Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Gambling and earning

Trevor Beaumont of UK Betting, complaining that a move by banks to prevent credit cards being used for internet gambling "smacked of a nanny state", said, "I am sure there will be plenty of customers who will be outraged at being told what they cannot do with their hard-earned money." (Financial Times, 16 Oct)

From the same issue: advertisement in the 'unlikely pages of the Guardian's media supplement' for graduates with experience of investigative journalism sought by hedge funds trying to get ahead of the competition.

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23 Dec: some surprising news from the BBC:
Qatar says it has agreed to hand over to Moscow two convicted Russians to serve out the remainder of their life sentences in their homeland. A Qatari foreign ministry official did not name the Russians ... But the men are likely to be two intelligence officials found guilty of murdering an exiled Chechen rebel leader in a February bomb attack. ... Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev ... was killed by a car bomb as he left a Doha mosque after prayers.

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28 Dec: in memory of Susan Sontag, from The New York Times, May 23, 2004:
Words alter, words add, words subtract. It was the strenuous avoidance of the word ''genocide'' while some 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda were being slaughtered, over a few weeks' time, by their Hutu neighbors 10 years ago that indicated the American government had no intention of doing anything. To refuse to call what took place in Abu Ghraib -- and what has taken place elsewhere in Iraq and in Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay -- by its true name, torture, is as outrageous as the refusal to call the Rwandan genocide a genocide.
...
The issue is not whether the torture was done by individuals (i.e., ''not by everybody'') -- but whether it was systematic. Authorized. Condoned. All acts are done by individuals. The issue is not whether a majority or a minority of Americans performs such acts but whether the nature of the policies prosecuted by this administration and the hierarchies deployed to carry them out makes such acts likely.

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