Tony Blair’s close relationship to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has come under fresh scrutiny after it emerged he had six private meetings with the dictator in the three years after he left Downing Street.Five of those meetings took place in a 14-month period before the release of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
Mr Blair is coming under increasing pressure to make public details of all his meetings and discussions with Gaddafi. It follows the disclosure in The Sunday Telegraph last week that on at least two occasions Mr Blair flew to Tripoli on a private jet paid for by the Libyan regime.
Among the new meetings uncovered by this newspaper is a visit to Gaddafi in January 2009, when JP Morgan, the US investment bank which pays Mr Blair £2 million a year as a senior adviser, was trying to negotiate a deal between the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) and a company run by the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a friend of Lord Mandelson. The multi-billion dollar deal, which later fell through, would have seen the LIA provide a loan to Rusal, the world’s largest aluminium producer.
JP Morgan’s involvement in the deal is revealed in an email sent to the LIA by the bank’s vice-chairman, Lord Renwick, in December 2008, in which he sought to “finalise the terms of the mandate concerning Rusal before Mr Blair’s visit to Tripoli”.
JP Morgan said Mr Blair had no knowledge of the Rusal proposal. A spokesman added: “JP Morgan declined to participate on such a transaction and thus Mr Blair was never involved, and it was never discussed with him.”
Fifty years ago today, Richard Feynman gave the first of his famous lectures at Caltech.
Feynman, well covered on the blue, set the bar high with these freshman lectures on physics.
You can watch similar lectures he gave subsequently at Cornell in 1964 online over at Project Tuva (Silverlight required).
The lectures are enjoyable even for those without a physics background. Feynman lifts back the veil like none other, and gives you glimpses into the workings of our world that are breathtaking. His demonstrated ability to analyze, synthesize, and convey information is as much a part of the experience as is the content he is delivering. These lectures are a window into the way Feynman thought, and it is a beautiful thing to see that mind at work.
Arch West, a former Frito-Lay executive and creator of Doritos, will be buried with the chips that made him famous.
The 97-year-old died of natural causes on Sept. 20 at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, his family confirmed in a statement over the weekend.
During a graveside service scheduled for 10:30 a.m. this Saturday at the Restland Memorial Park, his family has plans to toss Doritos chips in “before they put the dirt over the urn,” West’s daughter Jana Hacker told The Dallas Morning News.
But, no dip.
A Christian street preacher has appeared in court charged with verbally abusing a gay couple.
Michael Overd, 47, from Creech St Michael in Somerset, allegedly told the men that they were “evil” and would “burn in hell”.
He appeared at Taunton Deane magistrates’ court and denies two charges under the public order act of intentionally causing “alarm or distress”.
The couple, Craig Manning and Craig Nicholl, said they were walking through Taunton’s town centre when Mr Overd began shouting at them.
Dean Lampard, prosecuting, said Mr Overd had repeated the phrases and “upset” the couple.
Mr Overd will go on trial in February.
It’s great news for Kindle owners that they can finally get library books on their devices. (…) But, while good for Kindle users, it may not be such a great deal for everyone else using public libraries.
To meet growing demand from owners of Kindles and other reading gadgets, libraries are shifting more of their budgets from physical books anyone can read to digital copies that require a computer or e-book to consume.
Amazon’s arrangement also adds a new layer of commercialism into the public service that libraries provide.
Unlike digital books offered in other formats through library websites, Kindle versions require you to complete the checkout process at Amazon’s website. The process ends with a pitch from Amazon to buy more books, and the system feeds Amazon’s database of customer interests.
Encouraging employees to buy their own laptops, or bring their mobile phones and iPads from home, is gaining traction in the workplace. A survey published on Thursday by Forrester Research found that 48 percent of information workers buy smartphones for work without considering what their I.T. department supports. By being more flexible, companies are hoping that workers will be more comfortable with their devices and therefore more productive.
“Bring your own device” policies, as they are called, are also shifting the balance of power among electronics makers. Manufacturers good at selling to consumers are increasingly gaining the upper hand, while those focused on bulk corporate sales are slipping.
A similar B.Y.O.D. program at Citrix Systems, a software maker that also helps its clients implement such programs, saves the company about 20 percent on each laptop over three years. Of the 1,000 or so employees in Citrix’s program, 46 percent have bought Mac computers, according to Paul Martine, Citrix’s chief information officer. “That was a little bit of a surprise.”