World

A look inside North Korea

Photographs taken from inside North Korea give a rare glimpse of everyday life for residents living inside the notorious hermit kingdom.

Two Associated Press photojournalists, Eric Talmadge and David Guttenfelder, were granted unprecedented access to travel across the country – while accompanied by a minder at all times, of course.

Their photos from the trip provide some insight into life as a citizen in the North and come in stark contrast to the propaganda released by the state, where leader Kim Jong-un invariably takes centre stage.

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How’s that socialism thing going for Venezuela?

How’s that socialism thing going for Venezuela?

Not so well apparently.

Amid worsening shortages, Venezuela recently reached a milestone of dubious distinction: It has joined the ranks of North Korea and Cuba in rationing food for its citizens.

On a recent, muggy morning, Maria Varge stood in line outside a Centro 99 grocery store, ready to scour the shelves for scarce items like cooking oil and milk. But before entering, Ms. Varge had to scan her fingerprint to ensure she wouldn’t buy more than her share.

Despite its technological twist on the old allotment booklet, Venezuela’s new program of rationing is infuriating consumers who say it creates tiresome waits, doesn’t relieve shortages and overlooks the far-reaching economic overhauls the country needs to resolve the problem.

“These machines make longer lines,” said Ms. Varge, 50, as she was jostled by people in line, “but you get inside, and they still don’t have what you want.”   Read more »

Hasn’t he heard of the benefits of practice?

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A man blamed his small penis for his girlfriend breaking up with him and decided to chop it off with a razor.

But after cutting off his organ and throwing it in a bin, 22-year-old Oliver Ilic, was unable to stop the bleeding.

He called emergency services and was taken to a hospital in Kocani, Macedonia, where he told medics he had decided to cut it off because it was no use.

He explained his girlfriend had ended their relationship after telling him he was not good in bed.

That’s taking it a little too seriously.  Definitely a glass half empty sort of person.   Read more »

Dirty Politics UK style

There is a lot of talk about ‘Dirty Politics’.

As a long term left wing agtator told me last week over a beer…it wasn’t dirty politics…I was just politics.

Right now in the UK a similar story is unfolding, where the media are hunting after Guido Fawkes aka Paul Staines and his links with PM David Cameron.

Guido operates in many respects just like I do…and just like me he kicks his own team in the slats.

The Prime Minister is the last person you would expect to find honouring rogue political blogger Guido Fawkes, who has just brought down one of his ministers.

But David Cameron appeared as guest of honour via a video link at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the controversial website.

Just three weeks ago, Brooks Newmark resigned as Minister for Civil Society, causing the PM immense embarrassment as it was on the eve of the Conservative Party Conference.

This followed the Tory MP being enticed into sending explicit pictures of himself to a male reporter, posing as an attractive young woman, who was working for Guido Fawkes.

Fawkes then hawked the story around Fleet Street before it was eventually published by the Sunday Mirror.

The dubious journalistic methods employed were so contentious that two newspapers refused to publish the story and the Sunday Mirror, which did, is being investigated by the new press watchdog IPSO.

Yet, in his message broadcast at the dinner, the Prime Minister saw fit to condone such behaviour, praising Fawkes (real name Paul Staines) and his website as ‘required reading’.

‘Congratulations on ten years of Guido Fawkes,’ said Cameron, ‘and what better way to celebrate a decade of rejecting the cosy political establishment than by hosting a cocktail reception and a dinner in the heart of Westminster with half the Cabinet and the lobby invited.

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Is this how Ebola will spread around New Zealand?

Doesn’t matter how many people are ready for Ebola.  It doesn’t matter how well trained they are.  It doesn’t matter if we have the facilities and equipment.

It’s going to come down to something like this

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As a demonstration of how well-drilled New York City officials are in how to deal with Ebola, it left a lot to be desired.

Two New York City police officers who attended the Harlem apartment building of Dr Craig Spencer – the first confirmed Ebola case in the city – were observed afterward dumping their protective gear and caution tape in a garbage bin on the street.

While it was not immediately clear if the two officers had been inside Dr Spencer’s apartment, the episode had many people asking if the equipment should not have been disposed of in a biohazard bag – even if only as a precaution.

The other day it was the “clipboard guy” that walked up to fully biohazard suited people transporting a suspected Ebola patient, and now we have this.  If there is going to be a failure to contain the disease, it won’t be because of a mistake made by front line people.    Read more »

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Mona’s first shot: $23 mil please

Just as an aside, for Kim Dotcom fans, you may have noticed that as soon as Kim stopped being an idiot, he stopped being the center of attention on Whaleoil too.   Of course, as he pops back into the news, I’ll revisit his story.

Today, David ‘Tainted’ Fisher is still milking Mrs Dotcom, as it is clear Mr Dotcom no longer wants to have anything to do with him (one of the few things Dotcom and I agree on then).

Mona Dotcom has staked a $23 million claim on the fortune of her estranged husband, Kim Dotcom, saying half of what was seized in the FBI-initiated raid belongs to her.

In legal papers filed in the United States, Mrs Dotcom says she has a legal claim over assets and cash caught up in the case.

Her claim, according to the court documents, is 50 per cent of everything owned by Kim Dotcom that was seized in the raid. It does not include any claim she might make on the new fortune created through the post-raid business, the encrypted Cloud storage site Mega.

Her claim includes half-shares in the luxury cars seized from the mansion on the day of the January 2012 police raid, jetskis, massive TV screens worth $185,000 each, and artworks.

The document also reveals how after the Dotcom family arrived for a holiday in March 2010, the tycoon splurged $2.3 million buying eight luxury vehicles throughout his three-month stay – including two Mercedes on one day – before flying out again on a private jet.

“I make the … property claims based on the legal advice of my marital property counsel in New Zealand and my understanding of the applicable property laws,” Mrs Dotcom said in the court filing.

It’s a pointless move.  But worth the lottery ticket.

What’s much more interesting is that under New Zealand’s no fault divorce law, she’s due half of whatever Kim Dotcom can claim as assets.

I’m keeping a very close eye on this asset business, because Kim has a substantial amount of wealth stashed away in Bitcoins.  I would imagine he’s not declaring those as part of his assets, but Mona may very well know about them, so she could upset the apple cart by putting in a claim on half of those.

Bitcoins are a great money laundering device, they are a great way to transport money between countries outside of the banking, taxation and legal systems, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Kim has thought ahead here.

Dotcom’s lawyers have asked the courts to reject the bid, saying the original criminal case was already without warrant and the civil forfeiture case added an unfair burden.

Dotcom told the Herald he would make no comment on matters involving Mrs Dotcom.

The tycoon has shunned New Zealand media since the election [He won't talk to Tainted Fisher! hehe], aside from occasional tweets. But he made one media appearance in an online New Yorkerinterview in which he blamed the FBI case for the end of his five-year marriage.

“My wife and I, we were happy before the case,” he said. “We were living in this completely happy bubble in our happy world and we didn’t have any issues.”

He could still be doing that, if it wasn’t for messing with one person that he completely underestimated.  The media were all on his side.  I was a lone voice in the wilderness for years.

But now I’m the evil guy, still, somehow, and he’s hard done by?

He should really make arrangements to leave New Zealand, if he hasn’t already.  If he thinks his happy bubble was shattered, he’ll look back on how his life is right now and think it much preferable to what lies in the future.

 

– NZ Herald

 

Whaleoil now part of Google’s “dark net”

Seems the European Data law that forces Google to filter search results with certain, erm, search results, has hit us too.

Due to a request under data protection law in Europe, we are no longer able to show one or more pages from your site in our search results in response to some search queries for names or other personal identifiers. Only results on European versions of Google are affected. No action is required from you.
These pages have not been blocked entirely from our search results, and will continue to appear for queries other than those specified by individuals in the European data protection law requests we have honored. Unfortunately, due to individual privacy concerns, we are not able to disclose which queries have been affected.

Please note that in many cases, the affected queries do not relate to the name of any person mentioned prominently on the page. For example, in some cases, the name may appear only in a comment section.

The following URLs have been affected by this action:

http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2010/04/page/6/
http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2010/page/147/

So, you too, as commenters anyway, are possibly censored.   Read more »

Step 1: Chemical weapons captured Step 2: MIG fighters Step 3: Chemical weapons used

…or so it is claimed.

The play to get the world behind boots on the ground action is marching on.

Dizzy, vomiting and struggling to breathe, 11 Iraqi police officers were rushed to a government hospital 80km north of the capital last month. The diagnosis: poisoning by chlorine gas. The perpetrators, according to the officers: Islamic State extremists.

The chlorine attack appears to be the first confirmed use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State on the battlefield. An Iraqi Defence Ministry official corroborated it, and doctors said survivors’ symptoms were consistent with chlorine poisoning.

I love the “appears to be” leading to the use of “confirmed”.  It’s skillful, no?

It is one of three crude chlorine attacks that Iraqi forces say have occurred since the extremists seized vast tracts of Iraqi territory this summer, although details on the other two incidents remain sketchy. The reported assaults raise concerns that the militants are attempting to hone their chemical weapons capabilities as they push to seize more ground.

Say to  have occurred.   Read more »

Where in the world is Kimmy?

 

Can you spot Kim Dotcom?

Wembley Legends Join Where’s Wally? For 25th Anniversary

Click the image for a larger version

Here is a little game. (Or is it?)  Where is Kimmy?   Is he still in New Zealand, or has he quietly slipped away, relying on his Bitcoins to see him through?

 

 

Malaysian diplomat in a New Zealand court about now

The Malaysian diplomat accused of assaulting a Wellington woman has been ushered onto a plane to Auckland [last night], his departure from Kuala Lumpur kept out of the public eye.

News media at Kuala Lumpur International Airport told Stuff that Muhammad Rizalman bin Ismail went through a “special entrance” onto his flight.

Rizalman arrived in Auckland around midnight, and traveled on to Wellington where he is to appear in court this morning.

New Zealand formally filed an extradition request in recent weeks for Malaysia to return Rizalman so that he could appear in court in New Zealand. He left the country five months ago.

Rizalman was arrested on May 10, and charged by Wellington police with burglary and assault with intent to rape relating to an alleged attack on Tania Billingsley, 22, in the Wellington suburb of Brooklyn. Read more »