The first Chinese car to be sold in Europe has scored zero — the worst-ever score — in safety tests.Holy shmoly. That's state-of-the-art Chinese government engineering for ya.
The JiangLing Landwind was displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show last week and is expected to arrive in British showrooms within months. It is already on sale in Holland, Germany and Belgium and has been billed as the vanguard of a new invasion of Chinese vehicles.
The two-ton 4x4 scored zero stars in crash tests last week by the ADAC, the German automobile club, which carries out tests for Euro NCAP. “It had a catastrophic result," said a spokesman for the ADAC. “In our 20-year history no car has performed as badly."
Testers calculated that a driver would be unlikely to survive a head-on collision at 40mph, and in a side-on collision at 30mph the driver would suffer severe head and chest injuries due to a lack of side protection.
“This car seems to belong in the 1990s in terms of engineering," said Chris Patience, head of technical policy at the AA Motoring Trust. “We will wait for the official Euro NCAP results, but if it really is that bad we hope people will think very carefully before buying this car."
With an expected £10,000 price tag, the Landwind is designed to rival cars such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, both about £5,000 more expensive. The Chinese maker plans to sell at least 1,000 models before July 2006.
NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - A U.S. soldier opened fire on a group of fellow soldiers during a morning exercise session at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, on Thursday but no one was injured at the Army base.Sigh.
The soldier, whose name was not released, "is in custody after firing shots at a physical training formation" but no one was wounded, Fort Campbell said in a statement.
It provided no other details but said the matter was under investigation.
The facility, on the Kentucky-Tennessee border about 60 miles northwest of Nashville, is home to the 101st Airborne Division that has served in Iraq.
Egyptian Sand Monkey (egyptiansandmonkey.blogspot.com) is a breed apart from Egypt’s left-leaning community of opposition bloggers. Like many of his fellow bloggers, he slams the government in daily posts. Unlike them, however, he defends Israel and the United States. As a college student in the US, he says he got “the whole college eye-opening thing and started thinking objectively."
“You grow up with this whole notion, getting indoctrinated that Jews are evil, all part of the conspiracy and then you go to the States and you find that there are also poor Jews," he says. “You start reading history, and asking questions, and then it’s like holy s--t , we didn’t even win the Yom Kippur War," he says.
In a recent post, after the Israeli government warned its citizens against traveling to Sinai, the Sand Monkey opined, “The State of Israel, unlike another state we won’t mention coughEgyptcough, is concerned for their citizens safety and welfare."
Such views have made him his share of enemies on the Egyptian blogging circuit. The very name, Sand Monkey, seems to have been chosen with controversy in mind. “Of all derogatory names for Arabs, Sand Monkey is the funniest," he says. “I think there is something inherently evil and dishonest about political correctness."
As a college student in Boston shortly after the 9/11 attacks, he put a sign on his dorm room door that read, “Osama’s Cave: Only comes out if you smoke him out," a reference to his Arab identity and to his one-time fondness for bong hits, he says.
Egyptian Sand Monkey, 24, is an oversized and outspoken investment banker. His mother is a prominent member of the NDP. He calls her “NDP Mom" and frequently pokes fun at her or uses her to illustrate ruling party ineptness. He speaks with the slang of a US frat boy and curses like a sailor. After the Sharm Al Sheikh bombings he and two other local bloggers organized a protest against terrorism, but state security cancelled their permit at the last minute.
“I wanted to be like, ‘dude, we’re not all douche bags, we don’t like this s--t either,’" he says of the message he was hoping to convey to the rest of the world through the anti-terrorism protest.
It's estimated that in 2003 about 50,000 women were raped in the UK, although just 11,867 went to the police. Of those cases, 1,649 went to trial but, appallingly, only 629 resulted in successful prosecutions. If you reported a rape in 2003 you had a mere 5.3 per cent chance of getting your rapist convicted. Worse, the conviction rate for rape in the UK has been sliding for years. In the 1970s you had a 33 per cent chance of getting a conviction. In 1985 it was 24 per cent. The 2003 figures, the most recent, are the worst ever. The frightening fact is that, in 21st century Britain, rape is a low-risk crime.I have reservations about how stacked the system is in favor of an accuser in the United States-even a spurious accusation with no physical evidence can easily lead to a conviction that ruins a life-but what we have is far superior to what the Brits have. I find it hard to believe that an advanced Western democracy takes rape so lightly.
The problem is that, if the Crown Prosecution Service doesn't want to pursue a rape case, there's nothing practical a victim can do about it, as Jill found. CPS lawyers will take a case to court only if they believe there is a 51 per cent chance of winning.
Prosecution lawyers, too, may have the 'real rape' stereotype in their heads. 'If the victim is a bit rough, was drunk and had a busy sex life, and the alleged rapist has a good job and looks respectable, they'll say the case hasn't a chance,' says Bindel. One CPS lawyer told me of a 16-year-old girl who had agreed to have sex with one man but was then raped by his friends: the CPS didn't take the case on because 'she'd had sex with the first one outside. She was the kind of girl who'd have sex in the bushes and that wouldn't have played well in court'. Which begs the questions: where else can 16-year-olds have sex? And why does having sex once mean you have to have it again when you don't want to?
Even if the CPS does go to court (in 2002, this happened in only 14 per cent of cases), the victim is often at a disadvantage. She is just a witness and rarely kept in the loop, sometimes not meeting her lawyer until the day of the case. The victim is thus unprepared for what is likely to be a very harrowing experience. In contrast, the defendant's barrister will have been thoroughly briefed and the accused will have been well prepared and rehearsed - and will know that, despite recent laws forbidding mention of the victim's sexual history, many judges let things slide in the courtroom.
'The barrister will use the victim's medical history to slip in the fact that she's had an abortion, or many sexual partners, and the judge doesn't notice, or doesn't care,' says Bindel.
Cross-examination is another problem: in a group-rape case the victim will be cross-examined by each defence lawyer for each defendant. Often, the prospect of reliving such trauma over and over again is too much for witnesses to bear, and sometimes they will simply pull out of the case. Can you blame them? Would you want to relive your rape just to watch your rapist walk free? Add up all the system failures, and those horrifying rape conviction rates seem almost understandable. And factor in the reality that most police authorities do not have access to a specialised rape investigation suite, where a female doctor can make an accurate forensic examination of victims in civilised surroundings, and the rates become inevitable.
I have just received the following from Michael Lerner:"Tickets" are something between $65 and $185. Ugh!We are pleased to announce that Cindy Sheehan will be speaking at Beyt Tikkun’s Yom Kippur service on Thursday, Oct. 13, at 3:30 p.m. (the time the break begins). Cindy Sheehan, mother of Casey who died in Iraq, is one of the most compelling, passionate and outspoken family members protesting the Iraq War. She created Camp Casey near Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.
He goes on to argue that "We are not organizing a political rally during Yom Kippur services, but a discussion of our responsibility as Americans." But, of course, an anti-war rally is precisely what this person is organizing. He is politicizing the holiest day of the Jewish calendar in the most self aggrandizing and divisive manner. I am Sorry, I am so furious I cannot think straight. It is difficult for me to believe he would sink this low.
But read his complete message bellow and decide for yourself if this is a message delivered by a man preparing to seriously examine and atone for his own transgressions and mistakes during the past year or a man pointing a finger at others and attributing to them the basest of motives.
I am sure of one thing, his is not the authentic spirit of Yom Kippur. By the way, in my synagogue, unlike in his, there are no charges or tickets but only donations.