WHOA Newsletter - January 8, 2007

WHOA Newsletter

January 8, 2007

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Psst, wanna buy a bridge, too?

World's smallest country up for sale

For sale: the world's smallest country with its own flag, stamps, currency and passports.

Apply to Prince Michael of Sealand if you want to run your own storm-tossed nation -- even if it is just a wartime fort perched on two concrete towers in the North Sea.

Built in World War Two as an anti-aircraft base against German bombers, the derelict platform was taken over 40 years ago by retired army major Paddy Roy Bates who went to live there with his family.

He declared the platform, perched seven miles off the east coast of England just outside Britain's territorial waters, to be the principality of Sealand.

The self-styled Prince Roy adopted a flag, chose a national anthem and minted silver and gold coins as its currency.

The family saw off an attempt by the Royal Navy to evict them and also an attempt in 1978 by a group of German and Dutch businessmen to seize Sealand by force.

"I was held prisoner out there for three or four days and then managed to get back to England," Roy's son Michael told BBC Radio on Monday.

"I slid down a rope out of a helicopter with my father and a couple of comrades and took the place back against armed opposition. It was quite a high point in my life," he said.

Prince Michael, whose 85-year-old father now lives in Spain, said his family had been approached by estate agents with clients "who wanted a bit more than a bit of real estate, they wanted autonomy."

Asked what were the delights of living on Sealand, the 54-year-old prince said "The neighbours are very quiet. There is a good sea view."

"There is no jurisdiction by any other country in the world," he said, suggesting it could be a base for online gambling or offshore banking.

Calling it a cross between a house and a ship, the prince acknowledged it was not the world's most picturesque country, boasting as it does two large concrete towers with eight rooms in each tower.

"It is fairly bleak," he conceded. ""But it is quite pleasant sitting inside in the warm and watching the horrendous weather roaring past the double-glazed windows."

So what did he expect to get for Sealand?

"We shall see," Prince Michael said. "I will listen to anybody who wants to talk."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Online Dating: Safety Issues and Solutions in 2007; Efforts Under Way to Fight Financial Scams and Sexual Predators - 01/08/07
With increased numbers of users and an increase in the amount of providers of online dating services comes opportunity for cyber crime and a need for users of these services to maintain safety awareness while surfing for love. In light of this, public safety advocates and state lawmakers are promoting legislation to create greater safety protections for online daters in 2007.

Librarians help police book 'em - 01/07/07
The investigation of a Brookfield man on charges that he used the Internet to sell counterfeit clothing and defraud customers throughout the country received help from an unlikely source: librarians.

Attack of the Zombie Computers Is Growing Threat - 01/07/07
In their persistent quest to breach the Internet’s defenses, the bad guys are honing their weapons and increasing their firepower.

Arkansas Tech Instructor Arrested On Stalking Charge - 01/06/07
An Arkansas Tech chemistry teacher was suspended after his arrest on a felony charge of Internet stalking.

After just three phone calls, we buy a killer dog for £525 - 01/06/07
THE Daily Mirror today exposes the illegal internet trade in potentially lethal pitbull terrier dogs.

Chinese teenager hangs himself after suffering heartbreak from online romance - 01/06/07
A 17-year-old Chinese boy hanged himself after a catastrophic meeting with his online sweetheart, Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

Police warn of cyber-scam promising money - 01/05/07
Michele Grecko-O’Rourke still shudders at what could have happened had she cashed the post office money orders she received by parcel post early last month.

Talk on Internet safety Jan. 19 - 01/05/07
Internet crime expert and author Jayne Hitchcock will discuss her book, "Net Crimes & Misdemeanors: Outmaneuvering Spammers, Stalkers, and Con Artists" at the Kennebunk Free Library.

Craigslist Enlists Police, ISPs, and Community to Fight "Spamvertising" - 01/05/07
"Any idea why I was flagged?" inquires one poster. "Flag help please!" cries another frustrated soul. The flag help forum on Craigslist abounds with posts like these. Since the free classifieds site recently introduced new tools to wrangle loan scammers, prostitution peddlers, and just-plain greedy marketers, it's no wonder transgressors are getting roped in.

Someone's Been Using My Gift Card - 01/05/07
Susan Leibowitz figured she had found the ideal present for a retiring co-worker moving cross-country--a $615 gift card from Target. Not only did her friend adore shopping at the retailer, but she was relocating to a city with a Target store (Roanoke, Va.) and could use the gift to decorate her new house when and how she liked.

YouTube in hot water over steamy beach video - 01/05/07
A Brazilian judge has ordered YouTube to find a way to stop Brazilians from viewing steamy footage of supermodel Daniela Cicarelli and her boyfriend on the highly trafficked video-sharing site.

Moncton man suing makers of America's Funniest Home Videos over online voting - 01/04/07
A truck driver and part-time Santa Claus from Moncton, N.B., is suing the makers of the television show "America's Funniest Home Videos" because his bid for the US$100,000 grand prize was allegedly thwarted by a policy that forbids Canadians from voting.


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