Islamist Militants Shoot and Kill 10 Yemen Soldiers at Military Checkpoint

Reuters has reported via Twitter that Ismalist militants have shot and killed 10 Yemen soldiers at a military checkpoint in the southern part of the country.

Yemen shares a border with Saudi Arabia, Oman and the Red Sea. It is on the Arabian Peninsula and has about 25 million people.

I will update this story if more information becomes available.

You can also check out the Reuters Twitter accounts to get breaking information from one of the main news sources in the world.


Rebel Gun Fire Near Gao, Mali

Last week, a military coup took place in the West African country of Mali.

According to Reuters, separatists are attacking three separate centers, and the city of Gao has a major military installation. The military post may be the target of the rebel gun fire, but that was not specifically confirmed on the ground in Gao.

Mali has about 14 million people. It is surrounded by multiple countries, including the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Algeria, Niger, Mauritania and Senegal. The capital city is Bamako.


Reuters Report on Gun Fire Near Gao, Mali


“The Butler” Movie: Forest Whitaker and Jane Fonda to Star

“The Butler” is a movie that is set to star Forest Whitaker in the leading role, a black man who worked as a butler in the White House from 1952 to 1986.

Jane Fonda is tapped to play the role of Nancy Reagan. Butler Eugene Allen (the real one) served under 8 presidents, with Ronald Reagan being the last one.

The director of “The Butler” is Lee Daniels, and others expected to star include Hugh Jackman, Liam Neeson, and Oprah Winfrey.

Fonda has drawn the ire of many a Republican due to her outspoken opposition to the Vietnam War. She will now play one of the most famous Republican wives in American history.



YouTube Video of Kelly Clarkson in Kent, WA: The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling”

Kelly Clarkson was the first winner of American Idol. Since then, she has sold around 15 million albums in the US and had a lot of singles success, as well.

Despite having this success, Kelly still loves to sing a few covers on tour. Earlier this week, Clarkson had a concert in Kent, WA. She sang The Beatles hit “Oh! Darling.”

“Oh! Darlin” is on the smash album Abbey Road, which came out in 1969. For some reason, it was not released as a single, so there is no record of it with the RIAA. However, it no doubt had some effect on the success of Abbey Road, which was certified gold in 1969 in the year of its release. Abbey Road was ultimately certified 12 times platinum (12 million copies sold) in 2001.

This performance shows Kelly’s harder side. She is definitely one of the most versatile singers out there -able to pull off a nice ballad but also able to add lots of wailing to her voice to get the more bluesy sound of “Oh! Darling.” Overall, this was another excellent performance from Kelly with no obvious flaws to speak of.



Will Whitney Houston Be a New Judge on the US X Factor?

Recently, host Steve Jones and judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger were all fired after the first season of the US X Factor. Ratings were decent but not as expected, so fingers are being pointed left and right. Nonetheless, the show did well enough for a second season. The latest is that Whitney Houston has been offered a spot as a judge and mentor on the show.

Like the record industry as a whole, Whitney has had declining results in her album sales, but her last concert tour had pretty good results. As seen from her Dancing With the Stars performances, her voice is just not the same, so this would likely be a good gig for her to make a few more million while also resting the voice.

This is kind of an expected pick. I don’t really know how warm of a personality Whitney has, but she certainly has some sarcasm in her if she wants to play those stupid judge wars that X Factor seems to think are good for ratings. Houston is also one of the best singers of all time, so she does bring some credibility in that arena.

One thing that would be nice about having her as a judge is that we could stop hearing those lame critiques that people can’t sing her songs. In fact, many, many contestants have sung her songs. It is hard to match her vocal quality. But loads of singers can at least hit the notes. I’m sure Whitney Houston would judge performances of her own songs fairly instead of blowing smoke like these other judges do whenever someone tries to tackle one of her songs.


Will Whitney be good for ratings if she takes a judging role on the US X Factor? I doubt that any one person could dramatically change the ratings. The show needs a complete overhaul, not just cosmetic changes. At any rate, I doubt that she would hurt ratings, so the show will just have to decide whether Whitney’s asking price is too much for its bottom dollar.

Whitney never struck me as a particularly smart person. After all, she did marry Bobby Brown. Is there really anything else to consider? And she made her bucks as a singer, not as a songwriter, so doing cocaine is about the dumbest thing she could have ever done for her career. Thus, I’d lay decent odds that she will demand more than what she is worth and not get one of the open judge/mentor spot on the X Factor. If she and her manager come to their senses and engage in realistic negotiations, however, then surely she will be there for the 2nd season.


The Hollywood Reporter

How to Start a Free-Advertising Service Through WordPress

One of the best ways to build a list of targeted leads is to offer some kind of free bonus. Offering free advertising is a great way to get people to sign up to your list. However, you need some kind of database-management software to give away free advertising.

In the past, setting up a service for free ads on your website required you to either buy expensive software and install it on your website or pay through the nose for a programmer to create a free-advertising script for you. With WordPress, that is no longer necessary.

WordPress has its own built-in membership and guest blogging feature. You can combine these features to offer a free-ad service on your blog. If you want to give away free advertising on your WordPress blog, I recommend that you get people to join your list in return for the free advertising. You can then send them other offers and earn a commission on all sales.

This is actually a pretty easy process. You just need to take a couple of hours or so to set it up. Follow these steps to start a program offering free advertising through your WordPress website.

Step 1:

Install WordPress. I won’t go into great detail on this step. Suffice it to say that if you join any Web host that has the Fantastico DeLuxe service, then you can install WordPress on your website with no technical skills required. An example of such a Web host is HostGator. We use their hosting and promote their services through their affiliate program.

Step 2:

Once WordPress is installed, you need to add your autoresponder opt-in form to ALL of your WordPress pages. Do this through the Widgets section. You can add it to the right sidebar by using a “Text” widget. Just copy and paste the opt-in-form code you get from your autoresponder service into the widget. It will then display in the sidebar on every page of your site.

Step 3:

Now, you want to get the word out about your free advertising. To do this, you don’t need any special sales letter, fancy Web page, or whatever. Just go to the “Pages” section in WordPress and put your message in there about offering free advertising. The reason why you should use a “Page” instead of a “Post” is because WordPress creates a link on the menu below the header of your blog for each page you create. That way, regardless of which page a visitor enters into your website, they can find that “Free Advertising” link on all your pages.

Step 4:

On this page, instruct your visitors to join your list using the opt-in form in the sidebar. In the first message of your autoresponder, you need to have instructions for how they get their free advertising. You need to tell them to first register at your WordPress site and send you a code plus their WordPress username to your email address.

Step 5:

After you receive the code, then you go into WordPress and change the user’s status from Subscriber to Contributor. A contributor can post messages in WordPress, but you must approve them first. It is advisable to moderate all free advertising posted by your WordPress members. Otherwise, you may get sex ads and other junk you don’t want on your site.


1. Before starting this entire process, go to the main “Settings” section in WordPress. Look for “New User Default Role.” Make sure that is set to “Subscriber” to keep new members from posting their free ads before you change them to a contributor.

2. To change a user’s role after you receive the free-ad code, you go to the “Users” section and run a search for that member’s username. You can then find a link to edit that user’s details. On the details page, you will see a drop-down menu to select the user’s role. That is where you change the role.

3. The great part about this is that you can offer full-page ads that never expire. You can also offer unlimited free ads. The bad part is that Web pages with free advertising do not tend to get good rankings in the search engines. This is why it is important to get these members on your email list and send them follow-up offers. This is not an SEO tactic. This is a list-building tactic. It is recommended that you use this service on a dedicated website. If you are trying to get good search engine rankings for a website, then get a new domain name for this marketing and list-building technique.