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...not always a bad thing. In the West Ashley Pierpoint district of Charleston, South Carolina, a young black woman - who apparently prefers to remain anonymous - received an invitation to join one of the most ancient and famous political groups in the USA. The Ku Klux Klan.
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I've heard about the Polish presidential flag, eagle and all, being flown upside down during a state visit. I've heard about the Belgian PM singing the French national anthem in place of his own. I've heard of the Polish interpreter whose incompetence nearly caused an international incident when President Carter (typically) visited Communist Poland. But surely something like THIS cannot possibly have happened, can it?
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28 people have been arrested in Palermo, Sicily, for Mafia activities. Apparently they had managed by corrupt means to get several supply contracts for a popular TV series about cops fighting the Mafia.
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Norway, probably the richest country in Europe, floating on a sea of oil as well as a lot of successful business sectors, has according to reports suddenly suffered from a desperate shortage of a major raw material which risks wrecking this year's Norwegian Christmas season.

They are said to be wholly out of butter, and to have actually appealed to their neighbours Denmark and Sweden to send them some. Demnark, apparently, are laughing themselves stupid.
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A few years back, a man called Cesare Lupo was condemned to a fair few years in jail for Mafia crimes. While in jail, he joined the external law course of the University of Catanzaro (southern Italy) and graduated in 2008 with a respectable 104 out of 110, with a thesis on "Extortion aggravated by facilitation towards Cosa Nostra." One year later he was released. And a few days ago he was arrested as being management level in a major Mafia family.
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The Italian government's threatened abolition of 36 Provinces (roughly the equivalent of counties) and of all local authorities of less than 1000 inhabitants, as part of the recent emergency expenditure-cutting budget, has predictably caused an uproar. Filettino, a village in the mountains east of Rome, has actually declared independence as the "Principality of Filettino" and is already printing its own money. It also threatens to slap a tax on the water from its reservoir, which feeds most of the city of Rome.
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Luca Zambelli, 41, was given eighteen years by an Italian court - one for each knife wound he inflicted on his first wife in the process of killing her. Francesca Brandoli, 38, got life formurdering her estranged first husband and (during the same assault) murderously attacking his girlfriend. They met in jail, fell in love, and have now married.
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The battle over a backyard boat restoration project appears to be headed to a Newport Beach court.

The Orange County Register says Dennis Holland has been restoring the century-old 72-foot boat in his backyard since 2006 and has angered some neighbors by keeping the ship on his property.

The City Council voted Tuesday to pursue a court order to get Holland to move the boat off the property.

Holland had a permit for the work but it expired in January. Talks to extend it broke down because Holland refused to give city officials an expected completion date for the project.

Holland's friend Don Rypinski, who has been trying to mediate the dispute, tells the Register they are hopeful an agreement can be reached before any legal action is taken.
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A heroic Marine chaplain, killed in Vietnam while trying to protect his Marines, and well on his way to being canonized, has had an exhibit dedicated to him in the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The exhibit was opened by Lieutenant General Ron Christmas. The chaplain was called Fr.Vincent Capodanno ("New Year's Day"). Just a matter of a week, really.
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A rather battered-looking, elderly man was spotted walking about in the rain by a suspicious citizen in Long Branch, New Jersey. The police were called and, after some palaver, finally took the supposed bum to a hotel where he was staying and where he was able to prove that, yes, he was indeed Bob Dylan.
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From the Touchstone Magazine website:

Not slain, just injured, and now the church must pay, or so says Matthew Lincoln, 58, of the Knoxville, Tennessee area, who fell and was injured last June during a church service after receiving the Spirit.

Since he already suffered from a "degenerative disc disease of his neck and back," Lincoln, a former church board member, contends the fall exacerbated the pre-existing condition and has caused him "severe and permanent" injuries. As a result of the fall, Lincoln, a recording engineer, claims that he is no longer able to care for his disabled daughter. Lincoln alleges that Lakewind and its pastors were "negligent in not supervising the catchers to be sure that they stood behind the person being prayed for...

He knew he might fall, since this was not the first time. But he didn't make sure a catcher was right there. So he wants $2.5 million to soften the blow.
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From yesterday's Catholic News Agency release:

Gov. Schwarzenegger commits to 20 daily rosaries to help pass health care plan

San Diego, June 27 (CNA).-Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke to a meeting of the Catholic Healthcare Association (CHA) in San Diego on Monday on the topic of healthcare reform, pledging to pray "twenty rosaries every day" if that is what is necessary to have the California legislature pass his health care plan.

Governor Schwarzenegger, who was introduced by former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, addressed the CHA audience to congratulate Lloyd Dean's assumption of the association's chairmanship, the California Catholic Daily reports.

The governor said he was excited that Dean had become CHA chairman, praising his "tremendous work" in California as leader of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW).

"And, man, he's an action hero, I can tell you that," said Schwarzenegger, a former action movie star, who said Dean had balanced the deeply troubled finances of CHW after only two years.

Lloyd Dean, the governor said, had helped assemble "an unprecedented and historic coalition of hospitals, doctors, insurers, patients' groups, business groups, and labor groups" to support Schwarzenegger's health care plan, which he said is based upon shared responsibility among employers, healthcare providers, insurers, individuals, and government.

Schwarzenegger said that California's uninsured population is a "moral crisis," saying 6.7 Californians are uninsured, including one million children.

The governor said he can implement his health care program with the help of CHA members.

"And I know that, with your help, we can do it," he said. "And even if it takes praying 20 rosaries every day, I will be on my knees praying the 20 rosaries – but we are going to get the job done!"
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In 1816, the village authorities of San Giovanni Gemini, near Agrigento, Sicily, sued an important local landowning family and some of their associates for defrauding them over the sale of a considerable amount of public land. The lawsuit is still running.
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Anyone who ever attended an Indian or Pakistani wedding knows that they are monumental events, with guests in the thousands and bride and groom dressed (and behaving) like a king and queen. Except that in a wedding that took place in a village in Bihar state recently, the prospective "king" fell rather short of expectations. He turned up at his own wedding ceremony drunk to the eyeballs and quite incapable. Both families were about to suffer a fearful public humiliation - until, somehow, the bride decided or was convinced to accept the groom's younger brother, who was stone cold sober and very willing to take over his brother's burden.

The culprit later apologized to all the assembled guests for bringing shame on them, and swore he would never marry.
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The husband-and-wife pair of Andre' Agassi and Steffi Graf, representing probably about one-quarter of all the raw tennis talent existing in the world at large, were preparing to play a charity mixed doubles match in Houston, TX. Agassi swung his racket out for a backhand and caught his wife full in the face. She needed three stitches.
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The Carabinieri, one of Italy's two nationwide police forces, must be spitting blood. They have the nicer uniforms, the longer history, and the tougher image - and when Italians tell stupid jokes, they tell them about them, not about their rivals. But their rivals, the Italian State Police (PS) have come up with a novelty worth five of that. Read more... )
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From today's Sky News:

An Independent councillor who sold a woman with learning difficulties for sex has been given a 12-month suspended jail sentence.Read more... )
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Nobody with a modicum of self-control HAS to fall in love

(The author of the Roscesvalles blog, to be precise.)

Which goes to show that intelligent people can write the most fantastically idiotic things when they go outside their own areas of experience. IN other words, if you have never been in love, shut up about it.
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(From today's townhall.com news section)

It is considered polite to light a match after passing gas. Not while on a plane.

An American Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing Monday morning after a passenger lit a match to disguise the scent of flatulence, authorities said.

The Dallas-bound flight was diverted to Nashville after several passengers reported smelling burning sulfur from the matches, said Lynne Lowrance, spokeswoman for the Nashville International Airport Authority. All 99 passengers and five crew members were taken off and screened while the plane was searched and luggage was screened.

The FBI questioned a passenger who admitted she struck the matches in an attempt to conceal a "body odor," Lowrance said. She had an unspecified medical condition, authorities said.

"It's humorous in a way but you feel sorry for the individual, as well," she said. "It's unusual that someone would go to those measures to cover it up."

The flight took off again, but the woman was not allowed back on the plane. The woman, who was not identified, was not charged in the incident.
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From AFP via Breitbart come these peculiar quotes from Iranian newspapers
"The reality is that if we do not consider Pope Benedict XVI to be ignorant of Islam, then his remarks against Islam are a dictat that the Zionists and the Americans have written (for him) and have submitted to him."

"The American and the Zionist aim is to undermine the glorious triumph of Islam's children of Lebanese Hezbollah, which annulled the undefeatable legend of the Israeli army and foiled the Satanic and colonialist American plot," it said.

Fellow hardline daily Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief is appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said there were signs of Israeli inteference aimed at creating conflict between Islam and Christianity.

"There are many signs that show that Pope Benedict XVI's remarks regarding the great prophet of Islam are a link in a connected chain of a Zionist-American project," it said.

"The project, which was created and executed by the Zionist minority, aims at creating confrontation between the followers of the two great divine religions."


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