. Barbara captivates all ages with her powerful voice, skillful guitar work, and animated stage presence. She was voted "Best Acoustic Act" and "Best Music Act" by colleges nationwide and recently returned from performing in Thailand. She's educational, fun, funny, and highly entertaining.
Bitty Bear's Matinee: The Family Tree(tm) is a new audience participation family theater production for children ages 3 and up. Performed at American Girl Place in Chicago and New York, Bitty Bear's Matinee celebrates the virtues of family and friendship while teaching age-appropriate skills such as sharing and working together. Based on the Bitty Bear books in American Girl's popular Bitty Baby(r) doll line, the live musical performance is done in story-theater style, featuring three of the lovable Bitty Bunch characters-Bitty Bear, Bitty Puppy, and Bitty Kitty.
Disney's Bear in the Big Blue House, Bear is the seven-foot lovable host of the Emmy Award-winning children's television series. He always exudes warmth, comfort and understanding to everyone around him. He scratches and sniffs, often putting his nose right up to the camera lens. Bear is curious about everything around him, and has never lost his natural sense of wonderment. His intimate manner engages young children as he speaks directly to them, while his inquisitive style encourages them to join in, play along, verbally interact and use their imaginations. Filled with civility and concern, Bear also loves to help his friends, constantly displaying infinite patience and interest in their activities.
Buck Howdy, The king of kids' cowboy music with rootin' tootin' tunes for children of all ages. He also hosts his own nationally syndicated radio show, Cow Pie Radio, and stars in a new kids' tv series, the Buck Howdy Show, from Sony Pictures Television.
Ernie & Neal: Aiming to inspire creativity, provoke imaginative thought, and introduce children - musically - to cultural diversity, Ernie & Neal's extraordinarily versatile style explores many sounds and rhythms, and their inspirational and motivational themes run the gamut of creative expression. They also feature a pleasant musical combination of teaching, storytelling, entertaining, educating and informing.
Flumpa(r) and Friends LIVE! Science rocks with Flumpa(r) the tree frog and Wendy Whitten - 'The Singing Scientist.' Charged with energy and fun, this fast-paced interactive musical science show will blast off at the speed of sound delivering a unique blend of music with a twist of science for a captivating exploration of our world. This universally engaging group has performed at over 3,000 events and schools nationwide to over 2,000,000 people since 1995 and has won 17 national awards including several Dr. Toy and iParenting awards.
Animal Planet Presents Animal Encounters, Stop by the Animal Planet stage to get up close and personal with live animals, including a real bunny rabbit. Jim Boller from the hit Animal Planet show, ANIMAL COPS: HOUSTON, will be signing autographs, answering questions and offering pet advice throughout the day.
Houston SPCA Director of Field Services Jim Boller leads the team of investigators who are featured on ANIMAL COPS: HOUSTON. His team covers 2,600 square miles and processes more than 9,000 cruelty cases a year, including many exotic animals such as lions, snakes, ostriches and spiders. Boller has 29 years of animal-related experience and is recognized around the world for his knowledge and expertise in the field of animal welfare.
Animal Planet is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals. The network's original programming brings together people of all ages by tapping into a fundamental fascination with animals and providing an entertaining mix of programming, including original movies, adventure series, sports, drama and sitcoms.
Jim Cosgrove & The Hiccups featuring Bop Bop Dinosaur, As a two-time Parents' Choice Award Winner, Jim Cosgrove has been described as "The most intriguing kids entertainer out there right now." With his soothing voice, an acoustic guitar, and a box full of instruments, he has entertained tens of thousands of kids throughout the United States and Europe. The high-energy performances are interactive with an opportunity for kids to play along in an impromptu "jam" session.
Laughing Pizza, A family trio made up of Billy Schlosser, his wife Lisa Michaelis and their ten-year-old daughter Emily, Laughing Pizza makes music for families to share. Billy and Lisa have been writing songs for more than 15 years. Their experience in writing for the children's music market includes songs for Mary Kate and Ashley Olson, the Cartoon Network TV show "Big Bag", and an entire CD of 19 shape and counting songs called "Make it Count", which has become part of the curriculum in public schools in several states. Laughing Pizza has released four Parents Choice Award winning music and video products.
PBS Children's Programs, Barney, the popular fun-loving purple dinosaur, is the best friend a child could ever have. He happens to be a 6-foot Tyrannosaurus Rex. And, speed along and zoon into action as Mr. McFeely the Speedy Delivery Man meets the cast of ZOOM.
RAGGS Kids Club Band, RAGGS and his four colorful canine friends is a costumed character band that mixes original award-winning music with popular favorites in a high-energy interactive show for children. They perform throughout the US with recent performances at the Heart of Texas Fair, the Alabama National Fair, the New York State Fair, and California Kids Fest. Their 2 DVDs and 4 CDs have received the Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center, iParenting Award, the Creative Child Award and were nominated for two Emmy Awards.
Cast members of the 134th Edition of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey(r) Circus:
This quintessential American family entertainment tradition has delighted audiences across the country for nearly 135 years. These performers and clowns, as part of The Greatest Show On Earth, have brought wide smiles, laughter and joy to millions, and join us today to meet Children of All Ages. Ringmaster Kevin Venardos, Songstress Jennifer Fuentes-an "American Idol" top-30 finalist, Christine Winn and our world famous Ringling Bros. clowns bring the magic of their latest production to the White House lawn.
Silly Socks Puppet Theatre, Delivering humor, suspense, good messages and lots of silliness through the use of expressive, custom made puppets, The Silly Socks Puppet Theater has appeared across America and nearby at the National Theater and Wolftrap Center. Brian Foster, the lead puppeteer for Silly Socks, has been writing and performing original puppet theater for over a decade.
MAGICIANS, Chadakazzam: Chad Juros started his magic career in 1991 at the age of three when he was diagnosed with leukemia. While receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments, his father taught him magic to help deal with the discomfort. Chad's magical career includes performances around the world for corporate events pediatric cancer hospitals, hospices and foundations and career highlights include his role as the young David Copperfield for a primetime TV show, as well as Volvo for Life Award finalist.
Eldon D. Wigton "Dr. Eldoonie" - For more than twenty years, Dr. Eldoonie has performed his magic for national and international audiences. He has appeared in several television productions throughout his career and is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Fastest Magician.
Magic Stage will feature some of the best kid's magicians from around the country. The DC area's own Ralph the Great was voted "Best" a record nine times and makes his 6th appearance at the Easter Egg Roll! Ken Scott is Atlanta's best kid show magician who turns a child into a magician at every show! New York City is the home of Silly Billy, their most famous children's performer. Mark Daniel, the Magical Storyteller, comes from North Carolina and is the host of the best Kid Show conference in the world. From Philadelphia, John Cassidy holds the Guinness World Record for most balloon sculptures in one hour! Bruce Bray is New Jersey's busiest professional children's magician. Stretch the Silly Man is New Jersey's funniest kid's comedian. Trixie Bond visits us from Houston and is the nation's best-known female children's magician. From Boston, Mike Bent is one of the most creative and imaginative people in magic.
STROLLING CHARACTERS, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Raggedy Ann, Raggedy Andy, Peter Cottontail, Babar, B.B. Rabbit, Arthur, The Berenstain Bears, Caillou, Cassie from DRAGON TALES, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Digit and Harry from CYBERCHASE, Grover SESAME STREET, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Leona from BETWEEN THE LIONS, Maya & Miguel, Mechanical Noo-noo from TELETUBBIES, Piggley Winks from JAKERS! THE ADVENTURES OF PIGGLEY WINKS, Mr. McFeely, the Speedy Delivery Man, from MISTER ROGERS' NEIGHBORHOOD, Patchy Panda, Larry & Bob - Veggie Tales, JoJo & Goliath, Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Louie the Baysox Mascot, The Official White House Bunnies, Woodrow the White House Mouse
For more information, please visit the White House Web Site at WHITEHOUSE.GOV. Immediate Release Office of the Press Secretary March 28, 2005
Posted by sookietex at 11:22 AM || ||