Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama to lift funding ban for abortion groups abroad


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wakefield rapist wanted jail English lessons

China censors Obama's inauguration Speech

BEIJING – China censored its translation of President Barack Obama's inauguration speech, removing references to communism and dissent, and quickly halted state television's live broadcast of the address when Cold War-era animosities were mentioned.

One television official tried to downplay the cutaway as a normal break in programming while an editor with the China Daily newspaper's Web site said staff who censored online versions of the speech likely did so because they were "duty-bound to protect the country's interests."

The news channel of state broadcaster China Central Televisionbroadcast the speech live early Wednesday local time, but appeared caught off-guard by Obama's reference to how earlier generations of Americans had "faced down fascism and communism."

The audio quickly faded out from Obama's speech and cameras cut back to the studio anchor, who seemed flustered for a second before turning to ask a U.S.-based CCTV reporter what challenges the president faces in turning around the economy.

China's ruling Communist Party maintains a tight grip over its entirely state-run media. Beijing tolerates little dissent and frequently decries foreign interference in its internal affairs.

Wang Jianhong, deputy director of the CCTV general editing department, said he did not stay up to watch the inauguration broadcast but suggested the transition was a normal part of the program.

"There are breakaways even when broadcasting China's own meetings," he said. "Americans might care a lot about the presidential inauguration, but Chinese may not be very interested."

The China Daily Web site, the official Xinhua News Agency and popular online portals Sina and Sohu all used a translation of the speech that omitted the word "communism" from the same sentence that tripped up thenews anchor.

The translation was also missing Obama's remarks on free speech when he said "those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent — know that you are on the wrong side of history."

An editor at the China Daily Web site said managers did not order the censorship.

"Our translators and editors on the evening shift would make those decisions independently," said the editor, who refused to give his name as is common in China. "As Chinese, we are duty-bound to protect the country's interests."

Another popular online portal, Netease, carried a translation that was missing the paragraph mentioning communism, though it retained the part about dissent.

Rebecca MacKinnon, a journalism professor who teaches about media and the Internet at the University of Hong Kong, said this kind of censorship was common in China, though she could not say why the government would want to do so.

"I can't attribute motives to it, I can't get inside their head and explain what they're thinking. But this is standard practice," she said.

The full translation of Obama's speech could be viewed on the Web site of Hong Kong-based broadcasterPhoenix Satellite Television, which has a reputation as a more independent news source. The China Daily Web site posted Obama's full remarks in English only.

China has previously altered the words of U.S. officials. A 2004 speech in Shanghai by former Vice President Dick Cheney was broadcast live on state-run television at the insistence of U.S. officials, but the Chinese transcript of the remarks deleted references to political freedom.

In 2003, the memoirs of Hillary Rodham Clinton, Obama's nominee for secretary of state, were pulled from publication in China after the government-backed publisher removed references to the 1989 Tiananmen Square democracy protests and altered Clinton's comments about human rights activist Harry Wu.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama takes presidential oath again after stumble


A third Department of State worker has admitted accessing the confidential passport records of dozens of celebrities


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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

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Judge: 17,000 illegal downloads don't equal 17,000 lost sales

Record companies cannot collect restitution for every time a song has been illegally downloaded, a US District judge has decided. Judge James P. Jones gave his opinion onUnited States of America v. Dove, a criminal copyright case, ruling that each illegal download does not necessarily equate to a lost sale, and that the companies affected by P2P piracy cannot make their restitution claims based on this assumption.

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tom Cruise 'dreams of murdering Hitler'

US actor Tom Cruise says he had always dreamt of killing Adolf Hitler, revealing one of his motives for starring in his latest film featuring a plot to murder the Nazi leader.

In Valkyrie, the 46-year-old plays the role of Colonel Stauffenberg, a German officer plotting to kill Hitler during World War II.

"I've always wanted to kill Hitler. I hate that guy,'' said Cruise, who was born 17 years after Hitler's death.

"Studying Stauffenberg and his life, I came to greatly admire him... Although the story takes place during World War II, I found the story ageless,'' he told a news conference in Seoul, where he was promoting the new Hollywood film.

He described making Valkyrie as a "very powerful experience'' which he hoped his performance would communicate to the audience.

Valkyrie arrives in Asia on Thursday, opening in South Korean cinemas, director Bryan Singer said.

"We chose (South) Korea as the first Asian country to release the movie because it's an extraordinary rising market for both local and international films,'' Singer told the conference, sitting alongside Cruise.

Cruise took part in a hand-printing ceremony in front of some 500 fans in South Korea yesterday.

One of the most popular Hollywood stars here, he has visited three times before to promote Interview with the Vampire,Mission Impossible 2 and Vanilla Sky.

Valkyrie is also released in Australia on Thursday. 


"Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem."

 Ronald Reagan 

State senator: It doesn’t matter if Maryland’s broke as long as Obama’s president

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