Saturday, February 18, 2017

Now HALF of families text each other in the same house: Experts say tech craze could have a 'catastrophic' effect on family life...

Some will find it depressing. Others will recognise an all-too familiar snapshot of tech-obsessed modern life.

But nearly half of families with children now text each other when they are in the same house.

Just under a third of us (32 per cent) are guilty of tapping out messages on mobiles when we want to talk to someone under the same roof, according to research.

That figure rises to 45 per cent for households with children – suggesting the phenomenon is only set to get worse.

It’s not the only way mobiles get in the way of family time at home.

In a third of households, people use their mobiles during their mealtimes. Full story...

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French presidential hopeful Macron calls colonisation a ‘crime against humanity’

French independent presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron described colonisation as a “crime against humanity” during a visit to Algeria this week, sparking outrage back home among conservative and far-right parties.

Macron, a centrist, unequivocally condemned France’s colonial history in an interview broadcast by Algerian television Echorouk on Tuesday.

“It’s a crime. It’s a crime against humanity,” the former economy minister said. “It’s truly barbarous and it’s part of a past that we need to confront by apologising to those against whom we committed these acts.”

“At the same time, we must not sweep this past under the rug…There’s a fitting phrase that is said about Algeria: ‘France established human rights in Algeria. It simply forgot to [abide] by them,’” he added. Full story...

Saudi air raid kills eight women, child at Yemen funeral...

An air strike killed eight women and a child at a funeral reception near the Yemeni capital, witnesses said, adding to the conflict's mounting civilian death toll.

At least 10 other women were wounded in the overnight raid on the district of Arhab, 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Sanaa, medics sent to the site told AFP.

The United Nations gave the toll as at least six women and one girl killed, with Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the UN's special envoy to Yemen, branding such attacks on civilians "unjustifiable".

The Iran-backed Huthi Shiite rebels, who seized large parts of the country including the capital in 2014, accused the Saudi-backed Arab coalition supporting the Yemeni government of carrying out the strike. Full story...

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Stop giving your child SPEED for ADHD!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Samsung's billionaire chief is now in a jail cell with a mattress on the floor and no shower...

For Jay Y. Lee, the third-generation leader of South Korea's massive Samsung Group and scion of the country's wealthiest family, home is now a 71-square-foot detention cell with a toilet in the corner behind a partition.

He has no shower, only a washstand. His bed is a mattress on the floor.

The 48-year-old Lee was arrested early Friday in connection with a corruption scandal that led to the impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, a decision that is being reviewed by the country's Constitutional Court.

 He has denied any wrongdoing. Full story...

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CIA espionage orders for the last french presidential election...

All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human (“HUMINT”) and electronic (“SIGINT”) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election. The revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks as context for its forthcoming CIA Vault 7 series. Named specifically as targets are the French Socialist Party (PS), the National Front (FN) and Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) together with current President Francois Hollande, then President Nicolas Sarkozy, current round one presidential front-runner Marine Le Pen, and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Khan.

(...)

The espionage order for “Non Ruling Political Parties and Candidates Strategic Election Plans” which targeted Francois Holland, Marine Le Pen, and other opposition figures requires obtaining opposition parties’ strategies for the election; information on internal party dynamics and rising leaders; efforts to influence and implement political decisions; support from local government officials, government elites or business elites; views of the United States; efforts to reach out to other countries, including Germany, U.K., Libya, Israel, Palestine, Syria & Cote d’Ivoire; as well as information about party and candidate funding. Full story...

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Living in… the world’s most welcoming countries...

For many expats, finding new friends can ease the often overwhelming task of adjusting to a new life abroad. But with huge variances in local culture and language capabilities, some places can definitely feel more welcoming than others.

To determine where expats might find the best success of fitting in fast, global community network InterNations recently conducted their annual Expat Insider survey of more than 14,000 expats from 191 countries, asking residents to rate a number of aspects about life abroad, including how easy it was to settle in, a country’s friendliness and ease of making friends.

We talked to residents in the countries ranked high for friendliness to find out what makes these places so hospitable to newcomers. Full story...

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Rodrigo Duterte 'has millions hidden in bank accounts'

A critic of Rodrigo Duterte has released almost a decade of bank statements which he claims show the Philippine leader has millions in hidden assets.

Senator Antonio Trillanes, one of the few politicians who regularly challenges the popular president, published copies of what he said were statements from 2006 to 2015, totalling 2.4 billion pesos (£38.3m) in numerous accounts.

He claimed they belong to Mr Duterte and that he failed to declare them before his election last May.

According to the documents, some of the accounts were joint accounts that the president held with people close to him, including relatives.

Some were individual accounts in the names of other close associates, but Mr Trillanes said all of them, even those that did not have Mr Duterte's name, actually belonged to him. Full story...

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Swiss schools try to smooth waves in Muslim swimming controversy...

Aung San Suu Kyi has no excuse for staying silent on the Rohingya crisis...

Aung San Suu Kyi, the famed and much fawned-over former opposition leader of Myanmar, cannot be immune to criticism. Undoubtedly a force for good in opposition, I believe she has failed to live up to her promise since her release from house arrest in 2010.

While she was blocked from becoming president in the country’s civilian elections, she nonetheless became de facto head of government as “state counsellor” – a position created just for her. She is far from a disempowered opposition voice and, after years of flexing her muscles in power, she faces quiet but mounting international disquiet. Many once-devoted onlookers worry she hasn’t done enough to stand up to allegations that the military’s actions may constitute crimes against humanity. Those alleged crimes include the violent persecution of Myanmar’s 1.3m ethnic Rohingya Muslims.

Hundreds of thousands have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, many in overcrowded boats, starving to death in the process. Reports on the scale of the massacres and ethnic cleansing are evidenced by satellite images showing entire Rohingya villages destroyed, including 820 buildings in just eight days. Myanmar’s authorities have denied the allegations of abuse. Full story...

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Prophet caught in bed with married woman, flees naked!

A naughty Zvishavane self-styled prophet had to flee n*ked after being busted having sex with a married woman.

Blessing Dube was thoroughly wiped by Liberty Nhanha last Sunday for having sex with Ndaizivei Madondo in their matrimonial bedroom hut.

Dube was a bit luck after Nhanha missed him with an axe, reports show.

On the other hand, Madondo is said to be battling for her life at Zvishavane District Hospital.

According to reports, Madondo used to frequent Dube for prayers a development that led to Nhanha to be suspects an affair.

Nhanha decided to trap the pair. Full story...

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Indian weddings: Curb sought on excessive spending...

The worst excesses of the Indian wedding industry may soon be curbed if a new bill is approved.

The proposed bill will not only limit the number of guests and dishes served to avoid waste, but also put a "tax" on the most extravagant newlyweds.

Those who spend over 500,000 rupees ($7,500; £6,000) will have to give 10% of the overall cost to poorer brides to help them pay for their weddings.

It comes amid rising anger over the huge sums being shelled out by some.

In November, the five-day wedding of businessman and ex-state minister G Janardhana Reddy's daughter, Brahmani, with an estimated cost of about 5bn rupees ($74m; £59m), prompted outrage as millions of Indians struggled with a cash flow crisis.

Among the extravagances were gold-plated invitation cards fitted with LCD screens, costing 10m rupees. Full story...

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FAKE NEWS WEEK: A guide to mainstream media ‘Fake News’ war propaganda...

As the establishment continues its attempt to discredit alternative sources of information through its fake news faux crisis, it’s clear that some corporate media moguls would like to turn back the clock – back to the days when a handful of powerful institutions enjoyed a complete monopoly over the production of news and dissemination of information.

Through this information syndicate, they have been able to create a type of consensus reality. By channeling public opinion, the establishment has been able to facilitate a number of engineered outcomes, including war.

More than ever, it’s important to highlight how for many decades, these same media organizations, including the most respected brands in western mainstream media, have been the driving force behind some of most deceptive reporting and militaristic propaganda campaigns which have enabled the conditions for violent conflict worldwide. These acts of media malice have contributed to the unnecessary deaths of countless innocent people.

Undoubtedly, many who work in the media will not see it that way, but history speaks for itself. Full story...

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One husband's tribute to a timeless love...

India’s toxic air is now contributing to nearly 1.1 million deaths a year, and the country is on its way toward standing alone as the site of the deadliest air pollution problem on the planet...

This is not a distinction any country wants. India’s toxic air is now contributing to nearly 1.1 million deaths a year, and the country is on its way toward standing alone as the site of the deadliest air pollution problem on the planet.

We’ve all seen pictures of Chinese cities blanketed in smog, and China’s air pollution has been the world’s worst for years in terms of the number of premature deaths it causes. But it’s now roughly tied with India, and the two countries appear headed in opposite directions, according to a new report on global air quality released Tuesday.

The study, a joint effort between the Health Effects Institute in Boston and the Seattle-based Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, suggests that since 1990, developed countries like the U.S. and much of Europe have made continued strides in cleaning up their air. And while China has been the poster child for foul air for years, strong government regulation has leveled off its overall deaths attributable to air pollution over the last five years, while the death rate has been on a steady downward trend. Full story...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

German newspaper apologises for publishing false allegations of Cologne-style New Year sex assaults in Frankfurt ...

Germany’s highest-selling newspaper has issued an apology for publishing false allegations of Cologne-style sex attacks in Frankurt during New Year celebrations.

Police in the city ordered an investigation after Bild claimed a mob of some 900 drunk asylum-seekers had assaulted women on one of the city’s best known shopping streets.

But the police investigation found conclusively that there was no mob and that the alleged sex assaults did not take place.

“The allegations are baseless and entirely without grounds,” the Frankfurt police said in a statement on Tuesday. “This is the conclusion of an intensive and exhaustive police investigation.”

Bild claimed hundreds of asylum-seekers travelled to Frankfurt on New Year’s Eve and massed in the area around Fressgass, an upmarket shopping and nightlife street, after they were turned away from the city centre by police. Full story...

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The Neocons and the “deep state” have neutered the Trump Presidency, it’s over folks!

Less than a month ago I warned that a ‘color revolution ‘ was taking place in the USA. My first element of proof was the so-called “investigation” which the CIA, FBI, NSA and others were conducting against President Trump’s candidate to become National Security Advisor, General Flynn. Tonight, the plot to get rid of Flynn has finally succeeded and General Flynn had to offer his resignation. Trump accepted it.

Now let’s immediately get one thing out of the way: Flynn was hardly a saint or a perfect wise man who would single handedly saved the world. That he was not. However, what Flynn was is the cornerstone of Trump’s national security policy. For one thing, Flynn dared the unthinkable: he dared to declare that the bloated US intelligence community had to be reformed. Flynn also tried to subordinate the CIA and the Joint Chiefs to the President via the National Security Council. Put differently, Flynn tried to wrestle the ultimate power and authority from the CIA and the Pentagon and subordinate them back to the White House. Flynn also wanted to work with Russia. Not because he was a Russia lover, the notion of a Director of the DIA as a Putin-fan is ridiculous, but Flynn was rational, he understood that Russia was no threat to the USA or to Europe and that Russia had the West had common interests. That is another absolutely unforgivable crimethink in Washington DC.

The Neocon run ‘deep state’ has now forced Flynn to resign under the idiotic pretext that he had a telephone conversation, on an open, insecure and clearly monitored, line with the Russian ambassador.

And Trump accepted this resignation. Full story...

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Don’t let modern medicine put you in your grave just yet!

Getting behind the curtains on the stage of modern medicine like I do, one gets the distinct impression that people are just being allowed to die on time for the benefit of life insurance companies and/or to fulfill covert population control agendas.

Modern medicine prescribes replacement thyroid, estrogen, and insulin but fails to prescribe another important hormone, leaving millions of senior Americans with a weak immune system and vulnerability to infection and cancer. The only proposed remedies are stem cell injections or organ transplants that are expensive and impractical since replacement of this hormone would be universal among adults over age 60.

Due to the age-related decline in the immune system, infectious disease remains among the top 5-10 causes of mortality and morbidity in the elderly. Therefore, successful efforts to improve immunity remain an important aspect of healthspan extension. [Aging Cell 2015]

It is tempting to assert covert end-of-life population control is underway. In human trials, humans accidentally exposed to cancer-causing chemicals who received immunotherapy were nearly 60% less likely to develop cancer. Full story...

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Would winning the lottery make you happier?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

We must regulate the price of stuff at airports because it is pure extortion in there...

“Making flying suck less” has long been an obvious winning issue for any politician brave enough to stand up to the airline industry. In fact, an easy way to start is to make airports suck less.

One thing about airports: they suck? “Why?” you may be asking yourself, and I’ll tell you: everything is expensive. Don’t believe me? Learn to count you fucking idiot.

Go to the airport. Go buy yourself a crappy takeout sandwich. I’ll wait here.... “Wha!!!” you exclaim. “Eleven dollars for a crappy takeout sandwich?” And that’s not all. Every damn thing is outrageously expensive inside an airport. Food prices? Scandalous. Snack prices? Absurd. Magazines, books, aspirin, contact solution, Pepto-Bismol prices? Shocking. Even bottles of good old water and soda are flagrantly overpriced—a nice racket, considering you can’t bring in your own.

So not only are you forced to pay hundreds of dollars to be packed uncomfortably into a flying Greyhound bus with no free food as some asshole reclines his seat into your lap, but you are also forced to be positively extorted on any small purchases you make in the airport while waiting to be herded onto your cattle car with wings. Could you just “bring food from home” instead of making any purchases? Sure, just like you could grow all your own food instead of going the grocery store and sew your own clothes instead of shopping and etc. There are a lot of things you could do. But that is not an excuse for extortion. The only reason you would bring food from home is because otherwise you will be subject to price-gouging. That does not make the price-gouging okay, any more than forgetting to lock your front door makes it o kay for someone to rob your house. Full story...

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Maduro kicks CNN out of Venezuela, accuses it of spreading fake news...

While tensions between President Trump and CNN dying down, a new scandal has erupted for the cable news network after Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro said on Sunday he wanted CNN out of the country, accusing it of spreading fake news, misrepresenting the truth and meddling in issues that are not of its concern.

“CNN, do not get into the affairs of Venezuelans. I want CNN well away from here. Outside of Venezuela. Do not put your nose in Venezuela,” said Maduro during a political statement. Quoted by Fox News, Maduro made the comment after blaming the U.S. network of distorting the facts when reporting on irregularities at a Caracas public high school.

“Some media like CNN tried to manipulate. They cannot manipulate! That is our business, of the Venezuelans,” he said.
Last week PanAmPost reported that a student demanded on national television that the president improve the conditions of his school, asking for security, infrastructure and food so his classmates wouldn’t faint from hunger anymore. CNN en Español visited the high school and talked with the staff about the student, and whether Maduro had made any improvements since that incident only to discover he had not. Full story...

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The U.S. military's stats on deadly airstrikes are wrong. Thousands have gone unreported...

he American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war's expense, manpower requirements and human toll. Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters.

Most alarming is the prospect this data has been incomplete since the war on terrorism began in October 2001. If that is the case, it would fundamentally undermine confidence in much of what the Pentagon has disclosed about its prosecution of these wars, prompt critics to call into question whether the military sought to mislead the American public, and cast doubt on the competency with which other vital data collection is being performed. Full story...

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Why millions of Chinese men are staying single...

In China, there is a name for unmarried men over 30. Shengnan, meaning “leftover men” have yet to find a wife – and in a country with a growing gender gap, that’s a big problem.

China has many millions more men than women, a hangover of the country's one-child policy, which was overturned in 2015, though its effects will last decades more. The gender imbalance is making it hard for many men to find a partner – and the gap is likely to widen. By 2020, it’s estimated there will be 30 million more men than women looking for a partner. In his book, The Demographic Future, American political economist Nicholas Eberstadt cites projections that by 2030, more than a quarter of Chinese men in their 30s will not have married.

Now, with far fewer women than men, the race to find a suitable partner—and win her over before someone else does—has led some men to go to great lengths to find a wife. They’re spending vast sums on creative, sometimes unsuccessful, measures to win a woman over. Full story...

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Bill Hicks on marijuana...

France's bumbling search for a candidate to stop Le Pen...

Europeans are keeping close tabs on France in this decisive election year, and the French are giving them plenty to watch. Three months before the final round of voting in the presidential election on May 7, a good portion of the political establishment has already been weeded out of the race. And it currently looks as though the purge won't be slowing down any time soon.

Currently, a big question mark is hovering over the future career of François Fillon, who had looked until last week like one of the most promising contenders. But then, as the newspaper Le Canard enchaîné put it, a "gigantic stain appeared on his white vest." But Fillon's travails are only the most recent in a string of absurdities that have dogged the French campaign.

Right from the get go, President François Hollande's disastrous showing in the polls prevented him, the incumbent, from running for re-election. His prime minister Manuel Valls, once one of the country's most popular politicians, also got derailed as the Socialist Party's replacement candidate in the primary. And "omnipresident" Nicolas Sarkozy fared equally poorly in the conservative party's primary. The early vote also wiped out the prospects of the man who had led all the polls: Alain Juppé, the aging mayor of Bordeaux, who at times looked almost like he already had one foot in the door at Élysée Palace, the French White House. Full story...

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The Internet and your brain are more alike than you think...

Although we spend a lot of our time online nowadays--streaming music and video, checking email and social media, or obsessively reading the news--few of us know about the mathematical algorithms that manage how our content is delivered. But deciding how to route information fairly and efficiently through a distributed system with no central authority was a priority for the Internet's founders. Now, a Salk Institute discovery shows that an algorithm used for the Internet is also at work in the human brain, an insight that improves our understanding of engineered and neural networks and potentially even learning disabilities.

"The founders of the Internet spent a lot of time considering how to make information flow efficiently," says Salk Assistant Professor Saket Navlakha, coauthor of the new study that appears online in Neural Computation on February 9, 2017. "Finding that an engineered system and an evolved biological one arise at a similar solution to a problem is really interesting."

In the engineered system, the solution involves controlling information flow such that routes are neither clogged nor underutilized by checking how congested the Internet is. To accomplish this, the Internet employs an algorithm called "additive increase, multiplicative decrease" (AIMD) in which your computer sends a packet of data and then listens for an acknowledgement from the receiver: If the packet is promptly acknowledged, the network is not overloaded and your data can be transmitted through the network at a higher rate. With each successive successful packet, your computer knows it's safe to increase its speed by one unit, which is the additive increase part. Full story...

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Italy's Tiziana: Tragedy of a woman destroyed by viral sex videos...

It probably took no more than a few seconds for Tiziana Cantone to begin the sequence of events that led to her suicide.

In April 2015, the 31-year-old from Mugnano, on the outskirts of Naples, sent a series of sex videos to five people via WhatsApp. The recipients included her boyfriend Sergio Di Palo, with whom she had an unstable relationship.

The videos showed her performing sex acts with a number of unidentified men.

"She was beautiful but fragile," remembers Teresa Petrosino, a friend for 15 years. "She was with the wrong people at the wrong time."

The videos were soon shared and uploaded to several adult websites. The physical actions on the tapes did not stand out. But a single sentence from Tiziana Cantone did.

"You're making a video?" she asked the man holding the camera. "Bravo!" Full story...

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Pakistan bans Valentine's Day celebrations...

The Islamabad High Court on Monday imposed a ban on Valentine’s Day celebrations across the country.

The order came during a hearing of a petition arguing that the day is not part of Muslim tradition and should be banned immediately.

According to the court order, Valentine’s Day related festivities have been banned in public places as well as on an official level. Electronic and print media have also been directed to not give coverage to any promotion of the day celebrating love.

The IHC directed the information ministry, federal government, Pemra chairman and chief commissioner to submit a reply within 10 days. Full story...

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8 foods that cause cancer: you need to stop eating them right NOW...

As Fredrick Vom Saal, endocrinologist at the University of Missouri, explains: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A (more commonly known as BPA), a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles or in Tetra Pak boxes. Full story...

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Why humanity destroyed itself...


Hong Kong residents squeeze into ‘coffin homes’ as housing crisis worsens...

The high rents in Hong Kong are forcing some of its seven million people into so-called 'coffin homes,' or 20-square-foot cages just big enough to lie down and hang a few shirts and pairs of pants.

Over the past five years, rental prices in one of Asia's wealthiest cities have increased nearly 50 percent, reaching an all-time high. The average price per square foot in Hong Kong is slightly lower than New York City, hovering at around $1,380.

Hong Kong was recently named as the most unaffordable major housing market in the world.

Officials acknowledge the housing problem and have pledged to build 280,000 additional public homes and 180,000 private homes by 2027.

Hong Kong's chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, has called the housing crisis "the gravest potential hazard" to society, as only seven percent of the city's land is zoned for housing. Full story...

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

No brides for houses without toilets say 110 villages from 3 states in India...

No toilet, no bride. This is the message that has been sent across by residents of 110 villages from three neighbouring states — Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh — in a sweeping move to inculcate healthy habits and curb open defecation in rural areas. .
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 Around 1,200 villagers from the three states took part in a panchayat at Tiwara village in Punahana sub-division of Nuh, around 100 km from Gurgaon, on Thursday and unanimously decided to not marry their daughters into households which do not have toilets. They have also decided to ban liquor consumption and DJ music at weddings to check overheads, the burden of which often fall on brides' families. .
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 Led by around 100 ulemas and maulanas, the participants, mostly from the Muslim community, decided to launch an awareness campaign as a part of the Swachh Bharat mission and took a resolution to eradicate social evils. .
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"Open defecation is not only an unhygienic habit, but also it often leads to crime against women, especially since most women have to step out of homes in the dark. So, unless a groom has a toilet at his house, he won't get a bride," said maulana Yahya Karimi, a resident of Tiwara village, who chaired the panchayat. Full story...

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What if the internet stopped working for a day?

Jeff Hancock likes to give his Stanford University students weekend assignments that let them experience concepts discussed in class for themselves. Before 2008, he would sometimes challenge his students to stay off the internet for 48 hours and then discuss how it affected them. But when Hancock returned to work in 2009, after a year-long sabbatical, things had changed.

“When I tried to introduce the task, there was a class revolt,” says Hancock, who studies the psychological and social processes involved in online communication. “The students emphatically said the assignment was impossible and unfair.”

They argued that going offline even for a weekend would prevent them from completing work in other classes, ruin their social lives, and make their friends and family worry that something terrible had happened to them. Hancock had to concede and cancelled the activity – and he’s never attempted it again. “That was 2009, and now with mobile as present as it is, I don’t even know what students would do if I asked them to do that,” he says. “They’d probably report me to the university president.” Full story...

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Merkel offers cash handouts worth millions of pounds for migrants to return home in an embarrassing U-turn...

Angela Merkel will offer cash handouts worth millions of pounds for migrants to leave Germany in an effort to silence criticism of her ‘open-door’ border policy.

In a highly-embarrassing U-turn over the ill-fated plan, which saw 1.2million migrants flock to the country, Mrs Merkel has now vowed to send many of them home.

The German chancellor agreed a package of measures to speed up the deportation process for an estimated 450,000 migrants who have been rejected asylum.

The controversial plan, which marks a significant toughening of previous proposals, includes a £76million scheme that will offer migrants cash incentives to leave Germany voluntarily.

Many will see the move as a desperate attempt for Miss Merkel to claw back support ahead of her challenging re-election bid in September. Full story...

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Simon's cat: Looking for love...

Phiippines dismisses about 100 policemen for using drugs

The Philippine police have sacked nearly 100 policemen since the start of the year because they were found to be drug users, a top official said on Saturday, in a clean-up of the ranks after President Rodrigo Duterte halted police anti-drug operations.

More than 7,700 people have been killed since Duterte unleashed his bloody war on drugs seven months ago, about 2,500 in police operations, while the rest are being investigated.

Duterte had been unwavering in defending the police in the face of international outrage over the toll, but his faith was shaken by the killing of a South Korean businessmen late last year by rogue officers.

Ninety police officers have been fired since the start of the year and nine were removed last year, Internal Affairs Service Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo said in comments broadcast on ANC TV.

"Those caught using illegal drugs, according to the civil service rules, must be dismissed...that is a grave offence," he said, adding that he had promised the chief of police that he would quickly resolve outstanding cases. Full story...

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Tuesday, February 07, 2017

'Shocking' scale of Catholic Church sex crimes in Australia revealed...

About seven percent of Catholic priests in Australia were accused of sexually abusing children between 1950 and 2010, but few allegations were investigated, an inquiry in Sydney has heard.

The scathing figures, released as hearings began on Monday over the allegations dating back decades, were compiled with the cooperation of the church as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The commission, Australia's highest level of inquiry, reported 4,444 alleged incidents of sexual abuse by Catholic priests between 1980 and 2015.

The inquiry also heard that 1,265 priests and religious brothers and nuns had been accused during a 60-year period ending 2010.

"These numbers are shocking. They are tragic and they are indefensible," Franklin Sullivan, head of the church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council, told the commission in Sydney.

"As Catholics, we hang our heads in shame," he added, holding back tears as he described the "massive failure on the part of the Catholic Church in Australia to protect children from abusers". Full story...

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Apocalypse island: Tech billionaires are building boltholes in New Zealand because they now fear social collapse or nuclear war. So what do they know that we don't?

You’re all set — your bags were packed long ago, there’s a dozen solid gold coins stashed inside your belt and a pistol strapped round your waist.

There’s no need to say goodbye to the wife and children as they’re already waiting for you 6,000 miles away in New Zealand, having slipped off quietly at the first whiff of global catastrophe.

Now, they’re making themselves comfortable in that fortress home you’ve spent years preparing. They’ve got store-loads of food and enough guns and ammunition to start World War III – which might, anyway, have begun by the time you arrive.

The high-powered motorbike you’ve never used is waiting outside to whisk you to the private airport where your plane sits waiting.

A helicopter-ride at the other end, pull up the drawbridge — yes, you have one — and you’re ready to wait, for years if necessary, for civilisation to return. Full story...

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Meet the Awan Brothers - the (not-Russian) IT staff who allegedly hacked Congress' computer systems...

In an ironic twist, it appears it may not have been 'The Russians' that hacked America's political system last year. As The Daily Caller reports, three brothers (Abid, Imran, and Jamal Awan) who managed office IT for members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and other lawmakers were abruptly relieved of their duties on suspicion that they accessed congressional computer networks without permission.

As Luke Rosiak repoerts, the brothers were barred from computer networks at the House of Representatives Thursday, The Daily Caller News Foundation Investigative Group has learned.

Three members of the intelligence panel and five members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs were among the dozens of members who employed the suspects on a shared basis. The two committees deal with many of the nation’s most sensitive issues, information and documents, including those related to the war on terrorism.

The brothers are suspected of serious violations, including accessing members’ computer networks without their knowledge and stealing equipment from Congress.

The three men are “shared employees,” meaning they are hired by multiple offices, which split their salaries and use them as needed for IT services. It is up to each member to fire them from working... Full story...

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All that we share...


Phnom Penh's No 1 ladies taxi scooter agency...

When they show up at a Phnom Penh hotel in their tight red T-shirts and skinny jeans, people tend to get the wrong idea about Renou Chea and her fellow Moto Girl Tour guides.

"They think we're not 'good girls'," says Renou, a slight 26-year-old with long dark hair. "They think we're 'bad girls'."

It is an important distinction to make in Cambodia, where women who associate with foreigners are often assumed to be "bad girls" - or women who work in the sex trade.

"Sometimes they think that when we hang out with the men, it's just like for sex or something like that," adds her sister, Raksmey Chea, 23.

The Moto Girl Tour website doesn't help, offering motorbike tours of Cambodia's capital by "young and beautiful lady drivers". Full story...

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Monday, February 06, 2017

Most Britons believe selling arms to Saudis is ‘unacceptable’

Almost two-thirds of British people think selling arms to Saudi Arabia – the UK’s largest defence customer – is unacceptable.

The finding comes ahead of this week’s high court case, which has the potential to derail arms sales to the kingdom – and could have major consequences for defence exports to other countries too.

The case, on Tuesday, comes at a time when Theresa May’s government is keen to promote UK arms exports. In a post-Brexit world, ministers believe the arms industry could be a major beneficiary when the UK establishes new trade deals. Last month, May agreed a £100m deal to help equip the Turkish military with fighter jets.

But an Opinium poll conducted for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade suggests the government’s enthusiasm for selling weapons to regimes with questionable human rights records is firmly out of step with public opinion. Full story...

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Italian priest faces defrocking over orgies in the rectory!!!

An Italian priest will likely lose his role after allegations that he organized orgies on church property.

The scandal has rocked the Catholic church, with three other clergymen said to have participated in the sex parties in northern Italy.

Don Andrea Contin, priest of a small church in Padua, is accused of organizing orgies, having as many as 30 lovers, and taking trips with them to a naturist swingers' resort in France. He reportedly lived a double life, taking the women to expensive restaurants where he posed as a lawyer.

"He always carried a briefcase full of vibrators, sex toys, masks and bondage equipment," one of his accusers said in her police statement, according to the Corriere del Veneto. She also claimed that the priest encouraged her to have sexual intercourse with a horse, and beat her in the rectory on two occasions.

 The police investigation into Contin, who is accused of psychological and physical assault and facilitating prostitution, is ongoing, but on Thursday Padua's bishop, Claudio Cipolla said Contin would likely lose his job regardless of the outcome. Full story...

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