One of the true 'characters' of Hollywood has died, along with some other guy's liver.
Hagman, who became a television star in the 1960s starring in the sitcom "I Dream of Jeannie," died Friday at a Dallas hospital, said a spokesman for actress Linda Gray, his longtime co-star on "Dallas." He was 81.
A year ago, Hagman announced his second bout with cancer. He had spoken candidly about decades of drinking that led to cirrhosis of the liver and, in 1995, a life-saving liver transplant.
For years, he was considered the unofficial mayor of Malibu, where he lived for decades in an oceanfront home. He often led impromptu ragtag parades on the sand while wearing outlandish costumes and flew a flag from his deck that declared "Vita Celebratio Est" -- "Life is a celebration."
As an actor, Hagman came with a serious pedigree. He was the son of Mary Martin, a legendary star of Broadway musicals best known for originating the role of Peter Pan in the 1950s.
When many television shows were switching to a color format, "Jeannie" debuted in fall 1965 in less expensive black and white because it wasn't expected to succeed. When it became a hit on NBC, the next four seasons were shot in color.
The network "finally woke up and realized what they had bought," Sheldon later recalled, "a show about a beautiful, half-naked girl, living [unmarried] with a man, saying, 'What can I do for you, Master?' "
ROCKLAND, Maine Fred E. Thomas pleaded guilty to 180 days in jail with all but five days suspended and was placed on probation for a year for domestic violence assault and indecent conduct. A third charge of unlawful sexual contact was dismissed.
The incident occurred in July in Warren when his wife of 39 years, who was estranged from him, stayed at his place. He offered her $20 for sex, and when she refused he took out his penis and struck her with it, according to the prosecutions version of events to which he pleaded guilty.
Defense Attorney Justin Andrus said Thomas was tremendously upset that his marriage of 39 years was ending. He said his estranged wife was planning to go to Pakistan to meet a man she met online.
The wife did not seek jail time for Thomas but did ask that he undergo counseling for anger management, which was ordered.
In the middle of an eastern Chinese city's new main road, rising incongruously from a huge circle in the freshly laid pavement, is a five-story row house with ragged edges. This is the home of the duck farmer who said "no."
Luo Baogen and his wife are the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.
Dramatic images of Luo's home have circulated widely online in China this week, becoming the latest symbol of resistance in the frequent standoffs between Chinese homeowners and local officials accused of offering too little compensation to vacate neighborhoods for major redevelopment projects. There's even a name for the buildings that remain standing as their owners resist development. They are called "nail houses" because the homeowners refuse to be hammered down.
Nail house families occasionally have resorted to violence. Some homeowners have even set themselves on fire in protests. Often, they keep 24-hour vigils because developers will shy away from bulldozing homes when people are inside.
Xiayangzhang village chief Chen Xuecai said in a telephone interview Friday that city planners decided that Luo's village of 1,600 had to be moved for a new business district anchored by the train station. Chen said most families agreed to government-offered compensation in 2007. Luo, 67, and a handful of neighbors in other parts of the new district are holding out for more.
It's called a 'nail house', from the nail that sticks out. What happens is the government allocates sufficient money to buy the homeowner out at a fair price and then the various levels of management all steal a chunk, and there's hardly any left by the time it gets to the homeowner. Usually they send thugs to burn the place down or hospitalize the resident.
What happens is the government allocates sufficient money to buy the homeowner out at a fair price and then the various levels of management all steal a chunk, and there's hardly any left by the time it gets to the homeowner. Usually they send thugs to burn the place down or hospitalize the resident.
Rebels in eastern Congo pushed south along Lake Kivu on Friday after repelling a counter-attack by government forces near the new rebel stronghold in the city of Goma on the Rwandan border. Others moved north from the strategic road junction at Sake. A Reuters correspondent there said rebels were in control of Sake after a battle on Thursday which had been the first sign of a government fightback after the army abandoned Goma on Tuesday to the M23 movement, widely thought to be backed by Rwanda.
[An Nahar] The United Nations ...an international organization whose stated aims of facilitating interational security involves making sure that nobody with live ammo is offended unless it's a civilized country... wants to use drones for the first time to monitor fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo ...formerly the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, and who knows what else, not to be confused with the Brazzaville Congo or Republic of Congo, which is much smaller and much more (for Africa) stable. DRC gave the world Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Mobutu, followed by years of tedious civil war. Its principle industry seems to be the production of corpses. With a population of about 74 million it has lots of raw material... , where Rwanda has been accused of aiding rebels, officials said Friday. Drones are only "against international law" when we use them...
Peacekeeping chiefs have been in contact with the governments of DR Congo and of Rwanda about the sensitive move, which could set a precedent that would worry other United Nations members, diplomats said.
U.N. leaders are looking for ways to strengthen their peacekeeping mission in DR Congo, MONUSCO, where guerrillas from the M23 rebel movement have taken over much of mineral-rich North Kivu province.
U.N. experts say Rwanda and Uganda have sent troops and arms across the border. Both strongly deny the allegations.
The U.N. "is considering a range of ways to strengthen the capabilities of MONUSCO to protect civilians from the threat of gangs in the vast area of eastern DR Congo," U.N. peacekeeping front man Kieran Dwyer told AFP.
"Unarmed aerial vehicles, drones for monitoring the movements of gangs, are one tool we are considering," he said.
"Of course, we would do this carefully, in full cooperation with the government of the DR Congo, and trialing their most effective uses for information gathering to help implement our mandate to protect civilians."
"Ultimately, to introduce these, we would need the support of member states to equip the mission," Dwyer said.
While the drones would not halt the current M23 advance, the U.N. is also considering bringing in extra troops and redeploying its current force. U.N. leader the ephemeral Ban Ki-moon ... of whom it can be said to his credit that he is not Kofi Annan... is to recommend options to the U.N. Security Council soon.
MONUSCO currently has about 17,500 troops but could go up to about 19,500 under its Security Council mandate.
Posted by: Mullah Richard ||
Drones flying over desert probably see more than drones flying over forest.
I'm not sure that it helps much to get better pictures of the rebels marching into town when you don't plan to do anything about the info. Although perhaps you could sell the footage to a documentary maker.
[An Nahar] Sierra Leone's President Ernest Koroma swept to a second term Friday, winning 58 percent of votes in a poll that observers praised for its peacefulness and which focused on the nation's post-war recovery.
The 59-year-old incumbent triumphed over his main rival Julius Maada Bio of the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) who trailed with 37.4 percent of votes.
And since he won more than 55 percent of the vote in the first round, the contest does not have to go to a second round.
The crucial test for the west African nation will be whether ex-military leader Bio accepts the outcome. During the vote, he alleged fraud and vowed that he would not let his supporters be cheated.
The country still bears the scars of a brutal 11-year civil conflict during which rebels chopped off the limbs of civilians during a campaign of terror. They bankrolled their army with the sale of so-called "blood diamonds".
National Elections Commission chief Christiana Thorpe said Koroma had won 1,314,881 votes to Bio's 837,517 in an election which had a massive 87.3 percent voter turnout.
The third runner-up was Charles Margai of the People's Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) who won 1.3 percent of the vote.
How could a rebel band that started with just a few hundred men take over a huge chunk of Africa's biggest country, set presidents against each other and leave the UN reeling? Easily when it is the Democratic Republic of Congo, say analysts and diplomats, who blame a corrupt and disappearing army, alleged meddling by neighbouring Rwanda and a UN force with its wrists tied.
In just one week, M23 rebels have taken over most of DR Congo's North Kivu province, an area twice the size of Belgium and rich in diamonds, precious metals and minerals. The DR Congo army collapsed in the face of the rebel force, which had grown to an estimated 3000 by the time it moved on Goma. The army "simply melted away", said UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous.
The UN mission in DR Congo is its biggest peacekeeping force with more than 17,000 troops, costing $1.4 billion a year, but its job is to protect civilians, not fight rebels. UN officials say there is no "direct evidence" Rwanda bolstered the rebels for this advance. But their suspicions were raised by the number of English-speaking officers at checkpoints on roads leading to strongholds of the French-speaking bandits, as well as how they were suddenly able to rout the DR Congo army.
UN leaders are encouraging Mr Kabila and Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to start political talks. "The DRC is the biggest country in Africa and it may just be that it is too big and complex a state to exist as a single, unified country," Peter Chalk, a senior political scientist at the Rand security research organisation, said.
"The DRC is the biggest country in Africa and it may just be that it is too big and complex a state to exist as a single, unified country," Peter Chalk, a senior political scientist at the Rand security research organisation, said.
Gee, ya think?
Posted by: Abu Uluque ||
Almost 51 weeks after the resignation of Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) president and former governer Humberto Moreira, Felipe Calderon's own attorney general declares Moreira exculpated for criminal wrongdoing for his role in the massive acuisition of public debt while governor of Coahuila.
A year after his quest of exculpation began, and even after facing the hardest loss a father will ever face, the violent death of his son, Mexico's rumor mill is that Moreira may try to seek a new role in the government of president-elect Enrique Pena Nieto.
Rantburg correspondent Chris Covert looks back at Moreira and the circumstances of his travails since the Coahuila debt scandal began.
Stay safe. You'll be in our prayers -- for those of us who pray -- and in our thoughts -- for those of us who don't.
Mohammed Ludovic Lutfi Zahed returned to France from the Hajj with a strange idea. After going on his pilgrimage, Zahed felt enlightened and decided he wanted to give something to his gay Muslim community in Paris: Opening a "mosque for gays."
He said, "In normal mosques, women have to sit in the back seats and wear a headscarf and gay men are afraid of both verbal and physical aggression. After performing the Hajj, I realized that a mosque for gays was a must for gay Muslims who want to perform their prayers."
During Hajj, women and men are not segregated. Both sexes crowd together during all the rituals of Hajj. When they are doing tawaaf (circling around Kaaba), men and women are all together.
Zahed, founder of association of Gay Muslims in France (HM2F), said he will use a Buddhist chapel where Friday prayers and gay marriages would be performed. He explained, "We will start with Friday prayers, but we will perform marriages afterwards."
Zahed is convinced that the mosque will help to fight against homophobia in Islam and Islamophobia within the gay community in France.
I for one am quite interested in the mosque of mhommad al-iberace project. In fact, it should dominate the news cycle as the premier example of the religious tolerance and liberal-moderate leanings of the euro-islam hybrid of tolerance.
[Washington Post] Following two days of divisive talks, leaders from 27 European Union nations on Friday failed to reach an agreement on their trillion-dollar budget. "Boodle!"
"No, my boodle!"
The leaders met in Brussels to try to hammer out a strategic seven-year budget that aims, among other things, to spur economic activity in Europe's poorer regions. "Boodle for Greece!"
"No! Boodle for Spain!"
"Boodle for Slovenia!"
The summit collapsed in failure following unresolved tensions in the bloc, largely between richer countries that are net contributors to the EU budget, and poorer ones that receive more cash than they pitch in. Unanimity is required for approval. "Thhhhhp! No boodle for you!"
The EU Commission, the EU's executive arm, originally proposed a $1.3 trillion budget for 2014-2020 period, nearly a 5 percent increase compared with 2007-2013 budget. British Prime Minister David Cameron was the most prominent leader to argue for a smaller budget, saying that a rise was unacceptable at a time when countries were rolling out austerity cuts back home.
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
A newlywed teacher has been charged with rape after allegedly having underage sex with two of her students -- while also carrying on an affair with another teacher.
Stephanie Fletcher allegedly had sexual contact with her two victims during class breaks, study periods and in the school parking lot.
The 28-year-old is alleged to have sent the students, both aged 16, naked photos of herself and often performed oral sex on them when they met up in deserted classrooms. So, how's all this business of (effectively) getting rid of male teachers working out?
Won't actually happen of course, but at least I can go to bed and dream about it.
A pretrial hearing in the case against accused LulzSec hacker Jeremy Hammond this week ended with the 27-year-old Chicago man being told he could be sentenced to life in prison for compromising the computers of Stratfor.
Judge Loretta Preska told Hammond in a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday that he could be sentenced to serve anywhere from 360 months-to-life if convicted on all charges relating to last year's hack of Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, a global intelligence company whose servers were infiltrated by an offshoot of the hacktivist collective Anonymous.
Scientists have confirmed the long-held suspicion that frequent heavy marijuana use damage the brain's memory and learning capacity
Scientists have confirmed the long-held suspicion that frequent heavy marijuana use damages the brain's memory and learning capacity.
Australian researchers have showed for the first time that the earlier people start their marijuana habit, the worse the brain damage.
"Our results suggest that long-term cannabis use is hazardous to white matter in the developing brain. This was especially true for those who had started in adolescence, as we know the brain is still developing during this time," Lead researcher Dr. Marc Seal, from Melbourne's Murdoch Children's Research Institute said in a university release.
Scientists from MCRI, Melbourne University and Wollongong University compared MRI scans of the brain for 59 people who had been using marijuana for an average of 15 years to 33 healthy people who had never used the drug.
After measuring changes to the volume, strength and integrity of white matter in the brains of all participants, researchers found that long-term heavy cannabis users had disruptions in their white matter fibers.
The brain's white matter is responsible for information passed between different areas of grey matter within the nervous system, and unlike grey matter, which are the brain's thinking areas that peaks at age eight, white matter continues to develop as people age.
Seal and his team found that there was more than 80 percent reduction of white matter in the brains of users.
Additionally, researchers found that the average age of participants in the study started using cannabis when they were 16 years old, participants who started using the drug at a younger age like 10 or 11 had even more severe brain damage.
"This is the first study to demonstrate the age at which regular cannabis use begins is a key factor in determining the severity of the brain damage," Seal said, according to AAP.
He explained that marijuana interferes with naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors in the brain and by introducing external cannabinoids into a person's system it stops their white matter from maturing.
Researchers linked the significant changes in the white matter in the brain's hippocampus and commissural fibers, suggesting that long-term marijuana use may lead to memory impairment and deficits in learning and concentration ability.
"These people can have trouble learning new things and they are going to have trouble remembering things," Seal said.
"We don't know if the changes are irreversible but we do know that these changes are quite significant," he added.
Researchers said that the findings could not be explained by recreational drug and alcohol use. Researchers will monitor participants for the next two years to detect any further changes.
The latest findings add to results from previous smaller studies that showed that the brain's memory center, the hippocampus, shrunk in heavy marijuana users
Unfortunately, here on Guam I've observed some of the new generation of Tweens + Teens snort Perfume-Scents, as well as burnt plastic, which I assume is derived from the latest fad(s) vee the US mainland.
The seriousness of their action as above sinks in once an "old guy" like me looks beyond my "Kidz today are just sooooooo weird" scope - UNLIKE THE NATURALLY-GROWN DRUG CROPS, YOUNG PEOPLE WHOM SNORT ARTIFICAL PERFUMES-SCENTS + BURNT PLASTIC, ETC. MAY NOT ONLY BE ABLE TO N-O-T GO "COLD TURKEY" + RECOVER BUT MAY ALSO BE PERMAMENTLY DAMAGING OR DESTROYING BOTH THEIR MENTAL ABILITIES AS WELL AS BODY FUNCTIONS + METABOLISM.
Most or all of the feared or known side-effects of meth, "ice", + "crack", etc. drug abuse may be nothing compared to the above.
Think STAR TREK:TNG'S CAPT. JEAN-LUC + RIKER TRAPPED IN THE ENTERPRISE'S HOLODECK WID
"DANTE'S INFERNO" OR OTHER HORROR, + NEVER ABLE TO LEAVE OR ESCAPE.
The Obama effect strikes again.
Police have used tear gas against thousands of protesters calling for the overthrow of the prime minister in the Thai capital, Bangkok.
At least 10,000 protesters gathered, demonstrating against the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of the deposed former prime minister.
The rally was organised by a group who accuse Ms Yingluck of being a puppet of her brother, Thaksin Shinawatra.
At least seven police officers were reported wounded in clashes.
Anti-riot police carrying plastic shields fired tear gas at protesters who tried to climb over concrete and barbed wire barriers blocking entry to the rally site, Bangkok's Royal Plaza, near the parliament.
[An Nahar] The Army Command said on Friday that the arrest of rap artist and the former candidate to the parliamentary elections Pierre Hashash came after "his statements offended the military institution and its members".
"Hashash was placed in long-term storage Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'! and questioned following statements he made on the eve of Independence Day," the army' statement explained, adding that he "incited others to attack the military institution and tarnish its reputation on social networking websites".
"Investigations have revealed that the detainee has outstanding charges against him and these are being examined by the competent court," the army said, explaining why Hashash is still under arrest to this day.
Hashash was beaten up by the army intelligence squad and arrested on Wednesday following a post he wrote on his Facebook page in which he criticized a roundabout holding Army Commander's name "for causing traffic jam" in Batroun city, LBCI reported.
His statement was soon replaced with a picture showing his blood stains on the steps of al-Batroun Serail stairs.
"Pierre was beaten up by army officers and his head was bleeding when he got arrested," Hashash's sister told LBCI.
"The Army Command is keen on preserving freedom of speech, but it will not tolerate any violations serving individuals at the expense of the higher national interest," the army's statement expressed.
Hashash rose to fame in 2005 when he presented his candidacy for the parliamentary elections in Batroun and accompanied his nomination with a sarcastic PR campaign that gained wide media attention and coverage.
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.