Monday, 11 February 2008

Saturday, 9th February, 2008


All non-Europeans would need to submit biometric data before crossing Europe's frontiers under sweeping European Union proposals to combat illegal migration, terrorism and organized crime that are to be outlined this week.
The plans - arguably the biggest shake-up of border management in Europe since the creation of an internal travel zone - would apply to citizens of the United States and all other countries that now enjoy visa-free status.
Eurex accepted Société Générale's formal reply to its queries on Dec. 10 and dropped the matter. Three days later, Bakir sought to reassure Kerviel.
"You absolutely must take a vacation," he wrote. "In jail," Kerviel replied.
"You're going on about nothing," Bakir answered. "What have you done wrong? You haven't raped anyone. You haven't done anything illegal in the sense of the law."
"I made a pile of dough. That's all," Kerviel said.
Later, Kerviel becomes more boastful of his position.
"This will show the power of Kerviel," Kerviel said.
"Or his irresponsibility," Bakir replied, before adding, "A simple and discreet boy. Unassuming. Who makes a pile of dough. And not recognized for his true value."

There's also the issue of cellphones. By this Election Day, more than 20 percent of American voters may not have land-line phones, yet the standard telephone-dialing systems used by most pollsters include very few cellphones.
Most reliable studies indicate there is little difference between cellphone and land-line users on political and ideological questions. Yet a big boost in turnout of young voters, who disproportionately use cellphones, is making the best pollsters a little nervous.
Susan Pinkus, who conducts the Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll, says she's exploring a "multi-modal" survey that combines land lines and cellphones.
Asim had been sent to Spain to be a suicide bomber, but he also was an informer for French intelligence working in the no man's land of Waziristan in Pakistan. After he got word to his handlers of an impending attack, the military police in Spain swooped into the neighborhood of Raval in the early hours of Jan. 19 and arrested 14 men...
In the weeks since the arrests, Spanish officials have backed off their claim that an attack was imminent. They said they had seized evidence like broken timing devices and small quantities of explosives. But they acknowledged that, without more evidence of bomb making, they were relying on the testimony of the informer to make their case, which had blown the cover of a rare intelligence source with access to Pakistan's tribal areas.
Even so, in interviews, U.S., Spanish and other European officials - most speaking on condition of anonymity because the inquiry was not over - called the plot serious and indicative of the terror threat from Pakistan...
"The amount of explosive material was not sufficient to do what the witness said they were going to do."
Without sufficient evidence, Spanish police officials apparently decided they had to turn France's informer into a protected witness for the prosecution.
For all the international intrigue surrounding the suspects, the case has caused diplomatic friction among investigators. Spain's handling of the French informer has enraged officials at France's intelligence agencies and eroded trust between the countries, French and other European officials said. His continuing value as a source was destroyed when he was made a witness and the contents of his statements were leaked to the news media.

BANGKOK: News Analysis
On Saturday the ruling generals announced thaty they hold a referundum on a new constitution in May, to be followed by elections in 2010...
With the plan still effectively a secret, and with public anger still high since the crackdown on monks and democracy demonstrators in September, analysts were surprised that the generals had chose to hold the referendum so soon.
Inflation is running at 40 to 50 percent, tourisim has dropped since the crackdown and remote areas continue to be short of food.
"More and more people, including the middle class, are finding it difficult to survive," said Sean Turnell, an expert at Macquarie University in Sydney on the Myanmar economy. "There's real destitution."

Parliament took a major step on Saturday toward lifting a ban against women’s head scarves at universities, setting the stage for a final showdown with Turkey’s secular elite over where Islam fits in the building of an open society.
Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a measure supported by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to change the Constitution in a way they say will guarantee all citizens the right to go to college regardless of how they dress...
“This decision will bring further pressure on women,” said Nesrin Baytok, a member of Parliament from the opposition secular party, during the debate in Parliament. “It will ultimately bring us Hezbollah terror, Al Qaeda terror and fundamentalism.”...
It’s all about power,” said Jenny B. White, an anthropologist at Boston University who has been studying Turkey since the 1970s. “It’s about who gets to decide what Turkey’s image and emblematic lifestyle will be. Islam is the lightning rod for all the fears and concerns.”
Many secular Turks are concerned that the Justice and Development Party led by Mr. Erdogan has such significant power, controlling Parliament, the presidency and the prime ministry, that it will impose its own conservative values on Turkey.
“It’s been presented as a liberty to cover the head, but in practice, it is going to evolve into a ban on uncovered hair,” said Hikmet Sami Turk, a former justice minister, speaking on NTV television.

In a word, I'm devastated," Ruth Charles-Ridler, the pub's landlord, said as she arrived at the scene to assess the damange....
TimeOut Magazine had hailed Haley Arms as "London's hippest pub."

Seeing a good possibility that the Democratic presidential nomination will not be settled in the primaries and caucuses, Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are lavishing attention on a group that might hold the balance of power: elected officials and party leaders who could decide the outcome at the convention in August...
The superdelegates include all Democratic governors and members of Congress, as well as officials and other prominent members of the party. In interviews, some said they were grappling with how to use their power if it comes into play, especially if their judgment does not match the will of a majority of voters...
“It is going to be an enormous train wreck unless by June 3 a candidate has a majority,” said Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, who supports Mrs. Clinton. “I don’t think we want to go back to those wheeling-dealing, smoke-filled back-room days.”

The attacks, many anonymous e-mails, have woven together various threads - his middle name "Hussein;" schooling in Muslim Indonesia; his Chicago pastor's embrace of the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan; and his calls for dialogue with Iran - to portray Obama as the Muslim Manchurian candidate.
Leading American Jewish organizations have denounced these "hateful e-mails." Obama has condemned Farrakhan's anti-Semitism and made clear he disagrees with his pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., whose magazine honored Farrakhan last year. But he's not broken with Wright, the man who brought him to his Christian convictions.
Some doubts clearly persist among U.S. Jews, who account for just 2 percent of the population but a higher percentage of voters, and one with a large degree of influence. On a recent four-day trip to Florida, David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, encountered the following questions:
Did Obama really attend a madrassa? What are his relations with Wright? Why does he have former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski (viewed as cool toward Israel) on his foreign policy team?
"You could sum the concerns up as 'does Obama feel Israel in his kishkas?, " Harris told me, using the Yiddish word for guts. "And does he have the steel and spine for the tough moments or believe diplomacy is the be-all and end-all of international relations?"
Such worries have surfaced in Israel, where Danny Ayalon, a former ambassador to the United States, has described Obama's candidacy as cause for "concern."

"After 50 minutes we felt too sure of ourselves," Élissalde said.
The Irish pack set up base 25 meters from the French goal and painstakingly bashed forward, hewing a few feet at a time from the defense. The Irish were less than 10 meters away, when they decided to trust their backs - a few seconds too late. O'Gara chipped to the corner. Heymans beat Geordan Murphy to the bouncing ball. By the time the Frenchman stepped into touch, the clock had ticked past 80 minutes.
"We had a very good first half," Clerc said. "We were timid in the second half. We're half satisfied."

In one common experiment, the "Goldberg paradigm," people are asked to evaluate a particular article or speech, supposedly by a man.Others are asked to evaluate the identical presentation, but from a woman. Typically, in countries all over the world, the very same words are rated higher coming from a man.In particular, one lesson from this research is that promoting their own successes is a helpful strategy for ambitious men. But experiments have demonstrated that when women highlight their accomplishments, that's a turn-off. And women seem even more offended by self-promoting females than men are.This creates a huge challenge for ambitious women in politics or business: If they're self-effacing, people find them unimpressive, but if they talk up their accomplishments, they come across as pushy braggarts.

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