Analysis of MY interest


Lincoln’s Peoria Speech, 160 Years Later

On October 16, 1854, in Peoria, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas both delivered long speeches about the Kansas-Nebraska Act, recently passed by Congress. A U.S. senator from Illinois, Douglas was the architect of the controversial legislation, which affirmed that settlers in the new territories could choose whether or not to adopt slavery, in violation of existing limits on the institution established more than 30 years earlier in the Missouri Compromise. As for Lincoln, a 45-year-old lawyer and former one-term congressman, his passionate repudiation of the Kansas-Nebraska Act revived his defunct political career and formed the basis of the politics and principles that would shape his presidency. On the 160th anniversary of the Peoria speech, find out more about the key role it played in Lincoln’s career, as well as in the course of our nation’s history.

What was the Kansas-Nebraska Act? 
The furor began in the early 1850s, when settlers in Kansas and Nebraska asked Congress to grant the two regions territorial status, opening anew the controversial question of what to do with slavery in the territories. Sponsored by Senator Stephen A. Douglas, a Democrat from Illinois and the chairman of the Committee on Territories, the Kansas-Nebraska Act decreed that the settlers themselves should decide whether they should become free or slave states under the principle of “popular sovereignty.”

Though Douglas’ bill, which Congress passed in May 1854, had been intended to quell sectional tensions between North and South over the extension of slavery, it did exactly the opposite. Both Kansas and Nebraska lay north of the 36° 30′ parallel, the northernmost boundary of slavery as agreed upon in the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Moreover, the issue arose at a time when antislavery sentiment in the North was on the rise, driven by opposition to the harsh fugitive slave laws included in the Compromise of 1850. The Kansas-Nebraska Act gave antislavery advocates a focus for their efforts, while proslavery forces saw lined up to defend their right to share in the benefits of territorial expansion. As pro- and anti-slavery factions battled it out—often with violent results—in “Bleeding Kansas,” opposition to the expansion to slavery became the defining issue for the new Republican Party.

What was Douglas’ argument?
The doctrine of popular sovereignty, which affirmed that the people in federal territories should decide for themselves whether to enter the Union as slave or free states, was first applied to New Mexico and Utah in the Compromise of 1850. When the controversy over Kansas and Nebraska arose, Douglas believed popular sovereignty would provide an easy solution to the heated issue; instead, it only fueled the sectional tensions that would eventually erupt into the Civil War.

In northern Illinois, passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act was met with widespread hostility, and by the fall of 1854 Douglas was moved to defend the legislation he had steered through Congress. At the Illinois State Fair in Springfield on October 3, 1854—and 12 days later in Peoria—he argued that the rightness of the act rested in the principle of self-government, which left the question of extending slavery in the hands of the people themselves. Moreover, he claimed that popular sovereignty would not necessarily result in the extension of slavery, as the soil and climate in both Kansas and Nebraska were inhospitable to staple crops like cotton and tobacco.

What was Lincoln’s argument?
At the time the Kansas-Nebraska Act was passed, Abraham Lincoln was a well-known lawyer on Illinois’ 8th judicial circuit, having left his career in national politics behind him after one undistinguished term in Congress (1846-48). As Doris Kearns Goodwin writes in “Team of Rivals,” Lincoln later stated that passage of the act roused him “as he had never been before.” While before that time he had believed that slavery was on a gradual path to extinction, the repeal of the Missouri Compromise persuaded him that opponents of slavery must take decisive action against its extension.

Before speaking out against the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Lincoln studied present and past congressional debates on the issue to fully inform himself. At the State Fair on October 4, 1854—a day after Douglas’ address to the same audience—he delivered his first public remarks on the subject of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. On October 16, he again took the stage at Peoria, delivering a speech of some 17,000 words over the course of more than three hours. Lincoln criticized popular sovereignty, and argued that it should by no means override the longstanding policies on slavery’s extension established in the Northwest Ordinance and Missouri Compromise. He also claimed that climate and geography would not be enough to keep slavery out of Kansas and Nebraska, presenting a map showing five present slave states—Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri, which collectively held one-quarter of all the states in the nation–with similar climates.

Most importantly, however, Lincoln attacked the morality of slavery itself, grounding his opposition to its extension in no less important a document than the Declaration of Independence. He began with an account of the history of the United States, including how slavery took root within the country and how the founding fathers (in his view) tried to contain its extension. He then argued that slaves were humans, not animals, and as such possessed natural rights, including the right to self-government: “If the negro is a man, why then my ancient faith teaches me that ‘all men are created equal;’ and that there can be no moral right in connection with one man’s making a slave of another.” While admitting it was difficult to see how to get rid of the “peculiar institution” altogether (at the time, he favored colonization, or sending the slaves to Liberia), he urged his fellow countrymen not to recognize any moral, rather than legal, basis for its existence. In conclusion, Lincoln implored: “Let us return [slavery] to the position our fathers gave it; and there let it rest in peace.”

What was the significance of Lincoln’s Peoria speech? 
Lincoln’s speech at Peoria was hailed as arguably the strongest of any opposing the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and vaulted the then-obscure lawyer into the thick of national politics. Perhaps more significantly, it marked the birth of a new sense of purpose for Lincoln, who from that point on would dedicate a large part of his energies to the antislavery movement. Though his thoughts on slavery and abolition would certainly evolve over the course of his career—especially after the Civil War began—the case he made against slavery at Peoria would largely inform and inspire his subsequent writings, speeches and letters on the issue.

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Lenovo Gives Yoga Tablets a New Twist

Lenovo last week announced five new models in its Yoga product line, some running Windows and the others Android.

Three are tablets — the Tablet 2 Pro and the Tablet 2 running Android, and the Tablet 2 running Windows. The others are the Yoga 3 Pro and the Thinkpad Yoga 14 laptops.

The Tablet 2 comes in 8- and 10-inch models, running Android or Windows. The Tablet 2 Pro runs Android.

Actor and producer Ashton Kutcher was heavily involved in the development of the flagship Tablet 2 Pro, Lenovo said.

"Ashton studied biochemical engineering and is in the business of technology, so he was actively involved in the development process," said Jeff Meredith, vice president of marketing for the Lenovo Mobile Business Group.

Kutcher participated in focus groups with Lenovo and “worked with other Lenovo product engineers to incorporate multimedia features into the tablet, including home theater quality sound and software improvements,” he told TechNewsWorld.

Fun and Games

The Tablet 2 Pro runs Android KitKat 4.4 on an Intel Atom Z3745 quad-core processor.

It has a 13-inch Quad HD IPS display with 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution, 32 GB of storage, a built-in projector, a micro USB jack, and a micro SD card slot that supports up to 64-GB cards.

It supports 802.11 b/g/n dual-band WiFi and is 4G-compatible in India, China, Indonesia and Thailand.

The tablet has an 8-MP rear camera with autofocus and a 1.6-MP HD front camera. Its battery lasts for up to 15 hours on one charge, according to the company.

The Yoga Tablet 2 Pro has two 1.5W front speakers and a 5W rear JBL subwoofer for a total 8W surround sound system.

Its kickstand lets users hold the tablet, place it on a surface, tilt it, or hang it from a wall or projection.

"It looks like a nice tablet," Brian Blau, a research director at Gartner, told TechNewsWorld. “They’ve loaded it up with features, but I don’t know that’s necessarily going to make it anything more than just another tablet.”

Kutcher Does Yoga

Lenovo’s positioning the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro as “adapting to the user for a unique home theater experience.”

That, perhaps, is another reason Lenovo hired Kutcher as a product engineer.

"If we agree that Lenovo is very much looking at entertainment and consumption, then having an entertainer such as Ashton is very much in line," Jeff Orr, a senior practice director at ABI Research, told TechNewsWorld.

Or it could be that Lenovo expects Kutcher to take its tablets to the next level.

"Yoga started with a simple premise — to adapt to the user," Lenovo’s Meredith told the audience at the launch. "It has been our platform where we showcase our continuous and industry-leading innovation."

Lenovo has “a different market for different audiences in different parts of the world — and to their credit, they’re continuing to push the Yoga brand as a distinct experience which offers the most versatility and flexibility,” Orr pointed out.

Yoga in a Time of Market Chaos

The tablet market is slowing, with overall growth for this year set at 2.5 percent. While Apple and Samsung account for nearly 70 percent of all shipments, Lenovo and Intel are the up-and-coming players, according to ABI.

"I don’t think you’ll see [Lenovo] taking over Apple or Samsung, but it’s taking a run," Orr said. "Lenovo continues to make gains while others are faltering or trying to figure out what their strategies are."

The Tablet 2 Pro will be available at the end of this month, starting at US$500.

The Android versions of the Tablet 2 are available now from Lenovo’s website at $250 for the 8-inch version and $300 for the 10-incher.

The Windows version of the 10-inch Tablet 2 will start at $400 and will be available later this month from Best Buy; the 8-inch version, starting at $300, will be available from Lenovo’s website in November.

The post was originally posted by Tech News World at

India’s Modi faces US damages case over Gujarat riots

A US court has ordered Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to answer allegations that he failed to stop anti-Muslim rioting when he was chief minister of Gujarat, overshadowing his first trip to the United States as his country’s leader.

The civil case before a New York court seeks compensatory and punitive damages from Modi for crimes against humanity and extrajudicial killings under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act. Modi has 21 days to respond.

The petitioner in the case is the American Justice Center, a non-profit human rights organisation, acting on behalf of two survivors of the 2002 riots in the western Indian state.

"There is evidence to support the conclusion that minister Modi committed both acts of intentional and malicious direction to authorities in India to kill and maim innocent persons of the Muslim faith," the petition said.

After years of being unwelcome in the United States, Modi arrives for a five-day visit on Friday in New York, where he will speak at the United Nations before heading to Washington for talks with President Barack Obama.

The first meeting between the two leaders follows Modi’s landslide general election victory in May.

Compared with other foreign powers, Washington was slow to warm to Modi, with its ambassador to India only meeting him in February when opinion polls put the Hindu nationalist leader on course to win.

Modi, 64, was denied a US visa in 2005 under the terms of a 1998 US law that bars entry to foreigners who have committed”particularly severe violations of religious freedom”.

At least 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, died in a wave of reprisal attacks across Gujarat after a train carrying Hindu pilgrims was set on fire in February 2002.

Critics accuse Modi, who was chief minister of the state from 2001 until this year, of doing too little to stop revenge attacks on minority Muslims. He denies the accusations and was exonerated in an Indian Supreme Court inquiry in 2012.

An Indian government spokesman was not available for comment while a spokesman for Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party declined to comment.


An analyst said the case was unlikely to have much impact.

"Modi is very thick skinned about the allegations after all these years," said Satish Misra, a political analyst at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.

"The evidence against him is based on conjecture as the courts in India have found. This case won’t make much difference."

Nevertheless, Modi faces being dogged by protests on his US trip even as he is expected to be warmly welcomed by much of India’s large overseas community in the United States.

Modi will draw perhaps the largest crowd ever by a foreign leader on US soil when he takes the stage on Sunday at New York’s Madison Square Garden before a crowd forecast to total more than 18,000 people.

A group called the Alliance for Justice and Accountability is calling for people to picket the venue and wave black flags in protest.

Another group, the Sikhs for Justice, will convene a ‘Citizen’s Court’ where they will indict Modi at a park in front of the White House when he meets Obama.

The court case seeking damages from Modi is being brought by two unidentified people from Gujarat.

One is a Muslim woman whose mother was allegedly attacked by a mob during the riots and died of her injuries a year later, according to the court documents.

The other plaintiff is man whose grandmother was killed and who says he was attacked by a gang of Hindus.

When he approached the police, he alleges, they told him they had orders not to save any Muslims, according to the petition.

- See more at:

The post was originally posted by Asia One at’s-modi-faces-us-damages-case-over-gujarat-riots

Twitter’s iOS 8 upgrade brings a new look for profiles

If (for some reason) you absolutely hate how profiles look on Twitter for the iPhone, you may want to fire up the App Store and download the latest update. It comes with a brand new design for profiles, which brings your bio front and center (no more swiping needed to see it) and adds separate timelines for your uploaded photos/inevitable GIFs) and favorite tweets. This new profile will show up for both iOS 7 and iOS 8 users, so you can already enjoy it even if you don’t want to delete apps and make room for Apple’s new mobile platform just yet. You do, however, get something extra if you’ve already upgraded: the power to retweet, follow and favorite posts right from the notification center.

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NASA Unveils World’s Largest Spacecraft Welding Tool

The largest spacecraft welding tool in the world, the Vertical Assembly Center officially is open for business at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide giant completes a world-class welding toolkit that will be used to build the core stage of America’s next great rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

SLS will be the most powerful rocket ever built for deep space missions, including to an asteroid and eventually Mars. The core stage, towering more than 200 feet tall (61 meters) with a diameter of 27.6 feet (8.4 meters), will store cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the rocket’s four RS-25 engines.

"This rocket is a game changer in terms of deep space exploration and will launch NASA astronauts to investigate asteroids and explore the surface of Mars while opening new possibilities for science missions, as well," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Michoud Friday.

The Vertical Assembly Center is part of a family of state-of-the-art tools designed to weld the core stage of SLS. It will join domes, rings and barrels to complete the tanks or dry structure assemblies. It also will be used to perform evaluations on the completed welds. Boeing is the prime contractor for the SLS core stage, including avionics.

"The SLS Program continues to make significant progress," said Todd May, SLS program manager. "The core stage and boosters have both completed critical design review, and NASA recently approved the SLS Program’s progression from formulation to development. This is a major milestone for the program and proof the first new design for SLS is mature enough for production."

Work is well underway on several additional welding tools. Engineers recently completed welding all the rings for the first flight of SLS using the Segmented Ring Tool. Ten barrels also have been welded for the SLS core stage using the Vertical Weld Center. The rings connect and provide stiffness between domes and barrels, which will make-up the five major core stage structures: the forward skirt, the liquid oxygen tank, the intertank, the liquid hydrogen tank and the engine section.

SLS will be the world’s most capable rocket. It will open new frontiers for astronauts traveling aboard NASA’s Orion spacecraft and may also offer benefits for science missions that require its use and cannot be flown on commercial rockets. This week, engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida completed the crew module for the Orion spacecraft that will venture into space on a test flight in December. In addition, NASA’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program, which is transforming Kennedy to support the launch of SLS and other users, completed a major agency-level review and was approved for progression from formulation to development.

The post was originally posted by Space Ref at

Byzantine Basilica found in northeastern Bulgaria

Archaeologists have found valuable artifacts and an episcopal basilica during excavations of the ancient fortress Zaldapa near the village of Abrit, northeastern Bulgaria.

Zaldapa was the largest Roman city located in the Dobruja region often called “the Bulgarian Pompeii”. It spreads on an area of over 230 decares. From the end of the 4th to 7th century AD the city was densely populated, had streets, residential areas and at least three basilicas. Archaeologists have discovered the largest one during excavations. They have also found a red marble column which suggests an imperial presence in the basilica, Nova news informs. “This is one of the early basilicas with rich ornaments. Here for the first time in Bulgaria and for the second time on the Balkan Peninsula we see tracery on a marble fence which used to protect and enclose the holy altar space. The other thing that is interesting is that for the first time we have found columns from a special type of red marble which was found near Constantinople, and that to me is a porphyry, an imperial marble from after the seventh century,” said the supervisor of the archaeological excavations Professor Georgi Atanasov.

The post was originally posted by The Archaeology News Network at

Microsoft smokes out 1,500 bogus Windows 8 apps from its app store

In a bid to restore users’ trust in its Windows 8 app store, Microsoft has kicked out a bunch of fake apps that had been left undisturbed in the Microsoft Store for some time.

The move, announced on a company blog, followed reports last week the store was hosting numerous fake products in the store, including bogus antivirus, Chrome and Safari browsers, a fake Windows 8.1 update, and an unofficial Adobe Flash Player from a developer called ‘microsoft studioz’. While not necessarily malware, some developers were charging users for apps that are otherwise free to download.

Oddly, Microsoft seems to have done little to stop fake apps appearing in its store in the first place, despite the apps exposing users to scams and the risk of malware, and ultimately threatening to undermine the users trust in its fledgling app store.

According to Microsoft, the company has in fact been working on the problem, claiming it took complaints seriously earlier this year that users were having to wade through confusing or misleading titles to find authentic apps, and changed its certification policies as a result.

The changes mean that apps need to meet certain criteria around naming, categories, and icons, before they can be admitted to the store. According to the new policy, developers need to clearly and accurately reflect the functionality of the app in its name, ensure apps are categorised according to their function and purpose, and use icons that are differentiated from other apps’.

The new policy is also being applied to new submissions and existing app updates for apps in the Windows Phone Store, which may help address its problem there: back in May, the Windows Phone Store was caught harbouring fake Google apps, a bogus Internet Explorer, and an ersatz Kaspersky Mobile security product.

The policy update has finally been coupled with actual enforcement for sellers that don’t comply. Also, any victims can rest assured that they will be refunded if they’ve fallen for a scam. “Most of the developers behind apps that are found to violate our policies have good intentions and agree to make the necessary changes when notified. Others have been less receptive, causing us to remove more than 1,500 apps as part of this review so far (as always we will gladly refund the cost of an app that is downloaded as a result of an erroneous title or description),” said Microsoft. 

The post was originally posted by ZDNet at

Hello Kitty Revealed Not To Be A Cat and Apparently Nothing Is True Anymore

Well, this is just totally ridiculous.

University of Hawaii anthropologist Christine R. Yano, who is curating a Hello Kitty Exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles,revealed to the LA Times that Sanrio, the company responsible for Hello Kitty, informed her that this cartoon cat-like creature:


"That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show," said Yano. "Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty."

Okay, BACKUP. Hello Kitty is not a cat, she’s a little British girl named Kitty White, and she HAS A CAT?!


Now sure, it may seem like Sanrio is splitting whiskers here. It may seem like it doesn’t really matter what a character licensing company calls their main asset. But that misses the point. We grew up with this faux-line imposter only to realize off hand on the Internet years later that she’s a person with parents, and a TWIN SISTER named Mimmy.

We need to go think about things for a little while.

The post was originally posted by ET Online at

Arbeloa wants Real exit

Spanish TV programme El Chiringuito de Jugones has suggested that Spanish defender Alvaro Arbeloa is eager to leave Real Madrid.

Having fallen behind Daniel Carvajal in the pecking order, the Spain international is no longer prepared to wait for his chance and he wants to quit los Leones before the transfer window closes on Sunday.

Arbeloa has also been disappointed by the treatment from the club fans and he looks set to leave Spain altogether.

England and Italy appear to be his most likely destinations, with Napoli boss Rafael Benitez hoping to get reunited with the player he coached at Liverpool.

Alvaro Arbeloa, 31, had began his career at Real Madrid and returned to Santigo Bernabeu in the summer of 2009 following spells with Deportivo La Coruna and Liverpool.

He has since made 127 La Liga appearances for los Blancos, scoring 2 goals and winning one league trophy in the process.

The post was originally posted by Soccer News at