Dame Kiri goes to Hollywood
There’s a bear in here
The Proposal a winner
Death by chocolate
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ISSN 1172-4153 | Volume 2 | Issue 39 |
Explosive new evidence in Bain case By Ian Wishart
A key witness has blown open the David Bain trial tonight with allegations that Dunedin police officers had been having sex with Laniet Bain before she died. Dunedin man Dean Cottle has broken more than a decade of media silence, because of his anger at being used as a pawn in the trial. Cottle was named in the final stage of the latest trial when Bain’s lawyer Michael Reed QC told the High Court that Cottle – who’d been a confidant of Laniet’s during her time as a prostitute – could not be found, and an arrest warrant needed to be issued. Cottle is furious, telling TGIF Edition that he’d gone to Australia on business, and had actually phoned Detective Inspector Ross Pinkham from Australia when he heard media reports about the arrest warrant. “He said,‘leave it with me mate and I’ll pass it on to the judge’. But the police never told anyone, they didn’t want me here [testifying]…The police didn’t want me there, because of all the things they’ve done to me since the first trial. “Since the day after that original trial finished, that’s when problems with the police started. So far the record’s about 27-nil in my favour. On the Saturday after that trial I was set up for a drink drive, had my arm broken by a nice friendly little policeman, spent four years off work because all the time Bain was going through his appeals I was up on various charges fraudulent brought by police. “The High Court threw out that drink drive charge, but on that particular day I was taken away – I’ve got all the police paperwork – I was taken away at 4.30pm and let out at 7.30pm – and yet I got charged with beating up a sheila at Caversham at 5.30pm.” “While you were in custody?,”TGIF asked “Yes! That was just one of the things they did. But
| 19 June 2009
HUNG XUE? Jury retires Page 2
IRAN ERUPTS Where to now? David Bain, left and his supporter Joe Karam emerge from the High Court after Bain was found not guilty of the murder of his family. NZPA / David Alexander..
all the charges they kept bringing against me were dropped when they finally got to court. People don’t know about this, but I’ve had to put up with this since 1995. Right to this day – I’ve been a car dealer for 20 years, and just before this trial I got about $1200 in tickets from police for things like driving on D-plates, driving without a warrant when I was going to the garage to get the warrant. All these kinds of things. I’m that pissed off with them! “I’ve had a gutsful and I think it’s about time that I got to have my say. “I got arrested in my own driveway for failing to wear a safety-belt! In my own driveway!
“I got charged with beating up that sheila while I was actually in the holding cells; same sheila, I was in a bar about a hundred and fifty miles away – I’d been duck shooting – and I was in a bar with 200 other people plucking ducks. All when Bain was going through his trials, that’s what they were doing, and then they would drop the matter.They’d charge you, then drop the matter.And when Bain’s up for his appeal, they’d turn around and say ‘well, this guy’s been in the court system for years’. But they don’t tell the court the outcome, they just say I’ve been in the courts for years.” “So,” TGIF asked, “your reputation is being
What you’re eating Page 13 Continue reading
Mum ordered to pay US$1.92M By Alex Ebert Minneapolis Star Tribune
MINNEAPOLIS – A 32-year-old woman has been found liable late this morning for illegal file-sharing and ordered to pay US$1.92 million in damages in a world precedent court case. That amounts to $80,000 for each of the songs Jammie Thomas-Rasset was accused of downloading. The verdict is much more severe than the first
time Thomas-Rasset, a mother of four, faced six recording companies that accused her of downloading and distributing more than 1,700 songs on Kazaa, an Internet file-sharing network. That ended in a mistrial. Of the 30,000 suits brought by the Recording Industry Association of America against alleged file-sharers, Thomas-Rasset’s is the only one to advance to trial, let alone two trials. The jury took less than five hours to come to
a decision. So far the case itself has taken three years. The RIAA brought suit against her in 2006. A federal jury in Duluth, Minn., found her liable up to $220,000 for copyright infringement of 24 specific songs the RIAA focused on – $9,250 per song. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis called a mistrial because he said he gave the jurors the wrong instructions. In the first trial, Davis instructed the jury that
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the “act of making copyrighted sound recordings available” violates the copyright “regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown.”Today’s instructions stressed that it is infringement to either reproduce or distribute copyrighted material, but that making something available does not constitute distribution. In addition, the jury considered evidence including screen shots of the Kazaa file sharing network, Continue reading
Bear drops by for dog food snack GRANBY, Colo., June 19 (UPI) – A Colorado couple said a bear entered their house through a dog door, ignored their barking pooch and ate all of his dog food before leaving. Brenda Freeman said she and her husband heard their dog make a strange noise at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday at their Granby-area home and they opened the door to their mudroom to find a bear standing two feet away from Freeman’s husband, the Sky-Hi Daily News of Granby reported today. Freeman said she and her husband quickly locked the bear alone in the mud room and watched its movements as it explored the room and ignored the barking of their 2-year-old dog, Aniden. They said the bear did not cause much damage to the room, but it left paw prints on windows, de-potted a few plants and ate all of Aniden’s food before exiting through the dog door. The couple said the bear was in their home for about 10 minutes. “He was very graceful, very calm,” she said. The bear didn’t seem to care about the dog barking. Mexican navy finds frozen coke in sharks PROGRESO, Mexico, June 19 (UPI) – The Mexican navy said it has seized 900 kg of cocaine that was being smuggled inside of frozen sharks. Navy inspectors in the port town of Progreso on the southeastern shore of Mexico said they slit open one of the frozen sharks after detecting an anomaly on an X-ray and black bags filled with rectangular cocaine packets spilled out, CNN reported Friday. The navy said a total 870 packets of cocaine, about 900 kilos, were seized from the shark shipment. Officials said the freight ship carrying the sharks, the Dover Strait, had been loaded in Costa Rica. Witches demand right to party in a church STOCKPORT, England, June 19 (UPI) – A British witches’ coven said the Roman Catholic church’s decision not to let them use a parish social center for a party amounts to religious persecution. Sandra Davis, 61, high priestess of Crystal Cauldron group in Stockport, England, said she originally booked Our Lady’s Social Club in Shaw Heath, England, for the family-friendly Witches Ball in October, but was told by the manager when she came in to pay that the Diocese of Shrewsbury had decided not to let them use the hall because the group is not compatible with the church’s ethos, The Daily Telegraph reported. “It makes you think that there is still a little bit of that attitude from the past of the Catholics wanting to burn witches,” Davis said. “I thought we had made progress, that we could accept other people’s religious paths.” Davis said she has found a new venue for October’s event. “It is a full family thing and it is a posh do too,” she said. “It is evening dress or fancy dress, last year most of us went in medieval costumes.” Rev. John Joyce, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese of Shrewsbury, said letting a pagan group use church-owned facilities is strictly against policy. “Parish centers under our auspices let their premises on the understanding users and their organizations are compatible with the ethos and teachings of the Catholic church,” he said. “In this instance, we aren’t satisfied such requirements are met.”
19 June 2009
Lower Hutt woman critical, swine flu Wellington, June 19 – A Lower Hutt woman tonight remains in critical condition with swine flu in Wellington Hospital’s intensive care unit. The 30-year-old morbidly obese woman,with respiratory problems as well as swine flu,was believed to be a unique case, Capital & Coast District Health Board communications manager Michael Tull told NZPA. She remained the person in the country most affected by the H1N1 virus. Two other people in the Wellington hospital had swine flu as well as other conditions, though their condition was not as serious, Mr Tull said. The hospital has also instituted a policy requiring visitors to be free of flu-like symptoms, DHB chief executive Ken Whelan said. “As a general rule, hospitals are designed for sick patients, not sick visitors. “Some visitors don’t seem to be getting the message, and in the interests of patient safety we’ll be asking those people to leave.” Nationally the cumulative total of confirmed cases has reached 216, of whom 158 were sick now. The past week saw cases surge by 120. There were 643 suspected cases but figures were expected to climb much higher than that.
Most of the infected were in the three main cities. Earlier Health Minister Tony Ryall announced a switch in policy to control community-level spread. Previously,the strategy had been one of containment. “We are moving today because of the widespread community transmission of swine flu, the fact that we’ve got large numbers of people out there in the community (infected). “Our focus is now moving to helping those people in the community that have the illness. “We’re remaining in code yellow, we are not moving to code red This is a reflection of the spread, not the severity, of the flu,”he said. Businesses were unlikely to need to close. Mr Ryall released charts showing the spread of the confirmed case rates and said health authorities here had managed to delay the spread by about eight weeks. He said it was “almost impossible”to keep track of how many people had the flu. In Canterbury, health officials had abandoned routine testing and screening passengers at the Christchurch International Airport. Canterbury Medical Officer of Health Alistair Humphrey said the region’s first screening centre opened today at 4.30pm.
People who reported swine flu-like symptoms to their GPs would be referred to the communitybased assessment centre, he said. “As well as the 58 cases that have been confirmed in Canterbury, there is now evidence of extensive spread of swine flu in Canterbury, with most people experiencing it as a mild to moderate illness and recovering without needing medical care.” The Ministry of Health also announced that people with swine flu would be longer routinely be given Tamiflu, with medical officers instead dosing only the seriously ill. Gisborne,Northland,Taranaki and Otago-Southland would continue with a containment strategy because there were no confirmed cases in those areas. Health authorities were now focusing on ensuring community-based health services were able to manage large numbers of people with flu as well as maintain services for other ill people. Those who can were encouraged to look after themselves at home they way they would with any other flu. People were urged to get the normal winter flu vaccination and more doses had been bought. – NZPA
Lion park reopens after mauling Wellington, June 19 – Whangarei’s Zion Wildlife Gardens has been allowed to reopen, following the mauling of a lion keeper on May 29. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and the Department of Labour gave approval for the Northland park to reopen today after keeper Dalu Mncube was killed by a white tiger last month. The 260kg tiger was shot dead shortly after the attack. MAF required the park to provide separate facilities in all the big cat enclosures and said it was satisfied with the welfare of the animals at the zoo. The Department of Labour issued notices banning staff from direct contact with adult lions, tigers, and leopards and was continuing its investigation into the death of Mr Mncube . Zion Wildlife Gardens could not be contacted for comment as to when it would reopen. – NZPA
Xue jury retires for night Auckland, June 19 – The jury deciding whether a man who abandoned his daughter in Melbourne is guilty of his wife’s murder has retired for the night. Jurors deciding whether Nai Yin Xue, 55, murdered his wife An An Liu in Auckland in 2007 retired just before midday after three weeks of evidence and submissions at the High Court in Auckland. They returned about 5pm to ask Justice Hugh Williams if they could retire for the night, and he agreed to their request. Under new legislation jurors are no longer required to stay at a hotel overnight and they will tonight head to their homes. They will return at 9am tomorrow. The crown says Xue strangled Ms Liu with a neck tie, probably on September 11, 2007, before dumping her near-naked body in the boot of his Chinese Times car. They say he fled to Melbourne two days later and then abandoned his three-year-old daughter Qian Xun in a Melbourne train station on September 15 before flying to the United States. Xue’s lawyer Chris Comeskey said Xue did not kill Ms Liu and that she may have died accidentally during a consensual sex act involving a tie. He said Xue did not know his wife was dead when he left for Melbourne. Summing up the trial, Justice Hugh Williams told the jury they could not assume Xue was guilty of murder because he abandoned Qian Xun in Melbourne.
A Police file photo of Anan Liu, mother of “Pumpkin” Qian Xun Xue, left and father Nai Yin Xue. NZPA/Police
“You can take that fact and surveillance footage in considering circumstantial evidence,”he said. “ What you must not do is say no decent father
would do that, therefore he’s guilty. It’s not a court of morals, it’s a court of fact.” – NZPA
19 June 2009
Visa scam continues Wellington, June 19 – Hundreds of overstayers, most of them Samoan, are continuing to pay $500 for bogus residence visas despite the scam being uncovered. It is being run by Gerard Otimi, a Maori who tells them the visas make them adopted members of his hapu with the right to live in New Zealand. Mr Otimi has acknowledged his visas have no standing with immigration authorities, but he was reported today to still be doing a roaring trade in Auckland. TV One news showed a hall packed with people who had come to collect their passports, stamped with the visas, and a certificate confirming their “adoption”. It said 90 passports were handed over – $45,000 for Mr Otimi, who said“the money is in the bank”. And it might not be just money the overstayers are losing. TV One reported Samoan authorities were considering whether a fake visa stamp in a passport rendered it invalid. Government ministers have described the scam as “disgusting”and “deplorable”and urged victims to go to the police.
The police have launched an investigation but so far no complaints have been laid. The overstayers fear being sent home if they approach the authorities, and many of them appear to believe Mr Otimi’s visas really do mean they can legally stay in New Zealand. Interviewed yesterday, Mr Otimi said his documents“notarise them, and the Immigration Department, to say they are now under our care”. One Samoan man confirmed he had paid $500 to join Mr Otimi’s hapu. “It’s because these people came to remove us so we asked for help and then called Gerard Otimi,”he said. The police said they were trying to find out whether any laws had been broken, but the investigation is hindered by no one coming forward with a complaint. Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman indicated tonight the estimated 16,000 overstayers were not a priority for the department. “Overstaying is a problem but if you look at it across the board it affects less than 1 percent, it’s 0.8 percent, of migrants,”he said. “Proportionately it’s a small problem.” – NZPA
besmirched by a police dirty tricks campaign to keep you out of the limelight and discredit you?” “I’m not sure how much you know, but there’s only one reason they’d be doing that,”replied Cottle. “Obviously,”continued TGIF,“they were thinking that if you did actually get before a judge they’d tear your credibility to shreds?” “No, no, come on, you’re meant to be good,”interrupted Cottle “– what were all the cops down here doing? They were all shafting sheilas, so what sheila were they shafting?” “Laniet?” “Yeah, that’s what it’s all f**ing over.” An angry Dean Cottle says he’s endured 15 years of Dunedin Police corruption aimed at maintaining his silence about Laniet Bain being required to have sex with police officers.But he also blames David Bain’s defence team for besmirching his reputation this month when they told the court he’d done a runner. Cottle says he’s lodged a complaint with the Law Society about Michael Reed QC telling the High Court that Cottle had absconded after being subpoenaed as a defence witness. “Reed didn’t really want me there at the trial” insists Cottle, “because I’d previously told Joe Karam that I thought David Bain was guilty and if they put me on the stand that’s what I would tell the jury – that I thought the guy did it. “So this whole rigmarole of getting an arrest warrant issued against me was a stunt that allowed Reed to read out my first statement to police made in 1994, without putting me on the witness stand”. Cottle believes that he can’t be served with a court summons on work premises, and says that because the Bain legal team only tried to effect service at work, and not at his home, that he had not been properly subpoenaed and therefore had not broken a court order. Which is why he was surprised to be named in the media as a fugitive. Cottle also claims to have caught out Detective Inspector Ross Pinkham,who he says promised to tell the judge that Cottle was willing to testify when Cottle phoned him from Australia on or around May 29.
“Pinkham’s jaw dropped when I told him this week I’d phoned the judge’s assistant who said police had never passed on the message.” Ross Pinkham, for his part, is more diplomatic. He told TGIF tonight that Cottle had been in touch today to consider laying a formal complaint over a number of issues related to the trial and Michael Reed QC, but that discussions were at an early stage. “I’m not quite sure whether it’s the right thing for me to be talking to you about Ian, what I’ve asked Dean to do is to come in and make an official complaint. “I told Dean this morning that all I was aware was that police had not been tasked to go and look for him, and we hadn’t made any inquiries, and that’s what I passed on to Dean this morning.” Cottle says he wants his life back, and that he’s sick of being harassed by police to prevent him testifying and being named by Bain’s lawyers as Laniet’s“pimp”. “All I did is give a sheila a phone.That’s all”. Regardless, his evidence tonight will deepen calls for a Commission of Inquiry into the Police. Back to the front page
the ordinary becomes
Dame Kiri gets Hollywood honour Idol-style contest programmes. “The so-called reality shows are killing off just about everything, and then you’ve got the recording companies, who will just go for whatever they can sell, so we’re not looking at the real singers coming through,”she told the Los Angeles Times. “My mission, I feel, is to find out if we have real singers who don’t have to use microphones to be heard.” Dame Kiri teaches new singers for New York’s Metropolitan Opera young artist development program as well as the Solti/Te Kanawa Accademia di Bel Canto in Italy, and her own Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation. “I’ve been involved with quite a few young singers now and am finding their voices are collapsing. They’re just doing everything or anything because they’re terrified that if they don’t do it, the agent will find someone else to do it ... and a lot of them are singing all the wrong roles”. Dame Kiri earlier this year agreed to return to the“Met”, nominally in a speaking role in the comic opera La Fille du Regiment, but told the newspaper:“it’s not a singing role, but I will sing -- that’ll shock them”). And she has just decided to sing Der Rosenkavalier one last time next year in Cologne. – NZPA
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Wellington, June 19 – New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and “popera”vocalist Josh Groban,who has appeared in Chess concerts on both sides of the Atlantic, will be inducted into the Hollywood Bowl hall of fame tomorrow (NZ time). Composer-conductor John Williams and country-music guru Garth Brooks are the hosts for the concert, the Ventura County Star reported. Dame Kiri will sing two duets with her 1971 castmate, from the opera Figaro, Frederica von Stade, plus some solo arias, and said that she does not feel the hall of fame award means that her career is over. She told the Los Angeles Times that she has been retooling her career: no more opera, plus a new focus on recitals and smaller solo concerts. But the recitals and teaching are an extension of her career and not an epilogue, she said. Instead she is pursuing an interest in younger singers. “I’m really very anxious to find the new generation,”Dame Kiri said.“I’d like to see the real singers come through. “There are some stunners out there.We need them to be heard and not overshadowed: there’s the `Lollypop World’ and the real world which people are struggling to keep traditional.” Dame Kiri’s“Lollypop World”is that of American
19 June 2009
CDs with downloaded and legitimate music, and lists of Thomas-Rasset’s personal CD collection. During closing arguments early this morning, Timothy Reynolds, the plaintiff’s lead attorney, told the jury Thomas-Rasset gave copyrighted material to “millions on the Internet” through Kazaa, an online file-sharing network. “She infringed my clients’ copyrights and then she tried to cover it up,”he said. Thomas-Rasset’s defense attorney argued that she didn’t download anything, reminding jurors of the hundreds of CDs she owns, including some of the tracks the plaintiff alleges she downloaded. “There was better evidence brought against prospective jurors than there was against the defendant in this case,”Sibley said, referring to instances when jurors admitted to illegally downloading music during jury selection. Thomas-Rasset testified that she hadn’t even heard of Kazaa before the case. She admitted how-
ever that her children or ex-boyfriend, who like some of the songs in question, could have downloaded them without her knowledge. This is not the first time the recording companies have won a file-sharing case against an individual, but several copyright lawyers and a spokesperson from the Recording Industry Association of America have called this one of the most important current cases due to its publicity and that it was Back to the front page tried by a jury.
Airlines in verbal dogfight NZ dollar ends week stable Wellington, June 19 – Air New Zealand said rival Pacific Blue is engaging in a“shallow publicity seeking exercise”in calling on airlines to disclose if they are flying on time. The Christchurch-based subsidiary of Virgin Blue said that from today it would publish information on its website showing how well it was sticking to its timetable. It challenged competitors Air New Zealand and Jetstar to do the same. The ploy comes after Qantas-owned Jetstar ran into trouble sticking to its schedule after starting flights betweenAuckland,Wellington,Christchurch and Queenstown last week,replacing Qantas on the routes. Jetstar rejigged its schedule, and today spokesman Simon Westaway said that once it had a month or so of flying under its belt it, too, would be publishing its on-time performance figures. In its statement today, Pacific Blue said that in Australia, airlines had been required since 2003 to report arrival and departure statistics monthly to the Department of Transport and Regional Services, which published the results. On-time performance (OTP) was measured as all flights that departed within 15 minutes of their stated departure time, with no exceptions made for bad weather, air traffic control, delays from suppliers, unscheduled maintenance, consequences of
previous delays or anything else. Air NZ said that last year it called for industrywide reporting of OTP led by an appropriate government agency to ensure accuracy and consistency of information. Air NZ defined being on time as within 10 minutes of departure time. Air NZ operated 90 domestic flights a day compared to Pacific Blue’s 10. Pacific Blue also said it was surprised last week to read reported comments from Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan that Jetstar typically met on time performance targets up to 90 percent of the time in Australia. Pacific Blue general manager, commercial Adrian Hamilton-Manns said:“We think Jetstar is being a little generous with the truth because that is certainly not the case on their domestic Australian routes”. “A quick check on Jetstar’s own website shows that for the past two months – April and May 2009 – their OTP was only 78 percent.” Mr Westaway said Jetstar’s OTP in Australia had not been as strong as previously in the past couple of months, due to a range of factors including weather, and some aircraft issues. – NZPA
NZ sharemarket closes lower, Telecom eases Wellington, June 19 – The New Zealand sharemarket edged lower today as top stock Telecom slipped from its highest level in nearly six weeks reached yesterday. Telecom fell 8c to 261, which was off yesterday’s high of 270 after Telecom’s competitors were critical of a Commerce Commission decision on sub-loop costs. The benchmark NZSX-50 index closed down 13.969 points, or 0.499 percent, at 2784.273.Turnover was worth $141 million and was again dominated by trading in Telecom and Fletcher Building shares.There were 39 rises and 45 falls among the 103 shares traded. Fletcher Building rose 8c to 653, after adding 9c yesterday and brokers said the price was attracting buyers after recent weakness. “There is still no real direction to this local market and there hasn’t been for a number of days now,” said Grant Williamson, director of Hamilton, Hindin, Greene. “There is no local news and the offshore markets are not doing terribly much either.” Next week balance of payments and gross domestic product data may provide insight into how long the recession will last. But the higher NZ dollar is still affecting some companies.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare fell 6c to 288 but Sanford was unchanged at 550. Contact rose 5c to 583 and Fisher and Paykel Appliances rose 1c to 67. Goodman Property rose 2c to 90 and Kiwi Income Property Trust rose 1c to 91. Michael Hill rose 1c to 69 but The Warehouse eased a cent to 374. TrustPower eased 30c to 760 and NZ Refining eased 63c to 682. Infratil rose 3c to 176, which is above the 162 price shareholders can exercise warrants at. Infratil said late today that an underwrite has been put in place for exercising warrants. US stocks gained on Thursday as data on the jobs market and regional manufacturing revived hopes that the recession-hit economy is stabilising. “It really paints a picture of an economy that continues to have a tough road to hoe, but at the end of the day the good news is getting better and the bad news is getting less frequent,”said Burt White, chief investment officer at LPL. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 86.01 points, or 1.01 percent, to 8583.19.The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 10.49 points, or 1.15 percent, to 921.20.The Nasdaq Composite Index added 6.66 points, or 0.37 percent, to 1814.72.
Wellington, June 19 – The New Zealand dollar ended the week pretty close to where it started it even though the central bank tried to talk the currency down. The NZ dollar was at US63.85c at 5pm, up from US63.02c at the same time yesterday. It was US64.10c at 8am on Monday. Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) governor Alan Bollard this week warned that buyers of the NZ dollar on the expectation of a strong recovery may end up being disappointed. “Overall, the RBNZ stands to be most surprised on the NZ dollar.The RBNZ’s June Monetary Policy Statement forecasts were based on a very low exchange rate outlook,”said ASB economists. They and other economists are arguing that the central bank may have to cut its official cash rate
further if rises in the currency and wholesale interest rates continue. TD Securities senior strategist Annette Beacher said the RBNZ was“jawboning with a feather”. The NZ dollar has been hostage to moves in the US dollar but attention is turning to New Zealand gross domestic product data for the March quarter due next Friday.The economy is expected to be in recession for a fifth quarter.Balance of Payments data for the March quarter is due a day earlier on Thursday. The NZ dollar was firm against a range of currencies today, and this helped lift the trade weighted index to 60.53 from 59.82 yesterday. It rose to A79.65c from A79.59c yesterday and to 0.4590 euro from 0.4523 yesterday. It was at 61.70 yen from 60.30 yen yesterday. – NZPA
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19 June 2009
Time for an inquiry Two years ago, Investigate magazine smashed open the seedy side of policing in New Zealand and in particular Dunedin Police. We published a story raising major allegations of police corruption, including that Dunedin Police in the 80s and 90s were running organized crime operations including drugs and brothels. We interviewed a woman, now in a respectable senior public position, who briefly worked in brothels in the mid 90s where police would “sample the new girls”, including underage ones. Tonight, TGIF Edition closes that circle, with the confirmation from Dunedin man Dean Cottle that, in his words, police were“shafting sheilas”including one Laniet Bain, who was at the time an underage prostitute.
Previously,the then Minister of Police Annette King acted utterly dishonourably and tried to discredit Investigate’s story with an unfounded smear campaign. The magazine hit back with a damning demolition of King, where we revealed her primary source was himself a corrupt cop. Tonight, a new Minister of Police, Judith Collins, holds the portfolio with a chance to clean up the police force and restore public respect for the first time in decades. It has to happen. Nothing less than a full Commission of Inquiry with the powers of subpoena and the ability to take evidence on oath will be sufficient to expose and remove the deadwood at the heart of public law enforcement. Police National Headquarters, like all entrenched
By Bob McCoskrie
bureaucracies, will be arguing furiously behind the scenes that all this is unnecessary and that they’ve learned lessons from the past. No they haven’t. Police intimidation of people capable of testifying against them continues to this day, as this newspaper has previously exposed. The police are not a law unto themselves. Corruption in law enforcement is a very dangerous slippery slope, because it means investigations can be bought off or derailed by vested interests, or that police can continuously find no case to answer when asked to investigate political misdeeds. Dean Cottle deserves a medal for standing up tonight, and blowing the police corruption issue wide open. SUBSCRIBE TO TGIF!
ETS scheme an economy killer By Andrew P. Morriss
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –“Cap-and-trade”sounds fabulous: those who emit carbon dioxide will have to obtain permits for their emissions. If they are able to reduce emissions cheaply, they will cut their emissions, enabling them to sell the permits they don’t need to those who can’t cut emissions as cheaply. Thus, the efficient are rewarded, the environment saved. But once you read the fine print, cap-andtrade doesn’t look as good. First, for the system to be effective the permits must be worth something. Permits are valuable only if there are not enough of them available for current emissions levels. President Obama originally proposed selling the permits through an auction,but special interests have already watered the bill down to provide that 80 percent of the permits will be given to existing emitters.The same thing happened under the European Union’s plan,which failed miserably.As a result of the giveaway, the desired reductions won’t appear. Let’s ignore that problem and imagine Congress decides on a system that will cut emissions. As American legislation, the cap-and-trade system applies only to American emissions, but only 22.2 percent of the world’s carbon-dioxide emissions come from U.S. sources. Since it is world emissions that potentially affect the climate, reducing just one country’s emissions does little good unless worldwide emissions are cut. As major sources like China (18.4 percent), European Union (15 percent), Russia (5.6 percent), India (4.9 percent) and Japan (4.6 percent) have not yet agreed to reduce their emissions, and many developing countries’ emissions are increasing as their economies grow, reducing U.S. emissions merely puts American firms at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors. Worse, by reducing U.S. emissions before we reach an agreement with other source countries, the United States would give up its most valuable negotiating chip without getting anything in return. Since many major emitters including China and India have shown no willingness to reduce emissions on their own, a unilateral move by the United States makes it less likely that we will be able to negotiate an effective worldwide agreement. Even if we could get other countries to sign on, a cap-and-trade system that works will be an economic disaster because it will raise the price of everything. Unlike many other pollutants, carbon-dioxide emissions are the product of the combustion of carbon-based energy sources such as coal, oil, wood, and natural gas. Some 98 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are energy related. Cutting carbon-dioxide emissions thus isn’t a matter of tweaking an existing process or adding a filter to a smokestack – it requires either dramatic
changes in energy production or major reductions in energy use. For example, the federal Energy Information Administration’s calculation of total system costs for land-based wind generated power turn out to be more than 50 percent greater than conventional coal or natural gas power. Solar photovoltaic electricity costs four times the cost of power from coal or natural gas.Even if we could quickly increase wind’s contribution from the 1.3 percent of electricity it generated in 2008, and reduce the percentage generated from fossil fuels from 70.9 percent, the cost of doing so would be staggering.
Yet to actually produce reduced emissions, capand-trade must significantly raise energy prices, and so the price of everything made using energy will go up. Such widespread price increases will likely produce both inflation and unemployment, returning us to the stagflation of the 1970s. Cap-and-trade sounds good, but what it offers is either a chance for politicians to reward special interests or a road to economic ruin.As players in a struggling world economy, we can’t afford either. Andrew P. Morriss is the H. Ross & Helen Workman Professor of Law and Business and professor at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
-Sex education begins at home not school The Family Planning Association should butt out of primary and intermediate schools with their sex education programmes and should instead resource and empower parents to educate their children. Parents should not be undermined by FPA resources which fail to take into account the emotional and physical development of each child and the values of the family. The argument that puberty is happening earlier simply doesn’t wash as not all girls are entering puberty earlier. Parents know their children the best and should determine the best timing and most appropriate way to tackle this topic. A valueless ‘one size fits all’ approach by FPA is far too simplistic and can even be harmful, as has been evidence by our teenage pregnancy rate. Research has shown that even teenagers acknowledge that the ‘we don’t want you to do it but here’s how if you do’ approach sends the wrong message. Schools have become ‘one-stop shops’ for raising our children and dealing with every social issue. It’s time we empowered parents to fulfill this important role of preparing their own children. Parents can feel overawed by ‘the sex talk’ so resources should be put in to helping them understand how best to educate their children. There seems to be a basic assumption that parents know nothing about sex and that only FPA and teachers do. This is a myth and is being perpetuated by these resources being pushed into schools. - PM attempting to shut down debate The Referendum is an expensive exercise made necessary because of a failure by politicians to listen to the voters. It is hypocritical of politicians to criticize the cost when their own actions have led to this public outcry. John Key is undermining the process by suggesting that, while he will ‘listen to the public’, any law change will be subject to what he thinks. It is especially ironic because while he was the leader of the Opposition he said. The Labour Government has shown utter contempt for New Zealanders and the democratic process with its plan to railroad the anti-smacking bill through Parliament. The Labour-led Government knows the measure is deeply unpopular, so it plans to act against the wishes of the majority of Kiwis and ram the bill through under urgency. This is a deeply cynical abuse of power as Labour tries to clear the decks of this controversial issue. Helen Clark has refused to let her MPs vote the way they really think on this bill. To ram it through under the cover of urgency shows just how out of touch her government has become. Family First has provided the evidence he has set as the benchmark for changing the law – that is, evidence of good families being prosecuted in court under the anti-smacking law. This suggests that the new government is following down the road of the previous government – which ultimately led to its downfall – of ignoring the voice and concerns of NZ’ers. -Confusing?Check out this explanation For the past 72 hours, politicians and commentators have screamed that the Referendum question is confusing. “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in NZ” seemed pretty clear to the 310,000+ people who signed the petition in the first place! The law currently says that a good parent raising great kids who uses a light smack for the purpose of correction is committing a criminal offence – subject to a possible complaint, possible investigation and temporary removal of kids by CYF, and possible investigation and in some cases prosecution by the police. But take a quick moment to listen to this... Green MP Sue Bradford attempts to explain the effect of the anti-smacking law to an increasingly confused National Radio’s Sean Plunket. Classic Confusion! Try and listen to the whole thing – and then ask yourself “so what am I legally allowed to do??” Doesn’t it seem incredible that our politicians are confused by the Referendum question – yet expect parents to understand the anti-smacking law, how it will be enforced, and its effect on how they should parent. This is why the referendum question is worded the way it is – because not even Sue Bradford knows the present answer. And that’s why we’ll continue to fight to have it fixed. Sign Up Now to receive FREE regular updates about the issues affecting families in NZ http://www.familyfirst.org.
19 June 2009
Where Iran goes now By Martin Walker
PARIS – The re-election of Iran’s firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is grim news for U.S. President Barack Obama. Little now remains of his hopes that diplomacy, respect and the offer of a new start in relations would resolve Tehran’s nuclear challenge.With oil above $70 a barrel, Iran can defy even tougher sanctions and short of military action it is not easy to see any way to prevent its development of nuclear capabilities. And yet in the longer run, the election result is even worse news for Iran.The widespread suspicion of ballot-box fraud and the angry reaction of the re-elected president’s opponents on the streets of Tehran cast a shadow of illegitimacy over the new government.The reformist candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi, described the election as a dangerous charade that threatened to bring tyranny to Iran and said he would never surrender. Many of the country’s educated young people, the middle class and the bazaar merchants made their hunger for change very clear in the mass demonstrations for Mousavi last week.They are now on a collision course with their own government. Some will be imprisoned. Many will leave the country if they can. Others will nurse their resentments in more or less sullen opposition.Ahmadinejad’s police and the Republican Guard seem destined to make Iran look rather more like a police state in the future. And the economy under Ahmadinejad is likely to deteriorate yet further,with even the dubious official figures saying that unemployment has risen from 10 percent to 17 percent under his rule.The central bank says inflation is running at 25 percent a year. During the election campaign, Mousavi’s supporters distributed copies of the reformist newspaper Sarmayeh citing central bank figures reporting that Iran earned $272 billion in oil and gas revenues during the past four years under Ahmadinejad, compared with $172 billion in the eight years of his predecessor. “What kind of management is this? Not only did people’s livelihoods not improve when oil prices were $140 in comparison to when they were $16, they worsened,”commented Tehran’s conservative mayor, Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a sign that even the president’s supporters are not happy. The tragedy is that Ahmadinejad’s mismanagement is wasting the country’s brief window of
Supporters of reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi hold an anti-Mahmoud Ahmadinejad placard as they gather on the streets of Tehran, Iran to demonstrate against the results of the Iranian presidential election on June 18, 2009. (UPI Photo)
opportunity to build a robust economy before the oil starts to run out after 2030.The country is currently enjoying a youth boom, with high numbers of people over the age of 18 and relatively few elderly dependents.This mix of low dependency and a large population of working age is usually a springboard for growth.This has not happened in Iran because the oil funds have gone into consumption, corruption and nuclear ambitions rather than productive investment. International economic sanctions, which look more and more likely, will hamper the economy yet further. It gets worse. Thirty years ago, as the shah was being driven into exile and the Islamic Republic was being established, the Total Fertility Rate – the average number of children born to a woman of childbearing age – of Iranian women was 6.5.Today, the TFR has collapsed to European levels, falling
from 2.2 in 2000 to below 1.7 in 2007, considerably lower than the fertility rate of modern Britain. The implications for the economic future of Iran are alarming. It will by mid-century have consumed all its oil and will confront the challenge of organizing a society with few people of working age and many pensioners.The implications are also profound for the politics and diplomacy and power games of the Middle East and the Gulf,affecting Iran’s dreams of being the regional superpower and the tension between the Sunni and the Shiite wings of Islam. Still, Ahmadinejad now has four more years in power to push his nuclear researchers into developing a bomb and the missiles to deliver it. Even if Tehran stops short of testing a weapon, the expectation that it will have one is already a key component of Middle Eastern politics. It will hang ominously over the Obama administration and over
an understandably nervous Israel, and over Iran’s Sunni neighbors across the Gulf. Already, the policy community in Washington is looking at the prospect it may have to live with an Iranian (or Shiite) bomb.The RAND Corp. has been conducting studies on the prospect of extending the U.S. nuclear umbrella to the Middle East, offering nuclear guarantees to Saudi Arabia and others in the hope that this will dissuade them from developing nuclear weapons of their own. Whether Ahmadinejad won the elections fair and square is now beside the point,even though his majority in Mousavi’s home town of Tabriz appears almost unbelievable.The excitable demagogue with his threats to wipe Israel off the map is back in power for four more years.They will not be pleasant,for Iran,its neighbors, for Israel and for the Obama administration. – UPI
Obama walking a fine line on dealing with Tehran By Paul Richter Tribune Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON – The tumult touched off by Iran’s disputed presidential election could eventually transform the entire Middle East. But it has relegated President Barack Obama to the status of an onlooker. Many U.S. officials believe the eruption of antigovernment protests could implant reforms within the Iranian regime, which in turn could ease hostilities across the region. Or, it could lead to a crackdown by increasingly insecure rulers who grow more dangerous as they react more harshly. Either way, U.S. officials say their course is clear: To say little and do even less. “It’s not productive, given the history of the U.S.Iranian relationship, to be seen as meddling,”Obama said Wednesday. Obama administration officials recognize an Iranian sensitivity to U.S.interference that dates back to 1953,when the CIA helped topple popular nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh.Today, both hard-liners and pro-reform Iranians remain deeply suspicious of American motives and moves. U.S. officials said that if they are seen allying with Iran’s reformers, it will harm those groups, tarring them as American-backed.
And if Americans denounce Iran’s incumbent president,Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,it could fortify the antiAmerican leader and make things more difficult for Obama’s long-promised diplomatic overture to Iran. As a result, the administration has been trying to carefully calibrate its language since the election, showing it is standing up for democratic principles, yet keeping a careful distance from events. Angering some U.S. conservatives, Obama has avoided charging election fraud or siding with more moderate Iranian candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi. Obama said this week that he has“deep concerns” about the election and “stands strongly with the universal principle that people’s voices should be heard and not suppressed.” He hastened to add,however,that“how that plays out over the next several days and several weeks is something ultimately for the Iranian people to decide.” By hedging his comments, Obama’s approach differs from principles of foreign policy he has laid out. In his address to Muslims in Cairo last month, Obama said it was important for world leaders to say in public what they say privately; yet he is guarding his public statements on the Iranian election. He also promised to speak candidly with nations, something he apparently has decided he can’t afford to do at the moment. Obama’s approach underscores differences with
Many U.S. officials believe the eruption of anti-government protests could implant reforms within the Iranian regime, which in turn could ease hostilities across the region
his predecessor, George W. Bush, who believed his administration should do all it could to spread American-style democracy. By contrast, Obama’s aides believe that in its capacity to bring democracy to unwilling countries, the United States should be – to use one Bush phrase – a humble nation.
“The takeaway from Iraq is that it is very, very difficult and extraordinarily expensive to try to impose an American-style approach on another country,” said a senior administration official, discussing internal strategies on condition of anonymity.“If change is going to come, it’ll come from within.We have to recognize our inherent limits.”
19 June 2009
Pandemic or ‘Plandemic’? By Peter Curson
Today the word ‘pandemic’ is on everybody’s lips. Governments and the media have been telling us for some time that we are overdue for a major influenza pandemic and that swine flu may well be the instrument of its introduction. Now with the WHO formally declaring swine flu a ‘pandemic’ it seems our worst fears have been realised. Victoria is claimed to be the ‘swine flu pandemic capital of the world’(untrue as it turns out,Wisconsin probably leads the bunch),and‘pandemic’has become the new buzz word,synonymous with fear,dread and hysteria.Draconian government announcements and interventions designed to enhance pandemic preparedness only serve to raise public fears even higher,and general confusion reigns. But what exactly is a ‘pandemic’? Until the late 19th century the word seems to have been used interchangeably with ‘epidemic’to denote any malignant disease that afflicted a region or country. It was not until the Asian Flu Pandemic of 1889-91 that the media latched onto the word ‘pandemic’to describe a worldwide outbreak of infectious disease. Further currency came with the 1918-19 flu outbreak when ‘pandemic’came into vogue and has remained with us ever since. Pandemic comes from the Greek ‘pan’ meaning ‘all’, and ‘demos’meaning ‘the people’. So in theory, a pandemic should involve all the people. But the term is imprecise, poorly defined and over-used, all of which has bred a degree of cynicism. As far as the WHO is concerned the term denotes a point in
time where that organisation believes that a disease is so geographically widespread as to earn the title. But historically, it is impossible to find evidence of an infectious disease that affected ‘all’ the people in a country, let alone all the people in the world. Some have always managed to avoid even the most virulent of infections, whether by dint of geographical isolation, limited contact with outsiders, some degree of personal immunity or precaution, or just plain good luck. In theory pandemics differ from epidemics in that they are more protracted in time and space as well as more pervasive in terms of whom they affect. Normally they are of relatively short duration of up to six months and come in explosive, virulent form producing a surge in illness and deaths. But there have also been examples of ‘slow pandemics’ such as HIV/AIDS which extend in a slow insidious way over decades. The last bubonic plague pandemic which extended from the 1890s until at least 1940 is another example. Pandemics also tend to unfold in a series of stages or waves and can produce major social and economic disruption. In many ways a pandemic is an epidemiologic manifestation of globalisation spreading quickly around the world following trade routes and human patterns of mobility.We also have a tendency to be influenced by the nature of the disease agent rather than its effects.Bubonic plague,for example,is more likely to be labelled pandemic,simply because of the emotive reaction that the disease evokes. Plague fear may very well be one of our most basic of fears, deeply entrenched in the human psyche,representing
Some have always managed to avoid even the most virulent of infections, whether by dint of geographical isolation, limited contact with outsiders, some degree of personal immunity or precaution, or just plain good luck
an amalgam of rational and irrational fears about contagion, infection and exposure. Other diseases such as asthma, perhaps because they are so ubiquitous and do not kill that many people, rarely tend to invoke the pandemic label. Pandemics are usually defined in strictly demographic and epidemiological terms – a period of exceptional morbidity and mortality with widespread geographical distribution.Yet a pandemic would seem to be far more than a mere demographic or epidemiological event.Were it only that, the public would react with less drama. Pandemics have another important dimension; one defined in psycho-social terms, partly orchestrated by the media and health authorities and made more threatening by the immediacy of news reporting and the often sensational language and imagery employed. This pandemic is marked by human reaction and response, often revealed in outpourings of fear, dread and hysteria. SARS and Bird Flu demonstrated how this can totally swamp the demographic/epidemiological dimension and produce a pandemic of fear, hysteria and panic. Some might well argue that we have entered this territory with swine flu. Among other things all this has produced a veritable industry of pandemic preparedness planning. Since SARS we seem to have spent five years immersed in a pandemic of plans (a‘plandemic’?),as well as a pandemic of fear and apprehension. In the final analysis, do we feel safer? Swine flu and our reaction to it suggests not. Peter Curson is Professor in Population & Security, at the Centre for International Security Studies, Faculty of Economics & Business, the University of Sydney. He is also a TGIF Edition subscribe
Liberals’ darling strikes out By Glenn Garvin
When U.S.Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald was investigating the leak of a CIA officer’s name a couple of years ago, he bullied witnesses, threw innocent people in jail and generally acted like J. Edgar Hoover on the trail of a commie spy – and his noisiest cheerleaders were American liberals, thrilled by the discovery that prosecutorial abuse can be fun when you’re directing it at the Bush administration. I wonder if they’ll like it as much now that Fitzgerald is slapping around the First Amendment. Fitzgerald and his Justice Department pals, outraged by this week’s publication of a critical book they’ve tried to kill for two years, are threatening to sue not only the author and publisher, but even bloggers. The book, Triple Cross by former ABC reporter Peter Lance, tells the story of al-Qaeda master spy Ali Mohamed, who infiltrated the CIA, the Green Berets and the FBI while laying the groundwork for Osama bin Laden’s campaign of terror that culminated in the Sept. 11 attacks. Mohamed passed his Green Beret training along to a terrorist cell in New York, which killed Rabbi Meier Kahane, bombed the World Trade Center in 1993 and planned to blow up bridges into the city in what became known as the “Day of Terror”attacks. That Day of Terror never dawned; cell members were successfully prosecuted by Fitzgerald, then an assistant U.S. attorney in New York, in the case that earned him the reputation as the nation’s lawenforcement ace on terrorism. Triple Cross, however, argues that Fitzgerald and the Justice Department muffed chance after chance to roll up al-Qaeda’s U.S. network (including some 9/11 hijackers) and deliberately discredited intelligence on al-Qaeda from a jailhouse snitch that might have exposed FBI screw-ups. That’s not the kind of fawning press Fitzgerald is accustomed to, particularly since his term as special prosecutor on the Valerie Plame leak case. By any objective standard, the case was a legal flop and an insane waste of resources: Assigned a relatively simple task – finding who leaked Plame’s CIA identity to the press – Fitzgerald spent three years and almost $3 million and in the end couldn’t even prove
Assigned a relatively simple task – finding who leaked Plame’s CIA identity to the press – Fitzgerald spent three years and almost $3 million and in the end couldn’t even prove the leak broke the law; the leaker, State Department official Richard Armitage, was never charged with anything the leak broke the law; the leaker, State Department official Richard Armitage, was never charged with anything.And though Armitage confessed the leak to Fitzgerald almost immediately, the prosecutor kept it secret and continued his investigation for years, inflicting huge legal bills on Bush staffers who would never be charged and even jailing New York Times reporter Judith Miller for three
months although she’d never written a word about the case. When a special prosecutor strikes out that way against anybody else – say,Bill Clinton – he’s vilified as a vindictive judicial inquisitor.Fitzgerald,however, was the American left’s dream warrior, criminalizing policy debate over the Iraq war and exacting a revenge that voters refused to deliver in the 2004
election. He became a media folk hero – even made People magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive list. Given the mountain of good press Fitzgerald got for the molehill of results on the Plame case, it’s not surprising that smoke started belching from his ears when Triple Cross was published in 2007. But he didn’t just call a news conference to defend himself, he wrote a scorching letter to the publisher to “demand”– his word – the book be yanked off shelves. When HarperCollins didn’t get with the program, Fitzgerald wrote a second letter – and just to be sure the company knew who it was messing with,he faxed it from the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago. Fitzgerald didn’t succeed in killing Triple Cross, but he managed to keep the paperback version off the market for more than a year while HarperCollins and its lawyers went over the text line by line. Meanwhile, increasingly bellicose letters from Fitzgerald have continued at regular intervals.“I write to demand immediate compliance with my demands of October 2007,”said one.When a lawyer uses the word“demand”twice in six words, you know his subpoena-finger is twitching.And when HarperCollins announced that the paperback, essentially unchanged, would be published, Fitzgerald’s target list expanded. A blogger who wrote about the book two weeks ago was immediately warned by one of Fitzgerald’s former Justice Department buddies that he might be breaking the law and had better get an attorney. Just as he sought to criminalize disagreements over the Iraq war, Fitzgerald is now trying to force criticism of his performance as a public official into a courtroom. Libel law was never intended to protect the government from its own constituents. “Fitzgerald is just going to have to have a thicker skin,” says Jan Schlichtmann, the attorney whose tangle with the chemical industry was dramatized in the film “A Civil Action.”“If he wants to defend himself against criticism in the book, do it in the marketplace of ideas. He shouldn’t use his public office to be a gatekeeper. Patrick Fitzgerald is not supposed to be the one who decides what we read and what we discuss.” Sadly, that’s going to be news to Fitzgerald. Glenn Garvin is a columnist for the Miami Herald
in 60 seconds IRON LADY BROKEN London (dpa) – Former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher will have to undergo an operation to insert a pin into her broken upper arm following a fall, her spokesman said today. The 83-year-old former “Iron Lady” was admitted to London’s Chelsea & Westminster hospital last Friday, where doctors have now found that the injury she sustained is not healing as quickly as they would like. She was initially expected to leave the hospital on the day she was admitted, but doctors extended the stay for what they said was a “precaution.” “Lady Thatcher is to undergo a routine surgical procedure to insert a pin into the bone of her upper arm in order to assist the healing process,” her spokesman Mark Worthington said. Earlier today, her son Mark said his mother was “very well and alert.” But, acknowledging the family’s concern, he added: “I think every son is always worried about his mother’s health whatever her age.” Thatcher has become increasingly frail in recent years, following a series of minor strokes which led doctors to ban her from public speaking in 2002. Her daughter Carol, a twin to Mark, last year revealed that her mother was battling with dementia. BOEING PILOT DIES MIDAIR NEWARK, N.J. – A 60-year-old pilot died aboard a Continental Airlines jet today several hours before it landed at Newark Liberty International Airport, the company said. The crew on the flight included an additional relief pilot who took the place of the deceased man. The flight continued safely with two pilots and landed safely at Newark at 11:49 a.m., said Kelly Cripe, a spokeswoman for Continental Airlines. The Boeing 777 carried 247 passengers. No injuries were reported. The pilot, whose name was not released, was the captain of the jet and was en route from Brussels when he died of natural causes, said Cripe. Passengers did not learn of the pilot’s death until half way through the 7-hour flight from Germany. Some said they learned when they landed and received a cell phone call from family. Stephanie Mallis of Lansdale, Pa., said she was “very curious” when the crew asked if any doctors were aboard the plane. At least two people then raced to the cockpit area to provide assistance. Another passenger, Susan Morgan of Houston, said one stewardess was “distraught,” but most of the crew was very calm and professional. Morgan said she learned of what happened when she arrived at the baggage claim at Newark and saw the media crush. SIGNS OF LIFE IN US MARKETS New York (dpa) – Major US stock indices made gains for the first time this week on Thursday after a streak of reports suggested the country’s recession may be coming to an end. The US Labour Department said in a weekly report that claims for unemployment benefits fell for the first time since January. Claims dropped by 148,000 to 6.69 million people. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of leading economic indicators rose for the second straight month, climbing 1.2 per cent in May following a 1.1-per-cent rise in April. “The recession is losing steam,” said Ken Goldstein, an economist at the New York-based Conference Board. “Confidence is rebuilding and financial market volatility is abating.” Shares of US banks gained as Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended the administration’s plans for a massive overhaul of financial regulation before Congress. Banking shares had been leading the slide for the last three days. The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 58.42 points, or 0.69 per cent, to 8,555.6. The broader Standard and Poor’s 500 climbed 7.66 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 918.37. The technology- heavy Nasdaq Composite Index was little changed, down 0.34 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 1,807.72. The US currency rose slightly against the euro to 71.94 euro cents from 71.71 euro cents on Wednesday. The dollar was up against the Japanese currency to 96.55 yen from 95.76 yen.
19 June 2009
EU plan could hit NZ taxpayers Brussels – European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels set 30 October as the deadline to decide how the bloc should share the bill for fighting climate change in poor states, diplomats said. After a brief discussion, the heads of the EU’s 27 governments approved a draft statement that they were“prepared ... to take the appropriate decisions on all aspects of (climate change) financing at (the EU’s) October meeting,”diplomatic sources said. That meeting, to be chaired by Sweden, which takes over the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1, is scheduled for October 29-30. EU experts estimate that developed nations like the US, UK, NZ, Japan and Europe will have to pay some 100 billion euros (NZ$222 billion dol-
lars) per year to help developing countries fight climate change. EU leaders at this morning’s summit agreed that developed countries should split that bill“on the basis of a universal, comprehensive and specific contribution key ... (combining) the ability to pay and the responsibility for emissions.” The EU leaders also said that major developing economies, such as China and India, should help support the world’s poorest countries, which are also the most vulnerable to climate change. But they put off an internal row on how each member state should contribute to the EU’s overall donation, saying that this would be agreed“in good time” for crucial United Nations negotiations on climate change in Copenhagen in December.
Denmark is leading a group of countries which say that the EU should use whatever formula the Copenhagen conference agrees on for the rest of the world. But Poland says that the EU should use a different formula based more on each country’s economic strength.This would greatly reduce the bill for the former-Communist state, which is one of the EU’s biggest polluters, but which has a relatively small economy. On a ratio evenly spread across the population of all OECD countries, New Zealand’s annual bill for example could cost taxpayers around a billion dollars a year in compulsory climate change subsidies to the Third World. – DPA
Irish deeply suspicious of EU Treaty Brussels – Ireland cannot accept anything less than a full treaty to convince its people that the European Union’s Lisbon Treaty will not change their neutrality and family laws, the country’s prime minister wrote ahead of an EU summit today. “I need to be able to come out of our meeting and state, without fear of contradiction, that the legal guarantees ... will, in time, acquire full treaty status by way of a protocol,” Brian Cowen wrote to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “This is necessary if I am to call, and win, a second referendum”on the Lisbon treaty, which Irish voters rejected at a referendum in June 2008, Cowen wrote. The treaty is meant to make the EU more effi-
cient, but it cannot come into force until every member state has ratified it. Post-mortem analyses showed that Irish voters rejected the document out of fears that the treaty would end Ireland’s neutrality and take away its control of tax law,family law and labour and social guarantees. At a summit in December, EU leaders promised to give Ireland “legal guarantees” that the treaty would not affect those issues. But controversy remains over the question of how the guarantees should be passed into law. Ireland wants EU leaders to back the document as a legally-binding“decision of the EU”, and then to ratify it as a protocol to the EU’s founding trea-
EU to regulate markets Brussels – European Union leaders today approved the basic principles of how to tighten regulation of the bloc’s financial markets, EU diplomats at a summit in Brussels said. “There is political backing for a deal,”said sources in the Czech government, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency and which drafted the compromise deal. Britain had been fighting a rearguard action against a proposal that new, EU-wide regulators would be able to order national governments to bail out major banks in time of crisis in order to prevent spill-over effects in other member states. But EU leaders at the summit agreed to limit those powers so that the regulators “should not impinge in any way” on the way national governments spend their money in crisis situations, diplomatic sources said. The wording endorses a similar deal made by EU finance ministers on June 9.
The EU is keen to make sure that its financial sector can never again suffer the kind of collapse it has seen over the last year. To ensure it can locate and defuse potential financial bombs, the bloc wants to set up four new regulators, one to monitor the bloc’s overall economy and three to police its banking and insurance companies and stock exchanges. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said at the start of the summit that he supported those ideas in principle, but that only national governments could decide how they spend their money. “It’s the national authority that will have to take the financial responsibility for dealing with the problems of an individual bank or company. That is why the decision about any fiscal action is one that has to be taken by the authority that has the resources to enable them to do so, and that is the national government,”he said. – DPA
ties, giving it fundamental legal weight. Irish officials suggest that the ratification could be done in tandem with another EU treaty, such as a possible accession treaty for Croatia. But other EU member states say that they do not want to have to ratify the document, since this could re-open debate on the deeply unpopular Lisbon treaty among their own citizens. “It would be quite strange to vote on the ratification of Croatian accession,and then suddenly find out there are some kind of pages on the guarantees for Ireland,”Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said as he arrived in Brussels for the summit. – DPA
19 June 2009
North Korean missile test may reach Hawaii The Yomiuri Shimbun
TOKYO – A long-range ballistic missile North Korea is believed to have been preparing to launch from its Tongchang-ri facility in the country’s northwest highly likely will be launched toward Hawaii, which would take it over a region in northern Japan,according to analysis by Japan’s Defence Ministry. According to sources, the ministry also believed such a launch could be made in July. Based on the analysis and intelligence gathered by U.S.reconnaissance satellites,the ministry has moved into top gear its study on optimally deploying Aegis-equipped destroyers equipped with Standard Missile 3 interceptor missiles and ground-to-air Patriot missiles. The ministry says it has been confirmed that North Korea has missile launch bases in Kitteryong near the Demilitarized Zone that separates North and South Korea and at Tongchang-ri near the Yellow Sea, in addition to a base at Musudan-ri in northeastern North Korea, where a long-range missile was launched on April 5. At the Tongchang-ri facility, either a Taepodong-2 missile or an upgraded Taepodong-2 was believed to have been brought from a missile manufacturing facility near Pyongyang on May 30, according to the sources.
Based on the assumption that this latest missile is a two- or three-stage type and has the capability equal or superior to the long-range ballistic missile North Korea launched in April, the Defence Ministry predicted the possibility of a launch toward Hawaii, crossing the Aomori Prefectural, with a launch toward Okinawa Prefecture and Guam also seen a possibility. If it took the Okinawan path, when the first-stage booster detaches, it could fall in the vicinity of a Chinese coastal area and might anger China. In the case of the Guam path, the missile must overfly South Korea and Japan’s Chugoku and Shikoku regions, which means the booster would fall onto a land area. Therefore, the ministry sees both possibilities as quite low, according to the sources. In case of the Hawaii route, the booster could be dumped into the Sea of Japan. If such a long-range test launch was successful, North Korea would be able to pose a great military threat to the United States, which does not regard North Korean missiles as a threat to North America or Hawaii at present. Therefore, the ministry concluded the Hawaii route is the most likely path, the sources said. However, while the distance from North Korea to Hawaii is about 7,000 kilometres, an upgraded
Taepodong-2 only has a range of 4,000 to 6,500 kilometres. The ministry believes even if the missile took the most direct route over Aomori Prefecture, it would not reach Hawaii, the sources said.Though U.S. intelligence satellite images showed a missile launch pad had already been set up at the Tongchang-ri base, it takes more than 10 days to assemble and fuel a missile before launch, according to the sources. The ministry said it believed North Korea was likely to launch a missile sometime between July 4 and 8, because the 1996 launch of the Taepodong-2 missile took place on July 4, the U.S. Independence Day, and July 8 falls on the anniversary of the 1994 death of former North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. It came to light Wednesday that North Korea may have transported a missile to a launch site in Musudan-ri. At the missile launch base in Kitteryong on the country’s eastern coast, preparations are under way to launch a Rodong missile, which can reach all areas of Japan, as well as a new medium-range missile, according to sources. Therefore, the ministry is considering starting preparations to intercept missiles based on the possibility that North Korea will launch missiles from all three bases simultaneously.
Missile test site being prepared 75 miles 75 km
Site of previous missile launches
Sea of Japan
Seoul © 2009 MCT Source: AP, ESRI
North Korean ship tracked Washington – The US military is reportedly tracking a North Korean vessel suspected of carrying illicit weapons in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,Admiral Michael Mullen, told reporters today the United States and other countries have authority under the resolution to inspect a“vessel like this”but provided no details. “We intend to vigorously enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 to include options, to include certainly and hail and query,”Mullen said. FOX News, citing an unnamed senior US military source, reported the North Korean ship, the Kang
Nam, left the country on Wednesday and is being monitored by US forces in the air. A spokesman for the Hawaii-based US Pacific Command refused to comment on the report. The ship could be carrying weaponry,missile parts or nuclear materials or related technology, FOX said. One military source told FOX News the Kang Nam has been suspected of proliferating illicit cargo in the past and is “a repeat offender.” The Security Council passed the resolution following North Korea’s recent underground nuclear detonation,which has raised tension withWashington and was greeted with worldwide condemnation. The resolution calls for the boarding of North Korean ships after receiving permission but pro-
hibits the use of force to carry out the inspection, leaving the US military in a quandary about how to enforce the resolution on a non-compliant ship. One option is to wait until it reaches a refuelling port. Under the resolution, the host country is required to carry out the inspection and report to the Security Council. “The country of that port is required to inspect the vessel and to also keep the United Nations informed, obviously, if a vessel like this would refuse to comply,”Mullen said. North Korea has declared that an uninvited inspection of its vessel would be an act of war and that it would respond appropriately.
We intend to vigorously enforce the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1874 to include options, to include certainly and hail and query,” Mullen said
FBI: Michigan man is not abducted toddler By Bart Jones and John Valenti Newsday
NEW YORK. – The FBI said today DNA tests have determined that the assertions of a Michigan man who said he was abducted as a toddler on Long Island 54 years ago were unfounded. The FBI said DNA tests conducted on John Robert Barnes, of Kalkaska, Mich., found he could not, in fact, be Steven Craig Damman, who disappeared on Oct. 31, 1955, after his mother left him in front of a supermarket in East Meadow, N.Y., while she shopped. In addition, a birth certificate obtained by Newsday this morning shows Barnes was born on Aug. 18, 1955, in Pensacola, Fla., making him less than 3 months old at the time of the disappearance. Damman was nearly 3 years old when he vanished and sparked one of the largest mass hunts in Long Island history. Barnes’ father, Richard Barnes, this week called his son’s story“bull”and said he had been his father his entire life. He said his son was born in a Navy Hospital in Pensacola, Fla., on Aug. 18, 1955.“We brought him home two days later,”the elder Barnes said.“And he’s never been out of our sight.” He said he and his son are estranged and have not spoken for several years even though they live about 8 miles apart in Michigan. Appearing on NBC’s“Today”show this morning, John Barnes said he always has had a nagging feeling he wasn’t who his parents said he was. “As I got older,”he said,“I realized how different I
was from my mother and father and that something wasn’t right. . . . I wasn’t sure if I was kidnapped or switched at birth or adopted. I just knew I didn’t come from these people.” Barnes has been at the center of a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe attempting to determine if he is, in fact, Steven Craig Damman. The disappeared child’s mother, Marilyn Damman told Nassau County police that she had gone to the supermarket for a loaf of bread, leaving 2-year, 10-month-old Steven outside with his 7-monthold sister, Pamela, who was in a stroller. When the young mother came back outside, she said her two children were gone. Pamela Damman was found inside the stroller around the corner from the store. Steven Damman has not been seen since. Barnes said he began searching for his true identity after the death of his mother, the woman who raised him, about 10 years ago. It has been reported that Barnes claimed the woman, on her deathbed, had told him he was not her son. On the “Today” show, Barnes claimed that was not true. “She didn’t tell me that,”he said.“She was trying to tell me that. She was dying of lung cancer. She was on a bunch of different drugs.That’s what I believe she was trying to tell me.” Also appearing on “Today” was Pamela Sue Horne, Steven Damman’s younger sister, who said she believed there was a good chance John Barnes was really her long-missing brother. Interviewed by Meredith Vieira, Horne was asked how much she knew about her missing brother
growing up.“It wasn’t talked about,”Horne said. Horne said she first learned about the possible link between her and Barnes in a letter she received in 2008 – and it has been reported that a privately conducted DNA test previously concluded she and Barnes could be related. In March, the two contacted John Robert Barnes is the Nassau County police not the toddler Steven Damman who went department, which formissing in 1955, the warded the case to the FBI. FBI said Thursday Both Barnes and Horne have submitted DNA for testing by the FBI-and those tests, being conducted at the FBI lab in Quantico,Va., are expected back in about one month, a source said. “When we first talked,” Horne told Viera of her initial conversation with Barnes,“it was just an immediate friendship. Like we had known each other for years.” Jerry Damman, 78, of Newton, Iowa, who was a 25-year-old airman stationed at Mitchel Field in East Meadow in 1955, told Newsday earlier this week he has reason to believe Barnes really is his long-lost son. The mother divorced Jerry Damman within a year or so after their son disappeared. Now known as Marilyn Kimberlin, she is confined to a nursing home in Grain Valley, Mo., and is said to be unaware of the new developments.
But Barnes told the“Today”show he began checking online missing persons cases after the conversation with his dying mother-and said it was a picture of a then 22-year-old Marilyn Damman that convinced him he might be Steven.“I first saw pictures of Marilyn Damman in old newspaper archives I was researching,”Barnes said, adding:“She was 21 or 22 at the time and I knew what I looked like at that age and that’s what got me started on this case.” The missing toddler was said to have a small scar under his chin and a mole behind his ear. Barnes said he has both of those identifying marks-and that also convinced him he was missing Steven Damman. He told “Today”his true identity will ultimately be determined by the results of the DNA tests. “There’s an investigation going on right now and when that’s over with, I’ll know who I am,”Barnes said.“Right now, I’m pretty confident that those tests will come back positive. It’s important to me because I’ve always wanted to know who my real relatives were.” The missing toddler was said to have a small scar under his chin and a mole behind his ear.Barnes said he has both of those identifying marks – and that also convinced him he was missing Steven Damman. He told “Today”his true identity will ultimately be determined by the results of the DNA tests. “There’s an investigation going on right now and when that’s over with, I’ll know who I am,”Barnes said.“Right now, I’m pretty confident that those tests will come back positive. It’s important to me because I’ve always wanted to know who my real relatives were.”
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19 June 2009
It started with a kiss The All Blacks were also out-scrummaged but perhaps the most disconcerting element of their Wellington, June 19 – No more kisses and play was poor tackling, an area where the French cuddles. Instead the wise counsel of an All Blacks were clearly more desperate. rugby legend will be ringing in the ears of the New That element has been partly addressed by overZealand players ahead of tomorrow’s second test hauling the home loose forward trio, including the against France here. introduction of Bay of Plenty flanker Tanerau LatAt the All Blacks’final training run today, coach imer for his first test start. Graham Henry chanced upon former captain and The latest man to wear Richie McCaw’s No 7 coach Sir Brian Lochore, who passed on a simple jersey while the injured captain recuperates could observation of the 27-22 first test loss in Dunedin. provide the glue missing during a hopelessly dis“He said ‘you were ready for battle last week but jointed performance at Carisbrook. you weren’t ready for war’,”Henry said. “He’s a pretty experienced young guy really,” “That was a pretty good statement from BJ Henry said, talking up Latimer’s influence as the (Lochore). He said the boys just don’t understand Chiefs reached this year’s Super 14 final. what is required, a lot of them, until they’ve expe“He’s got very good stats at the tackle, he’s a very rienced it.” efficient tackler and he turns over a bit of pill. The equivalent pre-test press conference last week “So he’s got very good pedigree. It’s just time was a light-hearted affair, where Henry planted a playing test match rugby that these guys need to kiss on new captain Mils Muliaina and spoke of a be top players at this level.” relaxed team mood. France coach Marc Lievremont had done his While not exactly sombre today, a more composed utmost to keep his players grounded, making three Henry said the reality of test rugby had dawned on changes to inject fresh legs at the tail end of a long several less-hardened members of his squad. season and to prevent the team from going men“Another week together is always very helpful,” tally stale. he said. While his desire is to play a more attacking style “They’ve got their feet under the table a bit now tomorrow, it is unlikely the French will veer far from and they know what test rugby is all about. the hard-nosed driving play and smothering defence “Hopefully they’ll be ready for war tomorrow that served them so well in Dunedin. night.” “We are aware that the All Blacks are going to The experience factor has possibly been over- react to the defeat so we’ll have to play at least as stated by the All Blacks camp. well as last week,”Lievremont said. A New Zealand starting side featuring four “There is more confidence but we have to be carechanges actually take a healthy tally of 410 com- ful about a lack of humility. bined test caps into the Westpac Stadium match, “Here we are very humble.We don’t want to fall easily eclipsing the 327 of the tourists. into the trap of thinking about success the whole Of more concern to Henry will be whether his time.” players have learned some serious lessons from last Tomorrow night’s forecast is for southerlies and week, where they fell well short of French opponents rain, although the temperature may not drop to au fait with the breakdown and maul laws which the arctic conditions of last year’s season-opening reward muscular skills not employed in New Zea- test against Ireland in Wellington which several All land for two years. Blacks described as the coldest of their careers. By Daniel Gilhooly of NZPA
Tiger’s return trips The U.S. Open’s return to Bethpage Black, where Tiger Woods won in 2002, is perhaps the strongest indicator that Woods will win his 15th major championship this week. Woods has had multiple victories on 13 courses during his PGA Tour career, accounting for 47 of his 67 wins, including 10 of his 14 majors.
Where Woods has multiple wins (Flag denotes number of wins)
Tiger Woods at Bethpage Black in 2002
Firestone Muirfield Village
Pebble Beach La Costa
How Tiger has fared in return trips to major venues
Bay Hill Doral
(Excluding Augusta) Course
Tied-68, 1995 British Open
Won, 2000 British Open Won, 2005 British Open
Royal Lytham & St. Annes
Tied-22, 1996 British Open
Tied-25, 2001 British Open
Withdrew, 1995 U.S. Open
Tied-17, 2004 U.S. Open
Tied-24, 1997 British Open
Tied-9, 2004 British Open
Tied-29, 1997 PGA
Missed cut, 2006 U.S. Open
Tied-3, 1999 U.S. Open
2nd, 2005 U.S. Open
Won, 1999 PGA
Won, 2006 PGA
Tied-7, 1999 British Open
Tied-12, 2007 British Open
Tied-12, 2001 U.S. Open
Won, 2007 PGA
How Tiger has fared in previous majors at upcoming venues (Excluding the Masters) Tournament
Has not played
Won, 2000 and ’05; Tied-68, 1995
Royal St. George’s
Atlanta Athletic Club
Source: golfstats.com, pgatour.com, MCT Photo Service Graphic: Chicago Tribune
© 2009 MCT
Bond on brink of comeback US Open may be a washout By Chris Barclay of NZPA
Auckland, June 19 – Shane Bond’s return from exile is likely to coincide with New Zealand’s tour of Sri Lanka in August – though the country’s premier fast bowler will face a gradual reintroduction to elite cricket. Bond, 34, has declared his desire to play all forms of the game for New Zealand including tests, the format he blamed as the catalyst for many of the injuries that blighted his sporadic 17-test career. When Bond joined the Indian Cricket League (ICL) in late 2007 – an unsanctioned Twenty20 competition that has since collapsed – New Zealand’s greatest pace bowler since Sir Richard Hadlee was effectively banned from representing the national side. Now back in the selection frame after severing ties with the ICL, Bond is back in training in Christchurch, and eyeing a return to international duty on the New Zealand A tour to India in August. A bowler of Bond’s pedigree might expect to be fast-tracked straight into the test team to play Sri Lanka twice that month, but he and New Zealand Cricket selection convenor Glenn Turner felt the A tour was a more realistic goal. The intention is for Bond, form and fitness willing, to join the limited overs squad in Sri Lanka in September for five ODIs and two Twenty20 matches. “I love test cricket – it’s the pinnacle – and it would be nice to have another chance to play,”said Bond, adding he did not expect to stroll straight back into the side. There is no doubt he would be welcomed with open arms, but Turner did point out Bond had not played four-day cricket in New Zealand since 2006-07. However, he did play county cricket for Hampshire in England last summer, taking 19 wickets in 99 overs at 19.21.
Bond confined himself to the limited overs competitions for Canterbury last season, where he proved typically dangerous with 19 wickets at 23.57. Although he has spent at least nine weeks bowling indoors back home,Bond admitted it would take time to readjust to the demands of international cricket. Still, his intention to play test cricket is a refreshing turnaround from the spearhead that took 79 test scalps at 22.39. Bond said the test against South Africa in Johannesburg in November 2007 would be his last, regardless of his signing with the ICL early last year. But a provincial campaign with Canterbury reignited his enthusiasm, Bond saying he was disappointed to only be involved in the 50 and 20-over competitions. Turner was delighted Bond’s attitude to test cricket had altered. “He’s obviously had a rethink, now we have to see if the body will stand up to it.Time will tell. “If he can produce the goods, that’s great.” Bond, who last played one-day cricket for New Zealand at the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies, said he was not as consistently fast as a decade ago but was still clocking around the 140kmh mark. Fellow ICL renegade Daryl Tuffey, the leading wicket taker in New Zealand’s four-day competition last season, might also see his international career resurrected for the first time since the World Cup. And Craig McMillan has not ruled out a return, though the 32-year-old also hoped to extend his fledgling career as a commentator. Like Bond, McMillan played the last of his 197 ODIs in the World Cup semifinal defeat to Sri Lanka two years ago. McMillan, who joined the ICL’s Kolkata franchise, said he was toying with making himself available for Canterbury – and New Zealand selection.
By Dan O’Neill St. Louis Post-Dispatch
FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – For years, critics of the USGA have been suggesting golf’s governing body should spread the wealth and conduct its U.S. Open championship in other areas of the country.Well, the organization accommodated those wishes Thursday by conducting the first round of the 109th U.S. Open in Seattle. Kidding, of course. The national championship is actually being staged at one of those traditional Eastern seaboard sites, the Black Course at Bethpage State Park. But the Long Island environment felt more like the precipitous Northwest on Thursday, as rain fell in biblical proportions. Showers already had begun by 7 a.m. (EDT), when the first wave of the 156 players teed off from the Nos. 1 and 10 tees. It was still raining at 10:15 a.m. when play was halted temporarily, and it was raining even harder at 1:55 p.m., when “uncle” was officially declared and the round was suspended for the day. At that point, four players had a tenuous piece of the lead, with honours going to Jeff Brehaut, whose 1-under score covered 11 holes. Johan Edfors (four holes),Andrew Parr (three holes) and Ryan Spears (three holes) also were at 1 under. Defending champion Tiger Woods, playing alongside PGA and British Open champ Padraig Harrington and Masters winner Angel Cabrera, had
reached the seventh green when the horn sounded to halt play.Woods was 1 over par after letting loose with a loud epithet while suffering a double-bogey at No. 5. He rebounded with a birdie at No. 6 and was staring at a 10-foot putt for par on No. 7. While 78 players were able to put the ball in the soggy air, 78 were not, leaving the USGA with a gaping hole of golf to fill in this 72-hole championship. Problem is, there is a distinct possibility of more rain in tonight’s round, and Saturday’s outlook is even worse. By Sunday, the maintenance crew at Bethpage either will be squeegeeing off greens or hastily constructing an ark. “Saturday does not look good,” said Jim Hyler, the USGA vice president and chairman of the championship committee. “And then there is the possibility of rain, more rain, not like this but more rain, on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of next week. “I guess a perfect scenario would be, given what we know now, we would finish the second round by the end of the day Saturday and then try to play 36 holes on Sunday.” But, given the persistence of the low-pressure system hovering over the western end of Long Island, given the buckets of water Bethpage might be dealing with, the “perfect scenerio”seems more like a pipe dream. “If the forecast we’ve got right now for Saturday and so on were absolutely accurate ... yes, absolutely finishing on Sunday would be borderline impossible,” said Mike Davis, USGA senior director of rules and competitions.
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19 June 2009
TV & Film
0Documentary by: Robert Kenner 0Length: 94 minutes 0Rated: PG (for some thematic material and disturbing images
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Outstanding Worthy effort So-so A bomb
In recent years the romantic comedy, or rom-com, has cross-fertilized with other genres, giving it new vigor. Rom-com and buddy movie mated to produce the bromance, the platonic love story between men (I LoveYou, Man). Last week, romance and caveman
comedy hooked up to produce what you might call bro-magnon mischief (The Hangover). This week – to comparably tasty effect – romcom and slapstick farce conjoin to deliver the romromp in The Proposal. Hilarious fun, it stars Sandra Bullock as a needling publisher, Ryan Reynolds as a human pincushion and Guy Friday, and a greencard problem as the plot device. Inside her publishing house MargaretTate (Bullock) inspires fear.To alert the assistant pool that she is on the march,Andrew (Reynolds) sends a global e-mail,“The witch is on her broom.”So busy is Margaret firing underlings that the publisher, who happens to be Canadian, forgets to file the paperwork for her green card.
0Cast: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, and Betty White 0Director: Anne Fletcher 0Length: 107 minutes 0Rated: PG-13 (sexual innuendo, mild profanity – suitable for most ‘tweens)
Angels & Demons Drag Me to Hell The Hangover Land of the Lost My Life in Ruins Night at the Museum
Terminator Salvation Up © 2009 MCT
On the verge of deportation, she blackmails Andrew into marrying her. He blackmails her back: She’ll get U.S. citizenship if he gets a promotion.And off together they go to Alaska for the 90th birthday of his beloved Grandma (Betty White). The setup is formula, but Bullock and Reynolds supply surprising fizz and kick. Their characters compete to see who can toss the most withering barbs without moving his/her lips, bringing new meaning to the word “deadpan.” These are two gifted physical comedians at the top of their game.When Bullock minces purposefully in 6-inch stilettos, or when Reynolds – a hard-bodied 6-footer – gets small and soft like a mini-marshmallow, it’s funny. Not chick-flick funny – across-the-board, flat-out, fall-down funny. Anne Fletcher, choreographer-turned-director (Step Up,27 Dresses), uses her characters’body language for maximum comic impact. Especially in the scene where Bullock, freshly out of the shower and hunting for a towel, runs smack into Reynolds, stripped down for his after-workout ablutions. Peter Chiarelli’s script squarely hits the funny bone. In part, it’s because the stars are cast against type and gender. Likable Bullock finds her sour spot as the unlikable Margaret; secure Reynolds is dithering fun as the insecure Andrew.That Margaret has the professional power Andrew craves helps make the film fresh. White plays a silver-haired version of her“Golden Girls”character, a foxy grandma three beats ahead of everyone else. She gets laughs without being undignified, something that cannot be said of supporting actor Oscar Nunez. He plays Ramone, a man who, it would seem, performs virtually every job in Sitka,Alaska, and is howlingly, spittingly, withouta-shred-of-dignity hysterical. Watch the trailer
– By Carrie Rickey
Want to be thinner, healthier and richer? Forget fad diets and self-improvement books; reform agribusiness, argues Food, Inc. Bombarded by ads for fast, cheap, adulterated foods, we consume in ways that are nutritionally unwise and harmful for our planet. Robert Kenner’s intellectually nourishing film asks us to look critically at what we’re being fed and think twice before swallowing. After opening titles that mimic the bright, cheery graphics of food advertising, the camera prowls the aisles of a vast, shiny supermarket. The film contrasts the romanticized family farm imagery on grocery packaging with the industrial-scale assembly line production that fills the shelves and coolers. That oversized, shrink-wrapped chicken breast was a hatchling just 48 days ago. What was it fed, what drugs did it ingest, what was its life like? Meet Carol Morrison, a former chicken farmer who lost her livelihood when she refused to raise her poultry in the stifling, windowless warehouses required by her corporate client. Food, Inc. tackles a hugely complex subject and frames it in human terms. We hear the story of a lifelong Republican tearfully lobbying Congress for stricter food safety policies after her 2-year-old son died from an E. coli-tainted burger. A low-wage family of Mexican immigrants decides that Whoppers will fill their stomachs more economically than fresh fruit will. We see the revolving door between government regulatory agencies and food corporations, weakening scrutiny and higher crop subsidies. Those government payments artificially hold down the price of corn, which in turn emerges as a key ingredient of almost every food item you can name. It becomes cheap feed for cattle. But cows evolved to eat grass, so this artificial diet can make them sick. Their diseases are treated with antibiotics, which have produced more robust strains of E. coli in their bellies. The mass-produced cattle move through slaughterhouses so fast that contamination is almost inevitable. So the meat is ground up and sanitized with a shower of ammonia. Fries with that? Monsanto, the near-monopoly that once employed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has created an army of spies and litigators to protect its proprietary gene-manipulated crops. In an outrageous sequence, we meet soybean growers – guys who live in quaint farmhouses like the ones on food packaging – being bankrupted in court by the biotech giant. Their crime: saving their own heirloom seed. Foodie activists Eric Schlosser (author of the bestseller Fast Food Nation) and Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) are our onscreen guides through the agriculturalindustrial maze. Kenner, who has made historical documentaries for PBS and the National Geographic Channel, is no propagandist. His film has a progressive tilt, but it has positive things to say about Wal-Mart’s openness to healthful organic products. Seeking balance, Kenner invited representatives of big food, biotech and insecticide companies to tell their sides of the story. Almost all refused. Organic farmer Joel Salatin, who treats his animals with kindness and care, shows us what best-practices farming looks like. In the film, one of his patrons says, “We’ve driven 400 miles to get this chicken, but it’s worth it.” An executive of Stonyfield Farms talks about changing consumer attitudes and the profit potential of organic farming. Food, Inc. tackles a vast problem, but sends us home with glimmers of hope. Watch the trailer – By Colin Covert
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19 June 2009
NEW CD RELEASES Sonic Youth
0The Eternal 0Matador From cover art courtesy of foundsound guitarist John Fahey to titles referencing Beat poets and hard-core giants, there’s no mistaking this as anything but another record from America’s arbiters of avant-everything, SonicYouth. But after 18 years and nine CDs with Geffen, there’s a formidable difference in thisYouth. Indeed, there are touchstones to all SY has been (Detroit punk enthusiasts on “What We Know”) and played (oddly tuned, bell-chiming guitars on “Massage the History”).They’ve returned to their indie-label roots but emboldened that sound to include sly,sexier melodies with the three singers acting as a united front on contagious tunes like“Leaky Lifeboat (for Gregory Corso).”While Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, and Lee Ranaldo have their way with “Lifeboat”(listen hard and hear Led Zep within its riffs!),the vocalist/ instrumentalists find even newer tricks to exploit.
Life Inc.: Trapped in an unreal corporate reality Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take it Back 0Douglas Rushkoff 0Random House. 304 pages.
In a review of one of his earlier books a few years back, I referred to author Rushkoff as a Renaissance Man, though after reading this new one, he’d clearly be more at home in the latter part of the Middle Ages between the 11th and 13th centuries. According to him, that era was a more productive and people-friendly period, with many of the advancements attributed to the latter one actually occurring in this so-called First Renaissance. This new one is an interesting and challenging book. Its primary theme is that corporations, which were originally devised to suppress competition and preserve the wealth and power of monarchies, – A.D. Amorosi have evolved to possess more rights than individuals and most governing authorities. Furthermore, the Iggy Pop “operating system” behind the world’s economies 0Preliminaires and monetary systems is antithetical to produc0Astralwerks tivity and most other human values beside greed, avarice and (unenlightened) self-interest. Rather, says Rushkoff, through manipulation of markets, Hot on the heels of his reunion with resources, production and labor, the world’s ascendnoise-punk godfathers the Stooges, ant corporate interests have diminished humanity. few expected Iggy Pop’s next What we’re largely left with is artificial scarcity, move to be a hot N’Orleans jazz perpetual debt and an empty allegiance to the sloand clunky acoustic blues-imbued gans and logos of the oppressors. recording based on Michel Houellebecq’s scorchedRushkoff writes:‘There are two economies – the earth novel,“The Possibility of an Island.” real economy of groceries, day care and paychecks, A stinging brass section that would be at home on and the speculative economy of assets, commodia Fats Waller 78 swings, while Pop’s baritone croon ties and derivatives.What forecasters refer to as ‘the creases the nihilistic lyrics of “King of the Dogs” economy’today isn’t the real one;it’s entirely virtual. like a hot knife on butter. Along with talk-singing It’s a speculative marketplace that has very little to in French to the accompaniment of a swelling ambi- do with getting real things to the people who need ent hum on a cover of “Les Feuilles Mortes,” Pop them, and much more to do with providing ways caresses the bossa nova classic “How Insensitive” for passive investors to increase their capital. This with loving care. economy of markets – first created to give the rising Pop’s done quiet throughout his career – the merchant class in the late Middle Ages a way to invest sub-tone sax-filled“Tiny Girls,”tender bits of“Fun their winnings – is not based on work or even the House”– and talked about the influence of Coltrane injection of capital into new enterprises. It’s based as often as Howlin’Wolf.Yet, this is a rounder exer- instead on‘making markets’in things that are scarce cise in jazzy blue and smoldering red notes, even as – or more accurately,things that can be made scarce, Pop approaches the grimy synth-pop clink of“He’s like land, food, coal, oil and even money itself.” Dead/She’s Alive”and the tentative Latin balladry Rushkoff’s not a socialist or communist, to be sure, of“Spanish Coast.” though he’s clearly opposed to corporatism, or as it’s – A.D. Amorosi also known,“fascism.” He questions and exposes many of the things that are taken for granted, such Black Eyed Peas as home ownership, which he exposes as a means 0The E.N.D to tie workers to their labor by giving them a tiny 0Interscope stake, albeit one with enormous debt attached to it. But for all his slow-boiling outrage, Rushkoff’s proposed remedies are modest and local, as befitting Black Eyed Peas don’t get enough a near impossible endeavor dedicated to chipping respect for doing the same things away at the foundations of civilization. right as “legitimate” rappers. In – By Richard Pachter “Boom Boom Pow,” the enormous first single from The E.N.D., the Peas’ fifth album, Fergie rhymes “style” and “pow” with rubbery dexterity and the resourcefulness of a grocery bagger. World War One: A Short History It took them a while to shed their skins, but the 0Norman Stone Peas are the most enthusiastic pop act to incor- 0Basic Books (US$25) porate rapping since – who, Prince? After a few mindlessly hooky albums, they make another left turn into a dance paradise here, at least as Autotune- The White War: Life and Death on crazy as Kanye and at least as good as Madonna’s the Italian Front – 1915-1919 “Confessions on a Dancefloor.”Fergie plays yearn- 0Mark Thompson ing disco-diva on “Meet Me Halfway,” and “Imma 0Basic Books (US$30) Be”makes excellent use of a hi-res squiggle synth. “Electric City” reclaims some of Dizzee Rascals’ It is a commonplace for armchair generals to lament eight-bit Nintendo noises, and “Out of My Head” that the nation lacks the will to see wars through dubs in horns and slap bass like some kind of futur- to their conclusion.This echoes the griping of comistic KC and the Sunshine Band. None of these are manders from World War I, stiff and arch relics of classics, but all are bumping enough for your 2008 empire and privilege, who complained that the men (“2000-late”)-themed party. in the trenches and on the battle fleets lacked the – Dan Weiss stomach for victory. Again and again, they threw
armies into suicidal frontal assaults, aiming to exhaust the enemy and harden their own soldiers. British historians Norman Stone and Mark Thompson offer very different narratives that draw similar judgments about military leaders who, today, might face courts-martial for their callous disregard of the lives of their men – Gen. Robert Nivelle of France, Field Marshal Douglas Haig of Britain, Gen. Erich Ludendorff of Germany. Worst of all, Gen. Luigi Cardona of Italy.Thompson’s The White War describes a sadistic,out-of-touch commander who believed in killing his own men to steel the will of the survivors. One of Cardona’s corps commanders called it “a necessary holocaust.” It led instead to 1917’s debacle at Caporetto, the greatest defeat for Italian arms “since Hannibal destroyed the Roman legions at Cannae.” Italy’s losses were 12,000 killed, 30,000 wounded and 294,000 taken prisoner.An additional 350,000 Italian soldiers fled the battle, shouting that the war was over, and they were going home. Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” describes the battle through scenes of Italian officers executing other Italians. On the actual battlefield, the scenes were no less cruel. Cardona passed one retreating group of Italian soldiers singing the “Internationale”and wondered why his officers were not executing the men. Norman Stone’s World War One:A Short History describes how French and British forces rallied to Italy’s defense, but only after demanding that Cardona be dismissed. The ultimatum was not made public until 1967. Thompson’s book is a comprehensive work following the causes, culture and combat of Italy’s war against Austria-Hungary and Germany. In trying to capture so much,Thompson at times lurches into personalized war stories with abrupt changes in verb tense and loses the sweep of his narrative. Still, these are good books demonstrating how historians can gain strength from the legacies of earlier work. Stone’s book is a special pleasure – a concise, pithy mix of fact and judgment. He writes that Germany’s attempt to stir Mexico to war against the United States, the“Zimmerman telegram”(intercepted by British intelligence and then fed back to where American eyes would see it), “was Germany’s suicide note, written in farce.” He highlights the importance of railways for mobilization and for rushing reinforcements to weak points in the line. He shows how again and again, generals anxious for breakthroughs overran their support trains, losing all that had been gained. Ten million died. Russian, Ottoman,Austro-Hungarian and German empires crumbled. The peace that followed was just a 20-year cease-fire before the greater maelstrom of World War II. – By Jim Landers
Back into the trenches Writing for Elvis, and the man who cursed the Beatles Hound Dog: The Leiber and Stoller Autobiography 0Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with David Ritz 0Simon and Schuster ($25)
How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll 0Elijah Wald 0Oxford University Press ($24.95)
The history of 20th-century popular music in America has often been a story of race. Genres grew and
evolved, young practitioners borrowed from old masters, and the resulting gumbo owed its heart and soul to both black and white. Both Hound Dog and the provocatively titled How The Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll emerge as histories that couldn’t be more different. But both follow the same muddy stream. Hound Dog, by storied songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, with an assist from David Ritz, is a pull-up-a-chair sort of book, a dual first-person telling from a pair together so long they complete each other’s thoughts. Leiber, a Jewish kid from Baltimore, was enthralled by the music he heard working in black neighborhoods. Stoller, a New Yorker, had a similar story.The two big-city boys set out to write the blues, penning songs for artists such as Willa Mae “Big Mama”Thornton and Charles Brown. And somehow, they ended up as founding fathers of a new music called rock ‘n’roll. Their conversation in Hound Dog lays out the path.They meet as teens in Los Angeles, where their families have relocated,decide to write songs together for blues and R&B acts, and somehow make a go of it. One day, they learn a hit song they wrote for Big Mama has become a blockbuster for a young white boy from Mississippi named Elvis Presley. Hound Dog changed everything. Leiber and Stoller became Elvis’“good luck charms.” In one frantic four-hour session, they wrote four hit songs for Elvis, including“Jailhouse Rock.”Their songs were covered by everyone from Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee to the Drifters and the Coasters to the Beatles. And they put together more hits than any other writing pair except for a couple of guys named Lennon and McCartney. While Hound Dog stands as a compelling piece of oral history, Elijah Wald’s How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll is a full-bore academic treatise,“an alternate history of American popular music,” as the subtitle says. He certainly takes a different approach. To put the music in context with its era, he looks both at the ways music reached its audience (from the piano in the parlor to concerts in the park to vinyl, CDs and iPod downloads) and the most popular performers of the day. In the early jazz era of the 1920s, for example, that means occasional references to the quintessential music of Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, but a much more detailed focus on Paul Whiteman, the“King of Jazz.” Whiteman took“hot jazz”and de-emphasized“African rhythm”to accentuate “European melody,”Wald writes. By doing that, he broadened his audience significantly.The Beatles did much the same, he said. Wald says he grew up a fan of the Beatles, at least the matching-suited, Beatle-booted version. But he painstakingly presents his case for how they, as his title says, destroyed rock ‘n’roll. It began, he says, when the Beatles abandoned live performances. Rather than releasing a new album every couple of months, each packed with chart-topping singles, the band headed into the studio for months to realize their artistic ambitions. The brilliance of those releases (“Rubber Soul,” “Revolver,”“Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” among them) changed the way artists worked. The album, rather than singles, became the focus, spawning the rise of FM radio and its broadcasting niches. Did the Beatles destroy rock ‘n’roll? Wald makes a strong argument that they did. But even if that isn’t exactly true, his book provides a powerfully provocative look at popular music and its impact on America. – By Michael E. Young
19 June 2009
Sinful delight: No one does chocolate quite like Paris By Marie Maguire Contra Costa Times
PARIS – In Paris, chocolate is art. La Maison Du Chocolat frames its truffles in gold leaf. Jean-Charles Rochoux uses chocolate to carve whimsical animals. And waiters at Angelina don’t serve their rich, dark hot chocolate – they present it, along with a bowl of whipped cream. Parisians don’t consume chocolate – they celebrate it – and no two places that sell it are the same. “Each shop has its own style,” says Jennifer Wilbois, guide for viator.com.“You have to find what you like.” My husband, Mark, a devout chocoholic, and I were on our first trip to Paris and decided to take a walking tour of the city’s chocolate and pastry shops. We were instructed to meet in front of La Maison Du Chocolat. Finding it was easy. Waiting outside its enticing window was not. A plate of chocolate eclairs beckoned, and the information on viator. com promised we would get samples. Fortunately, Jennifer met us a few minutes later and ended our pain by taking us inside. La Maison started as one man’s passion for chocolate. In 1955, Robert Linxe opened a high-end confectionary boutique, a daring move at the time. Chocolate was considered a holiday treat, bought only at Christmas and Easter. However, Linxe’s success proved that two days a year was clearly not enough. His first shop metamorphosed into La Maison du Chocolate in 1977, and in 1990, he came up with the “incomparable eclair.”Linxe’s eclair is smaller and narrower than the ones found in the United States. Mark and I split one. It was outstanding – light airy pastry enhanced by rich dark chocolate icing and a creamy chocolate center that went down easily. La Maison and the other shops we visited that day are all located in the Latin Quarter of Paris. This area surrounds the Sorbonne University, and gets its name from the Latin language, commonly spoken during the Middle Ages. If you’re visiting the Luxembourg Gardens, where
the locals play ongoing chess games, or you’re a “DaVinci Code” fanatic tracing the Rose Line in the nearby Church of Saint-Sulpice, sweet treats are never far away. A la Reine Astrid offers a good selection of chocolates at affordable prices. In business since 1935, this chain has a style familiar to most Americans. The atmosphere is casual, the sales people are friendly and the gaily-wrapped chocolates are meant to be eaten, not necessarily worshipped.A la Reine Astrid also is known for its pralines, which are excellent. For serious chocolate connoisseurs who are willing to pay the price, try Pierre Marcolini. The shop’s window resembles a jewelry store.A few boxes of chocolate are on display, and each is mounted on a black pedestal against a black background, as though priceless gems are being sold instead of candy. The store’s clerks carry out the jewelry theme by wearing formal black dresses and upswept hairdos. Pierre Marcolini’s truffles are small but pack an intense flavor. My sample of dark chocolate and sweet mango blasted my taste buds. Mark’s dark chocolate against dark chocolate combination had a delightful peppery kick. But even if you’re not a chocoholic – even if you’re
not hungry – the shop of Jean-Charles Rochoux is worth a visit. Rochoux uses chocolate to create creatures. Dark chocolate frogs, milk chocolate cherubs and leering alligators are thrown together on his shelves. It’s a sight that dazzles the eye as well as stimulates the taste buds. We didn’t sample any of the animals; they were out of our price range. Small animals cost more than US$20-$30 each, and the giant chocolate frog was priced around $76. However, the truffles were the among the best we had on the tour. They were square, not round, and the smooth, rich ganache center was enhanced by traditional cocoa powder. If chocolate isn’t your passion, the Latin Quarter offers other alternatives. Just look for the lines. You’ll find people pouring into Pierre Herme, where the macaroons are a treat for both the eye and the palate. These aren’t the coconut cookies familiar to supermarket shoppers. Herme’s creations are soft biscuit sandwiches with creamy centers, infused with every color and flavour under the sun, from pistachio to chocolate. His macaroons are so popular that some Parisian brides are serving them at weddings instead of traditional cakes. Lines also form outside bakeries, such as Gerard
Mulot and Poilane. Parisians depend on bread, and the dependency is so strong that no baker simply packs up and goes on vacation. First, he lines up another bakery to supply bread for his neighbourhood and then he leaves a note on his door telling his customers where to pick it up. But if chocolate really is your first love and you want to take a taste of Paris back with you, go to Angelina.The restaurant, located near the Louvre museum, serves an extremely rich, decadent hot chocolate that swamps your mouth with flavor without being overly sweet. Patrons enjoy it two different ways – either pouring the chocolate in the cup and piling on whipped cream or loading the cup with whipped cream and drizzling in the chocolate. We found a third way.Angelina’s also sells its hot chocolate.We brought a bag home, and recently, we made some for ourselves. One sip, and the memories of a great vacation came pouring back.
IF YOU GO La Maison Du Chocolat Eight boutiques in Paris, including 225 rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, 19 rue de Sevres and 99 rue de Rivoli, 00-33-01-55-51-8300, www.lamaisonduchocolat.com/en
Jean-Charles Rochoux 16 rue d’Assas, 00-33-0142-84-2945, www.jcrochoux.fr A la Reine Astrid 24 rue Cherche Midi. 00-33-0142-84-0702, www.reineastrid.fr Pierre Marcolini 89 rue Seine, 00-33-01-44-073907 and 3 rue Scribe, 011-33-01-44-71-0374; www.marcolini.be
Pierre Herme 72 rue Bonaparte, 00-33-01-43-252817; 185 rue de Vaugirard, 00-33-01-47-83-8996 and 4 rue Cambon, 00-33-01-58-62-4317; www.pierreherme.com
Gerard Mulot 76 rue de Seine, 00-33-01-43-268577, www.gerard-mulot.com Poilane 8 rue du Cherche-Midi, 00-33-01-45-484259; 49 bld de Grenelle, 00-33-01-45-79-1149; www.poilane.fr
Paris info Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau, 00-3308-92-68-3000, http://en.parisinfo.com