Friday Oct 31st, 2014

Halloween Themed NFL Logos

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY! Time to get spooked. You know the drill. Here are a bunch of words no one will read and everyone will skip to look at the good stuff.


Check out all the rest here....

French town bans clown costumes after terror wave

Text by FRANCE 24

A wave of panic sparked by pranksters dressing up as evil clowns and terrorising passers-by has spread across France in recent weeks. Now, one town has taken the step of banning anyone from wearing a clown costume, especially on Halloween.

The 6,000-strong village of Vendargues in southern France said the ban would be “absolute” on Friday night, according to a statement posted on the town’s website Tuesday, and will remain in force throughout November for everyone 13 and older.

Those wanting to dress as clowns for “fairs or other public festivities” during this period will need express permission from the authorities to do so.

The law was passed to “avoid any disruption... by evil clowns,” a representative from the mayor’s office told AFP.

“It’s about protecting children by preventing any ill-intentioned clowns from mixing with residents.”

The eerie trend of fake, evil clowns terrifying passers-by has hit several parts of France over recent weeks in what many see as a follow-on from hugely popular YouTube prank videos.

Anti-clown vigilantism

Police have jailed or arrested more than a dozen teenagers after they dressed up as the pranksters and wrought havoc on the streets, at times armed with pistols, knives or baseball bats, sometimes beating people up.

The phenomenon in France has even prompted anti-clown vigilantism, forcing police to step in to try and quell growing hysteria.

The wave of pranks involving terror-inducing clowns began earlier this month in the north of France.

According to police, people increasingly reported spotting clowns “outside schools, but also on public roads, in bushes, in a square”.

Last week, a 19-year-old got a six-month suspended jail term for threatening passers-by while dressed as a clown in the town of Bethune.

And the phenomenon has spread across the country.

Police at the weekend arrested 14 teenagers dressed as clowns and carrying weapons in the Mediterranean port town of Agde.

Not far away in Montpellier – which is very near Vendargues – a fake clown chased a man down a street and beat him with an iron bar, prompting a court to jail him for four months.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Hungary internet tax cancelled after mass protests


Viktor Orban's Fidesz party has a two-thirds majority in parliament

Hungary has decided to shelve a proposed tax on internet data traffic after mass protests against the plan.

"This tax in its current form cannot be introduced," Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Friday.

Large-scale protests began on Sunday, when demonstrators hurled old computer parts at the headquarters of Mr Orban's ruling Fidesz party.

The draft law - condemned by the EU - would levy a fee on each gigabyte of internet data transferred.

The protesters objected to the financial burden but also feared the move would restrict free expression and access to information.

The levy was set at 150 forints (£0.40; 0.50 euros; $0.60) per gigabyte of data traffic.

After thousands protested the government decided to cap the tax at 700 forints per month for individuals and 5,000 forints for companies. But that did not placate the crowds.

The BBC's Nick Thorpe in Budapest writes:

Viktor Orban does not often back down, but he has done so on this occasion for several reasons.

  • He saw how unpopular the tax was. He managed with one stroke to do something which opposition leaders had tried and failed to do for five years: unify his opponents
  • He took on the best-organised community in the country - internet users - and lost
  • The government's communication methods failed again - as they have with almost every major decision since Fidesz came to power
  • "We are not Communists. We don't go against the will of the people," he said - a sign that growing comparisons between Fidesz and the old Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party are hitting the mark.

What happens next? Mr Orban's decision to cancel the tax deprives his opponents of a valuable rallying cry. The big question for them will be whether they can use the momentum of two big rallies to create new forms of opposition to Fidesz.

They have proven that he can be defeated. Mr Orban has proven that he is more flexible than many analysts give him credit for.

Thousands of protesters marched across Budapest's Elisabeth Bridge on Tuesday

'It should not be done'

Fidesz had said the special tax was needed to balance Hungary's budget in 2015.

Speaking on Kossuth public radio, Mr Orban said that "if the people not only dislike something but also consider it unreasonable then it should not be done...

"The tax code should be modified. This must be withdrawn, and we do not have to deal with this now."

He said a measure seen by the government as a technical issue had become "a fear-inducing vision".

There will be a national consultation on it in January, he said.

A European Commission spokesman, Ryan Heath, said the tax was "bad in principle" because it was a unilateral measure applied to a global phenomenon.

He said it was "part of a pattern... of actions that have limited freedoms or sought to take rents without achieving wider economic or social interest" in Hungary.

The Commission has previously criticised Mr Orban's government for constitutional proposals seen to be cementing the Fidesz party's political dominance.

Additional Headlines from October 31st