Buggered Mind of Neale Sourna, The

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Egypt shutdown worst in Internet history: experts


[picture] Egyptian demonstrators demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak shouts slogans on top of Egyptian site.

by Katia Dolmadjian Katia Dolmadjian – Sat Jan 29, 12:05 pm ET

PARIS (AFP) – The scale of Egypt's crackdown on the Internet and mobile phones amid deadly protests against the rule of President Hosni Mubarak is unprecedented in the history of the web, experts said.

US President Barack Obama, social networking sites and rights groups around the world all condemned the moves by Egyptian authorities to stop activists using cellphones and cyber technology to organise rallies.

"It's a first in the history of the Internet," Rik Ferguson, an expert for Trend Micro, the world's third biggest computer security firm, told AFP.

Julien Coulon, co-founder of Cedexis, a French Internet performance monitoring and traffic management system, added: "In 24 hours we have lost 97 percent of Egyptian Internet traffic.

According to Renesys, a US Internet monitoring company, Egypt's four main Internet service providers cut off international access to their customers in a near simultaneous move at 2234 GMT on Thursday.

Around 23 million Egyptians have either regular or occasional access to the Internet, according to official figures, more than a quarter of the population.

"In an action unprecedented in Internet history, the Egyptian government appears to have ordered service providers to shut down all international connections to the Internet," James Cowie of Renesys said in a blog post.

Link Egypt, Vodafone/Raya, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr were all off air but Cowie said one exception was the Noor Group, which still has 83 live routes to its Egyptian customers.

He said it was not clear why the Noor Group was apparently unaffected "but we observe that the Egyptian Stock Exchange (www.egyptse.com) is still alive at a Noor address."

Mobile telephone networks were also severely disrupted in the country on Friday. Phone signals were patchy and text messages inoperative.

British-based Vodafone said all mobile operators in Egypt had been "instructed" Friday to suspend services in some areas amid spiralling unrest, adding that under Egyptian law it was "obliged" to comply with the order.

Egyptian operator ECMS, linked to France's Telecom-Orange, said the authorities had ordered them to shut them off late Thursday.

"We had no warning, it was quite sudden," a spokesman for Telecom-Orange told AFP in France.

The shutdown in Egypt is the most comprehensive official electronic blackout of its kind, experts said.

Links to the web were were cut for only a few days during a wave of protests against Myanmar's ruling military junta in 2007, while demonstrations against the re-election of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009 specifically targeted Twitter and Facebook.

Egypt -- like Tunisia where mass popular unrest drove out Zine El Abidine Ben Ali earlier this month -- is on a list of 13 countries classed as "enemies of the Internet" by media rights group Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

"So far there has been no systematic filtering by Egyptian authorities -- they have completely controlled the whole Internet," said Soazig Dollet, the Middle East and North Africa specialist for RSF.

Condemnation of Egypt's Internet crackdown has been widespread.

Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on Cairo to restore the Internet and social networking sites.

Facebook, the world's largest social network with nearly 600 million members, and Twitter also weighed in.

"Although the turmoil in Egypt is a matter for the Egyptian people and their government to resolve, limiting Internet access for millions of people is a matter of concern for the global community," said Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesman.

Twitter, which has more than 175 million registered users, said of efforts to block the service in Egypt: "We believe that the open exchange of info & views benefits societies & helps govts better connect w/ their people."

US digital rights groups also criticised the Egyptian government.

"This action is inconsistent with all international human rights norms, and is unprecedented in Internet history," said Leslie Harris, president of the Center for Democracy and Technology in the United States.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised - Gil Scott-Heron

For more info

Gil Scott-Heron, a godfather of rap, dies in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — Long before Public Enemy urged the need to "Fight the Power" or N.W.A. offered a crude rebuke of the police, Gil-Scott Heron was articulating the rage and the disillusionment of the black masses through song and spoken word.

Scott-Heron, widely considered one of the godfathers of rap with his piercing social and political prose laid against the backdrop of minimalist percussion, flute and other instrumentation, died on Friday at age 62. His was a life full of groundbreaking, revolutionary music and personal turmoil that included a battle with crack cocaine and stints behind bars in his later years.

Musician and singer Michael Franti, who also is known for work that has examined racial and social injustices, perhaps summed up the dichotomy of Scott-Heron in a statement Saturday that described him as "a genius and a junkie."

"The first time I met him in San Francisco in 1991 while working as a doorman at the Kennel Klub, my heart was broken to see a hero of mine barely able to make it to the stage, but when he got there he was clear as crystal while singing and dropping knowledge bombs in his between song banter," said Franti, who described himself as a longtime friend. "His view of the world was so sad and yet so inspiring."

Scott-Heron was known for work that reflected the fury of black America in the post-civil rights era and spoke to the social and political disparities in the country. His songs often had incendiary titles — "Home is Where the Hatred Is" or "Whitey on the Moon" — and through spoken word and song he tapped the frustration of the masses.

He came to prominence in the 1970s as black America was grappling with the violent losses of some of its most promising leaders and what seemed to many to be the broken promises of the civil rights movement.

"It's winter in America, and all of the healers have been killed or been betrayed," lamented Scott-Heron in the song "Winter in America."

Scott-Heron recorded the song that would make him famous, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised," which critiqued mass media, for the album "125th and Lenox" in Harlem in the 1970s. He followed up that recording with more than a dozen albums, collaborating mostly with musician Brian Jackson.

Though he was never a mainstream artist, he was an influential voice — so much so that his music was considered to be a precursor of rap and he influenced generations of hip-hop artists that would follow. When asked, however, he typically downplayed his integral role in the foundation of the genre.

"If there was any individual initiative that I was responsible for it might have been that there was music in certain poems of mine, with complete progression and repeating 'hooks,' which made them more like songs than just recitations with percussion," he wrote in the introduction to his 1990 collection of poems, "Now and Then."

In later years, he would become known more for his battle with drugs such as crack cocaine than his music. His addiction led to stints in jail and a general decline: In a 2008 interview with New York magazine, he said he had been living with HIV for years, but he still continued to perform and put out music; his last album, which came out this year, was a collaboration with artist Jamie xx, "We're Still Here," a reworking of Scott-Heron's acclaimed "I'm New Here," which was released in 2010.

He also was still smoking crack, as detailed in a New Yorker article last year.

"Ten to fifteen minutes of this, I don't have pain," he said. "I could have had an operation a few years ago, but there was an 8 percent chance of paralysis. I tried the painkillers, but after a couple of weeks I felt like a piece of furniture. It makes you feel like you don't want to do anything. This I can quit anytime I'm ready."

He referred to his signature mix of percussion, politics and performed poetry as bluesology or Third World music. But then he said it was simply "black music or black American music."

"Because black Americans are now a tremendously diverse essence of all the places we've come from and the music and rhythms we brought with us," he wrote.

Even those who may have never heard of Scott-Heron's name nevertheless knew his music. His influence on generations of rappers has been demonstrated through sampling of his recordings by artists, from Common to Mos Def to Tupac Shakur. Kanye West closes out the last track of his latest album with a long excerpt of Scott-Heron's "Comment No. 1."

Throughout his musical career, he took on political issues of his time, including apartheid in South Africa and nuclear arms. He had been shaped by the politics of the 1960s and black literature, especially the Harlem Renaissance.

Scott-Heron was born in Chicago on April 1, 1949. He was raised in Jackson, Tenn., and in New York before attending college at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania. Before turning to music, he was a novelist, at age 19, with the publication of "The Vulture," a murder mystery.

He also was the author of "The Nigger Factory," a social satire.

His final works continued his biting social commentary. "I'm New Here" included songs with titles such as "Me and the Devil" and "New York Is Killing Me."

In a 2010 interview with Fader magazine, Scott-Heron admitted he "could have been a better person. That's why you keep working on it."

"If we meet somebody who has never made a mistake, let's help them start a religion. Until then, we're just going to meet other humans and help to make each other better."





Associated Press writer Cristian Salazar contributed to this report.


Nekesa Mumbi Moody can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/nekesamumbi

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

NEW Ebook: Tad: The Switch-hitter, His Twink, and His Teacher A Lust Novella (M/M/M)

Neale Sourna’s North Coast Academies’ Diary

ISBN 978-0-9796841-9-7

ISSN 1553-8656

Volume 4, Issue 1


...Quen’s not my slave, not exactly, not yet.

But, if and when I stuff my cock into his pink pucker of an ass love sphincter….

“Lick it up. Or they’ll think Dr. Hupper’s doing some perv shit up in here. We can’t have that.”

My little lap dog was down and cleaning his own hot mess right up, with his tight hiney in the air, positioned in my direction, so obvious about begging and pleading for it, for me to yank his school uniform dress trousers and underpants down and….

He’ll get his sweet hole punched, but not tonight, a Bottom dictates a lot of the play; but, a Top is still in charge of that Bottom’s fun.

So, I barked at the little bitch.

“Do up your pants, and go home, you slutting little shit.”

* * * *

I let Quen get a head start for home, which is wicked on my part, since he lives in our garage apartment with his mom, one of our maids. I drove past him, stopped, then honked for him to come to me, and then let him run to catch up, but drove away and let him catch up a couple more times, until I got bored and finally unlocked the power lock on the door, after eventually letting him jerk on it a while.

He got in, but kept glancing down at my cock bulge, hoping I’d pull his head or hand into my lap, I suspect, but I didn’t. This kid really needs a lot of controlling, and verbal punishment.

“You’re not touching or sucking my dick; you don’t deserve it, you useless cocksuck. Not yet. So stop staring at it, you fatherless little ferret. When you perform well enough, entertain me, and … whomever well enough, and don’t fuck up my plans, then I’ll plug that chocolate cherry buried between your naked white bread ass loaves, you’re always prancing around me, until you can’t walk, sit, or shit without pain.”

Yeah, I know, I was repeating myself a bit, but he loved the reinforcement and nasty toned abuse.

His large cornflower blue eyes went wider and brighter and he definitely got a hard-on he didn’t bother to hide.

One day or night, soon, I’ll reach over and pet that spam cock and make it do my bidding, as it throbs and jumps for joy in my palm, after I’ve had my pleasure in making him suffer in dejection, waiting for any pleasure I choose to grant him.

Then, it will be a joy to my crotch and ego to stuff my hard, thick meat deep into his tender new ass and into that girl pretty, red-lipped, whoring, hot mouth of his.

And, maybe, in that shitty order.

[BUY Vol 4, Issue 1]

...and I really wanted to join in, too, and my throbbing dick was concrete hard and aching to swim deep, in the wet‑.

Our home gym and I have been spending a lot of time together.

Because I was on Dr. Hupper’s orders and I can’t lie to this man. I’ve tried. I can lie to anyone, my Mom, Dad, Twin even, and with a straight face, too; but not this guy, now massaging my nads with warmth and gentleness, while putting his warm, gentle lips upon mine.

I always cave to him, before I can even lie to him. It’s my fucking flaw.

And I’m Dominant almost everywhere else, except in his presence, because when Dr. Hupper first looked at me, I knew I’d be, well, his bitch, and when he kisses me, I-I cannot think straight, especially now, with both of his beautiful black hands, as well, exploring my … young, male assets, pulling my naked body to his clothed one.

But, then he stopped, both kissing and touching me, and gazed at me, waiting for me to focus my mind away from the pleasurable joys his hands and lips had wrought within me.

“Y-Yes, sir.”

“Undress me, Thaddeus.”

Yes!! I screamed within me, because he likes us to be controlled and civil, if not fully civilized, in his presence; I merely nodded, and began.

He has a lean, tight body; well-muscled and fine, and he swims, in the school pool, in Speedos™ swim trunks, and thank God for that sopping, dripping wet, minimal bit of material over his big, fleshy cock and fine, muscular ass.

It’s his best outfit. Fucking yes! And I’m not the only one in school who knows so.

But, I can’t say how many times I’ve imagined nor dreamed of Dr. Hupper coming out of the pool, water streaming heavily down his lean-sculpted, brown body, to stand in front of me, pull his meaty cock out of his clinging wet trunks, and command me to kneel and put its spongy fat mushroom head, into my hot, wet mouth.

His wish is my great eagerness.

After I hungrily taste him my first time, he seizes me by the hair and pushes his full, rigid length down my stretched throat, into my guts.

Then, having had me that way, he’d make me turn around on all fours to present my ass to him, and he’d, with ruthless force, tug down my dressy school trousers—somehow I always have them on, not trunks, or just be naked; huh, the illogic of dreams and even of daydreams full of fucking weird subconscious and emotional subtext.

Dr. Hupper would piss on and into my hole, his lube of choice, and then penetrate me, spear my tan ass wide with his black cock, right there at poolside, as the swim team practices their laps, as he, literally, rides my ass, banging his heavy, great, black balls against my own tan ones, until we both cum to our destinations.

Fuck dreams, this is real.

Dr. Hupper was bare to his dark, six pack waist. He reached up and pushed down on my taller shoulder, a gesture I’ve used with Cassie and other lucky cocksuckers of all sexes and cock - in - ass holders, oh, so many times.

I kneeled my paler, naked self down before him, in this worshipful reality not a fucking, frustrating dream, and undid his trousers, sliding them down, anticipating the dual pleasures of seeing that monster completely undressed and close to my face, in clear light, without a desk over my head, and to palm my fairer-skinned hands over his hard buttocks and down his flat belly and hard thighs, pushing his pants all the way down, as his assbusting monster sprung out from his deliciously musky and hairy balls to kiss me.

God, it was gorgeous and he smelled great, and sexy. He made my mouth...

[BUY Vol 4, Issue 1]

“No, sir. I’m sorry, sir. I…. You felt so good inside me, sir. I-I was out of line, and apologize, si‑.”

“You’re a greedy little fucker, young Tad. Greedy with your hands, always tugging at my zipper. Greedy with your mouth and deep throat, always so eager to tonsil fuck me. You may be a Top elsewhere, boy; but with me, you’re my Bottom, my bitch, my ass bottom ass cunt. Aren’t you, Thaddeus Cunt?”

No one had ever called me that. Not to my face, or behind my back, as far as I know. And my head came up, Cross pride showing, and our gazes met in a mirror. He might send me home, without, and never again….

I gulped and swallowed my fucking pride. He can call me anything, just as long as it comes with his meat club stuffed in me.

He was staring at me; I nodded my answer, and then recalled I should speak aloud when he speaks to me. He hates mute nods in class.

“Yes … sir … I-I … am.”

I could barely talk, my balls ached, my cock needed attentive touching and I wanted to feel his fat, black cock massaging my P-spot … my needy prostate sooo badly. I just fucking wanted him back inside me, to feel him within me, filling me.

Relaxing, as best I could, I resumed my proper position, with my hard head down, bowed in contrition upon his bed, waiting for whenever and whatever he’d decide to‑.

“Mmm-yes,” I purred, just like a teen whore a good friend of Dad’s had sent Tyb and me, knowing Dad would first test drive the slut, who arrived wearing nothing but a strategically placed ribbon and a long, black duster.

You guess the sex of our passed around sex toy gift.

I know longer care, because Dr. Hupper was slipping deep into me, filling me to full. I didn’t obstruct him nor clutch tight against him. All he got from me was: Welcome, Enter Here, sir.

And he did.

Like I said, I’ve had black cock shoved to the hilt in my ass before and he knows that; so no one can accuse him of devirginizing my young, teen asshole, because another man, an older middle-aged man’s long, fat, black cock with his hairy balls banging hard and heavy against my body, already claimed my ass cherry.

And his son’s fat cock, next. But, that’s another … tale.

Dr. Hupper pushed all the way in to the great fat hilt of him, and then fucked in and out of me, seeming to be testing...

[BUY Vol 4, Issue 1]

Dr. Hupper and I were both banging in and out together, the force of two men pounding making the table slide until it banged against the china hutch and sweet, young Quen’s skinny body almost squirted out from beneath me.

I pulled Quen back, as he eagerly scrambled to me, to keep my cock deep and busy in his fair, hairless ass.

Ah, god, he’s got a fine tail for fucking, too; I’m so glad he saved his pristine sphincter and colon just for me.

The little fucker suddenly gazed those blues deep into mine, like he knew what I was thinking, and I smiled and gave him a special treat, as I massaged his nut bag, then finger-rubbed his cockhead at the frenelum, just right.

His white throat arched his head back; he was speechless, while my cock never stopped taking him and ripping him inside out.

I wasn’t going to rub his cockhead for too long, though; I had another thing in my ass to concentrate on; plus, I didn’t want little Quen cumming too soon, and he was getting close, having imagined me fucking him in all kinds of—.

“Ah, sir. Fuck, Dr. Hupperrrr, siiiirrrr.” The man had me.

He was working my....
[BUY Vol 4, Issue 1]

Tad: The Switch-hitter, His Twink, and His Teacher--A Lust Novella (M/M/M)

[22 horny chapters, 25,139 words]

Gorgeous, biracial rich kid, Tad, gets whoever he wants, male or female, and he has a relentless hard
on for his English professor, Dr. Hupper, whose magnificent black cock Tad's stuffed down his eager, tan-white throat and given hand jobs; but, youngsterTad wants serious, naked alone time with his favorite teacher's ebony body.

While fellow student, Quen "the queen," a blonde twink, whose smooth and hairless, boy toy ass virginity is reserved for Top Tad. Bottom boy Quen's in love and dying to be his doormat and cum catcher.

So, do you think delicious Tad will get BOTH of his conquests in one room, in one bed, all completely naked,with himself sandwiched between his Quen's sweet bottom and that masterful black assbuster?

Oh, I know my greedy Switch boy Tad will.

Mutual handjob masturbation, in classroom, with teacher, after school, with hidden class-mate voyeur Quen the queen twink watching; mild humiliation, as a teen Top gives his teen Bottom final permission to whack off, then lick cum off the scuffed class floor-yuck!;

An invitation to a favorite professor's sex hideaway for a little fuck fun, with black cock in biracial (white / black) teen student's tan ass;

A surprise for teach is teen Top bringing his teen twink Bottom, who gets his first ass filling, sucks his Top's tan cock in front of prof and then gets to be bottom layer, on his back, of a three-way male sandwich of white bread ass, thick tan meat, and long, black cock.

Plenty of cocksucking, assfucking, ball banging, and squirting, creamy cum!

These naughty boys put on a great show and are insatiable, even when they're fucked red raw, they want more, in the shower, in the car home, in the garage with the Top, his Twink, and his hard cocked Top Twin.

Plus, a couple of hot, golden showers and a sexy real shower or two.

22 horny chapters, 25,139 words total

All On Sale NOW: Adobe Reader, MS Reader, Mobipocket/Kindle!

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

BUY for Your Valentine NOW!! Love is a Sexy Ebook or Print Book by Neale Sourna

"Love is an everyday affair," so surprise your partner with a new sexy book in hand to read aloud from my site to your partner. Surprise your LOVE PARTNER with new HOT STORIES in hand, a new ebook for their e-reader or paperback from Neale Sourna and PIE: Perception Is Everything, because love is everything. But, you already know that. So, see what's NEW below.

"Plus, I have a challenge for you; READ JUST FIVE PAGES of any of my STORIES, and if it doesn't LITERALLY CHANGE how you FEEL, and MAKE YOU FEEL different and MORE PULSING ALIVE (wet and warm for women, firm and hot for men) than when you started, then close it, zip it, and walk away; but, if your PULSE is racing, and the heat and the wet and the throbbing, hot blood is getting noticeable, then you need to keep my stories close to hand and bed--and BUY NOW, BUY HERE, BUY OFTEN, as ebooks and paperbacks!!"


[NCAD -- An Adult Serial]
ISSN 1553-8656
North Catalog/Buy

NCAD is Adult Erotic Fiction, usually one short story per issue [i.e., 5000 wds / 22 6.14 x 9.21" issue pgs], under the theme of diary / journal entries of an academic teen school community.


"Steve's Monkey's Paw & MORE"

[more Neale Sourna's CuntSinger: Table of Contents and more]

Printed Novel eBook

Printed Novel eBook


Game Novels: Heartwild Solitaire, The Author's Edition* and

Heartwild Solitaire: Book Two, The Author's Edition* NEW!! Update Gifts--Sweet Bonus Levels Available NOW!

Book Two (branched novel story game)

Novel Book One

and also the mystery puzzle games of:

Neale Sourna's Game Writing and Design Store

and more at Neale's Catalog and Neale's Home Website

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Largest World Statue ... Still Being Carved in US

Sculptors, since 1948, in South Dakota, USA near Mount Rushmore and the mountain carving of four ex-presidents of America, are still slowly building the world's largest statue, a giant monument to the legendary and great Native American Chief Crazy Horse, who lead the countercharge of the combined indigenous "Indian" forces against the invading American Calvary, specifically the infamous 7th, who, with their leader General George Armstrong Custer, were crushed and well, slaughtered, by war chief Crazy Horse, whose carved head is 87 feet tall.

When completed, his statue of him mounted on horseback being carved from a mountain cliff face will make him the tallest and break the record set by a giant statue of a standing Buddha in China, in Henan, China, that's 420 ft tall [that's 42 storeys/stories!]. For comparison, the Statue of Liberty, near New York City, is only a midget 151 feet tall [15 storeys/stories].

Go Crazy Horse!!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Microlenders, Honored With Nobel, Are Struggling --by Vikas Bajaj

Kuni Takahashi for The New York Times

Residents of Madoor village in Andhra Pradesh, India. Leaders in the state have accused microloan lenders of impoverishing customers.

MUMBAI, India — Microcredit is losing its halo in many developing countries.

Kainaz Amaria for The New York Times

Women in a suburb of Mumbai attending a meeting to learn about microloans. Most of the clients for such loans are women.

Noah Seelam/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

A demonstration in Hyderabad, India, last October was aimed at microcredit companies, accusing them of high interest rates.

The New York Times

Readers' Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Microcredit was once extolled by world leaders like Bill Clinton and Tony Blair as a powerful tool that could help eliminate poverty, through loans as small as $50 to cowherds, basket weavers and other poor people for starting or expanding businesses. But now microloans have prompted political hostility in Bangladesh, India, Nicaragua and other developing countries.

In December, the prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheik Hasina Wazed, who had championed microloans alongside President Clinton at talks in Washington in 1997, turned her back on them. She said microlenders were “sucking blood from the poor in the name of poverty alleviation,” and she ordered an investigation into Grameen Bank, which had pioneered microcredit and, with its founder, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.

Here in India, until recently home to the world’s fastest-growing microcredit businesses, lending has slowed sharply since the state with the most microloans adopted a strict law restricting lending. In Nicaragua, Pakistan and Bolivia, activists and politicians have urged borrowers not to repay their loans.

The hostility toward microfinance is a sharp reversal from the praise and good will that politicians, social workers and bankers showered on the sector in the last decade. Philanthropists and investors poured billions of dollars into nonprofit and profit-making microlenders, who were considered vital players in achieving the United Nations’ ambitious Millennium Development Goals for 2015 that world leaders set in 2000. One of the goals was to reduce by half the number of people in extreme poverty.

The attention lavished on microcredit helped the sector reach more than 91 million customers, most of them women, with loans totaling more than $70 billion by the end of 2009. India and Bangladesh together account for half of all borrowers.

But as with other trumpeted development initiatives that have promised to lift hundreds of millions from poverty, microcredit has struggled to turn rhetoric into tangible success.

Done right, these loans have shown promise in allowing some borrowers to build sustainable livelihoods. But it has also become clear that the rapid growth of microcredit — in India some lending firms were growing at 60 percent to 100 percent a year — has made the loans much less effective.

Most borrowers do not appear to be climbing out of poverty, and a sizable minority is getting trapped in a spiral of debt, according to studies and analysts.

“Credit is both the source of possibilities and it’s a bond,” said David Roodman, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, a research organization in Washington. “Credit is often operating at this knife’s edge, and that gets forgotten.”

Even as the results for borrowers have been mixed, some lenders have minted profits that might make Wall Street bankers envious. For instance, investors in India’s largest microcredit firm, SKS Microfinance, sold shares last year for as much as 95 times what they paid for them a few years earlier.

Meanwhile, politicians in developing nations, some of whom had long resented microlenders as competitors for the hearts and minds of the poor, have taken to depicting lenders as profiteering at the expense of borrowers.

Nicaragua’s president, Daniel Ortega, for example, supported “movimiento no pago,” or the no-pay movement, which was started in 2008 by farmers after some borrowers could not pay their debts. Partly as a result of that campaign, a judge recently ordered the liquidation of one of the country’s leading microlenders, Banco del Exito, or Success Bank.

“These crises happen when the microfinance sector gets saturated, when it grows too fast, and the mechanisms for controlling overindebtedness is not very well developed,” said Elisabeth Rhyne, a senior official at Accion International, a organization in Boston that invests in microlenders. “On the political side, politicians or political actors take advantage of an opportunity. When they see grievances, they go, ‘Wow, we can make some hay with this.’ ”

While a broad thread of resentment and disenchantment runs across the globe, the hostility toward microcredit stems from different circumstances in each nation.

In Bangladesh, Ms. Hasina appears to have become embittered with Grameen after its founder, Muhammad Yunus, who shared the Nobel, announced in 2007 that he would start a political party. At that time, the country was ruled by a caretaker government appointed by the military. Though Mr. Yunus later gave up on the idea, analysts say Ms. Hasina and Mr. Yunus have not made amends.

Ms. Hasina’s recent comments about microcredit were prompted by a Norwegian documentary that accused Grameen of improperly transferring to an affiliate $100 million that Norway had donated to it more than a decade ago. Ms. Hasina said Grameen, 3.4 percent of which is owned by the government, might have transferred the money to avoid taxes.

The bank, which has denied that accusation, reversed the transfer after Norwegian officials objected to it. Norway recently issued a statement clearing Grameen of wrongdoing.

The prime minister’s press secretary did not return calls seeking comment.

In India, leaders in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, which accounts for about a third of the country’s microloans, have accused lenders of impoverishing customers. Stories proliferated in the local news media about women who had amassed debts of $1,000 or more as loan officers cajoled them into borrowing more than they could afford and then browbeat them to repay. Many had used the money to pay for televisions or health care or to soften the blow of failed crops, rather than as seed money for businesses.

Microcredit firms in India were also accused of siphoning borrowers from government-run “self-help groups” — women’s organizations that can borrow small amounts at subsidized interest rates from government-owned banks.

The movement against microcredit was started by opposition politicians, who have encouraged borrowers not to repay their loans and have accused senior leaders of the ruling Congress Party of being in cahoots with lenders. The Congress-led state government made the cause its own and passed a tough new law in December to cap interest rates and regulate collections.

The crisis has had ripples across the nation. Banks, the primary source of money for microlenders, have turned off the tap because they are worried about the industry’s future. As a result, microlenders have slowed or stopped lending nationwide.

Grameen Financial Services, a microlender in Bangalore that is not related to Grameen Bank, has idled 600 new employees it hired just a few months earlier with plans to expand into western and central India. The firm does not lend in Andhra Pradesh.

“This is frustrating,” said Suresh K. Krishna, managing director of Grameen Financial. “This is not what we set out for. The whole objective of floating this was to support entrepreneurs and support people in the rural areas and people below the poverty line.”

Industry leaders say they hope the issues will be resolved soon. The federal government and the Reserve Bank of India, the country’s central bank, are working on new federal regulations to oversee microcredit, said Alok Prasad, chief executive of the Microfinance Institutions Network.

Still, some industry officials acknowledge that the sector needs to reform itself to overcome political opposition and live up to its promise. They say organizations that now offer only loans need to diversify into microsavings accounts, which many specialists assert are much better than loans at easing poverty.

The industry, they say, also needs to speed up efforts to build a credit bureau that would reduce overlending. And organizations need to measure their success not just by growth and profits, but by how fast their customers are getting out of poverty, experts say.

“We at microfinance have a job to do to make it easier for politicians to support us,” said Alex Counts, the chief executive of the Grameen Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington that is not part of Grameen Bank. “Rather than make claims that get out in front of the research, we need to impose on ourselves the discipline of transparency about poverty reduction.”

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8 Tricks for Boosting Your Metabolism by Danielle Braff

By Danielle Braff, Woman's Day, Tue Dec 28, 2010

8 Tricks for Boosting Your Metabolism

8 Tricks for Boosting Your Metabolism

Remember how, during your teens and 20s, you could eat practically anything and not gain a pound? Now that you're hovering around middle age, you've probably found that's just not the case anymore. Part of the problem is that your metabolism decreases as a result of other age-related factors, like decrease in muscle mass. However, there's no need to give in to a bigger pant size just yet! Read on for eight ways to rev up your metabolism and keep those unwanted pounds from your waistline.

Do Intervals
Mixing in fast-paced intervals raises your metabolic rate higher than doing a steady cardio workout, and will continue to do so up to an hour after you’re done, says Kristin McGee, a trainer and Pilates instructor whose client list includes Tina Fey and Bethenny Frankel. An Australian study also found that women who did intervals while they were biking lost three times as much fat as those who worked out at a steady pace. If you’re a walker, simply walk at your normal pace for 1 to 2 minutes, then speed-walk for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat the sequence 10 to 15 times.

Opt for Caffeine
It’s time to hit Starbucks. A study published in the journal Physiology & Behavior shows that coffee drinkers have a 16 percent higher metabolic rate than those who abstain or drink decaf joe, because caffeine increases your heart rate and stimulates your central nervous system. Spread out the cups over your entire day to keep your metabolism running at a boosted rate—just be sure to have your last cup by early afternoon so you can hit the pillow with no problems later on.

Add Some Ice
Though the increase is modest, there is some evidence that drinking cold water can cause a slight surge in metabolic rate. Since your body maintains a core temperature around 98.6°F, cold water will be brought to that temperature after being consumed and calories are burned during the warming process. Discovery Health deduced that you can burn up to 70 extra calories a day if you follow the common rule of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of cold water per day. Need another reason to up your water intake? Researchers at the University of Utah found that participants who drank half of the recommended amount of water per day (four 8-ounce glasses), not only showed signs of dehydration, they also experienced a 2% decrease in calories burned per day.

Eat a Big Breakfast
It’s time to nix the oatmeal with skim milk. Instead, start your day with a fatty breakfast, including eggs and even a piece of bacon, suggests Molly Bray, PhD, lead author of a recent study showing that a fat-filled morning meal will jumpstart your metabolism for the day faster than a lowfat, low-calorie breakfast. Another study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who eat 22 to 55 percent of their total calories at breakfast gain 1.7 pounds over four years. That’s not bad considering those who eat 0 to 11 percent of their calories in the morning gain nearly 3 pounds.

Drink Green Tea
Not only does green tea contain enough antioxidants to keep colds and the flu at bay, but it also does wonders for your metabolism, according to a study published in the journal Phytomedicine. Researchers found that people who drank the equivalent of three to five cups daily for three months shaved 5 percent off their body weight. Green tea contains ECGC, a plant compound that stimulates your metabolism, says Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist in private practice in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, and founder of Essential Nutrition consulting.

Don't Skimp on Dairy
Calcium-rich foods and drinks, including milk, yogurt and cheese, increase the rate at which fat turns into waste, says a study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen published in the The Journal of Nutrition. It doesn’t matter what form of dairy product you’re consuming as long as the serving size is adequate (keep it lowfat!)—either a full glass of lowfat milk or 6 ounces of yogurt is perfect. Also, the study noted that you have to actually ingest the calcium in its natural form; supplements don’t work due to differences in the chemical makeup.

Build More Muscle
Gaining lean muscle mass boosts your metabolism and makes losing weight much easier, McGee says. If you add just 5 pounds of muscle to your body, you’ll burn up to 150 more calories per day without even working out those muscles. And, you can burn an average of 600 calories per hour during your cardio workout thanks to that extra muscle mass. “Muscle burns more calories than fat does, even at rest, so any strength-training activities to build lean muscle are excellent,” McGee says. The key is to challenge all your muscles and do a full-body strength-training workout, hitting your core, arms, legs, back and chest.

Pick Up Heavier Weights
By using heavy weights at a very slow rate—twice as slow as would feel natural—you break down your muscles (you’ll know the weights are heavy enough and the workout slow enough if you start to shake after just a few lifts or squats). Researchers at Wayne State University found that when your body repairs those overworked muscles, it causes your metabolism to increase for up to three days after the workout.

Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.

Related Articles at WomansDay.com:

8 Ways to Stay Full Longer

20 Ways to Burn More Fat

12 Foods to Eat for Energy

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Tuesday, January 04, 2011

The Fattest Place on Earth--Nope, Not the States...or China

ABC News

With planet's highest obesity rate, an island paradise, Nauru, has lessons for the U.S. and the world.

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Sunday, January 02, 2011

More than 1,000 dead birds fall from sky in Ark.

Sun Jan 2, 9:18 am ET

BEEBE, Ark. – Wildlife officials are trying to determine what caused more than 1,000 blackbirds to die and fall from the sky over an Arkansas town.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Saturday that it began receiving reports about the dead birds about 11:30 p.m. the previous night. The birds fell over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area.

Commission ornithologist Karen Rowe said the birds showed physical trauma, and she speculated that "the flock could have been hit by lightning or high-altitude hail."

The commission said that New Year's Eve revelers shooting off fireworks in the area could have startled the birds from their roost and caused them to die from stress.

Robby King, a wildlife officer for the agency, collected about 65 dead birds, which will be sent for testing to the state Livestock and Poultry Commission lab and the National Wildlife Health Center lab in Madison, Wis.

Rowe said that similar events have occurred elsewhere and that test results "usually were inconclusive." She said she doubted the birds were poisoned.

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Son of Iran woman to be stoned wants new sentence By Nasser Karimi

Son of Iran woman to be stoned wants new sentence

Iranian Sajjad Qaderzadeh, whose mother, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, has been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, speaks with media in a news AP – Iranian Sajjad Qaderzadeh, whose mother, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, has been sentenced to death by stoning …

TABRIZ, Iran – The son of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery [NS note: not murder or manslaughter?] demanded Saturday that his mother's verdict be commuted.

In his first public meeting with journalists, Sajjad Qaderzadeh told reporters in the northwest city of Tabriz that he had been freed on Dec. 12 after posting a $40,000 bail and now wants to devote his life to saving his mother.

"We lost our father and we don't want to lose our mother. We demand that her verdict be commuted," Qaderzadeh told reporters.

He was originally arrested in October after speaking with two German journalists about his mother's case. The Germans were also arrested and remain in custody.

Several unidentified people, apparently local officials and possibly plainclothes security officers, were present during the interview, which was Qaderzadeh's first with the international press.

He said he was arrested because the German journalists broke the law by entering the country on tourist visas and then reporting, but it was not clear if he was ever charged.

Later Saturday, journalists were allowed to briefly meet Ashtiani who again confessed to being an accomplice in the murder of her husband, while maintaining that it was her lover, Isa Taheri, who did the actual killing.

"Taheri came to our house and scuffled with my husband. He told me to give the injection he had already prepared," she told reporters after she had dinner with her son.

Ashtiani denied that she was ever tortured during her imprisonment, as had been alleged by her former lawyer Mohammad Mostafaei.

"I want the world to hear me, saying I was tortured is a lie. I was never tortured in prison," she said, criticizing Mostafaei, for internationalizing her case for his own ends.

Ashtiani was convicted of adultery in 2006 after the murder of her husband and sentenced to death by stoning. In the face of international outrage the sentence has been suspended and is under review by the Supreme Court.

She was later convicted of being an accessory to her husband's murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison, said her son.

In the wake of the international outcry over the verdict, the Iranian government has been at pains to show that Ashtiani is guilty, airing several interviews with her repeatedly confessing her crimes.

Qaderzadeh told journalists that he didn't doubt his mother was guilty, but he asked that her stoning sentence be commuted.

"I do not think that my mother is innocent. She is certainly guilty," he said. "However, the decision has to be made by our country's officials. They may change the stoning sentence to some other verdict."

Qaderzadeh said it was not fair that his mother was in jail but that the man who murdered his father, Isa Taheri, was free.

"The question is why Taheri is free? [NS note: yes, why is this? whose friend is he, whose dick did he suck to get off and away scot free? while the woman, the deceased, the son, and the Germans all are being punished?]... I'll get Taheri to face justice even if I need to become a lawyer or memorize the book of law," he said.

Stoning was widely imposed in the years following the 1979 Islamic revolution, and even though Iran's judiciary still regularly hands down such sentences, they are often converted to other punishments.

The last known stoning was carried out in 2007, although the government rarely confirms that such punishments have been meted out.

Under Islamic rulings, a man is usually buried up to his waist, while a woman is buried up to her chest with her hands also buried. Those carrying out the verdict then throw stones until the condemned dies.

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