quarta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2010
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov expressed his condolences on Wednesday to the family of the late commander of a Russian Defense Ministry battalion in Chechnya, Sulim Yamadayev.
The wake for Sulim Yamadayev began on Tuesday in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya and will last until Thursday under Chechen traditions.
The commander was buried on Tuesday in Dubai, Sulim's brother Isa said.
Kadyrov visited the Yamadayev family's home where the wake was held.
"I have been to the wake and expressed my condolences, I also visited the deceased's mother, who was very moved," Kadyrov said. "She said that my arrival is a great joy for her, which can be compared to the return of her sons," he continued.
Isa said on Sunday he was ready to become Kadyrov's ally.
Yamadayev said that some media artificially provoke disrespectful relations between him and Kadyrov adding that he feels no distaste toward the Chechen president.
Sulim Yamadayev, a Hero of Russia who commanded the elite Vostok Battalion in Chechnya, was gunned down in Dubai on March 28, 2009. He was shot in the chest with three bullets from a gold-plated gun in the car park of a luxury apartment complex where he was living with his wife and children. RIA Novosti
Hollywood actor Jason Statham has starred in a commercial for the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom, the company's press service said on Wednesday.
Statham, the hunky star of action films like the Transporter, Revolver, Snatch, and most recently, the Expendables, appears in a commercial of Gazprom's car lubricant G-force, the statement said.
The clip will hit TV screens across Russia in late September.
Gazprom refused to comment on where the clip was shot, nor how much Statham was paid. RIA Novosti
Belarus is planning to diversify its gas imports by participating in gas extraction projects abroad and purchasing liquefied natural gas (LNG) in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russian gas supplies.
Belarus's new energy development strategy is published on the national legal Internet portal.
"Diversification of gas imports will be continued through Belarusian organizations' involvement in gas exploration and extraction abroad, as well as through liquefied natural gas supplies... including via Ukraine," the document said.
The energy development strategy stipulates that Belarus may participate in the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals in Lithuania and Poland and import LNG from these countries.
In July, Lithuanian Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius said the country's authorities were planning to construct an LNG terminal at the Klaipådos nafta oil terminal in the Baltic Sea port of Klaipeda. He said Belarus's proposal to construct the facility was being considered among others.
If Belarus's plans on LNG terminal construction are realized, LNG supplies to the country may reach 10 billion cubic meters a year, which would "considerably reduce [Belarus's] dependence on natural gas supplies from Russia," the document said.
Belarus is not counting on direct gas supplies from Central Asia, where the lion's share of gas exports belong to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. RIA Novosti
KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Wednesday Iran is providing a "modicum" of assistance to the Taliban.
"There is no question that Iran has over the years and we think does continue to provide a modicum of assistance to the Taliban," Petraeus told Fox News in Kabul Wednesday. "A number of Afghans have noted recently that there has been quite a degree of Iranian activity in what you might call campaign contributions to some of those that they think might be favorable to them".
Petraeus condemned WikiLeaks' recent release of thousands of classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan, saying it was "absolutely reprehensible and a betrayal of trust and lots of other very pejorative descriptions, and literally put at risk some of those who are working with us here". UPI
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it's looking for translators of Ebonics, long the subject of jokes and controversy, in its battle on drugs.
Special Agent Michael Sanders said Tuesday the agency is serious about needing nine people to translate conversations picked up on wiretaps during investigations, CNN reported.
"DEA's position is, it's a language form we have a need for," Sanders said. "I think it's a language form that DEA recognizes a need to have someone versed in to conduct investigations".
"The concept is right and good," said Walt Wolfram, a professor of linguistics at North Carolina State University. "Why wouldn't you want experts who can help you understand what people are communicating?"
"The problem is that even the term 'Ebonics' is so controversial and politicized that it becomes sort of a free-for-all," he said. UPI
NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A U.S. Marine staff sergeant has pleaded guilty to mistreating 17 male subordinates through sexual actions and comments, authorities say.
A judge sentenced Staff Sgt. James McCoy to a year in confinement, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge, The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot.
McCoy admitted touching subordinates in the groin area, making repeated offensive sexual comments and gestures, and accusing them of being gay, the newspaper said.
If convicted in a trial, McCoy could have faced a prison sentence of 17 years for the charges.
As the non-commissioned officer in charge of a training company at the Navy's Northwest Annex, a base in rural Chesapeake, Va., McCoy was in charge of Marines, many of them teenagers just out of boot camp, awaiting security training at the base. UPI
ROME, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Twelve people have been arrested for allegedly selling on the Internet hundreds of counterfeit works of art allegedly by modern masters, Italian police said.
The forgeries, which sold for an estimated $9 million, were attributed to Matisse, Magritte, Prampolini, Burri, Fontana, de Chirico, Guttuso, Sironi, Rotella, Capogrossi, Gentilini and Boccioni, ANSA reported.
"Buyers thought they were really making a bargain," a member of the Carabinieri's Cultural Heritage Protection Unit told the Italian news agency. UPI
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it is investigating 1993 through 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokees concerning a possible fire hazard.
The investigation, prompted by a request from the Center for Auto Safety, will focus on gas tank placement and protection, CNNMoney.com reported Wednesday.
CAS, an industry watchdog group, said 172 crashes with the vehicle have involved fires in which 254 people have died. The model years in question have inadequately protected gas tanks that are especially vulnerable in rear-end crashes, CAS said.
About 3 million Grand Cherokees could be a risk, CAS said. UPI
SEATTLE, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Five U.S. soldiers from a Stryker infantry brigade have been charged with killing Afghan civilians, military officials say.
Seven other soldiers face related charges, including hindering the investigation and aggravated assault, The Seattle Times reports. All 12 were part of a unit at Joint Base Lewis-McChord and were deployed to Afghanistan a year ago.
The original five soldiers were charged in June. The Times said it has studied documents filed by a defense lawyer and obtained information from the Army about additional charges Tuesday.
Prosecutors say some of his fellow soldiers said Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, 25, of Billings, Mont., organized a "kill team" of men willing to kill civilians while on patrol. Another soldier, Spc. Jeremy Morlock, 22, of Wasilla, Alaska, reportedly gave detailed statements to investigators implicating himself and others. UPI
Iran plans to work on the discovery and extraction of uranium, ISNA news agency said on Wednesday citing the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akbar Salehi.
"After the Bushehr Power Plant, exploration and exploitation of uranium is on the agenda," Salehi said. "This issue is going on well," he continued.
"We are now working on the discovery and extraction of uranium and the project is advancing," he said.
The project is expected to be completed in 7-8 years, Salehi said. "Iranian scientists' findings have been promising so far," he added.
Last Saturday, Iran saw the physical startup of the first power generating unit of the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.
The construction of Iran's first nuclear plant was begun in 1975 by several German construction companies. They pulled out following a U.S. embargo on hi-tech supplies to Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the subsequent U.S. Embassy siege in Tehran.
Russia signed a contract with Iran to complete construction in February 1998.
Tehran submitted in July a letter to IAEA Director General Yukio Amano, which expressed Iran's readiness to hold technical discussions on the supply of 20%-enriched fuel to Iran for use in its Tehran scientific research reactor. RIA Novosti
The establishment of fingerprint and DNA databases in the North Caucasus Federal District will significantly cut crime in the volatile region, the region's police chief said on Wednesday.
"I fully welcome this idea and do not see any problems occurring," Sergei Chenchik said, adding that the project would be neither time-consuming nor expensive.
He said the details of the project could not be disclosed.
In March, Russia's top investigator, Alexander Bastrykin, proposed establishing mandatory fingerprinting and DNA profiling of all people living in the North Caucasus Federal District, including refugees and migrants, as a means of combating rampant crime in the region.
Such databases are used to solve crimes in Britain, the United States, Canada and many other countries.
Some human rights activists spoke out against the idea, saying it would violate people's privacy rights. RIA Novosti
NEW YORK, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Blacks and Hispanics are the groups most likely to use cellphones for talking and texting, The Nielsen Co. reports.
Nielsen, the company best known for its television ratings, said blacks average 1,300 minutes on their cellphones every month, followed by Hispanics at 826.
Asians and Pacific Islanders are on their phones an average of 692 minutes, while whites talk for only 647 minutes per month on average.
Blacks and Hispanics are also the busiest texters. Blacks average 780 messages sent and received every month, while Hispanics are close behind at 767.
Whites send and receive an average of 566 texts a month. Asians and Pacific Islanders trail at 384.
Nielsen also found marked gender and age differences. Women spend an average of 22 percent more time talking on their cellphones than men, and send and receive an average of 601 messages, compared with 447 for men. UPI
RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A North Carolina mortuary allegedly left the body of a dead woman in the back of its hearse for more than a week, authorities said.
Police in Graham, N.C., were called to investigate a foul order and traced it to a hearse owned by David B. Lawson Mortuary, the undertaker that picked up Linda Walton's body nine days before, The Raleigh News & Observer reported Wednesday.
Investigators say Walton's body was picked up from an apartment in Carrboro on Aug. 5 and driven to the mortuary in Graham.
Lawson's was called to pick up the body after investigators couldn't find Walton's next of kin, Capt. Joel Booker of the Carrboro police department said.
"What the investigators told me is Lawson's said, 'Not a problem. We'll put her in deep-freeze,'" Booker said. "So off they go, and that's the last we know of it until we heard from Graham police last week". UPI
WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been dropping efforts to deport illegal immigrants who appear to pose no threat, officials say.
Richard Rocha, a spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told The Houston Chronicle the agency has to make choices. That means going after criminals and people with suspected terrorist ties.
"Our agency focuses our limited resources on criminal aliens and those who are considered national security and public safety threats," Rocha said Tuesday.
In an Aug. 20 memo given to the Chronicle, John Morton, assistant secretary for ICE, said agents should examine the cases of potential deportees based on whether they have a close relationship to a U.S. citizen. In an earlier memo, dated June 30, Morton said the department has the resources to deport 400,000 people a year, which is about 4 percent of the estimated population of illegal immigrants. UPI
Victims of the Manila bus hijack have been flown back to Hong Kong, two days after the deadly siege which left eight tourists dead.
Survivors, relatives of the victims and coffins carrying those who died left the Philippine capital after a ceremony at the airport.
They left as the Philippines observed a day of mourning for the dead.
Philippine police have admitted to poor handling of the siege and several officers have been removed from duty.
They have been accused of failing to respond quickly or effectively enough after the bus was hijacked by an armed former police officer who wanted his job back.Suspended
At the airport in Manila, the eight coffins were loaded on to a specially chartered plane for the journey home, after a Buddhist ceremony. BBC News
Crocodile Dundee actor Paul Hogan has been barred from leaving Australia over an unpaid multi-million dollar tax bill, his lawyer has said.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) served the US-based actor with the order when he returned to Sydney recently for his mother's funeral.
The 70-year-old is alleged to have put AUS$37.6m (£21.4m) of film royalties in offshore tax havens.
Hogan denies the claim, saying he had "paid plenty of tax" in Australia.
The order prevents the actor from leaving Australia until any alleged tax debts are paid or arrangements made for the tax liability to be discharged.
Lawyer Andrew Robinson said Hogan was "stunned and very disappointed the government could treat him as a flight risk".
"He denies the liability asserted by the ATO and has filed objections which have not been the subject of any response".
"The process of detaining Paul in Australia away from his wife and child has devastated him and he hopes that discussions between us and the ATO will lead to a prompt resolution allowing him to return to his family," Mr Robinson added. BBC News
A plane has crashed in the west of the Democratic Republic of Congo, killing 20 people, officials say.
One person was also critically injured as it came into land in Bandundu, about 200km (125 miles) west of the capital.
A BBC reporter in Kinshasa says it hit a house, but no-one is thought to have been hurt on the ground.
DR Congo, the size of western Europe, has few roads after decades of civil war, and has one of the world's worst air safety records.
The BBC's Thomas Hubert says the plane crashed 2km from the airstrip as it attempted to land just after midday.
Colonel Joli Limengo, the local chief of police, told our correspondent that most of those on board had died in the accident, including the two pilots - who were believed to be Belgian nationals. BBC News
The 2010 edition of the Army's Spirit of America is gearing up for a regional tour that begins in September. Soldiers from this year's cast - including members of the Continental Color Guard, the Caisson Platoon, the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, the U.S. Army Drill Team and The U.S. Army Band - gathered in the Fort McNair Fitness Center Aug. 3 for a rehearsal session observed by Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall and Military District of Washington Commander Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst and other VIPs. The general watched from the sidelines as Soldiers reenacted the battle of Trenton in stops and starts as producers and directors tinkered with the show.
Spirit of America strings together dramatic and musical vignettes from the various military conflicts the United States has been involved in, from the Civil War, World War II and Vietnam to Grenada and Panama and Desert Storm. A special focus of this year's production is the Korean War, because this year marks the 60th anniversary of the conflict.
Personal accounts, taken directly from Soldiers' letters and diaries, help provide the storyline for a show that is historically accurate and entertaining, with reenacted battles and precision military drills. Some of the music in this year's production include: ''The Star Spangled Banner," ''Stars and Stripes Forever," ''The Army Goes Rolling Along," ''Drowsy Maggie," ''Yankee Doodle" and ''The Boys of Bluehill".
This is Sgt. William Ransom's first year appearing in Spirit of America. The 3rd U.S. Infantry Soldier was suppose to appear in last year's production but got deployed to Afghanistan after auditioning. He plays a Soldier from the Vietnam era in the current production.
''It's a powerful role where the character has to be strong and voice his opinion," said Ransom, describing how the Soldier he plays talks about his tour and how the war is progressing.
He said playing the Soldier is meaningful to him because his father served in Vietnam. Ransom hopes his dad is able to come to Pittsburgh from his home in New Jersey to see the show. U.S. Army