Today, bloggers are talking about ex-WorldCom head Bernard Ebbers' conviction on fraud charges. They're also interested in melting Himalayan glaciers, the demise of a media-watchdog blog in India, and three Bahrainian bloggers who were recently released from jail.
Guilty as charged: Former WorldCom chief Ebbers was found guilty "of orchestrating a record $11 billion fraud that bankrupted his company." D.B. Light of Light Seeking Light rejoices: "Another sign that the nineties decade of obscene and promiscuous greed is once and for all over [until the next time, that is]." "[I]t is astonishing to me the sheer number of companies alleged to be involved in this scandal and its ongoing class action lawsuit. Worldcom, CitiGroup, Bank of America, Arthur Andersen, J.P. Morgan, the list goes on. If collusion doesn't apply here, I just don't know what does," writes techblog J. Pipes. Absurdist cartoonist John Roberson writes, "Next on the griddle: Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling. Have you noticed it's been over four years since Enron sank and still no trials are even beginning?"
In Mississippi, where WorldCom started, Democratic Polly and the Mooch is surprised: "I wasn't expecting this. MCI Worldcom was one of Mississippi's biggest employers. for a while, anytime i spoke w/ someone, they seemed to be working there. Now they are substantially gone." Ray Gifford at the free-market-friendly Progress and Freedom FoundationBlog finds the conviction "rather anticlimactic" because it came "years after the telecom bubble burst." Business student Dimitry B. at Voice of Dimitry notes that, after filing for bankruptcy in 2002, "WorldCom has since been renamed to MCI and has emerged from that massive bankruptcy last year and is currently second largest long-distance provider in the United State. See what happens when you put the right people in charge of an organization?"
Read more about Ebbers' conviction.
The roof is melting!: A World Wildlife Federation report claims Himalayan glaciers are melting at the rate of 30-50 feet per year. If true, that could lead to massive floods followed by catastrophic water shortages for hundreds of millions of people in India, China, and Nepal. (Read the full report here.)
Daily Kos' equally Democratic spin-off The Next Hurrah analyzes the report and looks at satellite imagery of the "roof of the world." Pointing out that the WWF has urged G8 countries to "agree upon a series of ambitious initiatives to vastly change the way their countries produce and use energy," the blog sniffs: "Since we refused to acknowlege the Kyoto Protocol, the WWF letter must have gone into the Official Bush Administration Shredder."
"Maybe [Bush] thinks Mother Nature can be tricked by Karl Rove's fake press reports?" wonders an ex-Republican at Republicans Anonymous. Eternal-Life has a different take: "This is an assurance that the coming of Jesus is even so near as predicted by the prophecies and the signs of times." Noting that Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro has already lost its snowy cap, left-leaning blog Billmon updates Hemingway's The Snows of Kilimanjaro to The Rocks of Kilimanjaro, where Hemingway's "dried and frozen carcass of a leopard" gets "thawed."
Read more about the melting Himalayas.
Today's Blogs international: Last week, the Times of India claimed it would sue Indian mediawatch blogMediaah! for defamation unless it pulled 19 posts that the newspaper considers libelous. Mediaah! founder Pradyumnan Maheshwari responded by shutting down his blog completely. "If a major media player like TOI can't understand our basic tendency to express our opinions," Maheshwari writes, "how on earth are they qualified to run a newspaper that claims to be the largest selling english daily in the world?" (Read a petition to save the blog here, and Maheshwari's posts and lawyers' letter here.)
In Bahrain, three bloggers imprisoned in late February for "allegedly stirring hatred against the government and spreading false news that could jeopardise state security" were released today. "Well ladies and gentleman, this saga has given you a minor glimpse into the way things work in Bahrain. You can be detained on a whim and released on a whim in a land with a long discredited judicial system," writesBahrainiat, which calls itself Bahrain's "best political blog." Noting that the charges haven't been dropped, Muscati & Wife writes from Oman, "As alarming as the Bahrain arrests have been, at least there was some semblance of due process. ... It might be all bogus, but at least someone is trying to make it all look genuine." The "shroud of mystery" around detainees in Oman "is a bit too much" the blog notes.
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