Archive for March 30, 2013

Today’s Editorials

Cyprus finally got a revised bailout plan last week. It taxes big, uninsured bank depositors to pay part of the cost of restructuring the country’s two biggest banks while leaving the savings of smaller, insured depositors untouched. But just days before, Cyprus, with the blessings of the smartest bankers and smartest finance ministers in Europe, came within a whisker of adopting a truly reckless plan that would have taxed small savers, undermined deposit insurance and risked sparking disastrous bank runs elsewhere, notably Italy and Spain, the euro zone’s third- and fourth-largest economies.

How could sophisticated European finance ministers — along with senior officials of the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — have signed off on such a counterproductive rescue plan? And if they could agree to that, what other damaging schemes might they grab for in some future crisis?

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Message of hope: Sydney's Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.

Message of hope: Sydney’s Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence.

As Christian priests deliver their Easter messages to their congregations this weekend, religious and community leaders of other faiths have been taking the opportunity to deliver messages of their own.

In 2013, interfaith activities have been focusing on talking about the similarities, rather than the differences, in some of the world’s major religions, and the need to respect each other even if there are fundamentally different viewpoints.

Catholics from the Archdiocese of Sydney joined Muslims, Greek Orthodox, Buddhists and Sikhs at a Passover dinner organised by the Jewish Board of Deputies outreach program at the University of NSW to promote better understanding about the Jewish festival. (more…)

Steve Alford

Steve Alford led New Mexico to three appearances in the NCAA tournament.

Steve Alford has been hired as UCLA’s basketball coach, the university announced Saturday morning.

Alford, 48, spent the last six seasons at New Mexico, compiling a 155-52 record. He replaces Ben Howland, who was fired after going 25-10 and winning the Pac-12 Conference regular-season championship.

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Egypt’s public prosecutor on Saturday ordered the arrest of a popular television satirist on charges that included insulting President Mohamed Morsi and denigrating Islam, a state news agency reported, a move that amplified criticisms that the Islamist government is moving aggressively to silence its critics and stifle freedom of expression.

The satirist, Bassem Youssef, who hosts a widely watched show modeled on “The Daily Show,” has been the subject of numerous legal complaints filed by Islamist lawyers and citizens who took umbrage at Mr. Youssef’s skewering of Egypt’s political class, including Mr. Morsi, his loyalists and the opposition.

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HARRISBURG, N.C. –  Authorities say a man suspected of killing two of his neighbors in North Carolina approached one of the men in his backyard just before he started shooting.

Cabarrus County deputies say 50-year-old Anthony Hardy killed himself after hiding in his home for several hours after the shooting Friday afternoon.

Investigators say Hardy fired on 64-year old Gary Stocks and 42-year old Daniel Kirchner in Kirchner’s backyard. The two victims lived on each side of Hardy’s house on a cul-de-sac. The subdivision of dozens of homes is about a mile from Interstate 485 in Harrisburg.

Deputies negotiated with Hardy for hours before he killed himself.

Investigators say it appeared Hardy had some kind of dispute with his neighbors, and they are still trying to determine why he was angry.

Phil Ramone

Phil Ramone

Phil Ramone, the Grammy Award-winning engineer and producer whose platinum touch included recordings with Ray Charles, Billy Joel and Paul Simon, has died at 72.

Ramone’s son, Matt Ramone, confirmed the death. The family did not immediately release details of the death, but Matt Ramone says his father was “very loving and will be missed.” (more…)

George Sanders

PHOENIX — There was no doubt 86-year-old George Sanders killed his ailing wife. Yet everyone in the small Arizona courtroom – the prosecutor, the judge and even the couple’s family members – agreed it was a time for compassion, not punishment.

“My grandfather lived to love my grandmother, to serve and to make her feel as happy as he could every moment of their life,” Sanders’ grandson, Grant, told the judge, describing the couple’s life together as “a beautiful love story.”

“I truly believe that the pain had become too much for my grandmother to bear,” he said, while Sanders looked on during the sentencing hearing Friday and occasionally wiped his eyes with a tissue as relatives pleaded tearfully for mercy.

Sanders was arrested last fall after he says his wife, Virginia, 81, begged him to kill her. He was initially charged with first-degree murder, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in a deal with prosecutors. Still, he faced a sentence of up to 12 years.

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