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News: Ancient documents portend major earthquake
TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- An Israeli scientist said ancient documents suggest a major earthquake triggered by the Dead Sea Fault is long overdue in the Middle East.
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46  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Phoenicians / Re: Lixus on: May 12, 2010, 01:05:19 pm
Some ancient Greek writers located at Lixus the mythological garden of the Hesperides, the keepers of the golden apples. The name of the city which was often mentioned by writers from Hanno the Navigator to the Geographer of Ravenna and confirmed by the legend on its coins and by an inscription. The ancients believed this to be the site of the Garden of the Hesperides and of a sanctuary of Hercules, where Hercules gathered gold apples, more ancient than the one at Cadiz, Spain. However, there are no grounds for the claim that Lixus was founded at the end of the second millennium BC. Life was maintained there nevertheless until the Islamic conquest of North Africa by the presence of a mosque and a house with patio with the covered walls of painted stuccos.

47  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Phoenicians / Re: Lixus on: May 12, 2010, 01:05:07 pm

Ancient city of Mauretania Tingitana, Lixus was settled by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC and was later annexed by Carthage. Lixus was part of a chain of Phoenician/Carthaginian settlements along the Atlantic coast of what is now present day Morocco; other major settlements further to the south are Chellah[2] and Mogador. When Carthage fell to Ancient Rome, Lixus, Chellah and Mogador became Roman imperial outposts.

The ancient sources agree to make of Lixus a counter Phoenician, which is confirmed by the archaeological discovery of material dating from 8th century BC. It gradually grew in importance, later coming under Carthaginian domination. After the destruction of Carthage, Lixus fell to Roman control and was made an imperial colony, reaching its zenith during the reign of the emperor Claudius I (AD 41-54).

48  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Phoenicians / Re: Lixus on: May 12, 2010, 01:04:47 pm

Ancient Lixus is located on Tchemmich Hill on the right bank of the Loukkos River (other names: Oued Loulous; Locus River), just to the north of the modern seaport of Larache[1]. The site lies within the urban perimeter of Larache, and about three kilometres inland from the mouth of the river and the Atlantic ocean. From its 80 metres above the plain the site dominates the marshes through which the river flows. To the north, Lixus is surrounded by hills which themselves are bordered to the north and east by a forest of cork oaks.

Among the ruins there are baths, unknown temples, 4th century walls, a mosaic floor, and the intricate, confusing, remains of the Capitol Hill to explore.

49  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Phoenicians / Re: Lixus on: May 12, 2010, 01:04:30 pm
Lixus is the site of an ancient city located in Morocco just north of the modern seaport of Larache on the bank of the Loukkos River. The location was one of the main cities of the Roman province Mauretania Tingitana.
50  Ancient Mediterranean Cultures / Phoenicians / Lixus on: May 12, 2010, 01:04:15 pm

The ruins of Lixus
51  Politics / Politics / Re: Blue Dog Dems Still Stalling Health Care Vote on: July 28, 2009, 03:29:10 pm
52  Politics / Politics / Re: Blue Dog Dems Still Stalling Health Care Vote on: July 28, 2009, 03:28:48 pm
Republican aides said there was great interest among GOP lawmakers in trying to work with dissidents in the 52-member Blue Dog Coalition to try to stop the legislation. "Blue Dogs will be the main event all week," said one GOP aide, referring to efforts by Republicans to woo Blue Dogs

"We're not ready to support a bill yet," said Rep. Baron Hill, D-Ind., a member of the Blue Dog group, who added: "We'll get there. We are going to pass a health care bill, whether it's now or in the fall remains to be seen."

Without the backing of the 52-member Blue Dogs, it would be difficult for Democratic leaders to pass a bill, especially since no Republican supports the legislation.

"I think there's still a bit of daylight between the positions," said Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. "I think the bottom line of Blue Dogs has not been met as of this time."

After weeks of secretive talks, three Democrats and three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee were edging closer to a compromise that excludes a requirement many congressional Democrats seek for large businesses to offer coverage to their workers. Nor would there be a provision for a government insurance option, despite Obama's support for such a plan, officials said.

The Finance senators were considering a tax of as much as 35 percent on very high-cost insurance policies, part of an attempt to rein in rapid escalation of costs. Also likely to be included in any deal was creation of a commission charged with slowing the growth of Medicare.

"We're going to get agreement here," Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman, said Monday. "The group of six really wants to get to 'yes.'"

Obama has outlined two broad goals for legislation he is struggling to win from Congress: expansion of health insurance coverage to millions who lack it, and reining in increases in costs.

The president's top domestic priority has suffered numerous setbacks in recent weeks and a Senate vote has been postponed until September. Administration and Democratic leaders hope to show significant progress before lawmakers begin their monthlong August recess.

In the Senate, officials stressed that no agreement has been reached on a bipartisan measure, and said there is no guarantee of one, with numerous key issues remaining to be settled.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss matters under private negotiations.

They said any legislation that emerges from the talks is expected to provide for a nonprofit cooperative to sell insurance in competition with private industry, rather than giving the federal government a role in the marketplace.

Obama and numerous Democrats in Congress have called for a government option to provide competition to private companies and hold down costs, and the House bill includes one – another concern for the Blue Dogs.

Officials also said a bipartisan compromise in the Senate would not subject large companies to a penalty if they declined to offer coverage to their workers. Instead, these businesses would be required to reimburse the government for part or all of any federal subsidies designed to help lower-income employees obtain insurance on their own.

The legislation in the House includes both a penalty and a requirement for large companies to share in the cost of covering employees.


Associated Press writer Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar contributed to this report.

53  Politics / Politics / Blue Dog Dems Still Stalling Health Care Vote on: July 28, 2009, 03:28:30 pm
Blue Dog Dems Still Stalling Health Care Vote
First Posted: 07-28-09 10:58 AM   |   Updated: 07-28-09 04:00 PM

WASHINGTON Top House Democrats sought to minimize the impact of a near-certain missed deadline for health care legislation on Tuesday as the leadership struggled to ease the concerns of rank-and-file critics.

"I'm disappointed of course because I really hoped that we could have gotten a bill out of here by the end of this month," said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., and chairman of one of the three committees at work on the measure.

"The issue is critical. Whether we do it at the end of July or not, I don't think that's critical except the perception in terms that the Congress didn't respond to the request of the president."

President Barack Obama had asked Congress to advance legislation through both houses by the time lawmakers leave on a monthlong summer vacation, a plea that now appears unlikely to be met.

Obama has worked intensively to reassure the public about his health care proposals at a time when Republicans have stepped up their criticism and polls suggest a leveling in public support. He arranged an early afternoon town hall-style meeting at the headquarters of AARP, the huge advocacy group for seniors.

Among the problems facing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House leadership is a rebellious group of conservative and moderate Democrats demanding changes in legislation as the price for voting it out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The fiscally conservative Blue Dogs were at odds with the leadership over setting rates for the payments to doctors and other health care providers under a proposed government-run health plan that would compete with private insurance. The House bill models the payments based on Medicare, but Blue Dogs want a negotiated rate similar to private insurance.

Blue Dogs have begun working with Republican lawmakers to slow down the process.

The Blue Dog revolt against the House leadership's health care overhaul took a new turn Tuesday morning, when a several members of the centrist faction made overtures to House Republicans about joining forces to slow and reshape the bill.
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