Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mancunian Candidate is Three-Time Winner of Best News Reader Award

Feb. 28, 2006 — Paul Lockitt from Key 103 in Manchester was named the UK’s Best News Reader for the third successive year. The judges at the IRN Radio Award said Lockitt's bulletins were expertly targeted and creatively written to hook listeners.

Other nominees battled it out in nine categories; News Reader of the Year, News Reporter of the Year, Best News Coverage, Best News Programme, Best Sports Coverage, Scoop of the Year, Young Journalist of the Year, Best Funny Story and the IRN Contribution Award. All the winners received a trophy and a cash prize from guest presenter, ITV news reader Katie Dereham.

“The award winners demonstrate that strong, creative journalism is alive and well in commercial radio. The standard of entries proves that commercial radio news plays an important role locally, regionally and nationally,” IRN Editor Jon Godel said.

Real Radio Yorkshire took home the award for Scoop of the Year. The station set the national agenda with an exclusive interview with Paul Dyson, in which he made an emotional appeal for the return of his fiancée Joanne Nelson before being arrested for her murder.

Dan Maudsley of TFM was named Young Journalist of the Year for his ability to bring humor and authority at such an early stage of his reporting career. Maudsley also picked up the Award for Best Funny Story with a report on naked ramblers, in the pursuit of which he had shed his own clothes.

Ivel FM’s Amy Lewis was named Reporter of the Year for her coverage of the tsunami aftermath. The judges were impressed with her ability to bring a human touch to such a difficult story about human courage and grief.

The award for News Coverage was taken by Capital Radio for its coverage of the July 7 terrorist bombings in London. The winning entry demonstrated the news team’s ability to respond quickly to a breaking story of national significance.

The News Coverage Award was won by Beacon Radio for a program titled “Caught in the Cross Fire” which looked at gun crime in its community.

The Sport Coverage Award went to GCap Media sport for its lively and memorable reports from the England ashes victory.

The full list of winners is: News Reader of the Year — Paul Lockitt – Key 103; News Reporter of the year — Amy Lewis – Ivel FM; Best News Coverage — Capital Radio; Best News Programme — Beacon Radio; Scoop of the Year — Real Radio Yorkshire; Young Journalist of the Year — Dan Maudsley TFM; Best Funny Story — TFM; Best Sports Coverage — GCap Media Sport; IRN Contribution Award — Hallam FM.
What do Danish editors know about free speech in the face of oppression?

I just happened to find this photograph of my childhood hero on the Web today. It's Børge Outze who founded the underground news agency Information in Nazi-occupied Denmark.

When I was about 10 years old, I read about him in a book called "The Savage Canary: The Story of Resistance in Denmark" by David Lampe [Cassell & Company Ltd., London]. The following is an extract from the book:
On 29th August, 1943, Dr. Werner Best, the chief Nazi administrator in Denmark, told a meeting of Danish Press representatives in Copenhagen: ‘Every editor will be answerable with his life for further attempts to poison the popular mind...’ In the same month Børge Outze, a crime reporter on a large Copenhagen newspaper, began carrying a gun. Outze had covered many first-rate stories the Germans would not allow to be printed, and he was tired of telling stories in innuendo. The illegal press seemed the only medium left, but it was badly co-ordinated. Outze decided that the Resistance needed a central news agency, so he created Information, the only underground Press service in any Nazi-occupied country.

Outze began issuing a daily news letter and photographs from Copenhagen which he sent at first to a list of eighteen illegal newspapers all over Denmark. He also wanted Information’s dispatches to be published abroad, so Information established a Stockholm bureau. Some of Information’s stories were too secret even for the underground press, but they kept Resistance editors informed in the same way that secret press conferences helped editors in the free countries keep in touch with military operations. An elaborate code system was arranged so that the daily bulletin’s bare, uncoloured stories would be understood by their recipients. At least six Resistance papers daily reprinted the entire bulletin. Others merely printed excerpts from it.

Information became a vast news pool. It relayed stories which were first printed in the more remote illegal newspapers, received news from official Danish sources, was a news outlet for the Freedom Council, and sometimes was given the chance actually to see spot news being made. A liquidation group chief might invite Outze a week in advance to come and see an informer shot, or a sabotage group would telephone an invitation to watch an explosion. As Information grew it was asked to watch more such things than its staff could hope to cover. At times Børge Outze, calling his local police contacts to verify stories, would find that the crime he was trying to investigate had not yet occurred or had not yet been reported. Then Outze would have to explain his ‘misunderstanding’ as gracefully as possible.

The Germans knew Information existed and often saw it. They tried constantly to destroy it, and four of Information’s staff were executed by them during the years of occupation. When the service’s staff increased to about ten people it had to have editorial conferences in the most outlandish places. One summer day the staff gathered in Tovoli, the pleasure garden in the centre of Copenhagen. An informer had warned the Nazis of the meeting, and a police cordon captured all of the staff except Outze. He worked his way through the crowd and escaped through one of Tivoli’s many side entrances.

Outze went to see Stig Jensen, a portly Danish journalist and one of the early underground operators, a man who took part in nearly every sort of Resistance activity from the beginning to the end of the occupation.

‘We’ve got to have a paper out this evening.’ Outze explained. Information always had to be produced to a definite schedule to be put on the trains, boats, and aeroplanes that took it to its subscribers. Jensen suggested they should visit an old lady who duplicated theatrical scripts for Copenhagen’s dramatic companies. The old woman, told that Outze was a textile merchant who wanted to circularize the Danish Parliament the next day to try to get a private bill passed to benefit his business, allowed the two journalists to use her duplicator.

While they were at work a well-known Danish journalist who knew Jensen but not Outze came to visit the old lady. He watched Outze feverishly typing the daily news bulletin directly on a stencil and asked Jensen what was happening. Jensen repeated the textile story.

‘Tell your friend to leave the textile branch and become a journalist,’ the newspaper man advised.

The agency occupied twenty-seven different offices during the war, and its members had to remain constantly on the alert. Whenever Outze dined in a Copenhagen restaurant he had to caution the head waiter to allow no one to leave the dining-room or to use the telephone until he departed. Often he had to get up from unfinished meals because a suspicious-looking person entered the room. He never wore his pistol openly, of course, and he is not a frightening looking man, but Danes sensed that he was from the underground, and in restaurants they always moved as far as they could from his table to be out of the line of fire in case of trouble.
The Savage Canary; The Story Of Resistance In Denmark

Sunday, February 26, 2006

A new variation of the Nigerian letter scam?

From: "Peter Grant"
To: burgess@byronik.com
Dear sir
I am Mr. Peter Grant and I represent Mr. Mikhail Khordokovsky the former C.E.O of Yukos Oil Company in Russia. I have a very sensitive and confidential brief from this top (oligarch) to ask for your partnership in re-profiling funds over US$6.5 million to your account. I will give you the details, but in summary, the funds are coming via a WoolWich Bank in United.Kingdom. Please Note that this is a legitimate transaction. You will be paid 20% for your "management fees".
If you are interested, please write back by email: peter8grant@yahoo.co.uk and provide me with your confidential telephone number, fax number and email address and I will provide further details and instructions as we proceed. Your response is highly needed so as to stop further contact.
All correspondence must be by my private e-mail to secure privacy. Please keep this matter confidential because we cannot afford more political problems.
Finally, please note that this must be concluded within two weeks. Please write back promptly.
You can visit this website for a complete report on this incidence. http://newsfromrussia.com/main/2003/11/13/51215.html
Expect to hear frrom you. I look forward to it.
Peter Grant

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Local San Diego artists will bring an exciting blend of art, clothing, jewelry and everything to decorate you and your surroundings to Lestat's West, Lestat's Coffee House, 3343 Adams Avenue, San Diego, CA 92116 on Saturday, March 4 from noon till 4 p.m.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

‘Muslim Madonna’ Sparks Ire Over Bikini

Muslim pop singer Deeyah has irked the Muslim world with her provocative new music video that shows her stripping off a burka to reveal her bikini-clad body.

Deeyah claims, the video, What will be? deals with Muslim women’s rights and female empowerment, as it also features Muslim women who have fought for freedom of expression.

The singer, who was born in Norway but moved to the UK after her act alienated her from the Muslim community, has been forced to cancel performances and hire a team of bodyguards after inciting anger from British Muslims as well.

"I can’t walk around without bodyguards. I would be lying if I said abuse from religious fanatics did not upset or scare me," the 28-year-old, dubbed as the ‘Muslim Madonna’ was quoted by Contactmusic, as saying.

[more] http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1632812,0011.htm

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Richard Dawkins — The Root of All Evil?
Richard Dawkins is professor of the public understanding of science at Oxford University and a regular columnist for Free Inquiry magazine. The recipient of a number of awards for his writing on science, including the Royal Society of Literature Award and the LA Times Literary Prize, he has also been awarded the Royal Society Michael Faraday Award for the furtherance of the public understanding of science.

In a recent poll in the United Kingdom, he was named Britain’s leading public intellectual. He is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books, such as The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Devil’s Chaplain, and The Ancestor’s Tale.

In this interview with DJ Grothe, he discusses his newest work, a two-part documentary series for British television entitled The Root of All Evil?, in which he challenges what he calls "the process of non-thinking called faith."

Also in this episode, noted ex-muslim and best-selling Islamic scholar Ibn Warraq explores the recent worldwide riots over the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed as a terrorist; Point of Inquiry contributor Lauren Becker explores "defensive driving maneuvers" in a world where so many "drive by faith and not by sight;" and DJ Grothe talks with Derek and Swoopy, hosts of the wildly popular podcast Skepticality, exploring the use of this new medium to advance the critical, pro-science view in our society.

[more] www.pointofinquiry.org

You can discuss this episode at: www.cfi-forums.org
ACT ART 4 — Memoirs of a Merkin

Friday, May 5, 2006. 7.30 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Central Station, Wharfdale Road, Kings Cross, London, N1

Chelsea alumni Oliver Frost and Marc Massive curate this annual interdisciplinary art event, and with more than 60 artists showing work, the evening is a great opportunity to exhibit/ perform to an audience of 800+ in one night. This is the fourth year that ACT ART has taken placeand as a ex-Chelsea students. It’s very important to the curators that they include work from both current and past Chelsea students working in performance, live art, painting, sculpture, photography, film and video.

Contact: actart@blueyonder.co.uk

[more] http://www.actart.co.uk/

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Master of your own domain name?

You have to be careful when you register a domain name! It's sometimes hard to figure out what words are embedded in it if you don't capitalize things well in your advertising:

GotAHoe.com is really GoTahoe.com (Lake Tahoe Visitors Bureau)

PenisLand.net is really PenIsland.net (sells custom pens)

TheRapistFinder.com is really TherapistFinder.com (directory of therapists)

ExpertSexChange.net is really ExpertsExchange.net (data base experts site)

WhorePresents.com is really WhoRepresents.com (directory of agents and who they represent)

PowerGenitalia.com is really PowergenItalia.com (Italian power company)

MolestationNursery.com is really MoleStationNursery.com (a plant nursery in Mole Station, Australia)

DollarSexChange.com is really DollarsExchange.com (currency trading site) and...

CummingFirst.com is really CummingFirst.com (yeah, well, it's the Cumming, Georgia, First Methodist Church!)

Monday, February 13, 2006

Garrison Keillor, Vulgarian
In defense of Bernard-Henri Lévy.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted on slate.com Monday, Feb. 13, 2006, at 3:53 PM ET

Every now and again you come across the real thing: a case of full-blown, corn-fed, white-bread American nativist bloviation. This often used to take the form of populist and pseudo-egalitarian diatribes against the stuck-up English with their fancy ways, of the sort that Charles Dickens encountered in his 1842 journey to the United States (and summarized in his American Notes, as well as lampooned in his worst novel, Martin Chuzzlewit). But more recently, attacks on the effete and the elite have borrowed from that same England’s oldest prejudice, and concentrated themselves on the Gallic. An arsenal of Francophobic clichés lies ready to hand, like a pile of rocks and rotten eggs stacked by a pillory: The French eat frogs and horses, fetishize fromage, practice loose gallantry, chew raw garlic, and behaved badly enough under Vichy to make Woody Allen go see Marcel Ophüls’ Le Chagrin et la Pitié until he had it by heart. During the argument over the Gulf War, certain turkey-wattled Congressmen drew on this folkloric store of imagery to urge boycotts of the wine and brie that they never actually drank or ate and drew nearer to what they truly knew by trying to rename pommes frites as “Freedom Fries.” Hey ho for Yankee Doodle, cock-a-hoop and strutting away. Not since the xenophobic patriots of World War I took to roughing up German waiters and announcing that sauerkraut was henceforth to be “Liberty Cabbage” has there been such a fiesta of all-American bullshit: of what Kipling of all surprising people called jelly-bellied flag-flapping.

Now comes Garrison Keillor’s front-page notice, in the Jan. 29 edition of the Sunday book review of the New York Times of Bernard-Henri Lévy’s American Vertigo. Here, the Homer of Middle America shows that he sure knows how to sneer and that he’s no hick but also knows where Paris is. For instance, and like not a few European visitors and Americans too, and myself as it happens, BHL (as I shall call him for convenience) finds himself specially attracted by Seattle. He very much likes the Space Needle, which to him is an emblem of “everything that America has always made me dream of: poetry and modernity, precariousness and technical challenge, lightness of form meshed with a Babel syndrome, city lights, the haunting quality of darkness, tall trees of steel.” To this minor paean, Keillor shows himself fully-equipped to respond with coruscating wit. And brevity is the soul of it, as well. The response consists of nine words and two letters. “OK, fine. The Eiffel Tower is quite the deal, too.”

Well, take that, you baguette-brandishing poseur! You and your high-falutin’ ways ain’t wanted here, see, and some of us fellas figger we know how to deal with outsiders. If we want someone praising Seattle, we got plenty of fine locals to do it for us, you hear? How astonishing to see such humorless philistinism served up in a serious supplement devoted to books.

I should here confess that I know BHL a little, have debated him in public on his sadly mistaken view of the Iraq war, feature briefly in his pages, and also contribute essays to the Atlantic, which commissioned the Vertigo voyage in the first place. A documentary of the journey was being made at the same time, and I think that the book has some of the faults of a documentary in that it is slightly over-pictorial in its prose. But this also means that much of what BHL writes, you can see. Like his model Alexis de Tocqueville, whose original project—which also fascinated Dickens—was the state of American prisons, he spends some time in our vast network of incarceration. I find his depictions and accounts highly compelling and very disturbing, too. Keillor, who was awarded a good deal of space as well as prominence for his blunt hatchet job, chooses not to make even a single mention of this element in the book. Perhaps he thinks the American prison system is the envy of the world? Or perhaps he just couldn’t trust himself to say what he thought about some snooty Parisian poking his big nose in where it wasn’t wanted and running down those good folks who look after law and order ‘round here.

Yellow-dog Democrats like Keillor spend a lot of time whining about how America’s standing in the world has declined of late, but this is how he treats a guest who spends half his time combating anti-Americanism in France. Simply because BHL mentions a fact that has actually caught other eyes (the tendency of Americans to become riotously fat) he is addressed like this: “Thanks pal. … Thanks for coming. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. For your next book, tell us about those riots in France, the cars burning in the suburbs of Paris. What was all that about? Were fat people involved?” One moans for shame that such a vulgar jerk is thought of, and even known overseas, as some kind of national entertainer.

“As always with French writers,” says Keillor, “Lévy is short on the facts, long on conclusions.” I would give about, oh, five cents to know which ones Keillor has in mind. Perhaps he has been boning up on his Foucault or Balibar or Derrida, in which case he modestly makes no show of his own learning. He cannot mean Albert Camus or Olivier Todd or Michel Houllebecq. Nor can he have read BHL’s last book, which was a very detailed investigation of the murder of an American reporter named Daniel Pearl. I think BHL did a service to America there, as he did when he warned years ago of the dangers of the Taliban and Slobodan Milosevic, at a time when America was sleeping. But of course, guarded as it is by stout commonsensical fellows like Keillor, who think we should tend to bidness right here and stay out of them furrin places, our culture has little to fear except fear itself.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair. His most recent book is Thomas Jefferson: Author of America. His most recent collection of essays is titled Love, Poverty, and War.

© Slate.com 2006
Stroke Identification

You could save a life

Received from G+CS: "During a barbecue, a friend stumbled and took a little fall. She assured everyone that she was fine (they offered to call paramedics) and that she had just tripped over a brick because of her new shoes. They got her cleaned up and gave her a new plate of food. Although she appeared a bit shaken up, Ingrid seemed to enjoy herself for the rest of the evening. Ingrid’s husband called later telling everyone that his wife had been taken to the hospital. At 6 p.m., Ingrid passed away. She had suffered a stroke at the barbecue. If they had known how to identify the signs of a stroke, perhaps Ingrid would be with us today."

It only takes a minute to read this

Recognizing a Stroke — A neurologist has said that if he can get to a stroke victim within three hours he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke… Totally! He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed and getting to the patient within three hours, which is tough.

Recognizing a stroke — Remember the three steps. Read and Learn!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say anybody can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

1. Ask the individual to smile.

2. Ask him or her to raise both arms.

3. Ask the person to speak a simple sentence coherently e.g. "It is sunny out today." If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association’s annual meeting last February.

Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.

Is this for real?
I am so tired of the things religious people do in the real world for their imaginary friends. If you're one of those people who talks to God, tell him from me to just stop messing about.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Mardi Gras Follies?

What happens in New Orleans stays on the Internet

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Armed Commando Attacks Newspaper [Nuevo Laredo News]

Feb. 8, 2006 — Nuevo Laredo’s El Mañana daily newspaper is vowing to continue publishing in the aftermath of an armed attack. On Monday evening, Feb. 6, at least three masked gunmen burst into the newsroom located in Tamaulipas state across the border from Texas and began firing AK-47 rifles and AR-15 rifles. Thirty or more shots were fired and one grenade set off before the attackers, shouting insults, escaped in two vehicles along with other presumed accomplices. More than two dozen reporters and other workers who were in the newsroom when the assault happened quickly hit the ground. Veteran reporter Jaime Orozco Tey, 40, was hit in the lungs and back several times by bullets.

Orozco was transported to the hospital, where he remained in critical condition. Another reporter, Osvaldo Rodriguez, was struck by flying glass. Orozco serves as the vice-president of the Nuevo Laredo Journalists Association. He is the father of two young daughters. El Mañana’s editorial staff called the attack "another page in the book of violence that is becoming terrorism." Said the daily, "It’s another attack against a newspaper that only seeks to inform, not hurt anyone."

The El Mañana attack was yet another violent incident linked to organized crime that involves the growing use of grenades. In recent weeks, attackers also have utilized grenades against suspected rivals and police in the states of Michoacan and Guerrero. On the same evening of the El Mañana attack, attackers exploded two grenades at the home of Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, police chief Hector Omar Maganda, injuring a guard.

Michoacan and Guerrero are the southern front in a drug cartel war for the control of drug import and export routes stretching from the Pacific Coast north to the US- Mexico border. Although grenades are reserved for the exclusive use of the Mexican armed forces, no government officials have publicly explained where and how the cartels are obtaining their grenades.

Despite military and police deployments in Michoacan, Guerrero and Tamaulipas under the federal goverment’s Safe Mexico anti-organized crime operation, gangland violence has been on the rise since January 1. In Nuevo Laredo, for instance, 25 people have been murdered since the beginning of this year. On the same day El Mañana was assaulted, two other suspected murder victims were found dead in Nuevo Laredo.

The El Mañana attack marked a brazen escalation in a violent campaign against the press in Tamaulipas state. Reynosa’s Center for Border Studies and the Promotion of Human Rights has documented 46 attacks from November 1999 to May 2005 against Tamaulipas journalists, including verbal attacks, beatings with fists and baseball bats, shootings, car burnings, kidnappings, disappearances, and murder.

In 2004, El Mañana’s editorial director, Roberto Javier Mora Garcia, was knifed to death in front of his home in a crime whose circumstances are still questioned. One of two men arrested for the homicide, a US citizen, was later murdered in a Tamaulipas state prison. Last year, radio journalist Guadalupe Garcia was shot outside the Nuevo Laredo station at which she worked. After struggling with her wounds for days, Garcia died in a hospital.

Just days prior to the attack on the El Mañana newsroom, the newspaper hosted a Nuevo Laredo conference about drug trafficking and self-censorship organized by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) Representatives of 40 border press outlets attended the meeting. In the wake of the shooting and greande attack, the IAPA demanded that President Fox take energetic measures to stem the violence.

Speaking in Sinaloa state, President Fox declared that organized crime would not bring the Mexican government and society to its knees and vowed to "redouble our force, redouble our efforts" against criminal activity. President Fox added the Federal Office of the Attorney General was taking over the investigation of the El Manana attack.

However, El Mañana’s executive editor, Ramon Dario Cantu, earlier expressed skepticism about any one being held accountable for the assault on his newsroom. "What’s the point of investigating?" Dario questioned. We know it was an assault by drug traffickers." Dario added the newspaper will further tone down its coverage of drug trafficking to safeguard the lives of journalists and other employees.

In its editorial pages, El Mañana expressed some surprise at the attack, noting the newspaper already practiced self- censorship because of the atmosphere of impunity surrounding attacks against journalists.

"Since the murder of Roberto Mora, we saw that the authorities were surpassed by organized crime and there were no guarantees for journalists," El Mañana said. The newspaper also used the occasion to call for a new drug policy that focuses more on education and prevention and explores the legalization of "soft" drugs. In the meantime, El Manana noted the illegal drug export business surges ahead in Nuevo Laredo. "Six thousand trucks cross here every day and the North American authorities only physically check 50 or 60. That makes this plaza as important as Tijuana or Ciudad Juarez," El Mañana said.

Sources: Enfoque Nacional, February 7, 2006. El Mañana, February 7and 8, 2006, articles by editiorial staff and Mario Hugo Rivera. Laredo Morning Times, February 7 and 8, 2006. Articles by Miguel Timoshenkov and Vicente Rangel. El Universal, February 7 and 8, 2006. Articles by Jose Luis Ruiz, editorial staff and the Notimex news agency. El Sur, February 7, 2006. Article by Brenda Escobar. Proceso, February 7, 2006. Article by Gabriela Hernandez.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news Center for Latin American and Border Studies New Mexico State University Las Cruces, New Mexico