DUBAI (AFP) - Twenty-eight dolphins from the South Pacific, flown to the Gulf emirate of Dubai this week despite opposition from wildlife groups, are adapting to their new home in a luxury hotel on a man-made island, the Gulf News reported on Saturday.

The five-star Palm Atlantis Hotel bought the wild bottlenose dolphins from the Solomon Islands, the paper reported, despite several international conservation groups decrying the decision by its government to allow the resumption of the live dolphin trade, saying it is inhumane.

Management at the hotel, located on the giant Palm Jumeirah artificial island on the Dubai coast, told the paper the welfare of the dolphins was paramount.

"Bottlenose dolphins are not an endangered species so it is not a problem. They will get good healthcare and good food," said Frank Murru, chief marine officer at the hotel's parent company, Kerzner International.

The dolphins are being kept in seven, three-metre (almost 10-feet) deep pools and are being acclimatised to humans and trained to interact with hotel guests and visitors, the English language daily reported.

But Murru told the paper the dolphins would not be involved in any shows at the hotel, which is due to open next year, but rather kept in large ocean-like habitats outdoors.

Robert Satu, a director of Solomon Islands Marine Mammal Education Centre and Exporters Limited, earlier said the dolphin sale was done with the approval of the United Arab Emirates and Solomon Islands governments.

The tiny Pacific nation had banned the trade in live dolphins in 2003 following an outcry over a shipment to Mexico. But Satu took the government to court, claiming the ban was illegal, and won in a ruling earlier this year.

Kudos to 'driftglass'


Kudos to 'DownWithTyranny'


Stephen Colbert for President



Lynne Cheney: VP, Obama are eighth cousins
Obama camp responds to revelation: ‘Every family has a black sheep’

WASHINGTON - Though they may spar across the political aisle, Vice President Dick Cheney is close enough to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama to call him “cousin.”

Eighth cousin, that is.

Lynne Cheney, the vice president’s wife, revealed this tantalizing bit of political trivia during a television interview Tuesday.

She said she uncovered the long-ago ties between the two while researching her ancestry for her latest book, “Blue Skies, No Fences,” a memoir about growing up in Wyoming.

“This is such an amazing American story that one ancestor ... could be responsible down the family lines for lives that have taken such different and varied paths as Dick’s and Barack Obama,” Lynne Cheney told MSNBC.

According to her spokeswoman, Sen. Obama, D-Ill., is a descendent of Mareen Duvall. This French Huguenot’s son married the granddaughter of a Richard Cheney, who arrived in Maryland in the late 1650’s from England, said Ginny Justice, a spokeswoman for Lynne Cheney.

The vice president’s full name is Richard B. Cheney.

A spokesman for Obama, who wants to be the first black U.S. president, offered a tongue-in-cheek response. “Every family has a black sheep,” said spokesman Bill Burton.

Lynne Cheney did not reference the ancestral ties between her husband and Obama in the book.


Amway sues to ID bloggers
GRAND HAVEN -- The case could be called Amway versus the Internet, or some might argue, Amway versus free speech.

The Ada Township-based multi-level marketing giant this week filed a sweeping suit in Ottawa County Circuit Court against 30 people classified as John Does for disparaging the company in blogs, online forums and YouTube videos.

The suit, filed by Quixtar, the online version of Alticor Inc.'s Amway business, asks the court for an injunction and damages of more than $25,000 against the anonymous posters.

The company is planning to ask the court to approve subpoenas of companies ranging from godaddy.com to YouTube to figure out who posted the materials, said spokesman Rob Zeiger.

The company believes the videos and other postings are part of an organized effort by former distributors, including Orrin Woodward, of Grand Blanc, under court order not to disparage the company or disclose proprietary information.

"Quixtar has attempted to identify the various defendants by reviewing the offending Web sites, blogs and videos," according to the suit.

"Due to the policies of the Internet service providers, which host the various Web sites, blogs and videos, Quixtar has been unable to identify the responsible parties."

The postings referenced in the suit include videos, such as one by someone calling himself "Hooded Angry Man" where an unidentifiable man wearing a "Property of Quixtar" shirt rants about Quixtar rules and its history.

In the YouTube video "Shameus McSteeley: Quixtar vs. Meijer," a man with a fake Irish accent compares prices of products available at Meijer with much higher-priced Quixtar products.

His face isn't shown in the video... (click here for entire story)




Okay. Do. You. Prefer...

"Boob Bangers 3" to "Orgasmica"!?!

Kudos to 'Dependable Renegade'


"A small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7, it notified the Bush administration of its secret acquisition. It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release.

Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company's Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.

The founder of the company, the SITE Intelligence Group, says this premature disclosure tipped al-Qaeda to a security breach and destroyed a years-long surveillance operation that the company has used to intercept and pass along secret messages, videos and advance warnings of suicide bombings from the terrorist group's communications network"...




This from Wes Clark...

"Last week, Rush Limbaugh labeled any American soldier who supports an end to the war in Iraq as "phony." We challenged Limbaugh through an email campaign to invite VoteVets.org's Jon Soltz to his show and repeat these same insults to an Iraq war veteran's face. Over 10,000 of you responded and emailed Rush -- but to our disappointment, he has refused to respond to our request.

It's time to put real pressure on Rush Limbaugh. His show is broadcast on Armed Forces Radio, and this time we are going to go straight to the lifeblood of Rush's show -- Congress. Congress has the power to remove Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio, and it won't be as easy for elected officials to ignore our call."