The recent news about Cyprus banks confiscating depositor’s funds sent chills throughout the financial world here and abroad. I couldn’t believe that the plan in Cyprus hinged on the idea that the bank could just steal customer’s funds to balance the bank’s books. I muttered to myself when I read the story that something as crazy as that couldn’t possible happen here in the United States. Unfortunately, I learned that the plan to pull a Cyprus type grab here was already in the works. Continue reading ‘Could the Banksters Grab Your Bank Deposits?’
Archive for the 'International' Category
Happy Easter to all of our bloggers and readers that are celebrating today. The fluffy interloper came last night and left an array of goodies for the four kids. He was forced to work a bit later by two separate questionnaires from Madie and Aidan.
Chinese Restaurant Owner Found With Dozens of Threatened Turtles Killed For Soup But Is Allowed To Simply Pay FinePublished 1, March 29, 2013 Animals , Criminal law , Environment , International 34 Comments
The spiny freshwater turtle population is less than 1000 according to Canadian reports, but they found a windfall of dozens of the turtles recently. The problem is that they were dead and on a Chinese menu. Yet, the Chinese owner will face only a relatively small fine for this violation. In killing and sell these turtles for soup (and contributing to the possible loss of a species) the owner will face less of a penalty than a car theft or bad check.
Saudi Arabia has long shocked the world with its medieval Sharia justice system, but nothing prepared most of us for the recent execution in Jazan, Saudi Arabia. Faced with Mohammed Rashad Khairi Hussein, a Yemeni man accused of murder and sodomy, the Sharia court ordered him first beheaded and then crucified. This is not the first such sentence under Sharia law. A man in 2009 was ordered beheaded and then crucified for being a gang leader.
Ecuador To Sell China More Than Three Million Hectares Of Pristine Amazonian Rainforest For Oil DevelopmentPublished 1, March 28, 2013 Environment , International , Science , Society 28 Comments
We have long followed the horrific record of China on the environment. The Chinese regime has continued to push for high production rates as the number of “cancer villages” and lethal pollution rises across the country. This record has made China the worse environmental violator in the world. Now, greed has combined with power to make for what could be one of the greatest single environmental losses with China expanding its destructive record to Latin America. Ecuador has announced a plan to auction off more than three million hectares of pristine Amazonian rainforest to Chinese oil companies. The loss of such pristine areas (and unique species within it) will cause incalculable damage to feed China’s insatiable demand for energy.
In recent weeks, Muslims in Bangladesh have marched on the capital demanding death for atheists who have simply openly blogged about their their beliefs. Islamic groups have denounced the blogs as an insult to Mohammad and Islam and demanded arrests. In the meantime, they have attacked atheists and engaged in violent attacks in the name of Islam. They have killed eight people as part of their moral crusade. Rather than arresting the culprits, the government has moved against the bloggers.
Russians are very upset with the EU bailout of Cyprus which involved tapping larger bank accounts to pony up the money needed to secure the loan. Russians use banks on the island and could lose billions. I happen to agree that the plan is grossly unfair and penalizes those who have saved their money in a responsible fashion. Yet, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev seems to be channeling not just Lenin but Joe Biden in a recent bizarre public statement that in Cyprus “the stealing of what has already been stolen continues.” The comment left many scratching their heads on precisely what the Russian leader was saying about wealthy Russians.
We have previously discussed the lower criminal sentences handed down in England in comparison to the United States. Some such cases truly shock the conscience as in the case of Jordan Sheard (left). Sheard had long bullied Steven Simpson (right) for being gay as well as for his speech impairment and epilepsy. Sheard got Simpson to strip to his underwear and wrote gay slurs over his body which was covered with tanning oil. He then lit him on fire at his birthday party.
All Balls, No Brains: British Businessman Charged With Selling Useless Golf Ball Detectors As Bomb DetectorsPublished 1, March 25, 2013 Bizarre , Criminal law , International 21 Comments
British businessman Jim McCormick is accused of a dangerous and despicable con. He is charged with making slight modification to cheap golf ball detectors and then selling them as bomb detectors at a “handsome but unwarranted profit.” McCornick allegedly would charge various governments up to £27,000 for the devices that were entirely useless. The ball finders can be purchased for just $20 in the states.
We previously discussed how the number of dead pigs in Chinese rivers leading to Shanghai has increased from a few hundred to just under 1000. The number is now 16,000 and counting. Yet, Chinese officials insist they have no idea who dumped over 16,000 pigs into the water but that the rivers, used for drinking water, is completely safe.
Continue reading ’16,000 and Counting: Chinese Continue To Pull Out Dead Pigs From River Used By Shanghai Residents’
We have been following (here and here and here and here and here) the worsening situation in England concerning free speech. As noted in a recent column, free speech appears to be dying in the West with the increasing criminalization of speech under discrimination, hate, and blasphemy laws. Now, a French Jewish student group is adding its name to the movement to curtail free speech rights. The Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) is demanding 38.5 million euros after Twitter has declined to turn over the identity of people responsible for comments deemed anti-Semitic by the group. The students appear to have no concept or at least concern for the loss of anonymity in free speech. Like others, they are focused only on their insular grievance with no appreciation for the harm caused by such court orders.
Saudi Clerics Order Destruction Of Centuries Old Areas of Mecca, Including Ancient Columns, In Expansion ProjectPublished 1, March 21, 2013 Bizarre , International , Politics , Religion 25 Comments
It appears that, while Saudi Arabia will kill citizens for blasphemy, they do not appear to have much respect for Islamic history or preservation. Photos snuck out of Mecca show wholesale destruction of ancient sections of holy sites as part of an expansion project. What is astonishing is the lack of any effort of preservation due to . . . you guessed it, Wahabi clerics who declared that the sections are better destroyed in the name of Islamic principles. It is ironic that, as a non-Muslim, I am outraged by the loss of such historical areas. Photos of the destruction were published here by The Independent.
We have been discussing the epidemic of rape in India, including the grotesque recent gang rape of a woman on a bus who died from internal injuries. The attitude of Indian officials has ranged from the disgusting to the bizarre. Now we can add the rape of a Swiss 39-year-old woman who was gang raped and her husband beaten up after camping near a Hindu temple. A spokesman for Madhya Pradesh police department promptly said that the woman and her husband brought on the rape by camping in the wrong spot. This week a British woman fractured both legs and suffered head injuries after jumping from her hotel window to escape being raped by the owner.
AEK Athens midfielder Giorgos Katidis is the latest celebrity to embrace that “I’m a moron” defense in the wake of a scandal. In celebration of a goal against Veria last week, Katidis did a Nazi salute. It would be an outrage in any country but the Germans in World War II killed as many as 800,000 of his countrymen — though the precise number has been recently debated. He has now been banned from the national team.
Just when you thought that blasphemy laws could not get any worse, the Muslim Brotherhood has come up with a new idea: citizen arrests of tourists for blasphemy. The Middle East is replete with cases of mobs killing people accused of the slightest offense toward Islam. Now, according to Internet reporting, the Egyptian prosecutor general for the Muslim Brotherhood has pushed through a new law permitting ordinary Egyptians to arrest those who offend Islamic law.
We have another story showing the moral decline of pandas. Chinese officials are showing five-year-old Ke Lin and her partner Yongyong long panda pornography movies to try to get them in the amorous mood. Ke Lin had been shunning her mater. However, in a direct clinical confirmation of the impact of porn on the young mind, Ke Lin watched the movies now she is a character right out of the movie “Boogie Nights.”
Ok, I am not asking for it but, if anyone is looking for something for my upcoming birthday in May, this would be a great idea. In every movie of the Titanic, the signature moment is the ship band playing as the ship sinks in the cold Atlantic seas. The head of the band was Wallace Hartley leading his seven other band members. Now, Hartley’s violin is being auctioned off. That’s right, the very same violin that Harley took into the water on that April night in 1912.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of the leprechauns of the blog from the Turley Clan.
Continue reading ‘HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!!!’
Utah Legislators Object To Domestic Violence Law Out Of Concern For Abusers Just “Testing The Limits” and Same-Sex ProtectionsPublished 1, March 15, 2013 Bizarre , Criminal law , International , Politics , Society 37 Comments
What was expected to be a simple correction of its domestic violence statute in Utah to include non-married couples, triggered a disturbing outburst of homophobic and extremist views. The bill was opposed by the Gun Owners of America.
We have continued to chronicle the arrest and prosecution of citizens for merely filming police in public. Some prosecutors like Anita Alvarez in Chicago have fought hard to send citizens to jail for videotaping police in public, though courts have continued to support the obvious right to such filming. This video shows that police in other countries like Australia are showing the carrying out the same abusive measures.
Egypt and Muslim Brotherhood Denounce U.N. Document Calling For Protection Of Women As Contrary To Islamic PrinciplesPublished 1, March 14, 2013 Constitutional Law , Criminal law , International , Politics , Society 33 Comments
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian diplomats denounced the United Nation’s document calling for the protection of women as contrary to Islamic principles and Egypt is demanding that the resolution include an exception for countries that view the provisions are contrary to their values. The Egyptians called the document “deceitful” and the ruin of traditional families.
A local sharia court has added a stoning death to this year’s record after a Pakistani soldier was found to have had an affair with a local woman in Northwesterd Kurram. To make matters worse, Anwar Din, 27, is a Sunni and Intizar Bibi, 19, is a Shiite girl.
Dead Pig Count Now Past 6000 In Shanghai River But Chinese Officials Insist Water Is Fine For DrinkingPublished 1, March 14, 2013 Animals , Criminal law , Environment , International 58 Comments
We previously saw how Chinese environmental officials are struggling to pull dead pigs out of the river in Shanghai while assuring people that the tsunami of dead pigs has no effect on drinking the water. Now the body count is up from 900 to 6000 and some articles suggest the number is more like 9000. Yet, Chinese officials insist that they are unable to locate the source.
Cinema Communista: North Korea Runs Video Showing How Americans Are Homeless, Drink Snow, Rely On Charity From North Korea, And Shoot Their ChildrenPublished 1, March 14, 2013 Bizarre , International 27 Comments
North Korea has long been an example of a clinically psychotic nation that engages in propaganda displaying wild fantasy and transference. The latest video however is truly unnerving. In a nation with extreme poverty and malnutrition, North Korea has run a video showing that (rather than it receiving aid from the U.S.) the U.S. relies on aid from North Korea and is a virtual hellscape of poverty, death, and despair. I can now understand why Dennis Rodman calls Kim Jong Un a “friend” and plans to vacation with him. It is better than eating birds and shooting children back in the states.
The bizarre world of Iranian extremism was evident again this week as clerics in Iran raised a hue and cry over a picture where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is shown consoling Hugo Chavez’s mother with a hug. Clerics called the picture a sin and abomination against Islam. They also attacked another cleric, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Mirtajeddini, who felt no moral difficulty in lying about the hug and saying that the photo was doctored.
At first, this article sounded like a reform in the making out of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: the government is considering a moratorium on beheadings. However, the reason is not some sudden modernization and rejection of medieval Sharia laws. Saudi is facing a labor crisis of sorts: there are too few swordsmen to dispatch the guilty.
There is a rather disturbing poll out this week where 54% of Austrians think neo-Nazi groups could be successful in Austrian elections if a ban is lifted and 42 percent of Austrians think “not everything was bad under Hitler.” Of course, one has to focus on trains arriving on time and traffic control while forgetting about the genocide and war that left Austria and Germany in utter ruins.
There’s crazy and then there is Karzai crazy. Afghan President Hamid Karzai spoke this weekend and accused the United States of colluding with . . . the Taliban. It was an odd accusation from a man who said that he wished that he had joined the Taliban against the United States as American soldiers were dying in the field and the American people were pouring billions into this corrupt family and country. Notably, however, Karzai does put the lie to the Administration’s heralding how the President is trying to pull out troops from Afghanistan when reports indicated that the Administration has been trying to get Karzai to let more troops stay in the country.
The hope for reforms in Saudi Arabia remain a roller coaster ride for civil libertarians. On Saturday, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced two prominent political and human rights activists to at least 10 years in prison for protesting the policies of the Kingdom and speaking with the media. Mohammed Fahd al-Qahtani (shown right) and Abdullah Hamad are founding members of the banned Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association, known as Acpra, which documents human rights abuses. The group also has called for a constitutional monarchy and elections. The exercise of basic rights of free speech and association that led to the banning of the group and now the sentencing of its leaders.
The environmental problems in China continue to grow worse as the regime spurs industry to keep up production numbers in an economic downturn. We have recently seen environmentalists attacked for criticizing Communist officials for the dismal condition of rivers in China. Now, one city that uses a polluted river for drinking water woke up to find more than 900 dead pigs floating down their river. Chinese officials insist that it is not a case of dumping but curiously say that they have no idea how it happened or where the animals came from.
Recently we discussed the DHS’s self-approval of their draconian and arguably unconstitutional and unquestionably outrageous policy on searching computers within 100 miles of the border (Your Rights Under Attack: What A Difference 100 Miles Makes). This week, a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals not only showed the DHS was legally wrong in their self-approval of a policy that runs afoul of the 4th Amendment, but also illustrated the true value of the checks and balances created by the Separation of Powers Doctrine that so many in the Executive seem eager to trample these days. The case at bar was U.S. v. Cotterman. In a breath of good news for civil libertarians, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals en banc ruling held that the 4th Amendment does apply at the border despite DHS contention to the contrary.
Let’s look at this case and ruling. Bear with the long restatement of facts as they are relevant to the holding.
Congress is again showing its traditional contempt for the rule of law this week with members crying foul that Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, an Al Qaeda spokesman and son-in-law of Usama bin Laden, would be actually given a fair trial. Senators like Lindsey Graham (who just yesterday condemned a fellow Senator for standing against Obama kill list policy) has denounced the decision not to give Abu Ghaith a military tribunal trial where basic constitutional protections are denied to detainees.
There is a verdict in the trial of economist Vicky Pryce, 60, the wife of former cabinet minister Chris Huhne (left). Pryce raised a “marital coercion” defense in saying that her husband coerced her to lie and take his speeding points 10 years ago. It is a bizarre case, not only because you have a successful woman claiming that she was coerced into this act, but also the level of prosecution over that taking of speeding points.
We have been criticizing President Barack Obama for years over the failure of his Administration to prosecute officials responsible for torture as well as the intentional destruction of torture tapes at the CIA. Now a high-ranking United Nations official is joining the condemnation of Obama and his Administration. Ben Emmerson, U.N. special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights, has condemned the failure to prosecute a single person for the official torture program implemented during the Bush years. The Obama Administration has thrown the books at those who leaked the information on our torture program but Obama himself promised the CIA after his election that CIA personnel would not be prosecuted despite our obligations under international treaty.
It appears that something borrowed and something blue is often the same item in some marriages in China. Chinese police are dealing with a rather novel crime: people digging up corpses to be buried with dead bachelors. They are called “ghost marriages” and four men have been arrested in this bizarre criminal enterprise.
Lech Wałęsa won the Noble Prize for fighting for Polish independence against the Soviet bloc, a move that ultimately helped bring down the wall dividing East from West. However, he seems to have rediscovered the comfort of a wall in his latest comments calling for homosexual members of parliament to be placed behind a wall to remind them that they are a minority and should adapt themselves to smaller things.”
Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger
One of America’s greatest novels in my opinion is “The Great Gatsby” and I think many literary critics feel the same. If you’re not familiar with it, the short synopsis is that it is the tale of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious figure of self made wealth who arrives on Long Island’s North Shore, known as the “Gold Coast”, back in the “Roaring Twenties”. His life intertwines with Tom and Daisy Buchanan, a “golden” young couple with inherited wealth and the best social pedigrees. The interplay between these three leads to ultimate tragedy for Gatsby and more than a few other characters swept into the social vortex surrounding the Buchanan’s. On the last page of this magnificently crafted book, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, the narrator Nick runs into Tom and Daisy who are gaily embarking on a trip to Europe after some cataclysmic events of their causing and he says of them:
“They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”
Continue reading ‘“The rich are not like the rest of us”’
In Australia, there is an interesting case involving Sharia. Increasingly, Muslims in Western nations are turning to Sharia justice as opposed to conventional courts to address family and personal problems. In the case of Muslim convert Christian Martinez, he sought punishment and forgiveness from his Muslim religious mentor, Wassam Faayad, for drinking and taking drugs. Faayad and his associates proceeded to give him some old-fashioned Sharia justice with an electrical cord. Then Martinez changed his mind but the beating continued. Now four Muslim men are convicted of assault in a Sharia version of “no, means no.”
This Russian man truly loves his car. Enough to be a human shield from hail.
We previously discussed how a local businessman shamed the Chinese government by offering to pay the top environmental official 200,000 yuan (around £20,000) to swim in the disgusting river near Rui’an City. The same dare was made by two Chinese environmentalists, including Chen Yuqian, a 60-year-old resident of Pailian village in Zhejiang province. It was a modest suggestion given the rampant environmental hazards and choking pollution in the country, including the dozens of cancer villages (which only this week were acknowledged by the government). However, he received his answer this week. Forty men came to his house and beat him for embarrassing the government — a standard response for Chinese environmentalists and villagers who succeeded in drawing attention to the dire plight of Chinese citizens.
We have all seen video of driving accidents in Russia where people commonly cut in front of cars with only inches of space. Well, the newest hero in Russia is a vigilante bus driver named Alexei Volkov who intentionally hits vehicles that cut in front of him — all recorded on his dashboard camera.
The United Nations this week heard of rising abuse against atheists, agnostics, and secularists around the world. A report on this abuse, including executions, was given to a panel including Pakistan, Mauritania and Maldives which impose the death penalty on blasphemers. Turkey used the opportunity to call for the protection of “people of faith.”
This is a video of how a Chinese official deals with news that he has missed his flight. The man is identified in news accounts as Yunnan Mining Co. Vice Chairman Yan Linkun, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), the political advisory body in the People’s Republic of China. Linkun reportedly missed a flight from Kunming to Guangzhou because he was eating breakfast. He then missed the second flight when he didn’t hear an announcement. It then went from bad to worse.
Muslim cleric Ahmed Al-abedulqader is a member of the Islamic Ministry for Da’wah, Guidance and Endowments and he clearly has “issues” with women, particularly when they served in public positions. Recently, women were allowed to serve on the Shura Council, a formal advisory body to the King of 150 members who can propose laws and advise him. It was a significant and commendable act by the King — a hopeful sign of reform for women’s rights. That appears to be the very reason that Al-abedulqader and other clerics unleashed sexist tirades. In Al-abedulqader’s case, he took to Twitter to call the women “prostitutes.” Dr. Saleh al-Sugair, a former teaching assistant at King Saud University, also went public and called the women the “fifth of society” for their historic achievement.
Pakistan has been working with the Obama Administration in an effort to create an international blasphemy standard. Now one of its diplomats in Washington is accused of blasphemy herself. She has been accused of blasphemy by a businessman, an offense that carries the death penalty in Pakistan.
Parents in Ontario, Canada are justifiably angry at a prank pulled by teachers on the graduating students of a South Windsor where students were convinced that they were gong to be taken to Disneyland as a graduation gifts and then crushed when told it was just an elaborate joke. The joke left many students at Roseland in tears and left parents fuming about the worst joke ever.
Pasta? Sacre Bleu, Pâtes! French Language Police In Quebec Crackdown On Italian Restaurant For Having Too Much Italian On Its MenuPublished 1, February 22, 2013 Bizarre , International 18 Comments
As some of you know, I love Canada and particularly Quebec. However, for all of their wonderful food and culture, Quebec inherited the quixotic and often comical cause of protecting French against common expressions from their counterparts in Europe. Now, the language police, Quebec’s office of French language, or OQLF, has cited a restaurant for having too many non-French terms on its menu. The problem is that it is an Italian restaurant and the names of the dishes are Italian.
Dammam If You Do, Dammam If You Don’t: Saudi Arabia Cracks Down On Christians Praying In Private HousePublished 1, February 22, 2013 Criminal law , International , Religion 51 Comments
Mutawa units, Saudi Arabia’s religious police, have been busy this month arresting Christians who practice their faith in the Kingdom. While Saudi Arabia has led the fight to create an international blasphemy crime and objected to every minor slight to Islam, it is one of the most repressive and intolerant regimes for religious freedom in the world. It will not allow the building of a single church in the Kingdom and now is cracking down on those who pray to a Christian God. The latest arrests occurred among foreign workers at a private residence in Dammam.
Continue reading ‘Dammam If You Do, Dammam If You Don’t: Saudi Arabia Cracks Down On Christians Praying In Private House’
This morning, our blog passed our 15,000,000 viewers. Since just a few weeks ago that we passed the 14,000,000 mark, it is obvious that the blog continues to grow at an impressive rate. We continue to rank in the top ten most viewed legal blogs in the world and I would like to think that our civility policy adds to the appeal of the blog for new viewers.
A report from Nigeria alleges that a million dollars of a poverty fund was used to pay for an appearance of Beyoncé in Bayelsa. While it is not clear if she also chose to lip sync that performance, she was paid, with Jay Z, to appear in 2006 allegedly with money dedicated to help 47% of Bayelsans who live in abject poverty.