Friday, March 27, 2015

Reprimanded for Facebook chatting, Indian boy kills himself...

Reprimanded by mother for continuously chatting with his facebook friends on mobile, a class IX student shot self with his father's licensed revolver in his Manas Nagar resident at Naini on Wednesday.

Karchana circle officer Samar Bahadur said that a lawyer lived in Manas Nagar colony. His elder son Charan (name changed) was hooked to mobile chatting due to which he was reprimanded by his mother.

He further said that the boy was chatting with his facebook friends on mobile when his mother scolded him and asked him to concentrate on studies. A furious Charan threw away his phone and rushed into the backroom. Before other family members could react, they heard a fun fire.

His mother immediately rushed to the room and found Charan in a pool of blood. He was immediately rushed to a private nursing home where doctors declared him brought dead, said the officer.

 Cognitive expert of Allahabad University's Centre of Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CBC) Dr Bhoomika R Kar said, "Children below the age of 15-16 years are not mature enough to handle situations and often lose temper. Besides, in some families, especially those having single child, kids are pampered. They often react violently to any attempt to prevent them from doing things of their interest. This is where things get out of hand." Source...

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Australian media criticises India for lacking fight in World Cup semifinal...

Australian media were critical of lack of fight from Indian batsmen while praising their national team for a strong performance in their emphatic 95-run run victory to storm into the final of the cricket World Cup on Thursday.

Chasing a stiff target of 329, India were all out for 233 in 46.5 overs and the media here said that the likes of captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (65) and Virat Kohli (1) failed to inspire their team when it mattered the most.

"If India were going to have any chance of chasing down Australia's target, it was going to come down to one of Dhoni or Kohli to go the distance but neither managed to," a report in the 'Daily Telegraph' said.

"There was hope for India for as long as MS Dhoni was still at the crease, but in the semi-final of the World Cup the Indian skipper simply gave up. Dhoni, possibly playing in his last ODI after his shock retirement from Test cricket recently, top-scored for India with 65 before being run out by Glenn Maxwell.

"It was a superb throw, but Dhoni seemed to retire halfway down the pitch. There was no dive, no last-ditch attempt to make his ground, he simply ran straight down the tunnel. And with him vanished India's last sliver of hope," the report said. Full story...

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Pope's sex abuse commission alarmed by bishop appointment...

Several members of Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory board are expressing concern and incredulity over his decision to appoint a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite allegations from victims that he covered up for Chile's most notorious pedophile.

In interviews and emails with The Associated Press, the experts have questioned Francis' pledge to hold bishops accountable, listen to victims and keep children safe, given the record of Bishop Juan Barros in the case of the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

Barros was installed last week as bishop of Osorno in southern Chile amid nationwide political opposition, violent protests in the cathedral and a boycott by most of the diocese's priests and deacons. It was an almost unheard-of vote of no-confidence for a bishop in an overwhelmingly Catholic country in a part of the world that the Argentine pope knows well.

While the Holy See is loath to be bullied by public opinion, the concern about the appointment expressed by the commission members is hard to ignore given that they are not victim advocacy groups. Rather, they are professionals appointed by Francis himself to advise the Vatican on best practices to protect children and educate the church on how to respond to and prevent sexual abuse by priests.

The five commission members spoke to the AP in their personal and professional capacity and stressed that they knew about the case only from news reports and were not speaking on behalf of the 17-member commission, which Francis formed in late 2013 and named Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley to head. Full story...

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Germanwings crash prompts airlines to introduce cockpit ‘rule of two’

Some airlines are to change their rules to ensure two crew members are in plane cockpits at all times, after a co-pilot appeared to deliberately crash a Germanwings plane into the French Alps this week, killing all 150 on board.

Questions have been raised about the lack of a “rule of two” among European carriers after Andreas Lubitz, 27, apparently crashed the Airbus A320 on Tuesday while the captain was locked out of the flight deck.

Two low-cost European carriers – easyJet and Norwegian Air Shuttle – said on Thursday that they would bring the new rule into effect almost immediately.

“EasyJet can confirm that, with effect from tomorrow … it will change its procedure,” the airline said in a statement, adding that the decision had been taken in consultation with the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Norwegian’s flight operations director, Thomas Hesthammer, said: “We have been discussing this for a long time but this development has accelerated things. When one person leaves the cockpit, two people will now have to be there.” Full story...

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Nothing can break this Shaolin kungfu master...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

No more physics and maths, Finland to stop teaching individual subjects...

For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of international league tables for literacy and numeracy.

Only far eastern countries such as Singapore and China outperform the Nordic nation in the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) rankings. Politicians and education experts from around the world – including the UK – have made pilgrimages to Helsinki in the hope of identifying and replicating the secret of its success.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional “teaching by subject” in favour of “teaching by topic”.

“This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,” said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. Full story...

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Facebook reveals its Master Plan – control all news flow...

(...)

Last night, I came across an incredibly important article from the New York Times, which described Facebook’s plan to provide direct access to other websites’ content in exchange for some sort of advertising partnership. The implications of this are so huge that at this point I have far more questions than answers.

Let’s start with a few excerpts from the article:

With 1.4 billion users, the social media site has become a vital source of traffic for publishers looking to reach an increasingly fragmented audience glued to smartphones. In recent months, Facebook has been quietly holding talks with at least half a dozen media companies about hosting their content inside Facebook rather than making users tap a link to go to an external site.

Such a plan would represent a leap of faith for news organizations accustomed to keeping their readers within their own ecosystems, as well as accumulating valuable data on them. Facebook has been trying to allay their fears, according to several of the people briefed on the talks, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were bound by nondisclosure agreements.

Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.
Full story...

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‘Why NOT vaccinating my kids was the best decision I ever made’

When I first became a Mum, I never questioned getting my children vaccinated. It was just what you did when you have children - you do what your doctor tells you, because they know best.

My husband and I had never been told that there could be any adverse reactions, only a bit of redness and swelling at the injection site. So as each of our six eldest children got progressively sicker after each vaccination, we never made that connection.

Out of our six vaccinated children, our 16, 12 and 10-year-old have moderate to severe Autism, our 25-year-old has ADHD, our 14-year-old has a severe language disorder, and our 20-year-old has severe mood swings.

They also suffered from chronic ear infections, bronchiolitis, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, urinary infections, gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders, allergies, chemical sensitivities and intolerances.

We tried genetic testing to look for answers, but no reason was found for our children’s afflictions. So I started looking for answers on my own. I read books, went to seminars, read all the scientific studies I could get my hands on and that’s when I discovered that our family was not the only one.

There were many other families suffering from the same issues as ours. Full story...

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Pakistan police arrest hundreds of parents refusing to vaccinate kids with deadly vaccine causing paralysis epidemic...

It is now official. Vaccination by gunpoint is being carried out through the use of police force. The medical police state is being unleashed in Pakistan as thousands of children are force-fed unnecessary and dangerous pharmaceutical drugs.

Multiple hundreds of parents who nobly object to these vaccinations are being arrested or forced at gunpoint to submit their children to the vaccines. According to Feroz Shah, a spokesman for the Peshawar district administration, 471 people have been arrested so far. "This is the first time such drastic action was taken," Shah said. "This shows determination of the government to eradicate polio."

UNICEF, a key supplier of the vaccines, strives to eradicate polio around the world using vaccines, and Pakistani officials are making them mandatory, destroying parental rights, using force to ram their idea of medicine into the people.

Reportedly, Pakistan inadvertently wasted $3.7 million worth of vaccines donated by UNICEF because of improper storage. Trying not to further waste supplies, authorities are now resorting to force, hunting down anyone who refuses the drugs.

"There is no leniency" if parents refuse the vaccinations, says the deputy police commissioner for Peshawar, Riaz Khan Mahsud. Pakistani officials are tracking down between 13,000 and 16,000 parents who refuse to vaccinate. Many of the helpless, choiceless Pakistanis are persuaded to comply after spending a "few days behind bars." Full story...

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Co-pilot appears to have crashed Germanwings plane deliberately ...

The co-pilot of the Germanwings airliner that crashed in the French Alps killing all 150 people aboard appears to have brought the A320 Airbus down deliberately, the Marseille prosecutor said on Thursday.

German Andreas Lubitz, 28, left in sole control of the Airbus A320 after the captain left the cockpit, refused to re-open the door and operated a control that sent the plane into its final, fatal descent, the prosecutor told a news conference.

The French prosecutor said Lubitz was not known as a terrorist and there were no grounds to consider the crash as a terrorist incident. Recordings suggested passengers' screams began just before the final impact, he said.

Earlier, a German state prosecutor had said that just one of the two pilots of the Germanwings airliner was in the cockpit at the time it went down.

The statements came after the New York Times reported that "black box" recordings showed one of the pilots had left the cockpit and could not get back in before the plane crashed. Full story...

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Youth cuts tongue for India's victory in Cricket World Cup semifinal against Australia...

A cricket crazy youth in Tamil Nadu cut his tongue on Thursday seeking the 'intervention of gods' to make India win the World Cup semifinal match against Australia.

Sudhakar of Ponneri in Vellore district, who closely follows cricket, was sad after Australia amassed 328 runs batting first against India in the semifinal.

Desperation drove the youth to act in a reckless manner and he cut his tongue with a knife at his residence, the Jolarpet police said.

On his hearing Sudhakar's cries, his relatives and neighbours came to his rescue. They rushed him to Adukkamparai government general hospital.

 The police said they had not registered a case as there was no complaint. Source...

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What will happen if all the bees die?

Locked in cages and whipped with toxic stingray tails: The Burmese slaves forced to catch fish that ends up in supermarkets, restaurants and pet shops across America...

Seafood caught by slave fishermen is ending up in supermarkets, restaurants and pet shops across America, an investigation has found.

Burmese men are being kept in cages on a tiny Indonesian island and forced to fish - or risk being kicked, beaten and whipped with stingray tails.

Seafood caught by the slaves is entering major supply networks in the US with tainted produce appearing in sushi, canned pet food and bags of frozen fish, it is claimed.

The Associated Press says the men were brought to the village of Benjina through Thailand and the fish they are forced to catch is shipped back to Thailand before entering the global commerce stream.


It claims tainted fish can wind up in the supply chains of some of America's major grocery stores, such as Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway; the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart; and the biggest food distributor, Sysco. Full story...

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We'll probably kill journalists who don't report the truth, says Thai leader...

Thailand’s junta leader, Prayuth Chan-ocha, has said he will “probably just execute” any journalist who does not “report the truth”.

Last month Gen Prayuth said he had the power to shut down news outlets, and on Wednesday he took an even harsher line. “We’ll probably just execute them,” said Prayuth, without a trace of a smile, when asked by reporters how the government would deal with those who do not adhere to the official line.

“You don’t have to support the government, but you should report the truth,” the former army chief said, telling reporters to write in a way that bolsters national reconciliation in the kingdom.

Prayuth, who is also prime minister, heads the ruling junta, the National Council for Peace and Order. He toppled the government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a coup last May, following months of mass protests aimed at ousting Yingluck.

Known for his abrupt manner and impulsive remarks, Prayuth launched a crackdown on dissenters after seizing power in May. He has said Thailand is not ready to lift martial law, which gives the army sweeping powers, including for arrest and detention. In January, the junta forced a German foundation to cancel a forum on press freedom, saying Thailand was at a sensitive juncture. Full story...

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Indonesian police accidentally got entire neighborhood high burning 3 tons of weed!!!

Police in West Jakarta, Indonesia, got drugs off the streets a few weeks ago, and then accidentally got an entire neighborhood high while they were destroying the drugs.

Residents and nearby journalists reported mild headaches after the area was engulfed by smoke that was pouring from a giant pile of burning cannabis. Police were prepared for the smoke and were wearing gas masks, but they must not have thought about everyone else in town who may not have been in the mood to catch a buzz.

“I got a headache because I wasn’t wearing a mask,” one resident told reporters.

It was also reported that the police destroyed 1.8 kilograms of confiscated crystal meth and 2,538 pills of ecstasy, but it is not clear how they were destroyed, or if they were destroyed on site as well.

No one reported any serious or long term side effects from the smoke, but the police managed to get everyone high with a drug that they arrest people for using on their own.

The burning was a ceremonial occasion that was witnessed by a number of officials and politicians. Source...

EU: Don’t use Facebook if you want to keep the NSA away from your data...

In a key case before the European Union's highest court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the European Commission admitted yesterday that the US-EU Safe Harbor framework for transatlantic data transfers does not adequately protect EU citizens' data from US spying. The European Commission's attorney Bernhard Schima told the CJEU's attorney general: "You might consider closing your Facebook account if you have one," euobserver reports.

The case before the CJEU is the result of complaints lodged against five US companies—Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo—with the relevant data protection authorities in Germany, Ireland, and Luxembourg by the Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, supported by crowdfunding. Because of the important points of European law raised, the Irish High Court referred the Safe Harbor case to the CJEU.

The referral was prompted by Edward Snowden's revelations about the Prism data-collection program, which show that the US intelligence community has ready access to user data held by nine US Internet companies, including the five named in Schrems' complaints. The EU's Data Protection Directive prohibits the transfer of personal data to non-European Union countries that do not meet the EU's "adequacy" standard for privacy protection. To aid US companies operating in the EU, the Safe Harbor Framework was introduced, which allows US organizations to self-certify their compliance with the adequacy provision when they transfer EU personal data back to the US. Full story...

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Germanwings pilot was locked out of cockpit before crash in France...

As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed amid a relatively clear sky, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona, Spain, to Düsseldorf, Germany. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door, and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger, and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” Full story...

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rubber Boy: Indian schoolboy wants to become world's most flexible man...

Serbian public demands compensation from NATO for 1999 bombardments of Yugoslavia...

A Serbian non-governmental organization has demanded that NATO pay compensation for the damage it had inflicted on Serbia during 1999 bombardments of Yugoslavia.

The Belgrade Forum for the World of Equal and the Club of generals and admirals launched the initiative at their meeting held on Monday on the eve of the 16th anniversary of NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia that started on March 24, 1999.

Retired General Jovo Milanovic recalled that NATO’s aggression was "a violation of all norms of international law that caused enormous material damage to Yugoslavia and huge human casualties. The participants in the meeting supported Milanovic’s initiative to resume inquiries about compensations and initiation of criminal proceedings against western leaders who made and supported the decision on bombardments.

The NATO bombardments of Yugoslavia which were unsanctioned by the United Nations Security Council lasted for 78 days. NATO bombs and cruise missiles launched from warships deployed in the Mediterranean hit various targets in the territories of Serbia and Montenegro. The failure of talks on Kosovo in the French city of Rambouillet and Serbia’s refusal to sign a peace plan that would allow the deployment of foreign troops in Kosovo and would mean the province’s military occupation were the main reasons behind the NATO aggression. Full story...

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UK supermarket Waitrose suffers brand damage for promoting Israel...

A UK supermarket chain’s promotion of Israel as a food-lover’s paradise has backfired following a massive backlash on social media.

The deluge of Facebook and Twitter messages directed at Waitrose, criticizing its distribution of a brochure titled Taste of Israel in February, has also attracted attention from the mainstream media in the last two weeks, adding to the supermarket’s PR woes.

And the brochure itself has been the subject of a complaint to Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), on the grounds of false advertising.

In its letter to the advertising watchdog, the PSC cited the brochure’s references to Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as being in Israel, and the listing of Palestinian and Arab foods, such as tahini and zaatar, as being Israeli. Full story...

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MPs attack BBC for its 'biased EU reporting'

The BBC has a ‘deeply concerning’ pro-European bias and has ‘fallen down severely’ in its obligation to provide impartial coverage of the issue, MPs say today.

The European Scrutiny Committee says the corporation does not give enough airtime to those who believe Britain should leave the European Union or that there should be a referendum on membership.

The MPs also criticised the BBC’s director-general, Lord Hall, for failing in his role as the corporation’s editor-in-chief, after he turned down an invitation to give evidence to the committee in Parliament four times.

Lord Hall, who earns £450,000 a year of licence fee payers’ money, eventually relented after the committee told him to treat its invitation as a ‘formal summons’.

Sir Bill Cash, the Eurosceptic who chairs the committee, said: ‘The BBC has fallen down severely on its obligations to viewers and listeners to give them a proper and balanced assessment of both sides of the argument. Full story...

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Forced Adoption: UK families flee to Ireland to keep their children...

UK families are fleeing to Ireland as social workers continue to use false allegations and vague definitions of abuse to forcibly remove children from their parents and boost adoption statistics. RT's documentary crew spoke to several of those families.

The UK is just one of two countries in Europe (the other is Croatia) where adoption without the consent of a child’s biological parents – known as 'forced adoption' – is practiced.

Despite international law calling it an emergency measure, “there were over 2,000 children forcibly taken from one family to another” last year, MP John Hemming told RT's documentary channel (RTD). Every year, some 11,000 children are taken into local authority care without the consent of their parents.

According to the MP, social workers are instructed by their managers to advise the court to get the child adopted – even if they’re been taken care of by a competent family.

 With Britain's children's minister, Edward Timpson, proudly announcing a 63 percent rise in adoptions since 2011, children are being removed from their families “merely to satisfy government target,” Hemming said. More + video...

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Sri Lanka returns military-held lands in former war zone...

Sri Lanka has started releasing private land occupied by the military during the country's 26-year civil war, in a major step at reconciliation with minority ethnic Tamils.

The government said in a statement Wednesday that it intends to release 800 acres (323 hectares) of land in the country's east before the end of April in addition to the 425 acres (172 hectares) in the north already handed over to the owners by President Maithripala Sirisena on Monday.

Continued military occupation of private lands has remained a contentious issue since the end of the civil war in 2009.

Thousands of acres (hectares) of land were taken over the military for their so-called high security zones in the country's north and east since the 1990s. Despite the end of the war the military continued to take over lands citing security expansions under former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

 After his January election victory over his hard-line predecessor Rajapaksa, Sirisena has taken a number of steps in an attempt to heal the wounds of the conflict. Full story...

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The curse of Lee Kuan Yew...

Lee Kuan Yew, who died Monday at 91, was in his final years more than a man: He was a myth, a global idea—an intellectual cult built around the idea that not all autocrats are bad; they can be enlightened philosopher-kings too, leading their countries to prosperity and power without the hassle of liberal democracy.

Today, with little sense of irony, leaders of the major Western democracies are falling over each other to eulogize the fallen Singaporean leader. President Obama praised Lee as “a true giant of history,” saying, “No small number of this and past generations of world leaders have sought his advice.” Former President George H.W. Bush lauded Lee for his “singular leadership,” while Britain’s David Cameron acclaimed him for “one of the great success stories” of modern times because of Lee’s role in transforming Singapore from a backward colonial entrepot into a shining high-tech economy.

And yet since the early 2000s the cult of Lee Kuan Yew has been an unmitigated disaster in Eastern Europe, where the example set by Singapore’s unapologetic autocrat has helped to rehabilitate and legitimize authoritarianism.

Vladimir Putin is a greater admirer of Lee, whom he awarded Russia’s prestigious “Order of Honor.” In Georgia, Mikhail Saakashvili has been under Lee’s charismatic spell, passing his books around like bibles. The Ukrainian government, when ruled by Putin puppet Viktor Yanukovych, would disguise its kleptocracy by likening its governance to Singapore. Today, the cult is so widespread that even the Russian minister directing Crimea points to Lee Kuan Yew as a mentor. Full story...

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Aug(de)mented Reality...

Gates Foundation's seed agenda in Africa 'another form of colonialism,' warns protesters...

Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which are meeting in London on Monday with representatives of the biotechnology industry to discuss how to privatize the seed and agricultural markets of Africa.

Early Monday, protesters picketed outside the Gates Foundation's London offices holding signs that called on the foundation to "free the seeds." Some demonstrators handed out packets of open-pollinated seeds, which served as symbol of the "alternative to the corporate model promoted by USAID and BMGF." Others smashed a piñata, which they said represented the "commercial control of seed systems;" thousands of the seeds which filled the pinata spilled across the office steps. A similar protest is expected later Monday in Seattle, Washington, where BMGF is headquartered.

The meeting was convened to discuss a report put forth by Monitor-Deloitte, which was commissioned by BMGF and USAID to develop models for the commercialization of seed production in Africa, especially "early generation seed," and to identify ways in which the African governmental sectors could facilitate private involvement in African seed systems. The study was conducted in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia on maize, rice, sorghum, cowpea, common beans, cassava and sweet potato.

However, food sovereignty activists are sounding the alarm over the secret meeting. Heidi Chow, food sovereignty campaigner with Global Justice Now, which organized Monday's protest, warned that the agenda being promoted by these stakeholders will only increase corporate control over seeds.

"This is not 'aid' - it's another form of colonialism," said Chow. " Full story...

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As Lee era ends, Singapore braces for change as young worry about future...

If Lee Kuan Yew represented the Singapore of yesteryear, his death this week raises the question of whether the generation of leaders in waiting will reshape the mould that transformed the city-state from a colonial backwater to a haven of prosperity.

While Lee had long retired from active leadership, his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, is still the standard-bearer of a free-market model that relied on efficiency, low taxes, zero tolerance for corruption and a distaste for the welfare state.

Like his father, he has continued to curb free speech and use defamation laws to muzzle critics and political opponents.

But Lee has said he will hand over power by 2020 and speculation over his successor has swelled since he was treated for prostate cancer last month. That, along with a decline in the popularity of the long-dominant People's Action Party (PAP), has brought an unfamiliar whiff of uncertainty to Singapore.

Years of galloping growth have led to income inequality, resentment over immigration, overcrowded trains and expensive housing, issues that knocked the PAP's share of the vote down to 60 percent from 67 percent in elections four years ago. Full story...

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The future of GM: The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet...

If you travel from downtown St Louis at night on Highway 40 towards Kansas City and look out to your right you will see a strange bright white haze emanating from the horizon.

Get away from the road, and what you see is stranger still. Sixty feet in the air and perched on top of a vast rectangular brick building are rows and rows of greenhouses illuminating the night sky.

The scene is like something out of a sci-fi movie – you almost expect to see a mad scientist emerge at any moment, cackling about world domination. But then, talk to some environmentalists, and that is pretty much what they think. Because these greenhouses belong to Monsanto and it was inside here that the first genetically modified crops were cultivated 20 years ago. And it is here today that the latest developments in biotechnology are being grown in the artificial light of day.

In sunlight, it has to be said, the greenhouses look more mundane – less evil empire and more poor planning regulations. The 40,000 square feet of 26 individual glasshouses are over 30 years old and beginning to show their age. Full story...

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Israel’s “every day terrorism”, crimes against Palestinian children...

Meet little Hamza Mus’ab Almadani of Khan Younis, Gaza.

Look carefully, look tenderly, don’t turn away. Please don’t turn away as all the nations of the world have, for decades, turned away from Palestine.

Hamza is Palestine.

Look carefully at Israel’s savage violation to his once perfect little body when on the 25th July 2014, Israel’s soldiers loaded and fired pale blue artillery shells that discharged white incendiary rain on Gaza in hundreds of phosphorous-impregnated felt wedges as Hamza and his family slept.

Imagine the agony Hamza suffered from the moment the white phosphorous struck and burrowed through his soft three year old skin. Phosphorous burns are only contained by blocking off oxygen but the extreme pain and, as you can see, the horrific tissue damage endures.

Hamza’s father and two siblings were also burnt but luckily their injuries were less severe. Imagine the wounded family’s terrifying walk through the night to the nearest hospital. Full story...

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12-year-old girl accused of trying to poison mother for taking away iPhone...

A 12-year-old Colorado girl has been detained for allegedly trying to kill her mother twice by poisoning her drinks with bleach, after her mother took away her iPhone, police said.

The woman first felt sick on March 2, after drinking a smoothie, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office. While she noticed the smell of bleach from her glass, the woman assumed her daughter hadn't rinsed it properly, according to the sheriff's office.

Then a few days later, the mother again recognized the smell of bleach coming from something she was going to drink and she confronted the pre-teen, the sheriff's office said. The girl allegedly told her she wanted to kill her because she took away her iPhone, according to the sheriff's office.

The girl had allegedly poured bleach into her mother's water carafe, the sheriff's office said.

On March 6, the mother was at the Boulder Community Hospital when she contacted authorities to investigate. Full story...

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The evidence for low-fat diets isn't really there...

Woman bashes hubby for choosing soccer over sex!!!

A Bulawayo woman, Privilege Chiyangwa from Emakhandeni seriously assaulted her husband, Agreement Mugaviri for turning down her sex request after opting to watch soccer.

Chiyangwa told the court that the assault was a sharp warning to her husband that he should stop imposing sex sanctions.

According to B-Metro, the lady said it was her PRIVILAGE to enjoy sex with AGREEMENT.

“I have no regret over my actions because my husband is refusing to sleep with me claiming he will be watching soccer.

“Trouble started when I asked him why he was denying me sex. Sometimes when we fight I will be acting in self-defence as he will be the first one to assault me” Privilege told magistrate Evylene Mashavakure. Source...

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India strikes down Section 66A of IT Act which allowed arrests for objectionable content online...

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declared Section 66A of Information Technology Act as unconstitutional and struck it down.

This section had been widely misused by police in various states to arrest innocent persons for posing their comments on social network sites on social events and political leaders.

The court said such a law hit at the root of liberty and freedom of expression, two cardinal pillars of democracy.

The court said the section has to be erased from the law books as it has gone much beyond the reasonable restrictions put by Constitution on freedom of speech.

 The court, however, allowed the government to block websites if their contents had the potential to create communal disturbance, social disorder or affect India's relationship with other countries. Source...

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Chinese restaurant in Kenya ‘locks out’ Africans after 5pm...

A Chinese restaurant in the Kenyan capital does not admit Africans after 5pm, insisting they pose a security threat to its clients. The staff cites criminal situations and the activities of terrorist group Al Shabaab.

An eatery in Nairobi named the “Chinese Restaurant” has taken the decision after an armed robbery last year and recent warnings from the Chinese embassy over Al Shabaab’s increased threat, local media report.

“We don’t admit Africans that we don’t know because you never know who is Al-Shabaab and who isn’t,” Esther Zhao, a PR manager with the restaurant, told the Nairobi News. “It is not like it is written on somebody’s face that they are a thug armed with a gun.”

Zhao says the guests of the restaurant feel safer and more comfortable if African customers are kept away. Only taxi drivers and Africans accompanied by European, Chinese or Indian guests can be admitted.

“It is strictly a no-African policy and we have even had to turn away some prominent Kenyans who were obviously not a security threat,” a restaurant worker told the journalists on conditions of anonymity. Full story...

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India: 600 violent attacks on Christians and Muslims since May...

More than 40 people have been killed in 600 violent attacks on Christians and Muslims in India since May last year, according to a new report.

One of the worst was the rape of a 70 year old Nun in West Bengal in an attack on a convent and school last week that sent shockwaves throughout India and the world. In response, Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic bishops conference, said the country should work to "protect not just cows, but human beings also."

Documenting Hate and Communal Violence, a report by the Evangelical Fellowship of India, chronicles the violence against Muslims and Christians since Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, was elected prime minister at the end of May last year.

Of the 600-plus attacks, 149 were against Christians and the rest against Muslims.

The figures do not incude the 108 people killed in Assam in attacks by armed tribal political groups on Muslims. Full story...

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What flight attendants really, really want you to know...

The last time flight attendants were considered glamorous, I suspect, was back when Nixon was in the White House.

These women and men have pretty tough jobs that require them to work nights, weekends and holidays, often away from home, stuck in an "office" where the closest thing to an employee break room is a galley the size of an airplane lavatory.

Worst of all is the occasional abuse they face whether refereeing a fight over the Knee Defender or enduring death threats like those allegedly hurled at a British Airways crew by Paris Hilton's younger brother (he later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge).

 So if flight attendants sometimes seem a little grumpy, cut them some slack and pay attention to what they really, really want you to know. The four points they want to make are based on chats with several anonymous flight attendants over the years, including a 40-year veteran of a major U.S. airline who is still flying today. Full story...

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Google "Bill Clinton rape"

The darker side of Lee Kuan Yew...

For all of Lee Kuan Yew’s accomplishments as the founder and architect of Singapore, his death has unleashed reminders by many that he could be petty and uncommonly vindictive. At 91, Lee had outlived most of his critics, but not all.

There are too many episodes of that vindictiveness to be able to list them all. But one in particular, known as Operation Spectrum in 1987, blighted the lives of 22 young Singaporeans and, if the intent, as the Chinese say, was to kill the chicken to scare the monkey, it was successful. The operation intimidated a generation into staying studiously away from social causes or any other kind of agitation.

Tan Wah Piow, now a lawyer in the UK, was forced to flee the island republic in the wake of the conjured crisis. “In life, Lee Kuan Yew’s sole concern was to be feared by his countrymen,” Tan said in a statement released to the press upon Lee’s death. “He was so spectacularly successful in this pursuit that by the time of his death, he was left with no cohorts: only minions.”

Lee, Tan said, “will be remembered as an accomplished dictator who maintained a veneer of democracy and the grand illusion of the rule of law to his very last breath. Such was his achievement that dictators elsewhere viewed his system of control with envy.” Full story...

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Sparrows get married in India!!!

Villages in India, away from the pamphlets and press conferences of NGO activism, have always done their bit for the environment -- in their unique, rustic but effective ways.

Mohanpur village in Banda district of UP, for instance, organised a rather grand wedding for Chunmun and Gauriya, with people in thousands attending the merry event. Chunmun even rode a horse like a dulha. Just that because he is a sparrow someone had to hold him fast in the palm of the hand and put him atop the horse, and hold him fast to his seat.

Residents of Mohanpur, who are known in these dusty parts of UP's Bundelkhand for their love of both flora and fauna, say that in the union of Chunmun and Gauriya lies a larger message about the depleting number of sparrows and the need for their protection. The tiny birds, in fact, have almost disappeared from India's cities.

 Meanwhile, the marriage of the sparrows was not an instant affair. Preparations for it had begun a week ago. The bride's family was represented by Sumanlata and Yashwant Patel, who are teachers in the village. The groom and his baarat, with 11 horses -- no less -- and around 200 baaratis arrived from neighbouring Ranipur village along with Chunmun's guardians Ram Prakash and his wife Anita. There was singing and dancing to the tune of loud dhols. Full story...

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Charity closes following CCNI investigation into private benefit...

A medical charity in Northern Ireland has closed after an investigation by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland found that the charity was providing a private benefit.

The Commission opened an inquiry into Emergency Medical Services in February 2014 following the receipt of a concern that alleged that there “was no clear delineation between Emergency Medical Services and a business sharing the charity’s premises”.

Following the concern, the Commission found that there were serious governance failures and a “risk that the charity’s assets were being used to supplement and support the private business, which shared its address”. As a result it opened a statutory inquiry into the charity.

The charity, which was principally funded through street collections and other fundraising activities, was involved in the provision of first aid training to volunteers who provided cover at public events including parades and festivals in the Magherafelt and Cookstown areas.

The concerned party alleged in May 2013 that the “principal cause of the confusion over the remit of the charity were the actions of Mr Tom Gourley”, the officer in charge of the charity, the sole trader running the private company Emergency Medical Supplies and managing director of the EMS Group. Full story...

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