Friday, 30 December 2011

Internet warning over Turangi attack accused

Stuff NZ
"A senior law professor is warning websites and Facebook users they must not publish the name of the teenager accused in connection with the Turangi attack on a five-year-old girl. The 16-year-old appeared in Taupo Youth Court yesterday. People commenting on some special interest websites have named the accused, with one of those comments also saying the name was all over Facebook. Professor Ursula Cheer, from Canterbury University's school of law, said the name of anyone appearing in the Youth Court was suppressed and could not be published anywhere."
Turangi boy arrested over attack on girl
Girl, 5, attacked in holiday park
"Loper said the attack on the girl, who was on holiday with her family from Europe, was one of the worst assaults on a child he had seen in his 28 years policing."

Economists estimate a '30% to 40% chance of a break-up of the euro in 2012'

Daily Mail
"A majority of economists put the possibility of a eurozone break-up at 30-40 per cent in 2012, according to the results of a BBC poll - and 20 per cent even state the eurozone will not exist in its current 17-member form next year. Nearly all of those polled predicted that Europe would return to recession in the new year as the continent struggles to get to grips with its debt crisis."

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Turangi attack: Furious public confront teen

Stuff NZ
"Outside Taupo Youth Court no-one wants to give their name, inside most names have to remain secret. Everything about the accused is suppressed except this: he is 16, a male, and will be back in this room on January 12. He does not want to apply for bail. He wears a T-shirt and has bare feet.The victim is five and foreign, her family surrounded now by an aching love that renders $52,000 and counting and more teddy bears and flowers than can be kept. She was attacked while she slept in a caravan at Turangi's Club Habitat motor camp on December 21.There is a crowd interested in the teen, too. Many are right by the side gate, bolshie and mouthy. They call him a paedophile and an animal and tell him he will be judged."

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Turangi tourist attack: Parents relieved at arrest

Stuff NZ
"The parents of the five-year-old European girl savagely attacked at a holiday park are relieved a Turangi teenager has been arrested. The 16-year-old boy will appear in court today charged with sexual violation, aggravated wounding and burglary.Injuries to the girl's head, face and body required four hours of surgery after the attack last Wednesday."

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Please forgive us, Kiwis beg girl

Stuff NZ
"The girl, believed to be from Belgium, was asleep with her 3-year-old brother in a caravan at Club Habitat holiday park when she was attacked between 10.10pm and 10.40pm last Wednesday.She needed four hours of surgery for injuries to her head, face and body."
Hunt for campground child attacker widens
"The attack at the Turangi holiday camp was discovered when the girl's mother returned from the amenities block and saw through the caravan window a man lying on top of her daughter."

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

'Send a nuclear submarine to stick its mast up': Former Navy head calls for aggressive reaction as Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay move to blockade Falklands

Daily Mail
"Speaking to London's Evening Standard, he said: 'They are basically becoming more and more aggressive. I find that worrying. 'Far from trying to settle in a grown-up way and having better and better relations with the Falkland islanders, they are upping the ante and becoming confrontational.' He added that he did not believe Argentina would launch another invasion, but that sending a nuclear submarine to 'stick its mast up' as it patrolled the area would signal Britain's intent. The former First Sea Lord, who commanded HMS Ardent on which 22 crew were killed during the Falklands War in 1982, added: 'When one is there, we should make a point of making it clear that it is there.'

South America gangs up to blockade the Falklands: Islands' boats banned from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay

Daily Mail
#Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay vote for blockade to show solidarity
#Falklands resident says: 'If we were Palestine, the EU would be up in arms'
#Argentina reignited claim to territory last year after oil companies began looking for fossil fuels
#Fishing vessels with UK licences already subjected to military searches off Argentina coast

Monday, 19 December 2011

Why the euro turkey is well and truly stuffed

"The sideshow of David Cameron’s veto will soon be upstaged by the single currency's combustion and the immolation of its weaker members’ economies. Confounded by the triumph of remorseless debt over political will, EU leaders have succumbed to collective delirium, promising that future government budgets will be “balanced or in surplus” and that annual structural deficits will “not exceed 0.5 per cent of nominal gross domestic product”. There is not one chance in a million that this can be achieved by more than a handful of EU states. When fantasy masquerades as action, the end is nigh"

Tony Blair has rewritten history – without modesty or shame

"It's in there, but you'll have to dig for it. Buried deep under many layers of self-exculpatory humbug, on p524, is the formula for Tony Blair's approach to political alchemy. You'll find it in the chapter about New Labour's disgraceful acceptance of illegal immigration during its first two terms in government. Heaping praise on himself for shutting down Opposition attacks over the issue in the run-up to the 2005 election, Mr Blair reveals his ruthless blend of tactics and chicanery: "confess and avoid".

This is the way it works for lawyers, he says, and as a barrister who gave up his practice for the rough trade of politics, Mr Blair was perfectly placed to adopt and adapt it while in Downing Street. Right across domestic, foreign and economic affairs, he mastered the art of defending the indefensible, Westminster's version of a Queen's Counsel who advocates a client's innocence with passion, while knowing for sure that the accused is guilty.

Throughout A Journey, Mr Blair's 700-page tribute to what passes for his legacy, he demonstrates with remarkable impertinence the art of appearing to own up, while dodging responsibility and blaming others. To make this work, he concedes some mistakes here and there (the foxhunting ban). In doing so, he sounds much like a bank robber who confesses to shoplifting sweets, but avoids any mention of the bullion heist from Heathrow.

When the wheels finally dropped off New Labour's charabanc at the last election, with rejection by 70 per cent of voters, it left behind an economy in a frightful mess. Unemployment was higher than in 1997, so, too, welfare dependency and personal bankruptcies. Private pensions had been vandalised and public finances were an utter disgrace, with the government spending about £150 billion a year more than it was receiving in taxes. The future was mortgaged to pay for a fiesta of mismanagement. "

Saturday, 17 December 2011

French are felled by triple whammy: Now it's Sarkozy who's out on a limb as UK banks pull funds, Germans side with Cameron and CLEGG attacks their PM

Daily Mail
*Nervous banks pulled £20bn out of France between July and September
*Merkel says she wants to resist Sarkozy's plans to redraw EU rules
*Ratings agency considering downgrading ratings of Italy, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Slovenia and Cyprus

*Standard & Poor’s puts France on warning that its AAA credit rating is at risk while Britain’s is 'stable'

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Yes, Cameron got it right: Most voters agree with PM vetoing treaty changes - and half think we should now quit the EU

Daily Mail

Eurozone leaders duck all the big issues

"The EU treaty agreement reached by eurozone leaders last week isolated Britain and proposed a new 'fiscal compact’, but in reality it looks like just a 'lousy compromise’.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Ten myths about Cameron’s EU veto

"So leaving misconceptions and domestic politics aside, did Cameron ‘trip over his own red line’ by spending a veto without actually getting any specific safeguards in return? There is a risk. But the truth is that it all depends on what happens next. As dramatic as Cameron’s veto may seem now, I suspect it is merely one of many acts."

EU Treaty: after a feat close to genius, David Cameron’s status is now as high as it has ever been

"Instead Cameron has achieved an outcome that I would previously have judged wholly impossible. He has led Britain into a position where it is outnumbered 26-1 in Europe, and yet retained the support of the fanatically pro-Brussels Liberal Democrats.

On Friday night it was not just Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who were rallying round the Government. So were backbenchers such as Sir Menzies Campbell, the powerful Lib Dem grandee, although some colleagues accused their leader of betrayal. So an extraordinary new alliance had been created: Cameron’s policy of principled, reasonable isolation is backed by the mutinous Tory Right, the pro-European Conservative Left and the Europhile Lib Dems.

It takes something close to genius to bring together such a warring group of diehard ideological opponents. Yet against all the odds and in defiance of conventional wisdom Cameron has achieved it. .......He won out because he played it straight. He wanted to do the right thing by Europe and by Britain. The evidence suggests that he was motivated by nothing more sophisticated than a determination to conduct himself with integrity and to act in the national interest. ......The Prime Minister has shown yet again that he is a most formidable politician, especially when he looks trapped with the odds cast against him."

Friday, 9 December 2011

Lisbon Treaty

PM finally gets tough with Europe: David Cameron vetoes new treaty to save the euro and hand more power to Brussels

Daily Mail
#Only UK and Hungary certain to stay out of new grouping - and Sweden and Czech Republic may join them in two-tier EU
#After 10 hours of talks 17 Eurozone members and six other countries decide to go ahead with a 'fiscal pact'
#PM defiant as he declares: 'I had to pursue Britain's interests... I effectively wielded the veto'
#French President Sarkozy says Cameron's demands were 'unacceptable'
#William Hague: 'We are not going to give up more of our power from the United Kingdom to the European Union, so in that sense we stand aside'
#City analyst: 'The PM was never going to throw away the advantage the UK holds in financial services, and thank goodness. In the boom times financial services account for one in six pounds collected in tax.'
#Shares and commodities fall in Asia after meeting ends
#Rise in Italian and Spanish bond yields this morning

New treaty to save euro splits European Union

AP/Yahoo News
"BRUSSELS (AP) — The leaders of 23 European countries moved to tie their economies much closer together in a new treaty in their latest attempt to shore up the euro, but failed to get the four other European Union members, including Britain, to join in. ......The failure of the EU to get unanimous support for more stringent budgetary rules may rattle the foundations of a union created to foster peace and prosperity across Europe following World War II.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy laid the blame at the feet of British Prime Minister David Cameron. ......Cameron defended his stance. "What was on offer is not in Britain's interest so I didn't agree to it," he told reporters in Brussels."We're not in the euro and I'm glad we're not in the euro," he said. "We're never going to join the euro and we're never going to give up this kind of sovereignty that these countries are having to give up."

Thursday, 8 December 2011

The BOE's Role in the Long U.K. Slowdown

"Indeed, the start of the U.K downturn can be dated almost precisely to Mr. King's public demand in the middle of August 2010 that banks start repaying the BOE and treasury's emergency funding facilities early. That forced banks to raise expensive debt, slashing margins, while restricting the availability and raise the price of new lending. The U.K. banking sector was dealt a further blow in April when the Independent Banking Commission, set up partly in response to Mr. King's apparent support for breaking up banks, recommended domestic retail banking businesses be ring-fenced—a decision that has left U.K. banks among the worst performers and lowest valued in Europe. Even though the ICB watered down its final recommendations, few would now dispute the ring-fence proposal is at best a costly irrelevance, at worst a grotesque act of self-harm.

U.K. policy makers miscalculated. Academic theory convinced them that if they told banks to raise capital and liquidity ratios, banks would go out and issue new shares and bonds; and they believed investors would be happy to provide the capital even if the bank earned a lower return on equity since the bank would be safer. In the event, investors saw things differently: They didn't see why highly leveraged banks should earn a lower rate of return than the wider market. And they pressured banks to shrink their balance sheets to meet both new regulatory-capital and liquidity targets and the market's return-on-equity targets and they pressured them to do it immediately, ignoring the lengthy Basel timetable. This dynamic that has led to a mortgage famine and a credit crunch for small and medium-sized enterprises; credit supply is shrinking and money supply growth has been virtually stagnant."

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Why the euro liars must stop deceiving us - and themselves

Daily Mail
"Nobody dares to tell the truth to their electorates: that the governments of Europe are embracing policies which are both wildly anti-democratic and cannot work. ....The truth is that the European financial crisis has laid bare the fact that Greece, together probably with Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Italy, are inherently unsuited to living within the financial discipline the euro requires."

Monday, 5 December 2011

Beware the Euro spin...

Douglas Carswell MP (Commentator)
""An EU referendum would plunge Britain's economy into chaos"

Not true. The British economy is in a mess because successive governments have spent way beyond what the tax base can sustain. Governments of all three parties have acted as though they could engineer growth using monetary (and to some extent fiscal) stimulus. It has not worked, instead sowing the seeds of disaster; a credit bubble and bust, plus chronic malinvestment.

Holding a vote on Europe would, of itself, be no more economically disruptive than one on, say, AV or electoral reform.

Voting to quit the EU, however, might just enable us to begin to make some of the supply-side reforms needed to make Britain competitive in the longer term."

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Dirty Hari

"The second scandal involved the exposure of Johann Hari​, the celebrated young columnist and media personality, as a plagiarist, fabricator, and user of Internet aliases to carry out smear campaigns against his enemies and to promote his own career. The Hari affair provoked less consternation—though it arguably offers as troubling a picture of the state of British journalism as the hacking scandal does. Indeed, the response to the scandal from Hari’s employers at the Independent and from much of the media establishment was arguably even more revealing of a deficit in the ethics of British media culture than were Hari’s original derelictions.

Like several rising stars in American journalism over the past three decades—the Washington Post’s Janet Cooke in the early 1980s, the New Republic’s Ruth Shalit and Stephen Glass in the 1990s, and the New York Times’s Jayson Blair in the early 2000s—Hari, now just 31, achieved his rapid success at a startlingly young age in large part thanks to his deceptions and fabrications. These went undetected for a long time because editors chose not to examine his work too closely. In Hari’s case (as in the case of Glass), his editors did not check his work because he skillfully played to their prejudices, in particular their anti-Americanism and loathing of Israel.

The reaction to his journalistic crimes stood in stark contrast to the American response to Glass and others. Hari’s sins were not greeted with the outrage, disappointment, and deep soul-searching of the sort that went on at all three American journalistic establishments—which led to editors being fired and new standards of exactitude being imposed—but rather with a blasé wave of the hand. In America, if a journalist is caught in repeated invention and deliberate dishonesty, his or her career ends. Not so in Britain. Hari was merely suspended from the Independent and is due to return to it after completing a journalism class in New York."

Friday, 2 December 2011

How India squanders British aid: We give £1.4bn to a country that has its own space programme. In this damning investigation, the Mail reveals how it's scandalously wasted

Daily Mail
"But if this is a nation with enormous reserves of wealth, it is also blighted by widespread and endemic corruption at every level of society.

An official report has revealed that 90 per cent of government officials have accepted a bribe for favours, from ripping up a speeding fine to rubber-stamping a building deal. Corruption, as the Indian prime minister confessed the other day, is as much a national sport as cricket.

No wonder that in broke Britain questions are at last being asked about why we are handing billions to India in aid. A new report from an independent watchdog says that the rapid expansion of the UK’s aid programme has left taxpayers’ money at risk from corruption and fraud overseas."

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Central banks hand out more cash - it ain't going to work this time either

Douglas Carswell
"What makes anyone believe that making lots of cheap cash available to banks is going to work this time? Isn't that pretty much what central banks have been doing ever since the credit crunch first struck. It's hardly fixed the problem, has it? Indeed, it has been central banks making lots of cheap cash and credit available for the past twenty something years that landed us in this mess to start with."

There's An Easy, Fair Solution To The Global Debt Crisis -- Too Bad No One Ever Talks About It

"The global debt crisis, of course, is nothing new. Since the dawn of time, men have been lending other men money (or other things of value) and not getting them back. But it's only recently that the solution to this state of affairs has gotten so complicated that even PhD economists can't figure it out. In most situations in which people or companies can't pay their debts, a simple thing happens.

It's called "bankruptcy."

The borrower says, "I can't pay you back" and then the borrower surrenders his or her claim on any assets that he or she still possesses.The lender, meanwhile, sifts through those assets and recoups what he or she can."

Guido Fawkes evidence may backfire on Leveson Inquiry

"Come back, Alastair, all is forgiven

Campbell's evidence yesterday discombobulated Ian Kirby, who was political editor of the News of the World for many years until the paper's demise. "I never knew there were two Alastair Campbells," he wrote on his Facebook wall. "The one I know told me Peter Mandelson was insane, but insisted I used it anonymously, persuaded Tony Blair to change the law in response to News of the World campaigns, spent years trying to befriend the Daily Mail and invented the claim that Sir John Major wore his shirt tucked in his underpants.

"He also encouraged me and Andy Coulson to ask Tony Blair if he and Cherie were in the Mile-High Club to make a good headline. I'm worried that AC has been kidnapped and no one noticed."