Muslim rant goes global
New Zealand Herald; Adam Bennett
Richard Prosser's "stupid" comments that young Muslim men from "Wogistan" should be banned from air travel have created headlines overseas - and Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins says they could cause New Zealand "international embarrassment".
The New Zealand First MP is facing pressure to resign after yesterday sparking outrage over comments made in his regular magazine column where he also spoke out against the "twin evils of diversity and multiculturalism".
The Minister has apologized, however, the apology may not get the same viral treatment . . .
Consensus on caretaker govt soon: Zardari
President Asif Ali Zardari says consensus will be achieved on the caretaker government and date for elections.
In an interview to BBC Urdu‚ he said the interim government would comprise non-controversial people and no-one would be able to question their sincerity.
He said polls would be held on time and the caretaker government would have complete authority as envisaged in the Constitution to hold free and transparent polls.
I am not sure of there is a transcript or video of this interview available, will look after I get this posted.
The Italian Patient: Resisting Berlusconi's Charms
Der Spiegel; Fiona Ehlers and Alexander Smoltczyk
Berlusconi upped the ante a day later, promising an amnesty for tax evaders, of which there are many in Italy. The amount of tax revenue lost to tax evasion -- some €120 billion ($160 billion) -- is the equivalent of 6 percent of Italy's sovereign debt.
Berlusconi's return to the political arena is a shock. It would be his sixth candidacy, his "last great political battle," as he calls it. He will be 77 this year and is currently defending himself in two court cases. It's been hardly a year since the rating agencies downgraded Italy's credit rating because of its unstable political situation, and Berlusconi submitted his resignation on Nov. 12, 2011.
But now the mummy has returned, and has rapidly become the most important personality in the pending general election. A remark by Berlusconi, like the one he made on Sunday, is enough to cause the markets to plunge and the risk premiums for Italian sovereign bonds to rise. It is enough to trigger the return of worry about the Italian patient, the fear of contagion, the euro crisis and political self-paralysis -- in short, the fear of the former Italy.
Manila stores to pull Chinese-made globes showing claims to islands
South China Morning Post; Raissa Robles
Bookshops selling Chinese-made globes in the Philippines have agreed to withdraw them from sale after being told by the government that they depict "misinformation" by reflecting Beijing's claim to almost the entire South China Sea.
The globes show the so-called "nine-dash line", long used by Beijing to depict the extent of its claim to sovereignty over waters and islands that are also claimed by other Asian nations, including the Philippines.
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said yesterday: "The DFA has been able to validate that educational globes which reflect China's nine-dash lines encompassing the South China Sea are being retailed locally by establishments that are totally unaware about the maritime disputes between the Philippines and China."
Pope to say Ash Wednesday mass as resignation shockwaves ripple outward
Guardian; Lizzy Davies
Pope Benedict XVI will lead an emotional Ash Wednesday mass in St Peter's Basilica amid lingering doubts over his reasons for announcing the first papal resignation for almost six centuries.
In a scheduling change prompted by the surprise declaration, which sent shockwaves throughout the Catholic world, the Vatican said the location of the annual service, usually held in a smaller church, would be changed in order to allow more worshippers to bid farewell to the outgoing pontiff.
The Vatican was forced to deny once again that the 85-year-old's decision to step down after an eight-year reign had been prompted by a specific health problem as it emerged he underwent secret surgery to replace the batteries in his pacemaker three months ago.
I wonder, will the new Pope be in time for the Holy Week?
21 Coolest Things Ever Made Out of Lego
Jack Shepherd, Buzzfeed Staff
And by "coolest," I mean "nerdiest."
JanF is going to teach me prettier dividers next ;-)