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A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1760 on: August 16, 2007, 06:22:00 AM »
Lol it's probably closer to that abysmal midwest ;)

One Step Ahead

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1761 on: August 16, 2007, 06:26:40 AM »
Lol it's probably closer to that abysmal midwest ;)

geographically yes, culturally no.

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1762 on: August 16, 2007, 06:50:08 AM »
World's Best Low-Cost Carriers
by Lauren Kerensky
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Unless you count the trail mix, you can't get a free meal on a domestic flight with a major carrier anymore. A bottle of water will cost you, and forget about a movie.

Why the skimpy offerings?

Cost-conscious mainstream airlines are trimming the fat, otherwise known as amenities, to provide the lowest fares possible. But as the flagships slim down, the category of low-cost carriers is rapidly beefing up, giving passengers the option of flying both comfortably and affordably.

Low-cost carriers tend to keep their prices down by flying out of fringe airports, relying on online booking and providing just the necessary level of onboard services. Many stock their fleets with one type of aircraft to minimize the amount of training for crews. As part of the discount category, the airlines also can operate without union agreements and employment contracts that often trouble legacy carriers.

A Growing Category

Starting out in 1971 as a small carrier in Texas with only three jets, Southwest Airlines is credited with giving birth to the low-cost-carrier phenomenon. Its founding mission was to fly passengers to short-haul destinations, on time and for the lowest fare possible. Nearly 36 years later, countless carriers have copied the philosophy.

Global flight information company OAG released a 2006 report identifying 40 low-cost carriers in Europe alone. It also revealed that Ryanair, a low-cost heavyweight based in Ireland, was carrying more passengers per month than British Airways.

And the number of passengers interested in booking with low-cost names is on the rise. The low-cost sector accounted for 16%, or 416,000, of the 2.6 million flights scheduled for July 2007, according to OAG's Quarterly Airline Traffic Statistics. Last month, 309.7 million seats were offered worldwide, of which 20%, or 61.9 million, were on low-cost carriers. In July 2006, low-cost seats made up only 16% of the 289.8 million airline seats on offer.

"There seem to be new low-cost [carriers] appearing every week," says Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, a London-based air transport research company. Simply being low-cost doesn't guarantee success, however. "Each year that goes by you see anywhere from four to eight new low-costs that can't keep the business model running and disappear after 12 months."

The Best of the Best

For its annual survey of the best low-cost airlines in the world, Skytrax examined commercial and front-line factors, surveying the accessibility and quality of Web sites--crucial for carriers that rely on online booking--and, perhaps most important, the clarity of prices and fares.

Because standards vary around the world and there are so many low-cost carriers, Skytrax named a global top three-- Jetstar Airways, Air Berlin and easyJet--and broke down the remaining results by region. Southwest Airlines, the carrier that started it all, ranked second in North America, falling behind JetBlue.

To assess what people are getting for their money, Skytrax also took into account consumer surveys. While some low-cost carriers offer complimentary entertainment like satellite television and snacks, as on Austrian-based NIKI, many grant passengers only a seat, a reading light and a smile.

The low-cost category remains the most competitive in Europe but is growing fastest in Asia, if for no other reason than that it has the biggest market. At the other end of the spectrum, South America and the Middle East emerged with only two top carriers each in the rankings, rather than three. Both regions have several other carriers, but they were deemed too small for inclusion.

New Options

As the low-cost sector continues to heat up, so do the options in terms of seating and routes. While many traditional carriers offer one class, Jetstar offers a StarClass premium cabin, while Oasis Hong Kong gives passengers a choice between Business and Economy.

The introduction of classes in low-cost travel is the result of carriers taking on longer-haul flights. While flights under two hours are most profitable, as more travelers look to fly farther afield, these airlines want a piece of the action. Oasis Hong Kong already flies from Hong Kong to London and may offer flights to the U.S. shortly.

So if you can travel substantial distances for paltry prices aboard a low-cost carrier, why opt for a big name airline?

"[People] might choose them because of the miles or because the major carrier can come pretty close to matching the low-cost carrier in price," says Tom Michelson, vice president of operations for Airtreks, a team of travel consultants and experts that provide multistop international air travel service and technology. "Given the choice between the two, the traveler might want to go with the known entity."

But with low-cost carriers such as JetBlue providing complimentary, 24-channel, live satellite TV on every seat back, the unknown is looking better every day.

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/103364/Best-Low-Cost-Carriers?mod=oneclick

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1763 on: August 16, 2007, 06:51:15 AM »
This is one area in which I envy Europe.  You can easily find country-to-country tix for under $50.  Then again, one time when I flew Ryanair, they delayed the flight right before takeoff b/c one of the engines on the plane caught fire...

t...

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« Reply #1764 on: August 16, 2007, 07:23:40 AM »
http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2007/08/the-map-of-poli.html

"The map of political faith

Think you're a proud bleeding-heart, sickeningly-tolerant liberal? No, course not, you're a namby-pamby, comrade-loving leftie? Oh hell no, you're a unashamedly flag-waving, second-home-owning right winger?

Find out for sure. Loads of people have already taken this test, but for those who haven't it works out where your opinions lie on the political scale.

But the Political Compass website has taken it a step further and shown us where the 2008 Presidential candidates fit on the map (click on the graph below for an enlarged image). So much for choice eh?



Click this link for larger image: http://timesonline.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/08/01/usprimaries_2007.png


t...

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« Reply #1765 on: August 16, 2007, 07:59:27 AM »
I just looked at that site and took the test - also very left and libertarian.

Not a very unbiased test, but interesting nonetheless. I wonder what makes some of the presidential candidates veer so far up and to the right.

t...

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« Reply #1766 on: August 16, 2007, 08:12:36 AM »
I suppose. Maybe they like spanking babies and punishing criminals.

Gengiswump

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« Reply #1767 on: August 16, 2007, 09:10:38 AM »
I disagree with all of this. In fact, I'm fairly certain its incorrect (although damage to reputation would be a recognizable injury), but I don't feel like going back into torts. I'll say this: Remember, you have to have some sort of injury for you to be compensated. That's all of torts.  Even in a strict liability regime, if there is no injury, nominal damages will be awarded (unless of course punitive damages are at issue). So elements of each claim aside, torts is really about injury.

Even noting that, I think injury is an essential element in the claim  (ie, emotional distress, loss of reputation, pecuniary loss, etc).

The specificity distinction you make is unpersuasive and I'm almost certain that it isn't the legal standard. I'll double check.


Dude - when I said we did this in torts, I meant this week.  Literally, I have been posting from lectures about defamation. 

But, to go it one better, I asked the prof - in his opinion, the group is definitely sufficiently small to allow for a claim (there's definitely such a thing as group defamation, Galt), but he seems to think that she probably doesn't have a case due to the fact that no one would take Imus seriously enough to believe she was actually a "ho" - people would, and did, just chalk it up to his general cantankerous ridiculousness - thus no damage to reputation, which again, is all you need for a defamation claim. 

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1768 on: August 16, 2007, 10:38:32 AM »
I disagree with all of this. In fact, I'm fairly certain its incorrect (although damage to reputation would be a recognizable injury), but I don't feel like going back into torts. I'll say this: Remember, you have to have some sort of injury for you to be compensated. That's all of torts.  Even in a strict liability regime, if there is no injury, nominal damages will be awarded (unless of course punitive damages are at issue). So elements of each claim aside, torts is really about injury.

Even noting that, I think injury is an essential element in the claim  (ie, emotional distress, loss of reputation, pecuniary loss, etc).

The specificity distinction you make is unpersuasive and I'm almost certain that it isn't the legal standard. I'll double check.


Dude - when I said we did this in torts, I meant this week.  Literally, I have been posting from lectures about defamation. 

But, to go it one better, I asked the prof - in his opinion, the group is definitely sufficiently small to allow for a claim (there's definitely such a thing as group defamation, Galt), but he seems to think that she probably doesn't have a case due to the fact that no one would take Imus seriously enough to believe she was actually a "ho" - people would, and did, just chalk it up to his general cantankerous ridiculousness - thus no damage to reputation, which again, is all you need for a defamation claim. 

Re read my intial post on the subject and tell me how what you wrote is different from what I wrote? With respect to specificity,  that isn't a legal standard; it is an opinion. The trier of fact could have a different opinion. There is no bright line rule. My second post is about damages. Greetings and enjoy law school.

Eta: if you're arguing that it is defamation per se then maybe I buy it. Doubt it though since imus is a talk show host/comedian

A.

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Re: Post Your Interesting News Articles Here
« Reply #1769 on: August 16, 2007, 11:01:23 AM »
Tauck Divorce - Day 86
Child Porn Allegations, Staggering Legal Fees Disputed

By LYNNE TUOHY

Courant Staff Writer

August 14, 2007

The judge in the state's longest running divorce trial took on the added role of forensic accountant Monday during a hearing on who should pay the more than $12 million in legal fees and expenses racked up in the case of Nancy Tauck v. Peter Tauck.

Neither Tauck was in court, but the contentiousness of the case was omnipresent. Mere minutes into the daylong hearing, Superior Court Judge Holly Abery-Wetstone ordered lawyers on both sides: "Stop the sniping. I'm really sick of it."

Monday marked day 86 in the extraordinary divorce trial, which far outstripped the previous state record of a 37-day divorce trial and is believed to have set a national record.

It opened with Nancy Tauck battling for full legal and physical custody of the couple's four children, ages 5 to 10, based on allegations her husband sexually molested three of the children and downloaded and possessed child pornography images on his laptop computer.

Expert witnesses testified not only that the allegations were unsubstantiated, but also strongly suggested Nancy Tauck herself, or someone working at her behest, downloaded the images to destroy her husband's chances of winning custody.

Abery-Wetstone has already stated unequivocally that there was no way Peter Tauck downloaded the images, because he was in Tahiti at the time the images were downloaded on May 5, 2005, and did not remotely access the laptop he left behind in Westport.

Computer forensic experts testified the computer was definitely in the family's hometown of Westport, not Tahiti, based on "pop-ups" that attached themselves to the computer on that date.

Attorney Reese Norris argued Monday that Peter Tauck would never have spent nearly $7 million on his own legal fees and expenses "but for the baseless and malicious allegations" made by Nancy Tauck.

"This is perhaps the most egregious case of litigation misconduct one could ever imagine," Norris said of "this campaign of destruction waged by Nancy Tauck."

Peter Tauck's lawyers argued that he should not be responsible for the nearly $2.5 million still owed to Nancy Tauck's lawyers, and that she should have to pay Peter Tauck's fees and expenses for having to defend himself against her allegations.

Attorney Reuben Midler countered that Peter Tauck is guilty of litigation misconduct as well, for allegedly misrepresenting his assets and liabilities on financial affidavits and for delays in turning over computer hard drives that were later deemed to be inoperable. Midler also argued that the expenditure of $7 million on its face was simply unreasonable.

"If our fees are unreasonable, their fees have to be doubly unreasonable," Midler asserted.

Nancy Tauck holds the dubious distinction of having the highest-paid lawyer in the case, albeit one who was barred by Abery-Wetstone from actually appearing. Colorful New York lawyer Judd Burstein served as a consultant of sorts to Nancy Tauck at $850 an hour. Her principal trial lawyers - Wayne D. Effron, Midler and Rebecca Ciota - bill at hourly rates of $525, $400 and $250 respectively.

Midler took issue with Peter Tauck's lead lawyers raising their fees during the course of the two-year litigation, which he said accounted for $450,804 in added fees alone. Peter Tauck's lead lawyers - Cynthia George, Tom Colin and John Eckberg, of the law firm of Schoonmaker, George & Colin - bill at $600, $500 and $450 an hour respectively. He also retained Arnold Rutkin, at $650 an hour, and Sally Oldham, $575 an hour, of the Rutkin & Oldham law firm.

Few divorce cases feature criminal lawyers - Norris for Peter Tauck and James Pickerstein and Joe Martini for Nancy Tauck. Other leading law firms in the state have made cameo appearances in the case on particular issues. Expenses for expert witnesses - including computer experts and psychiatrists and psychologists - likely set a record as well.

Peter Tauck paid more than $70,000 to lodge and feed his Fairfield County lawyers as the case played out on the regional and family trial docket in Middletown.

In addition to the $12 million, $1.3 million was paid to Attorney Gaetano Ferro, who represents the Tauck children. Neither side challenged the reasonableness of his fees.

Nancy Tauck is believed to be at an inpatient alcohol rehabilitation program in California. Abery-Wetstone last month said she could have only limited and supervised visits with her children unless she completed at least a monthlong inpatient program, due to Nancy Tauck failing another alcohol test. Both parents are under court order not to consume alcohol, at the risk of losing contact with the children.

The judge has 120 days to issue a ruling in the case.

http://www.courant.com/news/local/hc-cttauck0814.artaug14,0,3152737.story