[ABC News] Pope Benedict XVI's butler Paolo Gabriele was convicted this morning of stealing the pope's private papers and leaking them to journalist Gianluigi Nuzzi, who published them in a best-selling book. The butler dunnit? Really? Pretty lame.
It took the three judges presiding over the case in Vatican City about two hours of deliberations to reach the guilty verdict today, the fourth day of hearings.
Gabriele was sentenced to 18 months in an Italian prison, which was less than the expected sentence of four years.
[Al Ahram] Algeria's former president Chadli Bendjedid died of cancer on Saturday, aged 83, the APS news agency reported. Bendjedid had been admitted to the Ain Naajda military hospital in the capital more than a week ago.
He was one of Algeria's longest-serving presidents-for-life, holding office from 1979 to 1992, when he was forced from power when the army stepped in to stop Islamists from winning the country's first multi-party legislative elections. His advisers included current UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
Bendjedid kick-started the democratisation of government institutions in Algeria, notably by promulgating a pluralist constitution in 1989.He was born in April 1929 in Bouteldja in eastern Algeria near the Tunisian border.
From the Peoples Cube, one of the few places on the web that has more snark per square inch than we do...
Scores were injured and numerous buildings were burnt to the ground in the city of Itsnotsobad in the Islamic Republic of Whereizitstan, after a riot was started by peaceful Muslims who expressed outrage over five straight days of no provocation or insults from the West.
Mahmoud Iwannariotbad, a local businessman who sells detonators, wire, and dynamite to the local mosque construction industry, stated that the violence began when a group of men hanging around in his store began discussing the fact that no new anti-Islam films, subway advertisements, or Pamela Geller blog postings had appeared for a number of days.
One of them began shouting, "They are NOT INSULTING us because they think we are all violent, stupid thugs and not peace-loving sons of the prophet. This is an insult to Islam! Let's kill them!"
"Suddenly, they all wanted to buy detonators, wire, and dynamite," Mr. Iwannariotbad continued. "I thought they were going to break ground for a new Islamic cultural center or something. There's no reasoning with peaceful religious types when they get in the mood to build new mosques - they're like animals."
The small group, which became larger as it roamed through the town visiting other retailers of detonators, wire, and dynamite, decided to target the American consulate in Itsnotsobad.
Upon arrival, they discovered that the consulate had not yet been rebuilt after its destruction during last month's riot and film seminar. Many felt offended by the fact that America no longer wished to have a consulate in their peace-loving religious nation, which was perceived as a sign of Western racism and yet another insult to Islam.
At this point, the crowd went on a largely peaceful but enthusiastic rampage, destroying most of the commercial enterprises in the city, which were predominantly warehouses storing detonators, wire, and dynamite.
President Obama made no immediate comment, having a prior commitment to appear on "Bowling for Dollars" hosted by Whoopi Goldberg's cousin Yippee.
The State Department described the violence as a "pre-scheduled terrorist attack," which had nothing to do with a lack of anti-Islam films. "President Obama's policy is to defend freedom of speech and improve relations with the Muslim community by arresting anyone who insults Islam - or doesn't insult Islam as an underhanded way to insult Islam," stated Phillipe Rains, Hillary Clinton's personal spokesman. "This policy is working, so you'll do well to shut your pie-hole," he added.
White House Press Secretary James Carney reiterated earlier president's statement, "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam, don't slander the prophet of Islam, and anyone in between. We can't be allowed to use free speech for selfish purposes, such as, expressing our opinions."
Having praised the President's determination to protect free speech, the professional American media quickly resumed their important work of playing Mitt Romney's speeches backwards in the hopes of uncovering hidden gaffes and dog whistles.
However, speculations by unprofessional bloggers and second-rate foreign media insinuate that the "true facts" (as they put it) were being covered up in an attempt to avoid damage to President Obama's re-election prospects - a ludicrous reasoning, since not even Univision could possibly damage his 20-pt lead in the national polls.
The background of the 'crisis' can be found here. I love the pic at the top of that story...
[Al Ahram] -- Emad Abdel-Ghafour was reappointed president of the Salafist Nour Party following ten-hour internal crisis talks which finished in the early hours of Saturday morning, over a week after the former leader was sacked by the party's Supreme Committee.
Party Spokesperson Nader Bakkar, whose own job was on the line after Abdel-Ghafour's faction reactively attempted to sack him Wednesday, confirmed via his Twitter account, 3am Saturday, that the crisis had been resolved during the extended meeting.
"The Supreme Committee has reassigned Mr Abdel-Ghafour to the position of head of the party, after Mr. Mostafa Khalifa relinquished his position," Bakkar wrote on the micro-blogging website. "An agreement was reached to hold the party's internal elections as scheduled. The Supreme Committee has also scheduled 11 October, 2012 to hold its General Assembly plenary."
The Salafist Calling, an influential ultraconservative preaching movement based in Alexandria, reportedly brokered the "successful" deal by mediating between the warring factions, Bakkar added.
(KTLA) -- Gas prices seem to be climbing by the second, setting unwanted records, angering drivers and even causing closures at some pumps.
Gas prices shot up 13 cents in some areas overnight Saturday. The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in L.A. County was $4.66, up from $4.58 on Friday.
In Orange County, the average is up 20 cents to $4.65, while in the Inland Empire, it's up to $4.62. The average for the state of California hit $4.61, matching the record highest price set in June 2008.
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The price increases could continue for weeks and the average might even break the $5 mark, according to experts.
Refinery and pipeline mishaps, along with the state's strict pollution limits are all, in part, to blame. They've sent wholesale prices soaring to all-time highs this week.
One of the disruptions involved a power outage on Monday at the Exxon Mobil plant in Torrance, which normally produces 150 millions barrels of gas per day.
Additionally, Chevron's Richmond plant, the largest refinery in Northern California, has been running at reduced capacity since a fire Aug. 6.
At the same time, California refineries have dropped production in recent weeks in anticipation of switching over to a "winter blend" of gasoline, which emits more pollutants, next month.
California has averaged about $.30 higher than the US composite for the past 5 years. So, now the difference is $0.80. Yes, it does hit the middle and lower class harder but for many (think Hollywood big shots), its nice to have fewer vehicles cruising Beverly Hills and nice to have fewer non celebrities crowding the nightclubs.
Posted by: lord garth ||
Well you get what you asked for.
Try telling that to a liberal.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man ||
California needs to be divided into multiple states. (i) So-Cal, which is Orange County and San Diego and reliably Republican. (ii) Centra California, which is the central valley, and other non-coastal areas up to Sacramento which might be a battleground state depending upon the population of Sacramento blue vs the rest of the area (iii) Coastal California, which is San Francisco down to Los Angelos which would be the bluest blue Democrat stronghold. (iv) Northern California, which is north of San Francisco which might be a battleground as it would have Democrats and pot-heads on the coast balanced against the conservatives along the I-5 corridor.
It would give California representation and political power closer to the population and remove the Dems take all aspect that currently prospers because of the three large Leftists population centers.
Having said that, Latino's are not a natural fit for the Democrats culturally but they have controlled the narrative. If a Marco Rubio type showed up in California we might see some serious political earthquakes.
Unlike this article elsewhere today, this one's not satire...
[France24] A Moroccan artist on Wednesday suspended one of his works from a major arts festival in southern La Belle France after his projections of Islamic calligraphy onto a bridge nearly set off a riot when local Mohammedan youths saw pedestrians walking on the words.
Mounir Fatmi's exhibit at the month-long "Printemps de Septembre" art festival in Toulouse ...lies on the banks of the River Garonne, half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. The Toulouse metropolitan area is the fourth-largest in La Belle France... was meant to be shown at weekends, when cordons would be in place to insure the projections could not be walked on, as this is considered blasphemous by Mohammedans.
But late on Tuesday the video, made up of stylised calligraphy of verses from the Koran and "Hadiths" (sayings) of the Prophet Mohammed, was projected -- by mistake -- onto the city's busy Pont Neuf.
According to Toulouse Police, the reaction was rapid. Up to 80 young people, many called in from the city's housing estates, gathered on the bridge to stop pedestrians from treading on the verses.
One woman was slapped after she accidentally walked onto the projection, police said, although some protesters claimed she had deliberately provoked them.
Police sent in a riot squad, but a local imam and representatives of the Mohammedan community went to the scene and successfully appealed for calm.
The projection was switched off, and after meetings with the mayor, an apology was made to the woman who was slapped.
Something England doesn't have that the United States does is the local elections of Prosecutors, the DA's office. It allows a local solution to bureaucrats who think such behavior is OK because they think some regulation grants them power that is outside the reach of what is really overlapping systems. I've seen it in action; get a DA's attention, convene a grand jury and watch the panic set in.
Well, when one imports Arabs and Filipinos "to do the work the Brits won't do", as English as a language has not been a priority in their recruitment. An Arab won't know the difference between a MacDonalds and a McAteer and, anyway, it's an infidel.
Add to that the top down heavy facelessness of the Civil servants who are on BUPA and don't have to use the system they influence, yet receive public monies, and politicians who are above it all, well, as a pleb in Albion, you are well and truly screwed.
Just another reason to privatise what has already been privatised.
[Dawn] The impasse between a Supreme Court bench and the government over the language of the draft of a letter to be sent to the Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari did not end on Friday. Ummm... Because it's at an impasse?
But instead of initiating contempt proceedings the court had warned in case the letter was not finalised, the five-judge bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa gave another opportunity to the government by postponing the hearing to Wednesday to enable Law Minister Farooq H. Naek to consult Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf again.
"We are just inches away from the resolution of the longstanding issue of implementing the NRO verdict," Justice Khosa acknowledged. But the government flatly refused to make any commitment to making further changes in the draft. The apparent change of heart became obvious after yet another closed door discussion between the law minister and counsel Waseem Sajjad and the judges in the chambers.
The letter asks the Swiss government to reopen corruption charges against President Ten Percent. For some reason President Ten Percent's government doesn't want to send it. PM Gilani was held in contempt of the Pak supremes, which led to his ouster.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.