Monday, April 30, 2007

Fees lowered for foreign lawyers in Khmer Rouge tribunal

From the Boston Globe:

International judges pledged Monday to push ahead with the much-delayed Khmer Rouge genocide tribunal following the reduction of fees for foreign lawyers wishing to participate in the process.

The tribunal office issued a statement Monday that the new fee structure would allow international lawyers to represent clients at the tribunal.

Washington now has an official amphibian. No, really.

From the Boston Globe:

Washington now has an official amphibian -- the Pacific chorus frog -- a lighthearted addition to a growing list of "official" things that now includes a state vegetable, ship, folk song and even grass, though not the funny kind.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, wearing a toy frog on her forefinger, signed the bill Monday, bantering with the Boston Harbor Elementary School third graders who brought the legislation forward as a class project.

Can the Pacific chorus frog play "Rainbow Connection" on the banjo? I didn't think so. You made a crappy choice, Washington.

Showing the faces of autism

From the Boston Globe:

Brooke's eyes are bluer than a summer sky as the 4-year-old looks out from behind locks of sandy blond hair and stares directly into the camera. Michelle, 12, unsuccessfully tries to use her hands to hide her toothy smile from the lens. And 10-year-old Austin leans a cheek full of red freckles on his hand, posing almost like a model for the photographer.

These three images are part of Faces and Voices of Autism, an exhibition of 18 photographs that made its debut today at Doric Hall in the State House.

Austin's mother said in a telephone interview, "Seeing these kids and reading their stories, it goes right to your heart."

Job shadowing at the hospital

From WHS's site:

Attention Juniors: Any juniors interested in participating in a Job Shadowing opportunity at Melrose Wakefield Hospital on May 23rd please see Mr. Beebe for details. Deadline for signing up is May 11. A maximum of 15 students can attend.

Make your parents proud and sign up.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Today is a slow news day.

From the Boston Globe:

In a menu likely to be welcomed by the U.S. beef industry, cheeseburgers will be served at the luncheon President George W. Bush is hosting for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday.

This is the Globe's top world news story?

Fourteen anti-war protesters arrested

From the Boston Globe:

Fourteen anti-war protesters were arrested in a Senate office building Thursday after unfurling a banner calling for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney.

Well hey, Clinton got impeached for cheating on his wife, so should Bush get impeached for getting the US involved in a disaster?

Global warming initiative tied up

From the Boston Globe:

A global climate change initiative that is a top priority of Democratic legislative leaders has become entwined in a debate over whether the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant should be taxed to help pay for it.

Yankee executives argued that they have already contributed millions of dollars towards alternative energy.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mexico caps tortilla prices

From the Boston Globe:

Mexico's government renewed a deal with retailers and producers on Wednesday to cap prices of the food staple tortilla to control inflation and placate angry consumers.

After all that pot, the people are hungry. They need all those tortillas cheap.

Marijuana's potency climbs

From the Boston Globe:

Marijuana is getting a little more potent each year. A project at the University of Mississippi has tested samples of marijuana seized by law enforcement agents annually since the late 1970s to check levels of THC, the active ingredient.

What's up with all these pot stories? 4/20 was a few days ago, Boston Globe.

RI to vote on medical marijuana

From the Boston Globe:

Rhode Island lawmakers delay a vote on extending the state's medical marijuana program.

In my humble opinion, legalize it.

Election results

From the Wakefield Observer:

In an unusually low turnout, 17.95 percent, or 2,938 of the town’s 16,366 registered voters cast a vote in the April 24 Town Election.

In the most watched race, with four candidates running for three seats, school committee candidates Lisa Butler and Kevin Piskadlo were elected to three-year terms, while committee chair Carmen Urbonas was reelected to another term.

The turnout was low because of the lack of candidates, according to Town Clerk Mary K. Galvin.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Italy to return statue to Libya

From the Boston Globe:

Italy will return to Libya an ancient Roman statue taken from its former North African colony, a gesture Rome hopes will help its own campaign to retrieve allegedly looted antiquities from museums worldwide.

The statue is of the goddess Venus, found by Italian troops near the ruins of the Roman settlement Cyrene in 1913.

Full-scale riot in Indiana prison

From the Boston Globe:

A "full-scale riot" broke out Tuesday at a medium-security men's prison, according to the mayor, and pictures taken from television helicopters showed at least two fires burning in the courtyard.

Indiana Department of Correction spokeswoman Java Ahmed confirmed there was a disturbance at the New Castle Correctional Facility, about 43 miles east of Indianapolis.

According to Ahmed, more than one cell house was involved, and two staff members were injured.

Linda Ronstadt to open the Newport Folk Festival

From the Boston Globe:

Linda Ronstadt will open this year's Newport Folk Festival -- her first appearance at the summertime event.

The festival's organizers made that announcement today.

They also announced that vocalist Dianne Reeves will open the J-V-C Jazz Festival-Newport, along with the Count Basie Orchestra.

The Jazz festival is August 10th through 12th, the folk festival August third through fifth.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Happy 1st birthday!

That's right, the Étudiant is one year old! Here's to many more years of bringing you the news.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Palestinian minister hopes ban will be eased

From the Boston Globe:

Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayyad said on Thursday progress was being made on easing U.S. banking restrictions that have crippled the cashed-strapped Palestinian Authority.

Fayyad also said foreign aid might go directly to a Palestinian account that would bypass banking restrictions.

Mark Foley using campaign cash to pay his bills

From the Boston Globe:

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley is using leftover campaign cash to pay for the huge legal bills he's racking up defending himself in the congressional page scandal that led to his resignation.

State and federal authorities are still investigating whether Foley broke any laws through explicit communication with minors.

Pepperidge Farm repairs a mill

From the Boston Globe:

Pepperidge Farm Inc. is helping to repair a rare functioning grist mill in Massachusetts.

The company is donating $15,000 to the Wayside Inn Grist Mill.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cho sent material to NBC

From the AP:

Between his first and second bursts of gunfire, the Virginia Tech gunman mailed a package to NBC News containing what authorities said were video, photos of himself brandishng weapons, and a rambling diatribe about getting even with rich people.

A time stamp on the package incdicated that it was sent in between the shootings.

Nadal continues winning streak

From the Boston Globe:

Rafael Nadal extended his winning streak on clay to 63 matches, beating Juan Ignacio Chela 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters on Wednesday.

Nadal is the two-time defending French Open champ.

Cho went to psychiatric hospital in 2005

From ABC News:

A Virginia district court found that Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho was "mentally ill" and an "imminent danger to others," according to a 2005 temporary detention order obtained by ABC News.

Virginia Tech police say Cho was taken to a nearby psychiatric hospital for evaluation in December 2005, after two female schoolmates said they received threatening messages from him and police and school officials became concerned that he might be suicidal.

This information came to light today.

Student arrested over Va. Tech remarks

From the Boston Globe

A University of Colorado student was arrested after making comments that classmates deemed sympathetic toward the gunman blamed for killing 32 students and himself at Virginia Tech, authorities said.

The student made remarks about understanding how someone could kill 32 people. Other students were afraid to attend class with him, according to police.

Sumner Redstone supports Mass. Gen.

From the Boston Globe:

Media mogul Sumner Redstone is donating $35 million to Massachusetts General Hospital to improve its emergency care of burn and trauma patients.

Imagine how great the treatment could be if he wins that lawsuit against YouTube.

Rally at the bandstand

From the Wakefield Observer:

As part of the national Step it Up campaign to compel Congress to enact legislation that would reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050, more than 75 people from Wakefield and surrounding communities gathered April 14 at the bandstand on the Lower Common to show their support for the effort.

One of over 1,400 gatherings across the nation on this raw and blustery day in Wakefield, the photo was sent to the Step it Up 2007 Web site to become part of a streaming slide show of all the events that will be sent to members of Congress. (See for more information.) This Sunday is Earth Day, another opportunity to advocate for this issue

The event was organized by the Wakefield Climate Action Project.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Child porn becoming more disturbing

From the Boston Globe:

Child pornography on the Internet is becoming more brutal and graphic, and the number of images depicting violent abuse has risen fourfold since 2003, according to an Internet watchdog report published Tuesday.

More than three in five child porn sites are based in the US, a third in Russia, according to the article.

Romney flip-flops...again...

From the Boston Globe:

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is wrong when she contends that "it takes a village" to raise a child, though he told a newspaper in 1998 that Clinton was "very much right."

Can you say "flip-flop"?

Tragedy at Virginia Tech

From the Boston Globe:

A gunman massacred 32 people at Virginia Tech in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history Monday, cutting down his victims in two attacks two hours apart before the university could grasp what was happening and warn students.

A check of Virginia Tech's website shows the university is "in the process of identifying victims and notifying next-of-kin."

10:18 PM, 4/16/07
The death toll is now 33: the gunman killed himself.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Group notes split among Iraq insurgents

From the Boston Globe:

An Iraqi militant group has highlighted the split in the ranks of the Iraqi insurgency by having its spokesman give a television interview in which he accuses al-Qaida and its umbrella organization of killing its members and pursuing the wrong policies.

Ibrahim al-Shimmari, spokesman for the Islamic Army, said, "The gap has widened."

King auction cancelled

From the Boston Globe:

A small collection of letters, notes and speeches once believed to belong to Martin Luther King Jr. was taken off the auction block on Thursday amid protests from the civil rights leader's family.

Gallery 63 owner Paul Brown said, "The papers need to be further evaluated before they go on the open market."

Bill named after Matthew Shepard

From the Boston Globe:

Supporters of hate-crimes legislation said Thursday they expect Congress to enact a law this year expanding federal penalties for acts of violence against homosexuals.

They have renamed their latest proposal in honor of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student who died after he was beaten and tied to a fence in Wyoming in 1998.
Here's an interesting part of that article:

Asked about potential opposition from religious groups that disagree with homosexuality, Smith said that should not be a problem.

"This act is about the prosecution of crime, not prohibition of speech," Smith said. "Unless they believe part of their religion is the practice of violence against others, they should not be affected by this bill."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pope says evolution can't be proven(?!)

From the Boston Globe:

Benedict XVI, in his first extended reflections on evolution published as pope, says that Darwin's theory cannot be finally proven and that science has unnecessarily narrowed humanity's view of creation.

Um...wasn't evolution kind of proven already? Oh wait, no it wasn't, because the pope said so. Now, I'm Catholic, and fairly religious, but science > religion any day of the week. And if this pope wants to prove he isn't dumb, he'll admit it.

Nation Intelligence Director: Law Update Needed

From the Boston Globe:

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell said Wednesday that a landmark surveillance law needs to be updated to accommodate advances in technology.

The law is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows surveillance in espionage and foreign intelligence investigations.

New Hampshire panel announces tips to prevent obesity

From the Boston Globe:

A panel of health experts is calling on New Hampshire families, doctors, schools and communities to fight childhood obesity.

"It's critical for everyone in the community to take a role in combating the obesity problem," Dr. Mary McGowan, a panel member and director of the Cholesterol Treatment Center at Concord Hospital said Wednesday. "We know that we cannot implement all of these recommendations at once, but by creating healthier environments together one step at a time, we can improve the health of our children."

Last fall, the Foundation for Healthy Communities announced a study showing that nearly one-third of New Hampshire children are overweight or obese. The report gave doctors, educators and parents information they'd never had before about how widespread childhood obesity was in the state.

Based on the report, the Foundation convened the special panel of doctors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, behavioral health professionals, disease prevention specialists and public health experts to identify ways to improve children's health.

The New Hampshire Childhood Obesity Expert Panel presented its report Wednesday, offering advice including nutrition information, exercise guidelines and ways to encourage physical activity in children. It also offers lists of related material to help implement the suggestions.

I can think of a few...get some exercise everyday, eat a balanced diet, don't eat like a pig, have some common sense...

Town Meeting passes 19 articles

From the Wakefield Observer:

In just over an hour, Town Meeting passed articles 5 through 23 of the annual warrant.

All the articles are important to the running of the town. For example, Article 5 passed requests for the reconstruction and maintenance of 16 streets. Article 7 appropriated $1,537,206 for the collection, disposal, recycling, and composting of refuse.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Big waves in Latin America

From the Boston Globe:

Unusually high Pacific waves battered beaches from El Salvador to Mexico and carried people out to sea, prompting authorities in some places to order swimmers out of the water Tuesday.

At least two were killed.

0ld sch00l c0mpu73r5 r0x lol

From the Boston Globe:

In the first purchase of his collection, Sellam Ismail loaded the trunk of his car with old computers he stumbled upon at a flea market for $5 apiece. Soon he had filled his three-car garage with what others would consider obsolete junk.

Years later, his collection of early computers, printers, and related parts is piled high across shelves and in chaotic heaps in a 4,500-square-foot warehouse near Silicon Valley. And it is worth real money.

Damn! I knew I shouldn't have thrown out my old AST computer with Windows 3.1! Remember when Paint was called Paintbrush? I had a ton of games on there, too...I miss Treasure Cove and Millie's Math House.

Skakel's witnesses

From the Boston Globe:

Michael Skakel plans to call his cousin, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and his celebrity trial attorney as witnesses for an appeal of his murder conviction that starts next week on a claim that two other men may have committed the crime.

Skakel was convicted in 2002 of killing 15-year-old Martha Moxley, but Gitano "Tony" Bryant has claimed (in a videotaped interview with Skakel's private investigator) that two of his friends killed Moxley.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Illegal migrants in the US Virgin Islands

From the Boston Globe:

Some 400 illegal migrants have been intercepted entering the U.S. Virgin Islands over the past six months, officials say.

Does anyone LEGALLY migrate anymore?

Retrial of accused terrorist?

From the Boston Globe:

Shaky testimony and prejudice by the jury foreman should be enough to grant a new trial to a Lodi man convicted last year of terrorism-related charges, a defense lawyer argued Friday.

Attorney Dennis Riordan told a federal judge that jury foreman Joseph Cote was biased against his client because he is Pakistani-American, a Muslim and was charged with terrorist activities.

"We really have a question if we had 12 fair jurors," Riordan said during a hearing in U.S. District Court. "We know that one of them was not fair."

Hamid Hayat's sentencing has been postponed while Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. considers a defense motion seeking a new trial. The judge delayed making a decision.

Hayat, 24, was arrested in June 2005 and convicted last April of lying to federal agents when he denied attending a terrorist training camp in Pakistan in 2003.

I wonder how this will unfold...was Cote really biased, or is Hayat just playing the race card? The latter, according to Assistant US Attorney Robert Tice-Raskin...

"Did Hamid Hayat receive a fair trial?" Tice-Raskin said during the hearing. "The answer is yes -- absolutely yes."

The accused Lincoln-Sudbury killer has amnesia?!

From the Boston Globe:

A 16-year-old boy charged with fatally stabbing a fellow high school student may be close to regaining his memory of the alleged crime and could eventually be fit to stand trial, his lawyer said Friday.

John Odgren, of Princeton, is charged in the Jan. 19 killing of James Alenson, 15, inside a bathroom at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. He has pleaded not guilty.

On March 26, a court-appointed psychiatrist told the Middlesex Superior Court that Odgren was found competent to stand trial, but defense lawyer Jonathan Shapiro noted then that the report also said his client did not remember the killing.

Since then, Shapiro told The Boston Globe on Friday, his client has been working with mental health specialists in an effort to recover from his amnesia.

If you want to cure the amnesia, just hit him in the head with a frying pan. Geeze, what's the matter with mental health specialists? They never watched cartoons?

Funny how I'm joking about hitting an accused murderer in the head with a frying pan...I'm one insensitive bastard...Happy Good Friday!

Lai Changxing granted a reprieve

From the Boston Globe:

A Canadian court Thursday granted one of China's most-wanted men a delay in any decision on his deportation to face smuggling and corruption charges.

Lai Changxing is accused of "masterminding a network that smuggled as much as $10 billion of goods."

JFK areas evacuated after breach

From the Boston Globe:

A man breached security at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Thursday, forcing parts of two terminals to be evacuated, authorities said.

The man, who had not been found by Thursday evening, circumvented security at Terminal 3 at about 4:15 p.m., the Transportation Security Administration said in an announcement.

Way to go, sketchball. Now airport security will get even more ridiculous. Anyone walking into an airport will be led through security by a guard pointing a gun at you.

BC advances to the title game of the Frozen Four

From the Boston Globe:

Nathan Gerbe scored the go-ahead goal with 4:06 to go, leading Boston College to a 6-4 victory over North Dakota in the Frozen Four semifinals Thursday night.

Boston College (29-11-1) will take a 13-game winning streak into the championship game Saturday night against Michigan State (25-13-3).

Well, congratulations to the BC hockey team. Now, don't get into any fights, or lose any teeth. Wait...oh yeah, that's the best part of hockey. Correction: get into fights and lose teeth.

Town Meeting Happenings

From the Wakefield Observer:

With no debate on the $64 million budget, the Wakefield Town Meeting instead focused on what officials planned to do about the ongoing goose problem and the prospects of adding a crematorium near Lake Quannapowitt.

Yes, one of tonight's top stories is our town's, and I quote, "ongoing goose problem". I love this town. Anyway, the $64 million budget approved at the meeting will support, according to the Observer, "...the fire and police departments, education costs, and all municipal costs for the 2007-2008 fiscal year."

However, many residents raised concerns about Article 3, a $15,000 proposal by the town’s Goose Committee to hire a professional border collie service to address the town’s ongoing goose problem.

“The hard reality is that short of drastically altering the landscape, a permanent solution to the goose control problem does not yet exist,” said Goose Committee Chairman Bronwyn Della-Volpe.

Wakefield has a Goose Committee? You learn something new everyday. As for that crematorium...

Residents also debated Article 4, an amendment to the town’s bylaws to prevent a crematorium from being built in Wakefield. This article was sponsored by Meg Michaels, an environmental advocate who filed a lawsuit against Lakeside Cemeteries in hopes of preventing them from building a crematorium inside the Lakeside Church basement near Lake Quannapowitt. Michaels said burning dead bodies would release mercury and other pollutants into the air.

Aw, shucks. Guess this means I won't be least not in this town. I guess I'll just have to have my body cryogenically frozen instead.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Career Center

I know what you're thinking, "Where the hell have you been?" Around, but really busy. But enough about me, let's get to the news.

From the WHS website:

Attention Students: If you are seeking employment, need help with a resume; are interested in a job internship or want help exploring careers the Career Center is the place to go.

Exploring careers you say? Let's hope that includes more job shadowing opportunities. I had a great experience shadowing Adam-12, the mid-day DJ at WBCN. But enough about me.