Thursday, July 12, 2012

Acid Attack Victim Grateful for Opporutnities it Has Brought

Ten years ago, Julie Aftab was working in Pakistan when a man walked in and asked if she was a Christian three times, when she said yes the third time, he left.

Thirty to forty minutes later he returned and threw battery acid on her, burning the right side of her face and body.

When she tried to run, a second man grabbed her by the hair and together the two men forced more acid down her throat, searing her esophagus.

A crowd was drawn by her screams, and they detained the men, but then released them when they accused her of  insulting Islam.

Hospitals and doctors refused to treat her, as they were threatened with being burnt themselves if they did so. Luckily one doctor had pity on her, and treated her anyways, saving her life.

The acid had burned through the left side of her face, taking an eye, scarring bone, and removing teeth. Whilst she was being treated, neighbors burned the family's home, and they were taken in by a nondemoninational Christian bishop, who contacted Shriners Hospitals for Childern.

They arranged for her to be brought to Houston, Texas and undergo medical treatment. After her arrival a couple in the area took in the girl, who at the time spoke no English.

Since then Julie has undergone thirty-one surgeries, all of which were donated by the doctors. She is studying accounting at University of Houston Clear Lake and is about to undertake her citizenship test.

Julie plans to one day become a pastor, and for the last few years has raised money for a safe house in Pakistan that helps persecuted girls.

Aftab has become grateful for the opportunities she has been presented because of what happened to her.

When asked about the attack she says, "Those people, they think they did a bad thing to me, but they brought me closer to God. They helped me fulfill my dreams. I never imagined I could be the person I am today."

Starbucks in Funeral Home

Starbucks' latest location could remind you you're alive, with more than the caffeine buzz.

Robinson Funeral is set to open the location in August, in a special wing.

The owners of the home hope that it will be another way of helping the families grieve.

Chris Robinson, said "If this provides them a little escape, gives them a break from the stress they are going through, that's what its all about, to make them feel a little better."

He also noted that in a way it returns the business to it's original roots, as his great grandfather started the funeral home in a general store, where people would come to sit and drink coffee.

The location will be open to the general public as well.

Bomb Threat Closes US Canada Tunnel

A bomb threat called into Canadian authorities led to the closure of the tunnel connecting Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.

Federal and local police from both countries have responded to the scene, and a Detroit bomb squad was leading the search for explosive devices.

The tunnel is one of the busiest crossings between the two countries.

Travelers were being diverted to the Ambassador Bridge.

The search and investigation are still under way.

Tatum to Play Knievel

Some of the latest movie news has Channing Tatum set to play Evel Knievel.

As of yet the movie is untitled, but it is based on Stuart Baker's Life of Evel, a biography of the famed dare devil.

Tatum will also be involved as a producer in the film, which will be seventh time he has done that.

All three of his 2012 movies have, or are about to, hit the $100 million mark.

The thirty-two year old actor is proving himself to be able to play any role, whether it be action, comedy, romance, or drama.

Channing is currently one of the busiest actors in Hollywood.

He has three movies scheduled to come out in 2013 and two in 2014, with the Knievel movie making a total of four in production with no release date set yet.

I-225 Light Rail Approved

Plans to extend the RTD light rail up I-225 through Aurora were approved Tuesday night.

Currently the rail ends at Parker Road, but the new plans would add ten and a half miles to it, bringing it through Aurora to I-70.

Colorado's light rail has been massively successful and popular, as it allowed for easier access to downtown Denver.

Several other extensions have been added since the main line began, with plans to eventually connect Ft. Collins, Boulder, Golden, Longmont, and Colorado Springs to Denver.

Most of those extensions have already been approved, with several already under construction.

The I-225 addition is expected to cost around $350 million, but most consider it well worth the cost.

Some though worry about the planned route of the rail, which between Mississippi and 6th would leave the 225 to reach Aurora City Center.

On July 24, Aurora City Council will vote on which company's proposal to select as the official builders of the project.

Spanish Austerity Troubles

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced new austerity measures for Spain, on Wednesday. "We are living in a crucial moment which will determine our future and that of our families, that of our youths, of our welfare state. This is the reality. There is no other and we have to get out of this hole and we have to do it as soon as possible and there is no room for fantasies or off-the cuff improvisations because there is no choice."

The new measures would cut nearly eighty billion dollars from the country's budget, over the next two years. They would also bring about a higher sales tax, wage cuts for federal employees, closures of government ran companies, and an increase in the retirement age.

Spain launched the new measures under an agreement with the European Union. The EU is granting the country a nearly $123 billion bailout to keep Spain's banks afloat. The entire banking industry was hamstrung when the real estate market fell.

As the fourth largest economy, in the EU, Spain's troubles resound heavily throughout Europe. With current unemployment around twenty-five percent, the country's prospects look bleak.

Rajoy blames the troubles on the previous socialist government saying, "The excesses of the past must be paid in the present." He furthermore pointed out that it was his predecessors who lost over three million jobs. His opponents have been quick to point out that before, and since his election, he promised to avoid austerity measures.

Since the announcement, riots have taken place across Spain. Injuries to protestors and police have been reported. No deaths have taken place at this time, but some believe it to be only a matter of time, as anarchist and socialist groups have begun publicly calling for revolution.

Russian Warships Near Syria

Wednesday saw Russian strength in the eastern Mediterranean grow as a flotilla of ships neared Syria.

Made up of one destroyer, five amphibious landing ships, two patrol frigates, two rescue tugs, and one tanker the flotilla is meant to show Russia's determination to protect Syria.

And in case that message was missed, Russian TV has been showing Naval exercises taking place outside of bases all along the Arctic, Baltic and Black seas.

Vyacheslav Dzirkaln, a deputy director of Russia’s Military Technical Cooperation Service, stated to the press that the ships will prevent the west from attempting any form of blockade against Syria.

Russia believes that Europe and the US wish to topple the government in Syria, and install their own picked leaders.

Syria has seen sixteen straight months of conflict that has become civil war, as various factions have rebelled against the government.

Dzirkaln also added to earlier Russian statements confirming that Russia will make no new weapons contracts with Syria until the situation has stabilized, but declared that Russia will finish all current contracts.

Colorado Prepared to Sue Fed Over Voter Rolls

Colorado's Secretary of State Scott Gessler
Secretary of State Scott Gessler and Attorney General John Suthers sent letters to the Department of Homeland Security asking for federal immigration records to be opened so that they could compare the lists to Colorado's own voting rolls.

They also made it blatant in the letters that Colorado would be willing to join Florida in suing the federal government for the records, if they weren't sent in time for the November elections.

Opponents of the move state that doing so will scare off minority voters, and could disenfranchise legitimate ones as well.

Gessler points out that whilst he doesn't have any proof of voter fraud, he does have letters from nearly five hundred non citizens who wrote letters apologizing for ending up on voting rolls, after they applied for driver liscenses.

Suthers and Gessler believe that there could actually be more than five thousand such cases, and say that they have no desire to put people in jail, but that their goal is purely to ensure that voter rolls are as accurate as possible.

As with so much in politics this issue has become divided by party lines, with Republicans seeking to clean up the rolls, and Democrats attempting to block them.

400,000 Yahoo Accounts Hacked

At least 400,000 accounts on Yahoo's Contributor Network were hacked on Thursday.

Most of the accounts had extremely simply passwords such as "123456", "password", and "abc123".

Hacker group D33D claimed responsibility, releasing a statement stating that it wasn't an attack, but a way to make Yahoo aware of their security issues.

Yahoo is working to fix their security vulnerabilities, and has already changed the passwords on all affected accounts.

If you use the service, it is highly recommended that you change your password, and remember with any service to do so regularly.