Boghound's World News

A Humorous Look At News Events And Life Around The World

Archive for February, 2012

Is This For Real??

Posted by Boghound on February 29, 2012

WikiLeaks: rights to Julian Assange chat show bought by Russian TV

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has chosen a Kremlin-bankrolled satellite TV channel known for its relentless anti-Western propaganda to broadcast his new talk show.

RT, a Moscow-based channel formerly known as Russia Today, said on Wednesday it had secured exclusive first broadcast rights for Mr Assange’s new 10-part interview show ‘The World Tomorrow.’

“Details of the episodes and the guests featured are secret for now,” RT said in a statement, adding it was proud to be associated with the WikiLeaks founder.

Under house arrest in the UK pending possible extradition to Sweden on sex crime charges he denies, RT said Mr Assange would interview "’iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders’" – people Assange can clearly identify with, being a rather controversial figure himself.”

“The 40-year-old Australian media and internet entrepreneur will get to talk about the issues of the day with those he believes will shape the world tomorrow.

Many are already wondering whether it will be as explosive as the biggest mass disclosure of secret documents in US history, also orchestrated by Assange and his team,” it said.

His choice of RT is apt for a man who has made his name exposing the US military’s mistakes and publishing US State Department communiqués that have opened up Washington’s dealings with the world to sometimes embarrassing scrutiny.

Run by Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, RT mixes slavishly loyal pro-Kremlin propaganda with often wacky anti-US and anti-Western reports that it says show the West is in no position to lecture Russia on human rights or anything else. It has revelled in covering the London Riots and the Occupy Wall Street protests and has carved out a niche for itself giving airtime to a succession of marginal conspiracy theorists, some of whom have questioned the official US version of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon.

The channel has Spanish and Arabic-language services too and is staffed by a number of British expatriates.

WikiLeaks itself has caused the Kremlin embarrassment in the past by publishing a number of US cables that have described Russia and its top politicians in deeply unflattering terms.

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Posted by Boghound on February 28, 2012

Holidaymaker hit with 1.2k phone bill

A Scottish holidaymaker has been hit with a £1,200 phone bill, despite not making a phone call or sending a text when he was away.

Jeff Craw didn’t make a phone call or send a text when he was away in Thailand for 10 days but his phone was blocked after he ran up such a large bill.

The 41-year-old man was charged for receiving emails and Facebook updates during his break – but the thought of paying off the hefty sum has led to some sleepless nights.

Jeff told the Daily Record newspaper: "I’ve not been able to sleep because of this. The phone bill is almost as much as my holiday. It’s sickening."

T-Mobile kindly reduced his bill by £297, but when they sent Jeff a text to inform him it looked like they had cut the bill to that amount.

The network have since apologised for the "error in balance" when they first offered the discount.

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Viagra A Day?

Posted by Boghound on February 27, 2012

Gardener says Viagra perks up plants

A TV gardener has shared his tip for keeping flowers perky – feeding them a tiny dose of Viagra.

David Domoney says one milligram of the blue pill gives drooping blooms a lift and extends their life.

"Drop in a standard Viagra tablet… it stiffens up your blooms a treat," he advised on his website.

The flowers need just one milligram of a standard 50 milligram tablet to regain their vigor, the gardener said.

Viagra contains nitric oxide, a hormone released by humans that enables blood vessels to relax and increases blood flow to the penis. Plants also give off nitric oxide to turn on their immune system.

Australian scientists first discovered Viagra’s potential in the plant industry and their research was published in the British Medical Journal.

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Twitchers Have Feathers Ruffled

Posted by Boghound on February 26, 2012

Farmer’s pink paint fooled twitchers

Birdwatchers who hoped they had found a new species of hawk were shot down – when a farmer turned out to have been painting them pink for fun.

The strangely coloured hawks caused great excitement in the twitching community when they were first spotted in New Zealand three years ago.

But suspicions set in when one of the birds was hit by a car – and closer investigation revealed that it had been spray-painted a pinkish-red colour.

Animal protection officers began investigating and local farmer Grant Teahan was uncovered as the culprit, reports the Manawatu Standard.

He was first suspected when his nephew uploaded a video onto YouTube which showed a home-made bird trap covered in the same colour paint.

Computers seized at his farm, in Dannevirke, had files, photographs and films relating to red hawks deleted. Another file showed a cow spray-painted with "Merry Christmas".

Teahan was this week found guilty in Dannevirke District Court of two charges of ill-treating animals. He’s due to be sentenced on 30 January.

Local SPCA manager Danny Auger said it was the most bizarre case he had ever worked on.

"Various people got involved, like experts who thought maybe it was a new strain or a new type of bird or whatever, but then feathers were being found and it was obvious somebody was actually painting these hawks," he said.

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Tiger, Tiger?

Posted by Boghound on February 25, 2012

Escaped 8ft tiger on hotel roof turns out to be massive stuffed toy

When 911 calls were made saying there was an escaped tiger on top of a hotel in Houston, Texas, officers must have prepared for the worst.


At least six members of the fire department set out to bring the animal to safety, before it hurt any members of the public or caused an accident on the nearby highway.

Firefighters in a cherry picker gently edged toward the beast for fear it would strike, so it was no doubt to their great relief that the tiger causing the commotion was actually a soft toy.

Instead of needing to use their wits to coax the beast down and return it to captivity, the firefighter simply knocked the toy to the floor.

A colleague on the ground then approached it with caution but after a couple of taps to the head, it was clear the ‘tiger’ was not considered a danger.

Fire crews then removed the tiger, as passing motorists kept stopping to look at it. It’s not yet clear how the soft toy ended up on the abandoned hotel.

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Late Books…..Off To Jail With You!

Posted by Boghound on February 24, 2012

Woman gets 11-day jail sentence for overdue library books

A woman who refused to pay a $235 fine for overdue library books was sentenced to 11 days in a Montreal jail.

A 20-cent-a-day late fee issued in 2007 escalated into an arrest warrant, and the woman was picked up while driving her car on a highway east of Montreal on Tuesday.

The library in the Montreal suburb of Repentigny began tallying the woman’s fine after she failed to return five books on Oct.17, 2007. The city sent warnings and an invoice, which it says were ignored.

The municipality obtained a ruling of non-payment against the woman in October 2008.

The city then lost track of the woman, who by 2010 was living in Shawinigan, Que., 90 minutes east of Montreal. A municipal court judge found her guilty in January 2011 and issued an arrest warrant. She was picked up in Shawinigan this week and carted off to a jail in Montreal.

It was there that she coughed up the fine to avoid being locked up.

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Phew….That’s A Long One!!

Posted by Boghound on February 23, 2012

Bear shocks onlookers as it unravels massive tongue in Florida zoo

A bear shocked onlookers as it unravelled its massive tongue to yawn while relaxing in a tree at Miami Zoo in Florida.

Kala, a Malayan sun bear, was caught on camera by photographer Adrian Tavano, who spotted the 19-year-old as she woke from a nap and flexed her muscles.

Sun bears usually use their extra long tongue, which can reach up to ten inches, to eat termites hidden deep inside trees.

Mr Tavano, 39, from Miami, said: ‘The bear exhibit is very nice and visitors have a clear view of the animals.

‘Kala loves to sleep on top of this tree, which was about 20 metres from where I was.

‘I think she had just woken up and had a yawn, so she is not licking the tree but it looks like it.’

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Remember The war??

Posted by Boghound on February 22, 2012

Retired Beefeater ‘ejected from pub for speaking German’

A former Beefeater at the Tower of London has reportedly been thrown out of his local pub for talking German to his daughter.

Tom Sharp, 71, said he was talking to his half-German daughter in the Packhorse pub in the Peterborough village of Northborough when their conversation slipped into German.

Mr Sharp, who also served with the Royal Signals for 26 years during which he met his wife Anni in Germany, said the pub’s landlady flew into a rage when she heard the language being used on Wednesday evening.

He claims she told him: "We are white, you are English so you speak English in my pub otherwise get out."

Other drinkers who witnessed the row and spoke up for Mr Sharp and his 49-year-old daughter Nichole Falconer were also ejected, he said.

"I honestly couldn’t believe she was telling us we couldn’t speak German. Now and again the odd German phrase slips up – it is my daughter’s mother tongue. It is natural," he said.

"It’s not as if we were always speaking German and being rude. I could understand if it was all the time and looking at her as if we were plotting, but we weren’t.

"You just can’t tell people they can’t speak their mother tongue. Would she do that to the Polish community in Peterborough?

"I think it is a sad reflection of her attitude to life that she can be upset about speaking a language she can’t understand. It’s outrageous. She was just like a mad woman completely possessed."

The incident has been reported to police as a hate crime.

A witness said: "It’s disgraceful. Everyone in the pub was horrified. We all left and I don’t think many people will be going back."

Mr Sharp, who was widowed two years ago, said it was the worst racism his daughter, an employment lawyer, had faced.

"I would hate to think what my wife’s family would think of this. But it’s even more mind boggling to suggest that I am not patriotic if that what her problem was," he added.

"I served in the army for 26 years before joining the beefeaters for 20 years. I guarded the Tower of London.

"Should a father not speak to his daughter in her mother tongue?"

Mr Sharp became a Yeoman Warder in 1984 and carried out the daily Ceremony of the Keys to lock the gates of the Tower.

His daughter, who moved to the village to be closer to her father at the end of last year, said: "It’s just not acceptable.

"I have no idea of motivation but I found it very offensive and it caused me a great deal of distress."

The landlady of the pub, which is owned by Scottish and Newcastle but managed by LT Pub Management, declined to comment.

A police spokesman said: "We were called to reports of an alleged prejudice incident at the Packhorse Pub Northborough at 7.20pm.

"Officers attended and spoke to both parties."

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Aussie File Sharing?

Posted by Boghound on February 21, 2012

Australian File-Sharer Recommends  Surrender

An Australian file-sharer who faced a similar extradition process to the UK student Richard O’Dwyer recommends him to give up and go to the United States voluntarily to face the entertainment industry.

Hew Griffiths, the Australian, explained that he was watching O’Dwyer’s case with a sense of foreboding. The matter is that exactly the same thing happened to him a few years ago. A British judge has decided that the 23-year-old UK student, who created an online website for sharing not illegal content itself, but only the links to TV programs hosted elsewhere, should be extradited to America to face trial and up to ten years in prison.

Although this is regarded as the first time that the bizarre, favor the rich and corporate US justice system has applied to some developed democratic country, this has apparently been already seen in the colonies. Hew Griffiths was bundled on a plane to the United States four years ago in a pointless show of America’s corporate power which did little to stem Internet piracy.

Griffiths explained that if he had been charged in Australia he would have got a 6-month suspended sentence along with a $1000 fine as maximum penalty. However, the United States gave him a 6-month prison time after 3 years in Sydney’s Silverwater jail trying to fight extradition. Although he didn’t earn money from helping distribute illegal software, under American law the entertainment industry demanded his hide, and the industry’s cronies in the government were quick to throw the book at Griffiths. After facing with a 10-year jail term, Hew Griffiths struck a plea bargain as there was actually no choice.

Indeed, there was no way he could have proved his case in Virginia, because it was like juries there just listened to the case and declared him guilty before the jury door swings shut. Griffiths recommended that O’Dwyer was better off giving up and going there voluntarily. Of course, he won’t win the case, but in case of delay the prosecutors will also throw the book at him. Griffiths believes that if O’Dwyer offers a deal there would be no problem, because the politicians don’t really want to tie up their prisons.

American authorities understand that the prosecutions are pointless, but they still want to be seen to be acting for corporations like Adobe and Microsoft, though there’s still more piracy in the United States than ever.

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Look Into My Eyes!!

Posted by Boghound on February 20, 2012

Magician claims mass hypnosis

A magician said he broke a world record Friday night in Montreal after reportedly hypnotizing 422 people at once.

Messmer the magician asked the crowd to keep their feet well-anchored on the floor and to cross their hands in front of them with their index fingers pointed towards the ceiling.

Messmer then asked the crowd gathered at the Bell Centre, the home arena of the Montreal Canadiens, to lift their right hand. About 40 volunteers counted how many people hypnotically listened. Messmer claimed he produced the largest collective hypnosis ever.

Next, the participants were asked to put on imaginary helmets and take a ride in the cockpit of a rocket. There, the hypnotized crowd met “Martians” – who were actually those sitting around them in the stands – and were asked to communicate with “ground control.”

Messmer warned the crowd that his show, called “Fascinateur” (Fascinator) would bring them on a “journey to the depths of their subconscious.”

Aided by his two apprentices, Sinclair and Saint-Pierre, Messmer made his audience do all kinds of silly things.

Some of them fell into his arms, others thought they were being swarmed by bees. Many cried, many others laughed. A few men acted out a Western cowboy film.

At one point in the evening audience members signalled to Messmer that some hypnotized people fell asleep in the stands.

“Let them sleep,” the magician ordered. “There is no danger; they will simply catch up on some rest.”

Audience member Marie-Chantal Brien told QMI Agency after the show that she was surprised at how easily she was hypnotized.

“My heart was hurting at the start of the show,” she said. “One of (Messmer’s) assistants came to see me and said the energy will increase and at the count of three, the pain would stop. It worked!”

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