William Katz: Urgent Agenda
APRIL 25, 2009
NAPLES, Italy (AP) -- While businesses around the world are hunkering down for survival, the Italian mob is living a golden moment. Italy's various organized crime syndicates -- often lumped together colloquially as Mafia Inc. -- are gobbling up gas stations, muscling in on supermarket franchises, making loans to cash-starved businesses, taking over trattorias and acquiring buildings in swank neighborhoods in Rome and Milan, investigators say. These mobsters have lots of what is in short supply for many businesses these days -- liquidity -- as well as centuries-honed expertise in preying on the vulnerable, whose ranks are swelling in the current financial crisis.
And you can be sure that no Mafia boss gets a $25-million bonus for failing. What do these people know that we don't know?
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Disgraced former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich said on Friday he was disappointed at being barred from taking part in a TV reality show that drops celebrities in a jungle but still hoped to help promote it.
Seems to me that dropping him in a jungle would be the best thing the TV industry could do for its image.
APRIL 24, 2009
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A mother was accused on Wednesday of driving a getaway minivan with her two young children inside after burglaries at two New York City homes. Prosecutors said Erika Santana, 23, drove the van with her four-year-old and five-month-old children inside after Hugo Lantigua, 22, who is the baby's father, and Pedro Camillo, 19, broke into two houses in the borough of Queens.
The defense will probably argue that they simply wanted to spend more time with their families.
CANBERRA (Reuters) - A live shark dumped on the doorstep of an Australian country newspaper office had local police puzzled Thursday, with authorities vowing to charge the person who left it with animal cruelty.
A shark on the doorstep of a newspaper office? Probably just visiting a relative.
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