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Mass kiddy abduction by Talibs in Pakistan
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Today's Idiot
Family axes wedding plans, man cuts off organ in protest

CAIRO -- A 25-year-old Egyptian man cut off his own penis to spite his family after he was refused permission to marry a girl from a lower class family, police reported Sunday.

After unsuccessfully petitioning his father for two years to marry the girl,
"I said 'no' and that means 'no!' You ain't marryin' that floozy--her kind ain't good enough fer us. Now quit pesterin' me."
the man heated up a knife and sliced off his reproductive organ,
"Okay, Dad, if that's the way you want it, I'll show you!"
"Pull yer pants back up boy! You don't gotta show me--"
"Look out! He's got a knife!"
"Watch this!"
"Ooooowwwwww! That hurt! I didn't think that would hurt that much."
"Serves ya right ya knucklehead! Now pick that thing up!"

said a police official. The man was rushed to the hospital
"Super glue-stat!"
but doctors were unable to reattach the severed member, the official added citing the police report filed after the incident. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press,
"Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone I told you."
added that the man was still recovering in the hospital.
No grandkids for you, Dad. Take that!
Posted by: Mike || 06/01/2009 17:24 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6470 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Darwin strikes again. :-D
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/01/2009 21:17 Comments || Top||

#2  Heated blade and free style eh? No Mogen clamp or anything! That took....well, BALLS! [sorry]
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/01/2009 21:22 Comments || Top||

#3  I gotta say - excellent inline comments.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/01/2009 23:17 Comments || Top||

Navy Probes SEALS over Missing Pirate Cash
Tens of thousands of dollars in Somali pirate booty has apparently vanished -- leading the Navy to probe members of its own elite assault team, The Post has learned.
Shades of 'Three Kings' ...
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is probing allegations that $30,000 taken by the pirates from the safe of the Maersk Alabama during a high-seas standoff last month was never recovered after SEAL snipers shot the hijackers dead, law-enforcement sources said.

"We don't comment on the details of an ongoing investigation," said NCIS spokesman Ed Buice.

But sources say the SEALs, along with the members of the international anti-piracy Combined Task Force 151, and the crew of Maersk Alabama are being questioned over the missing cash.

According to the federal criminal complaint against accused pirate leader Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, the evidentiary items recovered from the lifeboat were two loaded AK-47s, ammo, cellphones and radios, among other items. There is no mention of cash.

"You are asking questions about an ongoing federal investigation on which I don't have any comment," said Maersk spokesman Kevin Spears.

A band of pirates stormed the Maersk Alabama on April 8 off the coast of Somalia as it steamed toward Kenya with a cargo of relief supplies. The brigands allegedly forced the crew to open the ship's safe, where they made off with $30,000 in cash and took Capt. Richard Phillips hostage, according to the criminal complaint against Muse.

"The captain opened the safe and took approximately $30,000 in cash. Muse and the two other pirates then took the cash," stated FBI Special Agent Steven Sorrells in the criminal complaint.

Muse and three accomplices then retreated to a covered lifeboat where they negotiated with the FBI, aboard the destroyer USS Bainbridge, while making escape plans with other pirates.

"Muse also handed out some of the approximately $30,000 in cash from the Maersk Alabama to the other pirates," Sorrells wrote.

For five days, Phillips was held hostage on the lifeboat before Muse alone surrendered to the USS Bainbridge. That day, the SEAL snipers, hiding on the USS Bainbridge's fantail, took out the remaining three pirates in a masterfully executed operation -- one shot for each bandit.
Posted by: Sherry || 06/01/2009 14:05 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under: Pirates

#1  O dear.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/01/2009 14:51 Comments || Top||

#2  NCIS is the right agency to investigate this. You can bet your life the boys, SEALS, did not take the cash.

During Panama there was a pallet of 100 dollar bill sitting in the hangar where the teams slept. It took two weeks before it was discovered the money was not accounted for and not one bill was taken.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 06/01/2009 15:04 Comments || Top||

#3  But,I hope they didn’t take it but if they did I hope they get away with it. IMHO the amount would not tempt regular GIs let alone SEALS.
Posted by: Cyber Sarge || 06/01/2009 15:26 Comments || Top||

#4  NCIS.
The boys who withheld exculpatory evidence in the Haditha non-massacre.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey || 06/01/2009 16:02 Comments || Top||

#5  I remember when everything went down someone here speculated that if the on-the-spot guys had made these decisions without really having approval from highers-up that there might be retaliation down the line against the captain of the ship but not the grunts.

I think we just got a hint that the current administration is a lot more chicken#### than that previous estimate.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/01/2009 17:26 Comments || Top||

#6  But sources say the SEALs, along with the members of the international anti-piracy Combined Task Force 151, and the crew of Maersk Alabama are being questioned over the missing cash.

If a pile of cash is missing, the cops are going to talk to *everybody*, no matter how peripherally involved. This is just the Post wanking over the Evil Immoral Military meme. Nothing to see here. Move along.
Posted by: SteveS || 06/01/2009 23:35 Comments || Top||

Last Titantic survivor dies at 97
The last living survivor of the Titanic, Millvina Dean, has died at the age of 97 in Southampton after catching pneumonia. As a two-month-old baby, Dean was the youngest passenger on board the giant liner when it sank on its maiden voyage with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.

Her parents had decided to leave England for America, where her father had family in Kansas and hoped to open a tobacco shop. The Deans had not chosen to be aboard the Titanic, but because of a coal strike they were transferred to the ship and boarded it as third-class passengers at Southampton.

Her father felt the crunch of the ship's collision with the iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912, and went up to investigate. He returned to their cabin telling his wife to dress the children and go up on deck. Dean, her mother, and brother were placed in lifeboat 10 and were among the first off the liner out of the 706 passengers and crew who escaped.

Her father, however, remained aboard and was among those who drowned when the giant ship finally went down in the early hours of next day.
A noble man. And now Millvina Dean can thank him, and tell him what he bought with his sacrifice.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/01/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org for just about any question you may have about the passengers and the ship.

In addition, Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition just closed in Milwaukee and is moving on to the Twin Cities. Google Titanic: The Artifact exhibition and see whether it's coming near you anytime soon.

I took the kids to see the exhibit, and then took some international students to see it. For me, the most moving artifacts were a torn waiter's jacket, white, for a very small man, with the name "A. Broome" written inside the collar in ink; also a set of au gratin dishes lying neatly in the sand, unbroken, after the wooden cabinet that contained them rotted away.
Posted by: Gerthudion Pherong5864, aka mom || 06/01/2009 21:50 Comments || Top||

-Short Attention Span Theater-
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith to fight shock-jock Michael Savage's lawsuit
Jacqui Smith went ballistic when she found out her husband had been watching porn movies at their home -- and putting them on her official expenses.
Jacqui Smith will not back down against a right-wing American radio DJ who is suing after he was barred from entering Britain.

The Home Secretary included Michael Savage on a list of banned visitors that included a Hamas politician, anti-gay protesters and a Jewish extremist. Savage was furious to feature on the list and said that he would bring a legal action for defamation. Yesterday the Home Office announced that it would staunchly fight any proceedings.

It said: "He was excluded for engaging in unacceptable behaviour by making comments that might provoke others to serious criminal acts and foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence.

"Any legal proceedings would be robustly defended; we stand by our decision to exclude this individual. Coming to the UK is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life."

Savage has been accused of racism and homophobia and once wished that a critical caller would die of Aids. However, an appeal for donations to support his legal challenge posted on his website insists that he has never advocated violence.

The "shock jock", whose real name is Michael Alan Weiner, responded to the ban by saying: "She has painted a target on my back . . . this is lunatic, she is linking me up with Nazi skinheads who are killing people in Russia . . . She's putting me in a league with Hamas murderers who kill Jews on buses.

"I have never advocated violence. I've been on the air 15 years. My views may be inflammatory, but they're not violent in any way."

It was reported yesterday that Savage and had instructed the London-based solicitors Olswang to begin proceedings for a £100,000 lawsuit. The lawyers have written to Ms Smith and demanded she retract the allegations and make a personal apology.

The list of 16 "least wanted" also included the American Baptist pastor Fred Waldron Phelps Sr and his daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper, who have picketed the funerals of Aids victims and claimed that the deaths of American soldiers are a punishment for US tolerance of homosexuality.

Others include Mike Guzovsky, a Jewish militant said to be the leader of a violent group actively involved with military training camps, and Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, leaders of a Russian skinhead gang that beat migrants and posted films of the attacks on the internet. Both men are serving 20-year prison sentences.
But not included are imams and others advocating jihad, nor those who, when visiting family and friends in Pakistan, happen to wander into a jihadi training camp and there learn to make bombs and other modern versions of the lanyard tying I learnt as a child.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/01/2009 09:49 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The House of Commons, oops, I mean House of Saud must behind this.
Posted by: HammerHead || 06/01/2009 10:00 Comments || Top||

#2  I strongly hope he uses England's insane libel law against her, which would almost guarantee a win. The truth is no defense in their weird version of libel, which basically says, "If someone says something about you that you don't like, they are guilty of libel."
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/01/2009 10:46 Comments || Top||

#3  Anybody have any tips on Bourbon for a former Scotch drinker?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/01/2009 11:48 Comments || Top||

#4  Seems to me only CAIR has the reach and reason to be behind this ban. I suspect it's payback for Savage's court victory over them.
Posted by: Spomong Speaking for Boskone7175 || 06/01/2009 15:32 Comments || Top||

Susan Boyle goes Section Eight, Fame Fatigue
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/01/2009 09:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6463 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ironically, I would not be surprised if she doesn't shortly drop dead. When somebody her age (48) or older suddenly has a "flare" of activity and creativity, it often so over-stresses them so much that it kills them. Roy Orbison (52) got caught the same way.

It is not the "flare" itself that is so taxing, but the momentum created by the "flare", that continues to demand their energy after their stores have run low.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 06/01/2009 10:54 Comments || Top||

British man found guilty of free speech religious harassment
A father has been sentenced for religious harassment after a row in a job centre. Jobless John Sullivan, 46, made the remark to a worker at Southend’s job centre, in Tylers Avenue.

Southend Magistrates’ Court heard how Sullivan had been in the branch in January to sign on. He became cross after he was interrupted when speaking to another worker about an incident at the centre the day before. Prosecuting, Bob Rowlingson said staff heard raised voices, and Sullivan was heard saying to Muslim worker Majid Khan, “people of your culture” and “you should bow down to me”.

Giving evidence, dad-of-three Sullivan denied being racist. He said: “I was angry. I was cross. I said to him, ‘why aren’t you bowing down to me?’ He said, ‘What do you mean by that?’ I said, ‘you don’t want to talk to me, you are always avoiding eye contact, you are always looking down’.

“It was a dig at him, but not through his religion.”

Chairman of the bench Peter Hobbs said the comments were “not very nice”, and Sullivan should pay £200 towards costs. He was given a conditional discharge for 18 months after being found guilty of a religiously-aggravated public order offence.
Posted by: ryuge || 06/01/2009 10:18 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

#1  The UK is officially nuts.
Posted by: remoteman || 06/01/2009 13:16 Comments || Top||

#2  Anybody? Does anybody have any tips on Bourbon for a former Scotch drinker?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 06/01/2009 14:29 Comments || Top||

#3  Islamo-cockroaches are going to use our own laws and regulations to enslave us.
Posted by: anymouse || 06/01/2009 15:05 Comments || Top||

Obama Selling Military Secrets To China For Debt Forgiveness?
Ran across this article posted in Jumping In Pools. Not sure how credible it is, ...
It isn't. The B-2 is one of the most classified military projects we've ever had. There isn't a chance in the world that Barack Obama, or any other president, would do this. It's sheer, unadultrated nonsense, and I wouldn't believe it unless the Washington Post showed a photo with a check in one of his hands and the blueprints in the other.
... but allegedly Barack Obama will provide the blueprints for the B-2 stealth bomber to China in exchange for $50 billion in debt relief. According to author Richard Hogarty:

According to the Administration, this proposal will help the United States resolve its debt issues. They point out their belief that the B-2 bomber is "strategically obsolete", according to a source in the White House Press Office. In addition, the source claims that the Chinese would be unable to create their own functioning stealth bomber fleet for "at least eight years."

American allies Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea are very wary of the proposal. Koo Syi, a geopolitical analyst from South Korea, points out that this technology could be passed to China's allies. This was the case when Chinese nuclear technology was transferred to Pakistan and North Korea. According to Koo, Obama has rendered US allies' opinions as "irrelevant."

While this proposal is controversial, it is not being presented to Congress, where it could meet with stern opposition. Instead, the State Department has been informed to assisted the Defense Department with the transfer of materials.
A little skeptical here as frankly $50 billion is less than a drop in the bucket of Chinese Treasury holdings which are easily well over $1 trillion. The economic impact of this transaction would be negligible to zero. On the other hand, if this ends up being true, it is quite frightening, as it merely demonstrates, aside from all the scary geo-political considerations, just how bad of a dealmaker our President is.

In other China-related news, Reuters reporting that Tim Geithner's soothing words from his Beijing whirlwind tour that "Chinese assets are very safe," drew loud laughter from the audience.

"Chinese assets are very safe," Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s.

His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience, reflecting scepticism in China about the wisdom of a developing country accumulating a vast stockpile of foreign reserves instead of spending the money to raise living standards at home.
Alas, laughter is more and more the traditional response when other economies consider the sustainability of the ongoing economic fiasco developing before our eyes (and this author's response to the continued market manipulation).
Posted by: Croluck Uniling1007 || 06/01/2009 18:13 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6477 views] Top|| File under:

#1  You mean there are any left that Clinton didn't sell?

Barack Obama will provide the blueprints for the B-2 stealth bomber to China in exchange for $50 billion in debt relief

Fast track to impeachment and prison. Clinton showed the way is to allow Chinese employment in sensitive sites and let them rummage around. BTW, some Indian guy already sold a bunch of B2 stealthing tech to China and others.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2009 20:06 Comments || Top||

#2  "Chinese assets are very safe," Geithner said in response to a question after a speech at Peking University, where he studied Chinese as a student in the 1980s. His answer drew loud laughter from his student audience,

Heard that on the radio. Chinese don't even bother to hide their contempt anymore.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2009 20:08 Comments || Top||

#3  It's sheer, unadultrated nonsense, and I wouldn't believe it

Posted by: Bernie Schwartz || 06/01/2009 20:23 Comments || Top||

#4  If true how could it be construed by non-believers are anything but tre...n?
The fact that such a concept is floating around is so troubling....
Posted by: 3dc || 06/01/2009 22:22 Comments || Top||

NKorean missile arrives at launch site
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea has shifted its most advanced long-range missile — capable of reaching Alaska — to a new west coast launch site near the border with China, reports said Monday, in a move that threatens to further escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Pyongyang also banned ships from the waters off the west coast through the end of July, reports said.

The regime could fire the long-range missile as early as mid-June — around the time South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and President Barack Obama hold a summit in Washington, the Dong-a Ilbo newspaper in Seoul said, citing unidentified officials in Washington and Seoul.
I double-dog dare you to hold it in Alaska, Barack.
The missile at the Dongchang-ni launch site on the northwest coast is believed to be a version of the Taepodong-2 rocket that the North fired on April 5 saying it was a satellite launch, the report said. The JoongAng Ilbo newspaper carried a similar report.

A new long-range missile launch would mark a significant escalation in tensions already running high after the North's April rocket launch and an underground nuclear test conducted a week ago. The U.N. Security Council has been discussing how to punish Pyongyang for the atomic blast.
Cut off food aid maybe?
North Korea also has custody of two American journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, accused of entering the country illegally and engaging in "hostile acts." Their trial begins Thursday in Pyongyang.
You mean "trial", right?
Lee, hosting a summit of Southeast Asian leaders on the southern island of Jeju, warned the North against any provocation.

"If North Korea turns its back on dialogue and peace and dare to carry out military threats and provocations, the Republic of Korea will never tolerate that," Lee said in a weekly radio address, using South Korea's official name. "I want to make clear that there won't be any compromise on things that threaten our nation's security."
I will stomp my little feet as hard as I can!
North Korea also has designated a large area off its west coast as a "no-sail" zone through the end of next month, an indication Pyongyang could stage armed provocations around the disputed sea border, the Chosun Ilbo newspaper said, citing unidentified intelligence officials. The paper also said the North could launch the long-range missile in two weeks.

Seoul's Defense Ministry declined to confirm Monday's reports, saying it does not comment on intelligence matters. But a defense official confirmed Sunday that U.S. satellites had detected preparations to transport a missile for a test launch.

In Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura, the government spokesman, said Monday that a long-range missile test from North Korea appeared possible.

"Given that North Korea has carried out a nuclear test, we can't deny the possibility that they will further test-fire an intercontinental ballistic missile," he told a news conference.
One less thing for Iran to do later when the project is handed off to them later on to continue, along with a fresh start for more negotiations.
Japan's Defense Ministry predicted North Korea could launch a long-range missile within one or two months, the Sankei newspaper reported, without naming its sources. The paper said North Korea could simultaneously fire a mid-range missile.

The Defense Ministry declined to confirm the report.

The North's Taepodong-2 rocket managed to fly about 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) on April 5. The missile being readied for a new launch is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile, or ICBM, with a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,500 kilometers), the JoongAng Ilbo reported, citing an unnamed South Korean official.

That would put Alaska within striking range.

North Korea had threatened in late April to conduct nuclear and long-range missile tests, and restart its nuclear program, if the Security Council failed to apologize for criticizing its rocket launch.

Carrying out its threat, Pyongyang conducted an underground atomic blast last week. On Friday, it also warned it would take a further "self-defensive" measures if provoked by the Security Council. That threat was seen as referring to an ICBM test.

North Korea has been building the new launch site at Dongchang-ni for years. Last year, South Korean Defense Minister Lee Sang-hee told lawmakers that construction was about 80 percent complete. The site is now near completion, reports said Monday.

Pyongyang is believed to have weaponized enough plutonium for at least six nuclear bombs, though experts believe scientists have not yet mastered the miniaturization technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead onto a long-range missile.

North Korea conducted its first nuclear test in October 2006, earning widespread condemnation and stiff U.N. sanctions.

Months later, the regime agreed to a disablement-for-aid pact signed by six nations, but that process has been stalled since last year. North Korea walked away from the negotiations in April.
Posted by: gorb || 06/01/2009 00:52 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

Citibank Socialized? - “You never want to have the government involved in your business,”
June 1 (Bloomberg) -- When financial stocks slumped in February to the lowest level in at least 17 years, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told Congress the government might end up owning “substantial” stakes in the country’s biggest banks.

Three months later, New York-based Citigroup Inc. may be the only large bank that has to accept his offer.

Bank of America Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and seven other firms judged to need extra capital by the Fed’s “stress tests” plan to raise the required $69.1 billion through a combination of share offerings, asset sales, private securities exchanges and earnings. They will do anything to escape the government meddling that probably awaits Citigroup, said Philip Orlando, who helps manage $410 billion as the New York-based chief equity strategist of Federated Investors Inc.

“You never want to have the government involved in your business,” said Orlando, whose firm owns 7.3 million JPMorgan Chase & Co. shares and 1,483 shares of Citigroup. “They’re not businessmen; they’re bureaucrats. They don’t understand capitalism, they don’t understand the profit motive and they don’t understand the financial industry.”

Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit’s plan to convert $25 billion of government-held preferred shares into a 34 percent voting stake contrasts with the negotiations that New York-based JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are conducting to redeem preferred shares they sold in October to the U.S. through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Government Influence

“Companies that repay TARP will get out of the hottest part of the government’s heat lamp,” said Kevin Fitzsimmons, an analyst at Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP in New York. “But if you go to that next level of having to convert TARP to common, that could be a whole other level of government influence.”

Citigroup, the third-biggest U.S. bank by assets, could face stricter pay rules, limiting its ability to keep talented executives, said Jason Goldberg, a New York-based analyst at Barclays Capital, who has an “overweight” investment rating on Citigroup’s stock. The bank may have to exit risk-taking businesses that are profitable for competitors, he said. Politics also may color the Treasury Department’s votes on board members or shareholder proposals at annual meetings, said Thomas Brown, CEO of New York-based hedge fund Second Curve Capital.

Any government investment in financial institutions raises the prospect of banks being ordered to focus on “state-approved social objectives” instead of increasing earnings, according to a report last week from the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation, a 25-member group of financial-industry executives, lawyers, consultants and academics.

Citigroup Shortfall

“The investing community doesn’t welcome long-term involvement by the U.S. government in the private economy,” said Kevin Starke, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “Every time I try to pitch an idea to investors that has some government involvement, the automatic reaction is, ‘I don’t want to get involved.’”

Citigroup was found by the Fed to need $93 billion more in common equity as of the end of 2008, the biggest gap among the 19 U.S. banks that underwent the stress tests.

The bank already had a plan in place to convert $52 billion of preferred shares, including the government’s, into common. It also got $29 billion of credit for first-quarter earnings and gains on asset sales, so it only needed $5.5 billion more by the time the stress-test results were announced in May. Citigroup says it will close the gap by expanding the exchange offer to $58 billion.

Stephen Cohen, a spokesman for Citigroup, declined to comment, as did Treasury spokesman Andrew Williams.
Posted by: GolfBravoUSMC || 06/01/2009 09:37 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6469 views] Top|| File under:

#1  they’re bureaucrats. They don’t understand capitalism, they don’t understand the profit motive and they don’t understand the financial industry.”

In a nutshell. Nor do they want to. We are now seeing the fruits of the long march thru the instituttions. I just hope I will live long enough to see them shot by their fellow leftists after the collapse and subsequent upheaval.
Posted by: N guard || 06/01/2009 10:43 Comments || Top||

#2  "You never want to have the government involved in your business," said Orlando, whose firm owns 7.3 million JPMorgan Chase & Co. shares and 1,483 shares of Citigroup. "They're not businessmen; they're bureaucrats. They don't understand capitalism, they don't understand the profit motive and they don't understand the financial industry."

Best damn quote I have heard from anyone about what is going on in a long, long, long time. I am going to frame that quote and hang that quote in my office, put that quote on a bumper sticker, print t-shirts with that quote... Awesome.
Posted by: Chuckles Thusock2056 || 06/01/2009 13:32 Comments || Top||

#3  They may be right but then don't take their money either
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 15:50 Comments || Top||

#4  The money shouldn't even be offered.
Posted by: Bright Pebbles || 06/01/2009 19:53 Comments || Top||

#5  Nobody can spin faster than me. Not evenHamilton.
Posted by: Walter Wriston || 06/01/2009 20:30 Comments || Top||

#6  "they don't understand the financial industry"

If they gave YOU money they probably don't. But did YOU?
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 21:32 Comments || Top||

Old GM goes belly-up at 8 am today
May 31 (Bloomberg) -- General Motors Corp. plans to name Al Koch as the automaker's chief restructuring officer tomorrow when GM is expected to file for bankruptcy protection at 8 a.m. New York time, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Koch, a turnaround specialist and managing director at the advisory company AlixPartners LLP, will be the highest-ranking executive at GM from outside the company, the newspaper said. He will oversee approximately 60 Alix workers employed by GM and will report to GM Chief Executive Officer Frederick Henderson and the automaker's board.

The 67-year-old Koch was interim chief financial officer of Kmart Corp. when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002, the Journal said. Koch also spearheaded a turnaround of Champion Enterprises Inc. that allowed the manufactured-home builder to avoid bankruptcy, the Journal reported.

If GM emerges from bankruptcy, Koch is expected to lead a new management team to wind down the "Old GM" which would include efforts to sell or spin off the automaker's assets including the Saturn, Pontiac and Saab brands and as many as 20 factories, the newspaper said.
With all their union employees. Prepare for mass wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The union employees -- well, most of them -- are protected. It's the shareholders, bondholders, dealers and customers who take it in the teeth. But at least the UAW will campaign for and fund the Dhimmicrats in 2010, which is the whole point of this exercise ...
From what I've seen of such things, and admittedly my experience is very limited, the protections are for a fixed period of time after the acquisition/spin-off, after which all contracts are open to renegotiation. I would expect the union employees will be earning considerably less in a few years, those that still have jobs making cars. It just won't take place in front of the cameras with President Obama at the other end of the phone.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/01/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6472 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I thought Obambi was your new "Leader" he ordered you to go under, didn't he?
Posted by: Gentleman Jim || 06/01/2009 0:41 Comments || Top||

#2  Obamonomics in action.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/01/2009 3:48 Comments || Top||

#3  ...Over at The Truth About Cars (www.thetruthaboutcars.com), which has been covering this for more than 2 years in the "GM Death Watch", they have an excellent post which explains how - in order to become profitable - whatever new GM gets set up today will somehow have to outdo industry leader Toyota in every category. Somehow, not thinkin' it's gonna happen.

Posted by: Mike Kozlowski || 06/01/2009 5:26 Comments || Top||

#4  Heres to the last century company "Good-bye Motors" = GM - and on with the new company, "BHOM" or "BOOM" - Barack Hussien Obama Motors -
I suspect we will be seeing "special sales" at this link.
Posted by: Percy Hupasing2482 || 06/01/2009 7:52 Comments || Top||

#5  How many federal [ie taxpayer debt] billions pumped into keeping the carcass we knew as dead last fall? /rhetorical question

Another example of the 'best and brightest' screwing things up. [The same pool of 'best and brightest' who believe they're the natural rulers of the masses.]
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/01/2009 7:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Procop,
We, the taxpayers, HAD to pump cash into GM so the important people would be able to extract theirs out of the carcass. Who the important people are, and how they got 'their' money out, I don't know. Maybe union bosses. Maybe executives. Almost certainly political donations were involved. Follow the money. Except those who could do so would prefer not to.
Posted by: Glenmore || 06/01/2009 8:52 Comments || Top||

#7  Fox reported this morning that in the last few months Uncle Sam has pumped the equivalent of $ 300,000. per GM employee into this sinking ship. Looks like I'll be buying my first Toyota before long, if for no other reason than to protest this absolute and total exercise of insanity.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/01/2009 9:49 Comments || Top||

#8  I bought a Honda Civic several years ago over the Ford equivlant. When I was comparing tags, the Ford had 30% domestic parts and was assembled in Mexico. The Honda had 80% domestic parts and was assembled in Tennessee. The Honda was the American car and drove a hell of a lot better too.
Posted by: DarthVader || 06/01/2009 9:52 Comments || Top||

#9  Unfortunately, the wheels may be coming off of a bit more than old GM.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/01/2009 9:54 Comments || Top||

#10  British Leyland 2.0 -- same politicized decisionmaking, same inefficiency, same appalling indifference to build quality and reliability, but no cute little MG roadsters.

The MGs were unreliable as all get-out, but between breakdowns they were fun little rides.
Posted by: Mike || 06/01/2009 10:09 Comments || Top||

#11  On the day the last Titanic survivor dies we get a socialist workers Titanic Motors (TM)

We must remember how well socialism works....
Posted by: 3dc || 06/01/2009 10:28 Comments || Top||

#12  Speaking of which... how does one get paid in gold?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/01/2009 10:28 Comments || Top||

#13  The union thugs will get theirs. It will take longer, but it will be all the sweeter for the delay.
Posted by: N guard || 06/01/2009 10:46 Comments || Top||

#14  One has to wonder how long it will take these UAW thugs to infiltrate and attempt to unionize domestic foreign car manufacturers and plants. It surely must be in Barry's masterplan.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/01/2009 10:54 Comments || Top||

#15  I think that is the plan behind cardcheck Besoeker.

So the union thugs can 'consult' with any unionization naysayers, and more importantly their families, in the middle of the night. Just to express their opinion you understand.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/01/2009 11:21 Comments || Top||

#16  The POS is speaking now on NBC. OMG, he's growing a MUSTACHE!!!
Posted by: Zorba || 06/01/2009 11:56 Comments || Top||

#17  The government's interests are now being directly affected by the government's regulations.
Some experts already are asking what will happen within the Office of Management and Budget when regulations are promoted on fuel-efficiency standards or safety standards, for instance, that will prove costly to GM, and thus also to the federal government.

"Once the federal government is not simply a regulator, but is all of a sudden also on the receiving end of regulations, that fundamentally alters the politics of how the government interacts with the car industry," said John Graham, an auto safety expert who served as President George W. Bush's regulatory czar within the OMB
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/01/2009 15:44 Comments || Top||

#18  You just have to make an exemption to the rules for Government Owned cars.

I'm sure by the time Zero gets done with Government Run Health Insurance we'll have lots of experience with these types of /special/ exemptions to the rules.....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/01/2009 17:32 Comments || Top||

#19  I'm sure by the time Zero gets done with Government Run Health Insurance we'll have lots of experience with these types of /special/ exemptions to the rules.... I recently read (Pournelle again) an account of the provincial health care system in British Columbia. Politicians "needing" medical care there are routinely exempted from waiting lists that their underlings must endure.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/01/2009 17:38 Comments || Top||

#20  Party clinics and special (Yuan) stores for the inner party.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2009 20:10 Comments || Top||

#21  just curious - any good 2 for 1 or better deals on GM products after this filing?

Posted by: 3dc || 06/01/2009 22:25 Comments || Top||

Aramco-China 1st JV oil processing project in trial operation
The project, partnership of China, Exxon Mobile from the US and Aramco, is designed to integrate oil processing and petrochemicals production with marketing of refined oil, the daily said. The project in Quanzhou, a coastal city in Fujian, will also involve an 800,000 tons/year ethylene cracking facility, an 800,000-tons/year polyethylene device, a 400,000 tons/year polypropylene device and a 700,000 tonnes/year paraxylene-arene facility, it said. The project will jack up Fujian's annual oil refining capacity from 4 million tons to 12 million tons
China's first Sino-foreign joint venture integrated oil processing project, which involves Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco), has gone into trial operation in eastern China's Fujian Province, the state-run China Daily reported Sunday.

The project, partnership of China, Exxon Mobile from the US and Aramco, is designed to integrate oil processing and petrochemicals production with marketing of refined oil, the daily said. The project in Quanzhou, a coastal city in Fujian, will also involve an 800,000 tons/year ethylene cracking facility, an 800,000-tons/year polyethylene device, a 400,000 tons/year polypropylene device and a 700,000 tonnes/year paraxylene-arene facility, it said. The project will jack up Fujian's annual oil refining capacity from 4 million tons to 12 million tons, according to the report. When it begins full operation in the second half of this year, the project will realize an annual output value of CNY 50 billion yuan (USD 7.3 billion).

In March 2007, Sinopec, China's leading oil refining group, and the provincial government of Fujian established two joint-venture companies with Exxon Mobile and Aramco with a total investment of nearly USD 5 billion.

One of the joint venture is the Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd., with the Chinese side taking 50 percent of the stake, and Exxon Mobile and Amaraco sharing the remaining 50 percent equally. The other is Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd., with the Chinese side taking 55 percent of the stake, and Exxon Mobile and Amaraco sharing the rest 45 percent equally.
One of the joint venture is the Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co. Ltd., with the Chinese side taking 50 percent of the stake, and Exxon Mobile and Amaraco sharing the remaining 50 percent equally. The other is Sinopec SenMei (Fujian) Petroleum Co. Ltd., with the Chinese side taking 55 percent of the stake, and Exxon Mobile and Amaraco sharing the rest 45 percent equally.

According to a local expert, given the insufficiency of oil supplies at home, it was an important strategy for China to attract oil-producing nations to invest directly in China's oil refining and petrochemical sector. The strategy could help make best use of China's huge oil market, advanced technologies from Exxon Mobile and abundant oil resources from Saudi Arabia, the report said. As for oil producing countries, the policy would give them access to China's enormous oil market and hence help them lessen their reliance on western oil markets.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/01/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

Kuwait says possible hike of oil prices above 100 ceiling not useful
It is not in OPEC states best interests to hike the prices of oil above the level of USD 100 per barrel, says the Kuwaiti Minister of Oil.

Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, also the Minister of Information, said it is not in the interest of the oil-producing member states of OPEC to see the prices of the oil rising above the level of USD 100 pb, for such an eventuality would result in global economic recession.

Necessity warrants giving the international economy a sufficient opprtunity to recover from the financial crisis, and it is favored that the price of the barrel of crude does not exceed USD 70-80, Sheikh Ahmad said in a statement after today's parliamentrary session.

Asked on the causes of the current hikes of the oil prices, he said the oil market operations, currently, are not based on authentic facts, but rather on some psychological factors. He affirmed that his analyis is based on the fact that the prices of the crude are rising despite a glut in supplies. On his forecast with regard of the prices, the minister said that they would rise in the winter, as a result of prospected hike of the demand.
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/01/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6471 views] Top|| File under:

Air France passenger jet vanishes from radar

The Brazil to Paris flight. Over the Atlantic. Over 200 passengers plus 12 crew.
Posted by: Oztralian || 06/01/2009 06:50 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6476 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Let me state the obvious - this ain't good. 228 people don't just dissapear.
Posted by: Mizzou Mafia || 06/01/2009 7:36 Comments || Top||

#2  Oceanic flight 815?
Posted by: Spot || 06/01/2009 8:15 Comments || Top||

#3  228 people don't just disappear.

Ever check the voter rosters in Washington State?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/01/2009 8:31 Comments || Top||

#4  From Breitbart:

A missing Air France passenger jet with 228 people on board was probably struck by lightning and suffered an electrics failure as it flew through a fierce Atlantic storm, the firm said Monday.

I honestly thought high-flying airliners took care not to fly through fierce storms. Let us all hope this isn't a cover story for something more sinister.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/01/2009 9:04 Comments || Top||

#5  One theory from reports I've read is that the plane may have been hit by lightning. I recall an American plane went down in the Everglades decades ago when lightning hit the control panel.

Lightning hit my plane years ago on a trip from L.A. to Chicago. We made an emergency landing in Kansas City and deplaned in the middle of the runway away from the main gates. The damage was a black hole just below the cockpit on the pilot's side and a black streak (burn mark) the length of the fusilage. I remember hearing a loud crash-type noise and then the entire fusilage on the inside lit up for a split second. Neither of the pilots nor the navigator had ever experienced being hit by lightning, but surmised immediately that was what happened.
Posted by: Zorba || 06/01/2009 9:13 Comments || Top||

#6  Isn't that something. Glad it turned out that well Zorba.
Posted by: Girlthursday || 06/01/2009 9:24 Comments || Top||

#7  Procopius2k : that's classic
Posted by: 746 || 06/01/2009 9:35 Comments || Top||

#8  GT - I don't think lightning is a problem unless it hits the controls (as it was explained to me). Flying almost daily, I had worse experiences -- cockpit fires, blown tires on landing, etc. Fortunately for me at that time, Continental employed pilots that were the best of the best. Many of the pilots I flew with were ex-fighter pilots and very experienced. Plus, I was too young and stupid to be scared LOL.
Posted by: Zorba || 06/01/2009 9:40 Comments || Top||

#9  zorba did they have too let the pilot and co pilot change their pants on the etarmac
Posted by: funky skunk || 06/01/2009 10:40 Comments || Top||

#10  "228 people don't just disappear.

Ever check the voter rosters in Washington State?"

I catch your drift, P2k, but I think it's more likely those "voters" appeared than disappeared.... ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/01/2009 11:20 Comments || Top||

#11  Depends on their party Barb.
Posted by: CrazyFool || 06/01/2009 11:26 Comments || Top||

#12  Good point, CF. ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/01/2009 12:13 Comments || Top||

#13  They voted the straight Hanso Foundation ticket.
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/01/2009 12:16 Comments || Top||

#14  It's always amating how quick authorities are to "rule out" a terrorist act when they actually know next to nothing about what happened.

As a matter of fact you can't rule out a bomb on board at this time. That lightning would strike out all redundant electricity systems on board is possible but extremely rare. Turbulences can bring down a plane but the pilot should be able to set off a mayday signal.

That he was not able to do so does at least not rule out a bomb just because the plane was facing bad weather.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 14:02 Comments || Top||

#15  Brazilian Defense officials have just reported the aircraft had a loss in cabin pressurization along with the electrical problem. Storms and air turbulence aside, it seems like a lot to go wrong all at one time.
Posted by: Besoeker || 06/01/2009 14:15 Comments || Top||

#16  A bomb usually DOES make a lot of things go wrong at one time.

Not speculating here but to rule out a terrorist attack is the usual kneejerk reaction.

Accidents at cruising altitude are actually quite rare.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 14:21 Comments || Top||

#17  cf Bojinka
Posted by: Seafarious || 06/01/2009 14:31 Comments || Top||

#18  OK, getting serious for a sec.

Why would anyone be bombing a Brazilian airliner? Or a French one?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/01/2009 14:36 Comments || Top||

#19  Sounds absurd huh? As if France had any radical Muslims?
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 14:41 Comments || Top||

#20  Google "tri-border"
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 14:42 Comments || Top||

#21  The big AQ plan that was broken up twice was to have simultaneous denotations of bombs on 11 aircraft heading to or from Europe. The carrier does not matter, the country of origin does not matter, isolating Europe in fear is what mattered. This is more than likely an accident but AQ did have plans on aircraft bombings.

God bless the crew, passengers, and their families.
Posted by: 49 Pan || 06/01/2009 15:16 Comments || Top||

#22  Why would anyone be bombing a Brazilian airliner? Or a French one?

Guess you missed Rantburg last week. Can't rule it out or in till there's more to consider.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 06/01/2009 15:20 Comments || Top||

#23  I believe that Euro Con is talking about this.
Posted by: Secret Master || 06/01/2009 15:40 Comments || Top||

#24  It seems rather unlikely to me that a lightning strike would incapacitate ALL electrical circuits on board and impede any communication until the plane went down. There are too many redundant systems on board working independently.

Turbulences at cruising altitude are usually avoided but even if they brought the plane down they can't do it that fast. The crew would always be able to communicate.

A lot of worst case scenarios would have to happen simultaneously.

A bomb instead at this altitude could break a plane apart so fast that no mayday call might be possible.

All I'm saying is that to rule this out is simply not called for. Without the black box we actually might never find out.
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 15:48 Comments || Top||

#25  Nothing in the news indicates any Mayday call was made. From CNN dot com: But about 4:15 a.m. Paris time, Flight 447's automatic system began a four-minute exchange of messages to the company's maintenance computers, indicating that "several pieces of aircraft equipment were at fault or had broken down," he said.

"This succession of messages signals a totally unforeseeable, great difficulty," he said. "Something quite new within the plane."
During that time, there was no contact with the crew, Gourgeon said

So apparently 4 minutes of automatic messages were received from the plane before it went silent.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 06/01/2009 17:43 Comments || Top||

#26  Surely under normal emergency conditions people would be calling out on their cell phones?
Posted by: trailing wife || 06/01/2009 18:36 Comments || Top||

#27  On the case:

Posted by: Mizzou Mafia || 06/01/2009 18:37 Comments || Top||

#28  I guess it's possible lightning could have burned out all the flight computers and comms, but it's strange the diagnostic computer and satcom (I'm assuming) were left functional. Strange.

cell phones?
Middle of the Atlantic.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2009 18:45 Comments || Top||

#29  Strange.
Suspiciously strange.
Posted by: ed || 06/01/2009 18:47 Comments || Top||

#30  Lightning strikes on planes used to be pretty common. I was on a plane out of Chicago 25 or so years ago that was struck by lightning twice. Terrific bang, lights go out and engines power down, presumably all the electricals cut out. Then a few seconds later lights come on and engines power up again.

Anyway. Planes were designed to handle lightning strikes.

Lightning strikes may be less common today because radar can route planes away from lightning areas.

I expect current planes are at least as safe as previous generations in a lightning strike, which suggests terrorism to me.
Posted by: Phil_B || 06/01/2009 21:32 Comments || Top||

#31  At least I'd say that Occam's Razor would suggest that
Posted by: European Conservative || 06/01/2009 21:45 Comments || Top||

#32  Yes, I know about the tri-border area, and the guy recently released in Brazil, and that France has moslem radicals.

What I was asking was, why attack Brazil in this manner, if they're asleep and de facto letting them have some sort of sanctuary, why attack them?
Posted by: Thing From Snowy Mountain || 06/01/2009 23:28 Comments || Top||

Cracks show in Bulgaria's Muslim ethnic model
Twenty years after Bulgaria's then-Communist regime mounted an official campaign of persecution against its Muslim minority, Mustafa Yumer fears rising xenophobia could bring the nightmare back. Yumer led resistance and hunger strikes against a drive to force Muslims to adopt ethnic Bulgarian names in the spring of 1989. Now he says growing anti-Muslim rhetoric is fomenting ethnic hatred and opening old wounds. "We are all very worried," said the 65-year-old philosopher and former teacher. "People are scared by far-right parties who preach and want to see Bulgaria becoming a single ethnic nation."

Muslims make up about 12 percent of the Balkan country's 7.6 million people with most of the rest belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. The country won praise for avoiding ethnic clashes after the end of the Cold War, in contrast to the former Yugoslavia which borders it to the west. Bulgaria is the only European Union member country where Muslims are not recent immigrants. Most are the descendants of ethnic Turks who arrived during five centuries of Ottoman rule that ended in 1878. They live alongside Christians in a culture known as "komshuluk," or neighborly relations. But the rising popularity of the ultra-nationalist Attack party and hardening attitudes of other rightist politicians toward the Muslims ahead of a July parliamentary election have exposed cracks in the Bulgarian model. Attack is unlikely to form part of the next government, but it has helped set the tone for the election campaign.

Ethnic Turks and Pomaks -- Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule -- are shocked and dismayed at accusations that they aim to create autonomous enclaves and that some of their villages are nests for radical Islam. "If we sit and don't work like Bulgarian patriots, one day they will conquer us indeed. They will annex whole regions," Attack's leader Volen Siderov told an election demonstration in May. There have been over 100 incidents of vandalized mosques and other Muslim buildings in the last 2-3 years. Girls have been banned from wearing the traditional Muslim scarf in some schools and universities -- Bulgaria's first glimpse of an issue that has raised tensions in western Europe. Some Muslims fear losing civil rights, gained in the past two decades, and a possible repeat of the repression of the 1980s if nationalists join a coalition government after the July 5 vote.

A "revival process" launched by the late communist dictator Todor Zhivkov to forcibly assimilate Muslims culminated with a campaign to force them to change their names, and the exodus of over 300,000 ethnic Turks to neighboring Turkey in 1989. According to various estimates, between 500 and 1,500 people were killed resisting forced assimilation between 1984 and 1989, and thousands of others went to labor camps. The repression led to bomb attacks by ethnic Turks that killed scores. "The wounds would have been healed by now if some people had stopped poking them," said Fikri Gulistan, 49, dentist in Momchilgrad, where Turkish is the daily language.

More at link
Posted by: ryuge || 06/01/2009 04:42 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ethnic Turks and Pomaks -- Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule -- are shocked and dismayed at accusations that they aim to create autonomous enclaves and that some of their villages are nests for radical Islam

Good for Bulgarians.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/01/2009 5:52 Comments || Top||

#2  This is not good. For geopolitical reasons, the last thing we need right now is an unstable Bulgaria. For moral reasons, Christians and Muslims were getting along in that country; that should be a model for others.
Posted by: Steve White || 06/01/2009 9:06 Comments || Top||

#3  Christians and Muslims were getting along in that country

And than Cristians realised what the Muslims ultimate goal is.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 06/01/2009 12:57 Comments || Top||

#4  This is not good. For geopolitical reasons, the last thing we need right now is an unstable Bulgaria. For moral reasons, Christians and Muslims were getting along in that country; that should be a model for others.

The problem is that Islamists may be outbreeding moderate Muslims and Christians. You can throw your hands up and hope that the future majority Islamist population becomes moderate. Or you can prevent the rise of an Islamist population in the first place by encouraging them to convert (as opposed to the traditional, and pretty brutal, solution to such problems - the convert or die ultimatum). The issue for cradle-to-grave welfare states (which may or may not include Bulgaria) is that the freebies actually cause Islamist families with Koran for brains to have more children in order to qualify for more benefits.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 06/01/2009 15:17 Comments || Top||

PML-N Dr. Nazir Mittho Dogar murdered in Burewala
[Geo News] BUREWALA: Muslim League-N District president and former MPA Dr. Nazir Ahmad Mittho Dogar was shot dead by some unknown persons. Police said that Dr. Nizir Dogar had gone to the adjoining village 257 EB for attending a Â'panchayet' in connection with a truce relating to the murder case of his close relation Nadeem Dogar and while returning some unknown persons halting his car opened fire wounding Dr. Nazir and his two companions Basharat Gujar and Abdus Sattar Dogar. The accused throwing Basharat Gujar over there took away Dr. Nazir and Abdus Sattar Dogar along with his car. Later, Basharat informed the police. Dr. Nazir Mittho Dogar body was found from near the graveyard of village 445 EB this morning. Police cordoning off the area have started hunting the for the accused and the car.
Posted by: Fred || 06/01/2009 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6464 views] Top|| File under:

Graft case against ex-minister splits Iraq parties
The arrest Saturday of a former top official on allegations of graft reflects Iraq's attempt to prove it is serious about fighting corruption, but political rivalries are making it hard to move other such investigations forward in parliament.

Lawmakers are increasingly dividing along party lines ahead of national elections in January, as they move to polish images and prepare candidates for campaigns. They said the split is making it hard to reach a consensus on which investigations to pursue, despite any evidence of wrongdoing.

Trade Minister Abdul Falah al-Sudani was taken into custody at Baghdad's airport after the Dubai-bound airplane he was on was ordered to turn back. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had accepted Mr. Sudani's resignation last week, following two days of questioning in parliament. He is charged with mismanaging public funds and improperly using his authority in relation to the ministry's food-rations program. Mr. Sudani has denied the accusations. His brother, Sabah Mohammed al-Sudani, an aide to the minister, was arrested on May 7 and charged with embezzlement. He denies wrongdoing.

Mr. Sudani was seen as a relatively easy target because his ministry was widely considered one of the most corrupt in Iraq. Now, lawmakers want to question top officials in the ministries for oil, transportation, electricity and the national elections commission. The watchdog group Transparency International listed Iraq as the third most corrupt country in the world in 2008.

One example of the political fighting surrounds the case of Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, an official now facing accusations of mismanagement and graft. Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said the accusations are tied to politics, not facts. Lawmaker Jabber Khalifa al-Jabber said his Oil and Gas Committee had 140 lawmakers' signatures to request Mr. Shahristani to come to parliament for questioning. But this past week, more than a dozen parliamentarians, most from the United Iraqi Alliance bloc that includes Mr. Maliki's party, asked to withdraw their names. Mr. Shahristani is an independent member of the Alliance.

The committee had to start over, this time getting 125 signatures. "It seems there is some political interference with our wish to question the oil minister," said Mr. Jabber, a member of the Fadhila party. Mr. Maliki's adviser denied interference. He said the oil minister is being targeted because of the campaign ambitions of other lawmakers.
Posted by: ryuge || 06/01/2009 03:32 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6466 views] Top|| File under:

Southeast Asia
Extinct bird found........then eaten
Stop me if you've heard this one: A guy walks into a restaurant in the Philippines and orders roast fowl. "How would you like it?" asks the waiter. "Rare," he says...

Well, they don't get much rarer than this.

In January, a team making a documentary about traditional bird-trapping methods in Luzon captured an image of a bird that was thought to be extinct.

The specimen caught the eye of ornithologist Desmond Allen, a member of the Wild Bird Club of the Philippines, who spotted it in a photo accompanying the credits. He identified its species as Worcester's buttonquail (Turnix worcesteri), a bird whose presence hadn't been recorded for more than a century.

Cause for celebration?

You might think so, except for one tiny problem: Shortly after being photographed, the bird was sold for about 20 cents and eaten! It made for a bittersweet experience for Filipino birdwatchers.

"What if this was the last of its species?" worried Mike Lu, the Wild Bird Club's president.


For the moment, all ornithologists can do is watch and wait, in hopes that Worcester's buttonquail will show up again someday, preferably with a little more lag time before dinner. At least the documentary crew came up with an apt name for their production: It's called Bye-Bye Birdie.
Posted by: Classer || 06/01/2009 18:53 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [6473 views] Top|| File under:

#1  I have to ask...
Was it tasty?
Posted by: 3dc || 06/01/2009 22:14 Comments || Top||

#2  Wrong question, 3dc.

The correct question is, "Did it taste like chicken?" ;-p
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut || 06/01/2009 22:21 Comments || Top||

#3  a little more like spotted owl, I think.
Posted by: Angainter Henbane8436 || 06/01/2009 23:51 Comments || Top||

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Two weeks of WOT
Mon 2009-06-01
  Mass kiddy abduction by Talibs in Pakistan
Sun 2009-05-31
  Former director of National Security Intel was owned by ISI
Sat 2009-05-30
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Fri 2009-05-29
  Pakistan: Suspects arrested for ´plotting attack against spy agency´
Thu 2009-05-28
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Wed 2009-05-27
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Tue 2009-05-26
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Mon 2009-05-25
  N. Korea appears to have conducted second nuclear test
Sun 2009-05-24
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Thu 2009-05-21
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Wed 2009-05-20
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  Prabhakaran dead as a rock!!!!!
Mon 2009-05-18
  Norks to nullify Kaesong agreements

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