Am I the only person to be becoming just a little irritated by the twice daily claim of Tina Brown’s Daily Beastto have got “the morning scoop” or “ afternoon scoop”? called me old fashioned, but a “scoop” is an exclusive, breaking story – and usually one of some importance. A real scoop makes journalists sit up and become extremely attentive. The word should be used sparingly , especially since the other word “exclusive” has become so de-based. Here is today’s ‘Morning Scoop’ from the Daily Beast. It says that IMF Chief Dominique Strauss Kahn has been arrested in New York for the alleged sexual assault of a hotel maid. Strauss Kahn was of course tipped to topple President Sarkozy.


But this was no “scoop”. The BBC had been running the story for at least eight hours before the Daily Beast got hold of a story that had already travelled half way across the World. When the Daily Beast launched, I would immediately go to the site if I saw that it had achieved a scoop. No longer. It is just one of many. However, if the Daily Beast actually did break  some big scoops, that might be a different story..





MAY 15, 2011





























Top French Politician Accused of Sex Attack In a turn of events that will throw France's next election into turmoil, the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, was removed from an airplane at Kennedy Airport on Saturday and arrested on charges of rape. Law enforcement officials say Strauss-Kahn allegedly forced a cleaning woman at his Times Square hotel into his bed and sexually assaulted her. He allegedly allowed the woman to leave before departing for the airport. Strauss-Kahn left belongings behind in his hotel room, including his cellphone, and authorities say he did not resist being taken into custody when they boarded his Paris-bound flight just before takeoff. Strauss-Kahn was seen as the strongest challenger to the conservative and unpopular President Nicolas Sarkozy, and was expected to seek the Socialist Party nomination by the end of May. Christopher Dickey reports on Strauss-Kahn's previous bad behavior and how his arrest will transform the French presidential race. Read it at The Daily Beast





Spillway Opened to Relieve Flooding The Army Corps of Engineers opened the Morganza Spillway near Baton Rouge, Louisiana at 3 p.m. Saturday, sending water from the Mississippi River at 10,000 cubic feet per second. Eventually enough bays will be opened to release water at 125,000 cubic feet per second. The diversion is meant to relieve pressure on the levee system in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The spillway will likely remain open for weeks, in order to lower the flow rate downstream. Meanwhile, water from the spillway will flood many areas as it diverts to the Atchafalaya River Basin. There are 2,500 people in the direct path of the spillway and around 22,500 could be threatened by its waters. Governor Bobby Jindal urged remaining residents to evacuate those areas as quickly as possible. Read it at The New York Times





Huckabee Will Not Run in 2012 Mike Huckabee will not run for president in 2012. The former governor of Arkansas made the announcement during a live broadcast of his show on Fox News. Polling had suggested that he would be a very strong candidate for the nomination, but Huckabee said that while external factors pointed toward a run, he found an "inexplicable inner peace" when he decided against running. His decision means that his vote share, which would have been about 25 to 30 percent, is now open to other candidates. Additionally, the Iowa caucuses will be more competitive now, as he would have been a favorite. Huckabee had become very successful in the private sector and he recently said he disliked much about running for president. He also said he felt President Obama would be more difficult to beat than many Republicans thought. Read it at The Washington Post





Blackwater Founder Training UAE Battalion Erik Prince is back in business. The billionaire founder of mercenary group Blackwater Worldwide is helping set up a special forces battalion in the United Arab Emirates, where he resettled recently as his company faced mounting legal challenges in the U.S. In the desert outside Abu Dhabi, Colombians, South Africans, and more are trained by retired American soldiers and veterans of German and British special operations units. According to their contract, the battalion would work on everything from the securing of nuclear material and urban combat to putting down unarmed protests—but one of the main concerns seems to be defending the UAE, with its small and poorly trained military, against the growing strength of Iran. It's possible that Prince and the UAE's interests parallel those of the United States: Both countries are concerned about growing Iranian influence in the region. But it isn't clear whether Prince is abiding by U.S. laws that prohibit training foreign armies without a contract from the U.S. government, and it isn't clear what his rules of engagement are. Blackwater was notorious for violations of international law, and in April a Federal appeals court reopened a case against four Blackwater guards accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007. Read it at The New York Times





Israel Police Fire on Protesters Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip, where at least 30 Palestinians were injured when Israeli tanks fired shells near demonstrators marching toward the order fence. The demonstrations come on "Nakba Day," the anniversary of the Palestinian displacement from the newly founded state of Israel. Israeli police arrested several Arab residents in east Jerusalem for stone-throwing. Earlier, a truck driver crashed into several vehicles in Tel Aviv, killing one person and injuring five, before being arrested by police. The driver said he lost control of the truck, but police are investigating whether it was an accident or a deliberate attack. Read it at Bloomberg








NATO General: Aim for Gaddafi Regime Fears Libyan conflict will reach standstill.



Shootout Across India, Pakistan Border After Indian soldier was killed in region.



Iran, N. Korea Sharing Missile Technology In violation of U.N. sanctions.



Sony Relaunches PlayStation Service restoration will begin on Sunday.



Baghdad Buildings Now Garish Colors After years of state-enforced beige.




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Osama's Dirty Mind by Asra Q. Nomani

The smut in bin Laden's compound reveals the Muslim world's dirty secret: porn is rife, everyone looks at it—and the U.S. finds it in militants' hideouts all the time.


Why Mike Huckabee Chose Fox by Howard Kurtz Being president is a great job—if you have a serious shot at winning. Howard Kurtz on why the ex-governor picked well-paying punditry.


Cannes Fashion Heats Up by The Daily Beast Much of Hollywood has been transported to France for the film festival. From Rachel McAdams and Penelope Cruz to Angelina Jolie and Sarah Jessica Parker, see the stars strut their latest styles.