Archive for  July 2007

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Man, my grand mother was right when she was saying that famous expression in Farsi “be-jaye sag neshinad aghrabe koor” (they will replace the dog with a blind scorpion, meaning that the next leader is always worse than the previous one)

This man is trying to reach the same level of depth inside  Bush’s ass as Tony Blair did before. And I am sure he is doing a very good job.

We sure owe him a big one, for destroying the world,  to make our life a living hell, to have increased the availability of Heroin in Asia and world wide by 6000%, by destroying a country and directly or indirectly causing the death of 100s of thousands of people. For making 4 million Iraqis refugees, to make 1/3rd of Iraq in desperate need of food and medicine.

Yes Mr. Brown, we owe him a big for all the good that could have happened after 9/11 and it didn’t and it became the exact opposite.

World owes US a debt, says Brown

Gordon Brown met by George Bush

Gordon Brown was welcomed by George Bush ahead of talks

The world owes a debt to the United States for its leadership in the fight against international terrorism, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said. Arriving for his first formal talks as PM with President Bush, he said the UK’s “most important bilateral relationship”, was that with the US.

A foreign office minister had suggested the two countries would no longer be “joined at the hip” on foreign policy.

Talks at Camp David later are expected to include Iraq, Darfur and Kosovo.

International issues

UK Foreign Secretary David Milliband and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are expected to be at the talks, which are also likely to include world trade, climate change, the Middle East and Afghanistan.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson

This summit will be a success – they wouldn’t have it any other way

BBC political editor Nick Robinson

Read Nick’s thoughts in full

Analysts will be looking for signs of the Brown regime distancing itself from the US during the trip.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson said Mr Brown was “walking a tightrope” in his dealings with America.

Private dinner

He needed to reassure Mr Bush of his commitment to the Atlantic relationship as well as convince British voters that links between the US and the UK would be different to those maintained by former prime minister Tony Blair, our correspondent said.

The prime minister flew to Camp David for a private dinner with the president on Sunday night at his Maryland retreat.

He heads to Washington on Monday for cross-party talks with senate leaders and members of congress.

Earlier this month, Foreign Office Minister Lord Malloch Brown said it was time for a more “impartial” foreign policy and for Britain to build relationships with European leaders.

We should acknowledge the debt the world owes to the United States for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism

Gordon Brown

Analysis: Brown ponders ties

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But en route to the US, Mr Brown described himself as an “Atlanticist and a great admirer of the American sprit”.

“As prime minister I want to do more to strengthen even further our relationship with the US,” he said.

“It is firmly in the British national interest that we have a strong relationship with the US, our single most important bilateral relationship.”

Close relationship

Mr Brown said the shared ideals of two centuries of history “have linked the destinies” of the two countries.

He also quoted Winston Churchill – the first British prime minister to visit Camp David – who also spoke of a “joint inheritance”.

This close relationship would help in the fight against nuclear proliferation, global poverty, climate change and global terrorism, Mr Brown said.

Our relationship with America should be what we call solid but not slavish

William Hague
Shadow foreign secretary

“And we should acknowledge the debt the world owes to the United States for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism,” he added.

Tony Blair enjoyed a close relationship with Mr Bush but there has been speculation that Mr Brown wants to keep his distance from the president.

The shadow foreign secretary, William Hague, told the BBC the prime minister and foreign secretary needed to set a clear stance.

‘Candid friend’

He said: “They should not be leaving it to more junior ministers to create misunderstandings about the relationship with America, which is what has happened over the last few weeks.

“Our approach, the approach David Cameron and I take, is that our relationship with America should be what we call solid but not slavish and it should gain frankness without losing its closeness.”

Liberal Democrat leader Menzies Campbell said three main issues should be discussed at the meeting.

It’s clear to us that he wants a strong relationship with the United States

David Johnson
US Embassy

“Renegotiation of the one-sided extradition treaty, the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and a negotiated withdrawal of British forces from Iraq,” he said.

“These should be the objectives of a candid friend. The excessively subordinated relationship between the president and Mr Blair should be put to bed.”

But David Johnson, the deputy chief of mission at the US embassy in London, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme people were getting “a little obsessive…about the parlour game of how close people might be sitting to one another on the couch”.

“It’s clear to us that he [Gordon Brown] wants a strong relationship with the United States, that he is in pursuit of one,” he said.

Now I understand why I had so much problems when we had a ink-jet printer. Changing it to Laser saved a lot of my problems 🙂

Office printers ‘are health risk’

By Nick Bryant
BBC News, Sydney


Generic office picture

Office printers emit tiny particles of toner, the scientists say

The humble office printer can damage lungs in much the same way as smoke particles from cigarettes, according to a team of Australian scientists.

An investigation of a range of models showed that almost a third emit potentially dangerous levels of toner into the air.

The Queensland University of Technology scientists have called on ministers to regulate these kinds of emissions.

They say some printers should come with a health warning.

The researchers carried out tests on more than 60 machines.

Almost one-third were found to emit ultra-tiny particles of toner-like material, so small that they can infiltrate the lungs and cause a range of health problems from respiratory irritation to more chronic illnesses.

Conducted in an open-plan office, the test revealed that particle levels increased five-fold during working hours, a rise blamed on printer use.

The problem was worse when new cartridges were used and when graphics and images required higher quantities of toner.

The researchers have called on governments to regulate air quality in offices.

They also want companies to ensure that printers are based in well-ventilated areas so that particles disperse.

This is a great loss for all movie lovers.

He was one of my favorite directors and his strange movies were a source of strange understanding of the life in Sweden, even thought his movies were not fully representative of the Swedish life, but there were showing an image very different than anything else.

I for one, sure miss him.

Film director Bergman dies at 89

Ingmar Bergman

Bergman was one of the 20th Century’s foremost film-makers


Clips from his films

Legendary film-maker Ingmar Bergman, one of the key figures in modern cinema, has died at the age of 89. His 60-year career spanned intense classics like Cries & Whispers, The Seventh Seal and Wild Strawberries.

He was personally nominated for nine Oscars between 1960 and 1984, while three of his productions won Oscars for best foreign film.

Bergman died at his home in Faro, Sweden. No details about the cause of death have been released.

Astrid Soderbergh Widding, president of The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, said: “It’s an unbelievable loss for Sweden, but even more so internationally.”

Nick James, editor of cinema magazine Sight & Sound, paid tribute to Bergman as “one of the great masters and one of the great humanists of cinema”.

Ingmar Bergman in the 1960s

Bergman won his first Oscar for best foreign film in 1961

In pictures: Bergman’s life and career

“There are very few people of that kind of stature today,” he said. “He proved that cinema could be an artform.”

Bergman had five marriages and eight children, and his work often explored the tensions between married couples.

He once said: “My pictures are always part of my thinking, and my emotions, tensions, dreams, desires. Sometimes they appear from the past, sometimes they grow up from my present life.”

Bergman was born in 1918. His father was a Lutheran chaplain to the Swedish royal family and a strict disciplinarian.

As a child, Bergman used to help a local projectionist with film screenings and he went on to train as an actor and director at the University of Stockholm.

He eventually became director of the Helsingborg City Theatre in 1944, the same year that saw his first film script, Frenzy, brought to the big screen by Alf Sjoberg.

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His films are a towering artistic achievement

Mark, Arizona, US

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Bergman made his own directorial debut with Crisis in 1946, the first of more than 40 films he directed in his career.

But it was not until the appearance of two tales of all-consuming love affairs – Summer Interlude in 1951 and Summer with Monika in 1953 – that his cinematic work was celebrated.

His reputation was confirmed by the international art-house hit The Seventh Seal in 1957.

The movie, currently back in cinemas to celebrate its 50th anniversary, is famous for the often-parodied scene in which one of the characters plays chess with death.

Ingmar Bergman and Sven Nykvist

Bergman (right) worked closely with cinematographer Sven Nykvist

Bergman said he was “terribly scared of death” at the time.

He won his first Oscar for best foreign film in 1961 with The Virgin Spring, based on a 13th century Swedish ballad about a family taking revenge for their daughter’s murder.

The following year, he repeated the feat with Through A Glass Darkly, which explores the effect of schizophrenia on both the patient and their family.

He remained popular throughout the 1970s, when he made several films in Germany while under self-imposed tax exile from Sweden.

On his return, he made possibly his most popular film, and the one with which he announced his retirement, Fanny and Alexander.

Told from the perspective of two children who suffer when their mother remarries a clergyman, the film is more warm-hearted and sentimental than Bergman’s austere earlier work.

The cinematic version, cut down from a five-hour long TV mini-series, earned a third best foreign film Oscar in 1982.

‘Depressed

After retiring from film-making, Bergman continued to work in theatre and television, with his last work, Saraband, shown on Swedish public television in December 2003.

When it aired, almost a million Swedes – or one in nine – watched the family drama, which was based on the two main characters from his previous TV series, Scenes From a Marriage.

In a 70th birthday tribute in 1988, Woody Allen said Bergman was “probably the greatest film artist, all things considered, since the invention of the motion picture camera”.

But Bergman confessed in 2004 that he could not bear to watch his own films because they made him depressed.

“I become so jittery and ready to cry… and miserable,” he said. “I think it’s awful,” he said in a rare interview on Swedish TV.

According to the TT news agency, Bergman died peacefully on Faro Island – or Sheep Island – in the Baltic Sea. The director had settled on the island after filming several movies there.

The date of the funeral has not yet been set, but will be attended by a close group of friends and family, it was reported.