Sunday, June 29, 2008
Random Crap From All Over The Ass. Press Presented W/O Further Comment
by M. Bouffant at 15:01
Onward, Xtian Soldiers SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Extremists throwing rocks, bottles and gasoline bombs have attacked the Bulgarian capital's first gay pride parade. Police say they prevented the extremists from harming the 150 or so people in the procession through Sofia. No serious injuries have been reported. Police say they detained about 60 people for harassing the parade participants. Gays face widespread hostility in Bulgaria and opposition to Saturday's parade has been fierce. The far-right Bulgarian National Union had called for "open resistance" to the gay pride parade with a campaign featuring posters that say: "Be Intolerant, Be Normal." Bulgaria's influential Orthodox Church said the march should be banned as it undermines the country's Christian traditions. Demonstrators carry a rainbow flag during the first gay pride parade in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, Saturday, June 28, 2008. A group of extremists have attacked the first gay parade in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, but a massive police presence prevented violence. The parade of about 200 people was making its way through the streets of Sofia when a group of extremists clashed with police in riot gear preventing them to harm the marchers. About 60 people were detained for trying to attack and harass the participants in the gay pride parade, police said. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova) Click to see photo. Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Onward, Muslim Soldiers, or: Electoral Democracy in Action By JULIA ZAPPEI KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim took refuge Sunday at the Turkish Embassy after police began probing an allegation that he sodomized his male aide, reprising a sex scandal that led to his imprisonment a decade ago. Anwar, 60, dismissed the accusation — made in a police complaint by the 23-year-old aide on Saturday — as "a complete fabrication." He said he fled to the embassy because he feared for his life. The dramatic developments that began to unfold a little before midnight Saturday will further roil Malaysian politics, which have been in turmoil since March 8 elections handed the governing National Front coalition its worst-ever result. A three-party opposition coalition led by Anwar made spectacular gains, winning an unprecedented 82 seats in the 222-member Parliament and the legislatures of five states. Anwar has threatened to engineer defections from the National Front — which has ruled continuously since 1957 — to bring down the government by September. In a statement posted on his blog, Anwar said the political developments put his life in danger. "Certain agents" in the National Front "have initiated plots" to harm him, he said. "I have been told that my assassination has not been ruled out as means to subvert the people's will and bring an end to the transformational changes taking place in Malaysia," Anwar said. He added that he remained committed to work toward a "free and just Malaysia." Several embassies offered to shelter him but Anwar chose the Turkish mission because of his close ties with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Badrul Hisham Shaharin, a senior member of Anwar's People's Justice Party. It was not clear how long he would stay there, even though police say they do not intend to arrest him before investigations are complete. More than 50 supporters gathered outside the embassy anticipating a visit by Anwar's family. Police blocked roads in the area in an apparent security precaution. Anwar's wife, Azizah Ismail, described the sodomy accusation as an attempt at "political murder." Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi insisted the government was not responsible for the accusation, saying there was no conspiracy "to cause (Anwar) trouble or harass him or raise such issues to undermine him." Asked about Anwar's denial, Abdullah said it "was common for an accused person" to claim he was innocent. Anwar, a charismatic politician, was once part of the ruling establishment, rising to the post of deputy prime minister and finance minister in then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's government in the 1990s. But it all unraveled in 1998 when he was accused of sodomizing his driver and abusing his power to cover up the deed. Mahathir fired him from the government and had him jailed. Anwar was subsequently convicted on both charges but Malaysia's highest court overturned the sodomy conviction and freed him in 2004. Anwar insists he was framed to prevent him from challenging Mahathir for power. After a decade in political oblivion, Anwar revived his career with this year's electoral success. In his blog statement, Anwar said he recently obtained evidence that the national police chief, Musa Hassan, and the attorney general, Abdul Gani Patail, fabricated evidence against him in 1998. "These actions are being repeated today to undermine the forces of reform and renewal which were unleashed in the March 2008 elections," he said. In an earlier statement, he said the new accusation was engineered by "interested parties" to prevent him from exposing Musa and Abdul Gani. Bakri Zinin, the federal police chief for criminal investigations, said the aide filed a complaint Saturday claiming Anwar had sodomized him in a condominium in an upscale Kuala Lumpur suburb. "We want to establish the allegation first to see whether there is truth or not," Bakri told a news conference. "We will conduct a thorough investigation and be fair to both sides." Sodomy, even if consensual, is punishable by 20 years' imprisonment in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Anwar's party identified the accuser as Anwar's assistant, who started working for him in March. Anwar did not run in the March elections because his abuse of power conviction barred him from holding political office for five years. The ban ended in April, and Anwar has indicated he wants to re-enter Parliament through a by-election, which would make him eligible to become prime minister. Associated Press reporters Eileen Ng, Sean Yoong and Vijay Joshi contributed to this report. Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Annals of Privatization EL DORADO, Ark. - The driver of a private security van ferrying prison inmates through southern Arkansas fell asleep behind the wheel, causing a crash that killed two prisoners and injured four others, authorities said. Gregory O. Reed, 43, of Texas was driving a van for U.S. Extradition Service Inc. when he dozed off early Friday, the Arkansas State Police said. Cpl. Jeff Hust told the El Dorado News-Times that prisoners began screaming, "Boss! Boss!" and that another guard grabbed the wheel but overcorrected. The van struck a culvert and rolled twice before stopping. Shawn Talbot, 29, of Ladysmith, Wis., and Walter Ridley, 47, of Clarendon died at the scene. Seven inmates and two guards were in the van, which was on its way to Little Rock. Both guards were wearing seat belts, while the inmates were unsecured in the back of the van. Authorities are investigating the crash. U.S. Extradition Service, based in Austin, Texas, transports prisoners and inmates under contract with law enforcement agencies. Bill Brees, a spokesman for the company, declined to comment. Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Big ups to the Ass. Press for not (as yet) suing this web log for stealing, retitling & redistributing their stories. Really, thanks!!