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Feb 10 2011

Six In The Morning

Keeping Him Silent  

Chen Guangcheng describes being held at home and watched around the clock since his release from prison five months ago

Secret video shows house arrest Chinese lawyer

A Chinese grassroots lawyer says he and his family have been held in their home and watched around the clock since his release from prison five months ago, in a secretly filmed video smuggled out of their village.

Chen Guangcheng is one of the country’s best known activists, a self-taught legal advocate who fought on behalf of women who had suffered forced abortions and sterilisations.

Rights groups have expressed grave concern for him and his family and the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, raised his case in a speech shortly before the Chinese president Hu Jintao’s visit to the US last month.  

Just What He Needs Praise From a French Racist  

Leader of France’s National Front has congratulated David Cameron on his controversial speech

Marine Le Pen praises Cameron stance on multiculturalism  

The leader of France’s National Front has praised David Cameron for what she says is an endorsement of her party’s far-right views on multiculturalism and immigration.

Marine Le Pen was elected to lead the National Front last month. She claimed the prime minister’s speech on the failures of multiculturalism showed he was taking Britain’s Conservatives towards her stance on the issue. “It is exactly this type of statement that has barred us from public life [in France] for 30 years,” she told the Financial Times. “I sense an evolution at European level, even in classic governments. I can only congratulate him.”

Looking For A Winner But They Find Only Losers  



Republicans sniff the wind for a winner but Palin stays away

Conservative Republicans are converging on Washington this morning to kick off the party’s 2012 nomination process even as the champagne fizz of last year’s mid-term election success gives way to anxiety about finding a credible candidate to challenge President Barack Obama.

The scratchy mood at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, will stand in contrast to the celebrations of last November, when the Republican Party’s takeover of the House of Representatives came in part thanks to the grassroots enthusiasm of its right flank, especially members of the Tea Party movement.

Look! It’s Time For You And Your Cronies  To Hit The Unemployment Line  

Egypt’s protest movement galvanised support from unions and the countryside as organisers rebelled against plans for a gradual transition overseen by the country’s old guard.

Egypt crisis: protesters reject smooth transition  

On the 16th day of protests, street leaders were emboldened to take a more militant line against the regime than the opposition parties that have entered talks with Hosni Mubarak’s vice President Omar Suleiman.

Mr Suleiman, who held more talks on constitutional reforms yesterday, has increasingly emerged as the focus of popular anger. He enraged demonstrators yesterday by warning that the regime would not tolerate prolonged demonstrations, stating that the options were either “dialogue” or “coup”.

Be Afraid Always Be Afraid  

Somali pirates took control of an oil tanker from Kuwait carrying $200 million worth of crude. It’s the second oil-tanker hijacking by Somali pirates in two days.  

Somali pirates capture oil tanker bound for US: Higher oil prices ahead?

LONDON/ATHENS

Suspected Somali pirates captured a U.S.-bound tanker carrying around $200 million worth of crude oil in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday in one of the biggest hijackings in the area so far.

The Irene SL, the length of three soccer pitches and with 25 crew members on board, was carrying about 2 million barrels of oil, or nearly one fifth of daily U.S. crude imports.

The hijacking came a day after an Italian tanker carrying oil worth more than $60 million was snatched by Somali pirates, reinforcing industry fears that the piracy scourge is “spinning out of control”.

Which Wicked Witches Are They?  



Witches curse as Romania spells out plans to tackle false predictions

FOR THE second time in a month, Romania’s witches are cursing its political leaders for making unforeseen moves against their ancient, occult trade.

After reforming employment law in January to force witches to pay the same 16 per cent income tax as Romania’s ordinary mortals, the government is seeking to punish clairvoyants whose predictions fail to come true.

For some Romanian politicians this is only the latest round in a long-running battle to make the country’s thousands of witches, alternative healers and astrologers pay taxes and be more accountable for their actions.

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