Tuesday, February 15, 2011

National Enquirer Says OJ Simpson Was "Brutally" Beaten Up In Prison*UPDATE: The correctional facility where OJ is being held says the story isn't true.

EARLIER: The National Enquirer is reporting that NFL Hall of Famer OJ Simpson was brutally beaten in a prison yard attack and secretly spent three weeks in the infirmary. (via Ben Maller.)

His former business partner told the paper that OJ was attacked by a white supremacist who was upset that Simpson bragged about sleeping with white women.

The 63-year-old former running back is serving a 33-year sentence in Nevada for the armed robbery of a sports memorabilia dealer who Simpson claimed had stolen his belongings. He'll be eligible for parole in about 7 years.

World Bank: Food Prices at 'Dangerous Levels' AND that could make your shorts cost more!

Food Prices Have Increased 29 Percent in a Year, Driven by Flood and Drought

Americans shopping for staples like groceries and clothing this spring are in for a wake-up call at the register – at stores across the country, prices are going up because of events half a world away.

"We've had extremely strange weather patterns the world over where many crops have been destroyed," said Diane Swonk, Chief Economist at Mesirow Financial. "We've actually seen a hit to the supply of food available."

The World Bank warns global food prices have now hit "dangerous levels."

Food prices are up a staggering 29 percent worldwide. A heat wave in Russia and near-Biblical floods in Australia have sent wheat prices soaring 67 percent over last year. And here in the United States, floods followed by droughts in the Midwest mean corn prices jumped nearly 60 percent in a year.

What does this mean for trips to the grocery store? Not just higher prices for things like breakfast cereals. Higher corn prices also drive up the cost of pork, beef, and poultry because farmers use corn for livestock feed. Buying spare ribs to grill for dinner could add 10 more dollars to your grocery bill.

Other commodities are up too -- bad weather in the world's coffee-producing nations has pushed the price of coffee beans to a 13-year high.

"You have to look for bargains, which brand is cheaper," one consumer told ABC News. "Sometimes you have to compromise the taste for the price."

The weather isn't just affecting necessities we eat: the cost of cotton is now at a 15-year high. As the price-per-pound ticks upward, so does the cost of your spring wardrobe.

The cost of your average T-shirt is liable to increase by $2, while a pair of Levi's 501 jeans is expected to jump as much as $4. The price increase will show both for luxuries and necessities. Hanes underwear could rise as much as 30 percent; a Brooks Brothers dress shirt is already up $9.

Devastating droughts in China and flooding in Pakistan are in part behind the cotton price hike. A year ago, raw cotton cost 55 cents a pound. Today, it's $1.80 -- more than three times the price.

Retail analysts say, even though world-wide supplies are down for all sorts of raw materials, demand is high because there are now so many consumers in China. That means prices are unlikely to drop anytime soon.

Lara Logan Suffered "Brutal And Sustained Sexual Assault And Beating" While Covering Mubarak Resignation

CBS News has released a statement that on 2/11 in Egypt, Lara Logan “suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating."

"On Friday February 11, the day Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak stepped down, CBS correspondent Lara Logan was covering the jubilation in Tahrir Square for a 60 MINUTES story when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration. It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into frenzy.

In the crush of the mob, she was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers. She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning."

She is now recovering in the hospital.

Point well made by BO: Obama Criticizes Reporters for Impatience

At a press conference Tuesday, President Obama was asked why his budget did not incorporate many of the recommendations of his bipartisan fiscal commission. The reporter said the commission's proposals had effectively been shelved.

The president answered by stating, first, that the proposals had not been shelved - arguing that the commission's plan "still provides a framework for a conversation." He then criticized the reporters in attendance for their lack of patience.

"Now, part of the challenge here is that this town -- let's face it, you guys are pretty impatient," he said. "If something doesn't happen today, then the assumption is it's just not going to happen, all right?"

"I've had this conversation for the last two years about every single issue that we've worked on, whether it was health care or 'don't ask/don't tell,'" he continued, his tone expressing frustration. "On Egypt -- right? -- we've had this monumental change over the last three weeks. Well, why didn't -- why did it take three weeks?"

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference on the White House complex in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011.
Mr. Obama said "there's a tendency for us to assume that if it didn't happen today, it's not going to happen."

Turning back to the fiscal commission, he said that while it got eleven votes and some Republican support, GOP budget guru Paul Ryan did not sign on - and "he's got a little bit of juice when it comes to trying to get an eventual budget done." Mr. Obama also said there were aspects of the commission proposal that he did not agree with.

"So this is going to be a process in which each side, in both chambers of Congress, go back and forth and start trying to whittle their differences down, until we arrive at something that has an actual chance of passage," he said. "And that's my goal. I mean, my goal here is to actually solve the problem."

The president then returned to his media criticism, stating the process is "not to get a good headline on the first day."

"This was the same criticism people had right after the mid-term election," he said. "If you had polled the press room and the conventional wisdom in Washington after the midterm, the assumption was there's no way we were going to end up getting a tax deal that got the majority of both Democrats and Republicans. It was impossible, right? And we got it done."

Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war (GWB was had at what cost to the world?!)

Man codenamed Curveball 'invented' tales of bioweapons

• Iraqi told lies to try to bring down Saddam Hussein regime
• Fabrications used by US as justification for invasion

Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, codenamed Curveball by German and American intelligence officials who dealt with his claims, has told the Guardian that he fabricated tales of mobile bioweapons trucks and clandestine factories in an attempt to bring down the Saddam Hussein regime, from which he had fled in 1995.

"Maybe I was right, maybe I was not right," he said. "They gave me this chance. I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime. I and my sons are proud of that and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."

The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations in which the then-US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Janabi had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme.

The careers of both men were seriously damaged by their use of Janabi's claims, which he now says could have been – and were – discredited well before Powell's landmark speech to the UN on 5 February 2003.

The former CIA chief in Europe Tyler Drumheller describes Janabi's admission as "fascinating", and said the emergence of the truth "makes me feel better". "I think there are still a number of people who still thought there was something in that. Even now," said Drumheller.

In the only other at length interview Janabi has given he denied all knowledge of his supposed role in helping the US build a case for invading Saddam's Iraq.

In a series of meetings with the Guardian in Germany where he has been granted asylum, he said he had told a German official, who he identified as Dr Paul, about mobile bioweapons trucks throughout 2000. He said the BND had identified him as a Baghdad-trained chemical engineer and approached him shortly after 13 March of that year, looking for inside information about Saddam's Iraq.

"I had a problem with the Saddam regime," he said. "I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance."

He portrays the BND as gullible and so eager to tease details from him that they gave him a Perry's Chemical Engineering Handbook to help communicate. He still has the book in his small, rented flat in Karlsruhe, south-west Germany.

"They were asking me about pumps for filtration, how to make detergent after the reaction," he said. "Any engineer who studied in this field can explain or answer any question they asked."

Janabi claimed he was first exposed as a liar as early as mid-2000, when the BND travelled to a Gulf city, believed to be Dubai, to speak with his former boss at the Military Industries Commission in Iraq, Dr Bassil Latif.

The Guardian has learned separately that British intelligence officials were at that meeting, investigating a claim made by Janabi that Latif's son, who was studying in Britain, was procuring weapons for Saddam.

That claim was proven false, and Latif strongly denied Janabi's claim of mobile bioweapons trucks and another allegation that 12 people had died during an accident at a secret bioweapons facility in south-east Baghdad.

The German officials returned to confront him with Latif's version. "He says, 'There are no trucks,' and I say, 'OK, when [Latif says] there no trucks then [there are none],'" Janabi recalled.

He said the BND did not contact him again until the end of May 2002. But he said it soon became clear that he was still being taken seriously.

He claimed the officials gave him an incentive to speak by implying that his then pregnant Moroccan-born wife may not be able to travel from Spain to join him in Germany if he did not co-operate with them. "He says, you work with us or your wife and child go to Morocco."

The meetings continued throughout 2002 and it became apparent to Janabi that a case for war was being constructed. He said he was not asked again about the bioweapons trucks until a month before Powell's speech.

After the speech, Janabi said he called his handler at the BND and accused the secret service of breaking an agreement that they would not share anything he had told them with another country. He said he was told not to speak and placed in confinement for around 90 days.

With the US now leaving Iraq, Janabi said he was comfortable with what he did, despite the chaos of the past eight years and the civilian death toll in Iraq, which stands at more than 100,000.

"I tell you something when I hear anybody – not just in Iraq but in any war – [is] killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution?

"Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities."

The Guardian London

WHO WOULD BE A BETTER PRESIDENT? Michelle or Sarah? NOT EVEN CLOSE - MICHELLE leads 70 to 30%. Still time to vote on the blog.

"bullpuckey" RACHEL MADDOW MSNBC a little from her show 2-14/11

The military, spending on the military in particular, is one of those things in Washington, one of those blessed things in Washington that functions essentially as a bullpuckey detector. It‘s one of those things that tells you whether or not people really mean what they say.

This, for example, is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. It is a very, very fancy fighter jet. It is also the subject of a whole lot of advertising in Washington, D.C.-based publications.

Why does it star in so many Beltway advertisements? Why does it get so much attention? Because Congress has decided in its infinite wisdom that it wants to fund part of this plane that the Pentagon doesn‘t want. This very fancy jet comes with a spare engine. Full disclosure: one of our parent companies, G.E., helps make this spare engine.

The way Congress has designed this right now, for every Joint Strike Fighter jet that‘s built, there is a backup engine built for it, too.

Why do you need a backup engine built for this jet? Good question.

The Pentagon doesn‘t know either. They do not want it.

But despite the fact that the military keeps saying they don‘t want it, Congress keeps funding it. Today, that spare engine offered us yet another bullpuckey detection moment. President Obama‘s spending plan that was put out today follows the military‘s advice. It eliminates funding for this spare engine that the military does not want.

House Republicans, on the other hand, they want to keep it. Their spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year includes $450 million for this random backup engine that the military doesn‘t want and would prefer to kill.

The military brass gave a press conference. This is amazing. The military brass gave a press conference today detailing the list of things that they really don‘t want that Congress keeps making them take anyway—only in America. The spare engine got star billing.

Site claims to have uncovered Coca-Cola's top secret formula

The exact ingredients of the popular soft drink, invented by a medicinal chemist called John Pemberton in 1886, have always been shrouded in mystery

Ever since the creation of Coca-Cola in 1886, the precise recipe has been a closely guarded secret.

The only official written copy is supposedly held in a U.S. bank vault and only two company employees at any one time are said to know the whole formula that gives the fizzy drink its distinctive flavour.

But now, 125 years of near-total secrecy look to be over, as a website claims to have uncovered a list showing the ingredients and quantities used to make the drink.

The list, it claims, was actually published without fanfare in a 1979 local newspaper article in Coca-Cola’s U.S. home town of Atlanta, Georgia – but no one appeared to realise its significance.

The website, Thisamericanlife.org, said the 32-year-old article – buried on Page 28 of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution – shows a photograph of a recipe purported to be an exact replica of Coca-Cola creator John Pemberton’s.

The recipe had apparently been written by a friend of pharmacist Mr Pemberton’s then passed down through the generations. A can of Coca-Cola currently simply refers to its specialist ingredients as ‘Natural flavourings including caffeine’ alongside carbonated water, sugar, phosphoric acid and colour (Caramel E150d).

Thisamericanlife.org consulted historian Mark Pendergrast, who has written a history of the drink and believes the recipe could be, as Coca-Cola’s famous slogan goes, the real thing.
He said: ‘I think that it certainly is a version of the formula.’

Should he be right, it would unlock the key to one of the world’s most recognisable brands, which is sold in more than 200 countries. In 2010 Coca-Cola became the first brand to top £1billion in annual UK grocery sales.

Thisamericanlife.org claims to have uncovered a list, in a 1979 newspaper article, showing the ingredients and quantities used to make the drink

Teenagers sharing a bottle of Coke. Coca-Cola contains a number of essential oils and it is the precise way that these are blended together that is responsible for the drink's unique flavour

So it is perhaps no wonder that the firm has been eager to keep its recipe from competitors.

Asa Candler, one of the first presidents of the company, was so worried that the ‘Holy of Holies’ would fall into the wrong hands he made sure it was never written down.

He removed all the labels from the containers of the ingredients so they were identified only by the sight, smell and where they were put on the shelf.

A crucial part of the formula was also given the name ‘7X’ to add to the mystique.

Mr Candler even used to go through company mail himself and remove invoices for ingredients so no one in the accounts department could sell the recipe to a rival.

‘The company has always said, and as far as I know it’s true, that at any given time only two people know how to mix the 7X flavouring ingredient,’ said Mr Pendergrast.

‘Those two people never travel on the same plane in case it crashes; it’s this carefully passed-on secret ritual and the formula is kept in a bank vault.’

In more recent times Coca-Cola has defended a string of legal challenges to force it to reveal its formula.

In 1977 it pulled out of India rather than divulge it to the government.

The closest the company itself has come to divulging its recipe was the admission that it originally included cocaine, although the narcotic was removed in the early 1900s.

It is not clear whether, cocaine aside, the discovered recipe would be the same as that used today, or whether the company has made any changes to the formula since then.


Jacobs' Pharmacy in Atlanta, where Coca-Cola was first sold in 1886

1886: Dr John Pemberton produced the syrup for for Coca-Cola and carried a jug down the street to Jacobs' Pharmacy, where it was sold for 5 cents a glass

1906: Countries outside the US - Cuba, Canada ana Panama - began bottling the drink

1916: The iconic contour bottle - so distinctive it could be recognised in the dark - was introduced to distinguish Coca-Cola from competitors

1931: Artist Haddon Sundblom's Santa Claus first appeared in ads for Coca-Cola. This image of Santa - shown as a plump, jolly, friendly man - helped shape the modern-day image of St. Nick

1969: The Beatles name-checked Coca-Cola in their song Come Together

1982: Soft-drink history was made with the introduction of Diet Coke, the most successful new soft drink since Coca-Cola itself. Within two years, Diet Coke had become the top low-calorie soft drink in the world

1985: The drink became the first soft drink to be consumed in space when astronauts tested the Coca-Cola Space Can aboard Space Shuttle Challenger

2006: Cheryl Cole signed up to promote Coca-Cola's sugar free drink Coke Zero

Present: The world's top soft drinks maker reported a net income of over 6 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010
Need to clean of rust? Use Coca-Cola! Need to make a chrome bumper on an older car look clean and shiney? Use Coca-Cola Need to flush out your stomach or intestines? Well you get the idea. Now medical science has deduced that all sodas can lead to heart attacks!!!

The Mail London

Egypt Army Sets 6-Month Blueprint, but Future Role Is Unclear

CAIRO — The military officers who have governed Egypt since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak on Friday have laid out a brisk six-month timetable in which to draft constitutional amendments, submit them to a referendum and elect a new government, stirring debate about the military’s long-term intentions.

Some in the opposition welcomed the timetable as evidence that the officers were eager to turn over power to a civilian authority. But others, noting that the military has so far excluded civilians from the transitional government, questioned whether the speedy schedule might signal just the opposite. They worry that the military might be trying to manipulate events to preserve its power by rushing the process and denying political parties and candidates enough time to organize for a meaningful, fair election that could elect a strong civilian government.

Two generals on the governing Supreme Military Council presented the plan — which calls for writing the amendments in 10 days and holding the referendum within two months — in a meeting on Sunday night with the revolution’s young leaders.

The meeting appeared to be the military’s first significant outreach to the civilian opponents of Mr. Mubarak, and two of the young protest organizers, true to their movement’s Internet roots, promptly summarized the meeting in a post on Facebook.

“The first time an Egyptian official sat down to listen more than speak,” they wrote of their meeting with the generals, Mahmoud Hijazi and Abdel Fattah. The two young leaders, Wael Ghonim and Amr Salama, also praised the generals’ attentive demeanor and the absence of the usual “parental tone (you do not know what is good for you, son).”

Still, the two reserved judgment about the military’s plan, and others in the group said their coalition had yet to make a final assessment of it.

“This meeting was just for the military to tell us about their plans,” said Shady el-Ghazaly Harb, one of the revolution’s young leaders. “We have asked for another meeting this week to tell them about our plans. Then we will see.”

Egypt has effectively been under direct military control since Sunday, when the council suspended the Constitution and dissolved Parliament. And some in the opposition, including the Nobel Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, have repeatedly warned that hasty elections could leave the fledgling democracy so weak that it could invite the rise of another military strongman.

A communiqué issued on Monday by the Supreme Military Council appeared to walk a fine line in grappling with a variety of problems in governing a restive Egypt. In responding to a series of strikes by state workers, journalists and the police on Monday, the council issued a forceful exhortation that some read as a veiled threat, although it did not threaten specific penalties.

A Western diplomat who knows Field Marshal Mohamed Tantawi, the defense minister and leader of the military government, said it was clear that he did not relish his high-profile role and did not want to keep it.

“My strong sense is there is no real desire to prolong this period,” the diplomat said. “The field marshal does not seem really interested in being the government of Egypt. He would prefer to take the armed forces back, to have their very large and very comfortable arrangement in Egyptian society and let the civilians take charge of government.”

But, the diplomat said, it remained to be seen whether a swift transition to democracy was possible. “The issue is whether this is the best thing or not the best thing,” he said.

Some of the young protest organizers who met with the generals said they were troubled that the military seemed cool to the idea of negotiating with Mr. ElBaradei, a more experienced figure whom the organizers have chosen as their point man for talks.

“We tried to tell them they should, but they weren’t welcoming to him,” said Mr. el-Ghazaly Harb, a 32-year-old surgeon. “We hope it is not definitive.”

As it moved to stabilize the country at home, the new military government also lodged formal requests with the European Union and the British government to freeze the assets of all the senior officials of Mr. Mubarak’s government.

Mr. Mubarak’s son, Gamal, a former investment banker and senior official of the former governing party, owns a house in London that is valued at about $10 million.

The younger Mr. Mubarak has become a focus of criticism since his father’s ouster because of the vast wealth he and his friends seemed to have amassed from the privatization of Egypt’s state-run businesses.

One of his friends, the steel magnate and political power broker Ahmed Ezz, made a public appearance on Monday for the first time since the protests began three weeks ago. Once known for his brash, commanding demeanor, he spoke in a television interview in humble tones and sought to distance himself from the violence last week, when gangs of men associated with the governing party assaulted the protesters in Tahrir Square.

Rumors swirled about the whereabouts of the former president, who has not been seen in public since he bucked plans for a graceful exit and delivered a defiant reassertion of his power in a speech on Thursday night. He had reportedly left Cairo for his vacation home in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheik.

On Monday, Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, Sameh Shoukry, said on NBC’s “Today” show that Mr. Mubarak, 82, was “possibly in somewhat of bad health.”

In recent appearances, Mr. Mubarak had appeared to have fully recuperated from gallbladder surgery in Germany last year. But two Cairo newspapers — one of them state-run — reported that Mr. Mubarak was depressed and refusing to take his medication, and that he had fainted at his vacation home. The reports could not be confirmed.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, small groups of transportation workers, ambulance drivers and park employees marched for better pay.

And in an incongruous display of revolutionary fervor, hundreds of police officers — who only recently had tried to crush the public protests — staged a second day of demonstrations outside the Interior Ministry to demand better wages. Officials said they had promised to double police salaries and benefits in an attempt to get the police back on the street to stop the protests.

On the island of Zamalek, a group of archaeologists demonstrated for jobs and for the ouster of the antiquities minister, Zahi Hawass, whom they accused of corruption.

The central bank ordered all banks to close on Monday after a strike at one privately owned institution. Tuesday is a holiday celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, and the banks will not reopen until Wednesday. The stock market is expected to remain closed all week.

Eager to tamp down the strikes, the governing military council urged employees to return to work. “It was noticed that some sectors in the state organized protests despite the return of normal life at a time where all groups and sectors of the population should come together,” a spokesman announced on state television.

In addition to harming the economy, the statement warned, the protests create “a climate when irresponsible elements may carry out illegal acts.” But the military stopped short of threatening any action if strikers did not heed its call.

Two of the revolutionary organizers also said they had received approval from the generals to begin a campaign to raise about $17 billion to rebuild Egypt and compensate the families of those killed during the revolt. And in their Facebook post, they said they were encouraged about the prospects for democracy.

“We all sensed a sincere desire to preserve the gains of the revolution and the unprecedented respect for right of young people to express their views,” they wrote, calling the revolution “a historic achievement that has not happened since the era of the pharaohs.”

Ron Paul: How Many Elections has Trump Won? FNC give blow hard Trump free publicity again! He can't win and TRUMP wouldn't run!

Texas Republican Ron Paul hit back at Donald Trump on Monday for comments he made at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)on Friday arguing that Paul "can not get elected" president, pointing out in response that "I don't know how many elections [Trump has] won so far himself."

When asked about Trump's comments, Paul compared his political record with that of the business magnate.

"I've won 11 times," Paul quipped in a Monday interview on CNN. "I don't know whether he has earned the, you know, the right to criticize someone for not winning elections, when I don't know how many elections he's won so far himself."

Paul, who won CPAC's unofficial presidential straw poll on Saturday, argued that he has spent the last thirty years beating the odds to win elections.

"That makes me think about back in the times when I first ran, because everybody knows my positions have been exactly the same 30 years ago, when I first ran for office," Paul said, of the comments. "I run in a very conservative Bible belt district, and I challenged everything George Bush did, practically... People say you can't win with that; you're too much of a strict Constitutionalist!"

Paul has been serving Texas' 14th district since 1997. Prior to that, he served several terms in Texas' 22nd district.

But the libertarian Congressman, who will be 77 years old by the 2012 elections, said he had yet to make a decision regarding a possible presidential bid.

"It's not an easy decision for me and I am still thinking about it," he said, but noted, "there's a large number of people who care about freedom."

He declined to comment on what chance he thought Trump would stand were he to enter the race.

"I have no idea," Paul said, of Trump's prospects. "I'd say it's too early to say. I guess everybody has a chance. Once you put your name out there, you always have that chance of winning."

Shirley Sherrod sues Andrew Breitbart over video (you go girl make those right wing wackos pay!)

Conservative activist and blogger Andrew Breitbart's weekend in Washington at the Conservative Political Action Conference was interrupted when he was served with a lawsuit filed by the subject of one of his infamous videos, the New York Times reports. Shirley Sherrod, the ex-Agriculture Department employee whose career was upended in a media firestorm when Breitbart released a selectively edited video of her in July, filed the lawsuit Friday in Washington. The video purported to show Sherrod, who is black, admitting to an NAACP audience that she had discriminated against a white farmer because of his race.

Sherrod abruptly resigned under pressure from the White House, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack later offered her an unspecified job at the department when a more complete version of the video surfaced, showing that Sherrod used the anecdote to illustrate how she recognized and overcame her own prejudices. The White House ultimately apologized to Sherrod, who declined to go back to work at USDA. In the lawsuit, Sherrod claims "the video has damaged her reputation and prevented her from continuing her work."

Breitbart said in a statement on his Big Government Web site that he "categorically rejects the transparent effort to chill his constitutionally protected free speech and, to reiterate, looks forward to exercising his full and broad discovery rights."

Poll stunner: Birthers are half of GOP primary voters (That's about how man REPUBS I think are nuts - I have stats to back me up Thanks!)

• 51 percent of likely primary voters nationwide think President Obama wasn’t born in the United States

• 28 percent think he was born here, 21 percent aren't sure

• Among those who don’t think he was born in U.S., Sarah Palin has 83 percent favorability ratings

• Mike Huckabee follows with 64 percent favorability among birthers

• But Huck wins a birther primary with 24 percent of the vote (Palin 19 percent, Gingrich 14 percent)

• A slightly greater proportion of women are birthers (53 percent)

• A higher proportion of voters 18 to 29 and older than 65 are birthers

Public Policy Polling survey of 400 voters. Margin of error 4.9 percent

Clinton expresses US support for Iran protesters

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has expressed her firm support for the thousands of opposition supporters who protested in Iran's capital on Monday.

Mrs Clinton said they deserved to have "the same rights that they saw being played out in Egypt" and that Iran had to "open up" its political system.

One person was reportedly shot dead in the violent clashes between protesters and security forces in central Tehran.

Dozens were detained, and opposition leaders were placed under house arrest.

The BBC received reports of banned demonstrations in other Iranian cities, including Isfahan, Mashhad and Shiraz.

Will Iran import Arab uprisings?
In their first major show of dissent since December 2009, when eight people were killed, thousands of opposition supporters gathered at Tehran's Azadi Square on Monday in solidarity with the popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

They chanted: "Death to dictators".

But the BBC's Mohsen Asgari, who was at the rally, says it was not long before riot police fired tear gas, while men on motorbikes charged the crowd with batons.

Witnesses told the Associated Press news agency that at least three protesters had been wounded by bullets, with dozens of others taken to hospital as a result of the beatings.

Iran's semi-official Fars news agency meanwhile reported that one person was shot dead by protesters and several others wounded.

Opposition websites said hundreds of people were arrested. There has been no official confirmation.

As night fell, hundreds of riot police remained on the streets of Tehran.

Later in Washington, Mrs Clinton told reporters that the US administration "very clearly and directly" supports the protesters.

"What we see happening in Iran today is a testament to the courage of the Iranian people, and an indictment of the hypocrisy of the Iranian regime - a regime which over the last three weeks has constantly hailed what went on in Egypt," she said.

Mrs Clinton said the US had the same message for the Iranian authorities as it did for those in Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down after 29 years in power by nationwide mass protests.

"We are against violence and we would call to account the Iranian government that is once again using its security forces and resorting to violence to prevent the free expression of ideas from their own people," she said.

Iranian protesters say that there is a certain symmetry to events in the Middle East. They believe the rallies they held after disputed presidential elections in 2009 helped to inspire the protests in the Arab World in 2011.

Now, in return, Iran's protesters say that they have been fired up by the demonstrations in Tunisia and Egypt.

But there are big differences between the situation faced by protesters in Iran and by those in Arab countries.

One of these is the role played by security forces. In Egypt, the army largely stood back. By contrast, Iran's security forces have tried to make sure that there is no dissent at all.

Iran's government defeated the protesters in 2009. It expects that it will be able to do so again in 2011.

It is difficult to tell if one day of protest by several hundred demonstrators in Tehran will have much impact. But even if nothing else happens, Iran's opposition Green movement has proved an important point - it is still alive.
"We think that there needs to be a commitment to open up the political system in Iran, to hear the voices of the opposition and civil society," she added.

Earlier on Monday, police placed the opposition leader, Mir Hossein Mousavi, under house arrest and blocked access to his home.

His website said they intended to prevent the former prime minister attending the Tehran rally.

Fellow opposition leader Mehdi Karroubi, a former speaker of parliament and a senior cleric, is also reportedly being held under house arrest.

Both men disputed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June 2009, which triggered protests that drew the largest crowds in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The authorities responded by launching a brutal crackdown.

The opposition says more than 80 of its supporters were killed over the following six months, a figure the government disputes. Several have been sentenced to death, and dozens jailed.

Although Iran's establishment supported the Egyptian and Tunisian protests, describing them as an "Islamic awakening" inspired by the Islamic Revolution, it said the opposition rallies were a "political move".

BBC Iran

STILL I RISE Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou