As outrage mounted over the latest Catholic Church sex scandal, writer Christopher Hitchens called for the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI, and singer Sinead O’Connor said the pope should face a criminal investigation.
Experts in canon law say only a heavenly bolt of lightning can take the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from power as the supreme leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
“The only person who can fire him is God,” said the Rev. Thomas Doyle, who worked at the Vatican embassy in Washington, D.C., and was one of the first whistle blowers when the sex scandals broke in 1984.
“A pope is never forced to resign, not under the current canon law,” said Robert Mickens, the Vatican correspondent for the Tablet weekly. “A pope can voluntarily resign, but it’s interesting… Who would take his resignation?”
Prediction: if the pressure on the church gets worse, Ratzinger will have some unexpected unforeseen cardiac problems, and we’ll have a new pope, carefully selected for his background.
At birth, Houston Tracy let out a single loud cry before his father cut the cord and handed him to a nurse.
Instantly, Doug Tracy knew something was wrong with his son.
“He wasn’t turning pink fast enough,” Tracy said. “When they listened to his chest, they realized he had an issue.”
That turned out to be d-transposition of the great arteries, a defect in which the two major vessels that carry blood away from the heart are reversed. The condition causes babies to turn blue.
Surgery would correct it, but within days of Houston’s birth March 15, Tracy learned that his application for health insurance to cover his son had been denied. The reason: a pre-existing condition.
“How can he have a pre-existing condition if the baby didn’t exist until now?” Tracy asked.
News Corp will charge readers for online versions of its UK Times and Sunday Times newspapers from June, becoming the first media firm to test consumers’ appetite to pay for mass-market news online.
Access to two new websites for the two titles will cost 1 pound ($1.49) per day or 2 pounds for a week. Subscribers to the print versions will get free access, News Corp said on Friday.
“This is just the start,” said Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News Corp’s British newspaper unit News International which also publishes the Sun daily tabloid and sister paper The News of the World on Sundays.
Make a note in your calendar – June 1th, the UK Times will effectively disappear from the net, probably never to be heard of again.
Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire may sound like a dry website, but its subject and content is fascinating. In the 7th Century BC King Assurbanipal of Assyria built a library that was to contain all the world’s knowledge. Destroyed by the Medes in 612 BC, the library was not rediscovered until the 1840s. 28000 clay tablets written in Akkadian have been found. 1600 can be read online, all translated into English. It’s a somewhat overwhelming amount, but there’s a lovely highlights section, which even includes pictures of the pillow-shaped writing tablets. For a thorough overview, you can listen to the In Our Time episode about the Library of Nineveh. The most famous text to have been found in Nineveh is undoubtedly the Epic of Gilgamesh. The story of its decipherment and the controversies that ensued, is interesting in its own right.
In an article noting reported racial epithets shouted at Democratic officials during a recent Washington, D.C., tea party protest, The Washington Times quoted Dale Robertson, founder of teaparty.org, as saying that Democrats are “trying to label the tea party, but I’ve never seen any racial slurs.” However, Robertson himself was reportedly kicked out of a 2009 tea party event at which he carried a sign reading, “Congress = Slaveowner, Taxpayer = Niggar [sic].”
For a head of government to visit the White House and not pose for photographers is rare. For a key ally to be left to his own devices while the President withdraws to have dinner in private was, until this week, unheard of. Yet that is how Binyamin Netanyahu was treated by President Obama on Tuesday night, according to Israeli reports on a trip viewed in Jerusalem as a humiliation.
After failing to extract a written promise of concessions on settlements, Mr Obama walked out of his meeting with Mr Netanyahu but invited him to stay at the White House, consult with advisers and “let me know if there is anything new”, a US congressman, who spoke to the Prime Minister, said.
“It was awful,” the congressman said. One Israeli newspaper called the meeting “a hazing in stages”, poisoned by such mistrust that the Israeli delegation eventually left rather than risk being eavesdropped on a White House telephone line. Another said that the Prime Minister had received “the treatment reserved for the President of Equatorial Guinea”.
Ito, according to an SEC insider, is the SEC supervisor at the center of a redacted inspector general report into “misuse of government computer resources and official time” late last year in which he admitted to attempting to view sites like www.fuck-my-wife.com and analsins.com from his Los Angeles office more than 1,800 times over a 17-day period. Though the inspector general’s report called Ito’s porn obsession a “serious matter” that “could have discredited the SEC” and recommended “disciplinary action up to and including dismissal,” the insider says Ito still has his job and hasn’t been disciplined in any outwardly evident way. In fact, Ito has held on to the promotion he received just before the investigation into his workplace porn habits began.
To put that in perspective, just days later, on September 15, Lehmann Brothers went bankrupt. The day after that, the federal government took control of AIG.
Late last week came word of a major scandal from the UK Daily Mail. In the three years since he stepped down as prime minister, Blair pocketed more than $30 million in oil revenues from his secret dealings with a South Korean oil consortium, UI Energy Corporation. Despite all his best efforts to keep his connection to UI secret, word is spreading like wildfire throughout the U.K.
Now, you might ask, that he’s no longer in government and has his own company, Blair Associates, why would anyone care what his business dealings are? Well, for openers, Mr. Blair is also the West’s envoy to the Middle East. Of concern to British politicians, too, is that a former prime minister has been stone cold silent about being on the payroll of an immense multinational oil corporation, specializing in oil exploration in Iraq, and one that coincidentally happens to find itself in another challenging part of the globe.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Blair isn’t the only prominent politician on UI’s payroll. Others reportedly include former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke, as well as politicians like Congressman Stephen J. Solarz, former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former ambassador to Egypt, Nicholas A. Belites, and U.S. Commander for the Middle East General John P. Abizaid. And, these are just the ones who acknowledge any association with the oil conglommerate.
Just when you thought the iPad might be able to breathe some life back into the failing print industry, the industry itself seems dead set on making sure that doesn’t happen. Well, certain parties within the industry at least, like maybe News Corp. for instance, if a recent report appearing in the Wall Street Journal about planned iPad subscription pricing is any indication.
The report, which, you’ll remember, appeared in the WSJ itself, cited “a person familiar with the matter” as the source of the information that the Journal would be charging $17.99 per month for iPad subscribers when the device launches next month. No, that’s not a typo where I accidentally switched “per month” for “per year.”
I just checked on their site, but you can get a “print AND online” subscription for $2.69 a week, so if the $17.99 is true, they’ve apparently gone utterly insane.
On Thursday, Mountain View formally announced a behavioral targeting scheme that allows a third-party advertiser to place a piece of Google code on its website that will track your visits to the site and trigger related ads when you hit any one of the hundreds of thousands of other sites in Google’s web-spanning ad network. According to Google, its “content network” – a world of sites that display ads via Google AdSense – reaches 80 per cent of all net users.
Let’s say you’re a basketball team with tickets that you want to sell. You can put a piece of code on the tickets page of your website, which will let you later show relevant ticket ads (such as last minute discounts) to everyone who has visited that page, as they subsequently browse sites in the Google Content Network.
I wonder… if marketing is going to depend more and more on these features, and if analysis of users is going to depend more and more on following you around on the web, are we AdBlock users becoming more and more invisible to website owners? Can we expect an interaction in the store that goes like “I saw product X on your website and…” “No you didn’t!” Or perhaps something like “we would like to hire you, but we couldn’t find a trace of you on the internet” “correct – I don’t use Facebook and I have AdBlock turned on”
In just 18 months, the number of Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Android phones being shipped has soared to 60,000 a day, and over that period countless new devices have been released by handset makers for sale by carriers worldwide.
Nothing typically moves this fast in wireless. So how has Google done it?
Well, at least part of the answer appears to be that Google is sharing advertising revenues with carriers that use Android, according to multiple sources who are familiar with the deals. In some cases, sources said, Google is also cutting deals with the handset makers. The revenue-sharing agreements only occur when the handsets come with Google applications, like search, maps and gmail, since that is not a requirement of Android.
Buy an iPhone, and the carrier pays Apple. Buy an Android, Google pays the carrier. No wonder carriers are selling lots of androids that way. It’ll be interesting to see what this does to the market.