In brief: Suicide bombers kill dozens
Suicide bombers hit a bus carrying intelligence agency employees and a checkpoint near the headquarters of the Pakistan army today, killing at least 35 people.
The two attackers struck in Rawalpindi, a garrison city just south of the capital, Islamabad.
In the first attack, an explosive-laden car rammed a bus carrying employees from the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, while the other bomber hit the checkpoint, said Mohammed Afzal, a local police official.
The violence comes as Pakistan remains under a state of emergency, a move by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf that has prompted stiff criticism of the military ruler, including from his key Western ally, the United States.
Musharraf declared the state of emergency on Nov. 3, justifying it by citing the escalating danger posed by Islamic extremists.
Revenue seen in site sponsorships
Might visitors to the Windy City someday ride the Lowe’s Chicago El, shop on the Microsoft Magnificent Mile and tour Old Navy Pier?
The city has hired a marketing firm to explore the potential for selling naming rights and sponsorships as a way to bring in much-needed city revenue, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.
The Daley administration has awarded a $285,000 contract to Octagon Inc. to examine what the city has to offer and, by next spring, produce a marketing plan that will attract corporate sponsors and advertisers.
Chicago wouldn’t be the first city to offer municipal names for sale. Nextel has sponsored the Las Vegas Monorail and New York has entered into partnership agreements with such firms as Snapple, Verizon and Pepsi-Cola, according to city spokeswoman Wendy Abrams.
In Canada, the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, announced plans two weeks ago to sell naming rights for city pools, arenas, buildings and even city services in an attempt to offset a $2 billion shortfall. Similar programs are operating in Calgary, Ottawa and Toronto.
Fundraising brisk for Paul candidacy
In yet another sign of Rep. Ron Paul’s online fundraising prowess, the libertarian presidential candidate said in a television interview Friday that he has raised more than $9 million during the past two months and expects to raise a total of at least $12 million for the fourth quarter.
Paul, speaking on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” said he considers his recent fundraising success “astounding” but pleasing. Referring to his $12 million fourth-quarter goal, the Republican from Texas told Hunt: “Well, it looks like we can’t stay under at the momentum we’re going.”
Paul added that his campaign plans another “special” grass-roots-sponsored fundraising day on Dec. 16, which he expects will bring in millions.
Paul, 72, said his campaign has “already started spending, generously,” in the early voting states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. He added that his team is “working hard in Nevada,” which will vote on the heels of those three contests, and will still have enough money left to spend in the nearly two dozen primaries scheduled for Feb. 5.