Monday April 13th

Is Pakistan really on the verge of collapse? Could al-Qaeda wind up getting their filthy mitts on that country’s nukes?

PAKISTAN could collapse within months, one of the more influential counter-insurgency voices in Washington says. The warning comes as the US scrambles to redeploy its military forces and diplomats in an attempt to stem rising violence and anarchy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Gasoline consumption is the U.S. has peaked, expected to begin steady decline.

Since Henry Ford began mass production of the Model T nearly a century ago, car-loving Americans have gulped ever-increasing volumes of gasoline. A growing number of industry players believe that era is over. Among those who say U.S. consumption of gasoline has peaked are executives at the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company, Exxon Mobil Corp., as well as many private analysts and government energy forecasters. The reasons include changes in the way Americans live and the transportation they choose, along with a growing emphasis on alternative fuels. The result could be profound transformations not only for the companies that refine gasoline from crude oil but also for state and federal budgets and for consumers. Much of contemporary America, from the design of its cities to its tax code and its foreign policy, is predicated on a growing thirst for gasoline.

Genius of the day award goes to this school bus driver.

A bus driver accused of slamming on the brakes to discipline children on her bus when they misbehaved was arrested. Police said the sudden stops caused the elementary school children to hit their heads on the seat in front of them or fall on to the floor. No one was seriously injured. According to WCAX-TV, the 38-year-year-old driver was charged with careless and negligent operation.

Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor tells struggling homeowners they should look to government for loans.

Gov. Ed Rendell, D, said Pennsylvania families struggling to make payments on their homes should look toward a government-funded loan program yesterday. However, program opponents worry it could make things worse for troubled homeowners in the long run by repeating the same mistakes that created the economic crisis. Federal welfare money from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) is providing $5 million to the state Home Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) this year.

CompUSA making a comeback from bankruptcy.

About three months ago, Loretta Alkalay, a retired Florida resident, wanted to get a new HDTV. So she decided to give the CompUSA near her home a try. Yes, CompUSA. The once-bankrupt electronics retailer is making a comeback, with about 30 new CompUSA stores nationwide and a new strategy that includes aggressive prices, remodeled stores, improved lighting and in-store web access for comparison shopping. “We have invented this idea of retail 2.0,” says Gilbert Fiorentino, chief executive of the Technology Products Group at Systemax, now parent company of CompUSA. Fiorentino is also the founder of Tiger Direct, a web only electronics retailer and another subsidiary of Systemax. “Every screen in every CompUSA store is now connected to the internet and making buying a richer experience for customers,” he says.

Border cities are getting hit hard by car thieves. Rumor has it most of the rides wind up in Mexico including a cop’s Durango with his duty weapon and bullet resistant vest inside. I wonder when Hillary and Napolitano will get busy and do something about this crisis?

LAREDO, Texas — This city along the Rio Grande is on the verge of becoming the stolen-car capital of the U.S., according to data set for release Monday that underscore how drug cartels are helping make the U.S.-Mexico border region a hot spot for vehicle thieves. The National Insurance Crime Bureau, a nonprofit body that collects law-enforcement reports, said 1,960 vehicles were reported stolen in the Laredo metropolitan area last year, an increase of more than 47% since 2005, when Laredo ranked 32nd nationally. That comes to 827 thefts per 100,000 people, putting Laredo just behind No. 1 Modesto, Calif.

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So what happens when a couple elopes in Afghanistan and the gal happens to be “engaged” to someone else? Why, they get executed in front of all their friends and family that’s what.

HERAT, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Taliban militants publicly executed a man and girl on Monday for eloping when she was already engaged to marry someone else, an official said, in a sign of the grip the Islamists have over parts of Afghanistan. Hashim Noorzai, head of Khash Rud district in southwestern Nimruz province, said the two were executed by gun shots in front of a crowd of villagers. He said he had no details on how the Taliban had come to be involved in passing judgment on them but that much of the mainly desert district was under control of the militants.

Obama administration lifts most restrictions on travel and money transfers to communist Cuba between family members.

At today’s daily White House briefing, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs will announce that the administration will lift travel, remittance, mail and business restrictions relating to the Communist nation of Cuba. The changes will allow unlimited visits to family members on the island as well as unlimited remittances — the cash recent immigrants to the U.S. send to relatives back home. President Bush imposed stricter restrictions on both in 2004.

Reverend Rick Warren caught up in CA gay marriage debacle leaving many evangelicals baffled.

Evangelical leaders say they are bewildered and stunned by the Rev. Rick Warren’s apparent turnaround on gay marriage after the famous California pastor said earlier this week that he was not a proponent of California’s Proposition 8. Mr. Warren told CNN’s Larry King on Monday that he “never once even gave an endorsement” of the proposition, which said marriage in the state could only involve one man and one woman. The measure won at the polls last November by a close margin, in effect negating an earlier California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriages.

Conficker worm ready to start screwing people good. Showing up as a malware program “Spyware Protect 2009” sending computer users to a phony website then asking for 50 bucks to unleash even more havoc on the unsuspecting.

Researchers have discovered another feature of the Conficker worm that provides an additional clue about the intent of the creators–the worm installs malware that masquerades as antivirus software, Trend Micro said on Friday. The worm, which has infected millions of Windows-based computers on the Internet, is downloading a program called Spyware Protect 2009 and displaying warning messages saying that the computer is infected and offering to clean it up for $49.95, according to the Trend Micro blog.

Pilot dies soon after takeoff, passenger grabs the wheel and lands plane safely.

A passenger landed a twin-engine plane in Florida after the pilot died in flight with a total of six people on board. Federal Aviation Administration officials say the pilot died after takeoff from an airport in Naples on Sunday. It was on autopilot and climbing toward 10,000 feet when the pilot died.

This entry was posted in J.A.R.G\'s \"Gotta Read\" News Of The Day.

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