Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Free Honda Little League Baseball Collecor Pin

Click here to sign up to get your Free Honda Little League Baseball Collecor Pin.

JR Watkins Head To Toe Beauty Kit

Fill out this short form to get a free JR Watkins head to toe beauty kit.

Free Knee Pain Relief Kit

Get this very helpful knee pain relief kit from Arthritis Connect.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Free Sample of Eucerin Aquaphor Lip Repair

They are giving away 1,000 per day through Friday. “Like” their Facebook page.

Recipe: How To Make Cheese Straws

You will need these following ingredients:

1 17 1/4-ounce packagefrozen puff pastry, thawed (2 sheets)

1slightly beaten egg white

1 teaspooncracked black pepper

1-1/2 cupsfinely shredded white cheddar, dill Havarti, or Monterey Jack with jalapeno pepper
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Unfold pastry on a lightly floured surface; brush lightly with egg white. Sprinkle lightly with half of the pepper. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Top with second sheet of puff pastry. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining pepper and cheese. With a rolling pin, roll puff pastry to seal the sheets together and press cheese into the pastry.
Cut the pastry into long strips, 1/2 inch wide. Gently twist each strip several times. Halve, if desired. Transfer to prepared baking sheet, pressing down ends. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes about 20 straws.

Recipe: How To Make Edible Indian Corn

This is an awesome fall treat whether it be made at home for the kiddos, school, work, parties, etc. Adults and children will love this creative display of deliciousness.

You will need the following ingredients to make this edible indian corn:

4 tablespoons of butter

4 cups of mini marshmallows
5 cups of puffed corn cereal
1 1/3 cups diced dried fruit (we used raisins, papaya, cranberries, and apricots)
Popsicle sticks
Fruit leather
In a large pot, melt butter and mini marshmallows over low heat, this will probably take about 5 minutes.

Remove the mixture from the stove and use a wooden spoon to stir in puffed corn cereal and diced dried fruit. Allow the mixture to cool for about 10 minutes.

Using buttered hands, shape each treat by pressing 1/3 cup of the mixture around a Popsicle stick. Add fruit leather husks to the bottom of the ear, slightly moistening them to help them stick if needed. Makes 15 treats.

Recipe: How To Make Acorn Dough Nuts

These are an absolutely CLEVER fall treat and kids are certain to enjoy these. Although don't be fooled, they make look like an acorn but they are A LOT SWEETER!!!
You are going to need these following ingredients:
Chocolate Frosting or Peanut Butter

Crumbled Toffee

You will need to frost a third or so of a plain or glazed doughnut hole with chocolate frosting and/or peanut butter.

Roll the frosted top in crumbled toffee (look for it in the baking section of grocery stores), then add a small piece of a pretzel for the stem and voila you have an ABSOLUTELY creative, tasty Fall treat!!!

Fall Crafts: How To Make Pinecone Ornaments

Have an abundance of pinecones you don't know what to do with? There's numerous crafty things you can do with pinecones, but I'm going to tell you right now how to make an absolutely BEAUTIFUL pinecone ornament!!!

Here's the materials you are going to need:

Pinecones, Acrylic paint, Pliers, Wire nippers, 18-gauge copper wire, Hot glue, Fabric ribbon

You will need to collect several large pinecones and dab some of them with acrylic paint. Give it some time to allow the paint to dry.

Use pliers and wire nippers to twist 18-gauge copper wire into a 1-inch loop for each pinecone. Hot-glue the rings to the stem ends of the pinecones, taking care to cover the pointy ends of the wire in glue, as shown.

Tie varying lengths of ribbon to the rings, then tie all the ribbons together in a knot at the top.

Fall Crafts: How To Make Acorn Necklaces

What a great way to enjoy a beautiful Fall day by taking a walk and picking up acorns. When you arrive home from your nature walk with all these acorns you have to certainly put them to good use. There's many things you can do with acorns but I'm going to tell you how to make an acorn necklace. This is the perfect craft for toddlers especially, but kids of all ages are bound to enjoy this as well.

In order to make these acorn necklaces you are going to need these materials:

Capped acorns, Tacky glue, Fuzzy yarn and wool, Permanent marker, Scissors, String

Gather capped acorns and carefully remove the caps.

To make hair, put one large drop of tacky glue on the top of each acorn and press wisps of fuzzy yarn and wool roving into it. After applying a second drop onto the wisps, put the caps back on and hold them on for one minute.

Use a permanent marker to draw faces. Trim the hair, then make "chains" by tying string around the cap stem and securing it with a drop of glue.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Classroom & Playground Games

Here's a list of some fun and creative games to do inside the classroom on a rainy day or outside on the playground! Either way these are bound to grab attention of the kids:

15 Seconds of Fame:

Choose a seeker and have her stand in a central location. The other players all touch the seeker's shoulder. When the seeker closes her eyes and begins to count down from 15, the other players have to run to find a hiding place.

When the seeker reaches zero, she turns in any direction and, with eyes still closed, takes three steps. She then opens her eyes and tries to spot the hidden players. All identified players must sit out the remaining rounds.

The game continues but this time the seeker counts down from 14 before trying to spot hiding players. If players still remain hidden and unidentified, she counts down from 13, and so on.

If 15 seconds is not enough time for players to reach any hiding places, the seeker can start at 30 and count down in the same manner. The last player to be spotted wins and becomes the new seeker.

Catch The Lion By The Tail:

Kids sit in a circle on the floor. One party goer, the lion, tucks a homemade tail (a yellow piece of fabric with a knot in one end) into his waistband.

The lion begins circling the group, touching each child on the head and saying "Lion." When he decides he wants some action, he touches a player on the head and shouts "Hyena!"

The lion then must dash around the circle and take the hyena's spot before the hyena can grab the lion's tail.

If his tail is snatched, he remains the lion; if he sits where the hyena was without losing his tail, the hyena becomes the new lion.

Walk This Way:

Choose two teams and have both line up at home. Before play starts, decide which team will walk clockwise and which will go counterclockwise.

On the count of three, one player from each team sets off around the bases, walking heel-toe -- one foot placed directly in front of the other -- as quickly as that strange gait allows.

When the two walking players meet on the diamond, they stop and play a quick game of rock, paper, scissors. The winner continues around the bases, while the other player turns around and runs home.

The next player in his team then starts walking heel-toe around the bases to head off the advancing opponent and try to stop him with rock, paper, scissors. When a walker makes it home, her team wins a point and two new players come up to "bat."

The Cleanup Game For Kids

Start the cleanup game by telling your child to listen carefully to a short list of things you would like them to do. Recite the list, such as "Put a block in the bin, pet the dog, and set a book on the shelf," then challenge him to finish those tasks before you count to 10. Be sure to play along, making a silly show of helping him remember what comes next.

Recite new lists until his toys are put away. For older kids, try switching roles after each round.

Back-to-School Deals This Week

Here are the best deals happening this week! Prices are valid 7/29-8/4:

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Save 10% Off Footwear
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Canyon River Blues Vintage Tees for Boys 8-20 $7.98

Canyon River Blues Solid and Plaid Pull-On Shorts for Boys 8-20 $10.98

Denim Leggings for Girls 7-16 $9.99

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Use 15% Off Clothing In-Ad Coupon
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High Sierra, Reebok, and Ecko Backpacks 50% Off

Purell Hand Sanitizer, 8 oz $2.89, regular price
Use $1.00/1 – Purell Product, 8oz or Larger
Or $1.00/1 Purell Product, 8 oz or larger from SS 7/29 (exp 10/29)
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RoseArt Washable Glue Stick, 2 pk $0.25
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Mead 3-Subject Notebook, Wide or College-Ruled $3.00

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Olympics 2012 Schedule: Day 3 Event Guide, Athletes to Watch, TV Info & More

There are plenty of medals on the line on the first Monday of the 2012 Olympics, and there is a boatload of TV coverage to capture all of the action.

The number of events and channels can make it tough to know when and where to watch.

Here is everything needed to help maximize the viewing experience:

Archery: Men's and Women's Individual

TV: 12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. on NBC SN

Badminton: Men's and Women's Singles and Doubles
TV: 6 a.m. - 6:30 a.m. NBC SN and 3:45 - 5 p.m. on MSNBC

Basketball: Women's Group Play
TV: 4 a.m. - 7 p.m. on NBC Specialty: Basketball, 11:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. on MSNBC

Beach Volleyball: Men's and Women's Qualifying Rounds
TV: 5 a.m. - 6 a.m. on NBC SN, 10:30 a.m. - 11:15 a.m. on MSNBC, 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. NBC

Boxing: Elimination Bouts
TV: 3 a.m. - 4 a.m. on CNBC, 1:15 p.m. - 3 p.m. on NBC SN, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. on CNBC

Canoe/Kayak: Qualifying
TV: 3:35 a.m. - 1:35 a.m. on NBC, 1 p.m. 1:30 p.m. on NBC

Diving: Men's and Women's Synchronized Platform and  Springboard Medal Round

TV: 10 p.m. (of July 29) - 3 a.m. on NBC, 4:35 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. on NBC, 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. (of July 31) on NBC

Equestrian: Individual and Team Cross-Country
TV: 8:15 a.m. - 12:45 a.m. on NBC SN

Men's Field Hockey
TV: 4 a.m. - 5 a.m. on NBC SN, 2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. on MSNBC

Gymnastics: Men's and Women's Team Competition
10 p.m. (of July 29) - 3 a.m. on NBC, 3:35 a.m. - 4:35 a.m. on NBC, 4:35 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. on NBC, 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. (of July 31)

Rowing: Men's Four and Women's Double Sculls
TV: 12:30 p.m. - 1 p.m. on NBC

Shooting: Men's 10-meter Air Rifle Qualification and Finals and Men's Skeet Shooting Qualification
TV: 4:30 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. on NBC SN


TV: 10 p.m. (of July 29) - 3 a.m. on NBC, 4:35 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. on NBC, 12 p.m. - 12:30 p.m. on NBC, 3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on NBC, 11 p.m. - 3 a.m. (of July 31) on NBC

Table Tennis: Men's and Women's Singles
TV: 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. on MSNBC

Tennis: Men's and Women's Second Round
TV: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Bravo

Volleyball: Women's
TV: 6:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. on NBC SN, 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. on NBC, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. on NBC SN

Water Polo: Women's
TV: 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. on MSNBC, 11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. on MSNBC, 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. on NBC

Weightlifting: Men's and Women's
TV: 3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. on MSNBC, 4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. on MSNBC

South America Sees Drug Path to Legalization of Marijuana

The agricultural output of this country includes rice, soybeans and wheat. Soon, the government may get its hands a little dirty with a more complicated crop; marijuana as part of a rising movement in this region to create alternatives to the United States-led war on drugs.

Uruguay’s famously rebellious president first called for “regulated and controlled legalization of marijuana” in a security plan that unveiled just this past month. And now anyone here can talk about are the potential impacts of a formal market for what Ronald Reagan once described as “probably the most dangerous drug in America.”

“It’s a profound change in approach,” said Sebastián Sabini, one of the lawmakers working on the contentious proposal unveiled by President José Mujica on June 20. “We want to separate the market: users from traffickers, marijuana from other drugs like heroin.”

Decriminalizing everything from heroin and cocaine to marijuana? The Brazilian and Argentine legislatures think that could be the best way to allow the police to focus on traffickers instead of addicts.

Legalizing and regulating not just drug use, but also drug transport  perhaps with large customs fees for bulk shipments? President Otto Pérez Molina of Guatemala, a no-nonsense former army general, has called for discussion of such an approach, even as leaders in Colombia, Mexico, Belize and other countries also demand a broader debate on relaxing punitive drug laws.

Uruguay has taken the experimentation to another level. United Nations officials say no other country has seriously considered creating a completely legal state-managed monopoly for marijuana or any other substance prohibited by the 1961 United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

Doing so would make Uruguay the world’s first marijuana republic leapfrogging the Netherlands, which has officially ignored marijuana sales and use since 1976, and Portugal, which abolished all criminal penalties for drug use in 2001. Here, in contrast, a state-run industry would be born, created by government bureaucrats convinced that opposition to marijuana is simply outdated.

“In 1961, television was just black and white,” said Julio Calzada, secretary general of Uruguay’s National Committee on Drugs. “Now we have the Internet.”

But kicking the prohibitionist habit, it turns out, is no easy task. Even here in a small, progressive country of 3.3 million people, the president’s proposal has hit a gust of opposition. Doctors, political rivals, marijuana users and security officials have all expressed concern about how marijuana would be managed and whether legalization, or something close to it, would accelerate Uruguay’s worsening problem of addiction and crime.

Mr. Mujica, 78, a bohemian former guerrilla who drives a 1981 Volkswagen Beetle, seems to be surprised by the response. He said this month that if most Uruguayans did not understand legalization’s value, he would suspend his plan while hammering out the details and building public support. But this is a defiant leader who spent more than a decade in jail as a political prisoner, so even as he discussed postponement, he signaled that he might not be willing to give up, emphasizing that drug users “are enslaved by an illegal market.”

“They follow the path to crime because they don’t have the money,” he said, “and they become dealers because they have no other financial means to satisfy their vice.”

His government, which has a slim majority in Parliament, is moving forward. One of the president’s advisers said this month that draft legislation would be submitted within a few weeks, and Mr. Calzada, among many others, has been hard at work. His desk is covered with handwritten notes on local drug markets. A career technocrat with the long, wispy hair of an aging rocker, he said he had been busy calculating how much marijuana Uruguay must grow to put illegal dealers out of business. He has concluded that with about 70,000 monthly users, the haul must be at least 5,000 pounds a month.

“We have to guarantee that all of our users are going to be able to get a quality product,” he said.

He added that security would be another challenge. Drug cartels protect their product by hiding it and with the ever-present threat of violence. Uruguayan officials, including Mr. Sabini — one of several lawmakers who openly admits to having smoked marijuana favor a more neighborly approach. They imagine allowing individuals to cultivate marijuana for their own noncommercial use while professional farmers provide the rest by growing it on small plots of land that could be easily protected.

The government would also require users to sign up for registration cards to keep foreigners away an idea influenced by a new policy in the Netherlands, which restricts marijuana sales to residents and to track and limit Uruguayans’ purchases (to perhaps 40 joints a month, officials say). Finally, there would be systems set up to regulate the levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and levy taxes on producers, relying for enforcement on the agencies regulating tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals.

Officials acknowledge that by trying to beat kingpins like the Mexican Joaquín Guzmán, known as Chapo, at their own game, Uruguay would need to co-opt old foes and join forces with the same drug aficionados it has been sending to jail for years.

That means cozying up to people like Juan Vaz. A thin, dark-haired computer programmer and father of three who is perhaps Uruguay’s most famous marijuana activist, Mr. Vaz spent 11 months in prison in a few years ago after being caught with five flowering marijuana plants and 37 seedlings. In an interview, he compared marijuana to wine, and expressed both interest and alarm at the government’s plans. He said he was pleased to see the Mujica administration tackle the issue, but like many others, he said he feared government control.

Personal marijuana use is already decriminalized in Uruguay, so Mr. Vaz, 45, said the idea of a registry for producers and users amounted to an Orwellian step backward. “We’re concerned about the violation of privacy,” he said.

Other growers and smokers, who spoke on the condition that they were not fully identified, appeared more eager to take part. Martín, 26, a bearded programmer whose closet full of marijuana plants added a unique aroma to his apartment complex, said his friends had been talking about starting a small marijuana farm.

Gabriel, 35, a dealer and user who lives downtown, said that he welcomed a legal market and hoped it would hamper the darker side of the drug business. He said that he had been selling marijuana on and off for 15 years moving a little more than two pounds a month and that the people he bought from had often pressured him to take on more dangerous drugs like cocaine paste, a cracklike substance that has spread wildly through the region since 2001.

“Pasta base,” as it is called here, is generally blamed for Uruguay’s recent rise in drug addiction and violent crime, and Mr. Mujica has said that legalizing marijuana would break the cycle of addiction and delinquency that begins when users become dealers.

Many in the drug treatment community have their doubts. “You’re never going to get rid of the black market,” said Pablo Rossi, director of Fundación Manantiales, which runs several residential treatment centers in Montevideo.

But Gabriel said that big dealers would inevitably adapt. The question is: for good or ill? Maybe they would start selling cocaine cheaper, he said, causing more problems. Or maybe they would be pushed out of the drug business entirely. For now, at least, they mostly seem to be afraid of change: he said a kilogram of marijuana (2.2 pounds) now costs about $470 in Uruguay, up from around $375 before the legalization proposal was announced.

“They are trying to make as much money as they can,” Gabriel said. “They think legalization is imminent.”

What's The Meaning Behind Labor Day?

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday back in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history. The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.

Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pin It To Win It Sandalwood Natural Spas Gift Set

Pin this on Pinterest to win it! Go like Being Frugal Momma on Facebook on it reachs 100 pins a winner will be choosen and notified via Pinterest!!!
Every essential for a decadent at-home spa day is packed in this lovely lidded wicker basket! The rich, spicy scent of sandalwood adds natural appeal to moisturizing salon quality lotions, scrubs and bath crystals, all expressly collected for your ultimate delight. Set includes: 9.1 fl. oz. body lotion and cream bath, 5.0 fl. oz. body scrub, 2 bar soaps, 4 fizzers, wooden pumice nail brush, and willow basket.

Weight 2.8 lbs. Set: 11 1/2" x 6 1/2" x 8" high when closed.

Kristen Stewart Cheating Scandal: Ex-Boyfriend Wants to Talk to Rupert Sanders

The heartbroken actor wants to know all the details of girlfriend Kristen Stewart’s betrayal directly from the man she cheated with, “Snow White” director Rupert Sanders, RadarOnline reports.

“Rob wants to have a man-to-man chat with Rupert to find out exactly what happened between him and Kristen,” a source close to the “Twilight” star told RadarOnline.com.

The 22-year-old Stewart and Sanders, 41, were photographed in a steamy smooch session in Los Angeles July 17.

Photos in the new issue of Us Weekly show the two sucking face in Stewart’s car and embracing near a remote spot overlooking the Hollywood sign. As the first pics hit the Web Wednesday, Stewart publicly apologized to her actor beau Pattinson and professed her love for him.

But Stewart’s bid to win back her “Twilight” co-star hasn’t gone as planned: He moved out of their L.A. home and then she followed suit, People reported. And now they’re not speaking, according to the magazine.

“Snow White” co-star, Charlize Theron is also livid with Stewart for her indiscretion, according to RadarOnline. Theron and Sanders’ wife, Liberty Ross, are close friends.

Despite the betrayal heard ‘round the world, Sanders’ dad, Michael Sanders, said he has no doubt that his son’s 10-year marriage to actress Liberty Ross, 33, will remain intact.

Ross played the mother of Stewart’s “Snow White” character in the Sanders-directed film, “Snow White and the Huntsman.”

“From what I gather nothing really happened and it is all a lot of fuss about nothing,” the director’s dad told People Friday. “I should imagine it was something very brief.

“She is a very pretty girl and when you work that closely with someone for so long, sometimes things happen,” he added.

“This is nothing,” he said, insisting the marriage “will definitely survive all of this. It is all a lot of fuss about nothing.”

The couple have two children a 7-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy. “He is very honorable, hardworking and (a) dedicated father and filmmaker,” Michael Sanders said.

Bipartisan Group Of Senators Threatens To Oppose UN Arms Treaty As Deadline Looms

A bipartisan group of 51 senators is threatening to oppose a global treaty regulating international weapons trade if it falls short in protecting the constitutional right to bear arms, as the United Nations bumps up against a Friday deadline for action. 

In a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the senators expressed serious concerns with the draft treaty that has circulated at the United Nations, saying that it signals an expansion of gun control that would be unacceptable.

"Our country's sovereignty and the constitutional protection of these individual freedoms must not be infringed," they wrote.

A revised draft that circulated late Thursday of the treaty, though, raised hopes from supporters and the British government, which has been the leading proponent, that an historic agreement could be reached by Friday's deadline.

The draft closed several loopholes in the original text, though the Washington-based Arms Control Association said further improvements are still needed to strengthen measures against illicit arms transfers.

A spokesman for Britain's U.N. Mission, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly, said the new text is "a substantial improvement" and "an historic agreement that effectively regulates the international trade in conventional arms is now very close."

The estimated $60 billion international arms trade is unregulated, though countries including the U.S. have their own rules on exports.

Opponents in the U.S. have portrayed the treaty as a surrender of gun ownership rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The issue of gun control has re-emerged since last week's shooting at a Colorado cinema killed 12 people.

Supporters of a treaty say it will not affect law-abiding individual gun owners, but would close loopholes that allow arms dealers to evade the strict laws that already exist in countries and transfer guns through weaker states.

The U.N. General Assembly voted in December 2006 to work toward a treaty regulating the growing arms trade, with the U.S. casting a "no" vote. In October 2009, the Obama administration reversed the Bush administration's position and supported an assembly resolution to hold four preparatory meetings and a four-week U.N. conference in 2012 to draft an arms trade treaty.

Widney Brown, senior director for law and policy at Amnesty International, said the latest draft closed "some of the significant loopholes that we were concerned about have if not been closed, definitely been narrowed."

It would require all countries to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and to regulate arms brokers, and would prohibit states that ratify the treaty from transferring conventional weapons that violate arms embargoes or facilitate acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, the draft says a country must evaluate whether the weapon would be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian laws or be used by terrorists or organized crime -- and if there is "a substantial risk" the treaty would prohibit the transfer.

The new draft makes clear that doesn't pertain only to arms exports but to all types of arms transfers, closing a loophole raised by campaigners.

The United States objected to any requirement to report on exports of ammunition and that remains out of the latest draft.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said that the new text would potentially allow states to exclude arms transfers that are not commercial sales, such as gifts, from review under the terms of the treaty and does not include a broad enough list of weapons to be covered.

He said it would also potentially allow states to exempt arms sales under previous defense cooperation agreements under the terms of the treaty. That could undermine another line of attack from opponents in the U.S. - that the treaty would prevent arms sales to allies like Israel and Taiwan.

"We urge the United States and other arms exporters and importers, including China, Russia, the U.K., and India, to work with other states, especially those most affected by violence fueled by illicit arms dealing, to provide the leadership and flexibility needed to reach a sound agreement by Friday's deadline," Kimball said.

With the conference scheduled to end on Friday, negotiators have been trying to come up with a text that satisfies advocates of a strong treaty with tough regulations and countries that appear to have little interest in a treaty including Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt and Algeria.

Friday, July 27, 2012

6.7-magnitude earthquake strikes the Indian Ocean off Mauritius

A strong earthquake struck the Indian Ocean far off Rodrigues island in Mauritius on Thursday morning, seismologists said, but causing no damage or casualties. It was the strongest earthquake to hit the region in recent history. 

The 6.7-magnitude earthquake at 9:33 a.m. local time (0533 GMT) was centered about 387 kilometers (240 miles) northeast of Port Mathurin, the main village on Rodrigues island in Mauritius. It struck about 9.8 kilometers (6.1 miles) deep, making it a very shallow earthquake, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS, which initially measured the strength of the earthquake at 5.8 on the Richter scale, said the epicenter of the earthquake was centered too far from Rodrigues island to have been felt there. This was confirmed by residents and officials on the island who said they did not feel tremors.

Neither the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center nor the Mauritius Meteorological Service issued a tsunami warning.

Thursday's earthquake was the largest earthquake to hit the region since at least August 2010, when a strong 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck 320 kilometers (199 miles) northeast of Rodrigues island. There is no record of any other significant earthquakes in the region in recent years.

Wildfires tear through Russia

Russia's Emergencies Ministry announced Friday forest fires in Siberia have burned nearly 58 square miles of forest and have covered Tomsk in smoke.

About 3,000 firefighters, 412 pieces of firefighting equipment and 24 firefighting aircraft are being used to fight dozens of blazes, RIA Novosti reported.

The fires created thick smoke over Tomsk, forcing many flights at the Tomsk airport to be delayed or canceled.

"Our current standard for carbon monoxide is 5 milligrams. But on Friday morning, the figure stood at 10 milligrams, that is, twice as high," a Siberian ministry of natural resources official said.

Officials attribute the wildfires to unusually high temperatures in the region, but they have not ruled out arson.

Dancing With The Stars Picks Its All-Stars

Actress Kelly Monaco, winner of the first season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," will return for the first all-star edition of the show, the network announced Friday.

98 Degrees singer Drew Lachey, who won the second season with pro partner Cheryl Burke, also is scheduled to return.

Rounding out the list of celebrity dancers are Kirstie Alley, Pamela Anderson, Helio Castroneves, Joey Fatone, Shawn Johnson, Gilles Marini, Apolo Ohno, Bristol Palin, Melissa Rycroft and Emmit Smith.

ABC also announced that online voting will determine the 13th dancer. Fans can go to abc.com to vote for Sabrina Bryan, Kyle Massey or Carson Kressley.

Voting ends Aug. 24. "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" premieres Sept. 24.

Arms Treaty Must Wait After UN Agreement Fails

A U.N. treaty to regulate the multibillion-dollar global arms trade will have to wait after member states failed to an reach agreement, and some diplomats and supporters blamed the United States for the unraveling of the monthlong negotiating conference.

Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some major loopholes by Friday's deadline for action. But the U.S. announced Friday morning that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty and Russia and China then also asked for more time.

"This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "It's a staggering abdication of leadership by the world's largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough."

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, also blamed the U.S., saying "they derailed the process," adding that nothing will happen to revive negotiations until after the U.S. presidential election in November.

Chief U.S. negotiator Thomas Countryman refused to talk to several dozen reporters when the meeting broke up.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement Friday evening that the U.S. supports a second round of negotiations next year.

"While we sought to conclude the month's negotiations with a treaty, more time is a reasonable request for such a complex and critical issue," the satement said.

The draft treaty would require all countries to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and to regulate arms brokers. It would prohibit states that ratify the treaty from transferring conventional weapons if they would violate arms embargoes or if they would promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, the draft says a country must evaluate whether the weapon would be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian laws or be used by terrorists, organized crime or for corrupt practices.

Many countries, including the U.S., control arms exports but there has never been an international treaty regulating the estimated $60 billion global arms trade. For more than a decade, activists and some governments have been pushing for international rules to try to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime.

The U.N. General Assembly voted in December 2006 to work toward a treaty regulating the growing arms trade, with the U.S. casting a "no" vote. In October 2009, the Obama administration reversed the Bush administration's position and supported an assembly resolution to hold four preparatory meetings and a four-week U.N. conference in 2012 to draft an arms trade treaty.

The United States insisted that a treaty had to be approved by the consensus of all 193 U.N. member states.

Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, the conference chairman, said treaty supporters knew "this was going to be difficult to achieve."

He said negotiations failed because some delegations didn't like the draft though "the overwhelming majority in the room did." He added that some countries from the beginning of negotiations had "different views" on a treaty, including Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Amnesty's Nossel accused the U.S. of raising eleventh-hour issues "and wanting more time to consult with itself," which stopped the momentum toward agreement.

Despite the failure to reach agreement, Moritan predicted that "we certainly are going to have a treaty in 2012."

He said there are several options for moving forward in the General Assembly which will be considered over the summer, before the world body's new session begins in September.

Ambassador Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel, who led the French delegation, called Friday's result "the worst-case scenario."

"I'm disappointed but not discouraged," he said. "The ball is now in the court of the General Assembly but the risk is that countries may want to start negotiations from scratch."

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the General Assembly needs to decide whether to move forward with the treaty text that was close to adoption or reopen old issues.

"What we have now is an uncertain outcome that leaves in doubt the support of the major arms exporters and importers, including the U.S. and Russia, and that needs to be overcome," he said. "This is a delicate moment and it's going to require real leadership on the part of key states including the European countries, Washington and others."

The powerful National Rifle Association in the U.S. has portrayed the treaty as a surrender of gun ownership rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The politically controversial issue has re-emerged since last week's shooting at a Colorado cinema that killed 12 people.

But the draft treaty reaffirms "the sovereign right and responsibility of any state to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems." And it states clearly that the treaty's aim is to establish the highest standards "for regulating, or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms" — not domestic trade.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of 51 senators threatened to oppose the treaty if it falls short in protecting Americans' constitutional right to bear arms. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the senators expressed serious concerns with the draft treaty that has circulated at the United Nations, saying that it signals an expansion of gun control that would be unacceptable.

During negotiations, the United States objected to any requirement to report on exports of ammunition, and that remains out of the latest draft. It does call for every country to regulate the export of ammunition.

Britain has taken the lead in pushing for a treaty.

Ahead of Friday's meeting, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discussed treaty prospects with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in London and both urged the treaty's adoption.

"Global rules govern the sale of everything from bananas to endangered species to weapons of mass destruction, but not guns or grenades," Clegg said. "This anomaly causes untold suffering in conflicts around the world. 1,000 people are killed daily by small arms wielded by terrorists, insurgents and criminal gangs."

The secretary-general said he was disappointed at the failure to agree on a treaty, calling it "a setback." But Ban said he was encouraged that states have agreed to continue pursuing a treaty and pledged his "robust" support.

At the end of the negotiating session, Mexico read a joint statement from more than 90 countries saying they "are determined to secure an Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible."


Delicious Peach Crisp Recipe

Here's what you will need to make this DELICIOUS Peach Crisp Recipe:

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

2/3 cup honey-sweetened granola
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour1/2 cup packed brown sugar1/4 cup butter
5 cups fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and sliced
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 cup chopped pecans
.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, combine the oats, granola, 3 tablespoons flour, and brown sugar. Cut in the 1/4 cup butter until crumbly.

Place peach slices in an 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon flour. Scatter the oat mixture over the peaches. Sprinkle top with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pecans.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.