Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Breathtaking' Waste and Fraud in Hurricane Katrina Aid

Shame on them!

Source: newyorktimes

Among the many superlatives associated with Hurricane Katrina can now be added this one: it produced one of the most extraordinary displays of scams, schemes and stupefying bureaucratic bungles in modern history, costing taxpayers up to $2 billion.

A hotel owner in Sugar Land, Tex., has been charged with submitting $232,000 in bills for phantom victims. And roughly 1,100 prison inmates across the Gulf Coast apparently collected more than $10 million in rental and disaster-relief assistance.

There are the bureaucrats who ordered nearly half a billion dollars worth of mobile homes that are still empty, and renovations for a shelter at a former Alabama Army base that cost about $416,000 per evacuee.

And there is the Illinois woman who tried to collect federal benefits by claiming she watched her two daughters drown in the rising New Orleans waters. In fact, prosecutors say, the children did not exist.

Monday, June 26, 2006

America's Population is booming in millions and millions. Mostly Hispanic

Source: CNN
America set to hit 300 million and counting ...
Milestone baby likely to be Hispanic
As of June 25, there were 299,058,932 people in the United States.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S. population is on target to hit 300 million this fall and it's a good bet the milestone baby -- or immigrant -- will be Hispanic.

No one will know for sure because the date and time will be just an estimate.

But Latinos -- immigrants and those born in this country -- are driving the population growth, accounting for almost half the increase last year, more than any other ethnic or racial group.

White non-Hispanics, who make up about two-thirds of the population, accounted for less than one-fifth of the increase.

When the population reached 200 million in 1967, there was no accurate tally of U.S. Hispanics. The first effort to count Hispanics came in the 1970 census, and the results were dubious.

The Census Bureau counted about 9.6 million Latinos, a little less than 5 percent of the population, but the bureau acknowledged that figure was inflated.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Saddam Hussein expecting United States to beg for his help.

Saddam believes U.S. will beg for his help
by JAMAL HALABY Associated Press Writer

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- Saddam Hussein believes the United States will have to seek his help to quell the bloody insurgency in Iraq and open the way for U.S. forces to withdraw, his chief lawyer said Sunday.
Khalil al-Dulaimi argued in an interview with The Associated Press that the former leader is the key to returning stability to Iraq.
"He's their last resort. They're going to knock at his door eventually," the lawyer said. Saddam is "the only person who can stop the resistance against the U.S. troops."
There is no indication U.S. officials have considered seeking his help. While Saddam's once dominant fellow Sunni Arabs are the backbone of the insurgency, the Shiite Muslim majority and Kurds repressed by his regime would be enflamed by his presence.

The comments from Al-Dulaimi, the head of Saddam's defense team, portrayed a deposed leader who seems to hold out hope he can bargain his way out of trials that threaten him with the death penalty.
Al-Dulaimi said Saddam brought up the topic during a meeting Tuesday, and indicated he would be willing to help the United States - "for the sake of saving both peoples - the Iraqis and Americans."
He quoted Saddam as saying:
"These puppets in the Iraqi government that the Americans brought to power are helpless. They can't protect themselves or the Iraqi people. The Americans will certainly come to me, to Saddam Hussein's legitimate leadership and to the Iraqi Baath Party, to rescue them from their huge quandary."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Man with a faulty penus implants get $400,000

Man with faulty penile implant gets $400K

By RAY HENRY, Associated Press Writer Fri Jun 23, 7:40 PM ET

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - A former handyman has won more than $400,000 in a lawsuit over a penile implant that gave him a 10-year erection.

Charles "Chick" Lennon, 68, received the steel and plastic implant in 1996, about two years before Viagra went on the market. The Dura-II is designed to allow impotent men to position the penis upward for sex, then lower it.

But Lennon could not position his penis downward. He said he could no longer hug people, ride a bike, swim or wear bathing trunks because of the pain and embarrassment. He has become a recluse and is uncomfortable being around his grandchildren, his lawyer said.

In 2004, a jury awarded him $750,000. A judge called that excessive and reduced it to $400,000. On Friday, the Rhode Island Supreme Court affirmed that award in a ruling that turned on a procedural matter.
Read more here

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ghana boss praises 'historic' win

Ghana boss praises 'historic' win

Story from BBC SPORT

Coach Ratomir Dujkovic thinks his side's qualification for the World Cup knockout stages heralds the start of a new era for football in Ghana.

The World Cup debutants clinched their place in the second round with a 2-1 victory over the United States.

Dujkovic said: "This is a historic moment for us, we are very happy.

"This is a starting point for all Ghanaians, for this group of players and myself. The first time in the World Cup and we come in the world's top 16."

Highlights: Ghana 2-1 USA

He added: "We didn't play as we usually do but USA are a hard-working team.

We are not afraid of any team. We are Africa's Brazil
Stephen Appiah

"They pushed us hard all the time so we're very satisfied and very happy."

Ghana will now meet Brazil in the second round, but will be without their influential midfielder Michael Essien who is suspended after picking up his second yellow card.

But the Chelsea star is hoping that his country can knock out the tournament favourites.

He said: "We did our best today. We did it for Ghana and the whole of Africa so they should keep cheering us."

And Stephen Appiah echoed his team-mates' confidence.

He said: "We are representing the whole continent of Africa and that's great. We are not afraid of any team. We are Africa's Brazil."
Story from BBC SPORT:

Published: 2006/06/22 17:29:14 GMT

Ghana Beats USA to Reach World Cup Second Round

Ghana Beats USA to Reach World Cup Second Round
By Parke Brewer
22 June 2006

Ghana has defeated the U.S. soccer team, 2-1, to advance to the second round of the World Cup in Germany. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer reports, the game in Nuremberg was not without controversy.

Ghanaian midfielder Eric Addo (R) is challenged by US midfielder Clint Dempsey (L)
Ghanaian midfielder Eric Addo (r) is challenged by US midfielder Clint Dempsey
The end of the first half of this game between the USA and Ghana will likely be discussed among football fans of both nations for years to come.

The U.S. team tied the score at one-all in the 43rd minute, and seemingly was headed into halftime on a high note. But two minutes into injury, or stoppage - time that is added at the discretion of the referee - American defender Oguchi Onyewu was whistled for a questionable foul in the box.

Ghana's Stephen Appiah converted the penalty kick, making the score 2-1, and after a goalless second half, that's the way it ended.

U.S. coach Bruce Arena felt the call was unfair and said it changed the momentum of the match. Ghana's Serbian coach, Ratomir Dujkovic, refused to comment on the play after the game. He just wanted to celebrate the achievement of his team.

Ratomir Dujkovic
Ratomir Dujkovic
"This is a historic moment for all Ghanaians, for this group of players, for myself, because we are, for the first time, in the World Cup, and we became in the [top] 16 in the world," he said.

Ghana was able to advance to the next round from Group E, because first place Italy defeated the Czech Republic, 2-0. Italy and Ghana advance to the round of 16, while the USA and the Czech Republic are done.

Ronaldo ties Gerd Mueller for overall World Cup goals lead

Associate Press

Dortmund, Germany — Brazil's Ronaldo scored his 13th and 14th World Cup goals Thursday night, tying the tournament career record held by Gerd Mueller of Germany.

He also surpassed the Brazil mark held by Pele.

The striker scored with a header in first-half injury time in the defending champion's match against Japan in Group F. He added a second in the 81st with a right-foot shot from 20 yards.

Playing in his fourth World Cup, Ronaldo has 66 goals in 102 matches with Brazil. Pele scored 95 in 114 matches.

Ronaldo had a great chance to put Brazil ahead in the seventh minute after beating a defender inside the area, but his close-range shot was saved by Japan goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi. His right-footer in the 20th was just as dangerous, again being stopped by Kawaguchi.

Ronaldo was coming off two disappointing performances with Brazil, being held scoreless and twice being substituted.

The striker had to deal with a series of distractions since arriving for the World Cup a month ago, including a weight controversy and a string of minor health problems. Ronaldo admittedly arrived for the tournament overweight after enduring a series of injuries with Real Madrid during the season.

Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has supported Ronaldo from the beginning, saying he remains a key for Brazil and will be a threat after gaining back his rhythm.

Ronaldo was with Brazil when it won the title in 1994 in the United States and 2002 in South Korea and Japan. He could equal Pele's feat as a three-time World Cup winner with another title this year. Pele won it in 1958, '62 and '70.

In the 2002 tournament, he won the scoring title with eight goals in seven matches. He scored twice in the final against Germany.