Guess Who Leads the Bribery World?
The USA is the most corrupt country in the world and I have 10,000 posts that point heavily to that fact…

Gunman identified in Hollywood shooting December 11, 2011

Los Angeles (CNN) — Authorities on Saturday identified a gunman killed by police after he opened fire at passing vehicles along a downtown street in Hollywood.

But they said they don’t know why Tyler Brehm, 26, went on a surreal shooting rampage captured on amateur video Friday.

The video shows Brehm walking down Sunset Boulevard, wielding a handgun and firing at vehicles, seemingly at random. Brehm fired a “significant number” of rounds, wounding three, police said.

He then returned to an intersection, where he was confronted by a plainclothes police detective and an off-duty police officer working on a nearby movie set, officials said.

LAPD: no motive for shooting spree

“At that point the police ordered him to drop his weapon and he pointed his gun at the police and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Mitzi Fierro said on CNN.

Brehm died at a nearby hospital, a police statement said.

Christopher Johns filmed much of the five-minute scene from his apartment window and can be heard shouting at Brehm throughout.

“Why don’t you come up here?” he yelled, later describing that he intended to distract the gunman.

“If people down there at point-blank range to the shooter were going to get shot, they were helpless to avoid being killed,” Johns told CNN. “Me, I’m four stories up. If I can take any of his attention and divert it towards me … I would have an opportunity to get out of the way.”

“I’m screaming anything I can” in an effort to disrupt the shooting, Johns said.

At one point, Brehm spoke with Johns, asking him for ammunition and to call an ambulance.

Fierro said it appeared Johns could interact with the suspect without jeopardizing his safety.

“It appears from the video that he was able to distract the suspect and keep him from shooting at additional people before the police arrived,” she said.

Police have contacted Brehm’s family back east and are talking to acquaintances.

“So far we haven’t been able to piece together really why he did it,” Fierro told CNN Saturday evening.

Three people were injured during Friday’s incident, including one man in silver Mercedes-Benz sedan who was shot multiple times in the face and upper torso, Fierro said. Two others suffered minor injuries.

The current status of the man in the car was unknown Saturday.

“We’re very fortunate that more people weren’t injured during this incident,” Fierro said.

Witnesses were stunned by the shooting rampage.

“A car drove by and he just shot right into the car,” Amy Torgeson told CNN affiliate KABC. “He was just shooting everywhere.”

Torgeson said vehicles began “swerving and braking,” and she sought cover at a nearby bank.


Share this on:
Comments (0)

Iowa Republican debate: Gingrich banks Romney’s ‘$10,000 bet’ gaffe

The Republican frontrunner Newt Gingrich came under sustained fire throughout a two-hour televised debate in Iowa on Saturday night as rivals ranged wide over his views on the Middle East, his work as a lobbyist and his sex life.

With 24 days left to the Iowa caucus and only one more scheduled debate left, time is running out Gingrich’s rivals to cut into his double-digit poll leads.

His main rival, Mitt Romney, had a poor night. When everything else about this debate is forgotten it will still be remembered for Romney’s extraordinary bet with Texas governor Rick Perry over a point about healthcare.

Romney, who is worth between $190m and $250m, bet Perry $10,000 he was wrong, a challenge Perry turned down. Spin doctors for Romney’s rivals were quick to point out that the $10,000 line would harm him with voters, consolidating his reputation as being very rich. Few in Iowa, even if they were sure of a point, would dream of betting such an amount, one of Perry’s spin doctors said.

Gingrich escaped unscathed from the barbs and may even have strengthened his position with a performance that was composed and relaxed. At times in earlier debates Gingrich has been grumpy, but a relatively soft version turned up last night.

The closest he came to losing his temper came was when Romney, his main rival for the party nomination to take on Barack Obama next year, was asked what the main differences were between the two. Romney returned to his criticism that Gingrich was a career politician while he had spent his “life in the private sector”.

Gingrich, the former House speaker who has a reputation as a punchy debater, replied that Romney would have been a career politician for the last 17 years if he had not lost his bid for the Senate. “Let’s be candid. The only reason you didn’t become a career politician is you lost to Teddy Kennedy in 1994,” Gingrich said.

The latest poll in Iowa has Gingrich on 33%, Romney 20%, Ron Paul 17%, Perry 9%, Bachman 7%, Santorum 5% and Huntsman 1%. Huntsman was the only one not present, speaking instead at a town hall meeting in New Hampshire, the next contest after Iowa.

Perry, who has fought a disastrous campaign so far, had his best debate night. Although low in the polls, he is planning to spend almost every day between now and January 3 in Iowa, other than a break for Christmas, and has millions of dollars to back his final push.

In the spin room afterwards, Romney’s spokesman Eric Fehrnstromm laughed off the $10,000 bet, saying it was like a family member jokily betting $1m.

Bachman, Santorum and Paul were left as bystanders for much of the night.

In previous debates Gingrich was often on the sidelines, carping at the press for trying to create artificial divisions between the candidates, a line that went down well with Republicans. But his new eminence in the polls made him the target for most of the debate.

Bachman stood by her remark that he was a crony capitalist for taking money for lobbying, and Paul backed her up, also standing by his remark that Gingrich was a serial hypocrite.

Gingrich is three times married, after two affairs, having asked his second wife for divorce as she was in hospital recovering from a cancer operation. Perry, without naming Gingrich, said he had only one wife and had taken a vow to God – and that “if you cheat on your wife, you will cheat on your business partner … or anyone for that matter”.

The former speaker said he had made mistakes in his personal life and had had that discussion with God.

Romney raised Gingrich’s remarks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, describing as “incendiary” Gingrich’s claim that Palestinians were an “invented people”. Gingrich said it was historically true and that they had been part of the Ottoman Empire. He said he would tell the truth and accused Romney of being timid.

Gingrich said the Palestinians were still firing rockets at Israel – which is true – and said they included wild anti-semitic smears in their schoolbooks paid for by America – a charge that was once true but which Palestinians say is no longer the case.

Comments (0)

Yahoo shares up on Alibaba report December 3, 2011

There has been growing speculation about Alibaba preparing a takeover bid for Yahoo

Shares in Yahoo rose on reports that China’s Alibaba Group was preparing a takeover bid with private equity firms Blackstone and Bain Capital.

Yahoo shares ended Thursday trading on the Nasdaq tech exchange 3.3% higher, having been 4.8% up at one point.

Unconfirmed reports said the consortium may pay up to $20 per share – well above Thursday’s close of $16.23 – valuing Yahoo at $25bn (£16bn).

Alibaba, one of China’s top internet firms, said it was weighing options.

“Alibaba Group has not made a decision to be part of a whole company bid for Yahoo,” said John Spelich, spokesman of Alibaba Group.

Buying back stake?

Alibaba has had a long association with Yahoo, but relations have taken a turn for the worse in recent years.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

Alibaba definitely wants to get its stake back from Yahoo, so whatever can make that happen, they will try for it”

End Quote
Dick Wei
JP Morgan

The two companies came together after Yahoo bought a 43% stake in Alibaba in 2005 for $1bn.

However, things between the two have not worked out as planned, prompting Alibaba to try and buy back its stake.

The relations hit a turning point earlier this year after Alibaba spun off its online payment business, Alipay, effectively putting it out of the reach of Yahoo.

Yahoo accused the Chinese company of hiding the switch from it, saying the change had been made in August 2010, but it only found out about it in March this year.

Analysts said Alibaba’s interest in bidding for Yahoo was being dictated in part by its efforts to get back full control of its own company.

“Alibaba definitely wants to get its stake back from Yahoo, so whatever can make that happen, they will try for it,” said Dick Wei of JP Morgan in Hong Kong.

Contrasting fortunes

Yahoo has been struggling to keep hold of its market share amid growing competition from the likes of Google and Facebook.

Its failure to do so resulted in chief executive Carol Bartz being fired earlier this year, and the company launching a strategic review of its operations.

While Yahoo has seen its fortunes fall, Alibaba Group has been growing robustly, helped by a boom in the Chinese internet market.

With more than 500 million users, China is the world’s biggest online market and it is is expanding at a rapid pace.

Alibaba has cashed in on the growth. The group’s online shopping website Taobao is the largest in China and boasts 50 million unique visitors a day.

It has become the top destination for almost three-quarters of the country’s online shoppers.

It hosts 30,000 online stores, and about 53,000 items are sold on the Taobao website every minute.

Comments (0)

Pakistanis Tied to 2007 Border Attack on Americans September 28, 2011

An American major was killed and three American officers were wounded, along with their Afghan interpreter, in what fresh accounts from the Afghan and American officers who were there reveal was a complex, calculated assault by a nominal ally. The Pakistanis opened fire on the Americans, who returned fire before escaping in a blood-soaked Black Hawk helicopter.

The attack, in Teri Mangal on May 14, 2007, was kept quiet by Washington, which for much of a decade has seemed to play down or ignore signals that Pakistan would pursue its own interests, or even sometimes behave as an enemy.

The reconstruction of the attack, which several officials suggested was revenge for Afghan or Pakistani deaths at American hands, takes on new relevance given the worsening rupture in relations between Washington and Islamabad, which has often been restrained by Pakistan’s strategic importance.

The details of the ambush indicate that Americans were keenly aware of Pakistan’s sometimes duplicitous role long before Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate last week that Pakistan’s intelligence service was undermining efforts in Afghanistan and had supported insurgents who attacked the American Embassy in Kabul this month.

Though both sides kept any deeper investigations of the ambush under wraps, even at the time it was seen as a turning point by officials managing day-to-day relations with Pakistan.

Pakistani officials first attributed the attack to militants, then, when pressed to investigate, to a single rogue soldier from the Frontier Corps, the poorly controlled tribal militia that guards the border region. To this day, none of the governments have publicly clarified what happened, hoping to limit damage to relations. Both the American and Pakistani military investigations remain classified.

“The official line covered over the details in the interests of keeping the relationship with Pakistan intact,” said a former United Nations official who served in eastern Afghanistan and was briefed on the events immediately after they occurred.

“At that time in May 2007, you had a lot of analysis pointing to the role of Pakistan in destabilizing that part of Afghanistan, and here you had a case in point, and for whatever reason it was glossed over,” he said. The official did not want to be named for fear of alienating the Pakistanis, with whom he must still work.

Exactly why the Pakistanis might have chosen Teri Mangal to make a stand, and at what level the decision was made, remain unclear. Requests to the Pakistani military for information and interviews for this article were not answered. One Pakistani official who was present at the meeting indicated that the issue was too sensitive to be discussed with a journalist. Brig. Gen. Martin Schweitzer, the American commander in eastern Afghanistan at the time, whose troops were involved, also declined to be interviewed.

At first, the meeting to resolve the border dispute seemed a success. Despite some tense moments, the delegations ate lunch together, exchanged phone numbers and made plans to meet again. Then, as the Americans and Afghans prepared to leave, the Pakistanis opened fire without warning. The assault involved multiple gunmen, Pakistani intelligence agents and military officers, and an attempt to kidnap or draw away the senior American and Afghan officials.

American officials familiar with Pakistan say that the attack fit a pattern. The Pakistanis often seemed to retaliate for losses they had suffered in an accidental attack by United States forces with a deliberate assault on American troops, most probably to maintain morale among their own troops or to make a point to the Americans that they could not be pushed around, said a former American military officer who served in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Looking back, there were always these attacks that could possibly be attributed to deliberate retaliation,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because his job does not permit him to talk to journalists. Pakistani forces had suffered losses before the May 14 attack, he added.

As with so many problems with Pakistan, the case was left to fester. It has since become an enduring emblem of the distrust that has poisoned relations but that is bared only at critical junctures, like Teri Mangal, or the foray by American commandos into Pakistan in May to kill Osama bin Laden, an operation deliberately kept secret from Pakistani officials.

Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed reporting.

Comments (0)

Pakistanis Tied to 2007 Border Ambush on Americans September 27, 2011

An American major was killed and three American officers were wounded, along with their Afghan interpreter, in what fresh accounts from the Afghan and American officers who were there reveal was a complex, calculated assault by a nominal ally. The Pakistanis opened fire on the Americans, who returned fire before escaping in a blood-soaked Black Hawk helicopter.

The attack, in Teri Mangal on May 14, 2007, was kept quiet by Washington, which for much of a decade has seemed to play down or ignore signals that Pakistan would pursue its own interests, or even sometimes behave as an enemy.

The reconstruction of the attack, which several officials suggested was revenge for Afghan or Pakistani deaths at American hands, takes on new relevance given the worsening rupture in relations between Washington and Islamabad, which has often been restrained by Pakistan’s strategic importance.

The details of the ambush indicate that Americans were keenly aware of Pakistan’s sometimes duplicitous role long before Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate last week that Pakistan’s intelligence service was undermining efforts in Afghanistan and had supported insurgents who attacked the American Embassy in Kabul this month.

Though both sides kept any deeper investigations of the ambush under wraps, even at the time it was seen as a turning point by officials managing day-to-day relations with Pakistan.

Pakistani officials first attributed the attack to militants, then, when pressed to investigate, to a single rogue soldier from the Frontier Corps, the poorly controlled tribal militia that guards the border region. To this day, none of the governments have publicly clarified what happened, hoping to limit damage to relations. Both the American and Pakistani military investigations remain classified.

“The official line covered over the details in the interests of keeping the relationship with Pakistan intact,” said a former United Nations official who served in eastern Afghanistan and was briefed on the events immediately after they occurred.

“At that time in May 2007, you had a lot of analysis pointing to the role of Pakistan in destabilizing that part of Afghanistan, and here you had a case in point, and for whatever reason it was glossed over,” he said. The official did not want to be named for fear of alienating the Pakistanis, with whom he must still work.

Exactly why the Pakistanis might have chosen Teri Mangal to make a stand, and at what level the decision was made, remain unclear. Requests to the Pakistani military for information and interviews for this article were not answered. One Pakistani official who was present at the meeting indicated that the issue was too sensitive to be discussed with a journalist. Brig. Gen. Martin Schweitzer, the American commander in eastern Afghanistan at the time, whose troops were involved, also declined to be interviewed.

At first, the meeting to resolve the border dispute seemed a success. Despite some tense moments, the delegations ate lunch together, exchanged phone numbers and made plans to meet again. Then, as the Americans and Afghans prepared to leave, the Pakistanis opened fire without warning. The assault involved multiple gunmen, Pakistani intelligence agents and military officers, and an attempt to kidnap or draw away the senior American and Afghan officials.

American officials familiar with Pakistan say that the attack fit a pattern. The Pakistanis often seemed to retaliate for losses they had suffered in an accidental attack by United States forces with a deliberate assault on American troops, most probably to maintain morale among their own troops or to make a point to the Americans that they could not be pushed around, said a former American military officer who served in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Looking back, there were always these attacks that could possibly be attributed to deliberate retaliation,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because his job does not permit him to talk to journalists. Pakistani forces had suffered losses before the May 14 attack, he added.

As with so many problems with Pakistan, the case was left to fester. It has since become an enduring emblem of the distrust that has poisoned relations but that is bared only at critical junctures, like Teri Mangal, or the foray by American commandos into Pakistan in May to kill Osama bin Laden, an operation deliberately kept secret from Pakistani officials.

Ruhullah Khapalwak contributed reporting.

Comments (0)