Saturday, July 14, 2007

Boys Will Be Boys

Just Not Right

Blackstone Finds Tax Loophole: Partners To Avoid Taxation On $3.7 Billion
The Blackstone Group, the big buyout firm, has devised a way for its partners to effectively avoid paying taxes on $3.7 billion, the bulk of what it raised last month from selling shares to the public.
Although they will initially pay $553 million in taxes, the partners will get that back, and about $200 million more, from the government over the long term.
The plan, laid out in the fine print of Blackstone’s financial documents, comes as Congress debates how much managers at private equity firms like Blackstone and hedge funds should pay in taxes on their compensation.

Do You Think We Are Making Progress...............

For the past four years, President Bush has offered the constant refrain that progress is being made on the ground in Iraq. Americans Against Escalation in Iraq asks, “Senator McConnell: Is This Your Idea of Progress in Iraq?”

Squirrel Spy Ring? Thats Nuts!

Police in Iran have taken 14 squirrels into custody - because they are suspected of spying.

The rodents were found near the Iranian border allegedly equipped with eavesdropping devices.
The reports have come from the official Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
When asked about the confiscation of the spy squirrels, the national police chief said: "I have heard about it, but I do not have precise information."
The IRNA said that the squirrels were kitted out by foreign intelligence services - but they were captured two weeks ago by police officers.
A Foreign Office source told Sky News: "The story is nuts."
But if true, this would not be the first time animals have been used to spy.
During World War II the Allied Forces used pigeons to fly vital intelligence out of occupied France.
More recently, US marines stationed in Kuwait have used chickens as a low-tech chemical detection system.
And it is well documented that dolphins have been used to seek out underwater mines.
It is even claimed that M15 once planned to recruit a team of specially-trained gerbils as a secret weapon to sniff out spies.

Offensive car plate "SN07" banned

Car license plates which bear the sequence SN07 were banned from the streets of Edinburgh because they are "offensive", it has emerged.
The plate had been due to follow on from the SN56 registration in March. Licensing officials at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) changed the plate to TN07 to avoid it being similar to the word "snot".
A DVLA spokesperson said the decision to change the plates was taken to avoid offending car buyers in the capital.
"In this case, the SN07 marks would have been too similar to the word 'snot' and, as that could possibly offend some buyers, they were replaced with new TN07 registrations."

Baby girl born with teeth

Teething troubles started early for a Worthing mom when midwives made a dental discovery on her newborn baby. Beautiful Megan Andrews was born at 7:23pm on June 29, a healthy baby girl. But doctors soon discovered she came with extras – at least seven teeth. Mom Claire Slimming, 20 – she was born with 12 teeth – said she was "a little bit shocked" by the news. "At three days old, she'd already had two dentist appointments." Megan's front four teeth have been removed because they were loose and at risk of being inhaled, but the remaining teeth are solid and pose no risk.

Bottle of water $55 in New York

Via Genova, a water bar in Chappaqua, N.Y. is cashing in on the craze, stocking water bottles that look more like collectors items.
"I have probably close to 80 different types of waters", owner Diane Felicissimo said. This luxury water comes from all over the world and contains magnesium, calcium and even potassium.
One brand, "10 thousand B.C." is a top seller at $30 per bottle. If you want some "Bling H2O" plan on paying $55 for less than a liter.
And Felicissimo treats her water more like wine."I pair the waters with my food," she said.
With news video.

Going My Way

A bird hitching a ride