segunda-feira, 25 de outubro de 2010
Germany's diplomats were more deeply involved in the Holocaust than previously known, according to an official German government report.
The government is considering making the 900-page text mandatory reading for all its diplomats.
The report was commissioned in 2005 after it emerged that flattering obituaries of war-time diplomats were being published internally.
The report challenges the idea diplomats were far from the Holocaust.
A myth seemed to have grown up within the post-war foreign ministry that German war-time diplomats were not involved in the mass murder and even opposed it.
The report, commissioned by the foreign ministry, says diplomats were willing participants who spied on Jewish fugitives from the Nazis.
One of the authors said: "The German foreign ministry collaborated with the Nazis' violent politics and especially assisted in all aspects of the discrimination, deportation, persecution and genocide of the Jews".
The historians discovered the travel expenses of one senior diplomat who went to Serbia in 1941 to help organise the killing of Jews.
The expenses form said simply: "Liquidation of Jews in Belgrade".
Parts of Europe have been, for whatever reason, more wary of Google’s Street View service than others. The occasional lawsuit hasn’t prevented the march of progress, though Italy’s new regulations may cause more of a hassle than the occasional grumpy homeowner. The Privacy Authority President, Francesco Pizzetti, described the outrage:
“There has been strong alarm and also hostility in a lot of European countries against Google taking photos. We have received protests even from local administrations”.
Odd that a country so heavily invested in their tourist industry, which consists largely of foreign people taking millions of photos of the country’s most previous possessions, would take issue with the far more systematic and predictable Street View operations. Considering their handling of that other incident, it seems that perhaps the Italian government is simply not equipped to deal progressively with the implications and consequences of the internet and Google in particular.
Italian unions and politicians have responded angrily to suggestions by the head of carmaker Fiat that the company would be better off without Italy.
Sergio Marchionne cited the country's poor record of labour efficiency and industrial competitiveness.
He said improvements to Fiat's profits were made despite continuing loss-making at its Italian plants.
But politicians said that the Italian taxpayer was behind Fiat's continued status.State support
Mr Marchionne had said that eliminating loss-making Italian plants would increase financial gains.
"Not a cent from the two billion euros of profits forecast for 2010 will be generated in Italy," he said in comments late on Sunday.
The company reported a sevenfold jump in profits, making 190m euros ($266m; £169m) in net profit in the past three months, up from 25m euros a year ago.
"Fiat cannot continue operating these factories at a loss forever," Mr Marchionne said, adding that the country ranked 118th out of 139 countries in work efficiency and 48th in terms of industrial competitiveness.
But the speaker of parliament, Gianfranco Fini, said the only reason Fiat was only still a "colossus" was due to the Italian taxpayer, referring to government bonus schemes introduced to support the automobile industry during the global financial downturn.
Fiat has been waging a bitter battle with the Italian unions over the company's plans to improve productivity through stricter working conditions and shut down a factory in Sicily.
The next Winter Olympics may include new types of competitions, including team figure skating, mixed biathlon and slopestyle snowboard, International Olympic Committee Director of Communications Mark Adams said on Monday.
The Winter Olympic Games are to be held in Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi in 2014.
Adams made the statement after a meeting in Acapulco and added that the final decision to include the new events would be made by IOC President Jacques Rogge at the end of April 2011.
Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov said Russia has "pretty good positions" in the new events.
Team figure skating is presumed to last one day and each country will send one male and one female single skater, followed by a couples skating, and finally and ice dancing couple. An overall score would then be totaled for the skaters from all four disciplines for each participating country.
Mixed relay in biathlon would include teams made up of both men and women.
A Moscow court on Monday ruled that rail monopoly Russian Railways must pay over 178,000 rubles ($5,880) to the parents of a teenager killed by a high-speed Sapsan train six months ago.
Alexei Bogdanov, 15, was hit by a Sapsan in April when crossing the rails at a crossing in northwest Russia's Leningrad Region. His parents filed a lawsuit demanding 40 million rubles ($1.3 mln) from Russian Railways saying there were no proper audio or light signals notifying people of an approaching train.
"Safe conditions were not created for people crossing the rails," the parents said in the lawsuit.
But Russian Railways said the boy died due to his own carelessness, and said the amount of compensation was too large.
"The light and sound alarm worked properly, the train was signaling. The railway crossing is equipped in line with security provision norms," the company said.
RIVERSIDE, Calif., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Authorities say they've identified one of two victims in the fatal crash of a single-engine airplane in Southern California.
Coroner's investigators identified the pilot of the 1990 Glasair as Timothy Richard Larson, 41, of Moreno Valley, Calif., The (Riverside) Press Enterprise reported.
Federal Aviation Administration records list Larson as the aircraft's registered owner.
The passenger has been tentatively identified only as a 50-year-old man from Jupiter, Fla., a statement released by the coroner's investigators said.
The plane was reported missing Saturday after it failed to return to Corona Municipal Airport from a local flight, and the wreckage was located Sunday morning about 100 feet from Lake Mathews, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.
Lake Mathews is a designated practice area for the airport, the Press Enterprise said.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A lot of U.S. voters say neither Democrats nor Republicans represent America's average Joes and Janes, a Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday indicated.
Forty-three percent of likely voters in next week's elections say neither major party in Congress is the party of the people and nearly as many said they saw a need for a third party, results indicated.
Thirty-five percent of likely voters said they disagree that neither party represents the American people and 22 percent said they weren't sure.
Thirty-eight percent said they thought Republicans and Democrats are so similar that a new party is needed to represent the American people, Rasmussen said. Fifty percent said a new third party wasn't needed while 12 percent said they were undecided.
Results are based on a survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted Friday and Saturday. The margin of error was 3 percentage points.
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- Three beaches in Southern California closed after a fatal shark attack have been reopened, officials said after reporting no new shark sightings.
Wall, Minuteman and Surf beaches in Santa Barbara County, all closed following Friday's attack, were reopened Monday after Vandenberg Air Force Base officials determined they were safe for visitors, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"During the three-day closure period, base conservation law enforcement officers increased patrols of the base beaches; there were no observed or reported shark sightings off of base beaches during the closure period," a statement from the base said.
Base officials said signs would be posted at the beaches reading: "Warning: recent shark attack -- swim, surf at your own risk".
In the Friday morning attack at Surf Beach, victim Lucas Ransom's left leg was severed and fire personnel from Vandenberg pronounced him dead at the scene.
Senior politicians and businessmen are among more than 100 people listed by Nigerian anti-fraud police as being unsuitable to run for political office.
The EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) said those on the list were all being prosecuted for corruption.
The commission urged political parties not to endorse them as candidates in next year's elections.
One of those named, Orji Kalu, is running for president but has been arraigned on 107 counts of fraud.
He is accused of involvement in a fraud worth 5bn naira (£21m; $33m).
Politicians make up at least 40 people on the list, which the EFCC has published on its website.
Thirteen are former state governors, five are former ministers, three are serving MPs, and two are serving senators.
The BBC's Caroline Duffield, in Abuja, says fraud charges are no barrier to standing in elections, and some of those named are already campaigning.
But EFCC officials say that they believe those facing prosecution should not be endorsed as candidates.
The commission is appealing to political parties to select only "credible candidates" and not those on the list.
The EFCC says many of the defendants are deliberately stalling their cases in court so that they will not be tried before the elections next year.
Three and a half years ago, Google made what seemed to be a pretty big $100 million acquisition: FeedBurner. You remember that company, right? They’re the ones that dominated RSS management before all of that real time tech came along and rendered it obsolete for many people. Today, Google is putting the real time paddles to FeedBurner’s heart in an attempt to rivive it.
If you visit FeedBurner today, you’ll see a “Try out our NEW (beta) version!” message in the top menu. Clicking on this will take you to the new version. So what’s new? The entire look and feel has been revamped. The new Home screen is loaded up with overview stats and alerts for the sites you run. But the real key, of course, is in the Feeds area.
Here’s you’ll see a completely new way of looking at your subscribers and data. In a move that should surprise no one, it looks a lot more like Google Analytics. But the key is what’s going on behind the scenes. As Google notes:
The real story is what’s new under the hood, however: the new interface provides real time stats for clicks, views, and podcast downloads, which means you can start seeing what content is drawing traffic from feed readers, Twitter, and other syndicated sources as it happens.
In fact, Google mentions Twitter a couple times in their post about the update — more than they mention their own RSS reader product, Google Reader. Clearly, they see where the future of content consumption is heading.
And it’s interesting that Twitter is so vital here. One of FeedBurner’s co-founders and CEO was Dick Costolo — yes, the same man who is now the CEO of Twitter.
Costolo left Google in July of 2009 after he had already moved on from the FeedBurner team. It seemed pretty clear to many of us that after the acquisition, Google wasn’t putting the resources it should have into the product. And its time at Google has been filled with bugs, problems, and a general growing disinterest from most users.
Maybe that will change now. Maybe. This update is about two years too late.
Last week we saw the carriers’ growth numbers for Q3 2010, and AT&T completely blew away Verizon with new subscribers. Despite mass availability of Android phones, Verizon only added 1 million subscribers in Q3, its lowest total in years. AT&T added 2.6 million.
It’s now completely clear why Verizon has finally capitulated and cozied up with Apple—even with tons of Android models, Verizon simply can’t compete with AT&T in terms of new subscriber growth.
Right now the question du jour among iPhone aficionados is how many net subscribers will leave AT&T and switch to Verizon once the iPhone becomes a reality in January 2011. That number is going to be a lot larger than people think for a series of compounding reasons.
First off, let’s establish that iPhone service on AT&T has not improved. Dropped calls are one issue. But so are dead connections, intermittent signal, and my personal favorite—the inability to use the phone for voice or data even when you have “full signal”.
There is a reason why these issues are endemic to iPhones on AT&T, but don’t affect either Android smartphones on Verizon, or iPhones on other GSM carriers worldwide. And it always intrigues me that it’s hardly ever mentioned by either analysts, the media, or by Apple and AT&T themselves.
I suppose the former community doesn’t understand the issue, and the latter doesn’t want you to know the truth. Earlier this summer I uncovered the real reasons why AT&T’s network is so terrible, just prior to iPhone 4 and iOS4 being released.
Contrary to what’s normally discussed in the press, the issues are not capacity related. It’s not about the number of cell towers or wireless bandwidth. Instead, they relate to “signaling”, control and status information which is communicated back and forth across wireless networks. Smartphones use signaling for network polling and status updates, for functions like SMS, billing, and for DHCP requests.
When I wrote that piece, Steve Jobs had just gone on record at D8 saying that AT&T was working hard and the issues would get better by the end of the summer.
Well guess what? They haven’t.
The issues have not been alleviated because they require a completely rethought approach to network topology at the signaling layer, and after three years it’s clear AT&T has no clue how to do this, especially amidst a continual onslaught of iPhone subscriber growth.
Attempts to overhaul its signaling network present a chicken-and-egg problem. AT&T must also build out its LTE network, which is the real solution to creating robust signaling.
This dilemma is compounded by the fact that 3G isn’t going away—I recently learned Apple plans to bypass LTE in 2011, instead opting to wait for “4G” to mature. This means that AT&T subscribers will be relying on AT&T’s woefully strained 3G network for another 18 months or more.
Unless they switch to Verizon.
The premise that Verizon’s network will support the iPhone fine is now anecdotally supported by the fact that Verizon smartphone subscribers use more data than iPhone subscribers, and because Android phones actually use the same power saving disconnect methods that the iPhone popularized.
Up until this point AT&T could physiologically assuage the concerns of iPhone users since they had exclusivity. But soon people will be able to compare Apples to Apples, if you will. An iPhone user on Verizon will not experience the same issues an iPhone user on AT&T. If you don’t believe me, this will become clear for everyone when the Verizon CDMA iPhone becomes available.
The really interesting part is that it appears Apple is going to supply a dual mode GSM/CDMA iPhone in mid-2011 which supports all carriers worldwide. Imagine the scenario of a new customer walking into the Apple store—why on earth would they go with AT&T when their neighbor talks about how well the iPhone works on Verizon?
This confluence of reasons—the general delay of 4G, coupled with Apple’s plans to support a dual mode GSM/CDMA iPhone—will be hurt AT&T. It’s beginning to look like there are going to be a lot more AT&T defections to Verizon than the majority of people think. And once again, Steve Jobs will smile like the Cheshire cat while Apple stands above the fray, as the primary beneficiary.
SEATTLE, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A Canadian cannot get back to his home and business in Washington state because his visa expired, his lawyers say.
Masud Hasan, who was born in Bangladesh but has Canadian citizenship, has lived in Bellevue, Wash., for five years on an E-2 treaty investor visa for foreigners who invest in U.S. businesses that employ Americans, The Seattle Times reported.
He had lived in the United States on student and employment visas before he bought a clinic, Healthquest Chiropractic.
In July, when his visa expired, Hasan traveled to Toronto with his Canadian wife and American-born daughter, prepared to wait up to six weeks for renewal. But 15 weeks have passed, and the family is still stranded.
"We're counting hours and days while my practice suffers, our house sits idly by and our debt grows," he told the Times. "If we were told the answer is yes or no, then we could plan for it. Worst of all, every day my 6-year-old daughter asks, 'When are we going back home, Baba?'".
Immigration attorneys say Hasan's country of birth may be putting him under harsher scrutiny but the State Department said no one is subject to special review because of origin.
ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A Florida judge accused of sexually harassing women while handling divorce, custody and juvenile cases "has no business being on the bench," a prosecutor said.
The Judicial Qualifications Commission, the state agency that polices judges, is prosecuting Orange-Osceola Circuit Judge N. James Turner, the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday.
A six-member panel that will be judge and jury heard prosecutor Marvin Barkin allege Turner had an "overall pattern of abusing his authority".
"The judge has no business being on the bench," he said.
Prosecutors have accused Turner, 64, of hugging, kissing and massaging women appearing before him at court.
Prosecutors also allege he tried to inject himself into their lives, arriving at their homes or family functions without invitation.
Turner's defense attorney, Barry Rigby, argued the judge was not guilty of sexual misconduct, just a man who thought he was closer to women in his court than he actually was.
Turner has started seeing a therapist, Rigby said.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- A Canadian woman's fight to learn the identity of her biological father could change the rules on sperm-donor confidentiality, observers said.
Olivia Pratten, 28, is trying to have the British Columbia's Adoption Act declared unconstitutional because it lets adopted children get records of their biological parents but denies the same right to people conceived with donated eggs or sperm, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported.
Her lawsuit also aims to make the province introduce bills requiring donor records to be kept and available to the offspring.
Pratten, a journalist in Toronto, told The Globe and Mail, "This is not just about me. There have been a lot of people conceived this way".
Pratten has known how she was conceived since she was 5. Her parents, now separated, support her lawsuit.
The action, which was scheduled for court Monday, names the province and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia as defendants. The province applied to have the case dismissed, arguing that the records no longer exist and the case is moot. In October, the provincial Supreme Court ruled it could go ahead.