Thursday, July 08, 2004

Hey, you MUST admit sometimes good news is coming out of Belgium.

Belgian police arrest Dutch resident on terror charges

7 July 2004
AMSTERDAM ? Belgian police have arrested a Dutch resident of Moroccan origin on suspicion of involvement in the Madrid train bombings in March.
The man was arrested on 1 July when the suspect ? identified as El Houcine el H., of the southern Dutch city Weert ? applied for asylum in Belgium, Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant reported on Wednesday.
A spokesman from the federal prosecution office in Brussels said that the suspect was accused of preparing an international terrorist attack from Belgium.

As for the 91st Tour de France, I'm sorry but Lance lost his Yellow Shirt again. Happens when performances from the competing champs are that close. Also the point allocation and classification system is quite tricky (maybe the UN could send monitors). Be that as it may, Wednesday's 4th ride Cambrai-Arras (64,5km) was a so-called Team Time Run which was decisively won by Lance's US Postal - Berry Floor Team. That's why he got the Yellow Shirt yesterday. However, today Thursday July 7 he had to cede it again to the Australian Stuart O'Grady, who won today's ride Amiens-Chartres (200,5km). In the general classification you will notice Lance is sixth. Tomorrow sees the Tour travel from Bonneval to Angers, which is a distance of 196 kilometers.

Maybe I should have provided this link earlier; it's an overview of the participating teams. US Postal's team is composed of:

US Postal (USA)
Team Leader: Johan Bruyneel(BEL)
1. Lance Armstrong (USA),
2. José Azevedo (POR),
3. Manuel Beltran Martinez (SPA),
4. Viatcheslav Ekimov (RUS),
5. George Hincapie (USA),
6. Floyd Landis (USA),
7. Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (SPA),
8. Pavel Padrnos (CZE),
9. José L.Rubiera Vigil (SPA).

Looks like Lance is quite well known among you, even though I guess cycling has much less appeal as a sport in the States. But do the names Hincapie and Landis ring a bell?

Nothing much left to say today, except that Schroeder is having a BAD TIME trying to sell his REFORM 2010 Plan to the powerful German Unions. He has the backing of his SDP Party, but the Union leaders still live in the seventies. Make no mistakes, Schroeder is a socialist but over the past years he has "gotten it" the welfare state at its present level is untenable. Hence his Plan. The corporate sector thinks it's still not far-reaching enough, although they would be glad if it were even partly adopted. I'm sorry but I was unable to find links.

And oh yeah, this weekend my wife and I saw "The day after tomorrow" with Dennis Quaid. Tom, Kerry, Scott, your servant, and Mark and Drazil over there in Colorado are toast, erm, ice cubes if we have to believe it. Only Jamie over there in Alabama and maybe Kevin in Atlanta have a shot at surviving, althoug they face a whopping 400% increase in heating bills. This movie was as politically correct as could be in the present day, with an Arab from KSA (!) expressing, during a Meeting on the Earth's Climate, confusion over the projected Ice Age instead of global warming as predicted by prof Hall, and the Vice President of the US of A rebuking the Prof's grim forecast. Yeah, we all know the Arabs have always been VERY concerned over the greenhouse effect. There's also a funny scene with Americans crossing the Rio Grande illegally to Mexico, on the run for the advancing Ice Front. Let's hope Presidente Fox has an immigration plan similar to Bush's ready, just in case. If Mark does manage to survive, then he can serve tortillas for three bucks a day in some shabby Mexico City restaurant.

Anyway, apart form the lousy political message, the special FX are quite impressive, with LA being levelled by gigantic twisters (Kerry get out of there!!!) and Manhattan flooded by a 70m high tidal wave. The love story sucks, though (and alas, no taataa's).


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