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Mysterious explosion kills 7, injures 16 in Iran
Today's Headlines
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Page 6: Politix
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-Lurid Crime Tales-
Today's Darwin - 12,000 Volt Security System
Authorities say they believe a man found dead near an electrical transformer in Palm Springs was tampering with equipment when he was electrocuted.
"here, hold my beer" BZZZZZT
Palm Spring police Sgt. Kovaleff tells the Palm Springs Desert Sun that Southern California Edison workers found the body Saturday afternoon when they were checking the reason for a brief power disruption. The Riverside County coroner hasn't released the man's name yet.
Mr. Burns
Kovaleff says it appears the man was trying to steal copper wire from the 12,000-volt transformer before he was killed.
Posted by: Frank G || 12/12/2011 14:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [448 views] Top|| File under:

#1  When the going gets tough, the tough steal copper.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 12/12/2011 18:04 Comments || Top||

#2  SHOCKING!
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 12/12/2011 19:01 Comments || Top||

#3  A heart warming Christmas tale to get the juices flowing.
Posted by: Slatle Bumble5851 || 12/12/2011 19:11 Comments || Top||

#4  He found a short term job as a conductor.
Posted by: Secret Asian Man || 12/12/2011 20:15 Comments || Top||

#5  The coppers will never take me alive.
Posted by: Thineper Ebbutle4977 || 12/12/2011 22:29 Comments || Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Retire? Not now, vows Mugabe
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Zim-bob-we's President Bob Muggsy Mugabe
Octogenarian President-for-Life of Zim-bob-we who turned the former Breadbasket of Africa into the African Basket Case...
has said that he will not retire as long as the country faced threats of re-colonisation from Western countries.

Closing the 12th Zanu PF Annual National People's Conference in Bulawayo on Saturday, Mugabe said that for him to retire when the country was under siege from Western countries would be a betrayal of those who fought and died to liberate Zim-bob-we.

Western countries, led by the country's former colonial power Britannia, are aggressively seeking to re-colonise the country through puppet political parties they are helping to take over power, President Mugabe said.

"Sometimes the call comes to retire. I will do that when I reach a stage where I think those who departed will be satisfied that the party is moving ahead without any interests but not when the West is still working to effect regime change and when we are still in the inclusive government," he was quoted as saying, referring to the coalition government which runs the country.

Mugabe said retiring, in the face of the threats, would be an act of cowardice on his part. He said he was committed to serve the party and country diligently as he has always done, starting from the days when he was incarcerated by colonial regimes.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [310 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Mugabe has said that he will not retire as long as there were things left to steal.
Fixed.
Posted by: Spot || 12/12/2011 7:50 Comments || Top||

#2  "What part of 'dictatorial, president-for-life', do you not understand?"

I think Zimbabwe can be summed up by the story of several of Mugabe's government cronies, who paid a witch a small fortune for a magic stick that, she alleged, when struck against a rock would make refined diesel fuel pour out of it. Which would thus alleviate all Zimbabwe's energy needs.

The tale would not be complete, except that after pulling this magnificent con job, the witch was foolish enough to not leave Zimbabwe, so though the fortune was not recovered, she was arrested and believed to have been murdered.

But this tale encapsulates the nation of Zimbabwe, from Mugabe down. A tale of how a prosperous country was brought low by racism and stupid avarice.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 8:50 Comments || Top||

#3  He needs to be "retired", Bladerunner style.
Posted by: bigjim-CA || 12/12/2011 9:54 Comments || Top||


Ivory Coast Holds First Post-Gbagbo Elections
[An Nahar] Ivorians voted Sunday to elect a new parliament in a poll boycotted by the party of former strongman Laurent Gbagbo
... Former President-for-Life of Ivory Coast from 2000 to 2011. Laurent lost to Alassane Ouattara in 2010 but his representtive tore up the results on the teevee and he refused to vacate the presidential palace. French troops assisted the Oattara forces in extricating him from his Fuhrerbunker...
, who is awaiting trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity.

The vote comes a year after the aftermath of a divisive presidential election brought the world's top cocoa producer to the brink of civil war and follows a bloodstained campaign that left five people dead in the final week.

Turnout was weak, a front man for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Abidjan said, adding however that no incidents had been reported some four hours into the voting.

Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara
...the current president-for-life of Ivory Coast. He actually beat his predecessor in an election before having to eject him from the presidential palazzo....
urged voters to ignore the boycott call, saying the new parliament would be "truly consensual (and) democratic ... and contribute to the strengthening of democracy in our country."

With Gbagbo sitting in an International Criminal Court
... where Milosevich died of old age before being convicted ...
(ICC) cell, the coalition backing Ouattara is widely expected to gain a majority of the 255 seats in the new assembly.

Ouattara, 69, took office six months after the November 2010 presidential polls as Gbagbo refused to step down, unleashing a conflict that claimed some 3,000 lives in a country that was once a beacon of stability in the west African region.

Gbagbo, who held on to his job five years after his initial mandate expired in 2005, was eventually captured in his presidential palace by pro-Ouattara forces in April, with support from French and U.N. troops.

Some 25,000 members of the Ivorian security forces, backed by 7,000 members of the U.N. peacekeeping mission, have been deployed to ensure security for the elections in this former French colony.

Laurent Akoun, front man of Gbagbo's Ivorian Popular Front (FPI), said the low turnout proved that the government is "illegitimate."

"The masquerade has thrived. We are staying in our corner. We have given no call for violence or to prevent voters from voting," he said.

The FPI said in its boycott call that conditions were not met for fair elections and has asked for the release of its main leaders -- notably Gbagbo, with whom reconciliation "will be difficult" while he is facing trial in The Hague. The FPI has called its champion's transfer last week to the ICC a "political kidnapping," denouncing what they call "victor's justice" and vowing to pull out of the reconciliation process.

The ICC has carried out an investigation parallel to Ivorian justice, looking into crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by both Gbagbo loyalists as well as Ouattara supporters.

In Bouake, a Ouattara stronghold, turnout appeared far lower than in last year's vote.

After a political and military crisis lasting more than a decade, home-made guns, Kalashnikov assault rifles and rocket-launchers are circulating freely in the country.

About 5.7 million of a population of 21 million are eligible to vote, with polling stations to close at 5:00 pm (1700 GMT), watched over by 150 international and 3,000 Ivorian observers. Election results are expected mid-week.

Ouattara faces the daunting task of reconciling the divided country and integrating the rebels who fought for him into the pro-Gbagbo armed forces. He must also breathe new life into the economy, which shrank six percent during the crisis this year.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [335 views] Top|| File under:


China-Japan-Koreas
ChiCom fishing skipper kills SKor Coast Guardsman
A Chinese fishing boat skipper stabbed a South Korean coastguard officer to death and wounded another officer on Monday as they tried to arrest him for illegal fishing, officials said.

South Korea summoned Chinese ambassador Zhang Xinsen to lodge a strong protest, the foreign ministry said.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/12/2011 14:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [345 views] Top|| File under:

#1  "former Chinese fishing boat skipper" - now "organ donor"
Posted by: Frank G || 12/12/2011 17:35 Comments || Top||

#2  "former Chinese fishing boat skipper" - now "organ donor"

If Chinese internet reactions are to be believed, the guy's practically a national hero.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 12/12/2011 18:38 Comments || Top||


Economy
Run On Swedish Bank In Latvia
Latvia's largest bank is trying to contain a run among depositors gripped by fears of the bank's imminent collapse.

The panic among Swedish-owned Swedbank's depositors began Sunday after rumors spread that the financial institution was facing legal and liquidity problems in Estonia and Sweden.

Swedbank's Latvian chief Maris Mancinskis on Monday called the rumors "absurd." He said the bank is functioning normally and all depositors will have access to their funds via bank machines.
Why does this remind me of Kevin Bacon in 'Animal House', yelling at the panicked crowd: "Remain calm! All is well! ALL IS WELL!"
Mancinskis said some 10,000 Latvians withdrew over 10 million lats ($20 million) on Sunday.

Latvia's 10th largest bank, Latvijas Krajbanka, is currently being liquidated after regulators uncovered fraud on a massive scale. Depositors were left without access to their money for days.
U.S. law has been recently changed so that now banks, on their own, can declare a bank holiday of up to 2 weeks, if they think a run is in progress. This includes 'demand' accounts previously thought to be sacrosanct. During the Great Depression, the federal government made some banks have holidays from 3 to 300 days.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 09:55 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [697 views] Top|| File under:

#1  What happens if a bank declares a "bank holiday" and the customer has direct deposit for their payroll? A mad scramble to shut off the direct deposit?
Posted by: tipover || 12/12/2011 11:42 Comments || Top||

#2  They've thought of that angle. Banks will still take deposits during a holiday, just not withdrawals.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 12:18 Comments || Top||

#3  Some of the banks that went on holiday during the Great Depression have not yet reopened. Their depositors were SOL.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 12/12/2011 13:58 Comments || Top||

#4  Does that mean they will not accept mortgage payments from those accounts?
Posted by: Tamir Pardo || 12/12/2011 14:08 Comments || Top||

#5  Does that mean they will not accept mortgage payments from those accounts?

Safest to assume not, Tamir, but what happened to Krajbanka customers? The article only says they were left without access to their money for days.
Posted by: trailing wife || 12/12/2011 15:04 Comments || Top||

#6  In Korporate Kommunist Amerika, the Federal Reserve Bank runs on YOU.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 12/12/2011 17:32 Comments || Top||


Europe
Leading Spanish bank forcasts renewed economic recession
(KUNA) -- Spain's second largest bank, BBVA, expected continued slow growth for the Spanish economy during the fourth quarter of 2011, warning of the likelihood of falling into a renewed economic slump the following year.

Given the current negative economic outlook, namely the growing problem of Spanish unemployment and the weak foreign demand of Spanish goods, the report indicated that the country was facing a new recession.

Other factors leading to the suggestion are the weakening demand on local products, the tension in global markets, low investor condfidence and the growing size of eurozone debts, all of which would lessen Spain's chances of achieving growth and reviving its economy.

Spain's supreme monetary body, Bank of Spain, had posted a meagre annual growth average of 0.8 pct.

Bank of Spain had recently lowered its official growth expectations for 2011, from 1.3 pct to 0.8 pct.
Posted by: Fred || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [327 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Obscure retiree forecasts renewed continued economic recession.
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 12/12/2011 1:21 Comments || Top||

#2  Spanish banks also have a few hundred billion in bad real estate loans.
Posted by: phil_b || 12/12/2011 1:38 Comments || Top||


Fifth Column
The Occupation Farces Plans To Shut Down The Port Of L.A.
Two weeks after their central command post at City Hall was dismantled by police, Occupy L.A. protesters are setting their sights on a new mission -- shutting down the Port of Los Angeles.

Protesters will be gathering at Harry Bridges Park in San Pedro starting at 5 a.m. Monday, according to an announcement posted on Occupy L.A.'s website Sunday.

Activists will then march to the gate of the SSA terminal, all in the early, and most heavily trafficked, hours of the port's morning.

Occupy L.A. organizers say Monday's event will specifically target Goldman Sachs, partial owner of shipping agent SSA Marine, which has 5 terminals and a warehouse in the Harbor area.

ILWU's president released a statement in October supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement after members were pepper-sprayed in a protest at the Port of Longview in Washington.

A separate migrant's rights march will also be held in Downtown L.A. at 10 a.m. with participants marching from Olympic Blvd. and Broadway to City Hall.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [667 views] Top|| File under:

#1  And their point is ???
Posted by: Anguper Hupomosing9418 || 12/12/2011 1:23 Comments || Top||

#2  Protesters will be gathering at Harry Bridges Park in San Pedro starting at 5 a.m

Longshoremen vs Hipsters? Serious pay-per-view potential there. My money is on the people who work for a living.

I do give 'em credit for getting up at 5 am on a Monday, though.
Posted by: SteveS || 12/12/2011 3:45 Comments || Top||

#3  I do give 'em credit for getting up at 5 am on a Monday, though.

They'll be pretty useless until the nearest expresso shoppes open and a few 'runs' have been made, though.
Posted by: Mullah Richard || 12/12/2011 8:22 Comments || Top||

#4  If it costs a fortune, at least one thing is certain, that the California legislature will try to make it up by raising taxes.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 8:39 Comments || Top||

#5  gonna rain in SoCal today. We'll see how committed they are when they're gonna get a much-needed bath
Posted by: Frank G || 12/12/2011 8:39 Comments || Top||

#6  It will be red on red. The ILWU is supporting the Occupiers and the Teamsters and Owner Operators are not. Should be interesting conversations at the gates.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble || 12/12/2011 9:17 Comments || Top||

#7  I do give 'em credit for getting up at 5 am on a Monday, though.

More likely it's because they're still up from tweaking partying all night.
Posted by: Frozen Al || 12/12/2011 10:21 Comments || Top||

#8  I got a look on TV at the mess that was made by the Occupy LA people when they were finally evicted from the encampment. There were nice, new tents that those people just left standing there. Having participated in Boy Scouts for some years I have an idea of the value of a tent. You can pay upwards of a hundred buck or even more depending on the type of tent you get. Now, it seems to me that if the occupiers had to buy those tents themselves they wouldn't have just left them behind. So my question is: Who paid for those tents?
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 12/12/2011 12:02 Comments || Top||

#9 
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 15:32 Comments || Top||

#10  Not much of a disturbance
Posted by: Bobby || 12/12/2011 18:14 Comments || Top||


Posted by: || 12/12/2011 13:28 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [304 views] Top|| File under:


Posted by: || 12/12/2011 13:23 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [316 views] Top|| File under:


Posted by: || 12/12/2011 11:19 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top|| File under:


Home Front: Culture Wars
"Backlash" for Lowe's as ads pulled from Muslim show
Ay-peee handwringing.
The retail giant stopped advertising on TLC's "All-American Muslim" after a conservative group known as the Florida Family Association complained, saying the program was "propaganda that riskily hides the Islamic agenda's clear and present danger to American liberties and traditional values."
welllll. It certainly won't show Jihadis, but...
The show premiered last month and chronicles the lives of five families from Dearbornistan, Mich., a Detroit suburb with a large Muslim and Arab-American population.

A state senator from Southern California said Sunday he was considering calling for a boycott.
"Watch me as I showboat and propose unconstitutional penalties!"
Calling the Lowe's decision "un-American" and "naked religious bigotry," Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told The Associated Press he would also consider legislative action if Lowe's doesn't apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads. The senator sent a letter outlining his complaints to Lowe's Chief Executive Officer Robert A. Niblock.
FYNQ
Posted by: Frank G || 12/12/2011 08:10 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [886 views] Top|| File under:

#1  Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, told The Associated Press he would also consider legislative action if Lowe's doesn't apologize to Muslims and reinstate its ads.

Discovery!!!
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 8:26 Comments || Top||

#2  Lowe's acted very diplomatically in their response to Lieu's threats. However, they should quietly send someone around to the local pols in his 28th district, suggesting that the about 6-8 Lowe's in that district might be relocated outside of that district, because of Lieu's "anti-business attitude."

And since Lowe's has 110 stores in California, those 6-8 stores, and their employees, would be "redundant", so there would be about 5,000 more new unemployed people, who might infer that Lieu was the one who got them fired.

And maybe the local pols as well, if they were unable to convince Lieu of the error of his ways.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 8:30 Comments || Top||

#3  Given how California is hardly welcoming to corporations and job creation these days, how could Lowe's tell the difference between governmental 'business as usual' and punishment?
Posted by: Procopius2k || 12/12/2011 8:39 Comments || Top||

#4  Kudos to Lowe's for pulling their money from that piece of Islamic propaganda. Consider sending an email to Lowes showing your support of their decision.

"All-American Muslim": A Little Taqiyya on the Prairie
Part of the whitewash at “All-American Muslim” involves some of the program stars themselves. One of the American-born leads, Suehaila Amen, is a devout Shi’ite Muslim who wears the hijab and, just days after the 9/11 attacks, wrote a letter to a Lebanese newspaper, declaring Lebanon her “homeland” and America as a place where “everyone is your enemy.” It is unclear whether Amen knew at the time of the deep involvement of the Iranian terror proxy, Lebanese Hizballah, in the 9/11 attacks. Amen serves as 1st Vice President of the Lebanese American Heritage Club of Dearborn, MI, which has sponsored openly antisemitic, anti-Israel, and pro-Hizballah rallies and whose founder, Ali Jawad, was fired from the 2008 John McCain presidential campaign because of his alleged ties to Hizballah.

On 21 June 2011, the Club held a boisterous rally in support of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, even as that dictator’s security forces were gunning down unarmed protestors in the streets. Club members also rallied against former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and cheered his ouster in February 2011, an event that cleared the way for the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood to power there. Amen also organized fundraising banquets in 2010 and 2011 for the Michigan Chapter of the CAIR Action Network; according to the U.S. Department of Justice, CAIR is the U.S. branch of the HAMAS terror organization, itself an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

The Imam featured in the series, Husham Al- Husainy, who marries Jeff, the Catholic who converted to Islam, and Shadia Amen was actually featured on Sean Hannity's program on Fox News back in 2007. Al-Husainy is a radical Muslim who refused to answer Hannity's questions regarding Hisballah and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and instead went on an angry ranting spree.
Posted by: Slatle Bumble5851 || 12/12/2011 8:56 Comments || Top||

#5  Ooops. I thought I'm reading "legal" (nor "legislative") action.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru || 12/12/2011 9:01 Comments || Top||

#6  Watched a couple episodes and found boring. Noticed that none of the devoit Muslims in the show were ever shown praying (let alone five times a day).

Lowes could shut down locations if they want but Home Depot will just suck up the business so the protest would only hurt loses employees and families.
Posted by: Rjschwarz || 12/12/2011 10:11 Comments || Top||

#7  looks like they could spend their advertsing money on any show or channel they want too.
Posted by: chris || 12/12/2011 10:26 Comments || Top||

#8  I'm with Rjschwarz, the show is aweful, and not only is the realty show market super-saturated the characters are not very compelling and could actually reinforce what these people would call negative stereotypes. Fat man who does nothing except get home as soon as possible to smoke she-shaw, you really want me to point and laugh?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/12/2011 11:02 Comments || Top||

#9  Watched a couple episodes and found boring. Noticed that none of the devoit devout Muslims in the show were ever shown praying (let alone five times a day).

Fixed it for ya. But then I thought, hmmmm, devoit might have potential as a derivative of the word void.
Posted by: Ebbang Uluque6305 || 12/12/2011 12:14 Comments || Top||

#10  The Devoit Lyin's?
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/12/2011 12:19 Comments || Top||

#11  Devoit is an archaic French version of "devout", so much of a muchness.
Posted by: Anonymoose || 12/12/2011 12:22 Comments || Top||

#12  Well, it says after, not because of. Fact is Billy the Exterminator will win every time against whiney suburbanites.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 12/12/2011 17:56 Comments || Top||

#13  Seen at Lowe’s parking lot in Nashville:
Posted by: tipper || 12/12/2011 20:30 Comments || Top||



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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
Mon 2011-12-12
  Mysterious explosion kills 7, injures 16 in Iran
Sun 2011-12-11
  Syrian Opposition Reports Deputy Defense Minister Killed
Sat 2011-12-10
  Rival Yemeni forces said to quit streets of Taiz city
Fri 2011-12-09
  Twenty trucks torched in attack at Nato terminal in Quetta
Thu 2011-12-08
  Yemen's unity government announced
Wed 2011-12-07
  New coalition government formed in Yemen
Tue 2011-12-06
  Afghanistan: Kabul shrine attacks 'kills 34'
Mon 2011-12-05
  France Reduces Tehran Embassy Staff after Attack on British Mission
Sun 2011-12-04
  Iran police arrest 12 over embassy rally
Sat 2011-12-03
  US Hands Over Camp Victory to Iraq
Fri 2011-12-02
  Syria Sanctions Target Assad Brother, 16 Other Senior Figures
Thu 2011-12-01
  UK expels Iran diplomats after embassy attack
Wed 2011-11-30
  Egypt's elections go smoothly amid protests
Tue 2011-11-29
  Iranian brownshirts seize 6 British embassy staff
Mon 2011-11-28
  Enraged Pakistanis burn Obama effigy, slam US

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