Thousands of Islamist protesters marched the streets of Bangladesh’s capital, calling for the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam. The city ground to a halt as demonstrators demanded the government change the law to punish blasphemers.
The activists gathered in their thousands at Dhaka’s commercial hub on Friday night in protest over blasphemous bloggers who offend Islamist sensibilities on social networks. In a demonstration that lasted well into Saturday, they urged the government to introduce a new law with the provision of the death penalty for those who defame Islam.
As the protesters advanced they chanted: “God is great, hang the atheist bloggers!”
Blasphemy against Islam comes with the punishment of dismemberment, because Islam is a religion of pieces.
Topics on the agenda for the three-day summit first held on 29 May 1954 will include: does privacy exist?
It’s been a week of celebrations for Henry Kissinger. On Tuesday he turned 91, on Wednesday he broke his personal best in the 400m hurdles, and on Thursday in Copenhagen, he’ll be clinking champagne flutes with the secretary general of Nato and the queen of Spain, as they celebrate 60 glorious years of Bilderberg. I just hope George Osborne remembered to pack a party hat.
Thursday is the opening day of the influential three-day summit and it’s also the 60th anniversary of the Bilderberg Group’s first meeting, which took place in Holland on 29 May 1954. So this year’s event is a red-letter occasion, and the official participant list shows that the 2014 conference is a peculiarly high-powered affair.
The chancellor, at his seventh Bilderberg, is spending the next three days deep in conference with the heads of MI6, Nato, the International Monetary Fund, HSBC, Shell, BP and Goldman Sachs International, along with dozens of other chief executives, billionaires and high-ranking politicians from around Europe. This year also includes a visit from the supreme allied commander Europe, and a return of royalty – Queen Sofia of Spain and Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the daughter of the Bilderberg founder Prince Bernhard.
Back in the 1950s, when Bernhard sent out the invitations, it was to discuss “a number of problems facing western civilization”. These days, the Bilderberg Group prefers to call them “megatrends”. The megatrends on this year’s agenda include: “What next for Europe?”, “Ukraine”, “Intelligence sharing” and “Does privacy exist?”
That’s an exquisite irony: the world’s most secretive conference discussing whether privacy exists. Certainly for some it does. It’s not just birthday bunting that’s gone up in Copenhagen: there’s also a double ring of three-metre (10ft) high security fencing. The hotel is teeming with security: lithe gentlemen in loose slacks and dark glasses, trying not to kill the birthday vibe. Or anyone else.
Already, two reporters have been arrested trying to interview the organisers of the conference in the Marriott hotel bar. It’s easy enough to keep your privacy intact when you’re employing so many people to guard it.
There’s something distinctly chilling about the existence of privacy being debated, in extreme privacy, by people such as the executive chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, and the board member of Facebook Peter Thiel: exactly the people who know how radically transparent the general public has become.
For at least 24 hours over the Memorial Day weekend, CNN hosted an article online that claimed a huge asteroid was on track to smash into the earth on March 35, 2041.
Astronomers have placed the odds of an impact at 1 in 2.04, which is by far the most unprecedented risk ever faced to humanity, let alone from asteroids. Such an impact could potentially end civilization as we know it.
iReport is an interesting experiment, except for the part where CNN declares that “The stories here are not edited, fact-checked or screened before they post.”
But never fear: “CNN’s producers will check out some of the most compelling, important and urgent iReports and, once they’re cleared for CNN, make them a part of CNN’s news coverage.”
Comparing Detroit property on Google Streetview (c. 2009) and Bing Streetview (c. 2012)
Lady waving to the street view car in the first image, c. 2009.
Nearby the Heidelberg Project, and in the style, though not sure if a Tyree or not.
Why Don’t We Own This? shows the property taxes haven’t been paid in a few years (makes sense…) and $2k+ is owed. The property is subject to foreclosure, but not in the auction this year. One of the 35,000 that float year to year, waiting until they accumulate enough in owed taxes to be worth auctioning.
Celebrated American poet, author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou, the cultural force known for her autobiographical book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, has died at the age of 86.
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
Those poor, poor men.. They are so amazingly weak-minded that a simple t-shirt would make them lose all control.
How pathetic is that?
One of the most durable myths in recent history is that the religious right, the coalition of conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists, emerged as a political movement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing abortion. The tale goes something like this: Evangelicals, who had been politically quiescent for decades, were so morally outraged by Roe that they resolved to organize in order to overturn it.
This myth of origins is oft repeated by the movement’s leaders. In his 2005 book, Jerry Falwell, the firebrand fundamentalist preacher, recounts his distress upon reading about the ruling in the Jan. 23, 1973, edition of the Lynchburg News: “I sat there staring at the Roe v. Wade story,” Falwell writes, “growing more and more fearful of the consequences of the Supreme Court’s act and wondering why so few voices had been raised against it.” Evangelicals, he decided, needed to organize.
Some of these anti-Roe crusaders even went so far as to call themselves “new abolitionists,” invoking their antebellum predecessors who had fought to eradicate slavery.
But the abortion myth quickly collapses under historical scrutiny. In fact, it wasn’t until 1979—a full six years after Roe—that evangelical leaders, at the behest of conservative activist Paul Weyrich, seized on abortion not for moral reasons, but as a rallying-cry to deny President Jimmy Carter a second term. Why? Because the anti-abortion crusade was more palatable than the religious right’s real motive: protecting segregated schools. So much for the new abolitionism.
Angkor Wat may be covered in graffiti—but don’t worry, it’s invisible. Built in the early 12th century, Cambodia’s architecturally iconic temple is known for its intricate carvings, some of them stretching nearly a kilometer in length. But most archaeologists believe that parts of the temple were once painted as well. So when scientists noticed faint traces of red and black pigment on the walls of several rooms in Angkor Wat, they snapped pictures with a bright flash and used a tool called decorrelation stretch analysis to digitally enhance the images. Previously used to highlight subtle color differences in images of the martian landscape taken by NASA’s Opportunity rover, this type of analysis can reveal colors too faint or faded to be seen with the naked eye. When the researchers applied it to their photos of Angkor Wat, they found more than 200 images of boats, deities, buildings, and animals—like the elephants above (inset)—drawn on the walls throughout the temple, they report today in Antiquity. Most of the paintings are haphazardly arranged and appear to be graffiti left by visitors after Angkor Wat was first abandoned in 1431. But one group of carefully drawn scenes, located in the highest tier of one of Angkor Wat’s towers, might be the remains of a 16th century restoration program, when the complex was transformed from a Hindu temple into a Buddhist shrine.
Yesterday, Krakow, Poland, officially withdrew its bid for the games, a day after a citywide referendum where 70 percent of voters came out against hosting the Olympics. “Krakow is closing its efforts to be the host of the 2022 Winter Games due to the low support for the idea among the residents,” said mayor Jacek Majchrowski.
In January, another of the six original finalists pulled out, when Stockholm, Sweden’s ruling political party declined to fund the games. They cited the pointlessness of paying hundreds of millions for facilities that would be used for two weeks and then rarely again, a story common to almost all Olympic hosts. “Arranging a Winter Olympics would mean a big investment in new sports facilities, for example for the bobsleigh and luge,” the Moderate party said in a statement. “There isn’t any need for that type of that kind of facility after an Olympics.”
In November, voters in Munich, Germany, rejected a proposed Olympic bid. “The vote is not a signal against the sport,” said one lawmaker, “but against the non-transparency and the greed for profit of the IOC.”
Last March, a joint bid from Davos/St. Moritz, Switzerland, fell apart after being rejected by a public referendum.
Of the four remaining finalists, two are in rough shape. The Oslo, Norway, bid is falling apart. It was supported by a razor-thin margin in a September referendum, but public opposition has only grown since then. And on Sunday, the junior member of the government coalition voted against funding any Olympics. For them to go on, it would require an unprecedented alliance between the ruling Conservatives and the opposition Labour party.
The Lviv, Ukraine, bid seems dead in the water with the turmoil and war in the country. “Currently our dream is on hold,” said the bid’s chief.
There are only two healthy bids: Almaty, Kazakhstan, and Beijing, China. One’s an oil-rich state ruled by a president-for-life, and the other’s, well, China. That’s no coincidence. With the Sochi games raising the bar to an absurd $51 billion, hosting the Olympics no longer looks like a winning proposition. The failed and aborted 2022 candidacies all have one thing in common: When actual citizens are allowed to have a say, they say they don’t want the Olympics.
In a videos posted on YouTube, 22-year-old Elliot Rodger explained that he had planned a shooting rampage to get retribution on women for rejecting him.
“All you girls who rejected me and looked down upon me and treated me like scum, while you gave yourself to other men,” Rodger said just hours before gunning down six people near UC Santa Barbara’s campus. “And all of you men for living a better life than me. All of you sexually active men. I hate you.”
By late Saturday night, Ludwig was speculating to Fox News that Rodger’s gay feelings had turned him into a mass murderer.
The Pope’s journey marks the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and the head of the Orthodox Church, Patriarch Athenagoras.
He will also meet the current Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch, Bartholomew, and they will sign a declaration of friendship.
And since the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is part of his itinerary, perhaps they can cooperate in fixing this little problem. You know, start with something easy, work up from there?
Reginald Wayne Miller, the president and founder of Cathedral Bible College, is not allowed to set foot on the college campus in Marion or communicate with any of the school’s current or former foreign students as an investigation continues into allegations that Miller threatened to cancel foreign students’ visas if they did not work long hours for little pay.
Those terms are part of a $250,000 secured bond that Magistrate Judge Thomas Rogers set for Miller during a detention hearing Friday in federal court. In addition, Miller will be on home detention and will be required to wear an electronic monitoring device.
“I don’t think we’ve identified all of the potential victims yet,” said Carrie Fisher, the assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case. Fisher said some victims may have already left the country and some may be former students who have yet to come forward. “Our investigation just started this week.”
1801 – Joseph Marie Jacquard uses punch cards to instruct a loom to weave “hello, world” into a tapestry. Redditers of the time are not impressed due to the lack of tail call recursion, concurrency, or proper capitalization.
A billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam, the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.Authorities put Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, also known as Amir Mansour Aria, to death at Evin prison, just north of the capital, Tehran, the station reported. The report said the execution came after Iran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.
The fraud involved using forged documents to get credit at one of Iran’s top financial institutions, Bank Saderat, to purchase assets including state-owned companies like major steel producer Khuzestan Steel Co.
Khosravi’s business empire included more than 35 companies from mineral water production to a football club and meat imports from Brazil. According to Iranian media reports, the bank fraud began in 2007.
A total of 39 defendants were convicted in the case. Four received death sentences, two got life sentences and the rest received sentences of up to 25 years in prison.
Since the start of the year, Comcast has employed thirty-three different lobbying firms in their assault on DC in the hopes of getting their $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable approved. According to The Hill, the total of employed Comcast lobbying firms has soared to forty, most employing former government officials with ties to regulators. Comcast PACs have given money to all but three members of the Senate Judiciary Committee reviewing their merger application, and donated to 32 of the 39 members of the House Judiciary Committee that recently held hearings on the merger. If that sounds overwhelming don’t worry: Comcast insists they’re lobbying government for you, the people.
Letting homeless people sleep on the streets has never made sense morally. Now, more evidence has surfaced showing it doesn’t make much sense financially either.
Rick Santorum says he will die in order to stop gay marriage from happening in America. In perhaps his most-revealing interview yet, Santorum, who is polling between1% and 5%, says that the future of the family is at stake, and he is literally willing to give his life to ensure traditional marriage is the only marriage possible.
I won’t believe it until I see the death certificate. The long form.
Amazon’s power over the publishing and bookselling industries is unrivaled in the modern era. Now it has started wielding its might in a more brazen way than ever before.
Seeking ever-higher payments from publishers to bolster its anemic bottom line, Amazon is holding books and authors hostage on two continents by delaying shipments and raising prices. The literary community is fearful and outraged — and practically begging for government intervention.
“How is this not extortion? You know, the thing that is illegal when the Mafia does it,” asked Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House, echoing remarks being made across social media.
Amazon is, as usual, staying mum. “We talk when we have something to say,” Jeffrey P. Bezos, the founder and chief executive, said at the company’s annual meeting this week.
It’s a good thing the Justice Department fixed the ebook antitrust issues. Perhaps they need to punish Apple some more to take care of this?
Scientists at the Wyoming Institute of Technology, a privately-owned think tank located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, discovered that energy radiated from the sun isn’t merely captured in solar panels, but that energy is directly physically drawn from the sun by those panels, in a process they refer to as “forced photovoltaic drainage.”
The study was commissioned in August 2011 by the Halliburton corporation, who wanted to learn if the energy giant should start manufacturing and selling solar panels domestically and internationally. Halliburton’s executives wanted to know more about the sustainability of solar energy and how photovoltaic technology might evolve over the next ten years. But based on the findings of WIT’s research in the field, Halliburton revealed on Friday that they will not be entering the solar energy market.
“Solar panels destroying the sun could potentially be the worst man-made climate disaster in the history of the world, and Halliburton will not be taking part in that,” the company stated in a press release issued Friday morning. “It’s obvious, based on the findings of this neutral scientific research group, that humans needs to become more dependent on fossil fuels like oil and coal, not less. Because these so-called `green technologies’ are far more dangerous to the Earth than any hydrofracking operation or deep-water drilling station. What good is clean air when our very sun is no longer functional?”
The Onion, move over!