Norway attacks: 'No proof of UK link to Breivik

Norway's domestic intelligence chief has told the BBC no proof has yet been found to link Anders Behring Breivik to right-wing extremists in the UK.

Mr Breivik, who admits Friday's bomb and gun attacks which killed at least 76 people, has written of meeting such groups nine years ago.

But intelligence chief Janne Kristiansen said she believed he had acted completely on his own.

Norwegian police have begun releasing names of victims.

They published four names, with more expected to follow later on Wednesday; others have been identified in Norwegian media.

The bomb in the capital Oslo targeted buildings connected to Norway's Labour government, while the mass shooting occurred at an annual Labour youth camp on a small island, Utoeya.

Mr Breivik has said he had wanted to inflict maximum damage on the party, which he accuses of failing the country on immigration, according to his lawyer.

The massacre prompted up to a quarter of a million people to take to the streets of Oslo on Monday to commemorate the victims.

A Norwegian cabinet minister, Administration and Church Affairs Minister Rigmor Aasrud, will make a symbolic return on Wednesday to her bomb-damaged office, Reuters news agency reports.
'Calculating and evil'

"I can tell you, at this moment in time, we don't have evidence or we don't have indications that he has been part of a broader movement or that he has been in connection with other cells or that there are other cells," said Ms Kristiansen, who heads the Norwegian Police Security Service.
She said she did not think Mr Breivik was insane, as his lawyer has suggested.

Instead, she described him as calculating and evil, and someone who sought the limelight.

The lawyer, Geir Lippestad, said it was too early to say if his client would plead insanity at his trial, even though "this whole case indicated that he is insane".

"He believes that he's in a war and he believes that when you're in a war you can do things like that without pleading guilty," Mr Lippestad told reporters.

Norwegian police have defended the fact that it took armed units an hour and a half to reach Utoeya after the shooting began.

"I don't think we think we could have done this faster," Police Chief of Staff Johan Fredriksen said in Oslo.
Daily name release

The names and addresses of four victims were published on Tuesday on the Norwegian police's website.
They were listed as Gunnar Linaker, 23; Tove Ashill Knutsen, 56; Hanna M Orvik Endresen, 61; and Kai Hauge, 32.

It is also known that Crown Princess Mette-Marit's stepbrother, Trond Berntsen, an off-duty police officer, was among those killed at the youth camp, as was Tore Eikeland, 21, who was named by Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg at a memorial service on Sunday.

Police chief Sveinung Sponheim said names would continue to be released at 1800 local time (1600 GMT) each day until all the victims had been identified and all relatives informed.

Mr Breivik, an anti-Muslim extremist, is facing terrorism charges and police are considering also charging him with crimes against humanity, which carry a possible 30-year sentence, a prosecutor has said.

He appeared in court on Monday to face charges of destabilising vital functions of society, including government, and causing serious fear in the population.

He accepted responsibility for the attacks but denied the terrorism charges, and was remanded in custody for eight weeks, the first four in full isolation and on suicide watch.


Green School Sustains Pupil's Interest in Bali

Bali, Indonesia (CNN) -- Learning Shakespeare under a thatched roof in a building made almost entirely from bamboo. The Green School in Bali, Indonesia, is like no other.

The idea came to its founder John Hardy after his wife took him to see the Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth."

Hardy -- who retired from running a successful jewelry business in 2007 -- was horrified by what he saw on screen and how climate change might affect his four children. So, he resolved to dedicate the rest of his life to do whatever he could to make their lot better, he says.

At the Green School, students from nursery to eighth grade get, what Hardy calls, "a holistic education" -- well rounded, with a special emphasis on the environment.

"The whole idea of sustainability and holism, which this school is based on, is that you don't dig everything up and spend it...and live inside your environmental means..." Hardy says.
Bali's 'green' seat of learning

Nature and the Environment
Environmental Protection
Global Climate Change

His goal is to decrease the school's carbon footprint even further, which means growing organic vegetables in the garden and using waste from livestock and turning it into biogas for cooking.

Power is generated with the use of this hydroelectric vortex, and soon solar panels will be installed, taking the school completely off the grid.

But Hardy isn't without his critics.

The Green School is an international school that charges steep fees (from nearly $6,000 to almost $13,000 per annum). Most of its students are foreigners with Indonesians making up only 20% of the intake, and most of them are on scholarships.

"We haven't been entirely successful at getting local parents, with means, to send their children to come to the Green School".

Still, the school is expanding. When it opened in 2008 it had 98 children. This year they expect 300 students to enroll.

Hardy's vision has grown since he first saw Al Gore's movie. He says the Green School is just the anchor for what he hopes will become a truly green community.

Just over half a mile from the school Hardy is creating the Green Village.

"Having to put kids in cars or public transport every morning is silly," he said, "so the kids from the Green Village -- it is 900 meters from the school - will be able to walk through the Balinese fields to the school."

Helping Hardy develop this unique housing enclave is his 30-year-old daughter Elora. She gave up a high profile graphic designer job in New York and put her skills to work in Bali.

Like the Green School, these houses are made mostly from bamboo.

"From a resource point of view, bamboo is incredibly green," Elora Hardy said, "and I think that the spaces we're making have the effect when people go inside of feeling connected to nature."

Some of these h

omes cost up to half a million dollars and most are owned by wealthy families whose children go to the school, trading their city lives for greener lifestyles.

Hardy takes much pride from his daughter's choice to join him in what he describes as an amazing journey.

"We really have to develop into a sustainable system and a sustainable place, so that the grandchildren can go: 'ok we were headed to the abyss but Dad, Mom and Grandpa put the brakes on. Now...things are looking good.'" (tanks 2 cnn.com)


Dahsyatnyo lai .... sebanyak 70% Pendapatan Sumbar Habis untuk Gaji PNS

VIVAnews - Keluhan belanja gaji pegawai negeri sipil (PNS) yang besar kembali datang dari daerah. Wakil Gubernur Sumatera Barat, Muslim Kasim, mengeluhkan belanja gaji pegawai selama ini yang menghabiskan 70 persen dari pendapatan daerah.

Total pendapatan Sumbar yang bersumber dari Anggaran Pendapatan dan Belanja Negara (APBN) dan sejumlah bantuan lainnya untuk perbaikan pasca gempa berkisar antara Rp15 triliun. Namun, besarnya pembayaran gaji pegawai dinilai menghambat laju perkembangan daerah ke depan.

“Sekitar 70 persen dari total pendapatan daerah digunakan untuk membiayai operasional pegawai,” kata Muslim Kasim dalam seminar kependudukan di Hotel Pangeran Beach, Padang, Senin 18 Juli 2011.

Tahun ini, Sumbar menargetkan total Pendapatan Asli Daerah (PAD) mencapai Rp2,1 triliun. Target ini meningkat dari tahun sebelumnya yang hanya mencapai Rp1,7 triliun.

Sumber PAD Sumbar, menurut Wagub, berasal dari pajak daerah dan pajak kendaraan. Kondisi ini yang membuat Wagub mengisyaratkan perlunya moratorium PNS agar anggaran digunakan lebih efektif.

Kementerian Dalam Negeri pernah mengungkapkan, belanja pegawai daerah yang diambil dari dana alokasi umum (DAU) pusat rata-rata nasional sebesar 57 persen. Beberapa daerah bahkan bisa mencapai 60-80 persen.

"Dari data DAU yang ditransfer ke daerah, tak dibantah 57 persen habis untuk gaji pegawai," ujar Kepala Pusat Penerangan Kementerian Dalam Negeri, Raydonnyzar Moenek saat dihubungi VIVAnews.com.

Raydonnyzar menjelaskan, meski gaji pegawai menghabiskan 57 persen dari DAU, namun secara agregat jika belanja pegawai dibandingkan dengan total belanja, rata-rata nasional mencapai 39 persen.

Seperti pernah ditulis VIVAnews.com, data APBD 2010 (per 25 Juni 2010) dari laman Direktorat Jenderal Perimbangan Keuangan Kementerian Keuangan menunjukkan dua kabupaten di Sumatera Barat memiliki belanja pegawai sangat tinggi.

Kabupaten Tanah Datar, porsi belanja pegawai mencapai 74 persen. Total belanja pegawai mencapai Rp378,914 miliar. Sementara itu, kabupaten ini memiliki total pendapatan Rp511,476 miliar dan PAD hanya Rp35,402 miliar.

Kabupaten lainnya yaitu Solok dengan total pendapatan sebesar Rp491,083 miliar dan PAD hanya Rp20,637 miliar, serta memiliki belanja pegawai Rp359,743 miliar atau 73 persen dari total pendapatannya. (art) taken from vivanews.com


Red Square's jewel marks 450th anniversary

One of Moscow’s landmark architectural marvels Saint Basil the Blessed Cathedral, also known as Pokrovsky Cathedral, on Moscow’s Red Square, is celebrating its 450th anniversary on July 12.

It was on this day in 1561 that the construction of the church was finally completed. The beautiful building was constructed between 1554 and 1561 by Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible to embody the military victories over the khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan in stone. Historical documents and archives give different accounts of what was there in the southern part of today’s Red Square before St. Basil’s. Some documents say there was a church made of wood while some recall a church of stone.

The church was dedicated to the protection and intercession of the Virgin. However, its present name stuck due to the Russian holy fool Vasily Blazhenny (Basil the Blessed) who was buried in the church vaults during the reign of Tsar Fyodor I. This Russian saint, canonized around 1580, used to commit small thefts for the sake of the poor. He rigidly criticized Tsar Ivan IV for his violence against the innocent. When Blazhenny died in 1552 or 1557, despite the criticism, Ivan the Terrible himself carried his coffin to the cemetery
The church was designed by two architects, Posnik and Barma. However, historians united in the opinion that these two may in fact have been one person. Popular legend says that Ivan the Terrible ordered the creators of Moscow’s marvel to be blinded so that they (or he) could never create anything similar or equal elsewhere. This legend was subsequently proved false.

Starting from 1929, during the Soviet period in Russian history, St. Basil’s was no longer operating as a church, but was made a museum as a part of Moscow’s Historical Museum. After the revolution of 1917 the cathedral was among the first architectural monuments to be taken under state security. Divine services were reintroduced within the cathedral’s premises after its complete reconstruction and restoration of its frescos, interior and exterior decoration and ornaments. In 1990, Saint Basil’s Cathedral was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

To mark the cathedral’s anniversary, GUM shopping mall on Red Square is opening a photo-display. Some 40 works of the Historical Museum’s photographer Georgy Sapozhnikov that entered this project aim to reveal the sophisticated architectural details of the cathedral that cannot be seen at first sight.
The bell ringing that was meant to crown the festivities of Saint Basil’s 450th anniversary was cancelled in accordance with the mourning for the victims of the “Bulgaria” cruise ship accident on the Volga River that is believed to have claimed some 130 lives.

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has held a divine service at Saint Basil the Blessed Cathedral on Tuesday having underlined the church is not just an outstanding monument of medieval architecture and culture, but also a living testimony of the everlasting Russian spirit and Russian Orthodox Church.

(maszoom tq 2 rt.com)


Perfect Pop Star Is Revealed As Digital Fake

It has been revealed that a member of Japan's biggest girl band does not actually exist.
Fans of the group AKB48 were shocked to learn that the newest addition to the group, Aimi Eguchi, is in fact a computer-generated avatar.

She is a digital creation made up from features of six of the other girls.

Followers became suspicious after Eguchi was chosen to front a major Japanese ice-lolly campaign - an endorsement usually given to the more senior members of the group.

The group's fans also questioned the perfect pop star's resemblance to some of the other girls.

Their concerns about whether the star really existed were confirmed this week when her management released a video showing her being created.
Eguchi had posted on her website that she was a normal 16-year-old from a town north of Tokyo who enjoyed track and field sports. In reality she is a digital fake.

AKB48 hold the Guinness record for being the world's largest pop group with 58 members. They have also scored eight number one singles in Japan.

While bands like Gorillaz have created cartoon alter-egos, AKB48 have taken it a step further.

Times music critic David Sinclair told Sky News: "What is reality these days? You have a lot of people, a lot of images that can be created very quickly and very easily.

"People have avatars on social networking sites, whole films are made of avatars. It's the world we live in."

He added: "This doesn't surprise me about Japan. They've always been ahead of the game."

Confectionary maker Ezaki Glico which uses Eguchi for their marketing campaign has now published a tool on its website allowing fans to create their own AKB48 girls and share them on social networking sites.


France E. Coli Outbreak: Elderly Woman Dies

An elderly woman in France has died of kidney disease caused by E. coli, according to health officials.

The 78-year-old was in intensive care in the south-western city of Bordeaux.

Several other patients remain at the hospital, after being infected with E. coli in salad at a leisure centre in a nearby town.

The strain of bug in this outbreak is different from the one, sourced to Germany, that killed around 50 people recently across Europe.

The French sufferers are thought to have been infected by vegetable sprouts at the same location - a leisure centre at Begles near Bordeaux.
'Seed from Egypt'

Officials have been investigating a possible link with seeds sold by a British firm, Thompson and Morgan, based in Ipswich.

They question whether rocket and mustard vegetable sprouts, eaten by the victims, were germinated from infected seed.
Continue reading the main story

Thompson and Morgan denies its seeds were responsible, and says the E.coli is more likely to have originated in France.

The latest theory comes from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, which published a report last week pointing to a possible link in both the French and German outbreaks with contaminated seed imported from Egypt.

Ten people were originally affected in the French outbreak last month.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has not reported any E. coli cases in Britain.

However, it did revise its guidance on 25 June, advising people not to eat raw sprouted seeds, including alfalfa, mung beans (or beansprouts) and fenugreek.

The agency said these should only be eaten if cooked until steaming hot throughout.(bbc.co.uk)