Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Beginning With 1/1/11

With the new year comes a fresh start - and this new year starts with a unique date.  In shorthand, January 1, 2011, is 1/1/11.  Our correspondent spoke to a numerologist about whether this once-in-a-century date holds any significance.
I couldn't help but think 1/1/11 seemed to be a novel way to start a new year - a sign of a fresh start.
So I spoke to numerologist Patricia Kirkman, the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide Numerology Workbook. "When we take a look at the number 'one' in itself, if you will, it's all about self, new beginnings, changes, the individual," she said.
But, Kirkman said, the number "one" - even this repetition of the number "one" - gives just a glimpse of the bigger picture.
"When we add that to what's going on around us, 2011, it's the 'two' first.  'Two' is about partnerships, emotional, the peacemaker, or hidden secrets," she said.
Numerology itself is about revealing what is hidden.  From ancient times to modern day, people have studied numbers, such as the figures in a year or a birthdate, to arrive at their supposed influence on people's lives.  Some cultures put great stock in it; others dismiss it entirely.  
Kirkman, who is based in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, has practiced numerology for 37 years.  She explained that, according to the numbers, 2011 will be about making things orderly because 2011 is a "four" universal year.  She arrived at that by adding the year's digits - 2 + 0 + 1 + 1, which equals four.
According to numerology, that "four" will affect everyone all year. "Now we're going into a period of putting things in order," said Kirkman. "Four is square.  Four is the box.  Four wants everything done right.  And so we are now going into a universal year that says, 'I don't care what you did last year. It doesn't matter anymore.  Now we've got to take a look at building a stronger foundation.'" 
So, before you make or break or skip that new year's resolution, January 1, 2011, marks a new beginning and a chance to make things right - at least according to tradition. . . and the numbers.

Anonymous hackers target Zimbabwe government over WikiLeaks

Cyber attacks follow Grace Mugabe's decision to sue newspaper for publishing allegations contained in US embassy cables.
Zimbabwe's president, Robert Mugabe, has become the latest victim of online attacks by supporters of WikiLeaks, it was claimed today.
Cyber activists said they had brought down government websites after Mugabe's wife sued a newspaper for publishing a WikiLeaks cable that linked her with the alleged trade in illicit diamonds .
The Zimbabwean government website was unavailable today, while the finance ministry website displayed a message saying it was under maintenance.
Anonymous, a loose-knit group that has vowed to paralyse sites that act against WikiLeaks, said on its website: "We are targeting Mugabe and his regime in the Zanu-PF who have outlawed the free press and threaten to sue anyone publishing WikiLeaks."
Grace Mugabe has launched a defamation suit against Zimbabwe's Standard newspaper for $15m (£9.5m) for publishing details released by WikiLeaks suggesting that she had gained "tremendous profits" from the trade in illicit diamonds.
The offending article quotes from a US embassy cable that alleged she was among a group of elite Zimbabweans making "several hundred thousand dollars a month" from the sale of illegal stones mined in the politically sensitive Marange district. Grace Mugabe denies the allegations.
Zimbabwe's attorney general has formed a commission to investigate the WikiLeaks cables with a view to bring charges of treason against anyone found to be colluding with "aggressive" foreign governments. This has been seen as a thinly veiled attempt to target the country's prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Anonymous, a 1,000-strong group of activists, rallied on behalf of WikiLeaks after Amazon and other companies terminated business services with the website. It launched Operation Payback to give firms deemed hostile to WikiLeaks a "black eye".
The websites of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and the company that hosted WikiLeaks were all brought down after severing ties with the whistleblowing site.
The Swedish prosecution office's website was also attacked after it pressed for the extradition of the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, from the UK to face trial over alleged sexual offences.
Anonymous's so-called "distributed denial of service" (DDoS) attacks, which bring down sites by overpowering them with repeated requests to load, are illegal in the UK.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Crossbow cannibal: Stephen Griffiths is branded a coward by ex-girlfriend Kathy Hancock

THE EX-GIRLFRIEND of “crossbow cannibal” Stephen Griffiths has branded the murderer a “coward”, and predicted he will suffer in prison.
Kathy Hancock, 37, who worked for some time as a prison officer at Full Sutton prison near York, was at Leeds Crown Court last week when Griffiths was sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murders of three women.
She told a Sunday tabloid newspaper yesterday: “I sat there in court hoping he’d look me or the victims’ families in the eye, but he couldn’t do it. He’s a coward.”
Ms Hancock, who is understood to have lived for some time with her parents in Stamford Bridge before they left the area, was in a relationship with Griffiths for a year after they met in 2000.
She said Griffiths came across as very shy and they started dating, but during the course of their relationship he hit her so hard her lip split, and broke her nose for talking to another man in a club.
Criminology student Griffiths confessed to murdering Suzanne Blamires, Shelley Armitage and Susan Rushworth, who all worked in the red-light district near his home in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
The court was told how he used power tools to dismember his victims in his flat, and would cook and eat their flesh.
Ms Hancock said: “I just sat there and thought how pathetic he was. I felt angry at myself for being intimidated by him.
“He’s a weak man who targeted very vulnerable people. He’ll suffer in prison because he hates any kind of confrontation with strong people.”
Meanhile, police investigating the disappearance of York chef Claudia Lawrence are to speak to colleagues in West Yorkshire to probe any link with Griffiths.
A spokeswoman for North Yorkshire Police said there was no indication of a link to the disappearance of University of York employee Claudia.
But the spokeswoman said: “Consultation will take place with our colleagues in West Yorkshire Police to ensure that any factors that are common to both cases are identified and investigated promptly.”

Former Israeli President Moshe Katsav convicted of rape

JERUSALEM -- Israel's ex-President Moshe Katsav has been convicted of rape by a court in Tel Aviv. A panel of judges found Mr. Katsav guilty of raping an employee while he was minister of tourism in the 1990s. Furthermore, the court convicted the former president of sexually abusing two further complainants while he was serving as Israel's president.
Sentencing is expected to take place in January, and with rape commanding a jail term of a minimum of four years in Israel, commentators are expecting imprisonment in the light of the harshness of the verdict.
Women's groups in Israel have welcomed the verdict, arguing that allegations of sexual harassment are too often ignored.

Earthquake in Indiana, no damage, 4.2 Magnitude

A magnitude 4.2 earthquake struck north-central Indiana on Thursday, according to the US Geological Survey.
The quake struck just before 8 a.m. ET and was 3 miles deep, according to the USGS.
The epicenter was located about 15 miles east-southeast of Kokomo, 15 miles west-southwest from Marion and 50 miles north of Indianapolis.

There were no reports of damage in Indianapolis, but closer to the epicenter residents reported being rattled.
“Funny, I thought one of my kids ran into a wall, and lo and behold, it was just a 4.2-magnitude earthquake in Indiana,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

More than 100 dogs rescued from Maryland fire

Fire officials say more than 100 dogs have been rescued from a breeder's burning home in rural southern Maryland.
Jonathan Riffe, chief of the Huntingtown Volunteer Fire Department, says four dogs died in the blaze in Calvert County. No people were injured.
Riffe says more than 50 firefighters helped rescue a total of 129 animals from the house. In all, Riffe says there are more than 600 animals on the property.
The dogs included pit bulls, Rottweilers and Chihuahuas.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Saturday, December 4, 2010