Amsterdam is to create "Scum villages" where nuisance neighbours and anti-social tenants will be exiled from the city and rehoused in caravans* or containers with "minimal services" under constant police supervision. Holland´s capital already has a special hit squad of municipal officials to identify the worst offenders for a compulsory six month course in how to behave. Social housing problem families or tenants who do not show an improvement or refuse to go to the special units face eviction and homelessness. Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam´s Labour mayor, has tabled the £810,000 plan to tackle 13,000 complaints of anti-social
I am a very big fan of books. Over the years I have collected a library of close to 2,500 books of all kinds, with 300-plus dedicated to cooking and 200-plus focused on travel. I even have some first editions of Hemingway and Steinbeck favorites. And for decades, books were my travel companions on my many trips to Europe and Asia. In this regard, I am old school. I love the feel of the book and the tactile feel of turning a page. I can spend hours in an old used bookstore seeking out gems for my collection.
Remember this the next time Tom Friedman or some other media talking head praises Al Jazeera and its tyrannical owner, the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, for their commitment to openness or freedom of speech. This is what openness looks like in the Qatari tyranny.(Religion of Peace)Qatar has sentenced poet Mohammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami, who was arrested for allegedly inciting to overthrow the government and insulting the emir, to life in prison, Doha News reported Thursday.
In this time of peace on Earth and good will to men, we give thanks for the little things that help to make the season bright: chestnuts roasting on open fires, tiny tots with their eyes all aglow—and the entertaining progressive pageant that is Lincoln Chafee at Christmastime. This performance has its origins in a public embarrassment last December, after the governor of Rhode Island decreed that the majestic blue spruce standing in the State House rotunda would be referred to as a "holiday tree"—on the grounds that calling it by its obvious name would be an affront to diversity.
The year after President Obama singled out the company for creating lots of American jobs, California-based Tesla Motors became the focus of a federal probe into whether the automaker was using foreign instead of American parts in manufacturing their electric vehicles, records show. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation centered on whether the company was using its foreign trade zone status to bypass federal loan requirements that companies must buy American, according to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Tesla closed on a $465 million federal loan with the U.S. Department of Energy in early 2010.
Yesterday we told you that John Boehner´s Fiscal Cliff counter-offer to The White House was a brilliant move that helped put the GOP back in "the center." By offering some very vague ideas, ostensibly based on ideas put forth by Erskine Bowles, it helps the GOP regain some bipartisan high ground, while making The White House look like the side with the preposterous wish list. Ben White of POLITICO -- who has really nailed every turn of this fight -- sees this as a strong move by the GOP, and now sees it
KANSAS CITY, Mo — He was playing the field. Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher had a boozy dinner with another woman and spent the night at her apartment before he went home, fought with and killed his girlfriend, and then ended his own life in a practice-facility parking lot, sources said yesterday. After dinner and drinks Friday night at a local tavern, the former Long Island high-school star took the woman, Brittni Glass, to her home, but spent the next several hours asleep in his Bentley outside her building, neighbors said.
Filibuster “reform” — intermittently called, over the last decade or so, the “nuclear option” — is something of a moving target. We have consistently maintained that a majority of the Senate may constitutionally curtail the filibuster or leave it as it is. But particular exercises of that power may be deeply unwise or even obnoxious. So it is in the case of the current Democratic initiative. Details remain murky, but it appears that Harry Reid intends to force the minority to mount a “talking filibuster” on cloture votes, meaning dissenting senators will have to physically occupy
Facebook has been accused of a massive ´data grab´ after encouraging users to allow it to automatically synchronise photos from their mobile devices to the social networks servers. The social network from Friday began asking users of its mobile apps to activate its new Photo Sync, which will automatically upload each picture to a private album. Whether or not users decide share the photos on their public newsfeed, Facebook itself will still have access. That means it will be able to mine those files for their metadata, including the location where the photo was taken, as well as use its
The White House has had quite enough of the controversy over ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, the misleading talking points she used in TV interviews about the jihadist attacks in Benghazi, and the Obama administration’s contradictory narrative about those attacks. “There are no unanswered questions about Ambassador Rice’s appearance on Sunday shows and the talking points that she used for those appearances that were provided by the intelligence community,” asserted White House spokesman Jay Carney at his briefing on November 27. (Snip) Jay Carney is wrong. The administration has not answered even the most basic questions
The elderly are being denied life-saving treatment for heart attacks and surgery following breast cancer, a report warns. [Snip]This year the Government promised to end ageism in the Health Service and introduced laws that enable the elderly to sue if they are unfairly refused treatment. But a report today warns that patients in their 50s are three times more likely to be offered an emergency treatment for heart attacks than those in their 80s. And some hospitals are refusing to offer the treatment to anyone over 75 at all. The procedure--a percutaneous coronary intervention--widens blood vessels and has been credited
By now we’ve all seen NBC’s Bob Costas (not to be confused with my friend and NRO colleague, Bob Costa) pontificating in his smug lefty way in reaction to the murder/suicide of a Kansas City Chiefs football player and his girlfriend. Costas used as the basis of his remarks this column from Jason Whitlock, which included this passage: Our current gun culture simply ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience-store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead.
In the eight hundred years since his death, people have sought in vain for the grave of Genhis Khan, the 13th-century conqueror and imperial ruler who, at the time of his death, occupied the largest contiguous empire, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific. In capturing most of central Asia and China, his armies killed and pillaged but also forged new links between East and West. One of history’s most brilliant and ruthless leaders, Khan remade the world.But while the life of the conqueror is the stuff of legend, his death is shrouded in the mist of myths.
The Boeing Co. is expanding its real estate holdings in North Charleston to enable future growth. Consummating a deal in the works for years, the aerospace giant has agreed to buy three office buildings from its neighbor, the South Carolina Research Authority. The buildings, which total 178,000 square feet, are on about 20 acres owned by the Charleston County Airport Authority between the Boeing campus and International Boulevard. Neither Boeing nor the Research Authority on Monday would disclose the terms of the sale, which is expected to close Dec. 13.
Jill Kelley, the mystery vixen in the David Petraeus scandal, is now flanked by a high-profile Washington attorney and a professional “crisis manager.” This can only mean that she wants her own reality show, a book deal or both. It was Kelley who received the anonymous email warnings from Petraeus’ biographer-slash-mistress, Paula Broadwell, and it was Kelley who then contacted a friend in the FBI, Agent Frederick Humphries II. (Humphries, an anti-terrorism specialist, once emailed to Kelley a shirtless photo of himself. Write your own joke.)
As leaders in Washington obsess about the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama is putting in place the building blocks for a climate treaty requiring the first fossil- fuel emissions cuts from both the U.S. and China. State Department envoy Todd Stern is in Doha this week working to clear the path for an international agreement by 2015. While Obama failed to deliver on his promise to start a cap-and-trade program in his first term, he’s working on policies that may help cut greenhouse gases 17 percent by 2020 in the U.S., historically the world’s biggest polluter.
The Rich I confess I never admired John Edwards — and used to argue with the late Christopher Hitchens about the blow-dried lawyer’s suitability for president. I didn’t think much of Al Gore or John Kerry, well before the “he lied!” vein-bulging fits and the wind-surfing spoofs. I was not surprised when Susan Rice just disclosed that she is worth considerably over $30 million — and has money in Keystone no less. Are they all part of the “one percent”? Did they pay “their fair share”? Do they “spread the wealth”?
The Iranian military says it has captured an unmanned US drone aircraft in its airspace over Gulf waters. The Revolutionary Guards said they had brought down a ScanEagle--one of the smaller, less sophisticated drones employed by the Americans. Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi told the Fars news agency that the drone had conducted several reconnaissance flights over the Gulf in recent days. The US said it was looking into the reports. The ScanEagle drone, which has a has a 10ft (3m) wingspan, is a low-cost, long-endurance aircraft built by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing. Rear Adm Fadavi said that "such drones
We tend to pay a lot of attention to what teachers’ unions spend on politics, but even that lofty amount pales in comparison to what they what they spend on themselves. Like teaching, union work is a labor-intensive enterprise. Unlike teaching, the structure of union benefits resembles an inverted pyramid, where a lot of people receive similar perks and only the lowest level employees receive standard workplace accommodations. Wage amounts are usually public record, but are perilously difficult to pin down. What a union executive makes can be inflated in the record by sick leave accrua
Right now, Republicans are running scared in the “fiscal cliff” standoff — and Democrats know it. As Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) crowed last week: “You can smell the winds. When so many Republicans say, ‘Hey, we’re going to have to give in to the Democrats,’ that’s how it works around here.” Congressional Republicans need to buck up — Obama and the Democrats are overplaying their hand. The Democrats think they are in a win-win situation. If they bully Republicans into agreeing to raise tax rates before the end of the year, they win —
Los Angeles - Do not call it a comeback and don´t even think of it as a farewell tour. After more than four decades making music and a 2010 tour, Fleetwood Mac will hit the road again next year. But it won´t be its last tour, singer Stevie Nicks vowed, dismissing any notion that the band could be packing away their instruments in the near future. "It´s never going to be a final tour until we drop dead," Nicks told Reuters. "There´s no reason for this to end as long as everyone is in good shape and takes care of themselves." The 34-city tour with dates in the United States and Canada will begin on April 4 in
Camp Pendleton - In a ceremony replete with praise for their courage and resourcefulness, four members of an elite Marine special forces squad received medals Monday for their actions during a lengthy firefight in Afghanistan. But one key squad member, whose dedication and coolness under fire were noted in the official after-action report, was not in attendance: Posha, the military working dog. The German shepherd was with the Marines when they landed in a helicopter-borne assault to clear out a Taliban command post and quickly found two pressure-plate bombs on the main route to
Bangkok - Worries about the U.S. economy following the release of a disappointing manufacturing report sent oil prices lower Tuesday. Benchmark crude for January delivery was down 27 cents to $88.82 per barrel at midday Bangkok time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract finished up 18 cents at $89.09 a barrel on the Nymex on Monday. Manufacturing the U.S. shrank in November to its weakest level since July 2009, a trade group said Monday, because companies are worried about the "fiscal cliff" — sharp tax increases and spending cuts that take effect
Jerusalem - Britain, France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark summoned the Israeli ambassadors to their countries on Monday to protest Israel’s plans for increased settlement construction, an unusually sharp diplomatic step that reflected the growing frustration abroad with Israel’s policies on the Palestinian issue. After the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly last week to upgrade the status of the Palestinians at the United Nations, Israel announced plans for 3,000 more housing units in contested areas east of Jerusalem and around the West Bank. Israel raised particular alarms with
WASHINGTON — Plans for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in January are in full swing. A reviewing stand is under construction in front of the White House, congressional offices are taking ticket requests and planners are mapping out parade logistics and street closures. But if a crush of well-wishers is hoping to descend on the nation’s capital as it did four years ago, when 1.8 million people crowded into the city to be a part of his history-making swearing-in, their preparations are off to a much more leisurely start.
Australia´s central bank cut interest rates a quarter point to a record-matching low on Tuesday, stepping up efforts to safeguard the rich world´s most resilient economy from the risk of recession as a mining boom peaks. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its main cash rate to 3 percent following its monthly policy meeting, bringing the easing since May to 125 basis points and matching the trough hit during the darkest days of the global financial crisis. "While the full effects of earlier measures are yet to be observed, the Board judged at today´s meeting