Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Steve Bell on US's Iraq withdrawal | From the Guardian | The Guardian

Steve Bell on US's Iraq withdrawal | From the Guardian | The Guardian
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Stephen Brook on how gossip site TMZ.com has become a media giant | Life and style | The Guardian

Stephen Brook on how gossip site TMZ.com has become a media giant | Life and style | The Guardian
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Governor 'crossed lines' with more women - More politics- msnbc.com

Governor 'crossed lines' with more women - More politics- msnbc.com
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Persepolis 2.0: Iran poll inspires sequel | News | guardian.co.uk

Persepolis 2.0: Iran poll inspires sequel | News | guardian.co.uk
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What’s the truth about legal highs? - Features, Health & Families - The Independent

What’s the truth about legal highs? - Features, Health & Families - The Independent
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Monday, June 29, 2009

Yes, addicts need help. But all you casual cocaine users want locking up | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

The same goes for heroin. The biggest study of opiate use ever conducted (at Philadelphia general hospital) found that addicts suffered no physical harm, even though some of them had been taking heroin for 20 years. The devastating health effects of heroin use are caused by adulterants and the lifestyles of people forced to live outside the law. Like cocaine, heroin is addictive; but unlike cocaine, the only consequence of its addiction appears to be … addiction.

Costa's half-measure, in other words, gives us the worst of both worlds: more murder, more destruction, more muggings, more adulteration. Another way of putting it is this: you will, if Costa's proposal is adopted, be permitted without fear of prosecution to inject yourself with heroin cut with drain cleaner and brick dust, sold illegally and soaked in blood; but not with clean and legal supplies.

His report does raise one good argument, however. At present the trade in class A drugs is concentrated in the rich nations. If it were legalised, we could cope. The use of drugs is likely to rise, but governments could use the extra taxes to help people tackle addiction. But because the wholesale price would collapse with legalisation, these drugs would for the first time become widely available in poorer nations, which are easier for companies to exploit (as tobacco and alcohol firms have found) and which are less able to regulate, raise taxes or pick up the pieces. The widespread use of cocaine or heroin in the poor world could cause serious social problems: I've seen, for example, how a weaker drug – khat – seems to dominate life in Somali-speaking regions of Africa. "The universal ban on illicit drugs," the UN argues, "provides a great deal of protection to developing countries".
Yes, addicts need help. But all you casual cocaine users want locking up | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian
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Young Japanese Raise Their Voices Over Economy - NYTimes.com

Young Japanese Raise Their Voices Over Economy - NYTimes.com
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Heath Ledger's Final Days, His Last Role, His Devotion To His Daughter, And His Demons

Heath Ledger's Final Days, His Last Role, His Devotion To His Daughter, And His Demons
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Pontiac, Michigan feels brunt of GM's pain | U.S. | Reuters

Even before June 1, the city was in a pickle. Unemployment hit 27.2 percent in April, more than three times the national rate of 8.9 percent that month. Property and income taxes have fallen and there were 1,000 home foreclosures in 2008.
Pontiac, Michigan feels brunt of GM's pain | U.S. | Reuters
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Private prisons 'performing worse than state-run jails' - Home News, UK - The Independent

She added: "It's been an interesting experiment. The end result is that 11 per cent of our prison population are now held in private hands. But one of the issues it has introduced is a kind of market drive to increase the prison population, to grow that business and that's something that really does concern us."
Private prisons 'performing worse than state-run jails' - Home News, UK - The Independent
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Krugman Debates Stimulus, Health Care With Conservative Economist John Taylor (VIDEO)



Krugman Debates Stimulus, Health Care With Conservative Economist John Taylor (VIDEO)
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Op-Ed Columnist - Betraying the Planet - NYTimes.com

Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.

Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.
Op-Ed Columnist - Betraying the Planet - NYTimes.com
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Persian Station in Britain Rattles Officials in Iran - NYTimes.com


“The big irony, of course, is that, thanks to the Persian-language TV service, the BBC does have huge influence in Iran again, just like the hard-liners in Iran have always said it did,” he said.
Persian Station in Britain Rattles Officials in Iran - NYTimes.com
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Someone who could make this song could not be entirely crazy



Better not in MJ's hands
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Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - US to reverse Afghan opium strategy

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - US to reverse Afghan opium strategy
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Smooth Criminal Alient Ant Farm



Like Madona the best Jackson songs are song by others.
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BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran 'arrests UK embassy staff'

Iran has detained eight local staff at the British embassy in Tehran on accusations of having a role in post-election riots, local reports said.
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran 'arrests UK embassy staff'

There they go again. 
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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Obit Michael Jackson - Photos, Pictures, Images - msnbc.com

Obit Michael Jackson - Photos, Pictures, Images - msnbc.com
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How to know you are a conservative

If you know that millions and millions of jobs are going to be destroyed because of speculations of the "free market" and no other reason and you say "that is a good thing" BUT you fear that jobs MIGHT be lost to save the planet from major ecological disaster and your all up in arms, you are a conservative.  In short, a Conservative is willing to killing to preserve the fiction of free markets.
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New Border Fear - Militia Violence - NYTimes.com



The woman, Gina Gonzalez, survived the attack after arming herself with her husband’s handgun, but both he and their 10-year-old daughter died.

The killings, last month, have terrified this small town near the Mexican border, in part because the authorities have now tied them to what they describe as a rogue group engaged in citizen border patrols.

The three people arrested in the crime include the leader of Minutemen American Defense, a Washington State-based offshoot of the Minutemen movement, in which citizens roam the border looking for people crossing into the country illegally. Former members describe the group’s leader, Shawna Forde, 41, as having anti-immigrant sentiments that are extreme, at times frightening, even to people accustomed to hard-line views on border policing.

The authorities say that the three suspects were after money and drugs that they intended to use to finance vigilantism, and that members of the group may have been involved in at least one other home invasion, in California.


New Border Fear - Militia Violence - NYTimes.com
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Cleaner, costlier climate bill slips past House - Climate Change- msnbc.com



WASHINGTON - In a triumph for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed sweeping legislation Friday that establishes the United States' first limits on pollution linked to global warming and aims to usher in a new era of cleaner, yet more costly energy.

The vote was 219-212, capping months of negotiations and days of intense bargaining among Democrats. Republicans were overwhelmingly against the measure, arguing it would destroy jobs in the midst of a recession while burdening consumers with a new tax in the form of higher energy costs.


Cleaner, costlier climate bill slips past House - Climate Change- msnbc.com
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Cleaner, costlier climate bill slips past House - Climate Change- msnbc.com



WASHINGTON - In a triumph for President Barack Obama, the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives narrowly passed sweeping legislation Friday that establishes the United States' first limits on pollution linked to global warming and aims to usher in a new era of cleaner, yet more costly energy.

The vote was 219-212, capping months of negotiations and days of intense bargaining among Democrats. Republicans were overwhelmingly against the measure, arguing it would destroy jobs in the midst of a recession while burdening consumers with a new tax in the form of higher energy costs.


Cleaner, costlier climate bill slips past House - Climate Change- msnbc.com
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Friday, June 26, 2009

Al Jazeera English - Focus - The 'save-us-or-else' banks

As Joe Nocera, a columnist for the New York Times, has observed, the Obama plan is little more than an attempt to stick some new regulatory fingers into a very leaky financial dam - rather than rebuild the dam itself.
Al Jazeera English - Focus - The 'save-us-or-else' banks
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Michael Jackson was the first black superstar of the post civil-rights era | Music | guardian.co.uk

"Every year, approximately 12,000 white-skinned Negroes disappear," wrote Walter White, the head of the country's oldest civil rights organization, the NAACP, back at the beginning of the last century. "People whose absence cannot be explained by death or emigration. Nearly every one of the 14 million discernible Negroes in the United States knows at least one member of his race who is 'passing'– the magic word which means that some Negroes can get by as whites. Often these emigrants achieve success in business, the professions, the arts and sciences."

But they are not supposed to ­disappear in full view. The point of passing was to leave your past behind, not bring it with you in the form of videographic ­evidence that blatantly reveals your transgression. The before and after shots of Jackson – the first as a black kid in with a microphone for hair and the second with chipped nose and taut lips grafted on to a pallid visage – looked like he had been the victim of some cruel surgical prank.
Michael Jackson was the first black superstar of the post civil-rights era | Music | guardian.co.uk
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This Modern World | Salon Comics

This Modern World | Salon Comics
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Johann Hari: When divorce is the wiser option - Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent

The one thing every mum and dad I know wants is more time to spend with their children. But Cameron is committed to pulling Britain out of the European Social Chapter as a "top priority". Britain's 10m part-time workers only have the right to paid holidays and other basic rights because of the Chapter. When it goes, so do the rights – and lots of stressed parents will suddenly have less time to spend with their kids. The Tories' market fundamentalism and anti-Europeanism trumps their warm rhetorical commitments to the family every time.

For all his upbeat let-the-sunshine-win flim-flam, Cameron's policies would simply shift more power and money towards those who already have it. The Married Couples Allowance would be a big redistribution of wealth to people who don't need it, paid for by slashing help to the poorest people who really do – from Tax Credits to SureStart to the Educational Maintenance Allowance. And all for a dysfunctional outcome.

That's the Britain we are sleep-walking towards, while we inanely discuss Gordon Brown's smile and David Cameron's bike. Isn't it time we started to scrutinise his policies, before Cameron has the power to start imposing his right-wing regression on our country?
Johann Hari: When divorce is the wiser option - Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent
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'Bribes and bombs' scandal returns to haunt Sarkozy - Europe, World - The Independent

A political scandal is gathering pace over claims that 11 French submarine engineers were murdered in a bomb attack in Karachi seven years ago to punish France for the non-payment of arms contract "commissions" to senior Pakistani officials.

Lawyers for the French victims' families believe the attack, allegedly carried out by Islamist terrorists, was in fact part of a web of financial chicanery and political manoeuvring which may yet severely embarrass senior figures, including the French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari.
'Bribes and bombs' scandal returns to haunt Sarkozy - Europe, World - The Independent
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Auto-ban: German town goes car-free - Europe, World - The Independent

Because it has no cars, Vauban's planners have almost completely dispensed with the idea of metalled roads. Its streets and pathways are cobbled or gritted and vehicles are allowed in only for a matter of minutes to unload essential goods. Being virtually car-free is only the start of what has been hailed as one of Europe's most successful experiments in green living and one which is viewed increasingly as a blueprint for a future and perhaps essential way of living in an age of climate change.
Auto-ban: German town goes car-free - Europe, World - The Independent
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For all Michael Jackson's flaws he was the greatest entertainer of his age | Music | The Guardian

For all Michael Jackson's flaws he was the greatest entertainer of his age | Music | The Guardian
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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Return of the gravy train – did the crash really change the City at all? | Business | The Guardian

Return of the gravy train – did the crash really change the City at all? | Business | The Guardian
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BBC NEWS | Technology | OLPC software to power aging PCs


Software originally developed for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) project can now be used on any old PC.

Sugar on a stick, as it is known, can be run from a USB drive to give aging PCs a new interface and access to collaborative educational software.

The software, designed for use by children, was launched at the LinuxTag conference in Berlin.

It has been developed by Sugar Labs, a breakaway organisation from OLPC.


BBC NEWS | Technology | OLPC software to power aging PCs
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Tehran 'like a war zone' as ayatollah refuses to back down on election | World news | guardian.co.uk

"They beat a woman so savagely that she was drenched in blood and her husband fainted. They were beating people like hell. It was a massacre," she said.

The opposition website Rooz Online carried what it said was an interview with a man the government had shipped in to Tehran to quell the demonstrations. He said he was being paid 2m rial (£122) to assault protesters with a heavy wooden stave, and that other volunteers, most of them from far-flung provinces, were being kept in hostel accommodation, reportedly in east Tehran.

With the independent media banned from covering street protests, the reports could not be verified.
Tehran 'like a war zone' as ayatollah refuses to back down on election | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

George Osborne considers Tory plans for emergency cuts cabinet | Politics | The Guardian

George Osborne considers Tory plans for emergency cuts cabinet | Politics | The Guardian
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Young Obama

LISA JACK - M+B
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FT.com / World - Third deputy mayor quits Johnson’s administration

Ian Clement, the deputy mayor for government and external relations, was forced to quit over misuses of his corporate credit card, becoming the fifth senior aide to resign or be fired since the mayor came to office last year.

...

Last July, Ray Lewis quit as deputy mayor for young people after allegations of financial irregularities and inappropriate behaviour. A month later, Tim Parker, the former AA chief executive who became first deputy mayor and Transport for London chairman, stood down after it was decided he held posts with too much responsibility for an unelected official.

David Ross, the former Olympics adviser, quit after he was forced to stand down as deputy chairman of Carphone Warehouse after belatedly disclosing he had pledged shares in the company as security against personal loans. James McGrath, the mayor’s chief political adviser, also had to go after suggesting African-Caribbean Londoners could leave if they did not like the capital under Mr ­Johnson.


FT.com / World - Third deputy mayor quits Johnson’s administration
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Monday, June 22, 2009

ESPN wins Premier League football rights | Media | guardian.co.uk

ESPN, the US sports broadcaster owned by Disney, has won the rights to screen 46 live Premier League matches next season which were formerly held by Setanta.

The US broadcaster is thought to have paid about £90m for those games, according to industry sources. Setanta paid £131m, but the league had already received about £40m from the Irish pay-TV company in downpayments for the 2009-2010 season.
ESPN wins Premier League football rights | Media | guardian.co.uk
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Apple’s Management Obsessed With Secrecy - NYTimes.com

Apple’s Management Obsessed With Secrecy - NYTimes.com
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Ozone Solution Poses a Growing Climate Threat - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com

Ozone Solution Poses a Growing Climate Threat - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com
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Well - How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains - NYTimes.com

Dr. Kessler isn’t convinced that food makers fully understand the neuroscience of the forces they have unleashed, but food companies certainly understand human behavior, taste preferences and desire. In fact, he offers descriptions of how restaurants and food makers manipulate ingredients to reach the aptly named “bliss point.” Foods that contain too little or too much sugar, fat or salt are either bland or overwhelming. But food scientists work hard to reach the precise point at which we derive the greatest pleasure from fat, sugar and salt.

The result is that chain restaurants like Chili’s cook up “hyper-palatable food that requires little chewing and goes down easily,” he notes. And Dr. Kessler reports that the Snickers bar, for instance, is “extraordinarily well engineered.” As we chew it, the sugar dissolves, the fat melts and the caramel traps the peanuts so the entire combination of flavors is blissfully experienced in the mouth at the same time.

Foods rich in sugar and fat are relatively recent arrivals on the food landscape, Dr. Kessler noted. But today, foods are more than just a combination of ingredients. They are highly complex creations, loaded up with layer upon layer of stimulating tastes that result in a multisensory experience for the brain. Food companies “design food for irresistibility,” Dr. Kessler noted. “It’s been part of their business plans.”
Well - How the Food Makers Captured Our Brains - NYTimes.com
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Tories head new rightwing fringe group in Europe | Politics | The Guardian

Hague dismissed "out-of-date and ill-informed" criticisms that Poland's Law and Justice party was homophobic. "The Law and Justice party is a party committed to be against discrimination, for equality under the law," he told the BBC.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the Law and Justice leader, underlined his mainstream credentials when he appeared in Warsaw with Cameron on 29 May. The former Polish prime minister, whose brother Lech is the Polish president, said: "European institutions should be effective, economical, and aid co-operation between member states. They should never interfere with individual rights or the free market."

But the following day, at a rally in the city of Bialystock, Kaczynski appeared to revert to type. The Economist quoted him as saying: "If Europe is to be strong, it has to be Christian. And today it is anti-Christian, and especially anti-Catholic."
Anyone who votes for the Tories after this is a piece of shit.

Tories head new rightwing fringe group in Europe | Politics | The Guardian

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

With Plan and a Rope, Captives Fled From Taliban - NYTimes.com

With Plan and a Rope, Captives Fled From Taliban - NYTimes.com
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Obama as Uber Nerd



Can you place the Dune references?
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Robert Fisk: Battle for the Islamic Republic - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

What we are now seeing is a regime which is far more worried than the Supreme Leader suggested when he threatened the opposition so baldly on Friday. Having refused any serious political dialogue with Mousavi and his opposition comrades – a few district recounts will produce no real change in the result – the Iranian regime, led by a Supreme Leader who is frightened and a president who speaks like a child, is now involved in the battle for control of the streets of Iran. It is a conflict which will need the kind of miracle in which Khamenei and Ahmadinejad both believe to avoid violence.
Robert Fisk: Battle for the Islamic Republic - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent
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Tony Blair pushed Gordon Brown to hold Iraq war inquiry in private | Politics | The Observer

Last night, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, whose party opposed the war from the outset, said: "If this is true about Blair demanding secrecy, it is outrageous that an inquiry into the biggest foreign policy disaster since Suez is being muzzled to suit the individual needs of the man who took us to war."
Tony Blair pushed Gordon Brown to hold Iraq war inquiry in private | Politics | The Observer
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Robin McKie on the fallen dream that was the moon landings | Science | The Observer

Robin McKie on the fallen dream that was the moon landings | Science | The Observer
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Op-Ed Columnist - Obama’s Make-or-Break Summer - NYTimes.com

The test for Obama is simple enough. If the fortunes in American households rise along with Wall Street’s, he is home free — even if his porous regulatory fixes permit a new economic meltdown decades hence. But if, in the shorter term, the economic quality of life for most Americans remains unchanged as the financial sector resumes living large, he’ll face anger from voters of all political persuasions. When the Fox News fulminator Glenn Beck says “let the banks lose their tails, they need to,” he illustrates precisely where right-wing populism meets that on the left.
Op-Ed Columnist - Obama’s Make-or-Break Summer - NYTimes.com
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In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health - NYTimes.com

The poll found that most Americans would be willing to pay higher taxes so everyone could have health insurance and that they said the government could do a better job of holding down health-care costs than the private sector.

Yet the survey also revealed considerable unease about the impact of heightened government involvement, on both the economy and the quality of the respondents’ own medical care. While 85 percent of respondents said the health care system needed to be fundamentally changed or completely rebuilt, 77 percent said they were very or somewhat satisfied with the quality of their own care.

That paradox was skillfully exploited by opponents of the last failed attempt at overhauling the health system, during former President Bill Clinton’s first term. Sixteen years later, it underscores the tricky task facing lawmakers and President Obama as they try to address the health system’s substantial problems without igniting fears that people could lose what they like.
In Poll, Wide Support for Government-Run Health - NYTimes.com
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Fury at 'purge' of Tory MPs by Cameron | Politics | The Observer

Fury at 'purge' of Tory MPs by Cameron | Politics | The Observer
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Cowell admits mistakes over Boyle



Mistakes were made in the handling of Britain's Got Talent runner-up Susan Boyle, the show's chief judge and creator Simon Cowell has admitted.

Writing in the Daily Mail, Cowell said that it had become "clear to me that we didn't handle the situation with Susan as well as we could have".

The singer, 48, from West Lothian, was taken ill in London suffering from exhaustion after the TV show.


BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Cowell admits mistakes over Boyle
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'Cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women' - Health News, Health & Families - The Independent

Henry Allingham, now the world's oldest man, on the secret of a long life.
'Cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women' - Health News, Health & Families - The Independent
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Fat scout leaders

Showgirl 'taped herself in bedroom with Italian PM' - Europe, World - The Independent

Showgirl 'taped herself in bedroom with Italian PM' - Europe, World - The Independent
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Racists may plague Tory Europe group - UK Politics, UK - The Independent

Cameron has pulled out of the largest political block in the European Parliament. Why? Clearly the Tories have decided to go hard core anti-Europe. It may be that this is a winning electoral strategy, or it may be they perceive it to be so. But is it good for the country? This smacks of Bushism. Winning elections, by a razor thin margin to be sure, but winning them, whatever the cost to the political body one governs. Let us hope the UK do not put this clown in power.

Racists may plague Tory Europe group - UK Politics, UK - The Independent
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Cancer: shock breakthrough - Health News, Health & Families - The Independent

Cancer: shock breakthrough - Health News, Health & Families - The Independent
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What is wrong with these people

There has been another attack on a Romanian family in Belfast, this time in the east of the city.

The bathroom window of the family's home on the Upper Newtownards Road was smashed at about 2300 BST on Wednesday.

Police at the scene confirmed to BBC News that the incident was being treated as a "hate crime".

Letterman hate fest



Can five conservatives get together without it becoming a racist hatefest? Tiny hand full of Letterman protesters go off on immigration, socialism and Letterman's bastard child.

Sarkozy attacked for soaring expenses - Europe, World - The Independent

Sarkozy attacked for soaring expenses - Europe, World - The Independent
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Tony Blair knew of secret policy on terror interrogations | Politics | The Guardian

Tony Blair knew of secret policy on terror interrogations | Politics | The Guardian
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BBC NEWS | Technology | US broadband usage rises sharply

Some 63% of adult Americans now have broadband internet connections at home, according to the Pew Internet Project.

The results surprised researchers, showing a 15% increase from a year earlier.

Net services seem to have escaped the with Americans more willing to cut back on mobile phone usage or cable TV than broadband.

Of those who still were not connected, 17% said it was because the technology was not available in their area.

Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they had cancelled or cut back on cable TV services or mobile phone services but only 9% said they had cancelled or cut back on broadband services.

"For many Americans a home broadband connection is a conduit for connecting to community and economic opportunity," said John B Horrigan, associate director of the Pew Internet Project.

"That puts broadband in the 'must keep' category for most users, even when economic times are tough."

Rural growth

Broadband users were asked how they viewed the importance of broadband in their lives.

Over half (55%) said that it was very important to at least one dimension of their lives, such as communicating with health care providers, the government or sharing information about the community.

Americans over 65 showed a 58% increase in adoption while low income families also showed growth.

The number of families living on household incomes of less than £18,000 with broadband connections grew by to 35%, a 40% increase on the previous year.

Rural Americans using broadband also grew to 46%, a 22% growth from last year.

But take-up of broadband among African Americans continued to rate below average, with less than half (46%) using a fast net service.

In the UK a similar survey by the Oxford Internet Institute found that twice as many people from higher than lower socio-economic use the internet, while the percentage of retired people online had risen just 4% since 2003 to 34%.


BBC NEWS | Technology | US broadband usage rises sharply
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Iran opposition leader calls for mass protests - Iran- msnbc.com

A crackdown on dissent continued, with more arrests of opposition figures reported, and the country's most powerful military force — the Revolutionary Guard — saying that Iranian Web sites and bloggers must remove any materials that "create tension" or face legal action.
Iran opposition leader calls for mass protests - Iran- msnbc.com
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Brown gets his groove back


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Fast bikes, slow food, and the workplace wars: A Critic at Large: The New Yorker

It is now the capitalist who says, “Workers of the world, unite!,” the better to dissolve those “inefficiencies” in the labor market (that is, high wages) that arise from political boundaries. The slogan once expressed a hope to organize a body of workers who were dispersed and hence exploitable, whereas now it captures the desire for a mass of “human resources,” exploitable because undifferentiated. This latter intention is accompanied by all the easy moral prestige of multiculturalism, so it finds its champions on the erstwhile Left. Those at the top of the food chain get a new identity in which to take pride, that of the sushi-eating, Brazilian-girlfriend-having cosmopolitan.
Fast bikes, slow food, and the workplace wars: A Critic at Large: The New Yorker
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Opera Unite reinvents the Web

Opera Unite reinvents the Web
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How Alcohol Changes the Brain ... Quickly | LiveScience

How Alcohol Changes the Brain ... Quickly | LiveScience
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Heroine of the anti-abortion lobby is exposed as a fantasist - Americas, World - The Independent

Heroine of the anti-abortion lobby is exposed as a fantasist - Americas, World - The Independent
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Has David Cameron finally blundered? | Politics | The Guardian

If Cameron's fake German accent had been better, would it have been OK for him to mock ID cards?
Has David Cameron finally blundered? | Politics | The Guardian
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British Airways ask staff to work without pay for a month | Business | The Guardian

Walsh, along with Keith Williams, the chief financial officer, has promised to work for nothing in July. But the idea has gone down badly with unions. They point out that Walsh, on a salary of £735,000, can afford a month with no pay, while his subordinates will seriously struggle. The average salary for BA's cabin staff is £29,900, according to the Civil Aviation Authority.
British Airways ask staff to work without pay for a month | Business | The Guardian
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Tomasky talk video: Michael Tomasky looks at allegations of racism from the Republican party | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Tomasky talk video: Michael Tomasky looks at allegations of racism from the Republican party | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
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U.S. Steps Gingerly Into Tumult in Iran - NYTimes.com

Monday afternoon, a 27-year-old State Department official, Jared Cohen, e-mailed the social-networking site Twitter with an unusual request: delay scheduled maintenance of its global network, which would have cut off service while Iranians were using Twitter to swap information and inform the outside world about the mushrooming protests around Tehran.
U.S. Steps Gingerly Into Tumult in Iran - NYTimes.com
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BBC NEWS | Business | Economists see end to US downturn

The US economy should emerge from recession by the late summer, according to economists from some of the country's top banks.

The American Bankers Association's Economic Advisory Committee has said it expects economic activity to increase by 0.5% between July and September.

But committee head Bruce Kasman said, "the economy will return to growth [in the quarter] but not to health."

The bankers also said US unemployment would hit 10% early next year.


BBC NEWS | Business | Economists see end to US downturn
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Scientologists wanted me out, claims journalist sacked by Fox - News, Films - The Independent

Scientologists wanted me out, claims journalist sacked by Fox - News, Films - The Independent
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Interactive: How to green your home | Environment | guardian.co.uk

Interactive: How to green your home | Environment | guardian.co.uk
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Robert Fisk: Iran's day of destiny - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

I'm not so sure that the fathers of the 1979 revolution will look so kindly upon this self-evident demand for freedom.

True, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader – how antiquated that title sounded yesterday – had agreed to enquire into the election results, perhaps to look over a polling statistic or two. But Ahmadinejad, despite his obtuseness and his unending smile, is a tough guy in a tough clerical environment. His glorious predecessor, Hojatolislam Mohamed Khatami, was somewhere down there amid the crowds, along with Mousavi and Mousavi's wife Zahra Rahnavard, but they could not protect these people.

Government is not about good guys and bad guys. It is about power, state and political power – they are not the same – and unless those wanly smiling riot police move across to the opposition, the weapons of the Islamic Republic remain in the hands of Ahmadinejad's administration and his spiritual protectors. As, no doubt, we shall soon see.
Robert Fisk: Iran's day of destiny - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent
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Another first for a black American: the female rabbi breaking down barriers | World news | The Guardian

Another first for a black American: the female rabbi breaking down barriers | World news | The Guardian
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Bobbie Johnson meets Douglas Rushkoff, who helped to shape the internet in the early 90s | Books | The Guardian

Two years ago Douglas Rushkoff had an unpleasant encounter outside his Brooklyn home. Taking out the rubbish on Christmas Eve, he was mugged - held at knife-point by an assailant who took his money, his phone and his bank cards. Shaken, he went back indoors and sent an email to his local residents' group to warn them about what had happened.

"I got two emails back within the hour," he says. "Not from people asking if I was OK, but complaining that I'd posted the exact spot where the mugging had taken place - because it might adversely affect their property values."
Bobbie Johnson meets Douglas Rushkoff, who helped to shape the internet in the early 90s | Books | The Guardian
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My Way News - Speed of Iran vote count called suspicious

CAIRO (AP) - How do you count almost 40 million handwritten paper ballots in a matter of hours and declare a winner? That's a key question in Iran's disputed presidential election. International polling experts and Iran analysts said the speed of the vote count, coupled with a lack of detailed election data normally released by officials, was fueling suspicion around President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's landslide victory.
My Way News - Speed of Iran vote count called suspicious
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BBC NEWS | Technology | US PC makers in 'stolen code' row

A California company is considering legal action to prevent computers being shipped to China with what it says is stolen internet blocking software.

Solid Oak said it found pieces of its CyberSitter programme in China's Green Dam Youth Escort screening software.

China has mandated that all new PCs contain filters to protect children from offensive material on the net.

The Chinese firm that made Green Dam, Jinhui Computer System Engineering Inc, denies any wrongdoing.


BBC NEWS | Technology | US PC makers in 'stolen code' row
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BBC NEWS | Business | IMF predicts US economic recovery

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the US economy will recover more strongly and more quickly, than it previously thought.

It now believes that the world's largest economy will grow by 0.75% next year, rather than the 0% it forecast earlier this year.

The IMF also thinks that the US economy will shrink less sharply this year.

However, the fund stresses that "an unusual level of uncertainty" and "significant downside risks" remain.

'Solid recovery'

The fund's latest report on the US economy predicts a fall in GDP of 2.5% this year, compared with its previous forecast of a 2.8% contraction.

BBC NEWS | Business | IMF predicts US economic recovery
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BBC NEWS | Business | Bank policy man warns on jobless

"Unemployment is going to rise a lot, and it's going to hit the young [hardest]. My worry is that we're going to see a million young people under the age of 25 unemployed by September. It's a national tragedy and it's the number one issue we're going to face for the next year."
BBC NEWS | Business | Bank policy man warns on jobless
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Ayatollah Ali Khamenei orders inquiry into vote-rigging claims in Iranian poll | World news | guardian.co.uk

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei orders inquiry into vote-rigging claims in Iranian poll | World news | guardian.co.uk
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ahmadinejad opponents shout protests - Iran- msnbc.com

Ahmadinejad opponents shout protests - Iran- msnbc.com
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CIA chief believes Cheney almost wants US attacked | Reuters

WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - CIA director Leon Panetta says it's almost as if former vice president Dick Cheney would like to see another attack on the United States to prove he is right in criticizing President Barack Obama for abandoning the "harsh interrogation" of terrorism suspects.

"I think he smells some blood in the water on the national security issue," Panetta said in an interview published in The New Yorker magazine's June 22 issue.

"It's almost, a little bit, gallows politics. When you read behind it, it's almost as if he's wishing that this country would be attacked again, in order to make his point."

Cheney, who was a key advocate in the Bush administration of controversial interrogation methods such as waterboarding, has become as a leading Republican critic of Obama's ban on harsh interrogations and his plan to shut the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In a blistering May 21 speech, Cheney said Obama's reversal of Bush-era policies were "unwise in the extreme" that would make the American people less safe.

Panetta called Cheney's actions "dangerous politics."

He told The New Yorker he had favored the creation of an independent truth commission to look into the detainee polices of former President George W. Bush. But the idea died in April when Obama decided such a panel could be seen as politically vindictive. (Reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Alan Elsner)

CIA chief believes Cheney almost wants US attacked | Reuters
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BBC NEWS | Business | UK's economy is 'best in Europe'



The UK is in the best shape out of all the economies in Europe, according to a leading economist.

Paul Krugman, who won the 2008 Nobel prize for economics, said that the UK's economic policies had been "pretty good" and called them "intelligent".

The government also deserved more credit for its policies, he said in an interview with The Observer newspaper.

His comments come at the end of a week when the pound has risen to its highest level this year.

But Professor Krugman believes the earlier fall in the value of sterling may have helped the UK.

"The UK has achieved a lot of monetary traction in the way that no one else has through the depreciation of the pound. In effect, you've carried out a successful beggar-my-neighbour devaluation," he said.

"I think the UK economy looks the best in Europe at the moment."

The government's policies had managed to stabilise the banking system, he said.

He added: "If the government can hold off having an election until next year, Labour might well be able to run as 'we're the people who brought Britain out of the slump'."


BBC NEWS | Business | UK's economy is 'best in Europe'

The problem is that Krugman does not understand that British thinking about the recession has more to do with there own depression, their own lose of meaning than about economics.
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Paul Krugman's fear for lost decade | Business | The Observer

Paul Krugman's fear for lost decade | Business | The Observer
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WITNESS-Dreams turn to ashes on Tehran boulevard after vote | Reuters

EHRAN, June 14 (Reuters) - A few days ago Tehran's most famous boulevard was alive with joy and celebration as supporters of moderate presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi vented their desire for social and political change in Iran.
WITNESS-Dreams turn to ashes on Tehran boulevard after vote | Reuters
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Could Palin flap be Letterman’s Hugh Grant? - Television- msnbc.com



NEW YORK - Sarah Palin would no doubt be horrified by the idea, but there’s a chance she could become the same boon to David Letterman’s career that Hugh Grant was to Jay Leno’s.
Could Palin flap be Letterman’s Hugh Grant? - Television- msnbc.com

Well both involved cheap whores.  Letterman is 63 years old, but he is not about to become a great grand parent, unlike Palin when she will be reaching that age.
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Gordon Brown: David Cameron's cuts will make the recession worse - mirror.co.uk



This week, the new Cabinet met and immediately got down to business: cleaning up politics, helping families and businesses through the recession, continuing our investment in public services and getting them up to scratch.

But this was also the week when the Shadow Health Secretary let the cat out of the bag.

We now know that the Tories want to cut public spending by a savage 10 per cent. They have finally revealed what their true priorities are: a cuts plan that is wide, deep and immediate in order to fund a £200,000 tax cut for the 3,000 richest families.

David Cameron – Mr 10 Per Cent – would actually make the recession worse, by slowing public spending at exactly the time we need it most.

And the impact wouldn’t just be felt in our national economy, but at the level it matters most in your school, your hospital, your neighbourhood.

Cuts of 10 per cent would mean 44,000 fewer teachers, 15,000 fewer police, 10,000 fewer soldiers and, each year, 32,000 fewer university places. Those aren't just numbers on the page, but real jobs hanging in the balance.



Gordon Brown: David Cameron's cuts will make the recession worse - mirror.co.uk
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BBC NEWS | Business | Growth in Zimbabwe 'may reach 6%'



Zimbabwe's economy could grow by between 4% and 6% this year, according to the country's finance minister.

BBC NEWS | Business | Growth in Zimbabwe 'may reach 6%'

A year ago talk was of the end of Zimbabwe as a civilization, of total collapse of economy and society.  You close your eyes in our modern world and things will change.
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BBC NEWS | Business | OECD says global recession easing



The pace of decline of the world's major economies is slowing, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The composite leading indicators (CLI) index for the 30 countries in the OECD rose 0.5 point in April, but was still 8.3 points lower than April 2008.

"It is still too early to assess whether it is a temporary or a more durable turning point," the OECD said.

The CLI index for the UK rose by 0.7 point, and the US was up by 0.2 point.

In the eurozone, the CLI index increased by 0.8 point, but was down 6.3 points from the same month last year.

'Reduced pace'

The global economy is poised for its worst year since World War II as the major economies have fallen into severe recession.

The organisation said countries not included in the OECD were still declining at a fast pace, with the exception of China and India. Both those countries showed similar signs of easing to the US and Europe.

The data points to a "reduced pace of deterioration in most of the OECD economies with stronger signals of a possible trough in Canada, France, Italy and the United Kingdom", the OECD said.

World stock markets have recovered from their lows in March on hopes for a global recovery, based mainly on survey data of consumer and business confidence.


BBC NEWS | Business | OECD says global recession easing
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BBC NEWS | Business | Eurozone production's record fall



Industrial production in the 16 states that use the euro fell a record 21.6% in April, compared with the same month last year, according to Eurostat.

It was worse than had been expected and followed March's figure of 19.3%. The month-on-month fall was 1.9%.

The figures contrast with the latest UK production data, which showed a monthly rise for the first time in more than a year during April.

Japan's production grew 5.9% in April compared with March's figure.


BBC NEWS | Business | Eurozone production's record fall

So would you think the UK government would get some credit for keeping the UK out of the full impact of the recession to hit the EU despite having a larger exposure to banking?  If you said "Yes" you don't know the UK.
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BBC NEWS | Business | Japan stocks close above 10,000

The Nikkei index of leading Japanese shares has closed above 10,000 points for the first time in eight months.
BBC NEWS | Business | Japan stocks close above 10,000
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BBC NEWS | Business | Big economies 'stabilising' - G8



The world's largest economies are beginning to stabilise but still face major risks amid an ongoing global recession, G8 finance ministers say.

At a meeting in Italy of G8 nations, the ministers said stock markets were rising, interest rates more stable, and consumer confidence was returning.

However, US Treasury chief Tim Geithner led warnings that it was too early to wind down economic stimulus packages.

He said they should remain in place until a global recovery was under way.

At the meeting in Lecce, which aimed to lay the groundwork for a full G8 heads of government conference next month in the earthquake-hit town of L'Aquila, the finance ministers conceded that the global situation "remains uncertain".

"Significant risks remain to economic and financial stability," the ministers said in a statement released at the end of their meeting.

It highlighted the possibility that unemployment could continue to rise even after output growth resumes.

Joint problems

But they agreed a joint statement which offered signs of hope after nine months of gloomy economic news.

"We have taken forceful and co-ordinated action to stabilise the financial sector and provide stimulus to restore economic growth and there are signs of stabilisation in our economies," the statement said.

Mr Geithner said the "early signs" were encouraging, but injected a note of caution.

"The global economy is still operating well below potential and we still face acute challenges," he said.

"I don't think we're at the point yet where we can say we have a recovery in place," Mr Geithner warned, saying it was "too early" to move away from the interventionist economic policies put in place around the world since the banking crisis of September 2008.

UK Chancellor Alastair Darling said Britain's economic prospects remained linked to those of other G8 nations.

"A lot will depend on other countries making progress: on cleaning up their bank balance sheets; volatility in commodity prices, oil for example. So I think there are reasons to be cautious," he told Reuters news agency.

The meeting comes two months after a full G8 heads of government meeting in London agreed to inject billions of dollars into the global economy.



BBC NEWS | Business | Big economies 'stabilising' - G8
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Robert Fisk: Iran erupts as voters back 'the Democrator' - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent

Back on the streets, there were now worse scenes. The cops had dismounted from their bikes and were breaking up paving stones to hurl at the protesters, many of them now riding their own motorbikes between the rows of police. I saw one immensely tall man – dressed Batman-style in black rubber arm protectors and shin pads, smashing up paving stones with his baton, breaking them with his boots and chucking them pell mell at the Mousavi men. A middle-aged woman walked up to him – the women were braver in confronting the police than the men yesterday – and shouted an obvious question: "Why are you breaking up the pavements of our city?" The policeman raised his baton to strike the woman but an officer ran across the road and stood between them. "You must never hit a woman," he said. Praise where praise is due, even in a riot.

But the policemen went on breaking up stones, a crazy reverse version of France in May 1968. Then it was the young men who wanted revolution who threw stones. In Tehran – fearful of a green Mousavi revolution – it was the police who threw stones.
Robert Fisk: Iran erupts as voters back 'the Democrator' - Robert Fisk, Commentators - The Independent
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Racist rants of elected BNP, Andrew Brons, man revealed | Politics | The Observer

One of the British National party's first MEPs' attempts to play down his past links to the extreme right as "silly" teenage posturing are today exposed as a sham after it emerged that for many years he played a crucial role in shaping the National Front's most overtly racist policies.
Racist rants of elected BNP, Andrew Brons, man revealed | Politics | The Observer
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Saturday, June 13, 2009

What Ahmadinejad’s Win Means for Iran, Israel and the U.S. | Newsweek International | Newsweek.com



"Your people, sir—your people is a great beast!" the American founding father Alexander Hamilton is supposed to have spluttered at a dinner party more than two centuries ago. He was not a fan of popular democracy, much less of what would later be called populism: he deemed the people too emotional, too volatile, too inclined to vote against their own best interests. And there probably are a good number of analysts in Europe and the United States who feel that way about the voters who just returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to power in Iran.
What Ahmadinejad’s Win Means for Iran, Israel and the U.S. | Newsweek International | Newsweek.com


Okay we get it, Iran and the BNP in the UK.  Democracy is the road to fascism in difficult times.  Enough already.
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Terrorist can sue over torture memos - Terrorism- msnbc.com

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A convicted terrorist can sue a former Bush administration lawyer for drafting the legal theories that led to his alleged torture, ruled a federal judge who said he was trying to balance a clash between war and the defense of personal freedoms.
Terrorist can sue over torture memos - Terrorism- msnbc.com
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Wishful thinking from Tehran | Abbas Barzegar | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

In the last week Ahmedinejad turned the election into a referendum on the very project of Iran's Islamic revolution. Their street chants yelled "Death to all those against the Supreme Leader" followed by traditional Shia rituals and elegies. It was no match for the high-spirited fun-loving youth of northern Tehran who sang "Ahmedi-bye-bye, Ahmedi-bye-bye" or "ye hafte-do hafte, Mahmud hamum na-rafte" (One week, two weeks, Mahmoud hasn't taken a shower).

Perhaps from the start Mousavi was destined to fail as he hoped to combine the articulate energies of the liberal upper class with the business interests of the bazaar merchants. The Facebook campaigns and text-messaging were perfectly irrelevant for the rural and working classes who struggle to make a day's ends meet, much less have the time to review the week's blogs in an internet cafe. Although Mousavi tried to appeal to such classes by addressing the problems of inflation and poverty, they voted otherwise.
The last week has been a hard one for the Left no matter what country.

Wishful thinking from Tehran | Abbas Barzegar | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
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