(SomaliNet) The Independent Electoral Commission (EC) of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in a provisional results release announced that incumbent Joseph Kabila has won the presidential election.
Kabila, 35, took 58.05 per cent of the vote in the October 29 run-off, compared with 41.9 per cent for his rival vice-president Jean-Pierre Bemba, the commission said. Turnout was 65.3 per cent of some 25.4 million eligible voters. Meanwhile, tensions mounted in DRC capital Kinshasa after Bemba's side complained of "systematic errors" in the compiling of figures from around a country almost the size of Western Europe, but with few roads and ruined infrastructure.
Duplicate; left for the in-line snark, but please, please check the Burg before posting. Also, remember highlite snarks are on a separate line, no line before or after. AoS (style division).
The first person to be charged with a "web rage" attack was jailed for two and a half years today. What does this article have to do with RB? Read on . . .
Tempers flared after Paul Gibbons, 47, and John Jones, 43, exchanged insults in an Internet chatroom, an Old Bailey judge was told. So far so good.
After tracing Mr Jones to his home address in Clacton, Gibbons armed himself with a pickaxe handle and, accompanied by a man with a machete, travelled 70 miles to the Essex seaside town in December 2005. Somebody got sloppy!
When they arrived, Mr Jones, whose girlfriend and three children were in the house, opened the door holding a knife for protection. Mr. Jones doesn't sound like the sharpest knife in the drawer.
A fight broke out in which Mr Jones was disarmed and then beaten with the pickaxe handle and cut with his own knife. Adding insult to injury. Maybe next time he'll take his wife's suggestion and use the rolling pin.
Gibbons fled after Mr Jones's girlfriend called for help. Mr Jones suffered cuts to his head, neck and hands. Deserved every one of them, too.
An earlier hearing was told that Gibbons, from Southwark, south London, and Mr Jones had encountered each other in a chatroom called Islam 10 because they both had an interest in the Muslim faith. Now it all makes sense! Practicing to pass the entrance examination, it seems.
Things started to go wrong when Gibbons accused Mr Jones of spreading rumours about him. Gullible to conspiracy theories. Check.
"There was an exchange of views between the victim and the defendant which were threatening on both sides," Ibitayo Adebayo, prosecuting, said. Hey, it's just a cultural thingy. It's how it's done.
Jailing Gibbons, who has a record of violence, Judge Richard Hawkins told him: "It is accepted by the prosecution that Mr Jones taunted you and dared you to go to his house where you would be greeted with weapons." Judicial humor, I guess. What he's trying to say is that Mr. Gibbons is more of the extremist variety.
Gibbons, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty last month to unlawful wounding after the prosecution agreed not to proceed with charges of attempted murder and threats to kill. Maybe he's not as dumb as I thought . . .
After the attack, it was found that Gibbons had boasted about what he was going to do on the Internet. Maybe he's dumber.
Jonathan Green, defending, said that Mr Jones had given the impression of being the innocent victim but his web blog "painted a different picture". Go ahead. Spaghetti logic is always entertaining. But this would make Mr. Jones more of the moderate variety.
He said that Mr Jones had been the first to initiate physical confrontation. That makes sense. But only if you're a defense attorney.
Mr Green added that there was a misconception that anything said in chatrooms was anonymous, leading to people writing things that they otherwise would not dream of saying. Well known phenomenon. Happens every day in driving.
Det Sgt Jean-Marc Bazzoni, of Essex Police, said that the case demonstrated the importance of protecting one's identity on the Internet. <
SPAN CLASS=HILITE>That's already been highlighted many times. I would suggest to Mr. Jones that he change his nym. I would also recommend that he avoid chatting with maniacs that want to convert to Islam.
"Mr Jones had posted pictures of his family on the web and had chatted to Gibbons on an audio link," he said. And posted his address. And his phone number. And had a flashing red light over his door. And a "Kick Me!" sign on his back.
"It demonstrates how easily other users can put two and two together and also shows how children could also find themselves in danger." And it makes you wonder about converts to Islam.
"Seems OUTSIZED" > Say it taint so. Instead of China proclaiming to want to dominate East Asia-Pacific, ANY POST-ELEX US WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ-ME = spun around as IMPERIALIST USA, AND ONLY USA, GET OUT OF ASIA-PACIFIC AS WELL. China's plans to take over 1/2-plus of CONUS-NORAM + politely eliminate 200Milyuhn-plus Americans = Amerikans is as "LOCAL" or ASIA = REGIONAL AS YOU CAN GET.
After years of denial, China has acknowledged that many of the human organs used in transplants here are taken from executed prisoners and that many of the recipients are foreigners who pay hefty sums to avoid a long wait.
Speaking at a conference of surgeons in the southern city of Guangzhou, Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu called for a strict code of conduct and better record keeping to stem China's thriving illegal-organ trade, state media reported.
"Apart from a small portion of traffic victims, most of the organs from cadavers are from executed prisoners," Huang said, as reported by the English-language China Daily newspaper Thursday. "The current organ donation shortfall can't meet demand." Great Larry Niven story (IIRC) about this issue.
The planet Plateau, in the Tau Ceti system, was settled by humans some 300 years before the plot begins. On arrival, the crew of the first colony ship used the weapons aboard ship to force the colonists (awoken from suspended animation) to accept a dictatorship, and by the time of the story there is a firm class division between Crew and Colonists, held together by fear of 'Implementation', the secret police who take criminals and dissidents to the organ banks, where they are cut up for fresh organs to keep the Crew and docile Colonists young and healthy.
Much of A Gift From Earth revolves around Niven's idea that organ transplants would lead to a shortage of suitable donors, causing citizens to support widespread capital punishment for even trivial crimes, in order to ward off the effects of their own aging and death. This theme recurs in other Niven stories, particularly the Gil Hamilton stories.
"Americans are among the foreigners who have headed to China for transplants as the waiting time for kidneys and livers has grown in the United States. U.S. transplant doctors say the majority seem to be patients of Chinese ancestry who feel comfortable navigating the medical system there."
Change that to "who feel comfortable supporting a system like this". I was wondering what kind of American would patronize a totally screwed-up system like this.
WE-ll...Didn't our rematerialized alien HITLERY just tell (pronounce to) you that, "HEY! F---wad, Just so YOU KNOW...Health care is Back"! And, even if it takes International Harvester to reap your vital organs; it's gonna happen. Suck it up you f-ing losers!!! (at) asymmetrical triangulation
Map here in case you, like me, were wondering "just where the hell is Tonga?"
AUSTRALIAN troops were preparing last night to enter Tonga, following bloody riots in the country's capital that claimed at least eight lives and left the central business district in ruins. Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said that between 60 and 120 Australian police and troops were on standby to travel to the southwest Pacific nation, and would probably be deployed if the unrest in Tonga worsened.
Hundreds of pro-democracy campaigners rampaged through Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa, on Thursday, burning buildings and looting shops. Eight bodies were found in the ruins of two burnt-out buildings. Tonga declared a state of emergency last night, authorising police and troops to "use such force as may be reasonably necessary to preserve public order". The military will be able to impose curfews and ban meetings of more than five people. An initial report from Australia's high commission in Tonga said 80 per cent of the central business district of Nuku'alofa had been destroyed.
Mr Downer said New Zealand troops were also being mobilised last night. "New Zealand, of course, has very strong ties with Tonga, and New Zealand would take the lead, rather than Australia, in terms of any response. But we are certainly prepared to provide resources," he said.
"Civil servants went on strike in 2005 ...because wages had fallen behind inflation....There was also discontent over the transfer of privatized goverment activities to members of King Taua'ahau Tupou IV's family....The Tongan govt finally agree to most of the striker's demands. Most significant, however, was an agreement to establish a royal comission on democratic reform...."
King Taufa'ahau Tupou died a few months ago at the age of 88. His brother, or nephew--somebody of the royal family, anyhow-- who had been involved with some kind of democratic reforms, was killed in a traffic accident in California about 6 months ago. This has left a leadership vacuum in Tonga.
THE US Senate has overwhelmingly approved Washington's nuclear deal with New Delhi, just hours after a telephone conversation between President George W.Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Under the agreement, India, a non-signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, will be allowed access to long-denied civilian nuclear technology in return for placing its atomic reactors under global safeguards. Yesterday's go-ahead for the deal seals India's historic shift towards closer ties with the West.
US Senate support for legislation implementing civilian nuclear energy co-operation between the two countries had been stalled, and New Delhi feared the deal could collapse following the Democrats' congressional election victories. But with Mr Bush backing the legislation -- which he affirmed when he spoke to Dr Singh -- it passed the Senate by a majority of 85-12 after a debate lasting 11 hours.
Opposition members of the Senates Standing Committee on Rules and Procedures boycotted a meeting of the committee on Friday to protest against Parliamentary Affairs Minister Dr Sher Afgan Niazis remarks that both houses of parliament were uncivilised.
The meeting was scheduled to discuss proposed amendments to the Rules of Procedures and Conduct of the Business in the Senate 1988. However, the meeting was adjourned without any discussion because of the opposition members boycott. Dr Ismail Buledi told committee chairman Col (r) Tahir Hussain Mushhadi at the start of the meeting that the opposition members had decided to boycott the session to protest Dr Niazis remarks because they believed that the minister had breached the privilege of parliament and its members.
Dr Niazi, who was present in the meeting, said that he had no intention of disrespecting the members of parliament. I only wanted to ensure order and decorum in the house during the presidents address, he added. The treasury members of the committee said the opposition members should not boycott the meeting because the matter related to the National Assembly and the Senate. Mushhadi decided to adjourn the meeting, saying that the opposition was an integral part of the democratic system and the committee would proceed with all members onboard. He hoped after Dr Niazis explanation the matter would be resolved and opposition would attend next meeting.
Vaccination programmes are likely to eradicate the crippling polio virus around the globe within four years, health officials claimed yesterday. The virus has been targeted by the World Health Organisation's eradication programme since 1988 and if eliminated will become only the second disease to be wiped out completely, after smallpox, which was officially declared eradicated in 1979.
Bruce Aylward at the WHO's Global Polio Eradication Initiative said confidence had been boosted by research that identified ways of dislodging the virus from its last remaining strongholds. The virus is now endemic only in India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan. "We will not go into the next decade with polio," Mr Aylward predicted yesterday.
Polio cases have fallen around 99% since 1988, from more than 350,000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries, to 1,951 reported cases in 2005.
This year Kenya reported its first case of polio in 22 years, the latest in Africa since hardline clerics in Nigeria ordered an immunisation boycott amid fears it was part of a US ploy to sterilise Muslims or infect them with the HIV virus.
Good luck with it, but notice the suspect countries on the list. The rest of the article discusses reasons why the current vaccine isn't working so well in some countries.
Elimination of diseases like smallpox and polio is a noble goal. However, and I say this without any snark, the only way this will be accomplished in four years is if they can somehow drag Islam into the 19th century.
Perhaps this is the key to the problem of limiting Islamonuts into the country: They need proof of immunizations in order to get a visa or clear customs. Not discriminatory, everybody gets to play, and for the civilized world it would be a no-brainer; for the rest, well they would need a brain to even figger out where to start.
Dozens of literary masterpieces and international bestsellers have been banned in Iran in a dramatic rise in censorship that has plunged the country's publishing industry into crisis.
Companies that once specialised in popular fiction and other money-spinners are being restricted to academic texts under a cultural freeze instigated by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Several thousand new and previously published works have been blacklisted by Iran's culture and Islamic guidance ministry, which vets all books.
Sucks to live in a dictatorship, huh?
Newly banned books include Farsi translations of Tracy Chevalier's best-seller Girl With a Pearl Earring and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, the latter for upsetting clerics within Iran's tiny Christian community. Chevalier's novel has completed six print runs in Iran and earned hefty profits for its local publisher, Cheshme.
Another publishing house has been banned from selling a successful series of books featuring lyrics by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, Black Sabbath, Queen and Guns n' Roses. Stores were told to remove the books or face closure. Permission was subsequently denied for the publisher to reprint.
The crackdown also covers classics, such as William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, and scores of works by Iranian authors.
The rise in book censorship mirrors repression in other spheres. In September the reformist newspaper Shargh was closed after publishing a cartoon depicting President George Bush, disguised as a horse, debating with a donkey under a halo, widely seen as representing Mr Ahmadinejad. The publishers launched a replacement newspaper, Rouzegar, but it was ordered to close after five days.
After boycotts of their music, attacks by conservative pundits (Pat Buchanan is shown calling them "bimbos") and the release of a new rock-oriented album, the most successful female group in country-music history is struggling to fill venues like Glendale's Jobing.com Arena. The 19,000-capacity arena will be less than half-full Sunday, according to one estimate.
Shut Up & Sing shows the group's management scrambling to cancel or postpone shows as early sales numbers for the Accidents & Accusations Tour prove disappointing. The Glendale show, originally set for Sept. 3, was postponed 11 weeks, but even that extra sales time didn't provide much of a boost. "Well, we did manage to sell another ten seats! 2 of 'em were even full price!"
Officer Mike Barnett said Glendale police will be more concerned about traffic than protests because 63,000 people are expected at nearby University of Phoenix Stadium for the Arizona Cardinals game Sunday afternoon. Ooh, that's gotta hurt when even the Cardinals have better attendance!
Anti-Chicks events depicted in Shut Up and Sing, including one radio station hiring a steamroller in 2003 to smash listeners' CDs, have ceased. Still, the group is getting almost no airplay on country radio. Sales of its latest album, Taking the Long Way, have failed to hit 2 million, a disappointing number for a Grammy-winning group that sold 12 million copies of its 1998 debut, Wide Open Spaces. But on the bright side, at least they don't have ten million fans holding them back musically any more....
And Natalie can always go back to her old job at the truck stop off I-35 ...
But Los Angeles-based author Anthony Mora, who studies "spin" in the media, argued that the group's politics remains the biggest factor. That polarization of fans will make it impossible to regain many estranged listeners, he added. "The loss of their audience had absolutely nothing to do with their music, their shifting of styles," said Mora, author of Spin to Win. "It had to do with their political stand, which means that (for) the people who abandoned them, it doesn't matter if their music is good or not anymore."
As the Dixie Chicks lose almost all a large chunk of their country audience, they have a chance to become more of a mainstream pop act, according to Dan Wool, a senior manager at Valley advertising firm Moses Anshell. Riiiight. That's about as likely as Natalie becoming the next Playboy centerfold.
"The Dixie Chicks have inadvertently backed into the legacy of country music's 'outlaws' - folks who have expanded out of country to reach mainstream audiences," Wool said, listing Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakam as examples. I don't recall any of those singers going out of their way to insult their fans like the Ditzy Chix have, however.
There's no question that the group has attracted new rock-oriented listeners with its edgier sound and participation with acts such as Bruce Springsteen and Dave Matthews in the anti-Bush Vote for Change Tour of 2004. But, so far, that new crop of fans hasn't replaced the alienated country crowd. It is about ten million short of their previous fan base....
In terms of sheer PR, this is what happened to the Dixie Chicks.
They go to Eurostan and the fat one says she hates Bush, so their publicist sees a chance during the backlash to gain credibility with another, equally large fan base.
Forgetting country music fans when they show up in a risque magazine cover unrepentant they have done anything wrong, hoping against hope their country music fan base would still be with them afterwards.
This has got to be one of the biggest marketing screwups in the modern age, to alienate your customer base to go after an equally large customer base only to find the new base cares even less for your product than your original base.
And now your original base is gone.
A tip to the Dixie Chicks. Country music fans, being for the most part Christian, will forgive but may take many years to return.
As the Dixie Chicks lose almost all a large chunk of their country audience, they have a chance to become more of a mainstream pop act, according to Dan Wool, a senior manager at Valley advertising firm Moses Anshell
well, there's an expert
Posted by: Frank G ||
11/18/2006 11:31 Comments ||
I live in the LIBERAL Sacramento Valley and they can't fill 14,000 seat ARCO arena.
Was only lukewarm to their whiney sound when they first hit the radio, then comes their anti-Bush comment, and I won't listen to their drivel, even if it were on our local station (KMPS, Seattle). And now, just to prove that there is no limit to stupidity, good old Dan Wood has the balls to compare them to "..Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yoakam," as gaining that 'country outlaw' status.
I suppose with a bit more spin, we can look for wire frame illuminated stand ups of them for placement with our Christmas Nativity yard decorations as a foil to the Three Wise Men: "The 3 Stupid T@ats."
"One of the excellent attributes of "Shut Up and Sing" is that it lets the cards fall where they may and really doesn't try to spin the Chicks themselves. It's quite possible, then, to watch the film and come to the conclusion that Natalie Maines has a big mouth. Spectacularly talented, the young singer is also a spectacular blowhard, and documentarian Barbara Kopple almost subversively focuses on Maines blabbering away at meetings without a serious thought in her head, no impulse control anywhere in sight, and, for some reason, always supine, as if her great status grants her the right to encounter the world from bed.
As for the other two Chicks, Emily Robison and Martie Maguire, they are far more guarded in their accessibility to the camera; at times their support of the loudmouthed Maines seems somewhat hedged. Possibly they have a reason for their ambiguity: Really, truly having made it in the biggest of big times, they watched as sales of albums and concert tickets shrank visibly (and disturbingly), as did radio airplay, in the wake of Maines's off-the-cuff comment.
Kopple (credited as "co-director" with Cecilia Peck) is a superb documentarian; she won Oscars for her features "Harlan County, U.S.A." and "American Dream." You feel in this film the strain -- it's a healthy strain, I think -- between her liberal politics and her nose for the truth. She could have represented the Chicks as martyrs to right-wing blowhard anger; but that's too simple. Instead she takes us inside big-dollar professional entertainment and lets us see ego and stupidity and self-indulgence at play just as fiercely as artistry".
Me personally? I liked them before. Won't buy any new albums though. As one of those right-wing, fundamentalist country fans, I almost want to forgive them. But, the biggest part of forgiveness is them asking for it. Don't see that happenin' any time soon.
Meanwhile, Toby Keith kicks their tail. And, Kenny Chesney came here to Atlanta, sang his "Freedom" song (with a stirring spoken phrase at the end) and he sold out the Phillips Arena 2 nights in a row. They added a 3rd night, and it sold out in record time. Three nights straight is some sort of record for Atlanta for ANY type music.
And, bad (re: #2), I don't think it's a marketing screw-up. It's an ego/worldview screwup. Country music fans wouldn't forgive them for saying that here at home. Saying it overseas during a time of war is unconscienable.
Oil prices slid below $56 Friday as traders liquidated positions and focused on contradictory reports on OPEC's production levels. Light, sweet crude for December delivery lost 45 cents to $55.81 a barrel. The expiration of the December contract Friday was injecting additional volatility into trading as traders closed out positions. Prices typically plummet on the last trading day of a contract. The soon-to-be front-month January crude futures contract climbed 40 cents to $58.97.
Oil prices for December delivery plunged to $54.86 earlier this morning, their lowest level in the past 17 months. On Thursday, the December contract lost $2.50, or more than 4%, to settle at $56.26 because of conflicting tanker traffic reports and brimming fuel supplies.
Those same factors helped crude extend its decline Friday. Petrologistics, a Geneva-based oil consultancy, expects OPEC production will fall by 1.1 million barrels per day, in line with the cartel's announced cut, according to Dow Jones. But Oil Movements in London predicted OPEC will export 210,000 more barrels in the month ending Nov. 4 for a total of 24.84 million. For the rest of this month, shipments will climb by 40,000 barrels.
Instapundit notes a proposal by the Tigerhawk to trade a new carbon tax for making permanent the larger part of the Bush tax cuts -- do it now while prices are coming down. Not sure if I like that, but anything that would hurt the House of Saud and the Mad Mullahs in Teheran would be fine with me.
Instapundit notes a proposal by the Tigerhawk to trade a new carbon tax for making permanent the larger part of the Bush tax cuts -- do it now while prices are coming down. Not sure if I like that, but anything that would hurt the House of Saud and the Mad Mullahs
Wanna screw the Mullahs and the House of Saud over for a long, long time? Slash production and gasoline taxes. Once that is done, production domestically will soar and drive prices even further down. The amount of cash available to terrorists will dry up as well. Raise taxes on fuel and oil and we will have terrorism for the forseeable generation.
What those who advocate more taxes want is the opposite: Keep prices high so the government can enjoy the money, money to be spent as pork and earmarks and bridges to nowhere and Pelosi's favorite soak the rich program.
Want a speedy close to the WoT? Slash taxes and domestic spending, especially petroleum taxes of every stripe.
By starving the government of money we force far more rational choices.
This idea of raising taxes to screw oier the Mullahs will only be passed on to the rest of us. Our leaders will be in effect punishing all of us for their very profligacy.
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.