Thursday, July 28, 2011

NJ gov. in hospital, but 'fine and in charge'

SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — Blunt-talking Gov. Chris Christie, who some Republicans have been trying to persuade to run for president, was taken to a hospital Thursday after he had difficulty breathing.

The 48-year-old governor was driven to Somerset Medical Center by his state police security detail out of an "abundance of caution," said Christie spokesman, Michael Drewniak. Christie suffers from asthma and all indications are the governor will be OK, Drewniak said.

Maria Comella, Christie's deputy chief of staff, told The Associated Press that Christie is "fine and in charge." Close friend and adviser Bill Palatucci said Christie was "getting tests and working from the hospital."
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno was in her office at the Statehouse.

Christie attended an education conference and a congressional fundraiser in Iowa on Monday, where he again told reporters he was not running for president

The governor, who took office 18 months ago, has long struggled with his weight, which he said he started putting on after high school when he stopped playing organized sports.

He's tried dozens of diets over the years with varying success and has shed some pounds in recent months.
His weight came up during his 2009 campaign against Democrat incumbent Jon Corzine, who ran an ad accusing Christie of "throwing his weight around" to get out of traffic citations while he was U.S. attorney. Christie confronted the ads head on, telling Corzine to "man up and say I'm fat."

The married father of four was named the state's top federal law enforcement officer after playing an important role in President George W. Bush's 2000 campaign in the state.

He soon gained national exposure by overseeing two major terrorism convictions and the convictions of dozens of public officials on corruption charges.

In 2007, Corzine was seriously injured in a car accident on the Garden State Parkway. Corzine's femur bone was broken in two places and he sustained a broken sternum, six broken ribs on each side, a head laceration and a minor fracture on a lower vertebrae.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Breaking News: Daryl Mikell Brooks The Audio Book "Why Me"? Out Now!!

The story of Daryl Mikell Brooks a New Jersey Political Activist buy now.
Daryl MIikell Brooks
This is the story of Daryl Mikell Brooks a former Bible student and college basketball player whose activism on behalf of inner city kids landed him in prison.

Daryl's positive anti-drug, anti-drug message put him direct conflict with a corrupt city government and police force. Because of his crusades, Daryl was framed for a crime he did not commit and railroaded through a crooked justice system.

This is the story of Daryl Mikell Brooks whose eyes were opened when he was betrayed by the Progressive politicians who he believed were his friends and the friends of the urban poor. This is the story of one man's conversion to the cause of liberty and his ongoing struggle to unchain disadvantaged in Trenton from the shackles of corrupted government.

Brooks is now still an activist, blogger, Politian and former two time U.S. Senate Candidate. In this rare interview with Freelance Journalists/Photographer Delonte Harrod, Brooks shares it all. He shares his life growing up in Trenton, NJ, the political context that surrounded his trial and conviction, his time in prison, and his new aspirations. 

To Buy go to:
Photo's of Daryl Mikell Brooks and Friends

Brooks and Cornel West
Brooks and Glenn Beck
Brooks and former S.C.LC President
Brooks, Amira Barraka and Rich Lee

Brooks And Danny Glover

Brooks and Kyle Petty
Brooks and Hugh Price

Brooks, Harry Belafonte and Rev. Al Sampson

Breaking News: Out Now The Audio Book "Why Me"?

Daryl Mikell Brooks
The story of Tea Party Activist Daryl Mikell Brooks a New Jersey Political Activist out now.

This is the story of Daryl Mikell Brooks a former Bible student and college basketball player whose activism on behalf of inner city kids landed him in prison.

Daryl's positive anti-drug, anti-drug message put him direct conflict with a corrupt city government and police force. Because of his crusades, Daryl was framed for a crime he did not commit and railroaded through a crooked justice system.

Glenn Beck and Brooks
This is the story of Daryl Mikell Brooks whose eyes were opened when he was betrayed by the Progressive politicians who he believed were his friends and the friends of the urban poor. This is the story of one man's conversion to the cause of liberty and his ongoing struggle to unchain disadvantaged in Trenton from the shackles of corrupted government.

Brooks is now still an activist, blogger, Politian and former two time U.S. Senate Candidate. In this rare interview with Freelance Journalists/Photographer Delonte Harrod, Brooks shares it all. He shares his life growing up in Trenton, NJ, the political context that surrounded his trial and conviction, his time in prison, and his new aspirations.

Brooks and Friends 

Brooks and Anna Little

Sunday, July 24, 2011

September 2009: Muammar Gaddafi speaks to Al Jazeera, slams UN Security Council, discusses Palestine, Iran, Lockerbie, AFRICOM, and the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s system of democratic governance

Tim Geithner Mum On How U.S. Is Preparing For Default

WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said in three talk show appearances Sunday he was still confident Congress and the administration would come to an agreement on raising the debt limit before time runs out, and he refused to reveal details of how the administration is planning to deal with a possible default if no such bargain is struck.

"It's unthinkable that this country will not meet its obligations on time. It's just unthinkable we'd ever do that. It's not going to happen,'' Geithner said on CNN's "State of the Union."

But the unthinkable is clearly being thought about. On Friday, Geithner met with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley to discuss "the implications for the U.S. economy if Congress fails to act."

On "Fox News Sunday," Geithner refused to give any specifics about the United States' contingency plans, even when pressed repeatedly on the matter by host Chris Wallace.

"Our plan is to get Congress to raise the debt ceiling raised on time ... We do not have the ability, Chris, to protect the American people from the consequences of Congress not taking that action," said Geithner, dodging Wallace's question several times.

Throughout his Sunday morning appearances, Geithner stressed that he believes some sort of grand bargain can still be reached before the country hits its $14.3 trillion limit on borrowing on Aug. 2, and he reiterated the administration's opposition to a short-term plan.

"The most important thing is that we remove this threat of default from the country for the next 18 months,'' Geithner said on CNN, pushing the next time the debt ceiling would need to be raised beyond the 2012 elections.

On Fox, he blamed politics for getting in the way of Congress taking action.

"We are running out of runway," said Geithner. "I never thought they would take it this close to the edge and let politics get in the way of demonstrating the will of paying our bills on time."

But later on Fox, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) accused President Obama of worrying about reelection as one of the reasons he's passing up a short-term deal.

"I know the president is worried about the next election. But my god, shouldn't we be worried about the country?" asked Boehner.

Boehner said Friday that one of the reasons talks had broken down was that Obama "moved the goal post" on tax revenue. He said the original agreement was for $800 billion, but Democrats then wanted another $400 billion on top of that.

But on ABC's "This Week," Geithner disputed that claim, denying that Democrats and Republicans had ever agreed on an $800 billion deal.

"No, we did not. And the president and the speaker got very close. But there was a whole range of things yet to be resolved at that point when the speaker pulled out on Friday," he said.

"At that point, the Republicans were still asking for deeper cuts in Medicare and Medicaid than we thought was acceptable," he continued. "Our position was -- as you heard the president say -- is we want to make sure the deal is balanced so that we're not putting too much of the burden of getting our fiscal house in order on the backs of elderly Americans and the most vulnerable. And so at that point, we were very close, but we were not there yet."

On "Fox News Sunday," Boehner said his offer of $800 billion in new revenue is still out there.

"It may be pretty hard to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, but my last offer is still out there," said Boehner. "I've never taken my last offer off the table."


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Murdoch Scandal: Is There A Double Standard?

By Richard A. Lee

The job of a journalist is to report the news, but occasionally journalists become the news.

We saw this in New Jersey recently when the state’s decision to transfer operations of New Jersey Network to WNET became a major news story. In fact, over the past 10 to 15 years, the business side of the industry often has been in the news as cutbacks, layoffs and ownership consolidation changed the landscape of journalism in America. At other times, conflicts with authority have made for good copy, such as cases in which journalists went to jail for refusing to reveal sources and the decision by WikiLeaks to release thousands of classified government documents.

Now, News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch and the phone hacking scandal at News of the World, a now defunct British tabloid that had been part of Murdoch’s media empire, are dominating the headlines.

The scandal has all of the elements of a major news story that merits the extensive coverage. It involves allegations of hacking into the telephone accounts of the British Royal Family, a 13-year old murder victim, family members of individuals killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and a variety of celebrities and politicians. Additional charges have surfaced, alleging that the newspaper obtained information by making payments to law enforcement authorities and through other improper means.

Not surprisingly the allegations have sparked outrage on both sides of the Atlantic – from the public, from lawmakers and even from other media entities. After a series of major advertisers pulled their business from News of the World (and several more threatened to do likewise), the 168-year old newspaper closed. U.S. and British government agencies are conducting investigations, and longtime critics of Murdoch and News Corp are using the scandal to renew their disapproval of his style of journalism.

Hacking into a phone account is illegal and the investigations under way clearly are warranted, but one can’t help but wonder whether there is a double standard being employed here. After all, journalists obtain information in all sorts of manners in order to do their jobs. Obtaining a confidential memo may not be illegal, but if the memo actually was written for public dissemination, it would not have been confidential.

Likewise for confidential sources. How often do we see important information attributed to someone who speaks under the condition of anonymity because he or she is not authorized to speak publicly? Thanks to today’s electronic databases, we can answer this hypothetical question with a real number. A search of the Access World News database shows that the phrase “condition of anonymity” appeared in U.S. newspapers 735 times during a week one-week period this month. Thirty-six of the appearances were in New Jersey publications.

Overall, the use of anonymity made sense in the majority of these stories since they dealt with items such as legal matters, military strategy and labor negotiations. Ironically, one of the articles was a widely published Associated Press report that the FBI had launched an investigation into the News of the World scandal. The source of the information was identified only as a law enforcement official who “spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.”

Obviously, quoting an anonymous source is a far cry from hacking into a phone account or paying a public official for information. Nevertheless, there are some parallels. Although individuals who leak information or serve as anonymous sources generally do not do so to receive monetary payments, they do garner some type of benefit for their actions, such as increased public support for a candidate, an elected official or a controversial project.

Anonymous sources and leaks are integral components of journalism. Without them, stories that changed history and saved people’s lives might never have been written. On the other hand, obtaining information illegally through telephone hacking and payments to government officials, as has been alleged in the News of the World case, is wrong and gives the entire industry a black eye. But in between is a large grey area because, when it comes to ethical dilemmas in the world of journalism, most issues are neither black nor white.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is Communications Director of the Hall Institute. A former State House reporter and Deputy Communications Director for the Governor, he also teaches courses in media, politics and government at Rutgers University, where he is completing work on a Ph.D. in media studies. Read more of Rich’s columns at richleeonline and follow him on Twitter.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

MP accuses Piers Morgan of hacking

Former British tabloid editor Piers Morgan has been drawn into the ongoing hacking scandal, after an MP at the select committee hearing accused him of "boasting" about hacking phones while he was editor of the Daily Mail.

MP Louise Mensch made the comments in the select committee hearing which cross-examined media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his son James and former News of the World editor Rebekan Brooks over allegations of years of voicemail hacking.

Mensch said that Morgan had boasted about using a 'little trick' to win a scoop of the year award.

"That is a former editor of the Daily Mirror being very open about his personal use of phone hacking," she said in the hearing.

Blogs had previously suggested that Morgan could be the first American journalist to be embroiled in the scandal. Morgan was editor of News of the World prior to Andy Coulson.

Coulson has since been arrested, along with several other journalists and editors suspected to have played a part in the phone hacking scandal that is sweeping Murdoch's British interests.

In Morgan's 2005 book, The Insider: The Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade, he makes a brief reference to the practice of hacking, but only to say that he has learnt it is possible, and he is changing his phone's voicemail code.

Mensch was interviewed about the claim by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, only to say that her comments in the committee were protected by parliamentary privilege, and that she was unwilling to repeat the claim outside of the select committee.

Morgan then dialled into the show and accused Mensch of inaccuracy.

"I'm amused by her cowardice in refusing to repeat that allegation now that she's not in parliament covered by privilege," Morgan said during the on-air exchange.

Mensch refused to respond to Morgan's request.

The Daily Mirror is not owned by Rupert Murdoch's News International.

Source: ONE News

Libyan insurgent fighters speed towards a vital oil locale of Brega during a checkpoint, a little twenty kilometers west from a rebel-held Ajdabiya, Libya, Jul 19, 2011

France says it is probable which Libya’s predicament could be resolved by a devise which would concede embattled personality Moammar Gadhafi to sojourn in a nation if he gives up power.

Foreign Minister Alain Juppe done a comments to LCI radio upon Wednesday, after President Nicolas Sarkozy met with dual members of Libya’s antithesis Transitional National Council, TNC, in Paris.

Juppe pronounced a single of a options which could be deliberate would concede Gadhafi to stay in Libya if he stairs out of Libyan politics. However, a personality of Libya for a past 4 decades has settled formerly he has no skeleton to renounce or leave.

France was a initial nation to strictly commend a TNC as a bona fide deputy of a Libyan people. Last week, some-more than thirty nations voiced their support.

Rebel push

Meanwhile, Libyan rebels go upon their pull to benefit carry out of a eastern oil pier of Brega. Rebels contend patriot infantry in trucks sheltered with insurgent flags shelled their positions upon Tuesday, murdering 8 rebels as well as wounding dozens more.

Also, Libyan state radio pronounced Wednesday which NATO forces have been bombing targets in a horse opera locale of Zlitan.

In a Tuesday audio address, Gadhafi vowed again which he will not crawl to NATO vigour or a fighting back opposite him.

Separately, Russian headlines agencies contend Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will encounter with his Libyan supervision counterpart, Abdelati Obeidi, in Moscow upon Wednesday.

Russia has been heavily concerned in attempts to intercede in between a rebels – who carry out most of eastern Libya – as well as Gadhafi’s middle circle.

Some inform for this inform was supposing by AP as well as Reuters.

Search Terms For Thid Article:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Black Men Live Longer Inside Prison Than Out

Reuters is reporting that a new study of North Carolina inmates suggests that black men are half as likely to die at any given time if they're in prison than if they are not. The findings, published in Annals of Epidemiology, were based on a study that involved about 100,000 men between age 20 and 79 who were held in North Carolina prisons at some point between 1995 and 2005. Less than one percent of men (more than half of whom were black) in total died while in prison, and there was no difference between black and white inmates in that regard. But outside prison, blacks have a higher rate of death at any given age than whites.

Causes of death during incarceration. Reuters notes that, as in the general population, "cancer and heart and blood vessel diseases were the most common cause of death among inmates, -- accounting for more than half of deaths." But while white prison prisoners died of cardiovascular diseases similarly in prison as outside, and of cancer only slightly more so in prison than outside, black inmates were between "30 and 40 percent less likely to die of those causes than those who weren't incarcerated."

The black prisoners seemed to be especially protected against alcohol- and drug-related deaths, as well as lethal accidents and certain chronic diseases... They were also less likely to die of diabetes, alcohol- and drug-related causes, airway diseases, accidents, suicide and murder than black men not in prison.

The racial divide. Overall, for white men, the death rate was about 12 percent higher in prison that outside, with "some of that attributed to higher rates of death from infection, including HIV and hepatitis." The divide only occurred for white inmates over the age of 50. But for black men, "their risk of death at any age was only half that of men living in the community."

Sadly, Reuters reports that this is not all that surprising. "Researchers say it's not the first time a study has found lower death rates among certain groups of inmates -- particularly disadvantaged people, who might get protection against violent injuries and murder." Study author Dr. David Rosen of the University of North Carolina said, according to the New York Daily News, that "for some populations, being in prison likely provides benefits in regards to access to healthcare and life expectancy."

The findings were viewed with obvious dismay by media outlets and blogs throughout, and calls for greater expenditure on healthcare. The Atlanta Post wrote:

The findings of the study are bleak but may lead to greater improvements in healthcare. If prisoners are better off in prison, then what does that say about the conditions plaguing low-income communities and the services being offered to people of color?

And Take Part attempted to put some dollar figures to these results:

The National Institute for Healthcare Management found in 2009 that national healthcare spending per person totaled $8,100 or 17.6 percent of the GDP.

California, according to their Legislative Analysts Office, annually spends $16,000 per inmate on healthcare. With roughly 160,000 inmates, prisoner healthcare costs exceed $2.5 billion per year.

BY Ujala Sehgal


Black men survive longer in prison than out: study, Genevra Pittman, Reuters

Black men half as likely to die behind bars than on the streets, shocking study, Larry McShane, New York Daily News

New Study Doles Out Bleak Information: Black Men Live Longer In Prison, The Atlanta Post

Study: Some African Americans Live Longer in Prison, Andrew Freeman, Take Part

Report: Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak In A Coma

An attorney for former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak announced earlier today that his client’s health has “suddenly deteriorated” and he has found himself in a coma, according to several news wires. While Reuters reports that sources say he is stable despite comas occurring “occasionally,” they also report that the attorney himself noted that his information only extended so far as to know Mubarak’s health was weakened.

The AFP notes that Mubarak is scheduled to be on trial for various crimes in early August, but that trial could be compromised by his current condition. Mubarak is in custody in a hospital at Sharm el-Sheikh, according to state television. Reuters quotes the lawyer as saying the following:

“I was informed about the sudden deterioration in Mubarak’s health and I am now on my way to Sharm el-Sheikh. All that I know so far is that the president is a full coma,” Mubarak’s lawyer Farid el-Deeb told Reuters. He did not give more details.

CNN has also confirmed the report, but MSNBC has also reported contradictory reports: “a medical official at the hospital where Mubarak has been held under arrest denied the report and said his condition is stable.” More as the very recently breaking story develops.

by Frances Martel

Friday, July 15, 2011

Who caught Levi Aron?

Police and the papers say Yaakov German is the man who went through the footage on neighborhood surveillance cameras, and helped provide the information police used to arrest Levi Aron. It seems at least some of the credit many of us have been giving to the NYPD belongs to this man, too. As they used to say, "Give him maftir this shabos!"

Full story after the jump.

Amateur sleuth Yaakov German helps cops catch Levi Aron and solve murder of Leiby Kletzky



An amateur sleuth armed with determination and intuition helped cops crack the murder of Leiby Kletzky by tracking his path to doom.

Yaakov German isn't a cop or a private detective. He's a property manager and father of 12 with a reputation as a do-gooder.

By banging on doors and scrutinizing grainy video, he uncovered crucial clues that led cops to confessed killer Levi Aron.

"At the end of the day, he should be given the credit for the cracking of the case," said Rabbi Jack Mayer of the NYPD's Clergy Liaison Program.

His investigation into the disappearance of the 8-year-old boy was unofficial, but personal.

German, 47, lives on 45th St. in Borough Park. Leiby vanished Monday after leaving a yeshiva day camp one block away, on 44thSt. - but the connection wasn't just geographic.

"I found out my son was his teacher and I was even more motivated," German said.

He heard Leiby was missing late Monday, and a few hours later - with the help of son Avrumy, 25, and the principal of Yeshiva Boyan - he had access to school security video.

The cameras captured Leiby leaving the lunchroom with a shopping bag over his shoulder and a knapsack on his back.

Because local businesses were closed, German couldn't track him outside - so he spent the wee hours with neighbors shouting for Leiby on 13th Ave.

Searchers assumed Leiby turned in that direction because he was supposed to meet his parents on 13th Ave. and 50th St. on the first day he was allowed to walk home alone.

"I had a feeling I was going to bring him back alive," German said. "I told my son, 'Go to sleep; tomorrow morning I'll have him alive.'"

'Come down - I see kids'

It didn't happen, so when the shops opened Tuesday morning,German was there, demanding to see security footage.

He took along his son, who'd been Leiby's teacher all year, to help identify the boy's image.

The search began at The Children's Place on 44th St. and 13thAve., where a worker was reluctant to let them view the video.

"I cried to the worker," German said. "He said he can't let us down to the basement for security reasons, and there were customers and he can't leave the store alone."

German persuaded the employee to at least go downstairs and look himself.

"All of sudden, he broke," he said. "He said, 'You know, come down - I see kids.'"

His heart racing, he scrutinized the fuzzy footage. "First, two kids went by together with knapsacks," he said. "Then a single kid, then again two kids, then a single kid. Then I watched another 10 minutes and no kids went through with knapsacks."

He and his son watched over and over, but realized Leiby wasn't on the video.

"That's how I finalized he didn't take a right on 13th Ave. like everyone thought," he said.

He figured the boy had missed his turn. "I went down 44th St. searching for cameras," German said. "There were two homes with cameras, but they weren't working."

A block later, at Variety Corner at 44th St. and 14th Ave., he hit pay dirt. Two cameras showed the boy passing by about 5:15 p.m.

German called the boy's father.

"I called him when I saw [Leiby] on the first camera, to make him a drop happy," he said.

At the next corner, 44th St. and 15th Ave., he found his clearest images yet, at Shomrin Locksmith.

"We had a a clear shot of his face," German said.

The only camera on the next block was on a resident's garage, but it was corrupted and unwatchable.

But Yeshiva Beth Hillel of Krasna, just past 16th Ave. on 44thSt., had footage of the whole block. "I called up the principal, went through their footage," German said. "I saw the kid walking by all the way to 17th Ave."

When 44th St. dead-ended at Dahill Road, the trail seemed to go cold again.

A video store had footage that showed only sidewalks on one side of the street. Benchers Unlimited had footage of both sidewalks but no sign of the boy.

Then German spotted newly installed cameras at a car-leasing company, Tristate Fleet. That's when they spotted Aron, the man who would be later identified as Leiby's killer.

"We found the kid," German said. "We saw somebody going with him and back forth. We watched it in slow motion.

"We saw the perp going across the avenue, going into a white house, up three steps, going in for three minutes and coming back out. We went by and saw it was a dentist's office."

All this time, German was feeding information to Mayer, the liaison to the NYPD, and he was sharing it with detectives.

At about 5:30 p.m., cops arrived at Tristate. "They came in here, screeching tires," said owner Yehuda Bernstein, 40.

Cracking the case

Cops, who confirmed German's account, tracked down the dentist at home. They learned that Aron was the only patient who had been in and out quickly - to pay a bill - and they got his address.

Soon after, they swarmed Aron's house on E. Second St., where they found Leiby's severed feet in the freezer, 2 miles from where the rest of his body would be found in a Dumpster.

German, who shopped at the hardware store where Aron was a clerk, was outside the house when cops made the arrest early Wednesday.

"I never saw a detective with tears before in my life," he said. "They said, 'They don't have the whole body.' We all started crying."

German says he felt like he had no choice but to help. "You got to do what you got to do," he said.

Still, he's crushed by the grisly outcome of his old-fashioned pavement-pounding.

"I just can't stand to see something like this happening in our community," he said.


- Yaakov German views security footage from Yeshiva Boyan showing Leiby Kletzky leaving the school about 4:50 p.m. wearing a striped shirt and carrying a knapsack.

- Leiby is nowhere to be found on security footage from The Children's Place on 13th Ave., so German determines the kid missed his turn onto 13th Ave.

- German determines Leiby kept going straight on 44th St. after spotting him on security footage from a hardware store and another school.

- German finds that security footage from Tristate Fleet, a car dealership at the end of 44th St., shows Leiby and suspect Levi Aron together, and shows Aron going in and out of the dentist's office.

- Cops get the dentist office to give them Aron's name and address.

Phone Hacking Fallout: Rebekah Brooks Resigns As CEO Of News International

 The former News Of The World editor told News International staffers in an email that she has become "a focal point of the debate" over the integrity of Rupert Murdoch's news operations and that is "now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past." But the resignation suggests that Murdoch feels seriously threatened. His company is being investigated by UK police, Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron, and now in the U.S. by the FBI. Earlier Murdoch stood by Brooks even after he closed NOTW, abandoned his effort to buy BSkyB, and Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband publicly called on her to leave. Many people questioned why Brooks kept her job last week while hundreds of NOTW employees lost theirs. Brooks had been editor in 2002 when the paper tampered with voice mail messages of murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler, leading her parents to believe she might still be alive.

Brooks is being replaced by an executive with no connection to Murdoch's newspapers and the scandal: Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge. Here's the News International announcement:

News Corporation names Tom Mockridge

Chief Executive Officer of News International

London, 15 July, 2011 – News Corporation today announced the appointment of Tom Mockridge to the role of Chief Executive Officer of News International. Mr Mockridge will assume responsibility for his new role with immediate effect following the resignation of Rebekah Brooks.

Mr Mockridge joins News International from Sky Italia where he has been Chief Executive Officer since launch in 2003. He was also Chief Executive European Television of News Corporation, overseeing News Corporation’s television operations in Europe, outside of the UK.

Laura Cioli, Chief Operating Officer, and Domenico Labianca, Chief Finance Officer, will assume Mr Mockridge’s responsibilities on an interim basis, reporting to James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and CEO, International, News Corporation. Prior to joining Sky Italia, Mr Mockridge was Chief Executive of the publicly-listed New Zealand company, Independent Newspapers, and Chairman of Sky New Zealand. He previously held various roles at Star Group Limited and spent three years as Chief Executive Officer of Foxtel, News Corporation’s Australian pay TV joint venture. Mr Mockridge joined News Corporation in January 1991, working for Ken Cowley, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Australian newspaper company News Limited. Before that, he was a spokesperson in the Australian government. He started his career as a newspaper journalist in New Zealand.

Mr Mockridge is also a non-executive director of BSkyB and a member of the Supervisory Board of Sky Deutschland. James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Chairman and CEO, International, News Corporation, said: “Tom is an outstanding executive with unrivalled experience across our journalism and television businesses. He has proven himself to be a very effective operator in his time at Sky Italia. Under his leadership, Sky has grown to become one of the

world’s most successful pay TV businesses, reaching close to 5 million homes and launching channels like TG24 which has set a new standard for independent journalism in Italy.

“I believe that Tom is the best person to move the company forward to a brighter future.”

Privacy, Civility and an All-Star Decision

By Richard A. Lee

I don't care that Derek Jeter decided not to take part in this year's Major League Baseball All-Star game.

Sure, it would have been great to watch Jeter play in the midsummer classic a few days after he made baseball history by becoming the first New York Yankee to reach the 3,000-hit mark.

But if the veteran shortstop feels he needs a few days off (as he did), that's his prerogative.

The real question here is not whether Jeter should or should not have skipped the All-Star game. The more intriguing issue is how and why a personal decision became a much discussed topic of public debate and just what that says about the world in which we live today.

For better or for worse, our public figures are under more scrutiny than ever. In part, this is a result of today's 24/7 news cycle, but it also reflects the public's insatiable appetite for news, information and gossip.

On one hand, public figures -- whether they be athletes, entertainers or government leaders -- owe their fame, wealth and fortune to the general public, so one could legitimately argue that we have a right to know details of their lives.

But on the other hand, they are people just like all of us. They are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and friends, and they are entitled to a modicum of privacy.

When I was a music critic, the leader of a popular rock band told me:

"When we were first starting out, we used to say, 'Wouldn't it be great if we hit it big and we got to be so popular we couldn't even walk down the street?' Well, it turned out we did hit it big and we did get to be so popular we couldn't walk down the street, and you know what? It wasn't that great after all."

The man's point is well-taken. If given the chance, most of us would sacrifice a bit of personal privacy in return for fame, fortune or power -- and there's no denying that we would enjoy those fruits of success.

But at what price?

"The right to privacy, it seems, is what makes us civilized," Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, wrote in The Right to Privacy, a 1995 book she co-authored with Ellen Alderman.

The two authors’ words about privacy and civility are even more appropriate today. Yes, public figures do need to be accountable, and they should not be immune from criticism. But before we sound off about something they've done -- or haven't done -- remember that it's no fun to live in a glass house.

# # #

Richard A. Lee is Communications Director of the Hall Institute. A former State House reporter and Deputy Communications Director for the Governor, he also teaches courses in media, politics and government at Rutgers University, where he is completing work on a Ph.D. in media studies. Read more of Rich's columns at richleeonline and follow him on Twitter.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Everyone's Buzzing About Bernanke's Controversial Comments About Gold

Everyone's Buzzing About 
Bernanke's Controversial Comments About Gold
News Link  •  Federal Reserve

07-13-2011  • 
A line from Bernanke's testimony this morning is getting some folks all atwitter. First he was asked by Ron Paul whether he thinks gold is money: He said "no." Then he Ron Paul asked him why Central Banks hold so much: He answered "tradition." Now this is the classic gold bug argument: Because gold has been used as a store of wealth for eons, it still should have value.  
Read Full Story

Reported by Jack Gregson

Southern Poverty Law Center labels Senator Rand Paul an ‘extremist’

Southern Poverty Law Center labels
 Senator Rand Paul an ‘extremist’
News Link  •  Politics: Republican Campaigns

07-13-2011  •  Rawstory 
The Southern Poverty Law Center included Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky in a list of "extreme right-wing" candidates in its latest Intelligence Report.

The civil rights organization labeled Paul as an extremist because he said that private businesses should not have to follow the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and has criticized the Fair Housing Act.
Read Full Story

Reported by Powell Gammill

Gadhafi Out of Tim

Gadhafi Out of Time
News Link  •  Revolutions, Rebellions & Uprisings

07-14-2011  •  arclein 
Word of the building pressure against Gadhafi came as France's foreign minister reported that Gadhafi was prepared to leave power, citing Libyan emissaries who have approached the French government. It was not immediately clear how credible the offer was. Gadhafi has refused to leave or give up power since U.S. and NATO forces launched a bombing campaign in support of rebels who rose up against the gov  Read Full Story

Reported by Robert Klein

Poverty in America, Part I

Poverty in America, Part I
News Link  •  Economy - Economics USA

07-14-2011  • 
If jobs are not coming back, then we as a nation need a conversation about poverty in America. The Status Quo assumption is that this is just another garden-variety recession, and that employment will bounce back, along with the "animal spirits" that drive borrowing and spending. As of August 2011, it will be three years since the global financial meltdown. In three years, the Savior State has borrowed and blown $6 trillion maintaining the Status Quo, and the Federal Reserve has printed almost $3 trillion and shoveled that vast sum into "risk assets" to keep housing on life support and the stock market rising. The Fed has also devalued and debased the dollar, stealing wealth from the citizenry and holders of U.S.-denominated debt in the process, to serve two goals: 1) spark inflation and thus avoid deflationary deleveraging of the nation's fast-growing mountain of debt, and 2) to enable servicing that debt with cheaper dollars. None of these grandiose manipulations has healed the economy or fixed the structural problems which made the meltdown inevitable. The irony here (among many) is that so many people believe the Power Elites controlling the nation have some sort of god-like ability to maintain their grip on the levers of power. While it's certainly true that the wealth of the Power Elites has increased as a result of the meltdown and Fed/Savior State response, ultimately the Financial and Political Elites' power depends on the passivity and complicity of the citizens. This means the Power Elites must buy off or co-opt the majority of citizens to keep them politically neutered and mallable. The Status Quo has two basic methods of buying the citizen's complicity: a vibrant economy that supports a middle class that thus has a stake in maintaining the Status Quo, and cash bribes to everyone else to keep quiet, i.e. "social benefits" a.k.a. entitlements and welfare. This renders everyone either dependent on cash payments from the Savior State or a stakeholder in the Status Quo. 
Read Full Story

Crazy Talk

By Robert Romano
If congressional Republicans never had any intention of using the increase in the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling as leverage to extract big spending cuts from the Harry Reid-led Senate and the Obama Administration, they had ample opportunity after the 2010 elections to say so.

They could have just said, “That’s crazy talk!” and left it at that. Fiscal conservatives may have still called for the debt ceiling to be used in exchange for cuts, but other avenues would have been pursued to bring the nation’s fiscal house in order.
Instead, Republican leaders, emboldened by the decisive result of the 2010 elections, stoked the embers for this idea and really were the ones who got the ball rolling.

After the election, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News’ Brett Baier that the debt ceiling “will not be [raised] without some strings attached, if it happens, because they're going to have to seriously address spending and debt.”

McConnell added, “The American people want it, they expect it. That was a big issue in yesterday’s election.”
Later on, House Speaker John Boehner, speaking to the Economic Club of New York, said, “Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions.”

The American people have since rallied to the idea. According to Gallup, a 51 percent majority of Americans, including 52 percent of Independents and 57 percent of Republicans, are more concerned about the debt ceiling being raised without big cuts than they are of the risk of an economic crisis if it is not raised.
That means, in spite of the talking heads and big corporate lobbies pushing for a no strings attached increase in the nation’s credit limit, Republicans have been winning this debate. Not even the White House’s fear mongering and shameless class warfare has penetrated that much.
Get full story here.