Mostly Sandy pictures, Shocking, so glad I live in Central Alabama, A LONG way from any sea water.
Posted by: Redneck Jim ||
Posted by: Mullah Richard ||
We live in the mountains. Occasionally a tornado comes through or a hail storm but nothing like Sandy. We lost the power for a week or so one time but that didn't create too much of a problem. Just went to bed earlier.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Paula Broadwell, the woman at the center of the scandal that felled former CIA director David Petraeus, has been stripped of her security clearance amid an FBI investigation, CNN said Wednesday.
The military clearance allowed Broadwell, a major in the US army reserve and a graduate of the West Point military academy, to have access to some classified US government documents.
FBI agents searched her North Carolina home this week and seized several boxes of documents. US media reports said her computer contained classified material, but no official has yet suggested that she will face charges.
"Now that the barn door's been left open, the horse escaped, the barn burned down, the burnt wreckage washed away in a flood, and the horse drowned in the swollen river, Army officials think to remove Paula Broadwell's security clearance."
Her access was likely suspended by the Central Clearance Facility (CCF) pending the outcome of the investigation. Broadwell is no longer the government's target. The target is now the parties who gave her the classified documents and whom did she pass them along to?
A great deal of pressure will be applied to this young lady during the discovery process. It will be interesting to see how she holds up and what other parties may be revealed.
Hard to understand what she was up to with the classified info. Might have been just a conceit - perhaps having certain "special privileges" made her feel free to take other liberties as well. I think she'll tell the truth. She's cooperated the whole way, and besides, it's all she has left.
Right, but you still can't take stuff home. Further, you'd think it would have crossed her mind: "I am the DCI's hoochie mama. Any mistake I make could have major unforseeable consequences. I had better be especially careful." I mean, they shouldn't have gone there at all, but that an MI officer and the DCI displayed such a mind-boggling lack of paranoia is frankly the most inexcusable aspect.
Can't is clearly false. Shouldn't, for sure. And yes, they both have been arrogant, sloppy etc. I'm furious and deeply mourning the dry rot throughout large parts of the military leadership, of which this is only the latest and most dramatic example.
[An Nahar] Milan cathedral has launched a campaign to adopt its gargoyles to help it raise the 25 million euros ($32 million) needed to clean up the landmark monument as culture budgets take a hit from the crisis.
A total of 135 gargoyles are up for adoption and donors who cough up more than 100,000 euros ($128,000) will have their name engraved under the gargoyle.
Smaller donations of between 10 euros and 100 euros can be made through the campaign's website at http://adottaunaguglia.duomomilano.it.
The pink marble Gothic cathedral, which was begun in 1387, is a much-loved symbol of the city but has to be cleaned up regularly from pollution.
Gargoyles, which are used as drains for rain water, are typical of Gothic architecture and usually depict grotesque figures.
The cathedral's management said it wanted "to encourage the Milanese and citizens of the world as a whole to be protagonists in the history of the cathedral... a priceless treasure that belongs to all of humanity."
Contacted by AFP, cathedral authorities said that since the launch of the campaign last month they had received eight donations of 100,000 euros as well as several smaller donations for a total of 10,000 euros.
Culture has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the financial crisis in Italia. The Italian state allocates just 0.21 percent of its budget to culture, even though it holds half of the world's cultural heritage.
[An Nahar] A California lawyer is suing Microsoft Corp., claiming the Surface tablet he bought doesn't have all the storage space the company advertised.
Andrew Sokolowski, a lawyer in Los Angeles, claims that he bought a Surface with 32 gigabytes of storage last week. But he quickly ran out of space after loading it with music and Microsoft Word documents.
He discovered that a significant portion of the 32 GB storage space was being used by the operating system and pre-installed apps such as Word and Excel. Only 16 GB was available for him to use.
Correct me if I'm wrong here, but my understanding is that most of the difference in advertised capacity vs formatted capacity comes from how capacity is calculated. With RAM you use multiples of 1024. HD manufacturers use multiples of 1000. So what happens when you start using RAM as an HD? Use the lower number and sell me less RAM than you advertised.
[Tolo News] A number of Afghan lawmakers have put together a draft law for punishing those found guilty of child rape. Good idea.
Do we have a definition of child that is mutually agreed upon?
The MPs said parliament has the responsibility to wipe out such crimes and that having a specific law to punish these incidents is a serious necessity. "Raping children is truly a crime. "Whereas raping grownups is just kinda 'eh?'"
I am given to understand the technical term is 'meh'.
"The parliament has the responsibility to track down the matter and act to prevent these crimes," Faryab MP Naqibullah Faiq said in Wednesday's parliamentary session.
Ghazni MP Ali Akbar Qasemi said the crime deserved its own law. "I think the parliament should make a special draft law for stopping children rape. There should be a fundamental resolution to stop the crime, so that it wouldn't be a matter only reflected by media and not tracked down," he said.
The lawmakers called on justice institutions to apply the full Sharia law punishment to those who are convicted of raping children, adding that the only solution to bring down the climbing rate of reported child rapes is to enforce the law and harsh penalties.
Pointing to a recent rape of a 5-year-old girl in northern Balkh province, they called on the law enforcement bodies to take more seriously investigations into those accused of such deeds.
"Why don't the courts put into practice Sharia (law) for those accused of raping children? This matter should be pursued by the Supreme Court," said Speaker of the House Abdurraouf Ibrahimi.
There is the little matter of getting the police to enforce it. Pakistan, which was once upon a time much more civilized than it is now, has not been able to get their police to make arrests in cases the police think unimportant, so what odds the mostly illiterate and corrupt Afghan policemen can be coerced to do so?
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Uganda has closed a key border crossing with Democratic Republic of the Congo ...formerly the Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Zaire, and who knows what else, not to be confused with the Brazzaville Congo or Republic of Congo, which is much smaller and much more (for Africa) stable. DRC gave the world Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Mobutu, followed by years of tedious civil war. Its principle industry seems to be the production of corpses. With a population of about 74 million it has lots of raw material... over claims that rebels battling Kinshasa were using it to levy taxes, a Ugandan army front man said Wednesday.
Ugandan officials shut down the Bunagana border post this week after complaints from the Congolese government that the M23 rebel group, which seized it in July, was using it to raise funds.
"The Congolese were complaining that M23 were taxing lorries and goods going through, so at the request of the government of Congo we have closed the border," said Felix Kulayigye, a Ugandan army front man.
A leaked report from a United Nations ...Parkinson's Law on an international scale... group of experts has accused senior Ugandan officials of "actively" supporting the M23 rebels.
Kampala has reacted angrily to the allegation, threatening to pull out troops from international peacekeeping missions, including the African Union ...a union consisting of 53 African states, most run by dictators of one flavor or another. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established in 2002, the AU is the successor to the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which was even less successful... mission in Somalia, unless they are withdrawn.
"do they get to re-possess our aircraft carriers?"
They can always try....
Posted by: Barbara ||
Pre-1939 Munich Conference + Alsace-Lorraine + Partition of Czechoslovakia, Poland, + Manchuria, etc. = 2012 Greek Islands per the so-called "Troika" = US ISLANDS IN ASIA-PACIFIC???
Why NOT one or more US CVNS to China, starting wid the legendary USS ENTERPRISE???
See also late 1960's SINO-SOVIET BORDER/RIVERINE CLASHES, espec as per outcomes for disputed riverine islands.
As for possible future, China-demanded ANTI-US/CVN "NO-GO" DECLARATION ZONES, WE ALREADY KNOW FROM PAST CHINESE MILBLOG ARTICS THAT GUAM-CNMI + WESTPAC IS VERY LIKELY ONE OF THEM.
* FYI DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > PLA GENERAL [RADM.Ying Zhuo] SAID CHINA IS DEVELOPING 40,000-TON LHD, WZ-10 [+ WZ-19] WILL BE ON-BOARD. Poten up to 48K-ton + 38 Strike Helos.
* IIRC same > VIDEO: RUSSIA SHOWS OFF MODEL OF ITS FUTURE AIRCRAFT CARRIER.
US-style Nuclear Supercarrier wid Russian characteristics, i.e. wid an extra extra-long Angled Deck plus forward VSTOL Ski-Jump on the bow.
* SAME > WHAT DOES CHINA'S SSBN SUBMARINES MEAN TO TO THE US?
ARTIC = denotes that, for the time being, the CPLAN's latest Boomer Subs have to deploy close to Hawaii AMAP in EASTPAC to launch their SLBMS + SLCMS agz CONUS.
Lest we fergit, RETIRED JMSDF ADMIRAL = argued that China wants to possess the Japan-controlled Senkakaus [China = Diaoyus] to help protect the northern approaches to its desired future SUB HAVEN in the South China Sea. SOUTH CHINA SEA "SUB HAVEN" = SOVIET + POST-SOVIET RUSSIAN STRATEGIC MILITARY ZONE IN THE SEA OF OKHOSTK + KAMCHATKA.
* DAILY TIMES.PK > US "PIVOT" TO ASIA: WHERE BASES ARE NOT BASES. US leasing or sub-leasing of former Cold War Milbases in Philippines + SE Asia akin to leasing a quality car but widout all the hassles or stresses [$$$] of actually buying or owning same.
* TOPIX > NO ROOM TO BACK OFF, SAYS CHINA ON DISPUTED ISLANDS.
"Post-US", Future World #1 Rising China has no place to back off to except its own mainland, i.e. where it started from and remains.
* WORLD NEWS > CLINTON: US MUST REMAIN NEUTRAL IN SOUTH AND EAST CHINA SEAS.
* SAME > CHINA RULES OUT "TIME LIMITS" FOR PATROLLING JAPAN-ADMINISTERED SENKAKU ISLANDS.
RELATED SAME, CHINESE MILITARY FORUM > CHINA TO SEND [active-duty PLAN] WARSHIPS TO DISPUTED ISLES | PLA TO ADAPT WARSHIPS FOR DIAYU PATROL, under the auspice of China Marine Surveillance [CMS].
IOW, Japan will have to send out it active-duty surface warfare vessels, etc. lest it wants its Japan Coast Guard to be outmatched, outclassed, + outgunned.
* NEWS KERALA > CHINA'S JAPANESE ISLAND SPAT AIMED AT GARNERING STRATEGIC MILITARY SUPERIORITY OVER THE US.
* WORLD MILITARY FORUM > WESTERN SPECIALISTS: CHINA'S LATEST TYPE 041B "YUAN"-CLASS SSKS MAY CARRY ANTI-NAVAL CRUISE MISSLES, PLUS ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSLES.
* CHINESE MILITARY FORUM > REPORT: CHINA DEVELOPS ROCKET THAT CAN DO "S-CURVE" ATTACKS [maneuvers], ALA "MOSKIT" MISSLES.
Will China follow Iran's example and develop a LR UAV that can serve as "carrier" [Mothership] for a number of Attack Micro/Mini-UAVS???
OOOOPPPSSSIES, forgot WORLD NEWS > SPACE WARFARE AND THE FUTURE OF US GLOBAL POWER. BY 2020 THE US PENTAGON HOPES TO "PATROL THE ENTIRE GLOBE CEASELESSLY", RELENTLESSLY VIA A "TRIPLE-CANOPY SPACE SHIELD".
But-t-t, first thingys come first ...
* WORLD MILITARY FORUM > CHINA HAS ENOUGH STRATEGIC NUCLEAR MISSLES TO DESTROY JAPAN'S 25 LARGEST CITIES AND MILITARY BASES WHILE HAVING ENOUGH IN REMAINDER TO DETER OR RETALIATE AGZ ANY US COUNTER-STRIKE.
* SAME > THINK-TANK: WORLD STRATEGIC BALANCE TO CHANGE IFF CHINA ENTERS ARCTIC RESOURCES RACE, CHINA'S "NORTHERN STRATEGY" TO ASSERT LEGAL STATUS, CHINESE SOVEREIGNTY ON ARCTIC AREAS.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > CHINA GETS TOUGH ON HONG-KONG TROUBLEMAKERS | LOVE CHINA OR LEAVE IT, LIU PING TELLS HONG-KONG'S WOULD-NBE SECESSIONISTS/SEPARATISTS.
* SAME > HOW THE US INFILTRATES CHINA'S COMMUNIST PARTY [CPC]. Many of the CPC's ruling elites send their kids off to attend top-tier US Schools, e.g. Harvard, where they learn the latest in business, plus free-market or laissez-faire economics. Ditto already-established, lower-level, up-n-coming Party Officios, Bureacrats as per professional career-management training.
[Daily Nation (Kenya)] Xi Jinping is set to take the reins of China's all-powerful Communist Party Thursday in a leadership transition that will put him in charge of the world's number two economy for the next decade.
Xi, the current vice president and successor to President Hu Jintao ...Hu has been involved in the Communist party bureaucracy for most of his adult life, meaning his viewpoint has a lot more theory than it does practice. He espouses a Harmonious Society approach, suggesting everybody should play nice or they'll be shot... , assumes power at an uncertain time with the party facing urgent calls to clean its ranks of corruption and overhaul its economic model as growth stutters.
His long-expected ascension as head of the ruling party is expected to take place before midday (0400 GMT) with the unveiling of a new Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision-making body.
See also DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > PARTY WILL COLLAPSE IFF CORRUPTION [nepotism + graft] NOT CURTAILED: HU JINTAO.
True enuff, but IMO the greatest single or external threat to China's "Manifest Destiny" is the lack of international Govt-Pert consensus as per "Peal Oil/Energy/Resources", + by extension Sun-caused GWCC.
"The consensus is there is no consensus".
To remind from yesterday, IIRC TOPIX > CIA: "RISING OF WORLD OCEANS" MORE IMPORTANT THAN RISE OF TERRORISM [Global Jihad,Terror threat].
Wrecking ball unions tha infested Hostess, now based in Irving, Texas is on the front line of another Obama/Dhimmicrat favored wrecking ball group, the Mexicans. Grupo Bimbo is flooding the market in the Southern US with knockoffs of American bakery products made South of the border and then shipping them products by the truck load to be distributed in the US.
Cheap Labor, the silver bullet shot into the heart of US companies like Hostess. Mexican based bakeries then buy what is left of thier road kills such as Mrs Bairds or Hostess and then tear down the bakeries in the US to eliminate them for good.
An FYI that the fat ass/greedy union bosses don't tell their fat ass/greedy/ignorant union members.
While I feel sorry for the management and stockholders (if there are any; is Hostess a public or private company?) of Hostess, I feel absolutely NO sympathy for the unions, who struck themselves out of their jobs.
18,500 idiots, and their families. They will probably go on unemployment and then welfare, but that won't hold a candle to the overpaid union wages they based their lives, car payments, house payments, etc., on.
Enjoy, ya' jackasses.
(If I were hiring drivers or production line workers and saw an applicant's last place of employment was at Hostess, I'd tell them thanks but no thanks. We'll get back to you if a job opens up next millineum.)
Posted by: Barbara ||
BTW Besoeker, that's "paile" not "pale", unless you're into a light lunch.
Posted by AlanC
Thanks AlanC. My E. Jones lady tells me I should skip lunch entirely.
can't help feeling the world is better off without Twinkie's. i'm not even sure that you could grind the old ones into pieces, mix them with glue, and use them as industrial flooring. it would probably still violate environmental rules.
One thing you'll never see is such unions going to other union pension funds to raise capital and making a case to 'buy out' the position of their existing management and run the company themselves.
Posted by: Frank G ||
BIMBO is huge down here in Azatlanland (aka Tucson). Mebbe people would rather eat a "bimbo" than a "hostess"?
I still get a chuckle when a see a tractor-trailer with an enormous BIMBO sign on it. Must be the eighth grader in me trying to get out.
Wonder how DoL will spin these "new" jobless claims next week (18,500 of them)?
Ah, well, "let them eat cake," I say. The union got what it deserved. Finally, when's the last time anyone here ate a Twinkie? Maybe this will help keep others off the Obamacare teet and lose weight, lol....
Fear not. The Hostess brand names have substantial value which the bankruptcy trustee will realize by auctioning them to the highest bidder, perhaps with recipes. Look for Lil' Debbie to be pushing Ding Dongs. Ho Ho I say with a twinkie in my eye.
Little Debbie has been making the Cloud and cupcake items that you could say are knockoffs.
BIMBO was and is run by Mexicans that are very supportive of their workforce. Hard working like 24/7. They earned every bit of their growth to hard work. They own like 17 bakeries. They purchased George Weston's American and Canadian operations 4-5 years ago. He is the Sam Wall mart of Canada. Thomas muffins, Arnold bread, and Entenmann's. Weston had 95% of the Canadian market. Co pack is a big part of this industry. Now you want to talk about cheap that would be Flowers. Look at the product next to Little Debbie in your stores. Warehouse deliver cheap as cheap can get and still high profit margin for the store. Many put the product in freezers and pull it out when it sells down. Bail them out and Hostess will repeat its problems.
Trumpka, Obama have the same problem. They have been in the business of telling lies for so long they believe their own lies. In this sort of group you can the see a common result; the word is shuteyes. Like con artists that don't know when to move on.
The boxes I bought are going for $60 each on eBay.
I went to town today to get my driver's license. No can do: computers down. Instead I got a haircut, a box of Ding Dongs, and a box of Ho Hos. I told the clerk (who may also be the manager of the store; not sure) that I was going to sell 'em on eBay and MAKE A FORTUNE! But I lied. I'm just going to freeze 'em and eat 'em slowly.
But I see that CJ9539 is (sort of) correct: boxes of "RARE!" Hostess items are being offered for tens of dollars each. This is not the same as being bought for tens of dollars each.
Meanwhile, I carefully opened my Ding Dong box and ate one. Not that good; too sweet. That comes from getting old: the phrase "too sweet", unintelligible to kids, starts to make sense.
By the way, the clerk/possible manager said a fellow had come in for an entire cartload of Hostess products. There were only a few boxes left when I was there. He went on to say that that's what Hostess gets for "not unionizing". Not wanting to cause a fight in the store, I said nothing.
Re # 3: GM killed the Olds due to brand cannibalism ( Olds siphoning off Buick/Caddy up-sales to previous Chevy/Pontiac owners).
Then they did the Poncho in; strange; both Ransom's baby and the Wide Track constantly outsold Buick.....and had better muscle cars also.
wish i could blame the unions, but not this time.
The Department of Labor has announced that new jobless claims rose by a staggering 78,000 in the first week after the election, reaching a seasonally-adjusted total of 439,000. Over the past year, and in the weeks leading up to the election, jobless claims were said to be declining, dipping as low as 339,000, with the media proclaiming that they had reached the "lowest level in more than four years." Now, suddenly, the news seems far less rosy.
From the Department of Labor press release this morning:
In the week ending November 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 439,000, an increase of 78,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 361,000. The 4-week moving average was 383,750, an increase of 11,750 from the previous week's revised average of 372,000.
Some of the new claims, especially in New Jersey, were due to Hurricane Sandy--but these were offset by a decline in claims filed in New York. The highest numbers of new filings came from Pennsylvania and Ohio, where there were thousands of layoffs in the construction, manufacturing, and automobile industries.
Both states had been targeted by the presidential campaigns. President Obama highlighted his record of job creation in Ohio in particular, focusing on the automobile industry. The state reported 6,450 new jobless claims in the week after the election--second-highest after Pennsylvania, which recorded 7,766 new claims.
Posted by: Barbara ||
Tip of the iceberg. I expect a lot of large corporations are giving out notices this week. Where I work (unnamed large multinational corporation) they are laying out a 'significant number' of FTEs by giving them 30 or 60 day notices. Not really (or directly) due to Obamacare either.
First Papa John's. Then Red Lobster. Now this: the Obamacare surcharge.
John Metz, a restaurant franchisor who operates 48 locations of Hurricane Grill & Wings, several dozen Denny's locations and a few Dairy Queens, told The Huffington Post Thursday that he'd join the growing list of restaurateurs piling purported Obamacare costs onto their customers and staff.
In his case, though, he's going to label it so all of his customers know about it.
"If I leave the prices the same, but say on the menu that there is a 5 percent surcharge for Obamacare, customers have two choices. They can either pay it and tip 15 or 20 percent, or if they really feel so inclined, they can reduce the amount of tip they give to the server, who is the primary beneficiary of Obamacare," Metz told The Huffington Post. "Although it may sound terrible that I'm doing this, it's the only alternative. I've got to pass the cost on to the consumer."
Although other restaurants have mused about the prospect of cutting hours for employees or passing a few pennies in costs onto customers, Metz's surcharge proposal goes furthest in linking the customer experience with the Affordable Care Act. According to the HuffPo piece, Metz said he hopes the move will encourage his employees to become civically engaged and lobby policymakers.
Earlier this year, John Schnatter, CEO of Papa John's, estimated that the ACA could cause him to tack a few cents onto the price of his pizzas. And Darden Restaurants -- which oversees Red Lobster and Olive Garden -- described plans to reduce its fulltime workforce to avoid paying health benefits.
Seems to me they're going to be wishing they had eaten that food sooner or later.
They're idiots. Lazy idiots who think they're entitled to the fruit of other peoples' labor. No better than slavers.
Posted by: Rob Crawford ||
Now now Robert, hairdressing is a strenuous occupation, and of course hairdressers should be allowed to retire with a full pension when they turn 52. How could we be so heartless as to deny Greek hairdressers that to which they are entitled?
Posted by: Steve White ||
Posted by: Frank G ||
Oh look... the children are throwing a temper tantrum.
i'll have to remember that trick if ever I go to Greece. just invite the German consul to breakfast for an informal chat. the locals will toss the breakfast menu on your table for FREE ... what a great deal !!! :-)
[An Nahar] Turkey's Islamic-rooted ruling party has proposed removing references to the nation's founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the parliamentary oath, parliamentary sources said Thursday.
The new wording proposed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to a parliamentary committee drafting the new constitution no longer includes the words "principles and reforms of Ataturk," and "secularism".
Lawmakers are obliged to take the oath in parliament after elections in order to take their seats.
However, a poor excuse is better than no excuse at all... the new text runs a high risk of being rejected because the committee needs consensus among the four parties in parliament before it can adopt such changes.
The committee is paralyzed by differences between the parties as it tries to draft Turkey's new constitution to replace the coup-era text of 1982, particularly on descriptions of Turkish identity and the rights of the Kurdish minority.
Since the AKP of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power in 2002, it has been accused by the opposition of trying to "Islamize" Turkey by stealth.
Hmm. Five or so years ago I called the nearest barber shop and asked if he cut women's hair. "No." "Okay," I said, and went to the SuperCuts down the street(*). This was in Houston. He didn't give a religious reason. I don't think it occurred to me to sue.
(*) Whenever I go to one of those places, they always ask me how I want my hair cut. "Off," I say, which confuses them. Then I have to explain, "Make it exactly like it is, only shorter." I was hoping a barber would understand.
A company that creates medical-marijuana dispensing machines says its stock is getting way too high.
Medbox MDBX -90.24% shares surged 3,000% this week -- from roughly $4 Monday to $215 Thursday -- before falling to $100 after executives sought to dampen investor enthusiasm.
In a news release today, the company said that the stock's rocket launch, which sent its market cap skyrocketing from $45 million at the start of the week to a staggering $2.3 billion, was ignited by a MarketWatch story Tuesday on how to invest in legalized marijuana (see How to invest in legalized marijuana .) (That's about double the market capitalization of retailer Jos. A. Bank Clothiers.) The stock, which fell around 50% in early trading Friday, still hovers at $100. "We believe an appropriate trading range is between $5 and $10 but, alas, the market will do what it will do," says Medbox founder Vincent Mehdizadeh.
An anonymous official says that Jill Kelley, who initiated an investigation thet triggered the eventual downfall of CIA director David Petraeus, and her sister had two "courtesy" meals at the White House mess as guests of a mid-level White House aide. Kelley and her family also received a White House tour. The visits occurred during the past three months.
[Geo.TV] DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Government executed first prisoner in four years on Thursday, hanging a convicted murderer who was a former army serviceman, police said.
Despite the execution of Muhammad Hussain in northwest Pakistain, activists do not expect the country's moratorium on the death penalty to be lifted since this case involved someone in the military. The last execution, in December 2008, also involved the death of a soldier.
Pakistain has more than 8,000 inmates on death row, but a moratorium on executions has been in effect for four years. Pak officials say they are working on a draft law to ban the death penalty.
Human rights organizations support the ban, saying that the courts and police in Pakistain are too inept to ensure a fair trial.
That being the charitable view...
"If you look at our investigation system, at the poor quality of the evidence produced in court, how can people get the death penalty on the basis of this?" said Zohra Yusuf, Chairwoman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistain.
"Most come from underprivileged backgrounds and don't have access to good legal help."
Thursday's execution came after the head of Pakistain's powerful army rejected a plea for clemency, Yusuf said. After the army rejected the plea, the president did not defer the execution, she said.
[Dawn] The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice, Justice Iqbal hameedur Rehman, on Wednesday reserved the judgment on quashment of first information report (FIR) registered against the Christian girl for blasphemy.
Abdul Hameed Rana, the counsel for the accused, had filed a petition in this regard on September 25. The girl was, however, released on September 7 on Rs1 million surety bonds.
The girl was jugged Drop the rod and step away witcher hands up! on August 17, 2012 after a resident of Mehra Jaffer, the area where the girl also belonged to, Malik Ummad lodged a complaint with the Ramna police against her accusing her of burning the pages of the Holy Book.
The police in its charge-sheet submitted in the court of district and sessions judge Islamabad in September, absolved the girl of the charges and instead nominated Imam Khalid Jadoon, imam of a mosque, as main accused.
The charge-sheet said that the Imam had included two pages of Holy Koran in the half burnt pages in order to make the evidence against the girl stronger.
It said the Christian girl was mentally weak and uneducated and was not able to distinguish between the papers of holy book or ordinary literature.
The statement of Hafiz Zubair, the prayer caller in the same mosque, was also incorporated in the charge-sheet. He in his statement had disclosed that the Imam had also committed the blasphemy, leading to his arrest.
In October, he and two other witnesses backed out from their statements claiming that the police had attributed to them a false statement which, subsequently, led to the release of Imam Jadoon on bail.
Abdul Hameed Rana, counsel for the Christian girl, on Wednesday told the court that Imam Jadoon trapped his client in the blasphemy in a well planned manner.
"They wanted to expel the Christians from Mehra Jaffer that is why he tried to make a false case against the girl in the case." He said there was no direct evidence against the girl nor had any of the witnesses personally seen the girl burning the pages of the holy book.
The girl is a juvenile and also mentally weak, he added.
Chaudhry Abdul Aziz, counsel for the complainant Malik Ummad, on the other hand told the court that medical report, which showed the girl as minor, was not prepared in accordance with the prescribed procedure.
He said the police on the directions of bigwigs distorted the facts of the case.
The accused could avail remedy from the sessions court where she could file acquittal plea under Section 249-A and 265-K, he said.
Deputy attorney general Tariq Mehmood Jahangir also opposed the petition.
He, however, told the court that "since the police have exonerated the girl from the main offence and placed her name in column No. 2 of the charge-sheet, which is reserved for the unconfirmed accused, therefore, the trial court could acquit her in the case."
If the trial court does not entertain her acquittal plea, the girl under Article 199 can approach the IHC for getting appropriate relief, he added.
IHC Chief Justice Iqbal Hameedur Rehman after hearing the arguments form the counsel reserved the judgment which would be announced later.
[Dawn] A court in northern Pakistain has condemned a man to death for blasphemy, believed to be the first such sentence given under the country's tough laws against blasphemy since a Christian woman was sentenced in 2010.
Hazrat Ali Shah, 25, was convicted of blaspheming against the Holy Prophet ((PTUI!)) and the Holy Koran during a quarrel in his village in northern Pakistain in March 2011.
"The additional session judge Azar Khan has passed a sentence on him (Shah) of capital punishment and imprisonment for 10 years under the charges of blasphemy," Syed Zamurd Shah, the district and session judge in the northern city of Chitral, told AFP.
He said that the sentence was announced on Wednesday after people from the village gave evidence against Shah.
Blasphemy is a sensitive issue in Pakistain, where 97 per cent of the population is Moslem,
...though it used to be considerably less...
and under the country's penal code insulting the Holy Prophet can be punished by death.
The death penalty was added to the blasphemy law under military dictator General Zia ul Haq ...the creepy-looking former dictator of Pakistain. Zia was an Islamic nutball who imposed his nutballery on the rest of the country with the enthusiastic assistance of the nation's religious parties, which are populated by other nutballs. He was appointed Chief of Army Staff in 1976 by Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, whom he hanged when he seized power. His time in office was a period of repression, with hundreds of thousands of political rivals, minorities, and journalists executed or tortured, including senior general officers convicted in coup-d'état plots, who would normally be above the law. As part of his alliance with the religious parties, his government helped run the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, providing safe havens, American equipiment, Saudi money, and Pak handlers to selected mujaheddin. Zia died along with several of his top generals and admirals and the then United States Ambassador to Pakistain Arnold Lewis Raphel when he was assassinated in a suspicious air crash near Bahawalpur in 1988... in 1986 but as yet no-one has been executed for the crime.
The U.S. Navy's Marine Mammal Program started back in the '60s, and the dolphins and sea lions in it help defend harbors, retrieve sunken equipment and, most dangerously, identify mines for deactivation. By 2017, the Navy wants robots to do all that, instead.
The dolphins and sea lions the Navy uses really pull their weight: they're highly trained, and a team of veterinarians and handlers keep the animals primed and ready to be deployed anywhere in the world. The flip-side to that is that they're also expensive to train and maintain and, unlike a robot, when you lose one, you have to start all over again with a fresh animal. A robot arrives trained right out of the box, and you don't have to worry about its health in said box if you ship it abroad.
So, by 2017, this will be the Navy's new dolphin:
That's the Knifefish by Bluefin Robotics, which can operate continuously underwater for up to 16 hours -- a dolphin's stay under the sea is measured in minutes before one needs to breathe. Like a dolphin, however, the Knifefish will use sonar to hunt for mines. The Knifefish could be joined by other 'bots, too -- the Navy is purchasing a German-made underwater robotic vehicle to perform similar tasks -- and while the dolphins and sea lions are out, divers will work alongside the robots on missions.
Don't bust out the tissues yet, though. According to the BBC, the Navy indicated that "there may still be some specialized missions where sea mammals are needed past 2017."