Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Betancourt rescued

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

The Colombian authorities say they have rescued Ingrid Betancourt and three American hostages held by Farc rebels.

Good news, for a change.

Drugs haul

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

It looks like it might be the biggest haul in over a decade, at as much as €100m.

George Best

Friday, November 25th, 2005

The media coverage is too much, ease off just a bit!

Smoker tried to open plane door

Monday, November 21st, 2005

From the desperate for a fag department:

A French woman has admitted attempting to open an aeroplane door mid-flight so that she could smoke a cigarette.

Sandrine Helene Sellies, 34, who has a fear of flying, had drunk alcohol and taken sleeping tablets ahead of the flight from Hong Kong to Brisbane.

She was seen on the Cathay Pacific plane walking towards a door with an unlit cigarette and a lighter.

She then began tampering with the emergency exit until she was stopped by a flight attendant.

Reminds me of the Bill Hicks piece:

Now get this, I’ve been travelling all over the country on British Air. No smoking on British Air. Now let me get this straight, no smoking, right, but they allow children. Little fairness, huh? “Well smoking bothers me.” Well guess what? I was on this one flight right, I’m flying, I’m sleeping on the plane, I’m fucking “knackered”. Very tired right and I feel this tapping on my head. And I look up and there’s this little kid – loose! on the fucking plane, he’s just loose. It’s his playground in the sky. And he has decided that his job is to repetitively tap me on the top of the head. I look across the aisle at his mom. she’s just smiling, you know. Guy next to the mom goes, “They’re so cute when they’re that small.” Isn’t that amazing, letting your kid run loose on a fucking plane. And then the kid runs over to the emergency exit and he starts flipping that handle to the door. And the guy next to the mom starts to get up, and I go, “Wait a minute… we’re about to learn an important lesson right here.” Kwoooshh. Boy you’re right, the smaller he gets, the cuter he is. God, I wish I had a camera right now. With a telescopic lens. Love to get a picture of his face when his pudgy little legs hit that farmhouse down there. Aah, aah, kids. Ha hha. Stewardess, since we got a breeze in here can we smoke now? Fairly well circulated at this point. Woosh. True story. But, you know.

Police: Wife of TV legal analyst slain

Monday, October 17th, 2005

This could turn into an even bigger trial than the ones Daniel Horowitz is involved with.

The wife of prominent defense attorney and TV legal analyst Daniel Horowitz was found slain in the entryway of the couple’s San Francisco Bay area home, authorities said Sunday.

Horowitz, currently leading the defense in a sensational murder trial, called 911 Saturday evening to report that he found his wife, Pamela Vitale, dead in their home, police said.

Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputies said Sunday that the death was being investigated as a homicide. An autopsy was planned Monday to determine how she was killed.

“We talked to a number of people last night, but there’s nobody in custody. We’re still trying to establish a motive,” said spokesman Jimmy Lee.

U2 on Conan O’Brien video

Friday, October 7th, 2005

I am looking forward to seeing next Conan O’Brien, that featured U2 only. I am sure it will appear on BitTorrent downloads fairly soon after. I, for one, will be watching on CNBC Europe next Tuesday.

IAEA, ElBaradei win peace prize

Friday, October 7th, 2005

The IAEA and Mohamed ElBaradei have won the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to limit the spread of atomic weapons. I can’t see a problem with that. Bono would have been a more controversial winner.

Two men held over murder of Robert McCartney

Tuesday, October 4th, 2005

An interesting development to happen after IRA arms decomissioning.

Venezuela plane crash kills 160

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

Jaysus these things do seem to come in threes, first the Air France crash in Toronto, then Greece, now Venezuela

A Colombian airliner has crashed in a remote mountainous area of Venezuela killing all 160 people on board. The 152 passengers were from the French Caribbean island of Martinique – the eight crew members were Colombian, West Caribbean Airways said.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky: Letter from a Russian prison

Tuesday, February 8th, 2005

The former head of Yukos with a letter to the outside world. He warns:

I have already realized that wealth, and especially vast wealth, does not in itself make a person free. As a co-owner of Yukos, I had to make enormous efforts to protect this wealth. I had to limit myself in everything that might harm this possession.

I avoided saying many things, because speaking candidly could harm my possessions. I had to close my eyes to many things, to put up with many things, all for the sake of my assets, to preserve and to increase them. I controlled my possessions; they controlled me.

So I would like to warn young people today, those who will soon come to power: Do not envy those who have great wealth.

Do not think that their life is easy and comfortable. Property creates new possibilities, but it also paralyzes a person’s creative forces, it dilutes the personality. It is a cruel tyranny, the tyranny of property.

I have been transformed. I am becoming a normal person (economically, a member of the well-to-do middle class), for whom what is most important is not to acquire, but to live. The struggle now is not for property, but for myself, for the right to be myself.

In this struggle, popularity ratings, official contacts and public relations gimmicks are not important. All that is important is you, yourself – your feelings, ideas, talents, will, intellect and faith.

This is, indeed, the only possible and correct choice – the choice of freedom.

I have great pity for those authorities who sincerely believe that they are doing a good thing for the country, for the people. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Further down this road they will realize that repressive methods and the forced redistribution of wealth are not compatible with modern economic development. And they will not be able to limit this assault to Khodorkovsky, Yukos or the oligarchs – their victims will be many, including those who created this machinery.

My persecutors know that there’s not a shred of evidence of any guilt on my part. But that’s irrelevant, since they could always accuse me of something else – burning down the Moscow Manege, or economic counterrevolution. I’ve been told that they want to put me away for a long time – five years or more – because they fear that I will seek revenge.

These simple people judge others by themselves. Relax: I have no intention of becoming a Count of Monte Cristo. To breathe the spring air, to play with children studying at an ordinary Moscow school, to read good books – all this is so much more important, more right and more pleasant than multiplying wealth and settling scores.

I thank God that unlike my persecutors, I have understood that making more money is far from the only (or most important) goal of human endeavors.

For me, the time of big money is in the past. Now, freed from the burden of the past, I am determined to work for the benefit of those generations that will soon take charge of our country. Generations that will come with new values and new hopes.

Tsunami Videos

Saturday, January 1st, 2005

Cheese and Crackers just got hit with 1.8 million visitors looking for Tsunami videos. Many of them are BitTorrents, but he also has WMVs, MP4s and ASFs. Many of the visitors seem to be coming from Drudge. Some of the videos give you an idea of the size of the waves – many of them I had not seen on TV news. He also reports that many bloggers are being hit with huge bandwidth bills for hosting that amount of content, including punditguy, who got $1000 bill.

Update: It seems this is getting more coverage. It should be noted I noticed Cheese and Crackers topping the Truth Laid Bear traffic listings. Malachy Joyce dropped me a mail with a roundup.

On Stinginess

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

I really don’t know what Glenn is getting so worked up about. He is persistently misrepresenting what was said. Is anyone fact checking Glenn?

Matthew correctly points out:

Besided that, a word on the “stingy” issue. What the UN official actually said was that rich countries including the US are stingy with aid money. Whether out of anti-UN malice, or simply demented America-centrism, this has been widely reported as the claim that the United States is stingy which has pissed people off. But no one said that. The US government is stingy with official aid relative to the size of our economy, but the karmic balance is evened by the fact that our citizens are much more generous than the rest of the rich world in terms of individual donations. We also provide some global public goods — clear shipping lanes and the like — for self-interested reasons that wind up benefitting everyone. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t do more. Indeed, virtually every rich country should do more. We’re all stingier than we ought to be, especially in terms of doling out aid that history teaches would be effective like to fight disease and provide clean water in rural areas.

And as for levels of donations – perhaps we should wait six months to see how much everyone donated – looking back, rather than when the events are still unfolding.

Tsunami death toll tops 80,000

Wednesday, December 29th, 2004

The toll keeps going up, and will probably top 100,000. Some pretty harrowing scenes on TV – bloggers are doing their best on describing events, as sites like Instapundit report.

Donations are approaching a quarter of a billion dollars. You can do your bit here.

Earthquake in Asia

Monday, December 27th, 2004

A pretty massive earthquake – Glenn has a roundup of local bloggers to go check out.

Here are the seismic readings.

The offensive has begun…

Monday, November 8th, 2004

Fallujah offensive begins, Iraqi troops seize main hospital.

Iraqi troops took control of the main hospital in the besieged city of Falluja, a U.S. pool reporter outside the city said Sunday. The operation marks the start of the planned offensive to retake the city, Pentagon officials said, but it remains unclear when the main assault on the city will begin


Fox reports:

U.S. forces stormed into western districts of Fallujah (search) early Monday, seizing the main city hospital and securing two key bridges over the Euphrates River (search) in what appeared to be the first stage of the long-expected assault on the insurgent stronghold.

An AC-130 gunship (search) raked the city with 40 mm cannon fire as explosions from U.S. artillery lit up the night sky. Intermittent artillery fire blasted southern neighborhoods of Fallujah, and orange fireballs from high explosive airbursts could be seen above the rooftops.

U.S. officials said the toughest fight was yet to come when American forces enter the main part of the city on the east bank of the river, including the Jolan neighborhood where insurgent defenses are believed the strongest.

The initial attacks on Fallujah began just hours after the Iraqi government declared 60 days of emergency rule throughout most of the country as militants dramatically escalated attacks, killing at least 30 people, including two Americans.

Dr. Salih al-Issawi, the head of Fallujah’s main hospital, said he had asked U.S. officers to allow doctors and ambulances go inside the main part of the city to help the wounded but they refused. There was no confirmation from the Americans.