An elementary school in an Oklahoma City suburb has taken a direct hit from a mile-wide tornado. Read more
An elementary school in an Oklahoma City suburb has taken a direct hit from a mile-wide tornado. Read more
Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr has promised an Australian man sentenced to 10 years jail in Dubai will receive consular support during his planned appeal.
Australian executive Matthew Joyce was yesterday found guilty of fraud against his former employer, a property development company owned by the emir of Dubai.
His business partner, fellow Australian Marcus Lee, was acquitted.
Another man, Angus Reed, was sentenced in absentia to 10 years’ jail but he is in Australia, while Anthony Brearley was cleared.
Mr Joyce will appeal against the decision, declaring it a miscarriage of justice. But that is a claim Mr Carr has sidestepped. “We don’t make judgments about the content of the legal case,” he said.
He has defended the government’s efforts to lobby on behalf of Mr Joyce.”(There were) 57 representations from the Governor-General down.”
Mr Carr also told ABC NewsRadio that Mr Lee could still face an appeal against his acquittal from the emirate, saying such appeals were “common” in Dubai.
The deal at the centre of the allegations was also the subject of civil proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court.
Last year a Supreme Court judge dismissed Sunland’s case against the two men, strongly criticising the evidence of its key witnesses.
Joyce ‘shocked’ at severity of sentence
Mr Carr said their case had taken too long to get to court, but there was a limit to what the Government could do.”Of course we can’t fight the case for Australian nationals in trouble in the courts of other jurisdictions, and the law of those jurisdictions applies, not Australian law.”
Mr Joyce, who has 30 days to surrender himself to authorities, said he was shocked by the extremity of the verdict.
“My family and I are still coming to terms with it,” he said in a statement.
“I have received 10 years’ jail, the maximum possible sentence, and a fine of $25 million, which is double the loss alleged by the prosecution.
“The most difficult part of today’s decision is that I’ve been convicted based on the evidence of a witness who was found by an Australian court to have lied.
“I will of course appeal this decision. I am innocent of the charges against me.”
‘We are looking forward to seeing our families’
Earlier this year the ABC’s 7.30 reported fears raised about the welfare of Mr Lee and Mr Joyce.
A Dubai court referred the case to be reviewed by an expert committee which last month exonerated Mr Lee. He was formally acquitted.
Mr Lee and his wife Julie said they were overwhelmed at the finding and grateful the court uncovered the truth.
“It has been personally a very difficult period in our lives, particularly being away from our families in Australia who have also suffered personally and financially,” the couple said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to seeing our families again and restarting our lives.
“We thank all those who have supported us and believed in us.”
Mr Lee’s Brisbane-based lawyer, John Sneddon, said the case had taken a heavy personal and financial toll on his client.
“Obviously his head is still spinning, but he’s incredibly relieved at finally having some degree of closure to an ordeal that’s now been going on for more than four years,” he said.
He added: “It will be a great day when I’m able to greet Marcus and Julie when they arrive back in Australia.”
What went wrong?
Mr Joyce and Mr Lee blame their predicament on evidence provided to the Dubai authorities by Sunland, but its executive chairman, Soheil Abedian, is unapologetic.
“I really feel sorry for the family. I think that their family, they don’t deserve what has happened to them.
“(But) I believe any single individual that is in any foreign jurisdiction and is involved in any kind of business, they should uphold the law of that country.”
Video: Matthew Joyce was sentenced to ten years’ jail in Dubai and fined $ 25 million after a land sale involving a company owned by the Emir of Dubai fell through.
Mr Joyce was in charge of a Nakheel subsidiary called Dubai Waterfront, and his commercial director was Mr Lee.
The deal that landed them in hot water involved a key block of waterfront land.
Sunland was planning a joint venture with another Australian, Angus Reed, and his company, Prudentia, to buy the block.
But just before the purchase, Sunland decided to go it alone and paid Prudentia $14 million to walk away.
Sunland bought the block itself and looked set to make a handsome profit but the global financial crisis burst Dubai’s building bubble.
Sunland’s chief officer in Dubai, David Brown, was arrested as authorities investigated whether the $14 million payment was a bribe.
Mr Brown then accused Mr Joyce and Mr Lee of fraud. He also claimed to the Dubai prosecutor that the $14 million was paid because Mr Joyce had convinced him Prudentia had first rights over the property.
Mr Abedian is standing by this accusation.
If I do anything wrong in Dubai, I deserve to be punished as well. If somebody from Dubai comes here and does something that is illegal, the judiciary will ultimately be the judge.
“If I do anything wrong in Dubai, I deserve to be punished as well. If somebody from Dubai comes here and does something that is illegal, the judiciary will ultimately be the judge,” he said.
Sunland sued Mr Joyce and Prudentia in the Victorian Supreme Court for misleading behaviour, but the judge found its case was “hopeless” and was launched for the “ulterior motive” of securing Mr Brown’s release in Dubai.
The judge also found the story about Mr Joyce and Mr Lee was invented and the evidence of Mr Brown and Mr Abedian was “fanciful”, “unreliable”, “inaccurate” and “not believable”.
Sunland is appealing against that judgment.
“They have said that I am a liar, but anybody who knows me, and you can pick up the phone from anybody, and they will say that my whole being is about righteousness,” Mr Abedian said.
-with reporting from Naomi Woodley and Matt Peacock
Former prime minister Kevin Rudd has declared he has changed his mind on same-sex marriage and thrown his support behind it.
In a lengthy post on his website, Mr Rudd explains why he has reversed his opposition to gay marriage.
He says he has reflected on the issue for a long period of time and had many conversations with family, friends and colleagues, recounting a recent one with a gay former staffer.
“I believe the secular Australian state should be able to recognise same-sex marriage,” Mr Rudd said in his blog.
“For me, this change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith.”
He concluded that while the church and the state could have different positions and practices on same-sex marriage, legislation should not place any requirement on religious institutions to conduct same-sex marriages.
For me, this change in position has come about as a result of a lot of reflection, over a long period of time, including conversations with good people grappling with deep questions of life, sexuality and faith.
Mr Rudd, who is a Christian, says the issue has been a “difficult personal journey” but came down to a matter of conscience.
“I have tried in good conscience to deal with the ethical fundamentals of the issue and reach an ethical conclusion,” he said.
“My core interest is to be clear-cut about the change in my position locally on this highly controversial issue before the next election, so that my constituents are fully aware of my position when they next visit the ballot box.”
He says he is aware his opponents within and beyond the Labor Party could read political significance into his reversed position, but denounced any national leadership role on the issue.
Mr Rudd’s newfound support puts him at odds with Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says the leaders of both major parties are out of step with the community in their opposition to same-sex marriage.
“Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are looking more and more isolated on this issue, even within their own parties,” she said.
“They are both standing on the wrong side of history.
“They’re blocking the inevitable, they’re stubborn about it, we need to see them evolve.”
Mr Rudd also used his blog to urge the Coalition to follow Labor’s lead and grant MPs a conscience vote on the matter.
Federal Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon, who has been a key backer of Mr Rudd, says people should not read too much into the former prime minister’s change of heart.
“He’s obviously been struggling with the issue for a long time, as have all of us,” he told Channel Seven this morning.
“Indeed it’s a tough topic in Canberra and I’m not all that surprised to know he’s come to a conclusion.”
Video clearly shows former Marine did not resist arrest
Paul Joseph Watson
May 20, 2013
UPDATE: The video below from a supporter confirms that Kokesh has been charged with felony assault of an officer and that he will not be allowed bail because of “a possibility of a history of excessive drug use.” Other reports suggest Kokesh may be allowed bail but will be held until Thursday.
Incarcerated political activist Adam Kokesh, arrested by police for exercising his First Amendment rights during a pro-marijuana legalization protest on Saturday, is set to be charged with “assaulting a federal police officer,” despite the fact that the video of the incident shows him not resisting arrest.
“I’ve received word from a reputable but not official contact that Adam will be charged with assaulting a federal officer under 18 USC 111,” writes supporter and activist George Donnelly. “This is a very serious charge. Take note that this is not official information yet. The source however is very reputable.”
Kokesh was kidnapped by Philadelphia police as he gave a keynote speech on Saturday. The former Marine was not smoking or in possession of any drugs when he was arrested.
Video of the incident shows Kokesh holding up his hands as he is dragged away. Not only did Kokesh not resist arrest, he made no aggressive moves to any police officer, as the footage clearly shows.
If he is charged with assaulting an officer, Kokesh will become the latest of a plethora of Americans who have been hit with such a charge despite acting in a totally peaceful and compliant manner. In some cases, people who have received brutal beat downs at the hands of police have later been charged with assaulting a cop.
The charge, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, would almost certainly scupper Kokesh’s plans of leading an armed march on Washington DC in July if authorities are able to make it stick.
Supporters of Kokesh are encouraging people to politely but firmly demand information on Kokesh’s circumstances by calling the numbers below.
(1) US Attorney (Phila): (215) 861-8200
(2) US Magistrate (Phila): (215) 597-6079
(3) Philadelphia Federal Prison: 215-521-4000 (wait a sec, then press 0)
(4) US Federal Courthouse (Phila): (215) 597-7704
(5) US Park Police Office of the Chief in DC: (202) 619-7350 and Philadelphia: 215-597-7077
Adam Kokesh is currently being held at:
FEDERAL DETENTION CENTER
700 ARCH STREET
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19106
E-mail address2: PHL/EXECASSISTANT@BOP.GOV
- Mohammad Heidari and Kourosh Ahmadi were hanged at dawn in Tehran
- It is not known when they were arrested or where a trial took place
- Iran had the second-highest rate of executions last year, killing 314 people
Iranian authorities have executed two men convicted of spying for Israel’s Mossad and the American CIA spy agency, according to the country’s state radio.
Mohammad Heidari, accused of passing security-related information and secrets to Mossad agents in exchange for money, and Kourosh Ahmadi, accused of gathering information for the CIA, were hanged at dawn, it said.
The sentence for their execution was handed down by Tehran’s Revolutionary Court and confirmed by the country’s Supreme Court.
The report did not say when the pair were arrested nor when their trial took place.
Iran has in the past said it had successfully detected and dismantled spy networks operating inside the country.
Tehran accuses Israel and the U.S. of spying on its vital interests, particularly its nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at producing an atomic weapon.
Tehran denies the charge. It has blamed the assassinations of scientists associated with its disputed nuclear programme on Western spy agencies, especially Mossad.
The United States has denied any role in the killings. Israel has not commented.
Both Israel and the U.S have not ruled out a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Last month, Amnesty International reported that Iran had 314 officially confirmed executions in 2012, the second highest behind China. It is feared that the actual total is much higher.
- Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s first words about the deal were: ’We promise not to screw it up’
- Tumblr made $13million in revenue last year
- David Karp founded Tumblr in his mother’s Manhattan apartment in 2007
- Site boasts 100million users and 90million daily blog posts
Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer’s bold move to buy online blogging forum Tumblr for $1.1 billion was announced on Monday as she tries to rejuvenate an Internet icon that had fallen behind the times.
The deal is Yahoo!’s most expensive acquisition since the California company bought online search engine Overture a decade ago for $1.3 billion in cash and stock.
Yahoo’!s board of directors agreed on Sunday to buy the wildly popular blogging platform from the 26-year-old founder David Karp.
The deal for Tumblr, which boasts 100million users and 90million posts per day, was struck for $1.1billion cash.
Scroll down for Marissa Mayer’s GIF
Done deal: Tumblr CEO David Karp (pictured left) has sold his blogging platform for $1.1billion cash to Yahoo! in a deal orchestrated by CEO Marissa Mayer (right)
The deal makes Karp, a native New Yorker, the latest 20-something tech tycoon, even though he was publicly opposed, even just last year, to selling the company he founded out of his mother’s small Manhattan apartment in 2007.
On Monday morning, Mayer publicly announced the purchase of Tumblr with a post on her own Tumblr page – including an animated GIF image that acknowledged the public questions about the acquisition.
Her first words about the deal were: ‘We promise not to screw it up.’
Mayer announced that Karp will stay on as CEO of Tumblr and continue to run and develop the site.
Despite a massive user base, Tumblr’s revenue was only $13million last year. Even that figure was only made possible after $125million in capital investments.
The deal also faced almost immediate backlash from Tumblr users, who feared Yahoo!’s ownership would change the character of the site and water down the features that make it successful.
Mayer sought to allay concerns on both sides – and even used an internet meme to make light of the criticism. The GIF she posted reads: ‘Yahoo. Tumblr. Now Panic and Freak Out.’
Instead, Mayer urged users and Yahoo! investors alike the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ – a reference to a famous British propaganda poster produced during World War II.
Tech news site AllThingsD reports that Mayer, who took over as Yahoo! CEO in July, wanted to quickly snatch up Tumbler as ‘the stake in the ground of what her strategy is going forward for Yahoo!.’
Tumblr, which is a mico-blogging platform for quickly posting pictures, text and video, also functions as a social media site.
Its platform manages to blend elements of all of the major social networking sites. Sharing and posting photos is simple and easy, like Instagram. GIFs and videos are all easy to share, as well. But, the site also has a new feed function, allowing users to follow other Tumblr blogs like social media networks Facebook and Twitter.
The simple layout of Tumblr has spawned millions of diverse, quirky, blogs. An enormously popular Tumblr called ‘#whatshouldwecallme’ features a series of animated GIFs explaining the reactions to daily life of a 20-something woman.
However, celebrities like Joe Jonas and Lady GaGa also have popular Tumblr pages and companies like the shoemaker Cole Haan use the site as a creative way to market their products.
Tumblr is also popular with many porn stars and features numerous sexually-explicit blogs.
Tumblr boasts remarkable loyalty among its users. Some 85percent of Tumblr users make 20 or more posts a month.
Mayer cited some of these facts when addressing critics who worried Yahoo was paying too much for a company that has yet to turn a profit.
In her Tumblr post, she wrote: ‘The combination of Tumblr+Yahoo! could grow Yahoo!’s audience by 50% to more than a billion monthly visitors, and could grow traffic by approximately 20%.
‘In terms of working together, Tumblr can deploy Yahoo!’s personalization technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers, and content they’ll love.’
She also addressed the fears of Tumblr users, who threatened to leave the service in droves or to otherwise protest the takeover.
‘Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO,’ Mayer wrote.
‘The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster.’
However, Karp – a high school dropout who taught himself how to code – had expressed grave reservations about giving up his brainchild to a Silicon Valley tech giant.
In a 2012 interview with the Guardian, he said he had been swatting away buy-out requests for years.
‘Particularly in the first three years, there were a lot of (mergers and acquisitions) people who would pull you aside and you’d think “Well, s***, I could be a pretty rich 23-year-old with very little effort,”‘ he said.
‘We stuck it out. I won’t say I really knew why.’
Perhaps the perseverance makes sense to Karp now that he is ‘very rich’ at age 26.
Source Article from http://www.secretsofthefed.com/meet-the-latest-tech-billionaire-wiz-kid/
Today I learned that one can die from excessive masturbation. According to this newspaper, a 16-year old boy died after masturbating 42 times without stopping in Rubiato town, in Goiás region, Brazil.
His mother told a local newspaper that she already knew about his son’s addiction and that she planned to see the doctor, but the decision came too late.
The young man began to masturbate at midnight and spent the whole night to compulsively touch himself.
At school, his classmates commented on the boy’s problem and some said he asked them to connect to the webcam for being observed.
They further said that his attraction to women was extreme; he was attracted to all kind of women, regardless of texture physics, color and age.
In his room a great amount of pornography was found, including photographs and videos of nude women that were saved on his PC.
This is sad and unusual. I wonder who was counting, though.
P.S. Do you know anyone who may be in danger of excessive masturbation? Send them this article.
Source Article from http://www.secretsofthefed.com/boy-dies-after-masturbating-42-times-in-a-row/
The work of “pranksters” providing the public with technically correct information. ANIMAL New York reports:
Relax, they’re not real. MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg, who dismissed the postings as “the work of pranksters,” told us so. But though neither of the posters were distributed by the MTA or any other state or city agency, both are totally truthful in their contents.
The NYPD will indeed be pumping the city with invisible gases called perflourocarbos this summer, in an effort to test how more harmful airborne substances would spread in the event of a chemical attack. And the nuclear power plant at Indian Point Energy Center is so at risk and so close to the city the Natural Resources Defense Council warns of a disaster ten to 100 times worse than Fukushima if it ever encounters seismic activity. Should you be worried? That’s up to you.
Special to WorldTribune.com
NICOSIA â€” The Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah has poured in hundreds of
troops in heavy fighting in southern Syria.
Opposition sources said Hizbullah has sent up to 1,000 fighters to join
the Syrian Army in its offensive in southern Syria. They said Hizbullah
played a major role in blocking access to Sunni rebel strongholds around
Dera, located near the Jordanian border.
“Hizbullah has moved from training and mentoring to direct combat,
particularly along the borders of Jordan and Lebanon,” a source said.
On May 19, Hizbullah forces joined the Syrian Army in an attack on the
rebel-held town of Qusair, located near the border with Lebanon. The
opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Hizbullah, backed by fighter-jets, main battle tanks and artillery, were helping lead the
operation. At least 20 Hizbullah fighters were said to have been killed in
“In the next few hours we will bring you joyous news,” Syrian state
The sources said Hizbullah was supplying combat troops as well as
logistic crews to facilitate the Syrian Army offensive. They said Hizbullah
units demonstrated strong skills in urban warfare as well as fighting
irregular forces such as the rebels.
Hizbullah was also said to have conducted house-to-house searches in
Khirbit Ghazleh in May 2013. The sources said Khirbit, deemed a strategic
town, was captured by Hizbullah fighters after more than two months of army
“The army could not get into Khirbit, but because of the new Hizbullah
units, the rebel defenses were broken and the town was captured within
days,” the source said.
The capture of Khirbit by the regime of President Bashar Assad allowed
the opening of the highway between Damascus and Dera. The sources said army
units have now reached close to the Jordanian border and were occasionally
crossing into the Hashemite kingdom.
Hizbullah was also believed to have facilitated mortar and rocket
attacks from Syria into Israel. On May 16, a Palestinian group believed to
be a front for Hizbullah claimed responsibility for firing rockets at an
Israel Army position on the Golan Heights. Additional fire landed near
Israeli positions on May 19.
“We are avenging all our martyrs that we lost in our war with the
Zionist enemy,” the group, called Abdul Qader Al Husseini Brigades said.