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News | Anorak - Part 478

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We don’t just report off-beat news, breaking news and digest the best and worst of the news media analysis and commentary. We give an original take on what happened and why. We add lols, satire, news photos and original content.

Heath Ledger ODed On Six Drugs

HEATH LEDGER died of an accidental overdose of painkillers, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety medication and other prescription drugs, says the New York City medical examiner.

The cause of death was “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine,” spokeswoman Ellen Borakove says in a statement.

The drugs are the generic names for the painkiller OxyContin, the anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax, and the sleep aids Restoril and Unisom. Hydrocodone is a prescription painkiller.

RIP

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Clintons Could Be Using Own Wealth To Back Campaign

VOTES CAST:
Clinton: 50.2% (7,347,971)
Obama: 49.8% (7,294,851)

POLITICO: HILLARY MAY SHAKE UP CAMPAIGN…

DRUDGE: CLINTONS MAY NOW BE USING THEIR OWN MONEY TO FINANCE HILLARY’S RUN… When asked if Clintons were dipping into their personal wealth, communications director Howard Wolfson said: ‘I don’t know’…

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Peter Hain’s One Last Friend

THE Croydonian notes that Peter Hain has at least one friend left….

From Hansard:

Mohammad Sarwar (Lab): What consideration he has given to amending the regulatory regime for tanning salons…The Minister will be aware that recent research suggests that sunbeds may be responsible for 100 deaths every year from skin cancer. Is not it time that, perhaps with the support of the Health and Safety Executive, a full review is conducted of commercial salons, with a view to drawing up legally enforceable guidelines for their management and operation?

Peter, it is for your own good, really.

The future’s bright…

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Politicians, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Tony Blair’s Disappearing PEPs

MEDICORACY writes to Mr Boris Johnson on Peps and Isas:

Conversion of PEPs to ISAs

As you may know, on 6 April 2008 Personal Equity Plans (PEPs) are being converted to ISAs.

At some point, not long after ISAs were introduced (or proposed), the Labour government gave assurances that the tax status of PEPs was guaranteed in perpetuity (the word quoted in the papers, and attributed to Tony Blair, was ‘ringfenced’), i.e. that they would not be interfered with. This meant that the money originally invested, together with any capital gains made, could continue to be invested within the PEP with the same tax exemptions, although money withdrawn from the PEP could not be paid back into it.

ISAs, on the other hand, have always been explicitly described as having a finite life span. There is currently no definite termination date for them, but there is a clear understanding that their tax advantages may be removed at some future point.

By turning PEPs into ISAs, the former guarantee (that the tax exemptions of existing PEPs would continue indefinitely into the future) is effectively eliminated. The government will be free to withdraw at some future stage the tax privileges from funds that have been built up within PEPs, but which will now be in ISAs.

I believe this is an unacceptable ‘back door’ way of reneging on a former commitment.

I would be interested in your comments on this matter.

Kind regards, etc.

If he gets reply, he’ll let us know…

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Money, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


War On Terror: Starbucks And Human Rights In Saudi Arabia

THE UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has praised the new Arab Charter on Human Rightsadopted by Saudi Arabia .

Yara, who has been married for 27 years, said she spent several hours in the women’s section of Riyadh’s Malaz Prison, was strip-searched, ordered to sign a confession that she was in a state of khulwa (a state of seclusion with an unrelated man) and for hours prevented from contacting her husband in Jeddah.

Her crime? Having a cup of coffee with a colleague in a Starbucks.

She arested by the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Really…

Via 

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: War On Terror | Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The 2008 US Republican National Convention Market

2008 US Republican National Convention Market show Huckabee and Romney has crashed

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comments (3) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kill Worms While You Eat

DELICIOUS: “Kraft Foods, the conglomerate built on macaroni and cheese, is working on a new and unusual product line — food that is not only tasty, but kills intestinal worms.”

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Al Qaeda’s Steel Band Mastermind

steel drums Al Qaedas Steel Band Mastermind “FIVE members of a calypso band thrown off a flight after being mistaken for terrorists have won a £5,500 pay-out.”

Aboard a Ryanair flight from Sardinia to London, members of the Caribbean Steel International Orchestra aroused suspicions among their fellow flyers.

As the Mail notes: “One passenger claimed he was concerned that one of the musicians, who was blind, appeared to be reading a newspaper.”

The story has a Dadaist bent.

Better had the blind steel drum player been reading paper dated one day into the future, the front page carrying the legend “HAVE YOU SEEN THE BLIND DRUMMER? – Hunt for Al Qaeda’s Steel Band Mastermind”…

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Tabloids, War On Terror | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Ron Paul Speaks Austrian

RON Paul speaks Austrian to business leaders.

Hayek? …. Check!
Hazlett? …. Check!
Von Mises? …. Check!

Ron Paul talks Austrian to Seattle Business leaders – watch here.

Via

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Politicians, Race For The White House, Ron Paul, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Global Warming: Dry Is The New Wet

GLOBAL warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter, that’s what we’re dealing with.

- Steven Guilbeault, Greenpeace 2005, as quoted by Canada Free Press

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Global Warming | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Teenages Poker Players Can Dream On: Poker Bonus

MIKE McDonald has a warning for casual poker players.

Mike thinks you should think twice and then thrice about ditching school and playing poker full time.

Indeed, the 18-year–old holding a cheque for $1.4 million says best not to play poker all that much, nor take it all that seriously.

Says Mike: “If you approach it like a game of skill and you’re constantly analyzing your decisions and stuff like that you most likely will end up being successful, but 99 per cent of people who play this game just play.”

Spoken like a true teenager who has just ridden his luck in a tournament.

Says Mike: “Realistically, there are a lot more failure stories than there are success.”
We could listen to Mike all day going but to do would antagonise us to the point of madness. A teenager who wins a million dollars is as close to Disneyland as it gets without wearing the Mickey Mouse ears.

POKER BONUS

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Poker And Casino, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Has Died

MAHARISHI Mahesh Yogi: “He died peacefully at about 7pm,” said Bob Roth, a spokesman for the Transcendental Meditation movement that the Maharishi founded. He said his death appeared to be due to “natural causes, his age” – he was thought to be 91.

RIP

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Beyond Parody: Richard And Judy’s Book Club A Levels

beyond parody Beyond Parody: Richard And Judys Book Club A LevelsSOME days you can just type out the entire contents of the Daily Express and pass it off a brilliant parody.

We offer you this: “The English A-level is to get a dramatic revamp thanks to the huge success of Richard and Judy’s Book Club…

“It became such a nationwide hit that it has spawned its own show and the couple are now leaving the sofa behind to become full-time champions of literature.”

ENDS.

Posted: 6th, February 2008 | In: Beyond Parody, Tabloids | Comments (9) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Hillary Clinton Gay And Lesbian

SAYS Hillary Clinton:

As I have traveled around the country these past twelve months, what I sensed in my heart has been confirmed – America is embracing its LGBT sons and daughters with an acceptance and understanding as never before. On the campaign trail, a father of a gay son will ask about ending Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. A woman will ask why she can be discriminated against just because of who she is. Sometimes they wait furtively for the crowd to thin and then whisper their confidences in a soft voice and sometimes they stand up proudly at town meetings and want me to share my views on how I will help lead the change to assure that this country fulfills its promise to everyone.

Let me tell you what I have been telling voters across America. I am fully committed to the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans. For seven long years, the Bush Administration has tried to divide us – only seeing people who matter to them. It’s been a government of the few, by the few, and for the few. And no community has been more invisible to this administration than the LGBT community.

I will change that. The best evidence of what I will do as President is what I have already done.

* I am proud of my record as First Lady, as a U.S. Senator and as a candidate for President in working toward the fair and equal treatment of LGBT Americans.
* I am proud that as Chair of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee in 2006, I worked closely with LBGT community to develop a smart strategy that defeated the Federal Marriage Amendment. I am proud of fighting the FMA as divisive wedge politics at its worst.
* I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligation Act which would grant the same benefits (including health insurance) to domestic partners of federal employees that are currently offered to employees’ legal spouses.
* I am proud to have authored the Early Treatment for HIV Act, which expands access to vital treatment options for low-income individuals living with HIV, and fought to fully fund the Ryan White CARE Act.
* I am proud that I hired a National Director of LGBT Outreach within a month of announcing my candidacy for President and to have openly gay and lesbian staffers serving at all levels of my campaign.
* I am proud to have a National LGBT Steering Committee of over 130 that includes openly LGBT elected officials, Board members and opinion leaders on issues ranging from transgender rights, to HIV/AIDS, to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.
* I am proud to have marched in Gay Pride parades as both First Lady and as Senator and to have spoken in front of so many LGBT audiences ranging from the Human Rights Campaign, Empire State Pride Agenda, the Hetrick Martin Institute, PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GMHC (Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and the American Foundation for AIDS Research.
* I am proud to have fought Republican efforts to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community, and I will continue to do that as President.

We have so much work to do. When I am President, we will work together to make sure that all Americans in committed relationships have equal benefits and that nothing stands in the way of loving couples who want to adopt children in need. We’re going to expand our federal hate crimes legislation and pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and assure that they are both fully inclusive of all people. And finally, we will put an end to the failed policy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice – the traits that define our men and women in uniform – have nothing to do with sexual orientation.

My father was a conservative Republican, who held very traditional views for much of his life. Yet in his last years, it was a gay couple who lived next door who provided much of the compassion and comfort he and my mother needed as he grew ill. And it was that same neighbor who held his hand as he died. If my father can move, America can move.

To each and every LGBT American, I say this. You have done so much to help this country understand your lives by simply being open and honest about who you are and living your lives with dignity. Thank you for your courage. It is time that we recognize your hard work. I know that this country is ready for changes in the law that reflect the evolution in our hearts.

America deserves a President who appeals to the best in each of us, not the worst; a President who values and respects all Americans and treats all Americans equally no matter who they are or who they love. I want to be that President. I want to be your President.

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Hillary Clinton, Politicians, Race For The White House, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Osama Lufti ‘Drugged’ Britney Spears

A RESTRAINING order targeted at Britney Spears’ manager Sam Lutfi alleges that he controlled her.

In a section of the order that detailed previous harassment, Lynne Spears said “Mr. Lutfi drugged Britney, he has cut Britney’s home phone lines and removed her cell phone chargers. He yells at her. He claims to control everything—Britney’s business manager, her attorneys and the security guards at the gate.”

If you have to blame someone…

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Britney Spears, Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Kirsti Alley’s Planet

KIRSTIE Alley was interviewed in the Church of Scientology’s’s official magazine.

Alley, billed as a founding member of Scientology’s “Super Power Expansion Project,” says of its Florida summit last summer:

I’m walking out an entirely different being, and I mean entirely different . . . My viewpoint on the fourth dynamic and mankind and other people changed. You know, I liked animals more than people! OK, I liked certain people, but the idea of ‘mankind’ – it really irritated me! Then I realized why mankind upset me so much – it’s because I wasn’t taking responsibility! . . . Now, I have genuine affinity for mankind . . . I’ve made decisions here, big, crazy, great, brilliant decisions here about the magnitude I’m going to help this group and help this planet, and it’s real . . . I want everybody in the universe to experience this.”

Cheers!

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Anorak Celebrity Links: Dita Von Tees, Jolie, Farrell And Cole

Dita Von Teese on tight air - Just Jared

Angelina Jolie cures Middle East - Popsugar

Colin Farrell’s fags in Belgium – Huff Post

Britney’s mummy – Hollywood Rag

Love tips for Ashley Cole - Holy Moly!

Xtina’s foreskin balloons – DListed

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


What Colour Is Tom Jones?

tom jones What Colour Is Tom Jones?WHAT colour is Tom Jones?

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Celebrities, Twitterings | Comments (7) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Science Of Hating Cherie Blair

WHY WE DISLIKE CHERIE BLAIR – DISCUSS:

“Golly! Who would have guessed that Tony and Cherie were actually two halves of a bisected hermaphrodite?”

And then along came Cherie Blair who, at the top of her profession and with a mind of her own, represented everything that made them shudder. Once again, the gloves were off, and this time the liberal-Left misogynists were joined by Right-wingers who had been forced to button their lips in the Thatcher years.

A book published this week, The Darlings of Downing Street, subtitled ” The Psycho-Sexual Drama of Power”, seeks to turn Cherie-loathing into a science. In medical terms, it is all diagnosis and no examination, as the author, the biographer Garry O’Connor, provides little evidence and not a single note on his sources, if any.

Source

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Politicians, The Blairs, Twitterings | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Global Warming: Al Gore In China

Reuters reported:

Millions remained stranded in China on Monday ahead of the biggest holiday of the year as parts of the country suffered their coldest winter in a century.

Freezing weather has killed scores of people and left travelers stranded before the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival — the only opportunity many people have for a holiday all year.

Global warming…

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Global Warming, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Rogarians Are More Real than Dracula

rogarian The Rogarians Are More Real than DraculaIN today’s edition of Non Sequitur Daily, the Express reports: “Roma gypsies head for good life in Britain after they are told: Get a job.”

Roma “leader” Tsvetlin Kanchev says a new law in Bulgaria “forcing” the workless to find gainful employment within 18 months “will cause many thousands of gypsies to leave the country”.

And some might go to the UK.

This means, as it always does, that the Rogarians are coming! The Express presses “1” on its speed dial phone and hears a recording of Sir Andrew Green, head of Migration Watch. It presses “2” and listens to someone from the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

And what about these Rogarians? There is the customary shot of swarthy men dressed in marble denim and black trainers.

And later there’s a picture of Count Dracula – a notorious Romanian – biting the neck of a fair-skinned maiden. “A myth or reality?” asks the paper.

Well, until we see the yellow of their eyes, we cannot be certain…

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Immigration, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Britblog Review

BRITBLOG review, as told by Westminster Wisdom:

I apologise for not doing this yesterday- other things drove it out of my mind! Anyway here we are today with a more limited and yet still illustrious list of posts from the UK blogosphere. We cover a whole range of experience here from the 17th to the 20th Century.

Anyway to kick off how about reading James Hamilton’s views on Capello’s managment style- interesting and thoughtful as ever. Capello may be adopting a distant style to his players, but as Dave Cole points out the Tories are adopting a much more nannying style to the country.

Freemania suspects though that the Tories themselves may need some nannying: is Cameron really only just about as good as Kinnock? Who cares anyway? From the desk of George Galloway we have the greatest attack on Imperialist scum ever delivered- may they die in their own individual Trotskyite, Zinovievist, Bukharanist, revisionist running dog hells!

But if they don’t it doesn’t matter, as they’ll start blogging and end up in a legal fight: Mr Eugenides seeks to adjudicate in the latest battle betwixt Tim Ireland and Guido Fawkes. Calm down lads, the real idiocy is about the issues (as I said yesterday), Matt Sinclair’s got a bee in his bonnet about the latest paper from the Social Market foundation on climate change- he isn’t too impressed.

Incidentally happy birthday Matt- for a two year old you are quite articulate. Don Paskini is another articulate lad concerned with issues, this week its sharing the proceeds of growth and how the Tories don’t even understand their own policies! And that’s good as it means that you don’t have to attend SOAS, where the Iranians are putting on conferences funded with our public money- go to Harry’s Place and see what you can do about it. Or rather don’t, because society is going to pot anyway and its all religion’s fault: we’ve been having the argument over at Liberal Conspiracy, go and start with Kate Belgravia’s provocative and well written post on why Jesus Christ should dominate our politics less.

Thing is that Kate should calm down, afterall look at what all those Muslims gave us in the Middle Ages: modern science and all- not convinced- well time to bring on the historians!

And here they come, leaping like a herd of wilderbeast through some savannah forest. First up is that classic civil war debate between Pepper and Puddle the two dogs- canine confusion becomes a metaphor for other debates. On a more illustrious subject, the Early Modern Whale circles around the Old Cheapside Cross and finds out what he can about its history.

Some of us though are only too depressed by the present, its hard to avoid when you here that the bulbs are coming up even earlier than usual in Kew Gardens. But not everything is depressing- and ending on a high note- just consider the Political Umpire’s tale of these two human beings whose bodies are joined together.

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


Page 3′s Amylu At The Presidential Elections

obama topless Page 3s Amylu At The Presidential ElectionsPAGE 3 Girl AMYLU is musing on the US elections.

Sys she: “It looks like it could be a close-run contest. And it is so important, because what happens in the US has an impact on the rest of the world.”

It’s the big picture. But not everyone is looking at it.

While Amylu talks politics, columnists in the Sun and Express are more talking of busts and cleavages.

Amylu should try and keep up with the debate lest she look ill informed, trite and lazy…

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Page 3 Girls, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


How To Tell If You Are Famous

ON the Washignton Post: “A person is truly famous if and only if his or her name, when entered in quotes into the Google search engine, returns more hits than does the phrase ‘she moaned.’”

At more than 2 million Google hits, “she moaned” is a stern mistress. Stern, but fair. For example, we learn (as we would expect) that Hillary Clinton is, indeed, quite famous. Barack Obama, the erstwhile state senator from Illinois and presidential wannabe, remained under the she-moaned line despite all the steamrolling hype until he actually did something: As soon as he won Iowa, he broke through.

The she-moaned line is unsentimental; it measures true fame, not an idealized version of fame, and not some PC notion of who should be famous. Paris Hilton is waaay over the line, but Mother Teresa only flirts with it. When she becomes a saint, she will ascend past it.

The she-moaned criterion can also produce some poetic juxtapositions. Bill Watterson, the reclusive cartoonist, does not hit the line, and he likely never will. But his brilliant

creation that will long outlive him — “Calvin and Hobbes” — is way above it.

(A search for Internet fame, when it hits the stratospheric levels, yields one rather exciting result. You may recall that,

in the mid-1960s, John Lennon infuriated devout Christians by saying that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus Christ. At the time, this was preposterous. Soon, it won’t be. On the day I write this, “the Beatles” and “Jesus Christ” get an identical number of hits.)

I am less famous than Anorak

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0


The Damp Northen Rock Fire Sale

RICHARD Branson’s Virgin Group and its backers and an in-house team were last night left as the only potential buyers for the mortgage bank (supported by YOUR money) Northern Rock as the government’s attempt to engineer a bidding war crashed and burned.

Did you read it anywhere else at all? Couldn’t have been right in little ol’ Anorak could it? It will be interesting to see what desperate spin Messrs Brown and Darling (the UK’s top politicians in case you’ve forgotten) come up with on this one today. Nationalisation of the bank is looking inevitable since a sale to either of the remaining bidders may be considered financial and political suicide.

Virgin and the board of Northern Rock both submitted proposals for the company’s future before yesterday’s deadline.

Olivant Partners, whose chairman is former Abbey and UBS chief Luqman Arnold and had submitted plans earlier in the process, announced it was pulling out of the race only eight minutes before stock markets closed.

A lightening quick swift sell-off in Northern Rock shares followed and they dropped to 88p.

Olivant’s Arnold blamed the government’s financing terms, which had been arranged by investment bank Goldman Sachs, for the end of its bid.

“Despite working intensively, we have been unable to formulate a value creation proposal which meets our investment criteria whilst also respecting the government’s proposed financing terms and the interests of other stakeholders in the company,” he said.

That was longhand for:
“It will never work”,
“It is a dead cat and it will not bounce sufficiently for us to wash our face, grab the loot and sod off”,
“No thanks, we’re outta here” … Things like that.

So, the superior banking consortium contender (in terms of actually knowing what they are talking about) is out of it.

When bankers are considering whether to give you a loan they use a mnemonic…SPARS.

S……Suitability (is the client a worthwhile risk?)
P……Purpose (what’s the money for? it should be none of their business)
A……Amount (what’s the least we give this toe rag?)
R……Repayment (what sort of interest can we screw out?)
S……Security (there must me no risk at all to the lender.Grab the home)

The ONLY contenders are a management team which (at best) was complicit in the disaster from which they are trying to rake even more of your money for themselves…and… a group headed by low cost expert Richard Branson. Branson has no banking licence, or experience, and in the past has been known to burst into tears when employees ask to be allowed to form a union. Apparently, the multi-millionaire regards union membership as some sort of betrayal of the House of Virgin. Some basic negotiating flaws there perhaps?

Do you think either team meet the SPARS rule?

By AGW in the Anorak Forums

Posted: 5th, February 2008 | In: Money, Twitterings | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0