March 12, 2009

Amsterdam averts terror attack, concert cancelled

Per, bomb threats of a terrorist nature toward stores in south-east Amsterdam today put the area in lockdown.

Police had detained "a number of suspects in connection with the threats" and a concert by The Killers at nearby Heineken Music Hall was cancelled as a precaution, according to the article.

One twitterer posted a TwitPic of an apparent suspect being detained near Amsterdam Arena shortly after the bomb threat became public.

@retecool: - Na de bommelding bij de Amsterdam ArenA / Arenaboulevard hield de politie zojuist deze man aan in zuidoost. (After the bomb threat at the Amsterdam ArenA / Arena Boulevard was just the man the police in south-east.)

Another posted a picture of a crowd in front of the Heineken Music Hall as people waited to hear if The Killers concert would go on or not.

@florisd: Wachten voor een dichte HMH... Zou het doorgaan? (Waiting for a dense HMH... Would it continue?)

Some could not help mentioning the irony in the threat and the name of the band whose concert was cancelled as a result.

@iskandr (Silodam, Amsterdam, Netherlands): Is het toevallig dat er een concert van The Killers was vanavond daar? (Is it coincidence that a concert of The Killers was there tonight?)

@freijn (Purmerend, Netherlands): #arenaboulevard is toch geen slecht grap he ? concert killers -> bommelding ? publiciteits stunt ? (#arenaboulevard is not a bad joke, huh? killers concert -> bomb threat? publicity stunt?)

Not long after the threats became public, rumors flew on Twitter.

@Sannie73 (Amsterdam, Netherlands): HMH's clear. The Killers WILL be performing tonight. (unfortunately I wasn't aware Louis XIV were opening... I LOVE them)

@FlorisD (Haarlemmermeer, Netherlands): Flying to HMH for The Killers! Hope it continues ... There will be pressure in the train, because car is not recommended.

The news had at least one twitterer particularly upset.

@benvds (Geldrop, Netherlands): Concert of The Killers got canceled due to a bomb threat. Mother*%#

Several tweets noted that the concert has been rescheduled for May 29.


Featured TwitPic: Sunny Hawaiian beach

"Beautiful in Hawaii today." (Posted by @robetter, March 12, 2009)


Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at Bush sentenced to three years

Per the International Herald Tribune, the Iraqi journalist who caused a stir after throwing his shoes at then President George W. Bush in December was sentenced to three years in prison.

The Christian Science Monitor described the situation as, "1 angry Iraqi journalist + 2 flying shoes = 3 years in jail."

Twitterers around the world threw up their own comments after the verdict was announced.

@salam (Baghdad, Iraq): ..alert to all shoe throwers.. hide your shoes! 3yrs jail for attacking Bush with shoe, and missing!..

@andrespencer (Aveiro, Portugal): If you're Iraqi, don't take your shoes off.

@TheStory (Canada): Iraqi journalist who threw shoes at former U.S. President George W. Bush sentenced to 3 years... A bit harsh don't ya think, he missed

@minda31180 (Oklahoma): I'm sorry, but in my opinion, the Iraqi reporter that threw his shoes at former Pres. Bush does NOT deserve 3 years in prison.

@sixwheeler (Great Britain): A pox on the Iraqi judges who sentenced Muntadhar al-Zeidi to three years for throwing shoes at George W Bush. Craven cowards!

@Ayodele05: 3 years jail for the Iraqi journo who threw his shoes at Prez Bush. Too harsh. Hope his lawyers appeal. Was his act 'freedom of speech'?


State declares Pluto a planet for a day

Per National Geographic, the Illinois state senate voted unanimously that Friday, March 13 will be Pluto Day and Pluto will get to be a planet for a day. The Illinois senate says that Pluto Day will also be a way to remember Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto and was born and raised in Streator, Illinois.

National Geographic says the bill has brought up the old argument on what exactly a planet is and has scientists debating it again.

The Twitterverse shows its support:

BlaireEeds: (Texas) The Illinois State Senate has declared that Pluto is a planet again! Yay for Pluto! It was always my favorite planet...

dirtvoyles: (Illinois) The Illinois State Senate has declared that Pluto is a planet again! Rejoice for the little planet that could!

kara_crashmore: (Boston, MA) Good morning Twitterville! Illinois has declared Pluto a planet again!! (but only for a day)

LChiz: (Austin, Texas) Once a year, Pluto will be a planet again! My childhood is restored.


Soccer coach accused of punching fan

Per, Inter Milan soccer coach Jose Mourinho is being investigated for allegedly assaulting a fan after his team's 2-0 loss to Manchester United in the Champions League tournament late Wednesday in England.

Mourinho's bosses acted swiftly in denying the allegations.

Mourinho is well known in soccer circles for his flamboyance. Great Britain's Telegraph colorfully describes coaches such as Mourinho as "too bright, too beautiful, too brilliant for their own good. They gorge on their own gravity and then they are gone."

Twitterers around the globe who love their soccer reacted to the news about Mourinho.

@supersonicstl (St. Louis, Mo): Jose Mourinho makes takes one final shot on way out of Champions League...

@AndrewBucholtz (Kingston, Ontario): Jose Mourinho under investigation for assault; some people really can't lose gracefully!

@cduncan86 (London): Jose Mourinho - what a hero.

@wmager (London): Jose Mourinho's not the messiah, he's just a naughty boy...


Massive sandstorm blasts Riyadh

Per Arab News, "A severe sandstorm lashed Riyadh yesterday, spreading an orange-color blanket of dust that led to over 70 road accidents, traffic snarls and cancellation of scheduled luncheon parties."

Twitter users in the capital of Saudi Arabia were highly active during the storm, giving a flavor of the experience.

Some posted TwitPics of the event.

@adriang (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): - There is a massive sandstorm in Riyadh

@khaled (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): Ok.. This sandstorm over Riyadh just reached here... #Saudi #weather

Others relayed personal accounts and various reports.

@chikom (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): back in office, sandstorm was hell on car & nerves

@chikom (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): daughter : my teacher said the sandstorm will last 3 days !

@mutairy (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): HOLLY [expletive]! .. more than 73 accidents so far in #Riyadh !! the police started waving people off major roads! because of all the dust!

@mutairy (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): hospitals in riyadh are overloaded after the dust mega storm, i told my family to duct tape the windows

@molozonide (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): sky turning orange / dust and dust and dust and dust / sandstorm in riyadh

@wilbur101 (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): in the middle of the biggest sandstorm in riyadh i've ever seen. the saudis are agreeing. this is how a bad day on Mars would look like.

After posting a picture himself, @khaled linked to a news organization that compiled a round-up of photos from the event.

@khaled (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia): After today's sandstom, , rain comes :)


Vigils held in Northern Ireland

Per Belfast Telegraph, thousands of people in Northern Ireland took to the streets to participate in peaceful vigils, condemning the recent murders of two British Officers and a Constable by IRA dissidents this past Saturday and Monday.

Several people who attended the vigils tweeted about the experience.

@Leib13: (Belfast) Was glad to be at the peace vigil outside City Hall in Belfast today. Good to see so many people wanting an end to this insanity.

@sharp_words: (Northern Ireland) Just back in office after attending peace vigil in Belfast, 1000s there, good show of solidarity.

@mandyjcollie: (Portadown, Northern Ireland) Just come back after attending the silent vigil at Belfast City Hall for the 3 men shot this week - heartbreaking

@TONUSPEREGRINUS (Belfast): Just been to pretty amazing vigil. Thousands of ppl standing for 5min in silence very moving.

@florabell (Belfast): very proud to stand beside all sectors of the community at the protest. very sad when a lone piper played 'abide with me'

Some users posted TwitPics from the scene.

@GiantBushman: Some of the crowds at the peace rally.

@peterkerr: #silentprotest #belfast