Monday, March 27, 2017

Singapore jails couple for starving Filipino helper...

A Singapore court jailed a couple on Monday for starving their Filipino domestic helper, a case that highlighted what rights groups say is a common complaint in the wealthy city-state.

Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, 40, weighed just 29.4kg in April 2014 after being given too little to eat for about 15 months, prosecutors said.

She was given 2-3 slices of plain white bread and 1-2 packets of instant noodles for breakfast, while for her second and last meal of the day she was given 5-6 slices of plain bread, prosecutors said.

Lim Choon Hong was jailed for three weeks and fined S$10,000 ($7,200), while his wife, Chong Sui Foon, got three months with no fine. They had both pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors said they would appeal. The maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and a S$10,000 fine.

"I accept that... you are remorseful and that you did not intentionally seek to starve your maid," Judge Low Wee Ping said. Full story...

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The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism...

It happened in history class. Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim student at the University of Colorado, was supposed to be discussing the Crusades with the man sitting next to her. Within a few minutes, however, he was crusading against Islam.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” Hashmi’s classmate told her. What’s more, he complained, not enough Muslims were making a stand against terrorism.

Hashmi was perplexed by this analysis. Muslims are constantly denouncing atrocities that have been committed in the name of Islam. Yet many people seem to think Muslims don’t condemn terrorism enough. So Hashmi decided to put the notion to the test. Using Google spreadsheets, she made a “712-page list of Muslims condemning things with sources”, which she tweeted. The list includes everything from acts of domestic violence to 9/11.

“I wanted to show people how weak the argument [that Muslims don’t care about terrorism] is,” she explained. Full story...

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Canada to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018...

The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018.

CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has been stickhandling the marijuana file for the government, briefed the Liberal caucus on the roll-out plan and the legislation during caucus meetings this weekend

The federal government will be in charge of making sure the country's marijuana supply is safe and secure and Ottawa will license producers.

But the provinces will have the right to decide how the marijuana is distributed and sold. Provincial governments will also have the right to set price. Full story...

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Off-the-grid couple creates a life without bills, builds home for $30,000...



What if you could build an inexpensive, energy efficient, self-sufficient home for as little as $30,000 and kiss monthly bills and mortgage payments goodbye? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, one couple from Bisbee, Arizona, made this little fantasy come true. Karen and Bill, both in their fifties, started building their 600-square-foot house in 2010 and moved in 18 months later.

While Karen said that it was a lot of hard work, they enjoy their house and lifestyle every day. And who can blame them? Except for Internet service costs and property taxes, this off-the-grid couple doesn’t pay a single dollar for water, heat, trash pick-up, or electricity. Furthermore, they are debt free and are becoming gardening experts to provide for their own food needs.

In a 20-minute video tour, Karen and Bob proudly present their beautiful, tiny, home made of cob, straw, and an outer coating of plaster to protect their house against Arizona’s excoriating sun. In the video, Bob explains that they used the basic principles of solar design with south- and southeast-facing windows.

While pointing out a few items in their colorful home, Karen says that they made a real effort to recycle as much as they could. Except for an energy-efficient refrigerator, everything in their home is either secondhand, gifted, repurposed, or comes from the dump. The bathroom walls, for instance, are made from tin sheets that were laying around in someone’s backyard while the windows were gathering dust in a pasture shed. Full story...

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Saudi-led coalition destroys over 2,300 schools in Yemen over two years...

The Saudi-led coalition of Arab states has destroyed over 2,300 schools in Yemen since its military campaign against the opposition Houthi movement began two years ago, Ismail Zaidan, the information officer at the Ministry of Education of Yemen, told Sputnik.

According to Zaidan, the operation has created $400 million worth in damages and left dozens of teachers and pupils dead in the wake of the ongoing hostilities.

Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015.

Zaidan's comments mark the second anniversary of the start of the Saudi-led coalition's air campaign against the Houthis, which was launched at Hadi's request on March 26, 2016. Full story...

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Dad caught stealing bag full of knickers - by his own daughter!!!

A disgraced dad was caught stealing a bag full of knickers from Debenhams - by his own daughter.

Neirmal Singh targeted a branch of the department store in Bristol as part of a pilfering spree.

Bristol Crown Court heard his estranged daughter pointed him out and he was found with a stolen backpack stuffed with stolen knickers.

Singh, 49, of Jamaica Street Hostel, pleaded guilty to four thefts and attempted burglary and was jailed for 15 months, the Bristol Post reports.

Sir John Royce, sitting as a judge of the High Court, told him: “You have a terrible record.

“You were given chance after chance by the courts but you shunned those chances. Full story...

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13-year-old girl from Rajasthan raped by 8 teachers for a year...

A 13-year-old cancer patient from Bikaner's Nokha has alleged rape and blackmail by eight of her teachers at a private school in 2015. The accused allegedly forced the girl to stay back after school hours on the pretext of extra classes, made her take off her clothes and raped her. They even shot a video of their act which they used to blackmail the victim, alleged the girl's father.

The eight accused repeatedly raped her for over a year, says the girl's father in an FIR which he filed yesterday. He also alleged that when her daughter got pregnant, the accused gave her medicines to terminate her pregnancy.

Around one-and-a-half year ago, the girl was diagnosed with blood cancer. She is currently undergoing treatment.

The girl's father said he came to know of the incident in 2016. "The abuse went on for a year. The accused harassed and threatened me. They would not let me leave my house or go to the hospital to see my child. I feared social stigma, so I didn't file the case earlier. But finally, I decided to file a complaint," he said. Full story...

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Acceptance of death...

Austria says it will double money offer to refugees who volunteer to leave the country...

Austria has said it will double the amount of money paid to migrants who voluntarily return to their home countries as part of a plan to speed up the repatriation of 50,000 asylum seekers.

Interior minister Wolfgang Sobotka said migrants would be offered €1,000 or about £864, during a press conference in Vienna.

The scheme, which is reportedly run in collaboration with pro-refugee groups, is aimed at migrants who are unlikely to qualify for at least temporary residence by 2019.

Those eligible for the scheme include people whose refugee status was still unclear as of 15 March and who are from non-European countries, including sub-Saharan countries, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq and who can demonstrate financial need.

But the payment offer is only available to the first 1,000 people who register their interest. Full story...

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

All Apple devices, including iPhones and Macs, are CIA spy devices embedded with spyware from the factory...

Wikileaks has released their latest Vault 7 data dump, and the new documents are shining a light on how the CIA can hack Apple devices before they even end up in the hands of consumers. The sad reality is, most Apple users already suspected this type of activity was taking place, but the new information shows us just how it works.

“Dark Matter,” which is the title of the most recent leak, claims that not only has the CIA hacked iPhones, they’ve been doing so since at least 2008, one year after the product was introduced to the market. Wikileaks posted the following statement on their website:

~Today, March 23rd, 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 “Dark Matter,” which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by the CIA to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones, and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware. Among others, these documents reveal the “Sonic Screwdriver” project which, as explained by the CIA, is a “mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting” allowing an attacker to boot its attack software, for example, from a USB stick “even when a firmware password is enabled”. The CIA’s “Sonic Screwdriver” infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Full story...

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Someone is selling a ‘legit bag of air’ breathed by singer Adele on Ebay, bidding up to $1,500...

(...)

That’s right, folks! It’s a “legit bag of air” — “air straight from Adele live” up for auction on EBay with 48 bids up to $2,000 AU (approximately $1,525 USD).

The bidding, it should be noted, had started at $14.95 with free shipping, meaning the guy knew he was selling an otherwise empty zip lock baggie with a bunch of stuff written on it in Sharpie marker as a total gimmick and yet…

People couldn’t wait to blow their money on…

The seller, user @shaun_mcdonough, had also included a picture from the Adele concert he was supposedly at in the listing to help prove his case that he shared the air with the singer… More + photo...

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British Airways introduces boarding without passports as it installs facial recognition at Heathrow ...

British Airways is introducing technology that will allow passengers to go through boarding gates at Heathrow using facial recognition.

Biometric devices in Terminal 5 will capture a traveller’s features along with the boarding pass, and then a facial scan at the gate verifies the person’s identity, allowing them to get on the plane without showing documents, BA said in a letter to staff.

The system is designed to speed up boarding and reduce errors, it said. Three gates are now using the equipment, with another 33 planned in the coming months.

The system will be used initially only for domestic routes, before being extended to international flights.

BA already operates self-service luggage check-in desks at both Heathrow and Gatwick as part of moves to improve the passenger experience. Full story...

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Yemenis ‘pay the price’ for UK and America’s ‘brazenly hypocritical’ arms deals...

Amnesty International has condemned the US and Britain for supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, arms which have then been used to kill hundreds of civilians in Yemen.

Figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that the two countries have sent weaponry worth more than $5 billion to Saudi Arabia since Riyadh’s intervention began in March 2015. This is over 10 times the approximately $450 million that the US State Department and the UK’s Department for International Development have sent (or planned to send) in humanitarian aid to Yemen over the same period, which Amnesty has described as a “shameful contradiction.”

“Two years of conflict have forced 3 million people to flee their homes, shattered the lives of thousands of civilians and left Yemen facing a humanitarian disaster with more than 18 million in desperate need of assistance. Yet despite the millions of dollars’ worth of international assistance allocated to the country, many states have contributed to the suffering of the Yemeni people by continuing to supply billions of dollars’ worth of arms,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's deputy director of research for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Weapons supplied in the past by states such as the UK and US have been used to commit gross violations and helped to precipitate a humanitarian catastrophe. These governments have continued to authorize such arms transfers at the same time as providing aid to alleviate the very crisis they have helped to create. Yemeni civilians continue to pay the price of these brazenly hypocritical arms supplies.”


Amnesty accuses the UK and US, both of whom are party to the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty, of “undermining the spirit” of the treaty, and has called on the international community to “immediately to impose an arms embargo” on all parties involved in the Yemeni conflict. Full story...

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Musings of a Swiss street cleaner...

Why men are giving up their jobs for gaming...

David Mullings was always a self-starter. Born in Jamaica, he moved to Florida to go to university, and founded his first company – a digital media firm that helped Caribbean content find a wider audience – before finishing business school at the University of Miami. In 2011 he opened a private-equity firm with his brother. In 2013 the two made their first big deal, acquiring an 80% stake in a Tampa-based producer of mobile apps. A year later it blew up in their faces, sinking their firm and their hopes.

Mullings struggled to recover from the blow. The odd consulting gig provided a distraction and some income. Yet depression set in as he found himself asking whether he had anything useful to contribute to the wider world.

Then Destiny called.

Like millions of people of a certain age, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) had occupied a crucial place in Mullings’s childhood. It introduced him to video gaming, gave him a taste for it, made him aware of the fact that he was good at it: a “born gamer”, in his words. Yet the pixelated worlds of the Mario brothers, for all their delights, were nothing like the experiences available to gamers today. Full story...

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Torture, rape in Myanmar...

When soldiers went searching for militants in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last October, the result for members of the Rohingya minority was disastrous. Villages were burned, men were killed, women were sexually abused. And when one woman complained of rape, she was accused of lying by the office of the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and hounded by vengeful soldiers.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor, 25-year-old Jamalida Begum told me what happened in the days after her husband was shot dead in the village of Pyaung Pyaik, north-western Myanmar.

Jamalida fled with her two children and watched from a distance as the army set houses in the village on fire. Satellite images confirm that at least 85 buildings were destroyed.

Five days later she returned with some of her neighbors to find her belongings and home destroyed. They sheltered together in one of the few homes that had survived – but at dawn the next day the soldiers came back.

“They chose 30 women. Half were young girls aged between 12 and 15,” Jamalida told the BBC Our World Team. The soldiers took them to the village school. Full story...

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Spanish teen takes mum to court for confiscating his mobile phone...

A 15-year-old in southern Spain denounced his mother for “mistreatment” after she confiscated his mobile phone in an attempt to make him study.

But a judge who heard the case at Court Number 1 in Almeria, came down firmly on the side of the mother declaring that “evidently” she was “well within her rights” and took “the correct action” as a responsible parent.

“She would not be a responsible mother if she allowed her son to be distracted by the mobile phone and fail to study,” said the court ruling from magistrate Luis Columna as seen by Europa Press.

He even went on to say that such an action was almost required by law. “Among the duties required to be undertaken by a parent, as outlined in the Civil Code, is that of being responsible for the education of one’s children, which is exactly what the accused did in this case, without taking it to unnecessary extremes”. Source...

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How a spate of killings in Bahrain has raised suspicions of state brutality...

In modern Bahrain, the truth behind violent deaths is hard to establish. And the fact that they are largely ignored by the international media means you may well be reading about the following events for the first time.

On December 23 2016, a female journalist, Eman Salehi, was shot in front of her son. Activists have claimed the killing was carried out by an army officer they accuse of being a member of the ruling Al Khalifa family. This has not been confirmed. And in January 2017, three young Bahrainis were executed after what was widely considered to be an unsafe trial for allegedly killing three policeman.

Shortly afterwards, scarcely anything was made of the killing of three Bahrainis under unusual circumstances at sea. Redha Ghasra, 29, Mahmud Yusif 22, and Mustafa Yusif 35, were shot by security forces on a boat on February 9. The Ministry of the Interior stated that the prisoners opened fire on the police coast guard, who responded by killing three of the fugitives. Full story...

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India's major airlines ban Shiv Sena MP after slipper assault on steward...

An Indian politician has been banned from flying on most of the country’s major carriers after admitting he used a slipper to thrash an Air India steward.

Ravindra Gaikwad, an MP in India’s lower house for the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, claimed the attendant had insulted him on the Pune to New Delhi flight.

“What did he say, that I hit him with my hand? I hit him 25 times with a slipper,” an unrepentant Gaikwad told ANI news agency in video footage it posted on Twitter and aired on Indian news channels.

He added that he “dare[d] the Delhi police to arrest me” over the attack and asked the Indian state airline for an apology.

 “I am booked on a 4pm flight to Pune,” he said on Friday morning. “I will take that flight. How can they not let me travel when I have a booking and I am their passenger.” Full story...

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Israeli soldiers drag shoeless Palestinian eight-year-old from house to house in shocking video from Hebron...

Footage of a crying little boy being dragged around by Israeli soldiers as he is forced to help find other children accused of throwing stones has emerged from the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Eight-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah disobeyed his mother to sneak out from his grandparents’ house to look for a missing toy when he was seized by a group of around 15 soldiers who asked him in Arabic to give the names of children who had thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at the nearby Kiryat Arba Israeli settlement.

Crying, the boy told the soldiers he didn’t known anything. However, he was then grabbed by both arms and escorted to both the Kiryat Arba gate and into several houses, despite only wearing socks. Several women who witnessed the scene tried to intervene, eventually managing to free the boy more than an hour later. Full story...

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Teenage Singaporean blogger Amos Yee granted asylum in U.S...

Singaporean teenage blogger Amos Yee has been granted asylum in the United States, his lawyer said Saturday.

The 18-year-old has been held in a detention facility in Chicago since December 16, after border control officers stopped him from entering the country upon finding out about his plans to seek asylum.

“On March 24, 2017, the Honorable Immigration Judge Samuel B. Cole granted Amos Yee’s asylum application,” Sandra Grossman, Yee’s pro-bono lawyer in the US, said in a statement.

“Judge Cole concluded that the Singapore government persecuted Yee on account of his political opinion, and that Yee is deserving of asylum as a matter of discretion.” Full story...

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Meet the Hyderabad couple fighting for the right to reject religion...

What’s in a sarkaari form? A lot of things, including your name, ‘father/husband’s name’, date of birth, and of course, your religion and caste.

But what happens when you don’t believe in religion, and don’t want to bring up your child with a caste? What about the non-religious, the agnostics, the atheists, the children of couples who hold different faiths, or just about any person who does not want to tell the government which gods they pray to?

A couple from Hyderabad are fighting a very interesting battle to seek a provision in official forms, for those who follow no religion and caste. They took the case to court, and the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday issued notices based on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by DV Ramakrishna Rao and S Clarance Krupalini.

The court has asked the government of Telangana and Andhra, along with the Centre to respond in two weeks, on some of the questions raised by the couple.

"It all started in 2010, when my younger daughter was joining school, and the authorities insisted that we had to mention some religion in the place provided, even though it was against our wishes," Ramakrishna Rao tells TNM. Full story...

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Saudi Arabia asks for $10bln in Aid from Kuwait to continue war in Yemen...

Documents leaked by Arab military sources disclosed that the Saudi regime has gone bankrupt as a result of the war on Yemen, and asked for huge amount of cash from Kuwait.

"Saudi King Salman in a letter to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has asked for a sum of $10 billion in aid to go on with the war on Yemen," documents provided to the Arabic-language al-Massira television by Yemeni military sources revealed.

"Had the situation not been difficult and intolerable, Saudi Arabia would not have asked for financial assistance (from Kuwait)," said one of the documents that is a letter written by the Saudi king to the Kuwaiti emir.

The leaked documents also show fierce internal conflicts among the Saudi-backed militias over Saudi Arabia's cut-off financial support for these groups of militants that has, in turn, resulted from the Kingdom's bankruptcy. Full story...

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‘Bury them alive!’: White South Africans fear for their future as horrific farm attacks escalate...

LAST month, British woman Sue Howarth and her husband Robert Lynn were woken at 2am by three men breaking into a window of their remote farm in Dullstroom, a small town in the northeast of South Africa, about 240km from the nearest capital city.

The couple, who had lived in the area for 20 years, were tied up, stabbed, and tortured with a blowtorch for several hours. The masked men stuffed a plastic bag down Mrs Howarth’s throat, and attempted to strangle her husband with a bag around his neck.

The couple were bundled into their own truck, still in their pyjamas, and driven to a roadside where they were shot. Mrs Howarth, 64, a former pharmaceutical company executive, was shot twice in the head. Mr Lynn, 66, was shot in the neck.

Miraculously he survived, and managed to flag down a passer-by early on Sunday morning. Mrs Howarth, who police said was “unrecognisable” from her injuries, had multiple skull fractures, gunshot wounds and “horrific” burns to her breasts.

“Sue was discovered amongst some trees, lying in a ditch,” writes Jana Boshoff, reporter for the local Middelburg Observer newspaper. “Her rescuers managed to find her by following her groans of pain and then noticing drag marks from the road into the field. Full story...

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

The history of chocolate...

5 reasons why you shouldn’t feel bad about eating butter...

Good news, everyone who likes delicious food. Butter isn't bad for you anymore. Some people, like author Elaine Khosrova, even think it's good for you. "It's the fake stuff we try to substitute for butter that's doing us serious harm," she writes in her new book "Butter, A Rich History." Opt for organic, unsalted butter made from local, grass-fed cows and slather (in moderation) on the benefits. Here are five reasons you need to eat butter.

1. It's filled with good things like calcium, potassium and vitamins A, D, E, K and B-12. And like those healthy fats found in salmon and avocado that everyone's always pushing on you, butter has Omega-3 and Omega-6, too. Butter has some polyunsaturated fats, the same found in nuts and seeds, and monounsaturated fats, the kind that lowers cholesterol.

2. Margarine, the butter substitute of the '70s, is actually way worse. According to Khosrova, studies show that “Margarine increased the likelihood of a heart attack." Makes sense considering it’s made from stuff like diglycerides and soy lecithin. Good rule of thumb: if you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it.

3. It's great for diabetics and fights cancer. The fatty acid butyrate - accounting for four percent of butter - improves a person's response to insulin and increased energy in mice, according to the American Diabetes Association. Butyrate is created in the colon and may be a means of protecting the organ against cancer, just like conjugated linoleic acid, a colorectal tumor and breast cancer fighter also found in butter.

4. Butter reduces obesity. A 2012 paper published in the European Journal of Nutrition showed that eating dairy products considered "high fat" had no link to obesity. The study discovered that those products actually don't increase the risk of metabolic diseases but do, in fact, slightly reduce the risk of becoming obese.

 5. It tastes amazing. Butter just makes everything better. Source...

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Saudi Arabia carrying out ‘open-air massacre’ in Yemen...

"The bombs that rain down every day in Yemen show an absolute disdain for civilian life," Jean-Pierre Delomier of Handicap International said in a joint statement with five other humanitarian aid groups on Wednesday.

"Every day our teams, when they manage to reach people, see the physical and psychological distress of the traumatized civilians," he said, adding, "This open-air massacre is intolerable and unworthy of our era."

The humanitarian aid groups said about 19 million Yemenis, or 60 percent of the country’s population, are suffering food insecurity. Of those, they said, three million women and children are grappling with severe malnutrition.

The war-hit Arab state is "one of the countries... where humanitarian groups have the most difficulties," said Helene Queau, the operations chief of Premiere Urgence Internationale, at a Paris press conference, adding that the Saudi air raids have "partially or totally destroyed” transport infrastructure and “complicated” access to ports and airports. Full story...

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London terror attack suspect was British-born and previously investigated by MI5 over extremism...

The Westminster attacker was born in Britain and had previously been investigated for suspected extremism by MI5, Theresa May has confirmed.

The Prime Minister said the probe took place several years ago and that the unnamed suspect was not “part of the current intelligence picture”.

“The police have no reason to believe there are imminent further attacks on the public,” she told MPs gathered in a packed House of Commons.

“Some years ago, he was once investigated by MI5 in relation to concerns about violent extremism.

“He was a peripheral figure and the case is historic…there was no prior intelligence of his intent or the plot.” Full story...

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Five things to know about prostitution in Germany...

1. How long has prostitution been legal?

Prostitution has actually been legal or tolerated in Germany throughout history. Even in the 1800s, police preferred a system of regulation so they could supervise prostitution, according to the book Prostitution by Eva-Maria Heberer.

Under King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, brothels were banned in large parts of Prussia for some years, and prostitutes had to be registered.

During the Weimar Republic, a campaign to fight venereal diseases adopted the notion that prostitution should not be criminalized, but rather controlled as far as where it could take place, such as not near schools or churches.

The Nazi regime implemented restrictions on prostitutes, and many cities banned the practice in public places. But prostitutes were also used by Adolf Hitler’s government to try to boost the performance of soldiers, as well as to reward prisoners at concentration camps - a manipulative method of creating competition and division. Gay men were also forced to have sex with female prostitutes to prove they were “healed”. Prostitutes were also considered "asocial" by the Nazis and sent to concentration camps. Full story...

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UN condemns Sri Lanka over war probe...

The United Nations has condemned Sri Lanka's government for failing to investigate civil war-era atrocities, suggesting the government was afraid of punishing soldiers who committed abuses during the conflict.

The world body had previously accused the Sri Lankan military of killing thousands of civilians, mostly ethnic Tamils, in the last weeks of a 26-year civil war that ended in 2009.

Government troops were accused of deliberately shelling civilians, hospitals, and blocking food and medical aid to hundreds of thousands of people boxed inside a tiny strip of land as the now-defeated Tamil Tiger rebels mounted their last stand.

"The consistent failure to effectively investigate, prosecute and punish serious crimes appears to reflect a broader reluctance or fear to take action against members of the security forces," Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UN rights council on Wednesday.

"At the centre of all this are the victims," he said. "There can never be sustainable peace without justice for them." Full story...

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Youth in Singapore shunning religion...

Having prayed to Buddha as a child and after spending her early teens worshipping Jesus, copywriter Hannah Jasmine Kok, 23, no longer believes in the divine.

She said she left the Buddhist faith at 13 as she could not relate to rituals she performed with her parents, and dropped out of church after three years because she "didn't think it was going anywhere".

Now an atheist, she said: "I think it is highly improbable that any god exists. There is no evidence for it."

Ms Kok is one of a growing number of young people here with no religious affiliations.

The Department of Statistics' General Household Survey 2015 report released earlier this month found that those who said they had no religious affiliation constituted 18.5 per cent of the resident population last year - up from 17 per cent in 2010. Full story...

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Imam arrested for running prostituition ring from Saudi mosque...

An imam was arrested earlier this week in Saudi Arabia on charges of performing illicit sexual acts and operating a prostitution network from within a mosque, the Saudi media reported.

The imam, a Bangladeshi immigrant from the city of Afif, allegedly solicited Bangladeshi housekeepers to have sex with him inside his mosque and passed them on to another man for a fee – though it remains unclear whether these acts were performed inside the mosque’s four walls.

A video of his arrest, in which several women were seen inside the mosque, sent shockwaves across the kingdom’s mainstream and social media.

It was also reported that the local branch of the Ministry of Religions appointed a special investigator. Full story...

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'Winston Churchill is no better than Adolf Hitler,' says Indian politician...

An Indian politician has said Winston Churchill is no better than Adolf Hitler and the two leaders have equivalent amounts of “blood” on their hands.

Dr Shashi Tharoor, whose new book Inglorious Empire chronicles the atrocities of the British Empire, said the former British Prime Minister should be remembered alongside the most prominent dictators of the twentieth century.

Dr Tharoor, a former Under-Secretary General of the UN, said the blame for the Bengal Famine rested with Churchill. In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.

“This is the man who the British insist on hailing as some apostle of freedom and democracy," the author said of Churchill at a launch of his book. "When to my mind he is really one of the more evil rulers of the 20th century only fit to stand in company of the likes of Hitler, Mao and Stalin". Full story...

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The dog lady of New Delhi...

Mandatory vaccine push by Big Pharma tied to Australian Prime Minister’s wife...

Vaccines are a touchy subject in Australia, where government officials aggressively push for total compliance with vaccination mandates by whatever means possible. There is even a “No Jab No Pay” law on the books that essentially bars citizens from receiving government welfare unless they and their children are fully vaccinated. And at the root of it all, as usual, is government collusion with big industry, including with Australia’s new prime minister — and more specifically, his wife.

Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly been exposed for his own ties to multinational corporations. He has large investments in many of them, particularly tech companies, that many say is clouding his judgment on various matters more than just a little bit. At issue with the vaccination debate is his wife Lucy’s ties to pharmaceutical companies, and how this influence is steering public policy to force Aussies to be jabbed against their will in order to function normally within society.

As explained by The Mind Unleashed, Lucy Turnbull is chairman of the pharmaceutical company Prima Biomed, which is currently trying to release a vaccine for cancer that it knows will generate billions of dollars in profits. Cancer, of course, is the one thing that bonds the populations of the world in solidarity of fear, so it’s expected that people will flock to the vaccine, should it ever achieve proper standards for safety and effectiveness. Full story...

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They thought she was crazy: doctor extracts RFID chip from sex-trafficking victim...

If someone walks into a hospital and claims that they’re being tracked, and that they need to have a tracking device removed, there’s a pretty good chance that they’re going to be sent to a mental institution instead. However, according to a doctor who wished to remain anonymous to protect his patient, that very situation occurred last October and it didn’t end how you might expect.

The patient in question was a 28-year-old woman who claimed that she had a GPS tracking device planted in her body. Normally a patient like that would be regarded as crazy, but this woman appeared totally sane, and she had an incision mark on her side. So the doctor decided to check her out anyway. The medical staff at the hospital were stunned when they finally gave her an x-ray.

“Embedded in the right side of her flank is a small metallic object only a little bit larger than a grain of rice. But it’s there. It’s unequivocally there. She has a tracker in her. And no one was speaking for like five seconds — and in a busy ER that’s saying something.”

It turns out that it wasn’t a GPS device, but an RFID chip. “It’s used to tag cats and dogs. And someone had tagged her like an animal, like she was somebody’s pet that they owned.” Full story...

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Singapore blogger bends under threat of huge fine, jail term...

Han Hui Hui, a 24-year-old Singapore dissident, has buckled under to a threat of a S$600,000 fine and jp to 18 years in prison for “scandalizing” the Singapore courts and removed a series of blogs and a Facebook entry from the Internet and apologized to the court for posting them.

Singapore still takes no stick about its courts. She claimed she was mistreated in custody on while awaiting a court hearing for helping to organize a protest rally in Hong Lim Park, the only place where it is legal to exercise free speech without a permit in the island republic, and for organizing a demonstration without approval.

The charges stem from the YouTube video and five Facebook posts she put on her blog between Jan 21 and Feb 25 about her dealings with the authorities, who allege she falsified her charges of mistreatment, and that they have CCTV camera footage to prove it and have charged her with “scandalizing” the Singapore courts.

“I have been advised not to publish the six charges,” Han said in an email. The Singapore government, she said, “is out to politically persecute me by using character assassination against me through the mainstream media.” She has refused to take down the blogs. Full story...

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Inside the 'billionaire bunkers' where the world's super rich will ride out the apocalypse...

A growing number of the world's super rich are preparing for the apocalypse by purchasing 'doomsday bunkers'.

But don't expect the one per cent to slum it out in drab, concrete dwellings as they survive the end of the world - these bunkers feature some of the most lavish layouts imaginable that are designed for the more modern survivalist.

'Your father or grandfather's bunker was not very comfortable,' Robert Vicino, CEO of Vivos, told CNN.

'They were gray. They were metal, like a ship or something military. And the truth is mankind cannot survive long-term in such a Spartan, bleak environment.' More + photos...

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