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Old 2012-01-23, 00:44   Link #19181
Ledgem
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Northeast USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
anyone form Japan or been there want to comment on this?
I've been there, but just going as a tourist isn't really enough to know whether this sort of thing seems plausible or whether it happens often. I'm pretty surprised by it - a story like that would fit right in with some of the "strict Islam" Middle Eastern nations, but Japan?

Then again, if the story took place in the USA I'd find it believable. So maybe it isn't so outlandish after all...
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Old 2012-01-23, 01:03   Link #19182
Doraneko
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On one hand the journalist's account in the Economist has many places that sound fishy. On the other hand, abuses in such facilities in Japan is a known issue repeatedly reported by the Amnesty International. There are even unlucky souls who have been suffering prolonged psychological issues after release or even died during their stay.

If you can read Japanese, you may search for 上陸防止施設 and 入管収容施設. There are accounts by Japanese who worked in those facilities on the gravity of the abuses there.

Here is a good discussion on this particular incident:
http://www.hikosaemon.com/2012/01/ja...migration.html
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Last edited by Doraneko; 2012-01-23 at 01:23.
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Old 2012-01-23, 02:15   Link #19183
killer3000ad
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Girl gang given suspended sentences over assault charge after telling judge they weren't used to drinking alcohol
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Old 2012-01-23, 04:24   Link #19184
ganbaru
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How Pakistan helps the U.S. drone campaign
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80L08G20120122
Playing on the two side...
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Old 2012-01-23, 13:45   Link #19185
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Quote:
The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that police must obtain a search warrant before using a GPS device to track criminal suspects. But the justices left for another day larger questions about how technology has altered a person’s expectation of privacy.
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the government needed a valid warrant before attaching a GPS device to the Jeep used by D.C. drug kingpin Antoine Jones, who was convicted in part because police tracked his movements on public roads for 28 days.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/politi...GLQ_story.html

*cue the twilight zone music


Scalia and Thomas actually side with the Common Man against the Police State.
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Old 2012-01-23, 14:33   Link #19186
Sides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Spam actually comes from the animal kingdom...
I always though spam was the american cousin of the haggis, a species found by scots when they migrated to north america, that has similar characteristics to the animal found at home.
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Old 2012-01-23, 16:12   Link #19187
Kamui4356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xellos-_^ View Post
*cue the twilight zone music


Scalia and Thomas actually side with the Common Man against the Police State.
The constitution is pretty clear about this. There was really no other way they could rule.

Also, not related but:


Skipping the introduction and getting to the meat of the article

Quote:
On the morning of November 16, 2010, Andres drove his 2007 Ford Focus to the Stanton Street Bridge border crossing as he'd done every day for years.

On that day, U.S. Border Patrol agents singled him out for a random search and discovered two bags of marijuana in the trunk of his car. He told the agents he had no idea how the drugs got there, but because there was no evidence that his trunk had been tampered with, he was arrested and detained.

"I knew it wasn't right, I didn't know what it was" he says, referring to the two black duffel bags agents found. "I was so afraid. ... All I was thinking was, 'How could that happen?' I had no clue."

Andres was held on the U.S. side of the border in isolation, and interrogated.

"I was afraid of what could happen to my family. I was trying to figure out who could've done that, and nothing came to my imagination. We really didn't have enemies or knew people who were involved in that," he said, referring to the marijuana. "I wasn't working, was completely dedicated to school, my routine was going to school, coming home and doing homework."

Hours later, Andres was able to call his brother, who then called his wife.

"She was scared. We didn't know who did it, so we needed to get my wife out of the house," he said.

Andres' wife took their two young girls and went to stay with his brother in the United States while they waited to hear her husband's fate.

Six months in jails

SENTRI pass holders can use dedicated lanes when crossing the border and have to comply with specific requirements, including an empty trunk.
Andres says he was certain there was nothing in his trunk when he headed across the border last year.

"The night before, I went to buy groceries, [and] I took all the groceries out [of the trunk]," he recalled. "I knew there was nothing there."

Andres was charged with drug possession with the intent to distribute. He spent six months in various U.S. jails awaiting trial.

"It was really difficult to be there, knowing you're surrounded by criminals. I tried not to talk to people there. Sometimes, it was scary because of the gangs. ... It was depressing."

He could've taken what's called a "safety valve" plea -- it's an option for first-time drug trafficking and drug possession offenders with little or no criminal history.

Andres maintained his innocence and instead opted for a jury trial, hoping his peers would be able to see the truth. But they didn't.

On May 10, Andres was found guilty of possession and intent to distribute marijuana. He faced up to three years in prison. Had he had a criminal record, he could've been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.

How the scam works

Drug cartels were well aware of the SENTRI pass system and concocted a plan to take advantage of it. Jesus Chavez and Carlos Alberto Gomez, both Mexican citizens living in Texas, were recently accused in a 20-page criminal complaint of doing just that.

ccording to the complaint, Chavez and Gomez allegedly paid lookouts to monitor SENTRI pass drivers -- noting the time of day, as well as the make, model and color of their cars -- as they drove over the bridge.

Read the full indictment

The lookouts targeted students and professionals who typically have consistent routines.

Once they identified a possible target, they followed the car as it returned to the Mexican side of the border. Then, they approached the car at night, copied the vehicle identification number (VIN) off the dashboard and gave the number to Chavez and Gomez.

They also planted GPS tracking devices on the car so they could monitor its movements between Juarez and El Paso.

The complaint alleges that Chavez and Gomez took the VIN to a Texas-based locksmith who had access to key code sources for the vehicles. With that information, the locksmith made two keys for each vehicle -- one for Chavez and Gomez, and the other for Juarez-based accomplices.

The co-conspirators allegedly used their copy of the key to unlock the trunk of the target vehicle at night and place two duffel bags inside. The bags contained about 60 pounds of marijuana each and were both secured with zip ties.

The unsuspecting driver transported the drugs across the border unknowingly, and according to the complaint, Chavez and Gomez retrieved the drugs using their key once the driver was in the United States.

It was a simple, effective plan. But there was one problem: All the cases had striking similarities. And that caught the eye of a judge -- but not until after innocent people, like Andres, had been convicted of smuggling drugs.

'A common pattern'

Three days after his conviction, Andres was called back to court for a status hearing.

That's when I found out my lawyer had filed a motion for acquittal," Andres said. "[The judge] said there had been similar cases to mine, [and] he told the prosecution to investigate."

Senior U.S. District Judge David Briones, a 17-year judicial veteran, had noticed the pattern in the cases.

"I got information about [District Judge Philip R.] Martinez's trial this week with almost the exact same facts: Two bags in the trunk, each with about 50 pounds tied together, and the individual was again inspected at the [commuter] lane," Briones told Andres' attorneys and the prosecutors at the status hearing that afternoon in May.

"I, quite frankly, think that an injustice has been done," he said.

The judge dismissed the case against Andres, and he was released that day.

"When the judge dismissed [the case], I thought he really was wise," Andres said. "How could he see all the things that surrounded it -- the previous cases, the lack of evidence? I was really impressed to hear those words from his mouth. I'm really thankful for the wisdom he showed."

Six weeks later, the charges against him were dismissed. By then, the judge had alerted the FBI, which had launched an investigation. In late July, federal investigators issued a criminal complaint.

Andres was one of at least five so-called "blind mules" identified in that 20-page federal complaint who were used by cartels to traffic drugs.

Others include a fourth-grade teacher and a sports medicine doctor. The blind mules had a few things in common: The bags were all secured the same way, each contained roughly the same amount of marijuana, and most of those caught drove a Ford. (The key code sources needed to create duplicate keys were much easier to access for Fords than for other types of vehicles, according to the complaint.)

FBI Special Agent Michael Martinez says the cartels' cunning didn't completely surprise him.

"We haven't been made aware of anything like this [before]," he said. "[The cartels] are getting very creative, this was something relatively new."

The investigation is ongoing, and Jesus Chavez's alleged co-conspirator, Carlos Gomez, remains a fugitive. Efforts to reach a lawyer for Chavez, who's in federal custody, were unsuccessful.

Despite the extensive vetting and background checks, sometimes those with criminal intent get by. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials reported last week that a 30-year-old U.S. citizen and SENTRI pass holder allegedly attempted to cross the border from Tijuana, Mexico into southern California with nearly 54 pounds of methamphetamine in his car.

Despite being a free man with a cleared name, Juan Andres is still haunted by his experience.

"Being at school was really, really strange again. Seeing my friends who were taking class with me, and now they were ahead, was hard," he says.

Not knowing if he was still being spied on weighed on him: "I was afraid for the first day of school, afraid of leaving the parking garage."

And while six months of incarceration have affected the jazz lover's level of saxophone playing, he doesn't hold a grudge.

"I think the very important thing is we didn't hold resentment or anger or anything like that. It wasn't my fault; there was no way I could've avoided that. We take it like, 'things happen.' "
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Old 2012-01-23, 20:24   Link #19188
ganbaru
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Putin foe could be barred from Russian election
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80M18820120123
Russia is supposed to be a democraty now, right ?
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Old 2012-01-23, 20:25   Link #19189
Xellos-_^
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Putin foe could be barred from Russian election
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80M18820120123
Russia is supposed to be a democraty now, right ?
Just like the US is suppose to be a free country and China a communist state.
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Old 2012-01-24, 02:44   Link #19190
konart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
Putin foe could be barred from Russian election
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80M18820120123
Russia is supposed to be a democraty now, right ?
Who cares about Yavlinsky anyway...
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Old 2012-01-24, 03:50   Link #19191
MrTerrorist
Takao Tsundere Cruiser
 
 
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Why Manga Publishing Is Dying (And How It Could Get Better)
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Old 2012-01-24, 07:30   Link #19192
ganbaru
books-eater youkai
 
 
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Gulf Arabs quit Syria monitoring mission
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...8041A820120124
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Old 2012-01-24, 07:54   Link #19193
MisaoFan
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Join Date: Apr 2010
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Tokyo will have 70% chance of having 7.0 quake striking it in the next four years
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Old 2012-01-24, 13:00   Link #19194
ganbaru
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I can't really say if this would fit more the ''Silly/Odd News '' thread more or not :
On a day for team, Thomas left them shorthanded
http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/...s_shorthanded/
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Old 2012-01-24, 13:45   Link #19195
Ithekro
The Comet is Coming
 
 
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Elections may be coming again for Palestine.

http://www.contracostatimes.com/nati...ld/ci_19805189

Though they seem to have an issue with their neighbors:


Quote:
Updating Gaza voter records is a key part of election preparations, which officials have said would require several weeks. Elections could be held within three months of the completion of preparations. Abbas would set the date by decree.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces detained a Hamas lawmaker, the fifth such arrest in five days, prompting Hamas accusations that Israel is trying to sabotage the planned elections. Hamas has said it would only participate in elections if its candidates are safe from arrest by Israel.

"Every time we move toward reconciliation and reactivating the Palestinian parliament, we see Israel targeting our lawmakers in the West Bank," said Ismail Ashkar, a Hamas lawmaker.
Hamas said that in the latest incident, lawmaker Abdel Jaber Fuqaha was taken from his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah early Tuesday.


Israel's military confirmed the arrest but declined further comment.

Israel considers Hamas a terrorist organization. The group has carried out scores of deadly attacks against Israelis but has largely held its fire in recent years.

Currently, 24 of 45 Hamas legislators from the West Bank are in Israeli detention on charges of membership in an illegal organization, Hamas said. Hamas lawmakers have been subject to arrest by Israel since the group defeated Fatah in the 2006 election. Several lawmakers have been detained repeatedly.

Asked about the recent string of arrests, Israeli officials denied claims that they are politically motivated. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters, declined further comment.

Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat, a leader in Fatah, condemned the recent arrests as a "flagrant act of aggression" that undermines prospects for peace. "With these actions, Israel exposes the farcical nature of its peace rhetoric," he said.

In recent months, Hamas and Fatah have tried to reconcile but have had trouble moving forward because of continued mistrust. Next week, Abbas is to meet with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo to try to break the impasse.
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Old 2012-01-24, 14:11   Link #19196
Zakoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrTerrorist View Post
Maybe if online reader and scanlators were willing to withdraw the scanlated chapters once they are officially released -as we do here-, it would be better.

Publishers need to adapt themselves too, putting the first 10 chapters of long manga (or the first volume) online and for free would allow people to read it and see if they like it or no. Though I don't know how much a manga costs in US, I perfectly know that nobody want to put 8.5€ in a book they don't even know if they will like it or hate it.
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Old 2012-01-24, 17:46   Link #19197
SaintessHeart
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zakoo View Post
Maybe if online reader and scanlators were willing to withdraw the scanlated chapters once they are officially released -as we do here-, it would be better.

Publishers need to adapt themselves too, putting the first 10 chapters of long manga (or the first volume) online and for free would allow people to read it and see if they like it or no. Though I don't know how much a manga costs in US, I perfectly know that nobody want to put 8.5€ in a book they don't even know if they will like it or hate it.
The problem also lies with SEA countries. We don't get any media imports in major stores until our government archives and OK-s it (retards).

Heck, most of the independent "manga libraries" resorted to pulling their stuff off Hong Kong, they don't even have the license to "library" it. NLB is so slow and filled with outdated books (I can still find the first edition Windows 95 for Dummies, but MSDOS for Dummies is a must-have despite being OOP).

I can get my Chinese manga on the day of the HK release while stores out there have to "confirm for stock". And all that garbage talk by media bodies about "for the children" when the kids get to read K-ON and Sora no Otoshimono courtesy of their "onee/onii-chan" isn't helping to quicken the process.

The media industry (censorship, IP and publishers) need to speed up. Enough of senile old CEOs who can't even use the computer and keeps rambling about "forsaking old business style for new methods is risky and bad for business".
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Old 2012-01-24, 20:42   Link #19198
ganbaru
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More A380 wing cracks found
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80N1PZ20120124
Bad new for Airbus.

Exclusive: U.S. Air Force terminating Northrop unmanned plane
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...80N2EM20120124
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Old 2012-01-25, 03:22   Link #19199
SaintessHeart
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Top govt officials in CPIB probe

Quote:
SINGAPORE - The former heads of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) are being probed over allegations of “serious personal misconduct”.

Investigations by the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) began late last month in the case of former CNB director Ng Boon Gay, 45, while investigations in the case of former SCDF commissioner Peter Lim Sin Pang, 51, began early this month.

Both men have been relieved of their duties with effect from today pending disciplinary proceedings, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in a statement yesterday.

They were placed on leave from their duties when investigations commenced. The MHA said it is unable to comment on the details of the cases as investigations are ongoing.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean said in a separate statement yesterday: “The Government takes a serious view of public officers who misconduct themselves. Any allegation of misconduct made against public officers will be investigated fully and thoroughly.”

Mr Teo, who is also Minister-in-charge of the Civil Service, said: “We will be fair to officers who are the subject of allegations, establish the facts and follow due process, acting in accordance with Civil Service disciplinary processes and the law.”

The MHA said that it has appointed SCDF’s senior director of emergency services, Mr Eric Yap Wee Teck, 43, to assume command of the SCDF from next Wednesday.

Mr Ng Ser Song, 49, who is the director of the Police Intelligence Department, will take over as CNB director on the same date.

“This is to ensure leadership continuity of both organisations,” added the ministry.

News of the CPIB probe broke in a report published in Chinese evening newspaper Lianhe Wanbao yesterday.

The newspaper, which quoted sources, said that six other SCDF officers, including two of senior rank, are being investigated.

The report also alleged that CPIB investigations began after complaints were made by an overseas company.

Mr Lim was appointed the SCDF commissioner in May 2009, moving up from the rank of deputy commissioner.

He has been in the SCDF for 24 years. Mr Ng joined the Singapore Police Force 20 years ago after he was awarded a Local Merit Scholarship from the Public Service Commission.

He was previously the director of the Criminal Investigation Department before taking over CNB in January last year.

The MHA statement added that the ministry, the two Home Team departments and relevant officers will “continue to give their fullest assistance and cooperation to the CPIB in its investigations”.

Mr Teo said: “I would like to reaffirm my confidence in our SCDF and CNB officers, who are honourable professionals risking their lives on a daily basis to keep our citizens safe and secure.”
My spider sense tells me this is a political purge, but I don't have any evidence to back it up other than that of this is the second one in a consecutive year.

Oh well, at least I can laugh at the Myanmarese who came here to seek citizenship : they pulled strings to get away from Little Boy Blue and came back to another.

Let's hope that I am wrong.
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When three puppygirls named after pastries are on top of each other, it is called Eclair a'la menthe et Biscotti aux fraises avec beaucoup de Ricotta sur le dessus.
Most of all, you have to be disciplined and you have to save, even if you hate our current financial system. Because if you don't save, then you're guaranteed to end up with nothing.
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Old 2012-01-25, 06:16   Link #19200
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ganbaru View Post
I can't really say if this would fit more the ''Silly/Odd News '' thread more or not :
On a day for team, Thomas left them shorthanded
http://www.boston.com/sports/hockey/...s_shorthanded/
I'm old enough to remember when a bunch of American golfers declined to meet with President Clinton at the White House because they objected to his tax proposals. Most professional American golfers are recruited from the ranks of country-club members. If they often appear so homogenously WASPie, it's because they are. Here's a good example of their mindset from the article:

Quote:
Then there's team member John Cook, who told a Florida newspaper, "It would be an honor to meet the President but it would be hypocritical. I don't know what we could talk about. We are examples of people who work hard and make a lot of money, and he wants to take it away and give it to people who don't give a damn."

Poor baby. It's not mentioned in this piece, but Cook was born to a well-to-do family in Rancho Mirage, Calif., and spent his student years at Ohio State University living in a condo at a fancy golf development outside Columbus. He now lives in Palm Springs, presumably toiling arduously on his long irons.
When Newt Gingrich calls President Obama the "food-stamp" President, the real message concerns those "people who don't give a damn." For those living outside the US, that's a coded reference to blacks.

Tim Thomas is apparently a Ron Paul/Ayn Rand styled libertarian. This story sparked an interesting generational cleavage on the ESPN show Around the Horn yesterday. The older sportswriters like the Boston Globe's Jackie MacMullen thought Thomas's behavior was an affront to his teammates; LA's J.A. Andande thought it was an example of what makes America great.

Personally I wish Thomas had simply put his politics aside for the afternoon. As of one the commentators on ATH noted, by making himself the center media of attention, Thomas took the focus off the celebration -- the Bruins' first Stanley Cup victory in three decades. His play in goal was stupendous throughout the playoffs, and he certainly deserved his MVP award, but Thomas wouldn't have won anything without his teammates.
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