Category: People

The ‘Star Leaker’ Becomes Leak Victim

Article first published as The ‘Star Leaker’ Becomes a Leak Victim on Blogcritics.

The man shot up to Celebrity status through leaking massive classified “unpopular war” logs and diplomatic cables between the deteriorating superpower USA and its ambassadors around the world, has himself become a victim to a supposedly officially unofficial leakage of Swedishjulian assange police report on his alleged sexual offences. Julian Assange, 39, reportedly complained that he was a victim of a targeted leakage by Swedish authorities while speaking with The Times.

Incidentally, the same British newspaper, The Guardian, which helped Assange publishing diplomatic cables, brought to light the report prepared by the Swedish police on Assange’s sexual abuse of his two women admirers, a charge denied by Assange. Assange claimed the newspaper was selective parts of the report on selected dates by which his release by bail might have been adversely affected.

“The leak of the police report to The Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application. It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning. Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison, and shopped (the report) around to other newspapers as well,” Assange was quoted as saying in Tuesdays The Times.

Assange is contesting a bid to extradite him to Sweden for participating in unprotected sex with two women. He says there is clear evidence that the two women were motivated by money, police pressure and revenge. If what Assange says is right, the third motivation, revenge, reveals that there was something to be considered guilty from Assange side too.

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Italy Education Reforms Face Fierce Opposition from Students

As part of wider austerity measures to reduce budget deficit, Italian government proposedItaly students strike education reforms the bill on which is introduced in Senate on November 22. Thousands of students opposing the reforms took to streets in several cities of Italy. Analysts say the Italy’s education sector is already under-funded. The education minister aims to save 9 billion Euros by cutting spending on public education system.

Because of reforms, the number of university courses would be cut down, some smaller universities would be merged, funding for grants would be reduced, the role of the private sector would be encouraged and the duration of rectorships would be limited. Private friendly media continued to support reforms attempting to reduce the scale of opposition to reform measures. The BBC reporter said Italy’s aging professors and teachers possessed excessive powers.

The spending cuts in education will lead to loss of nearly 130,000 jobs in education sector. Irony is that Italy spends less than 5 percent of its GDP for education, which is less than many developed countries.

Italian Students Protest against Education Cuts

Italian students are on war path protesting against education reforms planned as part of wider austerity measures. Tens of thousands of students marched in cities all over Italy on November 24. Students were organised in more than 50 cities. They occupied premises of 44 universities out of 66 government funded universities. Their protests included picketing, suspending classes and climbing on top of faculty buildings, administrative buildings and buildings of tourist attractions.

In Rome, the student protestors formed a human chain around the ancient Leaning Tower of PisaStudent protests in Florence, Italy and the Colosseum. About 2,000 students marched through the city surrounding the Pisa tower to prevent tourists from visiting the tower, BBC reported. They climbed to the top tire of the tower to hang a banner. They even tried to enter Parliament building. Teachers and Researchers also joined protests extending their support.

Hundreds of student chanted slogans and with banners and red smoking flares nearby the Parliament where the discussions were taking place on education reforms. Students pledged they would not allow passing the educations cuts in the Parliament. They threw stones and eggs on official buildings and riot police who blocked them. Some students were arrested and complaints were filed. Protests took place in several cities including Padova, Siena, Florence, Turin, Naples, Pavia, Perugia, Palemo and Saierno.

The proposed educations reforms are called Geimini Reforms named after Maria Stella Geimini, Minister of Education. The reforms aimed to decrease funds allocated to public education drastically. The reductions in funds allocation would lead to massive layoffs and reduced education programmes. Around nine billion euro cuts are proposed in the reforms bill. Nearly, 130,000 jobs will be lost from the educations system.

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Portugal Workers Observe 24 hour Strike against 2011 Austerity Budget

Article first published as Portugal Workers Observe 24-hour Strike against 2011 Austerity Budget on Technorati.

Portugal’s two main two workers’ unions’ joint call for 24 hour strike is going successful as per government and unions’ data. Rail services are paralysed from north to south of the country, with 80% of the rail services not running. Majority of the flight services are cancelled according to government sources. The Joint strike call is said to be the first in 22 years.

The unions are critical of the proposed budget cuts saying it is quite unfair that only the workersPortugal crisis have to sacrifice. They say they oppose the government’s top most priorities are only deficit, deficit and deficit. BBC news quoted the unions as saying, all of the country’s ports are closed; air traffic controllers and ground staff of airports are observing strike; bus and ferry links are disrupted; fewer than 10% of the workforce at Volkswagen’s Auto Europa plant have turned up for work.

Unfair Media Criticism

As usual, various media of the western countries from EU to the US have written negative analyses on Portugal strikes. They continued to support austerity measures and to oppose workers’ anger towards austerity measures. They failed to acknowledge the hardships to which the workers across the Europe and the North America were subjected to, even though they are not part of the problem of debt crisis and financial crises. Such an outlook can be gauzed to the ownership of all media by a few multinational media companies.

These MNCs are beneficiaries are the austerity measures imposed by the EU countries in the name of maintaining fiscal discipline, as if the workers’ salaries and pensions are the main sources of fiscal indiscipline. These media companies never acknowledge the indiscipline of the

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Nobel winner Diamond says U.S needs second stimulus

Reuters| Oct 12, 2010 | 1:05am IST

Peter Diamond, a 2010 Nobel economics prize winner who has been nominated to the U.S. Federal Reserve board, said on Monday a second stimulus bill would help stem the deepening problem of local governments’ worker job losses. Diamond’s nomination by U.S. President Barack Obama to the Fed has been held up amid questions from top Republicans about his qualifications. He will be subject to another Senate committee hearing.

Peter Diamond In a statement on Monday, Obama said he hoped Senate confirmation would come quickly to "help bring (Diamond’s) extraordinary expertise to our economic recovery." Diamond, 70, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, won the Nobel award with fellow American Dale Mortensen and British-Cypriot Christopher Pissarides for their work helping explain elements of unemployment and job markets.

The work honored is highly topical since many countries with developed economies, including the United States, are worried about future job growth after the worst global crisis since the Depression. Diamond said a second federal stimulus effort "would be valuable," especially if the federal government stepped in to help state and local governments save jobs for such employees as teachers, firefighters, police, and social workers.

The first stimulus bill "was unquestionably extremely valuable. Without that, unemployment would be a lot higher now," Diamond said. The Obama administration approved an $814 billion package in spring 2009. The U.S. economy shed jobs for a fourth straight month in September, with payrolls depressed by the end of 77,000 temporary Census jobs and loss of 76,000 local government jobs, about two-thirds of them teaching positions. The employment report was the last before the Nov. 2 mid-term congressional elections and was a blow for Obama’s Democratic Party, trailing in opinion polls.

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Leicester boy turns 10 at 1010 BST on 10/10/10

BBC |10 October 2010 |09:48 GMT

George turns 10 at 1010 on 10.10.10 A Leicester boy has achieved a perfect 10, as he celebrated a very special birthday. George Lippitt, from Thurcaston, turned 10 at 1010 BST on 10/10/2010. His mother Jodie Lippitt, 34, said the family was gathering to celebrate with George at home, who was really excited about his special day.

She said, "I couldn’t believe it when the midwife wrote the time and date on his sheet – we have been waiting for this day." Mrs Lippitt said George, who is her first-born, had always been special.

"When I found out I was pregnant I was told there was a 99.9% chance the baby would be unhealthy, so when he arrived safe and well it was a real relief. He was born at a special time and has been special ever since."

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Lindsay Lohan freed on $300,000 bail

MSN News | 9/25/2010 | 9:39:55 AM ET

Lindsay Lohan was freed from a suburban Los Angeles jail late Friday night, well short of the nearly month-long stay a judge had intended for the actor following a failed drug test. Lohan, who stayed in the same cell she occupied during her last stay, was freed at about 11:40 p.m. after posting $300,000 bail, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Steve Whitmore told NBC News. Lohan had been a "model inmate" trying to navigate the system, Whitmore said.

lindsay Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elden Fox ordered Lohan held without bail during a brief hearing Friday morning, but his ruling was later overturned by a different judge because defendants in misdemeanor cases are entitled to bail. The actor did not receive preferential treatment even though she was allowed to exit in the back of the complex before being taken away by security and people describes as friends, Whitmore told NBC.

Ankle alcohol monitor

The actor is not entirely free. She will be required to wear an ankle alcohol monitor and stay away from establishments that primarily sell alcohol until her next court date on Oct. 22. At that hearing, Fox will formally determine whether Lohan, 24, violated her probation by failing a court-mandated drug test. The positive result came after the judge released Lohan early from inpatient rehab at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

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