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US President George W Bush gets ‘Farewell Boot’ in Iraq

US President George W Bush (In picture) faces the wrath of an Iraqi journalist who hurls his shoes at him during his final visit to Iraq

On his ‘farewell’ visit to Iraq as US President, George W Bush had an unusual ‘encounter’ when an
Iraqi scribe threw two shoes at him, but the agile American leader downplayed the incident, saying “it’s a sign of a free society.”

The journalist, Muntadar al-Zeidi, threw two shoes at Bush — one after another — during a joint news conference with Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad on Sunday (December 14, 2008) and shouted “it is the farewell kiss, you dog”.

“All I can report is a size 10,” the president joked. Bush, who ducked both throws, said he has seen a lot of weird things during his eight-year-long Presidency and that he would term the latest incident as “one of the weirdest”.

“And it was amusing. I mean, I’ve seen a lot of weird things during my presidency and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest. So this happens and it’s a sign of a free society,” Bush said. “But I’m not insulted. I don’t hold it against the government. I don’t think the Iraqi press corps as a whole is terrible. And so, the guy wanted to get on TV and he did. I don’t know what his beef is. But whatever it is I’m sure somebody will hear it,” the US President told ABC channel.

After the incident, Iraqi government said that the scribe, who works with Al-Baghdadia channel which broadcasts from Cairo, has been held for questioning by the Prime Minister’s guards and is being tested for alcohol and drugs. Meanwhile, the television channel demanded the immediate release of its journalist and called the scribe as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.”

Bush shoe attacker ‘detested America’

The Iraqi journalist who caused a furore when he hurled his shoes at visiting US President George W Bush “detested America” and had been plotting such an attack for months, colleagues said on on Monday (Dec 15, 2008).

Muntazer al-Zaidi, 28, was being hailed as a hero by some after his action against the US President who ordered the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and anti-US demonstrations were being staged in Baghdad and the holy shiite city of Najaf.

“This was a spontaneous action by an Iraqi citizen who was showing his dismay at seeing the President of the country which is occupying our nation,” said Liwaa Sumeissim from the anti-American Sadr movement.

The Iraqi government however branded Zaidi’s actions as “shameful” and demanded an apology from his employer Al-Baghdadia television, which in turn was calling for his immediate release from custody.

One of his colleagues in the Baghdad office of Al-Baghdadia said Zaidi had been planning to throw shoes at Bush if ever he got the chance. “When he said he was going to do it, we didn’t doubt him,” he said.

“Muntazer detested America. He detested the US soldiers, he detested Bush,” said another co-worker who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

An Iraqi lawyer said Zaidi risked a minimum of two years in prison if he is prosecuted for insulting a visiting head of state, but could face a 15-year term if he is charged with attempted murder.

In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for Al-Baghdadia television, described Zaidi as a “proud Arab and an open-minded man.” “We fear for his safety,” he told, adding that Zaidi had been arrested twice before by the Americans.

December 16, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Microsoft launches open-source blogging platform

Microsoft launched Oxite, an open-source blogging platform.

However, the software maker was quick to underline that the product is aimed at developers and not intended to directly compete with popular blogging software such as WordPress or Movable Type.

Microsoft posted the Oxite code on its CodePlex Web site  and made an official announcement. The software, described as an alpha release, is available under the Microsoft Public License, one of Microsoft’s OSI-certified open-source licenses.

Oxite is a standards-compliant, extensible content-management system designed to support either blogs or larger Web sites, Microsoft said. The platform includes support for features such as pingbacks, trackbacks, anonymous or authenticated commenting, gravatars (globally recognized avatars), and RSS feeds at any page level, the company said.

Users can create and edit a set of pages on a site, add customized HTML into pages, and support multiple blogs on a single site.

Oxite is also able to integrate with Microsoft developer software such as ASP.Net MVC, Visual Studio Team Suite, and Background Services Architecture. The project began as a way of demonstrating the capabilities of ASP.Net MVC to developers, Microsoft said.

The Web site for Mix Online was built using Oxite, and Microsoft is providing the Mix Online Web site code for developers to learn from. Mix Online is the online community centered on Microsoft’s Mix Web developer conference.

Oxite is not a direct competitor to existing, established blogging systems, nor is it intended to challenge Microsoft’s own SharePoint, which includes content-management-system capabilities, according to Oxite project coordinator Erik Porter.

The software is intended for developers but could eventually be made suitable for the general public, Porter wrote in an Oxite discussion forum.

“We have no plans to make this anything but a really good developer sample that should be able to run any site you want,” he wrote. “That said, this is a community project now and, if the community decides to take it a different direction, we won’t stop it.”

December 13, 2008 Posted by | General, IT, Science, Software, Technical Writing, Technology, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment