Saturday, August 27, 2016

Israeli military clears its troops of Gaza war crime allegations...

A shocking story of how a Chicago cop killed a teen -- then locked up his best friend for the murder...

In 2012, 19-year-old Tevin Louis and his best friend Marquise Sampson allegedly robbed a restaurant. After reportedly making off with about $1,200, the two ran in different directions. Sampson crossed paths with an officer, who gave chase and ultimately opened fire, killing the teenager. Louis arrived at the scene where his friend was shot, and attempted to cross the police line. He was arrested for disorderly conduct. But in a shocking turn, Louis was eventually charged with first-degree murder in the death of his best friend, even though it was the officer who killed Sampson. Louis was found guilty. He is now serving a 32-year sentence for armed robbery and a 20-year sentence for murder. Louis is one of 10 people with similar cases exposed in the Chicago Reader’s new article headlined “Charged with Murder, But They Didn’t Kill Anyone—Police Did.” For more, we speak with the article’s authors: Alison Flowers, a journalist with the Chicago-based Invisible Institute, and Sarah Macaraeg, an independent journalist and fellow with the International Center for Journalists. Full story...

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The emerging "mark of the beast" system...

(...)

Few surveillance instruments are as effective for monitoring the movements of individuals as smart ID cards, particularly when empowered by modern technology and infrastructure. The Secretary General of Interpol and the EDAPS Consortium clearly know this when in an intriguing announcement in 2011, called for development of an electronic “Globally Verifiable Identity Card.” The card was envisaged to be embedded with a contactless microchip and integrated biometric technologies providing “automation of border and migration control at all levels” and verifiable “through national and international databases.”

Taking the globally verifiable identification card to a new level is this curious proposal by science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon, who told BBC in 2012 that to change the world everyone should be issued a unique ID barcode or implantable chip:

… I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached – a barcode if you will; an implanted chip to provide an easy, fast inexpensive way to identify individuals…

Moving forward to 2014, is this chorus of calls for ubiquitous surveillance, global ID systems and universal human chip implants merely the paranoid fantasies of spirited imaginations?

Renewed calls for the beefing up of the world’s surveillance systems appear to come on the heels of nearly every major breach of security. Malaysia’s missing airliner MH370 on 8 March 2014 is a good case in point. Given the frustration with the search for the missing aircraft, China announced at the end of March a curious plan involving “massively increasing its network of surveillance and observation satellites so it can monitor the entire planet.” Full story...

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Thailand frees prominent activist over royal insult...

Thailand has freed a political activist after eight years in jail for insulting the country's widely revered monarchy under its draconian royal defamation laws.

Daranee Charnchoengsilpakul, also known as "Da Torpedo", was freed on Saturday under an annual series of royal pardons, Charnchao Chaiyanukij, permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, told Reuters.

She was originally sentenced to 15 years in prison, he said.

Daranee, a key supporter of ousted former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was convicted of making defamatory comments against the monarchy during a fiery speech at a political rally in 2008.

The Criminal Court found her guilty on three counts of lese-majeste. Full story...

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Havana through the eyes of two food vendors...

Although it is 3:35am, Jose and Leo aren't sleepy. They've had enough rest to begin a new day.

They wear the same pullovers as the day before - or perhaps clean but worn-out ones, which will become the dirty pullovers of the days to come, olive-green army trousers and boots. Jose's are short, leather ones that cover his ankles. Leo's are knee-high rain boots.

They open their apartment door, descend three storeys down the sinuous stairs of their colonial building in Old Havana and go out in search of the carretilla (pushcart) from which they will sell fruit and vegetables for the next 16 hours.

They look like a pair of tin soldiers walking down a desolate street. At this time, Havana is a city of sleepwalkers - a strange, deserted place. There are shadows and murmurs that come as if from nowhere.

In a few hours' time, San Rafael Boulevard will turn into an incessant stream of people coming and going, buying and selling; but for now, it is a long, wide corridor, its cavities visible, its cracks exposed.

Just around the corner from the boulevard, a cat paws a dead chicken wrapped in a nylon bag. A police patrol surfs slowly along Prado, the street dividing Centro and Old Havana. Full story...

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Burkina Faso bans big buttocks beauty contest...

The government of Burkina Faso has banned an annual beauty contest for women with the biggest buttocks, saying such events are sexist.

Adverts for this weekend's third edition of 'Miss Bim-Bim', carrying an image of two fully clothed women with exaggeratedly large behinds, provoked an outcry on social media.

"Our role is to do everything to avoid damaging the image of women," said Minister Laure Zongo in a statement, adding that social media criticism had persuaded her to act.

The male organizer of the event, Hamado Doambahe, said it aimed to promote a more positive body image for African women and encourage fashion designers to use African costumes.

Contests like Miss Bim-Bim have been held in other West African countries. Full story...

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The Satanic Temple's fight to protect your abortion rights...

WhatsApp and Facebook data sharing plan being investigated...

The UK's Information Commissioner (ICO) is looking into WhatsApp's decision to share more data with parent company Facebook.

The data about WhatsApp users will be used to help targeted advertising seen by people on Facebook.

It will share phone numbers and the details of the last time that users signed on to WhatsApp, with Facebook.

The ICO said because the changes would affect a lot of people it wanted more details about what was being shared.

Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said in a statement that users' opinions about the change was likely to be split. Full story...

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Nearly 5% of Utah students opted out of vaccination...

Doctors say crowded classrooms can be a prime ground for spreading illness, which is why they urge parents to immunize their children.

State law requires those going into kindergarten or middle school to get certain vaccinations, but parents can get an exemption from the shots for three reasons: medical, religious, or personal.

“In my opinion, vaccines are not worth the risk,” Jared St. Clair said.

St. Clair owns Vitality Nutrition and hosts Vitality Radio in Bountiful. He also has six children who have never gotten a vaccine.

“My parents educated themselves on it, chose not to vaccinate me, I chose not to vaccinate my kids,” he said. “We made that decision based on the best information we could find.” Full story...

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Pensioner suddenly learns to play the piano after suffering from a stroke...

A pensioner has suddenly become able to play the piano after surviving a stroke .

Roy Calloway, 78, had never been able to play any musical instrument until he recovered from the stroke.

He was amazed when he discovered his new talent of being able to tinkle the ivories.

Roy said: "I played and I couldn't believe it. It just came out naturally and I was in shock."

Roy, of Upper Cwmtwrch, Swansea, South Wales, had the latest stroke after a series of heart problems. Full story...

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They are after your cash (and if this happens they will get it)

If the IRS has its way, cash will be a thing of the past. In its place, every transaction will be digital, every purchase will leave a footprint. And it will tell your story – where you go and what you buy while you are there.

A cashless society means your bank – and the US government – controls every penny you own and every purchase you make. They can freeze your account at will, leaving you destitute with just a few taps on a keyboard.

As Ron Paul said, “The cashless society is the IRS’ dream: total knowledge of, and control over, the finances of every single American.”

Now you may ask, why? Simple answer, because cash is anonymous and almost impossible to track -- so Uncle Sam cannot control it.

The move towards a cashless, controlled state has been in motion for decades. If you travel by air, you have experienced this first hand. “Cashless cabins” are the rule on nearly all airlines. Every glass of wine, extra cushion or headset must be purchased on credit. Every transaction is tracked, every purchase made subject to interest being tacked on to the principle. Full story...

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Snollebollekes - Bam Bam (Bam)

India launches new online facility to lodge complaints of child sexual abuse...

A composite photo shows Union Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi launching the POCSO e-Box in New Delhi on Aug. 26, 2016. Minister of State for Women and Child Development, Krishna Raj, Ministry Secretary Leena Nair and other dignitaries are also seen.Press Information Bureau

Women and Child Development (WCD) Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday inaugurated the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) e-Box, an online complaint box for reporting child sexual abuse, in Delhi.

An official statement from the WCD Ministry describes this POCSO e-Box as "an online complaint management system for easy and direct reporting of sexual offences against children and timely action against the offenders under the POCSO Act, 2012."

Sexual offences against children, although prevalent, regularly go unreported. The reasons may vary from parents not believing the child or the child believing that what happened was their fault. Quite often, children are also too afraid to speak up, having been threatened by the perpetrator, who may be known to them, or worse, be a member of their family. Full story...

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Girl, 5, latest victim in Philippines 'war on drugs'

A five-year-old girl has become the youngest victim of tough-talking Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's "war on drugs" that has left more than 1900 people dead in seven weeks.

Danica May died from a gunshot wound to the head after unidentified gunmen opened fire on her family as they sat down to lunch in their home in Dagupan, a city of 170,000 north of Manila.

The killing came as president Duterte shrugged off criticism of his campaign from the United States, United Nations, the Catholic Church and human rights groups, declaring "this fight against drugs will continue until the last day of my term".

Little Danica's grandfather, Maximo Garcia, who she was living with after her 29-year-old mother separated from her husband, learnt last week that he was on a list of alleged drug suspects that somebody had given to local police. Full story...

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Brazilian Coca-Cola manufacturer accused of slave labor...

Two Coca-Cola production and distribution centers in Brazil were accused by government officials of subjecting workers to slave-like labor conditions, according to a report released by Reporter Brasil Thursday.

In a seven-month long inspection carried out by the Brazilian Ministry of Labor it was discovered that 179 truck drivers of Spal Brazilian Beverage Industries, which is a licensed manufacturer of Coca-Cola, had been forced to work excessive overtime hours, ranging from 80 to 140 extra hours per month.

Due to their demanding schedules, it was revealed that drivers were often denied sleep and rest between shifts, which according to Reporter Brasil, led to a variety of physical and mental health related issues, such as “body aches, stress, lack of interaction with family members and almost no leisure time.”

As part of its investigation, Reporter Brasil noted that Spal had been previously penalized by judicial authorities for imposing unethical labor practices on its workers.

The article cites that in 2013 and 2014 former truck drivers sued the company, which eventually lead to a court ruling that determined employees of Spal had been subjected to degrading working conditions "due to strenuous working hours.” Full story...

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The death toll in Yemen is so high the Red Cross has started donating morgues to hospitals...

Almost a year and a half into Saudi Arabia’s U.S.-backed bombing campaign in Yemen, the humanitarian toll has become so extensive that the International Committee of the Red Cross has taken the unusual step of donating entire morgue units to Yemeni hospitals.

“The hospitals were not able to cope,” said Rima Kamal, a Yemen-based spokesperson for the Red Cross. “You could have more than 20 dead people brought into one hospital on one single day. The morgue capacity at a regular hospital is not equipped to handle this influx of dead bodies.”

“At times several dead bodies had to be stored on one shelf to avoid further decomposition,” Kamal continued. “The situation was not sustainable.”

Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen in March 2015, after Houthi rebels took control of the capital and forced Yemen’s Saudi-backed leader, Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, into exile. The United Nations has since attributed the majority of the war’s 6,500 deaths to the Saudi coalition, which the U.S. and U.K. have resupplied with tens of billions of dollars of weapons. Full story...

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Friday, August 26, 2016

We have to talk about the boy in the ambulance...

West enables China’s suffocating embrace of the Sri Lankan economy...

With Sri Lanka still emerging from the ruins of a 26 year civil war that ended in 2009, the government in Colombo is once again turning to China as the only option at its disposal to modernize the economy by introducing sweeping infrastructural development projects.

The story of the Sri Lankan capital’s hopes to transform itself into an “international financial outpost” in the Indian Ocean—and the ups and downs this the country has faced – confirm to a great extent that while China’s role is not necessarily viewed as completely beneficial, the absence of alternate sources of foreign direct investment makes China an inevitable. It is a scenario that is playing itself out in other countries, not least Pakistan, where China is funding vast projects in what amounts of an investment vacuum.

Sri Lanka’s current president, Maithripala Sirisena, was a vocal critic of the policies of the previous president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, and his strategy of using Chinese capital to attempt to modernize the economy while reportedly enriching himself in the process. Sirisena now himself appears to have joined the pro-China bandwagon due to what many in Sri Lanka believe his inability to attract enough foreign investment from other countries as well as to shore up the central bank’s depleting foreign reserves.

In May, Sri Lanka’s reserves fell further to US$5.6 billion from US$6 billion in April, the lowest since February 2012. According to Shiran Fernando, leading economist at Frontier Research, Sri Lanka as a post-conflict nation has not attracted as much as it could in terms of foreign investments. Full story...

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Wake up! Traingate is an Illuminati conspiracy???

What really happened that day on the 11:00 train from London Kings Cross to Newcastle? Who lied, who cheated, who fudged the evidence or hid the facts when Jeremy Corbyn was filmed sitting down on the floor of a Virgin train on the 11th of August? We're far outside the realms of ordinary experience here – those normal occurrences like getting on a train and not being able to find a seat – and heading deep into a murky shadow-world, where something awaits us.

All the ingredients are there: a callous, lying politician who will do everything it takes to achieve his strange and unpopular mission – or, if you'd prefer, a campaigning MP whose fight for justice has made him the enemy of secret powers too vast to contemplate. An innocent private interest, just trying to provide the best service it can while turning an honest profit, cynically maligned by those in power – or a shadowy international conglomerate that runs our trains, our planes, our phones, our TVs, all commanded by a narcissistic billionaire from his base on a private island. A train with an indeterminate number of empty seats, people popping in and out of existence (Illuminati disintegration rays? A rip in the fabric of reality?) while Jeremy Corbyn squats, blasphemous and grinning, on the ground. How deep does the rabbit hole go?

The official narrative was this: Jeremy Corbyn boarded the 11AM train, hoping to get off at York, and couldn't find any free seats – so, like the man of the people he is, he sat on the floor between carriages, and recorded a short video pointing out the stresses in British rail infrastructure and arguing for public ownership, which quickly seeped across the internet. And you can believe that if you want, sheeple. Believe your happy lies, go back to sleep – but the fearless truth-tellers at Virgin Trains have been looking at the actual evidence, and they've found some things that They don't want you to know. Full story...

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Low-cost medicine created from Indian spices, herbs effectively fights aggressive forms of cancer, say researchers...

Indian herbs and spices are more than just a delicious way to enhance your favorite curry dishes. They've always been valued in some cultures for their healing properties, and now some of these herbs are being used to develop affordable drugs that can fight cancer with fewer side effects than traditional cancer medications.

Scientists at the BARC laboratory near Chembur are currently working hard on getting these promising solutions to the masses. One such herb is rampatri, which has earned the nickname "false nutmeg." If you're not familiar with Mangalorean or Goan cuisine, you might not be aware this spice even exists, but studies on mice show it to be a potent remedy against neuroblastoma and lung cancer. The herbal drug that is being developed from the spice reduces tumors, while boosting the effectiveness of other chemotherapy drugs that are taken concurrently.

Two of the other drugs in development include a radioprotector and a radiomodifier. The radiomodifier can enhance the effectiveness of radiotherapy while protecting the body's tissues, gastrointestinal system, lungs and lymphocytes from radiation injury. The drug shows a lot of promise, and is currently awaiting a patent, after which it will undergo clinical trials in Parel. Full story...

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'Betrayal of trust'? WhatsApp to start sharing user data with Facebook, corporations...

The world’s most popular messenger, the Facebook-owned WhatsApp, will give its users’ personal information to its parent company and plans to make it easier for businesses to contact subscribers. WhatsApp claims the changes won’t endanger privacy.

WhatsApp, which is used by over 1 billion people each month, published a statement as part of a revision of its terms and privacy policy.

“By coordinating more with Facebook, we'll be able to do things like track basic metrics about how often people use our services and better fight spam on WhatsApp. And by connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them,” said the California-based company.

In practice, the benefits are less likely to be for WhatsApp, and more for data-hungry Facebook, which will know even more about its members.

"When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook it was able to reassure users that it would remain independent," Pamela Clark-Dickson, analyst at tech consultancy firm Ovum, told the BBC. "Now it's giving Facebook phone numbers - some might say that's a betrayal of trust. In a small way, it has gone back on what it said it wouldn't do." Full story...

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The "natural" label on your food is baloney...

How an Indian writer 'returned from the dead'

For months after Perumal Murugan declared himself "dead" as a writer following vicious protests against his novel by Hindu and caste-based groups last year, he couldn't read or write.

"I became a walking corpse," says Murugan, who is considered to be one of the most accomplished writers in the Tamil language.

Then something happened. Murugan went to see his daughter in the temple town of Madurai, and spent a few days in a friend's house. There were two rooms on the first floor: one stacked with books, and the other had a bed.

"With nothing to do I lay dazed night and day," he told a gathering in Delhi on Monday evening.

"I wallowed in a dark hole without the urge to see or talk to anybody. But as I ruminated over my existence, there came a certain instant when the sluice gates were breached.

"I began to write." Full story...

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Philippines drugs war: The woman who kills dealers for a living...

When you meet an assassin who has killed six people, you don't expect to encounter a diminutive, nervous young woman carrying a baby.

"My first job was two years ago in this province nearby. I felt really scared and nervous because it was my first time."

Maria, not her real name, now carries out contract killings as part of the government-sanctioned war on drugs.

She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would.

Since President Duterte was elected, and urged citizens and police to kill drug dealers who resisted arrest, Maria has killed five more people, shooting them all in the head. Full story...

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Detroit has gone from being the greatest manufacturing city in the world to a global joke...

In 1960, the city of Detroit was the greatest manufacturing city that the world had ever seen. Nearly two million people lived there, and it had the highest per capita income in the United States. That may be hard to believe, because today it actually has one of the lowest per capita incomes of all of our major cities. Over the decades more than a million people have left the city, and thousands of abandoned homes have been torn down. But there are still tens of thousands of abandoned dwellings that remain standing, and some have sold for as little as one dollar in recent years. Once Detroit was the envy of the entire planet, but now it has become a global joke and in other countries they love to do news stories about “the ruins of Detroit” to show how rapidly America is rotting and decaying. Sadly, Detroit is far from alone, because there are other formerly great manufacturing cities that have declined just as fast as Detroit has.

(...)

I would have liked to share the video with you all, but it is just way too graphic. There really are prostitutes lifting up their skirts in the video, and a man really is hit by a vehicle. If you want to watch it for yourself, it is very easy to find on YouTube. But please be warned that children should not be watching this.

If you live in a peaceful rural or suburban setting, the kind of behavior displayed in this video may seem very foreign to you. In America today, it is way too easy to allow our televisions to define reality for us. But the warped view of reality that we get through our televisions is nothing like the real world. The real world is cold, cruel and very unforgiving.

If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, the real world will eat you alive. Full story...

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John Pilger: Provoking nuclear war by media...

The exoneration of a man accused of the worst of crimes, genocide, made no headlines. Neither the BBC nor CNN covered it. The Guardian allowed a brief commentary. Such a rare official admission was buried or suppressed, understandably. It would explain too much about how the rulers of the world rule.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague has quietly cleared the late Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, of war crimes committed during the 1992-95 Bosnian war, including the massacre at Srebrenica.

Far from conspiring with the convicted Bosnian-Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, Milosevic actually "condemned ethnic cleansing", opposed Karadzic and tried to stop the war that dismembered Yugoslavia. Buried near the end of a 2,590 page judgement on Karadzic last February, this truth further demolishes the propaganda that justified Nato's illegal onslaught on Serbia in 1999.

Milosevic died of a heart attack in 2006, alone in his cell in The Hague, during what amounted to a bogus trial by an American-invented "international tribunal". Denied heart surgery that might have saved his life, his condition worsened and was monitored and kept secret by US officials, as WikiLeaks has since revealed. Full story...

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Lots of smoke here, Hillary...

Prediction: If Hillary Clinton wins, within a year of her inauguration, she will be under investigation by a special prosecutor on charges of political corruption, thereby continuing a family tradition.

For consider what the Associated Press reported this week:

The surest way for a person with private interests to get a meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, or a phone call returned by her, it seems, was to dump a bundle of cash into the Clinton Foundation.

Of 154 outsiders whom Clinton phoned or met within her first two years at State, 85 had made contributions to the Clinton Foundation, and their contributions, taken together, totaled $156 million.

Conclusion: Access to Secretary of State Clinton could be bought, but it was not cheap. Forty of the 85 donors gave $100,000 or more. Twenty of those whom Clinton met with or phoned dumped in $1 million or more. Full story...

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Bra company boss wants his male employees to understand what it’s like to live with large breasts...

Singapore air quality worsens overnight as haze returns...

Southeast Asia is bracing itself for its annual, uncomfortable tryst with haze as raging fires at Indonesian plantations worsen pollution in the region.

On Friday, Singapore woke up to a deterioration in air quality overnight, as a thin cloak of haze hung over the city-state. The country's environment agency said that its 3-hour Pollution Standards Index hit the unhealthy level at 10am SIN.

Neighboring Malaysia had already been feeling the effects of the drifting smog since mid-August, local media reported.

The latest bout of pollution comes even as Indonesia steps up efforts against the 'slash-and-burn' technique of cutting down vegetation on a patch of land, then burning off the undergrowth to make space for new plantations.

The country has arrested 454 individuals in connection with forest fires so far this year, more than double the 196 arrests made in 2015, Reuters reported, citing police data released on Thursday. Full story...

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Murdered mentally disabled women sold as ‘corpse brides’ in China ...

Three men have been charged in China following the murder of two women with mental disabilities whose corpses were to be sold for use in “ghost weddings”.


One of the men posed as a matchmaker for the women but killed them with an injection of drugs before taking them hundreds of miles to face a grim burial.

“Ghost weddings” date back almost 3,000 years, and involve elderly bachelors being given "brides" to be buried with when they die.

The Telegraph visited a village in northern China earlier this year where 15 corpses had been stolen from their burial sites for use in the ancient ritual.

Families in rural China consider it bad luck for a single man to pass into the afterlife without a female companion at his side.

And despite efforts by Beijing to clamp down on superstitions, demand is said to be increasing for female corpses. Full story...

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Hindus flee Muslim extremists after Koran burned in Pakistan...

In the provincial town of Ghotki near Pakistan's border with India, Ashok Kumar is packing his bags.

He's reached breaking point. Like many of his neighbours, and other Hindus in Sindh province, the small trader is fleeing to India.

"I have four daughters and I fear that one day they will be kidnapped and will be converted to Islam forcibly and will be forced to marry Muslims," he says.

For many years, Muslims and Hindus lived here peacefully. They share a common culture, language and traditions. But fanaticism has taken root, and increasingly hostile acts are shattering the harmony.

The tensions now forcing Mr Kumar to leave his country were sparked several weeks ago, in the small village of Mehrab Samejo. Full story...

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War of words hots up between US and EU over tax avoidance...

The US has been accused of “behaving like a tax haven”, in an escalating war of words between Washington and Brussels over the European commission’s anti-trust cases against Apple, Amazon and Starbucks.

On Wednesday, the US Treasury threatened retaliation if Europe continues its tax crusade against American multinationals.

Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s top anti-trust regulator, is expected to conclude her state aid investigation into Apple as early as next month. If her ruling goes against the Californian tech group, it could be ordered to hand over as much as $19bn (£14.4bn) in unpaid taxes to the Irish government.

A white paper commissioned by the US Treasury secretary, Jack Lew, accused Europe of targeting American companies disproportionately and behaving like a “supranational tax authority”. The claims have now prompted a swift rebuttal from MEPs and the European commission.

“The US Treasury prefers defending the interest of its multinationals rather than promoting international cooperation to fight corporate tax avoidance,” said Molly Scott Cato MEP, a spokeswoman for the Green party on tax affairs in the European parliament. Full story...

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Selfie cat...

Set to stun...

 It was just a dumb fight. Two boys, both juniors, stood in the hallway discussing a classic teenage hypothetical: whether one of them could win in a fight against another student. But when one of the teens, Scott, said he didn’t think his friend could win, things turned personal.

They flung curse words back and forth that Thursday morning in March, lurching through the hallway of Knightdale High School, slamming into a row of lockers and tripping over a trashcan. A video shot by another student shows a teacher breaking up the fight after a few seconds, and both teens ending up on the ground, hurt only in pride.

One student was ushered away. But 17-year-old Scott, whose name has been changed to protect his privacy, didn’t have a chance to get up. A school police officer rushed over, and pinned one of Scott’s arms behind his back. The student stopped filming the fight at this point. Scott says the police officer then sat on him and ordered him to place his other hand behind his back. He tried to comply, he says, but the officer was holding him down. Full story...

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Australians embracing super-human microchip technology...

IT may sound like sci-fi, but hundreds of Australians are turning themselves into super-humans who can unlock doors, turn on lights and log into computers with a wave of the hand.

Shanti Korporaal, from Sydney, is at the centre of the phenomenon after having two implants inserted under her skin.

Now she can get into work and her car without carrying a card or keys, and says her ultimate goal is to completely do away with her wallet and cards.

“You could set up your life so you never have to worry about any password or PINs” she told news.com.au.

“It’s the same technology as Paypass, so I’m hoping you’ll be able to pay for things with it. Full story...

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Do you grope a woman's breast because they are enormous???

A police investigator has dropped a case against an ice hockey player accused of molesting a woman at a night club in northern Sweden - because she had “gigantic breasts”.

Björklöven hockey club suspended the player, who says he doesn’t remember what happened on Saturday night, after he was accused of assault and sexual molestation at the Marité night club in Östersund.

After questioning the accusers, investigator Mikael Lundberg said there was no proof the player had assaulted a woman at the club. He then left legal experts flabbergasted when he explained to newspaper Expressen why he did not think the player had meant to grope a second woman.

 “With regard to the sexual molestation, they [the two women] were standing at a bar table and then he comes along drunk and drapes his arms around both of them from behind, and then he happens to touch one of their breasts. And it should be noted that they had gigantic breasts. It wasn’t hard to brush up against them. If you’re drunk and drape yourself over someone, well, you can understand how it might have happened.” Full story...

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Media worried too many Americans will question legitimacy of 2016 election...

2016 is the year many, many Americans began to question whether or not our elections, and to a lesser extent, our democracy (insert “it’s a constitutional republic, big difference!” here) are rigged. As I’ve argued many times in the past year, there is plenty of evidence suggesting these skeptical Americans are, indeed, onto something with their suspicions.

But the corporate media has come out in defense of America’s “democracy” — and political elites are defending the system, too. In the wake of Trump’s recent rhetoric regarding the “rigged” system, the ruling class of the United States is peddling the fiction that somehow Trump’s irresponsible sensationalism is solely to blame for the newfound feelings of illegitimacy plaguing our elections.

Take, for example, Monday’s POLITICO piece entitled “What if Trump won’t accept defeat?”:

“Trump’s [rigged election] words are having an effect. Just 38 percent of Trump supporters believe their votes will be counted accurately, and only 49 percent of all registered voters are ‘very confident’ their votes will be tabulated without error, according to a Pew Research survey last week.” Full story...

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Majority in France against burqinis on beaches...

Just under two thirds of French people (64 percent) are against the burqini being worn on beaches, a survey published on Thursday revealed.

Only six percent said they were in favour of the Islamic full-body swimsuit, while the remaining 30 percent of those surveyed were "indifferent".

The results come from a survey conducted by Ifop for French national Le Figaro, and show that "the beach isn't seen as a 'separate' public space, but is considered equivalent to the street," according to Jérôme Fourquet from the polling firm.

 Fourquet said the results mirrored those of an opinion poll last April about the wearing of the veil or headscarf in the street, to which 63 percent were opposed. Full story...

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Dunk-a-chicken (the village way) - Wilbur Sargunaraj

BBC presenter takes drug in Brazil to "get close to God"

My name is Mawaan Rizwan. I'm an actor, comedian and a programme maker.

I've just made a documentary with BBC Three called Getting High For God? where I travel to the Americas to take part in religious ceremonies that involve drugs.

I wanted to get to the bottom of this spiritual drug taking thing - with lots of careful medical supervision obviously.

Can it help you find enlightenment? Or is it just a thing that backpackers do on their gap year?

As someone who grew up in a religious family but now feels detached from faith, I'm curious to explore my relationship with spirituality.

In the final episode I set out to Brazil to take part in an Ayahuasca ceremony. Full story...

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