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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.

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."

801 Responses so far.

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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? 😯
    ————

    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

    • 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!

    • 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.

  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

    • 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!!” 😆

      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?

      • 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.

  3. Kalima says:

    I’m presently hiding under the dining room table. 😯 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

    • 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. 🙁

      • 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.

  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. 😀

    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

    • 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! 😳

      • 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.

  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

    • 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. 😯 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? 😆

      • 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.

  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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