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Author Topic: News From Around The World  (Read 164736 times)

Cody

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News From Around The World
« on: January 04, 2009, 12:51:33 PM »
Post any news or ect from your country or around the world.

First up, Israel has just started there ground assault on Gaza.

Quote
Thousands of Israeli troops backed by columns of tanks and helicopter gunships have launched a ground offensive in Gaza, with officials saying they expected a lengthy fight in the densely populated territory after eight days of punishing airstrikes failed to halt militant rocket attacks on Israel.

The incursion set off fierce clashes with Palestinian militants and Gaza's Hamas rulers vowed the coastal strip would be a "graveyard" for Israelis forces.

The military did not publish details of casualties in the opening hours of the offensive but Army ambulances ferried wounded soldiers to a hospital in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

"This will not be easy and it will not be short," Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on national television about two hours after ground troops moved in.

The night sky over Gaza was lit by the flash of bullets and balls of fire from tank shells. Sounds of explosions were heard across Gaza City, the territory's biggest city, and high-rise buildings shook from the bigger booms.

Troops with camouflage face paint marching single file. As the ground troops moved in, Israel kept pounding Gaza with airstrikes. F-16 warplanes hit three targets within a few minutes, including a main Hamas security compound.

Gaza residents said troops were seen before dawn Sunday in the town of Beit Lahiya, north of Gaza City, and the sound of intense fighting could be heard just east of the city, toward the border with Israel.

In the city itself, the Hamas-run Al Aqsa radio station was in flames from a missile strike. Staff had evacuated the building about a week earlier, at the start of the Israeli offensive, and continued broadcasting from another location.

"We have many, many targets," Israeli army spokeswoman Major Avital Leibovich told CNN. "To my estimation, it will be a lengthy operation."

Israeli leaders said the operation, known as Cast Lead, was meant to quell militant rocket and mortar fire on southern Israel. They said it would not end quickly but that the objective was not to reoccupy Gaza or topple Hamas. The depth and intensity will depend in part on parallel diplomatic efforts that so far haven't yielded a truce proposal acceptable to Israel, the officials said.

In the airborne phase of Israel's onslaught, militants were not deterred from bombarding southern Israel with more than 400 rockets - including dozens that extended deeper into Israel than ever before. They fired six rockets into Israel in the first few hours after the ground push began, the military said.

One rocket scored a direct hit on a house in the southern city of Ashkelon earlier Saturday and another struck a bomb shelter there, leaving its above-ground entrance scarred by shrapnel and blasting a parked bus.

"I don't want to disillusion anybody and residents of the south will go through difficult days," Barak said. "We do not seek war but we will not abandon our citizens to the ongoing Hamas attacks."

Israel called up tens of thousands of reservists in the event Palestinian militants in the West Bank or Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon decide to exploit the broad offensive in Gaza to launch attacks against Israel on other fronts.

The military said the country's north was on high alert in case Hezbollah guerillas decided to use its vast stockpiles of missiles against Israel. Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in the summer of 2006.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said US officials have been in regular contact with the Israelis as well as officials from countries in the region and Europe.

"We continue to make clear to them our concerns for civilians, as well as the humanitarian situation," Johndroe said.

The UN Security Council held emergency consultations Saturday night on the escalation in Gaza. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged key world leaders to intensify efforts to achieve an immediate truce including international monitors to enforce a truce and possibly to protect Palestinian civilians.

Israel's bruising air campaign against Gaza over the past eight days began days after a six-month truce expired. Gaza health officials say the air war has killed more than 480 Palestinians in an attempt to halt Hamas rocket attacks that were reaching farther into Israel than ever before. Four Israelis have been killed by rockets.

Israel is taking a risk by wading into intense urban warfare in densely populated Gaza that could exact a much higher toll on both sides and among civilians.

This sort of urban warfare has not gone well in past campaigns where Israel sent ground forces into Arab population centers in the Palestinian territories or in Lebanon wars in 1982 and 2006. Israeli forces have either gotten bogged down or sustained heavy casualties, without quelling violent groups or halting attacks for good.

The decision to expand the operation, while continuing to batter Gaza from the air and sea, was taken after Hamas refused to stop attacking Israel, government officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because discussions leading up to wartime decisions are confidential.

Before the ground incursion began, heavy Israeli artillery fire hit east of Gaza City, in locations where the military said Hamas fighters were deployed. The artillery shells were apparently intended to detonate Hamas explosive devices and mines planted along the border area before troops marched in.
Hamas remained defiant as the ground war began.

"You entered like rats," Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan told Israeli soldiers in a statement on Hamas' Al Aqsa TV, broadcast shortly after the start of the invasion. "Your entry to Gaza won't be easy. Gaza will be a graveyard for you, God willing," he said.

"Gaza will not be paved with flowers for you. It will be paved with fire and hell," Hamas warned Israeli forces.

A text message sent by Hamas' military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, said "the Zionists started approaching the trap which our fighters prepared for them".

Hamas said it also broadcast a Hebrew message on Israeli military radio frequencies promising to kill and kidnap the Israeli soldiers.

"Be prepared for a unique surprise, you will be either killed or kidnapped and will suffer mental illness from the horrors we will show you," the message said.

Hamas has also threatened to resume suicide attacks inside Israel.

Hamas has long prepared for Israel's invasion, digging tunnels and rigging some areas with explosives. At the start of the offensive, Israeli artillery hit some of the border areas, apparently to detonate hidden explosives.
Before the ground invasion, defence officials said about 10,000 Israeli soldiers had massed along the border in recent days.

Israel initially held off on a ground offensive, apparently in part because of concern about casualties among Israeli troops and because of fears of getting bogged down in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said his government decided to mount a land operation despite the risk it posed to thousands of soldiers.

An inner Cabinet of top ministers met with leading security officials for four hours Saturday before deciding to authorize the ground invasion.

Olmert told the meeting that Israel's objective was to bring quiet to southern Israel but "we don't want to topple Hamas," a government official quoted the prime minister as saying. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not supposed to share the information.

The immediate aim of the ground operations was to take control of sites militants use as rocket-launching pads, the military said. It said large numbers of troops were taking part but did not give specifics.

Israeli airstrikes intensified just as the ground operation was getting under way, and 28 Palestinians were killed. Palestinian health officials said civilians were among the dead, including a woman, her son and her father who died after a shell hit their house.

One raid hit a mosque in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, killing 13 people and wounding 33, according to a Palestinian health official. One of the wounded worshippers, Salah Mustafa, told Al-Jazeera TV from a hospital that the mosque was packed.

"It was unbelievably awful," he said, struggling to catch his breath.

It was not immediately clear why the mosque was hit, but Israel has hit other mosques in its air campaign and said they were used for storing weapons.

Israeli artillery joined the battle for the first time earlier on Saturday.

Artillery fire is less accurate than attacks from the air using precision-guided munitions, raising the possibility of a higher number of civilian casualties.

An artillery shell hit a house in Beit Lahiya, killing two people and wounding five, said members of the family living there. Ambulances could not immediately reach them because of the resulting fire, they said.

Resident Abed al-Ghoul said the Israeli army called by phone to tell them to leave the house within 15 minutes.

The ground operation sidelined intense international diplomacy to try to reach a truce. French President Nicolas Sarkozy was the visit the region next week, and US President George W Bush favours an internationally monitored truce.

Israel has already said it wants international monitors. It is unclear whether Hamas would agree to such supervision, which could limit its control of Gaza.

In Hamas' first reaction to the proposal for international monitors, government spokesman Taher Nunu said early Saturday that the group would not allow Israel or the international community to impose any arrangement, though he left the door open to a negotiated solution.

"Anyone who thinks that the change in the Palestinian arena can be achieved through jet fighters' bombs and tanks and without dialogue is mistaken," he said.

Hamas began to emerge as Gaza's main power broker when it won Palestinian parliamentary elections three years ago. It has ruled the impoverished territory of 1.4 million people since seizing control from the rival Fatah forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in June 2007.

Israel occupied Gaza for 38 years before pulling out thousands of soldiers in settlers in late 2005. Israel still controls Gaza border crossings.

AP

http://www.3news.co.nz/Video/World/tabid/313/articleID/85985/cat/41/Default.aspx#video - Video
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MSandt

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2009, 09:09:19 AM »
This time Israel should not succumb to international pressure.

A few interesting news pieces concerning the conflict:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/01/022488.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/01/022483.php
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2009/01/022480.php

Also this:
http://www.csmonitor.com/2008/1231/p09s02-coop.html

The most dangerous of the three responses is not the Iranian-Hamas absurdity, which is largely ignored by thinking and moral people, but the United Nations and European Union response, which equates the willful murder of civilians with legitimate self-defense pursuant to Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

This false moral equivalence only encourages terrorists to persist in their unlawful actions against civilians. The US has it exactly right by placing the blame on Hamas, while urging Israel to do everything possible to minimize civilian casualties.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 09:11:40 AM by MSandt »
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Sang

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 11:44:54 PM »
I can't take any side in this conflict because both parties have done some atrocious acts in my opinion. Of course there's Hamas firing homemade missiles all over the place, causing a lot of distress and casualties. At first glance one would say Israel is doing the right thing by protecting its people and attempting to neutralize Hamas. However when I read the newspapers I hear about schools and even refugee camps getting shot at and generally a lot of innocent people dying. Israel appears to be doing to the Gaza region what Hamas has done to them. Not even the "in guerilla warfare, everyone can be an enemy" argument can justify this. Sure, everyone could potentially be an enemy. This means you should just be on your guard, not that you have to blow the shit out of everything.

Both parties are doing some fucking horrible things so I can't support either of them, but I guess if one side should win it oughta be Israel because at least it's allied with the US and the EU. Then again, if the entire region would come under Arab control again - I doubt they'd be stupid enough to mount a full war against the West.

There's still a bit of a masochistic side in me that's silently hoping the situation escalates with other Arab nations responding by openly declaring war on and attacking Israel.. which might, in turn, spawn a reaction from the West.
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Cody

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 12:01:12 AM »
Im getting sick of seeing all the damn protesters protesting against Israel...
Why the fuck were they not protesting against Hamas when they first started firing there rockets into Israel?

(example) Would be like the same thing if say, Cuba started firing shity bombs into USA, no one would protest over that. But if USA went in there guns blazing like Israel has. WOW, the world would be all over it and shit like they already do.

Rant over.
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MSandt

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 03:58:25 AM »
However when I read the newspapers I hear about schools and even refugee camps getting shot at and generally a lot of innocent people dying. Israel appears to be doing to the Gaza region what Hamas has done to them. Not even the "in guerilla warfare, everyone can be an enemy" argument can justify this. Sure, everyone could potentially be an enemy. This means you should just be on your guard, not that you have to blow the shit out of everything.

Hamas is using mosques, schools and hospitals as headquarters. They store weapons in them and use these locations to launch attacks. If there are any civilians around that's because Hamas intended so. Israel has no alternatives. If you think they can just send in special ops to take down every terrorist you've seen too many action movies.

The "both sides are wrong" argument is one of the reasons why the conflict is ongoing. People should stop equating Israel with the Palestinians.

Quote
There's still a bit of a masochistic side in me that's silently hoping the situation escalates with other Arab nations responding by openly declaring war on and attacking Israel..

That wouldn't be very smart. Some of the region's armies are in worse shape (relatively speaking) than they were during the previous Arab-Israel wars which the Arabs lost 100 to 0. This would of course change if Iran is allowed to have nukes and is one reason why Iran should be prevented from having nukes.
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"What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?"

Trooper Dan

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 06:42:42 AM »
Im getting sick of seeing all the damn protesters protesting against Israel...
Why the fuck were they not protesting against Hamas when they first started firing there rockets into Israel?

(example) Would be like the same thing if say, Cuba started firing shity bombs into USA, no one would protest over that. But if USA went in there guns blazing like Israel has. WOW, the world would be all over it and shit like they already do.

Rant over.

I think that coding you have been doing is making you more logical.  You used to be dumber than Sang, now you are smarter.
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Sang

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 06:47:42 AM »
You used to be dumber than Sang, now you are smarter.

Lol :D Guess I should pick up coding as well then ;)
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"heh, a sidenote, I´d not mind to clean her ass with my tongue after she takes a shit. " - Gambini

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Cody

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 09:05:39 AM »
You used to be dumber than Sang, now you are smarter.

I was never dumb, I just never spoke of personal preferences.
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Trooper Dan

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 11:11:50 PM »
This is a good little read, from Dan Diker,  a foreign policy analyst with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs:  http://www.jcpa.org/


Quote
Israel may have reached a deterrent moment in its war in Gaza against Iranian backed Hamas. I spoke with an senior Arab diplomat last night.. He told me that the Arab street is afraid that "the Jews have gone crazy."

Yes it's true. He noted, "Israel has begun to restore its deterrence in the Arab world. " Hamas miscalculated," he added; they had thought Israel would not attack, but would merely accede to tougher Hamas demands for an improved "Tahdiya," their version of a temporary calm.

This is perhaps one of the more optimistic assessments I have heard from Arab colleagues recently. There is supporting documentation. Hizbullah's immediate public denial yesterday of the Katusha rocket attack from Southern Lebanon against Israel's North and the reports on Lebanese TV of convoys of Lebanese vehicles: (read Hizbullah) moving north in expectation of a major Israeli reprisal strengthens this sense.

It's also notable that Al Jazeera's reportage yesterday avoided interviewing ordinary Gazans. Arab sources in Gaza confided that the public anger is not directed at Israel any more than it is at Hamas. Al Jazeera, doing a superb job as PR agents for Iran's proxies, likely wanted to avoid risking those types of reactions from the battlefield.

The source also said that Hamas is "doing very bad things" to Fatah activists in Gaza both as revenge against claims that Fatah leadership provided intelligence to Israel, and as a warning to Fatah to avoid the temptation of being convinced by Egypt, the US and the West that they reassert control in Gaza.

Fatah officials in the West Bank are also demoralized. Nasser Juma'a, a Palestinian Legislative Council Member from Nablus told a well known British reporter yesterday that the "Hamas are insects" and noted that the Palestinians would likely not see a Palestinian state in his lifetime." Qadura Fares, a Fatah senior, said that the PA would not succeed either in the West Bank or Gaza without "tackling the privileges of the Fatah elite, who he said "have become like princes."
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MSandt

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 12:01:14 AM »
The difference between a National test set by Chinese education authorities for pre-entry students and a Diagnostic test set by an English university for first year students:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/6589301.stm#chinese

Even a dead monkey could solve the English one (a2 + b2 = c2, anyone?).
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"What is my joy if all hands, even the unclean, can reach into it? What is my wisdom, if even the fools can dictate to me? What is my freedom, if all creatures, even the botched and the impotent, are my masters? What is my life, if I am but to bow, to agree and to obey?"

Trooper Dan

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 03:13:33 AM »
The difference between a National test set by Chinese education authorities for pre-entry students and a Diagnostic test set by an English university for first year students:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/6589301.stm#chinese

Even a dead monkey could solve the English one (a2 + b2 = c2, anyone?).

The difference is neatly encapsulated in this quote from the article:

Quote
There, the concept of remedial courses at university would be inconceivable.

College has been dumbed down in western society because it is generally accepted here that everyone should go to college.  And why is that accepted?  Basically, because of the dogma of equality (if too many people are excluded, this is considered unequal treatment/opportunity blah blah blah).  Ironically, communist China has a traditional elitist system that demands excellence.
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Cody

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2009, 03:41:27 PM »
This here makes me very angry, basically two Australian brothers were killed last week (thursady) when they got to close to Fox Glacier here in New Zealand and a peice of ice fell on top of them. Now the car rental place they hired their car from is demanding money for towing the car back to Christchurch and car key replacements because the keys are still on one of the dead brothers who is still stuck under the collapsed ice.

Quote
A Wellington car hire company is demanding money from the devastated parents of two Melbourne brothers killed in a glacial ice collapse.

New Zealand Car Rental Specialists wants the family to pay for moving a hire car  whose keys were buried with one of their sons.

Akshay Miranda, 22, had the keys to the Toyota Tarago in his pocket when he and his brother, Ashish, 24, were crushed to death at Fox Glacier, on New Zealand's South Island.

Car hire owner Edwin Chan says the family should foot the bill for a new set of keys and the cost of towing the van to Wellington, estimated to cost up to $1950.

"Anything we get billed we will pass on to these people," Mr Chan told Australia's Herald Sun newspaper.

"We are not charging them for the extra days.

"I do have compassion for them. But they obviously can't expect me to pick up the pieces.

"I don't believe at the end of the day I should have to pay.

"We have a business and we have to pay the bills. No one will say to me you do not have to pay the bills. They can't use emotional blackmail."

Mr Chan questioned why Ashkay Miranda had the rental car keys in his pocket when  he was not permitted to drive the vehicle.

Constable Paul Gurney of Whataroa police said he had rung the rental company to voice his opinion on the charge and to urge some compassion for the family.

The family was in too much shock to think about the rental car, he told The Otago Daily Times.

The Mirandas are expected to return to Australia within days with the body of Ashish.
Authorities may wait for the ice to melt before they retrieve Akshay's body.
 
NZPA

Sure they have the legal right to do this, but still. Who the fuck would do this?
Even our Prime Minister had something to say over this matter.

Quote
A Good Samaritan has offered to pay a rental car company’s $2000 penalty payment charged to the parents of two Australian men killed at Fox Glacier.

The key and towing fee has caused outrage on both sides of the Tasman, the keys for the car are in the pocket of the man whose body still lies buried under the ice fall.

Even Prime Minister John key had something to say on the matter.

“They’re effectively charging the family for lost keys which is crass at best and probably extremely bad business,” he said.


Ashish and Akshay Miranda died when they ignored safety ropes and went too close to Fox Glacier last Thursday. They were killed by massive chunks of ice that fell down.

The rental car company owner said it cost $2000 to tow the vehicle back to Christchurch and replace the key.

“The business has to pay for the bills so somebody has to be able to come up with the money cos if not, then the business gonna suffer,” he said.

The Rental vehicle Association says the family should have had travel insurance and backed the rental company.

“At the end of the day he’s legally entitled and he’s made a decision to try and recoup those costs,” says Raewyn Bleakley.

But that doesn’t wash with Victim Support or John Key.

“I thought that company should have shown a lot more compassion than they did. Frankly they may have a legal point but sometimes businesses should look beyond their legal obligations,” said Mr Key.

But for the Miranda family the death of two sons, not rental car bills, is at the forefront of their minds.

3 News

http://www.3news.co.nz/Video/National/tabid/309/articleID/86982/cat/65/Default.aspx#video - Video Link

EDIT:
If this wasn't bad enough for the family of the two dead brothers apparently the hotel/motel they stayed at on there days here are also demanding for their money also. (Can't confirm this just yet.)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 03:58:25 PM by The Commander »
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Sang

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2009, 07:33:27 PM »
Or how about this?:
Quote

Prisoners go free because of procedural error

Drug dealers released on a technicality

Ten criminals involved in four major cases of organised crime, including drugs and human trafficking, were released from prison last week after an appeal court found that there had been serious procedural errors in their prosecution.

The errors concern so-called Special Investigative Methods (BOM), such as undercover work and infiltration, which under Belgian law are strictly regulated. In the cases in question, it appears that no magistrate from the prosecutor’s office in Ghent was present when the methods were being approved – something which is required under the 2003 law.

The prisoners released last week included:

    * a 28-year-old Ghent man who led a gang in a failed attempt to break an accomplice out of jail in Dendermonde in March 2007
    * a heroin dealer caught in 2007 in possession of 300 kg of the drug. The investigation later led to the discovery of an equal amount of cocaine
    * seven Indian men sentenced from three to five years for the trafficking of illegal aliens through Belgium to the United Kingdom
    * a Geraardsbergen man sentenced to eight years  for drug trafficking

The Ghent prosecutor’s office stressed that there is no doubt about the validity of the convictions and that all men are guilty. Essentially, on the question of prosecution presence at the approval of BOMs, Ghent took a different position from other jurisdictions, which the Court of Cassation later ruled was unlawful. In the two other Dutch-speaking jurisdictions, Brussels and Antwerp, magistrates ensured a prosecution magistrate was present at all proceedings.

It later became clear that the government was aware of the problem. Former justice minister Jo Vandeurzen, who resigned last month, had prepared a new law to patch up the difficulty in August last year. But the proposed change never received the approval of his ministerial colleagues and never reached the stage of being laid before parliament.

The Flemish bar, however, issued a statement last week rejecting the idea of a patch-up law, saying a first reading of the law’s provisions had given rise to “serious concerns”. At the weekend, the prosecutor-general in Ghent announced an appeal against the ruling that liberated the 10 men. Incoming justice minister Stefaan De Clerck said he hoped that might produce a change in the situation in a short time. The authorities will certainly be hoping it does: according to some experts, there are potentially hundreds of convictions that could be affected by the latest ruling.

Last week the various parties were split over where to lay the blame: on the legislators who had written what many feel to be an ambiguous statute or on the magistrates whose task it was to put it into practice. Green party Groen! blamed the law for being “written unclearly”, whereas Socialist party justice spokesman Renaat Landuyt claimed judges and lawyers had “created confusion”.

source: http://www.flanderstoday.eu/jahia/Jahia/cache/offonce/pid/3201;jsessionid=D3A0CAAC0E2509EAF51F02DC30BF963F

Newspapers today said that another 94 criminals might be released.
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MSandt

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2009, 03:05:34 AM »
The prisoners released last week included:

    * a 28-year-old Ghent man who led a gang in a failed attempt to break an accomplice out of jail in Dendermonde in March 2007
    * a heroin dealer caught in 2007 in possession of 300 kg of the drug. The investigation later led to the discovery of an equal amount of cocaine
    * seven Indian men sentenced from three to five years for the trafficking of illegal aliens through Belgium to the United Kingdom
    * a Geraardsbergen man sentenced to eight years  for drug trafficking

Doesn't sound too bad.

Quote from: The Commander
This here makes me very angry

It's bad business but I don't see how anyone can get angry over something like that. They have a legal right to demand someone to pay. What's wrong is the law that obliges relatives to pay in case the one who is initially responsible dies. Such laws are common around the world and should be abolished as collectivist rubbish.
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Sang

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Re: News From Around The World
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2009, 03:17:58 AM »
Doesn't sound too bad.

Well thankfully so far it have mostly been drugdealers but like I said at least 94 more people will get released. Surely there will be people among them who have committed far worse crimes.
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"Like a gay couple both have a penis but one will have to crouch and put the ass or it simply won´t work." - Gambini

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