Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Sports Authority Coupon For 20% Off Cannot Be Used For Anything

Sports Authority misses you so much that they sent out a 20% off coupon that doesn't apply to sports equipment or 68 named brands. You might, might be able to get 20% off a pair of socks.
Offer valid only while supplies last and not applicable to canceled orders due to out-of-stock merchandise. Discount applied when TSAWIN is entered as the promo code at checkout. Order must be confirmed by 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time on February 24, 2008 to receive discount. Discount does not apply to taxes, shipping and handling charges, gift wrapping or similar charges. Discount not applicable with returned merchandise; total discount will be deducted from the value of any returned item to which the discount applied. Discount excludes the following: Atec,
Coleman Boats,
Etyomic Research,
Fly Flot,
Front Porch Classics,
Future Beach,
Ground Control,
Leisure Life,
Louisville Slugger,
Miken Sports,
Muzono Golf,
Nike Golf,
Pro Feet,
Spring Step,
Taylor Made,
The North Face,
Trend Sports,
Under Armour,
World Industries,
and Worth brands,
Home Gyms,
select table games,
trampolines & accessories,
and electronics/optics.
Cannot be combined with any other promotional offer nor is this offer valid on previous purchases. Entire order must be shipped to a single address and customer is responsible for all shipping costs for returned merchandise. Any illegal posting of this promotional code will result in immediate disaffiliation. This promotional offer may be modified or terminated at any time without notice.
This post probably constitutes an "illegal posting," so sorry everyone for ruining your terrible coupon. Do tell us though, what would you have possibly bought?

Related: After reading this post a former Sports Authority manager wrote in with 9 confessions, including "the coupons are always a sham."

Original here

Teen gang rapes woman, posts vid on youtube, arrested in UK

THREE teenagers were being quizzed last night over a drug rape video posted on YouTube.

The suspects – two aged 16 and a 14-year-old – were seized following the sickening attack on a young mum in front of her kids.

The victim’s daughter, aged two, and four-year-old son were heard crying in the background on the mobile phone footage.

Cops from the Met’s sex crime unit launched an investigation after the woman, 25, came forward last week.

She told them how her glass of champagne was spiked with a date rape drug by her attackers.

Her ordeal lasted 14 hours. She said: “It was torture. They raped me in front of my daughter who was screaming, but I couldn’t move.”

The three-minute clip was uploaded to the videosharing site after the attack in November.

The three boys were being held in South London.

Original here

Re: Gaza without electricity

This is a video response to Gaza without electricity

Pakistan blocks YouTube website

A computer shows YouTube (file image)
Turkey and Thailand have in the past also banned access to the site
Pakistan has blocked access to the popular YouTube website because of content deemed offensive to Islam.

Its telecommunications authority ordered internet service providers to block the site until further notice.

Reports said the content included Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad that have outraged many.

But one report said a trailer for a forthcoming film by Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders, which portrays Islam in a negative light, was behind the ban.

"They asked us to ban it immediately... and the order says the ban will continue until further notice," said Wahaj-us-Siraj, convener of the Association of Pakistan Internet Service Providers.

"Users are quite upset. They're screaming at ISPs which can't do anything.

"The government has valid reason for that, but they have to find a better way of doing it. If we continue blocking popular websites, people will stop using the internet."

Other countries that have temporarily blocked access to YouTube include Turkey and Thailand.

Original here

Raul Castro becomes Cuba's leader

HAVANA - Cuba's parliament named Raul Castro president on Sunday, ending nearly 50 years of rule by his brother Fidel but leaving the island's communist system unshaken.

In a surprise move, officials bypassed younger candidates to name a 77-year-old revolutionary leader, Jose Ramon Machado, to Cuba's No. 2 spot — apparently assuring the old guard that no significant political changes will be made soon.

The retirement of the ailing 81-year-old president caps a career in which he frustrated efforts by 10 U.S. presidents to oust him.

Raul Castro stressed that his brother remains "commander in chief" even if he is not president and proposed to consult with Fidel on all major decisions of state — a motion approved by acclamation.

Though the succession was not likely to bring a major shift in the communist government policies that have put Cuba at odds with the United States, many Cubans were hoping it would open the door to modest economic reforms that might improve their daily lives.

In his first speech as president, Raul Castro suggested that the Communist Party as a whole would take over the role long held by Fidel, who formally remains its leader. The new president said the nation's sole legal party "is the directing and superior force of society and the state."

"This conviction has particular importance when because the founding and forging generation of the revolution is disappearing," Raul Castro added.

The U.S. has said the change from one Castro to another would not be significant, calling it a "transfer of authority and power from dictator to dictator light."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Sunday Cubans have a right "to choose their leaders in democratic elections" and urged the government "to begin a process of peaceful, democratic change by releasing all political prisoners, respecting human rights, and creating a clear pathway towards free and fair elections."

Her statement, issued shortly before parliament met, called the developments a "significant moment in Cuba's history."

Cuba's parliament chose a new 31-member ruling body known as the Council of State to lead the country. The council's president serves as the head of state and government.

The vote ended Castro's 49 years as head of the communist state in America's backyard. He retains his post as a lawmaker and as head of the Communist Party. But his power in government has eroded since July 31, 2006, when he announced he had undergone emergency intestinal surgery and was provisionally ceding his powers to Raul.

The younger Castro has headed Cuba's caretaker government in the 19 months since then, and Fidel Castro has not appeared in public.

In his final essay as president, Castro wrote that preparations for the parliament meeting "left me exhausted," and he said he did not regret his decision to step down.

"I slept better than ever," he wrote in the commentary published on Friday. "My conscience was clear and I promised myself a vacation."

In Old Havana, Maria Martinez, a 67-year-old retiree, watched the announcement on a Chinese-made television in her dark living room.

"He's a trustworthy man," she said. "He won't make mistakes."

"All we really want is peace and tranquility," she added.

Her 33-year-old neighbor, Raul Rodriguez, let out a long sigh and nodded as the announcement of Raul Castro's election was made. "He's hard, he's tough," said Rodriguez, who wore an NYPD baseball cap sent by a relative in the U.S.

But a 51-year-old man hefting a wide metal tray of homemade guava and coconut pies through the streets near Havana's train station said "this country, it's like jail."

"They close the doors and say 'The president is Peter or the president is Paul' and everyone responds 'Good, it's Peter or Paul.' There's no openness," said the man named Isidro, who like many Cubans declined to give his last name to a foreign journalist when criticizing the government.

Machado, the new No. 2, fought alongside the Castro brothers in the Sierra Maestra during the late 1950s and is a key Communist Party ideologue.

Cuba's young guard apparently will have to wait a little longer. Cabinet secretary Carlos Lage, 56, who is associated with the modest economic reforms of the 1990s, had been among the most visible Cuban officials since Fidel Castro fell ill and was considered a strong candidate to replace Raul as first vice president.

Machado and Lage were joined by four other vice presidents: Juan Almeida Bosque, 80, a historic revolutionary leader; Interior Minister Abelardo Colome Ibarra, 68; Esteban Lazo Hernandez, 63, a longtime Communist Party leader, and Gen. Julio Casas Regueiro, 71, Raul Castro's No. 2 at the Defense Ministry.

The council secretary remained Dr. Jose M. Miyar Barrueco, 75, physician and historic revolutionary leader, and longtime aide to Fidel Castro.

Fidel was among the 614 members of parliament elected on Jan. 20 but his seat was empty at Sunday's gathering. As the names of the new National Assembly's members were read aloud, mention of the absent Castro drew a standing ovation. Parliament gave another standing ovation to Raul. The session closed with shouts of "Viva Fidel!"

In Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez reaffirmed his economic and political support of Cuba when he took a telephone call from Raul Castro after the session. Chavez also sent a message to his ally Fidel, whom he visited numerous times during his illness.

"Fidel, comrade," Chavez said, "I send you a hug. You continue to be El Comandante."

Earlier Sunday, Chavez scoffed at the idea of a transition in Cuba, saying "the transition occurred 49 years ago," from U.S.-dominated capitalism to socialism.

Original here

Saudi men arrested for 'flirting'

Young men in a shopping centre in Saudi Arabia (archive)
Relations between the sexes outside marriage is against the law
Prosecutors in Saudi Arabia have begun investigating 57 young men who were arrested on Thursday for flirting with girls at shopping centres in Mecca.

The men are accused of wearing indecent clothes, playing loud music and dancing in order to attract the attention of girls, the Saudi Gazette reported.

They were arrested following a request of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

The mutaween enforce Saudi Arabia's conservative brand of Islam, Wahhabism.

Earlier in the month, the authorities enforced a ban on the sale of red roses and other symbols used in many countries to mark Valentine's Day.

The ban is partly because of the connection with a "pagan Christian holiday", and also because the festival itself is seen as encouraging relations between the sexes outside marriage, punishable by law in the kingdom.

The Prosecution and Investigation Commission said it had received reports of such "bad" behaviour by 57 young men at a number of shopping centres in the holy city of Mecca, the Saudi Gazette said.

The guardians of some of the men defended their actions, however, saying they would regularly get together at the weekend to have fun without ever violating laws governing the segregation of the sexes, it added.
Original here

School Bus Fight

US-Mexico 'virtual fence' ready

US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff
Mr Chertoff said the system has already helped catch smugglers
A high-technology system to control the US-Mexico border with cameras and radar instead of a physical fence has gained government approval, US officials say.

The $20m 'virtual fence' already covers 28 miles (48km) of the border between Arizona state and Mexico.

The system has already helped catch smugglers, and would be deployed elsewhere, said US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff.

But he said plans to complete 770 miles (1,130km) of physical fence remain.

"I have personally witnessed the value of this system," said Mr Chertoff.

"I have spoken directly to the border patrol agents... who have seen it produce actual results in terms of identifying and allowing the apprehension of people who are illegally smuggling across the border."

Unmanned towers

Built by Boeing, the virtual fence is part of a strategy to stop illegal immigrants as well as drug-smugglers attempt to pass into the US on foot or in vehicles.

Its technology - including 100-ft (30-metre) unmanned surveillance towers equipped with sophisticated sensor devices - is capable of distinguishing people from cattle at a distance of about 10 miles (16km).

A Mexican illegal immigrant covers his face
The virtual fence targets illegal immigrants and drug smugglers

The system's cameras and radars are powerful enough to determine whether people are carrying backpacks that may contain weapons or drugs.

The US government plans to extend the technology to other areas of the Arizona border, as well as sections of Texas, possibly within months.

In a televised debate in Texas on Thursday, both Democratic party presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, said high-technology surveillance could lessen the need for a physical barrier.

A highly charged political issue, immigration has been at the forefront of this year's presidential campaign.

Plans for the physical barrier covering about a third of the US-Mexico border have drawn fierce criticism.

Original here

Over half of Britons claim no religion

Freedom from religion in Britain is becoming as important as freedom of religion, according to a United Nations investigation into religion in the UK.

In a 23-page report published this evening, a UN rapporteur claims the 2001 Census findings that nearly 72 per cent of the population is Christian can no longer be regarded as accurate. The report claims that two-thirds of British people now do not admit to any religious adherence.

The report also calls for the disestablishment of the Church of England. The role and privileges of the established Church are challenged because they do not reflect “the religious demography of the country and the rising proportion of other Christian denominations.”

The report also warns that measures to combat terrorism in Britain could be undermined because of discrimination against Muslims.

According to the report into the freedom of religion and belief in the UK, there is an “overall respect for human rights and their value.” But the report warns that Muslims in particular face screening, searches, interrogation and arrest.

Citing research that showed that 80 per cent of Muslims in Britain feel they have been discriminated against, the report singles out the Terrorism Act 200 for particular criticism.

Under the act, police in some areas can stop and search people without having to show reasonable suspicion.

The report says this affects ethnic and religious minorities more than other groups, especially since the July 7 bombings in 2005.

Figures for 2004 to 2006 “show that searches of people with Asian appearance under this provision increased by 84 per cent, compared to an increase of only 24 per cent for White people,” the report says.

The report’s author, Asma Jahangir, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, also criticises terms in the Terrorism Act 2006 for being “overly broad and vaguely worded.” Phrases she focuses on include "indirectly encouraging" acts of terrorism, and “glorification”, interpreted to mean “any form of praise or celebration.” She also describes the policy of 28 days in detention without charge as unsatisfactory.

Ms Jahangir, 55, twice chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and who was herself only released from house arrest in Lahore during November, says in her conclusions “there exists no hierarchy of discrimination grounds.”

She argues that religion should not have a lower ranking when competing rights are being balanced.

However, she does acknowledge concern about “informal matrimonial courts operating within the Muslim community based on sharia law.” Ms Jahangir, a mother of three children, says the argument by some religious leaders that their traditions should override the rights of women is “unacceptable”.

The report was published the day after the Archbishop of Canterbury said some of the ways in which Sharia was practised were “appalling”.

Dr Rowan Williams said the way the system was applied to women in countries such as Saudi Arabia was “grim”. The Archbishop was speaking in Cambridge days after being criticised for raising the possibility that some aspects of Sharia might be introduced into the British legal system. “What I was trying to say the other day is that sharia law is a very, very wide-ranging scheme of legal understanding within historic Islam,” the Archbishop said at a public lecture in Great St Mary’s Church.

“It is rooted in the sense of doing God’s will in the ordinary things of life.” But he added: “In some of the ways it has been codified and practised across the world, it has been appalling.”

Original here

Pretty Unbelievable - Austin Realtor w/ a BIG Rap Sheet

I saw this on a thread at REW and was pretty amazed/shocked. A local Austin real estate agent, Mohammed “Mike” Gharbi just had his license renewed by TREC (last month) with the following record:

*Arrested by the FBI
*Convicted of 5 counts in a $15m loan fraud scheme
*Sentenced to one year in prison
*Ordered to pay $84,914 restitution

He was convicted of purchasing cheap houses, getting fraudulent appraisals to justify loan amounts much higher, and then selling the houses to co-conspirators at much higher prices.

Apparently, he is in the process of appealing his case, and has 2 more months to appeal his case to the Supreme Court. TREC claims that they can’t yank his license until/unless he loses his final appeal.

Original here