Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Would you like a beer bath with that massage?

Worldwide weird: Bathe at a beer spa

Beer Spa Bahenec
At the Beer Spa Bahenec in Pisek, Czech Republic, visitors bathe in a beer-style barrel.
In lager-loving locales like Austria, Germany and Colorado, the beer is so good you’ll want to bathe in it.
Select breweries and spas in the US and Europe are taking advantage of beer’s skin-friendly vitamins with treatments that let visitors soak in the suds. At the Chodovar brewery in Chodová Planá, Czech Republic, a bather soaks for 20 minutes in a tub filled with mineral water and a dark, specially crafted bathing ale (with a beer more suited for drinking in hand). The hops work to exfoliate while the yeast fortifies the skin with B vitamins, proteins and antioxidants.

The Landhotel Moorhoff in Franking, Austria and the Beer Spa Bahenec in Pisek, Czech Republic, offer similar bathing experiences, but replace the traditional tub with a beer-style barrel. Those looking for a home-brewed bath can even order Spa Beer (or badebier) online, brewed by the monastic Klosterbrauerei and used for treatments at nearby Landhotel Kummerower Hof in Neuzelle, Germany.

At the Ritz-Carlton in Denver, Colorado (cheekily known the “Napa Valley of Beer”), spa therapists eschew the tub altogether and apply suds straight to the skin. The Mile High Malt Scrub and Microbrew Massage starts with a scrub made by mixing grainy beer malt with a rice ale, brewed by the nearby Great Divide Brewery. A horizontal Vichy shower washes away the malt, and the therapist finishes by painting an antioxidant-rich dark stout all over the body. Since the stout is not washed away, the vitamins have time to soak in, and skin is left surprisingly silky instead of sticky. As a bonus, spa-goers get to sip on both types of leftover beer after the treatment, ensuring a relaxing experience one way or another.

**courtesy of BBC Travel**

Saturday, January 28, 2012

GASPARILLA is going down...blog will resume 1/30/2012!!

In Honor of GASPARILLA, google it if you don't know what this is, this blog will be drinking all day. We will resume Monday 1/30/2012 just in case this blog has a hangover tomorrow. So all ye mates, go pillage and plunder!!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Lynette White police corruption trial: Documents found as DPP orders review

Documents have been found after they were thought to have been destroyed, which had led to the collapse of the UK's biggest police corruption trial.
The announcement came as emerged that a review has been ordered into the end of the trial of eight officers, who were all cleared in December.
They were involved in the original investigation of the 1988 murder of Cardiff prostitute Lynette White.
The review has been ordered by Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer.
The officers were acquitted of perverting the course of justice. A judge at Swansea Crown Court ruled that they could not get a fair trial because evidence was believed lost.
But it has now been announced that the information has now been found.
Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate will review the case which had cost up to an estimated £30m.


Commissioner Sarah Green said: "The Independent Police Complaints Commission has now verified that the documents that the Lynette White trial at Swansea Crown Court on December 1 2011 was told may have been destroyed have been discovered and were not shredded as first thought.
"The court was told that some inquiries had been made about documents relating to complaints made to the IPCC itself and that it seemed that these documents may have been shredded on the orders of SWP (South Wales Police) senior investigating officer Chris Coutts.
"The documents were found in the original boxes that the IPCC had sent those files to South Wales Police as part of the trial disclosure process in 2009.
"These boxes were still in the possession of SWP and have subsequently been verified.
"The IPCC investigation has not yet concluded and will also need to establish what happened to these two files of documents.
The IPCC will also continue to liaise with the review being carried out by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
"We have of course informed the Director of Public Prosecutions about the discovery of these documents.
"The IPCC will of course publish its findings in due course."

It had been alleged that the former South Wales Police officers had manufactured the case against five men after the murder at a flat in Cardiff's docklands - three of whom were jailed for life before being released on appeal.

The retired officers all pleaded not guilty to the charge and were cleared after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) offered no evidence against the defendants, halting the five-month trial
It emerged that files relating to complaints by an original defendant had been destroyed - which would undermine the defence's confidence in the disclosure process.
But now it has been revealed that the information has been found, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which is conducting its own inquiry after being called in by South Wales Police.
It says the documents have been found still in the possession of South Wales Police and, as part of its inquiry, it needs to establish what happened to them.
A CPS spokesperson said: "While this is clearly a significant discovery, it is for the IPCC to determine the circumstances and conclude their investigation as swiftly as possible."
Alun Michael, MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, said the review by Her Majesty's Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) "must leave no stone unturned".
"We need to know why things went wrong, why so much money was spent on the investigation and then it wasn't carried through," he said.

Jeffrey Gafoor
Jeffrey Gafoor was eventually jailed for life in 2003
for Lynette White's murder

Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Starmer said he had asked HMCPSI to carry out the review of the management of the prosecution in the perjury trial.
"It is important that the public can have confidence in the way the CPS conducts its cases and the Inspectorate will examine the issues with the utmost thoroughness," he said.
"Inevitably this will take time but will be completed as soon as is practicable and a report prepared for the DPP.
"South Wales Police has decided to refer their part in this matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and we will work in tandem with the IPCC inquiry into what happened.
"Both organisations are committed to sharing all relevant information with each other and arrangements are being made to ensure there is meaningful liaison between the two inquiries."
Security guard
Tony Paris, Yusef Abdullahi and Stephen Miller - who became known as the Cardiff Three - were wrongly jailed for life in 1990 for the murder of Miss White.
They were freed in 1992 after their convictions were quashed.
The case was reopened in September 2000 when new evidence was brought to light. Advances in DNA led to the arrest of security guard Jeffrey Gafoor who in July 2003 was jailed for life for the murder.
In 2004 the IPCC began an inquiry to establish what went wrong with the original investigation into the murder.
A year later former police officers were arrested and questioned on suspicion of false imprisonment, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and misconduct in public office.
Former officers Graham Mouncher, Thomas Page, Richard Powell, John Seaford, Michael Daniels, Peter Greenwood, Paul Jennings, Paul Stephen have now all been acquitted.
Civilians Violet Perriam and Ian Massey also denied two counts of perjury and were also cleared.

**courtesy of BBC Whales**

Three dead in Rio de Janeiro building collapse

The bodies of three people have been recovered in Brazil by rescue workers searching through rubble after the collapse of three high-rise office buildings in Rio de Janeiro.

At least 16 people remain missing, but rescue workers say it is unlikely many will be found alive. Officials are investigating if illegal building works caused structural problems that led to the collapse.  The buildings, one of which was 20 stories, collapsed late on Wednesday.
"Our jobs are gone, everything is gone”
Rosalvo AlvesDoorman

The buildings were located near the Municipal Theatre and the headquarters of oil giant Petrobras, crushed a four-storey construction site on their way down. Dozens of emergency workers attended the scene and police cordoned off the area. At least six people were taking to hospital with injuries. Electricity to the street has been cut off for safety reasons. Janitor Marcelo Moreira, who was in an eight storey building which fell, was one of the survivors, the Associated Press reported. His friend Rosalvo Alves, who had worked in the same building for 38 years, said: ""He stayed behind to finish a little bit of work. We shut down at 2000. I left, and he was supposed to come too.
"Now he's hurt, our jobs are gone, everything is gone."
Firefighters work at scene of the collapsed buildings
The cause of the collapse is under
Friends and relatives of the missing remain at the scene waiting for news but rescue workers have toned down their originally hope that most people would be found alive.
Cafe owner Marcelo de Souza said his livelihood had been destroyed and his possessions had "turned to dust", the Associated Press reported.
Rio de Janeiro conservation and public services secretary, Carlos Osorio, said the mayor's office had quickly provided everything needed to help the rescue effort.
Luiz Cosenza, a building inspector with Rio de Janeiro's Regional Council of Engineering told Brazil's Globo televison network that he feared illegal projects could have been a factor, AFP reported.
Mr Cosenza said: "Two projects were happening in the building, on the 16th floor. They were illegal works - they were not registered with the council."
Hugh Oliver, who was in the area when the collapse happened, told the BBC the situation was surreal.
"The city quickly filled with rescue vehicles and there was a lot of helicopter activity. The dust cloud hung around for a long time," he said.
Map showing the buildings which collapsed in Rio de Janeiro

Mr Oliver said he was not surprised by the falling building and said: "The infrastructure is poor - only areas such as Barra de Tijuca are modern and well regulated, but behind the main streets in the centre of Rio there are crumbling dirty sidestreets where safety is not the top priority."
The incident comes a little over three months after a suspected gas explosion at a restaurant in the city left three people dead.
Concerns have been raised about the state of Rio de Janeiro's infrastructure as Brazil prepares to host football's World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games two years later.
Are you in Rio de Janeiro? Did you witness the incident? Please get in touch with BBC using the options below, they told me they would love eye witness accounts.
Send your pictures and videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International).

**courtesy of BBC Latin American & Caribbean**

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Skype witness in murder(s)?

Why crimes on Skype leave witnesses but no evidence

People using Skype (posed by models)
People spend more time on Skype than they do
making international phone calls

A woman is in custody in Norway accused of murdering her child while her boyfriend allegedly watched on Skype in the UK. It is the latest in a series of incidents allegedly witnessed on Skype or webcams. But how much does this help investigators?

One night in April last year 23-year-old Qian Liu, a university student in Canada, was chatting to a friend in China on a video link.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door of her Toronto apartment and Miss Liu stepped away from the webcam to open it.
The friend watched in horror as a man lunged towards her and they began struggling.
His helplessness was compounded seconds later when the webcam link was cut.
A few hours later Miss Liu's half-naked body was found in her room on the campus of York University in Toronto.
Brian Dickson, a 30-year-old student who lived in nearby, was later arrested and faces trial later this year.
The case was the most graphic illustration of a recent phenomenon - horrific acts committed on what is known in the trade as voice over internet protocol (VoIP).
In November British sales executive Adrian Rowland died in India. The Daily Mail reported he had committed suicide live on Skype while his girlfriend watched in England.
Thames Valley Police confirmed they were called to an address in Reading, Berkshire and added: "The man was traced, but regrettably was later pronounced dead by doctors in India."
His inquest is still pending in the UK.
Qian Liu
Qian Liu was attached while talking
to a friend in China on Skype-like link
It is not surprising that crimes are witnessed on Skype, given the number of registered uses - 560 million - and the amount they spend using it.
Martin Geddes, a Skype expert, says: "There are more minutes of Skype usage per month than the total of international phone calls.
"The high-definition audio in Skype gives you a sense of the other person being with you and that is what people want, that sense of presence."
No record
It is by far the biggest and best-known of the VoIP providers, but there are others - Ooma, Viber, Viatalk, for example, and any number in China.
But while investigators may get witnesses thanks to Skype, they do not get footage.
 A year later the mother, Yasmin Chaudhry, changed her story and said she had held the child underwater after her boyfriend in the UK, Ammaz Qureshi, told her it would be a good way of disciplining her.

In October 2010 Norwegians paramedics were called to a flat in Oslo, and found a 20-month-old girl whose mother said she had accidentally fallen into a bucket of water. The child died the following day.

Prosecutor Kristin Rusdal told the BBC: "He was not arrested but was interviewed as a suspect. He confirmed he witnessed it on Skype but not that he instructed her to do it.
"Unfortunately there is no record of what happened on Skype, no footage. In fact there is no record of the text between them night either but there is from other occasions."
Mr Geddes explains: "Skype is just a piece of software and just as you don't expect the internet to remember every computer game you have played so you can't expect it to record your conversations.
"There may be some forensic tracks left on the computer that made the call, bits of memory that were cached, but it is unlikely there will be evidence of what was said or written."
Users can record Skype calls, but for this they need to buy add-on software. This tends to provide the ability to record up to 15 minutes of conversation at a time.
"People use this sort of software to record for business purposes or to record family calls for people who can't be there themselves," says Phil Wolff, editor of the Skype Journal blog.
In some cases medical professionals will record their discussions with patients and colleagues to protect themselves in case of litigation.
But in most cases if you witness something on Skype - as with any webcam system - there will be no video evidence to back you up.
This lack of a forensic trail is quite attractive to some groups.

Under the radar
"Anything people can do, for good or bad, they will do with Skype," says Mr Wolff.

Writer Hart Hanson joins actors on Skype to discuss a new TV show 
Skype is now commonplace in business and in showbiz for video conferencing

In 2009 it was reported that organised criminals, arms and drugs traffickers, and prostitution rings in Milan, Italy, were using Skype in order to frustrate investigators who regularly tapped their phones.
Mr Geddes says the encryption of Skype has brought about a "fundamental change in the balance of power between governments and people" because they cannot tap or bug VoIP calls.

That may explain why India, China and Saudi Arabia have been threatening to close down Skype services.

Other countries too want the power of lawful intercept for anti-terror purposes or, like Germany, for local police reasons, according to Mr Wolff - but Skype is resisting.
"Skype is trying hard from a regulatory perspective not to be treated like a phone company," he says.
In future, he foresees Skype or one of its rivals developing a record button which would allow a witness to record images from the other side of the world in an emergency situation.
But for now, Martin Geddes says: "Skype and all these other companies are getting away without having to address the ethical and moral issues, which they like to brush under the carpet."
Asked to comment for this article, a Skype spokesman said: "We are not able to comment on law enforcement-related matters, including specific police investigations."
**courtesy of BBC News Magazine**

Documentary of three murdered boys gets Oscar nomination, parents of boys are disappointed

West Memphis Three Oscar documentary nod sparks row

The parents of two of three boys who were murdered in 1993 in the US have said they are "disappointed" that a documentary about the killings has been nominated for an Oscar.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory tells of the murders of 8-year-olds Michael Moore, Stevie Branch and Christopher Byers.
Todd and Diana Moore and Branch's father and stepfather said it glorified the men convicted of the killings - the so-called West Memphis Three.
They called the film "a fraud".
Filmmaker Joe Berlinger (left) West Memphis Three member Jason Baldwin (centre) and filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky
Filmmakers Joe Berlinger (left) and Bruce Sinofsky (right) with West Memphis Three member Jason Baldwin

Expressing their "sadness and outrage", the parents added, "This film should be exposed as a fraud, not rewarded with an Academy Award nomination,'' in a three-page open letter to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
The Moores had previously asked the Academy not to consider the film for a prize.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is the third in the series of HBO documentaries following convicted Arkansas men Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley who have always maintained their innocence of the killings, which the prosecution asserted were part of a satanic ritual.
Alford plea
The first film in the series was screened in 1996 and immediately raised doubts about the case.
One of the issues the documentary questions is whether Stevie Branch's stepfather, Terry Hobbs - who co-signed the Moores' letter along with Branch's father - could have been the killer.
The trio spent 18 years in prison, with Echols - who was 18 at the time - sentenced to death, and Baldwin and Misskelley - both aged 16 - sentenced to life imprisonment.
Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Jason Baldwin
The three maintain their innocence though they pleaded guilty to win their freedom

They were released last August after they pleaded guilty under a so-called Alford plea that allowed them to maintain their innocence while acknowledging prosecutors had enough evidence to convict them.
Over the years, celebrities such as Johnny Depp, Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and the Dixie Chicks' Natalie Maines joined the effort to free the men.
Christopher Byers' family and Stevie Branch's mother have also since come to believe the men are innocent.
The film's director, Joe Berlinger, said he was sympathetic to the victims' families.
"We believe that the pursuit of the truth has been the best way to honour the memories of the victims of this unimaginable crime and our hearts go out to those who are criticising us,'' he said in an email to the Associated Press.
Berlinger said he thought he was making a film about guilty teenagers when he first went to West Memphis in 1994, but that spending eight months covering the case and watching the trials "convinced us that the West Memphis Three did not receive a fair trial".
However the Moores said of the directors: "They now claim to be 'searching for the real killers' of our sons, but it seems unlikely they will be able to do so while directing movies, travelling the globe, and partying with rock stars.
"Our sons, meanwhile, remain dead in their graves.''
The Academy has so far not made a comment on the issue.
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is nominated for best documentary feature along with Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Pina and Undefeated.
**courtesy of BBC new Entertainment & Arts**

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Father's body parts found in lake, son accused of storing the rest!

Murder accused Douglas Binet admits storing body parts

A man accused of murdering a father whose arms were found at a lake in Essex told a court he had been forced to store some other body parts.
Taxi driver Anthony Whitefield, 47, had been missing for two months when his arms were found near a fishing lake in Loughton on 31 March 2011.
Douglas Binet, 53, of Hanson Drive, Loughton, denies the murder charge.

But Chelmsford Crown Court heard the body of the father-of-five was delivered to his home.

Giving evidence, Mr Binet said he had been taking cocaine since 2002 and had developed "quite a large habit".

"When I had the body parts delivered, I just stuck my head in a bag of coke and was close to an overdose every day”

Douglas Binet

He began selling the drug to fund his own addiction and this led to him mixing with a network of drug users and dealers, the jury heard.
Mr Whitefield was also involved in drug dealing and had sold him cocaine since 2010, Mr Binet added.
In an interview, Mr Binet told police that somebody had delivered the body to his house and had "held a gun to my head" to make him store the body.
Angler found arm
He said: "When I had the body parts delivered, I just stuck my head in a bag of coke and was close to an overdose every day."
He added that, before his death, he had seen Mr Whitefield with injuries on a number of occasions and believed he had been attacked by his girlfriend.
An angler found the severed left arm of Mr Whitefield in a reed bed at the lake. When police investigated the discovery they also found the right arm.
Detectives used fingerprints and DNA samples from the limbs to identify Mr Whitefield, who had been reported missing seven weeks earlier.
Officers went to Mr Binet's home as he was the last person reported to have seen Mr Whitefield alive.
When they searched Mr Binet's house in nearby Loughton, detectives found Mr Whitefield's legs and torso in bin bags in the garden. The head has never been found.
The case continues.
No matter what part of the world you're in, some crazy F'd up stuff is bound to happen...SMH.
**courtesy of BBC News Essex**

Rise in attacks in Iraq since US troops left...car bombs kill 13 people

Iraq unrest: Car bombs rock Baghdad Shia districts

Aftermath of a bomb attack in Sadr City (24 January 2012)Iraq has been hit by a series of bombings targeting Shia in the past month
At least 13 people have been killed and 62 wounded in four separate car bomb attacks in Shia districts of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, police have said.
Eight died when a bomb blew up close to day labourers waiting for jobs in Sadr City. Minutes later, a blast about 1.9 miles away killed another two.
Later, car bombs exploded in Shula and Hurriya, killing three.
There has been a rise in attacks in Iraq since US troops left last month, leaving as many as 170 people dead.
The violence has come amid a marked deterioration in Iraq's fragile political process, with the country's most prominent Sunni Arab politician being sought by the authorities on terrorism charges.
Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi has denied the accusations against him and fled to the Kurdish-controlled region of northern Iraq.
The biggest bloc in parliament, al-Iraqiyya, has accused Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, a Shia, of using the law to consolidate his grip on power, and is boycotting parliament and cabinet sessions in protest.
Al-Iraqiyya's leader, Iyad Allawi, said last week that Iraq needed a new prime minister or elections to ease sectarian tensions.

Students killed
Monday's bombings appeared to once again target the majority Shia community, which has borne the brunt of attacks in the past month.
One of the day labourers who had been waiting for work in Sadr City when the first bomb exploded said it was "like a black storm".
An boy lies next to his injured father at the Imam Ali hospital in Sadr City (24 January 2012)
There has been an increase in violence in Iraq since US troops were withdrawn last month
"I felt myself thrown on the ground," Ahmed Ali told to the Reuters news agency. "I fainted for a while then I woke up and hurried to one of the cars to take me to the hospital."
The target of the second attack was not clear, with some reports saying the car bomb exploded near a bakery and others near people queuing to buy heating fuel.
Later in the morning, car bombings rocked two other predominantly Shia districts in the north of the capital in quick succession.
In Shula, a parked car blew up near a school, killing at least two students and injuring 16 others, most of them also students, officials said.
Five minutes later, a bomb exploded on a busy commercial street in neighbouring Hurriya, leaving one person dead and another 13 hurt.
Officials said a roadside bomb also exploded on the Muthanna airport road in central Baghdad, wounding at least six people.
US troops leave and all hell breaks loose, kind of makes us feel a little responsible. At the same time we should not be held accountable for what a country does on their own soil, we are not the "World Police", contrary to what some believe or expect for that matter.

**courtesy of BBC news Middle East**