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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Racist cell murder report awaited

A public inquiry is due to report on how a teenager, with a history of violence and racism, was able to batter to death his Asian cellmate.

Zahid Mubarek, 19, was murdered in his cell at Feltham Young Offenders' Institution, in west London, by Robert Stewart, also then 19, in March 2000.

The inquiry heard evidence of racism and crisis management at the centre.

Its report is expected to criticise staff for failing to protect Mr Mubarek, who was hours from release.

Meanwhile, Stewart's family have said he is still not receiving psychiatric help for the mental problems they believe were behind the killing and said they feared he could kill again.

Who would've thought this guy was capable of murdering his cellmate? He looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

Of course, there were allegations at the time that knowing his extreme racist attitude, the prison guards deliberately put an Asian in as a cellmate and took bets on how long it would be before he got beaten into a pulp by the psychopath pictured above.


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Three held over virus e-mail plot

Three computer experts have been arrested over an alleged international plot to spread viruses via e-mail.

Police say the viruses run without the knowledge of the computer owner and allow criminals to access any stored private and commercial information.

The three men are alleged to have targeted UK businesses since at least 2005, and infected computers worldwide.

Those arrested are a 63-year-old in Suffolk, a 28-year-old in Scotland and a 19-year-old in Finland.

Meh! Good.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Salmonella chocolate bar anyone?

More than a million Cadbury chocolate bars are to be removed from shelves amid fears that they may be contaminated with salmonella.

The 250g Dairy Milk Turkish, Dairy Milk Caramel and Dairy Milk Mint bars, the Dairy Milk 8 chunk and the 1kg Dairy Milk bar are among products affected.

The 105g Dairy Milk Buttons Easter Egg and the Freddo bar were also affected.

The contamination was caused by a leaking pipe at Cadbury's Marlbrook plant, near Leominster, Herefordshire.

A Cadbury spokesman said the move had been carried out 'purely as a precautionary measure'.

'The levels are significantly below the standard that would be any health problem, but we are taking this measure as a precaution.

Affected products

  • Dairy Milk Turkish 250g

  • Dairy Milk Caramel

  • Dairy Milk Mint bars

  • Dairy Milk 8 chunk

  • Dairy Milk 1kg bar

  • Dairy Milk Buttons Easter Egg 105g

  • 10p Freddo bar

Pictures ...

The free helpline number for Cadbury is 0800 818181.

Uneaten products should be returned to Cadbury Recall, Freepost MID20061, Birmingham B3O 2QZ, and a refund will be given.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Craig Charles suspended over drug claims

Actor Craig Charles has been suspended from ITV1 soap opera Coronation Street following allegations of drug taking.

And the BBC said Charles would not host his radio show on 6 Music while managers talk to him about the claims.

The Daily Mirror alleged that pictures in the newspaper showed the 41-year-old smoking crack cocaine. It said it would make information available to police.

Charles plays cab driver Lloyd Mullaney in Coronation Street. A spokeswoman for the soap said the actor had no comment.

'No immediate decision has been taken on the length of the suspension as further inquiries need to be made,' she said.

The Mirror claims that the drug taking took place while the married father-of-three was being driven from London to Manchester.

Charles presents a funk show on the BBC's digital radio station 6 Music every Friday and Saturday evening.

A BBC spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that Craig will not be presenting his show while we are talking to him about these allegations."

Charles found fame in the BBC Two sitcom Red Dwarf and hosted the channel's Robot Wars. He joined Coronation Street last year.

He spent several months in prison in 1994 awaiting trial on a rape charge but was cleared in February 1995.

PFD, the agency that represents Charles, declined to comment.



Saturday, June 17, 2006

Grace gets the boot from Big Brother

Big Brother housemate Grace Adams-Short has become the fourth contestant to be evicted from the Channel 4 show.

The 20-year-old was nominated by new 'golden ticket' housemate Susie Verrico, who entered the compound after being selected in a special draw.

Dance teacher Grace received 87.9% of the public vote, meaning Nikki Grahame survived her second eviction night.

As she left the house, Grace threw a glass of water over Susie in retaliation for being nominated.

Good riddance, too! Horrible creature with no dignity or style. Meh!


Friday, June 16, 2006

Whaling to get the go ahead?

The annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission begins on Friday on the Caribbean island of St Kitts.

The indications are that for the first time in 20 years nations which favour whaling may have a majority.

The expected shift comes after years of lobbying by Japan to get developing nations to join the IWC.

Environmental groups accuse these countries of voting with Japan in return for aid, a charge which the Japanese deny.


How sucky is that? There's something about whales that deserves protecting. According to a study on the BBC News today, 61% of Japanese polled said they wouldn't eat whale meat and only 1% would eat it at least once a month. What's the point?


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

EBay to launch keyword ad system

EBay is to launch keyword advertising - where internet users will be directed to specific auctions linked to words on the web page they are visiting.

Under the plan, site owners hosting the adverts for the online auctioneer will get a slice of the product sale price.

Called AdContext, EBay's new system may prove popular with blog site publishers who would be able to use it as an extra generator of revenue, analysts said.

The technique of contextual advertising is already used by Google and Yahoo.

Google, for example, uses text recognition on its Gmail programme to offer adverts based on the contents of emails.

EBay's chief strategy officer, Michael van Swaaij, unveiled the plan at a conference of software developers in Las Vegas.

"We want to increase the number of times buyers come to particular sites," he said.

Examples cited of how the new system would work included a sports website that would carry links to eBay auctions for particular items of sporting equipment or memorabilia.

EBay is one of the biggest advertisers on both Google and Yahoo and the plan could reduce its reliance on these sites, analysts said.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Heather Mills denies paper claims

Heather Mills McCartney, estranged wife of Beatles star Sir Paul, has 'strongly denied' newspaper allegations made about her past.

'Heather Mills McCartney strongly denies the allegations in today's News of the World that she worked as a 'prostitute',' her lawyers said.

'These are not new stories and were refuted by her lawyers four years ago when first raised.

'The sources clearly are a variety of unreliable persons who have been paid for these stories.

'The timing of the article is clearly designed to cause maximum hurt to Heather, her husband and family at this sensitive time,' the statement continued.

Things get down and dirty!


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunscreen affects thyroid hormones - concerns

Fears have been raised about the potential of sunscreens to disrupt the balance of thyroid hormones.

German researchers found rats exposed to the sunscreen chemical 4MBC had raised levels of thyroid stimulating hormones and heavier thyroid glands.

The gland sits in the neck and produces hormones to regulate metabolism.

If thyroid levels are altered it can cause lethargy, but Charite University said more research was needed to see if this also happened in humans.

Another chemical benzophenone 2 was also found to alter thyroid hormone levels, but the effect was reversed by other chemicals present in sunscreens.

One in 50 people - mainly women - are affected by altered hormone levels.

So it's be knackered all the time because your thyroid is out of whack, or bake to a crispy golden red.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Evil eBay pulls fund-raising auction on 6/6/06

Evil eBay has struck on 6/6/06 by pulling a fund-raising auction the day before it was due to end.

Michael O’Connell lives in Sacramento, California, and has the condition, Muscular Dystrophy, a degenerative disorder affecting, among other things, the skeletal muscles. As a result, Michael is in a wheelchair.

He needs a new van because his old one is about to go, as we say in Scotland, 'tits-up' (meaning it's spluttering its last). So, a friend of his persuaded him to post on the internet asking for help to raise funds for a new van. And why not.

Boob jobs, new shoes, college funds ... all have successfully raised enough funds on the 'net, so why not a new van for somebody that is confined to a wheelchair by a degenerative muscular disorder?

Michael's Van Fund
His 'I need a van' blog

Anyway, back to evil eBay! The bastards pulled the auction because the word "charity" was used without proof of it being a charity. (Ok, the rule is fair but they could've looked the other way with this one).

So, eBay are evil.


Two facing Big Brother eviction

Model Nikki Grahame and unemployed nail technician Sam Brodie have been nominated for eviction from the seventh series of Big Brother.

Nikki, 24, from Middlesex, received four votes from housemates, while Sam, 19, from Irvine, Scotland, got five.

Sam, a man who dresses as and refers to himself as a woman, entered the house as a replacement contestant.

Two housemates quit and one was thrown out of the show in its first two weeks. Two people have so far been evicted.

"Nail technician?" wtf!? WTF is a 'nail technician'? 'Technician' suggests somebody with technical skills. How can someone who does nails be called a technician for goodness sakes!?

(shakes head and goes to get some breakfast)


Saturday, June 03, 2006

Extortion virus code gets cracked

Do not panic if your data is hidden by virus writers demanding a ransom.

Poor programming has allowed anti-virus companies to discover the password to retrieve the hijacked data inside a virus that has claimed at least one UK victim.

The Archiveus virus caught out British nurse Helen Barrow and swapped her data with a password-protected file.

The virus is the latest example of so-called 'ransomware' that tries to extort cash from victims.

This virus swaps files found in the "My Documents" folder on Windows with a single file protected by a 30-digit password. Victims are only told the password if they buy drugs from one of three online pharmacies.

The 30-digit password locking the files is "mf2lro8sw03ufvnsq034jfowr18f3cszc20vmw". Using the password should restore all the hijacked files.

"Now the password has been uncovered, there should be no reason for anyone hit by this ransomware attack to have to make any payments to the criminals behind it," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for security firm Sophos.

Archiveus was discovered on 6 May but it took the rest of the month for the first victim, Rochdale nurse Helen Barrow, to emerge.

Ms Barrow is thought to have fallen victim when she responded to an on-screen message warning her that her computer had contracted another unnamed virus. The virus asks those it infects to buy drugs on one of three websites to get their files back.