Daily Archives: March 29, 2008

Politkovskaya killer ‘identified’

In Ovi magazine we talked loud about her murder and the responsible which somehow pointed at her worst villain, Vladimir! But now Russian investigators have identified the killer of journalist Anna Politkovskaya, an aide to the prosecutor-general has said.


The suspect was not named, but the official, Vyacheslav Smirnov, said “all measures are being taken to find and detain him”. The shooting of Ms Politkovskaya near her Moscow flat in October 2006 provoked an international outcry.

Former and serving security officers are among nine people charged. Ms Politskovskaya was a leading critic of the Kremlin, especially over its conduct of the war in Chechnya. She exposed atrocities against Chechen civilians by Russian-backed security forces.

Lt Col Pavel Ryaguzov from the Federal Security Service (FSB) is among those charged in the murder investigation, which has now been extended until 7 September. Investigators believe that he could have passed on details of Ms Politkovskaya’s address to another suspect, who in turn gave them to the killer. Her former colleagues at Moscow newspaper Novaya Gazeta accused Kremlin hardliners of interfering in the murder investigation after a lead prosecutor in the case was replaced last September.

Of course our questions remains, even if they find the hand that shot Politkovskaya are they going to find the person who armed the hand?

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Iraqi militia defy to disarm

The radical Shia Iraqi cleric Moqtada Sadr has defied a call by the Iraqi government for his powerful Mehdi Army militia to lay down its weapons.

Arms would only be handed over to an Iraqi government willing to end the US occupation, his senior official in Basra said. Security forces have been trying to wrest control of the southern city and other Shia areas from the Mehdi Army.

Fighting has claimed at least 200 lives across Iraq since Tuesday. US jets have carried out a number of air strikes in Basra, which they say are targeting militant positions.

And now I’m wondering if anybody is surprise from this response!


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Blade runner composer’s birthday

Vangelis Papathanasiou, born March 29, 1943 and he is mostly known through just his first name, has made a remarkable career in music composition.


The musical talents of Vangelis first became obvious at a very early age. His parents tried to encourage him to study with a professional teacher, but he did not respond well to formal education, as he was generally unwilling to follow instructions. At the end of his school years, he and some friends formed a band called “Formynx”, which became popular. In 1968 Vangelis moved to Paris.

Together with Demis Rousos and Lucas Sideras, he formed “Aphrodite’s Child”. This group scored an immediate world wide hit with their first release, “Rain and Tears”. Later on, the band split and he continued solo in Paris writing music for movies.

His career launched and Vangelis received an array of awards, among them an Oscar in 1982 for the soundtrack of the film “Chariots of Fire”. The music of Vangelis is too diverse to be described as pop, rock, classical, jazz, or new age.

Explaining his music, Vangelis says, “All I try to do is let people know what I think through my music. I just bring the music to you and it is up to you to do what you want with it”.


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Democrats to wrap up fight

US Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean has said he would like the party’s presidential nominating contest decided by 1 July to avoid bitter in-fighting.

Mr. Dean told US network ABC he did not want rivalry between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to “degenerate into a big fight at the convention” in August. Mr. Obama has begun a six-day tour of Pennsylvania, which votes on 22 April.

Meanwhile the Republican contender John McCain has aired his first advert aimed at November’s general election. The Arizona senator is effectively guaranteed to pick up his party’s nomination to run for president at the Republican National Convention in September.

In the Democratic contest, Senator Obama is ahead of Senator Clinton in terms of the number of delegates won in the party’s primary elections. But the battle for the presidential nomination seems set to continue all the way to the party’s national convention in late August.

And he’s not the only one; I think everybody had enough of all the dirt thrown around. Is about time Hillary and Obama to wrap out and decide who of the them will be the next …Vice-President of the US.



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Charges dropped

The US military has dropped all charges against one of the marines accused of involvement in the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November 2005.


L/Cpl Stephen Tatum, 26, was about to face a court martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors say that US marines indiscriminately killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in the incident.

Five of the eight men initially accused have now had all charges dismissed. Jack Zimmerman, a defense lawyer for L/Cpl Tatum, said in a statement: “It became clear to the experienced prosecution team that the right thing to do was to dismiss all charges. “We believe the evidence shows that Lance Corporal Tatum reacted to an enemy attack the way he was trained to do.”

The US army is going to leave a lot of bitter feelings in Iraq, far away from the liberator feeling they were hoping for!


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Argentine farmers halt tax strike

Farmers in Argentina have suspended a crippling strike called in protest at rises in export taxes on farm products.


A farmers’ spokesman said the 16-day protest – which included roadblocks and caused food shortages – had been halted to allow talks with the government. Argentine President Cristina Fernandez had refused to negotiate with them until the action was stopped.

She says the taxes will redistribute wealth, but farmers say they and their communities will be hit hard. “What we’ve decided is to allow free transit on the roads while these talks go on,”

So the strike is over but …not exactly over!


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Apologies for the …ghost

A hospital has apologized to a patient after a nurse claiming to be a medium said she had seen a ghost on a ward.


Gillian Davies, who was recovering from surgery, complained about the incident and the level of care she received at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Denbighshire. An independent review ruled that the hospital “skirted over” the ghost incident, and the nursing care given to Mrs. Davies fell below standard.

Mrs. Davies, 48, of Mostyn, Flintshire, said she wanted lessons to be learned. She was convalescing following an operation to remove one of her breasts when a nurse who claimed to be a medium said she had just seen a ghost.

Let’s hope that the treatment in that hospital and the therapeutic methods are not …ghosted too!


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