27 June 2009

I Can't Cope

News in Brief

Sri Lanka—Authorities have taken Chandrasiri Bandara, a popular astrologer, into custody to investigate one of his predictions. Defying the polls the astrologer says that changes in the alignment of the cosmic spheres on 8 October are bad news for the present government, signifying hard times ahead with rising living costs. (Economists have made similar predictions.) The prime minister, he predicted, would become president, and the opposition leader prime minister. The Criminal Investigations Department is looking into the basis for the prediction according to police spokesman Ranjith Gunasekera. It is not clear exactly what they are looking into—do they think he had political motives, or are they merely suspicious of his astrological interpretation? The arrest is condemned by the opposition. (BBC)

Los Angeles—Noted Beatles collector Michael Jackson died Thursday of possibly natural causes. The owner of such coveted Beatles memorabilia as the rights to the bulk of the Lennon-McCartney catalog, Jackson has been the subject of much speculation recently concerning the disposition of these much-coveted sentimental treasures. One theory has it that he's left at least some of his collection to ex-Beatle Paul McCartney. With the imminent re-release of the Beatles catalog in listenable condition for the first time since the advent of the CD, fans are concerned about the fate of these soon-to-be-lost tracks. Jackson's condition is unchanged. (NY Daily News)

Stockholm, Sweden—The Swedish Court of Appeals blandly ruled that Judge Tomas Norstöm, one of three judges who presided over the recent Pirate Bay trial, had no conflict of interest, despite his membership in two advocacy groups on the other side of the issue, the Swedish Association for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Swedish Copyright Association. "For a judge to back the principles on which this legislation rests cannot be considered bias," appeals court judge Anders Eka said, apparently with a straight face. Four men involved in the operation of The Pirate Bay, which among other things makes it possible for smaller artists to share their work with others via peer-to-peer networking, were tried and convicted for copyright violations earlier this year, despite the utter worthlessness of the legal claims against them. Backlash against the verdict is considered responsible for electing a member of the Pirate Party to the European Parliament. (ZDNet, BBC)

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