6
Oct

Indonesian anti-corruption chief convicted of murder

Friday, February 12, 2010

An Indonesian court has convicted the former head of the country’s anti-corruption agency of murder. The prosecution of Antasari Azhar and three others has been controversial, with some fearing the so-called “Judicial Mafia” played a role.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) already saw a proven plot to discredit it and frame its senior members. Shortly after Azhar’s arrest in May last year police came to take away Bibit Rianto and Chandra Hamzah, two deputy commissioners, to face trial for corruption. The trial, instead, unveiled a plot to convict the men of offences they had not committed. Protests in the street ensued, and locals gave corrupt officials the joint nickname of the “Judicial Mafia”.

The scandal resulted in the resignations of a chief detective and a deputy attorney general; the KPK had begun probing the attorney general’s office and that of the national police. During Azhar’s time as chair the KPK has exposed bribery at the former and prosecuted an in-law relative of the president during the country’s election preparations, with a jail sentence being the result.

The defendants had claimed political elements orchestrated a conspiracy to see the quartet convicted. The judges disagreed, with judge Herri Swantoro telling the court, “Defendant Antasari Azhar has been legitimately proven guilty of participating in persuading the carrying out of a premeditated murder.” The court’s judgement ran to 179 pages.

The case saw the four accused of plotting the March 2009 murder of tycoon Nasruddin Zulkarnaen, shot dead in his car by a motorbike assassin in Jakarta. Zulkarnaen was Azhar’s golfing partner and the businessman was alleged by the prosecution to have been blackmailing the KPK leader, who is a former prosecutor.

Azhar is alleged to have had an affair with one of Zulkarnaen’s wives, a golf caddie. With Zulkarnaen threatening to inform the press and parliament, Azhar is alleged to have plotted murder with several other officials. Police commissioner Wiliardi Wizar was accused of locating the assassins used; he claimed his senior had ordered him to testify he had been told by Azhar to kill Zulkarnaen.

Media mogul Sigid Haryo Wibisono stood accused of financing the contract killing, and businessman Jerry Hermawan Lo of arranging a meeting with the gunmen. All three were convicted alongside Azhar, who received an eighteen-year prison sentence. Wizar was jailed for twelve years, Wibisono for fifteen and Lo for five. All intend to appeal the verdicts.

One person who feels the court got it wrong is a human rights lawyer who defended Bibit and Chandra. “I think that this is all still a mystery,” said Taufik Basari. “I don’t think the judge had all the necessary facts to warrant a verdict of eighteen years.”

Despite the conviction of his relative, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono retained the presidency last June by a landslide majority. Originally elected in 2004, Yudhoyono has used an anti-corruption stance in his campaigns, heaping praise upon the KPK which Azhar was head of from December 2007 until his arrest.

The four new convicts join five men convicted of the murder in December. Alleged to have comprised the gang behind the shooting, they received sentences varying from seventeen to eighteen years imprisonment.

18
Sep

Cyclists Jason English and Liz Smith win 24 Solo in Australia

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

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Mount Stromlo, Canberra — This Easter weekend, elite mountain bike riders competed in the Australian 24-hour solo championships at Canberra’s Stromlo Forest Park. Jason English from Port MacQuarie rode 33 laps and won the men’s race. Liz Smith from Wollongong rode 25 laps and won the women’s race.

Races are won by riding the most laps. If two riders complete the same number of laps in 24-hours, the winner is the one who has ridden them in the shortest time.

Riders wear lights on their helmets and bicycles during night laps. Due to the time of year, there is roughly twelve hours of daylight and twelve hours of darkness each day.

The event is a curtain raiser for the WEMBO World Solo 24 hour Mountain Bike Championships, which will be held at Stromlo Forest Park on 12 and 13 October 2013. The race was for solo riders only.

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The weekend before, the teams of riders took to the track at the Mont 24 hour race at Canberra’s Kowen forest. With over 3,000 riders participating, it is now Australia’s largest cycling race.

The team version of the race was favoured by the weekend warriors, but also attracted more than a few elite athletes. Laps were ridden in relay fashion: each rider handed over the baton (which looked like a credit card) to another member of the team after riding one or more laps.

The track was in excellent condition, running through the trees. Without steep climbs or overly difficult technical sections, it permitted fast lap times.

No injuries were reported.

18
Sep

News briefs:April 23, 2010

 Correction — August 24, 2015 These briefs incorrectly describe BP as ‘British Petroleum’. In fact, such a company has not existed for many years as BP dropped this name when becoming a multinational company. The initials no longer stand for anything. 
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10
Sep

Kiribati acquires international funding for solar power

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Last Tuesday, AusAID Australia and the World Bank’s Global Environment Fund (GEF) reached an agreement to give the government of Kiribati US$5 million (AU$4,779,000, NZ$5,985,000, €3,885,000) to install solar panels around the country capital, located on the Tarawa atoll. According to Business Desk of the Brunei Times, AusAID promised AU$3.2 million in funding, while GEF promised US$1 million. The country was the first in the Pacific to make a deal with the World Bank.

The funding was part of a US$530 million (NZ$635 million) package announced at yesterday’s Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland involving New Zealand and the European Union, Australia, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the World Bank Group, and the United Arab Emirates. Also at the summit yesterday, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had announced a national commitment of USD$54,262,000 (AU$51,861,000 NZ$65 million, €42,178,000) to Pacific region energy solutions, of which US$8,348,000 (AU$8 million, NZ$10 million, €6,483,000) would be specifically earmarked for renewable energy and improved energy efficiency in the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Kiribati is heavily dependent on diesel fuel for most of the energy available on the national power grid, which supplies power to half Kiribati’s population of 110,000. In addition, a third of the country’s population lacks access to electricity. Once installation of the solar panels is complete, they are estimated to reduce diesel consumption by 230,000 liters (60,760 gallons) a year and give access to the electricity to some parts of the population that currently have no electricity. The European Union already has committed €100 million to sustainable energy in the region, with €10 million of that coming as a result of an announcement made last week.

In a press release about the news, Kiribati President Anote Tong was quoted as saying, “Kiribati faces big challenges it is remote, it is at risk from the effects of climate change, and it is vulnerable to economic shocks. […] Shifting Kiribati’s focus to reliable solar energy will provide a more secure, more sustainable power source for the country’s people.” Radio New Zealand International quoted Tong as saying, “It’s the first time we are doing this. We’re excited at the prospect of even substituting fossil fuel to a small extent at this stage. What the system being envisaged will only produce around 500 kilowatts, but this is the beginning of what I hope will be a pattern, the trend in the future.”

The European Union’s Fiji-based head of operations for the Pacific region, Renato Mele, supported alternative energy solutions like solar power for the region, but said that solar power had limitations because climate and environmental conditions sometimes meant batteries required to power the panels had a life of only 12 months, compared to other climates where batteries normally last five years. This created the potential to drive up standard operating costs. Mele has also noted these additional costs though are still lower than the cost of diesel power.

One News Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver noted, “Governments will be able to put the money they (currently) spend on diesel into things like education and health.”

7
Sep

Looking At The Various Luxury Eyeglass Frames In Manhattan, New York

byadmin

The wearing of eyeglasses is not the dread it was back in the middle 20th century. People are actually proud to be wearing glasses now, and make a fashion statement in doing so. Eyeglass wear is a booming business, in fact, as manufacturers are making luxury eyewear for consumers. An optician sells luxury Eyeglass Frames in Manhattan, New York. The choices which are available to customers at the store are numerous enough for everyone to find something unique to him or her. Here are some of these eyeglass wear choices available to customers.

1. Lots of people like to go for the horn frame look. The horn frame look stems from Germany, with each horn featuring its own unique colors. The frames are lightweight and comfortable for the wearer.2. The Oliver Goldsmith spectacles have been around since 1926. The company strove to offer spectacles that would be purchased by the upper echelon of society. The spectacles made a come back in the early 2000’s as “vintage wear.” The company has maintained its standards of quality, elegance and comfort.3. Another outstanding brand of eyeglass wear is made by Gold and Wood. This company has the distinction of selecting fine woods, buffalo horn and gold to make its signature eyeglass wear. The company goes through great lengths to be environmentally and socially responsible in the use of items to make the eyeglass wear.4. Beausoleil Eyewear began in 1987 in a Parisian shop, using genuine turtle shell and buffalo horn to handcraft the frames. These eyeglass frames are still made with the traditional craftsmanship used in the company’s beginning.

Charlotte Jones Opticians have been providing a wide range of luxury eyewear solutions for customers in the Manhattan, New York area for over 10 years. Premium brands of eyeglass wear are offered at the store. All of the frames have the distinction of being hand made. Charlotte Jones is an optometrist as well as optician who offers styles from Britain and Africa, promising elegance and unique design. She believes the eyeglass frames should reflect your personality as well as your mood. If you are looking for luxury Eyeglass Frames in Manhattan, New York, visit the website for more information.

7
Sep

Beirut car bomb targets Hamas official

Sunday, December 27, 2009

File:Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque Beirut.jpg

A car bomb went off in the Lebanese capital of Beirut Saturday. Two people were killed and three injured when device detonated in the southern suburbs of the city, an area where Hezbollah support is strong. The neighborhood of Haret Hreik was cordoned off by Hezbollah, preventing journalists from entering.

According to one source, Ali Barkah, Hamas’ Southern Lebanon Chief was killed. He is rumored to be the target of the bomb, according to Arab media. Lebanon’s State News Agency claim “three bombs tied to each other were placed under the vehicle”.

The bomb was detonated about 700 meters from a building in which Shiite supporters of Hezbollah were holding a ceremony for Ashoura on the eve of the event, Shiite Islam’s most important religious holiday.

7
Sep

An interview with gossip columnist Michael Musto on the art of celebrity journalism

Sunday, October 7, 2007

There are two things one can expect on a trip to see Michael Musto at the offices of the Village Voice: a 20-minute round-trip wait for the elevator and rapid fire answers from one of the most recognizable gossip columnists in the United States. Musto, in addition to his appearances on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and the E! network, has been writing his column for the Voice since 1984. He has recently compiled the best of them in a book released this year titled, La Dolce Musto: Writings by the World’s Most Outrageous Columnist. He was Carrie Bradshaw, replete with a prodigious use of puns, before Sex in the City was a thought. His column is a romp through his life, spats and opinions on socio-political issues. As David Thigpen of the Chicago Tribune wrote, Musto is “a funny and caustic satirist who masquerades as a gossip and nightlife columnist.”

Musto, a Columbia University graduate, is a rarity in today’s celebrity world: he is accessible. He often corresponds with his readers and his public functions are a mix of parties, nightclubs, academic lectures, university panels and film premieres.

He is friendly and frank, and he welcomes people to join him in his world (“I just got a message that Michael Lucas died!” he says staring wide-eyed at his phone; the message turned out to be false). Wikinews reporter David Shankbone spoke with Musto about his life and his relationship to the world of celebrity journalism. And he did not hold back.


Contents

  • 1 On writing a gossip column
  • 2 On celebrities
  • 3 On the gay community
  • 4 On outing gay celebrities
  • 5 On New York City
  • 6 Musto on Musto
  • 7 Sources
3
Sep

Quality Home Painting Stamford Ct

byAlma Abell

The expression, “Watching paint dry,” is a popular catchphrase that typically describes a boring activity. It is a humorous phrase for tedious or monotonous tasks or events that are uninteresting. However, for homeowners, this phrase does not hold the same meaning. Although homeowners who hire painting contractors to paint their homes do not literally watch the paint dry on their walls, waiting for the paint to dry is a gratifying experience. The smell of a freshly painted home executed by professional painters who use flattering colors is an inexpensive way homeowners can change the appearance of their homes and the atmosphere in each room.

In recent years, colors used for home painting have become more vibrant, and color choices for the home have expanded dramatically. Many companies that sell paint now offer more daring colors that were not even considered stylish in the past. This trend has become very popular and has prompted many homeowners to re-design their homes with new colors to create spaces that are more interesting. In many cases, changing the colors of the walls in a home makes it unnecessary for homeowners to purchase new furniture or accessories because the color changes brings out the existing decorations, and the colors make the home look richer.

Although decorating styles for the home change from year to year, an excellent paint job will last for many years to come, and professional painting contractors strategically use paint to create a balanced look that will bring out the most notable features in a room. They work with homeowners and act as a guide when they select their paint to ensure their color choices will produce the best results and satisfy the homes overall design and character. When homeowners need decorative professional Home Painting Stamford CT to upgrade their homes appearance, Prism House Painting LLC offers quality painting that will not only enrich the interior, or exterior of their homes, but will also give their homes a polished look that will make them look fresh and new.

Whether homeowners desire to paint the interior or the exterior of their homes, painting jobs should last a significant amount of time before they need to be redone. Professional painting contractors at Prism Home Painting make certain customers searching for Home Painting Stamford CT receive painting services that will add value to their homes and create a mood in their home without costly reconstruction.

3
Sep

Man commits suicide by jumping from Burj Khalifa

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A man committed suicide on Tuesday by jumping from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The unnamed man, believed to be in his twenties and of a South Asian ethnicity, jumped from the 147th floor and landed on a decking area of the 108th floor. His death would be the first known suicide that has happened at the skyscraper—currently the tallest in the world—since the building opened in January 2010.

The owner of the building, Emaar Properties, released a statement saying that at 09:00 local time Tuesday, “an incident involving a male” was reported. They continued, saying, “The concerned authorities have confirmed that it was a suicide, and we are awaiting the final report.” According to witness statements taken by the police, co-workers said the man had had a holiday request denied.

Suicide rates in the United Arab Emirates are higher than several other developed countries. Workers in Dubai say they suffer from “social abuse,” facing long work hours and few days off. Chenji, a Chinese worker in Dubai, spoke to the Big News Network about the man’s suicide, saying, “It’s a desperate act.” He added, “They promise things they don’t give once you get here.”

The Burj Khalifa has been temporarily closed to visitors as a result of Tuesday’s incident.

3
Sep

Effort to end monkey-ing around on Delhi’s subway

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

New Delhi authorities hope a fierce looking primate will solve the problem of mischievous monkeys infilitratring the city’s subway system. The Hindustan Times reports that langurs will be used to scare away their smaller cousins. A langur-wallah (or handler) is being paid 6,900 rupees (US$ 167) a month as a retainer and “will be called in whenever there is a monkey problem” says Anuj Dayal of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. “There are too many monkeys” said Mr. Dayal.

In June, a monkey reportedly crawled through some pipes and into a subway car jumping around and making faces at passengers who were evacuated to another car while staff chased the creature.

Delhi is known to suffer from trouble brought on by monkeys. The animals are reported to invade homes, schools and government offices in the city. Scores of animals have moved in as the city expands into surrounding forests. In an effort to control the problem, the Delhi administration captured about 500 monkeys and took them to the outskirts of the city last year.