Monday, March 31

A financial …plan!

The US Treasury has revealed its blueprint for the biggest overhaul of regulation of the financial sector since the 1930s.

Critics have said that the credit crunch and resultant market turmoil made a strong case for change. But Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson rejected claims that existing regulations have led to the turmoil. And he said the plan should not be implemented until current difficulties roiling financial markets are resolved.

The plan would beef up the powers of the Federal Reserve, which earlier this month engineered the purchase of troubled investment bank Bear Stearns by JP Morgan. It would give it greater oversight of all kinds of financial institutions from hedge funds to insurance companies.

"Government has a responsibility to make sure our financial system is regulated effectively. And in this area, we can do a better job," Mr. Paulson said. The government says the proposals are an effort help US firms become more competitive in the global economy.

I don’t know why, but when they start things like that I can see a serious financial crisis coming …fast!

Waiting in Harare

Zimbabwe is standing on a "precipice" as official results from Saturday's general election start to trickle in, the opposition has said.

Senior Movement for Democratic Change official Tendai Biti says party leader Morgan Tsvangirai has won 60% of the vote, against 30% for Robert Mugabe. Official results show both sides have 26 parliamentary seats so far. Mr. Biti says the results are being rigged.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa has lost his seat, east of Harare. Public Affairs Minister Chen Chimutengwende has also lost his seat in Mazowe, seen as a stronghold for President Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

Local results have been posted outside most polling stations since Sunday morning. One seat has gone to a breakaway faction of the MDC, according to official results. MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the BBC his party had won 99 of the 210 parliamentary seats, against 96 for Zanu-PF and 15 for other opposition parties, based on his party's final figures.

I hope there is a cell in Harare with Mugabe’s name, ready!

Turkey’s courts

Turkey's constitutional court is expected to rule whether or not to hear a case aimed at closing down the country's governing AK party.

The chief prosecutor has filed a petition calling for the party to be closed for "anti-secular activities". He also wants dozens of its members, including the prime minister and president, to be banned from politics. The case revives a battle between Turkey's secularist establishment and the AK party of devout Muslims.

Everyday closer to democracy in Turkey! Most likely Musharraf’s Pakistan is the example for them after all in Turkey the army is the real ruler!!!

The Ovi magazine today

Noam Chomsky on the Politics of the Essence of the Human Mind by Emanuel L. Paparella

Noam Chomsky is considered one of the pivotal linguists of our time. He follows a long heritage on the nature of language which begins with the ancient Greeks and continues with Giambattista Vico in the 18th century.

Whither Democracy in America? Part 3: Myths and Lessons of Athenian Democracy by Dr. Habib Siddiqui
The word democracy derives from the ancient Greek dēmokratia (literally, rule by the people) formed from the roots dēmos "people," "the mob, the many" and kratos "rule" or "power."

"Charles Darwin and a pool party" by Alexander Mikhaylov
"Perhaps no person can be a poet, or can even enjoy poetry, without a certain unsoundness of mind." - Thomas Babington Macaulay

"I wish" by Bohdan Yuri
"Poets are mysterious, but a poet when all is said is not much more mysterious than a banker." - Allen Tate

Sunday, March 30

Free Betancourt NOW!

A French plane and medical team have been put on standby in case the high-profile hostage Ingrid Betancourt, held by Colombian rebels, is released.

The French president's office said it was a "precautionary" move and there was no information to suggest Ms Betancourt was about to be freed. The former Colombian presidential candidate and French-Colombian citizen is said to be gravely ill. She has spent more than six years as a hostage of the Farc rebels.

France said it had a plane ready in French Guiana so that Ms Betancourt could receive speedy medical care in case she was released, according to a statement from President Nicolas Sarkozy's press service. The plane would be "ready to intervene at any moment", it said. News that a plane was on standby comes after Colombia offered prisoner amnesties in exchange for hostages and said France could take freed Farc prisoners as part of a deal.

Let’s hope that this will be the end of her torture.

Monitors warn on Zimbabwe 'delay'

Election observers in Zimbabwe have expressed concerns over "delays" in announcing official presidential poll results, amid fears of rigging.

The head of one monitors' group said he had "no doubt" officials now know most results. None have yet been released. Officials blamed the fact that four separate polls were held on one day.

The government and election chiefs have issued warnings to the opposition MDC after it said it had won on the basis of partial, unofficial results. Saturday's election pitted the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai and the independent Simba Makoni against President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's leader since 1980.

Mugabe need time to …cook the result!

Queen cancels diamond party because of the economic gloom

The Queen has cancelled a party to mark her diamond wedding anniversary because she felt it would be "inappropriate" to hold a lavish celebration with the country on the brink of recession.

Guests at the party, which was due to be held at The Ritz this weekend, would have been served champagne from crystal-studded bottles and dined off tablecloths covered with sparkling jewels.

But with her subjects facing rising bills and falling house prices, and the banking system paralysed by the so-called "credit crunch", the Queen has decided that the celebration would be regarded as insensitive.

Shit! Should I start worrying now?

Obama Says Clinton Should Keep Running

Barack Obama refused Saturday to go along with other Democrats who are calling for Hillary Rodham Clinton to step away from the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. "My attitude is Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants," Obama said.

Obama told reporters he did not agree with one of his supporters, Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, when he said earlier this week that Clinton cannot win the nomination and should therefore drop out. "I hadn't talked to Pat about it," Obama said.

At stops throughout the day, Clinton raised the question of whether she should leave the race — eliciting loud jeers from supporters. "There are some people who say we should just stop these elections.’Enough people have already voted, what's a few million more?'" Clinton said in Louisville, Ky. "I don't know about you but I'm glad Kentucky is going to be voting and you'll be choosing because it's such an important election." The state holds its primary May 20.

Well he could not say anything else, could he? At least to the media, but he can do something more important, pick the phone and call her and Finlay give an end to this dog fight!

Clinton rejects call to quit race

US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has rejected calls by supporters of her rival, Barack Obama, to abandon her campaign for the Democratic nomination.

Senator Patrick Leahy, an influential Democrat and Obama supporter, had said that by remaining in the race she was helping the Republican Party. Mrs. Clinton told supporters she had no intention of abandoning the race. The New York senator is trailing Mr. Obama in the number of delegates needed to obtain the nomination.

But the latest opinion polls suggest that she is leading Mr. Obama by more than 10 points in the next major primary in Pennsylvania on 22 April. "There are some folks saying: 'Well, we ought to stop these elections'," she told a crowd at a high school in Indianapolis, Indiana.

"I didn't think we believed that in America. I thought we of all people knew how important it was to give everyone a chance to have their voices heard." Former President Bill Clinton said those calling for his wife to pull out of the race should "just relax".

Pity, she should realize that is over and she should step down and give her full support to Obama. Somehow she has to understand that this hearts more the democratic party than anything McCain could do!

Vote count in Zimbabwe

Vote counting is under way in Zimbabwe, with the main opposition MDC claiming it is winning the battle to oust President Robert Mugabe.

The MDC said it was ahead in most constituencies but continues to fear the vote will be rigged. Results may not be finalized for some days and the government warned the MDC not to declare an early victory. Mr. Mugabe is battling the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai and independent Simba Makoni for president.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said early results showed it had won the poll.

"We have won this election," said its secretary general Tendai Biti early on Sunday. "This trend is irreversible." He said early results posted at polling stations showed Mr. Tsvangirai would win 66% in Harare.

Ha! Wait till …Tuesday …Wednesday …and you will see Mugabe’s votes appearing out of …nowhere or better the police stations, the army barracks, the ministries

Don’t forget, summer time

Don’t forget, summer time at 3 AM Sunday morning when the clock is shifted one hour forward. The shift to summer time will bring some interruptions in banking services and affect rail travel.

The annual switch to summer, or daylight saving time is established practice within the European Union and takes place on the same day and at the same stroke of the clock in all member countries.

The Ovi magazine today

A King's 60th Birthday by Tony Butcher

As Mervyn King blows out the candles on his 60th birthday cake today he'll have a few moments to reflect on his life and how he has a powerful hand in deciding the direction of the British and Global Economy.

iBite by Thanos Kalamidas
iBite is a snappy selection of news from around the world accompanied by a cynical, albeit humourous, comment from Mr T. Kalamidas.

"Ragged Magic" by Jan Sand
"Each man carries within him the soul of a poet who died young." - Sainte-Beuve

What's the time? by Asa Butcher
As I went round the house this morning moving each of our clocks, watches and digital displays forwards one hour - don't you forget to do it - I was struck, if you'll pardon the clock pun, by how many different times we have been operating upon.

Saturday, March 29

Politkovskaya killer 'identified'

In Ovi magazine we talked loud about her murder and the responsible which somehow pointed at her worst villain, Vladimir! But now Russian investigators have identified the killer of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an aide to the prosecutor-general has said.

The suspect was not named, but the official, Vyacheslav Smirnov, said "all measures are being taken to find and detain him". The shooting of Ms Politkovskaya near her Moscow flat in October 2006 provoked an international outcry.

Former and serving security officers are among nine people charged. Ms Politskovskaya was a leading critic of the Kremlin, especially over its conduct of the war in Chechnya. She exposed atrocities against Chechen civilians by Russian-backed security forces.

Lt Col Pavel Ryaguzov from the Federal Security Service (FSB) is among those charged in the murder investigation, which has now been extended until 7 September. Investigators believe that he could have passed on details of Ms Politkovskaya's address to another suspect, who in turn gave them to the killer. Her former colleagues at Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta accused Kremlin hardliners of interfering in the murder investigation after a lead prosecutor in the case was replaced last September.

Of course our questions remains, even if they find the hand that shot Politkovskaya are they going to find the person who armed the hand?

Iraqi militia defy to disarm

The radical Shia Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr has defied a call by the Iraqi government for his powerful Mehdi Army militia to lay down its weapons.

Arms would only be handed over to an Iraqi government willing to end the US occupation, his senior official in Basra said. Security forces have been trying to wrest control of the southern city and other Shia areas from the Mehdi Army.

Fighting has claimed at least 200 lives across Iraq since Tuesday. US jets have carried out a number of air strikes in Basra, which they say are targeting militant positions.

And now I’m wondering if anybody is surprise from this response!

Blade runner composer’s birthday

Vangelis Papathanasiou, born March 29, 1943 and he is mostly known through just his first name, has made a remarkable career in music composition.

The musical talents of Vangelis first became obvious at a very early age. His parents tried to encourage him to study with a professional teacher, but he did not respond well to formal education, as he was generally unwilling to follow instructions. At the end of his school years, he and some friends formed a band called "Formynx", which became popular. In 1968 Vangelis moved to Paris.

Together with Demis Rousos and Lucas Sideras, he formed "Aphrodite's Child". This group scored an immediate world wide hit with their first release, "Rain and Tears". Later on, the band split and he continued solo in Paris writing music for movies.

His career launched and Vangelis received an array of awards, among them an Oscar in 1982 for the soundtrack of the film "Chariots of Fire". The music of Vangelis is too diverse to be described as pop, rock, classical, jazz, or new age.

Explaining his music, Vangelis says, "All I try to do is let people know what I think through my music. I just bring the music to you and it is up to you to do what you want with it".

Democrats to wrap up fight

US Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean has said he would like the party's presidential nominating contest decided by 1 July to avoid bitter in-fighting.

Mr. Dean told US network ABC he did not want rivalry between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to "degenerate into a big fight at the convention" in August. Mr. Obama has begun a six-day tour of Pennsylvania, which votes on 22 April.

Meanwhile the Republican contender John McCain has aired his first advert aimed at November's general election. The Arizona senator is effectively guaranteed to pick up his party's nomination to run for president at the Republican National Convention in September.

In the Democratic contest, Senator Obama is ahead of Senator Clinton in terms of the number of delegates won in the party's primary elections. But the battle for the presidential nomination seems set to continue all the way to the party's national convention in late August.

And he’s not the only one; I think everybody had enough of all the dirt thrown around. Is about time Hillary and Obama to wrap out and decide who of the them will be the next …Vice-President of the US.

Charges dropped

The US military has dropped all charges against one of the marines accused of involvement in the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November 2005.

L/Cpl Stephen Tatum, 26, was about to face a court martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say that US marines indiscriminately killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in the incident.

Five of the eight men initially accused have now had all charges dismissed. Jack Zimmerman, a defense lawyer for L/Cpl Tatum, said in a statement: "It became clear to the experienced prosecution team that the right thing to do was to dismiss all charges. "We believe the evidence shows that Lance Corporal Tatum reacted to an enemy attack the way he was trained to do."

The US army is going to leave a lot of bitter feelings in Iraq, far away from the liberator feeling they were hoping for!

Argentine farmers halt tax strike

Farmers in Argentina have suspended a crippling strike called in protest at rises in export taxes on farm products.

A farmers' spokesman said the 16-day protest - which included roadblocks and caused food shortages - had been halted to allow talks with the government. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez had refused to negotiate with them until the action was stopped.

She says the taxes will redistribute wealth, but farmers say they and their communities will be hit hard. "What we've decided is to allow free transit on the roads while these talks go on,"

So the strike is over but …not exactly over!

Apologies for the …ghost

A hospital has apologized to a patient after a nurse claiming to be a medium said she had seen a ghost on a ward.

Gillian Davies, who was recovering from surgery, complained about the incident and the level of care she received at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Denbighshire. An independent review ruled that the hospital "skirted over" the ghost incident, and the nursing care given to Mrs. Davies fell below standard.

Mrs. Davies, 48, of Mostyn, Flintshire, said she wanted lessons to be learned. She was convalescing following an operation to remove one of her breasts when a nurse who claimed to be a medium said she had just seen a ghost.

Let’s hope that the treatment in that hospital and the therapeutic methods are not …ghosted too!

Pakistani PM vows to fight terror

Pakistan's new Prime Minister, Yusuf Raza Gillani, has told parliament in Islamabad that his top priority will be the fight against terrorism.

Setting out plans for the first 100 days of his coalition government, he told MPs that "terrorism and extremism" were the country's "greatest problems". The National Assembly endorsed him without a vote of confidence.

Mr. Gillani is a member of the Pakistan People's Party, whose leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in December. He was sworn in as prime minister on Tuesday at the head of a coalition between the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The parties' success in the 18 February general election was seen as a blow to President Pervez Musharraf.

That’s what we were missing, another …Pakistani fighter against terror!!!

Zimbabwean vote

People in Zimbabwe are voting in an election that will decide whether President Robert Mugabe, in power since 1980, wins a sixth term in office.

His challengers are Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC opposition party and Simba Makoni, a defector from Mr. Mugabe's Zanu-PF now standing as an independent. Correspondents say queues formed early at many polling stations, with voters determined to cast their ballots.

The MDC says the poll will be rigged - a charge denied by the government. Zimbabwe's security forces are on full alert amid fears of violence.

Time for Africa’s caricature Hitler to go …home; or better to a dark cell!

The Ovi magazine today

Think free, people of Zimbabwe by Thanos Kalamidas

There are people from Zimbabwe who read the Ovi magazine, there are people in Zimbabwe who read the Ovi magazine; we know, we can see it in the statistics and the visits in the server. I have only one thing to say to them, Mugabe is terrified of you!

China's Forbidden Fruit by Valerie Sartor
Imagine my surprise when I discovered an incognito sex store stocked with outrageously sized and colored dildos, artificial vaginas that warmed up and made noises, and even blow up dollies!

Roots by Amir Khatib
This installation participated in the large-scale exhibition which EU-MAN showed in two venues, the Helsinki Kaapelitehdas and the Rundetaarn of Copenhagen. The CUPORE (Institution of Culture Research in Helsinki) bought it and now it is shown in the inst

La columna de los 1.000 by Luis Portillo, Ph. D.
La Hamada no tiene nada que ver con la imagen romantica de los desiertos que nos ofrecen los relatos de viajeros.

Friday, March 28

Ups …he did it again!

And again and again and again! This man turns to be the hero of this blog! In Europe politicians have girlfriends, mistresses, boyfriends, Nicolas has Carla and …so what? Nothing really maters. From the other side of the ocean …here is all the excitement, all the spice!

Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has been identified as a long-standing client of a second high-priced call-girl ring, The Post has learned.

The ex-governor regularly …patronized Wicked Models, the Manhattan-based operation taken down Tuesday, according to financial documents and other evidence unearthed in a yearlong prostitution investigation, law-enforcement sources said.

The revelation comes three weeks after Spitzer was outed as "Client-9" in a separate federal hooker probe involving the New Jersey-based Emperors Club VIP.

Network killed ...Hariri

I’m still trying to find out when Syria change her name and from Syria is called …network; you see UN must know something I don’t! A UN commission investigating the death of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri says the evidence suggests a network of people was responsible for the attack.

No individuals were named, but the investigators said what it called the "Hariri Network" might also be behind other deadly attacks in Lebanon. The ex-PM and 22 others died in a huge car bombing in Beirut in February 2005.

Past UN inquiries suggested that Syrian and Lebanese intelligence forces had played a role - which Syria denied. The commission said the evidence indicated that the network existed before his assassination and carried out surveillance of the former prime minister. It said at least part of the network continued to operate after Mr. Hariri's killing.

Lebanon has been in crisis and without a president for months, amid a drawn-out power struggle between the pro- and anti-Syrian factions.

The Ovi magazine today

A Finnish Souven-ear by Asa Butcher

When I read that a Finnish tourist had vandalised one of the ancient Moai statues on Easter Island, I began to feel the seed of anger germinate...

Portugal e um dos paises mais centralizados da UE by Luis Alves
Portugal e um dos paises mais centralizados da Uniao Europeia, tendo 30 anos de uma relativamente jovem democracia parlamentar e de um poder local democratico.

Monochromaticic: For Sale by Thanos Kalamidas
The world in which we live is not black and white, but through the eyes of Thanos K it suddenly becomes monochrome with a splash of humour.

Europevision Semi-Final in Helsinki by Caisa
The last (but not least) category to go through the semifinal screening of the Ourvision 2008 Song Contest is Europevision, where the already chosen five semifinalists compete for only two spots in the glorious Grande Finale.

10 more days to hand over their weapons

Iraq's government has extended by 10 days a deadline for Shia militiamen fighting troops in the southern city of Basra to hand over their weapons.
More than 130 people have been killed and 350 injured since a clampdown on militias began in Basra on Tuesday. US-led forces joined the battle for the first time overnight, bombing Shia positions, the UK military said.

Iraq's parliament is to hold emergency talks on the crisis, which has also brought a three-day curfew in Baghdad. A statement from Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's office read: "All those who have heavy and intermediate weapons are to deliver them to security sites and they will be rewarded financially. This will start from March 28 to April 8."

I think the big question remaining is why these 10 days? Wont they have the time in ten days to do more damage? How many Shia Rambo will take to destroy everything in ten days? This is really sad and in the end it shows that they are going to hand …some weapons but the problem will remain. If they wanted to make the difference they should have said by tomorrow evening, and that’s it!

Nuclear inventory?

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has ordered a full inventory of US nuclear arms after parts of ballistic missiles were mistakenly sent to Taiwan.
He said a report, that would also include checks of related materials, should be completed within 60 days. The US sent nuclear fuse triggers to Taiwan instead of helicopter batteries in 2006. The mistake was only discovered last week.

The arms issue is sensitive as China regards Taiwan as a renegade province. Beijing vehemently opposes US arms sales to Taiwan and has threatened to attack the island if it declares independence.

Right, things like this make me worry, inventory? You mean you re not exactly sure what you have in your storage? Man, we are talking about nuclear, you know …boom …the end!

Mugabe’s election

A final day of campaigning has begun in Zimbabwe's general election, amid opposition fears of widespread vote-rigging in Saturday's poll.

The two main rivals to President Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Simba Makoni, have said there are severe discrepancies in voter lists. Mr. Mugabe insists the vote is fair and everyone should abide by the results.

There have been few reliable opinion polls. A candidate must win 50% of the presidential vote to avoid a run-off.

Emergency session to end fighting between Shia and Iraqi security forces.

Iraq's parliament is due to hold an emergency session to try to end fighting between Shia militias and Iraqi security forces.

It comes a day after a three-day curfew was imposed in Baghdad following attacks on the city's Green Zone, where the government and embassies are based. Iraq's army is continuing its offensive in Basra.

More than 130 people have died in the southern city since a clampdown on Shia militias began there on Tuesday. On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki vowed that he would continue the fight against the militias for as long as was necessary. "We have made up our minds to enter this battle and we will continue until the end. No retreat," Mr. Maliki said in a speech broadcast on Iraqi state television.

The prime minister has personally overseen the operation in Basra, which involves some 30,000 troops and police fighting the Shia Mehdi Army, led by radical cleric Moqtada Sadr. But Mehdi Army fighters remain in control of some densely-populated areas.

And now I might sound stupid, but why haven’t day done it for so many months?

jailed Farc for Betancourt

Colombia has offered to release jailed Farc rebels if they first hand over former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and other hostages.

Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo said that if some captives were liberated, it could begin the process of exchanging rebels for hostages. The offer, backed by the president, comes amid reports that Ms Betancourt, a French-Colombian citizen, is ill.

She is said to have hepatitis B and a tropical skin disease. Colombia's human rights ombudsman Wolmar Perez said earlier that Ms Betancourt's health was "very, very delicate". Announcing the "humanitarian" offer, Mr. Restrepo told a news conference: "The legal basis for a humanitarian exchange has been established and we have reduced the requirements as much as possible.

"The government has joined the national and international cry that the life of Ingrid Betancourt be saved. We cannot run risks in this case and there is no more time to wait."

Let’s hope that something will come out of this because the woman is obviously reaching her natural limits!

Thursday, March 27

Lidl peep ...its staff

German supermarket group Lidl has denied that it spied on its staff, but has admitted that it placed secret cameras in its stores.

The company, which also confirmed it had employed private detectives, insisted that it carried out the measures simply to combat shoplifting. Lidl was responding to a press report that it spied on thousands of its staff across Germany and the Czech Republic.

The article said Lidl recorded how often staff went to the toilet. Featured in German magazine Stern, the article said that the company even monitored certain employees' love lives.

So they really peep! Lidl is known for been cheap but not soooooo cheap!!!

It was the Mohammed cartoons, now …the Koran film

The Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders has posted a controversial film critical of Islam's holy book, the Koran, on the internet. The opening scenes show a copy of the Koran, followed by footage of the attacks on the US on 11 September 2001.

The 15-minute film was posted on video-sharing website LiveLeak. Its planned release had sparked angry protests in Muslim countries. The Dutch government has distanced itself from the views of Mr. Wilders.

The film is called "Fitna", a Koranic term sometimes translated as "strife". Dutch broadcasters have declined to show it.

Graphic images from the bomb attacks on London in July 2005 and Madrid in March 2004 are also shown.

Scenes from a beheading and pictures of the Dutch director Theo van Gogh, who was murdered by a radical Islamist in 2004, are also included. The film ends with someone turning pages of a Koran, followed by a tearing sound.

It was natural that something like that was coming after all action brings reaction and the extreme Muslims were till now the only ones to act so it’s the turn of extreme European to react especially after what happened with the Mohamed cartoons and all the demonstrations in most of the European cities.

The fascinating thing about all these is that the people who will find the chance to talk about freedom of speech and the right to show whatever they want are the ones who if ever come in power will shut the mouths of everyone!

Sorry for Tupac claim

The Los Angeles Times has apologized for claiming rap mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs was involved in a 1994 shooting of hip-hop star Tupac Shakur.

The apology follows a claim that the newspaper was conned by a prisoner who doctored the documents used. "The bottom line is that the documents we relied on should not have been used," said editor Russ Stanton. Combs has already called the report "completely untrue" and "a lie". Writer Chuck Philips said he "got duped". Two years after the attack in New York, Shakur died in a separate shooting incident in Las Vegas.

The LA Times, which published the original story on its website, initially said its claims were based on FBI records, witness accounts and other unnamed sources. Mr. Stanton launched an investigation following claims published earlier this week on The Smoking Gun website.

"We apologies to both our readers and to those referenced in the documents and in the story," he said. The Smoking Gun claimed the documents used were fabricated by a prison inmate with a history of exaggerating his place on the rap music scene.

The newspaper said its story, published on 17 March, was based on FBI records, interviews with people at the scene of the shooting, and statements to the FBI by an informant. None of the sources were named. Mr. Philips, who wrote the story, said a former FBI agent examined the documents in question on his behalf and said they appeared to be legitimate.

But he said he now wished he had done more to investigate their authenticity. And if he did would he find anybody’s involvement? This is very tricky answer and still leaves suspicions in the air!

Check-in Heathrow

All luggage check-in has been suspended at Heathrow's new £4.3bn Terminal 5, after cancelled flights and baggage delays blighted its opening day.

British Airways, which has sole use of the terminal, cancelled 34 flights due to "teething problems" and was later forced to stop luggage check-in. Technical difficulties have also led to baggage delays of up to four hours.

BA blamed the glitches on problems with "staff familiarisation", which had a knock-on effect on bags and flights. In a day of problems at the new terminal, airport operator BAA said a baggage belt had stopped working, meaning a halt to check-in for passengers with bags.

Not a good day for flying to Heathrow but then which is ever a good day and how much this new terminal has helped?

The Ovi magazine today

Whither democracy in America? Part 2: Is Democracy for sale in America? by Dr. Habib Siddiqui

The Christian fundamentalists and evangelists cast liberal seminaries as "sinful" havens. For legitimacy of imperial rule, they recruited and financed minority (e.g., Blacks, Chinese and Korean) churches who parroted their views.

Musharraf's song by Thanos Kalamidas
Pakistan has a new Prime Minister elected in Musharraf's democratic way and acceptance which means Musharraf decides the song that the new P.M. dances to.

Les deux portes du Moyen-Orient (1/3) by Newropeans-Magazine
Un regard historique peut clarifier les preceptes de liens ou de divergences qui ont pu donner lieu a l'etat actuel dans lequel se trouvent le monde arabe et son voisin iranien.

The Draft Constitution of Burma's Military Rulers by Rohingya Human Rights
Burma has been in a political deadlock since the military refused to recognize the election results of 1990 and in order to facilitate a national reconciliation on the democratic reforms, the UN Chief has appointed Ibrahim Gambari.

Atkinson will be … Fagin

Rowan Atkinson is to star as Fagin in the forthcoming West End stage production of Oliver! The cast will also include the winners of the BBC show I'd Do Anything - one actress will play Nancy and three boys will take turns to play the lead role.

Blackadder star Atkinson, 53, said the role was a long-held ambition. "In the 1980s I enjoyed doing a lot of West End theatre and since then have been distracted very much by Mr Bean and film-making," he said.

"I had been thinking for some time about returning to the stage and the idea of the role of Fagin, which has long intrigued me. "Some time ago I even played the role in a school production so it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss."

The Twins!

Media visit Tibet

Tibetan monks have disrupted a tour by the first foreign journalists to visit Lhasa since protests erupted two weeks ago, witnesses at the scene said.

About 30 monks shouted pro-Tibetan slogans and defended the Dalai Lama as journalists toured the Jokhang Temple, China has accused the Dalai Lama of masterminding the protests.

On Wednesday, US President George W Bush urged Beijing to begin dialogue with Tibet's exiled spiritual leader. That makes me worry, when George is asking the Chinese just get …worst!

Just a fan of the Olympic Games

A Chinese TV commentator while showing the video with the protester when lighting the Olympic flame said that the man is just a …fan of the Olympic Games trying to show his appreciation to the Chinese Olympic committee!

It is so ridiculous and pathetic you cannot even make a joke out of it!

Wednesday, March 26

More French troops in Afghanistan

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will send more troops to Afghanistan to support NATO’s mission.

He said he would make the offer at the NATO summit in the Romanian capital, Bucharest, next week. NATO leaders have frequently called on member countries to contribute more soldiers to the mission in Afghanistan, to help defeat Taliban insurgents.

The Nato-led International Security and Assistance Force (Isaf) currently has around 41,000 personnel in Afghanistan.

Which means that everybody will send more, at least this is something under the orders and watch of the UN!

We are stronger together

French President Nicolas Sarkozy says France and Britain have "never been so close", during an historic address to both houses of the UK Parliament. He said he wanted a new Franco-British "brotherhood", stressing that what brought Britain and France together was "stronger than what separates us".

His country would "never forget" what British people did to "free France" during the world wars, he said. Peers and MPs crowded into the Royal Chamber to hear the speech in French.

Mr. Sarkozy said France and Britain were stronger side by side, and the world admired the UK's "courage". Earlier Mr. Sarkozy and his new wife Carla Bruni met the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle at the start of a two day state visit to Britain.

Both President Sarkozy and Prime Minister Gordon Brown have said they want a new era of closer relations. Mr. Sarkozy says he wants the UK and France to work "hand in glove" on issues like energy and immigration.

That’s it, no more jokes with frogs and roast beef; and please did you see the way Philip was looking at …Mrs. Bruni’s dress?

Bed-in for peace

During the Vietnam War, in 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held 2, week-long Bed-Ins for Peace, in Amsterdam and Montreal, which were their non-violent ways of protesting wars and promoting peace.

Knowing their March 20, 1969 marriage would be a huge press event, John and Yoko decided to use the publicity to promote world peace. They spent their honeymoon in Room 702 at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel for a week between March 26 and 31, inviting the world's press into their hotel room every day between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m.

After their other stunts, such as the nude cover of the Two Virgins album, the press were expecting them to be having sex, but instead the couple were sitting in bed—in John's words "like Angels"—talking about peace with signs over their bed reading "Hair Peace" and "Bed Peace". After seven days, they flew to Vienna, Austria, where they held a Bagism press conference.

Remembering that let’s …give peace a chance!

Obama presses Clinton

Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama has published seven years of tax returns on his website and urged his rival, Hillary Clinton, to do the same.

Mr. Obama's spokesman said he hoped the release of tax returns would encourage her to let people "see her finances" before the key primary in Pennsylvania. Mrs. Clinton said she hoped to release her tax returns "within the next week". Earlier, Mrs. Clinton was forced to explain how she came to misrepresent a visit she made to Bosnia in the 1990s.

She said last week that she and her daughter, Chelsea, "ran with our heads down" to avoid sniper fire when she arrived at Tuzla airport in 1996. But television footage broadcast on Monday showed her smiling as they are greeted by a Bosnian government welcoming committee.

Mr. Obama's aides said the admission was proof that Mrs. Clinton had overstated her foreign policy experience.

The closer we get to the electoral day the worst the fight turns, actually it has already turn into a dirty war and I’m not sure if that’s working for them and not for McCain who continues clean and away from all these!

Mexico’s water supplies

Mexico is to make a major investment in water projects to try to guarantee that at least 95% of the population has access to clean drinking water by 2012. President Felipe Calderon said the government would invest $21bn (£10.6bn) to expand supply networks and to improve drainage and water treatment.

The aim was to work for the sustainable development of Mexico, he said. A key challenge is Mexico City, home to 20 million people, which suffers both water shortages and flash floods.

"There is an imbalance between the availability of water, population growth and economic development," said President Calderon as he unveiled the investment program during a visit to the state of Hidalgo. Mexico's population, currently some 106 million, had quadrupled in the last 55 years, he said, with people tending to concentrate in urban areas where provision of drinking water was more expensive.

Mexico needs too many thing to escape the misery but water is a good beginning as long it starts!

The Ovi magazine today

Gaddafi's Jesus by Thanos Kalamidas

What can you do when Libya's Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi comes out with comments, such as the one he made at the opening of a giant mosque in Uganda? The man said that the Bible was forged, since it didn't mention the Prophet Muhammad.

Peace and ecommerce by Linda Lane
In his book, 'The Lexus and the Olive Tree', Thomas L. Friedman proposed The Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention, observing that no two countries with a McDonald's franchise had ever gone to war with one another, a version of the democratic pea.

Coen, Coen, Gong! by Asa Butcher
Did I like 'No Country for Old Men'? Yes. Did I love it? No. Should it have won Best Picture? Not sure. Is it classic Coen brothers? Yes. Has it got the worst haircut since Sean Penn in 'Carlito's Way'? Definitely, yes.

"death is never cold" by Bohdan Yuri
"You can't write poetry on the computer." - Quentin Tarantino

Finn held over Easter Island ear

The authorities on Easter Island have detained a Finnish tourist on suspicion of trying to steal an earlobe of one of the world-famous moai stone statues.

Police on the Pacific island, which is an overseas territory of Chile, said a woman had seen him rip off the earlobe, which then fell and broke into pieces. Marko Kulju could face seven years in prison and a fine if convicted under laws protecting national monuments.

The statues of Polynesian ancestors are believed to be up to 1,000 years old.

The man wanted a souvenir for …Santa Claus!!!

Somalia fighting

Forty humanitarian agencies have warned of an impending catastrophe in Somalia unless urgent action is taken. The warning came as seven people were killed in the latest fighting between Islamist insurgents and Ethiopian troops supporting Somalia's government.

Reports say insurgents attacked and briefly took control of the southern town of Jowhar. One million Somalis have left their homes because of insecurity and hunger, the aid agencies say.

Over the past year, Mogadishu has been rocked by almost daily violence and the agencies say a further 20,000 people flee the capital every month. The UN Security Council will …discuss the situation on Thursday. That’s the major problem with Ki-moon, he …will discuss anything sometime!

Last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon presented the council with a report proposing the deployment of 27,000 peacekeepers to replace the stretched African Union force. Five soldiers and two civilians were killed in the latest outbreak of fighting in Jowhar, about 90km (55 miles) north of Mogadishu.

Hundreds of fighters, belonging to the Union of Islamic Courts, attacked the town and freed several prisoners. How many kids among them and how many are going to be …soldiers by the end of the week? Ten and twelve years-old soldiers?

Tuesday, March 25

Anderson's marriage is annulled?

The marriage of former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon has been officially annulled, court documents filed in Los Angeles show. Both parties listed fraud as the reason for declaring their October 2007 wedding void.

Salomon, 40, is best known for making an explicit video with ex-girlfriend and celebrity heiress Paris Hilton. Canadian-born Anderson, also 40, was previously married to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee and rapper Kid Rock.

Anderson and Salomon married in Las Vegas in October but separated eight weeks later. The pair married in between her two nightly appearances as a magician's assistant in Hans Klok's The Beauty of Magic at the Planet Hollywood resort. Salomon had a nine-month marriage with the former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Shannen Doherty in 2002.

Does that mean Baywatch – only Pamela is back? Barbwire II?