Wednesday, 9. May 2012

Dutch "cannabis card" roll-out in disarray

A week after a contentious roll-out of a new Dutch law to stub out cannabis sales to foreigners, enforcement is in disarray.

Drug tourists are simply dodging the "cannabis card" law by heading elsewhere in the country for their fix, since the rule has entered into force in just three southern Dutch provinces so far.

"It takes time for everything to be put into place," Justice and Safety Ministry spokeswoman Charlotte Menten admitted to AFP on Tuesday.

Some police appear not to be trained to tackle the issue and several coffee shops have closed in protest.

The new law came into effect on May 1 and effectively transforms coffee shops into private clubs as it requires around 80 cannabis cafes in the south to sell only to signed-up members who live in the country.

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Virgin Media site goes titsup in Pirate Bay payback attack

Virgin Media's main website dropped off the interwebs on Tuesday with hackivist collective Anonymous claiming responsibility for the DDoS attacks in response to the company's recent cut-off of The Pirate Bay.

The telco said it had to down its "customer-facing" website for about an hour last night, after it was hit by Distributed Denial of Service attacks yesterday evening.

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Boy on a Bike Becomes Moscow’s Tiananmen Image

As a bloody skirmish between police and opposition activists in central Moscow was drawing to a close on Sunday a small boy on a tiny bicycle pedaled through the crowd and approached a line of hulking riot police.

He sat there for a moment, balancing on his training wheels, staring at the menacing troops who were decked out in blue camouflage uniforms and full riot gear, nightsticks at the ready.

Boy on a Bike Becomes Moscow’s Tiananmen Image

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China Expels Al Jazeera Channel

Al Jazeera, the satellite broadcasting network, was forced by the Chinese authorities to close its China news operations of its English-language channel on Monday, the first such action in almost 14 years and the strongest sign yet of fraying relations between the ruling Communist Party and the overseas journalists who cover it.

The network’s correspondent Melissa Chan was scheduled to leave Beijing by jet Monday night after the government refused normally routine requests to renew her press credentials or to allow another correspondent to replace her.

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German File Sharing & Copyright Debate - 'Just Shut Them Down, Man'

In a SPIEGEL interview, German pop star Jan Delay and Christopher Lauer, a Pirate Party member of the Berlin state parliament, debate the value of art in the digital age and whether music and movies should be made available for free download on the Internet.

Jan Delay is one of Germany's most successful pop musicians. Like many fellow artists, he feels threatened by the Pirate Party's call for the legalization of online music-sharing sites like Pirate Bay. Like many, Delay worries musicians will no longer be able to make a living if their work is given away for free on the Internet. Last week, the musician met with Pirate Party politician Christopher Lauer at SPIEGEL's headquarters in Hamburg to continue a debate sparked by musician and writer Sven Regener (the author of the novels "Element of Crime" and "Herr Lehmann") four weeks ago. Regener argues that the refusal to consider music a commodity for which one should pay is "preposterous."

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Bad Lawsuit, Worse Timing: Beastie Boys Sued Over Infringing Samples On Seminal Albums

The Beastie Boys have been hit with lawsuit over four tracks, two on their landmark debut album Licensed To Ill and two from their follow-up, Paul’s Boutique.

HipHop/R&B label Tuf America filed the lawsuit against all members of the Beastie Boys on May 3, just one day before member Adam “MCA” Yauch died from cancer on May 4.

Tuf America filed the lawsuit in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The lawsuit claims that the Beastie’s illegally sampled Trouble Funk’s songs “Say What” and “Drop The Bomb.”

The group is accused of using portions of Trouble Funk’s 1982 song “Drop The Bomb” on Licensed To Ill and Paul’s Boutique.

Tuf America claims the group used portions of the song on their classic 1986 song “Hold It Now Hit It,” as well as “The New Style,” both on Licensed To Ill.

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Four Sinaloa Cartel Figures Targeted Including Sons of “Chapo” Guzman

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced today the designation of four key Sinaloa Cartel operatives, including two sons of Sinaloa drug lord Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman Loera.

Today’s action, pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act), prohibits United States persons from conducting financial or commercial transactions with these four individuals, and also freezes any assets they may have under the jurisdiction of the United States. Today’s action would not have been possible without the support of the DEA.

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