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sábado, 18 de abril de 2009

UPDATE 1-Obama, Venezuela's Chavez shake hands at summit

(Updates with remarks from presidential palace)

PORT OF SPAIN, April 17 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday greeted and shook hands with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez during an impromptu meeting with the anti-U.S. leader at the Summit of the Americas.

Photographs released by the Venezuelan government showed Chavez, a fierce foe of former President George W. Bush, smiling and clasping hands with Obama at the start of the summit of Latin American and Caribbean leaders in Trinidad.

"I greeted Bush with this hand eight years ago; I want to be your friend," Chavez told Obama, according to a Venezuelan presidential press office statement.

Chavez, a staunch ally of Cuba, had became one of the Bush's administrations most strident critics. In March, he called Obama at best an "ignoramus" after the U.S. leader said Chavez obstructed progress in Latin America.

Ties between Washington and Caracas have frayed under Chavez, who often accuses U.S. officials of trying to topple him. Chavez expelled the U.S. envoy to Caracas in September in a dispute over U.S. activities in Venezuelan ally Bolivia.

Former soldier Chavez says socialist revolution can counter U.S. free-market policies in South America and he has become a standard-bearer for anti-U.S. sentiment in the region. But Washington has branded him a threat to regional stability. (Reporting by Patrick Markey; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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Zac Efron recently found out about the upcoming "Star Wars" TV series and now wants to play "young" Luke Skywalker, despite the fact that he's 21 and

Zac Efron recently found out about the upcoming "Star Wars" TV series and now wants to play "young" Luke Skywalker, despite the fact that he's 21 and Luke was 19 in the original

Zac Efron Hungers For Luke Skywalker Role

Zac EfronZac Efron is keen to bring Luke Skywalker to the small screen after toying around with Star Wars props at George Lucas' California mansion. The High School Musical star filmed scenes for his new movie 17 Again at Lucas' museum-like home, Skywalker Ranch, and now he's begging the movie mogul for a leading role in his Star Wars TV series.

Efron tells MovieHole.net, "There were real stormtrooper outfits, real memorabilia from the movie. There were a lot of valuable things we were wrecking in that house. That element, that nerd part of the film, is right up my alley. I was so at home in that house. I would look at everything for hours. I have pictures with Darth Vader and Chewbacca.

"George Lucas is doing a Star Wars TV series? Oh man. I'll have to put in a phone call. Young Skywalker? Yeah... Bring it On!"

Mark Hamill played Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movies.

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Caught on video... another G20 policeman lashes out at protester

By Daniel Boffey and Christopher Leake

  • Watchdog probes third alleged attack

  • Disturbing new film piles more pressure on Met

Disturbing new pictures last night raised further questions over the police’s ‘disproportionate’ handling of the G20 protests in London.

Film released by the environmental campaign group Climate Camp shows an officer apparently punching a protester in the face. The victim’s head rocks back and another officer appears to try to restrain his colleague by pulling him back.

In another development, a separate claim by a 23-year-old man that officers hit him on the head and pushed him to the ground became the third G20 incident to be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

In the first, a policeman has been interviewed under caution on suspicion of manslaughter after a second post-mortem examination revised the cause of death of newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson.

Scroll down to watch the video footage

Enlarge Thump: A Met police officer punches a G20 protester in the face, prompting the man to reel back

Thump: A Met police officer punches a G20 protester in the face, prompting the man to reel back

Mr Tomlinson, 47, from East London, was struck and pushed over by a policeman during protests on April 1 and died of abdominal bleeding, not a heart attack as first thought.

The IPCC is also investigating claims by unemployed former drug addict Nicola Fisher, 35, from Brighton, that she was hit in the face by a police sergeant and then hit on her legs with his metal baton.

The latest film was given to Climate Camp, which organised demonstrations outside the European Climate Exchange building on Bishopsgate in the City of London, by documentary maker James Bayliss-Smith.

The footage appears to show a policeman punching an unidentified protester in the face with his right hand as he holds his shield in his left hand.

He is wearing full riot gear and seems to be part of a line of police attempting to move protesters on from Bishopsgate at 12.52am on April 2.

Ian Tomlinson reacts after being pushed to the ground by the officer circled. He died of abdominal bleeding a short time later

Ian Tomlinson reacts after being pushed to the ground by the officer circled. He died of abdominal bleeding a short time later

The attacked man does not appear to be armed or to be threatening police officers. It is not known whether the man has made a formal complaint.

Mr Bayliss-Smith, 29, from Cambridge, said: ‘I was at a vantage point above the incident. It is disgusting what was happening out there.

‘That part of the protest was entirely peaceful. Then the officers decided to clear the streets, caused chaos and one appeared to punch a protester. It cannot be acceptable for this to happen.’

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘The Met’s investigation team is assessing the material. If necessary we will refer it to the IPCC.’

This Metropolitan police officer was suspended after beating a female protester with his baton

This Metropolitan police officer was suspended after beating a female protester with his baton

The Yard also confirmed that the incident involving the 23-year-old man had been referred to the IPCC.

The IPCC said in a statement: ‘The IPCC has received over 185 complaints relating to G20. Just under 90 complaints are about the use of force by police officers during the protests.’

And in another development last night, it was revealed that City of London coroner Paul Matthews denied the IPCC permission to attend the first post mortem on Mr Tomlinson.

IPCC chiefs were said to be ‘furious’ at the ban. The examination concluded Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack, which has now been contradicted by the second post-mortem, to which IPCC officials were given access.

Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary Chris Huhne said last night: ‘The case for a full independent inquiry into the policing of protests is now compelling. It looks more and more as if there was a cover-up by people in the Metropolitan Police about the circumstances of Ian Tomlinson’s death.’

Liberal Democrat Justice Spokesman David Howarth, who was at the G20 protests as a parliamentary observer, said the attack seen in the latest footage was ‘disproportionate’.

He said: ‘These shocking videos make it clear that the policing, even of peaceful protests, was disproportionate and heavy-handed.

‘The police’s reputation will not be enhanced by the footage of shields smashed in faces and haymaker punches. These are not the first examples of this sort of conduct that I have come across.’

Frances Wright, a lawyer acting for Climate Camp, said: ‘Press coverage and citizen footage of the G20 protests raise serious doubts about the lawfulness of the tactical decision-making by senior police officers and appear to provide solid evidence of a significant number of assaults by officers.’

Yard chief rebukes his top aides over hidden ID numbers

Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has given a ‘dressing down’ to two of his senior aides for failing to ensure officers obeyed his orders to wear identification numbers on the shoulders of their uniforms at all times.

Assistant Commissioners Rose Fitzpatrick and Chris Allison – who are responsible for 20,000 officers – were told to ‘get a grip’.

The row came after a PC was pictured at a protest outside Parliament on Wednesday with his number hidden. It followed footage of a Met sergeant accused of assaulting protester Nicola Fisher at the G20 demo who also failed to display his ID.

A senior source said last night: ‘The Commissioner hauled in the two senior officers and gave them a b********g. He hopes that now his orders will go straight down the line and be obeyed.’

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Police killer Harry Roberts's five-year terror campaign to silence woman who kept him behind bars

By Ian Gallagher

Justice Secretary Jack Straw was last night facing urgent questions about how Britain’s most notorious police killer was able to terrorise a woman whose evidence blocked his release from jail.

From his cell, Harry Roberts orchestrated a horrifying five-year campaign of intimidation designed to silence 65-year-old Joan Cartwright and her son James.

Mrs Cartwright works at an animal sanctuary where Roberts, who gunned down three unarmed officers in cold blood 42 years ago, worked while on day release from open prison in 2001.

Harry Roberts

Harry Roberts (left) orchestrated a five-year campaign of intimidation against Joan Cartwright, pictured with her son James

The job was supposed to be a prelude to his release the following year.

But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that it was the Cartwrights’ allegations about his activities at the sanctuary that denied him parole and kept him behind bars.

Now, the man responsible for what a judge called ‘the most heinous crime for a generation or more’ is again said to be on the verge of freedom – something Mrs Cartwright, who lives in fear of her life, finds ‘preposterous’.

Roberts was abruptly moved to a closed jail in October 2001 when Mrs Cartwright and her son secretly complained about his behaviour. Once there, despite assurances that he would never trouble her again, the triple murderer rang her up to five times a week for nearly four years.

At times he issued terrifying veiled threats, which coincided with a series of sickening attacks on her animals. In the worst incident, a horse’s head was hacked at with an axe the night before she was due to give evidence against him.

On another occasion, days after Mrs Cartwright’s husband had resisted giving Roberts a character reference, another of her horses was attacked and had to be put down.

‘He suspected we were the ones he called the “secret witnesses”. But he didn’t know for sure,’ she said. ‘The advice from the Prison Service was to make it seem as if we were still friends.’

In other assaults between 2002 and 2006, a horse lost an eye after being battered with an iron bar; a donkey died after its pelvis was shattered, probably with a baseball bat; the family’s pet cat was electrocuted, and a peacock was strangled.

Roberts, now 72, also coerced Mrs Cartwright to visit him in person, often so he could repeat his threats face-to-face.

Until today, her identity shielded by a court order, she has never spoken about the time Roberts spent at her sanctuary, or what happened after he left.

But the injunction was lifted on Friday in the High Court, enabling The Mail on Sunday to tell her story for the first time.

She is incensed at what she sees as the ‘unforgiveable failure’ of the authorities to protect her family, blaming the Prison Service for failing to monitor Roberts during his ten months at the sanctuary.

She also reveals that it was not until 2006 that the authorities installed a security system at her home. But it failed to work, and was described as ‘woefully deficient’ in an independent report a year later.

In an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, Mrs Cartwright told how Roberts:

  • Boasted of his criminal past and revelled in his notoriety.
  • Bought a car and drove up to the gates of his open prison.
  • Mixed with violent criminals who treated him like ‘a folk hero’ and gave him substantial sums of cash.
  • Opened a bank account using her son’s address.
  • Insisted she make him breakfast most mornings – on one occasion flinging a fried egg on her kitchen floor because it wasn’t cooked to his liking.
  • Claimed prison officers at his open jail were ‘in his pocket’.

It is not immediately clear why Roberts, jailed for a minimum of 30 years in 1966, is now getting another chance of parole. He has completed the first stage and will face a final hearing this summer, which will rule on his risk to the public.

In one of the many disturbing aspects of her ordeal, Mrs Cartwright and her family never received so much as a phone call from Sudbury open prison, Derbyshire, during Roberts’s entire ten months with them.

‘No one monitored Harry, visited us, wrote to us, or even rang us to see if everything was OK,’ she said.

And they were too scared to alert the authorities themselves because Roberts had warned them that he would find out immediately if they did.

Harry Roberts

Menace: Roberts in 1966

Mrs Cartwright said: ‘We were completely on our own and it was terrifying. We kept thinking someone from the police or the prison would come and check up on him. But no one came.

‘It was the first time in my life that I had really known fear. More than once, Harry told us, “Everyone who has ever crossed me is dead.”’

Eventually, when the threats grew even more chilling and Joan and her family ‘could take no more’ they devised a plan to raise the alarm through an intermediary.

While it resulted in Roberts’s day releases being immediately halted, their hope that they could simply extricate themselves from the whole affair proved unrealistic.

Following their complaint, Mrs Cartwright and her son James, 44, came under intense pressure from police and the Prison Service to make formal statements about Roberts’s activities at the sanctuary.

At first they refused, relenting after two years when they received an undertaking from the then Home Secretary David Blunkett assuring them that Roberts would never see their evidence or learn who had supplied it.

Crucially, it also said: ‘If at any stage the Parole Board directs that any of the material should be disclosed either to Harry Roberts or to his solicitor, the Secretary of State will withdraw that material.’

Neither Roberts nor his solicitor were told the nature of the allegations because the Parole Board ruled ‘the risk to the safety, security and even the lives of the sources will increase significantly if disclosure is made’.

After several hearings, the Parole Board wrote to Roberts on December 12, 2006, saying that it would not be recommending his release from jail.

It said: ‘While in open conditions, you demonstrated that you are untrustworthy, utterly egocentric and highly manipulative.’

Last night, Shadow Justice Secretary Dominic Grieve said he would be challenging Mr Straw over the ‘extremely worrying’ threats to the Cartwrights.

He said: ‘If Roberts was able to intimidate her from his cell, that is a serious situation and it requires an immediate answer from Jack Straw as to what happened and why. If true, this must be a serious security breach.’

Roberts has denied all the Cartwrights’ allegations.

A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: ‘All these allegations have been considered by the Parole Board. As the review is continuing, it would not be appropriate to comment further.

‘In the years since the security report, we have been working with the family and made considerable efforts to improve their situation.

‘All allegations of inappropriate behaviour by prisoners in open conditions are investigated and, if credible, will lead to the prisoner being returned to a closed prison.’

A Derbyshire Police spokeswoman said: ‘All allegations made to Derbyshire Constabulary have been thoroughly investigated. However there has not been sufficient evidence to charge anyone with any offence.

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When the police are about to give you a roadside breath test, you really, really shouldn't do what this guy does

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Empty pubs could get new lease of life ... as alcohol-free bars for teenagers

By Daily Mail Reporter

Empty pubs could be given a new lease of life - as non-alcoholic pubs for teenagers.

The venture, which has financial backing from the Home Office, could see games, music, entertainment and food served up to their 13 to 19-year-old patrons - but nothing stronger than a cola for refreshment.

Three major pub companies are interested in the venture, with the first pilots expected to open in Crewe and Merseyside within the next three months, which if successful could lead to a national roll-out.

Teenagers could enjoys venues filled with games, music, entertainment and food - but no alcohol

Teenagers could enjoys venues filled with games, music, entertainment and food - but no alcohol

The initiative has already received policy support from Government departments including the Home Office, which has agreed to fund early work on one of the first projects.

Partnership Projects managing director Andrew Harris, which is behind the pilots, said alcohol-free teen-pubs could help reduce crime, address substance misuse and encourage future adults to drink responsibly.

He said: 'We have done a tremendous amount of research into the concept of a teenage pub including polling youngsters themselves about what they wanted from these new outlets.

'Basically they are looking for the same services as adults, which means entertainment, games, music, soft drinks and convenience foo

The new pubs will offer the same services as any traditional public house business except for alcohol and gambling.

Each pub will be run by a local 'not-for-profit company' that will comprise local agencies helped by a shadow board of teenagers.

It is hoped funding will help meet start-up and first-year running costs, which will total up to £60,000 for each venue. The pubs are expected to become self-financing after the first year of operations.

Agencies that have helped Partnership Projects to launch the new scheme include the Government Youth Task Force, the Department for Children Schools & Families, the Home Office and the British Beer & Pub Association.

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‘Daggering’ sex lands Jamaican men with broken willies

, Apr 16 (ANI):

A bizarre sex craze has landed many Jamaican men in hospitals, after they got their willies fractured while indulging in a fast and rough intercourse, called “daggering”.

Doctors have reported that the number of such cases has skyrocketed in a year after a rise in so-called “daggering”.

In their opinion, the injuries occur during the fast, rough intercourse and can even cause permanent damage.

“We have noticed an increase,” the Sun quoted a doctor at Kingston Public Hospital on the island as saying.

He added: “During very rigorous intercourse the man can hit the woman’s pubic bone and sustain a fracture. There is a loud popping sound, excruciating pain and

Thaindian News

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La fuerza del inglés, base del prestigio de la 'Británica'

Las universidades británicas y estadounidenses, fuentes del saber de la 'Británica'. | Reuters

Las universidades británicas y estadounidenses, fuentes del saber de la 'Británica'. | Reuters

  • Cada domingo, una nueva entrega, hasta un total de 30, por 12,90€ cada una

La Enciclopedia Británica, una obra de referencia en el ámbito del conocimiento y la cultura desde hace más de dos siglos, y Unidad Editorial, la empresa editora del diario EL MUNDO, han llegado a un acuerdo para lanzar la Britannica Global Edition 2009, la enciclopedia más prestigiosa y actualizada de nuestros días.

Mañana, con el diario, los lectores podrán conseguir el primer tomo, con más de 300 páginas, por un euro. Y cada domingo se ofrecerá una nueva entrega, hasta un total de 30, por sólo 12,90 euros cada una.

Desde la primera edición, publicada en Edimburgo (Escocia) en 1768, los artículos de la Enciclopedia Británica se han caracterizado por su combinación de rigor y calidad literaria. Un prestigio bien merecido, pues entre sus cerca de 4.000 firmas se encuentran más de un centenar de premios Nobel, entre académicos, historiadores, intelectuales y reconocidos expertos.

Con esta promoción el periódico persigue un doble objetivo: fomentar la cultura, por una parte, e incrementar la práctica del inglés, por otra, pues esta edición recoge los textos originales.

"Se trata de una excelente idea", señala Richard Vaughan, que asegura que "la Enciclopedia Británica es una obra como la copa de un pino". Este estadounidense, oriundo de Texas, desembarcó hace más de 30 años en España y, desde entonces, se ha convertido en el profesor de inglés más carismático de nuestro país. En la actualidad triunfa con el canal de 24 horas emitido por TDT e Imagenio, Aprende Inglés TV (casi dos millones de audiencia en marzo), puesto en marcha hace poco más de un año por Unidad Editorial y Vaughan Systems. Antes, ya había enseñado a hablar inglés a miles de jóvenes en toda España, a través de un método personal, atractivo e innovador.

El mejor profesor de inglés

[foto de la noticia]

Con toda una vida dedicada a la enseñanza del idioma, nadie como Vaughan para medir el valor de una herramienta como la Enciclopedia Británica. "Recuerdo haberla tenido cerca desde siempre. Cuando era pequeño mis padres la consultaban en casa y, mucho después, a principios de los 80, compré la colección entera. También regalé a mis hijos una edición infantil de 15 tomos, que es una gozada".

Vaughan reconoce que hay que tener una base de inglés para poder sacar todo el jugo a la Británica: "Las personas que tengan un nivel medio de inglés y una inquietud por aprender van a manosear cada tomo hasta desgastarlo".

A su vez, Vaughan señala su carácter práctico como obra de consulta en casa. "Si los niños ven a sus padres leyendo la Enciclopedia, cuando crezcan la cogerán con más ganas".

Con más de dos siglos de experiencia, una de las virtudes de la Británica es su riguroso programa de actualización. Para ello, un equipo de profesionales se encarga de revisar de forma periódica cada campo de estudio.

En este sentido, Dale H. Hoiberg, vicepresidente y editor del sello, explica que "para satisfacer las necesidades de la audiencia global de nuestra época, la última edición de la Enciclopedia Británica ha incorporado nuevos campos de estudio".

Con los hechos más recientes

De esta manera, los hechos históricos recientes más relevantes en el escenario internacional están recogidos en esta edición de la Británica, que los lectores podrán conseguir a partir de mañana a un precio muy especial. Desde la Guerra de Irak hasta el ascenso al poder de Obama, sin olvidar los últimos hitos culturales y del deporte o las nuevas realidades, como el horror del terrorismo islámico.

"Para seleccionar los 40.000 artículos que conforman la Britannica Global Edition 2009 han participado los editores más importantes del sello editorial», afirma Hoiberg, que recalca la «exactitud y autoridad" que históricamente han caracterizado a esta enciclopedia. Grandes personalidades del mundo de la cultura coinciden en señalar el ineludible valor de la Británica como obra de referencia en el campo del saber.

Inocencio Arias, uno de nuestros diplomáticos más prestigiosos, reconoce haberla utilizado "muchísimo" desde que comenzara su carrera, cuando tenía 23 años. "Creo que puede ser una iniciativa muy útil, pues en España cada vez hay más gente que se defiende con el inglés", explica Arias, en referencia a la nueva promoción de EL MUNDO, y añade que "con cada consulta se aprende un término nuevo, por lo menos". "Cualquier persona con una curiosidad literaria, científica o sociológica disfrutará con su lectura". "En mi caso", prosigue Arias, "se ha convertido en una herramienta imprescindible para mi trabajo". En este mismo sentido, John Hooper, corresponsal del diario británico The Guardian en Roma, reconoce que la Enciclopedia Británica es una de las fuentes que más ha consultado a la hora de ejercer el periodismo. Autor del libro Los españoles (un retrato de la nueva España), una mirada cariñosa y aguda sobre nuestra cultura que escribió cuando ejercía aquí de corresponsal, Hooper aplaude la iniciativa de EL MUNDO de ofrecer la última versión de la enciclopedia a un coste reducido. "De la Británica siempre se ha destacado, además de la calidad de sus colaboradores, su alto coste, prohibitivo para la mayoría de la población". A partir de mañana, los lectores podrán tener en su casa esta obra, "escrita en un inglés culto, pero fácil de leer", según Hooper, que señala la importancia de contar con una obra de consulta para contrastar la información que vemos en Internet.

Siguiendo con esta idea, José Antonio Gurpegui, crítico, profesor y director del Instituto Universitario de Investigación en Estudios Norteamericanos de la Universidad de Alcalá, califica la Británica como "la Wikipedia histórica". Aunque recalca una notable diferencia, como es «el sello de calidad que atesora la enciclopedia». «Recuerdo perfectamente el año que la compré, aquí en España. Fue en 1984, y desde entonces es la herramienta que más he utilizado».

"A pesar del boom de las nuevas tecnologías, su uso sigue siendo fundamental", reflexiona Gurpegui, que no duda en calificar la obra como "la referencia en todo el mundo anglosajón". En este punto coincide con la editora estadounidense Valerie Miles, residente en España desde hace dos décadas, y que se declara "no sólo fan, sino un producto" del saber de la Británica, que le "ha abierto todas las puertas de la cultura" que ahora disfruta.

Firmas prestigiosas

Habituada a tratar con intelectuales por su profesión, Miles reconoce el prestigio de las firmas que colaboran en la Enciclopedia. Albert Einstein, el Dalai Lama, Sigmund Freud, Marie Curie, Henry Ford, Bertrand Russell... Ninguna otra obra consigue reunir a tantos genios juntos.

Valerie Miles, que recuerda la época en que comenzó a pedir prestada a sus padres la Enciclopedia, también apunta a la doble vertiente de la colección. "Puede ser muy útil para acercarse a diversas áreas de la cultura, al mismo tiempo que se mejora el inglés".

Este sentimiento encontrado entre cariño y admiración hacia la Británica también lo comparte D. Sam Abrams (Beckley, Estados Unidos, 1952), poeta, traductor, crítico, ensayista y licenciado en Letras Hispánicas por la Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. "Ha sido una herramienta indispensable en mi vida, pues me ha alargado los brazos de la mente".

Académicos y docentes, así como profesionales de todos los campos, coinciden en señalar el prestigio de la Enciclopedia Británica y su utilidad a la hora de acercarse con rigor a cualquier campo del saber

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Actores y productores de Hollywood acuerdan un nuevo convenio laboral

El principal sindicato de actores de EEUU (SAG) y los estudios de Hollywood han sellado un acuerdo para un nuevo convenio laboral tras meses de negociaciones fallidas, según anunciaron ambas partes en un comunicado conjunto. El SAG comentó en la nota informativa que recomendará la aprobación del pacto con la patronal, la llamada Alianza de Productores de Cine y Televisión (AMPTP).

El texto deberá ser aprobado por la junta directiva del gremio y posteriormente se someterá a la ratificación de sus miembros. Los detalles del acuerdo sobre programas de televisión y películas no serán hechos públicos antes de ser revisados por la junta directiva del SAG este domingo, durante una reunión mediante videoconferencia en Los Ángeles y Nueva York.

Según el periódico Los Angeles Times, el nuevo convenio colectivo será por dos años e incluirá leves mejoras respecto a ofertas presentadas por los estudios hace nueve meses.

El caballo de batalla entre SAG y AMPTP se encuentra en los ingresos que deben recibir los actores por los beneficios que obtengan los estudios por la distribución y reproducción de las producciones en los nuevos soportes digitales.

El anterior convenio colectivo entre ambas instituciones expiró el pasado mes de junio. El SAG, que engloba a unos 120.000 actores de cine y televisión en el país, comenzó en julio un pulso con las productoras de Hollywood por las mejoras de los derechos laborales de los intérpretes en el nuevo convenio.

El consejo de dirección del SAG destituyó en enero a Doug Allen, jefe negociador del convenio colectivo con los estudios de Hollywood, por falta de liderazgo. Sus sustitutos fueron David White y John McGuire.

Desde entonces SAG y AMPTP mantuvieron interrumpidamente unas negociaciones que dividieron a los actores ante la posibilidad de que se convocase una huelga como la que afectó a la industria a finales de 2007, en esa ocasión con el sindicato de guionistas de EEUU (WGA) como protagonista.

En cambio, los miembros de la American Federation of Television & Radio Artists (AFTRA), el segundo sindicato de actores en número de afiliados, aceptaron en julio el convenio laboral propuesto por los estudios. Un 62,4 por ciento de los afiliados de AFTRA votaron a favor del acuerdo de tres años negociado por sus representantes sindicales con la AMPTP.

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The Pirate Bay Trial: The Official Verdict - Guilty

Written by enigmax on April 17, 2009

Just minutes ago the verdict in the case of The Pirate Bay Four was announced. All four defendants were accused of ‘assisting in making copyright content available’. Peter Sunde: Guilty. Fredrik Neij: Guilty. Gottfrid Svartholm: Guilty. Carl Lundström: Guilty. The four receive 1 year in jail each and fines totaling $3,620,000.

While only a few weeks ago, it seems like an eternity since the trial of The Pirate Bay Four ended and the court retired to consider its verdict. The prosecution claimed that the four defendants were ‘assisting in making copyright content available’ and demanded millions of dollars in damages. The defense did not agree, and all pleaded not guilty - backed up by the inimitable King Kong defense.

Today, Friday April 17, the court issued its decision: article continuously updated

“The court has found that by using Pirate Bay’s services there has been file-sharing of music, films and computer games to the extent the prosecutor has stated in his case,” said the district court. “This file-sharing constitutes an unlawful transfer to the public of copyrighted performances.”

Peter Sunde (born September 13, 1978) alias ‘brokep’:

Verdict: Guilty - 1 year in prison, damages to pay: $905,000

Peter Althin, brokep’s lawyer said, “I spoke to Peter and he wasn’t very surprised. A journalist he’d spoken to knew an hour before it was public that all four would be convicted. The verdict was leaked from the court. I have to think about what effects that can have on the sentence. It is unacceptable that the court is leaking.”
Fredrik Neij (born April 27, 1978) alias ‘TiAMO’:

Verdict: Guilty - 1 year in prison, damages to pay: $905,000

Similar to the other defendants, Fredrik Neij was not present to hear the verdict. He currently lives in Thailand from where he manages The Pirate Bay’s servers.

Gottfrid Svartholm (October 17, 1984) alias ‘Anakata’:

Verdict: Guilty - 1 year in prison, damages to pay: $905,000

Anakata’s lawyer Ola Salomonsson said, “We’re appealing. It’s very surprising that the court has chosen to treat the accused as a team.”

Carl Lundstrom
Carl Lundström (born April 13, 1960)

Verdict: Guilty - 1 year in prison, damages to pay: $905,000

Carl Lundström’s verdict came as a surprise to most people since he was only remotely related to The Pirate Bay. His lawyer Per E Samuelsson announced that he has already sent in his appeal and the others are expected to follow soon.

The court said that the four defendants worked as a team, were aware that copyrighted material was being shared using The Pirate Bay and that they made it easy and assisted the infringements. It categorized the infringements as ’severe’. The judge said that the users of The Pirate Bay committed the first offense by sharing files and the four assisted this.

It appears that the court chose to not take any of the technical details into account and only judged based on intent. They find it clear that the intention of the defendants is to facilitate sharing of copyrighted works and based their verdict on this.

While the court did not agree with the plaintiff’s exaggerated estimates of losses, it still set the damages at 30 million SEK ($3,620,000). This a hugely significant amount and the court has ordered that the four should pay this amount between them.

The judge also stated that the usage of BitTorrent at The Pirate Bay is illegal. Rest assured, other torrent sites hosted in Sweden will be keeping a close eye on developments.

The defense put it to the judge that he had folded under intense political pressure. The judge denied this stating that the court made its decision based on the case presented.

At one point the judge was asked if he was concerned for his personal safety after handing down this decision. The judge said he hadn’t received any harassment and was quite surprised at the question.

While the judge won’t be getting any flowers for this verdict, Roger Wallis who spoke in favor of The Pirate Bay at their trial and received a mountain of floral tributes in return, noted, “This will cause a flood of court cases. Against all the ISPs. Because if these guys assisted in copyright infringements, then the ISPs also did. This will have huge consequences. The entire development of broadband may be stalled.”

Peter Sunde characterized the verdict as ‘unreal’ and said that he didn’t expect the jail sentence. He briefly spoke with Fredrik and Gottfrid and all were surprised with this outcome. In response to the fines Peter said: “We can’t pay and we wouldn’t pay if we could. If I would have money I would rather burn everything I owned.”

Sunde has already explained that this decision does not mean the end of the line in this case. There will be an appeal which means we are still far away from the ultimate decision - possibly years away. Any appeal from either side must be submitted to Sweden’s higher Court by 9th May 2009.

Rasmus Fleischer, one of the founders of Piratbyrån commented, “The sentence has no formal consequence and no juridical value. We chose to treat the trial as a theater play and as such it’s been far better than we ever could have believed.”

As for the fate of the site, Peter has already promised that The Pirate Bay will continue. The site itself was never on trial, only the four individuals listed above.

This is a breaking news story, please check back frequently for updates.

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Obama invita a Cuba a construir una nueva relación

Washington ya no cree en el embargo como única política y apuesta por una transición controlada hacia la democracia

ANTONIO CAÑO | Enviado especial a Puerto España 18/04/2009

Barack Obama abrió ayer la Cumbre de las Américas en Trinidad y Tobago con una histórica oferta de reconciliación con Cuba, en medio de una acumulación de declaraciones y gestos, tanto de parte norteamericana como cubana, que han creado enormes expectativas de que pueda nacer aquí el inicio de un diálogo para la normalización de relaciones entre los eternos enemigos del continente.

"Creo que podemos dirigir las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba en una nueva dirección", afirmó el presidente de Estados Unidos, en el anuncio de una nueva política que puede acabar con un conflicto que durante décadas ha condicionado la relación de Washington con América Latina.

"Estados Unidos busca un nuevo comienzo con Cuba", manifestó Obama. "Sé que hay un largo camino por delante para acabar con décadas de desconfianza, pero hay pasos decisivos que podemos tomar hacia un nuevo día". "En los dos últimos años he indicado, y repito hoy, que estoy preparado para que mi Administración se involucre con el Gobierno de Cuba en una amplia gama de asuntos, desde los derechos humanos a la libertad de expresión, las reformas democráticas, las drogas y los asuntos económicos".

"Déjenme decirlo con claridad", concluyó el presidente norteamericano, "no estoy interesado en hablar por hablar. Pero creo que podemos llevar las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y Cuba en una nueva dirección".

Se trata de la más rotunda y concreta oferta de diálogo presentada por un presidente de Estados Unidos desde que ese país rompió relaciones con el régimen comunista de la isla y le impuso un embargo económico en 1962. Esta oferta, aparentemente bien recibida en la isla y rodeada de muchos apoyos en un continente que quiere sumarse a una nueva era mundial, significa, por tanto, una oportunidad de oro de acabar con el aislamiento de Cuba y de reincorporar a ese país, poco a poco, al conjunto de las naciones democráticas.

Con esta oferta, Obama reconoce, al mismo tiempo, que el embargo de tantas décadas no ha dado resultado y que es necesario corregir esa política. Eso fue también reconocido ayer explícitamente por la secretaria de Estado, Hillary Clinton, quien afirmó sin tapujos en la República Dominicana que "la política de Estados Unidos hacia Cuba ha fracasado".

Al mismo tiempo, Clinton acogió de forma positiva las palabras del presidente cubano Raúl Castro, quien parece aceptar un diálogo con el Gobierno norteamericano con "todos los temas sobre la mesa", incluidos los derechos humanos y la democracia. Distintos líderes presentes en la cumbre de Puerto España realizan en estos momentos gestiones para favorecer ese diálogo y, llegado el caso, actuar como intermediarios. Entre ellos, el secretario general de la Organización de Estados Americanos, José Miguel Insulza, manifestó ayer que ha llegado el momento de reincorporar "paso a paso" a Cuba a la organización de la que fue expulsado hace casi medio siglo.

Todo ello está ocurriendo de forma acelerada, pero con prudencia para no forzar ni a Obama ni a Castro a una posición incómoda que dificulte sus movimientos. Por parte norteamericana, existe, no obstante, una intención clara de no dejar pasar la oportunidad que esta cumbre constituye. "El presidente llega a Trinidad y Tobago en busca de una aproximación pragmática a los problemas de la región, con la intención de dejar atrás los debates ideológicos del pasado", afirma Dan Restrepo, asesor de la Casa Blanca para asuntos latinoamericanos. En esa línea, Obama ha recordado que la democratización, los derechos humanos y el reconocimiento de las libertades individuales en Cuba siguen siendo las metas de su Administración. Pero ha insistido en que no espera que "esos cambios se den de la noche a la mañana".

Obama ha dejado claro que el levantamiento de todas las restricciones para que los norteamericanos con parientes en Cuba viajen a la isla, anunciado el pasado lunes, es sólo un primer paso en el camino de la normalización de relaciones. "Se pueden dar otros cuando Cuba esté dispuesto a darlos también", afirmó poco antes de salir de México.

Entre tanto, añadió el presidente norteamericano, el Gobierno cubano podría mostrar algunos gestos de reciprocidad con las medidas tomadas en Washington. Incluso sugirió que el permiso para los viajes a Cuba sea respondido con la autorización para que los cubanos que residen en la isla puedan salir al extranjero. Otro paso que Estados Unidos apreciaría de parte de los responsables cubanos sería la libertad para que sus ciudadanos puedan acceder a los canales por satélite de la televisión norteamericana.

"Necesitamos comprobar la seriedad de ambos lados en la búsqueda de un nuevo modelo de relaciones", precisa el portavoz de la Casa Blanca, Robert Gibbs. Las medidas tomadas hasta ahora son, según dijo Obama, "una prueba de nuestra buena fe".

El as de la Casa Blanca para reconducir las negociaciones

El principal asesor de Barack Obama en la Cumbre de Trinidad y Tobago, el embajador Jeffrey Davidow, de 65 años, es el hombre clave para la intención del presidente de recuperar peso en América Latina. Lejos de ser un convidado de piedra, Davidow tiene a sus espaldas 34 años de servicio exterior, la mayoría en América Latina. Durante sus primeras dos décadas de trabajo fue embajador en Guatemala, Chile y Venezuela. Al amparo de la Administración Clinton, no paró de ganar peso en la diplomacia. Tras sus años en Caracas, de 1993 a 1996, fue designado sub secretario de Estado para Asuntos Interamericanos y presidió el comité de supervisión de los proyectos puestos en marcha en el marco de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA).

En 1998, juró el cargo de embajador en México y tuvo a su cargo restablecer las deterioradas relaciones con Estados Unidos tras la llamada Operación Casablanca. Durante los tres años previos a la llegada de Davidow, el Gobierno estadounidense había llevado a cabo una operación encubierta a gran escala en México. Fueron detenidos 26 altos cargos de una docena de bancos comerciales mexicanos acusados de lavado de dinero para los carteles de Juárez y Cali. El escándalo involucró directamente tres grandes entidades financieras mexicanas: Bancomer, Serfin y Confía.

Más de un diplomático latinoamericano recuerda con admiración los años de Davidow tanto en la Secretaría de Estado como en México, país en el que estuvo hasta 2002. Dos años antes de marcharse, en una conferencia en San Diego, el entonces embajador enfatizó que "la política del dedo acusador" no servía para nada y que el primer paso para solucionar problemas como la inmigración o el narcotráfico era que EE UU y México compartieran la responsabilidad en estas cuestiones. La tesis de Davidow fue muy bien recibida en América Latina.

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Public Enemies Movie Trailer 2

public enemies poster top

Universal Pictures has released a second movie trailer for Michael Mann’s Public Enemies on MSN. The film tells the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Johnny Depp)—the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover

’s fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public.

A lot of people were complaining about the video-look of the film when the first trailer was released. I’ve found a lot less noticeable on my computer screen

, especially in this second trailer. I’m under the belief that audiences could watch a film shot on 8mm film. If it was compelling enough, audiences could easily forget the weaknesses of the medium. And I think this second trailer does a lot with mood, tone and story which makes me forget about the digital look of the sequences presented in the trailer. Watch the trailer after the jump, and tell me what you think in the comments below.

Right now this is the highest quality trailer available. We’ll update the story when we get something better.

Official Plot Synopsis: In the action-thriller Public Enemies, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard in the story of legendary Depression-era outlaw John Dillinger (Depp)—the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoover’s fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public.No one could stop Dillinger and his gang. No jail could hold him. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyone—from his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression.

But while the adventures of Dillinger’s gang—later including the sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Giovanni Ribisi)—thrilled many, Hoover (Billy Crudup) hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw’s capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America’s first Public Enemy Number One and sent in Purvis, the dashing “Clark Gable of the FBI.’’ However, Dillinger and his gang outwitted and outgunned Purvis’ men in wild chases and shootouts. Only after importing a crew of Western ex-lawmen (newly baptized as agents) and orchestrating epic betrayals—from the infamous “Lady in Red’’ to the Chicago crime boss Frank Nitti—were Purvis, the FBI and their new crew of gunfighters able to close in on Dillinger.

Public Enemies hits theaters on July 1st 2009.

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Municípios do norte do Ceará enfrentam "surto" de tremores de terra

Municípios do norte do Ceará, na região de Sobral, têm enfrentado um "surto" de tremores de terra nos últimos 15 meses. No período, ocorreram ao menos 1.800 abalos sísmicos nas cidades de Sobral, Alcântaras, Coreaú, Massapê e Meruoca, segundo a Defesa Civil do Estado. O mais recente aconteceu às 5h56 de ontem e atingiu 2,6 graus na escala Richter.

A maioria dos abalos sísmicos não é notada pela população e não chega a atingir um grau na escala. O máximo já registrado nessa escala foi 9,5 graus, em 1960, no Chile.

O tremor desta sexta-feira foi notado principalmente em Sobral e Alcântaras, mas, por conta da magnitude, pôde ser sentido em um raio de até 600 km, de acordo com o chefe do laboratório de sismologia da Defesa Civil do Ceará, Francisco Brandão Melo.

"Estamos em meio a uma atividade sísmica que com o tempo vai ocorrendo com menor frequência até cessar, mas que depois pode voltar. Como isso é recorrente, é possível dizer que onde aconteceu tremor de terra uma vez fatalmente acontecerá de novo. Só não dá para dizer quando", diz Melo.

O primeiro tremor de terra registrado no Ceará foi em 1807. Desde então, segundo Melo, 39 municípios cearenses já registraram ocorrências. O mais grave foi um de 4,3 graus, na região de Sobral, em maio de 2008. Ele foi sentido até em Fortaleza, a 238 km de distância. Na ocasião, casas desmoronaram, mas não houve vítimas.

Apesar da elevada quantidade de abalos na região, não há motivo para preocupação, porque eles não são considerados graves, diz o analista de sinais sísmicos do Observatório Sismológico da UnB (Universidade de Brasília), Daniel Caixeta.

"Há no Ceará e no Rio Grande do Norte microfalhas geológicas que ocasionam esses tremores. O problema é que se divulgarmos todos os abalos sísmicos que acontecem geraremos um alarme desnecessário. Só divulgamos os que são superiores a dois graus na escala Richter, que são os que a população costuma sentir", diz.

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"Casos de Família" reestreia em maio como programa de "barraco"

Ricardo Feltrin
Colunista do UOL
No próximo dia 4 de maio está prevista a estreia de "Casos de Família", no SBT. Embora com o mesmo nome de antes, o programa vai mudar completamente de formato. Saem os casos humanos narrados de forma civilizada, entram as gritarias. Sai a entrevista intimista com os convidados, começam os "barracos".

Tudo comandado por uma Cristina Rocha que, quem viu as primeiras gravações de vinhetas ontem no Complexo Anhanguera, garante que ela assumiu de corpo e alma o papel de apresentadora sensacionalista hispânica oxigenada.

Exatamente isso: "Casos de Família" acaba de sofrer uma verdadeira "venezuelização", já que o novo formato adquirido pelo SBT pertence a uma produtora da Venezuela do boquirroto Hugo Chavez.

Esclarece-se ainda o motivo pelo qual Regina Volpato abandonou, desgostosa, o programa no ano passado: ela foi informada que, para continuar como âncora, deveria se submeter à transformação de mulher ponderada a incendiária. Volpato tinha exatamente uma ideia oposta: achava que o programa deveria se sofisticar, ter mais elegância, embora ainda com base popular.

O SBT disse que não. Volpato não aceitou mudar seu perfil. O SBT pôs então Rocha, que faz o que a mandarem.

O programa estreia no próximo dia 4, e deve entrar no ar antes do novo programa de Ratinho, no final da tarde.

Cinco dias depois, no sábado, estreia o programa de Netinho de Paula.


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