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Gender: Male
Hometown: VA
Home country: USA
Current location: VA
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 44,640

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Journal Archives

God DAMN, son! "Tycoon buys $48m diamond at auction for daughter"

Joseph Lau confirmed he bought the ring-mounted, cushion-shaped stone for his seven-year-old daughter, renaming it "Blue Moon of Josephine" after her.

Auction house Sotheby's said the sale had set "a new world auction record for any diamond of any colour".

It is not the first time Lau, a property billionaire, has bought precious stones for his daughter.

The businessman - who was convicted of bribery and money laundering in 2014 - is also confirmed as the buyer of a 16.08-carat pink diamond, which Christie's sold for $28.5m on Tuesday.

It has been renamed "Sweet Josephine", a spokeswoman for Mr Lau told BBC News.

In 2009, he bought another blue diamond for his daughter - the 7.03-carat "Star of Josephine" - paying what was then a record $9.5m.

He was sentenced to five years in jail after his corruption convictions in a Macau court, but has avoided prison by not visiting the territory. There is no extradition treaty between Macau and Hong Kong.


I guess when you have that much dirty money you almost have to find shit to spend it on...

Spying on Friends: Germany's BND Scandal Puts Snowden Leaks in Context


Woman to serve 18 years for fatally shooting mother in their Chesapeake home

Susan Lee Hutson didn’t think her daughter was serious when she lifted the shotgun.

She told Rachel she was crazy, that she would tell her dad about this when he got home, Rachel Hutson testified.

Then Hutson pulled the trigger.

Circuit Judge Marjorie Taylor Arrington on Tuesday sentenced Hutson to serve 18 years for first-degree murder and use of a firearm.

On Nov. 29, 2013, Hutson called her father and said she shot her mother inside their Indian River home, according to court documents. He thought she was joking and hung up. Hutson then texted him a photo of her mother’s body.

She had been a caregiver for her 58-year-old mother, who had been ill for years and was dying, Donald Hutson testified. He said he never knew his daughter was suicidal, but in court, Rachel Hutson, 21, testified she felt depressed on and off for as long as she could remember.

She said she planned to kill herself that morning and that her mother’s death was more of an afterthought. She thought her suicide would be too hard on her mom, and she didn’t want her mom to discover her body, she said.


I understand the mental illness issues, but damn that's light for a state that sends more folks to death row aside from Texas...

And then there's this bit of silliness to compare it to: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024125449 (Update: his sentence was commuted to "only" 40 years)

US troops didn't have eyes on Afghan hospital before attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — Immediately after the U.S. killed at least 30 people in a devastating airstrike on a charity hospital, Afghanistan's national security adviser told a European diplomat his country would take responsibility because "we are without doubt, 100 percent convinced the place was occupied by Taliban," according to notes of the meeting reviewed by The Associated Press.

More than a month later, no evidence has emerged to support that Afghan position. Eyewitnesses tell the AP they saw no gunman at the hospital.

Instead, there are mounting indications the U.S. military relied heavily on its Afghan allies who resented the internationally run hospital, which treated Afghan security forces and Taliban alike but says it refused to admit armed men.

The new evidence includes details the AP has learned about the location of American troops during the attack. The U.S. special forces unit whose commander called in the strike was under fire in the Kunduz provincial governor's compound a half-mile away from the hospital, according to a former intelligence official who has reviewed documents describing the incident. The commander could not see the medical facility — so couldn't know firsthand whether the Taliban were using it as a base — and sought the attack on the recommendation of Afghan forces, the official said.

Looking ahead, the strike raises questions about whether the U.S. military should rely on intelligence from Afghan allies in a war in which small contingent of Americans will increasingly fight with larger units of local forces. Also at issue is how American commanders, with sophisticated information technology at their disposal, could have allowed the strike to go forward despite reports in their databases that the hospital was functioning. Even if armed Taliban fighters had been hiding inside, the U.S. acknowledges it would not have been justified in destroying a working hospital filled with wounded patients.



Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C....

Secret Service Arrests Man for Firing Slingshot at White House

The Secret Service arrested a man Tuesday afternoon for using a slingshot to fire a "small object" at the White House.

Officers observed the man carrying a slingshot on Pennsylvania Avenue, along the north fence of the White House grounds, around 2 p.m.

He was quickly arrested after firing the "small object over the fence line," according to a Secret Service spokesperson, and was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon and assault of a police officer.

The man, Adam Olson, was previously arrested on Sept. 5 for allegedly breaking a window at the U.S. Capitol, according to a law enforcement source.

According to court records, after Olson was arrested, he said, "I have a listening device on me and people have been laughing at me for years. I am sick of it."


FBI foils alleged plot by Chesterfield white supremacists to incite race war

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Federal court documents provide some disturbing details about an apparent plot by white supremacists in Chesterfield to incite a race war. They include plans to bomb and shoot up black churches and Jewish synagogues, as well as a plot to kill a local jewelry dealer, and rob an armored car, among other crimes. The crimes were to provide the proceeds to purchase land, weapons and training for the so-called coming race war. But they were apparently foiled by the FBI.

Neighbors said they saw federal agents swarming around a Chesterfield home around 11 a.m. Sunday.

“I walked to the end of the cul-de-sac, and saw 15 police cars, marked and unmarked, and K-9’s searching,” said a woman who did not want to be identified. “There were people wearing camo and carrying big weapons."

The documents reveal that, Robert Doyle and Ronald Beasley Chaney and others ascribing to a white supremacist version of the Asatru faith met inside a home on Candlelamp Lane in Chester. The FBI received information that during a meeting there in late September members discussed acting out their extremist beliefs by shooting or bombing occupants of black churches and Jewish synagogues and plotting to kill an Oklahoma gun store owner.

It also alleged that Doyle met up with Charles Halderman of Henrico to plan the murder of a local jeweler, rob an armored truck and harm a Virginia gun store owner.


Germany spied on EU allies: new report

Germany's intelligence agency eavesdropped on many of the country's closest European allies, including France, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Britain, according to new reports.

Among the targets were several embassies in Germany, and international organisations such as the Red Cross, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported on Saturday.

The German intelligence agency BND has already been accused of eavesdropping on officials at the French foreign ministry and presidency, as well as the European Commission, on behalf of its US counterpart, the NSA.

Public radio RBB and Spiegel Online had earlier claimed that the BND had also spied on its own account on several embassies and administrations of "European states and allies".

Spiegel, without giving any sources, said on Saturday that "the BND had systematically spied on 'allies' across the world, including on the interior ministries of the United States, Poland, Austria, Denmark and Croatia."

It said the spying targets included the US delegation at the European Union in Brussels and the UN in New York, the US Treasury, and several embassies in Germany -- including those of the US, France, Britain, Sweden, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and the Vatican. It also spied on the Geneva-based International Committee of the Red Cross and Oxfam, Der Spiegel said.


Strange how DUers don't want to discuss these country-spies-on-another-country stories anymore... Or does it only matter when Washington does it?

VP Biden sighting....

Solutions to the nation's daunting infrastructure and education problems will start at the local level, Vice President Joe Biden told thousands of city officials from around the nation on Thursday.

"There's so much we can do, but the good and bad news is it all starts with you," he said.

Biden, who recently put to rest speculation that he would seek the Democratic presidential nomination, spoke at the National League of Cities' annual Congress of Cities, which is underway this week at the Music City Center in Nashville. The vice president never mentioned the race for the White House in his roughly 45-minute address.

Instead, he looked back on his time as a county council member in Delaware and thanked the local officials for helping to make the Obama administration's economic recovery initiatives successful in pulling the nation out of recession.

"We knew we had to make some very tough and unpopular decisions," Biden said.

But he said that with the help of governors and mayors, the massive American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was implemented efficiently and with minimal waste.


De Niro = LEGEND

Robert De Niro Lashes Out at "Condescending" Tech Guru: "I Don't Give a F—k Who You Are"

Word of advice: Don't get on Robert De Niro's bad side. The Oscar-winning actor reportedly lashed out at a tech guru while presenting an award to Angelina Jolie at the WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards in NYC on Wednesday, Nov. 4.

According to Page Six, De Niro, 72, lost his cool after Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield accepted an award on stage. Butterfield joked about all the "supermodels and movie stars" in the crowd, making it seem like he was the only "nerd" in attendance. He then called out the Intern actor, who sat in the audience.

"I watched Godfather II on the plane," Butterfield, 42, said at the time. "When you killed Don Fanucci - I liked that."

De Niro, however, didn't find the humor in the tech entrepreneur's speech. During his turn on stage, he slammed the Canadian-born CEO for his comments.

"Whoever the last speaker was - I thought you were a bit condescending to us actors… celebrities," De Niro reportedly said, via Page Six. "I’m gonna go on record with you just to say that. And I don’t give a f—k who you are."


Wasn't Anon supposed to release that huge list of KKK members today?

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