Friday, March 25, 2005
Canada Gets it Right
Canada denies refugee status to deserter
Toronto, ON, Mar. 25 (UPI) -- Toronto authorities have denied refugee status to a U.S. soldier who abandoned his comrades on the eve of their deployment to Iraq.
The Immigration and Refugee Board members said Thursday that Jeremy Hinzman, 26, hadn't convinced them that he would be persecuted if he returned to the United States, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Friday. The board also denied asylum to Hinzman's wife and preschool son.
Hinzman faces five years in jail if convicted in a court martial as a deserter.
"Removal to the U.S. would not subject them personally to a risk to their lives or to a risk of cruel and unusual treatment or punishment," the board said in a statement.
"There are no substantial grounds to believe that their removal to the U.S. will subject them personally to a danger of torture."
I only hope that this trend continues. Eh?
Wednesday, March 16, 2005
Notre Dame loses in NIT opener. It wasn't enough they didn't get in the tournament, but then they lose (At HOME) to Holy Cross. I guess the selection committee was right.
When does football season start?
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame didn't play like a team that just missed out on an NCAA Tournament berth.
Holy Cross looked a lot more deserving of such a berth, outhustling and outplaying the Fighting Irish for a 78-73 victory Tuesday night in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament, the first postseason victory for the Crusaders in 24 years.
"Nobody expected us to win any games in this tournament," said Kevin Hamilton, who led Holy Cross with a career-high 26 points. "We're a mid-major team and we're fighting for respect more than anything. The NIT is an honor to be invited to, it's a big tournament, so you have to make the best of your opportunity."
The Irish (17-12) turned the ball over 19 times and watched as the Crusaders (25-6) repeatedly beat them to loose balls.
"We just lost our composure," said Chris Thomas, who led the Irish with 21 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.
The Fighting Irish trailed by 13 points early in the second half following a 23-5 run by Holy Cross, but they used a 9-2 run to close to 60-59 after a pair of 3-pointers by Thomas and a basket by Rick Cornett with 4:20 left. The Crusaders answered with five straight points and extended the lead to 10 points in the final minute.
Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard said he was proud of the way his team responded to a Bucknell loss in the Patriot League title game.
"Our guys were able to wash away the disappointment and look at tonight as an opportunity for redemption," Willard said.
It was the first postseason victory for the Crusaders since beating Southern Mississippi 56-54 in the first round of the NIT in 1981. Since then Holy Cross went 0-6 in postseason games, although it managed to throw scares into Kentucky in the 2001 NCAA Tournament, Kansas in the 2002 NCAA Tournament and Marquette -- an eventual Final Four team -- in the 2003 NCAAs.
The Irish, losers of five of their last six, lost an opening-round home NIT game for the first time in six tries.
"We haven't had much in the tank physically the last few weeks, and that's been evident," Irish coach Mike Brey said.
The Joyce Center wasn't a hard place for the Crusaders to play in Tuesday, though, with only 2,517 fans on hand, the smallest crowd for a Notre Dame home game in recent memory. Thomas was upset by the small turnout, saying he and fellow senior Jordan Cornette deserved better.
"Jordan and I gave everything we had to Notre Dame. To get 5,000 fans for our last game, we didn't want that and we didn't deserve that," he said. "What's there to do in South Bend on a Tuesday night?"
The two settled for setting school career marks. Thomas had three 3-pointers, finishing his career with 302, one more than Matt Carroll (1999-2003). Cornette had one blocked shot to finish with 201, one more than LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92).
Torey Thomas added 16 points for the Crusaders and Nate Lufkin had 11 points and seven rebounds. Colin Falls added 18 points for the Irish and Rob Kurz added 11. The Irish were without second-leading scorer Chris Quinn, who injured his clavicle against Rutgers.
Hamilton said the Crusaders are out to prove they are better than most people think.
"Hopefully this isn't the end," he said. "Hopefully we'll get to New York."
Please Don't Feed the Gators
Not too far from my house:
From Fox News:
LAKELAND, Fla. — A Florida medical examiner says a man found dead in a pond was the victim of a nearly nine-foot alligator.
The animal has been captured and killed. It had the missing man's arm in its stomach.
Officials don't know what Don Owen (search) was doing at the pond about a dozen miles from his home in Bartow. He had been missing since Wednesday when he was seen at a convenience store.
His remains were found by several men fishing in the pond.
Residents said they had fed the alligator, which is illegal and dangerous. A Wildlife Commission spokesman says alligators normally flee from humans unless threatened or cornered. But he says alligators that have been fed by humans begin to look at them as a food source.
Friday, March 11, 2005
Why I am proud to live in Florida
This is a real news story today (from Drudge):
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - Florida's Legislature is flush with good ideas. Sen. Al Lawson's involves a 2 cent-per-roll tax on toilet paper to pay for wastewater treatment and help small towns upgrade their sewer systems.
The Democratic lawmaker's pay-as-you-go bill has been the source of many jokes - bathroom humor you might say - but he says the issue is a serious one, especially in some of the fast-growing Panhandle coastal counties in his district.
"They're experiencing a tremendous boom in growth and they're not able to accommodate the growth," Lawson said. "We've got 17 million people in this state and all of them can contribute to protecting our underground water supply."
In a Republican-dominated Legislature that doesn't like new taxes, the idea is likely to pretty quickly end up in the tank.
Senate President Tom Lee, R-Brandon, said he didn't think it would get too far, but didn't rule it out.
"We'll be getting to the bottom of it real soon," Lee said.
The House is skeptical as well.
"We're not wild about tax increases," said House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City. "But we'll certainly let it go through the system."
If it were to pass, the extra two pennies would start being charged in October. Lawson said it could generate $50 million a year.
It would also need approval from Gov. Jeb Bush. He said that if toilet paper is taxed, people might use less of it.
"That's not necessarily a good thing," noted the governor.
And what about consumers? Wouldn't they be squeezed by a tax on the Charmin?
No, says Lawson.
"Two cents is not going to hurt families at all," he said. "This is one thing people don't mind paying for."