Daily Archives: May 29, 2006

US Court Rules Online Reporters (Bloggers) To Be Protected Journalists

Welcome to the New World, folks (at least in the USA)…

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A state appeals court on Friday rejected Apple Computer Inc.'s bid to identify the sources of leaked product information that appeared on Web sites, ruling that online reporters and bloggers are entitled to the same protections as traditional journalists.

"In no relevant respect do they appear to differ from a reporter or editor for a traditional business-oriented periodical who solicits or otherwise comes into possession of confidential internal information about a company," Justice Conrad Rushing of the 6th District Court of Appeal wrote in a unanimous 69-page ruling.

"We decline the implicit invitation to embroil ourselves in questions of what constitutes 'legitimate journalism," he wrote. "The shield law is intended to protect the gathering and dissemination of news, and that is what petitioners did here."

The online journalists are thus entitled to the protections provided under California's shield law as well as the privacy protections for e-mails allowed under federal law, the court ruled.

…The Electronic Frontier Foundation called the ruling "a huge win."

"Today's decision is a victory for the rights of journalists, whether online or offline, and for the public at large," said the group's staff attorney Kurt Opsahl, who argued the case before the appeals court last month.

Read the rest of the article here.

This was all done under the "whistle blower" shield law in the USA, but the Government of Barbados has not instituted any "whistle blower" or integrity legislation. 

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Filed under Barbados, Politics & Corruption

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Eric Villency Married In Barbados – Baby On The Way

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From our "It Must Have Been Quite The Blind Date" files…

Fox's Kimberly Guilfoyle (The Lineup), 37, and Fine Living's Eric Villency (Idesign), 31, were married on Saturday (May 27, 2006) in Barbados and are said to be five months pregnant with their first child, a boy.

The couple met on a blind date last October and were engaged by Christmas, but kept the romance a secret until February, when Kimberly's divorce from San Francisco major Gavin Newsom was finalized. However, a friend of the couple remarks that "The wedding was planned long before she learned she was with child." However, another source scoffs, "[The baby] was the worst-kept secret in town." Ouch.

…from Celebrity Baby Blog here.

Nope… our Shona wasn't invited to the Sandy Lane wedding, nor does she have anything to match Guilfolye's 5.2 carat Asscher-cut diamond engagement ring.

…but she does have a good man who comes home every night and a family that loves her. And that will have to do!

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Filed under Barbados

Scrabble Championship: Barbados Thumps Guyana, But Trinidad-Tobago Triumphs

As we reported last Saturday, the Trinidad and Tobago team were the ones to beat for the second Caribbean Scrabble Championship being held in Guyana – but Barbados was unable to stand up to the onslaught.

We did however thoroughly thump Guyana.

The Caribbean scrabble tournament is a bi-annual event that started two years ago in Trinidad. The next championship will be held in 2008.

Hey… it isn't cricket or football – but it is actually quite entertaining to watch the Scrabble matches as these folks are really serious about the game.

Stabroek News article here.

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life

Smoke, Mirrors and Oil Prices – Barbados Government Magic Show Ending

Minister of Energy and Environment Elizabeth Thompson told the Nation News over the weekend that "Government has shielded Barbadians from the full impact of crude oil price increases to prevent a hike in the cost of living, and a slide in the quality of life here."

Said Thompson…

"That is why Government has not passed on the full price increase to the public, because of the impact on inflation and the impact on society, quality of life, prices, everything.

"That is the rationale for the policy which the Government is using,"

The Minister and the Government have a difficult balancing act – trying to keep the price of gas and diesel low enough that the economy and daily lives of Bajans are not severely impacted… while not forgetting that "somebody" (all of us) will have to pay the piper in the end.

Whether the Government keeps the street price of vehicle fuel low through reducing taxes, direct subsidies to users (as with diesel) or some other slight of hand, it can't go on forever and it is not free…

… and there is not much the Government can further do to protect Bajans from happenings on the world markets.

And that was Part 2 of the Minister's message… Get ready, folks… because gas and diesel prices are about to skyrocket. Here is what she said…

The minister added that her ministry will be putting a pricing mechanism in place soon that would help determine the level of price increases here based on the hike on the international market.

Yes, it sounds like it is going to be an expensive year.

UPDATE

One of our readers directed us to an article written by Simpson Oil Ltd. Director Stewart Gill. The Nation News article "Living A Lie At State's Expense" states in part…

IT IS THE VIEW of Simpson Oil Limited that the true costs of petroleum products should be passed through to consumers on a timely basis.

Government has been heavily subsidising petroleum products in the last few years as prices escalate and, in doing so, has placed a heavy burden on itself…

…That really is inevitable because in the commodity market, you cannot beat the market over the long run. So my advice is: when prices on the world market increase, prices to consumers should be increased; likewise, when prices on the world market decrease, the price to the consumer should decrease….

…We have certainly seen that the consumption of fuel in Barbados has rateably increased over the last five years despite substantial increases, so I think it's fair to say that the price has not had a major impact on consumption and therefore I think people are living in a false sense of economy at the expense of Government tax revenue.

Stewart Gill is executive director of Simpson Oil Ltd.

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Filed under Barbados, Business, Island Life, Offshore Investments, Politics & Corruption

Bit Of Humour On A Sunday Night

Sent to us by a friend, and it made us laugh.

We will probably take it down tomorrow, but for now…

Click here.

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Filed under Barbados

Establishment Of Barbados Labour Party Blog “Huge” – Journalist/Editor Karen Walrond

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Former lawyer/chief counsel turned full-time journalist & editor Karen Walrond says of the establishment of the Barbados Labour Party Blog

"In my opinion, this is huge."

Referring to an earlier article by writer Titilayo, Walrond goes on to say…

Interestingly, Titilayo muses that the move by the BLP to start their own blog might have been motivated by the presence of another blog, the Barbardos Free Press, an alternative, controversial, high-profile blog written by three individuals who aren't afraid to tell it like it is.

If Titilayo is correct, and the BLP started their weblog in response to the Barbado Free Press? Then I say that this is a great day for citizen journalism — for anything that forces any political party to listen to the people (or at least make motions to do so) is a good thing.

(Read Walrond's entire article at BlogHer.org)

Karen Walrond's articles and photos can be found online at…

BlogHer.org (Women's Issues & Writers)

Chookooloonks.com (Walrond's Journal)

Gadling (The Traveler's Weblog)

Blogging Baby (Magazine about pregnancy, baby care & parenting)

Mommy Bloggers (Online community of parents)

Indigo Leaf Magazine (Arts Magazine featuring new & emerging artists)

The Pan Collective (Caribbean women writers)

Karen Walrond Photography

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Filed under Barbados, Island Life, Politics & Corruption