Daily Archives: July 27, 2007

Rio police ‘killed 652 people this year’

Herald Sun | Jul 18, 2007

RIO de Janeiro state police killed 652 people in the first half of 2007, 25 percent more than the same period in 2006 and nearly twice as many as New York police killed in all of 2006, according to official and unofficial tallies.

In the midst of a major crackdown on drug trafficking and kidnapping gangs in Rio de Janeiro’s sprawling favelas (shanty towns), only 11 police were killed from January to June of this year, the Public Safety Institute said.

That puts the police-civilian kill ratio at 1-to-59 during what police called “acts of resistance” to law enforcement operations.

In June alone, 83 people were killed in police action in Rio de Janeiro state, against no recorded deaths for police officers, the institute said.

According to a tally kept by Radio Noticias del Planalto (NP), more people were killed by police the first six months of the year in Rio de Janeiro (652) than were killed all of last year by police in New York City (375), which had a one-to-41 police-civilian kill ratio.

NP reminded its listeners that several civic groups last week sent a letter to state authorities criticizing police action “solely aimed at poor sectors of the population and the systematic extermination of young favela dwellers, carried out in the name of politics and security.”

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Rio police arrested for mugging U.S. cops on holiday

Reuters | Jul 26, 2007

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Rio de Janeiro police arrested two fellow officers on Thursday accused of extorting money from two American tourists who happened to be San Francisco cops on vacation.

“One of the victims identified the officers and they are under administrative arrest for now,” a police spokeswoman in Rio said. The crime-ridden city is swarming with tourists during the Pan American Games, which end on Sunday.

The U.S. tourists were leaving a night club in Rio’s Copacabana beach neighbourhood before dawn on Wednesday, when two uniformed police officers approached them and searched them for drugs. At night, the neighbourhood is a red-light district with several brothels and strip joints.

Although no drugs were found, the officers told the tourists they would have to pay a bribe or be arrested. One of the Americans went back to their hotel to fetch the equivalent of some $2,200 (1,075 pounds) in local and foreign currency. The Brazilian policemen then took off with the money and an MP3 player.

Corruption is rife in Rio’s police force despite the authorities’ efforts to root out bad cops. Officers, who often have to confront well-armed drug gangs, complain they are underpaid and many have to moonlight as private security guards to make ends meet.

Policing in Rio has been heavily reinforced in the last three weeks during the Pan American Games. No major incidents have been reported after months of daily gun battles in the city’s sprawling hillside slums.

Online name-calling leads to a real-life revenge of the ‘nerd’

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John Anderson, left, and a digitally altered photo of Russell Tavares that Anderson posted on his website

Star Tribune | Jul 26, 2007

ELM MOTT, TEXAS – A sailor who got mad when someone mocked him as a “nerd” over the Internet climbed into his car and drove 1,300 miles from Virginia to Texas to teach the other guy a lesson.

As he made his way toward Texas, Russell Tavares, a weapons-system petty officer, posted photos online showing the welcome signs at several states’ borders to show his progress.

When he finally arrived, Tavares burned the guy’s trailer down. The damage was in excess of $50.000.

This week, Tavares, 27, was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to arson.

The feud started when John G. Anderson, 59, who runs a haunted house near Waco, joined a picture-sharing Web site and posted his artwork and political views.

After Anderson blocked some people from his page because of insults and foul language, they retaliated by making obscene, digitally altered pictures of him, he said.

One of the people with whom Anderson traded barbs was Tavares, investigators said. Tavares boiled over when Anderson called him a nerd and posted a digitally altered photo making Tavares look like a skinny boy in high-water pants, holding a gun and a laptop under a “Revenge of the Nerds” sign.

Tavares obtained Anderson’s real name and hometown from Anderson’s Web page about his Museum of Horrors Haunted House.

Tavares would not let the feud go even at his sentencing. According to police, Tavares took cell-phone photos of Anderson in the courtroom. Authorities ordered the photos erased.

Anderson, a former Marine and Vietnam vet, said he continues to be harassed online and found bullet holes in a door to his business.

Cruise is ‘Goebbels of Scientology’, says German church

Independent | Jul 23, 2007

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In the film Valkyrie ,Tom Cruise, 45, plays Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer and aristocrat who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944 by planting a bomb inside the Nazi leader’s East Prussian headquarters.By Tony Paterson in Berlin

The German Protestant Church compared the Hollywood film star Tom Cruise to the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels yesterday and claimed the actor was using his celebrity status to publicise the controversial Church of Scientology, of which he is a prominent member.

The criticism of Mr Cruise, who is in Germany to make a film about an attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler, was the most vitriolic in a series of attacks on the actor over his membership of Scientology – regarded as a cult in Germany and kept under surveillance.

Thomas Gandow, 60, chief spokesman on religious cults for the German Protestant Church, described Scientology as a “totalitarian organisation” and said that Mr Cruise had become “the Goebbels of Scientology”.

In the film Valkyrie ,Tom Cruise, 45, plays Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer and aristocrat who tried to assassinate Hitler in 1944 by planting a bomb inside the Nazi leader’s East Prussian headquarters. However, Mr Gandow dismissed the film yesterday as “propaganda for Scientology”. Mr Gandow added, in a reference to the favourable publicity won by Hitler’s Nazi party during the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games: “This film will have the same propaganda advantages for Scientology as the 1936 Olympics had for the Nazis.”

Mr Gandow’s attack on the actor followed criticism from the German Defence Ministry, which banned the actor from filming at key military sites in Berlin which were authentic locations during the 1944 plot.

Antje Blumenthal, a conservative MP and Scientology critic, said: “Unlike the Nazi propaganda minister, Tom Cruise has the sympathy of the public. As a Scientology ambassador he uses his popularity very cleverly in the interests of the totalitarian sect.”

Meanwhile, Dieter Wedel, 46, a veteran German film director, joined other film buffs yesterday in criticising the campaign against the actor. “This sort of discussion damages Germany as a film location. What an actor believes is irrelevant. I agree that Scientology is dangerous, but there are other ways to combat the organisation,” he said.

Despite the public row, the film has been quietly awarded sponsorship from the German film board.

Canadians Completely Unaware of Looming North American Union

Bush and Calderon to Visit Canada

Global Research | Jul 17, 2007

by Kevin Parkinson

In just over a month’s time, on August 20, the most powerful president in the world will be arriving in Montebello, Quebec for a two-day conference. President George W. Bush will be meeting with Stephen Harper and their Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderon. So far, the silence from the Canadian and American media has been deafening.

Talk to 90% of people on the street and they won’t know about this upcoming conference, and if by a slim chance they do, they won’t know the purpose of the meeting or why the leaders of Canada, United States and Mexico are meeting in the dog days of summer under what amounts to a veil of secrecy.

So, what’s this upcoming conference all about, and why are the newspapers, radio and television keeping silent about it?

The purpose of the upcoming conference is to ratify the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, which was initiated by Bush, Martin and Fox in 2005 in Waco, Texas. Essentially, this so-called ‘partnership’ will result in what the politicians refer to as ‘continental integration’-newspeak for a North American Union- and basically a harmonization of 100’s of regulations, policies and laws.

In layman’s terms, it means that once this ‘partnership’ has been ratified which is a fait accompli; we will be following in the footsteps of the European Union. It will mean that Canada will become part of the North American Union by 2010, and that our resources, agricultural, health and environment issues, to name a few, will be controlled not by Canada, but by the government of the North American Union.

A huge ‘NAFTA’ highway, one quarter of a mile wide, is already being built in Texas, where private land is being expropriated, and will eventually reach the Manitoba border.

Water will be the ‘issue’ of this century, as more than 25 states in the U.S. are currently in desperate need. Where do you think they will get the water they need?

The United States is already guaranteed 60% of our natural gas resources from NAFTA, which mean that even during emergencies when we need energy, we will have to import it, while we are forced to export gas to the U.S. This is just one example of how Canada is being shortchanged, and it’s only going to get worse.

Why has there been absolutely NO public consultation on the biggest issue (North American Union) facing Canadians since Confederation? Why isn’t Guy Lauzon, our local MP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry, holding town hall meetings, bringing in cabinet ministers and explaining how the emerging North American Union will affect our Canadian way of life? Ask the citizens of Canada for their feedback. Isn’t that how democracy is supposed to work?

Folks, I suggest that Mr. Lauzon isn’t even aware of the SPP or the North American Union, which explains why the Conservative government has denied all Canadians information to which they are entitled. If he does have something to say about it, then let him raise the issue in our riding.

Furthermore, the example of the North American Union illustrates that our government claims to be democratic, but in fact, does it act like one, or does it prefer to make the big decisions at committee level behind closed doors, while masking its real intentions?

The ratification of the SPP, and the emergence of the North American Union have been organized entirely by government committees and private enterprise. I refer readers to my website at http://www.realitycheck.typepad.com

for further information on the North American Union.

If our citizenry allows the North American Union to come into existence, then our way of life will change drastically, for the years to come. With privatization of our resources, increased foreign ownership, and a Canadian government with less and less authority, our children and grandchildren will be come ‘North Americans’ and our quality of life will drastically decline.

The founding fathers of Canada must be rolling over in their graves.

North American Union Will Kill The Dollar

Small Town Papers | Jul 26, 2007

By Rick Coddington

SOCORRO, New Mexico (STPNS) — If you missed last week’s column (shame on you), we looked at the potential of being forced to join the North American Union of Canada, Mexico and the United States. In my opinion, this agenda will prove to be a disaster for America.

Our latest slice of the New World Order will create a common market and currency and a “harmony of laws.” This Union, which is the brainchild of the Council for Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission in 1967, stayed on the back burner until the 80’s, gaining momentum under Reagan. It took a big jump in 2001 with the Bush/Fox “Partnership for Prosperity” and the Union now has a tri-national ministerial-level working group trying for a 2010 North American “community.”

That‘s two and one-half years to change the face of America forever. Impossible? Not really. All that these things usually take is an incident of sufficient impact to scare us into believing that such a loss of freedom is acceptable. It has happened over and over and our politicians are becoming masters at positioning themselves to spin an incident to justify their agenda. I think it’s very possible; the question is what will it mean to us?

For now, let’s focus on the monetary aspects. How much are you worth in “Ameros”? What’s an Amero? That’s what will replace your dollars if these guys get their way. Clever name, no doubt taken from the illustrious euro of the European Union.

One little thing that I noticed about the European Union is that the strongest currency of Europe is conspicuously absent from the union, that being the Swiss Franc. It seems that the Swiss could not see any advantage to joining the EU and risking their status. This begs the question; why would we want to join our dollar to the Mexican peso? If you are an economic history buff you will surely remember the peso roller coaster of the last decades. When I first went South in my youth, the exchange rate was about 12 to 1 (pesos to dollars). Shortly thereafter the peso fell to 70 to 1, for a while in the 70s it was impossible to put a value on the peso because there was the official rate and the black rate. The peso then gained for a while and set at 20 to 1 for a while.

If you are adding this up I’m sure that you have seen that the good folks of Mexico lost 80 percent of their net worth at one definable point and then over a couple of decades ended up just losing about half. Either way it is a serious blow to ones future to have those kinds of monetary problems.

The peso then went all the way to 7.9 to 1 before the current exchange of about 10 to 1 again. If we had been in Union with them during these crises, guess which country’s taxpayers would have been called on to fund the bail out? If you don’t believe me, take a minute and remember the savings-and-loans crash and the billions we paid to protect the folks who chose to invest without FDIC protection until they lost.

It will be the same for American taxpayers in the North American Union. As Mexico goes, so will our dollars, oops, I mean Ameros go. What do we have to gain in all this? Beats me. It’s just another aspect of replacing our beloved dollar with any new currency is the impact on all those folks who have a coffee can in the backyard for a rainy day.

You can be sure that one of the rules of the exchange will be that our good old-fashioned dollars will become scrap paper at some point.

To avoid that, you will take yourself to the banker/government accountant and justify what you have and where you got it. In our electronic age this may not be a big thing to everybody but it is another thing to look forward to. Add it all up and I believe we are being railroaded once again to fulfill the philosophical dreams of the out-of-touch elite.

And we haven’t even gotten into the “Harmony of Laws” yet. Stay tuned…

Protests as U.S. city gives illegal immigrants IDs

Washington Post | Jul 24, 2007

By Lucy Nalpathanchil

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) – New Haven, Connecticut, on Tuesday became the first U.S. city to issue identification cards to illegal immigrants, as opponents of the controversial cards booed the mayor and its backers cheered.

About 250 people gathered at the city hall as New Haven started issuing the cards that grant access to services such as libraries and parks, and give illegal immigrants a chance to open bank accounts.

Supporters say the ID cards, which are offered to all New Haven’s 124,000 residents, will improve public safety and give protections to its estimated 10,000 to 15,000 undocumented workers. Critics say they will invite illegal immigration, strain services and waste taxpayer money.

Shouting matches erupted as the two sides argued over the legality of the program, which comes as immigration reform is stalled in the U.S. Congress, leaving many cities to struggle with how to deal with a growing undocumented population.

Inside city hall, more than 100 residents, legal and illegal, waited in line to pick up or apply for the card.

“We are here for a long time and we need something to show that we are not bad people,” said a man who identified himself as Marvin from Honduras who has lived in New Haven for 15 years. “We need something to show to check our records and show that nobody is running from anything.”

About two dozen protesters from Southern Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Reform booed New Haven Mayor John DeStefano as he entered city hall, yelling: “Arrest him, arrest him. You’re breaking the law, Johnny Boy.”

The mayor did not acknowledge the crowd.

FEDERAL DEADLOCK

Later, when asked about the opposition, DeStefano said the city is dealing with an issue that the federal government has refused to address. “They don’t have the will to pass a coherent immigration and border security program,” he said.

“If we’re going to be the safest place we can be, we need to acknowledge who lives here.”

DeStefano said he doubted a plastic card in itself would spark an influx of illegal immigration.

“Immigration is largely driven by the desire of individuals to do better for themselves and for their children to have greater opportunity. That’s what creates immigration patterns: work and opportunity. Not a piece of plastic.”

Nadia Minor of Mexico, who came to New Haven with her family 12 years ago, said the cards were long overdue.

“I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not giving us permanent resident status. I mean opening a bank account and being able to present an ID, is that something that is really wrong?” she said.

Two banks have agreed to accept the new card as identification sufficient for opening an account.

The Southern Connecticut Citizens for Immigration Reform hopes to block the program with a complaint filed with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Connecticut, saying the program violates federal law, said Dustin Gold, a member of the group.

“Just because our fed officials will not enforce it, it does not give a municipal politician the right to bend and break the rules. The mayor has to be held accountable for this,” he said.

Linda Hartman of Branford, Connecticut, said the program is wrong. “This should be done on a national level. I don’t believe it should be done locally,” she said.