VALLEY HEAD ALABAMA NEWS AND BLOG


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Alabama offensive coordinator Kiffin returning for 2nd year


He and coach Nick Saban issued statements announcing the news. Kiffin says he wanted "to reaffirm my commitment to the University of Alabama, coach Saban, and our team." The former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Southern California and Tennessee led ...

Dignitaries head to Saudi Arabia after King Abdullah's death


In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, Saudi Arabia's newly enthroned King Salman, right, talks with Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah during the funeral of Salman's half brother King Abdullah at the Imam Turki bin Abdullah ...

White Station’s Cameron-James Thomas clinging to high hopes as Signing Day looms


Having contributed masterfully Spartan head coach Joe Rocconi’s since being ...
Hinds Community College, Tennessee State, Alabama A&M, Arkansas Pine Bluff, Mississippi Valley State, Langston University, Lincoln University, Kentucky State, Murray State ...

Jones helps Texas A&M outlast Tennessee 67-61


Texas A&M credited the lessons learned in losses to Baylor and Alabama ...
seasons as Ohio Valley Conference rivals from 2006-11 when Kennedy was at Murray State and Tyndall was coaching Morehead State. Kennedy now leads 9-3 in head-to-head matchups.

Jeff Shiflett resigns as head coach of Pepperell


Shiflett resigned as head football coach of Pepperell High School Friday ...
I NCAA scholarship with young men signing at Georgia State, Army, South Carolina, Alabama, LSU and Air Force. He helped many other players secure scholarships at other area ...

Possible candidates to watch in Central Michigan football head coach search


T.J. Weist, former Connecticut interim head coach A Bay City, Mich. native, Weist was a wide receiver for Alabama from 1985-87 before embarking ...
moving on to play for Western Michigan and Saginaw Valley State in college and embarking on a coaching ...

David Partridge approved by school board as the new head football coach at Shades Valley


Smith said Shades Valley principal Mary Beth Blankenship told him he would be allowed to resign from his duties as head football coach or he would face dismissal. The former Alabama punter told AL.com that Blankenship said he was a "good and Godly man" but ...

Ford goes Silicon Valley with new research center


(MENAFN - AFP) Ford opened a new research center in Silicon Valley on Thursday ...
Qatar News Agency (MENAFN - QNA) HE the Head of the Court of Cassation and President of the Judicial Supreme Council Masoud Mohamed Al Amiri met today with HE US Ambassador ...

Alabama man arrested following gun-flashing incident on I-25 near Mead


119 on Wednesday afternoon and later arrested an Alabama man for felony menacing ...
The motorist followed the driver and saw him exit the freeway at Mead and head east on County Road 34. Deputies later caught up with the vehicle and arrested Baecher ...

Valley Head Volunteer Fire Department gets replacement truck after old one destroyed in storms


VALLEY HEAD, Alabama -- Valley Head officials received a new KMC 5-ton pumper/tanker truck from the Alabama Forestry Commission Friday to replace the one destroyed by flooding during the storms on April 29. Fire Chief Will Blackburn said in a media ...




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Something that you may to know about Saudi Arabia

"The Kingdom ... strongly condemns and denounces this cowardly terrorist act that is rejected by true Islamic religion as well as the rest of the religions and beliefs."

So reads the statement issued by Saudi Arabia, where I grew up, the day the offices of "Charlie Hebdo" came under attack, with the loss of 12 lives.

Last Sunday, to show further solidarity with the victims, the Saudi ambassador to France joined other world leaders in Paris for a unity rally to celebrate free speech.

This is consistent with the face Saudi Arabia presents to the outside world. Visitors to the website of the Saudi embassy in Washington are invited to "learn ... how the Kingdom´s political system is rooted in Islam´s traditions which call for peace, justice, equality, consultation and respect for the rights of the individual."

Just two days before the Paris rally, my friend Raif Badawi was removed, in shackles, from a mini-bus outside the Al-Jafali mosque in Jeddah as a large crowd gathered around him after Friday prayers. According to eyewitnesses, he closed his eyes and raised his head skyward as a security officer approached him from behind with a large cane and started to beat him. Witnesses say Raif was lashed 50 times. Afterwards, he was taken back to prison where he is serving a 10-year sentence—for blogging.

Raif´s next flogging was set to take place today, but Saudi authorities postponed it due to medical advice, his wife said. She expects he will be flogged again next week—and every following week—until his sentence of 1,000 lashes is complete.

Raif is officially charged with "adopting liberal thought," "founding a liberal website," and "insulting Islam." He has become the latest symbol of the two-faced policy his country takes towards human rights.

Saudi Arabia is a strong American ally that has enjoyed virtually unconditional support from the United States for decades. President Bush famously held hands with its monarch, King Abdullah, as the two strolled through his Crawford, Texas ranch during the King´s 2005 state visit. President Obama was widely criticized for appearing to bow to Abdullah at a G-20 summit in London.

In the same month that ISIS horrified the world with its brutal beheading of journalist James Foley, Saudi Arabia publicly beheaded 19 people, for crimes ranging from smuggling cannabis to sorcery. Limb amputations for theft are sanctioned by the state religion.

In addition to oil, Saudi Arabia is the world´s leading exporter of Salafism, an ultra-conservative strain of Islam. The country touts itself as the birthplace of the religion of peace—yet underlines the Islamic declaration of "Shahadah" on its flag with a sword. Osama bin Laden was a Saudi citizen, as were 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11.

Why does a world outraged by the horrific actions of ISIS and the Taliban turn a blind eye to the way this country treats its own citizens?

The first reason is obvious. It isn´t just our governments. Every time we fill our cars with gas, we all bow to the Saudi king.

The second is more complex.

Online videos of Raif´s flogging show worshipers from the mosque, including young children, running excitedly towards the square to watch the beating. Afterwards, the crowd erupts into cheers and applause, chanting "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Great!) in unison.

This isn´t surprising. The public likely considers Raif guilty of blasphemy and apostasy. A 2013 Pew Research poll found that large numbers in Muslim countries favor the death penalty for leaving Islam—including 88% of Egyptian and 62% of Pakistani Muslims, as well as majorities in Jordan, Malaysia, Palestine, and Afghanistan.

Of course, these views don´t represent all Muslims. But contrary to what we´re usually told, they aren´t just held by a fringe minority either. Many of these countries don´t have populations willing to rally en masse to support free speech and pluralism the way France did. The change has to first come from within.

Raif has sacrificed a great deal to make this change happen. The world must support him and call Saudi Arabia out on its hypocrisy.

Some time ago, just 50 miles east of where Raif is being held today, another dissident once spoke of change, of challenging the status quo, of radical new ideas that would ultimately transform his society. He was ostracized, persecuted, and eventually driven from his city by those wanting to kill him. He was Mohammed, the Prophet of Islam; his persecutors, the Quraysh tribe of Mecca.

Muslims endeavor to emulate the life of Mohammed. Saudi Arabia has instead chosen to emulate the Quraysh.

This week, Raif spent his 31st birthday imprisoned and wounded. With enough awareness, we can put enough international pressure on the Saudi government to ensure that he spends his next one with his wife and their three beautiful children.

Ali A. Rizvi is a Pakistani-Canadian writer and friend of Raif Badawi. He grew up in Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, and is an advocate for secularism and reform in the Muslim world. He is currently writing his first book, "The Atheist Muslim." [5]



VALLEY HEAD ALABAMA tspan:3m VALLEY HEAD ALABAMA




Save Money on Homeownership in VALLEY HEAD

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President Obama and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro visited Phoenix, Arizona this afternoon to put a spotlight on the recovering housing sector.

Restoring security to homeownership has always been one of the President's top economic priorities, and the results are clear -- the housing market has greatly improved since President Obama took office.

The President’s push for new consumer protections and tough enforcement on abuses have given Americans more confidence in investing in homeownership:

  • Home sales are up.
  • Home building has more than doubled since 2009.
  • Home values have risen for the past three years.

But there's more work to do. Mortgages need to be more accessible and affordable for creditworthy families.

That's why today, at Central High School in Phoenix, the President announced a responsible reduction in the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) Mortgage Insurance Premium program. The Federal Housing Administration will reduce annual mortgage insurance premiums by 0.5 percentage points, from 1.35 percent to 0.85 percent.

The President’s new proposal to reduce the fees associated with buying a home would help first-time homebuyers save an average of $900 on their annual mortgage payment. More people buying homes would also strengthen the market, helping everyone who already owns a home.

In Phoenix today, President Obama explained that homeownership was a dream that should be open to all Americans. Not only will the President’s actions help numerous families realize the American Dream and get a place they can finally call home, but millions of families will save billions of dollars in mortgage payments in the coming years, helping to support and stabilize the housing market recovery.

President Obama delivers remarks on housing at Central High School in Phoenix

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on housing at Central High School in Phoenix, Az., Jan. 8, 2015. [31]




Capital to small businesses and entrepreneurs in VALLEY HEAD

The U.S. Treasury Department’s State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) today released a new Quarterly Report detailing how the program continues to help small businesses grow and create jobs. Since the beginning of the program, the Treasury Department has disbursed more than $1.1 billion to participating states.

“Through the State Small Business Credit Initiative, the Treasury Department, states, and private sector lenders and investors are supporting small businesses and creating a lasting impact on the economy,” said Clifton Kellogg, Director of the SSBCI program. “More than $1 billion in State Small Business Credit Initiative funds have been distributed, making a real difference at the local level. Because of these funds, businesses have been able to buy new equipment, expand their facilities, and hire workers.”

Small businesses and entrepreneurs need capital to build their businesses, and SSBCI is designed to help spur new private sector lending or investment in small companies by leveraging private capital along with the federal support offered by the program. Through SSBCI, the Treasury Department will award nearly $1.5 billion to state programs across the country that support small businesses, including small manufacturers. SSBCI funding is not repaid by participating states to the federal government. Instead, to help even more small businesses, repaid loans and investments remain with participating states to be redeployed locally. The SSBCI Quarterly Report shows that as of September 2014, participating states have recycled more than $60 million to support additional investments.

States have made considerable progress in deploying these funds to support economic growth locally. The states that have deployed the most SSBCI funds by percentage of allocation include: North Dakota (Mandan Consortium), Idaho, Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Michigan, Kansas, and Alabama. The states that have deployed the most SSBCI funds by dollar amount include: California, Michigan, Florida, Illinois, Alabama, North Carolina, Texas, New York, Ohio, and Georgia.

SSBCI was created when President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act on September 27, 2010. The Treasury Department awarded allocations to all fifty states by early 2012, based on a formula set by the Small Business Jobs Act that considered population and unemployment levels. Each state designs its own small business programs, and five types of programs are eligible for SSBCI funds: Capital Access Programs, Loan Guarantee Programs, Loan Participation Programs, Collateral Support Programs, and Venture Capital Programs. In the SSBCI 2013 Annual Report business owners reported that more than 95,000 jobs will be created or saved as a direct result of SSBCI support. [23]








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