Thursday, November 27, 2014

Appeasing Gulf Arab sponsors, soccer giants Real Madrid remove cross from club logo...

The spillover of religious intolerance from the Middle East into Europe was dramatically revealed today, as Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid unveiled an adjusted logo for inclusion on a brand new credit card issued by the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The logo is exactly the same as the one the club has been using since 1931, minus one important detail – in order not to disturb Muslim sensibilities, the Christian cross which normally sits at the top has been removed.

The logo change, readily acceded to by the management of Real Madrid – the world’s wealthiest sports team, valued at nearly $3.5 billion – forms part of a three year “strategic alliance with one of the most prestigious institutions in the world,” as club President Florentino Pérez described the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. The importance the club attaches to the deal was demonstrated at a signing ceremony in September attended by some of the club’s top players, including Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, and Dani Carvajal.

At the September ceremony, Perez gushed, “I know that the local people experience every match in a special way and that our links with the UAE are constantly growing stronger. This agreement will help the club to keep conquering the hearts of followers in the United Arab Emirates.” Commenting on today’s appearance of the club logo without the cross, the leading Spanish soccer website Marca commented, “from the looks of things, the club is willing to compromise on aspects of its identity in pursuit of these new fans.” Full story...

Afghan mum kills 25 Taliban fighters after seeing son die...

An Afghan mother has reportedly killed 25 Taliban fighters after seeing her son die in a fierce gun battle.

Reza Gul, who lives in the Balabolok district in western Afghanistan, said she rushed to a small police outpost near her home after being awoken by gunfire early on November 17.

She told NBC News she screamed in anger and grief when she saw her son Safiullah — who had been guarding the outpost along with a group of lightly armed policemen — shot dead.

Then, she said, she took action.

Flanked by her husband, youngest son, daughter and daughter-in-law, the grieving mother grabbed a gun and attacked the militants. Full story...

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Authorities arrest laborers striking over low pay in Qatar...

More than 100 migrant workers who went on strike in Qatar this week over low pay have been arrested and are being processed for deportation, according to their co-workers.

The men, who hail from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are construction workers employed by two subcontracting companies – Qatar Freelance Trading and Contracting as well as Qatar Middle East Co. They worked on construction sites that included the recently renovated Sheraton Doha hotel.

Speaking to Doha News at their labor accommodations in the Industrial Area yesterday, some of the co-workers of those who were arrested said they also expected to be forced out of the country in the coming days.

They said police officers showed up in SUVs, accompanied by a company bus, to their camp around midday Monday after several hundred laborers refused to work for a third straight day.

Some of the workers have already packed their bags in anticipation of being deported.

The men said that when they resisted, a camp boss struck several workers with a piece of plastic pipe and started a scuffle. Full story...

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Three priests and a religious education teacher are arrested in Spain after former altar boy writes to Pope claiming he was molested by paedophile ring...

Three priests and a religious education teacher have been arrested over the alleged abuse of altar boys by a Catholic paedophile ring in Spain.

The investigation was launched after one alleged victim wrote to Pope Francis claiming he was molested by a priest around ten years ago.

Francis said he felt 'great pain' after learning of the allegations but insisted that 'the truth is the truth and we should not hide it.'

He said he personally called the man, now 24, to offer his support and wrote to the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, urging him to launch an investigation.

The group allegedly drew boys into their sphere of influence by taking them on as altar boys or assistants before molesting them.

A Granada judge is reportedly targeting 10 priests and two lay people, although only four have been arrested so far. Full story...

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India plans to raise smoking age to 25...

Health campaigners have welcomed India's plans to raise the age for tobacco purchases to 25 and ban unpackaged cigarettes.

The plans have been welcomed as a major step towards stopping nearly one million tobacco-related deaths a year.

Health Minister JP Nadda told parliament that he was drawing up legislation to raise the minimum legal age for buying tobacco products, currently 18, and to force vendors only to sell full packets of cigarettes.

The plans, proposed by an expert panel, will need final approval by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet and parliament to become law.

"This is a very welcome move by the government," Binoy Mathew, spokesman for the non-profit Voluntary Health Association of India, told AFP.

"It's going to act as a huge deterrent especially for students and youngsters." Full story...

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RELEASE US - a short film on police brutality...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Disgraced anti-Israel professor cheered in Washington...

Former University of Illinois professor Steven Salaita received a standing ovation from Middle East scholars and academics from around the world on Saturday afternoon.

Salaita, who was terminated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign faculty in September for a series of viciously anti-Israel tweets during the Gaza War, seemed overwhelmed by the hero’s welcome.

“Thank you, every body. If the Zionists wanted to silence me, they should have just approached people to be nice to me,” Salaita said. “Kindness always leaves me much more speechless than war crimes do.”

Salaita said his firing—which he attributed to “the interference of wealthy donors”—was “part of the culture wars that have long been ongoing around the Israel-Palestine conflict” and could not be separated from “the organized suppression of those who speak in support of Palestine or Palestinians.” Full story...

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Here comes France: Right-wing leader Marine Le Pen demands central bank repatriate French gold...

(...)

Open letter to Mr Christian Noyer on the gold reserves of France

Dear Governor

On behalf of the French and in my capacity as the main opposition leader, I am writing to you because it is my duty to present a petition on the gold reserves of France, under the best interests of our nation.

Even before the outbreak of the 2008 crisis, the National Front had anticipated and informed the political institutions of the future worsening of the macro-economic and geopolitical context. As part of the business model increasingly libertarian adopted by France under pressure from Brussels, no economic fundamentals may not sustained improvement. All French can see that the austerity policies demanded by the EU and the ECB and implemented by the government are a proven failure and serious for our country.

The monetary institution you lead a historic mission to be the custodian of national central bank monetary reserves including gold reserves. According to our strategic vision and sovereign, they are neither the state nor the Bank of France but the French people and in addition serve as the ultimate guarantee of public debt and our currency.

In monetary Cold War played between the Western countries and the BRICS countries, gold gradually takes an important role. According to the World Gold Council, China's official gold reserves, India and Russia have increased significantly between 2007 and 2013.
For these reasons and because of the rapid growth of global systemic risk, it is of utmost importance to the future solvency of our nation to engage, by mid-2015, a detailed audit procedure, the results will be the subject of a report. This report must obtain validation of French macro-prudential authorities, ACPR, and will be made public in the year. Full story...

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India’s urban youth are angry. Unlike their parents, they have little to lose...

I met a pair of 20-year-old insurrectionaries last week. They were gently spoken and as slight as kittens, yet only recently the vice-chancellor at their elite university claimed they and their friends had threatened his life.

The story of how Dibyokamal Mitra, Nabottama Pal and a bunch of undergraduates drove one of the grandest institutions in Kolkata into meltdown needs to be heard far outside India. It’s an extraordinary blend of traditional protest rituals and social media, alleged police beatings and a march that brought an entire city to a standstill. But it also highlights one of our most important, yet under-remarked, geopolitical truths: in its megacities and towns, across campuses and workplaces, urban India is breeding a generation of angry young men and women.

In a report last year, the UN dropped its usual diplomat-ese to warn: “In every sphere – education, work and play – there is a mix of disenchantment, resentment and hope. With growth has not come equity. The cost of urbanisation is beginning to tell in a way that if left unattended could plunge society into fragments.”

Numbers alone make that globally significant: there are 433 million people aged between 15 and 34 living in Indian towns and cities. Imagine an army bigger than the combined populations of the US, the UK and Canada. Full story...

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Ferguson shows how the police can kill and get away with it...

Several hundred people gathered in Union​ Square last night waiting to hear whether Darren Wilson would be indicted for shooting Michael Brown. Most already suspected what the results would be. They were right. They were also angry.

Protesters marched through holiday kiosks, shouting, "NYPD! KKK! How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?" Young people threw their hands up in solidarity with those who had been murdered by the police. One man held a sign reading, "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." A James Baldwin quote never seemed more appropriate, even if it also seemed like a distant wish at that moment.

You already know, of course, that Darren Wilson got off. We always knew he would.

 In America, the justice system is anything but just. Courts are conduits for the caging of (mostly black or brown) humans. The police feed people into the courts, and if they sometimes kill those they are arresting it's regarded as a cost barely worth mentioning. And though they kill a lot of people—in Utah, police shootings are the second most common type of h​omicide—they are rarely punished. From the fellow officers who write reports and testify on the behalf of killers to the prosecutors who seem determined to let murderers get away, the very system that claims to monitor the police protects them. Police kill. They get away with it. They kill again. Eventually, you realise that this process is not a bug in the system but a feature. Full story...

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Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to hang for blasphemy makes last appeal...

A Pakistani Christian woman who was sentenced to death for blasphemy has filed an appeal in Pakistan's supreme court in a final bid to avoid execution.

Asia Bibi, a 50-year-old mother-of-five has been on death row since 2010 after being convicted of insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad during an argument over a glass of well water. She denied the charges.

Her case has become an international cause celebre among rights groups and has even been offered asylum in France by the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, in the hope she can escape the death penalty.

 An open letter from Mrs Bibi's husband, which includes an impassioned note of thanks from her windowless cell, is currently in circulation on the internet to draw attention to her case. Full story...

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Actress Veena Malik, Pakistani channel Geo TV owner sentenced to 26 years in prison for airing 'blasphemous programme'

The owner of Pakistan's biggest media group, Geo TV along with actor Veena Malik and her husband was sentenced to 26 years in prison by an anti-terrorism court for allegedly airing a blasphemous programme.

Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman, owner of Geo and Jang group, was accused of allowing the airing of a blasphemous programme by Geo television in May, which played a religious song while staging a mock marriage of Malik with Bashir.

Judge Shahbaz Khan also sentenced both Malik and Bashir along with TV host Shaista Wahidi for 26 years each.

The ATC also imposed a 1.3 million Pakistani rupees fine on the convicts and ordered that their properties should be sold to raise the fine, if they failed to pay it. The judge said in his judgment that all four accused committed profanity.

The court in its 40-page verdict also asked the police to arrest the convicts, an official said. Full story...

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Ferguson Spillover: Public anger spreads across US following non-indictment verdict...

Tanzania’s Masai ‘breathe sigh of relief’ after president vows never to evict them...

The president of Tanzania has pledged never to evict the Masai people after an international outcry against plans to turn their ancestral land into a commercial hunting ground for Arab royalty.

Last week the Guardian revealed claims by Masai activists that the government had reintroduced plans to forcibly relocate 40,000 pastoralists to make way for a luxury hunting and safari company based in the United Arab Emirates.

But, as an online campaign gathered steam, President Jakaya Kikwete tweeted: “There has never been, nor will there ever be, any plan by the government of Tanzania to evict the Masai people from their ancestral land.”

The promise was hailed by the Avaaz global activist group after a two-year fight during which 2.3 million people signed a petition against the proposal. In the past week, according to Avaaz, 18,000 people have written to Tanzanian embassies to raise their concerns. Full story...

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German league chief tells Sepp Blatter to resign over Qatar World Cup...

The head of the German football league, Reinhard Rauball, has told Sepp Blatter he should resign as the Fifa president over the controversy surrounding the Qatar World Cup bid.

“In contrast to others who just do it via the media, I rang up Mr Blatter personally recently and asked him to resign,” Rauball told the magazine Kicker. “I can’t be accused of holding myself back on this issue.

“But the decision by the Fifa executive committee in favour of Qatar is not made by Mr Blatter alone – 22 people are entitled to vote.”

Rauball suggested the German football association (DFB) president, Wolfgang Niersbach, could replace Blatter as the president of the world governing body. Rauball said Niersbach could provide “solutions” inside the Fifa executive committee.

“The league representatives to the DFB committee would all vote for Niersbach as a candidate,” Rauball, the president of Borussia Dortmund, said. “I am sure there will be no other opinion in the DFB committee either.” Full story...

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Sony set to end sponsorship contract with Fifa, becoming second major sponsor to cut ties...

Sony does not plan to renew its sponsorship contract with Fifa, which deals another blow to world football's governing body.

Their announcement follows Emirates Airline decision to severe ties with Fifa as it investigates whether there was corruption in the bidding process for the next two World Cup competitions.

Coca-Cola, another major Fifa partner, said it was disappointed with Fifa's handling of an investigative report into the bidding process for the forthcoming World Cups in Qatar and Russia at the weekend.

Sony has been a Fifa sponsor for the eight years to 2014 in a contract worth £222m.

 Sony has said it is aiming to restructure its television and mobile divisions further, while targeting robust growth for its electronics devices division, which houses its growing image sensors business. Full story...

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Monday, November 24, 2014

India tea workers kill owner in West Bengal pay dispute...

Workers at a tea plantation in eastern India have killed the owner during negotiations over a pay dispute.

The owner of the Sonali tea estate in West Bengal was dragged out of talks on Saturday. He died after being beaten up and stabbed by a crowd.

Police say Rajesh Agarwal had gone to pacify the workers who had reportedly not been paid for two or three months. Two men and five women have been held.

Many workers in India's tea plantations are malnourished and poorly paid.

Several incidents of attacks on tea executives by workers have been reported in recent years.

In 2012 a tea plantation owner and his wife were burned to death in the neighbouring state of Assam. Source...

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Regin: A leading computer security company says it has discovered one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software ever seen...

A leading computer security company says it has discovered one of the most sophisticated pieces of malicious software ever seen.

Symantec says the bug, named Regin, was probably created by a government and has been used for six years against a range of targets around the world.

Once installed on a computer, it can do things like capture screenshots, steal passwords or recover deleted files.

Experts say computers in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Ireland have been hit most.

It has been used to spy on government organisations, businesses and private individuals, they say.

Researchers say the sophistication of the software indicates that it is a cyber-espionage tool developed by a nation state. Full story...

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Making child's play out of banking in India...

A pioneering Indian bank is teaching the impoverished children of an overcrowded Muslim neighbourhood in Ahmedabad how to save for a crisis.

Sarjan Bank bank at Sankalit Nagar in the neglected western neighbourhood of Juhapura is proving highly popular with local pre-teens - who are also helping to run it.

Operated by a non-profit organisation, the bank has provided families that have fallen on hard times or been victims of the city’s periodic bouts of inter-communal violence a lifeline - literally.

"The other day, my teacher told me that I could use the money in my account in case my mother needs medicines when she is ill," says little Zia Mirza, whose father is a rickshaw driver.

"And a month later, it happened! My mother fell ill and wanted medicines and my father didn’t have any cash. So, I came here and withdrew Rs 200 ($3.25)," says the nine-year-old with an accomplished smile. Full story...

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Hundreds protest U.S. support for Mexican drug cartels...

Retired Scotland Yard detectives back up claims that paedo MPs murdered boys at sex orgies...

Paedophile politicians at Westminster murdered young boys at sex orgies, say two former Scotland Yard detectives, writes Mark Conrad and Keir Mudie in the Sunday People.

The retired officers who first investigated the allegations more than 30 years ago have provided explosive testimony to the Yard’s new probe.

The pair have made written statements to the Met Police about the VIP network which they claim was known as The Untouchables because they were too powerful to bring to justice.

It is believed the ex-cops – one of them Special Branch – told the current inquiry that they were ordered NOT to investigate the group.

Their dramatic new evidence appears to corroborate claims by a victim known as Nick that he witnessed a young boy being murdered by an MP. Full story...

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Rising suicide rate for Indian farmers blamed on GMO seeds...

Monsanto, which has just paid out $2.4 million to US farmers, settling one of many lawsuits it’s been involved in worldwide, is also facing accusations that its seeds are to blame for a spike in suicides by India farmers.

The accusations have not transformed into legal action so far, but criticism of Monsanto has been mounting, blaming the giant company for contributing to over 290,000 suicides by Indian farmers over the last 20 years.

The author of a documentary on Indian farmers’ suicides, Alakananda Nag, who has interviewed dozens of the relatives of those who have taken their lives, links the rise in the suicide rate to the use of GMO seeds. She believes small farms are particularly vulnerable.

“The large farms certainly have the funds to support themselves and get on, but the smaller ones are really ones that suffer the most,” Nag told RT. “Monsanto definitely has a very big hand to play. A few years ago it was illegal to grow GMO crops in India. It’s not like the suicide did not exist back then. It did, but I think there was definitely a sharp rise in the [suicide] numbers once [GMOs] were allowed.” More + videos...

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Saudi Arabia: assault on online expression...

Saudi authorities are ramping up their crackdown on people who peacefully criticize the government on the Internet. The government should end the crackdown and live up to its obligations to respect free speech.

In late October 2014, three prominent lawyers were convicted of criticizing the Justice Ministry and sentenced to prison terms of between five and eight years. Police also detained a liberal women’s rights activist in connection with tweets that allegedly criticized religious officials and promoted the right of Saudi women to drive.

“These prosecutions show just how sensitive the Saudi authorities have become to the ability of ordinary citizens to voice opinions online that the government considers controversial or taboo,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “Instead of pursuing their peaceful online critics, Saudi officials would be better employed in carrying out much-needed reforms.”

 Saudi prosecutors and judges are using vague provisions of a 2007 anti-cybercrime law to charge and try Saudi citizens for peaceful tweets and social media comments. Article 6 criminalizes “producing something that harms public order, religious values, public morals, the sanctity of private life, or authoring, sending, or storing it via an information network,” and imposes penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to three million Saudi Riyals (US$800,000). Full story...

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‘Diabolical & absurd’: Outrage as Save the Children gives Tony Blair Global Legacy Award...

A decision by UK charity Save the Children to give Tony Blair its annual Global Legacy Award has unleashed a torrent of criticism highlighting the former PM’s role in Britain’s 2003 Iraq war and his controversial business dealings in the Middle East.

The former Labour leader, who is currently a key focus of a public inquiry into Britain’s invasion of Iraq, received the honor on Wednesday night at a star-studded gala hosted by the charity in New York.

Save the Children’s decision to offer Blair the award has provoked outrage across the UK, with critics insisting the move utterly discredits the charity.

(...)

Blair was honored with Save The Children's 'Global Legacy Award' in supposed recognition of his vanguard leadership on the world’s international development stage.

 While serving Britain as prime minister, he formally committed the country to allocating 0.7 percent of its GDP to overseas aid. His administration also founded the Department for International Development (DFID). Full story...

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100,000 minority Rohingya Muslims flee persecution in Myanmar...

More than 100,000 minority muslims have fled from religious violence and persecution in Myanmar, charities have said.

In recent weeks violence against Rohingya muslims in western Myanmar has led to a mass exodus, as at least 8,000 people fled to neighbouring Thailand, as well as Bangladesh, India and Nepal.

Rohingya muslims escaped by boat, desperate to escape communal violence that broke out two years and has driven more than 100,000 muslims to flee across the borders to neighbouring countries.

Chris Lewa, director of the nonprofit Rohingya advocacy group Arakan Project, told the Associated Press that an average of 900 people per day are been piling into cargo ships moored off Rakhine state since the 15 October.

Lewa said that some Rohingya families have been told the huge cargo ships already have started arriving in Thailand. But Rohingya people who fled to Thailand still faced deportation and often fell victim to human traffickers. Full story...

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Media ‘gagged over bid to report MP child sex cases’

The security services are facing questions over the cover-up of a Westminster paedophile ring as it emerged that files relating to official requests for media blackouts in the early 1980s were destroyed.

Two newspaper executives have told the Observer that their publications were issued with D-notices – warnings not to publish intelligence that might damage national security – when they sought to report on allegations of a powerful group of men engaging in child sex abuse in 1984. One executive said he had been accosted in his office by 15 uniformed and two non-uniformed police over a dossier on Westminster paedophiles passed to him by the former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle.

The other said that his newspaper had received a D-notice when a reporter sought to write about a police investigation into Elm Guest House, in southwest London, where a group of high-profile paedophiles was said to have operated and may have killed a child. Now it has emerged that these claims are impossible to verify or discount because the D-notice archives for that period “are not complete”.

Officials running the D-notice system, which works closely with MI5 and MI6 and the Ministry of Defence, said that files “going back beyond 20 years are not complete because files are reviewed and correspondence of a routine nature with no historical significance destroyed”. Full story...

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  2. Father claims police covered up son’s murder by Westminster paedophile ring...
  3. 'I watched Tory MP murder a boy during depraved Westminster VIP...
  4. Thatcher 'personally covered up' child abuse allegations against senior ministers...
  5. Jimmy Savile interviews censored by police to remove references to Royals...
  6. I had underage sex with police officers at guest house used by 'VIP paedophile ring'
  7. Thatcher was the driving force behind knighthood for paedophile Jimmy Savile...

The world's parallel parking champion!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

SWAT Team attacks homeschoolers with Tasers, pepper spray in warrantless raid...

A report published last night on World Net Daily outlines the shocking details of a warrantless raid on a Missouri homeschooling family by a SWAT Team that forced its way into the family's home, Tasered the father, pepper-sprayed the mother and put their children in the custody of social service workers.

Jason and Laura Hagan, of New Hampton. have filed a lawsuit against Capt. David Glidden of Nodaway County, Missouri as a result of the raid. The lawsuit seeks compensatory damages, punitive damages, as well as attorneys costs and fees, and was brought on behalf of the couple by the Home School Legal Defense Association. A court has already ruled the raid was a violation of the family's constitutional rights.

According to the report, attorney James Mason, senior counsel for HSLDA, told World Net Daily the Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure were added to the Constitution for a reason.

"We need to be vigilant," Mason said. "We need to be willing to stand up for our rights."

He said authorities sometimes need to be reminded that "rules apply to them, too." Full story...

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The future of relationships? Soon millions of men will be having sex with life-like female robots...

If men had a choice between real women and female robots that were almost “virtually indistinguishable” from real women, which would they choose? Certainly many men would never be willing to totally give up on relationships with living, breathing women, but as robotic technology continues to advance at an exponential rate there will be men (and women) that will be tempted to abandon real relationships entirely. And that day is approaching a lot faster than you may think. As you will read about below, incredibly life-life female robots are being introduced in Japan right now. The creators of these robots are not designing them for sexual intercourse at the moment, but experts say that it is only a matter of time before this technology is adapted for such purposes. The potential market for female sex androids is absolutely massive, and there are no laws against such a thing in most countries. But as men all over the globe begin acquiring these sex droids, what will that do to real relationships between men and women and what will that say about our society?

With each passing year, robots are becoming much more like humans. And for some reason, many of these robot designers purposely choose to have their robots resemble very attractive young women.

One of these very attractive female robots, “Asuna”, has created quite a stir in Japan recently. The following is from a recent Daily Mail article about this remarkable droid…Full story...

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US fire chief caught on camera 'refusing to help crash victims because they're black'

Shocking footage has emerged in the US that appears to show a Kentucky fire chief refusing to provide assistance to a family involved in a road traffic accident because they are black.

The video, captured on the body camera of a police officer for the Bullitt County Sheriff’s department, purports to show Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hatfield responding to an accident involving a white man in a pickup truck and a black family of four.

According to WDRB News, which obtained the video, the initial stages show Hatfield offering to help change the tyre on Loren Dicken’s pickup to “save [him] a bill”.

Hatfield is then showed Dicken to a waiting ambulance and, according to WDRB News, he saw that the white crash victim was picked up from hospital by firefighters and taken to the local station, where his car was waiting for him. More + video...

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Paedophile orgies in luxury flats and claims three boys were murdered by VIPs: Special report into the growing stench of a cover-up by the Establishment...

The claim was as clear as it was chilling: behind the genteel façade of one of London’s most famous apartment blocks, children faced abuse on an industrial scale.

Every weekend, groups of vulnerable boys from local care homes were being smuggled to an address in Dolphin Square, Pimlico. There, after being plied with alcohol, they suffered sickening sexual assaults.

The paedophile ring orchestrating these crimes had, over time, come to believe it enjoyed immunity, a whistle-blower told police at the time.

After all, members were said to include a cross-section of Britain’s most influential politicians.

‘I had been specifically told that we were dealing with Conservative MPs,’ that whistle-blower, John Mann, recalled to me this week. ‘That’s one of the things which stood out for me.

‘Another was how violent it sounded. There was talk of dogs being involved and beatings. I would describe it as quite awful; the sort of thing you don’t easily forget.’ Full story...

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  2. 'I watched Tory MP murder a boy during depraved Westminster VIP...
  3. Thatcher 'personally covered up' child abuse allegations against senior ministers...
  4. Jimmy Savile interviews censored by police to remove references to Royals...
  5. I had underage sex with police officers at guest house used by 'VIP paedophile ring'
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  7. Police quiz 62-year-old who advised Cameron on web filters...

Ukip's Rochester win shows voters no longer trust the main parties...

The headline on this column last week was “Miliband is driving white van man into the arms of Ukip”. I promise loyal readers that I did not conspire with Emily Thornberry to make my prediction come true. But I must thank her all the same. Her mocking Tweet during Thursday’s by-election polling pictured a white van in front of a St George’s-flag-festooned house in what she thought was Rochester. (Actually, it was Strood: getting places wrong is another good way of irritating locals.) She accidentally parked that much-maligned vehicle right in the middle of public argument, and had to resign from the Labour front bench.

It is taking the main political parties and most of the mainstream media a very long time to adjust to how things are changing.

On the BBC news yesterday morning, I heard its political correspondent telling us that “the [Rochester] result was never in doubt”, and implying that it had not been all that good for Ukip. Never in doubt! Who would have predicted, even six months ago, that two Tory MPs with safe seats would resign them and re-present themselves to their voters, standing for a party which had never before won a seat? Who would have predicted, if they were mad enough to do this, that they would win? Certainly not the BBC. Yet they did all these things.

 At the Conservative Party conference last month, the leadership boasted that although it might not be able to halt Douglas Carswell in Clacton, it would crush the treacherous Mark Reckless in Rochester. David Cameron and the Tory part of the Cabinet more or less stopped governing the country to pound the streets of Rochester (and Strood). Every Tory MP was ordered into the constituency. Yet Mr Reckless won. The Tories did very badly. Labour did worse. The Liberal Democrats did worst of all. What are they all misunderstanding? Full story...

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German duo charged with vandalism in Singapore face caning...

Two German men were charged Saturday with breaking into a Singapore metro depot and spray-painting graffiti on a train, offences punishable by jail time and flogging with a cane.

Andreas Von Knorre and Elton Hinz, both 21, were charged at a district court with committing trespass and vandalism in the early hours of November 8.

Both men appeared relaxed as the charges were read to them in German by an interpreter.

Prosecutors told the judge the two men will be remanded in police custody until November 28 “to assist investigations and re-enact the crime scene”.

The charge sheets said Van Knorre and Hinz broke into the suburban depot and spray-painted graffiti on the exterior of a metro train cabin. The depot is a restricted zone surrounded by fences topped with barbed wire.

The two men were extradited by neighbouring Malaysia on Friday after being apprehended at Kuala Lumpur International Airport as they were leaving for Australia. Full story...

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  6. Teachers in Tanzania caned ... again!

Horse burlesque

Kenya's Catholic bishops claim tetanus vaccine is stealth birth control project...

A row between the Catholic Church and the government over a tetanus vaccine aimed at women in their childbearing years has clergy urging people to shun the injection, saying it’s a stealth population-control ploy.

On Tuesday (Nov.11), the bishops appearing before the parliamentary health committee said they had tested the vaccine privately and were shocked to find it was laced with a birth control hormone called beta human chorionic gonadotropin.

“We are calling on all Kenyans to avoid the tetanus vaccination campaign because we are convinced it is indeed a disguised population control program,” said Bishop Paul Kariuki, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops’ health committee.

The tangle began in March, when bishops became suspicious about the vaccine, which was targeted at women in the reproductive ages of 14 to 49, and excluded boys and men.

An ordinary tetanus shot can protect a person for 10 years, with a booster available for those who have suffered an injury.

The bishops also wondered why the campaign was being rolled out in phases and in secrecy. Full story...

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India to offer online visas to 45 countries...

India will offer online visa facilities for 45 countries including US, Australia, Germany, Israel, Japan, UAE, Palestine, Jordan, Thailand, Singapore and Russia. The facility will be announced on November 27 by the ministries of home affairs and tourism.

Elaborating on the Modi government's focus on tourism and culture, Union minister Mahesh Sharma told TOI, "The PM has given a vision for the importance of Indian tourism. We will take the country's rich heritage and culture via tourism and aviation to the world. We propose to propagate to the four corners of the world. This will create employment for youth whether it is medical tourism, adventure or rural tourism."

Countries that already have visa on arrival and will be able to apply under the electronic travel authorization scheme include Finland, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Phillippines, Laos and South Korea.

Once implemented ETA will allow foreign travelers to apply for a visa and receive an online confirmation within three to five working days. ETA will be available for a 30 day period from the date of the tourist's arrival in India. The government plans to establish a separate website to extend the facility to foreigners intending to visit India as tourists. Full story...

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Online millionaire gives up fortune to live in hut...

Liu Jingchong, 38, was a successful multi-millionaire in China before he tossed all of his possessions and moved to a remote hut on the side of a mountain.

However, the former manufacturing and textile baron might never have left behind the rat race in the bustling Guangdong province had it not been for a freak car accident — and a book.

“It is true that I earned a lot of money and I can’t say I hated my life,” Jingchong told Central European News. “I would even say that I loved it, but all that changed when friends of mine and I had a car accident in a remote part of the country in north-western China’s Qinghai province.”

“We needed to get a new car and not all of us were fit to travel immediately. But as I was relatively OK, I stayed in a hotel where about the only thing to do was read a book on Buddhism.”

“I have to say it’s changed my life.” Full story...

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Five seniors die in Georgia care center after receiving flu shot...

Healthcare workers at Hope Assisted Living & Memory Care Center in Dacula, Georgia, whose identities have not been made known as of this writing, have informed Health Impact News that on November 7, 2014, five residents of the center received flu vaccinations, only to die one week later.

The workers also explained that these individuals immediately developed a fever after receiving the flu shot. Furthermore, they maintain that the number of people who died during the time frame in which they did is significant; not only was it in the days that followed their flu shot, but one source notes that, typically, the center "maybe loses a couple of people every 6 months or longer to Alzheimers," but five people in a one-week period is very atypical.

The center's website says, "The Hope Center is a new state-of -the art [sic] assisted living and Alzheimer Care facility servicing Lawrenceville Georgia, Gwinnett County and Atlanta, Georgia. The 64 residences are designed specifically to care for those afflicted with Alzheimer's and other dementias."

Interestingly, the center maintained a Facebook page before news over this incident became public. An image of its page is shown on Health Impact News, one that happened to include a threatening message from the center to the person(s) responsible for bringing the matter to light. Their then-message read: Full story...

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'Stop already, Sir Bob': Geldof's Band Aid 30 song unpopular among Africans...

Bob Geldof's Ebola charity single looks set to become a huge international hit, but the project has again run into criticism from a pro-Africa website and a London-born, Ghanian-raised singer. The musician, Fuse ODG, admitted he withdrew because he was "shocked and appalled" by the song's lyrics.

Singers like Bono, Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran and One Direction participated in the project, which aimed to prevent Ebola from spreading beyond West Africa.

It is also far from a hit across the continent it is sung for, if iTunes chart figures are any guide.

Do They Know It's Christmas has sold over 250,000 copies in three days in the United Kingdom and the country's official charts company predicts it will top the singles chart.

It is set to raise funds worldwide too, already making No.1 on the iTunes singles chart in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada and No.8 in the United States.

The song has created less excitement in Africa though, sitting at No.3 in South Africa, but No.8 in Ghana, No.15 in Kenya, No.18 in Egypt, No.26 in Uganda and No.31 in Nigeria. Ebola-affected nations Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea do not have iTunes music charts. Full story...

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Don't let me down by one-year-old Diego Mello...