Thursday, 26 May 2011

Adele's tax grievances won't resonate with fans

The singer claims she wanted to 'buy a gun and randomly open fire' when she saw her recent tax bill – but her gripes are as tired as the most moat-friendly Tory grandee

Tax needn't be taxing, the advert simpers, and while that might be true, coughing up your hard-earned will never be anything less than grievously unpleasant. Yet hearing Adele complain about being taxed on the great tidal wave of cash generated by her multi-million selling albums, it's hard to feel much sympathy.

Speaking to Q magazine, the Rolling in the Deep singer said, "I'm mortified to have to pay 50%! [While] I use the NHS, I can't use public transport any more. Trains are always late, most state schools are shit, and I've gotta give you, like, four million quid – are you having a laugh? When I got my tax bill in from [the album] 19, I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire."

Now, I love Adele. But that doesn't exactly endear you to her, does it? Let's look at it again.

"I'm mortified to have to pay 50%!" The Beatles had to pay 95% - as did all the highest earners under two successive governments (Wilson and Heath) in the mid-60s. George Harrison wrote a song about it, can't remember what it's called, sorry.

"I use the NHS." Keep paying your taxes then or it'll be gone.

"I can't use public transport any more." The rest of us plebs still have to. Adele, however, will never be short of the sponds for a private car to Shoreditch House from now until the end of time.

"Trains are always late." What does that matter when you don't use them? And they're not anyway.

"Most state schools are shit." Actually, according to the most recent Ofsted report for the UK, "Just over two thirds of schools at their most recent inspection were providing a good or better education for their pupils. Pupils' behaviour was good or outstanding in 86% of schools." Of course, if rich people stop paying their taxes then they will become shit.

"When I got my tax bill in, I was ready to go and buy a gun and randomly open fire." Now, you have to assume this was a joke rather than the first bitter taste of a full-blown psychotic episode, but it's still upsetting to hear this musician I admire seems as greedy as the most moat-friendly, port-stained Tory grandee.


Authorities confirm that one of the 5 gunmen killed in a shootout with army troops who goes by the name of Rolando Veytia Bravo was the leader of Los Zetas in that port city

Authorities confirm that one of the 5 gunmen killed in a shootout with army troops who goes by the name of Rolando Veytia Bravo was the leader of Los Zetas in that port city. According to the Army, troops gave the Halt to a suspected vehicle but instead the vehicle fled commencing a car chase & resulting a gunfight. Various weaponry were also seized which include Assault Rifles, submachine guns, grenades, grenade launcher, ammunition, army type uniforms, and three vehicles (including one armoured vehicle). Marines were also sent to secure the area.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

tough-talking New York City mobster who's already serving a life sentence for attempted murder was convicted today

tough-talking New York City mobster who's already serving a life sentence for attempted murder was convicted today in a death penalty case accusing him of ordering a gangland killing to cement his rise to power in the Bonanno organized crime family.

A Brooklyn jury had deliberated over the course of four days before finding Vincent "Vinny Gorgeous" Basciano guilty of murder, racketeering, conspiracy and other charges.

The federal trial of the one-time owner of the Hello Gorgeous beauty salon featured testimony by former Bonanno boss Joseph Massino, the highest-ranking member of the city's five Italian organized crime families to break their sacred vow of silence and testify against one of their own.

Massino, 68, began talking with investigators after his 2004 conviction for orchestrating a quarter-century's worth of murder, racketeering and other crimes as he rose through the ranks of the Bonannos. The bloodshed included the shotgun slayings of three rival captains and the execution of a mobster who vouched for FBI undercover agent Donnie Brasco in the 1980s. Brasco's story became a movie starring Johnny Depp and Al Pacino.

While imprisoned together in 2005, the former Bonanno boss agreed to wear a wire and betray Basciano, a gangster known for his meticulously groomed hair, sharp suits and hot temper. Before trial, Basciano won approval to have access to five different suits to wear to court — one for each day of the week.

Jurors heard one recording of Basciano boasting, "I'm a hoodlum, I'm a tough guy. Whatever happens, happens. Let's go."

The tape was evidence that the 51-year-old defendant is "a cold-blooded remorseless killer," Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Frank said in his closing argument.

Prosecutors alleged that Basciano — while seizing control of the Bonannos as acting boss in 2004 after Massino was jailed — orchestrated the killing of mob associate Randolph Pizzolo. The slaying was payback for a drunken tirade by Pizzolo demanding induction into the family.

On tape, Basciano confided that he gave the order to whack Pizzolo, explaining, "He's a dangerous kid that doesn't ... listen."

Another turncoat mobster testified that the killing was meant to send the message that Basciano "doesn't play around."

The defense claimed that Basciano took credit for the murder to protect the real killer — a friend in the Bonannos who acted without proper permission — "from the wrath of Joseph Massino." His lawyer described Massino and other turncoats who testified for the government as deceitful opportunists.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis asked the Justice Department to reconsider bringing a death penalty case — which at the time had already cost taxpayers more than $3 million — against a defendant who was already serving life without parole for a 2007 conviction. But prosecutors decided to press ahead anyway.

The same jury will decide whether Basciano should be put to death in the trial's penalty phase, which begins next Monday.

Massino is serving two consecutive life terms for eight murders. He testified his cooperation spared his wife from prosecution, allowed her to keep their home and gave him a shot at a reduced sentence.

By cooperating, he told jurors, he was violating a sacred oath he took during a 1977 induction ceremony to protect the secret society. It was understood, he said, that "once a bullet leaves that gun, you never talk about it."

He testified that when he took control of the family he gave strict orders to never utter his name — a precaution against FBI surveillance. Instead, his soldiers touched their ears to refer to him, earning him the nickname "The Ear."

Asked about his duties as boss, he replied, "Murder. ... Making captains. Breaking captains," lingo for promoting and demoting capos. He said he also had to assess talent.

"It takes all kinds of meat to make a good sauce," said Massino, the one-time proprietor of a Queens restaurant called CasaBlanca. "Some people, they kill. Some people, they earn, they can't kill."

gangster Terry ­Adams, 56, will be quizzed by Scotland Yard detectives following ­advances in DNA science.

Britain's most feared crime godfather is to be questioned about the ­unsolved murders of two of his closest associates.

 gangster Terry ­Adams, 56, will be quizzed by Scotland Yard detectives following ­advances in DNA science.

They have reopened an ­investigation into gangland “hits” on Adams family enforcer Gilbert Wynter, 37, and financial adviser Solly Nahome, 48.

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Detectives hope improvements in forensic science will provide the vital breakthrough in the cases that have remained unsolved for 13 years.

Items of clothing and the last car Wynter used have been ­recovered and will be retested for potential DNA clues.

Detectives also plan to speak to two other men who were also part of the notorious crime syndicate from London's Clerkenwell. In all, more than 20 associates of the family will be questioned again.

Detective Chief Inspector ­David Manning from Scotland Yard’s Homicide and Serious Crime ­Command, is leading the new probe. He said: “Having reviewed both investigations and with ­advances in DNA techniques, we decided to launch a last-ditch effort to bring them to a ­successful conclusion.”

The Adams Family gang – known as the A Team – is believed to have been behind 25 gangland murders. Detectives said they were so ­violent they made the Krays look like “lovable rogues”.

The murders include the ­mysterious disappearance of Wynter and the death of Nahome by a motorbike gunman.

Both are said to have double-crossed the family. DCI Manning added: “We are now convinced that the two cases are linked.”

Adams, from North London, was jailed for money- laundering in 2007 but detectives have so far been unable to pin anything else on him.

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