10 worst ideas of the week: Sunday, June 13, 2010 

Japanese theaters cancel documentary screenings, new iPhone’s unveiling marred by technical difficulties, and the FBI allegedly pays for murder suspect’s  trip to Peru.

1. Dolphin killing

Japanese pundits protest cancellation of controversial film
The details: Fifty-five journalists, academics and film directors in Japan condemned intimidation and threats that led movie theaters to cancel screenings of “The Cove,” a documentary about the slaughter of dolphins in a Japanese village. Protesters criticize the film as a betrayal of Japanese pride. No showing has been scheduled so far. In a letter the group of 55 said that opinion may be divided on the film, but that meant it should be shown to a wide audience to encourage debate.

2. Statue of Stalin

Bust of reviled leader unveiled at D-Day ceremony
The details: While many noteworthy worldly leaders have had busts erected in a proper venue, one of Joseph Stalin at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., has rankled more than a few eyebrows. The former Soviet Union dictator’s likeness is now alongside Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Winston Churchill at the memorial honoring Allied forces who stormed the beaches on D-Day. Russia, however, did not commit any troops to the invasion.

3. Internet police

China to keep blocking content threatening ‘unity’
The details: China has vowed to keep a tight hold on the Internet and continue blocking anything considered subversive to “national unity.” A new 31-page government policy statement says China had 384 million Internet users at the end of 2009 — about 29 percent of the population. China routinely blocks websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. And because of government censorship, Google shut down its mainland-based search engine.

4. Delta mix-up

Airline sends kids to wrong town
The details: Delta Airlines accidentally put a girl bound for Cleveland on a Boston flight, and stuck a boy bound for Boston on a Cleveland plane, WOIO TV reported. Both children were traveling as unaccompanied minors on a flight from Spokane, Wash., through Minneapolis-­St. Paul, where they were “inadvertently boarded on incorrect connecting flights as a result of a paperwork swap,” airline representative Paul Skrbec said. Delta apologized, and said it notified the families as soon as the airline realized its error, and that the children were under supervision at all times.

5. AWOL

DA’s Office skipped police strategy sessions
The details: The CompStat computerized crime-tracking system is credited with helping to drastically reduce crime rates for numerous metropolitan police departments. A key element of the process is regular ­information-­sharing­ meetings of all local law enforcement agencies. But for some two months, the District Attorney’s Office has been absent from CompStat meetings. A DA spokeswoman explained that the office has been burdened with a high number of staffing issues lately and will “have a presence again in the future.”

6. Incendiary wipers

GM recalling 1.5 million cars with flammable wiper fluid systems
The details: General Motors Co. announced its second recall of about 1.5 million vehicles worldwide to overcome a heated windshield wiper fluid system that could cause engine fires. The recall covers vehicles from 2006 to 2009 model years. GM conducted a similar recall in 2008, but has new reports of fires in vehicles that were fixed. This time GM will remove the heating unit and pay vehicle owners $100 because an advertised feature is being taken away.

7. Marry, lose citizenship

Egyptians warned about wedding Israeli women
The details: Talk about a tough decision. Egyptian men have been threatened with losing their citizenship if they marry an Israeli woman, according to Egypt’s supreme administrative court. The court upheld a restrictive 2005 fatwa, but stipulated that the stripping of citizenship will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Even offspring of such a marriage have been threatened to be stripped of their Egyptian nationality.

8. iGlitch

Apple chief experiences technical difficulties during iPhone unveiling
The details: It started with Steve Jobs warning that “we’re having a little problem here” and ended with an entreaty for the assorted tech bloggers to close their laptops and stop using all that wireless bandwidth. In between, the red-faced Apple CEO tried and failed to get the fourth-generation iPhone to load up a page on its vaunted display. He and the audience waited — and waited — and then got an error message reading, “Safari could not connect to the Internet.” “Well, jeez, I don’t like this,” Jobs groused before the bits started trickling through again.

9. $25M for Meadowlands

Dating site for cheaters wants stadium name
The details: AshleyMadison.com, a dating website which sets up extra-marital affairs and casual encounters for those already in relationships, offered $25 million for the naming rights to the New Meadowlands Stadium that opened this spring. There was no comment from either the Giants or the Jets — partners in the new stadium that last month was awarded the 2014 Super Bowl.

10. More meters

San Francisco racking up metered parking spaces
The details:  More than 1,300 new parking meters — including 940 in the South of Market and Civic Center neighborhoods alone — are slated to hit The City’s streets by the beginning of January, and 4,000 more could be added in the coming years. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency board of directors, faced with an array of budget problems, authorized the new parking meters in April as a way to generate $1 million in additional revenue each year.

 

SinKing ship

American Apparel has been dinged before for its hiring and firing practices that focus more on physique than personality. Now, new information has surfaced that AA requires prospective employees to send head-to-toe photos — no profiles, please. The company defends the practices by saying they screen for “personal style.” Is that what they’re calling it these days?

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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