Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Adebayo Ogunlesi (Nigerian) Buys Gatwick Airport

Adebayo Ogunlesi (Nigerian) Buys Gatwick Airport
March 1, 2010
The man set to become the new owner of Gatwick Airport, tells Sky News how he is going to shake-up Britain’s airport business. In an exclusive interview with Jeff Randall, Adebayo Ogunlesi, chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, said he is going “to make Gatwick a truly first class experience”.

However he cautioned it would take “somewhere between 12 and 18 months” before passengers started noticing a difference at the airport. GIP agreed a £1.51bn deal with Gatwick’s current operator BAA last week, which represented a “good price”, Mr Ogunlesi said. The fund, which invests in the energy, transport and waste sectors, has already spent over £1bn so far this year, encouraged by falling asset prices. Mr Ogunlesi said the UK’s strong regulatory framework and attractive assets made “Britain a wonderful place to invest”.

“We love Britain,” Mr Ogunlesi added. The sale of Gatwick to GIP, which is subject to approval by the European Union, is due to be completed by the end of the year. The airport is currently run by BAA, which posted a pre-tax loss of over £780m in the first nine months of the year. The airport operator said it lost £225m on Gatwick after being forced to sell the airport by the Competition Commission.

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Black Girl Lost: Why Many Young Girls Become Prostitutes

When ex-NFL great Lawrence Taylor was arrested for allegedly raping a minor, youth sex trafficking hit the national spotlight. In a trend that spans across America, young women, most of whom seem to be lured in to the sex trade with promises of money, shelter and sometimes love, are finding themselves as prostitutes in a ring organized by their "protectors."

So basic tools of survival lead some girls to trade sex for money?

Haley Volpintesta, a Chicago-based human rights advocate with 10 years of experience working with youth impacted by the sex trade, nationally and internationally, and the juvenile and criminal justice systems says that while many young women are coerced into prostitution, many others engage in survival sex, trading sex for basic needs like food and shelter, even in the Unites States of America. "They may see their involvement in the sex trade as temporary, until they can figure out how to get their needs met in other ways," she says.

Some young people find themselves in situations where they are relying on very limited choices because their very basic needs aren't met. Coming from an abusive home, not having a safe place to live, not having food or even feeling pressured to meet a certain standard with clothes may lead them to the sex trade. This industry is motivated by poverty and capitalism. Around the country and internationally, not having what one needs to live often make this, for some people, a realistic thing to do.

How are girls recruited into the sex trade?

One girl I worked with had been dating a man for more than a year. When he asked her to move to New York it was on the premise that he would help her go to college and they would build a life together. She was completely unaware that he was a pimp. In situations where young people are runaways, pimps often act as a caring adult who can rescue them from the unsafe streets, only to find out that they are expected to pay for that 'care' and 'protection' through sex work. Through building rapport with the young person and convincing her that the sex trade is a "good choice" or necessary to uphold their relationship, girls are lured into the life. Some have reported drugs being used to keep them compliant.

Who are the girls? Are they runaways, juvenile delinquents, or promiscuous teens?

Many of the women were involved with an intimate partner who was involved in sex work. We think about pimps in a very particular way but in many instances these pimps are their boyfriends. This prostitution is another manifestation of domestic violence.

Who is more at risk for being a child prostitute?

Missing or runaway youth are definitely at a greater risk for recruitment and entry. Exploitation of young women through sex affects populations that are disproportionately targeted by oppression. In certain ways these populations become vulnerable to institutions like the sex trade.

Who are the pimps? Some of the pimps are peers of these young women. Has the identity of who a pimp is changed?

We get so caught up in this imaginary of who a pimp is and what a pimp does and what he looks like and we forget that sometimes we are talking about a young man who has experienced some of the same things that make girls vulnerable to trade sex for money. They are coming from violent homes. They are coming from homes where they have seen this before; where they have seen women degraded before. They have experienced violence and have limited resources and they figure out how to hustle. Selling women for a while came with far less consequences than selling drugs did. And now that law enforcement is taking a different position on this issue and who is to blame, you are seeing the issue of pimping under a different kind of lens.

Is race relevant in the discussion of the youth sex trade?

Young women involved in the sex trade cross race and class barriers. No one is out of the running. It is just as much an option for a white girl in a small rural town as it is for a wealthy girl living in the big city. We can't ignore race, class or nationality when talking about the sex trade, but it is a real possibility for all girls.

Are these young women looking for a way out?

For young people whose entry and participation is pimp controlled, which was the case for most of the young women and girls I met and worked with, their sexual exploitation by someone with whom they may identify as a boyfriend or caretaker complicates their ability to stop or leave. The exploitation within their relationships was another manifestation of violence, and their exit needed to be strategized like any situation of domestic violence. Pimps may react with violence or threats of violence based on their expectation that something is owed to them. Additionally, some young people feel connected to their exploiter in different ways, and they may need to leave a number of times while processing their experiences in the sex trade and building new relationships and a support system before they are really ready and feel confident in their plan. Sometimes the embarrassment and humiliation that can accompany their recruitment into the sex trade forecloses the possibility of reaching out to family or other people with whom they previously trusted. One young woman who I worked with after an arrest received an alternative to incarceration and came to GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) for services and support. During that time, she was able to talk about what was happening and think through her options. After reaching out to an aunt, she was able to come up with a plan to leave. Her aunt helped her tell her mother and she was able to move forward with her family's support.

How do you help a loved one leave the sex trade?

Listening without judging is absolutely necessary. Refrain from calling someone a prostitute or whore. Do not violate the person's confidence and trust by sharing what they tell you. Talk through other options if they are interested. Look into social service providers who may be able to offer support. If you are an authority figure to the young person, do not respond with a consequence, this will violate trust and push the young person away. It is ultimately better to know the truth and offer assistance when requested than making the person feel bad for what is not their fault. It is very possible that the young person imagines a different life for herself. Being supportive, understanding, and nonjudgmental as possible will make you a trusted resource.
by Kimberly Burgess

For a judgment-free space for teens to dialogue about the sex trade check out:

Jury selected in train station shooting trial

LOS ANGELES — The upcoming trial of a white ex-transit officer charged with killing an unarmed black man in Oakland has already sparked racial tensions in the city, one of the reasons the trial was moved to Los Angeles.

On Tuesday, a jury of seven whites, four Hispanics, one East Indian — and no blacks — was selected to hear the case against former Bay Area Rapid Transit police officer Johannes Mehserle, according to KTVU-TV.

Mehserle is accused of murdering Oscar Grant on New Year's Day 2009 in a shooting that was captured on video by several bystanders. He has pleaded not guilty and his attorneys have said he mistakenly pulled his gun rather than a Taser in an attempt to subdue Grant.

Prosecutors contend he intended to shoot Grant and he used his weapon because officers were losing control of the situation.

The trial could be the most racially polarizing of its kind in California since four Los Angeles police officers were acquitted of beating Rodney King in 1992.

Jack Bryson, who attended Tuesday's proceedings and whose sons — Jackie and Nigel — were with Grant when he was killed, left the courtroom in disgust just after the jury was selected.

"This is like a slap in the face," Bryson told The Associated Press. "This case came all the way to Los Angeles after the judge in Alameda County said they couldn't get a fair and impartial jury there.


Editorial: Apocalyptic EPA Should Not Be Setting Energy Policy

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a joint resolution by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski that would overturn a gloomy finding by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Last year, the agency found that carbon dioxide is a harmful pollutant under the Clean Air Act whose concentration in the atmosphere will do almost everything short of causing an Apocalypse.

The agency warned that CO2, usually thought of as a biological gas necessary for the existence of life, actually “threaten[s] the public health and welfare of current and future generations”. From causing hurricanes, floods, sea levels to rise, and erosion, to bringing about heat-waves, droughts, wildfires, reductions in food production, and deforestation, to even exposing the American people to more pathogens and allergens, the EPA has ascribed to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such calamity usually reserved for the Seven Seals.

Although the EPA’s doomsaying has largely been discredited by recent revelations in climate science, including the Climategate scandal where there was widespread data manipulation by climate scientists to literally cook the books on global temperatures, the finding still has sharp teeth to it.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal last April, “The centerpiece of the Clean Air Act is something called the National Ambient Air Quality Standards, or NAAQS, under which the EPA decides the appropriate atmospheric concentration of a given air pollutant. Under this law the states must adopt measures to meet a NAAQS goal, and the costs cannot be considered.” Because of the agency’s finding, it now has the power under the terms of the Clean Air Act to set regulatory limits on how much carbon the nation is allowed to emit, and to force the states into compliance.

Put another way, the EPA now has the power to arbitrarily restrict how much gasoline, petroleum, natural gas, diesel, and coal is allowed to be burnt by motor vehicles and industry. In principle, it could decide that CO2 is so dangerous that no emissions are allowed at all. Just like that.

Get full story here.

Tea Party Movement Connects with Candidates on the Basis of Ideas, Not Party

By Kevin Mooney

Contrary to what has been widely circulated in the New York Times and elsewhere, the Tea Party movement presents both parties with challenges and liabilities. The recent Democratic victory in Pennsylvania’s special House election shows that a small government message transcends party labels.

Running against unpopular figures in the other party is insufficient and must be married in with a positive agenda that seizes upon top public concerns, according to a New York Times report that explores the tenuous relationship Republican strategist have with Tea Party activists.

Get full story here.

Why Not A Boom Instead of a Double Dip?

By Dave Cribbin

In 2009 I listened as one Democratic politician after another stepped forward to endorse the “stimulus,” a bill that was to save us all from what would surely be the next Great Depression. Most of their ill-considered arguments contained copious amounts of economic fallacy seasoned with just a dash of truth to make them palatable. That truth is that if you raise tax rates during a recession you simply get a deeper recession — without raising any additional revenue.

Midway through 2010 with what is at best a tenuous recovery, and without any evidence that government’s spending spree is working, those same folks eying a reckoning with the voters in November are telling us that even more “stimulus” spending is needed. They have now ditched their cover story of not raising taxes in order to fully embrace their inner-redistributionist side. What does this portend for you and I? Six months from now we may experience firsthand how a nation’s economy performs after dramatically increasing tax rates on the incomes and capital that drive economic growth, and devaluing its currency. It ain’t going to be pretty, folks.

Get full story here.

Will: Power without limits

By George F. Will

Today, as it has been for a century, American politics is an argument between two Princetonians -- James Madison, Class of 1771, and Woodrow Wilson, Class of 1879. Madison was the most profound thinker among the Founders. Wilson, avatar of "progressivism," was the first president critical of the nation's founding. Barack Obama's Wilsonian agenda reflects its namesake's rejection of limited government.

Lack of "a limiting principle" is the essence of progressivism, according to William Voegeli, contributing editor of the Claremont Review of Books, in his new book "Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State." The Founders, he writes, believed that free government's purpose, and the threats to it, are found in nature. The threats are desires for untrammeled power, desires which, Madison said, are "sown in the nature of man." Government's limited purpose is to protect the exercise of natural rights that pre-exist government, rights that human reason can ascertain in unchanging principles of conduct and that are essential to the pursuit of happiness.

Wilsonian progressives believe that History is a proper noun, an autonomous thing. It, rather than nature, defines government's ever-evolving and unlimited purposes. Government exists to dispense an ever-expanding menu of rights -- entitlements that serve an open-ended understanding of material and even spiritual well-being.

Get full story here.

Senate Democrats propose fivefold increase in tax on offshore oil

Senate Democrats brought up legislation Tuesday coupling a fivefold increase in the tax that oil companies pay into a spill liability fund with help for the jobless, doctors and cash-starved states.

The sprawling, 364-page bill contains many provisions long overdue for completion by Congress, including the renewal of dozens of popular but expired tax breaks for individuals and businesses.

Senate Democrats propose fivefold increase in tax on offshore oil

Woman accused of adultery for alleged sex in park plans legal challenge

Posted by Howard Owens

BATAVIA, NY -- Suzanne M. Corona, the 41-year-old Batavia mother accused of engaging in a public sex act in Farrall Park last Friday afternoon intends to challenge the constitutionality of the adultery charge leveled against her.

Asked after a brief court appearance at Genesee County Court today, Corona said she would "absolutely" challenge the legality of the charge once she retains a private attorney.

City Court Judge Robert Balbick gave her until June 22 to hire an attorney. He did not require her to enter a plea today to the adultery or public lewdness charges filed against her.

"I think the adultery charge is extremely unfair and uncalled for," Corona told assembled media before entering the courthouse. "My husband is standing beside me. He called the D.A. himself this morning and wants it dropped."

Joseph Corona said he loves and supports his wife of six-and-a-half years.

"I just want it on public record that I forgive her fully," Joe Corona said. "I wish that the charges were dropped so that we could resolve this as a man and wife, more of a private matter."

His wife called her behavior Friday "inappropriate" but denied doing anything that a child could see or be harmed by.

"If you were a passerby you would not see anything was going on," she said. "We were fully clothed. His pants were on. His shirt was on. My clothes were on."

At 5:15 p.m., Friday, Farrall Park reportedly had a number of parents with their children in the playground less than 30 feet from where the pavilion full of picnic tables sits. But Corona said she and her alleged paramour, 29-year-old Justin Amend, of Oakfield, were well away from any children. She said, at most, Amend's genitals were exposed through a pants' zipper while she sat on his lap.

"Yes, it was a sexual act," she said.

Amend was also charged with public lewdness. His case was continued to June 30. He also did not enter a plea today.

She apologized to the mothers, but said, "I've not heard from these mothers. I'd like to see something from the mothers that an offense occurred, because there was nothing, nothing that would have endangered a child, to hurt a child by any means."

Her husband complained that police never consulted him before filing the adultery charge.

"If they considered me the victim, they just left me out in the open," he said, adding that he felt "sad" about the whole situation.

"I'm hurt by all this," he said. "But I'm 41, but I've got 40 some more years to spend with my wife. I'm not going to throw it all away over one incident. This is something that is going to pass and life is going to go on. It's going to be forgotten. I'm going to love her and spend the rest of my life with her."

Opening Statements Begin In Blago's Corruption Trial

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's (D) corruption trial began today, after a year and a half of the impeached governor and erstwhile Celebrity Apprentice star vowing that the evidence would prove his innocence. In his opening statement this afternoon, Blagojevich's lawyer argued that Blago is a naive politician who trusted the wrong people, calling his client "insecure" and "broke."

Blago's lawyer, Sam Adam Jr., told the jury today that Blago was a victim of men like Tony Rezko and others. He's naive, Adam said, and so insecure that "he shakes constantly" and "his own lawyers won't take his phone calls."

He's innocent, Adam said, according to the Chicago Tribune, and "honest as the day is long." The proof? Blago is flat broke.

"He's broke! He's broke!" Adam said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "And do you know why he's broke, ladies and gentlemen? It's not hard. He didn't take a dime!"

Besides, Adam said, Blago turned federal investigators on to Rezko, who was later convicted of wire fraud and money laundering.

"He turned them onto Rezko!" Adam shouted. "Nobody would do that. I don't care how crazy you think the guy is. Nobody would do that!"

Blago is facing a bevy of corruption charges. He's accused of using his gubernatorial power to shake down money from a children's hospital and of trying to sell President Obama's former Senate seat for a lucrative job, among other things.

He will testify, Adam said.

Adam attacked government investigators, saying they were inept.

"The same people chasing Bin Laden are chasing him," Adam said, according to the Tribune. "And they couldn't find illegal money. He's broke."

The prosecutor, in her opening statement, said that Blagojevich was always out for himself.

"In those instances when he was supposed to be asking, 'What about the people of Illinois?' he was asking 'What about me?'" said the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carrie Hamilton, the Sun-Times reports.

Hamilton said the jury would hear wiretap recordings of Blago's phone calls.

Adam, Blago's lawyer, is prone to dramatics, alternating between whispering and yelling during today's statements. The judge told him that while it was OK for him to yell at the jury, he'd have tone it down for the witnesses, according to the Sun-Times.

The judge also warned Blago against tweeting from the courtroom.

Court will reconvene tomorrow at 10 a.m. ET.

Rachel Slajda

U.N. Imposes New Sanctions on Iran

By a vote of 12-2, the U.N. Security Council has just moved to impose a fourth round of sanctions on Iran in response to its ongoing nuclear program. Brazil and Turkey voted against the measure, while Lebanon abstained.

The final resolution is said to contain a number of concessions to Russia and China. Specifically, it was stripped of sanctions targeting Iran's gasoline imports and banking sector, which the U.S. and other Western members of the Council favored. But it does contain broad new impositions on weapons imports, forbidding Iran from purchasing armored vehicles, attack aircraft, and missile systems, among other categories of hardware.

Hosted by Back to Google NewsStrasburg to face Indians in 2nd game

CLEVELAND — Coming off his sensational debut, Stephen Strasburg will make his first road start in the majors against the Cleveland Indians.

The Washington Nationals have confirmed that the 21-year-old will start Sunday at Progressive Field. Strasburg struck out 14 on Tuesday night in a 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates before a standing-room-only crowd of 40,315 in the nation's capital.

His appearance is giving an attendance bump to the Indians, who are in last place in the AL Central and struggling to sell tickets.

The team has sold 4,000 tickets since last week, when it appeared Strasburg would face Cleveland in his second game. The Indians have sold 1,400 tickets since Monday morning and 1,000 since midnight, shortly after Strasburg ended his dazzling opener.

Strasburg's stop in Cleveland is expected to draw the second-largest crowd this season. The Indians, who once had 455 consecutive home sellouts, were only sold out on opening day this season. Their second-biggest crowd was only 25,531 in the 43,000-seat ballpark.

"It's creating a fan buzz around baseball," Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio said. "It's something we're excited about, to be able to play host to the young man's first road start."

Strasburg's 14 strikeouts are the most in major league debut since J.R. Richard fanned 15 for Houston in 1971.

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No Tweeting in Court, Judge Tells Blagojevich

Opening statements are underway in Rod Blagojevich's trial in Chicago, but there will be no further tweets from @GovernorRod until at least the end of the day: the judge has ordered him not to tweet in court.

"I do not want anybody in the well of the court using Twitter during trial," said Judge James Zagel, according to The Blago Blog, the superbly named Sun-Times blog following the proceedings. Zagel also explained to Blagojevich that public statements (tweeted or otherwise) may come back to haunt him if and when he takes the stand. "Blagojevich nodded," according to the blog, but will almost certainly not shut up, because that would require common sense, as well as an ability to shut up, neither of which he seems to possess.

Not that Blago's Twitter feed is likely to be very interesting, partly because like most of the other things he has been saying lately it is just for public relations purposes. Not surprisingly, Blagojevich started using Twitter just a week before trial, has sent (so far) only 13 tweets, and is following just five other feeds: his PR firm, his PR manager, the "PR NewsChannel," HootSuite (a client for managing your own Twitter feed), and @pblagojevich, the feed of his wife, Patti Blagojevich.

As their last pretrial tweets demonstrate, the two Blagojeviches have both steeled themselves for what will clearly be the fight of their lives:

@governorrod: looking forward to opening statements because that will unlock the truth . . . stay tuned.

@pblagojevich: Wondering if I have time to get to macy's to get the lip gloss Amy wants for her graduation night.

Well, I'm sure Patti also wants to unlock the truth, but life must go on.

The most recent update from the Sun-Times is that Blagojevich's lawyer, Sam Adam, Jr., is now off to the races. "[B]y the end of this case," he told the jury, "I'm telling you, that man there is as honest as the day is long. And you will know it where? In your gut!" I'm feeling something in my gut, that's for sure. He continued: "This is the federal government [prosecuting his client]. The same people chasing Bin Laden are chasing him!"

It's going to be an interesting summer.