Amy Winehouse Dead: Singer Found Dead At London Home

Who could have possibly seen this one coming?

From The Huffington Post:

Troubled singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead in her North London home, Sky News is reporting. The Daily Miror reports that police have confirmed the passing.

The Grammy-winning singer, best known for her hit song, “Rehab,” died of an apparent drug overdose. She’s battled drug addiction for years, having most recently checked back into rehabilitation in May.

Earlier in the day, Tim Gatt, a Sky News producer, tweeted a statement saying that she was withdrawing from all of her upcoming performances, writing, “Amy Winehouse is withdrawing from all scheduled performances. Everyone involved wishes to do everything they can to help her return to her best and she will be given as long as it takes for this to happen.”

From BBC:

Amy Winehouse found dead, aged 27

Winehouse’s recent career was overshadowed by drink and drug problems

Singer Amy Winehouse, 27, has been found dead at her north London home.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained.

London Ambulance Service said it had been called to the flat at 1554 BST and sent two vehicles but the woman died.

The troubled singer had a long battle with drink and drugs which overshadowed her recent musical career. She pulled out of a comeback tour last month.

Last month, the north Londoner pulled out of the European tour after she was jeered at the first gig in Serbia for appearing too drunk to perform.

For 90 minutes, she mumbled through parts of songs and at times left the stage – leaving her band to fill in.

Winehouse had won widespread acclaim, aged 20, with her 2003 debut album, Frank.

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The Corporate Supreme Court

From Common Dreams:

by Ralph Nader
Published on Monday, July 18, 2011 by

Five Supreme Court Justices–Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy are entrenching, in a whirlwind of judicial dictates, judicial legislating and sheer ideological judgments, a mega-corporate supremacy over the rights and remedies of individuals. The artificial entity called “the corporation” has no mention in our Constitution whose preamble starts with “We the People,” not “We the Corporation.”

Taken together the decisions are brazenly over-riding sensible precedents, tearing apart the state common law of torts and blocking class actions, shoving aside jury verdicts, limiting people’s “standing to sue”, pre-empting state jurisdictions–anything that serves to centralize power and hand it over to the corporate conquistadores.

Here are some examples. (For more see Remember the disastrous Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound twenty two years ago? It destroyed marine life and the livelihoods of many landowners, fishermen and native Alaskans. Its toxic effects continue to this day.

Well, after years of litigation by Alaskan fishermen, the Supreme Court took the case to review a $5 billion award the trial court had assessed in punitive damages. A 5 to 3 decision lowered the sum to $507.5 million which is less than what Exxon made in interest by delaying the case for twenty years. Moreover, the drunken Exxon captain’s oil tanker calamity raised the price of gasoline at the pump for awhile. Exxon actually made a profit despite its discharge of 50 million gallons.

The unelected, life-tenured corporate court was just getting started and every year they tighten the noose of corporatism around the American people.

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Obama steps up campaign for “tough choices” on Medicare, Social Security

From World Socialist Web Site:

By Patrick Martin
23 July 2011

In a town hall appearance at the University of Maryland and a column in the newspaper USA Today, President Obama on Friday stepped up his campaign for what he called “tough choices” on Medicare, Social Security and other core domestic social programs.

Obama’s remarks to an audience of college students and staff in College Park, Maryland were even more right-wing than his statements at press conferences the week before. He sought to separate his proposals for spending cuts from the previous decade of economic crisis, two wars and enormous tax cuts for the wealthy, saying, “regardless of your views on these various actions that were taken, the fact is they all cost money.”

He reiterated his insistence that the debate in Washington not focus solely on raising the debt ceiling. “This is a rare opportunity for both parties to come together and choose a path where we stop putting so much debt on our credit card,” he declared.

Obama boasted, “I’m willing to cut a historic amount of government spending in order to reduce the deficit. I’m willing to cut spending on domestic programs, taking them to the lowest level since Dwight Eisenhower” (whose presidency ended in 1961).

Obama admitted that the cuts would target programs that help millions of people and enjoy widespread popular support, but declared, “I’m willing to sign a plan that includes tough choices I would not normally make, and there are a lot of Democrats and Republicans in Congress who I believe are willing to do the same thing.”

As in previous statements on the deficit, Obama claimed that combining a handful of minor tax increases on the wealthy with cuts that will devastate the elderly, the poor and the sick constituted a “balanced” approach.

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Corporate Tax Holiday in Debt Ceiling Deal: Where’s the Uproar?

From Rolling Stone:

By Matt Taibbi
July 20, 2011

Have been meaning to write about this, but I’m increasingly amazed at the overall lack of an uproar about the possibility of the government approving another corporate tax repatriation holiday.

I’ve been in and out of DC a few times in recent weeks and one thing I keep hearing is that there is a growing, and real, possibility that a second “one-time tax holiday” will be approved for corporations as part of whatever sordid deal emerges from the debt-ceiling negotiations.

I passed it off as a bad joke when I first saw news of this a few weeks ago, when it was reported that Wall Street whipping boy Chuck Schumer was seriously considering the idea. Then I read later on that other Senators were jumping on the bandwagon, including North Carolina’s Kay Hagan.

This is what Hagan’s spokesperson said:

Senator Hagan is looking closely at any creative, short-term measures that can get bipartisan support and put people back to work. One such potential initiative is a well-crafted and temporary change to the tax code that encourages American companies to bring money home and put it towards capital, investment, and–most importantly–American jobs.

For those who don’t know about it, tax repatriation is one of the all-time long cons and also one of the most supremely evil achievements of the Washington lobbying community, which has perhaps told more shameless lies about this one topic than about any other in modern history – which is saying a lot, considering the many absurd things that are said and done by lobbyists in our nation’s capital.

Here’s how it works: the tax laws say that companies can avoid paying taxes as long as they keep their profits overseas. Whenever that money comes back to the U.S., the companies have to pay taxes on it.

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Terrorist Attacks in Norway Kill as Many as 80

From The Guardian UK:

Norway attacks suggest political motive

Targeting government offices and the Labour party camp point to political agenda behind attacks rather than Islamist terrorism
, Saturday 23 July 2011

The re-appearance of an apparently large scale and co-ordinated terrorist attack in a European capital last night raised the inevitable questions of who was behind it.

The most tempting and immediate conclusion was that it would be a jihadist group, as the style of the Oslo attack bore strong similarities to other earlier attacks in Europe and elsewhere.

But Norwegian police said last night that the individual believed responsible for the shooting in Utøya, a 32-year-old Norwegian man, was also spotted in Olso before the bombing there.

The targeted nature of the attacks at both government offices and the Labour party youth camp both suggest a more political agenda rather than an attempt to create widespread terror.

Norwegian news reports last night said that police did not think the attacks were linked to international terrorism and that it was more likely directed at the current political system.

There were reports that the gunman responsible for the attack on PM Jens Stoltenberg’s party youth camp on the island of Utøya was blond haired and Nordic looking – allegations still yet to be confirmed.

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From The Huffington Post:

Anders Behring Breivik Identified As Suspect In Norway Shooting

By Craig Kanalley
First Posted: 7/22/11

The 32-year-old Norwegian man who allegedly went on a shooting spree on the island of Utoya has been identified as Anders Behring Breivik, according to multiple reports.

The Daily Mail and Sky News were among those to report the suspect’s name. According to witnesses, the gunman was dressed as a police officer and gunned down young people as they ran for their lives at a youth camp.

Police said Friday evening that they’ve linked the youth camp shooting and Oslo bombing. Breivik is believed to have acted alone.

Norwegian TV2 reports that Breivik belongs to “right-wing circles” in Oslo. Swedish news site Expressen adds that he has been known to write to right-wing forums in Norway, is a self-described nationalist and has also written a number of posts critical of Islam.

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From The New York Times:

At Least 80 Are Dead in Norway Shooting

Published: July 22, 2011

OSLO — A lone political extremist bombed the government center here on Friday, killing 7 people, the police said, before heading to an island summer camp for young members of the governing Labor Party and killing at least 80 people.

The police arrested a 32-year-old Norwegian man in connection with both attacks, the deadliest on Norwegian soil since World War II.

The explosions in Oslo, from one or more bombs, turned the tidy Scandinavian capital into a scene reminiscent of terrorist attacks in Baghdad or Oklahoma City, panicking people and blowing out windows of several government buildings, including one housing the office of the Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg, who was unharmed.

The state television broadcaster, citing the police, said seven people had been killed and at least 15 wounded in the explosions, which they said appeared to be an act of domestic terrorism.

Even as the police locked down a large area of the city after the blasts, the suspect, dressed as a police officer, entered the youth camp on the island of Utoya, about 19 miles northwest of Oslo, a Norwegian security official said, and opened fire. “He said it was a routine check in connection with the terror attack in Oslo,” one witness told VG Nett, the Web site of a national newspaper.

Of the at least 80 people killed on the island, some were as young as 16, the police said on national television early Saturday.

Terrified youths jumped into the water to escape. “Kids have started to swim in a panic, and Utoya is far from the mainland,” said Bjorn Jarle Roberg-Larsen, a Labor Party member who spoke by phone with teenagers on the island, which has no bridge to the mainland. “Others are hiding. Those I spoke with don’t want to talk more. They’re scared to death.”

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Boehner abruptly breaks off debt talks

From Raw Story:

 By Reuters
Friday, July 22nd, 2011

By Andy Sullivan and Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – House Speaker John Boehner broke off talks with President Barack Obama on Friday on a deficit-reduction deal to prevent a devastating default and said he would try to hammer out an agreement through the Senate.

In a dramatic turn of events with the deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling just 11 days away, a stern-faced Obama expressed chagrin at the Republican leader’s move, saying it was “hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal.”

Boehner, in a letter to fellow lawmakers, said he and Obama failed to reach agreement on a deficit reduction package and that the two “had different visions for our country.”

A deep divide over tax revenue was at the heart of the impasse.

With the August 2 deadline fast approaching for Congress to increase the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, Boehner said he would begin talks with Senate leaders to “in an effort to find a path forward.” An aide said a deal needs to be set by Monday.

“We have now run out of time,” Obama said, insisting he had made an “extraordinarily fair” offer to Boehner. The president said he was summoning Democratic and Republican leaders to the White House on Saturday in a last-ditch effort to find a path forward.

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