Antonio-Maria Costa, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime is seen here avoiding answering a question about the cannabis policy in Holland. (A youtube video – broadband only)
Bestuursvoorzitter Jean-Paul Votron van de Belgisch-Nederlandse bankverzekeraar Fortis heeft een bonus van 2,5 miljoen euro gekregen voor de overname van ABN Amro. Dat blijkt uit het maandag gepubliceerde jaarverslag van Fortis.
Uit het jaarverslag is verder af te leiden dat het basissalaris van Votron flink omhoog gaat van 750.000 euro vorig jaar naar 1,3 miljoen euro dit jaar.
Je gaat je afvragen of het belang daat Voltron had bij een overname wel in lijn lag met het belang van het gefuseerde bedrijf…
Karl Rove tells us how to win the Dem convention
Attorney General Michael Mukasey was supposed to end the cynical politicization of the Justice Department. But the sudden disbanding of the United States attorney’s public corruption office in Los Angeles looks like business as usual.
There were a number of sensitive inquiries under way at the high-profile office, including an investigation of Representative Jerry Lewis, the powerful California Republican who directed hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks to favored government contractors while chairman of the appropriations committee.
Het aantal bonnen voor snelheidsovertredingen is in 2007 met 10 procent gestegen naar ruim 9,7 miljoen. Met een totaal aantal van 12.640.881 boetes, goed voor 550 miljoen euro, werd een record gevestigd.
Vanaf morgen worden boetes 20 procent hoger.
A Cuneiform clay tablet which for over 150 years defied attempts at interpretation has now been revealed to describe an asteroid impact which in 3123 BC hit Köfels, Austria, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction which may acccount for the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Planisphere clay tablet. Pic: Bristol UniversityThe “Planisphere” tablet – inscribed around 700 BC – was unearthed by Henry Layard in the remains of the library of the Assyrian royal palace at Nineveh, close to modern-day Mosul, Iraq. It’s a copy of the night diary of a Sumerian astronomer containing drawings of constellations and “known constellation names”, but it required modern computer tech to finally unravel its exact meaning.
Alan Bond, Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd and Mark Hempsell, Senior Lecturer in Astronautics at Bristol University, subjected the Planisphere to a programme which “can simulate trajectories and reconstruct the night sky thousands of years ago”. They discovered that it described “events in the sky before dawn on the 29 June 3123 BC”, with half of it noting “planet positions and cloud cover, the same as any other night”.
The other half, however, records an object “large enough for its shape to be noted even though it is still in space” and tracks its trajectory relative to the stars, which “to an error better than one degree is consistent with an impact at Köfels”.
The woman in charge of security at Heathrow – Britain’s biggest single terrorist target – was a store detective at the airport’s duty-free shops just six years ago.
What an inspiring career story, isn’t it? Well, no, not really:
Donna Boote, 37, is now not only in charge of thousands of security staff, but also shares a £1.2million home with Heathrow’s managing director Mark Bullock
It is telling that a candidate is forced to publicly vow to stay in the race:
Yesterday: Clinton Vows To Stay in Race To Convention
Feb 5: Romney Vows to Stay in GOP Race (dropped out on Feb 7)
Feb 4: Huckabee vows to stay in race (dropped out on March 4)
Jan 24: Giuliani Vows to Stay in the Race (dropped out on Jan 30)
Jan 6: Edwards vows to stay in race to convention (dropped out on Jan 30)
Two widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, Vytorin and Zetia, may not work and should be used only as a last resort, The New England Journal of Medicine said in an editorial published on Sunday.
Merck and Schering-Plough, the companies that make Vytorin and Zetia, said on Sunday that despite the results of the trial, they would continue to promote their medicines as first-line treatments for high cholesterol.
The medicines are among the top-selling drugs in the world, with total sales of about $5 billion last year. About four million Americans take them.
An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War.
We know that 96 percent of the Americans killed in Iraq have died since Bush boasted that our mission was accomplished and we know with sickening assurance that we have hit the hideous milestone of 4,000 of our own dead in the Bush administration’s war of choice.
We arrived at that number on Sunday and we’ve seen it replayed in all its sterility throughout the media this entire week.
And to be sure the numbers of dead and wounded while astounding in generalities have sadly begun over the last five years to lose their specificity, to render us unable to grasp the individual stories of lives lost for no reason and so many families left with interminable grief.
But I want to tell you about number 4,000, because he has a name and he had a wonderful life to come.
His name is Christopher M. Hake. He was a U.S. Army Staff Sargent. More importantly, he was a husband to wife Kelli and a father to 1-year-old son, Gage.
He was from Enid, Oklahoma — and he was 26 years old.
We can’t say for sure that Hake was number 4,000 of our Iraq dead because Pvt. George Delgado, 21, of Palmdale, Calif., Pfc. Andrew J. Habsieger, 22, of Festus, Mo. and Spc. Jose A. Rubio Hernandez, 24, of Mission, Texas all died in a horrible blast earlier this week when, according to the Defense Department, “their vehicle encountered an improvised explosive” in Baghdad.
When Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill endorsed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, she said she’d found a candidate who “gives us a reason to believe again.”
Obama believed in her, too, donating $10,000 from his political action committee to McCaskill’s 2006 campaign. She received nothing from the PAC of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.
And when California Rep. Doris Matsui endorsed Clinton, she said the former first lady had been “a consistent champion and friend” of Asian Americans. Clinton’s PAC had also befriended Matsui, giving $5,000 to her campaign. Matsui received nothing from Obama’s PAC.
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia — head of one of the most oppressive regimes in the world — has said that atheism is a “frightening phenomenon that must be vanquished”. He made the threat during a speech in which he called for dialogue between all monotheistic religions.
“I ask representatives of all the monotheistic religions to meet with their brothers in faith,” Abdullah told delegates to a seminar on “Dialogue Among Civilizations between Japan and the Islamic World,” according to the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA). “If God wills it, we will then meet with our brothers from other religions, including those of the Torah and the Gospel… to come up with ways to safeguard humanity,” he added.
So it doesn’t really matter what Invisible Sky Wizard you worship, as long as there is exactly one?
The controversial chief executive who led Northern Rock to the brink of collapse has received a £760,000 payoff.
Adam Applegarth’s bonanza, which will be revealed when the bank publishes its annual accounts tomorrow, comes despite the fact the newly-nationalised bank still owes taxpayers £25billion.
Applegarth, 46, is also entitled to draw on a £2.5million pension pot once he reaches the age of 55 – which could give him retirement benefits of up to £200,000 a year.
I wonder how often the German interior minister will travel through Heathrow Terminal 5.
Since the release of Windows Vista, Creative has promised their Sound Cards as being ‘Vista Ready’. Unfortunately, as many unlucky customers did discover, this is not true. What the users actually found were buggy, feature crippled drivers. Creative insisted that features such as Decoding of Dolby® Digital and DTS(TM) signals and DVD-Audio which worked fine in WinXP, would not work on windows Vista. With Creative releasing less than one new driver a year, things seemed bleak. Fortunately, a talented user, Daniel_K, was recently able to ‘fix’ many of the drivers, enabling the incompatible features and also fixing many bugs. Just today Creative has decided to put a stop to this. They removed all links to his modified drivers, and banned several users who were posting links to the now banned drivers.”
Creative would rather see you buy a new card instead – so if you feel compelled to do so, make sure the logo on the box doesn’t spell “Creative”.
At least 15,000 bags are stranded at Heathrow airport after a third day of cancellations at the new Terminal 5.
The news came after one-fifth of British Airways flights from the troubled terminal were scrapped on Saturday – 67 out of the 330 scheduled.
Many passengers said they departed on flights after being told their luggage would not be travelling. A further 37 flights have been cancelled for Sunday.
This is the same new terminal that has the new “fingerprint everybody” policy. I’m glad they’ve got their priorities straight, because I’m sure all these passengers are feeling really, really safe right now.
Two months ago, Mayor Daley’s corruption-fighting inspector general fired one of his assistant chief investigators after she was arrested for shoplifting $131.43 worth of items at a Chicago grocery store.
Now, Tracy Buckley has been acquitted of those charges. She might even try to reclaim her $77,784-a-year job.
Circuit Court Judge Stuart Katz found Buckley not guilty this week after prosecutors failed to play a surveillance video and waived their right to deliver opening and main closing statements.
Having friends in the right places still works…
Attorney General Michael Mukasey warned Friday that the huge profits generated from piracy and counterfeiting are increasingly flowing into the coffers of terrorist groups.
In remarks to Silicon Valley executives at the Tech Museum of Innovation, Mukasey said the economy and national security of the United States are increasingly threatened by violations involving copyrighted software code, patented inventions and trademarked properties.
Terror groups are taking their cues from organized crime and increasingly funding their operations from counterfeiting and piracy, he said.
Let me rephrase that for you:
Every time you pay for a pirated movie or CD, you fund organized crime and terrorism.
So, the best thing to do is to get your pirated movies and CD’s for free instead. This means that if you’re running a torrent server, you’re fighting terrorism!
In other news, I also heard that piracy slightly pulls the moon out of orbit
The third and final day of the PWN to OWN contest at the CanSecWest security conference begins today, March 28th at 12:30pm local time (PST) in Vancouver. Yesterday, on day two of the contest, the MacBook Air was successfully compromised first and won by a team from Independent Security Evaluators, also winning $10,000 from us (the Zero Day Initiative).
Congratulations to Shane Macaulay from Security Objectives – he has just won the Fujitsu U810 laptop running Vista Ultimate SP1 after it was installed with the latest version of Adobe Flash. Not only is he the official winner of the Fujitsu laptop, but also $5,000 from us. Shane received some assistance from his friends Derek Callaway (also from Security Objectives) and Alexander Sotirov. If you’ll also remember, Shane Macaulay was Dino Dai Zovi’s on-site team member at last year’s PWN to OWN event in which they ultimately took the top prize.
Ugh. I’m still fuming about this. I host a poker game on Thursday nights and last night one of the regular players invited a new guy to the game that no one else knew. In the middle of the game, someone brought up politics (not me; I don’t talk politics with most of that crew, I just play poker with them). And this new guy blurts out, “I can’t believe no one has taken a shot at Obama. Can you imagine if they elect a fucking nigger as president?”
I was absolutely stunned. I told him to get the hell out of my house, he wasn’t welcome here. And then I got the typical answer: “Oh, I didn’t mean….” Bullshit. Yes you did. You just didn’t know it wasn’t safe to be a racist around me. Now get the hell out of my house. This is not the first time this has happened in my life.
I’ve had the same thing happen with anti-gay slurs as well. Unlike most people, I don’t just nod and smile when someone calls people faggot or other such slurs. While I will gladly fight for their legal right to say such things, I won’t let it go unanswered and I certainly won’t allow it in my house. And the reaction is the same every time.
Well done, Ed!
Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.
This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.
Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one anothers culture.
We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.
A recent Clinton campaign research document charged that Barack Obama was falsely claiming to be a professor:
Sen. Obama consistently and falsely claims that he was a law professor. The Sun-Times reported that, “Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama’s primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles. Details matter.” In academia, there’s a significant difference: professors have tenure while lecturers do not. [Hotline Blog, 4/9/07; Chicago Sun-Times, 8/8/04]
Today, the University of Chicago released the following statement:
The Law School has received many media requests about Barack Obama, especially about his status as “Senior Lecturer.” From 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Barack Obama served as a professor in the Law School. He was a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996. He was a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004, during which time he taught three courses per year. Senior Lecturers are considered to be members of the Law School faculty and are regarded as professors, although not full-time or tenure-track. The title of Senior Lecturer is distinct from the title of Lecturer, which signifies adjunct status. Like Obama, each of the Law School’s Senior Lecturers have high-demand careers in politics or public service, which prevent full-time teaching. Several times during his 12 years as a professor in the Law School, Obama was invited to join the faculty in a full-time tenure-track position, but he declined.
Forget “Tonya Harding.” With the latest NBC/WSJ poll , it is becoming even more evident — this campaign is turning into a murder-suicide. Chris Dodd sees it. Howard Dean sees it. Superdelegates see it. I wrote about it more than a week ago in the Philly Daily News.
On one hand, you have the Clinton attacks which clearly are having a negative effect on Barack Obama (though he’s shown an ability to rebound slightly). That’s the intended effect — drive his numbers down as much as possible, so that superdelegates see him as unelectable. And, indeed, his general election numbers aren’t as good as they once were, as John McCain is quickly gaining ground.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton’s numbers are bottoming out pretty quick, also in response to her ‘kitchen sink’ strategy — turning off white Democratic voters (dropping from a 12 point lead to an 8 point lead against Obama) and white voters overall (with a 51% negative rating); collapsing numbers among all voters (down to just 37% positive rating); and even losing women at a fast clip (dropping from 51% positive rating to 42% in just one month!) And despite all the attacks on Obama, she still isn’t beating McCain, in the latest poll.
By now it’s pretty clear that Hillary wants McCain to win so she can run again in 2012.