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The day after my last tweet regarding the lack of any new information about my abducted daughter Sofia since March 4, I received an updated letter on Thursday, April 7, 2011, from the State Department on Sofia's welfare in Syria. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Sofia was abducted by her mother from the United States to Syria last July, following her diagnosis of GDD with possible autism. She had 13 remaining medical appointments left at the time of her abduction, none of which she was able to keep. Last week's welfare report prepared by our Embassy in Damascus, Syria, after their second welfare visit to the home in Syria where Sofia remains with her mother and grandmother, showed a bleaker outcome for my daughter than the previous report dated November 2010. At two years and two months of age, Sofia still doesn't speak a single word, make or follow simple hand gestures... (more)

Online Training for PowerBuilder 11.5

PBDJ Feature Story The need for training and skills development has never been higher than it is right now and technical staff at all levels realizes that if they want to earn more, then the best way to do so is to learn more. eLear-nIT Training's latest web-based training courses for Sybase professionals everywhere offers a wealth of resources that are fine tuned for the exact needs of contemporary working environments. Live Classroom Quality Experience Yakov Werde, the author of this course and president of eLearnIT, has a proven track record in teaching PowerBuilder to professional audiences. Continuing along in that tradition, Mr. Werde is directing an organization whose goal it is to produce high quality study materials in a self-paced format that offers an always available, live classroom quality experience for a fraction of the price of on-site training. Cou... (more)

State Department Photos of My Abducted Daughter Sofia in Syria

Wednesday morning I received new photographs of Sofia from the State Department in Washington, DC. Sofia remains in Syria since being abducted in July 2010. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story The day after my last tweet regarding the lack of any new information about my abducted daughter Sofia since March 4, I received an updated letter on Thursday, April 7, 2011, from the State Department on Sofia's welfare in Syria. Sofia was abducted by her mother from the United States to Syria last July, following her diagnosis of GDD with possible autism. She had 13 remaining medical appointments left at the time of her abduction, none of which she was able to keep. Last week's welfare report prepared by our Embassy in Damascus, Syria, after their second welfare visit to the home in Syria where Sofia remains with her mother and grandmother, showed a bleaker outcome for my daughter t... (more)

Sofia Facing Bloodiest Easter Abducted in Syria

More than a year ago, Sofia was abducted from her home in Lighthouse Point, Florida, by her Syrian National uncle Feras Bankosly, MD, who is practicing medicine in the Chicago, IL, area. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Last March, a Florida judge issued an order to pick Sofia up from the uncle's house in Chicago and return her to her home in Florida. This weekend my two year-old abducted daughter Sofia remains in the middle of the bloodiest Easter in Syria's history! Demos against the Syrian regime and Bashar Al-Assad in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Banias, Latakia, Douma, and Daraa already left more than 150 dead between Good Friday and the funerals on Saturday, before Easter! Furthermore, it's widely anticipated that due to increasing violence in the country, the U.S. mission in Damascus will be closed before June, 2011. Turkey will also close its border with Syria by June, 2... (more)

New York School Districts Select Linux Desktops

Students in upstate New York have moved one step closer to having a computer at every desk thanks to a pilot program using Linux desktops from Novell on Intel-based computers. Designed to increase student engagement and awareness among students that they are part of a connected global community, the pilot program is aimed at delivering an Internet-connected computer to every student.  This new program will significantly increase computing resources at school while still controlling costs. Ultimately, some 80,000 students in the Rome City School District and other schools supported by the Madison Oneida Regional Information Center could benefit. As a result, students will gain technology skills and a new research tool that will improve their learning experience. "This Linux early adoption initiative is a cooperative effort between the Mohawk Regional Information Ce... (more)

Old Style Discipline and Authority Won’t Work In Today’s World

Today’s column begins with two letters I received from parents concerned with new disciplinary rules that have been enacted for the new school year that has already started in some parts of the country. Dear Dr. Fournier: My son is back in school but at registration, I was handed a copy of the new discipline policy.  On the first day of school, he and his classmates got an explanation of the policy and it has scared him to death. He cries, doesn’t want to go to school, and says he can’t do his work because he is afraid. He’s 9 years old and in the 4th grade. He has always been a happy child who loves to play and ask questions. I’m really worried. What should I do? Debbie M. Lexington, Ky. School has started back and my son’s school has started a card system to try and better manage the behavioral problems the school had last year with kids. If a child misbehav... (more)

Parents Mean Well But Could Do More Harm

Dear Dr. Fournier: School has started and after only a couple of weeks, my son is having trouble with homework. I do not want my wife and I to get into last year’s shouting matches with him. It seems like every time I try and help him, he gets angry and defensive. What can we do to get our son to let us help him with his homework? James C. Austin, TX Dear James: Many parents have heard their children in frustration say this about homework, “I don’t know how to do it!” The natural inclination of parents is to respond this way: “Then let me help you do it.” Unfortunately, this leads many parents to cross the line of parenting into teaching. Instead of feeling helped, many children feel alone, intimidated and, finally, humiliated. James’ went on to write that his son Jeff had just started learning fractions. Jeff’s teacher assigned 20 problems for homework. Jeff t... (more)

New Linux-Based PCs Encourage Seniors To Learn The Internet

A new computer called SimplicITy has been aimed at people over the age of 60 who have never before used PCs or the Internet, BBC News reported. The simplified desktop has just six buttons directing users to basic tasks such as e-mail and chat and each machine is pre-loaded with 17 video tutorials from television presenter Valerie Singleton. The SimplicITy computer has no login screen when started up, and contains no drop-down menus. The made-to-order computer can be ordered by mail and takes two weeks from request to delivery.Singleton set up the project in partnership with Wessex Computers and Discount-age, her website aimed at older people. A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics in August 2009 revealed that 6.4 million people over 65 have never used the Internet.Singleton said the number of older people who do not have computers shocked her. "I think pe... (more)

Klee Associates, Inc. Launches New Blog on ERPtips.com

Klee Associates, a SAP training and education provider, has announced the launch of a new blog dedicated to SAP training and education. The new blog, titled SAP Training: Taming the Beast, will serve as an ideal setting for SAP users to obtain free information and education on SAP's ERP software packages. The blog will offer frequent discussions on all aspects of SAP training and education, SAP best practices, SAP certification, SAP configuration, SAP how to instructions, SAP integration, and SAP implementations. Jocelyn Hayes, Klee Associates' resident SAP expert, will provide educational discussion and information on SAP software and provide visitors with excerpts from ERPtips' SAP training manuals. Accompanying her as a fellow blog author is Andy Klee, founder of Klee Associates, who will offer interviews with SAP training experts, his views on ERP training, and... (more)

A Bedtime Story for Sofia Who Remains Abducted in Syria

Diane Macedo of Fox News worked on Sofia's story for more than a month, studying documents, interviewing more than a dozen people, and fact-checking before publishing her news story on Monday and airing our interview. Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story On Monday, she also published a detailed article on Sofia that was picked up by a dozen or so media outlets around the world during the week. ▸ Fox News Story on Sofia's Abduction to Syria When Sofia returns safely home, she will pay her first visit to Diane at the Fox News headquarters in New York City. ▸ US Leaves Its Youngest Citizen Behind Syria The following is a short weekend "bedtime story" for my daughter while she still remains abducted in Syria. Twitter updates on Sofia @FuatKircaali One day, during his travels, Daddy found a "little green Swiss frog" on his bed as he arrived in his hotel room. Daddy took the little g... (more)

My Abducted Two-Year-Old American Guest Worker Daughter in Syria

Since her abduction by her mother last summer, my two-year-old US citizen daughter, who is in ailing health, remains in her abducted country of Syria under the immigration status of "Palestinian Immigrant Worker." Fox News: ▸ video ▸ story Sofia needs to appear every three months before Syrian immigration authorities to renew her "guest worker" visa, stamped in her American passport. Syria, one of the most oppressed regimes in the world together with North Korea and Iran, does not offer many human rights, freedom or democracy, nor does it recognize the International Hague Convention for Child Abduction. Not being a Syrian citizen Sofia has no civil rights. For the past seven months she did not receive any medical care for her GDD - Global Development Delay condition with autism. Since she is an out-of-status American child, she is also not able to enroll in any acc... (more)