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Today: 66 articles and 146 comments as of 4:50.
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'Bomb blast' on bus in Tel Aviv
Today's Headlines
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Page 4: Opinion
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Page 6: Politix
12 22:58 Alaska Paul [286]
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-Short Attention Span Theater-
Singapore Cabbie Returns $900,000 to Thai Couple
[An Nahar] A Singaporean taxi driver has been heralded as a hero after he returned Sg$1.1 million ($900,000) in cash to a vacationing Thai couple who left the money in his cab.

Sia Ka Tian, 70, was shocked to find the money in a black paper bag on the back seat on Monday after he dropped the couple off at a shopping center.

"When I saw the money, I thought, trouble is here. I was sure there was at least $200,000 in the bag," the Straits Times quoted the 31-year veteran in the taxi business as saying.

But when he brought the money to transport company ComfortDelGro's lost-and-found office, his stunned colleagues counted Sg$1.1 million in thousand-dollar bills.

"The money is unimportant to me. It doesn't belong to me, so how can I use it?" he told the newspaper.

The Thai couple reported the loss to the transport company and Sia was waiting for them when they arrived to claim the money.

The report did not say what the couple were doing with thon the lam sum.

The driver received an undisclosed cash reward from the grateful couple, whose names have been withheld, and the company also plans to give him an award for good service.

"Finding one million dollars in cash is not an everyday affair and in fact, we wonder how many people would have possibly been tempted" to pocket it, company spokeswoman Tammy Tan told Agence La Belle France Presse.

"We are immensely proud of him and are glad that the passengers recovered their money.'

It was the second most valuable item returned by a cabbie working for the company. In 2009, another taxi driver returned fives kilos (11 pounds) of gold bars worth Sg$377,000.
Posted by: Fred || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [266 views] Top||

#1  Yeah, I always take about 900 grand with me on vacation. Walkin around money...
Posted by: tu3031 || 11/21/2012 0:39 Comments || Top||

#2  No way. There are recording devices everywhere. A foreigner in China forgot his bag with a shitload of RMB in it in a cab, and he called my friend for help. Within an hour, they had the video recording from street surveillance of him being picked up and dropped off, the taxi's GPS records of its route, the driver's license, phone number, and home address. All this without a receipt to identify the taxi. I imagine Singapore has similar systems, though perhaps not so available to the public.
Posted by: gromky || 11/21/2012 0:44 Comments || Top||

#3  Singapore is remarkably crime free. I lived there for 7 years and crimes like burglary and mugging are very rare.

BTW, Singapore is the private banking center for SEA. I worked for several banks there and large cash deposits were common.
Posted by: phil_b || 11/21/2012 3:52 Comments || Top||

#4  #2 No way. There are recording devices everywhere. A foreigner in China forgot his bag with a shitload of RMB in it in a cab.....All this without a receipt to identify the taxi. I imagine Singapore has similar systems, though perhaps not so available to the public.
Posted by gromky


Probably a non-union cab company.
Posted by: Besoeker || 11/21/2012 4:06 Comments || Top||

#5  The murder rate is very low, about 1/10 ours. I did some quick research and found out that the execution to homicide rate is something like 1 in 2, compared to 1 in 100 in a "tough-on-crime" state like Texas. It probably helps that the cases I tracked on Wikipedia indicate that Singapore fast-tracks capital cases in the same way we used to do until the "reforms" of the 60's. From crime report to execution takes 3 to 4 years there. They take their deterrence seriously.
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/21/2012 13:56 Comments || Top||

#6  Wasn't some girl cain'ed in Singapore a few (or perhaps not quite as few) years ago for vandalizing cars?
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/21/2012 14:18 Comments || Top||

#7  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oliver_Fricker
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_P._Fay
Posted by: Zhang Fei || 11/21/2012 16:46 Comments || Top||


Japan High-Tech Toilet Maker Eyes Global Throne
[An Nahar] They are found in more than two-thirds of Japanese households and visitors to the country have marveled at their heated seats, posterior shower jets and odor-masking function.

But for the company that has sold over 30 million high-tech toilets, commonly known as Washlets, global lavatory domination remains elusive, especially among shy U.S. consumers.

"It's because of the cultural taboo over talking about toilets," said Hiromichi Tabata, head of the international division at Washlet-maker TOTO, a company that also makes bath tubs, kitchen taps, basins and plumbing fixtures.

"Americans avoid talking about those kinds of things so we can't expect success from word-of-mouth, even if they recognise our products are excellent.

"Many celebrities say they love the Washlet when they visit Japan, but the fervour is temporary," he added.

Pop diva Madonna gushed about Japanese culture during a 2005 visit and pointed to the Washlet as a key draw, saying "I've missed the heated toilet seats" -- the kind of free marketing most companies dream about.

For a nation that claims globally recognised brand names such as Sony and Toyota, the Washlet's relative lack of overseas presence comes as a surprise to many foreign visitors, even if they're initially baffled by its dizzying array of functions and Japanese signage.

In technology and hygiene-obsessed Japan, where restaurants provide a steaming hot towel for customers' hands, they're found in public toilets, office lavatories and over 70 percent of Japanese households.

"We thought that Japanese people, who are clean freaks, would like the idea of the Washlet," said spokeswoman Atsuko Kuno.

But when it hit the market in the booming 1980s, the high-tech toilet wasn't an immediate success in conservative Japan either.

Some viewers were irate over a 1982 television commercial for the newly-released Washlet which featured a girl trying to wipe black paint off her hand with paper, making a mess in the process.

"Paper won't fully clean it," she told viewers. "It's the same with your bottom."
Posted by: Fred || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [244 views] Top||


Deer attacks two men, then takes man's cigarettes
Whitehouse, Texas -- Joseph Rose and Cole Kellis were leaving their home in Whitehouse on Friday morning when they noticed a deer in their front yard.
Awwww! He's so cute!"
Rose approached the deer and he says the deer seemed friendly.
"I just wanna pet him! And hug him! And.."
But then Kellis and Rose say the deer then charged them and started to attack.
"Cole! Look out! He's gonna -- [TRAMPLE TRAMPLE TRAMPLE!]"
Rose and Kellis ran to Rose's pick-up truck
"I'M OUTTA HERE!"
"Outta my way!"

to try to get away from the wild buck. The deer then "poked" Rose in his ribs,
"[GOUGE!] Owwww! Back off, Bambi!"
so Rose jumped out of his truck into the back-bed.
"I didn't 'jump!' Bambi pushed me!"
Rose says he left his driver-side door open and the deer climbed in and took his pack of cigarettes that were sitting in his center console.
"My gaspers! Those things are six dollars a pack!"
"Look out! He's got a match!"

The deer starting eating Rose's smokes,
"Mmmmm! Cancer sticks! My favorite!"
and when Rose tried to get them back, Rose says the deer got more aggressive.
"Gimme my smokes!"
[GOUGE! TRAMPLE!]

They then had to call Whitehouse police
"Operator! Get me the police!"
and the Game Warden.
"Operator! Get me the game warden!"
When police arrived they had to tase the deer
"Look out! He's got antlers!"
[ZAP!]

and then Rose says it took more than 5 men to restrain the buck.
"Mahoney! Didn't they anybody ever tell you: never tase a buck? Cheese! Whadda they teach in cop school these days?"
Posted by: Au Auric || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [298 views] Top||

#1  Excellent in-line commentary Au!
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/21/2012 0:39 Comments || Top||

#2  Thank You : CrazyFool, but I can only say, I found the article and Fred and Company did the editorial....

You know they are the experts that bring the Rant to Rantburg.

All Hale, Rantburg and Company !!!
Posted by: Au Auric || 11/21/2012 0:51 Comments || Top||

#3  Fred just lies in wait like Honey-Badger on these.
Posted by: Shipman || 11/21/2012 4:32 Comments || Top||

#4  Five men?

My 7 mm Rem would have done it. A lot quicker.
Posted by: no mo uro || 11/21/2012 4:33 Comments || Top||

#5  We been hearin' stories about deer workin' for the Sinaloa Cartel, buncha crazy drug killers...
Maybe he was a mule (snicker).
Posted by: ed in texas || 11/21/2012 6:54 Comments || Top||

#6  Mule deer...
Posted by: Glenmore || 11/21/2012 8:59 Comments || Top||

#7  the deer climbed in and took his pack of cigarettes

Pack of Bucky Strikes.
Posted by: swksvolFF || 11/21/2012 11:59 Comments || Top||

#8  Stupid clerk at the local 7-11 wouldn't sell him any because he wasn't 21 (points)....
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/21/2012 12:01 Comments || Top||

#9  Pack of Bucky Strikes.
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Posted by: Shipman || 11/21/2012 13:42 Comments || Top||

#10  Don't mess with Texas deer! When I saw the headline, I just knew it had to be some fellow Texas yahoos.
Posted by: Brujotejano || 11/21/2012 14:26 Comments || Top||

#11  Recently laid-off from Santa's Workshop to cut costs.
Posted by: Charles || 11/21/2012 21:01 Comments || Top||


Africa Horn
AMISOM jails Somali official in Beledweyne
[Shabelle] The Djiboutian soldiers from 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 (AMISOM) force on Monday have taken into custody a government official in Beledweyne, central Somalia, reports said.

Ahmed Osman Abdalla Inji, the deputy Hiiran governor for the security affairs was locked away
Don't shoot, coppers! I'm comin' out!
for committing fistfight against Adawe Elmi Abdi, another top official in the regional administration of Hiiraan during a meeting by the local traditional elders in the city.

Latest reports indicate that discussions under for the release of the tossed in the calaboose
Yez got nuttin' on me, coppers! Nuttin'!
official by the AMISOM forces the town, 332 Km north of Mogadishu, according to the local elders.

Hundreds of African union forces are operating in the Hiiran region, that are helping Somali troops to regain control and maintain law and order.
Posted by: Fred || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [245 views] Top||


Africa North
Justice ministry freezes assets of Ahmed Shafiq
[Al Ahram] The financial assets of Ahmed Shafiq and his three daughters have been frozen by an order of the justice ministry.

The Mubarak-era prime minister and his daughters, Sherine, May and Amira, were placed on an airport watch list and forbidden from disposing of their stocks, bonds and wealth.

The decision was made by the vice president of the Cassation Court and the assistant justice minister for illicit gains. It confirms the decision of the Illicit Gains Authority in October to freeze the assets of Shafiq and his daughters.

A blurb by the exchange market said the decision covered all stocks and bonds, and that all brokerage firms and investment funds had been informed of the decision.

The decision was based on investigations into complaint 115 of 2012. Shafiq is accused of selling 40,000 square metres of land owned by the Cooperative Housing Association for Military Pilots at a fraction of its market value to Gamal and Alaa Mubarak during the 1990s. He was head of the association at the time.

He will also be tried in absentia in November on charges of financial corruption when he was the civil aviation minister.
Posted by: Fred || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [271 views] Top||


Africa Subsaharan
Cohabitation Marriage Upsets Kenya Muslims
NAIROBI – A new government bill that allows cohabitating couples to register as married and scraps dowry for brides is inviting a storm of anger from Muslims and Christians in Kenya.

“I think that bill is so barbaric and should be revoked," Swaleh Gang'ombe, Secretary General of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), told Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC).

The Kenyan government has passed a new bill for marriage in the eastern African country.

Under the bill, couples who have been living together for six months would be declared a husband and a wife.

The draft also proposes the cancellation of dowry for brides, which is mandatory in Islam.

"This is going to be a recipe of domestic violence as it will be so difficult to prove that you have stayed with someone for those six months,” Gang’ombe said.

CIPK’s South Coast chairperson Sheikh Amir Banda also criticized the bill.

"If you legalize marriages on excuse that couples have been together for six months, what happens if in every six months she will change men?

“Such laws are not in any East African country and does it mean that the much publicized East African unity will be in disarray?”

The Kenyan parliament is set to debate the proposed bill in the coming few days.

Marriage in Islam is of utmost importance as it is upon the lawful union of a man and a woman that society grows strong and that moral is preserved.

There are nearly ten million Muslims in Kenya, which has a population of 36 million.

Muslims make up nearly 98 percent of the communities of the North Eastern Province.

Dowry

Kenyan Muslim leaders also denounced the proposal of scrapping the dowry paid to the bride.

"Every religion has its own law and order and it will be against those rights and privileges if some few individual will decide for many in something that affects everyone's rights,” Banda said.

“Religiously and culturally it’s wrong if dowry will not be paid.”

The proposed marriage bill has already drawn a strong opposition from Christian leaders in Kenya.

"It is the worst law we have had as churches in Kenya,” said the Rev. Wellington Mutiso, the general secretary of the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya, according to All Africa website.

The Rev. Vincent Wambugu, general secretary of the Kenya Episcopal Conference, an umbrella group of Catholic bishops, warned that the passage of the bill would undermine marriage in the country.

Anglican Bishop Julius Kalu of Mombasa echoes a similar warning.
"This (cohabitation) is likely to be abused with the underage being taken advantage of. It will be violated."
Posted by: Au Auric || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [265 views] Top||

#1  This sounds like the kind of law that would be written by divorce attorneys - 6 months of living together requires a divorce...
Posted by: Glenmore || 11/21/2012 8:41 Comments || Top||


Bangladesh
It's all lies: Khaleda bins graft allegations against Tarique
[Bangla Daily Star] BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia
Three-term PM of Bangla, widow of deceased dictator Ziaur Rahman, head of the Bangla Nationalist Party, an apparent magnet for corruption ...
yesterday said her elder son Tarique Rahman
...the elder son of former President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman Bir Uttam, and Khaleda Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh. He is the Senior Vice Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). His nickname is Pino. There are allegations that Pino took a rakeoff from every foreign investment into the country while Mom was in office...
leads "a very honest life" and is not involved in any corruption and has no wealth.

"All allegations of corruption against him [Tarique] are nothing but lies and propaganda by vested quarters," Khaleda, also leader of the opposition, said while speaking at a meeting and award giving ceremony at city's Institute of Engineers.
Posted by: Fred || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top||


Home Front: Culture Wars
Unions shut down traffic to LAX on busiest travel day of the year
Posted by: DarthVader || 11/21/2012 10:47 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [294 views] Top||

#1  Well past time to remove unions from anti-trust and RICO exemptions.
Posted by: Procopius2k || 11/21/2012 11:15 Comments || Top||

#2  The port unions are planning a strike in the next few days to foul up supplies for the holiday season to get what they want.

I may not be the smartest guy in the world but it seems to me that these hijinks will just piss people off and lose the unions public support.

Then again I didn't think the American people would vote for slow motion suicide either.
Posted by: DarthVader || 11/21/2012 11:38 Comments || Top||

#3  Stuff for the holiday season is already in the stores. Retail stores began receiving Christmas merchandise this July. What isn't already at the store is in the warehouse.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 11/21/2012 13:20 Comments || Top||

#4  Amend that -- ORDERING began in July. The stores have been receiving it for the last month or so; warehouses already have most of the Christmas merchandise.
Posted by: Rob Crawford || 11/21/2012 13:27 Comments || Top||

#5  Masters of public relations.
Posted by: Iblis || 11/21/2012 16:10 Comments || Top||

#6  Welcome to the future of the Democratic Republic of California.

Then again, if it was New York City, it wouldn't have been in the news.
Posted by: Pappy || 11/21/2012 16:41 Comments || Top||

#7  A TV station interviewed some of the "protester" and found most of them had no idea what they were protesting. The Union says frog and they jump. Worse than robots. Bugwits.
Posted by: Deacon Blues || 11/21/2012 19:24 Comments || Top||

#8  in related union news; on the same day that Hostess was approved to begin the liquidation process, the Boeing white collar union ( SPEEA) rejected the company's 2nd offer. guess they didn't get the memo about that little operation BCAC has going on in South ( no unions needed) Carolina, or that the newly approved for sale 787-10 ( middle fuselage barrel too big to fit in the Dreamlifter) would thus probably only get built in SC also.
Disclaimer: i have friends that are SPEEA members and i think that is really their only major flaw.....
Posted by: USN,Ret. || 11/21/2012 21:21 Comments || Top||

#9  I need a score card to keep track of all the players idiots.
Posted by: Alaska Paul || 11/21/2012 22:49 Comments || Top||


Home Front: Politix
Bangor anchor team tender resignation on-air
Its good to see there are some people with ethics. Which is why I am posting it. Perhaps Fox will pick them up....
BANGOR, Maine -- Citing a longstanding battle with upper management over journalistic practices at their Bangor TV stations, news co-anchors Cindy Michaels and Tony Consiglio announced their resignations at the end of Tuesday's 6 p.m. newscast.

Michaels and Consiglio, who have a combined 12½ years' service at WVII (Channel 7) and sister station WFVX (Channel 22), shocked staff members and viewers with their joint resignations Tuesday evening.

"I just wanted to know that I was doing the best job I could and was being honest and ethical as a journalist, and I thought there were times when I wasn't able to do that," said Consiglio, a northeastern Connecticut native who broke in with WVII as a sports reporter in April 2006.

"No, that was unfortunate, but not unexpected," said Mike Palmer, WVII/WFVX vice president and general manager. "We'll hire experienced people to fill these positions sooner rather than later."
I hear Katie Couric is available. She's perky and about as left as you can get. Perhaps team her up with Dan Rather.
Neither reporter had told anyone of their decisions before Tuesday's newscast.
Suprise!
Both Michaels, 46, and Consiglio, 28, said frustration over the way they were allowed or told to do their jobs -- something that has been steadily mounting for the last four years -- became too much for them.

"There was a constant disrespecting and belittling of staff and we both felt there was a lack of knowledge from ownership and upper management in running a newsroom to the extent that I was not allowed to structure and direct them professionally," Michaels explained. "I couldn't do everything I wanted to as a news director. There was a regular undoing of decisions."

While choosing not to respond to individual complaints or charges, Palmer did take issue with the former anchors' characterization of management's role.

"Upper management is not involved in the daily production of the news. Period," said Palmer, who had just finished posting online job opening ads in his office at 10 p.m. Tuesday. "We've made great changes over the last few months and are not slowing down."

Michaels said there were numerous things that contributed to their decisions.

"It's a culmination of ongoing occurrences that took place the last several years and basically involved upper management practices that we both strongly disagreed with," she explained. "It's a little complicated, but we were expected to do somewhat unbalanced news, politically, in general."

Neither Michaels nor Consiglio would say what specific political leaning they were expected to adopt.
Anyone care to guess?
Consiglio, who also was executive producer, said the balanced journalistic approach they use for all their stories was sometimes frowned upon.

Both reporters said they do not have anything lined up in terms of jobs in the media.
Who is John Galt?
"Broadcasting is a love for both of us," said Michaels. "We definitely will miss not being able to come into folks' living rooms and I hope there's no hard feelings from the community for this decision we've made, but we felt we had to do it."

"The promise we're making to everyone is this locomotive is not stopping," he (Palmer) said.
Even as it goes over the cliff at full steam.
He said the stations' ownership already has seen its proactive approach pay off.

"We've invested in the community and the community has rewarded us financially in the form of advertising revenue," he said.
In other words we tell them what they want to hear and...
Posted by: CrazyFool || 11/21/2012 20:15 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [241 views] Top||


Southeast Asia
Asian Leaders Discuss Vast Free Trade Region
PHNOM PENH -- Asian leaders say they will launch negotiations into what could become a massive free trade area. On Tuesday, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to launch discussions on a possible free-trade zone that could link its economies with those of China, India, South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

ASEAN leaders officially launched negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, during the last day of the leaders' summit in Cambodia Tuesday. By seeking to link major economies including China and India, with those of Southeast Asia, the move could be a step toward creating a significant, new trading bloc.

China has recently taken a renewed interest in pushing forward with talks for the initiative. Observers say this could be a reaction to the ongoing U.S. strategic "pivot" toward Asia.

Since the United States does not have a free trade agreement with ASEAN, it is not eligible to join talks on RCEP. Instead, Washington is pursuing a separate free trade area called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. That formation does not include China.
Posted by: Au Auric || 11/21/2012 00:00 || Comments || Link || E-Mail|| [242 views] Top||



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A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.

Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.

Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has dominated Mexico for six years.
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In no particular order...
Steve White
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Two weeks of WOT
Wed 2012-11-21
  'Bomb blast' on bus in Tel Aviv
Tue 2012-11-20
  Female Suicide Boomer Targets Qazi
Mon 2012-11-19
  Israeli Strikes Kill 21 Palestinians, Gaza Rockets Wound 10 Israelis
Sun 2012-11-18
  Israeli air strikes pound Gaza as death toll hits 38
Sat 2012-11-17
   Israel air strikes hit Hamas HQ
Fri 2012-11-16
  Israel Warns of Escalation After Tel Aviv Missile Firing
Thu 2012-11-15
  Gaza missiles fired at Tel Aviv
Wed 2012-11-14
  France recognizes rebel coalition as legitimate rulers of Syria
Tue 2012-11-13
  Jamaat, Shibir go berserk in Bangla
Mon 2012-11-12
  Govt. Soldiers shoot it out in Mogadishu
Sun 2012-11-11
  IDF Changes Rules of Engagement Along Syrian Border
Sat 2012-11-10
  Mexican police charged over US embassy staff shooting
Fri 2012-11-09
  David Petraeus resigns from CIA
Thu 2012-11-08
  Syria raids Hamas offices months after group's leaders leave
Wed 2012-11-07
  Bombings, Clashes Kill 131 in Syria as Gunmen Assassinate Parliament Speaker's Brother

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