[Daily Telegraph.AU] THE star witness in Silvio Berlusconi's trial for paying for sex with an underage prostitute is to testify next month, lawyers say, as legal woes threaten his faltering re-election campaign. Doesn't Silvio have a dacha to retire to?
Moroccan-born pole-dancer Karima El-Mahroug - better known by her professional nickname of "Ruby the Heart Stealer" - is a witness for Berlusconi's defence and is expected to say she never had sex with him.
Prosecutors say Berlusconi had sex for money with "Ruby" when she was 17. While the age of consent in Italy is 14 and prostitution is decriminalised, paying for sex with someone under 18 is a criminal offence.
El-Mahroug has failed to testify on two previous occasions because she said she was in Mexico. Prosecutors said that was a strategy by the defence to try and draw out the trial until after elections expected on February 17.
Prosecutor Ilda Boccassini called it a "delaying tactic", saying she found El-Mahroug's "sudden decision" to go to Mexico suspicious. Berlusconi's a billionaire, so he can afford to buy an occasional plaything, or even to have "bunga-bunga" parties. He's also approximately 75 years old. Ruby was 17 at the time but she was already a pole dancer (seemingly in more ways that one). When politix isn't involved they brag about things like that in Italy.
Sheriff's officials say a man opened fire in a San Antonio movie theater parking lot, wounding one person before an officer shot him inside the theater.
Bexar County sheriff's spokesman Louis Antu says the incident started about 9:30 p.m. Sunday when the man fired shots inside a nearby restaurant. It's not clear what led to the shooting.
Antu says the man headed toward the theater and shot a male in the lot. The age and condition of the victim wasn't immediately known, but Antu says his injuries did not appear life-threatening.
The gunman entered the theater. Antu says the man fired a shot but struck no one. An off-duty sheriff's deputy working security then shot the gunman. Rumor has it bystander Texans in reality drug him out of the parking lot into the theator urging her to shot him 27 times ... and then git-a-rope.
I have coached a few female marksmen. Not certain why, but I've found quite a number to be naturals and damn good shots!
I'm a firearms instructor, and concur with that observation. The ladies tend to listen to the coaching and give it a try. Too many guys think having a Y chromosome means you automatically know how to shoot.
Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the nation's longest-serving senator and a decorated World War II combat veteran, died Monday at 88.
He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in WWII. We thank you, sir, for your bravery and your service.
Inouye's office said the senator died of "respiratory complications" on Monday evening. His last word, according to a statement released by his staff, was "Aloha." The long-time senator had been hospitalized since early December because of respiratory problems.
Inouye had served in the Senate since 1963 and represented Hawaii since 1954, serving as the Aloha State's first congressman beginning in 1959. He served as the Senate pro tempore -- the designation for the chamber's longest-serving Senator -- and the person third in line to the presidency. He also chaired the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee at the time of his death.
As The Post's Jason Horowitz wrote in a 2010 profile of Inouye: "More than any other statesman in the history of these volcanic islands -- more than Kamehameha the Great, who united them into a kingdom in 1810, or Gov. John Burns, who led the political revolution that established Democratic Party rule here in 1954 -- Inouye, 86, has ruled over Hawaii."
the man was personally courageous and did not allow corruption in his office
however, over his lifetime, he sponsored billions and billions of dollars of earmarks, many were so awful as to be the subject of local joking; even as late as 2010 when almost everyone realized that the earmarks in the stimulus bill were mostly useless, and in some cases counterproductive, he still was a fully bore pro earmark guy (took over the Senate Appro committee when Bryd died)
Posted by: lord garth ||
As much as I despise the man Obama and think he is the worlds biggest loser and he is nothing but toxin to US politics, sinking as low as to insult someone on their race cannot and should not be allowed.
Stick to his failed policies and lack of character as there is plenty to shoot at. Don't be a dhimocrat and be fixated only on his race.
Very, very bad for business. Bad publicity, very bad for recruiting, and a potential ticket office disaster for the owners. Someone needs to call Joe and Gerry up at State and forewarn them. Oh ....... I hadn't heard.
[An Nahar] Want to cheat on your partner? Then the online dating service Ashley Madison is the perfect place for you. Sex sells. Selling sex sells even better.
Since it arrived in Brazil 15 months ago, the website has attracted one million lusty Brazilians, turning this South American country of 194 million people into one of the biggest markets for the Canadian company.
Created 10 years ago, Ashley Madison and its slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair" is now present in 24 countries, with eight million members in the United States and six million in Canada.
But Brazil has seen the firm's most explosive growth in terms of number of clients -- 70 percent of whom are men -- and in money spent to finance the temptations the site offers.
"Brazilians have a very strong propensity for pleasure, sex and fun," said Eduardo Borges, the company's representative in this body-conscious country famous for its exuberant samba dancing and carnival.
"Add to this a fascination for technology, for communicating and meeting other people," he noted.
The country has around 80 million Internet users and is among world leaders in the use of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.
This provides a combination which, according to Borges, does not promote infidelity but offers alternatives to practice it in a "proper manner."
Know-how is precisely the basis for Ashley Madison's marketing appeal, including references to famous cases of infidelity such as those of former U.S. president Bill Clinton and Prince Charles.
"We started in Brazil in late August 2011. I expected 500,000 subscribers in a year, but we got more than 800,000. And we are going to close 2012 with more than one million, a much bigger growth than what we anticipated," Borges added.
With 17 million subscribers worldwide, the website will gross $120 million this year, but Borges would not say how much is generated in Brazil.
"Brazil is our second largest market in terms of income," he said, adding that before the end of the year, the company hopes to open an office in Sao Paulo, the first outside Canada.
"Brazil is the apple of our eye," he added.
There are many other leading dating sites in Brazil such as eHarmony or Second Love.
Ashley Madison was created with women in mind. They do not pay to subscribe or make contacts with men, who are the ones who must pay to send emails, chat messages, draw hearts or use other techniques of virtual seduction.
Its business model is based on credits rather than monthly subscriptions.
For a conversation between two members, one of the members must pay five credits to initiate the conversation. Any follow-up messages between the two members are free after the communication has been initiated.
A pack of 100 credits, which allows a man to contact 20 women on average, costs $25.
Bare chest pictures, faces with piercing looks, adjectives such as "sensitive and affectionate, creative and adventurous," anything goes.
"Send me a picture?" said one subscriber named "Guto" when contacted by Agence France Presse. He claimed to have been married for 21 years, said he joined the site in March and bought 4,000 credits.
"I spent more than I wanted, but I got a few contacts. So far I have had two cases of casual sex, pretty good experiences," he crowed.
To mark its first year in Brazil, Ashley Madison launched "Lover guaranteed", a program offering the money back guarantee of an affair.
"So far no one has asked for their money back," said Borges.
[Al Ahram] A Cairo misdemeanour court sentenced Islamic preacher Sheikh Abdullah Badr to a year in jail and set bail at LE20,000, for insulting well-known Egyptian actress Elham Shahin. What do I get if I insult Lindsey Lohan?
The popular actress filed a lawsuit last September against Badr after he criticised the actress during his TV show on El-Hafez channel, saying that "Elham Shahin is cursed and she will never enter heaven."
Shahin claimed Badr attacked her publically after she made a statement expressing her fear of the Islamic political current and said that she would not vote for Islamic political parties in the elections.
In recent months, several public figures have filed lawsuits against religious preachers accusing them of defamation.
Last November, Masr El-Gedida TV host and Salafist preacherKhaled Abdullah, known for vocal criticism of liberals and protesters, was taken off the air for 25 days by Egyptian courts.
[An Nahar] A fire that killed 111 workers at a Bangladesh garment factory last month was caused by sabotage and managers at the plant prevented victims from escaping, the head of an official inquiry said Monday.
"We have found that the fire that gutted Tazreen Fashion factory in Ashulia was an act of sabotage," Main Uddin Khandaker told Agence La Belle France Presse after submitting a report into the November 24 tragedy to the government.
"The statements of the witnesses revealed that it was an act of sabotage. There was no possibility of the fire originating due to an electric short-circuit or any other reason."
Khandaker did not suggest who might have carried out the sabotage or why.
He also said his inquiry team would recommend that the owner of the factory in the Ashulia industrial district near the capital Dhaka should face murder charges for gross negligence.
"There was also gross negligence on the part of the owner. We have suggested legal action against him and nine of his mid-level managers who barred the workers from leaving the burning factory," he said.
The owner of the plant, Delwar Hossain, told news hounds after the blaze that he believed it was started deliberately but gave no details.
Fire Sherlocks have said the nine-story factory, which made clothing for Western retailers such as Walmart and C&A, lacked a valid safety license at the time and only had permission for three floors.
[Dawn] Dr Mohammad Sher, dean of science faculty and head of anti-plagiarism committee at the International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), has been found guilty of plagiarism for the second time in less than two years. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has officially informed the university that a research paper authored by Dr Sher in 1998 was plagiarised, Dawn has learnt reliably.
Was it written by one of his doctoral students or by that Albert Einstein guy? A man is known by the caliber of his plagiarees, after all.
[Dawn] The Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) killed an alleged kidnapper and recovered a boy after a shootout on the outskirts of the city on Sunday.
AVCC SSP Niaz Ahmed Khosa told the media that six-year-old Mohammad Usman, a student of Class I, was kidnapped by a rickshaw driver who used to pick and drop him at school. For the last one year, Asghar Khan used to pick the boy from his home in Sultanabad and drop him at the school in Clifton.
On Friday he picked Usman from home as per the daily routine, but did not return in the afternoon. Later in the day, the suspect made a call demanding Rs20 million as a ransom.
Acting on a tip-off,
*ring ring* "Mahmoud the Weasel's Pakistani cousin Bilal here. Listen carefully, I will say this only once."
AVCC found Ahmed Brohi Goth off the Superhighway toll plaza and carried out a house-to-house search, and finally early Sunday morning
... at an hour when all honest householders are snug abed...
located the house the boy was kept.
"As the police raided the house, Asghar opened fire on the police party. During the shootout, the suspect was killed and the boy recovered safely," SSP Khosa said.
[Dawn] The Supreme Court on Monday has taken suo motu ...a legal term, from the Latin. Roughly translated it means I saw what you did, you bastard... notice into the nomination of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashrafs son-in-law, Raja Azeem-ul-Haque, as an executive director of the World Bank.
The suo motu notice was taken over media reports.
A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali has also been constituted to hear the case on Dec 19.
According to media reports, the PM appointed his son-in-law to the post by using his discretionary powers.
The finance ministry had opposed Mr Haques nomination even though the summary for his appointment was moved by the Economic Affairs Division. Ultimately, the finance ministry had to give in to the wishes of the Prime Minister Secretariat, said the reports.
Some government officials had been critical of Mr Haques nomination because of his quick promotions within a few years from grade 18 to 21.
Raja Azeem-ul-Haque, an officer of the Income Tax Group, was working in grade 18 when the PPP government came into power more than four years ago. He left this job and was hired by the Employees Old-age Benefit Institution in grade 20 about two years ago.
Soon after Raja Pervez Ashraf assumed the PMs office, he was elevated to grade 21 and posted in the Prime Minister Secretariat.
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.