Saturday, August 01, 2015

Kodaikanal won't (Unilever clean up your mess)

Environmentalist Prince Charles flies 70 miles to attend a polo match...

Environmentalist and heir to the throne Prince Charles is the subject of a decent amount of public ire after flying 70 miles to a polo match – burning around 200 gallons of aviation fuel in the process.

Displaying the sort of rank opulence that you'd expect from someone poised to inherit a crown full of giant diamonds, Charles has been branded a "hypocrite" after instructing the royal helicopter in Hampshire to fly to Highgrove, his Gloucestershire home, and then on to Windsor Great Park, 68 miles away, the location of Guards Polo Club. He reportedly reached his final destination in a Jaguar.

The polo match he attended was the final of the Coronation Cup between England and South America. England were victorious. After watching Blighty beat Johnny Foreigner he was taken back to Highgrove in the chopper, which was then flown back to its base.

Graham Smith, head of Republic, an anti-monarchy pressure group, said, "Charles is a serial hypocrite. There is no justification for flying around in helicopters. You're not going to convince a family of four to cut down on car use when a prince is flying around the country by helicopter." Full story...

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France bikini protests go viral as women post photos in swimsuits after girl gang attack...

Hundreds of women protested in person and on social media this week after a French 21-year-old was allegedly attacked for wearing a bikini in a public park. Swimsuit-clad demonstrators held a rally in the Léo Lagrange park in Reims, France, while others posted photos of themselves with the hashtag #JePorteMonMaillotAuParcLeo, which translates to "I wear my bikini in the Leo park." The campaign has since gone viral, Mirror reported.

The protests stemmed from a July 22 incident in which Angelique Sloss, 21, was beaten up while sunbathing by a group of five young women who lived in a nearby Muslim neighborhood. Police said the women, all between the ages of 16 and 24, yelled at Sloss for being "immoral" and exposing her skin. They told her to get dressed, and a fight ensued.

Some initially speculated the attack was motivated by religion, but authorities later released a statement saying it had "absolutely nothing to do with Islam," the Independent reported. It was just a scuffle between rival girl gangs. "We have to be very careful not to jump to conclusions,” Reims Mayor Arnaud Robinet said.

SOS Racisme, an anti-racism organization, responded to what it called "bikinigate" by organizing a protest in the rain and circulating the hashtag #JePorteMonMaillotAuParcLeo. Women around the world took pictures in bikinis to support Sloss and argue for their right to wear whatever they want. "All women are free in their bodies, and no one can decide for them," one user tweeted. Full story...

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Starbucks pays corporation tax of less than €4,200...

Abridged accounts just filed by Ritea Ltd — formerly Starbucks Coffee Company (Ireland) Ltd — states that the company would have been liable for a tax bill of €289,929 in 2014.

However, the tax bill was reduced through mainly €200,000 in non-taxable income and €83,048 in group relief.

Starbucks Coffee Company (Ireland) did pay corporation tax of €34,980 in 2011 in Ireland — its only corporation tax paid since 2005 and during that six-year period the firm paid €5.7m in royalty and licensing fees to its parent company.

Pre-tax profits last year rose threefold to €2.3m.

Ritea’s accounts show the firm had the sharp rise in profits largely as a result of an exceptional gain of €1.27m. The firm had the increase in pre-tax profits in spite of its gross profit dropping 28% from €2m to €1.4m in the 10 months to the end of July last. Full story...

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Palestinian baby burned to death in settler attack...

An 18-month-old Palestinian boy has burned to death after settlers set fire to his family house in Duma village, south of Nablus city, in the occupied West Bank.

The parents of Ali Saad Dawabsheh and his four-year-old brother were also injured in the attack, sources told Al Jazeera on Friday morning.

Up to 75 percent of their bodies suffered burns, according to medics in Nablus' Rafidia hospital.

The Israel army issued a statement saying that they were trying to locate the suspects in the attack.

"This attack against civilians is nothing short of a barbaric act of terrorism. A comprehensive investigation is under way in order to find the terrorists and bring them to justice," Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said in the statement. Full story...

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Thai fishing industry turns to trafficking: 'We witnessed girls being raped again and again'

Hypnotic trance in Delhi: Monsanto, GMOs and the looting of India’s agriculture...

We are about to enter August. And that’s a special month in India. Each year, on the 15th, the country commemorates the anniversary of independence from Britain.

To mark the occasion, official public celebrations take place in Delhi with flag waving and fly-pasts, and the corporate media is awash with patriotic sentiments.

Behind the scenes, however, agriculture, the very heart and soul of the nation, will continue to be restructured for the benefit of foreign interests, raising the question: just where does the notion independence sit with such a policy?

In India, small farms account for 92 percent of all farms and occupy around 40 percent of all agricultural land. They form the bedrock of food production. Indeed, small farms produce most of the world’s food . Facilitated by an appropriate policy framework, smallholders could easily feed the global population.

Throughout the world, however, there is a concerted effort to remove farmers from the land. Smallholders are squeezed onto less than a quarter of the world’s farmland, and the world is fast losing farms and farmers through the concentration of land into the hands of big agribusiness, institutional investors and the powerful moneyed classes. If nothing is done to reverse this trend, the world will lose its capacity to feed itself. Full story...

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Young Africans to Obama: 'Clean your own house first'

(...)

Kenyans and Ethiopians were overwhelmingly enthusiastic, even fanatical, about their returning East African son, but there were many who felt America, even Barack Obama, was not in a position to lecture others on some of these points.

"Most Americans think about what needs to change in other countries but they need to solve their own problems," Shiferaw Tilahun, 31, tells me in a coffee shop in Addis Ababa.

"They are interested in other people's problems but they don't care about black people in their own country," Shiferaw says. "Most of our black brothers and sisters are suffering in the US,"

It was clear in both countries that the issue of race, more than any other, had damaged people's perceptions of the US.

"When I speak to my friends and family here in Kenya, their feeling about America is 'clean your own house first'," says Teresa Mbagaya, 28. Full story...

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Life-threatening witchcraft accusations still a grim reality for women worldwide...

Around the world witches are known by different names – mchawi in Swahili, sanguma in Pidgin, boksi in Nepalese – but they have one thing in common; women and children accused of sorcery are hunted, mutilated, exiled, and murdered. UN researchers and human rights agencies estimate the number to be in the thousands annually.

Last week, 63-year-old Purni Orang was dragged from her home in Assam, India, stripped naked, and beheaded, because villagers thought her a witch and blamed her for a local illness. As if that’s not horrifying enough, some 2,000 people have been murdered nationwide after accusations of witchcraft between 2000 and 2012, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau in India.

These modern-day witchcraft-related attacks are not unique to India, they occur in at least 41 countries around the globe including Papua New Guinea, Nepal, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo and multiple European nations.

"This is becoming an international problem – it is a form of persecution and violence that is spreading around the globe," Jeff Crisp of the UN's refugee agency UNHCR told a seminar organized by human rights officials. Full story...

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Facebook ordered to allow fake user names in Germany...

A German privacy watchdog this week ordered Facebook to allow users to join the social network with pseudonyms, Reuters reports, directly challenging the company's "authentic name" policy. In a decision handed down Tuesday, the Hamburg data protection authority said Facebook's name policy violates German privacy laws, adding that the company cannot force users to submit photo identification or change their profile names without their consent.

Facebook has come under increased criticism for its real name policy, with users complaining of having their accounts blocked or their names unilaterally changed. The company clarified its policy in March, saying that users are free to choose their "authentic identity" — the name they go by in real life, which may not be the name that appears on their official ID.

But Facebook still requires users to confirm their names with accepted forms of identification, which Germany's watchdog considers a violation of privacy. In the Hamburg case, a woman who tried to use a Facebook under an alias filed a complaint after the company blocked her account and requested a copy of her ID, before changing her name without her permission.

Facebook's privacy policy has come under fire from regulators across Europe, though the company has long argued that it should only be held to privacy laws in Ireland, where its European operations are headquartered. Johannes Caspar, Hamburg commissioner for data protection and freedom of information, rejected that argument this week, saying: "Facebook has economic activity in Germany with its branch in Hamburg. So: if you like our game, you must play by our rules." Full story...

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Twerking, twerking, twerking...

Windows 10: Here are the privacy issues you should know about...

Windows 10 has just arrived and there’s a new Privacy Policy and Service Agreement from Microsoft coming swiftly in its wake.

The new policies take effect on 1 August and there are a few unsettling things nestling in there that you should be thinking about if you’re using the company’s services and software.

The Privacy Statement and Services Agreements combined come to 45 pages. Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez wrote that they are “straightforward terms and polices that people can clearly understand.” The reality is, you’re probably not going to read them. So I did…

And, like so many other companies, Microsoft has grabbed some very broad powers to collect things you do, say and create while using its software. Your data won’t be staying on your computer, that much is for sure. Full story...

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Why the hell is Windows 10 sharing my wifi passwords?

Look, Microsoft. Just because I am Facebook friends with someone, doesn’t mean I want to share my wifi passwords with them.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens by default in Windows 10. Anyone who I’m Outlook.com contacts with (spammers), Skype friends with (webcam strippers), or Facebook friends with (high school buddies turned webcam strippers) can connect to wifi networks that I have the password for.

It’s part of a system called Wi-Fi Sense, which has been lurking in Windows Phone for a while now. It sends wifi passwords (encrypted; they never see the plaintext password) to your contacts, who can therefore connect to any wifi network that you have the password to. It’s turned on by default, and I had to dig around in a few levels of settings to disable it.

(There’s also a checkbox when you first connect to a wifi network, giving you the option not to share the network. But since Windows 10 helpfully keeps your saved passwords when you upgrade, all the networks you’ve previously connected to are shared by default. My bad — Win10 shares your saved Wi-Fi passwords with other devices signed into your Microsoft account by default, but not through Wi-Fi Sense.) Full story...

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Windows 10 might be free, but your privacy is priceless...

As Windows 10 is launched and downloaded across the globe by early adopters eager to experience the new operating system, a word of caution is needed.

Microsoft, who are no stranger to privacy issues, have installed some worrying new features as default on Windows 10.

You may recall that in 2013 it was revealed that Microsoft worked closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) to allow them to access encrypted messages in Outlook and Hotmail.

It granted NSA and FBI access to SkyDrive, and after purchasing Skype the company actually tripled the amount of videos call the NSA were recording via the service. Full story...

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US police officer charged with murder of unarmed black man...

A US university-campus police officer has been charged with murder after shooting dead an unarmed black man earlier this month.

Ray Tensing stopped stopped Samuel DuBose for a missing front-license plate. The body-cam footage released today shows Mr Tensing shooting Mr DuBose at point-blank range after an apparently calm exchange.

The white police officer went on to claim he was dragged by Mr DuBose's car, but this is not seen in the footage, which appears to show him fall to the ground and then run towards DuBose's crashed vehicle after he had been shot.

Announcing the decision to charge the officer, prosecutor Joseph Deters called the shooting of Samuel DuBose, 43, "senseless" and totally unnecessary.

Mr Deters said "I've been doing this for 30 years... this is the most asinine act I've ever seen a police officer make, totally unwarranted." Full story...

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Entire school performs haka for beloved teacher's funeral...

“Game of Thrones”: This week’s TIME cover with Bush and Clinton is telling you who your dynasty families are, America

Check out this week’s TIME Magazine cover.

“Game of Thrones,” huh? Sounds very royal, doesn’t it?

TIME featured an article all about how, while Hillary and Jeb are appearing to duke it out on the campaign trail, George W. and Bill just appeared together onstage at the Bush Presidential Center “in a celebration of postpartisan good works.”

By the by, wasn’t it Bill Clinton who said George H. W. Bush was like a father to him and he and G. W. are “brothers from another mother”?

It’s all in the family.

Establishment propaganda mouthpiece extraordinaire TIME is ‘talking 2016′ with a Bush and a Clinton because it has already been decided that either a Bush or a Clinton will be taking over the White House after the next “election” Full story...

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The people who can perfectly remember every single day of their lives...

We all have moments when our memory fails us. It gets to Monday morning and we can't tell a co-worker where we were Friday night, or we're doing a pub quiz and for whatever reason we struggle pathetically to remember the name of the lead singer from the Cure. However, for better or for worse, remembering stuff isn't a problem for those with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM).

HSAM – or Hyperthymesia, as it's also known – is characterised by the ability to remember almost every day of your life after the age of ten or 11 years old, down to the most minute detail. When given any past date, people with HSAM can usually recall things like what colour dress they were wearing, or even what the weather was like. It's unknown whether people are born with HSAM or develop the ability in their early years. So far, 61 people in the world have been identified as having HSAM, including 56 in America and five in the UK.

 I asked Joey DeGrandis, a 30-year-old New Yorker with HSAM, to recall what he did on the 9th of July, 1995. He answered down the phone without hesitation: "July 9th, 1995 – it was a Sunday – I was in Chicago with my family for vacation and I believe we went to Shedd Aquarium that day. Another random memory: I remember watching I Love Lucy a few days later at my friend James's house on Tuesday the 11th of July; it was an episode where Lucy and Ethel were crying at the end... but it was 'funny' crying." Full story...

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Singapore's domestic workers routinely exploited and often abused in the service of rich nationals...

Christine’s eyes narrow and her bottom lip shakes when she talks about her former Singapore employer who beat her for taking a biscuit from the kitchen. “She got really angry with me, and after that point she started to hit me every time I irritated her,” she says.

After six months, she decided to run away. A friend had told her about a shelter that looked after domestic workers run by the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), a Singapore charity that supports domestic workers.

The house has around 50 residents, all runaways, and sits on a typical Singapore street, with a chicken and rice shop, a hawker centre and a grocery store nearby.

In any given week, Home estimates that more than 10 new runaway domestic workers will arrive on their doorstep. The three-storey house currently has residents from the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Full story...

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Saudi Arabian royals who annexed an entire public beach for their stay on the French Riviera 'ordered local police not to allow female officers near them'

Saudi Arabian royals who annexed an entire public beach for their stay in the south of France have reportedly ordered local police not to allow female officers anywhere near them.

More than 100,000 people have already signed a petition against billionaire King Salman and his entourage having Mirandole Beach, in Vallauris, between Cannes and Antibes, to themselves.

And yesterday, demonstrators - including nude swimmers - made their feelings known during a protest.

Now the police are furious, suggesting the visitors from the repressive Middle Eastern state do not believe in equal rights.

‘We’re the victims of discrimination,’ said one police source.

‘One of our colleagues was asked to leave the area on Saturday night because the Saudis felt uncomfortable with her around. This kind of discrimination should not be going on in France.’ Full story...

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SISTAR 'Shake It' mirrored dance practice...

Peer claims £300 a day in expenses to walk 200 yards to work at House of Lords...

Baroness Wilcox lives in a £4.5million home 200 yards from the House of Lords, but bills taxpayer up to £5,700 a month for walk to work

A House of Lords peer has been criticised for claiming up to £5,700 a month for walking to work from her £4.5million home just 200 yards away.

Baroness Wilcox, a former Tory minister, has been accused of exploiting a new tax-free payment of up to £300 a day which those who live in London benefit from the most.

The 74-year-old former Cadbury Schweppes director, who has taken home £74,400 in parliamentary attendance allowances, has not broken any rules.

A number of other peers are also thought to be claiming the allowance despite living in and around Westminster.

 Labour MP John Mann said: "It is a scandal as big as the MPs’ expenses scandal. Full story...

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Heartbreaking images reveal the human face of hunger in Yemen: SIX MILLION people are on the brink of starvation as war ravages the desperate country...

These heartbreaking pictures reveal the true face of a civil war that has put six million people on the brink of starvation in Yemen.

Thousands have been killed in the battles between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to an exiled president Abd-Rabby Mansour Hadi, who fled the troubled country in February 2012.

But Oxfam today warned of the pressure blockades on imports are putting on the population, forcing an additional 25,000 people into hunger every day.

Half of the country's 26million population are now struggling to eat, according to Oxfam, as the war in the country rages on.

Oxfam's Yemen country director Philippe Clerc said: 'As the warring parties continue to ignore calls for a ceasefire, the average family in Yemen is left wondering when their next meal will be.'

Nearly 4,000 people have been killed and more than 1.2 million displaced in the conflict so far.

The United Nations say that four fifths of the population need help.

As well as the six million starving people, Oxfam believes 12.9million are hungry. More + photos...

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Windows 10 launch is a 'new era', says Microsoft boss...

Windows 10 marks a "new era" for personal computing, Microsoft's chief executive has said.

The software, launched globally on Wednesday, is the company's attempt to reverse its fortunes in the mobile industry.

Windows 10 will be offered as a free upgrade to most consumers.

However, companies will have to pay for their version, as will PC-makers to pre-install it. Analysts say the strategy is designed to speed adoption.

Speaking exclusively to BBC News, Satya Nadella said: "Windows 10 is a huge milestone for us as a company, and quite frankly the industry."

Microsoft is staggering the release over several weeks, so not everyone will be able to get the upgrade on the launch day. Full story...

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Shaolin Temple 'kung fu abbot' accused of embezzlement and sex with nuns...

China’s Shaolin Temple has defended its abbot after the Buddhist monk was accused of embezzling temple property and paying for sex.

The 1,500-year-old temple, regarded as the birthplace of kung fu, said in a statement that salacious accusations in an open letter posted online last week were “vicious, groundless libel”.

The temple, located in mountains in central Henan province, has asked police to investigate the source of the letter to stem the spread of “false rumours” that has “tarnished the image” of the temple.

The online letter is entitled “Who will supervise the case of Shi Yongxin, the ‘big tiger’” – a term applied to corrupt senior officials – and was purportedly written by a Shaolin disciple named Shi Zhengyi.

 In detailed allegations that date back to the 1990s the letter says that abbot Shi, 50, had sex with Buddhist nuns. It also alleges that he lured one "follower" to Shaolin with money to have sex with her, and then kept her on as a mistress. Full story...

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How Monsanto wrote and broke laws to enter India...

Citizens of the United States are being denied the right to know what they are feeding their families. Despite the fact that 90% of American citizens want GMO labelling on their food, big business is doing everything it can to prevent people from accessing their rights. Representative Pompeo’s bill, popularly known as the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know), has been written almost entirely by the biotech industry lobby. While American citizens are advocating for their rights to knowledge and healthy, affordable food, Monsanto’s legal team is busy on every legislative level trying to prevent this from happening.

Monsanto’s subversion of democratic legal processes is not new. In fact, it is their modus operandi, be it the subversion of LA’s decision to be GMO free by amending the California Seed Law—equating corporations with persons, and making seed libraries and exchange of seed beyond 3 miles illegal— or suing Maui County for passing a law banning GMOs.

Decades before there was a “debate” over GMOs and Monsanto’s PR and law firms became the busiest of bees, India was introduced to this corrupting, corporate giant that had no respect for the laws of the land. When this massive company did speak of laws, these laws had been framed, essentially, by their own lawyers.

Today, Indian cotton farmers are facing a genocide that has resulted in the death of at least 300,000 of their brothers and sisters between 1995 and 2013, averaging 14,462 per year (1995-2000) and 16,743 per year (2001-2011). This epidemic began in the cotton belt, in Maharashtra, where 53,818 farmers have taken their lives. Monsanto, on it’s own website, admits that pink bollworm “resistance [to Bt] is natural and expected” and that the resistance to Bt “posed a significant threat to the nearly 5 million farmers who were planting the product in India”. 84% of the farmer suicides have been attributed to Monsanto’s Bt Cotton, placing the corporation’s greed and lawlessness at the heart of India’s agrarian crisis.

There are three outright illegalities to Monsanto’s existence in India. Full story...

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Enter Pyongyang...

Australian Manus guards found naked with woman sent home amid drugs investigation...

Three Australian guards on Manus Island found naked with a woman who claims she was drugged and raped were sent home before local authorities could investigate, the ABC reports.

PNG police said the men and the local woman were found in a state of undress, drunk and sniffing an unidentified substance in mid-July.

But Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection has angered PNG police by allowing the detention centre guards to return to Australia before an investigation could be carried out.

"Three foreign officials with a lady were said to be having beers and sniffing some hard stuff when they got all excited, removed all their clothes and exposed their bodies," said Manus Island Provincial Police Commissioner Alex N'Drasal.

Commissioner N'Drasal said he had wanted to investigate the incident but the men were sent home soon after the incident allegedly took place. Full story...

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As Yemenis starve, Saudi Arabia is accused of war crimes in the country...

As a unilateral 5-day humanitarian pause declared by the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen appeared to crumble, the aid group Oxfam said Tuesday that half of Yemen's population — almost 13 million people — is struggling to obtain food, and that some 6.5 million people are "on the brink of starvation."

Oxfam said that since the start of conflict between the coalition and Houthi rebels in March, an average of 25,000 additional Yemenis went hungry every day. The worst hit area is Saada governorate, a Houthi stronghold which has been bombarded relentlessly by coalition jets. Fifty percent of the people in Saada face "critical" levels of hunger, the group reported.

Even prior to the outbreak of violence, Yemen was the poorest country in the Arab world, and imported the vast majority of its food, predominantly by sea. Last year, the UN's World Food Program estimated that 10.6 million Yemenis were already food insecure.

Since airstrikes began on March 26, the Saudi-led coalition has installed a de-facto blockade of the country, leading to sparse supplies of basic necessities such as fuel, cooking gas and food like wheat and rice. While the UN and partner organizations are running desperately low on funds in Yemen, Oxfam said even with proper financing, the obstruction of commercial routes by the coalition would prevent locals from accessing the food and fuel they need to survive. Full story...

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Putin ‘is the richest person in the world until he leaves power’

The man who used to be the “Kremlin’s banker” says that as long the Russian president Vladimir Putin remains in power, he’s the richest person in the world.

“Everything that belongs to the territory of the Russian Federation Putin considers to be his,” Sergei Pugachev told The Guardian’s Luke Harding. “Everything – Gazprom, Rosneft, private companies. Any attempt to calculate it won’t succeed.

“He’s the richest person in the world until he leaves power.”

Although Putin’s exact wealth is unclear, hedge fund manager Bill Browder previously estimated it at $200 billion during an interview with CCN’s Fareed Zakaria. Full story...

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Facing corruption scandal, Malaysian PM fires officials investigating him...

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, stung by allegations that he received some $700 million in government money, fired the attorney general who had been investigating him and a deputy who has been among his most prominent critics on Tuesday.

Najib is under increasing pressure over leaked confidential documents that allegedly show the money, from state investment fund 1MDB, went into his personal accounts.

Najib announced over national television Tuesday that his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin will be replaced by Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, a Cabinet member who will also retain his home minister portfolio. Earlier Tuesday, the government announced it had terminated the services of Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail.

Najib said he also dropped four other ministers to strengthen his administration and ensure they can “work as a team.”

“I can accept differences in opinion and criticisms as part of the decision-making process, but these differences in opinion should not be made in an open forum that can affect public perception of the government and the country,” he said. Full story...

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Google bids adieu to its social network Google+...

Google is bidding adieu to Google Plus, a social network that the American search engine had launched four years ago hoping it would become a serious rival to Facebook.

Google has spent the last several months chopping up Google Plus's most useful pieces and making them separate services as it moves away from making Google Plus the central hub for all Google-related activity.

Yesterday, the company announced its most drastic step for breaking up Google Plus.

Google has announced more sweeping changes for Google Plus over the next few months as it restructures network into two distinctly separate products: streams and photos.

Previously, many tasks within Google products (such as, say, commenting on a YouTube video) required a Google Plus profile, but that won't be the case moving forward.

 "People have told us that accessing all of their Google stuff with one account makes life a whole lot easier," Bradley Horowitz, Google's vice president of photos and sharing, wrote in a company blog. Full story...

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Inside a dog retirement home...

70,000 whites murdered in ‘modern’ South Africa; Obama’s African legacy ...

Since Nelson Mandela and the communist African National Congress (ANC) took over South Africa, more than 70,000 whites have been murdered and untold numbers have been robbed, raped and tortured.

But you will not hear about this in the Western media, which fawns over the black terrorists who now run the once-prosperous country.

Claudia Bryan is a South African activist living in London. Her grandmother owned a bakery in South Africa. One day six blacks entered the bakery and gang-raped her. They then tried to shoot her. The gun jammed. In anger they gang raped her again and the 70-something woman died. Robbery was not the motive.

One of the South African Family Relief Project volunteers, who drove this writer around Durban during a recent fact-finding visit to South Africa, related the experience of a co-worker. This man and his adult son were working on their boat at their home in an upscale area when two blacks came up the driveway and demanded the keys to the son’s car. When the father refused, the blacks shot him dead and fled.

Joulene Trichardt, my Johannesburg guide’s daughter-in-law, was one of the managers at a nightclub called Truth several years ago. The night club was open once a week for parties and dances. One night, four armed blacks burst in, firing handguns, and attacked the staff. They herded the managers and the disc jockey into an office. They beat one manager with a pistol and kicked Ms. Trichardt repeatedly when she disobeyed their orders to keep her eyes down and not to look. The bandits made off with the night’s proceeds—400,000 rand (roughly $40,000)—as well as the staff’s cellphones. They were never caught. Full story...

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Porn websites visited 250,000 times on parliament computers...

Over 247,000 attempts were made to visit X-rated websites from the UK Parliament’s computer network last year, with the numbers spiking during parliamentary recess in April, a Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed.

Attempts to access more than 42,000 sites classed as pornographic were made during April alone last year, totaling more than 1,300 each day.

The Freedom of Information request by the Daily Express found the second most active month was October 2014, where there were more than 30,000 attempts to access porn sites.

The figures don’t show which sites were accessed or how long was spent on the pages.

The findings add to the previous total of 350,000 in 2013.

Taxpayers’ Alliance Chief Executive Jonathan Isaby said of the figures: “Some of these ‘visits’ are no doubt the product of pop-ups beyond anybody’s control, but the number is absolutely staggering. Full story...

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Three more police forces in England signal that they will turn blind eye to cannabis use...

Three more police forces have signalled that those who grow cannabis for their own consumption will not be targeted, it has emerged.

Those caught smoking or cultivating the drug on a small scale in Derbyshire, Dorset and Surrey, can expect to escape with little more than a caution, according to reports.

The development comes after Durham Constabulary declared it would only go after people using the drug if there was a complaint or if they were being “blatant”.

The change in attitudes will be seen as a further step towards decriminalisation and follows claims by drug experts that police forces across Britain are quietly turning a blind eye to cannabis use in order to focus their attentions on more pressing priorities.

 While the Government has insisted it has no intention of relaxing the laws on Class B narcotic, police chiefs have increasingly been taking a more lenient approach, with users more likely to receive a warning than face prosecution. Full story...

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Humanitarian occupation of Haiti: 100 years and counting...

This Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the U.S. Occupation of Haiti. On July 28, 1915, U.S. Marines landed on the shores of Haiti, occupying the country for 19 years. Several college campuses, professional associations, social movements, and political parties are marking the occasion with a series of reflections and demonstrations. Several have argued that the U.S. has never stopped occupying Haiti, even as military boots left in 1934. Some activists are using the word “humanitarian occupation” to describe the current situation, denouncing the loss of sovereignty, as U.N. troops have been patrolling the country for over 11 years. The phrase “humanitarian occupation” may seem distasteful and even ungrateful to some considering the generosity of the response to the January 12, 2010 earthquake, however there are several parallels between the contemporary aid regime and the U.S. Marine administration. First and foremost, foreign troops are on the ground, controlling the country; the military regimes operated with complete immunity and impunity. Second, a new constitution was installed, centralizing power in the executive. Third, both occupations involved Haiti’s gold resources.

The U.S. Marines invaded Haiti ostensibly to restore order, disrupted by the kako, an armed peasant resistance. From 1910 to the 1915 invasion of the U.S. Marines, Haiti had 7 presidents, marked with violent clashes between two factions of Haiti’s ruling elites. The exploits of the occupying forces were well documented, including by soldiers themselves. Faustin Wirkus declared himself to be the “White King of La Gonave.” Many troops were from Jim Crow South, and they took their racism and white supremacy with them. This racism colored how they saw elements of Haitian culture and folklore, and in turn how the rest of the world was to see Haiti. “Voodoo” and “zombies” were popularized by Hollywood, as the film industry was just taking off, announced by explicitly white supremacist Birth of a Nation. Haiti continued to play “boogieman,” scaring foreigners through exotification. Full story...

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Children as young as 11 are sending naked selfies as part of "sexually toxic environment"

A top police officer has warned a 'toxic environment' is seeing children as young as 11 sending naked selfies over social media.

Chief Inspector Graham Goulden, of Police Scotland's national Violence Reduction Unit, said schools across the country are having to deal cases involving sexting or sharing intimate images on a weekly basis.

Ch Insp Goulden advised parents to be more vigilant over their children's use of social media and not to blame kids who make mistakes - after Police Scotland said it was dealing of cases of pre-teens being targeted online.

 He told the Scottish Daily Record: “We need to look at sexting as a form of abuse. I often talk about a sexually toxic environment that we are living in just now. Full story...

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This is what a Filipino birthday lunch looks like!!!

Woman kills attacker with his gun, unknowingly takes out a serial killer...

An unnamed woman in Charleston, West Virginia, has become an unexpected heroine to sex workers everywhere. This after having a real-life Dexter as a client.

Acccording to Charleston police and the woman's own interview with KPTV, she realized that something was wrong shortly after 45-year-old Springfield, Oregon, native Neal Falls arrived at her apartment after answering an escort ad she'd placed on Backpage.com.

"I knew he was there to kill me," the visibly shaken woman told KPTV after being released from the hospital, where she was treated for broken vertebrae and lacerations. "I could tell that he had already done something because he said that he was going to prison for a long time. And that's when I knew he was gonna kill me."

When Falls began to strangle her, she said, she reached for a nearby rake. Falls put down his gun to try and wrestle the rake out of her hands—that's when she grabbed the gun and shot him. Falls died from the gunshot wound, and she ran outside to get help. Full story...

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