[Straits Times] POLICE are now investigating those who were responsible for screening the sex video allegedly involving a man resembling opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) deputy chief Datuk Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said the police had yet to hear from the distributor of the Omega watch said to have been taken from the hotel room where the sex video was allegedly recorded.
He added that police could not force them to provide information on who was the watch owner.
'The identity of the watch's owner is not an issue in completing the investigation,' he said.
He also said the police had completed their probe into the sex video and the findings would be submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers soon.
'However, The ever-popular However... we are not investigating the identity of the man in the video, but the ones responsible for the screening of it,' he said yesterday.
[Straits Times] THAI authorities say it's inappropriate that three young women danced topless in downtown Bangkok during rowdy New Year's celebrations. I always thought that was a feature, not a bug, in Muong Thai...
Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat said on Monday the incident during the annual Songkran water festival was 'very inappropriate and unacceptable.'
It happened last week not far from the world-famous Patpong red-light district and was captured on videos posted online. The red light district... That's where they keep the hookers, right?
He said, 'I demand that society come out and criticise them.' Why? They didn't have tasty looking udds?
Songkran traditionally was a time to sprinkle water on elders respectfully in exchange for blessings. I remember it as a time to splash everybody in sight and to be splashed in turn...
Splashing water on unsuspecting friends or passers-by became a way to relieve the heat, but now the revelry often includes drunken mayhem. Probably about the same as it was 40 years ago... (Pa diu cha pai sao fai daeng)...
Yesterday, Japan's Asahi TV aired a 15 minute special report about how how foreigners have been avoiding Japan because of fears about radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The report focuses on the economic impact that a drop in tourism and an exodus of foreign workers:
Many foreign "trainees" who perform manual labor at factories have fled Japan. At a clothing factory in Tokyo, they find that only one of its five Chinese workers has left the country. They interview her by phone, and she says that she returned to China because her family was worried about radiation from Fukushima. Some of the other workers at the factory had considered leaving Japan after the announcement that Tokyo's water supply had been contaminated, but after radiation levels dropped, they decided to stay. They are concerned about food and water safety, but do not feel like abandoning their employer.
Farms are struggling after losing some of their "trainee" laborers. At once farm in Ibaraki, work has become very difficult after 3 of its 4 Chinese laborers left Japan.
However, not all hope is lost for Japan's farmers. The previously-mentioned farmer was able to hire 2 new employees: a Japanese couple who from Minamisoma city. They'd been living in an evacuation shelter since the nuclear accident and needed new jobs. Although they have no experience with farming, they seem happy to be working. Amazing how that works.
[Maghrebia] In an attempt to alleviate the suffering of jobless university graduates, the Tunisian government last week began paying out unemployment benefits.
As part of the government's "Amal" programme, university graduates actively seeking employment will receive 200 dinars a month, as well as medical coverage, Employment Minister Said Aydi explained on Monday (April 4th). Recipients can collect the allowance for up to one year.
"It's a good plan to help unemployed people get out of disappointment and the ghost of unemployment," said Imed Allouch, who has not had a job for two and half years. He added that the benefits would provide him with financial, psychological and social stability while alleviating the burdens on families that can no longer afford to support unemployed children.
"It will be a motive for them to proceed with their search for work. It's also a proof that there are serious attempts by the government to deal with the problem of unemployment in spite of the tough economic conditions in the country," Allouch said.
Manel Ghazouani, who received her bachelor's degree three years ago, said that the decision to pay unemployment benefits, while considerate of those in need, was only a temporary solution to allow jobseekers greater flexibility in their search.
"Looking for jobs requires a lot of expenses that unemployed people can't afford," she said. "Therefore, I think that these benefits will solve the problem of many unemployed people and boost their chances to find jobs."
The benefits could also help curb some of the crimes committed by unemployed people, according to Hatem Bourouis, who agreed that the benefits were a positive step.
But not everyone was convinced that the allowance will have its desired effect.
"I can't spend this benefit on looking for a job that doesn't exist," said Warda Badri, who received a bachelor's degree in Arabic a year and a half ago.
Among the requirements to receive the benefit is a mandate for jobs seekers to seriously undertake a search for employment or launch their own business. Additionally, recipients will be required to receive specialised training for in-demand jobs to provide them with the necessary experience. The aid can also be terminated if the beneficiary turns down multiple offers of employment.
The programme only applies to first-time job seekers unemployed for at least six months, significantly limiting the pool of applicants. The eligibility requirements angered some unemployed Tunisians, who say they were unfairly excluded.
Deadly rioting erupted across Nigeria's largely Muslim north on Monday as youths torched churches and homes in anger at President Goodluck Jonathan's election victory.
Jonathan, the first president from the oil producing Niger Delta, was declared the winner with around 57 percent of votes. He defeated Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler from the north, who got around 31 percent.
Observers have called the poll the fairest in decades in Africa's most populous nation. But Buhari's supporters accuse the ruling party of rigging and rejected the results. The results show how polarised the country is, with Buhari sweeping the north and Jonathan winning the largely Christian south. Jonathan had nearly 23 million votes to just over 12 million for Buhari.
The Nigerian Red Thingy Cross said churches, mosques and homes had been burned in rioting across the north and many people had been killed, but it was impossible to give a toll for now.
"In Kaduna we have seen dead bodies lying by the road," Red Cross official Umar Mairiga told Reuters. "Two thousand people have been displaced at one military camp alone."
Authorities in the northern state of Kaduna imposed a 24-hour curfew after protesters set fire to the residence of Vice President Namadi Sambo in the town of Zaria and forced their way into the central prison, releasing inmates.
Plumes of smoke rose into the air in parts of Kaduna as protesters set fire to barricades of tyres. Security forces fired in the air and used teargas to disperse groups of youths shouting "We want Buhari, we want Buhari".
Police said the violence was political rather than ethnic or religious. Twelve years after the end of military rule, the army said it stood fully behind the government and democratic rule.
Jonathan appealed to all politicians to end violence. "No one's political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian," he said in a statement.
Buhari was yet to make any public statement on the violence despite appeals by foreign embassies that he call for calm.
Because the rioting is to his advantage...
The former general's Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) party said in a letter to the electoral commission that voters had been intimidated, ballot boxes stuffed in Jonathan's strongholds and computers set up to deprive it of votes.
"What is being exhibited to the world is not collated from polling units but from the state headquarters where a lot of manipulations, we believe, had taken place," the party said.
Saturday's vote was deemed by many Nigerians, and foreign observers, to have been a vast improvement on the past.
"Election day showed a generally peaceful and orderly process," said chief European Union election observer Alojz Peterle. EU observers said 2007 elections were not credible.
The independent Swift Count monitor group said the official results were right in line with what they would have expected based on their samples from a random selection of nearly 1,500 of the 120,000 polling stations across Nigeria.
The outright win for Jonathan could ease worries over potential disruptions to crude exports from Africa's biggest oil and gas industry -- far away from the disturbances in the north. It could also lift local financial markets which had been unnerved by the prospect of a potential run-off and the All-Share Index closed up 2.3 percent to its highest in nearly a month.
The troubles in the north, on the fringes of the Sahara desert, are far from the oil-producing regions and heaving industrial centres of the south.
Almost as if the south could cast the north loose and go on its own...
Buhari, who also lost elections in 2003 and 2007, has repeatedly said Nigerians would not accept another rigged vote. He told Reuters on Saturday he would not go to court to challenge the outcome but that his party may chose to do so.
In 1960 Nigeria became independent of the United Kingdom. As with many other new African states, the borders of the country did not reflect earlier ethnic boundaries. Thus the northern desert region of the country contained semi-autonomous feudal Muslim states, while the southern population was predominantly Christian and Animist.
Ethnic boundaries is wrong, and hinges on the idea that since people of a given racial group all look pretty similar, stacking them together in a single country is the most natural thing in the world. Tell it to Europe, home of the Hundred Years War, WWI and WWII. Imagine if we had liberated the Japanese empire in the Far East at the end of WWII and reconstituted its entire territory as a single country. "Civil war" would have broken out almost immediately. The European powers weren't doing anything worse than other countries before them, in getting the heck out of dodge before all hell broke loose in their former empires, but their empires were all on the scale of Alexander and Genghis. I think the reluctance to acknowledge the creation of new nations is partly the result of the 1 nation 1 vote rule at the UN. Existing nations don't really want their vote diluted. But the long term solution to strife in much of the developing world is partition and the creation of new countries that reflect the national divisions of antiquity that never went away despite the European administration of large foreign territories as single entities.
[The Nation (Nairobi)] Ugandan police on Monday jugged opposition leader Kizza Besigye ahead of a planned protest over spiralling food and fuel prices in Kampala which he was set to join, police and party officials said.
"Besigye was tossed in the slammer as he left his house this morning and is being held in Kasangati" cop shoppe on the outskirts of Kampala, Alice Alaso, secretary general of Besigye's Forum for Democratic Change, told AFP.
Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba confirmed the arrest and said it was in connection with the planned demonstration.
Alaso said Besigye was leaving his home and preparing to walk to work as part of a peaceful demonstration when police "stopped him at his gate."
Besigye, 54, walked to church unobstructed on Sunday but his "walk to work" campaign saw him jugged for several hours a week ago.
President Yoweri Museveni has warned he will deal firmly with any unauthorised demonstration and mocked Besigye in a presser on Saturday.
"We made it clear to Besigye that you are not going to demonstrate or to walk. If you want to walk, go somewhere and take a walk," Museveni said.
Ugandan police on Thursday clashed with protestors in Kampala and several other towns as Besigye appeared bent on opposing the regime, two months after losing to Museveni in elections he claimed were rigged.
Protestors say steep prices are due to bad governance but Museveni, who has ruled the east African country for a quarter of a century, insisted drought and foreign factors were to blame.
"Food prices have gone up because of unreliable rain and the bigger market in the region. Will the world prices go down because Besigye has demonstrated?" he said.
The consumer price index grew by four percent in March from the previous month and the country's year-on-year inflation rate stands at 11.1 percent.
Museveni argued that Besigye's opposition drive risked destabilising the economy further and urged Ugandans to act responsibly and use fuel sparingly.
Besigye had warned before the polls that Uganda was ripe for an Egypt-style revolt but stopped short of calling for mass street protests to challenge the results, which saw Museveni re-elected with a landslide.
The so-called Arab Spring contagion failed to take hold in Uganda after the elections.
[The Nation (Nairobi)] Mutinous soldiers seized a key southern town in Bukina Faso as a revolt against the west African nation's veteran ruler Blaise Compaore spread today.
Soldiers at a military garrison at Po near the Ghana border had gun sex and took over the town overnight, looting and seizing private vehicles, residents told AFP.
Two people were maimed in the firing, a hospital source said.
"The firing has intensified. The soldiers are currently in the town, some on foot and the others on cycle of violences," a resident said today.
"The looting is still going on. The soldiers are taking the cars of those who venture outside in their vehicles," another said.
Po, about 140 kilometres from the capital Ouagadougou, houses a training school for Burkinabe military officers and is a symbolic town for Compaore, who trained here.
Compaore staged a 1983 coup from Po which brought his friend and comrade in arms Thomas Sankara to power. The former army captain himself took control of the country later in a 1987 military coup and has won all elections since.
look ... i know there are no good guys in Burkina Faso - including the FRENCH...
But... before trying to choose sides. Are there enough assets (excluding a few blood diamonds) in the whole country to buy 1 happy meal?
Posted by: Water Modem ||
[Arab News] Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan ... 14th President of Nigeria. He was Governor of Bayelsa State from 9 December 2005 to 28 May 2007, and was sworn in as Vice President on 29 May 2007. Jonathan is a member of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP). He is a lover of nifty hats, which makes him easily recognizable unless someone else in the room is wearing a neat chapeau... won nearly every state in preliminary results released Sunday for the oil-rich nation's presidential election, though fragmented returns suggested he faced strong opposition from the country's Mohammedan north.
Meanwhile, ...back at the shouting match, a new, even louder, voice was to be heard... authorities in this northern Nigerian city and hometown of the country's vice president said eight people were maimed after a bomb went kaboom! at a hotel in a poor neighborhood hours after voters cast their ballots.
Jonathan remains the presumed front-runner in Saturday's poll as his ruling People's Democratic Party has dominated politics in the West African giant since it became a democracy 12 years ago. But to become president, he must carry at least a quarter of the votes cast in at least 24 states and its capital.
Results released Sunday by Nigeria's electoral commission show Jonathan won the capital of Abuja and six states: Anambra, Enugu, Kogi, Lagos, Ogun and Ondo states. He also carried more than 25 percent of the vote in Osun state, which was won candidate Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria, and Sokoto state, which was won by candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change.
However, The all-purpose However... none of these initial returns included any states from Nigeria's north, which remains hesitant about Jonathan as the Christian from the south who took over after the death of the country's elected Mohammedan leader. Many of the north's elite wanted the ruling party to honor an unwritten power-sharing agreement calling for a Mohammedan candidate to run in this election.
In an announcement on its website, Muslims Against Crusades said it hoped "the day which the nation has been dreaming of for so long will become a nightmare".
Mr Yaxley-Lennon, who runs a tanning salon in Hastings Street, Luton, said EDL members planned to physically stop Muslim extremists getting to Westminster Abbey.
"The police will let them have their protest but we'll be at each train station to make sure they don't come," he said. "It's going to be a public order offence -- there will be mass disorder. We will form a ring of steel around that wedding.
"It will be ordinary members of the public going in to prevent a crime because the police won't stop it. We will be issued with Section 14 orders because we would cause a breach of the peace."
In its statement yesterday, Muslims Against Crusades said Prince William should "withdraw from the crusader British military and give up all affiliation to the tyrannical British Empire".
They said the demonstration was justified to highlight Britain's "quest to occupy Muslim land and wage war against the religion of God".
Mr Yaxley-Lennon said ordinary Muslims heading to Westminster Abbey would have nothing to fear from the English Defence League.
"Muslims Against Crusades will be carrying black flags and will be in uniform so we will know who they are," he said. "As soon as they come out of any station there's going to be chaos."
Asked whether he was concerned that the EDL's presence would only cause further disruption, he said: "It can't get any worse than if Muslims Against Crusades turn up. You have freedom of speech but this is ordinary members of the British public who are angry about this, which is what happened when they tried to disrupt the Poachers' parade in Luton."
Mr Yaxley-Lennon said he would not be in London himself on April 29 as he will be away on holiday. Will the Muslims chicken out? Or will they try to fight their way through free Englishmen defending the Crown?
I'd expect a hearty demonstration of intolerance for assholery on that day. Hopefully the Bobbies turn a blind eye to street "discussions". Import Soccer fans to boost the numbers, and make it a game.
Find Anjem. The coward won't be anywhere he can be touched...
ok, then, stake out his mailbox where his welfare check arrives
Posted by: Frank G ||
EDL spewing more anti-Obama rhetoric. [snark off]
Fidel Castro has confirmed his resignation from the top leadership of the Cuba Communist Party.
He had served as the first secretary in the Central Committee of the Party since its creation in 1965.
The veteran leader said he had handed over the functions of the Party to Raul Castro when he ceded power to his brother due to poor health in 2006, though he retained the first secretary title.
"Raul knew that I would not accept a formal role in the party today," Fidel Castro said in an article on the Cubadebate.cu website, referring to his absence from Monday's Central Committee elections.
The AFP newsagency says his resignation comes as the Party approved landmark economic reforms at its conference in Havanna.
These include clearance for Cubans to buy and sell homes for the first time in decades, the cutting of more than a million government jobs and the phasing out of the country's universal monthly food ration.
Uncle Fidel's personal health is believed to be in slow but certain decline since his infamous "fall/trip" before the Media cameras - in any case, + bro Uncle Raul may likely to stay in ruling power thru 2018.
IMO the larger picture is OWG-NWO "REGIONALISM" = CONFEDERALISM, i.e. setting up of CARIBBEAN UNION = IMPROVED PAN-AMERICAN UNION, ETC. MULTILATERAL POLITIES + espec CUBA'S NICHE IN SAME, hence the push to initiate MAJOR DOMESTIC REFORMS.
Cuba = Quba/Qaba has also always been interested [fickle] in preventing a Soviet-style National, Ideo implosion.
* PEOPLE'S DAILY FORUM > CUBA IS NO LONGER A DAGGER AIMED AT THE US.
[Emirates 24/7] Cuba's highest-profile dissidents marched Sunday defying President Raul Castro's warning, issued hours earlier, that foes of the communist regime were not welcome on Cuban streets.
"Our fight has been and will continue to be achieving freedom for political prisoners," said Laura Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White group of political prisoners' kin, as the group took to Havana streets.
The dissidents, who have been honored with the European Parliament's Sakharov prize, march most Sundays in Havana, dressed in white and carrying flowers, to draw attention to their relatives' plight.
But this Sunday was different: just hours earlier the president addressed the rare Cuban Communist party congress under way, putting political foes on notice that they would not find a public space or openness to anti-regime ideas.
"Defending the independence of the achievements of socialism, and our squares and streets, will continue to be the duty of all Cuban patriots," Castro stressed.
Pollan said Castro was inciting pro-government activists, who may believe they will be rewarded by the regime for actions against dissidents, to target her award-winning group.
The president "is giving free rein to (pro-regime) mobs to target people who are going out into the streets to protest or seek freedom" for prisoners, Pollan said.
"We cannot accept provocations like that; that is what the government wants as they seek to discredit us somehow," she added.
Raul Castro told the party meeting Saturday he backed term limits for top leadership positions in a country he and his brother Fidel Castro have led for more than five decades.
Fidel Castro, now 84, did not attend the festivities marking exactly half a century after he proclaimed the socialist character of the regime on the eve of the April 17, 1961, landing by 1,400 Cuban exiles armed and trained by the US Central Intelligence Agency.
Within just 72 hours of bloody combat on Playa Larga and Playa Giron some 200 kilometers (125 miles) southeast of Havana, Castro routed the invaders in what Cuba celebrates as "the first great defeat of (US) imperialism in Latin America."
Most of the notes issued by the note-issuing banks in Scotland and Northern Ireland have to be backed by Bank of England notes held by the issuing bank. The combined size of these banknote issues is well over a billion pounds. To make it possible for the note-issuing banks to hold equivalent values in Bank of England notes, the Bank of England issues special notes with denominations of one million pounds ("Giants") and one hundred million pounds ("Titans") for internal use by the other banks.
h/t Gates of Vienna
Billions of taxpayers' cash is being spent on spurious aid projects through the EU, including giving dance lessons to Africans who earn less than 70p a day.
Britons pay £1.4billion towards the EU's £10billion aid budget, but much of the money is going to corrupt regimes or projects where no checks are made that it is properly spent.
Meanwhile, relatively wealthy Turkey is the EU's main recipient of aid, raking in £500million a year. Of course EU knows it'll be bailed out by Uncle Sugar