Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Divx WebPlayer Required

The new american century video. It explain the reason of this world status.

Friday, February 29, 2008


The video, which surfaced Tuesday, showed four white students putting five black female housekeepers at their university dormitory in Bloemfontein through a series of "competitions" in the style of the program "Fear Factor."

It sparked an immediate uproar on the campus and among human rights groups in South Africa.

The university denounced the video as a gross violation of human dignity and said Thursday it has officially reported the matter to the director of public prosecution, a statement on its Web site said.

The video, which a university statement said showed "black employees ... having to undergo a mock integration ceremony," was a reaction to the school's efforts to integrate its residences, school officials said. Eighteen years after the official end of apartheid, they were still separated into white and black dormitories.

"Once upon a time the Boers [Afrikaans-speaking white farmers] lived happily here on Reitz island until the day the less-advantaged discovered the word 'integration' in the dictionary," one of the students says on the video. It is not clear which of the four students named by the university made that comment.

One of the scenes shows the women drinking stew that in a previous scene appeared to have been laced with urine.

Naude said the students did not urinate in the food served to the housekeepers, but the video was edited to make it appear they had done so.

In the statement from the two students Thursday, the men insisted there was no urine in the food.

"Although, as was intended at the time, it appears to viewers as if one of the persons urinated in the traditional brew which was prepared, it most certainly did not take place and a close study of the particular insert will confirm that the -- totally harmless -- liquid was squirted from a bottle," the statement read.

The men said the video, which was taped in September, was a "satirical slant on a topic which was then prevalent and controversial."

They also said the employees who participated in the video did so voluntarily, "knew the purpose for which it was made" and "as is evident ... clearly enjoyed it."

The women were also informed the food was not contaminated, they said.

An attorney representing the employees shown in the video told reporters Thursday his clients were tricked into participating.

Malherbe and Van der Merwe said they had no intention of humiliating the black employees and were in fact friends with the employees until the video became public, their statement said.

Earlier, Naude said his clients had "not done anything criminal."

But the National Prosecuting Authority said it is considering charging the men with assault and crimen injuria -- a count specific to South Africa in which someone deliberately injures another person's dignity with racial slurs or obscenities.

In the homemade video, four white students at the Reitz Residence hostel are seen encouraging five black female housekeepers to participate in what the students call the "Reitz Fear Factor," an apparent reference to a television show in which contestants eat live worms or compete in other feats.

In one scene, a student mixes what looks like a beef stew in a plastic bowl and adds garlic and other items. Then he tells the camera he will add the "special ingredient."

The student then appears to urinate into the mixture, which he later stirs and puts in a microwave. Other students can be heard laughing on the tape.

The next scene shows a different student urging at least three housekeepers to drink cups of the stew, saying, "This is our dorm's 'Fear Factor.' We want to see who has the best 'Fear Factor.' "

On the video, the student does not say anything about urine in the mixture.

The women, on their knees, spit the stew into buckets after tasting it. Some appeared to vomit, but the women also laughed during the incident, as the student urged them on.

Next, the women struggle to run in what appears to be a race. The video is put in slow-motion as the theme from "Chariots of Fire" plays.

The women also are seen playing rugby with the men, which is a sport usually associated with the white Afrikaans-speaking community.

Throughout the tape, the women can be heard calling the white students "baas," meaning boss or master, which was a term blacks were forced to use during apartheid when addressing whites.

Finally, one of the students awards a large bottle of whiskey to one of the women, telling her she has won the "Fear Factor."

At the end of the video, a message appears on the screen in Afrikaans saying, "That, at the end of the day, is what we think of integration."

Naude said the video that surfaced Tuesday is actually made of outtakes of a montage that won a contest at the dorm last year.

A spokesman for the university said Thursday it was not a school-sanctioned event but appeared to be a contest organized by the students in the Reitz Residence in which different sections of the dorm competed against each other to make a video.

The South African newspaper The Times reported Thursday that the outtakes had been stored on the computer of one student, whose girlfriend released them to the media when they broke up.

UFS Rector Frederick Fourie met with the women in the video Wednesday and apologized to them, a statement from the university said. Counseling is being provided for the workers, it added.

The ruling ANC said Thursday the video is reminiscent of the most perverse forms of racism that were committed against South Africa's black majority during apartheid and it is also urging that strong action be taken against those responsible.

Protests broke out on campus Wednesday over the content of the video, and five people were arrested, authorities said.

Demonstrators, both black and white, marched to Reitz Residence and demanded it be shut down.

This is one of several racial incidents that have recently plagued South Africa. Last month, an 18-year-old white man allegedly fired on a black informal settlement, killing four black people and wounding six.

Last week, an organization that calls itself the Forum of Black Journalists kicked white reporters out of a lunch meeting with the president of the country's ruling party, Jacob Zuma, saying the event was reserved for non-whites. CNN's Nkepile Mabuse attended the meeting.

Dr. Zonke Majodina, deputy chairwoman of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), said the country has been in denial and it will take years before racist mindsets are altered.

"We've taken for granted that just scrapping the old apartheid laws is going to make things work better in our vision for a nonracial South Africa, but in fact it's not going to happen overnight," Majodina said.

But in The Times, SAHRC chairman Jody Kollapen blamed the racial tensions that led to such violations on the Nelson Mandela era, saying the internationally celebrated freedom fighter reached too far when he was president, putting undue focus on reconciliation instead of transformation

Thursday, February 14, 2008


A gunman dressed in black stepped from behind a curtain at the front of a large lecture hall at Northern Illinois University on Thursday and shot 21 people, five of them fatally, then shot and killed himself, said university president John Peters.
Four died at the scene, including the shooter, and two later died at the hospital, he said.
At least 22 people, including a graduate student who was teaching an ocean sciences class, were shot, Peters said.
Seventeen victims were taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital, its Web site said.
Of those, six were in critical condition and were flown to other hospitals. One fatality, a male, was confirmed -- but was not the gunman, the hospital said. Two were admitted, and three others were discharged. The other five were not addressed on the Web site.
Four of the fatalities were female, said Peters.
Most of the injuries are head and chest gunshot wounds, a hospital spokeswoman told CNN.
The gunman started shooting from a stage in the room shortly after 3 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) in Cole Hall, officials said.
Police Chief Donald Grady said authorities do not yet know of a motive.
They know the identity of the gunman but have not released his name, Grady added.
The shooter was a graduate student at NIU in the spring of 2007. Currently he was not enrolled there but, Grady said, "He may have been a student elsewhere."
Kevin McEnery said he was in the classroom when the gunman, dressed in a black shirt, dark pants and black hat, burst in carrying a shotgun.
"He just kicked the door open, just started shooting," said McEnery, who was in the class at the time. "All I really heard was just people screaming, yelling 'get out.' ... Close to 30 shots were fired."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The U.S. military may try within days to shoot down a failed satellite using a missile launched from a Navy ship, officials announced Thursday.

Gen. James Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon that the window to accomplish the mission could begin in three to four days, and remain open for seven to eight.
While much space trash and debris have safely crashed to Earth after burning up in the atmosphere on re-entry, authorities said what makes this 5,000-pound satellite different is the approximately 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic hydrazine propellant it carries.
Without any intervention, officials believe the satellite would come down on its own in early March.
If it came down in one piece, nearly half the spacecraft would survive re-entry and the hydrazine -- heated to a gas -- could spread a toxic cloud roughly the size of two football fields, Cartwright said.
Hydrazine is similar to chlorine or ammonia in that it affects the lungs and breathing tissue, the general said.
The option of striking the satellite with a missile launched from an Aegis cruiser was decided upon by President Bush after consultation with several government and military officials and aerospace experts, said Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey.

"After further review of this option and, in particular, consideration of the question of saving or reducing injury to human life, the president, on the recommendation of his national and homeland teams, directed the Department of Defense to carry out the intercept," Jeffrey said.
The goal is to hit the satellite just before it enters Earth's atmosphere and blast it apart so that the hydrazine tank explodes. The smaller debris would be more likely to burn up in the atmosphere.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said there's nothing the military can do to make the outcome worse.
"If we miss, nothing changes. If we shoot and barely touch it, the satellite is just barely in orbit" and would still burn up somewhat in the atmosphere, Griffin said.
"If we shoot and get a direct hit, that's a clean kill and we're in good shape," he added.
Experts said that with three-quarters of Earth covered in water, there's a 25 percent chance the satellite's remnants will hit land -- and a 1 percent chance they will hit a populated area.
There will be three Navy ships involved in the operation. The USS Lake Erie, an Aegis cruiser, will fire the missile, while trajectory information comes from a second ship. The third ship will be used as a backup, U.S. Navy officials said.
The Lake Erie has long been used as the platform for the sea-based missile defense program.
Cartwright said the satellite stopped working within hours of its launch in December and has not responded to attempts to communicate with it. He brushed off blog theories that the military wants to shoot down the satellite with a missile to destroy any classified data it may have accumulated in its short life, or to prevent other countries from acquiring the technology.
In January 2007, China used a land-based missile to destroy a 2,200-pound satellite that was orbiting 528 miles above Earth.
But the impact left more than 150,000 pieces of debris floating above Earth, NASA estimates. The space agency characterizes nearly 2,600 pieces as "large," meaning greater than 4 inches across, which pose a potential threat to satellites and spacecraft.

Monday, February 11, 2008


The United States will seek the death penalty against six Guantanamo Bay detainees who are suspects in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, an Air Force general said Monday.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of six Guantanamo detainees to be charged, a general says.

The government will submit criminal charges against the detainees, who include alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Brig Gen. Thomas Hartmann said during a Pentagon news conference. The government hopes to try the men together, he said.
All six have been charged with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, terrorism and material support of terrorism, said the general who is serving as legal adviser to the military commissions trying the detainees. Four of the suspects will also be charged with hijacking, he said.
The 169 charges allege a "long-term, highly sophisticated plan by al Qaeda to attack the United States of America," Hartmann said. Watch Hartmann outline the charges »
Don't Miss
Alleged bin Laden bodyguard charged
High court hands White House another setback
Judge wants explanation in CIA tape case
Guantanamo detainee dies
"There will be no secret trials," Hartmann said. "We will make every effort to make everything open."
The exception will be when classified information is presented that could compromise national security, he said.
"I've been advised by the prosecutors that relatively little amounts of evidence will be classified, but it's still a possibility, and we have rules and procedures and rules of evidence in place to deal with that," Hartmann said.
All six suspects are accused of helping plan the September 11 attacks in which hijackers flew two jets into the World Trade Center in New York and another jet into the Pentagon in Washington. Another hijacked plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Bob Hughes, whose 30-year-old son died in the World Trade Center, said he was disappointed with the slow legal process, but he applauded the government's efforts to impose the death penalty on any conspirators.
"Anyone involved that helped these people get to America to do what they did, they definitely deserve the death penalty," he said.
According to the 9/11 Commission Report, 2,974 people were killed in the attacks, not including the 19 hijackers.
Charged along with Mohammed are:

Mohammed al-Qahtani, the so-called 20th hijacker in the 9/11 attacks;
Ramzi bin al-Shibh, accused of being an intermediary between the hijackers and al Qaeda leaders and finding flight schools for the hijackers;
Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, alleged to have sent approximately $127,000 to hijackers and arranging travel for nine of them;
Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, accused of providing the hijackers with money, clothes and credit cards;
Walid bin Attash, who is accused of training two of the 9/11 hijackers and assisting in the hijacking plan.
Mohammed, bin Attash, al-Shibh and Ali will be additionally charged with the offense of hijacking or hazarding an aircraft, Hartmann said.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


American and Italian authorities arrested dozens of people Thursday in a takedown of what they called a trans-Atlantic drug trafficking operation run by the Mafia.
The operation, code-named "Old Bridge," was centered on New York and the Sicilian capital of Palermo, targeting Mafia figures who were strengthening contacts between mob groups in Italy and the United States.
A federal grand jury in New York also accused 62 people of ties to the Gambino crime family and offenses including murders, drug trafficking, robberies, extortion, and other crimes dating back to the 1970s.
"Today we are able to bring closure to crimes from the past," U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said in Brooklyn. "Today we seek justice for those men and their families and we make clear that those crimes and those victims are not forgotten."
The sprawling indictment covers gangland killings from the days when the crime family was run by Paul Castellano, who was assassinated in 1985. Some of the charges allege more recent crimes including credit fraud conspiracies and theft of union benefits.
In the 170-page indictment, authorities allege that associates of the crime family extorted people in the construction industry, embezzled from labor unions, engaged in loansharking and bookmaking. The massive investigation also includes charges brought in state court by the Queens district attorney.
"Organized crime still exists in the city and the state of New York," said New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said. "We like to think that it's a vestige of the past. It's not."
As of Thursday morning, the FBI had arrested 54 people in New York City and its northern suburbs, New Jersey and Long Island. Police in Palermo said they hoped to bring in 25 to 30 suspects.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


The race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination remained wide open Wednesday after senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split voters and delegates in the Super Tuesday primaries.
Latest estimates suggest Clinton may have picked up only about 20 more delegates than Obama in the Super Tuesday states -- and that the pair could be separated by less than 100 delegates in all voting so far.
But it will take time to determine the final distribution of delegates because of complicated formulae, and because New Mexico's count is not yet final.
In the Republican contest, Arizona senator John McCain admitted he was the front-runner after piling up big primary wins across the country, according to CNN projections.
He is now estimated to have about half the delegates he needs to win his party's nomination, and more than Romney and Huckabee combined.
Speaking in Phoenix, Arizona, McCain expressed pleasure and gratitude over his Super Tuesday showing Wednesday and declared: "We will unite the party behind our conservative principles and move forward and win the general election in November." He said he was "pleased at the depth and breadth of our victory last night."
CNN projected McCain to win his home state, along with California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma. McCain wins big; Huckabee shines
Mitt Romney was projected to take Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Utah while Mike Huckabee was projected as winner in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and West Virginia.
In the Democratic races, CNN projections indicated wins for Clinton in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, where her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, was once governor, and American Samoa. Clinton takes California in tight Democratic race
Barack Obama has CNN-projected wins in his home state of Illinois, plus Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Utah.
More than four-fifths of the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the Democratic presidential nomination and more than 1,000 of the 1,191 necessary delegates on the Republican side were at stake on Tuesday.
The delegate count is key when looking at the results. Candidates need to notch up enough delegates -- rather than voter numbers -- to secure their party's nomination. See which states are the most important »
On Super Tuesday 24 states and the U.S. Pacific territory of American Samoa went to the polls -- the largest single day of voting in the nomination process.