Just three weeks before the Beijing Olympics, concerns are growing that China’s sweeping security measures could end up sucking all the fun out of the world’s biggest sportsfest.
The atmosphere was less than festive this week at a checkpoint in Yanjiao on the outskirts of Beijing, one of hundreds thrown up around the capital where police with laptops and sniffer dogs halt traffic.
“I know they are working hard, but this really is overkill. We had been checked three times already before we arrived here,” said a bus driver from neighbouring Hebei Province.
The checkpoints are part of a security operation thrown up around the Games by leaders who fear they could be marred by protests, sabotage by “hostile forces” or terrorist attack.
Aug 2, 2008
Aug 1, 2008
In order to fix the problem I had to remove the SiteMeter script temporarily until my blog host can fix the problem.
This site loaded fine using any version of the Firefox browser but would not load using any version of Microsoft Internet Explorer.
SiteMeter will be re-installed when it will no longer be a problem (SiteMeter counts blog visits).
Sorry for any inconvenience.
Two cups of McDonald’s iced coffee sit on the Fox 5 TV news desk, a punch-you-in-the-face product placement (BUY!) to chase down your morning news.
They’ve been on the Las Vegas station set for about two weeks, following the lead of a few TV stations across the country, and they’re still looking every bit as frosty and tantalizing (BUY!) as they were the first day you laid your eyes on them.
No wonder they look “frosty and tantalizing” -- they’re fake -- made to scale models filled with a bogus liquid and fake ice that never melts.
So there you have it -- fake coffee on the real news there for your viewing pleasure. Completely ignored by the news anchors, subliminally tugging you to your nearest McDonald’s for a cup of real iced coffee.
One doctor who was asked about breathing techniques replied, "How do I know? I've only ever done two natural childbirths."
A small but growing number of women who seek to avoid aggressive medical techniques like induced labor, epidural blocks and Caesarean sections find they are a lone voice among their friends and doctors.
Pre-planned Caesareans (the ‘posh push’) are in vogue. Women want to avoid future complications of multiple vaginal births, like uterine or bladder collapse. And today's body-conscious women worry needlessly about loss of muscle-tone.
Now, new technologies, the rising cost of malpractice insurance and even the changing attitudes of women have all contributed to the near-demise of natural childbirth.
With the high cost of liability insurance, doctors must take on more patients to keep their practices lucrative. This gives them less time to wait out a long labor.
Doctors more frequently induce labor, using synthetic hormones like pitocin to strengthen and quicken labor, an intervention that was once used only as a "last resort."
More of the story here.
Jul 31, 2008
Spurred by an e-mail from someone deep in the marketing ranks, Microsoft last week traveled to San Francisco, rounding up Windows XP users who had negative impressions of Vista.
The subjects were put on video, asked about their Vista impressions, and then shown a "new" operating system, code-named Mojave.
More than 90 percent gave positive feedback on what they saw. Then they were told that "Mojave" was actually Windows Vista.
The Mojave project is likely to be just one of many efforts designed to resuscitate Vista's image as well as lend strength to the Windows platform among stepped-up competition from Apple and Google.
Microsoft may lure some individual users over with the Mojave trickery but it’ll take more than smoke and mirrors to get corporations to shell out millions to convert to Vista.
Jul 30, 2008
Staffers, supporters and bargain seekers had the chance to take a small piece of the historic campaign with them before the lights went out on HRC headquarters in Arlington, Va. - for a price.
Clinton's June campaign finance filings show that the second-place finisher raised $42,000 in the fire-sale liquidation of her campaign headquarters' assets.
Now, one can find $230 worth of Clinton's old office chairs backstage at a nightclub in Washington.
Great, but did the purloined White House silver show up at the fire sale? How about Monica Lewinsky T-shirts? … just asking …
Jul 29, 2008
It looks like any Southern California traffic jam—except you can buy a cappuccino and a 4-foot statue of Jesus from your car while watching dogs sniff vehicles for drugs.
This is the U.S.-Mexico border's most congested crossing, where local residents say already epic lines into San Diego have grown even longer since January, when the U.S. began phasing out a long-standing practice of allowing people they believed to be American citizens to enter by simply stating their citizenship.
Border guards now require most crossers to present a U.S. passport or other proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate—though they are still permitted to exercise their own judgment in order to keep lines moving. As always, Mexican citizens and other foreign nationals must show valid immigration documents to enter.
More than half the 21 million cars crossing from Tijuana to San Diego each year wait in lines of 90 minutes or more, with 26 percent waiting more than 2 hours, according to a recent survey.
The delays cost both cities an estimated $7.2 billion in 2007, while supporting a small army of Tijuana vendors that sell everything from cappuccino’s to crucifixes to commuters stuck in line.
Jul 28, 2008
Violence broke out today among the 50,000 people queuing for tickets for the Olympics in Beijing as police struggled to control crowds who had been waiting in line for over two days.
At one point the surging crowd broke through a control barrier and lurched towards the ticket counters where the final batch of tickets for the Olympics, which begin next month, were about to go on sale.
In hot and dusty conditions, some groups in the crowd chanted insults at the police who were seen dragging people out of the line and kicking and punching them before leading them away.
The Police were apparently unprepared. One witness said, “ "The police didn't have a clue how many people would come here and there was no organization at all, it was chaos."
Jul 27, 2008
However, most of the time when a politician tells tall tails it’s on purpose. Winston Churchill called these falsehoods terminological inexactitudes.