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Iraq: 200 boom belts found in Syrian truck
Today's Headlines
Headline Comments [Views]
Page 3: Non-WoT
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Making friends the Chavez way - embassy sex parties in Teheran?
While Iran has been called Hugo Chavez’s second home, and he attended the ceremonies for the Holy Defense [the war with Iraq, a very holy matter for the Islamic Republic], there are scandalous reports about what is going on in the Venezuelan embassy in Tehran.

As Baztab’s reporter has learned, after the Venezuelan mission in Tehran was changed, following a sexual scandal, a large group of Iranian girls, all below 25, were hired by the embassy. While they can do good work as translators and other diplomatic matters, they are used as ornaments for embassy’s parties, including night parties of the embassy crew.

In the parties held in this embassy, all of which include serving alcohol, Iranian girls take part with exposing outfits. The embassy crew also share the girls among themselves, through a specific way they have come up with. This is after the former Venezuelan ambassador to Tehran was expelled, after an affair with a married Iranian lady.

It is also mentioned that the new Venezuelan diplomats, most of whom have never been a diplomat, make fun of Islamic symbols. The first secretary of the embassy, who previously worked for HP, has never been a diplomat either.
Stripéd trousers optional.
How long will Ahmadinajad find our boy Hugo a useful tool?
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I've a feeling that concerns about morality will yield to strategic convenience.
Posted by: Mike || 07/12/2007 0:12 Comments || Top||

#2  We'll for one Ah Mad In A Jad is Ahmadinajad is also Ah Mad In A Jar known as nom de guerre goes Ahmad drinking from a jug in reading this , DUH ! That is , he's , (Ahmadinajad ) going to think you're a bunch of Zionist Agents working for Mossad covering your covert activities working alongside with your cronies ( Readers) against him and his Allies ! Which is , being socalled Journalists and Vagabond Miscreants alongside : RANTBURG , DOH ! Hence : No Brainer he ( Ahmad )comes with friend Chavez and those : No Good , Yankee Imperialists Are At It Again , too !
Posted by: Elmart Bluetooth9685 || 07/12/2007 0:25 Comments || Top||

#3  I think Elmart is Joe's understudy...
Posted by: Jonathan || 07/12/2007 7:24 Comments || Top||

#4  That, or his cookie got reset...
Posted by: Raj || 07/12/2007 8:07 Comments || Top||

#5  Got a job for the spy squirrels. Send them in and get some dirty pictures...
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/12/2007 10:02 Comments || Top||

#6  No, JosephMendiola would never stoop to name-play insults or pseudo-suspicions of Rantburg readers.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/12/2007 11:55 Comments || Top||

#7  I wonder what Bin Laden thinks of Ahmadinejad allowing Muslim uncovered meat to defile and disgrace the Ummah? Someone should make sure the Mad Mullahs know the next time Chavez visits... maybe install a covert webcam and link to a jihadi website.
Posted by: Danielle || 07/12/2007 16:04 Comments || Top||


-Signs, Portents, and the Weather-
Frozen baby mammoth carcass found in Siberia
The frozen carcass of a 10,000-year-old baby mammoth has been unearthed in a remote northern Siberian region, a discovery scientists said could help in climate change studies.
Posted by: Fred || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6462 views] Top|| File under:

#1  That is one mighty old baby! Did not know that mammoths reached more than a methusalenian age.

Oh, they mean it died about 10 kya! More like 3.5 kya. They should check their carbon dating calibration.
Posted by: twobyfour || 07/12/2007 0:28 Comments || Top||

#2  Last frozen mammoth they found, the Russian mob tried to sell samples to some S. Korean scientist who kept claiming for months that he was going to produce a live one "real soon now." Maybe they oughtta just fry this one up and sell the tusks.
Posted by: Greatch Snolusing6399 || 07/12/2007 0:52 Comments || Top||

#3  This time the Japanese want to be in the clone game of the Mammoth , also ! Ya know what ? Once they got one successfully cloned of the Mammoth with African , or Indian elephant help from scientists , too ! Which is , the Japanese want to suspend selling all ivory of the Modern Elephant and Mammoth tusks in not ever being sold to the Public ever , Again ! They ( Japanese )and some Conservationalist International Act that goes with it , as well ! Source : BBC
Posted by: Elmart Bluetooth9685 || 07/12/2007 1:34 Comments || Top||

#4  the Japanese want to suspend selling all ivory of the Modern Elephant and Mammoth tusks

Actually, this has changed. Much to the consternation of wildlife preservationists, some African countries are legalizing limited ivory harvesting and sales.

While elephants certainly are endangered and worthy of preserving, those small refuges left for them cannot support the herds that have flourished therein. A full grown elephant can devour some 300 pounds of vegetation per day. Population pressure is stripping out the understory that these animals need to survive.

Additionally, since their preserves are not fenced, elephants have begun to raid outlying farms. The beasties seem to have a perverse ability to sense when fruits and vegetables are at their ripest and wreak destruction just before harvest time. This is impacting local populations that rely upon subsistence farming. Ergo, thinning of the herds. The fact that ivory shipped out by cash-strapped African nations now fetches hundreds of dollars per kilogram also plays a part in this as well.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 10:23 Comments || Top||

#5  An interesting footnote to this story is that there are entire generations of ivory carvers in China and Japan that are rapidly running out of stocks to ply their trade with. At recent jewelery exhibitions I have purchased stunning examples of such carving for exceptional prices. The medium being used is no longer elephant, mammoth or walrus ivory, but instead, Texas longhorn femur. It is easily distinguished from the genuine article due to a smoking process that gives the final product an authentic color. The aroma is unmistakable.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 10:28 Comments || Top||

#6  due to a smoking process that gives the final product an authentic color. The aroma is unmistakable.

Yeah, baby! Down here we call it BarBQ!!
Posted by: Almost Anonymous5839 || 07/12/2007 11:16 Comments || Top||

#7  Texas longhorn femur? We picked up a pretty example of Chinese carving at an import shop some years ago that was clearly done on a cow horn of some sort.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/12/2007 12:05 Comments || Top||

#8 

Paging Michael Creighton... Paging Michael Creighton... Please remove your pet from the lobby of the sci-fi convention....
Posted by: BigEd || 07/12/2007 13:52 Comments || Top||

#9  We picked up a pretty example of Chinese carving at an import shop some years ago that was clearly done on a cow horn of some sort.

Obviously, Chinese carving is not limited to ivory alone. Consider jade, for instance. Horn is preferred for spoons and combs but is also used for decorative work. The Chinese are famous for working just about anything that stands still long enough for them to chisel on. Prized far more than mere elephant tusk was Ho-ting or hornbill ivory. Still there are certain forms of carved ivory that are simply stunning.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 14:43 Comments || Top||

#10  Stunning, indeed, Zenster. :-)
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/12/2007 17:32 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
"You just can't please them" or "How to get rid of the burkha/buibui"
Posted by: James || 07/12/2007 09:04 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6480 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "For God's sake, if one has decided to join this profession, the uniform of prostitutes is well known.

"They should stick to their disgraceful attire."


Mohammed's own whores complaining that prostitutes have disgraced Islam's loathsome slave attire. I swear, Islam is so incredibly screwed up that there isn't a single thing about it that cannot be twisted around to make Muslims disgrace themselves with their intolerance. This is absolutely priceless. I hope the idea catches on like wildfire until Muslim women have to abandon wearing the burkha because they get propositioned all the time. Hell, I'd be willing to chip in twenty bucks to buy African prostitutes more burkhas so we can accelerate the process.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 10:44 Comments || Top||

#2  Hell of an idea. Let's have all the male stick-up artists in the area wear 'em too, great disguise for criminal elements of all types and genders!
Posted by: mojo || 07/12/2007 15:09 Comments || Top||

#3  Seems like if you have made the decision to be a lady of the night, you probably don't give a sh$t about wearing the burqa. Besides, the business is competitive and the skimpy attire is the "hook"--no pun intended.

By the way I thought the term "hooker" orignated out of the Civil War and had to do with General Hooker's camp followers.
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/12/2007 17:36 Comments || Top||

#4  JQC:
The term "hooker" was in use some 20 years before the Civil War.
Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds || 07/12/2007 21:53 Comments || Top||


Two-year-old boy beheaded
A TWO-year-old boy was beheaded and chopped up in a Kenyan capital slum today, police said, amid a fierce crackdown on an illegal sect blamed for a string of murders and decapitations.

The boy's mutilated torso was discovered in a maize farm and his head 500m away at a river bank in capital's Nairobi's crime-prone Korogocho slums, police commander Paul Ruto said. The remains had no limbs, the chest was lacerated and the genitals chopped off, raising speculation that the body parts might be used in rites by the politically-linked Mungiki sect.

“The boy has been identified positively by his father who says he went missing two days ago,” Mr Ruto said. "We have recorded statements from several people and are now searching for the killers."

The remains were discovered hours after police said they had killed 12 people in a crackdown on organised crime gangs in Nairobi, including members of Mungiki. Once a religious group of dreadlocked youths who embraced traditional rituals, Mungiki has morphed into a ruthless gang blamed for criminal activities including extortion and murder.

Since March, the sect - which was banned in 2002 - has been blamed for the murders of at least 43 people, 13 of whom were beheaded, mostly in Nairobi slums and central Kenya. The group also has alleged historic ties to the Mau Mau independence uprising, and is said to perpetuate customs such as female excision.

The police crackdown against it comes ahead of December general elections. So far, it has resulted in the deaths of at least 79 Mungiki members and more than 3000 arrests nationwide.

Police said 11 of the 12 suspects killed were linked to a foiled carjacking and robberies in three Nairobi suburbs. At least three of them were members of the Mungiki sect, they added. “We have intensified the crackdown on all organised gangs, including Mungiki,” said another police commander, Julius Ndegwa.
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 06:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6474 views] Top|| File under:

#1  an illegal sect blamed for a string of murders and decapitations.

I would like to believe they've banned Islam, but I doubt it.
Posted by: Gary and the Samoyeds || 07/12/2007 9:00 Comments || Top||

#2  Long after electric lighting's debut, Africa still remains the dark continent.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 9:17 Comments || Top||

#3  The group also has alleged historic ties to the Mau Mau independence uprising, and is said to perpetuate customs such as female excision.

The Brits had this one right years ago, they just failed to hang all of them.

Posted by: Besoeker || 07/12/2007 10:01 Comments || Top||

#4  Long after electric lighting's debut, Africa still remains the dark continent.

It appears much of Africa is still to get electric lighting.. the darkness of the mind will take decades more...

NASA image
Posted by: John Frum || 07/12/2007 10:14 Comments || Top||

#5  An innocent little boy - dear God, WTF kind of monsters pull this sh*t!? I hope the authorities track down everyone responsible and put them down like the rabbid animals they are.
...I need a drink.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 07/12/2007 10:27 Comments || Top||

#6  Check out the Koreas on John Frum's NASA pix.
Posted by: wxjames || 07/12/2007 12:07 Comments || Top||

#7  That sounds more like some sort of magic sacrifice ritual, rather than the usual Muslim beheading. Nor would I think "traditional rituals" is the kind of phrasing used to step around Muslim misbehaviour. General savagery, after all, can be roundly condemned simply for what it is.
Posted by: trailing wife || 07/12/2007 12:11 Comments || Top||

#8  #6 The picture makes S. Korea look like an island off the coast of China doesn't it?
BTW, John you beat me to pulling out the old NASA pic.
Posted by: GK || 07/12/2007 13:41 Comments || Top||

#9  That is beyond sick. May that poor little boy's soul rest in peace among the angels, and may the creatures who did this burn in the deepest reaches of Hell.
Posted by: Swamp Blondie || 07/12/2007 15:26 Comments || Top||

#10  It appears much of Africa is still to get electric lighting.

My point remains. More than 120 YEARS after the light bulb's invention, Africa (especially the sub-Saharan region) has not managed to install any more infrastructure than North Korea or the Philippines despite its huge deposits of gold and diamonds. Where does all the money go?

Truly, we must let Africa sink so that it may one day be reborn.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 16:05 Comments || Top||

#11  Spot on, tw. This is Kenya, but this case is a lot like a West African magical killing--though they generally pull out a few internal organs too. Sometimes big political figures call in the traditional "sect" men for some extra insurance around election time. Sounds like this group is trying to make sure they get invisibility or other magical protection for their rackets.
Posted by: James || 07/12/2007 17:15 Comments || Top||

#12  At the time of publication, people thought Oliver Lyttleton (Lord Chandos) had gone a bit over the top in his description of Mau Mau evil. They were wrong. He saw this same kind of savagery happen there in Kenya and reacted as a decently raised British man and former Guards officer should.
Posted by: Mac || 07/12/2007 18:58 Comments || Top||

#13  Geebus, a two-year old!
Posted by: JosephMendiola || 07/12/2007 21:40 Comments || Top||


Arabia
Fatwa unlikely to affect Saudi prince’s IPO
An initial public offering, launched on Tuesday by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding was this week the target of the kind of attack that is increasingly common in business in the region – a critical religious edict or fatwa.
"Oopsie", said the scorpion, blushing furiously. "I gotta be me."
The fatwa criticised some of the company’s investments as un-Islamic, underlining the influence of Islam on the conservative kingdom’s financial system.

Cleric Mohammed al Ossaimi, who has pronounced on the religious credentials of other IPOs, said on a website that some of Kingdom Holding’s investments were in businesses inimical to Islamic values, such as usury and alcohol. The cleric cited the company’s stakes in financial groups that do not comply with Islamic law, such as Citigroup and Saudi’s Samba Financial Group, which is managing the IPO. He also cited the prince’s stakes in entertainment companies such as Time Warner and News Corporation and hotel group Four Seasons and Fairmont.

Analysts say the fatwa is unlikely to affect the fate of Kingdom Holding’s $860m (€631m, £427m) offering. “Islamic-minded investors will already know that commercial banks and hotels are off-limits – it shouldn’t have too much of an impact,” said Joe Kawkabani of Dubai-based asset management firm Algebra Capital.
The use of fatwas to influence investors is common in Saudi Arabia, where the popularity of Islamic finance is boosting the role of clerics.
The use of fatwas to influence investors is common in Saudi Arabia, where the popularity of Islamic finance is boosting the role of clerics. Mr Ossaimi issued a ruling advising Muslims against investing in last year’s Red Sea Housing IPO, which other clerics approved.

Despite last year’s crash in Saudi and Gulf markets, oil price-fuelled liquidity has helped maintain the healthiest IPO market activity in at least five years, according to Zawya, a Dubai-based business information provider. In the year to date, 20 Saudi IPOs have raised $3.7bn – nine times that raised in three offerings in the same period last year. Some stocks have fallen on their first day’s trading. Half of the 315m-share Kingdom Holding issue which closes on July 18 is reserved for institutional investors and the other half for Saudi retail buyers. Bankers say the institutional portion is twice oversubscribed.

“With this IPO, we will give the people from the right families of Saudi Arabia a chance to invest in its number one company,” said Prince Alwaleed, whose company had $25bn in assets at the end of 2006.
"And I would like to thank Mullah Ossaini for the street cred."
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Yeah, I'm sure the prince is really worried. But I wouldn't be surprised if some Holy Man dies in a desert car crash.
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/12/2007 10:06 Comments || Top||


Britain
BBC apologises to Queen over [misleading] footage
The British taxpayers pay through the nose for this kind of [fill in the blank]. More at the link
The BBC has apologised to the Queen for wrongly implying she had stormed out of a sitting with celebrity photographer Annie Leibowitz.

A trailer released yesterday for the forthcoming BBC1 documentary series A Year With The Queen gave the impression that the monarch had abruptly halted the photoshoot when Leibowitz asked her to remove her crown. Scenes of the pair clashing over the request were followed by footage of the Queen walking down a corridor and telling her lady-in-waiting: "I'm not changing anything. I've had enough dressing like this, thank you very much."

But the footage was actually filmed as the Queen made her way to the sitting.

The BBC said: "In this trailer there is a sequence that implies that the Queen left a sitting prematurely. This was not the case and the actual sequence of events was mis-represented.

"The BBC would like to apologise to both the Queen and Annie Leibowitz for any upset this may have caused."
Posted by: mrp || 07/12/2007 09:02 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6461 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "Sorry, Queenie, don't get your knickers all twisty. Now how 'bout that raise in my allowance!"

-Aunty
Posted by: Seafarious || 07/12/2007 10:40 Comments || Top||

#2  The BBC apologies for getting caught doing to the Queen what it does for every bias bigoted bit of propaganda it can sale as 'news'. Now if the Queen joined the tv tax boycott that would be interesting! A figurative [for gawd sakes, not literally] Lady Godiva moment.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 07/12/2007 11:14 Comments || Top||

#3  I think aunty's getting senile.
Posted by: Howard UK || 07/12/2007 16:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Reversing the order of filmed events is acceptable for fiction pieces, but for people claiming to be reporting the facts, it's unacceptable.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 07/12/2007 20:18 Comments || Top||


Blair's treaty opt-out is worthless, admits EU
Senior European Union officials confirmed yesterday that Britain's "red line" opt-out from the European Charter of Fundamental Rights is not worth the paper it is written on.

The European Commission Vice-President insisted that the charter will apply to huge swathes of British law
Margot Wallström, the European Commission Vice-President, insisted that the charter will apply to huge swathes of British law, the 75 per cent or more that is derived from EU legislation. "Citizens will be able to claim before the courts the rights enshrined in the Charter," she said. "The Charter will be binding for the European institutions, and also for member states when they implement EU law, even if it does not apply to all of them."

Sensitive national legislation, such as Britain's opt-out on a Brussels directive that sets the length of the working week will, officials predict, be challenged in the EU courts because it implements European laws. The commission's legal service estimates that British opt-outs to the charter are "limited" and point to German studies showing that up to 80 per cent of national law originates in Brussels.

"The charter will test some member states applying European law and to what extent a UK judge can be alien to this jurisprudence elsewhere is unclear," said a legal source. "The opt-out is potentially very thin."

If the EU Treaty mandate agreed by Tony Blair is ratified, Gordon Brown will quickly find the charter, including a "right to strike", becoming enforceable in the European courts as trade unions seek to roll back Margaret Thatcher's reforms of the 1980s.

Euro-MPs are planning to sponsor early challenges to Britain's opt-outs.
A senior European Parliament source, close to negotiations on the new EU Treaty, has told The Daily Telegraph that Euro-MPs are planning to sponsor early challenges to Britain's opt-outs. "We are going to make sure that this issue is constantly before the European Court of Justice," he said. "There is 30 years of EU jurisprudence to say there can be no two-tier system of European rights."

Research by the think-tank Open Europe suggests that EU judges will not be backward in coming forward to apply the charter.

The (European) Court of Justice will decide for itself whether member states are implementing European law and interpret their national laws for them
"The Court of Justice will decide for itself whether member states are implementing European law and interpret their national laws for them," said Neil O'Brien, Open Europe's director. "Trying to stop the charter changing our laws will be like trying to carry water in a sieve."
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  So basically, EU law is like a virus to national sovereignty. No wonder the British people want a referendum on this.
Posted by: Jonathan || 07/12/2007 7:21 Comments || Top||

#2  I am not surprised. Dismayed and appalled, but not surprised.

The European Union: You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. We'll take you to court if you try.
Posted by: The Doctor || 07/12/2007 9:09 Comments || Top||

#3  All your sovereignty is belong to us!
Posted by: European Union || 07/12/2007 9:21 Comments || Top||

#4  Bend over and smile.
Posted by: mojo || 07/12/2007 11:06 Comments || Top||

#5  Wankers. I loathe and despise the EU.
Posted by: Tony (UK) || 07/12/2007 13:47 Comments || Top||

#6  Well, you know that they say "If ballots won't work..."
Posted by: gromgoru || 07/12/2007 13:50 Comments || Top||

#7  Another fiasco from the EUnichs in Brussels. These pieces of free-form fecal matter should be very careful - Britain has the best military in Europe, and a reputation for using it against the "swine" on the Continent. They also have the only economy that's working, more or less.

Who knows, we may see Britain nuking Brussels before we see Israel nuking Qom. Some people (hint, hint, Brussels, hint, hint) only know how to be heavy-handed. Kind of like Stalin after WWII, but without the military capability to back it up.
Posted by: Old Patriot || 07/12/2007 22:17 Comments || Top||


Caribbean-Latin America
Fujimori escapes extradition back to Peru
Campaigners in Peru reacted angrily on Wednesday to a Chilean judge’s surprise ruling that there was not enough evidence to extradite Alberto Fujimori, the former Peruvian president, to face corruption and human rights charges.

Judge Orlando Alvarez ruled that Peruvian prosecutors had failed to prove the human rights abuses and corruption charges against Mr Fujimori.

There had been a widespread expectation that Mr Fujimori – who governed from 1990 to 2000 until his government collapsed in the midst of a massive corruption scandal – would be brought back to Peru to answer longstanding accusations against him, including sanctioning two massacres. Chilean prosecutors had recommended last month that the extradition be granted.
Continued on Page 49
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:


China-Japan-Koreas
Japan Fury Over ABM Leaks By US Navy
Posted by: 3dc || 07/12/2007 00:39 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  This will give Kimbo something to contemplate as he sits up all night anyway. One minute for Abe to be notified of launch. Twelve seconds for him to decide to launch interceptors. Two minutes for intercept to occur. Two more minutes until Abe decides to counter attack. One minute to arm the nuclear warheads. One minute to clear launch pads. Eight more minutes of bliss until the light show over NKor. Enjoy, Lil Kim.
Posted by: Woozle Elmeter2970 || 07/12/2007 1:22 Comments || Top||

#2  They've got a lot of nerve, considering that they leaked a ton of classified info about the SM3 system to the Chinese.
Posted by: gromky || 07/12/2007 8:19 Comments || Top||

#3  The article goes on to discuss orderly evacuations; nice pablum but no way will there be any sort of orderly, much less successful evacuations of the metropolitan areas; too many people, too few means of transport, of any kind.
instead consider a bend over and kiss your a55 goodby.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 07/12/2007 15:11 Comments || Top||

#4  At the rate it's going, the population of Japan will be 42 by the time there's an attack...
Posted by: M. Murcek || 07/12/2007 18:40 Comments || Top||


Europe
Voting restrictions urged
Norway's most conservative party thinks it's too easy to acquire voting rights in Norway, and wants tougher eligibiity requirements. Only Norwegian citizens are eligible to vote in national elections, but anyone legally residing in the country for three years can vote in local elections.

The Progress Party, also known for its restrictive immigration policies, wants to usher in citizenship requirements for local elections as well, reports Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

With local elections looming in September, the Progress Party also wants to restrict voting rights to those who can pass written exams in the Norwegian language and general knowledge of the country. Per Willy Amundsen, the party's spokesman on immigration issues, said that proposed exams are meant to make sure that non-Norwegian voters really understand the issues at stake.

The Socialist Left Party (SV) dismissed the Progress Party's proposal as "discriminatory." A party spokesman told NRK that voters not familiar with Norwegian should rather be given extra information on the issues so that they can vote as they're told, instead of being excluded from participation.

Ballots in Norway are printed only in Norwegian, but SV has prepared election campaign material in eight different languages in advance of the September elections. SV also offers both English and Spanish versions of its web site.

Curiously, the Progress Party also offers foreign-language versions of its web sitein English, German and French, while several of its rivals don't. The Labour and Liberal parties offer an English web site, but neither the Center Party, the Christian Democrats nor the Conservatives offer information in any foreign language.

The Center Party, best known for championing support to Norway's farmers and outlying districts at the expense of its cities, offers a "Sami" link, but it, too, is in Norwegian.
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 06:14 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6459 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Democracy without voting restrictions is self-destructive.
In the US I believe voter registration should require passing a basic citizenship test. In writing. In English. I would also like to see a requirement that voters not be on significant public assistance either, but that's got too many administrative and moral problems to be practical.
Posted by: Glenmore || 07/12/2007 7:49 Comments || Top||

#2  Related story: out here on the left coast a woman got her dog registered to vote by simply putting her utility bill in his name. after the bills started coming in, she took the bill to the King County (Seattle) clerk's office and got Fido on the voter rolls. never exercised it, but wanted to prove a point. now the law is looking to charge her and give her some time in the slammer.
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 07/12/2007 15:17 Comments || Top||

#3  So, was he registered as a Democrat or a Republican? If the article doesn't mention it, I would guess Democrat.
Posted by: Rambler || 07/12/2007 17:22 Comments || Top||

#4  i think D, since the time between when she self-confessed to the resitrar and the voting privelige was pulled was quite lengthy and the dog was in fact registered over a period of 3 elections. one was sent back voided by her and included a paw print to show a 'signature.'
Posted by: USN, Ret. || 07/12/2007 18:04 Comments || Top||


"50-euro" banknote most counterfeited
The European Central Bank said Wednesday that the EUR 50 and EUR 100 notes have been the most counterfeited in the first six months of this year. The ECB said the EUR 50 note accounted for half of the 265,000 counterfeit notes taken out of circulation between January and June. The EUR 100 note accounted for 20 percent of the total, while the EUR 20 note trailed in third place with 15 percent. The least popular forgeries were those of the smallest and biggest notes, the EUR 5 and EUR 500 bills, which each accounted for only 1 percent of the total counterfeits.
14% "Other".
Posted by: Seafarious || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: WoT
Senate committee to probe Border agent sentences
Justified ... but, it's also an attack on Gonzales and part of the wrangling over Congress vs the White House
Posted by: lotp || 07/12/2007 06:07 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6478 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Since DHS has previously lied to Congress regarding this matter, Chertoff's credibility will start at zero and go down from there. Johnny Sutton, the prosecutor, should be fired right after the two overdue pardons are finally issued.
Posted by: Phinater Thraviger || 07/12/2007 9:15 Comments || Top||

#2  I would've gave them a medal and a raise.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 07/12/2007 10:30 Comments || Top||

#3  "Border Patrol agents have a difficult and often dangerous job in guarding our nation's borders," she [Feinstein] said in letters to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "I believe that aggressive prosecution of Border Patrol agents has a chilling effect on their ability to carry out their duties and on the morale of all agents.

I'm surprised she even said this. Let the guys go. I thought there was a long-standing tradition of shooting drug dealers in the buttocks--at least there should be. Everyone bellyaches about the "drug problem" in this country. Well these guys did something positive about it. Stop the drug problem; shoot a drug dealer would make a good bumper sticker to put on cars.
Posted by: JohnQC || 07/12/2007 22:14 Comments || Top||


India-Pakistan
Opp parties form alliance without PPP
A special meeting of the all parties conference (APC) held in London on Wednesday by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has formed an All Parties Democratic Alliance (APDA) for the restoration of democracy in Pakistan, Geo news reported. The channel reported that Makhdoom Amin Fahim, leader of the Pakistan People’s Party delegation, rejected his party’s participation in the APDA, saying that the formation of a new alliance was not on the APC agenda.

The channel said that PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, who was chairing the meeting, said the APDA was not an alliance for the forthcoming general elections. Sharif denied that the PPP delegation had refused to become part of the APDA, saying that the PPP team wanted some time to discuss the issue with the party leadership.
Posted by: Fred || 07/12/2007 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6458 views] Top|| File under:


International-UN-NGOs
U.N. complex breaks budget
Suuuuurprise, suuurprise, surprise...
NEW YORK — A new audit has found that renovating the iconic U.N. headquarters building is already $148 million over budget, long before the dirt has been shoveled.
The international version of the Big Dig.
Delays and design changes to the nearly $2 billion project have created the initial cost overrun, according to a report from the U.N. Board of Auditors, which further finds that the United Nations has yet to undertake important pre-construction surveys.
The UN Board of Auditors. Boy, I'll bet that's a tough job...
The auditors also found that the organization has been slow in recruiting staff, noting that the executive director's office has been vacant for 26 of the past 36 months.
Don't kill the job, boys...
"A range of events account for that delay, including the time taken by the General Assembly to reach a decision on the project, the addition to the project of new options that increased its complexity, the inadequate planning schedule and the vacancy of the Executive Director," says the report, which was posted this week without fanfare on the Web site of the U.N. office overseeing the project (www.un.org/cmp). A February analysis from the U.S. Congress' Government Accountability Office found similar concerns, but estimated the costs were over budget by $128 million after likely cost-savings during construction.
"After likely cost-savings during construction"? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....
The famed glass-walled office tower is now leaking heat and air-conditioning, with its occupants vulnerable to fire because it lacks sprinklers. The tower also lacks safety glass and structural reinforcement to protect against attacks. In addition, its electrical, mechanical, communications and security systems are badly outdated.
It's hell, I tells ya! A living HELL!!!
There has not been a serious disagreement on whether the U.N. headquarters' nearly 2 million-square-foot complex needs to be rebuilt. Asbestos permeates the Secretariat, the General Assembly hall leaks, the garage has inadequate security, and the library suffers from a sinking foundation.
I mean, what do you people think we are? Darfurians!
But how to plan and pay for such a massive project has crippled the early preparations before construction can begin.
Really. Large office buildings have never been renovated or had to have had the renovation actually financed in recorded human history. The challenges are just...unimaginable!
As the U.N. auditors note, the building has not undergone major repairs in 60 years, and the construction will be complicated because three-quarters of the Secretariat will still be in use throughout the project.
Here's an idea. Tell 'em to take a three year vacation. Or a ten year vacation. I doubt they'll be missed. Or move to, like, Gaza. Or Somalia. Get up close and personal with the great unwashed they care soooooo much about.
The overall Capital Master Plan (CMP) is now six months behind schedule, with each month ratcheting the cost by roughly $10 million according to CMP officials.
Oh, hell. It's only money! And it's not like they're paying for it.
The contract for a general contractor has still not been signed, although CMP spokesman Werner Schmidt says it will be "soon."
Yeah...soon. We have yet to review the competitive bidding for the kickback section of the contract.
Total costs will be borne by U.N. members, with the United States slated to pay $377.7 million over five years. Washington has also agreed to kick in $10 million for its share of a working capital reserve.
Well wasn't that nice of Washington. Thanks a lot...
U.N. officials say the project is moving ahead. The CMP has recently agreed to a 10-year lease for a 140,000 square foot midrise office building on East 46th Street, a gutted space that will have to be fitted out for 700 employees to use while the headquarters is rebuilt. Published reports say the budget for the lease is about $215 million.
They couldn't find a place that would cost more?
Architect and historian Michael Adlerstein has been hired as executive director, a post that has been vacant since Fritz Reuter abruptly resigned in May 2006.
Fritz sez "I got mine. See ya!"
The General Assembly was to have September's annual debate in a new temporary structure, designed to house the world body's chambers and several large meeting rooms. But ground-breaking for that hangarlike building can't begin until soil samples affirm adequate drainage among other conditions.
You probably would wanna check for drainage, seeing how much raw sewage is gonna come outta there...
"The project has remained an abstraction in the minds of many because it has been in the pipeline for so long," the auditors wrote. The audit team includes professionals from France, South Africa and the Philippines. The head of U.N. administration and management, Alicia Barcena, declined to talk about the CMP yesterday, referring calls back to Mr. Schmidt.
There's probably a sign on Alicia's desk, "The Buck Stops... Someplace Else".
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/12/2007 12:57 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Wouldn't it be cheaper to just build a brand new building in some other country? Not that the UN cares how much it costs.
I have lots of suggestions for where to build it. Someplace sunny, like Mecca. Or tropical, like Khartoum, Sudan. Or, as tu3031 suggested, Gaza or Somalia. Anywhere but here.
Posted by: Rambler || 07/12/2007 13:37 Comments || Top||

#2  I love the dea of build them a new place in Gaza, Hell I would be in favor of the U.S. paying for the whole thing.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 07/12/2007 14:01 Comments || Top||

#3  I'm sure they have nice, modern office buildings in Brussels...
Posted by: mojo || 07/12/2007 15:41 Comments || Top||

#4  I still remember Donald Trump's testimony to the Senate about the renovation. He offered to do for Kofi at a cost of (as I recall) ~$300 million. Kofi refused.

Trump then related his experience meeting with the beauzeau in charge of the project. He said that as the conversation developed, he realized that this person had never managed a large building reconstruction before. Trump, who had started off as an idealist wanting to help the UN, finally walked away in disgust.
Posted by: Steve White || 07/12/2007 17:49 Comments || Top||

#5  Round 'em up. Collect on the tickets and shoot the fuckers.
Posted by: jds || 07/12/2007 22:01 Comments || Top||

#6  The UN Board of Auditors. Boy, I'll bet that's a tough job...

The caviar alone would cause most people to undergo congestive heart failure.
Posted by: Zenster || 07/12/2007 22:45 Comments || Top||


Olde Tyme Religion
TGA - We need to discuss this guy you supported.
Posted by: 3dc || 07/12/2007 00:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6460 views] Top|| File under:

#1  1) TGA is probably dead. He was about eighty five last time he posted.

2) What the Pope says has sense. Protestant churches don't descend from Peter. I will not discuss about denying them the name Churches.

3) It is the BBC. You can count on them to try to smear anyone who opposed Islamo-fascists and put him in bad light.

4) "The King of France does not remeber offences made to the Dauphin" and the Pope is not bound by what he said when he was a lower ranked cleric and nwas not the custodian of the Catholic Church as a whole.
Posted by: JFM || 07/12/2007 4:21 Comments || Top||

#2  1) I hope not. I prefer to think him active in the current government, though it doesn't seem to show much.

2) Doesn't make much sense to pick a fight like this now when you're in a great position to demonstrate how irrational and dangerous the muzzies are. Have the Lutherans suddenly bercome a threat to the Vatican?
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 07/12/2007 7:46 Comments || Top||

#3  The press in general, and the British press specifically, have little interest in Christianity unless the topic encourages ad revenues.

Typically, the Beeb does not link the original document. Here it is.

FOX contributor Fr. Jonathan Morris ( commentary ) explains that the purpose of the document is to clarify for Catholics and non-Catholics exactly what the Catholic Church believes is true.

An excerpt from the Morris commentary:

If we read this document, therefore, as if it were a press release to media outlets, we simply won’t get it. The headlines I have seen in the mainstream media confirm most journalists are not theologians, and in this case didn’t bother to consult experts of sound, Catholic theology regarding what the debate is all about. Without a proper context, we read that the Pope says some non-Catholic Christian communities are not churches “in the proper sense of the word” — meaning, they are not part of the one Church Jesus established while on Earth — and think he is trying to say if a person’s name and address is not registered in the local Catholic parish, he or she is not going to heaven. The Pope doesn’t mean that. I’ll say it again; the Pope is not saying only registered, baptized Catholics can be saved, and any journalists or critic who says otherwise, has officially missed the point.

Speaking of salvation, from the sight of things as I see it, it is quite possible that many present day non-Catholic Christians who are fervent believers in, and practitioners of, the teachings of Jesus will get to heaven before the throngs of wishy-washy, nominal Catholics who only show up to the church doors for infant baptism, the taking of marriage vows, and their own funeral. Of course, I don’t know who will be on the other side of the pearly gates, but I believe, with the Pope, that there is more to the challenge of personal justification and salvation than calling oneself a Catholic — or a Christian, for that matter. God works everywhere and in mysterious ways, and if we respond generously to him in as much as he reveals himself to us, I believe his grace will be sufficient. In this most recent document, the Pope puts this principle like this:

“It is possible, according to Catholic doctrine, to affirm correctly that the Church of Christ is present and operative in the churches and ecclesial Communities not yet fully in communion with the Catholic Church, on account of the elements of sanctification and truth that are present in them…”



Veteran Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister also comments (here ) and includes the Vatican's commentary on the letter, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
Posted by: mrp || 07/12/2007 7:47 Comments || Top||

#4  Nimble Spemble

The pope didn't pick a fight. The BBC has released things he told years ago. It is the BBC who is trying to start a fight between Catholics and Protestants and divert the attention from Muslims. Also I remind you that here this is a discussion about the Catholic doctrine a domain where the Pope is the final authority. If the statrement was presented not as Cardinal Ratzinger's position but as the doctrine of the Church then it had to be approved and even inspirted by John Paul II and reflect the former Pope's opinion much more than Cardinal Ratzinger's opinion.
Posted by: JFM || 07/12/2007 9:17 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
". . . concert organizers locked Tipper in a trunk under the stage . . ."
Mark Hemingway, reviewing LiveEarth in National Review, notices an interesting pattern:

4:58: The scantily clad Pussycat Dolls bump and grind their no-talent-but-well-proportioned derrieres through something approximating a song in such a way that I wonder where the poles are. I believe the chorus is “Loosen up my butt-ons, babe.” Wasn’t this exactly the kind of thing that Tipper Gore used to rail against with the Parents’ Music Resource Center? . . .

5:38: Rapper T-Pain performs his hit single, “I’m N Luv (Wit A Stripper).” Again was Tipper Gore completely MIA when they booked this thing? As if to underscore the age inappropriateness of the whole thing, they go straight from T-Pain to an interview with eleven-year-old actress Abigail Breslin. . . .

6:49: Al Gore takes the stage following [Melissa] Etheridge, acting a bit goofy and clearly energized. . . .

Al segues into introducing a “wonderful American rock band” the Foo Fighters performing in London. I’ll just note that the Foo Fighters last radio hit was a cover of Prince’s “Darling Nikki,” the song supposedly so obscene when Tipper Gore heard her daughter listening to it, she formed the Parents’ Music Resource Center and the ensuing congressional hearings forced the music industry to adopt parental warning stickers. Either she has no integrity whatsoever, or I’m imagining that concert organizers locked Tipper in a trunk under the under the stage with a ball gag in her mouth. . . .
Posted by: Mike || 07/12/2007 01:03 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Oh, that was hysterical! But you've got to read the whole thing. Mark Hemingway reviewing LiveEarth is like a review of "Battlefield Earth" -- far more amusing than the movie itself ever was!
Posted by: Sgt. Mom || 07/12/2007 8:05 Comments || Top||

#2  Al Gore may have killed the genre of Cause-themed Rock Concerts, or if not killed it, severely wounded it.
Posted by: mhw || 07/12/2007 9:03 Comments || Top||

#3  This is a masterpiece! And I will be eternally grateful that Mr. Hemingway sat through it all to report on it so I didn't have to.
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/12/2007 10:17 Comments || Top||

#4  ...and the link to "Soused at the South Pole" on Page 1 is a must read.
Posted by: tu3031 || 07/12/2007 10:19 Comments || Top||

#5  The Foo Fighters dedicated their first song of the night to Al Gore. It started with Dave Grohl yelling into the mic "SHUTUP!". I doubt many of the dorks there (to include Gore) got the intended meaning.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 07/12/2007 10:45 Comments || Top||

#6  Tim Blair (I think) noted the line that became your headline, but this was my favorite part:

Are Live Earth producers contractually obligated to shoehorn in every willing person with an Internet Movie Database listing? This is going to be a long day.

Do read the whole thing.
Posted by: Angie Schultz || 07/12/2007 14:03 Comments || Top||

#7  I tried copying a pic of one of the mentally challenged midgets there displaying to the crowd the actual size of her brain.
Posted by: Broadhead6 || 07/12/2007 14:32 Comments || Top||



Who's in the News
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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.
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Two weeks of WOT
Thu 2007-07-12
  Iraq: 200 boom belts found in Syrian truck
Wed 2007-07-11
  Ghazi dead, crisis over, aftermath begins
Tue 2007-07-10
  Paks assault Lal Masjid
Mon 2007-07-09
  Israeli cabinet okays Fatah prisoner release
Sun 2007-07-08
  Pak arrests Talibigs
Sat 2007-07-07
  100 Murdered in Turkmen Village of Amer Li
Fri 2007-07-06
  Failed assasination attempt at Musharraf
Thu 2007-07-05
  1200 surrender at Lal Masjid
Abul Aziz Ghazi nabbed sneaking out in burka
Wed 2007-07-04
  12 dead as Lal Masjid students provoke gunfight
Tue 2007-07-03
  UK bomb plot suspect 'arrested in Brisbane'
Mon 2007-07-02
  Algerian security forces bang Ali Abu Dahdah
Sun 2007-07-01
  Lebs find car used in Gemayel murder
Sat 2007-06-30
  Car, petrol attack at Glasgow airport terminal
Fri 2007-06-29
  Car bomb defused in central London
Thu 2007-06-28
  Brown replaces Blair

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