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News and commentary of the World for english-speaking readers.

Adotta Un Neurone/World

Somali Pirates Say They Are Subsidiary of Goldman Sachs

Could Make Prosecution Difficult, Experts Say NORFOLK, VIRGINIA (The Borowitz Report) – Eleven indicted Somali pirates dropped a bombshell in a U.S. court today, revealing that their entire piracy operation is a subsidiary of banking giant Goldman Sachs. There was an audible gasp in the courtroom when the leader of the pirates announced, “We are… Leggi tutto


Maverick No More

This McCain’s ad is specifically targeted to the new center-left median voter (maybe some disgruntled Hillary voters, why not?) and was available on the web only and not on tv in the South, in order not to irritate the GOP base. The Dems replied almost immediately. The effect is weird, to say the least: Leggi tutto


The Power To Be Afraid

The Italian carmaker Fiat on Friday apologised to China for a television commercial (see below) starring United States actor Richard Gere that it acknowledged ”could disturb the sensibility of the Chinese people”. The ad shows Gere, a long-time supporter of the Tibetan Independence Movement, drive the group’s new Lancia Delta model from Hollywood to Tibet,… Leggi tutto


France’s Thatcher? Not Exactly

French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday claimed victory in the 10-day labour dispute over a pension reform as the strike called to protest the proposal appeared to be ending. “I promised this reform, and I have kept my promise,” Sarkozy said during a speech at the Elysee Palace. The French Finance Ministry has estimated that… Leggi tutto


Punitive Psychiatry In China

The Chinese dissident blogger He Weihua has been confined in a psychiatric hospital in a detention his family blames on his criticism of the government, a press freedom group said Friday. “It is unacceptable that the Chinese authorities use such methods to silence citizens who have just expressed their views peacefully online,” Reporters Without Borders… Leggi tutto


Jews and Latin Mass

Italian Jewish leaders voiced satisfaction after the Vatican Secretary of State said that a Catholic prayer for the conversion of Jews could be eliminated from the recently re-introduced Latin Mass. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, second only to the pope in the Vatican hierarchy, referred to recent polemics over the prayer on Wednesday, saying it could be… Leggi tutto


The Same Old Europe

European Union leaders have reached agreement in Brussels on an outline of new guidelines to govern the 27-member bloc for drafting a new EU treaty to replace the bloc’s aborted constitution. At dawn on Saturday they announced a compromise to delay until 2014 a new voting system that reduces Poland’s influence – the main stumbling… Leggi tutto


Unfair Competition

Prosecutors have charged environmental activist Wu Lihong with extortion from industrial plants that he accused of polluting Taihu Lake in eastern China’s Jiangsu province, state media said on Wednesday. The prosecutors in Jiangsu’s Yixing city accused Wu, who was once nominated as one of China’s top 10 environmentalists, of extorting 55,000 yuan (6,875 dollars) by… Leggi tutto


Israel Under Siege. By Demography

In Israel, the number of emigrants exceeded the number of immigrants for the first time in 20 years, the Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot reported Friday. Many emigrants were recent arrivals who wanted to leave Israel again, the report said. In 2007, 14,400 immigrants are expected in Israel while 20,000 people are expected to leave the… Leggi tutto


Iran is not a good payer, according to Russia

Iran has yet to resume payments for a nuclear power plant Russia is constructing at Bushehr, and Moscow does not intend to pay for the plant’s construction, a Russian atomic energy official said Friday. “We cannot finish this plant at our own expense,” Sergei Kiriyenko, chief of Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency, said in comments… Leggi tutto


Déjà Vu

The Taliban want Italy to quit Afghanistan in exchange for the release of a kidnapped reporter, Italian public broadcaster Rai reported today. Rai interviewed a Pakistani journalist, Rahimullah Yousefzai, who claims to be in direct touch with the Islamists holding La Repubblica correspondent Daniele Mastrogiacomo. As well as the withdrawal of Italy’s some 2,000 troops,… Leggi tutto


Chavez, the model

Venezuela’s National Assembly granted President Hugo Chavez unprecedented power to rule by decree on Wednesday, vastly increasing his authority to move forward on his leftist agenda in every area of the country’s life from the oil industry to telecommunications to banking. Chavez was given the special powers for 18 months by a legislature fully controlled… Leggi tutto


From Multiculturalism to Integration

After 30 years of believing that multiculturalism had the power to hold their settler society together Australians are losing faith in what was always a tangled concept and are returning to the simpler formula of integration. “We have moved from scepticism to disenchantment”, said ruling Liberal Party luminary Peter Coleman. “It has now sunk in… Leggi tutto


Mixed marriages spark troubles in Europe

In Italy, marriages between ethnic Italians and foreigners have increased tenfold in fifteen years, according to the latest survey. Mixed marriages are up from 60,000 in 1991 to 600,000 last year, Catholic charity organisation Caritas/Migrantes said, citing data from statistics agency Istat. The biggest problems in mixed marriages have to do with children, especially where… Leggi tutto


Strange legitimacy

Muslims have a greater claim to Australia than non-Muslims because they arrived as fee-paying immigrants rather than “shackled convicts”, the leader of the 350.000-strong community said Thursday. Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali, mufti of Sydney’s biggest mosque, made his controversial comments on an Egyptian television station during his annual holiday in the country of his birth.… Leggi tutto


A Man For All Seasons

French President Jacques Chirac said corporate taxes should be lowered to increase the country’s competitiveness. With a tax rate of about 33 percent, Chirac noted the levy in France is about 8 percentage points above the European average. “The goal should be bringing it to 20 percent in five years” Chirac, whose second term ends… Leggi tutto

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