New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 4, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
Journalists attacked by mobs, detained in Cairo
CAIRO (AP) — Foreign journalists were beaten with sticks and fists by pro-government mobs on Thursday, and two dozen were detained by security forces. The U.S. condemned what it called the “systematic targeting” of the reporters, photographers and film crews who have brought searing images of Egyptian protests to the world.
Foreign photographers reported attacks by supporters of President Hosni Mubarak nearTahrir Square, the scene of vicious battles between Mubarak supporters and protesters demanding he step down after nearly 30 years in power.
The Egyptian government has accused media outlets of being sympathetic to protesters who want Mubarak to quit now rather than complete his term as he has pledged.
Among the many detained were correspondents for The New York Times, Washington Post and Al-Jazeera.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said late Thursday that in just the past 24 hours it had recorded 24 detentions of journalists, 21 assaults and five cases in
which equipment was seized.
Both foreign and Egyptian journalists were targeted in attacks that have “intensified to levels unseen in Egypt’s modern history,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator.
"This is a dark day for Egypt and a dark day for journalism," said Joel Simon, the group’s executive director. “Egypt is seeking to create an information vacuum that puts it in the company of the world’s worst oppressors.”
Human rights organizations also were targeted. Some of those groups said many activists were taken away after a raid by the military police on a legal center in Cairo.
In Berlin, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the “intimidation and restrictions” being placed on journalists and human rights groups in Cairo.
“Let me absolutely clear: this is outrageous and totally unacceptable,” he said after meeting Germany’s president, Christian Wulff. “It must stop now.”
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton also condemned the attacks and said the Egyptian government “must demonstrate its willingness to ensure journalists’ ability to report on these events to the people of Egypt and to the world.”
CPJ said some state-owned television outlets and private stations owned by businessmen loyal to Mubarak had been portraying journalists as part of plots to destabilize Egypt.
Evening news anchors Katie Couric of CBS and Brian Williams of NBC left Egypt amid the unrest. Williams anchored Thursday’s show from Jordan. Couric arrived in New York and said in a Twitter message that she made it just in time to prepare for Thursday’s broadcast.
BBC foreign editor Jon Williams said via Twitter that security forces seized the network’s equipment in a Cairo Hilton hotel in an attempt to stop it broadcasting. Many international news organizations have been using the Ramses Hilton overlooking Tahrir Square as a base to cover the mayhem.
Illegally dumped tires and inner tubes sit at a vacant lot at 168 AngusTrail in a new phase of Rebecca Creek Park subdivision.
Comal County seeks to pay $1,500 fine by cleaning illegal tire, tube dump
By Greg Bowen
A $1,500 state fine levied against Comal County would be spent to clean up a vacant lot filled with illegally dumped tires and inner tubes, under a proposal to be submitted to state environmental officials.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality levied the fine on Comal County last year for what the agency said was unauthorized construction of a Little League ballpark several years earlier at the county-owned Jumbo Evans Sports Park on U.S. 281 in Spring Branch.
County commissioners on Thursday approved submitting a “supplemental environmental project” application to TCEQ, under which the fine would go toward hiring a contractor to clean up the dump site at 168 Angus Ttail in a new phase of Rebecca Creek Park subdivision.
“Using fines to remediate environmental problems in counties in an alternative that TCEQ offers,” County Engineer Tom Hornseth said.
County Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett also found $5,200 in funds available for such environmental cleanup efforts through Alamo Resource Conservation and Development Area.
County officials decided to roll the $ 1,500 and the $5,200 together “so that we’d be able
to finance a good cleanup project in our county using those funds,” Hornseth said. “Instead of those fine funds going into the state coffers, they’re being put to good use in our county.”
The county has already paid the fine, Hornseth said, but if TCEQ OKs the project, the agency will instruct Comal County to go ahead with the cleanup and will reimburse the county the $1,500.
The fine was levied after TCEQ determined county officials violated a state law designed to protect the Edwards Aquifer when they failed to get TCEQ permission to build the Little League fields and do other improvements at Jumbo Evans.
Edgett said old tires and tubes are a breeding ground for snakes, animals and mosquitos and present environmental problems when they degrade or catch fire.
Commissioner Jan Ken-nady liked the idea of using the fine money locally.
“I commend you and everyone involved in this for using this money in Comal County versus giving it to the state,” Kennady told Hornseth during Thursday’s Commissioners’ Court meeting.
• Approved supporting House Joint Resolution 56, filed by state Rep. Burt Solomons of Carrolton, calling for a constitutional
amendment to limit the Legislature’s authority to pass legislation that would mandate requirements of local governments without providing a funding source.
• Approved a resolution requesting Texas Highway 46 from 1-35 in New Braunfels to the Comal/Guadalupe county line be designated as Rep. Edmund Kuempel Memorial Highway. New Braunfels City Council last month approved a similar resolution honoring the late Seguin lawmaker, who represented New Braunfels and Comal County in the Legislature.
• Approved appointments to Comal County Historical Commission. Appointed were Jackie Schneider, the commission’s only new member. Reappointed were Karen Boyd, chair; and Rosa Linda De La Cerde, Linda Udelhoven, Frederick Frue-holz Jr., Laura West, Sandra Startz Duncan, Russell Stollewerk, Gay Wimberley, Sami Devillier, Jay Brewer, Susan Brewer, F.uby Perez, Gloria Lamoureux, Kristina Staats Lindeman, Bobbie Purdum and Roxolin Krueger.
• Approved appointments to the Comal County Strategic Plan Steering Committee. Appointed were Sandy Carey, David Huddleston, Ben Appleby, Jerry Lovell, Rhonda Zunker, Jim Bower, Nacho Campos, Geoff Barr, Jeanne Slupik and Lisa Roper.
Friday, February 4, 2011 — Herald-Zeitung — Page 5
BOM THE WIRE
HOUSE REPUBLICANS MOVE TO SLASH DOMESTIC PROGRAMS
WASHINGTON — Republicans now controlling the House promised Thursday to slash domestic agencies’ budgets by almost 20 percent for the coming year, the first salvo in what’s sure to be a bruising battle over their drive to cut spending to where it was before President Barack Obama took office.
“Washington’s spending spree is over,” declared Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman who announced the plan. “The spending limits will restore sanity to a broken budget process,” he said, returning “to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels.”
Republicans won’t get everything they want. Democrats are in charge of the White House and the Senate, and even House Republicans may have second thoughts when the magnitude of the cuts sinks in.
LAWMAKERS WARN ADMINISTRATION OF CUTS IN IRAQ AID
WASHINGTON —The Obama administration needs to make a compelling case for investing billions more taxpayer dollars in Iraq as the nearly 8-year-old conflict recedes from the public’s mind and the remaining 50,000 U.S. troops leave by year’s end, top Senate Republicans and Democrats warned military and diplomatic officials on Thursday.
Amid fresh Republican promises to slash spending, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee cautioned U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey and Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of the U.S. military in Iraq, of the intense pressure to cut dollars for Iraq.
Under the November 2008 security agreement between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, all U.S. military forces will withdraw from Iraq at the end of December and the
From The Associated Press
operation will shift to a civilian-led effort by the State Department. Persuading budget-conscious lawmakers to back foreign aid for Iraq, rather than military money, makes the task harder, said several committee members.
OOPS: KENNETH COLE APOLOGIZES FOR EGYPT TWEET
NEW YORK —An epic IWitter FAIL for fashion designer Kenneth Cole on Thursday led him to apologize for a tweet that used the crisis in Cairo to promote his spring line.
The offensive tweet touched off an online flash mob and inspired a fake IWitter feed that mocked Cole’s original while attracting thousands of followers on the micro-blogging site in a matter of hours.
The tweet from (at)KennethCole read: “Millions are in an uproar in (hashtag) Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online.”
It went on to provide a link to the collection, but it was taken down about five hours later, when Cole said he was sorry on Facebook.
SON OF EX-ENRON EXEC SKILLING FOUND DEAD IN CALIFORNIA
SANTA ANA, Calif. —The youngest son of former Enron President Jeff Skilling was found dead in his Southern California apartment this week, a police spokesman and Skilling’s attorney said Thursday.
John Taylor Skilling, 20, was found dead in his Santa Ana home around 10:30 p.m. TUesday after his friends called police when he didn’t show up for a planned dinner, police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
Paramedics found bottles of prescription medication near the younger Skilling, who friends said had been distraught after breaking up with his girlfriend, according to Bertagna.
Jeff Skilling’s attorney,
Daniel Petrocelli, said there was no indication of suicide and the death appeared to be an accidental overdose, A comedy movie was queued up on the young mitn’s computer screen, Petrocelli said.
AFGHAN DETAINEE DIES AFTER EXERCISE AT GUANTANAMO
SAN JUAN, lUerto Rico —
A 48-year-old Afghan prisoner at Guantanamo Bay collapsed and died, apparently from natural causes, after exercising inside the jail, the U.S. military said Thursday.
Awal Gul fell in the shower lliesday night after working out on an elliptical machine in Camp 6, a communal section of the Guantanamo reserved for well-behaved prisoners, said military spokesman Army Col. Scott Malcom. The prisoner was taken to the base hospital, where he later died.
Authorities planned to send his remains back to Afghanistan.
Gul is the seventh prisoner to die at the detention center since January 2002, when the U.S. began using the American Navy base in southeastern Cuba to hold captured detainees suspected of links to al-Qaida or the Taliban.
Five other deaths were declared suicides. Another was from colon cancer.
POLICE CHIEF, GUARDS KILLED IN MEXICAN BORDER CITY
Mexico — Gunmen killed a retired army general who took over a month ago as police chief of the violence-wracked Mexican border city of Nuevo Ixiredo, the government of northern Tamaulipas state said Thursday. Two of his bodyguards also were slain and two suffered wounds.
City Public Safety chief Manuel Farfan was attacked late Wednesday the office of Tamaulipas state Interior Secretary Morelos Canseco said in a statement. It did not indicate who was suspected.
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