Saturday, September 10, 2011
The polls suggest that Ontarians are likely not thrilled with the choices available to them on October 6. By the time the writ was dropped this week, the healthy lead that the Conservatives had held was essentially gone and the election was beginning to look like a 3 horse race. Then at the end of the first week a Harris/Decima polls was suggesting that the Ontario Liberals had an 11-point lead over the Conservatives. Now this might be a rogue poll, the sample size was very small, but it no longer looks like a sure thing that Tim Hudak will be Ontario's next Premier.
All through the winter Dalton McGuinty was trailing badly in the polls, but a string of later summer announcements are showing that the Liberals have been holding back. The Liberals have targeted voters that might be harder for Hudak to attract - students, women, new Canadians and seniors. Their promises include tuition grants, bringing back doctors' housecalls, tax credits for hiring immigrants and expanding spots in teachers' college programs. But after 8 years in power the Liberals are carrying some excess luggage. He is presiding over a ballooning deficit. He has introduced new taxes on three occasions (health premium, eco fees, HST) but has attempted to characterize them as something other than taxes. Taxpayers do not like evasiveness.
But what irks me is the growing nanny state. No one wants the government to tell them how to live, like the ban on cell phones while driving or the ban on junk food in school. No one really likes McGuinty who appears cold and aloof. The long list of senior ministers that have left his Cabinet is not a good sign.
Hudak has been labeling McGuinty as the 'Tax Man" for some time. Yet he has been slipping in the polls. When the Liberals proposed tax credits for hiring immigrants, Hudak suggested foreigners were being selected over Canadians. Not sure there is a wedge issue that Hudak doesn't like. His pocketbook issues has been resonating well with voters until Rob Ford stumbled through the summer months. The only politician that had a worse summer was Muammar Gaddafi. The waste in Queens Park that Hudak planned to eliminating began to sound too much live the gravy train that Ford was going to put an end to. Although Hudak is not the Tax Man, he has no plans to eliminate the HST, health premiums or the eco fees.
As for Andrea Horwarth, hardly anyone knows who she is. I think she was expecting a boost on the campaign trail from Jack Layton appearances. She still is getting some benefit from the strong NDP showing in the federal election but will it earn them any seats on October 6. She seems to be throwing out the same pocketbook issues as the Conservatives - lower gas and heating oil prices by eliminating the HST which is not going to help the deficit.
My prediction right now is a Liberal minority government though there is lots of time for some further shifting.
June 18, 2004
Paul Johnson, an employee of Lockheed Martin working on Apache attack helicopters in Saudi Arabia, who had been kidnapped in Riyadh on June 12, is beheaded by a group claiming ties to al Qaeda. Saudi security forces kill four suspected terrorists, including the man said to head the local al Qaeda organization.
On its opening weekend Michael Moore's controversial film Fahrenheit 9/11 is the number one film in the country, with $21.8 million in ticket sales — instantly becoming the highest-grossing documentary of all time. The film, harshly critical of the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks and the war in Iraq, had earlier won the highest award at the Cannes Film Festival.
June 29, 2004
Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi announces that the Iraqi Interim Government will assume legal custody of Saddam Hussein and several other senior members of his regime the following day, and would be indicted on charges of crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes the next day. The prisoners will remain in the physical custody of the U.S. until Iraq has a sufficient security infrastructure in place to hold them.
Tacoma police say a man suspected of dumping a body in a bin asked his neighbours for permission before placing the corpse in the receptacle. Police spokesman officer Mark Fulghum says after the 20-year-old suspect talked to his neighbours, they went to the bin in the 500 block of East 36th Street and saw the victim's body. Fulghum says the couple left the area, spotted two gang unit officers nearby and told them about the body and their neighbour's request to use the bin to dispose of it.
As the officers were investigating, the suspect walked out of a nearby residence and was taken into custody. A woman who asked not to be named or show her face out of fear of repercussions said her next-door neighbor came to her home and asked her to help him dispose of a body. "(He asked) if we would help him, that he just killed somebody and there was a dead body in his house, and if we would help him dispose of the body in the bin in the alley," she said. "He was really calm and laughing about it, so we thought it was a joke at first."
The woman said her friend found the body in her bin a short time later, when she said the suspect opened the lid as she was waiting to put some rubbish inside. "He lifted the lid and that's when she saw the body in there ," the woman said of her friend. "(He said) 'What do you think of this?' I think it's absolutely bizarre." Fulghum says the suspect admitted putting the dead man in the bin, but has given three or four different versions about what happened.
"He's given a few different variations of what took place," Fulghum said. "So right now, we've got to sort out those and match the evidence and get the true story." The Pierce County medical examiner is performing an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Fulghum says the victim's identification has not been confirmed yet. The suspect has been booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of murder.
Friday, September 09, 2011
May 28, 2004
The Iraqi Governing Council chooses Dr. Iyad Allawi to be Prime Minister when sovereignty begins on June 30.
May 30, 2004
Militants attack two oil industry office compounds in the Saudi Arabia town of Khobar, killing 22 and taking more than 50 hostage. After a 25-hour standoff, a raid by Saudi security forces frees the hostages and kills the operation's leader, said to be a senior al Qaeda operative. The other three gunmen escape.
June 2, 2004
In a major expansion of the military's "stop-loss" program, the Pentagon announces that thousands of soldiers in units less than 90 days from deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan will be forced to remain in the Army past the end of their service terms, for the duration of their units' deployment.
June 12, 2004
Bassam Kubba, Deputy Foreign Minister in the Iraqi Interim Government set to take control on June 30, is killed by gunmen while driving in the Adhamiya neighborhood of Baghdad. Two days earlier, Deputy Health Minister Ammar Al-Safar had narrowly avoided an assasination attempt.
June 16, 2004
A report by the staff of the independent 9/11 commission finds "no credible evidence" that Iraq had cooperated with al Qaeda in staging the attacks. According to the report, Osama bin Laden had approached the Saddam Hussein regime, but had been rebuffed.
Thursday, September 08, 2011
“I thought it looked pretty bad so I called the police who sent out an on-call hunter. But while we were waiting, the neighbours and I started to saw down some of the branches and then the hunter arrived with a saw as well,” said Johansson. The group tried to make the elk more comfortable but to no avail. It wasn’t until the fire brigade arrived on the scene and managed to bend the tree to the point where the exhausted elk could slide out of the branches that the animal was finally freed. According to Johansson, it looked very much like the elk was severely drunk after eating too many fermenting apples.
Drunken elk are common in Sweden during the autumn season when there are plenty of apples lying around on the ground and hanging from branches in Swedish gardens. While the greedy animal was reaching ever higher to reach the delicious but intoxicating fruit, it most likely stumbled into the tree, getting itself hopelessly entangled in the branches. And from what Johansson could gather, this particular animal had been on a day-long bender. “My neighbour recognised it as the animal that almost ran into her car earlier in the day. She was pretty sure the elk was already under the influence,“ said Johansson.
When the inebriated elk was freed, it lay for a while on the ground, seemingly unconscious. After emergency services had ascertained that the animal was still alive, Johansson was told to keep an eye on it and call the hunter straight away if it seemed to be suffering. But by the morning the hungover animal had stood up and cautiously moved a few metres away. After a while it went on its way, although Johansson suspects it is still skulking around the neighbourhood. “We often see elk stuffing their faces with apples around here but this is the first time we found one perched in a tree,” he said
Dutch prosecutors are charging a 42-year-old woman with stalking after she allegedly called her ex-boyfriend 65,000 times in the past year.
The 62-year-old victim from The Hague filed a police complaint in August due to the persistent phone calls. Police arrested the suspected stalker Monday, seizing several cell phones and computers from her home in Rotterdam.
Hague prosecution spokeswoman Nicolette Stoel said Thursday the woman argued to judges at a preliminary hearing she had a relationship with the man and the number of calls she placed to him wasn't excessive. The man denied they had a relationship.
The court ordered her not to contact him again.
That is one cray woman. That works out to 5,416 calls per month, 1,250 calls per week, 178 calls per day or 1 call every 8 minutes. Can you imagine a call every 8 minutes for an entire year. She is eventually going to hunt him down and cut off his pecker. I know she's got it in her.
A Bronx woman admitted Tuesday stuffing her dead roommate in a suitcase and ditching him outside an abandoned home - but insisted she did nothing wrong, sources said.
Monique Exum, 36, packed roomie Johnny Davis, 73, up after finding him dead in their Fish Ave. apartment May 31, prosecutors said. She insists she only removed the body to avoid trouble.
"My friend told me if someone dies in your apartment you go to jail, so I got really afraid,' she told cops. "I didn't know what to do."
So she wheeled the suitcase down three flights of stairs to the porch of an abandoned house at 1309 Needham Ave. in Williamsbridge, prosecutors said. She wrote "rest in peace" on a strip of cardboard and left it atop the luggage.
And there Davis' corpse sat for three months - until a neighbor on Sunday called cops to report a suspicious package. Investigators found his badly decomposed body inside and tracked down Exum.
The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Exum was charged with improper body removal and is being held on $500 bond. Cops continue to investigate.
"It's like a bad Samsonite commercial," a law-enforcement source said.
April 30, 2004
Photographs published in U.S. media outlets bring to light the physical and sexual abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
May 8, 2004
American contractor Nicholas Berg is beheaded by Iraqi militants, who claim the grisly murder was in retaliation for the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
May 17, 2004
A suicide bomber kills the President of the Iraqi Governing Council, Izzedin Salim, and six other people.
Wednesday, September 07, 2011
San Diego police say a suspect, dressed up as Gumby, tried to rob a 7-Eleven on Labor Day.
The botched robbery happened just after midnight Monday in Rancho Penasquitos.
Surveillance tape shows the costumed bandit telling the clerk he is being robbed and reportedly demands a pack of cigarettes and cash. The flexible suspect then tried to pull out what he said was a gun from his costume.
Apparently flustered, Gumby dropped 27 cents on the floor and left the convenience store empty-handed.
Police say the clerk thought the robbery was a joke and pocketed the spare change. He didn’t report the incident until his boss saw the tape hours later.
Obviously some sort of sociology experiment. Would anyone take you seriously if dressed up as a kids character? Clearly the answer is no. I'm guessing Pokey would also walk away without any money.
Brian Burke didn't make too many changes to the 10th place Toronto Maple Leafs during the offseason. He added two forwards. two defensemen and two assistant coaches. However, the Leafs have already undergone a considerable make over and there are only three players on the roster (Nikolia Kulemin, Mikhail Grabovski and Luke Schenn) who were on the 2008 opening day roster.
The Leafs have been woefully weak at centre since Mats Sundin left for free agency (or was pushed out the door). Since that time, the teams offense has sputtered. The signing of free agent Tim Connolly is expected to address this weakness and hopefully push Phil Kessel to the 40-goal plateau. Connolly is a skilled player with a long history of injuries. I don't see how a change of scenery will have an impact on his health. Still Burke signed him for only 2 years so the risks are relatively low, except Connolly on the sideline isn't going to help Kessel's production. The Leafs were able to pick up Matthew Lombardi's contract from Nashville because Lombardi has yet to recover from a head injury that he incurred 11 months with no certain timetable for recovery. Should Lombardi make it into the Leafs' lineup and Connolly remain healthy the Leafs will actually look good at the centre position. In fact last season's number 1 centre, Tyler Bozak, would be relegated to the 4th line.
Picking up Lombardi turns out only costs the Leafs some cash and cap space but no significant player, prospect or draft pick going back to Nashville. In fact, the Leafs were able to pry away defensemen Cody Franson in the deal which provides the Leafs with another solid young defenseman. In addition, Brian Burke used a second round draft pick from the Tomas Kaberle deal to acquire John-Michael Liles as a replacement for Kaberle on the powerplay.
More important, Burke forced coach Ron Wilson to address the moribund special teams by firing Keith Acton and Tim Hunter and replacing them with Scott Gordon and Greg Cronin. The anemic Leaf offense can largely attributed to a weak powerplay. A significant number of goals in the NHL are scored on the powerplay and the Leafs for far too long have had to rely on goals while playing 5 on 5. Too make matters worse, their penalty killing was also weak. If the new coaches can improve the special team situation then a playoff spot is a possibility.
Yet no team makes the post season without strong goaltending. The Leafs management believe they have the real deal in James Reimer based on his 37-game stint last year. They better be right because they have no backup plan. Other than Jonas Gustavsson, no other goalie in the system has even played one NHL game.
Burke has suggested that these improvements are enough to overtake a couple teams in the East and put the Leafs in the playoffs. He wouldn't name which teams he considers to be vulnerable and I'm not sure it's that self evident. Washington, Boston and Philadelphia, despite their emake, are still the cream of the East. Pittsburgh is an elite team even if Sidney Crosby plays only half a season. Tampa Bay certainly looks to be an improving team. Meanwhile the Rangers and Buffalo strengthened themselves considerably during the off season. That perhaps leaves Montreal vulnerable but passing the Canadiens will only put the Leafs in 9th spot. So it will a dog fight once again to make the post season.
TV weatherman awakens in hot tub next to naked dead man with 'dog collar' around his neck after drug and alcohol-fueled party
It may be part of his job to predict when a storm is on its way, but he never saw this one coming.
Police in Arkansas said Tuesday that they are investigating the death of a man found in an unfilled hot tub with a sleeping TV weatherman.
Maumelle police officers were called to the home of Christopher Barbour Monday morning where they found the body in the hot tub.
Mr Barbour, told cops that the dead man and meteorologist Brett Cummins of Little Rock station KARK, were guests at his home Sunday night for Labor Day weekend party.
Police were told that the trio was drinking and snorting drugs.
Mr Barbour said that he awoke the next morning to Cummins' loud snoring, and found the weatherman in his hot tub with the nude body of Dexter Williams lying next to him.
Williams' face was discoloured and he had with a chain around his neck - described by police as a 'dog collar.'
There were also traces of blood in the hot tub, police said.
Maumelle police Lt Jim Hansard said investigators haven't ruled out foul play in Williams' death.
Don't you just hate it when you wake up from a massive bender to find a dead guy in your hot tub wearing a dog collar. I know my wife would be really pissed. Especially if there was a lot of blood. Funny how the police suspect foul play? I wonder why?
NJ-born Robert Edward Forchion is a staunch and dedicated marijuana activist who has participated in just about every weed-related activity there is: he's a practicing Rastafarian who has opened up his own temple, he's been a "marijuana smuggler," he's operated a medical marijuana dispensary, and he's run for political office several times unsuccessfully with pot platforms. More recently, he's been fighting to legally change his name to NJWeedman.com. But The Man won't let him!
Forchion, who lives in California now, filed a petition to have his name changed legally to "NJWeedman.com" after his website. Ultimately, the courts decided against him for three reasons: domain names aren't forever, and people would be confused if he ever lost the domain; Forchion's legal name would be forever associated with a website that advocates a currently illegal activity; and NJ already rejected Forchion's requests to change his name.
January 28, 2004
David Kay, the former head of the U.S. weapons inspection teams in Iraq, informs a Senate committee that no weapons of mass destruction have been found in Iraq and that prewar intelligence was "almost all wrong" about Saddam Hussein's arsenal.
February 18, 2004
In an interview with the London Telegraph, Iraqi National Congress (INC) president Ahmed Chalabi says he has no regrets about passing faulty intelligence about Iraq's Weapons of Mass Destruction programs to the U.S. government: "As far as we're concerned we've been entirely successful.... That tyrant Saddam is gone and the Americans are in Baghdad. What was said before is not important. The Bush administration is looking for a scapegoat. We're ready to fall on our swords if he wants."
February 23, 2004
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi issues a report to the Security Council concluding that the earliest that credible, direct elections could be held in Iraq would be late 2004 or early 2005, and recommends that Iraqis themselves draw up a plan for the makeup of this provisional government.
March 2, 2004
Suicide attacks in Karbala on Shiite Islam's holiest feast day kill more than 85 and wound 233 others.
April 1, 2004
Four American private security contractors, all former members of the U.S. Special Forces, are shot and burned in their cars in Fallujah. A cheering crowd dismembers the corpses and hangs two of them from a bridge over the Euphrates River.
April 4, 2004
Militias led by radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr begin coordinated attacks in the southern Iraqi cities of Kufa, Karbala, Najaf, al-Kut, and Sadr City.
U.S. troops begin an assault on Fallujah.
Tuesday, September 06, 2011
The 51-year-old man was fined under article 215 of France’s civil code, which states married couples must agree to a “shared communal life”.
A judge has now ruled that this law implies that “sexual relations must form part of a marriage”.
The rare legal decision came after the wife filed for divorce two years ago, blaming the break-up on her husband’s lack of activity in the bedroom.
A judge in Nice, southern France, then granted the divorce and ruled the husband named only as Jean-Louis B. was solely responsible for the split.
But the 47-year-old ex-wife then took him back to court demanding 10,000 euros in compensation for “lack of sex over 21 years of marriage”.
But a judge in the south of France’s highest court in Aix-en-Provence ruled: “A sexual relationship between husband and wife is the expression of affection they have for each other, and in this case it was absent.
“By getting married, couples agree to sharing their life and this clearly implies they will have sex with each other.”
Hey guys if we lived in France we would all be suing our wives.
November 2, 2003
A U.S. Chinook helicopter is shot down by insurgents near Fallujah, killing 16 soldiers and wounding 20 — the heaviest one-day loss of coalition troops since the end of major fighting.
November 27, 2003
President Bush makes a secret Thanksgiving Day visit to Baghdad in an attempt to boost morale among coalition troops.
December 13, 2003
U.S. 4th Infantry Division captures former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in Adwar, a small village near Tikrit.
January 11, 2004
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most influential Shiite cleric in Iraq, says that members of the country's interim government must be selected by direct vote rather than in regional caucuses as the U.S. wants.
January 15, 2004
Tens of thousands of Shiites hold a peaceful demonstration in Basra in support of direct elections.
Monday, September 05, 2011
Christopher Anspach was sentenced Wednesday to 10 days in jail for failing to return books and other items he checked out earlier this year from the local library.
When Anspach did not respond to repeated attempts to contact him via telephone and certified mail, Newton Public Library officials turned the matter over to police and the city attorney, according to District Court records.
Anspach pleaded guilty August 31 to a misdemeanor theft count in connection with his failure to return 27 separate items (books and other media) that library brass valued at $770.67. Along with being ordered to pay restitution to the library, Anspach was fined $625.
It's about time Iowa got tough on crime. Once they round up all those punks refusing to return library books, they should go after the litter bugs, the criminals who do not pick up their dog's litter and those bastards they refuse to recycle. Crime does not pay in Iowa!
June 8, 2003
U.S. and British intelligence experts conclude that the two trailers found in northern Iraq — which the Bush administration continues to insist are mobile biological weapon factories — are part of a mobile system to produce hydrogen for weather balloons.
July 7, 2003
In a statement, the White House admits that the claim by President Bush in his State of the Union address that Iraq had attempted to obtain uranium from Africa was based on forged documents: "We now know that documents alleging a transaction between Iraq and Niger had been forged…. The other reporting that suggested Iraq had tried to obtain uranium from Africa is not detailed or specific enough for us to be certain that such attempts were in fact made."
July 14, 2003
Journalist Robert Novak publishes an article in which he discloses that Valerie Plame, the wife of retired diplomat Joseph C. Wilson, is a CIA "operative."
July 24, 2003
The independent 9/11 commission releases the declassified portion of an 800-page report on findings stemming from its investigation of the September 11 attacks. Commissioner Max Cleland tells United Press International that the White House had delayed the publishing of the report for fear that it might undermine its case for war: "The reason this report was delayed for so long — deliberately opposed at first, then slow-walked after it was created — is that the administration wanted to get the war in Iraq in and over ... before (it) came out."
August 19, 2003
A truck bomb at the U.N. Headquarters in Baghdad kills the U.N. Special Representative to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 21 others.
Sunday, September 04, 2011
March 22, 2003
"Shock and awe" airstrikes on Baghdad continue.
Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the U.S. Central Command, says during a news conference in Qatar, "There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. As this operation continues, those weapons will be identified, found, along with the people who have produced them and who guard them."
April 19, 2003
Baghdad falls to U.S. forces. Some Iraqis cheer in the streets as American infantrymen seize deserted Ba'ath Party ministries and pull down a huge statue of Saddam Hussein. Larege-scale looting of government offices takes place throughout the city.
U.S. authorities in Iraq seize a trailer at a checkpoint in the northern city of Mosul. The government will later claim that this trailer, and a similar one discovered on May 9, are mobile biological weapons labs.
May 1, 2003
In a speech from the deck of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lincoln, President Bush declares that "major combat operations" in Iraq are over.
May 6, 2003
Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III is named Presidential Envoy to Iraq and Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. He arrives in Iraq on May 11.
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, citing unnamed sources, breaks the story of former U.S. diplomat Joseph Wilson's February 2002 trip to Niger. The major source for the story is later revealed to be Wilson himself.
A Colorado mom is in hot water with cops after leaving her toddler in a hot car – while she went to a tanning bed.
Imene Nouis, 31, was cited for child abuse on Thursday after cops removed her toddler from her car in Parker, Colorado.
Cops said temperatures had reached a blistering 135 degrees inside the potentially deadly vehicle, Fox 31 reported.
"I had a bad judgment," Nouis told 9NEWS on Friday. "Obviously, I'm going to be punished for it."
An alert witness called cops after spotting the helpless kid inside the car, with windows rolled up and the air conditioning off, according to the report.
"I put my ear against the driver side window and I could hear the baby crying,” an employee of the tanning salon told 9News.
After cops rescued the child, employees at the tanning salon went to get the neglectful mom from her tanning bed – where she had been frying for about 12 minutes. She reportedly told cops that she didn’t want to wake up the sleeping child and decided instead just to leave her in the car.
Later, when reporters caught up the shamed mom, she was holding her daughter in her arms – who appeared to be happy and smiling.
"As a human, tell me one person that hasn't made a mistake," she told 9News. "Thank God it wasn't a detrimental mistake."
At least she had rolled up the windows and locked the doors so nobody could steal the baby, though! When you combine this story with the one about the mom who left her kid in the rain to go drink in a bar, you start to get the idea that there's no "perfect" weather for abandoning your kids in public places, even temporarily.
Coffee break brought on more than a caffeine buzz for some Victoria office workers who unwittingly nibbled marijuana-laden brownies this week.
Victoria police said they received a call Monday of a possible poisoning at a downtown office building on Vancouver Street.
Three employees, all at once, had been taken to hospital with similar symptoms, including light-headedness, numbness in the limbs and disorientation.
Investigations led to the office refrigerator and some brownies which, it turned out, had been baked with marijuana.
All three workers had eaten the baked treats.
The brownies had been brought in by one woman who had discovered them in her freezer at home.
Her son admitted to police he had baked the chocolate treats a year ago, stored them in the freezer and forgotten about them.
No action was taken, even though a criminal charge of possession of a controlled substance or administering a noxious substance could have been laid.
However, it is expected that the son will take part in community work to hold him accountable.
"Look at that plate of brownies sitting over there by the laser printer. Who would do that? Who would leave a whole plate of delicious, gooey, chocolate fudge brownies by the laser printer, and force me to stare temptation square in the eyes like that? I bet Kathleen from marketing brought those in. I shouldn't have one. Don't do it. But they do look good! Oh fine, maybe a quarter brownie, just to satisfy the craving. Wow. I ate two brownies. Piggie. They weren't even that great. Why am I laughing? Do I have something on my face? I feel like I have ladybugs all over my face. I never actually noticed this before, but the VP of Sales looks exactly like a Latino stegosaurus. What am I even talking about? Why do my hands suddenly feel as heavy as bowling balls? You're freaking me out! Stop it! Wait — you're me! When did I start staring at myself in the bathroom mirror?! Just walk back to your desk and get through. This. Day."