Saturday, January 06, 2018

Nationwide, police shot and killed nearly 1,000 people in 2017...

For the third year in a row, police nationwide shot and killed nearly 1,000 people, a grim annual tally that has persisted despite widespread public scrutiny of officers’ use of fatal force.

Police fatally shot 987 people last year, or two dozen more than they killed in 2016, according to an ongoing Washington Post database project that tracks the fatal shootings. Since 2015, The Post has logged the details of 2,945 shooting deaths, culled from local news coverage, public records and social-media reports.

While many of the year-to-year patterns remain consistent, the number of unarmed black males killed in 2017 declined from two years ago. Last year, police killed 19, a figure tracking closely with the 17 killed in 2016. In 2015, police shot and killed 36 unarmed black males. Full story...

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Begging for global warming as global cooling becomes obvious...

As each day passes the evidence climbs, as predicted by scientists (not politicians and Popes), that a steep drop of temperatures would ensue—first dropping temperatures to where they were in the very cold late 1800s and then going down from there to ice age conditions that will threaten a great part of the northern latitudes over the next 10 years.

We are not ready for any of this mentally or in any other way thanks to people like former president Obama, the Pope, and let’s never forget Al Gore. Some of the most unscrupulous people have been championing the cause of manmade global warming even though the science and actual conditions on the ground have been showing for ten years that there is no such thing as manmade warming.

It has been a big snow job, pure propaganda and now the gig is up as it starts snowing in Florida of all places. Now we have temperatures crashing, almost the entire continental United States frozen over, snow accumulating in record amounts and ice forming in the great lakes at breathtaking speed. It is not just record breaking cold but record breaking snow fall that is showing us just how difficult global cooling will be compared to global warming.

Winter is here but it’s not a regular winter as just about every American can feel if they step outside. Boston tied a 100-year-old record on Tuesday when it marked seven consecutive days of temperatures that did not top 20 degrees Fahrenheit (-6.7 degrees Celsius). New York’s airports have registered new lows and Chicago has enjoyed its coldest New Year’s Day ever. Full story...

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Thursday, January 04, 2018

Japanese couple Tamil wedding...

Norway halts arms sales to UAE over Yemen war...

Norway has suspended the export of arms and munitions to the United Arab Emirates over the war in Yemen. The UAE joined the Saudi coalition on day one of the bloody campaign which has killed tens of thousands.

“Following a comprehensive assessment of the situation in Yemen, and the increasing risk associated with the United Arab Emirates’ military involvement in Yemen, the Foreign Ministry decided on 19 December 2017 to suspend valid licenses for A-materials (weapons and ammunition) to the United Arab Emirates,” Norway's Foreign Ministry said Wednesday. New export licenses of arms to UAE would not be granted, the ministry added.

While there's been no reports of Norwegian weapons being used in Yemen, Oslo said the decision was “an expression of the country’s hard line” position on the issue. “Norway generally has very strict legislation and relevant guidelines for exports of weapons, ammunition and other military equipment,” Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide said. In 2016, Norway’s arms exports to the UAE stood at 79 million Norwegian krone ($9.7 million), according to Statistics Norway data.

Oslo, however, still exports weapons and ammunition to Kuwait, another member of the Saudi-led coalition.
The conflict in Yemen recently marked 1,000 days since the Saudi-led military intervention in March, 2015. The coalition is waging a military campaign against Shia Houthi rebels in the region in an attempt to propel the ousted Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power. The UAE has been part of the military intervention from the very first day of military operations and has contributed significantly. Full story...

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She recovered from cancer with turmeric...

A woman who battled blood cancer for years without success finally halted the disease with turmeric, it has been reported.

Dieneke Ferguson is now leading a normal life after giving up on gruelling treatments that failed to stop it.

Doctors say her case is the first recorded instance in which a patient has recovered by using the spice after stopping conventional medical treatments.

With her myeloma spreading rapidly after three rounds of chemotherapy and four stem cell transplants, the 67-year-old began taking 8g of curcumin a day – one of the main compounds in turmeric. Full story...

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Avoid mammograms like the plague...

The truth is mammograms just don’t work. Mammograms are dangerous hurting women more than helping them yet doctors and their parent organizations just don’t want to get the message. Their excuse for using cancer forming radiation has been that prevention is the best medicine when it comes to cancer. They have been thinking that picking up early signs of disease is the best way to prevent cancer from taking root, so doctors have urged people get screened for all types of cancer on a regular basis.

The assumption is that screening will save them from developing advanced cancer, which is less treatable and deadlier. They have been wrong, meaning a lot of women have died because oncologists really know nothing about prevention. However society expects that we should respect them but unfortunately, in the process, we can only lose respect for ourselves and worse than that, witness the death or misery of loved ones.

The real question everyone should be asking is, “Why look for breast cancer with a test that can actually cause breast cancer?” By some estimates, up to 20% of all breast cancers diagnosed in the United States annually are actually caused by the cumulative radiation effects of mammograms.

A new study published in BMJ, researchers show that mammography does little to reduce either deaths or advanced breast cancer over a period of 23 years in a Netherlands study. Instead, they found that the X-ray based test designed to pick up tumors led to over diagnoses 60% of the time.

The study involved all Dutch women who were screened with mammograms every other year between 1989 and 2012—about 8 million women in all. The researchers, led by Dr. Philippe Autier from the University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health sustains what many doctors have been saying for years. Full story...

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Everything you need to know about Bill Gates, vaccine safety and his relationship with Big Pharma...

Bill Gates is fond of using his bully pulpit to talk about “miracles” and “magic.” Gates has featured one or both words in nearly all of his annual wrap-up letters for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation , most often in reference to the Gates Foundation’s outsized financial and ideological support for global vaccine programs. As Gates says, “In the same way that during my Microsoft career I talked about the magic of software, I now spend my time talking about the magic of vaccines.”

Gates’s words give us an immediate clue that he is engaging in his own brand of magical thinking—which social scientists define as “illogical causal reasoning.” How else to explain his simplistic endorsement of vaccines as a miraculous intervention with unmitigated benefits and no down side? The Gates Foundation’s global spreadsheet appears to have no room to tally the massive flood of vaccine injuries afflicting children worldwide, despite abundant evidence that this damage is standing the vaccine risk-benefit calculus on its head and turning childhood into an extended round of Russian roulette.

In a widely cited 2014 blog post on the “miracle of vaccines,” Gates expressed enthusiasm about the “inspiring” data on vaccines and the “fantastic” and “phenomenal” progress being made to expand vaccine coverage. There is one major problem with Gates’ professed reliance on “data,” which is that the philanthropist ignores fundamental historical facts governing infectious disease and vaccine timelines.

There is one major problem with Gates’ professed reliance on “data,” which is that the philanthropist ignores fundamental historical facts governing infectious disease and vaccine timelines. Full story...

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Treated 'worse than animals': thousands of Indian women feared trapped in ashrams

Neither the din of traffic nor the roar of aircraft from a nearby airport could blot out the screams neighbours say they regularly heard from the apartment building in west Delhi.

On Saturday, on the second floor of the unassuming complex in Mohan Garden, authorities discovered 21 women and children living in a heavily fortified “spiritual university”, at least five believed to be minors.

Raids across India in the past week on properties linked to the same religious organisation, Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya (AVV), have unearthed nearly 250 women and 48 girls apparently confined behind layers of locked gates.
Authorities in Delhi say they fear thousands more women could be living in similar conditions in the 300 properties estimated to be linked to the group nationwide.

Syringes and medicines were found scattered throughout the Delhi ashrams and many of the residents appeared to be drugged, according to Swati Maliwal, the city commissioner for women, who participated in five of the raids. Full story...

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Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Simon's cat: Fireworks...

Why Rajinikanth is dangerous for Tamil politics...

Rajinikanth’s decision to enter politics was expected. His announcement that he will contest all the 234 constituencies in the next state assembly elections has made his intentions clear. But more than his own intentions, we can also understand the intentions of those who are behind him.

Rather than asking what Rajinikanth will do when he takes to power, it is important to ask what will happen to Tamil politics because of his entry.

India is a parliamentary democracy. What does a democracy do? It makes an individual a citizen. Actors are those who financially gain by fans watching their movies and making them blockbusters. So, what happens when actors become politicians? Citizens become fans. Even in his speech, he said that his fans must start clubs all across the state. His intention, therefore, is to convert the citizens of the state into his fans. Fans are worshippers, they do not ask questions, they bow their heads in front of a leader and obey him. Fans see not a leader, but a Fuhrer in him. They voluntarily surrender before the Fuhrer without any question.

The father of our Constitution, BR Ambedkar, once said, “Hero-worship is demoralizing for the devotee and dangerous to the country.” Rajini encourages hero-worship, and he and his ‘Fan club Politics’ are dangerous. It is not only religion which can drive people to hero-worship, cinema too can. Full story...

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Monday, January 01, 2018

A grim year for the smartphone: 5 essential reads...

The year 2017 marked the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Five years ago, for the first time, over 50 percent of Americans owned a smartphone. Today, it’s 77 percent.

The benefits of smartphones are manifest: They serve as radio, TV and camera; cookbook, newspaper and novel; messenger, map and matchmaker. They’re a constant companion, resting on our nightstand when we go to sleep, and even keeping us company when we go to the bathroom.

Many of us couldn’t imagine life without them.

But only recently have researchers started to explore the long-term effect of smartphones on our lives. With studies exploring the relationship between smartphone use and mental health, sleep, learning and romance, articles we published this year create a more nuanced portrait of the device. Full story...

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Top 5 stories buried or deliberately ignored by mainstream media in 2017...

(...)

This year could be seen as just another one in which the federal government refused to acknowledge the medicinal value of cannabis, but it was also the year that a number of studies served as a reminder that the benefits from cannabis go far beyond anything manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry.

In 2017 alone, studies were released showing that cannabis has a “significant effect” on killing cancer cells; reduces the need for prescription pain medication, thus curing opioid addiction; can be used as a treatment to help prevent HIV from becoming AIDS; has been found to work as a “miracle” treatment for children with autism; has been shown to significantly reduce seizures from epilepsy in 90 percent of patients; and it can used by Emergency Rooms to treat stroke and cardiac arrest.

In fact, a bombshell study noted that if legalized nationwide, cannabis could prevent nearly 50,000 premature deaths every year. Full story...

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Who are the leading state sponsors of terrorism?

As 2017 draws to a close, it is difficult to be optimistic about what will be coming in the new year. The American President, whose margin of victory was certainly based on his pledge to avoid unnecessary wars, has doubled down on Afghanistan, refuses to leave Syria even though ISIS has been defeated, and is playing serious brinksmanship with a psychopathic and unpredictable regime in Pyongyang. The White House has also bought into the prevailing largely fabricated narrative about a Russia and has decided to arm Ukraine with offensive weapons, which has already resulted in a sharp response from Moscow and will make d├ętente of any kind between the two leading powers all but impossible in the upcoming year.

But, as I have observed before, the red hazard light that continues to be blinking most brightly relates to Washington’s relationship with Iran, which has unnecessarily deteriorated dramatically over the past year and which brings with it collateral problems with Russia and Turkey that could trigger a much wider conflict. I say unnecessarily because all the steps taken to poison the relationship have come out of Washington, not Tehran. The Trump administration refused to certify that the Iranians had been in compliance with the nuclear agreement negotiated in 2015 and has since escalated its verbal attacks, mostly at the United Nations, claiming that the regime in Tehran is the major source of terrorism in the world and that it is seeking hegemony over a broad arc of countries running westward from its borders to the Mediterranean Sea.

The only problem with the allegations being made is that none of them is true and, furthermore, Iran, with limited military resources, poses no serious threat to gain control over its neighbors, nor to attack the United States or Europe. The invective about Iran largely derives from Israel and Saudi Arabia, which themselves have hegemonic ambitions relating to their region. Israel’s friends in the US Congress, media and White House have not surprisingly picked up on the refrain and are pushing for military action. Israel has even threatened to bomb any Iranian permanent presence inside neighboring Syria. Full story...

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Sunday, December 31, 2017

Life without a mobile phone...




The man who can't face the internet...

Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would be using facial recognition to let users know every time a photo of them had been uploaded to the site.

Such a feature would be extremely useful to one man - public-relations professional Jonathan Hirshon, who has managed to stay anonymous on the social network for the past 20 years.

He has more than 3,000 friends on Facebook and regularly updates his profile with personal information - where he is going on holiday, what he has cooked for dinner and the state of his health.

But what he has never shared on the social network, or anywhere else online, is a picture of himself.

It is, he said, his way of "screaming my privacy to the world". Full story...

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Rajinikanth confirms entry into politics, to form party and contest Tamil Nadu assembly elections...

Ending long-drawn suspense, actor Rajinikanth announced his entry into politics on Sunday, promising to launch a party and fight the next assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in all 234 seats.

Quoting a shloka from the Bhagwad Gita which stresses the importance of doing one’s duty and leaving the rest to the Lord, he said, “It is the compulsion of time.”

“I am joining politics for sure,” the 67-year-old said amid thunderous applause from fans at a packed Sri Raghavendra Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai.

In his short speech, the actor said democracy was in a bad shape and some recent incidents had made Tamil Nadu the laughing stock of the nation.

“In the name of democracy, politicians are robbing us of our own money in our own land,” he observed, adding that there was a need to change the system from the base to fight corruption. He called on the people to become his army, not cadre, in the fight. Full story...

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

World's wealthiest became $1 trillion richer in 2017...

The richest people on earth became $1 trillion richer in 2017, more than four times last year’s gain, as stock markets shrugged off economic, social and political divisions to reach record highs.

The 23 percent increase on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a daily ranking of the world’s 500 richest people, compares with an almost 20 percent increase for both the MSCI World Index and Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos added the most in 2017, a $34.2 billion gain that knocked Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates out of his spot as the world’s richest person in October. Gates, 62, had held the spot since May 2013, and has been donating much of his fortune to charity, including a $4.6 billion pledge he made to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in August. Bezos, whose net worth topped $100 billion at the end of November, currently has a net worth of $99.6 billion compared with $91.3 billion for Gates.

George Soros also gave away a substantial part of his fortune, revealing in October that his family office had given $18 billion to his Open Society Foundations over the past several years, dropping the billionaire investor to No. 195 on the Bloomberg ranking, with a net worth of $8 billion. Full story...

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George Weah is elected president of Liberia as former Chelsea and Manchester City star celebrates landslide victory

Former AC Milan, Manchester City and Chelsea striker George Weah has been elected president of Liberia.

Weah - the first African to win the Ballon D'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year - won comprehensively, clinching 12 of the 15 counties in the West African country.

His opponent Joseph Boakai, who has been vice-president for the last 12 years, only had two counties vote for him.

Jubilant Weah took to Twitter to confirm the victory. Full story...

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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Social media justice is awesome, right?


Mainstream news IS fake...

There is one thing Donald Trump has right; our establishment news is unquestionably, indubitably fake. Those reasonable souls who have become understandably fed up with Trump’s WWE/Reality Show antics have to keep this in mind. Just because he’s an immature clown doesn’t mean his enemies are credible.

Most of us know BS artists, people who consistently twist and exaggerate the truth. Many of us know pathological liars, who simply are incapable of telling the truth about anything. In such cases, we don’t give these kinds of individuals any credibility whatsoever. We barely pay attention to anything they say.

I would contend that the mainstream media, as a whole, is the most pathological liar that ever existed. Despite their differing outlets, and the variations of letters in their network abbreviations, these “competing” organs act and report as one living, breathing, lying entity. Like individual pathological liars, they are incapable of telling the truth. I literally don’t believe anything they report, from the most intricate political event to a mundane weather forecast.

To believe in our professional “journalists,” one must accept that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK all by his lonesome, minimum wage earning-sexually inadequate self. One must believe that 19 crazed Arabs hijacked four airliners on 9/11, armed only with box cutters and plastic knives. One must further accept that after one of these planes struck the Pentagon, it not only left no visible wreckage behind, but the multitude of security cameras caught no footage of the impact. Full story...

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Double world chess champion says she won't defend titles in Saudi Arabia because of kingdom's inequality...

It takes years of work, days of staring at a board and hours of agonising over individuals moves en route to becoming a world champion in chess. 
And it takes only a short-sighted decision from its governing body to ensure you lose that crown.
"In a few days I am going to lose two World Champion titles - one by one," Anna Muzychuk says. 
"Just because I decided not to go to Saudi Arabia."
Muyzchuk is the defending world champion in two disciplines of speed chess - rapid and blitz. In rapid, each players gets 15 minutes to complete all of their moves and in blitz it is just 10. Full story...

Passenger claims United booted her from first-class seat — then gave it to Texas congresswoman ...

A passenger on a Washington, D.C.-bound flight accused United Airlines of giving up her first-class seat to a Texas lawmaker.

The airline then threatened to pull her from the plane entirely after she snapped a photo of Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, the woman told the Houston Chronicle.

“It was just so completely humiliating,” Jean-Marie Simon, 63, told the Chronicle of the flight.

 She was returning to Washington, D.C., on Dec. 18 — the last part of a return trip from Guatemala — when she went to board a connecting flight in Houston. Full story...

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Tuesday, December 26, 2017

One man’s stand against junk food as diabetes climbs across India...

Rahul Verma’s son was born gravely ill with digestive problems, but over years of visits to the boy’s endocrinologist, Mr. Verma saw the doctor grow increasingly alarmed about a different problem, one threatening healthy children. Junk food, the doctor warned, was especially dangerous to Indians, who are far more prone to diabetes than people from other parts of the world.

One day in the doctor’s waiting room, Mr. Verma noticed a girl who had gotten fat by compulsively eating potato chips. He decided he had to do something.

“On one side you have children like my son, who are born with problems,” said Mr. Verma, “and on the other side you have children who are healthy and everything is fine and you are damaging them giving them unhealthy food.”

Mr. Verma, who had no legal training, sat late into the nights with his wife, Tullika, drafting a petition in their tiny apartment, which was bedecked with fairy lights and pictures of the god Ganesh, who is believed to overcome all obstacles. He filed the public interest lawsuit in the Delhi High Court in 2010, seeking a ban on the sale of junk food and soft drinks in and around schools across India. More + photos...

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We got it wrong on Brexit gloom, economists admit: Buoyant British economy is set to power past France by 2020...

Britain's economy is now predicted to overtake France's in 2020 as experts admitted they had been too gloomy over Brexit.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) had claimed the economy would slow down because of a drop in consumer spending and investment.

But last night the think-tank admitted it had got this wrong, saying: 'In practice this has not happened.'

Its economists accepted the fears they expressed last year that Brexit would leave the UK behind the French economy for five years were exaggerated. Full story...

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The Christmas truce of 1914...

The 'hawker interns' selling prawn mee...

They had not yet graduated from university, but like many of their peers, Joanne Heng and Chan Kheng Yee were already out and about looking for a full-time job. A posting on online portal Gumtree caught their attention, and they responded to the call for “interns” the very next day.

Like any job application, the two friends had to go through a job interview filled with questions about their sincerity, motivation and commitment to the position.

But this job required very different skill sets from your typical office job: Anson Loo, the person who made the post on Gumtree, was looking for young interns to help him run his hawker stall.

“I realised that there are young people who want to become hawkers, but face a lot of financial constraints,” said Anson, who sells prawn mee at Ghim Moh food centre. “So I thought, why not target young people with no experience, so I can give them the training from scratch?” More + photos...

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Duterte's son quits as vice mayor over drug smuggling links...

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's eldest son has quit as vice mayor of the southern city of Davao, citing his being linked to a drug smuggling case by opponents and personal problems from a failed marriage as reasons for the move.

Paolo Duterte announced his resignation during a special session of the Davao City Council.

Davao is President Duterte's hometown and its mayor is Paolo's younger sister, Sara Duterte-Carpio.

"There are recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage," the former vice mayor said in a statement made available to media. Full story...

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Monday, December 25, 2017

Arab rulers buy lavish gifts to curry favor with British politicians...

A report has exposed how certain Arab states have continued to shower British politicians with luxury gifts in an attempt to curry favor and buy their support.

Those states include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Jordan, and Oman, the Middle East Eye (MEE) news portal reported on Saturday, citing newly released UK government data.

Prime Minister Theresa May, whom Saudi Arabia has conferred with the Order of King Abdulaziz Al Saud, has received several gifts from the kingdom, including an ornament, a clock, and a medal, the report said.

Saudi Arabia “has splashed out on 20 luxury Christmas hampers for Conservative Party ministers since 2010,” the MEE further reported.

The United Arab Emirates has also been providing British ministers with various gifts. Full story...

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How Facebook’s secret unit created India’s troll armies for digital propaganda to influence elections...

(...)

India is arguably Facebook’s most important market recently edging out the U.S. as the company’s biggest. The number of users here is growing twice as fast as in the U.S. And that doesn’t even count the 200 million people who use the company’s WhatsApp messaging service in India, more than anywhere else on the globe.

By the time of India’s 2014 elections, Facebook had for months been working with several campaigns. Modi relied heavily on Facebook and WhatsApp to recruit volunteers who in turn spread his message on social media. Since his election, Modi’s Facebook followers have risen to 43 million, almost twice Trump’s count.

Within weeks of Modi’s election, Zuckerberg and Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg both visited India as it was rolling out a critical free internet service that was later curbed due to massive protests. Harbath and her team have also traveled here, offering a series of workshops and sessions that have trained more than 6,000 government officials.

As Modi’s social media reach grew, his followers increasingly turned to Facebook and WhatsApp to target harassment campaigns against his political rivals. India has become a hotbed for fake news, with one hoax story this year that circulated on WhatsApp leading to mob beatings resulting in several deaths. The nation has also become an increasingly dangerous place for opposition parties and reporters. Full story...

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" We are afraid of Christmas"

uTehmina Yadav is a Muslim woman married to a Hindu man. The other night, she was hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree.

In India, a country that is about 80 percent Hindu, Christmas is becoming big business. Airlines play Christmas music, online vendors sell holiday gift baskets, and one especially enterprising young man, Kabir Mishra, rents out a contingent of Hindus dressed as Santa Claus.

“I can provide as many Santas as you want,” he said.

Sitting next to her Christmas tree at home in Delhi, Ms. Yadav said that in India, there was nothing strange about non-Christians celebrating Christmas. Indians have always observed a dizzying number of festivals regardless of religious affiliation, and even though Christians represent only 2.3 percent of the population, Christmas is recognized as a government holiday.

But as far-right Hindu groups have gained traction, India has changed. Christmas has now found itself caught in the cross hairs. Full story...

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Sunday, December 24, 2017

Simon's cat: DIY

Swiss court convicts woman for reading husband’s emails...

A wife in the canton of Aargau has been convicted of a criminal offence for going into her husband’s email account and reading and downloading information without his knowledge.
The woman became suspicious after her husband set up a second email account on their home computer, according to the Aargauer Zeitung.

The couple had always known each other’s passwords and had even written them down, according to the paper. Since the man used one of these passwords for his new account, his wife was easily able to access it and read his emails.

So she did – and discovered that he had been having affairs with several other women for some time.

She confronted her husband, who moved out of their apartment. He later filed a criminal complaint against his wife for reading his emails. Full story...

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How Facebook’s political unit enables the dark art of digital propaganda...

Under fire for Facebook Inc.’s role as a platform for political propaganda, co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has punched back, saying his mission is above partisanship. “We hope to give all people a voice and create a platform for all ideas,” Zuckerberg wrote in September after President Donald Trump accused Facebook of bias.

Zuckerberg’s social network is a politically agnostic tool for its more than 2 billion users, he has said. But Facebook, it turns out, is no bystander in global politics. What he hasn’t said is that his company actively works with political parties and leaders including those who use the platform to stifle opposition—sometimes with the aid of “troll armies” that spread misinformation and extremist ideologies.

The initiative is run by a little-known Facebook global government and politics team that’s neutral in that it works with nearly anyone seeking or securing power. The unit is led from Washington by Katie Harbath, a former Republican digital strategist who worked on former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. Since Facebook hired Harbath three years later, her team has traveled the globe helping political clients use the company’s powerful digital tools.

In some of the world’s biggest democracies—from India and Brazil to Germany and the U.K.—the unit’s employees have become de facto campaign workers. And once a candidate is elected, the company in some instances goes on to train government employees or provide technical assistance for live streams at official state events. Full story...

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Washington’s humiliation at UN is sign of a washed-up superpower...

The humiliating condemnation of the US this week at the UN General Assembly over its Jerusalem policy revealed both Washington’s contempt for democracy and international law, and just how isolated America has become globally.

The overwhelming rejection of President Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital by 128 member nations at the UN is a signal event of how far US international standing has slumped.

Leader of the free world? More like a miscreant whose overbearing megalomaniacal ego is no longer tolerable to virtually everyone else.

Even close US allies among the NATO military alliance voted against Washington’s position. Britain, France, and Germany joined with other international powers, Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Brazil, to repudiate Trump’s decision taken earlier this month to recognize Jerusalem. Full story...

Revealed: The real reason why stewardesses never eat during a flight...

THE key to beating jet lag could be as simple as flying on an empty stomach, apparently.

Melissa Biggs Bradley, who founded luxury travel firm Indagare, recently shared her travel hacks with Bloomberg.

Among her top tips was the “stewardess secret” of never eating while on-board a flight.

According to Ms Biggs Bradley, eating while flying can be a sure-fire way to get hit by the dreaded jet lag.

She said she learnt the simple but effective tip from a hostie a decade ago while on-board a 17-hour Singapore Airlines flight to New York.

“I eat nothing on flights. I’ve talked to a lot of stewardesses about it, and it’s a stewardess secret,” she said. Full story...

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Could Aung San Suu Kyi face Rohingya genocide charges?

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, is determined that the perpetrators of the horrors committed against the Rohingya face justice.

He's the head of the UN's watchdog for human rights across the world, so his opinions carry weight.

It could go right to the top - he doesn't rule out the possibility that civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the head of the armed forces Gen Aung Min Hlaing, could find themselves in the dock on genocide charges some time in the future.

Earlier this month, Mr Zeid told the UN Human Rights Council that the widespread and systematic nature of the persecution of the Rohingya in Myanmar (also called Burma) meant that genocide could not be ruled out. Full story...

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UN votes resoundingly to reject Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as capital...

The United Nations general assembly has delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump, voting by a huge majority to reject his unilateral recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

The vote came after a redoubling of threats by Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who said that Washington would remember which countries “disrespected” America by voting against it.

Despite the warning, 128 members voted on Thursday in favour of the resolution supporting the longstanding international consensus that the status of Jerusalem – which is claimed as a capital by both Israel and the Palestinians – can only be settled as an agreed final issue in a peace deal. Countries which voted for the resolution included major recipients of US aid such as Egypt, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Although largely symbolic, the vote in emergency session of the world body had been the focus of days of furious diplomacy by both the Trump administration and Israel, including Trump’s threat to cut US funding to countries that did not back the US recognition. Full story...

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

PSY - DADDY (Dance Practice)

'A hideous milestone in the 21st century': Cholera cases in Yemen pass 1 million...

It has been roughly eight months since cholera first took hold in war-torn Yemen. In that brief span, the waterborne disease has exacted a staggering toll on the country's population — and that toll only continues to rise by the day.

The number of suspected cases of cholera has crossed one million, the International Committee of the Red Cross announced Thursday. Of those who have contracted the disease since April, the World Health Organization believes more than 2,200 people have died of it — almost a third of whom are children.

In its announcement on Twitter, the ICRC was left nearly speechless, elaborating on its confirmation with just three words: "This is devastating."

The centuries-old disease can kill someone within hours — but under most circumstances, it should not. It is both preventable and treatable with adequate medical treatment. "A patient with cholera should never die," Dr. David Sack of Johns Hopkins University told NPR's Jason Beaubien earlier this year. "If they get to a treatment center in time, if they still have a breath, we can save their life." Full story...

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Eat your vegetables: Nutrients in leafy greens may help prevent dementia...

Nutrients found in green leafy vegetables just might make your mind 11 years younger, according to a new study.

Dementia, a decline in memory and cognitive function, is one of the most feared aspects of aging. But those who reported eating their vegetables seem to be more successful in staving it off.

Researchers at Rush University and Tufts University studied 1,000 people and found that those who reported eating one to two daily servings of green leafy vegetables, such as kale, lettuce or spinach, had slower rates of cognitive decline.

The new research was published today in the journal Neurology. Full story...

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Sexual slurs infuriate China’s ‘leftover’ women...

They are shamed on television yet named as a driving force behind China’s consumer boom. Middle class with disposable incomes, single women have played a key role in keeping the world’s second biggest economy ticking over.

But while they are feted for their spending power, they have been compared to “used cars” or portrayed in a sexist way in tasteless television ads aimed at, yes, female consumers.

In October, IKEA caused a social media storm when a Chinese advert for the Swedish furniture chain featured a mother who threatened to disown her unmarried daughter.

The 30-second commercial showed a family scene with a stern-looking Chinese mom telling her daughter: “If you cannot bring back a boyfriend, don’t call me mom.”

At that point, a young man appears at the door with flowers, and the delighted parents roll out their IKEA dining table with branded decorations and cutlery. The scene ends with the tagline: “Celebrate Everyday Life”. Full story...

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