Thursday, December 9, 2010
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Starting next week, the city of San Jose will change its controversial policy of impounding the cars of unlicensed drivers for 30 days. For years, Latino groups have claimed the policy unfairly targeted undocumented residents.
Latino advocacy groups say the problem is it's often harder for undocumented immigrants to get licenses. They've long protested that the vehicle seizures unfairly target them, causing this working class community much more economic hardship. But now San Jose is joining a host of other Bay Area cities, including San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley in changing its impound policy.
According to the San Jose Mercury News, police statistics show about 80 cars a week are towed from unlicensed drivers and held for a mandated month long period. Many owners abandon these cars because they're worth less than the nearly $3,000 it costs to get the car out after 30 days of storage, tickets and city fees.
As early as next week, San Jose police say the department will end its 30 day impound policy, when unlicensed drivers get caught for minor traffic violations. Instead, officers will offer alternatives, like letting a licensed driver pick up the car, or if it's towed, a licensed driver can pay any fees and pick it up without having to wait 30 days.
Some don't agree with the change, saying that unlicensed drivers are a threat to public safety. But immigrant community groups in San Jose are calling this policy reversal a path toward rebuilding trust between their community and law enforcement. Some faith and activist groups have even called for a celebration gathering next week in east San Jose.
Judge Rejects Suit Filed To Prevent Forced Vaccinations
POSTED: 2:40 pm EST December 9, 2010
UPDATED: 6:15 pm EST December 9, 2010
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Thursday, December 9, 2010; 10:26 AM
BERLIN -- German police say an "old hippy" is facing possible prosecution for his version of the, ahem, highest Christmas tree - a festively decorated two-meter- (two-yard-) tall marijuana plant.
Koblenz police spokesman Ralf Schomisch says officers raided the apartment of the 58-year-old man following a tip Monday and uncovered a cache of 5.3 ounces (150 grams) of marijuana.
Then in the living room they discovered the tree - a pot plant adorned with Christmas lights. The suspect, whose name was not released, said he had planned to decorate it further and putting presents under it at Christmas.
But it was not to be. Schomisch said Thursday that authorities "had to destroy this pre-Christmas dream" and seize the plant as evidence.
Both MasterCard and Visa said that cardholders' accounts were not at risk and that people could continue using their credit cards throughout the day.
Supporters of the WikiLeaks, which has released thousands of classified government documents in recent weeks, said they would attack companies and groups hostile to the site and its founder. An Internet group operating under the label "Operation Payback" claimed responsibility for the MasterCard and Visa problems in messages on Twitter and elsewhere.
By KATE LOVEYS
Last updated at 10:57 PM on 28th November 2010
Children who speak English as their first language are in a minority in a rapidly growing number of schools, figures reveal.
The surge has been most pronounced in London, where in some boroughs youngsters with a different mother tongue make up nearly 80 per cent of primary pupils.
However it is not confined to the capital. In Birmingham, Bradford and Leicester more than 40 per cent of pupils across all primary schools do not count English as their first language. Nationally, English is a foreign tongue to nearly one in six youngsters in primary schools.
Classroom: Figures have revealed that children who speak English as their first language are in a minority in inner-city London schools (posed stock photograph)
The figures, to be published this week, have almost doubled during the past decade and are projected to increase to 23 per cent – 830,000 out of 3.5million – by 2018.
There are concerns that the increases will place school finances under strain as a growing number of youngsters require help with English.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1333845/English-speaking-children-minority-inner-city-London-schools.html#ixzz17ctSSGGu
“Assange met with Israeli officials in Geneva earlier this year and struck the secret deal. The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively. These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, where removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents, the sources added.”
We should obviously all support WikiLeaks and its founder and spokesperson, Julian Assange, who has just been arrested in Britain, in this dirty war by states around the globe against transparency and openness. But in the world of politics, sadly, things are never as innocent as they appear. According to new revelations, Assange had allegedly struck a deal with Israel before the recent ‘cable gate’, which may explain why the leaks “were good for Israel,” as the Israeli prime minister put it.
A number of commentators, particularly in Turkey and Russia, have been wondering why the hundreds of thousands of American classified documents leaked by the website last month did not contain anything that may embarrass the Israeli government, like just about every other state referred to in the documents. The answer appears to be a secret deal struck between the WikiLeaks “heart and soul”, as Assange humbly described himself once , with Israeli officials, which ensured that all such documents were ‘removed’ before the rest were made public.
According to an Arabic investigative journalism website , Assange had received money from semi-official Israeli sources and promised them, in a “secret, video-recorded agreement,” not to publish any document that may harm Israeli security or diplomatic interests.
The sources of the Al-Haqiqa report are said to be former WikiLeaks volunteers who have left the organisation in the last few months over Assange’s “autocratic leadership” and “lack of transparency.”
In a recent interview with the German daily Die Tageszeitung, former WikiLeaks spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg said he and other WikiLeaks dissidents are planning to launch their own whistleblowers’ platform to fulfil WikiLeaks’s original aim of “limitless file sharing.” 
Mr Domscheit-Berg, who is about to publish a book about his days ‘Inside WikiLeaks’, accuses Assange of acting as a “king” against the will of others in the organisation by “making deals” with media organisations that are meant to create an explosive effect, which others in WikiLeaks either know little or nothing about. 
Furthermore, Assange’s eagerness for headline-grabbing scoops meant that WikiLeaks had not been able to ‘restructure’ itself to cope with this surge of interest, insiders add. This has meant that smaller leaks, which might be of interest to people at a local level, are now being overlooked for the sake of big stories. 
According to the Al-Haqiqa sources, Assange met with Israeli officials in Geneva earlier this year and struck the secret deal. The Israel government, it seems, had somehow found out or expected that the documents to be leaked contained a large number of documents about the Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza in 2006 and 2008-9 respectively. These documents, which are said to have originated mainly from the Israeli embassies in Tel Aviv and Beirut, where removed and possibly destroyed by Assange, who is the only person who knows the password that can open these documents, the sources added.
Indeed, the published documents seem to have a ‘gap’ stretching over the period of July – September 2006, during which the 33-day Lebanon war took place. Is it possible that US diplomats and officials did not have any comments or information to exchange about this crucial event but spent their time ‘gossiping’ about every other ‘trivial’ Middle-Eastern matter?
Following the leak (and even before), Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a press conference that Israel had “worked in advance” to limit any damage from leaks, adding that “no classified Israeli material was exposed by WikiLeaks.”  In an interview with the Time magazine around the same time, Assange praised Netanyahu as a hero of transparency and openness! 
According to another report , a left-leaning Lebanese newspaper had met with Assange twice and tried to negotiate a deal with him, offering “a big amount of money”, in order to get hold of documents concerning the 2006 war, particularly the minutes of a meeting held at the American embassy in Beirut on 24th July 2006, which is widely considered as a ‘war council’ meeting between American, Israeli and Lebanese parties that played a role in the war again Hizbullah and its allies. The documents the Al-Akhbar editors received, however, all date to 2008 onwards and do not contain “anything of value,” the sources confirm. This only goes to support the Israel deal allegations.
Finally, it might be worth pointing out that Assange might have done what he is alleged to have done in order protect himself and ensure that the leaked documents are published so as to expose the American hypocrisy, which he is said to be obsessed with “at the expense of more fundamental aims.”
Story Published: Dec 8, 2010 at 8:26 PM PST
The chemical is heavily used in the production of plastic food and beverage containers, including baby bottles and the linings of food cans.
But we're also being exposed to BPA through certain credit card and sales receipts- so-called "thermal" receipts, which are made with the powdery BPA substance that is not "bound" inside plastic and resins, as with bottles and can liners.
"And we now know that BPA on a thermal credit card receipt transfers from that receipt onto the skin," said Richard Denison of the Environmental Defense Fund.
By JOHN F. BURNS and RAVI SOMAIYA
Published: December 9, 2010
LONDON — In a campaign that had some declaring the start of a “cyberwar,” hundreds of Internet activists mounted retaliatory attacks on Wednesday on the Web sites of multinational companies and other organizations they deemed hostile to the WikiLeaksantisecrecy organization and its jailed founder, Julian Assange.
By CATHERINE LUCEY
Philadelphia Daily News
It's that season again, which means that for the third year in a row, the German Christmas Village has set up a cozy collection of wooden booths and tree vendors in Dilworth Plaza on the west side of City Hall.
But a few shoppers noticed something amiss yesterday on the tall metal archways signaling the entrances to the shops. The archways had just one word on top - "Village."
Sounds festive, eh?
It turns out that the letters spelling "Christmas" were removed yesterday afternoon from the archways on the north and west sides of the plaza, at the request of Managing Director Richard Negrin. They will be replaced with the word "Holiday."
City spokesman Mark McDonald said Negrin asked for the change after the city received complaints from workers and residents.
"As a city of great diversity, one shouldn't be surprised that there's a difference of views when it comes to symbols and words," McDonald said.