|MUSLIM spokepersons are upset by an online encyclopaedia which has published images of the prophet Muhammad.|
An online petition calling on bosses of the free multilingual source, Wikipedia, to remove the image has been set up and more than 170,000 signatures have been registered from across the world.
Coun Salim Mulla, senior vice chair of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: "I have had floods of emails and phone calls about this.
"There are a lot of angry people at the moment.
"I think all this is doing is inflaming the situation.
"They are attacking the community, everyone is angry and disgusted by this.
"Muslims should boycott the site.
"They should take them down as a mark of respect to the Muslim beliefs.
"It feels like a public attack on our faith."
Moulana Hanif Dudhwala, of Troy Street Mosque, Blackburn, said: "They are making up their own artistic impressions.
The prophet asked people not to make pictures of himself so none were made of him.
"They should be sensitive to all religions.
"They should not be putting these pictures up at all.
"The fact that there are thousands of signatures on the petition should give them an idea that they should take to pictures down."
Sheraz Arshad, vice chair of Lancashire Council of Mosques added: "Everybody has the right to express themselves but people should be sensitive other beliefs.
"If people are concerned about it they should make their feeling clear in a peaceful way."
Wikimedia Foundation spokesman Jay Walsh said: "The decision to leave the images of Muhammad are made by editors and administrators.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
|By Rob Beschizza|
Toshiba put HD-DVD out of its misery today. Reuters confirmed this afternoon that it will cease manufacturing HD-DVD equipment, following earlier reports from Japan's NHK public broadcasting network.
This leaves Blu-Ray as the presumptive victor in the irrelevant optical disk format war. It now must face up to the real competition: the continuing success of DVD and the growing popularity of downloads, both on the internet and on-demand cable TV.
The end comes only a day after Wal-Mart announced it would no longer carry HD-DVD stuff. This will go a long way to confirming the view, long-held by cynics, that the mega-retailer always held the executioner's axe to begin with, and was merely waiting until it was clear which format's camp had the most densely-stuffed brown envelopes to throw at Hollywood.
Downloads are so far away from being a regular reality for HD program it is a joke. Unless the cable and telephone companies just open the bandwidth floodgates, its not going to happen given the size of movies.
The sad part is there is a sizable amount of the population who wants the government to tuck them into bed at night.
|On Wednesday, a top adviser to John McCain said more definitively than he has in the past that he will step down from the Arizona senator's presidential campaign if the presumed GOP nominee faces Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., in the general election..."I would simply be uncomfortable being in a campaign that would be inevitably attacking Barack Obama," said McCain adviser Mark McKinnon in an interview with NPR's "All Things Considered." "I think it would be uncomfortable for me, and I think it would be bad for the McCain campaign."|
|"The legislation itself requires the President "to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day."|
The bill defines the term "Millennium Development Goals" as the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, General Assembly Resolution 55/2 (2000).
The U.N. says that "The commitment to provide 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) as official development assistance was first made 35 years ago in a General Assembly resolution, but it has been reaffirmed repeatedly over the years, including at the 2002 global Financing for Development conference in Monterrey, Mexico. However, in 2004, total aid from the industrialized countries totaled just $78.6 billion-or about 0.25% of their collective GNP."
In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning "small arms and light weapons" and ratifying a series of treaties, including the International Criminal Court Treaty, the Kyoto Protocol (global warming treaty), the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The Millennium Declaration also affirms the U.N. as "the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we will seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development."
Jeffrey Sachs, who runs the U.N.'s "Millennium Project," says that the U.N. plan to force the U.S. to pay 0.7 percent of GNP in increased foreign aid spending would add $65 billion a year to what the U.S. already spends. Over a 13-year period, from 2002, when the U.N.'s Financing for Development conference was held, to the target year of 2015, when the U.S. is expected to meet the "Millennium Development Goals," this amounts to $845 billion. And the only way to raise that kind of money, Sachs has written, is through a global tax, preferably on carbon-emitting fossil fuels.
Obama's bill has only six co-sponsors. They are Senators Maria Cantwell, Dianne Feinstein, Richard Lugar, Richard Durbin, Chuck Hagel and Robert Menendez. But it appears that Biden and Obama see passage of this bill as a way to highlight Democratic Party priorities in the Senate. "
World tax plus grabbing guns, typical UN loving Barack Obama.
The United Nations Millennium Declaration makes for an very interesting read though I am sure Obama would declare he is picking only on the poverty part of it.
|We have lost the understanding that in a democracy, we have a mutual obligation to one another — that we cannot measure the greatness of our society by the strongest and richest of us, but we have to measure our greatness by the least of these. |
That we have to compromise and sacrifice for one another in order to get things done. That is why I am here, because Barack Obama is the only person in this who understands that. That before we can work on the problems, we have to fix our souls. Our souls are broken in this nation.
BTW, this is a form of socialism she is talking about where everyone who has thrived and succeed must be brought back to the pack because the reality hasn't hit her or liberals that not everyone in life can be a "winner."
Be more blunt. I will not "sacrifice and compromise" myself just so I can be a host to society's parasites.
|It isn't that I have a plan so much better than Tavis'. No ma'am. I take care of mines and do what I can for my brothers and others. I just reject the rhetoric of people being paid just to be black—they are Race Brokers: Grievance Merchants and Professional Negroes who give white America the word from Darktown, so no one actually has to engage race relations in a constructive way.|
They put on nice suits, get in front of microphones and tell black people how to feel and when to feel it. They remind white folks that we are not a monolith, then reduce blacks with generalizations and best-guesses. Black pundits like Tavis want to encourage black folks to disconnect their critical mind, so they write handbooks and covenants, and do your thinking for you. They pretend to know more than the rest of us and sell you cue cards to remind you how to get your mind right. They motivate folks into marches and movements with lots of fire and outrage, and everyone has a t-shirt, but no one has the facts straight. Lots of burning outrage and book-selling. Not much else.
Michelle Obama offered to stand in for hubby, but Tavis waved her off. Wow. And when I read that Tavis says it's his duty as a commentator to call Obama himself on the black carpet so he can stand account, and I wondered how dude can even pee straight with that kind of swagger. But he better ask somebody: Obama doesn't need People anymore. He's got swagger of his own.
|"The Virginia state Senate voted today to approve a 5-cent increase in the gas tax over the next five years to raise additional money to maintain the state's highways. |
The Senate bill, approved 25 to 15, would increase the state's 17.5-cent-a-gallon gas tax by a penny every year until 2014.
Virginia's gas tax hasn't been raised since 1986. Senate Majority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) said the tax increase is needed because there is a $390 million shortfall in the part of the budget used to fill potholes, plow snow and otherwise maintain roads.
If the deficit isn't closed, Saslaw said, money will have to be diverted from the highway construction budget.
"We are gradually draining our construction budget dry, and now we have eight years till it is dry," Saslaw said.
A 1-cent increase in the gas tax raises an additional $52 million a year. Saslaw said the increase would cost the average family the equivalent of "two Big Mac meals a year."
But the measure faces an uncertain future in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates. Two weeks ago, a House committee rejected a separate proposal to raise the gas tax by 5 cents. "
|"Copenhagen chief police inspector Per Larsen said police now found themselves in "a vicious cycle" with the youths and warned the riots "could spread like wildfire." |
Justice Minister Lene Espersen meanwhile urged parents to take responsibility for their children.
The riots are "alarming and worrying. It is totally unacceptable to behave this way in a democratic society," she told AFP through a spokesman.
"We will have zero tolerance," for the youths, she said.
"They will be brought before a judge and be held responsible for their actions," she said, adding: "We must also ask ourselves what we can do better and how we can include parents so that they take full responsibility to ensure that their children behave properly."
|The official rate of annual inflation in Zimbabwe tripled in the space of one month to 66,212 percent in December, by far the highest in the world but less than half the rate calculated by independent analysts.|
The state Herald newspaper published the figures from the central bank Friday, showing a dramatic escalation from November's already dizzying rate of 24,470 percent.
In early October, the state central statistical office gave official inflation at just below 8,000 percent.
It then suspended its monthly updates on inflation because there was not enough in the shortage-stricken shops to calculate a regular basket of goods.
Friday, February 15, 2008
|President Bush was branded a cowboy last night amid claims that his decision to shoot down a failed satellite could spark a confrontation with Russia and China. |
The Pentagon insists the first U.S. missile to be fired into space since Cold War tests ended in the 1980s was being launched to eliminate any danger to people or property on the ground if the satellite falls to earth.
Military officials said there was a risk of a leak of deadly toxic gas if the satellite, in an orbit which takes it over Britain, was allowed to crash early next month.
But space and security experts claimed yesterday that Mr Bush's decision was more about showing Russia and China what the U.S. was capable of, rather than preventing danger to life and limb.
They warned the president could provoke a new arms race in space by brandishing America's military power.
Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, called the move "regrettable".
And in a jibe aimed at the President he said: "Clearly someone in the administration who has the instincts of a cowboy has decided this is the perfect excuse to rattle our sabres and show the Chinese that we have the same capabilities."
There is an arms race going on now with the Chinese at a low level, this won't accelerate anything and even if it does so be it. We can't stop our advancements in weaponery because people like McDowell fears pissing off the Chinese and Russians.
|Government and opposition MPs are unhappy with plans by Morocco to strengthen ties with its citizens living abroad, reports ANP news agency on Friday. |
Khadija Arib, an MP with the government coalition Labour party, calls the move undesirable and old-fashioned.
‘This [Moroccan] minister doesn’t understand the situation of Moroccans abroad. The new generation has a different relationship with Morocco than its parents. They go there on visits, on holiday or for business but they have chosen the Netherlands or somewhere else to live,’ Arib told ANP.
The Rabat government said earlier this week that the Moroccan community abroad must be seen as ‘the 17th province of our land’ and wants to double the number of emigrant children that speak Arabic to 150,000 by 2012, reports ANP.
Around three million Moroccans live abroad, a tenth of its population, the agency says.
‘This runs totally counter to the interests of the Netherlands which wants better integration,’ said opposition Liberal (VVD) MP Henk Kamp.
He wants the Dutch cabinet to make it clear to Morocco and Turkey – which came out with a similar statement at the weekend – that they should leave emigrants alone, reports ANP.
The Moroccan government is ‘forcing’ the Arabic culture and language on Moroccans living in the Netherlands and as such is limiting their freedom to focus on Dutch society, Madeleine van Toorenburg of the ruling Christian Democrats is quoted by ANP as saying.
This is a lack of respect for the host countries which comes from being an appeasing coward that refuses to stand up for their own values.
| Barack Obama said Friday that the country must do "whatever it takes" to eradicate gun violence following a campus shooting in his home state, but he believes in an individual's right to bear arms.|
Obama said he spoke to Northern Illinois University's president Friday morning by phone and offered whatever help his Senate office could provide in the investigation and improving campus security. The Democratic presidential candidate spoke about the Illinois shooting to reporters while campaigning in neighboring Wisconsin.
The senator, a former constitutional law instructor, said some scholars argue the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees gun ownerships only to militias, but he believes it grants individual gun rights.
"I think there is an individual right to bear arms, but it's subject to commonsense regulation" like background checks, he said during a news conference.
If its a right, it can't be subject to your type of regulations that goes beyond just background checks.
|He said he would support federal legislation based on a California law that would facilitate immediate tracing of bullets used in a crime. He said even though the California law was passed over the strong objection of the National Rifle Association, he thinks it's the type of law that gun owners and crime victims can get behind.|
Which happens to drive up the cost of bullets to companies making them and law-abiding people who would need them. Think of it as stepping on the airhose to cut off the oxygen instead of turning off the machine.
|Although Obama supports gun control, while campaigning in gun-friendly Idaho earlier this month, he said he does not intend to take away people's guns.|
At his news conference, he voiced support for the District of Columbia's ban on handguns, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.
"The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can't initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn't born out by our Constitution," Obama said
You try to square that up to a logical conclusion and you will get a massive headache. In the quest to deal with gang bangers and criminals, you deprive everyone of a way of defending themselves. Good thinking.
|The American actor is planning a movie about a US-born pop singer who became an idol from East Germany to Siberia after embracing communism and settling in East Berlin in the early 1970s.|
For more 15 years, Dean Reed was a hero in the socialist Eastern Bloc, where his concerts were foot-stomping sell-outs until his body was fished out of a Berlin lake in June 1986.
...Reed's first success was in Latin America where his records began to sell in the early 1960s. A pacifist, he swiftly ripened into a Marxist in the revolutionary climate of South America.
"Wherever I went I was mobbed," Reed once said. "I was always sending my mother photos of myself being helped through the crowds."
Reed was arrested three times for staging anti-American protests in Chile, Argentina and later in Italy, usually against the US involvement in Vietnam.
...At the height of his East Bloc popularity, Reed was awarded the Soviet Peace Prize medal, flying to Moscow for the award ceremony.
Hanks has long been intrigued by the east-west nature of the Reed story. In 2004, he flew to Berlin to meet some of the singer's former show-biz acquaintances, and talk with his widow, Renate Blume.
During that Berlin visit, Hanks announced that he had secured the film rights to Dean Reed's life from the singer's family, and had been given the go-ahead from the US DreamWorks Studios to produce and star in a movie about the Red Square Elvis.
Now it seems as if the project which has long been speculated about, might actually come to fruition.
|Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen considers that Islamic public servants in his municipality are permitted to refuse to shake hands with women. He wants to award this 'freedom' to assistants of the police and to fraud controllers.|
Amsterdam works with so-called street coaches. These are citizens who assist the police to combat nuisance by youngsters and junkies. The street coaches, often Muslims, do not have to shake hands with women if this is in conflict with their beliefs, Cohen considers. "As long as they do their work well, there is no problem."
Social service officials are also allowed to withhold handshakes. Here, Cohen is referring to personnel that make house visits to the jobless to see if they really live at the address given, if they are sick or for other reasons.
The Labour (PvdA) mayor was speaking in the city council in reply to questions by Christian democratic (CDA) council member Maurice Limmen. The latter reacted with surprise to the answer.
A street coach in Slotervaart district recently refused to shake hands with the woman assistant to Cohen's alderman Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA). This was out of respect for the woman, the coach argued.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
|Six youths were arrested in Copenhagen for setting cars and dumpsters ablaze and throwing stones at police in a fifth night of riots in a predominantly immigrant area of the Danish capital, police said Friday. |
"We've had six arrests so far. They've been charged with throwing stones at police and setting fires to cars and waste containers," Chief Inspector Henrik Olesen of the Copenhagen police told AFP.
At least 11 cars were torched in various neighbourhoods of Copenhagen, and 10 others in the nearby town of Kokkedal.
On Thursday, 17 youths were arrested for rioting the previous night.
"We don't know why they're rioting. I think it's because they're bored. Some people say it's because of the cartoons but that's not my opinion," Olesen said.
He was referring to the reprinting of a controversial cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed in 17 Danish newspapers on Wednesday.
The drawing, published in Denmark for the first time in 2005, sparked several months of angry protests in the Muslim world in 2006. It depicted the prophet with a turban resembling a bomb with a lit fuse.
Protests have flared up again in several Muslim countries including Kuwait and Pakistan following the reprinting. The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas also condemned the publication.
The caricature was reprinted this week after Danish police uncovered a plot to kill the cartoonist.
|A Swedish primary and middle school said Thursday it had decided to no longer sell roses to students on Valentine's Day to protect the feelings of sweetheart-less students.|
"We decided to stop selling roses ... because some students received dozens and others received none," the vice-principal of Gärdes school in Stockholm, Lars Wikander, told AFP.
He said pupils who received no roses could feel excluded and suffer "from getting no attention at all throughout this special day."
"In the best of worlds, each student would receive a rose on Valentine's Day," Wikander said.
According to a study published on the website of the Swedish organization Friends, which combats bullying in schools, more than two-thirds of youngsters feel left out on Valentine's Day.
"Valentine's Day is a very positive day ... but there is also the flip side of the coin, which is that many youngsters feel bad," said Friends spokesman Magnus Jägerskog, adding that the day should be used to discuss friendship and how to treat loved ones.
|Britain has become a soft touch for terrorists, leading defence experts warn today. |
The world-renowned Royal United Services Institute delivers an unprecedented attack on the Government's security policy.
It warns that a failure to "lay down the line" to immigrant populations is undermining the fight against domestic extremism.
It condemns the country's "fragmented" national identity and obsession with multiculturalism.
And it accuses ministers of a "piecemeal and erratic response" to urgent threats to the nation and of starving the armed forces of cash to the point of "chronic disrepair".
The security think tank, which has unrivalled contact with senior political and military figures, urges ministers to abandon "flabby and bogus strategic thinking" and to make the defence of the realm the "first duty of Government".
The bleak assessment follows two blows this week to Labour's anti-terror strategy.
|DANIEL HENNINGER says that when you look past the presentation, Obama's speeches are downers.|
Ann Althouse wonders if anyone is listening that closely.
Nick Gillespie, meanwhile, has started paying attention to Obama's pronouncements and isn't that happy: "I smell...intervention in the economy."
And still more Obama-parsing here: "I think that's the kind of uniter that Obama wants to be. He wants to be an outflanker, not a synthesizer or a moderate in the typical senses of those terms." I guess he'll be getting a lot more close attention now that the shield of Hillary's supposed inevitability has disintegrated.
Obama is a leftist with a populist bent who is smart enough to realize his cult of personality aka "Black Jesus" can get him the nomination without saying anything to specific that will give people pause. This has been helped by a smitten press who has fallen in love with Obama like they did Bill Clinton in 92. Even CJR blog realizes it and wonders if this is a danger to him. I am hoping more critical coverage of Obama is coming along because he has been given the kissfest for way too long.
|Five young Muslims convicted of terrorist offences walked free from court yesterday. |
Judges decided that possessing Islamist videos and downloading jihadi propaganda did not mean that they were terrorists.
The Appeal Court ruled it was not enough to simply prove they had the material. It also had to be proved they intended to use it for terrorist acts.
Imran Khan, solicitor for one of the five, said: "Young Muslim men before this judgment could have been prosecuted simply for looking at any material on the basis that it might be connected in some way to terrorist purposes."
...But police and Crown Prosecution Service sources fear the ruling will allow impressionable youngsters to be exploited by Al Qaeda propagandists.
The five - one of whom ran away from home saying he was going to fight abroad - were jailed at the Old Bailey last year for a total of 13 years.
It was claimed they were planning to go to Pakistan for training before going to wage jihad, or holy war, in Afghanistan.
The court heard how searches of their computers unearthed material that would help them prepare to fight.
But yesterday, Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips, sitting with two other judges at the Appeal Court, quashed their convictions and ordered their release.
....At the heart of the decision was whether there was evidence that the men - four of them students at Bradford University - intended to use the material for terrorist purposes in contravention of section 57 of the 2000 Terrorism Act.
The judges ruled that the Act had in the past been interpreted too widely and used "for a purpose for which it was not intended".
So unless they are in the beginnings of carrying out a terror attack, they are fine to download jihadi material and terrorist propaganda which serves no purpose other than to encourage young people to carry out terror attacks. There is really no other purpose for this material and considering their behavior, its a foolish ruling. But I guess they need to learn the hard way.
|Tuesday night, after MSNBC projected Mr. Obama’s victory in Virginia, Mr. Matthews apologized for using the words “white men” to describe the breakdown of the vote. “White men, I hate doing it like this,” Mr. Matthews said. “White men, that’s how we talk now, are voting for Barack Obama.” |
And he took a moment away from the primary results to defend Gov. Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat who caught flak on Tuesday for saying that some white voters may not be “ready” to vote for a black candidate. Mr. Matthews’s brother Jim was the running mate of Lynn Swann, the black challenger who lost to Mr. Rendell in 2006. “It’s an unexceptional statement,” Chris Matthews insisted. “Not propaganda.”
And the host of “Hardball” looked shaken by his own experiences when he noted that in these times, matters of ethnicity, gender and race are “so tricky.”
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
|"Meeting privately with a select group of Mexican immigrant leaders earlier in the day, Calderon expressed a willingness to double that effort in coming years, those who attended said.|
With Blagojevich and Daley, Calderon announced a new teacher-exchange program that would send educators south of the border to help Mexican schools, while using Mexican teachers to assist in Spanish courses, math and other subjects here.
Without specifically directing audience members to pick up the phone and call their congressmen, Calderon also hinted that a key component to ensuring a strong future for Mexico lies in the pressure Mexicans here can apply to U.S. leaders, arguing that the improvement of Mexico is a joint government venture.
"The economy of the United States and the economy of Mexico are economies that are absolutely complementary," he said, emphasizing the important role Mexican labor has played in U.S. industries over the years. "They are like the left shoe and the right shoe: One has to use them both to be able to advance."
Decrying what he called a negative image of Mexicans in the United States, fed by crime along the U.S.-Mexico border, Calderon made the case for more U.S. monetary support to help combat "narco-traffickers who are controlling entire regions along the border and some other areas of our country."
"Those who say we don't want secure borders are mistaken," he said. "The government of Mexico is committed to working toward having a secure border with the United States. But, don't misinterpret us: It's not the people. It's organized crime and not the Mexican immigrants who are the problem along the border."
|HALPERIN [discussing John Edwards' potential endorsement of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama]: I can tell you, he's really skeptical of her ability to be the kind of president he wants. But, he kinda thinks Obama is...he thinks Obama is kind of a pussy...He has real questions about Obama's toughness, his readiness for the office.|
Halperin has since said sorry saying it that way.
|A third way is to look at the psychological angle. There is no doubt a majority among the political leadership and ordinary white Australians hope the country will be able to, to use the Prime Minister's words, move on. There are two ways to take this hope. The first is ominous: that it represents a hope to dispose of the apology in as decent (and politically and financially cost-free) way as possible, and to put the subject into the "box ticked" compartment. The second is optimistic: it represents a necessary start for a genuinely hopeful era in indigenous affairs.|
But who will be able to move on after tomorrow's apology? Most white Australians will be able to move on (with the warm inner glow that will come from having said sorry), but I doubt indigenous Australians will. Those people stolen from their families who feel entitled to compensation will never be able to move on.
Too many will be condemned to harbour a sense of injustice for the rest of their lives. Far from moving on, these people -- whose lives have been much consumed by this issue -- will die with a sense of unresolved justice.
One of my misgivings about the apology has been my belief that nothing good will come from viewing ourselves, and making our case on the basis of our status, as victims.
We have been -- and the people who lost their families certainly were -- victimised in history, but we must stop the politics of victimhood. We lose power when we adopt this psychology. Whatever moral power we might gain over white Australia from presenting ourselves as victims, we lose in ourselves.
My worry is this apology will sanction a view of history that cements a detrimental psychology of victimhood, rather than a stronger one of defiance, survival and agency.
|There is a political angle to this week's apology. For the Rudd Government, the apology will work politically provided there is no issue of compensation.|
If compensation had been part of the deal, electoral support for the gesture would have unravelled. For this reason there is no conceivable way Rudd will revisit the issue of compensation, no matter what the hopes of indigenous leaders.
The tide of support in the Australian community no doubt influenced the Coalition to change its opposition. But this bipartisan support makes it even more certain the issue of compensation will never be revisited. Which brings me to the main political point about the strategy of Aboriginal leaders. Dodson said recently: "I think this is monumental. It is something people have waited for, for a very long time. It's hugely important to us as a nation and to members of the Stolen Generations."
Dodson says the case for compensation would be pursued in the future. Lowitja O'Donoghue said last December that an apology without a compensation fund "won't settle anything", but it appears she is prepared to take the apology now and defer compensation until a later campaign.
National Aboriginal Alliance spokesman Les Malezer last weekend said the apology was "not enough". But even the alliance is prepared to defer compensation.
From a strategic angle, these indigenous leaders are fooling themselves or their constituents. If they were serious about compensation, the time to address it is at the same time as the apology. Blackfellas will get the words, the whitefellas will keep the money. And by Thursday the Stolen Generations and their apology will be over as a political issue.
An excellent read.
|Calgary Muslim leader Syed Soharwardy says he is withdrawing his Alberta Human Rights Commission complaint against former Western Standard publisher Ezra Levant.|
The complaint was launched in February 2006, after the Western Standard and the Jewish Free Press reprinted cartoons from a Danish newspaper that many in the Muslim world felt insulted the prophet Muhammad. The cartoons sparked violent protests in a number of countries.
"Over the two years that we have gone through the process, I understand that most Canadians see this as an issue of freedom of speech, that that principle is sacred and holy in our society," said Soharwardy, president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada.
"I believe Canadian society is mature enough not to absorb the messages that the cartoons sent. Only a very small fraction of Canadian media decided to publish those cartoons."
Mr. Levant said he isn't buying Mr. Soharwardy's promise, calling it a "temporary, tactical truce."
"I don't believe him. He thought this would be easy to do, just sic the human rights commission on me and it would be done. But I decided to fight back," said Mr. Levant.
"He's hurting right now. . . . What he's now saying he is going to do is not a true reflection of his feelings."
Mr. Levant said he plans to launch a civil lawsuit against Mr. Soharwardy to recover the tens of thousands of dollars he said he has spent battling the complaint.
"I put in at least 100 hours fighting this guy. He may want to run away from this issue, but I'm not going to. His values are out of sync with Canadian society."
|Thailand is considering granting partial autonomy to its Muslim-majority southern provinces, which for the past four years have been the scene of a bloody Islamic insurgency, the new interior minister said Tuesday.|
More than 2,900 people have been killed since early 2004 in nearly daily drive-by shootings and bombings in the three provinces of Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat, the only ones with Muslim majorities in Buddhist-dominated Thailand.
A recent escalation in violence presents a major challenge to Thailand's new government, which took office last week. Military and political measures imposed by previous governments had little success in curbing the violence.
While conceding that some degree of self-rule in the south "is a possibility," Interior Minister Chalerm Yoobambrung said independence for the region was out of the question.
"Thailand is one state that can't be divided, but we must find a way to make the situation better," he said. "We can't sit still and wait to be killed."
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej said autonomy was a "delicate issue."
First will come self-rule then independence later. This just gets the ball rolling.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
|There are no plans in England to ban the use of devices which emit a high-pitched sound to disperse groups of teenagers, the government has said.|
But it stressed the Mosquito devices, which can cause discomfort to youngsters' ears, should be "a last resort" against anti-social behaviour.
The children's commissioner and other critics want a ban, saying the gadget is indiscriminate in who it targets.
Some stores say the devices can be useful against anti-social youths.
But did you know it is against the kiddies human rights to make them uncomfortable to disrupt business?
|But a new campaign called "Buzz off", led by the children's commissioner for England and backed by groups including civil liberties group Liberty, is calling for them to be banned.|
Critics say the "Mosquito" targets all young people and not just those who may be causing a nuisance.
They say its use to disperse gangs is a breach of children's human rights.
Sir Al Aynsley-Green, children's commissioner for England, said children and young people were being demonised, "creating a dangerous and widening divide between the young and the old".
or as this 22 year old twit Rowenna Davis in the Guardian of course says, we just need to listen and kind to the ankle biters.
|It strikes me that if you treat a group like mosquitoes, you shouldn't be surprised if they start acting like them. There are a lot of antisocial kids out there with chips on their shoulders, desperate to believe that the world is out to get them. Mosquitoes can't help but prove their point, providing justification for sticking two fingers up at the authorities. Meanwhile, the vast bulk of young people who don't engage in antisocial behaviour might feel more tempted to do so, given that they're being punished just as much by the mosquito as the genuinely antisocial kid next door. I'm not against reprimanding antisocial behaviour, but this policy doesn't seem to do that - it just pre-emptively punishes all young people simply for being in a public space.|
Anyone who has tried aggressively swatting away a wasp will know that it just comes back twice as likely to sting you. But unlike bugs, there are better ways of dealing with our young people, because they have reasons for their behaviour and because they are capable of engaging in a dialogue with a view to finding a solution. Maybe if we started treating young people as if they were worthy of engagement and respect, they'd respond in kind.
It could be the reason store owners and others are using these devices is because they have already been victims of these poor misunderstood anti-social criminals in training. Someone has to be the adult and someone is the teen. You set up rules, social acceptable behavior and you expect everyone especially the kids to follow. If they do not, then you bust out devices like the above to shoo them away.
I may be in my 30's and part of Gen X, but my dislike for Gen Y, my space generation or whatever just grows with people like Davis pushing this everyone is equal and treat with respect. No, it doesn't work that way in the real world. Certain behaviors are unacceptable and if the gang of kids who go about harrassing people don't understand that then measures should be taken. Enough is enough.
|Two New York Hispanic leaders said they would be upset if Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Hispanic campaign manager was replaced because of primary losses they believe should be blamed on former President Clinton and others.|
Patti Solis Doyle, whose parents were Mexican immigrants, stepped down as Clinton’s campaign manager this weekend as Clinton was losing five Democratic contests to Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Clinton has said Doyle’s decision was a personal response to a grueling campaign, not about job performance. She added that Solis Doyle would remain a senior adviser and that her campaign needed to add more staff.
....The lawmakers credited Solis Doyle with helping build Hispanic support for Clinton and wrote that they hoped she was not “the one to take the blame and resign from her post instead of others involved with your campaign, including former President Clinton, who have caused serious problems and embarrassing situations for your campaign.”
Bill Clinton was criticized when he suggested Obama’s victory in South Carolina was a racial one, like the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s there in 1988. Obama won with an overwhelming share of the South Carolina black vote. After the criticism of that and other remarks he made about Obama, the former president said he would stick to promoting his wife, rather than defending her.
What they seem to forget that problems occurred long before that and still had not been fixed afterwards. Campaign manager is the head coaching position of politics, you can't fire the team.
In a motion passed unanimously by Australian MPs on Wednesday morning, Mr Rudd acknowledged the "past mistreatment" of all of his country's Aboriginal population.
Michael Mansell, a spokesman for the rights group the National Aboriginal Alliance, said the word "sorry" was one that "Stolen Generation members will be very relieved is finally being used", reported Associated Press news agency.
| Fast food companies, looking for a way to attract budget-conscious customers and keep them spending, are increasingly offering more food for less money. |
Jeffrey Davis, president of restaurant research firm Sandelman & Associates, said adding bigger, higher-quality sandwiches to dollar menus allows fast food restaurants to give people the premium sandwiches they want at a price they can afford.
But with commodity prices rising, lowering the prices of fast food sandwiches could squeeze margins, especially if it doesn't lead to better traffic and sales. The chains say the drawbacks don't outweigh the benefit of offering more value to customers dealing with rising prices and a weak economy.
Perhaps the most noticeable example of the more-food-for-less strategy is the appearance on more dollar menus of the double cheeseburger, long a staple of the regular menu and combination meals.
|I’ve talked to Barack a lot about his Patriot Corporation Act, which is not trade per se, but it’s certainly part of the economic package around globalization. The Patriot Corporation Act has not gotten the attention that I would hope it would. But, basically it says that if you play by the rules, if you pay decent wages, health benefits, pension; do your production here; don’t resist unionization on neutral card check, then you will be designated a “Patriot Corporation” and you will get tax advantages and some [preference] on government contracts.|
Here is the summary of the act. Just so everyone is clear.
|Patriot Employers Act - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a taxpayer certified as a Patriot employer by the Secretary of the Treasury a tax credit for one percent of such employer's taxable income. Defines a "Patriot employer" as any taxpayer who: (1) maintains its headquarters in the United States; (2) pays at least 60% of the health care premiums of its employees; (3) observes a policy requiring neutrality in employee organizing drives; (4) maintains or increases the number of its full-time workers in the United States relative to its full-time workers outside of the United States; (5) provides full differential salary and insurance benefits for all National Guard and Reserve employees called to active duty; and (6) provides its employees with a certain level of compensation and retirement benefits.|
A employer gets to do all of that for the generous credit of one freaking percent. Liberals like to talk about demonizing, this is the worst sort of demonizing as you pit American companies against each other to further a leftist agenda. This isn't any part of globalization, it is the destruction of American competitiveness all rolled into a feel good sounding bill that would adored by the ignorant.
I guess it is too hard for Obama to make it easier for companies to do business without blackmailing them.
|24" co-creator/executive producer Joel Surnow is leaving the Emmy-winning drama. |
Surnow's departure is effective immediately. He served as an executive producer on the first eight episodes of Fox's real-time thriller's seventh season that were produced before and into the strike but will not be creatively involved in the remaining 16 episodes, slated to begin filming shortly.
Surnow's overall deal with "24" producer 20th Century Fox TV was up April 30. This week, the writer-producer asked the studio to release him early, to which they agreed.
Instead of signing a show deal to continue providing services on "24," Surnow decided to go for "a clean break" and leave altogether to focus on new projects, sources said. ("24" co-creator/executive producer Robert Cochran's overall pact with 20th TV also expired last year, but he continues to work on the series.)
"Joel created one of the landmark series of this decade in '24' and his contribution to its creative excellence over the years has been immeasurable," Fox said in a statement Wednesday. "While he leaves the show in the incredibly capable hands of the talented Howard Gordon, his input will always be welcome."
In the past few years, since executive producer Gordon took the reins of the 20th TV/Imagine TV series as showrunner, Surnow has been developing other projects on the side, including the "The 1/2 Hour News Hour" for Fox News Channel.
I said it in an earlier post but mark it down. Howard Gordon, killer of the "24" franchise.
|Putting all those things together, it does seem to suggest that your industry is looking to make more money off its credit card holders. Do you deny that? -- Chris Cuomo to banking industry representative, GMA, Feb. 12, 2008.|
I bet you could Ron Burgundy him on the air multiple days in a row before he caught on. As for the story itself which is certain credit card companies are raising rates on people who pay on time. The problem with this is what exactly? Its not a God-given right to have a credit card or get a low rate even if you do pay on time. When that happens transfer your balance to another company. Why does the government have to step in because as one idiot congressowoman Carolyn Maloney says its unfair!
No, its the way one credit card company does business, change companies instead of whining.
|On Monday morning, American Life League (ALL) was informed by YouTube that one of its exposé videos on Planned Parenthood was evicted from their for its “inappropriate nature.” Strangely enough, the ad that the ALL was criticizing remains on YouTube.|
The banned report explains how a Planned Parenthood commercial helps encourage recreational sex, which ALL’s Michael Hichborn told CNA, “helps their bottom line”.
“All we did in our video report was show a couple of clips from Planned Parenthood’s ‘Mile High’ ad and illustrate how it was nothing more than a part of Planned Parenthood’s effort to encourage recreational sex,” said Jim Sedlak, vice president of American Life League. “If there was anything inappropriate in our report, it came from Planned Parenthood’s ad, and yet their ad remains while ours is removed.”
The "Mile High” ad features a homosexual flight attendant named Stephen who cruises the aisles, showering young passengers with contraceptives. The commercial closes with the cabin lights dimming, party music blaring, Stephen sitting on the pilot's lap and saying, “On behalf of Planned Parenthood airlines you are now free to make sweet, sweet love.”
The e-mail sent to American Life League said, “After being flagged by members of the YouTube community and reviewed by YouTube staff, the video below has been removed due to its inappropriate nature.”
“Our video didn’t contain anything even remotely close to YouTube’s guidelines for inappropriate material,” said Sedlak.
|"With story lines shaded by the Iraq war and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Ms. Barbee and Mr. Turteltaub have only a handful of episodes to build an audience and earn a third season. |
“I would rather have seven hours to prove it works than 22 hours to prove it doesn’t,” Mr. Turteltaub said.
If the first season was about how Jericho survived the attack, the second season concerns how the town responds and rebuilds. In interviews the producers and CBS executives said that first-time viewers would be able to enjoy the second season without having watched the first. Why? Because “Jericho” introduces a new face in Season 2: that of Esai Morales, once of “NYPD Blue,” who plays Maj. Edward Beck, a representative of troops based in Cheyenne, Wyo., who comes to lead the town’s reconstruction.
Through Mr. Morales’s character, viewers are introduced to the Allied States of America, a new country comprising the area west of the Mississippi River. The town of Jericho essentially becomes occupied territory. The military builds a base nearby to oversee reconstruction. A private contractor is commissioned to provide a semblance of law and order. History books are rewritten.
It intentionally resembles Iraq.
“People, and by people I mean our bosses, probably prefer to not get all political,” Mr. Turteltaub said. “But that said, ‘Jericho’ is not ignoring the political and social landscape.’ ”
Specifically, he said, the show raises questions about trust in government and the implications of having unchecked power in an unstable area. The producers had prepared a plotline about military contractors months before the private security firm Blackwater was in the news concerning its involvement in the deaths of Iraqi civilians.
The “Jericho” character Jake Green, played by Skeet Ulrich, dropped hints last season about his time overseas. His experience ends up being a crucial plot point this year.
“I feel like we were really making a statement to some extent,” Mr. Ulrich said. “You always want to hold up a mirror, but you don’t want to let people know you’re doing it. Hopefully it’s just enough for people to draw the parallels.”
Fans have not flocked to recent feature films about the Iraq war. But “Jericho” is different, Ms. Barbee said, because it is not “some big polemic about the war.” If anything, the show draws as many parallels to post-Katrina New Orleans as it does to postinvasion Baghdad."
|Dutch Catholics have re-branded the Lent fast as the "Christian Ramadan" in an attempt to appeal to young people who are more likely to know about Islam than Christianity.|
The Catholic charity Vastenaktie, which collects for the Third World across the Netherlands during the Lent period, is concerned that the Christian festival has become less important for the Dutch over the last generation.
"The image of the Catholic Lent must be polished. The fact that we use a Muslim term is related to the fact that Ramadan is a better-known concept among young people than Lent," said Vastenaktie Director, Martin Van der Kuil.
|"...An army of French intellectuals adores Hirsi Ali and wants Paris to give her French nationality. While the government of President Sarkozy has not yet commented on this, his Human Rights State Secretary, Rama Yade, praised the former Dutch MP at length last Sunday as a freedom fighter. Rama said that she, though herself a Muslim, had admiration for the former Dutch MP. "I am on your side".|
The majority of the Lower House in The Hague had a conspicuously inconspicuous reaction. The Christian democrats (CDA), conservatives (VVD) and Labour (PvdA) combined a laconic attitude with held-back irritation. The general tenor among MPs is that Hirsi Ali is free to do as she pleases.
Ironically, according to many French intellectuals, she is not. Hirsi Ali is constantly seeking money for her security in the US, since the Netherlands decided only to provide for her guarding on Dutch soil.
Previously, 139 of the 150 MPs decided that she should no longer be protected when outside the Netherlands. The 11 others were the MPs of GroenLinks and D66 and PvdA dissident Paul Kalma.
If it helps to guarantee her safety, Hirsi Ali would like to adopt French nationality. "That is her good right," commented CDA MP Sybrand van Haersma Buma. "French intellectuals may point the finger at the Netherlands now, but we have done the utmost for her."
|Also illustrative was the reaction of VVD MP Hans van Baalen. Hirsi Ali's former fellow-party member said the French offer was a "cheap stunt" whereby the French want to show that they are morally superior to the Dutch.|
French socialist leader Segolene Royal would like to make Hirsi Ali a Frenchwoman. PvdA MP Dijsselbloem believes his political kindred spirits in France will be sorry for this. Once Hirsi Ali starts to speak about Islam, her views will scare the socialists, he suggested.
Whereas Hirsi Ali is primarily seen in France as a champion of free speech, in the Netherlands she is usually portrayed as a troublemaker who needlessly offends Muslims. Typical of the contrast between French and Dutch intellectuals is the view of political philosophy professor Henk Woldring of Amsterdam's Free University. In NRC Handelsblad, he warned France against her: "Look at the fires in the French suburbs. Democracy is vulnerable, you should handle each other with care."
|The mother of the 16-year-old Malmö girl who died a week ago Sunday after falling from a balcony says her daughter was the victim of an honour killing.|
In an interview on the news magazine programme Aktuellt, the girl’s mother explained that she long had concerns about her 19-year-old son, who has been in custody on suspicion of murder since last Wednesday, along with the girl’s 38-year-old stepfather.
“I had contacted both social services and the school several times about the problems with my son, the girl’s brother,” the mother said to Aktuellt.
“But they told me my son was my problem.”
The night of the incident, witnesses reported hearing a heated argument from the fourth floor apartment and seeing the girl standing on the balcony with her back toward the railing.
Suddenly, the girl went backwards over the balcony and fell to the ground, dying instantly.
“I couldn’t control my son’s anger. He demanded that she attend to him all the time. Despite my talks with the school about the problem, my son and my daughter were placed in the same school,” the mother said.
“There he watched over her constantly. She wasn’t allowed to leave the classroom with other students and she wasn’t allowed to laugh.”
|COPENHAGEN, Denmark |
Three of Denmark's largest newspapers plan to reprint a cartoon tomorrow that depicts the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.
The announcement follows the arrests of three people suspected of plotting to kill Kurt Westergaard, who drew one of 12 Muhammad caricatures.
Publication of the drawings in 2005 and then again in 2006 led to protests in Muslim countries.
The papers say they are taking the action to show they will not be intimidated by fanatics.
Islamic law generally opposes any depiction of the prophet.
|A black engineer sued Disney's American Broadcasting Co on Monday, saying his supervisors refused to remove a black doll that dangled from a hangman's noose near his work station for more than a year.|
Oswald Wilson, who worked in ABC's Broadcast and Engineering Division in Manhattan, said the doll was displayed beginning in March 2004 in response to a newspaper clip celebrating Black History Month that he put up, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.
But an ABC spokeswoman said that there was "absolutely no tolerance for discrimination" at the company and that the doll was actually a Mardi Gras voodoo doll displayed by some employees, including Wilson, to "put a hex on a supervisor."
"What Mr. Wilson appears to be describing are Mardi Gras beads and a Mardi Gras doll that he participated in placing," ABC spokeswoman Julie Hoover said.
The lawsuit accuses American Broadcasting Co, its parent company Walt Disney Co., and six of Wilson's superiors of discrimination and allowing a hostile work environment.
|Danish police said Tuesday they have arrested several people suspected of plotting to kill one of the 12 cartoonists behind the Prophet Muhammad drawings that sparked a deadly uproar in the Muslim world two years ago.|
The arrests were made in pre-dawn raids in Aarhus, western Denmark, "to prevent a terror-related murder," the police intelligence agency said. It did not say how many people were arrested nor did it mention which cartoonist was targeted.
However, according to Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper that first published the drawings on Sept. 30, 2005, the suspects were planning to kill its cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. It said those arrested included both Danish and foreign citizens.
"There were very concrete murder plans against Kurt Westergaard," said Carsten Juste, the paper's editor-in-chief.
.....Kasem Ahmad, a spokesman for the Copenhagen-based Islamic Faith Community, a network of Muslim groups that spearheaded protests against the cartoons in Denmark, said he hoped Tuesday's arrests would not rekindle the uproar.
"We urge Muslims to take it calmly," he told the TV2 News network.
You would hope Danish Muslims would be upset of people trying to kill someone in the name of Islam, but I guess not.
More from CNN.
|CNN's Paula Newton said the arrests reinforced growing fears in Europe that radical Islam was trying to suppress free speech.|
"More and more Europeans feel that Islam is a threat to their way of life," Newton said.
A recent Gallup poll for the World Economic Forum showed a majority of Europeans believed relations between the West and the Muslim world were worsening. According to the poll this sentiment was strongest held among Danish.
"Of course I fear for my life after the Danish Security and Intelligence Service informed me of the concrete plans of certain people to kill me," Westergaard said in a statement posted on the newspaper's Web site. "However, I have turned fear into anger and indignation. It has made me angry that a perfectly normal everyday activity which I used to do by the thousand was abused to set off such madness."
Westergaard remains under police protection and does not know whether it will continue.
"I could not possibly know for how long I have to live under police protection; I think, however, that the impact of the insane response to my cartoon will last for the rest of my life," he said. " It is sad indeed, but it has become a fact of my life. "
Carsten Juste, the paper's editor-in-chief, said staffers have been "deeply worried" for several months.
"The arrests have hopefully thwarted the murder plans," he said on the newspaper's Web site.
|A network breakdown disrupted BlackBerry e-mail service for about 8 million North American customers yesterday, the biggest failure for Research In Motion Inc. in 10 months. |
All U.S. carriers were affected, according to AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, the two-largest mobile-phone companies. AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said at 6:45 p.m. New York time that service had been restored.
Research In Motion has about 12 million subscribers worldwide, including Wall Street bankers, members of the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush. The disruption may prompt executives in charge of information-technology budgets to consider competitors' services, said Avi Greengart, an analyst at market researcher Current Analysis Inc. in Washington.
``If they weren't goaded into action last time, there's no question that IT managers are going to be looking for alternatives now,'' Greengart said in an interview from Barcelona.
I do question people who lives are dependent on just one service. Always try to have backups.
|Internet users in Britain who illegally download films and music face being banned from going online, according to leaked government proposals published in The Times on Tuesday.|
According to the plans, the government "will move to legislate to require internet service providers to take action on illegal file sharing" which record companies and film companies say is costing them billions of dollars (euros) in lost revenue.
The proposals were included in a Green Paper -- the first step to changing a law in Britain -- on the creative industries that is due to be published next week.
The Times said that the plans would involve a "three-strikes" regime -- users would first receive an e-mailed warning if they were suspected of illegally downloading films or music.
They would then receive a suspension from their Internet service upon their second offence, and face a termination of their Internet contract if they were caught on a third occasion.
Monday, February 11, 2008
|Up to 17,000 women in Britain are being subjected to "honour" related violence, including murder, every year, according to police chiefs.|
And official figures on forced marriages are the tip of the iceberg, says the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
It warns that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the "honour" of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest.
The crisis, with children as young as 11 having been sent abroad to be married, has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to call on British consular staff in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to take more action to identify and help British citizens believed to be the victims of forced marriages in recent years.
The Home Office is drawing up an action plan to tackle honour-based violence which "aims to improve the response of police and other agencies" and "ensure that victims are encouraged to come forward with the knowledge that they will receive the help and support they need". And a Civil Protection Bill coming into effect later this year will give courts greater guidance on dealing with forced marriages.
|Islamist extremists have infiltrated Government and key public utilities to pass sensitive information to terrorists, the security services have warned. |
Counter-terrorism officials say "insiders" or their associates are almost certainly working "undetected" in sensitive posts and are actively supporting the activities of extremists.
In some cases, lifelong relationships between friends or relatives are being exploited to obtain crucial information from those in sensitive posts.
The development is detailed in intelligence reports circulated to the Home Office, police and Whitehall officials.
The London Underground, Gatwick airport and BT are cited as examples of organisations which have been targeted by individuals linked to terrorists.
Officials say the idea of "penetrating the enemy is pervasive" for Islamic extremists.
It is understood a number of suspected jihadists working in Government departments and the public services are being monitored by the security services.
|Downing Street has sought to distance Gordon Brown from one of his minister's concerns about first cousins marrying.|
Environment minister Phil Woolas said on Sunday there was a raised risk of children having genetic problems if their parents were cousins.
He said: "If you are supportive of the Asian community then you have a duty to raise this issue."
No 10 said Mr Woolas was speaking as a local MP and such matters were best dealt with locally by health officials.
Mr Brown's spokesman said: "The government's position is we believe these matters are best addressed locally, by local members of the community as well as by professional healthcare advisers."
....Ann Cryer, MP for Keighley, says the genetic problems have a "large impact" on her sizeable Pakistani community.
..."I'm hoping that now we've got this debate going that the leaders of the mosques and the community centres will actually encourage debate and encourage parents preparing for a marriage to move away from cousin marriages."
Genetics professor Steve Jones said there was a higher risk but said drinking or smoking in pregnancy was "as bad if not worse".
Professor Jones, from University College London, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme "mortality and disability go up by almost twice in cousin marriages compared with generally".
But he said if it was an "elephant in the room", then it was a "small elephant", saying that in Bradford it involved just five out of 70 infant deaths.
That figure was still too high, he said, and the issue should be raised to educate people of risks as "a matter of public health".
|House Democrats are crafting a “scaled-down” immigration reform measure despite the political minefields that surround the issue, the Roll Call newspaper reported Monday. |
It says that Hispanic members — including Rep. Joe Baca — are seeking five-year visas for illegal immigrants who pay fines and pass criminal background checks. Baca, a California Democrat chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Baca said the prospects for a compromise package were discussed in high-level meetings that included Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who chairs a key immigration subcommittee, Roll Call said.
The paper added: “It’s unclear if the behind-the-scenes discussions will actually result in a bill coming to the floor, but Democrats say drafts of legislation already have been written and are being vetted behind the scenes.”
Considering that DHS is already happy to clear a backlog by overlooking background checks, this is a bad endgame.
|Security is preparing to grant permanent residency to tens of thousands of applicants before the FBI completes a required background check.|
Those eligible are immigrants whose fingerprints have cleared the FBI database of criminal convictions and arrests, but whose names have not yet cleared the FBI's criminal or intelligence files after six months of waiting.
The immigrants who are granted permanent status, more commonly known as getting their green cards, will be expected eventually to clear the FBI's name check. If they don't, their legal status will be revoked and they'll be deported.
The decision to issue green cards demonstrates how federal agencies are struggling to keep up with surging immigration applications while applying stringent post-Sept. 11 background checks.
|Dakota Gates is accused of plotting to kill classmates and school officials. His family thinks he's being held for what they believe was normal behavior.|
They may not be a family of many resources but they want to do something to show their love for Dakota.
"We support him and there is no way that Dakota was going to plot to kill or hurt anyone," says his mother Kim Gates.
The freshman at Rutherford High School was arrested on Wednesday after a School Resource Officer says he came across a note written in code.
That note was forwarded to the FBI who says what appears to be scribbles is actually an elaborate plot to kill classmates. His family says the note is not a serious attempt on Dakota's part to harm anyone.
"It was just a little joke and people just think it's something way different then what it is," says Dakota's little brother Christian.
Dakota's mother says friends helped Dakota craft the letter and while the code was his own, he was influenced by "Naruto" a Japanese cartoon whose main character is described as an "unpredictable adolescent ninja who constantly searches for recognition" by Wikipedia.
"He has a wonderful imagination and i think that it's just been blown out of proportion."
|A woman who had just smoked crack ran several red lights along a Miami street Sunday night before careening into an SUV and setting off crashes involving four other vehicles, police said. A total of four people were injured.|
Two women had smoked crack in the area of North Miami Avenue and 74th Street at around 6:30 p.m., and then drove their Jeep Cherokee north along North Miami Avenue, said Miami police Sgt. Manny Gonzalez.
Then the driver ran red lights and crossed the median. At 79th Street, the driver ran the red light and smashed into a Nissan Pathfinder with a mother and her sons, ages 5 and 3, inside -- strapped in child seats.
The Pathfinder flipped over, hitting a Toyota that was driving east on 79th Street, said Lt. Ignatius Carroll of the Miami Fire-Rescue Department.
That car hit another car, which then slammed into two cars in the westbound lanes. Fire-Rescue workers examined 13 people -- but only four were taken to local hospitals.
Neither of the two boys were injured. Their mother tried to crawl to them after the accident as the boys cried, and she saw people nearby she thought were trying to help.
Instead of help, they stole her purse.
''I couldn't believe that somebody, after an accident like this, and the mother is trying to tend to her children, someone would grab her purse and run off,'' Carroll said Sunday night.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
|"After more than seven years of the Bush administration and when 70 per cent of the populace think America is on the wrong course, there's little wonder that the hunger for something new is real and fertile ground to till for a politician.|
But Obama is part politician, part cult. Supporters wearing T-shirts with an Andy Warhol like pop-art image of his face testify to that. But then they - him - were once easy to dismiss until people realised Obama's charisma was being matched by one of the most sophisticated ground operations ever seen. It is one that is outsmarting the Clinton machine. He's marrying inspiration and cult with old-fashioned political grunt.
One would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by Obama on the stump. It's not so much by what he says but it's the way the crowds respond to his words. When 16,000 people, without prompting, start shouting some of his keynote phrases as he delivers them, you know something special is going on.
The atmosphere at his events is such that one wonders if Obama is about to walk out with a basket with some loaves and fishes to feed the thousands.
And therein lays the danger for Obama. The Obama shuttle has made it into orbit but at some point he's going to have to land this thing back on Earth.
....But the danger remains for Obama in managing the cult-like fervour. Obviously, he's no messiah and lofty expectations of his supporters is something that Obama is also acutely aware of. In stockmarket parlance, Obama's share price is soaring on expected future earnings. Clinton, 20 years in the public eye, is like the industrial conglomerate: steady share price and reliable dividends. Think of Obama as Google and Clinton as General Electric.
The problem for high-flying stocks is that any bad news can cause the share price to drop sharply. So far Obama has played the bad news extraordinarily well. What turned out to be a shock loss in New Hampshire to Clinton last month might have taken the wind out of his sails but in fact it only galvanised his supporters more: they bought more Obama "stock".
....Now Obama is not an insurgent. I'd venture to call him a favourite in this race now. The next nine statewide contests through February are, given the demographics, likely to go Obama's way. He may well build an unstoppable momentum. And then the giddiness might evaporate and be replaced with something else. In marketing they call it post-purchase disappointment. If he gets the Democratic Party's nomination another test begins anew: how to turn the narrative which is all about striving for what is possible, to one where people are suddenly asking how are you actually going to do it?
|A decapitated body found behind a row of shops in north London has been identified as Lakhdar Ouyahia. |
Mr Ouyahia, who was 43 and an Algerian national, was found wrapped in a blood-stained duvet in a supermarket goods cage in Kilburn.
Detectives investigating the case have also confirmed that they have found Mr Ouyahia's head in a canal nearby.
Mohamed Boudjenane, 45, of Kingsgate Road, Kilburn, is due to appear in court on Monday charged with murder.
A man and a woman arrested in Alvaston, Derby, are being questioned on suspicion of assisting an offender.
BBC earlier this week had this to say.
|A post-mortem examination of a decapitated body found wrapped in a blood-stained duvet has not been able to ascertain the cause of death.|
I think people are leaning towards a certain cause of death by now.
|Pepsi Raw is said to be made from natural ingredients and contains no artificial preservatives, colours, flavourings or sweeteners. |
Traditional Pepsi contains fructose corn syrup, sugar, artificial colourings, phosphoric acid, caffeine, citric acid and natural flavours.
In comparison, Pepsi Raw has only natural ingredients including apple extract, plain caramel colouring, coffee leaf, tantaric acid from grapes, gum arabic from acacia trees, cane sugar and sparkling water. It is paler in colour and less fizzy than other cola brands.
By replacing corn syrup with cane sugar, Pepsi claims it has managed to reduce the calorie content of a 300ml bottle by 20 per cent, from around 120 calories per serving to around 90 calories.
Cutting the amount of sugar in the drink could also help prevent damage to teeth.
To begin with, Pepsi Raw will only be available in selected bars and clubs in seven cities - London, Manchester, Glasgow, Brighton, Birmingham, Leeds and Liverpool, although a wider roll- out is expected later in the year.
|Big Head DC has learned from sources inside the MSNBC camp that Phil Griffin, senior vice president at the network, “screamed” at reporter David Shuster for not agreeing to immediately apologize to Chelsea Clinton for saying on-air she had been “pimped out” by her mom’s campaign. Griffin threatened to fire Shuster “on the spot,” and it was only with intervention from Tim Russert that Shuster didn’t lose his position.|
|White candidates should be barred from standing for Parliament in up to eight constituencies in order to get more black and Asian MPs elected, says a controversial report commissioned by Labour's deputy leader, Harriet Harman. |
Positive discrimination is illegal in the UK, but the report concludes that, without a change in the law allowing parties to impose all-black shortlists, it would take more than 75 years for Britain's ethnic make-up to be fairly reflected at Westminster.
The findings come amid questions over Britain's failure to develop a home-grown equivalent of Barack Obama, the black presidential hopeful. Although there have been three black cabinet ministers since 1997 - Paul Boateng and Valerie Amos, both of whom have since moved on, and Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General - no politician of the stature of Obama, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice or her predecessor, Colin Powell, has emerged.
Harman is understood to be still considering the report's findings in detail, but has expressed personal support for a change.
Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote and the author of the review, said talented candidates were not 'getting past go' at the moment. 'The change in the law is not a sledgehammer to crack a nut; it's not forcing parties to use all-black shortlists,' he said. 'But unless we take positive action measures we are not going to have a representative democracy for more than 75 years. It's not that we don't have Obamas, but we don't have the mechanisms for them to see the light of day.'
Hey you ass in case you haven't noticed, Obama didn't get a spot by some sort of mechanism. He made it this far because he has the talent to do so. You put a black person up for election in an appointed slot and you will get a backlash that does more harm that good. If a person is good enough, he/she can break thru to reach out to everyone. If you want to encourage more minorities to get into politics, that is one thing, but to do so by law reflects a patronizing mentality in the Labour Party.