Amnesty: Israel denies Palestinians access to water

London/Tel Aviv – Israel is denying Palestinians access to adequate water while settlers ‘enjoy lush lawns and swimming pools,’ a report issued by Amnesty International in London alleged Tuesday.

Israel rejected the report’s findings, with Minister of Infrastructure Uzi Landau calling it ‘distorted and superficial,’ while the Israel Water Authority said it had not been contacted by any of Amnesty’s researchers to comment on the findings, or present its own. The report, entitled Troubled Waters, claims that Israel retains total control over shared water resources and uses over 80 per cent of water from the Mountain Aquifer, the main source of underground water in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

On average, Palestinian daily water consumption barely reached 70 litres per person a day, while Israeli daily consumption was more than 300 litres per day – four times as much. In some rural communities Palestinians survived on barely 20 litres per day, the minimum amount recommended by aid organizations for domestic use in emergency situations, the 112-page report said. It said that between 180,000-200,000 Palestinians living in rural communities had no access to running water and the Israeli army often prevented them from even collecting rainwater. In contrast, Israeli settlers in the West Bank had ‘intensive- irrigation farms, lush gardens and swimming pools,’ said Amnesty. Numbering about 450,000, the settlers used as much or more water than the entire Palestinian population of some 2.3 million.

Israeli Infrastructure Minister Landau said in response that Israel adhered to all its water agreements, and supplied the Palestinians with more water than previously agreed on. He claimed that the Palestinians would not build water purification plants. The Water Authority also questioned some of the report’s conclusions. It said that while Israeli access to water before the 1967 war, when Israel captured the West Bank, was about 500 cubic metres per person per year, it has now dropped to 149 cubic metres per person per year. In contrast, the Authority said, Palestinian consumption has risen from 87 cubic metres per person per year to 105 cubic metres per person per year.

Amnesty reported this but no action is taken. the world keeps quiet as the Palestinians suffers every day. i am not saying this because they are muslims. but those are human basic needs. the water is available but it was not given to them. this is too much. may Allah have mercy upon them as when the time comes, these Israelis will suffer like no else does. to fellow Palestinians – have faith in Allah. what you endure today will be rewarded fairly when the time comes. article from Monsters and Critics.

Clashes at Al-Aqsa

Israel’s rightwing government headed by Benjamin Netanyahu is wrong if it thinks the Palestinians or the world will ever acquiesce in its occupation of Jerusalem. On Sunday, clashes took place once again between the occupying police and Palestinian protesters at the Al-Aqsa mosque, provoking a most angry and apt comment from a spokesman for President Mahmoud Abbas who said Jerusalem was ‘a red line that Israel should not cross.’

A stronger warning came from Turkey’s Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, who is secretary general of the Organisation of Islamic Conference. Calling upon the Muslim world to take a united stand for defending Al-Aqsa, he said Israeli actions could have ‘grave consequences.’ Similar condemnatory messages have come from the Arab League and Egypt.

There are reasons why Mr Netanyahu thinks Israel can get away with its crimes in occupied territory and continued attempts to alter the West Bank’s demographic character. For all its pious rhetoric, the American administration has not been able to make Israel give up its intransigence and get the peace talks going. Even though President Barack Obama declared categorically in his June four speech that all settlement activity must stop, the Likud government last month told George Mitchell, America’s special representative, that it will continue to build new housing units in what it calls ‘Judea and Samaria.’ Israel has also been emboldened by America’s success in pressuring the Palestinian Authority into ignoring the Goldstone report, which condemns Tel Aviv for its war crimes and crimes against the Gazans earlier this year.

Al-Aqsa is a Muslim and not just an Arab issue. Israel has been digging under the mosque, and there is a serious possibility that this could damage the Al-Aqsa and the Holy Precincts in general. As Mr Ihsanoglu said this could have ‘unpredictable consequences’ for world peace. One hopes Israel has not forgotten that the second Intifada in September 2000 began because of Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Islamic holy places despite warnings against it. Israel has no choice but to withdraw from the Palestinian territories if it wants lasting peace in the Middle East.

they never stop don’t they? why do they keep on creating such hatred towards them? muslims tried to make peace with them but they kept doing what they did before. i wish i could have the power to stop them.. article from Dawn.com.

syafeerul: the work and the car..

i do not want to post any personal matters on this blog. i used to but it was pointless and not so very useful. but maybe once a while could be ok.. =)

i’m very busy lately. both work and life. work been hectic for the past one month. hardly got much rest. and lately im getting myself with a lot more busy-ness. i’m trying to buy a car. a good one at low price. is it worth the time spend? looking and asking around on this matter. so far the result was quite unsatisfying. but there’s no rush to this.. the search goes on..

Loeb secures sixth title in a row

Sebastien Loeb claimed a record sixth successive world rally title with victory at the Rally GB in Wales. The Frenchman won the title by a single point from Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen, who led Loeb by one point going into the race but could only finish second. “I’m really happy for this one because Mikko is strong,” Citroen driver Loeb told World Rally Championship radio. “A sixth title is awesome. It’s been a season of highs and lows – it’s a huge moment.

The battle was so intense.” Loeb won seven of the 12 rounds during the season, and the Rally GB victory was the 54th race win of his career. The 35-year-old won by 66 seconds on Sunday but was helped enormously when Hirvonen suffered a mishap on the third of the day’s four stages. Having pegged back the Frenchman’s overnight lead from 30 to 18 seconds, the Finn was forced to stop when his bonnet flipped up, costing him a minute. Ford driver Hirvonen said: “It was definitely the best year I’ve ever had but a big disappointment in the end. I need to go back to work and try to find more speed for next year.”

Loeb’s Citroen Total team-mate Dani Sordo finished third, taking the final step on the podium in Wales and securing third place in the 2009 drivers’ championship. Britain’s Matthew Wilson was sixth and finished the season seventh overall.

Rally of Great Britain result:

  1. Sebastien Loeb (France) Citroen 3hrs 16mins 25.400secs
  2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) Ford +01:06.100
  3. Daniel Sordo (Spain) Citroen 01:07.100
  4. Petter Solberg (Norway) Citroen 01:28.100
  5. Henning Solberg (Norway) Ford 06:28.000
  6. Matthew Wilson (Britain) Ford 07:46.000
  7. Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) Ford 12:11.900
  8. Conrad Rautenbach (Zimbabwe) Citroen 14:27.800

Final World Championship standings:

  1. Sebastien Loeb (France) 93 points
  2. Mikko Hirvonen (Finland) 92
  3. Daniel Sordo (Spain) 64
  4. Jari-Matti Latvala (Finland) 41
  5. Petter Solberg (Norway) 35
  6. Henning Solberg (Norway) 33
  7. Matthew Wilson (Britain) 28

Final Constructor standings:

  1. Citroen Total WRT 167 points
  2. BP-Ford Abu-Dhabi WRT 140
  3. Stobart VK M-Sport Ford WRT 80
  4. Citroen Junior Team 47
  5. Munchi’s Ford WRT 23

congrats sebastian loeb. best rally driver for the past few years. unchallenged. but where’s subaru? i can’t see impreza anywhere on the list. hopefully they’ll be back next season with better car and better drivers. article from BBC Sport.

Facebook employees know what profiles you look at

“My friend got a call from her friend at Facebook, asking why she kept looking at his profile,” says a privacy-conscious source at a major tech company. Turns out Facebook employees can (and do) check out anyone’s profile. Not only that, but they also see which profiles a user has viewed — a major privacy violation. If you’ve been obsessed with a workmate or classmate, Facebook employees know. If Barack Obama’s intern has been using the campaign account to troll for hotties, Facebook employees know. Within the company, it’s considered a job perk, and employees check this data for fun.

Facebook has a history of protecting profiles from outsiders. The site once sent cease-and-desist letters to two of Valleywag’s sister blogs for publishing certain student profiles. The site does not allow regular users to see which profiles other users have seen. While one third-party application lets users voluntarily make their profile-visiting known, no application allows one to “spy” on the activity of an unknowing user. Checking who’s viewed a profile may be how Facebook found the tipster who violated their terms of service by sending Valleywag Steve Ballmer’s profile. But were they violating their own terms?

Well, Facebook’s privacy policy doesn’t explicitly reserve or waive employees’ right to check out your profile for any reason. Of course, the practice still reeks of skunkery — it’s one thing to check profiles in the course of business, but these people are looking up records for kicks. This is a company with $150 million in projected revenues this year and a gigantic ad deal with Microsoft, not a corner video store. The privacy of millions is at stake. Google clearly promises not to crawl through mail or search records with anything but a computer program, and even AOL apologized for releasing semi-anonymous search data and violating its privacy policy.

just a reminder to most of us on privacy issues on the net. article from VALLEYWAG.

McLaren keeping their distance from impatient Jenson Button

Jenson Button’s growing impatience to secure a better pay deal with Brawn GP became clear yesterday with the new Formula One world champion’s adviser hinting darkly that the British driver may look to another team. That has fuelled speculation that he could switch to McLaren, though Lewis Hamilton’s team appear unlikely to sign Button. Button is seeking a £5m pay rise to £8m after taking a pay cut to ensure the future of Brawn after Honda pulled out of Formula One before the start of the campaign. Brawn, however, have yet to offer Button new terms. His manager, Richard Goddard, said: “Brawn could have sorted Jenson out weeks ago and none of this would be going on. We’ve been trying to agree terms with them. He’s made it clear he wants to stay and, had they agreed a contract, there would be no speculation. People will speculate that anyone with a free seat next year will be offering Jenson a drive. That speculation won’t die until Brawn offer him new terms. “He has displayed his great talent in a good car this year. A lot of quality seats may still be available, so it’s down to Brawn to make us an offer.”

The Formula One commercial rights holder, Bernie Ecclestone, also seemed to display some impatience with Brawn as he commented on the situation. “They are being a little bit arrogant considering how long they have been in Formula One,” Ecclestone said. “They should remember they have only been in the sport 10 minutes, really.” Mercedes-Benz, McLaren’s engine partner, was quick to distance itself from any link with Button, however. The car maker’s director of motor sport, Norbert Haug, said: “There are no current negotiations with Jenson Button but I do understand that people in England are dreaming of an English team with two world champions in the cockpits. However, dreams don’t always come true.”

the race this season isn’t over yet and button already showed how greedy he is. just one season on top, he wants it all now. why not just ask for a reasonable increment and showed better performance next season. then u can talk more money.. article from guardian.co.uk.

Todt elected FIA president

Frenchman wins vote to succeed Max Mosley

Former Ferrari team principal Jean Todt has been elected president of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).

The Frenchman beat his only rival, Ari Vatanen, in a secret vote of FIA’s general assembly in Paris on Friday. He will succeed Max Mosley as the head of world motorsport’s governing body following the Briton’s decision to stand down after 16 years in the job. Todt, who had been a strong favourite after receiving the backing of Mosley and Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, gained 135 votes compared with Vatanen’s 49. There were 12 abstentions/invalid votes.

Vatanen, a former world rally champion from Finland, had fought his campaign on a ticket for change and broader democracy within world motorsport. But Todt, riding on the success of his glory years with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, enjoyed establishment support and ended up with a crushing victory. The 53-year-old’s immediate focus will be on restoring the reputation of F1, motorsport’s marquee brand, in the wake of a difficult period.

Challenge

The McLaren spying scandal, which resulted in the team being fined $100m and excluded from the 2007 constructors’ championship, was followed by revelations that Nelson Piquet Jr, acting on Renault team orders, had deliberately crashed during the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix to pave the way for team-mate Fernando Alonso’s victory. Flavio Briatore, Renault’s team boss at the time, was handed a lifetime ban from FIA-sanctioned events, while Pat Symonds – the chief engineer – received a five-year sanction. The global economic recession also caused problems with Honda and BMW both withdrawing their F1 teams. Mosley’s enduring legacy is likely to be the cost-cutting deal he made with the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA) during his final months in the job, an agreement he believed necessary to secure F1’s long-term future. The Englishman had previously resisted calls to resign last year after tabloid newspaper revelations about his private life. He survived a vote at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the FIA and went on to win £60,000 damages from the News of the World for invasion of privacy.

congratulations Jean Todt. i do believe that he’s the right guy for this position. lets hope the FIA becomes better after this. more interesting F1 and please give more promotion to WRC! would love to see those big turbocharged cars back in action. apart from citroen, ford and subaru, i’d love to see more from mitsubishi, audi and maybe other makers. article from Sky Sports.

2009 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX

2009 BRAZILIAN GRAND PRIX - RACE

Brawn GP secured the 2009 FIA Formula One Constructors’ Championship at the Brazilian Grand Prix in Interlagos today with Jenson Button driving a superb race from 14th position on the grid to a fifth place finish to wrap up the Drivers’ Championship with one race of the season to go.

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello started his home race from pole position after an excellent performance in Saturday’s rain-delayed qualifying session but finished in eighth position after a late puncture forced an unscheduled trip to the pits and dropped him back to eighth place.

Brawn GP secured the Constructors’ Championship with 161 points with Jenson winning the Drivers’ Championship with 89 points and Rubens in third position with 72 points with the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi to take place on 1 November.

RESULTS

Driver: Jenson Button
Car No. : 22
Chassis No. : BGP 001-02
Race Result: P5
Fastest Lap: 01:14.353

Driver: Rubens Barrichello
Car No. : 23
Chassis No. : BGP 001-03
Race Result: P8
Fastest Lap: 01:13.950

Weather: Dry and warm
Air Temperatures: 24-28°C
Track Temperatures: 30-42°C

JENSON BUTTON
“Today was the best race that I’ve driven in my career and I’m really going to enjoy this moment. For the team to win the Constructors’ and the Drivers Championships here is just fantastic and they deserve it so very much after all the difficult times that we all went through over the winter. This season has been a rollercoaster ride from the elation of the wins at the start to the hard graft in the second half of the season which has seen us grind out the results needed to take the titles. We have to say a huge thank you to Norbert Haug and Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines for all of the support that they have given us over the year. Without their commitment and faith in the team, and the fantastic engine that they have provided, we would not have been able to achieve the success that we have today. The list of people that I have to thank personally is too long to mention but they all know who they are and how much their support has meant to me over the years. To everyone back at the factory in Brackley, thank you for all of your hard work and for producing such a fantastic car. It’s going to take a while to sink in but for now I’m just reveling in the achievement of a lifelong dream. It’s going to be one hell of a party tonight!”

RUBENS BARRICHELLO
“Whilst I am obviously disappointed with the result today, I have to be pleased with our year at Brawn GP. We really have a great car and a great team and it has truly been an amazing year when you consider the situation that we were in just before the start of the season. I’m truly pleased for Jenson as a friend and he is a great champion. We have a fantastic relationship working together and that has really shown through this year. Well done to him. It was a true fight and I fought really hard but he really won it in the first half of the season. The team have been superb this year and they thoroughly deserve to win both the Constructors’ and Drivers’ Championships today. We’re going to have a great night together and I’m pleased to have played my part in securing the Constructors’ title for the team.”

ROSS BRAWN
“What a day! I am so incredibly proud of the team and our drivers and it’s so very special to have won the Constructors’ and the Drivers’ Championships in our first year as Brawn GP. The second half of the year has been tough after such a successful start but getting the results in the difficult times is what counts in a Championship season. It’s really going to take a while for what we have achieved today to sink in. Jenson is a fantastic racer and he had a great race today, particularly after such a difficult qualifying yesterday. He knew what he had to do and did just that and is a very deserving World Champion. Rubens has made a fantastic contribution to this season without which we could not have won the Constructors’ Championship today. The spirit in which our two drivers have fought for the Championship makes me very proud. They have been a credit to the team and our sport. The work and the commitment that the team showed over the winter and throughout this season really has been sensational. We would like to take this opportunity to say our thanks to Mercedes-Benz who have been a fantastic partner for our team and have integrated incredibly well this season. Their contribution to our success, and the support of McLaren gave us over the winter and at beginning of season, has enabled us to be in the position that we are in today. I hope that everyone at the factory in Brackley and at Mercedes-Benz High Performance Engines in Brackley, is very proud of what we have achieved today. I also want to thank everyone who has worked with the team over the years that couldn’t be with us this season as we had to resize the team at the start of the season. My sincere thanks go out to them because they worked so hard and should feel a part of our success.”


congratulations jenson button and brawn gp. what a start u guys had this year… next season is going to be a lot tougher. can’t wait to see ferrari back on podium!Brawn GP Official Site. article from

syafeerul: dream cars

dream car? what does that means to you?

some defines dream car as being the best car out there. but best can still be vague. it could either be performance-wise or looks alone or maybe both. bmw m3, ferrari enzo, bugatti veyron, lamborghini reventon, porsche carrera gt, or perhaps the japan cars like nissan gtr or maybe the us muscle shelby gt500, corvette c6.

others may define this as a car that is best and more realistic to own. the list might start with nissan skyline gtt, subaru impreza, toyota celica, honda civic type-r, mitsubishi evo, audi a4, bmw 320ci, golf gti.

guess im the later kind-of-person. i’d dream for a car that’s more realistic. what’s the point of dreaming if you can’t achieve it eh.. so  i’ve set my aim on this cars. on long term view, i’d love to own a BMW M3. i might be able to buy that in 15-20 years from now. by then would that still be my dream car? maybe a car that’s comparable to that stature. however the short term goals that really matters for now. two cars are currently under my radar. Subaru Impreza WRX version 7/8 and Nissan Silvia S15 Spec R. after considering quite a number of cars, these two tops the list. major factor would be initial buy costs, fuel consumption and maintenance cost. i was considering bmw 3-series, impreza, s15, toyota caldina and few other cars. i must say my list of comparison is quite jumbled up as it consists of sports cars, family wagon, 4wd and luxury ride. my primary concern was handling and performance apart from money aspects.

so here goes the review on both of my dream cars..

Subaru Impreza WRX Version 8 (GDA)

2004 Subaru Impreza WRX wallpaper image

 1

All Imprezas got a facelift and interior enhancements for the 2004 model year, taking cues from the ultra-high performance WRX STi. A drive in an `04 WRX sedan immediately afterwards found it to be much better in the real world, with only slightly less performance and considerably greater comfort.

All 2004 Subaru Impreza models have bolder front styling, with a sculpted hood that emphasizes new complex headlights that peek from behind triangular covers that have circular inboard sections. The upper grille is an upside-down trapezoid, similar to that of the previous model, but it’s now integrated better with a larger lower grille in a flat lower bumper fascia to give a competition-ready look.

The regular WRX engine is unchanged for 2004, and no changes were needed. If the compact horizontally-opposed turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-liter twin cam, 16-valve engine’s 227 horsepower (at 6,000 rpm) and 217 lb-ft of torque (at 4,000 rpm) is overshadowed by the STi’s 300 of each, the regular WRX’s power is much more accessible. It’s strong right from the start, with a very healthy midrange and little fade up near redline.

Turbo lag, even with 13.5 lbs of boost, is nonexistent once revs are over 2500 rpm; throttle response is as immediate as a naturally-aspirated engine’s, and power delivery is very linear. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a four-speed automatic available. The five-speed is the best choice for performance, with less weight and more and more closely-spaced gear ratios, but the engine’s strong torque should make the automatic a functional option for anyone who accepts the realities of today’s commute traffic.

Nissan Silvia S15 Spec R (M)

1999 Nissan S15 Silvia wallpaper image

 1

The S15 is a rear-wheel-drive sports coupe, powered by Nissan’s SR20DET; a 2.0 litre in-line 4 cylinder turbocharged engine with air-to-air intercooler that delivers a power output of 250 horsepower that results in a power-to-weight ration of less than 5Kg/PS. The S15 has a new 6-speed close-ratio gearbox for improved acceleration and features a specially tuned exhaust system characterized by a powerful sound at low engine speeds and a liner increase at high engine speeds.

Steering system stiffness has been increased to provide improved steering feel. The front strut suspension and rear multi-link suspension has been carried over to the S15 Silvia. Strengthening the upper member of the hood structure and adding reinforcements to rear pillars has increased body stiffness.

Braking System: The Nissan Silvia spec-R series is fitted with ventilated front disc brakes with opposed 4-piston calipers, highly responsive ABS and a larger brake booster. Larger brake rotors and a larger brake boosters are also used on Spec-S.

Interior: The driving position has been ergonomically designed to allow quicker execution of driving controls and to provide a seating posture for minimal fatigue during driving. The instrumentation is laid out with a large size tachometer positioned in the center of the cluster. The Spec-R also comes with titanium-look instrument finishers and a 52mm boost pressure gauge is attached to the driver’s side front pillar. (The Spec-S Aero model comes with an oil pressure gauge.)

Triple Safety Concept: The first is information safety for warning the driver of potential danger, the second is control safety for assisting the driver in avoiding potential danger, and the third is impact safety for helping reduce injury in the event of an accident.

syafeerul: Touge

when i was young, i fancied driving a sports car. the small tiny crave started when my uncle bought a fiat. i don’t remember what model was it. i was 3-4 years old that time. i don’t remember much though. then he bought RX-7. although i didn’t have any chance of driving it, being on the passengers seat was such a great experience to me. time flies by and now he no longer drove that RX-7. sold the car when i was still in school.

then comes Initial D. the anime that starts the crave all over the world. people starts to look into street racing. back then i was so impressed how the anime goes from one episode to another. years later, Fast and Furious came out – dragging more people into street racing. but unlike Initial D, Fast and Furious concentrates on Drag Racing. so everyone wants to drag on those days. traffic lights serves as “START” point. straight lane up to a kilometer becomes their favorite hang out place. being young and naive – i enjoyed that as well. but just as spectator. i can’t afford to own a car, not to mention a car that can sprint that fast. although i enjoyed watching that, i never wanted to drag. i can’t feel the thrill in drag races. its about clutch and gear shift. for as long as u can time that well – u won’t have much problem apart from driving a lousy car. as the world evolves from one day to another, drifting storms the world. street racing now are then slowly divided into drag races and drift races. drift is fun. but i only see that as something to show-off. perhaps drifters see this in different view.

only about couple of years ago – i realized there’s another type of racing. Touge. *slowpoke*.. anyhow touge is comparable to WRC. and i’ve followed WRC ever since i was still in school. its about precise braking, top speed, handling and proper gear shifting to win the race. no matter what car u drive – the biggest difference would be the driver’s skill. when i found out about touge, it excites me the most. dangerous – adrenaline rush – fun – pure satisfaction. i wish one day i’d be able to be a Touge Driver.

TOUGE

Touge is a Japanese word literally meaning “pass” as in mountain pass or a road between two mountains. Touge refers to the narrow winding mountain roads.

From touge, drifting was born.

Due to steep elevation changes, a series of turns and bends, sometimes called cut backs, is needed to provide access to and from the higher elevations. Aside from construction limitations, like not being able to pave a road straight up the side of a mountain, the winding road is intended as a safety measure – typically preventing drivers from reaching extreme speeds while on the mountain.

Nevertheless, street racers and motorsport enthusiasts alike seek to test their drifting skills on the touge. Eventually, these touge racers began to adopt driving techniques used by rally drivers to help maintain their momentum through the corners. From touge racing, drifting was born.

Touge racing typically has two stages — an uphill and a downhill tsuiso battle. One car leads the race uphill, while the other car leads the downhill stage. Since touge races feature narrow mountain roads, overtaking is extremely difficult and unsafe so another means of winning is by never letting the lead car brake away from your front bumper when you are chasing. The lead car wins if the space between the cars increases considerably. If any car spins out or crashes, the other driver wins the race.

Although illegal, touge racers take precautions like forming roadblocks while other drivers are racing – street racers don’t want to wreck their cars or hurt other people. Touge racing has become popular outside of Japan in part to drifting entertainment like Initial D anime and manga.

a short explanation on Touge from Drift Japan.