Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Prettiots - Boys (I dated in highschool)

Police state government to start surveilling your poop in real time for illicit drug use…

RFID tag readers in toilets will upload urine composition to the feds

The runaway surveillance state in America has just taken a leap into the gutter. Or the sewer, actually, where government goons running their fraudulent "war on drugs" have begun to monitor raw sewage for traces of illicit drug use.

The American Chemical Society reports this as GOOD news, saying:

The war on drugs could get a boost with a new method that analyzes sewage to track levels of illicit drug use in local communities in real time. The new study, a first-of-its-kind in the U.S., was published in the ACS journal Environmental Science & Technology and could help law enforcement identify new drug hot spots and monitor whether anti-drug measures are working.

Sure. Because at a time when there's a race war in America, the nation is headed for financial chaos, North Korea is threatening to nuke Washington D.C. and the world's most evil Monsanto operative -- Hillary Clinton -- is threatening to occupy the White House, what America really needs right now is police slogging through s%#t to "crack down" on recreational drug users, half of whom probably work for the government in the first place.

As part of this so-called "sewage epidemiology" pilot program, scientists reportedly monitored sewage in Albany, New York. "[T]he scientists found cocaine in 93 percent of all untreated samples," reports the ACS, seemingly astonished at this high number. Full story...

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Top meteorologist blasts Obama's 'absurd climate change claim'

Joe Bastardi, former chief long range forecaster at Accuweather and master weather predictor for WeatherBell Analytics, blasted President Obama's "absurd" claim that climate change is a factor for the rise in terrorism. He then turned his ire towards the media and implored them to do their job and counter these false claims.

In a series of messages posted to Twitter, Bastardi replaced the impassioned rhetoric, and media ignorance, with scientific weather maps and historical facts:

(...)

On Friday, Bastardi published an opinion piece to The Patriot Post continuing his fight against absurd claims, but this time set his sights on the Anthropogenic Global Warming alarmists that are driving the policies of the president. In his article "Disaster Du Jour," Bastardi writes:

Sometimes I think the AGW crowd is like a swarm of locusts, moving from field to field. It’s actually a great strategy because there’s always going to be some location on earth [sic] where some kind of extreme is occurring — though, in most places, the weather is tranquil the majority of the time. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be so many people on the planet, which I suspect is another agenda that drives all this. Simply find a place where a rare event is occurring, then blast headlines that claim it’s because man is destroying the planet.

 Bastardi takes on the California drought concern, reminding that it's not only a natural occurrence, but is not helped by "atrocious planning" and federal guidelines that protect indigenous tiny three-inch long fish, the Delta smelt, rather than diverting lake water to residents. Full story...

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Woman accidentally shoots herself while taking selfie...

A young Russian woman accidentally shot herself in the head with a pistol while posing for a selfie, Russian news agencies reported Friday, citing police.

The 21-year-old found a 9mm handgun left behind by a security guard at her Moscow office and decided to pose for a photograph holding it, a police spokesman told Interfax news agency.

While taking a selfie with one hand, she accidentally pressed the gun's trigger, shooting herself in the temple at close range.

The incident which happened Thursday but was confirmed by police on Friday, led to the woman being hospitalised in a Moscow clinic.

The victim was in a "serious condition" on Friday, a spokeswoman for Moscow's Sklifosovsky hospital told RIA Novosti state news agency. Full story...

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Nigeria child bride, who killed husband and three others, to be cleared of murder charges

After months of legal motions, stop-and-start court proceedings and behind-the-scenes negotiating, prosecutors in northern Nigeria on Wednesday announced they would move to drop charges against Wasila Tasiu, a child bride who was accused of killing her newlywed husband and three others.

Tasiu was arrested in April of last year in her rural village in Nigeria’s northern Kano State. Her attorney said she confessed to police to putting rat poison in the meal of her husband, Umaru Sani, who shared it with three other people. All four died.

Tasiu and Sani had married 17 days earlier, but Tasiu said she didn’t love the man, and was forced into marriage by her father. All this happened when Tasiu was either 14, according to her family, or 11, according to Tasiu’s lawyer. (Official birth records are rare in much of rural northern Nigeria.)

The case sparked uproar within Nigeria and overseas, fueled in part by erroneous reports in some local and international news outlets saying that Tasiu could face death for her crimes (that was never true; Kano State law prohibits the death penalty for minors) — but it also presented a dilemma for authorities in Kano State.

On the one hand, Tasiu had confessed to killing four people. But she is also a young girl raised in a village with no paved roads and no school, where polygamy and child marriage are common. Her attorney says she was forced to marry — and sleep with — a man she didn’t love. She killed, yes, but she was also backed into a corner. Full story...

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Yemen crisis: Over 1,000 civilians dead as UN warns Saudi Arabia, militias and Houthi rebels...

The United Nations has revealed that at least 1,037 civilians have now been killed in Yemen since the end of March.

It has warned Saudi Arabia and its allies – which began a bombing campaign in Yemen eight weeks ago – as well as Houthi rebels and other militia groups to adhere to obligations under international law not to harm civilians.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) estimates that of the more than 1,000 dead, at least 130 are women and 234 children. A total of 2,453 civilians have been injured.

"There has also been massive destruction of civilian infrastructure, particularly in Aden and Sada'ah," Cécile Pouilly, OHCHR spokesperson told reporters in Geneva.

Saudi Arabia announced an end to Operation Decisive Storm – under which it had pounded Sana'a and Houthi towns and cities in the north with air strikes for over a month – in April. Full story...

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Smart dog solves a wooden problem...

All unhappy families: The downfall of the Duggars

On Thursday, news broke that Josh Duggar, the oldest son of the Duggar family's 19 children, had, as a teenager, allegedly molested five underage girls. Four of them, allegedly, were his sisters.

The information came to light because, in 2006—two years before 17 Kids and Counting first aired on TLC, and thus two years before the Duggars became reality-TV celebrities—the family recorded an appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Before the taping, an anonymous source sent an email to Harpo warning the production company Josh’s alleged molestation. Harpo forwarded the email to authorities, triggering a police investigation (the Oprah appearance never aired). The news was reported this week by In Touch Weekly—after the magazine filed a Freedom of Information Act request to see the police report on the case—and then confirmed by the Duggars in a statement posted on Facebook.

The Duggars, Jim Bob and Michelle, knew what Josh had done; prior to the Harpo incident, however, they had handled the matter privately. But that their sad secret would be revealed because the family did an interview with Oprah seems, in retrospect, appropriate. All reality TV—and reality TV about families, in particular—revels in the systemic collision of intimacy and publicity, the none-of-your-business and the everybody’s-business. All famous families are alike; all famous families are unhappy in their own way.

(...)

Not so the Duggars, who use their fame—their TV show(s), their book(s), their various political appearances—as platforms for evangelism. And evangelism not just for a religion, but for something more basic: a lifestyle. A lifestyle that is so inflected with moral messaging that we might as well call it A Way of Life. The Duggar children are home-schooled. Michelle Duggar, who recently recorded a robocall arguing against protections for LGBT and transgender residents of Fayetteville, Arkansas, doesn't allow her daughters to wear shorts or skirts with hems that fall above the knee because an exposed thigh, she has explained, amounts to "nakedness and shame." The girls generally avoid beaches and swimming pools under the same logic. Jessa Duggar (whose recent wedding TLC treated as a Very Special Event, dedicating multiple episodes to it) married her fiancé not just having never had sex with him, but having never kissed him. Full story...

Facebook status updates reveal low self-esteem and narcissism...

Psychologists at Brunel University London surveyed Facebook users to examine the personality traits and motives that influence the topics they choose to write about in their status updates — something that few previous studies have explored.

The data was collected from 555 Facebook users who completed online surveys measuring the ‘Big Five’ personality traits — extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness — as well as self-esteem and narcissism.

(...)

“Although our results suggest that narcissists’ bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays. Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”

The research team said further studies should examine responses to particular status update topics, the likeability of those who update about them, and whether certain topics put people at greater risk of being unfriended. Full story...

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Sold for ransom: On the trail of Thailand's human traffickers...

Earlier this month, I accompanied a group of Thai volunteers through the steamy mangrove forest of an island on the Andaman coast. They were following up hazy reports of unmarked graves on the island; it was known to have been used by traffickers to hold large groups of migrants while they waited for transport south towards the Malaysian border.

They dug down deep into the waterlogged soil, before the first fragments of bone appeared. Then they pulled at a soggy wet cloth. It was a dress. Inside were the yellowing bones of a woman. Who she was, or how she died, we still do not know. But it is almost certain she was one of the migrants.

She must have endured a gruelling sea journey to reach this desolate spot. Had she lived, the ordeal ahead of her, on her route to a better life in Malaysia, might have been even worse.

Last October, I was in almost exactly the same area. We had dashed down from Bangkok on news that a group of migrants had been rescued by officials in the district of Takua Pa. In the community hall we found 81 men in acute distress, weeping and praying.

Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing here from mistreatment in Myanmar for several years - but this time the men were not Rohingyas. They were Bangladeshis. And some of them told us they had been forced on to the boats that transported them here. Full story...

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Hackers build a new Tor client - Astoria - designed to beat the NSA...

Anonymity’s toughest adversaries are hackers with the full-force and backing of Beijing, London, and Washington, D.C.

With the threat of powerful intelligence agencies, like the NSA, looming large, researchers have built a new Tor client called Astoria designed specifically to make eavesdropping harder for the world's richest, most aggressive, and most capable spies.

Tor, the world’s most popular anonymity network, works like this: A user fires up the client and connects to the network through what's called an entry node. To reach a website anonymously, the user’s Internet traffic is then passed encrypted through a so-called middle relay and then an exit relay (and back again). That user-relay connection is called a circuit. The website on the receiving end doesn’t know who is visiting, only that a faceless Tor user has connected.

An eavesdropper shouldn’t be able to know who the Tor user is either, thanks to the encrypted traffic being routed through 6,000 nodes in the network.

But something called "timing attacks" change the situation. When an adversary takes control of both the entry and exit relays, research shows they can potentially deanonymize Tor users within minutes.

A full 58 percent of Tor circuits are vulnerable to network-level attackers, such as the NSA or Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), when they access popular websites, according to new research from American and Israeli academics. Chinese users are the most vulnerable of all to these kinds of attacks, with researchers finding 85.7 percent of all Tor circuits from the country to be vulnerable. Full story...

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Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations...

Russia's media watchdog has written to Google, Twitter and Facebook warning them against violating Russian Internet laws and a spokesman said on Thursday they risk being blocked if they do not comply with the rules.

Roskomnadzor said it had sent letters this week to the three U.S.-based Internet firms asking them to comply with Internet laws which critics of President Vladimir Putin have decried as censorship.

"In our letters we regularly remind (companies) of the consequences of violating the legislation," said Roskomnadzor spokesman Vadim Ampelonsky.

He added that, because of the encryption technology used by the three firms, Russia had no way of blocking specific websites and so could only bring down particular content it deemed in violation of law by blocking access to their whole services.

To comply with the law, the three firms must hand over data on Russian bloggers with more than 3,000 readers per day, and take down websites that Roskomnadzor sees as containing calls for "unsanctioned protests and unrest", Ampelonsky said. Full story...

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Friday, May 22, 2015

The dangers of selfie sticks...

Sweden's most bizarre unsolved murder was (maybe) committed by a ... vampire???

Precious little information exists about what’s known as the Atlas Vampire Murder, so named for the neighborhood in Stockholm where it took place in 1932 ... and for the gruesome crime-scene details left behind by an unknown assailant. Quite obviously, the latter is why this long-cold case is still so tantalizing.

The victim was Lilly Lindström, a 32-year-old prostitute who entertained clients in her apartment; if her spot was typical of apartments in the Atlas neighborhood, it was a small and dark abode. Her downstairs neighbor, Minnie Jansson, was a fellow sex worker who was the last person to see Lilly alive — a few days before her body was discovered, Lilly had stopped by Minnie’s apartment in search of condoms. Minnie began to worry when her friend didn’t reappear the next morning.

When the Stockholm police, alerted by a concerned Minnie, entered her apartment, they found a shocking scene: Full story...

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France to force big supermarkets to give away unsold food to charity...

France’s parliament has pledged to crack down on a national epidemic of food waste by passing a law banning supermarkets destroying unsold food, instead obliging them to give it to charities or put it to other uses such as animal feed.

The national assembly voted unanimously on Thursday evening in favour of the measure, proposed by the Socialist deputy Guillaume Garot, a former food minister. “It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” he said.

The law explicitly bans the practice of supermarkets deliberately spoiling unsold food so it cannot be eaten. Bigger supermarkets – those with a footprint of 400 sq m or more – will be obliged to sign formal contracts with charities by July next year, or face penalties including fines of up to €75,000 (£53,000) or two years in jail.

The measures are part of wider official efforts to halve the amount of food waste in the country by 2025. According to official estimates, the average French person throws out 20-30kg of food a year, at a combined national cost of up to €20bn.

The law will also introduce a programme of education about food waste in schools and businesses. It follows a measure in February to remove the best-before date on fresh foods.

The Fédération du Commerce et de la Distribution, which represents big supermarkets, criticised the plan. “The law is wrong in both target and intent, given the big stores represent only 5% of food waste but have these new obligations,” said Jacques Creyssel, head of the organisation. “They are already the pre-eminent food donors, with more than 4,500 stores having signed agreements with aid groups.” Source...

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Switzerland is the ultimate safe haven for liberty and wealth...

At Global Gold, I am often asked what we would do if, for example, the US were to come out with a confiscation order. My reply is: We would do nothing whatsoever! Why? Quite simply, because no one in Switzerland has the political power to execute such an order! Even if Swiss politicians were to support such a confiscation order, the Swiss people would likely have the final vote. I am confident that any such confiscation order wouldn’t have any chance to be supported by a majority in Switzerland, especially one concerning assets held outside the banking system such as physical precious metals.

Even in the highly unlikely case that it would be accepted, the vote would take at least twelve months, thereby giving the persons affected enough time to move their assets elsewhere. In my view this is the main advantage of a direct democracy, it ensures that the people rather than the politicians in power have sovereignty. The federalist structure of Switzerland moreover guarantees that political power is reduced to a minimum. “Confederation Helvetica” might be the old name for Switzerland, but it is just as valid today as it was in the past.

The mainstream press claims that Western countries are democratic, but is a representative democracy a true democracy? I don’t think so! Voting for a party or a politician who decides “on your behalf” without being held accountable is not how democracy should work. Would you give power of attorney, which you cannot cancel for four years, to someone who cannot be held accountable for their actions on your behalf? I wouldn’t! Full story...

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Outrage in northern Sri Lanka over teenager's rape and murder...

There have been protests across northern Sri Lanka by crowds angry at the rape and murder a week ago of an 18-year-old schoolgirl, Vidya Sivayoganathan.

In the main city, Jaffna, all businesses and schools shut down.

A policeman was injured and tear gas fired after a court was attacked as some protests turned violent.

Police have arrested nine suspects in the killing, but are still being blamed for failing to save the victim.

Local people allege that Vidya, a student from Punguduthivu island near Jaffna city, was gang-raped before she was murdered.

School students protested in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar and Vavuniya districts.

Demonstrators want the immediate punishment of the arrested suspects, who also come from Punguduthivu.

Some have taken matters into their own hands.

Three of the suspects' houses in Punguduthivu had been attacked and burnt down by angry villagers. Full story...

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India's Jayalalithaa to return as chief minister of Tamil Nadu...

One of India's most powerful politicians, Jayalalithaa Jayaram, is set to return as chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu following a nine-month break, after a court overturned her conviction in a corruption case.

A former film star who has a cult-like following in Tamil Nadu, Jayalalithaa also wields influence in national politics, with her AIADMK party holding the third largest number of seats in India's lower house of parliament.

Jayalalithaa is expected to be sworn in as chief minister as early as Saturday. The governor of Tamil Nadu on Friday invited her to form the state government, his office said in a statement.

"Tamil Nadu, which was suffering without its mother, is now getting her back," said V.P. Kalairajan, a state legislator from her party.

Hundreds of supporters gathered to celebrate outside Jayalalithaa's home in Chennai, the state capital, and members of her party handed out sweets, with posters 20 feet (6 m) tall being hastily put up in anticipation of her return. Full story...

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Arriving at school on a bicycle in Holland...



The large majority of Dutch children cycle to school. This is how they arrive at a school's bicycle parking facility in 's-Hertogenbosch (aka Den Bosch) in the Netherlands. There is nothing special about this school. All over the Netherlands schools look like this between 8 and 8.30 in the morning. Source...

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Updated NASA data: Global warming not causing any polar ice retreat...

Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.

The timing of the 1979 NASA satellite instrument launch could not have been better for global warming alarmists. The late 1970s marked the end of a 30-year cooling trend. As a result, the polar ice caps were quite likely more extensive than they had been since at least the 1920s. Nevertheless, this abnormally extensive 1979 polar ice extent would appear to be the “normal” baseline when comparing post-1979 polar ice extent.

Updated NASA satellite data show the polar ice caps remained at approximately their 1979 extent until the middle of the last decade. Beginning in 2005, however, polar ice modestly receded for several years. By 2012, polar sea ice had receded by approximately 10 percent from 1979 measurements. (Total polar ice area – factoring in both sea and land ice – had receded by much less than 10 percent, but alarmists focused on the sea ice loss as “proof” of a global warming crisis.)

A 10-percent decline in polar sea ice is not very remarkable, especially considering the 1979 baseline was abnormally high anyway. Regardless, global warming activists and a compliant news media frequently and vociferously claimed the modest polar ice cap retreat was a sign of impending catastrophe. Al Gore even predicted the Arctic ice cap could completely disappear by 2014.

In late 2012, however, polar ice dramatically rebounded and quickly surpassed the post-1979 average. Ever since, the polar ice caps have been at a greater average extent than the post-1979 mean.

Now, in May 2015, the updated NASA data show polar sea ice is approximately 5 percent above the post-1979 average. Full story...

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Paralysed man has been able to control a robotic limb with a mind-reading chip implanted in his brain

A man has been able to control a robotic limb with a mind-reading chip implanted in his brain.

It allowed Erik Sorto, from California, to sip a drink unaided for the first time in 10 years.

The details, published in Science, reveal how complex bursts of electrical signals in his brain could be interpreted into commands for the arm.

Experts said the results made brain-controlled robotics closer to being a reality.

Mr Sorto was shot at the age of 21. The damage to his spinal cord left him paralysed from the neck down. Full story...

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U.S. and Israel have worst inequality in the developed world...

The U.S. and Israel have the worst inequality in the developed world, according to a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The OECD found that the gap between rich and poor is at record levels in most of its 34 member countries. But the U.S. and Israel stood out from the pack.

In the U.S., the richest 10% of the population earn 16.5 times the income of the poorest 10%. In Israel, the richest 10% earn 15 times that of the poorest.

That compares with the average ratio of 9.6 times across the OECD.

The income gap has been growing steadily in recent decades. In the 1980s, the rich made about 7 times as much as the poor.

The report also reveals wealth inequality is even more extreme than income inequality. Full story...

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Hundreds of tech companies line up to oppose TPP trade agreement...

More than 250 tech companies have signed a letter demanding greater transparency from Congress and decrying the broad regulatory language in leaked parts of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bill.

The TPP would create an environment hostile to journalists and whistleblowers, said policy directors for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Fight for the Future, co-authors of the letter. “TPP’s trade secrets provisions could make it a crime for people to reveal corporate wrongdoing ‘through a computer system’,” says the letter. “The language is dangerously vague, and enables signatory countries to enact rules that would ban reporting on timely, critical issues affecting the public.”

Among the signatories are activist, sci-fi author and Guardian tech columnist Cory Doctorow. “Democracies make their laws in public, not in smoke-filled rooms,” Doctorow wrote. “If TPP’s backers truly believed that they were doing the people’s work, they’d have invited the people into the room. The fact that they went to extreme, unprecedented measures to stop anyone from finding out what was going on – even going so far as to threaten Congress with jail if they spoke about it – tells you that this is something being done *to* Americans, not *for* Americans.”

Also on the list were prominent members of the open source community, including David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework, image hosting company Imgur and domain name manager Namecheap. Full story...

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

French drug dealers offer customer loyalty cards!!!

Drug dealers in the southern port city of Marseille made headlines in France on Thursday thanks to their business venture of launching loyalty cards for their customers.

When buying cannabis from the Marseille dealers, customers are given a rewards card including the product price list, opening hours (11am to midnight), and a message that says "We look forward to seeing you in the neighbourhood, thanks for your loyalty".

"I thought I was hallucinating," one buyer told regional paper La Provence.

"I thought I was at a pizzeria or something."

 Indeed, the card seems exactly like something a pizza or coffee shop would offer, with ten unstamped squares on the opposite side and another typed message explaining that customers get a discount of €10 after all boxes were filled. Full story...

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Dogs love to take a drink from the water hose...

Tourist faces jail in Dubai for MOLESTATION after tapping policewoman on shoulder...

A LOST tourist is facing six months in jail for molestation after tapping a female police officer on the shoulder in Dubai.

The tourist, from Kazakhstan, fell foul of the UAE's strict rules after asking her where the Dubai Mall was.

He then allegedly pushed two male officers who came to assist their colleague.

The 49-year-old, also known as KB, denied the charges of molestation and assault in court this week, saying he had "no criminal intention at all".

KB said: "She was talking to some other people, so I tapped her on the shoulder and she turned around and started yelling." Full story...

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Israel to ‘anti-vaxxers': No vaccination, no child support...

When United Torah Judaism inked its coalition agreement with Likud on April 29, party members triumphantly hailed the reversal of a slew of legislative measures implemented by arch-nemesis Yair Lapid, including an increase in monthly child allowances — but it came with one caveat.

Under the terms of the coalition deal, which appointed party member Yaakov Litzman deputy health minister, “the National Insurance law will be amended, such that child allowances will not be given in cases where a parent refuses to vaccinate their child.”

That condition — which did not specify which vaccines would be included — revives a six-year-old debate on the legality of linking over the past few years welfare benefits to vaccinations. It also comes on the heels of a quiet climb in the number of parents opting out of some or all vaccinations, primarily from within some segments of the ultra-Orthodox community as well as Bedouin families in southern Israel with limited access to medical treatment (another group is found among upper-to-middle class Israelis, based on ideological grounds).

The Haredim and Bedouin, among those most resistant to inoculations, are also among Israel’s most impoverished and have the largest families, so they are ultimately the most dependent on the monthly allowances. Hinging benefits on vaccinations, then, puts them in a tight spot. Full story...

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Government witch hunt to eliminate Monsanto critics...

Wonder how a federal agency as large as the USDA can keep claiming pesticides like Roundup are safe?

Wonder how the truth can be kept from leaking out?

Wonder how this agency, tasked with protecting the public from unsafe food, can turn fake science into “real science” like clockwork?

Wonder how, in Hawaii, Monsanto and Dow can defend their toxic, open-air, pesticide experiments as “approved by the USDA?”

Government scientists who believe in exposing the truth are being targeted.

Ten scientists at the US Dept. of Agriculture are on such a target list, because their research findings would harm big-corporate agriculture. Full story...

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12 of the 33 children in this 1973 class photo took their own lives after years of sexual and physical abuse at Ballarat Catholic school...

It should be a photograph filled with happy childhood memories, but instead it tells the tragedy of a community torn apart by horrific child abuse.

The picture shows the 1973 Grade 4 class of St Alipius’ Christian Brothers School in Ballarat. In the second row from the front, standing fourth from the right with his head tilted is Philip Nagle.

As he looks at the image today, instead of bringing a smile to his face, it only stirs up feelings of sorrow and rage, as he claims 12 out of the 33 pupils pictured went on to commit suicide because of the sexual and physical abuse that took place at the school.

But Mr Nagle believes that what happened to his dead classmates will not be forgotten.

The 50-year-old was the first person called on Tuesday at the opening of the Royal Commission on Institutional Child Sex Abuse a paedophile ring involving Catholic clergy in Ballarat in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

At the end of his testimony he asked for a minute's silence to honour his 12 fellow classmates. His only hope now is that more people will go public about the heinous crimes that took place at St Alipius so that justice can still be done. More + photos...

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'Our country could become like Afghanistan': Bangladesh's bloggers are living in fear...

The Bangladeshi blogger who goes by the name of Euklid fears, unsurprisingly, for his safety. But in the face of a spree of attacks on his online colleagues, what frightens him even more is the future of his country, he says. "The government should act quickly and neutralize these militant groups, otherwise Bangladesh could become like Afghanistan or Iraq."

Euklid, a 24-year-old engineering student who describes himself as an "atheist" blogger, was speaking a week after the murder of his fellow writer Ananta Bijoy Das in Bangladesh’s northern city of Sylhet, which has brought to three the number of secular citizen journalists hacked to death in the last three months. A fourth blogger was also killed in similar circumstances just over two years ago.

On Monday, Unesco director-general Irina Bokova condemned the murder of Das, and called on the Bangladesh authorities to bring those responsible to justice.

Expressing fear for safety of citizen journalists in Bangladesh, Bokova added: "Punishing such attacks is indispensable to maintain free public debate and free expression by media professionals and committed citizens alike."

 The macabre killings - involving masked men attacking the writers with machetes on the streets of two of the country’s major cities, and then glorifying in the killings in online posts - have shocked most people in this Muslim-majority but avowedly secular country. Full story...

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1,000 Indian workers dead. The grim reality of Qatar's FIFA World Cup dream...



The 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup will kill more Indians than the numbers of players it will host. This is what Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation said last year, when news of Qatari human rights violations made headlines. A thousand Indians had already died, and a year later, we’ve only rescued Indians from the Gulf country when bombs fell, but ignored the darker, hidden world of Indian migrants in these nations.

In 2013, a Doha hospital reported that over a 1,000 workers were admitted to the trauma unit because of falling from heights, and a “significant” number of them died. Working 12 hours a day in 50 degree heat, without enough water - that’ll knock anyone out.

But their ordeal had begun much before that – many reported having lower salaries (which were rarely, or never paid), having their passports taken away, and working seven days a week. And as the 2022 deadline for the World Cup approaches, it is getting worse.

Migrant workers live in overcrowded accommodation with no air conditioning (a necessity in the scorching heat of the Middle East), and are exposed to overflowing sewage and uncovered septic tanks. Many are dumped and forgotten in squalid accommodations by companies who promised them a better life. Full story...

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Indians apologise en masse to British woman after man masturbated at her at bus stop...

A British woman left shaken after a man publicly masturbated while staring at her in India has been inundated with apologies and support.

Lucy Hemmings, 27, said Indian men and women had sent her countless messages after reading her blog post about the incident to say sorry.

“On behalf of my fellow countrymen I would like to apologise for what happened,” one man wrote.

“It is truly disheartening to know that you have had such an experience while you were in my country…I pray that you will have a safer environment from now on.”

Another Indian well-wisher wrote that they felt “ashamed and sorry”, while another said: “A bunch of people, out of a billion population, make the whole of India ashamed. Full story...

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Qatar World Cup: Campaign to boycott the 2022 World Cup underway...

The Qatar World Cup is facing an overwhelming deal of criticism after reports of the dangerous working conditions of migrant workers. The 2022 World Cup has been marred by controversy ever since it was announced that Qatar would host the biggest event in all of soccer.

Due to the scorching summer heat in Qatar, FIFA, soccer’s international governing organization, has announced that the 2022 World Cup will be the first to be played in the winter. However, the
Qatar World Cup is facing much more serious criticisms than scheduling.

A social media campaign is now putting pressure on not just FIFA but also the sponsors of the 2022 World Cup by boycotting their products.

Sponsors supporting FIFA and the Qatar World Cup include McDonalds, Adidas, Visa, Coca-Cola, Kia, Hyundai, Budweiser and Gazprom. The campaign, #FIFASlavery, aims to promote awareness of not only the deaths of South Asian migrants and their poor working conditions, but also the problem of corruption, homophobia, misogyny and harassment of journalists associated with the Qatar World Cup. Full story...

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1,400 investigated in child sex abuse inquiry, including politicians and other high-profile individuals...

Officer leading Operation Hydrant inquiry says out of 1,433 alleged offenders 76 were politicians, 43 were from music industry and 135 were from TV, film or radio

Police across the country are investigating more than 1,400 men – including 261 high-profile individuals – over allegations of child abuse in the past, a senior officer running the national operation has revealed.

The scale of alleged child abuse across society – both recent and non-recent – was stark, said Ch Const Simon Bailey, who runs Operation Hydrant, the national coordinating team overseeing the various inquiries.

Figures from police forces in England and Wales published on Wednesday reveal that 1,433 men have been identified in reports of alleged abuse by victims, since the operation was set up in 2014.

(...)

Of these 216 are dead, 76 are politicians, both national and local figures, 43 are from the music industry, 135 from TV, film or radio and seven from the world of sport. The cases include recent high-profile convictions, including Rolf Harris, Gary Glitter and Max Clifford. Full story...

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Brazil blogger known for reporting on corruption found decapitated...

The decapitated body of a Brazilian blogger known for denouncing corrupt politicians has been found in a rural zone in south-eastern Minas Gerais state, police said on Wednesday.

Evany José Metzker, 67, was reported missing five days before his body was found near the town of Padre Paraíso in one of Brazil’s poorest regions.

“His hands were tied behind his back and his body showed signs of torture,” a police press officer said, adding that the murder was apparently motivated by Metzker’s recent investigations into child prostitution and drug trafficking.

Metzker’s credit cards, a cheque book and his ID card were found near his body. Full story...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Key of Awesome and "Look at your phone"

Five of the world's largest banks are to pay fines totalling $5.7bn for manipulating the foreign exchange market...

Five of the world's largest banks are to pay fines totalling $5.7bn (£3.6bn) for manipulating the foreign exchange market, US officials say.

Four of the banks - JPMorgan, Citigroup, Barclays, RBS - have agreed to plead guilty to US criminal charges.

The fifth, UBS, will plead guilty to rigging benchmark interest rates.

Barclays was fined the most, $2.4bn, as it did not join other banks in November to settle investigations by UK, US and Swiss regulators.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said that "almost every day" for five years from 2007, currency traders used a private electronic chat room to manipulate exchange rates.

Their actions harmed "countless consumers, investors and institutions around the world", she said. Full story...

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