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Kalima On April - 23 - 2012

 

 

 

Good morning everyone.

I hope that when and if you have the time, MB will be the place where you will come to catch up with the latest international news from around the globe.

Every day I will bring you the international news stories, breaking news stories, opinion pieces and human interest stories, hoping that you will find something of interest in each morning’s update.

MB is open to all 24/7, and I’ll have my updates posted by 3 am PST and 6 am EST each morning.  You can read or comment at any time during your day or night.

Please drop by anytime, you are always welcome here. Looking forward to meeting you in your mornings, afternoons and evenings. Enjoy.

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Written by Kalima

Long time resident of Tokyo ---"Where is this woman I once knew so well?Memories fading or hurtling by like a howling wind at a speed I can't fathom or define. A star hangs like a teardrop from her eye, quivering but never falling.I search the empty corridors of my soul in hopes of catching just another glimpse of who she once presumed herself to be.Where is this woman who trod with such certainty, where is she now? I mourn her passing as another dawn breaks in my restless heart."

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  1. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone..

    Hope you all have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my cold evening corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Ridiculous, and even more ridiculous is the fact that no government or power company ever showed the tenacity to start investing in renewable energy options when they were showing a huge surplus just a few years ago.
    ————

    Kyushu Electric: 36% rate hike if no reactors

    Kansai utility may also face 30% rise without restart

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nb20121213a3.html

    —-

    Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ fined $8.6 mil for flouting U.S. sanctions

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/bank-of-tokyo-mitsubishi-ufj-fined-8-6-mil-for-flouting-u-s-sanctions

    —-

    ANALYSIS
    Significant leap for Pyongyang missile tech

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121213a2.html

    —-

    ‘Missile glitch’ said possible smokescreen

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121212005117.htm

    —-

    Japan, S. Korea agree on need for decisive action against N. Korea

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121213p2g00m0dm024000c.html

    —-

    Japan Coast Guard rescues four from drifting North Korean boat

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121213a6.html

    —-

    Japan accuses China of airspace intrusion over islands

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20707760

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Light-up

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/light-up-8
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So now Cameron is hiring his own “thugs” to protect ministers from any wrong doing inquiries? Will look great on your résumé David when you are looking for your next job in 2015, or hopefully even before.
    ————

    Senior David Cameron aide accused of threatening newspaper over Maria Miller investigation

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/senior-david-cameron-aide-accused-of-threatening-newspaper-over-maria-miller-investigation-8411754.html

    —-

    Two-thirds of millionaires disappeared from official statistics to avoid 50p tax rate

    Almost two-thirds of the country’s million-pound earners disappeared from official statistics after the introduction of the 50p top rate of tax, figures have disclosed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9740253/Two-thirds-of-millionaires-disappeared-from-official-statistics-to-avoid-50p-tax-rate.html

    —-

    Scotland Yard investigating allegations senior politicians abused children in the 1980s and used ‘connections’ to escape justice

    Metropolitan Police’s child abuse investigation team have interviewed several adults who claim that they were sexually assaulted as children by MPs in a paedophile ring

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/scotland-yard-investigating-allegations-senior-politicians-abused-children-in-the-1980s-and-used-connections-to-escape-justice-8411989.html

    —-

    Huge mistake. Unfortunately one of too many.
    ————

    Fracking campaigners fear government will give go-ahead to shale exploration

    Decision is due on whether Cuadrilla can continue exploration in Lancashire after two earthquakes

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/13/fracking-campaigners-government-shale-exploration

    —-

    It’s drapes for the chancellor

    Perhaps George Osborne assumes that, like the rich, the poor have elegantly ruched made-to-measure silk drapes

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/12/drapes-chancellor-simon-hoggart-sketch

    —-

    Someone should offer Michael Gove his own comedy show because he really fails to cut it as the Education secretary. If he were any good at his job, there would be no need for walkouts in the first place..

    At first glance at the picture, I thought I was staring at Benny Hill.
    ————

    Michael Gove urges heads to dock pay in showdown with teachers

    Education secretary demands hardline response to ‘irresponsible industrial action’ undertaken by members of teaching unions

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/dec/12/michael-gove-heads-pay-teachers

    —-

    The cowardice at the heart of our relationship with Israel

    The Tories’ shameful reluctance to criticise Tel Aviv is putting any hope of peace at risk

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/israel/9740044/The-cowardice-at-the-heart-of-our-relationship-with-Israel.html

    —-

    It actually pays to break the law for some people.
    ————

    Rebekah Brooks paid £10.8 million compensation after she resigned from News International

    But former editor of The Sun and the News of the World would be forced to repay millions if she is convicted of criminal charges relating to her time at the company

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/rebekah-brooks-paid-108-million-compensation-after-she-resigned-from-news-international-8411944.html

    —-

    Amsterdam to impose ban on smoking cannabis on school property

    Dutch city becomes first in the Netherlands to forbid use of drug in playgrounds and schools under a public nuisance ordinance

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/amsterdam-ban-cannabis-school-playground-marijuana

    —-

    This man is in serious need of therapy or jail time, and I hope the public have sense enough to reject him. He’s shameless.
    ————

    Meet Silvio Berlusconi’s new girlfriend Francesca Pascale -- 50 years his junior

    As he embarks on an audacious campaign to become prime minister of Italy for the fourth time, Silvio Berlusconi has a new woman on his arm – a glamorous member of his party nearly 50 years his junior.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/silvio-berlusconi/9740323/Meet-Silvio-Berlusconis-new-girlfriend-Francesca-Pascale-50-years-his-junior.html

    —-

    Srebrenica general convicted of genocide

    Zdravko Tolimir sentenced to life imprisonment for his role in the 1995 murder of thousands of Bosnian Muslims

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/srebrenica-general-convicted-genocide

    —-

    I had to laugh at this video and his “royal” entrance. He is beginning to sound a lot like some toppled dictators and despots in the ME, blaming his problems on foreign meddling, rather than accept that the Russian people are just not that into him anymore.

    Hey Vlad, think you’ve got your tiara on too tight.
    ————

    Vladimir Putin: foreign meddling in Russia’s affairs is unacceptable – video

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/dec/12/vladimir-putin-foreign-meddling-russias-video

    —-

    Trial of Ukraine’s Tymoshenko flawed says government-commissioned report

    The trail of Ukraine’s firebrand former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, was flawed and would not have passed muster in a western court, according to an independent report on her trial seen by the Daily Telegraph.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ukraine/9741037/Trial-of-Ukraines-Tymoshenko-flawed-says-government-commissioned-report.html

    —-

    Barack Obama has the public vote on ‘fiscal cliff’, say polls

    President Barack Obama appears to be winning the battle for public opinion as the US draws nearer to the “fiscal cliff”, with two-thirds of Americans saying he has a mandate to raise taxes on the wealthy.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/9740918/Barack-Obama-has-the-public-vote-on-fiscal-cliff-say-polls.html

    —-

    John Boehner getting bad reviews on ‘fiscal cliff’ talks

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/12/12/john-boehner-getting-bad-reviews-on-fiscal-cliff-talks/?wpisrc=nl_pmpolitics

    —-

    Federal Reserve to keep rates near zero as part of US stimulus programme

    Bernanke calls unemployment an ‘enormous waste of potential’ as Fed plans fresh asset buying to try to kickstart US economy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/12/federal-reserve-interest-rates-stimulus

    —-

    Obviously not content with their union busting law, the Republicans now carry on with their attack on women’s rights. You can really see how they learned their lesson and are trying to change after losing the election, can’t you? :shock:
    ————

    Michigan enters women’s health fray with move to limit abortion access

    Protesters turn out alongside right-to-work demonstrators against bill activists say ignores message sent by election result

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/michigan-womens-health-bill-abortions

    —-

    Man throws ‘bleach’ in the face of New York Rabbi who campaigns against child sex abuse

    Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg believes attack is related to sexual abuse conviction of an ultra-Orthodox Jew

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/man-throws-bleach-in-the-face-of-new-york-rabbi-who-campaigns-against-child-sex-abuse-8411579.html

    —-

    Oregon mall gunman identified as Jacob Tyler Roberts

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20698095

    —-

    Gun-selling website Armslist.com faces lawsuit in woman’s shooting death

    Lawsuit has potential to become test case that could have widespread ramifications for burgeoning internet trade in guns

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/gun-trade-website-armslist-lawsuit

    —-

    Actually Eric, it’s called stealing.
    ————

    Google boss: I’m very proud of our tax avoidance scheme

    Google’s Chairman Eric Schmidt said £2.5 billion tax avoidance ‘is called capitalism’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/google-boss-im-very-proud-of-our-tax-avoidance-scheme-8411974.html

    —-

    Arrests over $850m Facebook botnet crime spree

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20693213

    —-

    Argentina: court frees all defendants in forced prostitution trial

    Mother of missing woman launched campaign to find her, and rescued hundreds of women from sex slavery along the way

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/argentina-court-forced-prostitution

    —-

    Syria conflict: Assad fires Scuds -- live updates

    LIVE• US and Nato official claim scud missiles fired at rebels
    • Ambassador defends blacklisting of the al-Nusra front
    • Egypt confirms two stage referendum

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/13/syria-conflict-assad-scud-missiles-live

    —-

    US invites Syrian opposition leader for talks after backing new coalition

    Invitation to Moaz al-Khatib comes at meeting of world leaders in Marrakech but formal US recognition criticised as insufficient

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/us-syrian-moaz-al-khatib-opposition-coalition

    —-

    Aleppo’s winter of discontent

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20692697

    —-

    Syria fires Scud missiles on its own people

    Syria’s regime has fired Scud missiles on its own people for the first time in a sign of its increasing “desperation” to crush the rebellion.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9740772/Syria-fires-Scud-missiles-on-its-own-people.html

    —-

    Journalist held in Syria faces execution by her kidnappers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2012/dec/12/journalist-safety-syria

    —-

    Egyptian protesters claim they were tortured by Muslim Brotherhood

    Opponents of President Morsi say they were detained for hours and beaten while security forces chose not to intervene

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/egyptian-protesters-tortured-muslim-brotherhood

    —-

    In a polarised Egypt, the thugs and the remnants return to centre stage

    Morsi blundered. But Egypt’s liberal opposition, blinded by hatred of Islamists, has allied itself with Mubarak-era forces

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/polarised-egypt-thugs-islamists-morsi

    —-

    Egypt court jails blogger Alber Saber for blasphemy

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20695992

    —-

    Psychological scars of war take toll in Misrata

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20629175

    —-

    UN committee deplores Yemen juvenile offender execution

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20695984

    —-

    Hebron ‘fake gun’ teenager killed by Israeli troops

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20706226

    —-

    Rwanda’s genocide and the bloody legacy of Anglo-American guilt

    Failure to intervene in 1994’s horror means the US and UK have refused to rein in President Paul Kagame’s excesses in Congo

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/rwanda-genocide-bloody-legacy-angloamerican-guilt

    —-

    Pakistan lawless tribal areas ‘fuelling rights crisis’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20706955

    —-

    Afghan judge Zahorudin recorded on tape ‘seeking bribe’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20150996

    —-

    Afghanistan’s Garmsir is a success for Nato – but its future remains uncertain

    Taliban may be biding their time in Garmsir, Helmand province, which has been superficially transformed with Nato cash

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/afghanistan-helmand-success-nato-uncertain

    —-

    Duchess hoax call: watchdog opens inquiry into Australian radio station

    Australia’s media watchdog has launched an investigation into whether the radio station behind the prank call to the Duchess of Cambridge’s hospital, 2Day FM, breached standards of decency or privacy.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/9741543/Duchess-hoax-call-watchdog-opens-inquiry-into-Australian-radio-station.html

    —-

    Left me speechless.
    ————

    Chinese farmer kept 100-year-old mother in pigsty

    A Chinese farmer has come under fire for keeping his 100-year-old mother in a pigsty, sparking a debate over how China cares for its elderly.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9741555/Chinese-farmer-kept-100-year-old-mother-in-pigsty.html

    —-

    North Korean satellite ‘orbiting normally’ after rocket launch

    US and allies push for punishment over launch of satellite, whose mission is not known

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/13/north-korea-satellite-rocket-launch

    —-

    Analysis: North Korea’s weakness is its greatest strength.

    By firing a rocket into space, North Korea has shown how its experts are trying to master nuclear missile technology regardless of international pressure.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/9740628/Analysis-North-Koreas-weakness-is-its-greatest-strength..html

    —-

    Japan’s rightwing party is losing the election if they had stayed up to date, so there is no fear that they will wield much power, and the majority of the Japanese public would not approve of their politics anyway. I can’t speak for S. Korea, but would imagine that they are in the minority there too.
    ————

    North Korean rocket launch condemned internationally

    Move by communist regime expected to boost rightwing candidates in forthcoming elections in Japan and South Korea

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/north-korean-rocket-launch-condemned

    —-

    Thai ex-PM Abhisit to be charged over protest death

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20707765

    —-

    This is such a shameful issue for Burma, and detracts from the image they are trying so hard to promote to the world.
    ————

    Burma’s displaced Rohingya suffer as aid blocked

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-20694414
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TRIVIA QUIZ

    Yesterday’s answer, and the right answer from kes. He wanted to play snow golf and the red paint would make it easier to spot the golf balls in the snow.

    Today’s question.

    Which three states have only four letters in their names/ How about three states with five letter names?

    —-

    Heartbreaking and just one story of so many.
    ————

    Stories from the frontline of homelessness

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20696458

    —-

    There’s more to diversity than statistics. We need change at the top

    The census captures Britain’s diversity. Now how about changing a few key institutions to reflect the country’s makeup?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/diversity-statistics-change-top

    —-

    Stone Age people were making cheese over 7,000 years ago

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/stone-age-people-were-making-cheese-over-7000-years-ago-8411899.html

    —-

    ‘Gangnam Style’ death prompts warning to middle-aged men not to attempt the vigorous dance

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gangnam-style-death-prompts-warning-to-middleaged-men-not-to-attempt-the-vigorous-dance-8411905.html

    —-

    Life in pictures: Indian sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar who influenced The Beatles

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/culturepicturegalleries/9738918/Life-in-pictures-Indian-sitar-virtuoso-Ravi-Shankar-who-influenced-The-Beatles.html

    —-

    Census shows a changing of the guard in Britain

    What the 2011 figures prove is that the photo-op image of Team GB as a changing nation of many hues is demographic reality

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/11/census-2011-england-wales

    —-

    Chasing Ice movie reveals largest iceberg break-up ever filmed -- video

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2012/dec/12/chasing-ice-iceberg-greenland-video

    —-

    Hans Christian Andersen’s first fairy tale found

    A Danish researcher has stumbled across the first fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark’s national archives.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/denmark/9741461/Hans-Christian-Andersens-first-fairy-tale-found.html

    —-

    In pictures: Wildlife crime

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20685843

    —-

    Picture desk live: the best news pictures of the day

    Our photo coverage of the day’s events in the UK and around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2012/dec/12/picture-desk-live-the-best-news-pictures-of-the-day

    —-

    A lighter look – in pictures

    Time for a sideways glance, or two, at some of the week’s more entertaining pictures

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/dec/12/lighter-look-pictures

    —-

    Day in pictures: 12 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20691880

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/12/24-hours-pictures-gallery

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good evening/morning, Kalima! Today I have to change my usual MB style and get the trivia answer out there really fast! Before it escapes my sieve-like brain forever: states with four letters: Utah, Ohio, Iowa. And with 5 letters: Alaska, Maine and Texas!

      Whew…now I can focus.

      I’m not sure how tyrants can so quickly become fodder for comedy, but it always seems to happen. Putin’s grand entrance with golden doors, strutting soldiers, and trumpet fanfare is falling-down funny. I think if Barack Obama ever attempted something like this, he himself would be collapsing in laughter at the pretentiousness of it all. And justifiably so.

      It’s incredibly frustrating to be right next door to Michigan and to witness the seemingly unstoppable slide the lame duck session of their state legislature is putting them into. I’ve heard that — while the state has gotten rid of the state child-tax credit — the latest legislation is actually offering a tax credit to a woman carrying a fetus. One Dem legislator just had to let his fellow politicians know how he felt — even though the effort was futile:
      http://www.upworthy.com/a-politician-loses-it-on-the-state-house-floor-says-what-all-of-us-are-thinking?g=2

      I wonder what the RW fundies think about the fact that there’s evidence of cheese-making taking place 7000 years ago. Isn’t the world only 6000 years old? Or maybe that was Eden cheese (pre-dating Edam?) made by Eve herself?

      Now to catch the latest BBC episode of “Sherlock.” Fun!

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    • bito says:

      Oh there’s a ton of things to comment on but if Rebekah Brooks gets to keep a penny out of any of her payments I’ll be pissed, she needs to see a bunch of prison time, in fact that whole crew does from Murdoch on down. I just don’t like people screwing around with the ‘news.”

      How many times can Putin go from President to Premier, to President to Pre……. Indefinitely, till the cows come home? if it’s one more time, by then he should be wearing ermine trimmed red robes and crowns made from the jewels of the Czars.

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  2. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Not too much to say for myself this evening, it’s getting pretty cold out there, and I’m getting ready to settle in for the night.

    From various news sources it seems that the launch by N. Korea was successful, but the data hasn’t really been finalized yet, and contrary to reports, Japan has not yet deemed it a success, neither has the U.S. who had been tracking it, so I will also reserve my judgement until we hear for sure. Whatever the outcome one thing remains sure, it was illegal.

    Have a good day wherever you may be, take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my cold evening corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Japan Atomic financial fears deepen

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121212a2.html

    —-

    Well of course they would, they are losing money, so what’s a little thing like public safety?
    ————

    Tsuruga nuke plant operator disputes NRA verdict on fault

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121212a4.html

    —-

    North Korea defies warnings to launch rocket

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20690579

    —-

    Japan, U.S. confirm N. Korea’s launch violates U.N. resolutions

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121212p2g00m0dm053000c.html

    —-

    Friday’s quake revised up to magnitude 7.4

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121211003437.htm

    —-

    Post-earthquake Twitter prank causes outrage online

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/post-earthquake-twitter-prank-causes-outrage-online

    —-

    Ito En recalls Chinese-grown Oolong tea over pesticide

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/ito-en-recalls-chinese-grown-oolong-tea-over-pesticide

    —-

    Shinkansen cleanup crews perform ‘7-minute miracles’ 120 times a day

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/shinkansen-cleanup-crews-perform-7-minute-miracles-120-times-a-day
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Universal credit: government admits 800,000 more households stand to lose

    Revised impact assessment for flagship welfare scheme says 2.8 million households will get lower benefit entitlement

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/11/universal-credit-more-families-lose-out

    —-

    HSBC: The drug world’s local bank

    It has a job on its hands to restore its reputation after having to pay a huge fine to settle a money-laundering probe

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/hsbc-the-drug-worlds-local-bank-8406737.html

    —-

    Bleak day for British banking as Libor arrests follow record fine for HSBC

    HSBC hit with £1.2bn fine by US regulators, while SFO arrest three in connection with investigation into interest rate rigging

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/11/banking-libor-fine-hsbc

    —-

    Record number of ‘racist’ attacks on English in Scotland

    Anti-English rhetoric is at risk of “creeping” into Scottish society after police reported a record number of racist attacks against white Britons, it has been claimed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9737918/Record-number-of-racist-attacks-on-English-in-Scotland.html

    —-

    France’s Jean-Marc Ayrault slams flight of the ‘greedy rich’

    France’s prime minister has slammed wealthy citizens fleeing the country’s punitive tax on high incomes as greedy profiteers seeking to “become even richer”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9738178/Frances-Jean-Marc-Ayrault-slams-flight-of-the-greedy-rich.html

    —-

    The absolute nerve of this man and the corrupted, scandal ridden government that he led.
    ————

    Silvio Berlusconi launches attack on Mario Monti and austerity

    Silvio Berlusconi has launched an extraordinary rant against Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, accusing him of being too “German-centric” and claiming that concern over Italy’s borrowing rates was “an invention and a swindle”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/9738660/Silvio-Berlusconi-launches-attack-on-Mario-Monti-and-austerity.html

    —-

    Netherlands ‘halal homes’ ignite religious row

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20679558

    —-

    Belgium’s non-EU immigrants: Many jobless, says report

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20679343

    —-

    Son of Anna Politkovskaya criticises murder trial deal for policeman

    Ilya Politkovsky says deal for officer accused in killing of Russian journalist won’t help find person who ordered the murder

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/11/son-anna-politkovskaya-murder-trial

    —-

    Portland mall shooting: three dead including gunman

    Man dressed in camouflage, armoured vest and mask kills two people before turning gun on himself, say police

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/portland-mall-shooting-three-dead

    —-

    And then people wonder why stories of gun crimes are on the news almost every day.
    ————

    Illinois concealed weapon ban struck down by court

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20688638

    —-

    Florida reform school abuse scandal widens with discovery of more graves

    New investigation puts deaths at nearly 100 since 1900 – many young, black males sent to the institution for minor infractions

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/florida-reform-school-abuse-graves

    —-

    EDITORIAL: Too Big to Indict

    When government authorities chose not to prosecute HSBC on charges of vast and prolonged money laundering, they weakened deterrence for wrongdoing.

    http://nyti.ms/S7A8kY

    —-

    Ravi Shankar dies

    Indian sitar maestro who took instrument to the world and collaborated with western greats has died aged 92 in San Diego

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/dec/12/ravi-shankar-dies

    —-

    Syria conflict: US recognition for Assad’s opponents -- live updates

    LIVE• Friends of Syria meet in Morocco
    • Assad regime using incendiary bombs
    • Judges vote to boycott Egypt’s referendum
    • Army to host dialogue on Egypt’s crisis

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/12/syria-conflict-us-recognises-opposition-live

    —-

    Syria: explosions kill scores in Alawite villages

    Scores of civilians belonging to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s minority sect have been killed in gunfire and explosions, as the US blacklisted an al Qaeda-linked rebel group it accuses of hijacking the uprising.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9738688/Syria-explosions-kill-scores-in-Alawite-villages.html

    —-

    Fear and loathing of Syria’s fallen soldiers

    At Tishreen hospital, the army’s wounded lie in shock and pain, but they still want to defeat ‘the terrorists’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/fear-and-loathing-of-syrias-fallen-soldiers-8406496.html

    —-

    US blacklists Syria’s al-Nusra Front as terrorist group

    Obama administration imposes sanctions on Syrian resistance group and says al-Qaida has been supplying cash and weapons

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/us-blacklists-syria-al-nusra-front-terrorist

    —-

    Egypt crisis: Morsi supporters and opponents rally

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20671270

    —-

    Masked gunmen attack opposition protesters as crowds gather for rallies in Egypt

    ‘At least 11 protesters were wounded in the pre-dawn attack’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/masked-gunmen-attack-opposition-protesters-as-crowds-gather-for-rallies-in-egypt-8405979.html

    —-

    Egypt’s IMF loan deal postponed after Mohamed Morsi scraps tax increases

    Political crisis deepens as judges refuse to oversee referendum on new constitution proposed by president

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/egypt-imf-loan-delay-morsi

    —-

    Israeli separation wall threatens world heritage site of Battir’s ancient terraces

    Israeli environmentalists and even the state parks authority are backing Palestinian villagers’ attempts to preserve landscape

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/israel-palestinians-battir-separation-wall

    —-

    Gaza: ‘My child was killed and nothing has changed’

    After eight days of war, an uneasy peace has been patched up once again between Israel and Gaza. Hamas are jubilant, but for ordinary people, there’s little cause to celebrate amid the ruins of a shattered city

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/gaza-child-killed-nothing-changed

    —-

    Nelson Mandela’s ‘sparkle is fading’ as he receives treatment for lung infection

    Former wife says it is painful to see him ‘ageing’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/nelson-mandelas-sparkle-is-fading-as-he-receives-treatment-for-lung-infection-8405473.html

    —-

    How on earth can a Catholic Church be state run by people who don’t believe in religion? What nonsense is this?
    ————

    China bishop Thaddeus Ma Daqin stripped of title

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20681096

    —-

    China sentences three Uighur men to death over alleged plane hijack

    Men were arrested after the incident in June, which rights groups say was prompted by an argument over seating

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/china-sentences-uighurs-death-plane

    —-

    North Korea launches successful rocket in face of criticism

    Rocket launched close to first anniversary of death of former leader Kim Jong-il

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/12/north-korea-launches-rocket

    —-

    Women in North Korea: ‘Men can’t earn enough money so it’s our job now’

    North Korea’s economic decline has resulted in more women becoming the main breadwinner in households – and with it has come a new assertiveness and greater say in family affairs

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/women-north-korea-men-jobs

    —-

    Burma protest leader bailed before ‘monasteries trial’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20677616
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    —-

    TRIVIA QUIZ

    Yesterday’s answer. Martin Van Buren, the eighth president, who was of Dutch ancestry.

    Today’s question.

    Why did writer Rudyard Kipling paint his golf balls red when he lived in Vermont in the 1890s?

    I have a German friend who told me that her husband used to do exactly the same when they lived in Belgium.

    —-

    Bride-kidnapping debate divides Kyrgyzstan

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20675101

    —-

    The art of the filibuster: How do you talk for 24 hours straight?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20672974

    —-

    Boy to turn 12 on 12/12/12 at 12.12pm

    An American boy will celebrate his 12th birthday on December 12, 2012 at 12.12pm.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9737231/Boy-to-turn-12-on-121212-at-12.12pm.html

    —-

    Restoration of Roman tunnels gives a slave’s eye view of Caracalla baths

    Tourists will see ‘maniacal Roman perfection and incredible hydraulic technology’ in labyrinth under Rome’s Caracalla baths

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/dec/11/rome-caracalla-baths-tunnels-restoration

    —-

    Cold and flu season: a guide to home remedies and the placebo effect

    Dr Bruce Barrett explains the science behind some of your favorite ways to combat flu and the common cold

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-news-blog/2012/dec/11/cold-flu-home-remedies-placebo-effect

    —-

    Drilling begins at lake hidden beneath Antarctic

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20682647

    —-

    UK expats: the view from their windows – in pictures

    In our recent series looking at where UK expats live, we asked our readers to send us the views from their homes, then share their efforts via our Flickr group. Here are a choice few which had us desperately searching for our passports …

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/gallery/2012/dec/11/uk-expats-view-windows

    —-

    Freezing weather across UK -- in pictures

    Forecasters are warning the UK could experience the coldest day of the year so far on Wednesday as temperatures possibly drop as low as -14C, bringing widespread ice, harsh frosts and freezing fog

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/gallery/2012/dec/11/freezing-weather-in-england-in-pictures

    —-

    Day in pictures: 11 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20676450

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/11/24-hours-in-pictures

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good night/morning, Kalima! Just back from the middle school band concert and still smiling.

      So good to know that Kim Jung-Unbelievable’s rocket missed Japan, and --as far as I know — the Philippines as well. I hope they quit while they’re ahead.

      Silvo Berlusconi continues to live in his Fantasy World with a population of one. I had to laugh out loud at the French newspaper headline that described his attempt at a political come-back as: “The Mummy Returns!!” :lol:

      I have to say that I find it pretty irksome when people on the sidelines criticize the Obama administration for not being tough enough on HSBC. Over a billion $ in fines is something. And — as we were saying yesterday — this scandal goes all the way back to 2006! Dubya’s administration did NOTHING to stop this illegal activity. Where were all these scolds back then? It’s annoying that some people are expected to be morally impeccable and eternally responsible (Obama) while others get carte blanche to act like children all day, every day (Bush).

      Are there two distinct species of humans? Grown-ups and “NOT”?

      That’s what I asked myself about those two DJs in Australia who pulled the Kate Middleton “prank.” The two of them get to make a very good living, simply being jackasses. Meanwhile a nurse struggles with a poor wage (in Britain, nurses don’t seem to be paid terribly well) to do a very difficult job with a lot of responsibility. When they make her job infinitely harder, how do they get the notion that that is hilarious? It seems to me only a five year old would think that way. And a dim one at that.

      Same with the person who Tweeted that he was trapped under rubble during the most recent earthquake in Japan. Then he laughed at the people who took him seriously. What the $%#&@?? I wonder if there shouldn’t be gigantic play pens where people like him, and those DJs, and Rush Limbaugh and Mitch McConnell could all play pranks on each other all day. And leave the rest of us alone.

      End of rant!

      Now to today’s trivia: would those golf balls have been painted red so that they would be easier to find when a golfer had a sudden urge to play golf in the snow?

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      • Kalima says:

        Hi kes, I share your sentiment on the “calling out” of the President on the bank frauds. How easy it is for these people to dismiss that easing of regulations was something rampant during the Bush years, and this President is actually doing something about it, but for some blinded by their own agendas, it’s never enough.

        Just to show how easily the Repubs can hoodwink the public I’ll tell you a funny but quite sad story about a friend of mine. She is also German, was married to a Japanese man, and is a very intelligent person. A few months ago she was here and we talked about the problems in the world, and talk came around to the President. Now I must tell you that she has an American friend who is a staunch Republican, and I have had to point out some of the nonsense she has been led to believe by her Republican friend, but when she told me that President Obama had started two wars, I was flabbergasted. I told her the date of the start of both the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the fact that Obama didn’t take office until January 2009. My point is that she is not as interested in world politics as I am, but surely could have put two and two together by checking if she wasn’t sure about something that most people will never forget. See how easy it is for Republicans to spread misinformation? After she left, and I had picked up my jaw from the floor, I began to wonder just how many other people around the world have been fed a diet of pure fantasy and lies about your President. Mind boggling really.

        About the prank call and the nurse’s suicide. I was saddened yesterday to read and post an article which stated that those DJs were actually getting more support than the family of the nurse, and it really sickened me. Then they offer the family money as if that would bring back his wife and the mother of their two children, aged 16 and 14. I find it all so tacky, and the negative tone in some articles and comments against the poor woman, once again points to people blaming the victim, an unfortunate trend in a world lacking in empathy these days I fear.

        Your trivia answer is correct, and the thought of grown men painting their golf balls red just leaves me scratching my head.

        Have a good day, and your evening out at the school concert sounded like a lot of fun. :)

        Take care and see you soon.

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  3. Kalima says:

    I’m presently hiding under the dining room table. :shock: I didn’t know it was the 29th today, who knew??

    Of course there will be more sanctions as the launch is against international law, as if they care.

    North Korea ‘launches long-range rocket’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20690338

    And:

    Obama recognizes Syrian opposition

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/11/world/us-syria-opposition/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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    • kesmarn says:

      Kalima, so much for the previously announced “delay” in launching, I guess. Leave it to North Korea to go from comical to menacing overnight. Stay safe there, Kalima.

      And I do feel for the people in the Philippines where this rocket is allegedly heading. :-(

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      • Kalima says:

        Yep, then they wonder why it’s impossible for other countries to negotiate with them. Simple, you can’t trust them an inch.

        It flew over Okinawa in one piece before heading south to the Philippines. As if those poor people don’t have enough with 900 missing and over 300 dead after their deadly storm.

        They continue to break international laws and will be further sanctioned. Very big mistake.

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  4. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Our drillers are slowly moving away from the area in front of our house but are still blocking our narrow street. The vibration from the sofa I sit on is becoming less and I’m very relieved. It was like sitting through an eight hour long continuous minor earthquake every day, and because of our recent activity, very unnerving. It’s not their fault I know, but I will be glad to see the back of them as they move on to annoy another neighbourhood. Everything comes to those who wait. :D

    Have a good day wherever you may be, take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my now quiet corner of Tokyo, where scared outside tribe members have returned to their warm houses, and the inside tribe has eaten enough to send them back to sleep. Heaven!! Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Fault under reactor at Tsuruga likely active

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121211a3.html

    —-

    TEPCO admits to shady hiring practices at Fukushima nuclear plant

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/tepco-admits-to-shady-hiring-practices-at-fukushima-nuclear-plant

    —-

    80% of evacuees report distress

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121210003625.htm

    —-

    Search conducted for missing tsunami victims in Ishinomaki

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/search-conducted-for-missing-tsunami-victims-in-ishinomaki

    —-

    Voters’ choice: Ban on corporate political donations susceptible to loopholes

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121210p2a00m0na012000c.html

    —-

    Mutated norovirus thought to be behind large number of infections

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121210p2a00m0na009000c.html

    —-

    As China’s clout grows, sea policy proves unfathomable

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/commentary/view/as-chinas-clout-grows-sea-policy-proves-unfathomable

    —-

    Philippines backs rearmed Japan to ‘balance’ China

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/philippines-backs-rearmed-japan-to-balance-china

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Sparkling night

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/sparkling-night
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Foolish to believe that this Tory government would be any different from the last. They will always back big oil and wealthy corporations, that’s where their biggest donors exist. Cameron’s “green energy’ conscience was just a ploy to rope in the strays. His promises are as worthless as an empty shopping bag.
    ————

    Tough questions for Cameron as his ‘greenest government’ vow crumbles

    As the prime minister faces MP questioning on his green policy, it seems likely that an attack on the Climate Change Act looms

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/11/tough-questions-cameron-greenest-government

    —-

    Why does the UK defend corporations and not their victims?

    Perhaps the Cabinet was told that the UK was seeking to demolish a vital human rights safeguard.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-does-the-uk-defend-corporations-and-not-their-victims-8399557.html

    —-

    Britain could end these tax scams by hitting the big four

    The spiders spinning the web of avoidance are the major accountancy firms who make billions from the public purse

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/end-tax-scams-by-hitting-big-four

    —-

    Once in awhile they let Clegg out of his little corner to use fighting words and it doesn’t make a dent.
    ————

    Snooper’s charter is unworkable, Clegg tells May

    Damning report on communications data bill brings calls for dramatic rethink from home secretary

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/11/snooper-bill-clegg-may

    —-

    HSBC to pay £1.2bn over Mexico scandal

    News of bank’s agreement comes hours after Standard Chartered admitted settlement with US regulator over Iran

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/10/standard-chartered-settle-iran-sanctions

    —-

    Look, privatization is great for everyone except the patients.
    ————

    Privately-run NHS Hinchingbrooke Hospital boss got £400k pay-off

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-20672310

    —-

    Hospital where nurse was found dead denies Australian radio station’s claims as presenters express sorrow

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hospital-where-nurse-was-found-dead-denies-australian-radio-stations-claims-as-presenters-express-sorrow-8399472.html

    —-

    Scottish referendum: EC urged to hold ‘early talks’ on independence

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20675705

    —-

    Police car petrol-bombed opposite MP Naomi Long’s office

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20671528

    —-

    Eurozone crisis live: Greek debt buyback deadline looms

    LIVEAthens is seeking more bids from bondholders after failing to meet a target to buy back bonds worth €30bn

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/11/eurozone-crisis-live-greek-debt-buyback-deadline

    —-

    Hollande accused of interfering with partner’s defamation case

    French President’s letter defending Valerie Trierweiler in ‘love triangle’ law suit sparks fury

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/hollande-accused-of-interfering-with-partners-defamation-case-8399628.html

    —-

    This disgraced man thinks he can get back into leadership. What is so very wrong with this picture?
    ————

    Berlusconi trial: ‘Ruby’ fails to appear in court, causes nationwide hunt

    Judges order police to look for Karima el-Mahroug, accusing former prime minister of dragging out ‘Bunga Bunga’ trial

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/berlusconi-trial-ruby-causes-hunt

    —-

    Infighting blights Romania in the shadow of European austerity

    Election victory for Victor Ponta’s left-leaning government is marred by tensions with the president and his European backers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/infighting-romania-european-austerity

    —-

    Obama Approves Health Insurance Marketplaces in 6 States

    At the same time, the administration rejected the pleas of other states to partially expand Medicaid, causing some Republicans to express disappointment.

    http://nyti.ms/UysI6V

    —-

    In Talks, House Majority Weighs Loyalty to Voters

    House Republicans, whose constituents do not want their taxes raised, are faced with the pitch that increasing taxes for the affluent will help the nation over all.

    http://nyti.ms/SSgesl

    —-

    Man shot dead in New York near Central Park

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20672783

    —-

    Michigan prepares for mass protests against right-to-work legislation

    Supporters and protesters of the law, which curbs unions ability to collect fees, will gather at the state Senate on Tuesday

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/michigan-right-to-work-protests

    —-

    Let’s hope we never have to see or hear about this animal again.
    ————

    Dominique Strauss-Kahn settles sexual assault case with hotel maid

    Hotel maid who alleged sexual assault by the former IMF chief settles civil action case, bringing end to lengthy court battle

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/dominique-strauss-kahn-case-settled

    —-

    Senator Stephen Colbert? South Carolina’s favourite son leads poll

    State’s voters say they would choose the comedian to replace Jim DeMint but governor Nikki Haley says it won’t happen

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/stephen-colbert-senator-south-carolina

    —-

    Boy Scouts of America: Merck pulls funding in protest at gay ban

    Pharmaceutical giant says it will consider giving money again ‘when the organisation’s inclusion criteria has been expanded’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/boy-scouts-america-merck-pulls-funding

    —-

    Ikea monkey heads to Canada primate sanctuary

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20673941

    —-

    Egypt crisis: rival protests over referendum -- live updates

    LIVE• Cairo braced for pro and anti Morsi rallies
    • Egyptian armed forces given power to arrest and detain
    • UK has drawn up military contingency plans for Syria

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/11/egypt-crisis-rival-protests-morsi-live

    —-

    Syria rebels overrun Aleppo military base

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20666047

    —-

    Exclusive: UK military in talks to help Syria rebels

    International coalition could offer air and sea support as well as military training

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/exclusive-uk-military-in-talks-to-help-syria-rebels-8399658.html

    —-

    Egypt crisis: Cairo braced for rival protests

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20671270

    —-

    This is so wrong.
    ————

    Egypt army given arrest powers before referendum

    President Morsi decree sets ‘dangerous precedent’ warns Amnesty amid fears civilians could be subjected to military trials

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/egypt-army-arrest-powers-referendum

    —-

    Has Morsi borrowed Mubarak’s playbook?

    The new Egyptian president’s media strategy may be echoing that of his predecessor, but Egypt’s media is fighting back.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/listeningpost/2012/12/2012127113528203961.html

    —-

    Tunisians’ frustrations, two years on

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-20663981

    —-

    Bahrain activist Zainab al-Khawaja sentenced to jail

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20672153

    —-

    Netanyahu’s dirty tricks.
    ————

    Israel suspected over Iran nuclear programme inquiry leaks

    Western officials believe Israel may have leaked information from IAEA investigation in bid to raise global pressure on Tehran

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/israel-suspected-iran-nuclear-programme-leaks

    —-

    ‘If they build here, there will never be peace with Israel’

    As Israeli plans to build settlements on the disputed E1 area continue, Matthew Kalman meets the Bedouin people of Ma’ale Adumim who face eviction from the land

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/if-they-build-here-there-will-never-be-peace-with-israel-8399646.html

    —-

    Mali PM Cheick Modibo Diarra resigns after army arrest

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20674573

    —-

    Bangladesh opposition in violent protests over attacks

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20674951

    —-

    Pakistan’s Asif Ali Zardari backs girls’ education at event for Malala Yousufzai

    Pakistan’s President Zardari tells Unesco event in Paris that providing education for girls is the best strategy to defeat Taliban

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/pakistan-zardari-unesco-education-pledge

    —-

    A decade of western folly has erased hope from Afghanistan

    With the exit of US troops the Taliban are poised to fill the gap. The Afghans’ mood is febrile and gloomy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/10/ten-years-of-western-folly-afghanistan

    —-

    North Koreans get glimpse into another way of life with illegal forays into China

    Sixty-year-old Chae Hunha risked her life to cross North Korea’s border and is missing her family, but she cannot go home

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/north-korean-refugees-china

    —-

    Philippine typhoon toll passes 700

    Hundreds missing and thousands displaced as government struggles to cope in the aftermath of Typhoon Bopha.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/12/201212116511126721.html

    —-

    Lives shattered by Typhoon Bopha

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20669106
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TRIVIA QUIZ

    Sunday’s answer to “What U.S. city has more bridges than any other city in the world”?

    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with 446.

    Which president, the first to be born in the U.S., was the only one who didn’t speak English as his primary language?

    —-

    Why the war has taken its toll on Iraqi women

    Continuing sectarian violence and a struggling economy in Iraq have put extra pressure on women – with 400,000 widows in Baghdad alone and 24% of women illiterate

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2012/dec/10/war-taken-toll-iraqi-women

    —-

    Kim Jong-il anniversary: ‘We are too busy trying to survive to care’

    As North Korea mourns its former leader with a rocket launch and more public tears, those who have escaped the regime speak about the struggle of daily life, away from the cameras

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/kim-jong-il-one-year

    —-

    ‘Long way to go’ on justice for Afghan women -- UN

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20670604

    —-

    Unusual jobs highlight restricted choices of Gaza youth

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20672483

    —-

    River Limia runs through it: Aceredo villagers view waterlogged homes

    Flood-hit families evicted from Galician village 20 years ago return to examine ruins as Lindoso reservoir waters recede

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/river-limia-aceredo-villagers-homes

    —-

    Audio slideshow: David Goldblatt on South Africa’s gold mines

    An exhibition of photographs by David Goldblatt, famous for his images from apartheid-era South Africa, is currently on display at Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery.
    In 1973 he collaborated with Nobel laureate Nadime Gordimer in a book simply titled On the Mines. To mark its republication this year, Mr Goldblatt’s photographs of the mines and men of the Witswatersrand, a region with the world’s largest known gold reserves, have gone on display again.
    At a time when South Africa’s mines, and the conditions of those who work there, are once more in the news, he explains what inspired On the Mines, and his thoughts on the tragic shootings at Lonmin’s Marikana mine.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20627000

    —-

    Dementia linked to loneliness, study finds

    Dutch research reveals that people with feelings of loneliness more likely to suffer from mental deterioration

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/10/loneliness-dementia-link

    —-

    Census in pictures: from suffragettes to arms protesters

    Since 1801, the census has been a focus for protesters around the country. In 1911 it was the suffragettes protesting about the right to vote; in 2011 it was campaigners against the arms trade as Lockheed Martin was involved in the technology.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/datablog/gallery/2012/dec/11/census-2011-pictures-suffragettes-arms-protesters#/?picture=400820091&index=0

    —-

    Weekend snow across the continents

    Dozens of countries around the world were dealing with extreme snow this past weekend

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/inpictures/2012/12/201212109642606770.html

    —-

    In pictures: Humpbacks feed close to shore in Norway

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/20641787

    —-

    Day in pictures: 10 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20663996

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/10/24-hours-in-pictures

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good evening/morning, Kalima! Between the earthquakes and the drill team, your poor outdoor tribe must think that the world is a very jumpy place indeed. Hope you all get some peace and quiet now.

      So this guy swoops into a job with the NHS in the U.K. Gets sacked after only 6 months (although he swears he wasn’t sacked!!) and walks away with 400,000 pounds. Yay. Let’s hear it for privatization. Really saves the taxpayers money! Not.

      Is Berlusconi a descendant of Count Dracula? Is it going to take a wooden stake through the heart to get this guy to disappear once and for all? He literally has no shame.

      I think he and Dominic Strauss Kahn need to retire somewhere far away (preferably in a prison cell) together and write memoirs that will never be read or published. Two of the most odious men — along with The Donald and Limbaugh — on the earth today.

      Sad news in Michigan. As of the time of this writing, it looks as though Michigan is going to become a “right to work” state. The only thing that could stop it now — I gather — would be if Snyder refused to sign the bill. And that’s highly unlikely. Rumor has it that the Rs in Ohio are looking at doing something similar. Thanks to the Giant Temper Tantrum Election of 2010, we all have to live with the collapse of the power of labor in the 21st century. Thank you so much, Tea Party Lunatics.

      Today’s trivia: I am embarrassed to say that I was a history major and do not know the answer to this one. I am clueless. I’ll toss “Polk” out there as a “Hail Mary,” but will have to go look this up now! :oops:

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      • Kalima says:

        Hello kes.

        Yes, while the rest of the country is heading in the direction of, or already in the poor house, privatization is booming for a few greedy bastards, and austerity won’t affect the pensions of MPs. Now we can all sleep better tonight knowing that the rich remain unscathed by any of it.

        N. Korea just launched its missile, they said they had delayed it until until the 29th, funny calendars they have there along with all the other weird and mind boggling stuff. I’m going watch NHK to see where the bloody thing has landed. Oh I forgot, I sat on my glasses last night and broke off the left side, so until I find my spare ones, I can only listen to the TV. :(

        As I said here a few days ago, if the Italians re-elect him they need their heads examined, and I’m so glad that the maid in NY got some kind of justice after being pawed by that ugly animal.

        I read about the decision in Michigan, and those politicians have to go. It’s such a tragedy for workers after the auto industry has finally started to pick up again after decades of nothing. Those Repubs are the epitome of pure evil.

        Well today I can hardly hear the drillers, they are in front of a neighbour I’m not too fond of, so that’s ok.

        Bright sunshine hitting my screen, so I’ll shut down until the sun has moved a bit, it’s blinding me.

        Take care and see you soon.

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  5. Kalima says:

    Good Morning everyone, and welcome to Mumbly Monday.

    Peace at last as our temps plunge for new lows overnight. I remember fondly our Christmases past when we would now have frost and sometimes even snow on Christmas Eve. I doubt we will ever see that again as Tokyo winters become milder, and for me, long coats and boots become a thing of the past.

    In the country of my birth, snow is falling and they are expecting a white Christmas. Nothing unusual about that, we had them when I was a child, the difference is that now they have become colder and last longer. Still, I envy my cousins at this time of the year as it seems to me that over the last decade here in Tokyo, we have been reduced to two and a half seasons. Cold, rainy (the half season, our Rainy Season), and very hot, endless summers.

    Have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my early evening corner of Tokyo, where felines are sated, and dozens of sparrows didn’t get their afternoon seeds because of the continuing construction on our sewer pipes in the neighbourhood. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Residents quick to evacuate / Quake off coast of Tohoku puts March 11, 2011, lessons to test

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121208002797.htm

    —-

    Japan tunnel disaster a wake-up call for other countries

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japan-tunnel-disaster-a-wake-up-call-for-other-countries

    —-

    Tokyo bank heist unsolved, 44 years on

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/crime/view/tokyo-bank-heist-unsolved-44-years-on

    —-

    What shocks Japanese country folk about city life

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/what-shocks-japanese-country-folk-about-city-life

    —-

    North Korea may delay planned rocket launch, technical problems suspected

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121210a1.html

    —-

    China warships sail just outside Japan waters between Okinawa islets

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121210p2g00m0dm017000c.html

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Politics in Ginza

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/politics-in-ginza
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Tories warn Cameron that gay marriage will split party in two

    MPs describe move as ‘barking mad’ – but Boris Johnson among those to back proposals

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tories-warn-cameron-that-gay-marriage-will-split-party-in-two-8397629.html

    —-

    Against George Osborne’s war on the poor and the vile stupidity of his “workers vs shirkers” narrative

    Amid talk of setting political traps for Labour, the Chancellor of the Exchequer used his Autumn Statement to attack many of the most vulnerable people in our society

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/against-george-osbornes-war-on-the-poor-and-the-vile-stupidity-of-his-workers-vs-shirkers-narrative-8397330.html

    —-

    The height of hypocrisy.
    ————

    MPs will escape George Osborne’s pensions tax raid

    MPs will not be affected by George Osborne’s latest tax raid on pensions, even though private sector workers with identical retirement incomes will be hit, said experts.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9733500/MPs-will-escape-George-Osbornes-pensions-tax-raid.html

    —-

    Preventative care for elderly under threat, survey suggests

    Services have been cut or frozen by two-thirds of local councils since coalition came to power, according to ComRes study

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/10/preventative-care-services-elderly-comres

    —-

    No stretch of the imagination when some places are already that bad across the country.
    ————

    Unemployment could rise by 200,000 in 2013, says thinktank

    Despite recent falls, IPPR analysis points to bleak outlook, predicting more than a million young people among jobless

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/10/unemployment-figures-rise-2013-thinktank

    —-

    Winterbourne View scandal prompts new care guidelines

    Report warns that care sector risks slipping back into institutional culture typified by Victorian asylum system

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/10/winterbourne-view-scandal-care-guidelines

    —-

    Well of course he would, he would never have to eat it. Like everything else this government fails to acknowledge about climate change, fracking, privatization, and the negative affects of austerity on the economy and the population, they will just charge ahead because they don’t give a damn about the health and welfare of the citizens whp pay their wages.
    ————

    Food minister Owen Paterson backs GM crops

    Genetically modified food should be grown and sold widely in Britain and consumer opposition to the technology is a “complete nonsense”, the Cabinet minister in charge of food and farming has said.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9733589/Food-minister-Owen-Paterson-backs-GM-crops.html

    —-

    I’ve heard of some wacky things but if this doesn’t take the biscuit. Paying 500 quid for something that would invade your privacy is the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in ages. Are they nuts??
    ————

    £500 per household for police to monitor internet

    New laws allowing the police and security services to monitor emails and internet use could end up costing households £500 each, Liberal Democrats have claimed.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9733505/500-per-household-for-police-to-monitor-internet.html

    —-

    Eurozone crisis live: Mario Monti’s resignation pledge spooks markets

    LIVEItalian prime minister’s promise to step aside brings fresh political uncertainty to the eurozone
    • Bond yields jump
    • Italian stock market down 2.3%

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/10/eurozone-crisis-monti-resignation-markets-italy

    —-

    Editorial: Berlusconi’s return bodes ill for Italy and Europe

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/editorials/editorial-berlusconis-return-bodes-ill-for-italy-and-europe-8397616.html

    —-

    Greek opposition leader calls for European debt conference

    Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras says only viable solution to debt crisis is ‘a haircut for Greece and entire southern periphery’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/greek-opposition-european-debt-conference

    —-

    Fiscal cliff: Republicans start to line up behind compromise with Barack Obama

    Republican leaders were under mounting pressure from their own ranks on Sunday night to allow President Barack Obama to raise taxes on wealthy Americans to stop the US going over the “fiscal cliff”.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/us-politics/9733445/Fiscal-cliff-Republicans-start-to-line-up-behind-compromise-with-Barack-Obama.html

    —-

    Three shot dead in Tule Indian Reservation, California

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20660783

    —-

    Virgin Mobile US takes down Christmas advert suggesting sexual assault

    Richard Branson – who does not own US company – calls offending ad ‘ill-judged’ before it is quickly removed from site

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/09/virgin-mobile-us-holiday-ad

    —-

    Yellowstone’s popular alpha female wolf shot dead by hunters outside park

    Known only as 832F, wolf was a favourite among visitors and researchers trying to understand the species’ movements

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/09/yellowstone-female-wolf-dead-hunters

    —-

    Egypt: Morsi move fails to pacify opposition -- live updates

    LIVE• Egyptian president rescinds controversial powers
    • Opposition still angry about new constitution
    • Friends of Syria meeting in Morocco

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/egypt-morsi-move-fails-to-pacify-opposition-live

    —-

    Brahimi holds ‘constructive’ talks on Syria

    “Situation getting worse” but political process “still possible”, UN envoy says after meeting US and Russian diplomats.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/201212914168987129.html

    —-

    Assad’s strategy shift keeps rebels at gates of Damascus

    Government forces may have retreated but it seems their tactic is to strengthen the areas that they believe they can hold

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/assads-strategy-shift-keeps-rebels-at-gates-of-damascus-8397542.html

    —-

    Damascus -- a tale of two cities

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20659573

    Egypt crisis: Morsi orders military to keep order

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20661758

    —-

    Egypt crisis: Opposition shuns Morsi move

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20659233

    —-

    Egypt’s hopes betrayed by Morsi

    Bread, freedom and social justice were the demands of the revolution. Instead Mohamed Morsi delivered bloodshed

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/egypt-hopes-betrayed-mohamed-morsi

    —-

    Egypt: revolutionary responsibility

    Morsi withdrawing his controversial decree will not be enough to restore the calm and trust that Egypt needs

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/egypt-revolutionary-responsibility-editorial

    —-

    Arab states agree on aid for Palestinians

    At meeting of Arab League ministers, Qatari PM brands the Quartet “a failure” and calls for rethink of peace process.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/2012129134036903903.html

    —-

    South Sudan army shot dead 10 protesters, UN mission says

    Troops accused of opening fire on civilians in Wau protesting against relocation of municipal council headquarters

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/south-sudan-army-shot-protesters-un

    —-

    Nelson Mandela ‘has stopped talking’

    South African leaders issued assurances about the health of former president Nelson Mandela on Sunday night after the 94 year-old was airlifted to hospital having reportedly stopped speaking amid a deterioration in his condition.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/nelson-mandela/9733036/Nelson-Mandela-has-stopped-talking.html

    —-

    ‘Eight dead’ in Pakistan militant attack near Bannu

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20662117

    —-

    Female government worker shot dead in Afghanistan

    Nadia Sediqqi, acting head of women’s affairs department in Laghman province, is shot dead on her way to work

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/10/female-government-worker-shot-afghanistan

    —-

    Afghan police chief of Nimroz dies in bomb attack

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20662105

    —-

    Member of US special forces killed during rescue of hostage in Afghanistan

    An American doctor kidnapped by the Taliban was freed as a result of mission, says the White House

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/us-special-forces-killed-afghanistan

    —-

    Kabul’s $100m mosque: a sign of a heavyweight battle for post-2014 Afghanistan

    As Nato prepares to withdraw, Afghans will find it hard not to get caught up in the competing interests of regional powers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/kabul-mosque-afghanistan

    —-

    Christchurch earthquake: collapsed building was ‘poorly designed and constructed’

    A six-story office building that collapsed and killed 115 people in New Zealand’s devastating earthquake last year was poorly designed by an inexperienced engineer, inadequately constructed and should never have been issued a building permit, a government report has found.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/9733828/Christchurch-earthquake-collapsed-building-was-poorly-designed-and-constructed.html

    —-

    Tibetan protests: China holds monk for inciting immolation

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20658873

    —-

    Typhoon Bopha: Fears for Philippines missing

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20656846
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A monument to evil that can teach the modern world

    The picture shows German tanks on the streets of Oslo in 1940. In Norway, our correspondent examines how education, terror and history are linked

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/a-monument-to-evil-that-can-teach-the-modern-world-8397354.html

    —-

    Twenty years after he was freed, Terry Waite makes his peace with Hezbollah

    Former hostage meets captors during return to Lebanon

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/twenty-years-after-he-was-freed-terry-waite-makes-his-peace-with-hezbollah-8397635.html

    —-

    Revolution through the lenses of Magnum photographers

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20627005

    —-

    Older women are the nation’s great untapped resource

    Skills and experience are going to waste. Labour is a taking a lead, but the other parties ignore this demographic at their peril

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/older-women-great-untapped-resource

    —-

    Secession petitions: Why Americans don’t really want to break up

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20633042

    —-

    Harlem nights fall silent with loss of lounge

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/harlem-nights-fall-silent-with-loss-of-lounge-8397567.html

    —-

    It’s a dog’s life in China: sold for £1m – or stolen and sold as meat

    From prized mastiffs to dogmeat as wintertime dish, attitudes towards pets are changing but animal cruelty is still widespread

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/dogs-life-china-pets-sold-meat

    —-

    CHARLIE BROOKER

    Q: What do Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises and a hamburger have in common? A: See below

    If the year’s two biggest blockbusters strive to be meatier than Transformers, hooray. But great pop shouldn’t be too po-faced

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/skyfall-dark-knight-rises-hamburger

    —-

    Life and death of Dylan Thomas: BBC biopic to mark poet’s centenary

    TV film focuses on writer’s last days in New York and shows how drink turned possible triumph into tragedy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/dec/09/life-death-dylan-thomas-bbc

    —-

    The history of London’s black cabs

    As the classic black Fairway taxis disappear from the streets of London, a newly qualified cabbie recalls the history of the job – and explains why the Knowledge beats satnav every time

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/history-london-black-cabs

    —-

    Weekend readers’ pictures: reactions

    From animals to teenagers: your best pictures on this week’s theme, Reactions
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/gallery/2012/dec/07/reactions-photography-readers-pictures

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/09/1

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good evening/morning, Kalima! So good to hear that peace has descended at last on your little corner of Tokyo. No snow yet for us this December, either. My son sent a picture of the courtyard of his apartment complex in Madison…all Christmasy and snow-covered. He said he still has enough of the “kid” left in him that it made him smile to see it went he went out the door.

      Why can I not stop laughing about the stories that emanate from North Korea? Their rocket launch may be cancelled because of “some reasons”??? I think Kim Jong Un had better just saddle up that unicorn and ride over to their space center to straighten things out. If the scientists there just gaze into one of his ears, they will see all they need to know about space.

      Such a shame about the wolf who was shot near Yellowstone. I’ve never understood people who simply shoot animals for the “fun” of it. I’m sure that wolf was not threatening their cattle. They probably just left her where she fell and walked away. A life gone. For no reason.

      Then we have China — where dogs are worth either a million dollars or nothing but the price of the meal they make. :shock: I will never figure out human nature.

      But we have Charlie Brooker to explain everything to us. Movies. Video games. Hamburgers.

      Not a greying, microwaved McDonald’s patty, but a moist puck of 21-day-aged beef nestling inside a brioche bun, accompanied by twice-cooked chips hand-cut from potatoes with philosophy degrees.

      I just love that man. What woman can resist a guy who makes her laugh? :lol:

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      • Kalima says:

        Hi kes, I’m so glad that you still get a kick out of Charlie, he always brightens my afternoon.

        About the N.Korean missile launch, that is the reason to be scared, technical difficulties, because their missiles, rockets and launching pads are so old and run down, the chance of a stray something or other hitting mainland Japan is always a worry. They keeping on sending these failed rockets and then tell their people that it was all an amazing success. Everyone claps and says what a great leader they have, and that is then the funniest part of the whole debacle every few years because the things fall into either the Sea of Japan, or the Pacific Ocean.

        The story about the wolf in the park disgusted me, any hunting unless it’s for food, does, and I’ll bet that whoever shot her, hasn’t missed a meal in his miserable lifetime.

        Take care, have a good day, and see you soon.

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  6. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    My wish for a quiet and uneventful Sunday was granted today, and it made a wonderful change.

    Have a good day wherever you may be, take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my cool corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Sunday’s Bits & Bobs.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Loose bolts found next to collapsed Japanese tunnel

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121209a1.html

    —-

    Scientists setting radiation exposure limits took utility money: probe

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/scientists-setting-radiation-exposure-limits-took-utility-money-probe

    —-

    SDF finishes deployment for N. Korea rocket launch

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121209a2.html

    —-

    Friday’s quake an ‘outer-rise earthquake’

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121208002758.htm

    —-

    A lot of weird things are happening in our area, these random knife attacks are just one of them.
    ————

    Experts give tips for repelling a random slasher

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/kuchikomi/view/experts-give-tips-for-repelling-a-random-slasher
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Hospital writes to royal prank radio station owners about ‘appalling’ stunt

    King Edward VII hospital chairman accuses DJs of ‘humiliating’ staff, after death of nurse who took Duchess of Cambridge call
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/08/hospital-royal-prank-radio-nurse

    —-

    Families hit by tax credit red tape

    More than 500,000 households must now send proof to HMRC of their childcare spending

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/families-hit-by-tax-credit-red-tape-8395995.html

    —-

    I can’t remember the man ever showing any respect for anyone out of his pay league. He is a presumptuous snob.
    ————

    George Osborne’s savage attack on benefits is an affront to British decency

    George Osborne in his autumn statement displayed a total contempt for the welfare of the less well-off

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/george-osborne-new-social-contract

    —-

    Surely it should anger most patients too?
    ————

    Plans for NHS database of patients’ DNA angers privacy campaigners

    Critics of initiative to be unveiled by David Cameron talk of ‘Big Brother’ system that could identify individuals

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/09/dna-database-nhs-gene-genomics

    —-

    The NHS was forged from care, not box-ticking

    At Stafford hospital, the guidelines were fulfilled, but patients died needlessly

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-nhs-was-forged-from-care-not-boxticking-8395848.html

    —-

    Special report: People power forces big business to pay up

    Tax-avoidance schemes are being used by firms from Amazon to Google which deprive the British coffers of hundreds of millions of pounds. Sarah Morrison reports on what the Government plans to do about it

    http://www.independent.co.uk/money/tax/special-report-people-power-forces-big-business-to-pay-up-8395967.html

    —-

    The fracking dream which is putting Britain’s future at risk

    George Osborne and fellow zealots believe shale gas to be a bonanza of cheap energy. Where’s the evidence?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/shale-gas-frackheads-dubious-dream

    —-

    From Russia with hate -- are Russian assassins on the loose in Britain?

    With the death of a businessman in Surrey now being treated as suspicious, we look at the spate of hits that have taken place in Britain

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/9729583/From-Russia-with-hate-are-Russian-assassins-on-the-loose-in-Britain.html

    —-

    Ulster loyalist leader warns flag protests are close to spiralling out of control

    Sectarian violence is building as demonstrators demand union flag must keep flying over City Hall

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/09/ulster-union-flag-protests

    —-

    If Italians are dumb enough to re-elect Berlusconi, they should have their heads examined.
    ————

    Mario Monti to quit as Italian PM amid waning support for austerity policies

    Prime minister announces decision hours after former leader Silvio Berlusconi confirms he will seek office again

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/mario-monti-italian-pm-resign

    —-

    Romania goes to polls in parliamentary elections

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20656359

    —-

    Five myths about the unemployed

    http://wapo.st/UrUrpR

    —-

    GOP governors seek leeway on Medicaid expansion

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/gop-governors-seek-leeway-on-medicaid-expansion/2012/12/08/80ab2e72-3e52-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_headlines

    —-

    Oops!
    ————

    Mob associate uses campaign emails from US politicians to mitigate sentence

    Collection of letters presented to the court include standard mass email replies from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/08/mob-associate-campaign-emails

    —-

    Alaska police fear confessed serial killer may have murdered nearly a dozen

    Authorities say Israel Keyes, who killed himself in prison last week, gave police details about murdering eight others

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/08/confessed-serial-killer-israel-keyes

    —-

    Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez says he needs cancer surgery

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20656441

    —-

    As noose tightens on Assad, rebels ask: what comes next?

    The fate of the Kurds and arms stockpiles worry neighbouring Turkey as it sees the end of the regime drawing near

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/syria-fall-of-damascus-aftermath

    —-

    Syria’s rebels reach Damascus suburbs, but cannot break the civil-war deadlock

    World View: In a special dispatch, our reporter files from amid the ‘vicious and unrelenting fighting’ that is tearing the country apart

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/syrias-rebels-reach-damascus-suburbs-but-cannot-break-the-civilwar-deadlock-8395844.html

    —-

    Egypt: Morsi must act to build consensus

    Morsi and opposition leaders urgently need to find a calm way forward

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/egypt-revolution-compromise-urgently-needed

    —-

    Tens of thousands celebrate Hamas ‘victory’ rally as exiled leader returns

    Tens of thousands gather to cheer as Khaled Meshaal claims victory in last month’s war and says more Israeli soldiers could be kidnapped

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/08/hamas-gaza-palestine-khaled-meshaal-israel

    —-

    Doha climate change deal clears way for ‘damage aid’ to poor nations

    EU, Australia and Norway also sign up to new carbon-cutting targets as fortnight-long conference in Qatar closes

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/08/doha-climate-change-deal-nations

    —-

    South Africa’s Nelson Mandela in hospital ‘for tests’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20653597

    —-

    American doctor rescued from Taliban

    Dilip Joseph was captured by Taliban insurgents on Wednesday with intelligence showing he was in imminent danger

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/american-doctor-rescued-taliban-afghanistan

    —-

    Kate hoax call: Scotland Yard contacts Australian police

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20656911

    —-

    Australian DJs’ prank ‘could have broken law and radio codes of practice’

    Legal experts in Australia attack 2Day FM owner’s denial that call to London hospital was negligent

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/09/australian-stations-royal-prank

    —-

    Vietnam breaks up anti-China protests

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20656533
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TRIVIA QUIZ

    Today’s question.

    What U.S. city has more bridges than any other city in the world?

    —-

    ‘Jihad Jane’ explains her strange journey from victim to radical Muslim

    Colleen LaRose has explained how a troubled childhood led her on the path to Islam in the first interview since her arrest

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/08/jihad-jane-journey-victim-radical

    —-

    Writer prepares to retrace early humans’ journey out of Africa’s Great Rift Valley

    Paul Salopek will begin trip in Ethiopia and hopes to reach most southerly point of South America in seven years

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/08/writer-retrace-early-humans-journey-africa

    —-

    Russians’ enduring support of Vladimir Putin

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20639114

    —-

    A day in the life of an olive oil virgin

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20632941

    —-

    Doomsayers await the end of the world – in 12 days’ time

    But governments try to reassure their citizens not to panic

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/politics/doomsayers-await-the-end-of-the-world--in-12-days-time-8395863.html

    —-

    When Homo sapiens hit upon the power of art

    A staggering collection of ice age artefacts from museums across Europe will showcase the explosion of technical and imaginative skill that experts say marked the human race’s discovery of art

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/dec/09/ice-age-art-exhibition-british-museum

    —-

    Where should we place burglars on the bravery-cowardice spectrum?

    Judge Peter Bowers’s statement that burglary takes ‘a huge amount of courage’ is both correct and refreshingly inappropriate

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/judge-peter-bowers-david-mitchell

    —-

    Shit London awards 2012 -- in pictures

    The winners and runners-up in the second annual Shit London photography awards, celebrating the city’s ugliest buildings, worst shop names and most depressing views

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/gallery/2012/dec/06/shit-london-awards-2012-in-pictures

    —-

    Tweets of the week: Pregnant Kate and driving dogs

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20636384

    —-

    Nigel Slater: ‘Planning, rarely part of my kitchen life, is essential for Christmas’

    In this extract from Kitchen Diaries II, Nigel Slater begins the countdown through December to Christmas with recipes for chocolate hazelnut slice and a pork and fruit terrine

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/09/nigel-slater-christmas-countdown

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/08/24-hours-in-pictures-gallery

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  7. Kalima says:

    Egypt: Mohamed Morsi cancels decree that gave him sweeping powers

    Annulment of measure that sparked days of protests comes after military says constitution crisis could drag Egypt into ‘dark tunnel’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/09/egypt-mohamed-morsi-cancels-decree

    —-

    Death of a nurse: ‘I am devastated by the loss of my beloved wife’

    As Jacintha Saldanha’s husband and children await results of post-mortem, hospital’s chairman sends angry letter to the Australian radio station

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/death-of-a-nurse-i-am-devastated-by-the-loss-of-my-beloved-wife-8395991.html

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    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, wow, what a demonstration of three justifiable cliches:

      a. Power corrupts.
      b. The voice of the people can’t be ignored.
      c. Something is better than nothing.

      Morsi is a corrupt man, there can be no doubt now but Egyptians didn’t throw off the oppression of Mubarak to be oppressed by his successor. And as power-driven as Morsi is, he’d rather be President of an Egypt he doesn’t have dictatorial control over than having to contact Mubarak’s travel agent.

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      • Kalima says:

        Oh absolutely AdLib. When I first heard about his power grab I had to read it several times to believe it. When you remember the beatings, persecution and arrests of the members of the Muslim Brotherhood during Mubarak’s time in power, you would think that would be the very last thing they would want to go back to after the fight and loss of lives it took to be rid of him. I was gobsmacked to learn about it. Quite frankly after he has shown his hand like this, how hard will it be for people to ever trust him again? Foolish move.

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        • bito says:

          That sure was a “head shaker/”gobsmacker” to me too Kalima. It was almost like he said OK, now that I have this power, let me do something both the military (real rulers) and the left (rule the streets) really hate and see if they overthrow me.

          I sure couldn’t figure out what he was up to, that’s for sure, until i did see this from Juan Cole, he gave some insight.

          Egypt’s Morsi Backs down Slightly, but Opposition to Campaign against his Referendum

          http://www.juancole.com/2012/12/egypts-morsi-backs-down-slightly-but-opposition-to-campaign-against-his-referendum.html

          He may be going to hold a referendum on his proposals now but you still ask yourself why, at least I do.

          Here’s an interesting bit from Juan’s piece (and if you notice, a little fundamentalism like our own pulpits,:

          The leftists and liberals are afraid that Muslim clerics mounting the pulpit this Friday will declare that anyone who votes against the constitution is going to hell, and so will sway gullible rural voters. They are convinced that the constitution cannot be stopped if there is a vote on December 15.

          I am not so sure. The Brotherhood got only a little over a fourth of the votes in the first round of the presidential election last May. Secular candidates took about 60%. Then, Morsi barely beat Mubarak’s last prime minister, in a country that had overthrown Mubarak. The urban notion of rural rubes is too simplistic. Many villagers are attached to the benefits of the Nasserist government, including land reform, which the Brotherhood has often advocated reversing.

          I think that there is a real chance that a coalition of liberals, leftists and Muslim centrists could defeat Morsi’s constitution. Even the prestigious Muslim seminary, the al-Azhar has come out against it.

          So I guess we shall see and hope that the results, no matter which way they vote, will be peaceful.

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  8. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Have a good day wherever you may be take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Top dose for teen workers at Fukushima plant 57 millisieverts so far

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121208b1.html

    —-

    Dangerous fault alleged 25 years ago at Shika nuclear plant site

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121207p2g00m0dm074000c.html

    —-

    7.3-magnitude temblor triggers tsunami alert
    Long, deep quake off Tohoku rocks buildings in capital; Tepco reports no reactor problems

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121208a1.html

    —-

    7 tunnel victims identified

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121207004152.htm

    —-

    Police see rise in membership of extremist groups

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/police-see-rise-in-membership-of-extremist-groups

    —-

    Okinawa on full missile alert / SDF prepares to intercept falling debris with Aegis, PAC-3

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121207004500.htm

    —-

    Toyota sees Japan sales dropping 20% in 2013

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/business/view/toyota-sees-japan-sales-dropping-20-in-2013
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The ugly face of hypocrisy from the man bleeding the country dry. “Scrooge” Osborne.

    Osborne quibbles about the price of a paddock, an extension to his property, while millions go starving to bed every night, and some are living on our streets or in our parks without a roof over their heads.
    ———-

    George Osborne in expense claim for paddock

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/george-osborne-in-expense-claim-for-paddock-8393737.html

    —-

    The Tory pledge, keep the rich rich and happy so that they continue their campaign donations and bribes to the government to stay rich.
    ————

    Tories sought donors’ cash to fight Lib Dem mansion tax

    Tories sent out letter asking for funds to defeat council tax plans while cabinet ministers were still discussing it

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/07/tory-funds-mansion-tax

    —-

    David Cameron faces Tory revolt over vote on same-sex weddings

    Gay marriage compromise allows faith ceremonies, but churches, mosques and synagogues ‘free to refuse’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/07/david-cameron-same-sex-weddings

    —-

    Michael Gove is hailed as a rising star. He does not deserve it

    Michael Gove’s policies are not a disaster for our schools or our children. They are just an irrelevance and a monumental waste of money

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/07/gove-myth-educational-standards-private-providers

    —-

    Belfast: Eight officers hurt in Loyalist protests

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-20648109

    —-

    France funding Syrian rebels in new push to oust Assad

    Money delivered by French government proxies across Turkish border has been used to buy weapons and ammunition

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/france-funding-syrian-rebels

    —-

    Syrian refugees ‘turned back from Greek border by police

    Asylum seekers crossing from Turkey say they have been illegally deported by Greek police or blocked from entering

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/syrian-refugees-turned-back-greek

    —-

    Russia to retaliate over US Magnitsky rights act

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20638613

    —-

    Russian oil giant signs twin deals with ExxonMobil

    BP denies being snubbed as Rosneft reaches agreement with its rival to explore sites in western Siberia and the Arctic

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/07/exxonmobil-rosneft-oil-deal

    —-

    Sandy: Barack Obama asks Congress for $60bn

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20649755

    —-

    Jobs Report Becomes Fodder in Fiscal Debate

    Democrats and Republicans seized on November’s job numbers to press for a compromise on a deficit deal.

    http://nyti.ms/SEKW6Q

    —-

    US supreme court agrees to take up two gay marriage cases

    Justices to review Prop 8 and decide on constitutionality of Doma in move heralded by activists as ‘enormously satisfying’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/us-supreme-court-gay-marriage-cases

    —-

    Rice in Limbo as Nomination Remains Uncertain

    President Obama has strongly defended Susan E. Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, but it is not yet clear if he will nominate her for secretary of state.

    http://nyti.ms/VoPKMg

    —-

    Syria rebels aim to seize Damascus airport

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20637079

    —-

    US uses rumours of chemical weapons to underpin threat of action in Syria

    Syria’s ally Russia casts doubt on flurry of leaks from Pentagon and state department that Assad is preparing sarin gas

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/us-chemical-weapons-syria

    —-

    Syria, Bashar al-Assad, and the truth about chemical weapons and who may or may not have them.

    Bashar’s father Hafez al-Assad was brutal but never used chemical arms. And do you know which was the first army to use gas in the Middle East?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/syria-bashar-alassad-and-the-truth-about-chemical-weapons-and-who-may-or-may-not-have-them-8393539.html

    —-

    Special report: How Damascus became a city at war

    The extent of the violence is both exaggerated and understated by rumour or propaganda

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/special-report-how-damascus-became-a-city-at-war-8393617.html

    —-

    Signs of retreat by Morsi after thousands protest against vote

    Both sides have been accused of using firearms during protests that left six dead

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/signs-of-retreat-by-morsi-after-thousands-protest-against-vote-8393574.html

    —-

    Khaled Meshaal’s return gives Palestinians new hope for unity

    Hamas’ exiled political leader pledges to work with Fatah on his first visit to Gaza since 1967

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/khaled-meshaals-return-gives-palestinians-new-hope-for-unity-8393575.html

    —-

    Tunisia’s rural poor pose steep learning curve for World Bank-funded scheme

    Once passive recipients of top-down assistance, rural Tunisians have become more vocal about their needs since the revolution

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/2012/dec/07/tunisia-rural-poor-world-bank

    —-

    UN climate summit’s Qatari hosts under fire as talks drag on

    Negotiations fail to reach conclusion amid rows and adjournment caused by lack of agreement on poorly worded texts

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/07/un-climate-summit-qatar-talks

    —-

    Nairobi’s Somali area Eastleigh hit by fatal blast

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20645415

    —-

    Afghanistan suicide bomber hid explosives around his genitals

    Attacker evades security checks to launch failed attempt to kill intelligence chief Asadullah Khalid in Kabul

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/afghanistan-suicide-bomber-genitals

    —-

    Hardly a time to be making excuses.
    ————

    Australian DJs royal prank broke no laws, says CEO

    Rhys Holleran said 2Day FM radio presenters responsible for the hospital hoax call could not have ‘reasonably foreseen’ tragedy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/08/royal-hoax-call-australian-presenters-law

    —-

    2Day FM: Australia’s shock-jock station with history of backfiring stunts

    One DJ previously reprimanded for making teen girl admit she was raped, and calling a female journalist a ‘fat slag’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/2dayfm-australia-shock-jock-station

    —-

    Obviously China has a problem looking in a mirror. Who is “disgusting”? The West sees the truth. China buries it.
    ————

    China calls US Tibet remarks ‘disgusting’

    Foreign ministry furious after US diplomat says Tibet tensions, including self-immolations, have been exacerbated by Beijing

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/china-calls-us-tibet-remarks-disgusting

    —-

    Burma apologises for police attack on protesting monks

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20650576
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Gypsies arrived in Europe 1,500 years ago, genetic study says

    Migrants from India came to continent much earlier than previously thought, analysis suggests, and arrived in the Balkans

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/gypsies-arrived-europe-1500-genetic

    —-

    Mathias Rust: German teenager who flew to Red Square

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20609795

    —-

    Angolan plane fall man: Residents seek end to mystery

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20644402

    —-

    Firm offers moon missions for $1.5bn

    Golden Spike president says he is looking at countries such as South Africa, South Korea and Japan for two-person trips

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/dec/07/firm-moon-missions-golden-spike

    —-

    Fox News adjusts to new reality as it faces four more years of Obama

    It’s the go-to network for outraged conservatives – but now Fox News has benched two high-profile pundits, and shown signs of retreat. Is the US’s biggest cable news network going moderate?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/07/fox-news-new-reality-republican

    —-

    Smoke from Arctic wildfires may have caused Greenland’s record thaw

    Satellite images suggest soot particles settled over ice sheet making it absorb more heat during last year’s extreme melting

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/07/greenland-ice-melting-arctic-wildfires

    —-

    Spuds you’ll like: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s winter potato recipes

    The secret to truly enjoying winter potato dishes – the buttery mash, the gorgeous gratin – is to start with top-notch tubers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/07/winter-potato-recipes-pan-haggerty

    —-

    South Africa: sbujwa on the streets

    Its origins may be unclear but the Johannesburg street craze that moves every muscle is mesmerising to watch

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/south-africa-sbujwa-dance

    —-

    Picture desk live: the best news pictures of the day

    LIVEOur photo coverage of the day’s events in the UK and around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/2012/dec/07/picture-desk-live-the-best-news-pictures-of-the-day

    —-

    The week in wildlife -- in pictures

    From wolves in Germany to bears in Kashmir, here is a pick of the wildlife highlights of the week

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/gallery/2012/dec/07/week-in-wildlife-in-pictures

    —-

    Week in pictures: 1-7 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20645403

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/07/1

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  9. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Well I thought I would have a peaceful time to check all the news stories now that the drilling has stopped, but it was not to be. As you can see from my links, we had a powerful earthquake in the region of the big one last year, and Tokyo shock like a house next to a train line. Better rush this in before we get the expected aftershocks.

    Have a good day, take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my not so safe feeling corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Japan hit by magnitude 7.3 earthquake

    Tsunami warning issued for north-east coastal areas after earthquake shakes buildings in Tokyo

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/07/japan-asia-pacific

    —-

    As I mentioned here before, the head of the NRA is a former nuclear energy insider.
    ————

    Japan could restart some nuclear reactors next summer: NRA

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121207a4.html

    —-

    Tsuruga nuke plant’s reactivation faces further obstacles

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121206p2a00m0na011000c.html

    —-

    Nuts used on suspended ceilings in Sasago Tunnel repaired in 2001 after coming loose

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121206p2a00m0na007000c.html

    —-

    Evacuee: Chaos in Sasago Tunnel

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121206004884.htm

    —-

    Japan issues order to shoot down N Korean rocket

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japan-issues-order-to-shoot-down-n-korean-rocket

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Lost souls

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/lost-souls
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    How is this supposed to be fair? The rich won’t miss it, the poor will be dragged further into dept and poverty.
    ————

    Poorest and richest bear the brunt of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement leaving ‘squeezed middle’ relatively unscathed

    The package of tax rises and benefit cuts will cost the poorest 10 per cent of households in Britain £3.34 per week by 2015, while the richest 10 per cent will see their incomes decline by £8.05

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/poorest-and-richest-bear-the-brunt-of-george-osbornes-autumn-statement-leaving-squeezed-middle-relatively-unscathed-8390523.html

    —-

    Autumn Statement: family tax bombshell over new black hole

    Families’ pensions, pay and benefits will be in the line of fire again after the next election because of a £27 billion black hole in the budget, economists have warned.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/9728607/Autumn-Statement-family-tax-bombshell-over-new-black-hole.html

    —-

    Oh good Lord, the man is ruining the country and can’t be held responsible or asked the tough questions in an interview. Get out of the kitchen George if you can’t stand the heat. Bloody Wimp!
    ————

    Downing Street complains over Evan Davis’s George Osborne interview

    Downing Street has complained to the BBC after one of the broadcaster’s interviewers was accused of badgering George Osborne in an “unedifying” row on live radio.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9728398/Downing-Street-complains-over-Evan-Daviss-George-Osborne-interview.html

    —-

    Be bold, Labour, and expose Osborne’s skivers v strivers lie

    Osborne’s below-inflation benefit rise may not be as popular as he thinks. Labour can, and must, make the case against

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/06/bold-labour-osborne-skivers-strivers

    —-

    Is this what passes for “real” Tory compassion?
    ————

    Ministers accused of ‘cruelty’ after announcing plans to close 15 Remploy factories for disabled workers with the loss of 900 jobs

    Posts will be axed in moves to close or sell off plants and divert cash into other work programmes

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ministers-accused-of-cruelty-after-announcing-plans-to-close-15-remploy-factories-for-disabled-workers-with-the-loss-of-900-jobs-8390544.html

    —-

    Media must share blame for scandal of blacklisted trade unionists

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/dec/06/media-share-blame-blacklisted-trade-unionists

    —-

    ‘Sex for student fees’ man unmasked to be IT consultant ‘with top-level MoD security clearance’

    ‘Assessor’ for SponsoraScholar.co.uk Mark Lancaster worked on massive overhaul of the British military computer network

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/sex-for-student-fees-man-unmasked-to-be-it-consultant-with-toplevel-mod-security-clearance-8390456.html

    —-

    Eurozone crisis live: Bundesbank slashes German growth forecasts

    LIVE• Germany’s central bank warns that 2013 will be tough
    • Investors have until 5pm GMT today to take part in a bond buyback that must succeed to unlock Greek aid

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/07/eurozone-crisis-german-growth-forecasts-bundesbank

    —-

    Gay marriage: France is not uptight … but some French politicians are

    Reactionary politicians are disfiguring the debate on same-sex marriage in France

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/06/gay-marriage-france-politicians

    —-

    Why does this disgraceful man still wield so much clout in the Italian government? They should be ashamed of themselves.
    ————

    Italy in turmoil as Silvio Berlusconi boycotts Mario Monti reforms

    Berlusconi party members walk out before crucial vote threatens PM’s survival, with magnate hinting he could return to power

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/06/italy-silvio-berlusconi-boycotts-mario-monti

    —-

    North Sea sinking: 11 dead as rescuers abandon hope of finding survivors

    Dutch and Belgian air sea rescue and coastguard have recovered five bodies and have given up hope of finding survivors among the six crew members still missing from the sinking of the Baltic Sea.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/netherlands/9726940/North-Sea-sinking-11-dead-as-rescuers-abandon-hope-of-finding-survivors.html

    —-

    US ‘trying to start new Cold War’, says Russia

    Russia has accused the US of trying to start a new Cold War after Congress passed a law banning Russians linked to serious human rights abuses from entering America.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9728794/US-trying-to-start-new-Cold-War-says-Russia.html

    —-

    OP-ED COLUMNIST: The Forgotten Millions by Paul Krugman

    The “fiscal cliff” has everyone talking about a fiscal crisis. But what we should be talking about is a very real job crisis.

    http://nyti.ms/TIfQNP

    —-

    Jim DeMint heads to the Thinkery

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/compost/wp/2012/12/06/jim-demint-heads-to-the-thinkery/

    —-

    Little Rock shooting: fresh testimony casts doubt on police account

    Exclusive: Files seen by the Guardian raise questions over inquiry into fatal shooting of Eugene Ellison by off-duty officer

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/06/little-rock-shooting-testimony-police-account

    —-

    Mexican police brutality uncovered by human rights investigators

    Four case of torture among alleged offences during inauguration of President Enrique Peña Nieto

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/06/mexican-police-brutality-presidential-inauguration

    —-

    Egypt braced for protests after Morsi’s defiant speech -- live updates

    LIVE• Obama expresses ‘deep concern’ over clashes in Egypt
    • Opposition rejects Morsi’s call for dialogue
    • Diplomats try to bring Syria back from the brink

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/07/egypt-crisis-protests-morsi-defiant-live

    —-

    Five killed in Tripoli as Syrian conflict spreads to Lebanon

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/five-killed-in-tripoli-as-syrian-conflict-spreads-to-lebanon-8390382.html

    —-

    The Syrian children desperate for normality

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20625443

    —-

    Mohamed Morsi calls for dialogue in attempt to quell Egypt’s anger

    Violent street battles stop – for now – but country remains locked in confrontation

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/06/mohamed-morsi-egypt

    —-

    In Egypt the elite may have changed, but the revolution continues

    The struggle against a state that seeks to deny its people any genuine empowerment is playing out on the streets of Heliopolis

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/06/egypt-elite-changed-revolution-continues

    —-

    Israel goes forward with plan for West Bank building project

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/israel-goes-forward-with-plan-for-west-bank-building-project-8388991.html

    —-

    Palestinian Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal to visit Gaza

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20636413

    —-

    Ghana election: John Mahama faces Nana Akufo-Addo challenge

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20631933

    —-

    Indian officials accused of Kashmir rights abuses

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20624798

    —-

    Nobel peace prize winner’s wife Liu Xia describes ‘Kafkaesque’ house arrest

    The wife of China’s Nobel Peace prize-winner Liu Xiaobo has spoken out from under house arrest for the first time in more than two years, describing the Kafkaesque conditions she is being kept in.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9726907/Nobel-peace-prize-winners-wife-Liu-Xia-describes-Kafkaesque-house-arrest.html

    —-

    Philippine President Aquino visits typhoon-hit area

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-20636943
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Palestinian refugees increasingly drawn into Syrian war

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20630517

    The US Bureau of Prisons’ lack of compassion costs it dear

    The federal BOP houses more than 200,000 inmates. Last year, it granted 25 compassionate releases for the aged, sick or dying

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/06/us-bureau-prison-lack-compassion

    —-

    New York Post cover: When should photographers drop their cameras?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20616635

    —-

    Charles Thomson Rees Wilson: The man who made clouds

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20608377

    —-

    Guardian Viral Video Chart: Instagram, Star Trek and Kate Middleton prank

    Take a trip in the world’s scariest elevator, listen to the royal prank call and enjoy a tribute to Dave Brubeck

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/07/viral-video-chart

    —-

    Day in pictures: 6 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20625053

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/06/24-hours-in-pictures

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    • choicelady says:

      Hi-

      AdLib just told me about the quake -- beyond scary AGAIN. Are YOU OK? First Japanese bureaucracy yesterday, today Japanese tectonic insecurity. Sure it’s not time to move back home???? I can’t recall the UK ever having a quake! OK -- bad bureaucracy, sure, but earthquakes? No.

      Be well -- we are all thinking of you and hoping the earth will stay steady now. NO MORE!

      A big, virtual HUG to you and your husband and cats!!!

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      • Kalima says:

        We are all ok choicelady, thanks for your concern.

        No I don’t think that the fear of earthquakes would make us go back to a country being ruined by the Tories, besides, we have our business here, not something we could move over there.

        We all have to die some day, and if it’s my fate to be covered in rubble, then there is not much I can do about it. Next year we rebuild, and will have stronger supports in the new house.

        Yes there are the occasional earthquakes in England, there was one a few weeks ago.

        Again thank you.

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    • SueInCa says:

      Saw the news Kalima. Hope you are doing ok. Those aftershocks are unnerving because you know they are coming. Stay safe or as safe as you can. Will be thinking about you.

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  10. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    It will have to be a quickie today, but I’ll be back in full force in the morning. A bit knackered today after a frustrating day out dealing with Japanese bureaucracy, yes we have it here too, with all I have to show for it being 5,000 yen out of pocket for the there and back taxi fare, over two hours waiting to be insulted, and an upset stomach due to the stress of it all. It will be forgotten by the morning.

    Have a good day wherever you may be, take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my suddenly cold corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.

    Our moment of Zen.

    Believe it or not, this was exactly how our Coco spoke and purred, and just as loud. :D



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Rocky Flats: Life in the shadow of a nuclear bomb factory

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20616195

    —-

    Disability history month: Arthur MacMorrough Kavanagh

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20592861

    —-

    Viewpoint: How India moved on from Ayodhya

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20552040

    —-

    Dave Brubeck, jazz composer and pianist, dies aged 91

    Classically influenced artist’s hit Take Five made him a household name and helped to define 1960s jazz

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/dec/05/jazz-dave-brubeck


    —-

    It’s still as funny and just as silly, but now it’s a magic dragon. Ok guys, got it. :lol:
    ————

    Unicorn lair ‘discovery’ blamed partly on mistranslation

    Agency said it reconfirmed the lair of one of the unicorns ridden by the ancient King Tongmyong but the story is not true

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/05/north-korea

    —-

    Our never ending obsession with the apocalypse

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121205-our-endless-apocalypse-obsession

    —-

    I’ve met a lot of older people who were very happy too, and occasionally, the odd old grump, usually male, who lives to be a 100 years old, or so it seems.
    ————

    Viewpoint: How happiness changes with age

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20591893

    —-

    A lighter look – in pictures

    Time for a sideways glance, or two, at some of the week’s more entertaining pictures

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/dec/05/a-lighter-look-in-pictures

    —-

    Day in pictures: 5 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20607306

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/05/24-hours-in-pictures

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good afternoon/night, Kalima! I hope you’re resting blissfully now after what sounds like a day of frustration. A huge kick in the pants and thumbs down to whoever made your excursion into the wilds of Tokyo unpleasant!

      I just had to have one more listen to Dave Brubeck and the boys on “Take Five.” Really a wonderful piece. I didn’t realize until yesterday that it was actually written by Paul Desmond the saxophonist. And who would ever imagine that Joe Morello, who looks so much like an accountant in his suit, tie and black plastic-rimmed glasses, could drum up a storm like that?

      That loud purr…just hafta love it. What is there about a cat’s purr that’s so relaxing? (Well, maybe not at 72 decibels…never had one that purred at that volume… :-) ) Wish my little guy would purr. He will only do that when his buddy — my son — holds him. I’m just the food bowl filler in his life I’m afraid.

      Nice to get that all straightened out about the unicorn lair in North Korea. It appears we in the West were mistaken. It was not home to unicorns. But rather to an animal that had “the body of a deer, the tail of a cow, hooves and a mane, as well as a horn jutting out from the top of their heads.” That’s much better. Carry on.

      Have to agree with the U-shaped evaluation of happiness levels throughout the human life span. Mid-forties were the nadir as far as I’m concerned. So take heart, young ‘uns. It’s not so much that everything starts going your way later on. It’s that you care less! :lol:

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      • Kalima says:

        Hello kes, yes I was resting peacefully until an earthquake woke me up after 3 this morning and I have been awake ever since. The drilling and shaking is still going on, and now in front of our house. I just asked how long they would be annoying me for, and they promised that this was the last day.

        Yes, we were listening to Take Five last night too, it will always be a classic.

        Wasn’t Smokey adorable, I did have Coco who could purr and talk to me for hours just like that, and after she was gone, I can’t tell you how much I missed, and still miss our conversations. Now only Kali has an audible purr, you can hear her from the other side of the room. Still, nothing like our little feline “helicopter”.

        Imagine, the N.Koreans had Puff the Magic Dragon all those years ago, and their dead leaders were all Gods who never defecated, were born on holy mountain tops, were super intelligent, (in other words as thick as two bricks), and on and on. Well I suppose they have to keep their people happy when their economy has been in the toilet for so many years, and the government is filled with crooks making money from bad drugs and counterfeit money.

        I think if I had to choose my best time, it would be a big part of my childhood, and my 40’s.

        Funny about the “caring less” kes, but I put it down to experience and not being embarrassed to say exactly what we think and feel rather than not caring. Although I really don’t care that much anymore about what people think of me as I might have done when I was younger.

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  11. bito says:

    Kalima as I was shutting down for the night I saw this on twitter:

    Thousands of US troops arrive near Syrian shore on USS Eisenhower
    http://rt.com/usa/news/us-eisenhower-syria-military-369/

    It’s from Russia Today and I haven’t seen it elsewhere. This could be big and I was just giving you a heads up on your MB.

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    • Kalima says:

      Thanks bito, I did see it, but couldn’t concentrate to read through many news stories today. This could be the reason.

      Syria ‘has loaded chemical weapons into bombs’

      The Syrian regime has loaded the precursor chemicals for the nerve gas sarin into aerial bombs, according to a report from the United States.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9725987/Syria-has-loaded-chemical-weapons-into-bombs.html

      These sewer fixer uppers are still digging and shaking our house even thought it’s now pitch black outside. :(

      I’m busy looking for a hammer.

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      • bito says:

        Man, Kalima, that’s just not fair! Spend all day bickering with the red tape wranglers and doing their best to keep you in tangles, then to come home to listen to the sewage plumbers banging, digging and disrupting what is left of your day, you poor girl, you must be exhausted. Is there a “Not Fair” petition that we can sign? Everyone deserves some breaks in their lives during the day.

        Thanks for the articles on Syria/US/NATO/UN/…. It would be nice if the world would take a break for about 6-9 months with out any hostilities any where in the world. I know it sounds a bit like magic beans and mystical flutes, but can’t a guy dream? :-( Do people always have to search for a reason to fight injure and kill their fellow human beings, can’t people do the opposite for a few months now and then, search for peace and reason?

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        • Kalima says:

          Hi bito, they have finally gone, the sewer pipes are new, and hopefully no one else comes along before the end of this year.

          I hope that they can get that bastard Assad out soon. I linked to a story about him seeking asylum somewhere yesterday, personally after all the innocent people he has murdered, I was hoping that he would have had another end. Either the ICC or, you know. Why is peace so hard to maintain, because greed and male egos rule our world, that’s why.

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    • bito says:

      And more:

      US Senate vote pushes for Pentagon military action in Syria
      http://rt.com/news/us-senate-military-syria-305/

      The US Senate has voted nearly unanimously to assess military options to cripple the air force of Syrian President Assad. Lawmakers said the action aims to stop the killing of civilians, but critics claim it may herald a Libya-style no-fly zone.

      Ninety-two Senators voted to move forward with a Pentagon report on possible military options in Syria, with six opposing the legislation.

      The bill in question gives US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta 90 days in which to carry out the study and report back to the Senate with the findings, aimed at “advancing the goals of President Obama of stopping the killing of civilians in Syria and creating conditions for a transition to a democratic, pluralistic, political system in Syria.”

      Cant we go without war for 6 bloody months?

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      • Kalima says:

        It would be a huge mistake. Overt U.S. military action would not be welcomed by anyone. If you did take part, it would have to be through NATO and the UN by a consensus vote. After Iraq, those days of charging in are over. Has absolutely nothing been learned since then?

        If it were really to save civilian lives as some critics have claimed, why not before now? Did they have to wait until over 60,000 had already been butchered?

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        • AdLib says:

          Kalima, I think that’s the point. Obama knows that even with all the civilians being murdered in Syria, if the US jumped in, the world would turn on us and the Repubs would really attack him (even though many cheer for such military attacks and would support it if a Repub was President).

          Only with the extreme outrage of using chemical weapons could the US have cover to act. It’s a matter of precedent too, if in this day and age, the world and the US just stand by when weapons of mass destruction are use, it will make their use a more frequent and frightening prospect.

          What’s positive is that the Russians are coming together with the rest of the international community on this. Hopefully that will scare Assad enough to prevent their use but I wouldn’t count on it and action against him by the world (not just the US) will be needed.

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          • Kalima says:

            I thought about this afterwards, and at least it gives the President the go ahead if needed. There seems to be a lot of activity on the borders with Syria, and as I told bito above, it must because because the Syrian government is suspected of starting to arm warheads with chemical weapons. That would as you say leave no doubt that an air strike against Assad’s forces should go ahead. Desperate people will do just about anything to cling to power, he’s proving far more dangerous than Saddam was in 2003.

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  12. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Have a good day wherever you may be, take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    40 residents near Fukushima nuke plant seek 1.94 billion yen from TEPCO

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121204p2a00m0na029000c.html

    —-

    ‘Labor violations rife’ at Fukushima N-plant

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121204004443.htm

    —-

    Tunnel disaster puts spotlight on Japan’s aging infrastructure

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/tunnel-disaster-puts-spotlight-on-aging-infrastructure

    —-

    Japanese police wary of rightists amid territorial rows, leftists linked to antinuclear power rallies

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121205b1.html

    —-

    Rent-a-boyfriend dispatch service: Because Japanese women get lonely too

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/rent-a-boyfriend-dispatch-service-because-japanese-women-get-lonely-too

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Helping hand

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/helping-hand-3
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As if anything could ever “jolt” George Osborne.
    ————

    Autumn statement: growth and NHS figures jolt George Osborne

    Gloomy deficit and growth forecasts as health secretary Jeremy Hunt rebuked over spending claims

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/04/autumn-statement-nhs-george-osborne

    —-

    George Osborne’s Autumn Statement will mean a winter of discontent for the disabled

    The Chancellor has no intention of tackling multinational tax avoiders and the people after whom Mr Osborne is actually going have no cunning tax lawyers to defend them

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/george-osbornes-autumn-statement-will-mean-a-winter-of-discontent-for-the-disabled-8382099.html

    —-

    We know by how he has handled quite a few situations and issues that Cameron is not an honest man, if he had been, his BFF Hunt would be out of a job by now. Birds of a feather and all that.
    ————

    Government’s own statistics watchdog rebukes Cameron and Hunt over spending claims

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/governments-own-statistics-watchdog-rebukes-cameron-and-hunt-over-spending-claims-8382223.html

    —-

    Warning on benefit cuts amid rise in homelessness

    Rise in statutory homelessness has disproportionately affected families with children, Crisis report says

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/04/benefit-cuts-rise-homelessness

    —-

    Blacklisting is the scandal that now demands action

    Thousands have been driven out of work in Britain by corporate spying outfits. It’s an outrage that calls for more than an inquiry

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/04/blacklisting-scandal-corporate-spying

    —-

    Only a fraction of capital spending promised last year has materialised

    No major roads built since coalition came to power and many promises of cash not fulfilled

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/04/autum-statement-analysis-george-money

    —-

    Swing voters want Tories to invest in green technology to save planet and boost economy

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/swing-voters-want-tories-to-invest-in-green-technology-to-save-planet-and-boost-economy-8382451.html

    —-

    Eurozone crisis live: Ireland to unveil another austerity budget

    LIVEDublin will announce billions of euros in fresh spending cuts today as the pain of austerity continues
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/05/eurozone-crisis-ireland-austerity-budget

    —-

    Tearful Angela Merkel re-elected as CDU party leader for seventh time

    Germany’s ‘Mutti’ appears emotional as Christian Democrat colleagues confirm her position with a 98% positive vote

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/angela-merkel-re-elected-as-cdu-leader

    —-

    Obama calls Republicans’ fiscal cliff offer ‘out of balance’ as deadline nears

    In first interview since re-election, president sticks to requirement of higher taxes on the wealthiest 2% as a non-negotiable point

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/obama-rejects-republicans-offer-fiscal-cliff

    —-

    In Tax Fight, G.O.P. Seeks a Position to Fall Back On

    With President Obama winning public support for higher tax rates on the rich, Congressional Republicans find themselves in a difficult political spot and are quietly beginning the search for a way out.

    http://nyti.ms/XnZIn2

    —-

    TAKING NOTE: From Republicans, a Parting Slap at Bob Dole and Disabled Americans

    The latest victim of Republican paranoia was a UN treaty to protect the rights of the disabled.

    http://nyti.ms/11AAguZ

    —-

    Shameful.
    ————

    US Senate rejects UN treaty on disability rights amid GOP opposition

    Treaty modeled after Americans with Disabilities Act fails to pass as conservative Republicans argue it threatens US sovereignty

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/senate-rejects-un-treaty-disability

    —-

    Susan Rice’s surrogate role

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-susan-rices-surrogate-role/2012/12/03/d21b19c8-3d82-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

    —-

    Boehner’s ‘nowhere’ nonsense

    Boehner plays a weak hand

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-boehner-plays-a-weak-hand/2012/12/03/227b41da-3d70-11e2-ae43-cf491b837f7b_story.html?wpisrc=nl_opinions

    —-

    Anger at New York Post cover photo of subway passenger seconds from death

    Picture of man in the moments before being fatally struck by train prompts questions photographer’s role in helping him

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/04/new-york-post-outrage-subway-photo

    —-

    Syria conflict: Assad reportedly eyeing asylum in Latin America -- live updates

    LIVE• Syrian official flew to Cuba, Venezuela and Ecuador
    • Nato agrees to send Patriots missiles to Turkey
    • Egyptians vow to continue anti-Morsi protests

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/05/syria-conflict-assad-asylum-live

    —-

    Mortar attack on school outside Damascus ‘kills 29′

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20596612

    —-

    Egyptian security forces clash with anti-Mohamed Morsi protesters

    President seen leaving Cairo palace in convoy as opponents gather to condemn assumption of new powers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/egyptian-clash-mohamed-morsi-protest

    —-

    Iranian TV shows off ‘captured US ScanEagle drone’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20591336

    —-

    Pakistani Interior Minister ‘to reveal Benazir Bhutto killers in book’

    Controversial politician claims he will release more details of assassination of former leader

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/pakistani-interior-minister-to-reveal-benazir-bhutto-killers-in-book-8382316.html

    —-

    British forces accused of killing four teenagers in Afghan operation

    Boys were targeted at close range witnesses claim, as defence secretary asked to launch urgent inquiry

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/dec/04/british-forces-accused-killing-teenagers

    —-

    Guangdong factory fire kills 14
    Suspect Liu Shuangyun tells TV station he started blaze at clothing factory because he was angry about unpaid wages

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/05/guangdong-factory-fire-kills-14

    —-

    Philippines typhoon death toll worsens

    More than 50,000 forced to flee as Bopha sweeps across south of country, with damage worst on island of Mindanao

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/philippine-typhoon-bopha-kills-five
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    ‘I asked my family to finish me off’

    When her boyfriend’s brutal attack left her blinded, Tina Nash wanted to die. But with the love and support of her family, she has started to rebuild her life

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/04/blinded-woman-wanted-to-die

    —-

    Ann Clwyd: my husband died like a battery hen in hospital

    Labour MP tells of inhumane treatment and says she fears normalisation of cruelty now rife among NHS nurses

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/04/ann-clwyd-husband-died-hen

    —-

    Life of a sex worker: disease, abortion, debt bondage and death – video

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global-development/video/2012/dec/04/life-sex-worker-video

    —-

    Why al-Qaeda finds no recruits in India

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20590302

    —-

    For Young Latino Readers, an Image Is Missing

    Educators say grade-school students develop reading skills better when they are engaged by books full of characters with whom they can identify. For Hispanic children, that’s hard to find.

    http://nyti.ms/VzqmFD

    —-

    The corruption map of the world

    Transparency International’s transparency index measures each country in the world on corruption. See how they compare by clicking on each country. Use the dropdown menu to see how scores have changed since 2011

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2011/dec/01/world-corruption-index-transparency-international-map

    —-

    The homeless man and the NYPD cop’s boots: how a warm tale turns cold

    The image of the New York officer donating boots has done something terrible and cruel to the barefoot Jeffrey Hillman

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/04/homeless-man-nypd-cop-boots

    —-

    Ghanaian photographer Nii Obodai -- in pictures

    Ahead of the country’s elections on Friday, a selection of images from the book Who Knows Tomorrow
    Read an interview with Nii Obodai here

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2012/dec/04/ghana-photography-nii-obodai

    —-

    Sleep: Your stories of weird sleep behaviour

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20542311

    —-

    Day in pictures: 4 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20592514

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/04/24-hours-in-pictures-gallery

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good evening/morning, Kalima! Hoping all is peaceful in your corner of Tokyo today!

      As we get closer to the Christmas season, England is beginning to look more and more Dickensian — in a Scrooge sort of way. Homelessness, shabby treatment of the disabled, and appalling conditions in hospitals… British workers must feel that their government does absolutely nothing for them now but take their tax money and stuff it into the pockets of the super-rich. What will it take for them to rise up? (Although, now that I think of it, I suppose that the prospect of being put on a blacklist and denied employment for the rest of one’s life might put a damper on anyone’s enthusiasm for organizing opposition to these sorts of things…?)

      On that blacklisting issue-- this was a pretty appalling paragraph regarding what sorts of information could be bought by prospective employers for a fee:

      For that they could have access to such gems as “keeps extremely interesting company”, “union activity”, “brought in H&S issues”, “politically motivated”, “troublemaker”, “recently seen at a leftwing meeting” and “girlfriend … involved in several marriages of convenience”. Mostly, workers were branded “involved in dispute” or “company given details and not employed”.

      Try as I might, I cannot see how any woman could “still have feelings for” the man who gouged out both of her eyes. I’m not blaming her for what happened to her, but I cannot comprehend going back — over and over — into a situation in which one is battered and one’s life is threatened constantly. What part of that says “love”?

      Having recently seen stories on Norway’s low level of corruption and their world-class educational system, I have only 6 words: I want to move to Norway.

      The adage is — no good deed goes unpunished, and that appears to be the case with the NY cop who gave the homeless guy a pair of boots. Human nature is complex, no?

      Now I’m off to read the latest article on the Planet!

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      • Kalima says:

        Hello kes. It wasn’t peaceful, they are still digging, but I wasn’t home for most of it although it is still going on as I type.

        “Some peace! Some peace! My Queendom for some bloody PEACE”!

        Reading through your chosen paragraph and the stories I post here, it does indeed look as if the U.K. is going back in time. I’m waiting for them to start using poor and homeless children as human chimney sweeps, then the circle will be complete. The similarity between them and the GOPTP is amazing don’t you think, and know for a fact that they have used Republican consultants to get them and us into the mess we see today. When I think of my family and friends still over there, I just want to weep, they have been so darned misled.

        It is a terrible shame that in this day and age, we might be forced to think of any consequences when we offer a helping hand to someone less fortunate, isn’t it? How very sad.

        Take care and see you soon.

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    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, the rent-a-guy service in Tokyo is actually kind of like old school Americana, what an Escort Service used to be before they became a cover for prostitution. What’s worse, being lonely or knowing you had to pay to have someone to lie in your bed to keep you company?

      So strange that the UK has been so far ahead of the US on the social safety net and now, as the US increases theirs through the ACA, the UK is slashing theirs, especially when it comes to the poor and children.

      I do have a problem with the photographer who was busy taking photos of the guy who was hit by the subway train instead of trying to help him…and the NY Post for printing that exploitative photo. He didn’t have to risk his life but it sure seems that he took time to set up and catch the “action” that could have been spent trying to rescue that poor guy.

      On one hand, it’s embarrassing that the US ranks 19th on the global corruption chart but moving up another 5 spots in 2011 does speak well for Obama. I can only imagine what the US ranking was under Bush…probably tied with Russia.

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      • Kalima says:

        Hi AdLib, better late than never.

        Yes the U.K. has been led down the garden path by Cameron and Osborne, but I was just reading this article showing what Osborne got as a “gift” for his cockiness and apathy.

        UK’s credit rating at risk after George Osborne’s debt failure

        Britain could lose its AAA credit rating after George Osborne admitted he will miss his target to reduce Britain’s debts and have to borrow an extra £100 billion.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9725582/UKs-credit-rating-at-risk-after-George-Osbornes-debt-failure.html

        As a country we don’t deserve it. As a very bad Chancellor of the Exchequer, he bloody well does. Every person who relies on the safety nets will be affected by the time this lousy excuse for a government is through, so let’s hope that the anger vote of 2010 will be a thing of the past when voters realize what they ushered in with their votes against Blair and Labour, and instead vote for what is in the best interest of the citizen of the country.

        About that awful photo in Murdoch’s rag, how can we expect any better after what happened in the U.K. with the phone hacking, and who would take a photo while a man dies?

        By the end of Obama’s second term, I’m sure that the U.S. will have moved even higher on that chart, and you have to make sure that the GOP don’t get a foot in the WH in 2016 to keep it that way. They did nothing of value in the first 4 years of his presidency, so I can’t see them doing much more in the second to repair their broken image. They are still pushing old ideas, and still obstructing. How dumb is that?

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  13. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone.

    Out for most of the day, I am now thankfully home in the warm once again, and happy to be here.

    Have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my rainy evening corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    No repairs made since ’77; death toll hits nine

    Fatal tunnel collapse blamed on aging bolts

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121204a1.html

    —-

    29 tunnels built in same way as Sasago

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121203003265.htm

    —-

    Key artery’s closure blow to transport, bus firms

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121204a2.html

    —-

    Police raid Japan tunnel operator after collapse

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121204p2g00m0dm048000c.html

    —-

    Tepco moves up nuclear salvage schedule for Fukushima fuel rods to 2014

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121204a4.html

    —-

    Tsunami-hit brothers get new fishing boat

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121203003294.htm

    —-

    Campaigning starts for election that could end DPJ’s 3-yr rule

    http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20121204p2g00m0dm006000c.html

    —-

    Scary stuff, thank goodness they won’t win the election, and the man who started the row with our neighbouring countries about the disputed islands, won’t be a position to cause any more trouble for now.
    ————

    Nationalist strains echo on campaign trail

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/opinions/view/nationalist-strains-echo-on-campaign-trail

    —-

    Déjà vu.
    ————

    PAC-3s Okinawa-bound for North Korean launch

    http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20121204a3.html

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Night at the temple

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/night-at-the-temple
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Not on your nellie.
    ————

    Will George Osborne hail the shale gas in his own backyard?

    The Chancellor’s Tatton seat is ripe for fracking – but his constituents may not share their MP’s enthusiasm for the drill

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/will-george-osborne-hail-the-shale-gas-in-his-own-backyard-8376431.html

    —-

    British economy would be £20bn-a-year better off with focus on wind power, says think tank

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/british-economy-would-be-20bnayear-better-off-with--focus-on-wind-power-says-think-tank-8376215.html

    —-

    Public expenditure crisis: no cash for decrepit schools, jails – or NHS

    As pensions soak up ever larger sums, other areas of the budget face harsh cuts. Our specialist correspondents analyse the impact on some specific areas

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/03/public-expenditure-crisis-no-cash-nhs

    —-

    Why ever not, it has worked in places like France, Italy and Spain. Sooner or later everyone will see Cameron for exactly who he is; a conduit for the rich.
    ———--

    David Cameron rules out ‘naming and shaming’ multinationals who fail to pay their ‘fair share’ of tax

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/david-cameron-rules-out-naming-and-shaming-multinationals-who-fail-to-pay-their-fair-share-of-tax-8375801.html

    —-

    Wasn’t this exactly the same problem with the old one?
    ————

    New Bank of England head will have too much power, warns insider

    Ex-policymaker Adam Posen points to expanded regulator role as Carney ‘told by everyone that he’s wonderful’

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/03/bank-england-head-power-new

    —-

    Former HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby sold off shares in bank on the eve of crash

    Ex-HBOS chief admits selling two-thirds of holding in two years before near-collapse

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/former-hbos-chief-executive-sir-james-crosby-sold-off-shares-in-bank-on-the-eve-of-crash-8376368.html

    —-

    Tories at half-time: cruel and inept, with worse to come

    The autumn statement falls on an inauspicious day – Cameron’s halfway mark – and is likely to unleash yet more chaos

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/03/tories-half-time-worse-to-come

    —-

    Break the grip of corporate power to secure our future

    Neoliberal dogma forbids the intervention required to stop climate change. To save the planet we must articulate a new politics

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/03/break-grip-corporate-power-secure-future

    —-

    Litvinenko widow appeals for legal funds after Berezovsky backing runs out

    Marina Litvinenko says she hopes next year’s inquest will discredit competing theories about her husband’s death

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/litvinenko-widow-appeal-legal-funds

    —-

    Laptop ‘destroyed to hide story’ behind Saddam Hussein underpants picture

    Labour MP Chris Bryant raises questions over picture of former dictator published by Murdoch’s Sun and New York Post

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/03/laptop-destroyed-saddam-hussein-underpants-picture

    —-

    Pregnant Kate spending second day in hospital

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20589896

    —-

    Violence flares after controversial Belfast vote over Union flag

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/violence-flares-after-controversial-belfast-vote-over-union-flag-8381048.html

    —--

    Eurozone crisis live: Ministers to debate banking supervision

    LIVEEuropean finance ministers are discussing proposals for a single supervisory mechanism for banks in Brussels today, amid chatter about Jean-Claude Juncker’s decision to step down as eurogroup president

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/04/eurozone-crisis-ministers-banking-supervision-juncker

    —-

    Two arrests in south-west France ‘over Merah case’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20591856

    —-

    French charity workers stand trial on kidnap charges over ‘Darfur orphans’

    Six accused of taking 103 children from Chad for adoption by French families, saying they were left parentless by conflict

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/french-charity-trial-kidnap-orphans

    —-

    And they blame Europe for their problems.
    ————

    Ex-Greek PM’s mother linked to $550m Swiss account

    Furore over allegations in Greek press that Margaret Papandreou is on list of those who stockpiled fortunes overseas

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/greece-margaret-papandreou-swiss-account-allegations

    —-

    They still don’t get it.
    ————

    Republicans offer fiscal cliff proposal that avoids raising taxes on wealthy

    Plan signed by six top Republicans proposes $800bn in new tax revenue gained from closing loopholes and deductions

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/republicans-offer-fiscal-cliff-proposal-taxes

    —-

    Wall Street manipulates deficit angst with fiscal cliff fear

    Deficit hawks rely on media allies to report budget doom to advance their agenda of cutting Medicare and social security

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/03/wall-street-deficit-fiscal-cliff-fear

    —-

    Fort Hood shootings: judge who ordered beard shaved is taken off case

    Colonel engaged in ‘duel of wills’ with suspect Major Nidal Hasan rather than conducting case properly, says appeals court

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/fort-hood-shootings-judge-dismissed

    —-

    Tax avoidance in the U.K. and now this. Do you think that someone is too greedy?
    ————

    Starbucks to slash paid lunch breaks and sick leave

    Coffee chain sparks fresh concern over business practices amid fears low-paid staff will bear cost of potentially increased tax bill

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/03/starbucks-slash-lunch-breaks

    —-

    Chinese firm in illegal nuclear exports to Pakistan

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20590136

    —-

    Rupert Murdoch reportedly refused to speak to Elisabeth after lecture

    According to New Yorker article mogul began nine-week silence towards daughter after she criticised her brother James

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/03/rupert-murdoch-refused-speak-daughter-elisabeth

    —-

    The piece from The New Yorker.
    ————

    Annals of Communications: The Heiress, by Ken Auletta. The rise of Elisabeth Murdoch.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/12/10/121210fa_fact_auletta?mbid=social_tablet_e&pink=kQbXB4

    —-

    Gerard Baker named as editor in chief at Dow Jones and WSJ

    Journalist will succeed Robert Thomson as Rupert Murdoch reshuffles management of worldwide newspaper operation

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/04/gerard-baker-dow-jones-wsj

    —-

    Syria conflict: Obama warns Assad over chemical weapons -- live updates

    LIVE• Obama warns Assad the ‘world is watching’
    • Foreign minstry spokesman Makdissi ‘defects’
    • UN to evacuate non-essential staff from Syria

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/dec/04/syria-obama-chemical-weapons-warning-live

    —-

    Syrian foreign ministry spokesman ‘defects’
    There are unconfirmed reports that Jihad Makdissi has either defected or been fired and is in the UK.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/2012123163314873741.html

    —-

    UN to withdraw non-essential staff from Syria

    Missions to conflict zone cancelled and remaining employees on standby to move, in final step before full-scale evacuation

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/un-withdraw-nonessential-staff-syria

    —-

    Barack Obama warns Syria of chemical weapons ‘consequences’

    US president reacts to reports that sensitive chemical weapons parts have been moved around the country by the Assad regime

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/barack-obama-syria-chemical-weapons-warning

    —-

    Nato missiles to shield Turkey from Syrian chemical attack

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/nato-missiles-to-shield-turkey-from-syrian-chemical-attack-8376355.html

    —-

    Yemen’s Abyan saw ‘rights catastrophe’ says Amnesty

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20588744

    —-

    About time.
    ————

    UN tells Israel to let in nuclear inspectors

    As nuclear peace talks are cancelled, overwhelming vote by general assembly calls for Israel to join nonproliferation treaty

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/un-tells-israel-nuclear-inspectors

    —-

    EDITORIAL: Mr. Netanyahu’s Strategic Mistake

    Expanding settlements in contested areas will hurt Israel’s long-term security interests.

    http://nyti.ms/YJdOQd

    —-

    Israel defiant on settlements expansion after European condemnation

    Official says Israel will ‘stand by our vital national interests’, after ambassadors summoned in five EU countries

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/israel-defiant-settlement-expansion-europe

    —-

    Don’t assume that all Jewish people have the same view about Israel. Ask us and you’ll find we don’t

    Why do so many people, when making conversation, jump from the discovery that you’re Jewish to the assumption that you have a particular view of Israel?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/dont-assume-that-all-jewish-people-have-the-same-view-about-israel-ask-us-and-youll-find-we-dont-8376397.html

    —-

    Africa’s largest solar power plant to be built in Ghana

    155MW plant being developed by a British company is expected to create hundreds of jobs, increase electricity capacity and cut emissions

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/04/africa-largest-solar-power-plant-ghana

    —-

    DR Congo army returns to Goma

    M23 rebels warn to retake the city, if the government fails to enter negotiations.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2012/12/201212318492118383.html

    —-

    Iran: US ScanEagle drone ‘captured over Gulf’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20591336

    —-

    China unearths ruined palace near terracotta army

    Excavations near Xi’an reveal vast ancient palace complex a quarter of the size of Beijing’s Forbidden City

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/china-ruined-palace-terracotta-army

    —-

    Philippines typhoon forces 41,000 people to evacuate their homes

    Residents of vulnerable areas take shelter from typhoon Bopha, the 16th major storm system to hit the country this year

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/04/philippines-typhoon-people-evacuate-homes

    —-

    Weeks after Obama’s Burma visit, the monk who never had a prayer is back in jail

    Released for the visit to Burma by President Obama, activist Ashin Gambria has been thrown back in jail after he dared to protest again

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/weeks-after-obamas-burma-visit-the-monk-who-never-had-a-prayer-is-back-in-jail-8376350.html
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TRIVIA QUIZ

    Yesterday’s answer. All the bills were hand-signed by Tresury Department clerks. The following year, and ever since, engraved signatures of high Treasury Department officials have been printed on U/S. currency.

    Today’s question.

    What was the first public company in the world to issue stock? Hint: The year was 1602.

    —-

    Iran’s HIV/Aids sufferers struggle for survival

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20579164

    —-

    Libya rebel flees to UK as revolution sours for women

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20584573

    —-

    Cancer: Not only a rich-world disease

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20524606

    —-

    Is the end of the world really nigh? Authorities reassure Russians over Mayan Armageddon prophecy amid reports of ‘unusual behaviour’

    Some parts of Russia, which is often said to have a penchant for mystical thinking, appear to have been spooked by the Mayan predictions

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/is-the-end-of-the-world-really-nigh-authorities-reassure-russians-over-mayan-armageddon-prophecy-amid-reports-of-unusual-behaviour-8375660.html

    —-

    The girl who was raised as a boy so she wasn’t abused says a lot about society

    Why would any mother be driven to change the gender of their child?

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/the-girl-who-was-raised-as-a-boy-so-she-wasnt-abused-says-a-lot-about-society-8375842.html

    —-

    Le Faune (The Fairies and the Faun) -- 1908 Pathé video

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video/2012/dec/03/le-faune-1908-pathe-video

    —-

    Day in pictures: 3 December 2012

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-20578290

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/03/24-hours-in-pictures-gallery

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  14. Kalima says:

    Good morning everyone, and welcome to another Mumbly Monday.

    The deadly tunnel collapse eventually claimed 9 lives, and with no recorded seismic activity in the region, those in charge are going to have a lot of explaining to do considering the recent check they say they did of this particular tunnel. Those poor people didn’t stand a chance.

    Have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my cold evening corner of Tokyo. Mata ashita ne.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Gov’t orders inspection of aging expressway tunnels after 9 die in cave-in
    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/safety-questions-arise-as-tunnel-collapse-death-toll-reaches-9

    —-

    Voters in tsunami-hit area feel let down as election nears

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/voters-in-tsunami-hit-area-feel-let-down-as-election-nears

    —-

    Business as usual.
    ————

    Despite 2011 disaster, pro-nuclear LDP favored to win power

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/despite-2011-disaster-pro-nuclear-ldp-favored-to-win-power

    —-

    How do ordinary people see the tax hike?

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121202003658.htm

    —-

    Island dispute dulls China land grab fears in Japan

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/island-dispute-dulls-china-land-grab-fears-in-japan

    —-

    Govt scuttles N. Korea talks over rocket launch

    http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T121202003771.htm

    —-

    You can put me in the number one group but only for hospital visits. Who wears make-up to go to the hospital?
    ————

    More Japanese youth wearing surgical masks to hide their face

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/more-japanese-youth-wearing-surgical-masks-to-hide-their-face

    —-

    PICTURE OF THE DAY

    Artistic expression

    http://www.japantoday.com/category/picture-of-the-day/view/artistic-expression
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    INTERNATIONAL NEWS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I have many other choice words to call it.
    ————

    Cutting benefits to poorest ‘a tragedy’

    Campaigners warn Chancellor not to freeze welfare payments to balance budget

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/cutting-benefits-to-poorest-a-tragedy-8374315.html

    —-

    Osborne not content just to steal from the very poor, now uses equal opportunity to steal from anyone he darned well pleases. Is this what they mean about saving for your own elderly care and retirement?
    ————

    Government considering £1.8bn raid on tax relief

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-considering-18bn-raid-on-tax-relief-8374265.html

    —-

    Hospitals ‘full to bursting’ as bed shortage hits danger level

    Death rates at more than a dozen trusts are worryingly high, says Dr Foster report based on NHS’s own performance data

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/02/hospitals-full-bursting-nhs-report

    —-

    NHS budget freeze could lead to two-tier health service, says thinktank

    Nuffield Trust says health service could face £44bn funding gap by 2021/22, giving it no choice but to limit care

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/dec/03/nhs-budget-two-tier-thinktank

    —-

    Standards fall as care operators get ‘too big to fail’

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/standards-fall-as-care-operators--get-too-big-to-fail-8374324.html

    —-

    Global giants must be ‘named and shamed’ over tax avoidance

    MPs calls for end to ‘sweetheart deals’ and insist multinationals should be prosecuted for not paying enough tax

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/global-giants-must-be-named-and-shamed-over-tax-avoidance-8374374.html

    —-

    What happened to that nice David Cameron?

    When I met Cameron five years ago, I was taken with his fresh voice, keen intelligence, openness and tolerance.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/what-happened-to-that-nice-david-cameron-8374138.html

    —-

    Hugh Grant brands PM ‘disgraceful’ as Hacked Off petition tops 100,000

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hugh-grant-brands-pm-disgraceful-as-hacked-off-petition-tops-100000-8374253.html

    —-

    Eurozone crisis live: Greece launches debt buyback scheme

    LIVEGreece is presenting the details of its bond buyback scheme, as new manufacturing survey from across the world is released

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/03/eurozone-crisis-greece-bond-buyback-launched

    —-

    Angela Merkel hints at future writedown of Greek debt

    German chancellor’s comments likely to bolster critics who accuse her of concealing the full cost of Greece’s latest aid deal

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/02/angela-merkel-future-greek-writedown

    —-

    Italy vote: Pier Luigi Bersani wins centre-left poll

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20574581

    —-

    UBS could pay $450m to settle Libor claims

    UBS spokeswoman told Reuters that the bank was in the midst of discussions with authorities in the United States and Britain

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/dec/03/ubs-libor-450m-dollars

    —-

    Slovenian ex-PM Borut Pahor wins presidency

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20571215

    —-

    Are we there? Nyet! Russians stuck in traffic jam for two days

    Thousands of cars and trucks stranded in 35-mile tailback after heavy snow hits Moscow-St Petersburg motorway

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/russians-stuck-traffic-jam-two-days

    —-

    NEWS ANALYSIS: Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In

    President Obama has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.

    http://nyti.ms/WCYlvF

    —-

    OP-ED COLUMNIST: The Big Budget Mumble by Paul Krugman

    Obama versus the party of no ideas.

    http://nyti.ms/11ntUPt

    —-

    “flabbergasted”? What he should be feeling is shame.
    ————

    Boehner ‘flabbergasted’ by Treasury secretary’s plan to avoid fiscal cliff

    Tim Geithner joins House speaker in taking US economic debate to Sunday morning talk shows as sides struggle for agreement

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/boehner-flabbergasted-geithner-fiscal-cliff

    —-

    Tom Mockridge resigns as chief executive of News International

    New world publishing arm to be headed by Robert Thomson, current managing editor of Wall Street Journal

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/dec/03/tom-mockridge-resigns-news-international

    —-

    Israel: ‘Britain considers withdrawing envoy over settlements’ -- live updates

    LIVE• Move would be protest at decision to expand settlements
    • Decision could be taken today
    • France plays down reports it is considering similar action

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/03/britain-considers-withdrawing-envoy-over-settlements-live

    —-

    Deadly Syria blasts hit upscale Homs area
    Two car bomb explosions in the central city leave at least 12 people killed and dozens more injured.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/12/20121221341681745.html

    —-

    Syria Moves Its Chemical Weapons, and U.S. and Allies Cautiously Take Note

    The United States and several allies warned President Bashar al-Assad that he would be “held accountable” if his forces used the weapons against the rebels.

    http://nyti.ms/SqFxAa

    —-

    Turkey requested Nato missile defences over Syria chemical weapons fears

    Turkish officials say they have evidence Assad regime could resort to ballistic missiles if air campaign against rebels fails

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/turkey-syria-chemical-weapons-fears

    —-

    Russia’s Putin to discuss Syria with Turkey PM Erdogan

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20576197

    —-

    Egypt’s top judges go on strike as Brotherhood blockades court

    ‘Climate of hate’ after Morsi supporters back charter that critics say will pave way for Islamic state

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/egypts-top-judges-go-on-strike-as-brotherhood-blockades-court-8374247.html

    —-

    Who is running the country, mean-spirited 10 year olds?
    ————

    Israel seizes $120m in Palestinian tax revenue over UN vote

    Palestinian official accuses Israel of desperation after second punitive response to UN vote recognising state of Palestine

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/israel-palestinian-tax-revenue-un-vote

    As if they care.
    ————

    UN’s Ban Ki-moon warns Israel of ‘fatal blow’ to peace

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20576201

    —-

    UN internet regulation treaty talks begin in Dubai

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20575844

    —-

    Borno attacks: Nigeria ‘militants’ kill Christians

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20576217

    —-

    Halabja chemical weapons: A chance to find the men who armed Saddam

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20553826

    —-

    Blind activist Chen Guangcheng appeals to China’s Xi Jinping

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20576828

    —-

    Singapore deports Chinese bus drivers after protest

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20576424
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    TRIVIA QUIZ

    Today’s question.

    What was unique about the signatures on the $60 million in U.S. paper currency authorised by Congress in 1861?

    —-

    Lives still in limbo for Burma’s forgotten cyclone victims

    Four years after the disaster, Andrew Buncombe visits the inaccessible Irrawaddy Delta, where people have yet to fully recover from Nargis’ impact

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/lives-still-in-limbo-for-burmas-forgotten-cyclone-victims-8374277.html

    —-

    Tragic deaths that demand a better response than I witnessed

    Even as mental distress and the risk of suicide soar, support is being slashed.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/tragic-deaths-that-demand-a-better-response-than-i-witnessed-8374130.html

    —-

    Bear hunting in California: the end of an era

    The controversial practice of hunting bears with dogs is about to be banned in the US state. Some veterans on one of their final expeditions share the thrill of the chase

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/dec/02/bear-hunting-california-end-era

    —-

    My brain tumour blog

    When she was told she had a brain tumour, Jennie Cohen began to record her thoughts online. Here’s how she coped with the diagnosis and surgery

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/dec/02/brain-tumour-blog

    —-

    CHARLIE BROOKER

    Wake up, little one. Wake up and witness the terrifying face of Balok

    I try not to expose my baby son to too much TV, but he cannot escape the image on my iPhone

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/02/wake-up-witness-terrifying-balok

    —-

    :lol: Well you have to give them points for trying.
    ————

    Unicorn lair ‘discovered’ in North Korea

    Korean news agency say they have ‘recently reconfirmed’ the lair of one of the unicorns ridden by the ancient King Tongmyong

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/30/unicorn-lair-discovered-north-korea

    —-

    Search for life begins in lake entombed under Antarctic ice

    If there is life in Lake Ellsworth, it may have been isolated from the rest of the world for a million years

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/dec/02/search-life-lake-antarctic-ice

    —-

    The royal court -- picture of the day

    A photographic highlight selected by the picture desk. Adolphe Braun’s carefully composed group portrait of the entourage of Emperor Napoleon shows how the new medium of photography enabled royalty to project an informal image of itself

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/picture/2012/dec/02/france-photography

    —-

    Napoleon’s Moscow Kremlin letter auctioned

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20572136

    —-

    24 hours in pictures

    A selection of the best images from around the world

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/gallery/2012/dec/02/24-hours-in-pictures

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    • kesmarn says:

      Good evening/morning, Kalima! In spite of my employer’s best effort to finish me off over the weekend….I’m aliiiiiiive! Bwahahahaha…take that, bureaucrats.

      Well, I didn’t think there would ever be an episode of MB in which there would be an article that was in serious competition with Charlie Brooker for comedy value. But today it happened. The story of the “rediscovery of the unicorn lair” in North Korea. :lol: :lol:
      If I thought that Kim Jong Un had anything that remotely resembled a sense of humor, I would suspect that this came from the North Korean version of The Onion. But we all know better. The crowning glory of the article was the observation of the ‘fact’ that there was an ancient stone marker near the entrance to the lair that had an inscription that said: “Unicorn Lair.” Nice touch.

      In the very dark humor department is the suggestion by the crazy people running Britain’s NHS that one way to save money is to limit coverage for cataract surgery to ONE EYE only. Dear God.

      Apparently, the wealthy get to have both eyes done because they can afford to pay for the second one. Britain is going to look like a nation of elderly pirates, with thousands of people wandering around with eye patches on.

      Now to Charlie Brooker — who had serious competition today. His topic was the electronic images that are first seen by babies. Apparently his own son has some fairly unique reactions to visual facial features on a screen.

      Hours after our son was born, he was lying in a transparent NHS bassinet beside my wife’s hospital bed, with Andrew Lansley’s face looming at him from an LCD screen placed there to torment us. That was one of the very first things he saw. No wonder he laughs in the face of Anders Breivik.

      Today’s trivia: This one is a complete blank for me…clueless. Wild guess: They were forgeries??

      In an final note: little did you know, Kalima, when you posted today’s MB, that I had heard only hours before that my brother-in-law had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. The article on the diary of the brain tumor patient was very helpful, to say the least. Are you clairvoyant, by any chance?
      :wink:

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      • Kalima says:

        Hello kes, sorry I wasn’t around, it was a busy day out.

        I have to agree that both stories were funny, although I’ve read that less and less N.Koreans are actually falling for this nonsense propaganda from the regime. Unicorn’s Lair indeed, and a stone engraved so it must be so. :lol:

        Yes isn’t it great about the crazy suggestion about only doing on eye. I’m waiting now to hear/see a declaration posted on every tree in the land, that you can have one baby in a hospital, but if you dare to have any more, you will have to deliver it yourself in your own home. I could make a long list, but I’m sure so could you. Where do they find these clueless nutters, and how much are the British taxpayers paying them for this garbage?

        About Charlie’s phone picture, there are scarier faces than that. How about Rupert Murdoch, the Education Secretary Gove or Hunt, the Health Secretary? They are all very scary to look at and also have the misfortune of holding important government positions they know absolutely nothing about.

        Kes, I’m so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law, and wish for all the best for him with a full recovery. I’m glad you found the article helpful, and to your question; sometimes. :D

        Off to put my feet up hoping you will be able to do the same soon. Take care and see you soon.

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