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Monday, May 31, 2010

Lindsay Lohan Avoids the Danger Zone

Lindsay Lohan has finally realized she needs to avoid "those people" ... the ones creating massive temptation ... so say confidants of LiLo, who spoke with TMZ.


We're told Lindsay is spending the long weekend with a close friend by the beach in Venice, CA.  As one friend put it, "She needs to get away from that scene ... and she knows it".



But it's not just the Hollywood clubs that create the danger of relapse. "The people who hang around her are such moochers, and bad energy," says one friend, adding, "she needs to cut them out and I think that's what she's starting to realize".


As for what Lindsay is doing, we're told a lot of sleeping, watching TV and movies.  And shopping.  Interesting ... more than one person says she desperately needs sleep.

The people we've spoken with say it's definitely too early to tell, but Lindsay had at least temporarily turned a corner and is healthier than she's been "in a long time".

Ship clash leaves Israel in diplomatic hot water


(Reuters) - Israel could pay a heavy price -- including damage to peace efforts with the Palestinians -- over the killing of 10 international activists on a Turkish ship trying to break a blockade of Gaza.
Foreign anger at the boarding of the pro-Palestinian flotilla was loud even among Israel's allies and may drown out its argument that such action was needed to keep Gaza's Hamas rulers isolated and peacemaking efforts afloat.
Islamist Hamas's rival for Palestinian loyalties, secular president Mahmoud Abbas, was quick to condemn the naval attack as a "massacre" -- an ill omen for the U.S.-mediated negotiations with Israel on which he embarked three weeks ago.
President Barack Obama will have to balance relations with Turkey and other Muslim allies of the United States against Washington's ties with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on a visit to Canada when the Israeli raid took place, canceled a planned White House meeting with Obama on Tuesday and would leave later on Monday for home, Israeli officials said.

Amanda Knox to appear before court accused of slandering Italian police

American convicted of murdering British student Meredith Kercher testified that she had been beaten into admitting she was at crime scene

John Hooper in Rome


Amanda Knox, the American convicted of murdering the British studentMeredith Kercher is due to appear in court again tomorrow, accused of slandering the Italian police by testifying that she had been beaten into admitting she was at the crime scene.
The start of her pre-trial hearing is one of several developments due to revive controversy surrounding a case that appeared to have been settled last December when Knox and her Italian former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were found guilty of the killing.
Knox's parents, who repeated her claims of police ill-treatment to the media, also face indictment proceedings for the same offence on 6 July.
The 22-year-old University of Washington student's appeal is expected to be heard in the autumn, along with that of Sollecito.
In the meantime, judges will be considering a final appeal by the third person convicted of the killing, Ivory Coast-born Rudy Guede.

Russia condemns Israeli raid of humanitarian aid ships in neutral waters


Russia has condemned the Israeli raid on a number of ships in neutral waters that were bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip that led to the deaths of at least 10 people, Russia's first deputy ambassador to the UN said on Monday.

The Israeli military stormed the Turkish-flagged six-ship Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza and 600 human rights activists in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea earlier on Monday.

Alexander Pankin also expressed his hope that the incident would not avert the continuation of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. He also expressed his condolences to the families of those who were killed during the incident.

Why Horst Köhler Was an Unhappy President

A Commentary by Roland Nelles


Horst Köhler's resignation on Monday came as a shock to Germany. But it was long clear that he was unhappy in his job, and his departure will allow a fresh start for the office of the president.

As German President Horst Köhler announced his resignation on TV, he appeared to be close to tears. Could the moment have been any stranger? What a surreal minute in German history. It was as if time in politics stood still for a moment. The entire country held its breath.

The moment of shock must now be followed by sober analysis. It exposes a harsh but simple truth: Horst Köhler and the office of president didn't fit together. They weren't made for each other. He had also noticed that -- long before Monday. It made him an unhappy president, and it's why the criticism over his comments on Afghanistan a week ago led him to step down. He must have been deeply hurt that no one from the governing parties came to his aid, to support him or defend him in the controversy. Not even Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The man and the office just didn't fit. The form his resignation took -- this feeling of being offended, this mix of self-pity and anger towards others, confirms this. A German federal president doesn't resign because -- within the scope of a normal process of democratic debate -- he is criticized. That's an overreaction that doesn't befit the office.

Gaza aid flotilla: calls to isolate Israel after commando killings

Turkey has led international calls to isolate Israel after its army commandos shot dead as least 10 activists during a raid on a flotilla trying to deliver aid to the Gaza strip

By Richard Spencer, Adrian Blomfield and Matthew Kalman in Jerusalem 

Government ministers defended the actions of its troops fiercely after the pre-dawn raid, alleging they had come under attack from violent forces allied to Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda.

But as Israeli ambassadors were called into foreign ministries across Asia and Europe, Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, was forced to scrap a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington, heading back home to deal with the crisis.

The deaths are likely to bring indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, only restarted earlier this month, to a crashing halt.

Israel's relations with Turkey, once its only friend in the Muslim world, were described as irreparably damaged. At least six of the dead were Turkish citizens.

The UN security council held an emergency session and were expected to pass an draft agreement calling for an international inquiry into the incident.

World leaders could face prosecution for ‘state aggression’

David Charter


World leaders could face prosecution for acts of state aggression — potentially including the invasion of Iraq — under calls for the International Criminal Court to extend its powers.
Britain and the US are among nations wary of such a move. The change would make “manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations” an indictable offence at the court, which currently prosecutes those responsible for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. There are fears that the move could intensely politicise the work of the fledgeling ICC in The Hague, making it harder for the court to gain the international recognition and confidence it needs.
The issue is expected to dominate a gathering in Kampala of delegates from most of the 111 signatories to the ICC, to review its working practices eight years after it was founded. There were also calls yesterday for universal acceptance of the ICC. Of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, three — the US, China and Russia — are yet to endorse the court.
Adding the crime of state aggression to the ICC’s remit “would be a significant step forward in the development of international law and an important extension of the court’s jurisdiction”, said Christian Wenaweser, president of the Assembly of States Parties to the ICC, meeting in the Ugandan capital.

Blondes take to the streets in Riga

Oskars Magone


RIGA - Hundreds of blondes from throughout Latvia donned pink and fluffed up their poodles over the weekend to take part in a parade aimed at improving morale in the crisis-stricken country.

This was the second annual parade organized by the Latvian Association of Blondes. Unlike last years march, which was originally intended to be a one-off event, this year the parade was extended to cover two days on May 28 and 29 and to include concerts and a Marilyn Monroe look-alike competition.

Attendence was also up this year, with about 800 blondes taking part in contrast to the 500 that attended last year's event.

Ethiopia's only opposition MP "won't be intimidated"

By Barry Malone
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Girma Seifu was at home hosting a dinner party to celebrate what looked like a sure parliamentary seat win when he got the phone call that would force him into the spotlight.
Ethiopia's opposition coalition, the eight-party Medrek, had won only one seat in the 547-seat parliament -- his.
"The secretary general of the party called," says the newly elected MP, in his Addis Ababa office. "He said, 'you could be the only one'. I didn't expect that".
The almost complete wipeout of opposition in the Horn of Africa country's parliament was a shock. Analysts had expected the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) to win but not by that margin.
Aside from Girma and one independent parliamentarian, every winning MP is either a member of the EPRDF or from one of several closely allied parties.

No word on fate of Malaysians onboard attacked ship


By SHAUN HO


PETALING JAYA: The fate of Astro Awani journalist Ashwad Ismail, 26, and cameraman Samsulkamal Abdul Latip, 43, and nine other Malaysians believed aboard Turkish ship Mavi Marmara when Israeli commandos stormed it on Monday, remains unknown.
The other Malaysians are Noorazman Mohd Samsuddin (chief of the Malaysian delegation and a UIA lecturer), Dr Mohd Arba Ai Shawal (medical doctor), Dr Syed Muhamad Haleem Syed Hassan (medical doctor), Dr Selamat Aliman (businessman), Jamaluddin Elias (Klang councillor), Al Hilmi Husain Suhaimi (religious teacher), Mohd Nizam Mohamad Awang (engineer), Abd Halim Mohd Redzuan (Syabas executive) and Ustaz Hasanuddin Aqsi Assarip (non-governmental organisation personnel).
Astro Awani's last contact with its crew was at 7.45pm on Sunday, according to a statement from the TV channel.
A senior Astro Awani source said they were trying desperately to establish contact with the two.
The attack, which took place 65km off the Gaza coast in international waters early Monday, killed at least 19 people and injured many others.

PM rejects army role in shopping mall blazes

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva insists the CentralWorld shopping mall was torched on May 19 after red shirt leaders called off their rally and before troops moved into the area.
Mr Abhisit yesterday told parliament CentralWorld was set on fire several times after red shirt leaders surrendered to police during the army operation to break up the rally.
Government forces deployed for the military operation were instructed to remain where they were.
He said none of the troops had moved to CentralWorld and Siam Square, which were later set ablaze.
An investigation would be carried out to identify the details of the arson attacks on the two shopping centres and the shootings at Wat Pathumwanaram, where six people were shot dead on the night of May19.
The prime minister saw it as unnecessary for the government forces to harm demonstrators after the rally had been called off.
There were reports that fire fighters had tried to put out the blazes at Siam Square and CentralWorld but they came under fire from a group of armed men at the Siam Paragon shopping centre, he said.
Puea Thai Party MP for Bangkok Vicharn Meenchainant yesterday said the burned buildings were in areas where the military was in control.

House 'devastated' as crooks steal copper water pipes

A MOTHER-of-one has been flooded out of her home after thieves stole copper pipes and a water tank from an upstairs flat.
Tracey Morton said her house had been "devastated" by a deluge from the property above, with the total cost of the clean-up running into thousands of pounds. 

She said her son Ryan, 16, opened the front door last week to find the ceilings bulging and torrents of water gushing down the walls – drenching electrical equipment and furniture.

He called his mother, who rushed home from work to her devastated home in Bevan Road, Dalkeith.

"It was just horrendous," she said. "All I could see was water coming through the ceiling and down the light fittings. The kitchen, bathroom and hall were completely drenched".

China aims to be become supercomputer superpower

By Jonathan Fildes
Technology reporter, BBC News

China is ramping up efforts to become the world's supercomputing superpower.
Its Nebulae machine at the National Super Computer Center in Shenzhen, was ranked second on the biannual Top 500 supercomputer list.
For the first time, a second Chinese supercomputer appears in the list of the top ten fastest machines.
However, the US still dominates the list with more than half the Top 500, including the world's fastest, known as Jaguar.
The Cray computer, which is owned by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has a top speed of 1.75 petaflops.
One petaflop is the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second.
It is used by scientists conducting research in astrophysics, climate science and nuclear energy.

High command snubs Jagan, says no loose talk

Hyderabad, May 31: The Kadapa MP, Mr Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, was sharply reprimanded by the Congress high command on Monday for his defiance but not before he made things worse by blaming the Chief Minister, Mr K. Rosaiah, for the violent incidents in Mahbubabad on Friday during his botched ‘Odarpu yatra’.
Jagan rushed to Delhi to pacify the high command, but in an obvious signal of displeasure, the Congress chief, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, has not given him an appointment so far. Instead, her political secretary, Mr Ahmed Patel, gave him a sharp dressing-down for his defiance and asked him not to indulge in ‘loose talk’.
But that was exactly what the young MP did before meeting Mr Patel, by appearing before the media and making a direct attack on Mr Rosaiah for not providing security to the MLA, Ms Konda Surekha, who was pelted with stones at Mahbubabad railway station by Telangana agitators.
“When women legislators belonging to weaker sections are being attacked by some 100 Telangana activists with stones, why was there no policeman there?” he asked. “Whose failure was this? Is the CM not responsible for this? I will tell the party high command that the Rosaiah government is non-functioning”.

Israeli Raid: 'Bloody, Bungled Takeover' Deepens Israel's Isolation

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's bloody, bungled takeover of a Gaza-bound Turkish aid vessel is complicating U.S.-led Mideast peace efforts, deepening Israel's international isolation and threatening to destroy the Jewish state's ties with key regional ally Turkey.
And while Israel had hoped to defend its tight blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza with Monday's high-seas raid, it instead appeared to be hastening the embargo's demise, judging by initial international condemnation.
The pre-dawn commando operation, which killed nine pro-Palestinian activists, was also sure to strengthen Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers at the expense of U.S. allies in the region, key among them Hamas' main rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, as well as Egypt and Jordan.

Biden honors fallen troops; Obama talk rained out

From the Associated Press


Vice President Joe Biden hailed America's fighting men and women Monday as the "spine of this nation," while President Barack Obama's Land of Lincoln tribute got washed out by a severe thunderstorm and high winds.

Biden made the more traditional appearance at Arlington National Cemetery on Obama's behalf, saying the country has "a sacred obligation" to make sure its servicemen and women are the best equipped and best-supported troops in the world.

"As a nation, we pause to remember them," Biden said. "They gave their lives fulfilling their oath to this nation and to us".



Obama had readied a similar message of gratitude for his appearance at the Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Illinois, and actually had taken the podium to give the address when the skies opened up with a quintessentially midwestern late-spring downpour -- thunder, lightning and high winds.

Under the cover of a large umbrella, he told thousands gathered before him that while "a little rain never hurt anybody," nobody wanted "anybody struck by lightning." He asked people to return to their cars for their safety, and he retreated briefly to an administration building on the cemetery's grounds. Obama a few minutes later boarded a pair of buses to greet military families that came for the event.

JAL ends all flights in and out of Kobe

KOBE (Kyodo) Japan Airline Corp. terminated all of its flights Monday at Kobe Airport as part of its restructuring.


JAL ended flights between Kobe and Shin-Chitose Airport in Hokkaido and Naha and Ishigaki airports in Okinawa.
JAL's withdrawal is a blow to the money-losing Kobe Airport, which is expected to suffer operating losses for both fiscal 2009 and 2010.
The airport will lose much of the its landing fees, a pillar of its operations. In 2009, JAL flights accounted about 35 percent of its landing fees of ¥690 million.
"We'd like (JAL) to come back as early as possible," Kobe Mayor Tatsuo Yada said.

Napolitano to discuss global security

By ARAB NEWS


JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah received US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in his palace in Jeddah on Sunday. Napolitano conveyed the greetings of US President Barack Obama to the king during the meeting, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
She later met with Second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Prince Naif and discussed matters of mutual interest.
Napolitano is in Saudi Arabia for talks on global security and counter-terrorism issues, her office said prior to her departure from Washington. She is to travel to the United Arab Emirates on Monday.

China, Tanzania Vow to Strengthen Cooperation

Tanzanian Minister of Defense and National Service Hussein Ali Mwinyi on Monday expressed gratitude to China's assistance and committed to continued efforts to further promote friendly cooperations between the two countries and the two militaries.

Mwinyi made the remarks while meeting Chen Bingde, chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army of China at the headquarters of the People's Defense Forces.

The Tanzanian minister noted that Tanzania and China enjoy deep and profound friendship as the leaders of the old generation of both countries laid solid foundation to the development of close bilateral ties, while the bilateral cooperation in political, economic and military sectors has achieved plentiful and substantial fruits.

He expressed hope that the visit by the Chinese high-level delegation will further promote the bilateral ties, appreciating China's assistance to his country and vowing to enhance the friendly cooperations between the two countries and the two militaries.

For his part, Chen said China and Tanzania had brotherhood friendship with the friendly cooperation between the two countries promoting bilateral ties, which has made great contribution to the regional and world peace.

ICC member states warn African dictators

By Nation team

Delegates reviewing the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court have warned dictators in Africa to respect human rights or face the wrath of the international community.


The continent was also asked to co-operate with the International Criminal Court by arresting fugitive warlords against whom the ICC issued arrest warrants.
Speaking during the opening of the International Criminal Court Review Meeting in Kampala, Uganda, United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, warned world leaders the era of impunity was over, adding a new age of accountability was setting in slowly.
“In this new age of accountability, those who commit the worst of human crimes will be held responsible,” he added. “Whether they are rank-and-file foot soldiers or military commanders...whether they are lowly civil servants following orders, or top political leaders, they will be held to account”.
The secretary general said the ICC needs universal support if it is to become an effective deterrent and an avenue of justice. “Only then will perpetrators have no place to hide...no government or justice system that is complicit in international crimes can any longer shield the perpetrators from justice,” he said.