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Oslow, Norway: Mass Murder’ Suspect Ordered Held- As He Warns Of Another Two Cells In ‘Our Organization’

25 Jul

Norwegian Breivik, man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is transported in a police convoy in Oslo

By IAN MacDOUGALL – Associated Press,LOUISE NORDSTROM – Associated Press | AP :People gather to observe a minute's silence at noon in front of the Norwegian Embassy in Copenhagen, Monday, July 25, 2011. Anders Behring Breivik, the man who has confessed to Friday's twin attacks that killed 93 people in Norway, was arraigned in court Monday. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Jens Dresling) DENMARK OUT

People gather to observe a minute’s silence at noon in front of the Norwegian Embassy in Copenhagen, Monday, July …more 25, 2011. Anders Behring Breivik, the man who has confessed to Friday’s twin attacks that killed 93 people in Norway, was arraigned in court Monday. (AP Photo/Polfoto/Jens Dresling) DENMARK OUT  less

Polfoto/Jens Dresling

REFILE - CLARIFYING BYLINE Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik (L), the man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is transported in a police convoy as he is leaving the courthouse in Oslo July 25, 2011. A judge ordered eight weeks detention on Monday for Breivik who has admitted a bombing and shooting massacre that killed about 90 people and who claimed in court to have two more groups of collaborators. Custody, in line with prosecutors' request, will allow them to investigate the case against Breivik, 32, an anti-Islamic zealot who has previously claimed sole responsibility for Friday's attacks. The custody can be extended.    REUTERS/Jon-Are Berg-Jacobsen/Aftenposten via Scanpix  (NORWAY - Tags: CRIME LAW CIVIL UNREST) THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. MANDATORY CREDIT. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY. NO COMMERCIAL SALESView Gallery

REFILE – CLARIFYING BYLINE Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik (L), the man accused …

OSLO, Norway (AP) — The man who has confessed to carrying out a bombing and shooting spree that left 93 people dead in Norway will be held for at least eight weeks, half of that in complete isolation, after a closed hearing in which he said his terror network had two other cells.

Anders Behring Breivik pleaded not guilty to one of the deadliest modern mass killings in peacetime, saying he wanted to save Norway and Europe from a Muslim takeover and send a strong signal, but was not trying to kill as many as possible, Judge Kim Heger said after a closed court hearing.

Breivik could tamper with evidence if released, and will be held for at least another two months without access to visitors, mail or media, the judge said.

Breivik made clear in an Internet manifesto that he planned to turn his court appearance into theater, preparing a speech for his appearance in court even before launching the attacks, and then requesting an open hearing in which he would wear a uniform. Both of those requests were denied.

The suspect staged the bombing and youth camp rampage as “marketing” for his manifesto calling for a revolution that would rid Europe of Muslims, he said. A judge ordered the hearing closed, denying the suspect the chance to the public stage he wanted.

Reporters and locals thronged the courthouse on Monday ahead of the hearing for their first glimpse of Breivik since the assault. When one car drove through the crowd, people hit its windows and one person shouted an expletive, believing Breivik was inside.

The hearing ended after about 35 minutes.

Peaceful, liberal Norway was stunned by the bombing in downtown Oslo and the shooting massacre at a youth camp outside the capital. He blames liberals for championing multiculturalism over Norway’s “indigenous” culture.

“It is clear that there is concrete information that a public hearing with the suspect present could quickly lead to an extraordinary and very difficult situation in terms of the investigation and security,” Heger said.

The court acknowledged that there was a need for transparency in the case and that it normally would consider arguments from the press when making decisions to close hearings but said that wasn’t possible “for practical reasons.”

It’s unusual that the hearing was closed even before it began. Normally, a judge would make such a decision in open court.

Typically, the accused is brought to court every four weeks while prosecutors prepare their case, so a judge can approve his continued detention. In cases of serious crimes or where the defendant has admitted to the charges, longer periods of detention are not unusual.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led the mourning nation in a minute of silence on Monday, standing on the steps of an Oslo university next to a flame. The king and queen stood by as well, and neighboring countries Denmark and Sweden also joined in the remembrance.

Signs of normality began to return to Oslo on Monday. A wide police cordon around the bomb site was lifted on the first workday since the attacks, leaving just a narrower zone closed off. Most shops were open and trams were rumbling through the city’s streets.

But the flag on the courthouse where Breivik appeared remained at half staff, and the world’s media was buzzing around the building.

The search for more victims continues and police have not released the names of the dead. But Norway’s royal court said Monday that those killed at the island retreat included Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s stepbrother, an off-duty police officer, who was working there as a security guard.

Court spokeswoman Marianne Hagen told The Associated Press that his name was Trond Berntsen, the son of Mette-Marit’s stepfather, who died in 2008.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Swedish tabloid Expressen, the suspect’s father said he was ashamed and disgusted by his son’s acts and wished he had committed suicide.

“I don’t feel like his father,” said former diplomat Jens David Breivik from his secluded home in southern France. “How could he just stand there and kill so many innocent people and just seem to think that what he did was OK? He should have taken his own life too. That’s what he should have done.”

Breivik said he first learned the news of his son’s attacks from media websites. “I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was totally paralyzing and I couldn’t really understand it.”

“I will have to live with this shame for the rest of my life. People will always link me with him,” he said.

Jens David Breivik said he had severed all contact with his son in 1995 when the latter was 16.

Police were surrounding the suspect’s father’s house in the south of France on Monday. They initially said they were searching the premises, but later said they were there to ensure public order. Journalists were outside the property.

The attacks rattled Norway, a small and wealthy country unused to political violence, and known internationally as a peace mediator, prominent foreign aid donor and as home of the Nobel Peace Prize. Survivors of the camp shooting on the Utoya island described how a gunman dressed in a police uniform urged people to come closer and then opened fire, sending panicked youth fleeing into the water.

Police say 86 people were killed. About 90 minutes earlier, a car bomb exploded in the government district in central Oslo, killing seven.

More than 90 people were wounded, and others remain missing at both crime scenes.

Breivik laid out his extreme nationalist philosophy as well as his attack methods in a 1,500-page manifesto. It also describes how he bought armor, guns, tons of fertilizer and other bomb components, stashed caches of weapons and wiping his computer hard drive — all while evading police suspicion and being nice to his neighbors.

Polish security officials said Monday that he bought some of the components for his bomb-making in Poland, adding that the online purchases were legal. Pawel Bialek, the deputy head of the Internal Security Agency, said Monday that the chemicals can be bought anywhere in Europe. They included a synthetic fertilizer.

Dr. Colin Poole, head of surgery at Ringriket Hospital in Honefoss northwest of Oslo, told The Associated Press that the gunman used special bullets designed to disintegrate inside the body and cause maximum internal damage. Poole said surgeons treating 16 gunshot victims have recovered no full bullets.

“These bullets more or less exploded inside the body,” Poole said. “It’s caused us all kinds of extra problems in dealing with the wounds they cause, with very strange trajectories.”

Ballistics experts say “dum-dum”-style bullets also are lighter in weight and can be fired with greater accuracy over varying distances.

___

Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris, Sarah DiLorenzo in Stockholm and Shawn Pogatchnik in Oslo, Norway, contributed to this report.

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Video: Norway attacks: Expert says immigration rise kicked off far-rightAFP 

Article: Polish firm sold fertilizer to Norway bomberArticle: Norwegian Shooter Faces Only 21 Years in Prison

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack in Norway, sits in the rear of a vehicle as he is transported in a police convoy to a court in Oslo July 25, 2011. The 32-year-old Norwegian gunman appeared in court for a custody hearing on Monday after killing at least 93 people in a bomb attack in Oslo's government district and shooting rampage at a youth summer camp of Norway's ruling Labour party on the island of Utoeya on Friday. Breivik declared in a rambling 1,500-pagemanifesto posted online shortly before the massacre that he was on a self-appointed mission to save Europe from what he saw as the threats of Islam, immigration and multi-culturalism.             REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (NORWAY  - Tags: DISASTER CONFLICT SOCIETY)View Gallery

Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of a killing spree and bomb attack …

Dublin: High Costs Of Returning To School Is Forcing Families Into Debt

16 Jul

Families are reportedly spending on average 400 euro per child for returning to schoolEnlarge Photo

Families are reportedly spending on average 400 euro per child for returning to  …

Families are reportedly spending on average 400 euro per child for returning to school.

Uniforms are the most expensive items, coming in at 229 euro, followed by books at 182 euro, according to the Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCUs) research.

Almost 90% of parents want to switch to laptops and e-books in the classroom to save cash.

ILCUs chief Kieron Brennan said some families were forced to get into debt or dip into savings to afford the costs.

Mr Brennan said: “The cost of school-going children to parents is considerable and can put significant pressure on household budgets and the ability of some families to pay their essential bills.

“This iReach research shows us that there are significant numbers of parents using their credit cards and using their savings to pay for their child’s back-to-school needs, with many parents feeling that the back-to-school allowance is not sufficient to cover costs.”

The survey was carried out last month among 1,000 people aged between 18 and 65.

It also found that some 470 euro is being spent for secondary level and 320 euro for primary level.

Dublin: One-In-Three Children In Disadvantaged Schools Are Illiterate: LABOUR

10 Feb

Tackling literacy problems in Irish schools will be a key priority for the Labour Party in government.

Labour to target literacy in young Enlarge photo

Ruairi Quinn said his party would make a statement of intent that it would not allow the situation where one in in three students in disadvantaged schools is illiterate to continue.

The education spokesman said the outgoing Government had failed to equip young people with the basic skills needed to engage fully with society.

Literacy is the foundation on which education is built,” said Mr Quinn. If we don’t get that right, all of our subsequent investment in education is compromised.

“No child should leave an Irish school unable to read and write. It is the most basic, and the most important, skill that our schools teach.”

In its document Labour’s Plan for Literacy, the party outlined proposals for primary and secondary schools nationwide.

Mr Quinn also criticised Fine Gael‘s proposals to cut 30,000 jobs out of the public service, which he said will have a devastating impact on frontline services.

“It is simply not possible to reduce the numbers in the public service by the amount Fine Gael are proposing, without hitting children and patients,” he said.

“Labour acknowledges the need to reduce the public sector pay bill, and we have proposed reductions of 18,000, by cutting out administration and bureaucracy.

“Fine Gael are demanding a further 12,000 cuts. To put that in context, 12,000 people is the same as removing two teachers from every primary school, plus one in every six nurses.”

Citizen’s Free Press Ireland: News Line: Pool

13 Oct

Drug Dealers Could Teach Executives Something: Books

21 Sep

By J. P. Anderson:

AT THE age of 12, he was a drug dealer; at 22, he had nine bullets shot into him at close range; at 23, he had a career change and became a rapper; by 30, he had diversified into clothes, vitamin mineral water and condoms and now, at 32, has pulled off something that Jack Welch didn’t manage until he was 30 years older: 50 Cent is now a management guru.

For the rapper, this latest career move has come early. But for the management guru industry, it is long overdue. Mountaineers, conductors and army generals have all stepped forward to offer their tips for success to managers. But as far as I know, 50, as his fans know him, is the first hustler to give a helping hand to executives on their way to the corner office.

Drug dealing has considerably more overlap with business than playing the violin or climbing a mountain. It’s a competitive, fast growing industry in which the successful have to be even sharper and more flexible than the most driven businessman.

To quote from 50’s In Da Club : “I’m fully focused man, my money on my mind/Got a mil out the deal and I’m still on the grind.”

In order to repackage this message for an audience who do not wear their trousers around their ankles, 50 has teamed up with the writer Robert Greene who has a fine pedigree in plundering management tips from such bad boys as Hannibal, Sun Tzu and Machiavelli.

The result of their collaboration is a book called The 50th Law , written by Greene but in which 50 is given the odd quote. “The greatest fear people have is of being themselves,” he says. “You are running away from the one thing that you own – what makes you different.”

This is both disappointingly unoriginal and plain wrong. I don’t know about 50, but being myself doesn’t even register on my list of big fears. These include getting knocked off my bicycle, failing badly at something, and of fish brushing against me when I’m swimming.

And while I’ve never lost a second’s sleep over being myself, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if I had. When I’m myself, I’m sloppy, bad-tempered, etc – fear might make me get my act together more.

When he was younger, 50 was taken to one side by a wise old hustler – charmingly named Truth – and told that the greatest danger a dealer faces is that his mind goes soft and his eye wanders from the streets. Truth never said a truer word. This is what appears to have happened to 50 himself: he’s gone soft. His management thesis seems to boil down to a plea for authenticity – which is an old idea, and a soppy one at that.

It is all such a missed opportunity. I have an acquaintance who for decades was a loyal customer of drug dealers in London and the US. In the process, he learnt a prodigious amount about the business; it is only a pity that he all but destroyed his life in the process.

He explained to me that drug dealers are the perfect gurus for a recession. They live permanently in a world of zero credit: if you are a hustler, you can’t go and see your bank manager and get a loan, so the best ones are virtuosos at managing cash flow.

The next thing they have to teach the CEO is ruthlessness. The drug dealer must not rip off his client – he must supply him with good product – but beyond that will show a total disregard for his welfare. Any CEO who has to make half the work force redundant needs to feel a similar detachment.

A third area of leadership is through jargon. The dealer goes beyond the CEO in inventing words from scratch ( “I’ve got the real peng”) but both groups share a keen interest in flouting the laws of grammar. CEOs like to make a noun a verb – as in “to action” – while drug dealers stray still further from the rule book and put words in the wrong order. “Soon come,” they say.

Neither group feels any need to make what they say true. Just as the CEO doesn’t mean it when he says “integrity is in our DNA”, the drug dealer who says “soon come” actually means the client will be left twiddling his thumbs on the street corner for a long time.

With cars, the dealers have also been trendsetters. For years they have favoured blacked-out windows; a trend slavishly copied last year by bankers as they raced to the treasury for secret appointments.

Self-respecting CEOs now change their vehicles almost as often as drug dealers and are also aping the hustler’s taste in bling – and in lawlessness. The conspicuous consumption that came out in the Dennis Kozlowski and Conrad Black trials would surely have made Truth and 50 quite proud.

A further similarity is that neither tends to consume the products they sell – although CEOs must pretend to do so or they get into trouble, as Gerald Ratner once did, when he said his jewellery was crap. However, in an emergency a drug dealer must be able to pop his product in his mouth and swallow it at a moment’s notice – whereas the CEO seldom finds call for such extreme action.

The final parallel between the two professions is the revolving door at the top – CEOs and hustlers tend to get found out – and both often end up with a bullet in the head. The only difference being that in the dealer’s case the bullet is the real thing.

—————

RICHARD GILLIS

BOOK REVIEW:

50th Law

By 50 Cent and Robert Greene

CALL ME shallow, but everything I know about the penal system I learnt from Porridge and The Shawshank Redemption. Likewise, my views on inner-city black America owe a huge debt to The Wire, the brilliant Baltimore-based drugs and cops series, which I hungrily consumed in back-to-back box-set chunks.

The central theme of The Wire was the evolution of the drugs trade into a ruthlessly efficient and hugely successful business model, with its strict hierarchies and corporate rules of engagement.

With this as a primer, I then read Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon, The Wire’s creator, followed by The Corner by the same author.

Thanks to Simon, I feel like I’ve got an insight into life on the mean streets, given that I’m not going to be buying a house there.

The question facing me and other white, middle-class dilettantes is, do we need to know any more?

50 Cent, along with business writer Robert Greene, has written a book that we might bracket under the heading of “further reading”, offering the personal perspective of a man who’s been there and fought his way out of the ghetto, been shot, put in prison and then created a successful rap career whilst simultaneously heading up a thriving global business empire.

What is his secret, the book asks, what is the 50th Law and why is it relevant to the rest of us, who work in the “non-street” sector?

“Understand: you need this code even more than 50,” runs an early passage. “His world was so harsh and dangerous it forced him to open his eyes to reality and never lose that connection. Your world seems cosier and less violent, less immediately dangerous. It makes you wander and your eyes mist over with dreams. The competitive dynamic [the streets, the business world] is in fact the same, but your apparently comfortable environment makes it harder for you to see it.”

The book lauds a great American business archetype, the hustler, the image of which is at the heart of 50’s public persona.

He has amassed a huge fortune, put at $150 million by Forbes , by creating and selling sub-brands that talk to the people who bought 21 million copies of his first two albums.

Hustling also underlies the business end of the drug trade, which is where 50 learnt the ropes and also where he nearly died, shot through the window of a car, when he was ironically on the verge of his first big music deal.

This incident was the most traumatic of his life, but it has since been used to crank up his gangsta credentials, offering his white suburban audience a whiff of the real stuff.

The greatest danger we face, say the book’s authors, is allowing our mind to grow soft and our eyes dull. When things get tough and you grow tired of the grind, your mind tends to drift into fantasies; “You wish things were a certain way and slowly, subtly, you turn inward to your thoughts and desires.”

The central theme is that to live life fully, we must overcome our fears and be free of emotion when it comes to manipulating others to achieve our goals.

These messages are delivered in a hectoring tone: “Your days are numbered. It takes constant effort to carve a place for yourself in this ruthlessly competitive world and hold on to it. People can be treacherous. They bring endless battles into your life. Your task is to resist the temptation to wish it were all different. Instead, you must fearlessly accept these circumstances, even embrace them.

“By focusing your attention on what is going on around you, you will gain a sharp appreciation for what makes some people advance and others fall behind. By seeing through people’s manipulations, you can turn them around. The firmer your grasp on reality, the more power you will have to alter it for your purposes.”

Greene’s The 48 Laws of Power was similarly cold in its analysis and this feels like Greene’s book, not 50’s.

The rapper’s life is merely the starting point for Greene to do his day job, adding context, linking the challenges facing drug dealers to historical figures such as Machiavelli or Leonardo Da Vinci.

50 Cent’s life story is extraordinary and thankfully the book doesn’t seek to sugar coat it with a redemptive ending. There is no hint of the tiresome “journey” as told by reality TV contestants and teenage showbiz autobiographers.

His childhood experiences – his mother, a drug dealer, was killed when Curtis Jackson (his real name) was just eight years old – are truly shocking, as are the anecdotes in the book about his subsequent life as a crack dealer and street hanging thug.

But he offers up his life unapologetically and to get anything out of it, the reader has to get beyond the book’s amoral stance.

To be offended by The 50th Law is to miss the joke.

ChildLine Prepared for Upset Harry Potter Fans

20 Jul

Childline Prepared for Upset

Harry Potter Fans

By J. P. Anderson

Childline are preparing to be inundated with calls from distraught Potter fans as the final book goes on sale at midnight tonight.

The phone counselling service has predicted that many young readers will be left feeling distraught if one or more of the key characters in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is killed off.

The 24-hour hotline service has even drafted in extra volunteers to cope with the expected demand.

Senior ChildLine supervisor Kate Trench warned the long anticipated death of a key character could upset young readers.

"Death and loss of any kind can make children feel upset, angry and afraid. The story could bring back unhappy memories for children who have lost friends, relatives or pets," she said.

At the stroke of midnight Potter readers will be able to get their hands on the seventh and final instalment of JK Rowling’s magical series.

Stores will stay open into the early hours to cope with the Potter frenzy.

Fans from all over Europe have been camping outside Waterstone’s in London’s Piccadilly for three days to be certain of getting their hands on a copy.

Potter followers will also be keen to pick up a bargain copy at Asda after the supermarket announced it would be selling the book for just £5 in what it describes as "the biggest book launch we’ve ever seen".