Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Teamwork in baby elephant rescue...

Hiding in secret underground bunkers, eating wild birds and pets and saving secretaries but not wives: How government elites planned to survive a nuclear attack...

America built a secret network of remote underground bunkers during the Cold War in case of a nuclear strike by the Russians.

But they were not made to protect civilians - the hideouts were just for top government officials.

In a plan as brutal as it was logical, the President and his inner circle would be saved while tens of millions of ordinary Americans would be incinerated.

Realizing that there was no way to save the population, the conclusion was that 'the government would protect itself and let the rest of us die' writes national security expert Garrett M. Graff.

According to his new book, 'Raven Rock: The Story of the US Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself', the governments of Presidents Kennedy, Eisenhower, Roosevelt and Truman publicly assured people that a nuclear strike could be survivable.  Full story...

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No classrooms, lessons or homework: New Zealand school where children are free to roam...

Deep among the streams and Kauri trees of rural south Auckland, New Zealand’s newest and most alternative school is in session. The weather is fine so a bout of fishing is in order, followed by lunch cooked on an open fire. Homework and classes? Indefinitely dismissed.

“We are called a school but we look nothing like any school out there,” says Joey Moncarz, co-founder and head teacher at Deep Green Bush School, which is in term two of its inaugural year.

“We don’t do things like telling kids it is time to write or learn maths. When they are interested in doing it, they do it.”

Moncarz is an ex-mainstream teacher. After five, frustrating years in mainstream schools in New Zealand he quit to found Deep Green Bush school, which has a roll of eight, and no classroom walls, time-out chairs or tests. Full story...

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Singapore PM apologizes for family feud but denies siblings' allegations...

Singapore's Prime Minister has made a rare public apology for a family spat that has gripped a city unused to elites airing their grievances.

Lee Hsien Loong refuted allegations that he has violated the will of his late father, Singapore's former leader Lee Kuan Yew, for his own political gain.

"I deeply regret that this dispute has affected Singapore's reputation and Singaporean's confidence in the government. As your Prime Minister, I apologize to you for this," Lee said in a video statement posted to Facebook that also aired on national TV.

The high esteem in which most Singaporeans hold their former leader and the city-state's strict censorship laws have made the public spat something of a political soap opera for the Singapore's 5.5 million people. The extent of any political fallout is still unclear. Full story...

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Indian government: pregnant women should shun meat, eggs and lustful thoughts of sex...

India’s government is advising pregnant women to avoid all meat, eggs and lustful thoughts.

Doctors say the advice is preposterous, and even dangerous, considering India’s already poor record with maternal health. Women are often the last to eat or receive health care in traditionally patriarchal Indian households.

Malnutrition and anaemia, or iron deficiency, are key factors behind India having one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality, with 174 of every 100,000 pregnancies resulting in the mother’s death in 2015. That’s better than five years earlier, when the maternal mortality rate was 205 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, but still far worse than China’s 27 per 100,000 or the United States’ 14 per 100,000, according to Unicef.

“The government is doling out unscientific and irrational advice, instead of ensuring that poor pregnant women get to eat a nutritious, high-protein diet,” said gynaecologist Arun Gadre, who is based in the western Indian city of Pune but works in rural areas. Full story...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Dutch whistleblower Ronald Bernard blows the elite: part 2

One million sign petition for EU Monsanto weedkiller ban...

More than one million people have signed a petition demanding the EU ban the Monsanto weedkiller glyphosate over fears it causes cancer, campaigners said Thursday.

The petition comes as the European Union is deciding whether to renew the licence of the controversial herbicide produced by the US agro-chemicals giant.

Glyphosate is used in the best-selling herbicide Roundup.

"In less than five months, more than one million EU citizens have joined our call for a glyphosate ban," said David Schwartz, coordinator at the European Citizens Initiative, which is behind the petition.

"European citizens aren't fooled by the pesticide industry's lobbying efforts or the faulty science it's peddling," he added.

The group said it had attained the signature threshold to require a formal response from the European Commission -- one million names from at least seven countries -- in record time. Full story...

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Putin offers political asylum to James Comey, citing potential prosecution in U.S.

"What's the difference between the FBI director and Mr. Snowden?" Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Thursday during his yearly live call-in show, saying that he would offer political asylum to fired FBI head James Comey in the same way Russia has sheltered former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

By phrasing a question uniquely constructed for these unusual times, Putin put a new spin on the ongoing saga over Russia's tampering in the U.S. election, links between President Trump's inner circle and Russia, and allegations that the president tried to stop at least one line of inquiry.

Comey recently testified that Trump fired him after asking him to end the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn — a request that Comey says he memorialized in personal notes that he allowed to be leaked to the media.

"[Comey] said he'd written down his conversation with President [Trump] and handed it to the media through a friend of his," Putin said, according to a translation by Radio Free Europe. "This does sound and look odd: the director of a security service making records of his talks with the supreme commander and handing it over to the media through a friend of his." Full story...

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Italy's northern regions are challenging a mandatory vaccine law...

Several regions in northern Italy are challenging a recently passed law which made 12 vaccinations mandatory for children starting at state school.

Italy's cabinet approved the vaccine law in mid-May, making it compulsory for all school starters to have a set of 12 vaccinations.

But in Veneto, the regional government said on Tuesday that its lawyers were preparing to challenge the decree in Italy's Constitutional Court, and that the legal challenge would be ready in around two weeks.

 "Let's be clear; we are not against vaccines; we are against making them obligatory," explained regional governor Luca Zaia, who belongs to the Northern League. Full story...

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Singapore’s Lee family feud rages online...

Some emotionally charged Facebook posts that came out in the wee hours Wednesday morning have laid bare a new episode in the feud among the children of the late Singapore founding father Lee Kuan Yew.

It’s clear that Lee’s eldest son, the city state’s incumbent prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, has some extra damage control to do after the posts gave fresh evidence of the long-running travails between him and his two younger siblings.

In a seemingly orchestrated move, a six-page open letter, headlined “What has happened to Lee Kuan Yew’s values”, by Lee’s brother Hsien Yang and sister Wei Ling, was posted on their respective Facebook pages early Wednesday morning.

The statement contains a barrage of allegations against the Lion City’s top leader and his wife, Ho Ching, with the crux of the row being the fate of the elder Lee’s residence. Full story...

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Trump sells Qatar $12 billion of U.S. weapons days after accusing it of funding terrorism...

While President Trump berates Qatar for sponsoring terrorism at the highest levels, he is simultaneously authorizing the country to purchase over $21 billion of U.S. weapons.

One part of the deal was inked on Wednesday in Washington, D.C., when Qatar's Defense Minister met with U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.

"We are pleased to announce today the signing of the letter of offer and acceptance for the purchase of the F-15QA fighter jets, with an initial cost of $12 billion dollars," read the Qatari Defense Minister's statement on Wednesday afternoon. "We believe that this agreement will propel Qatar's ability to provide for its own security while also reducing the burden placed upon the United States military in conducting operations against violent extremism."

The Qatari ambassador to the U.S. tweeted a photo of the signing. Full story...

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The world’s most mysterious book...


Macron, not Le Pen, to turn state of emergency into common law...

Emmanuel Macron very quickly made it official: He will introduce a bill which will transform extraordinary state of emergency powers into regular police practice.

According to Le Monde, which saw a leaked copy of the bill: “…almost all the measures of the state of emergency will be found in common law.”

What this means is that the post-Charlie Hebdo war hysteria has not only never stopped, but will have become the new, permanent normal: Anyone can be arrested, searched and detained with just a simple accusation. Judges simply need to be “informed”; police have carte blanche.

So…when can I start referring to France as an “authoritarian state” without getting edited?

LOL, I don’t know what it would actually require to finally start calling that spade a “spade”…. I am reminded that Confucius’ “rectification of names” doctrine shows that the failure to call things by their proper names can only lead to social disorder. Full story...

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Why are we attacking the Syrians who are fighting ISIS?

Just when you thought our Syria policy could not get any worse, last week it did. The US military twice attacked Syrian government forces from a military base it illegally occupies inside Syria. According to the Pentagon, the attacks on Syrian government-backed forces were “defensive” because the Syrian fighters were approaching a US self-declared “de-confliction” zone inside Syria. The Syrian forces were pursuing ISIS in the area, but the US attacked anyway.

The US is training yet another rebel group fighting from that base, located near the border of Iraq at al-Tanf, and it claims that Syrian government forces pose a threat to the US military presence there. But the Pentagon has forgotten one thing: it has no authority to be in Syria in the first place! Neither the US Congress nor the UN Security Council has authorized a US military presence inside Syria.

So what gives the Trump Administration the right to set up military bases on foreign soil without the permission of that government? Why are we violating the sovereignty of Syria and attacking its military as they are fighting ISIS? Why does Washington claim that its primary mission in Syria is to defeat ISIS while taking military actions that benefit ISIS? Full story...

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ISIS burns 19 Yazidi girls to death for refusing sex with group’s fighters...

The militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group have reportedly burnt at least nineteen Yazidi girls to death after they refused to remain as sex slaves with the terror group, it has been reported

According to the local activists, the incident has taken place during the recent days in the city of Mosul in Iraq.

Abdullah Al-Malla, a local media activist, has told the Kurdish news agency ARA News, that the girls were burnt alive after they refused to have sex with the fighters of the group.

“They were punished for refusing to have sex with Isis militants,” Al-Malla said. Full story...

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Theresa May to launch wide-ranging internet controls aimed at 'regulating cyberspace' and giving security services more powers...

Theresa May looks set to launch wide-ranging internet regulation and plans to fundamentally change how technology works despite not having won a majority.

In the speech in which she committed to keep governing despite calls to stand down, the prime minister made reference to extending powers for the security services.

Those powers – which include regulation of the internet and forcing internet companies to let spies read everyone's private communications – were a key part of the Conservative campaign, which failed to score a majority in the House of Commons.

In the speech, given in Downing Street after losing her majority but still looking to form a government, she laid out a series of plans that she hopes to carry out at what she called a "critical time for our country".

One of those will be "cracking down on the ideology of Islamist extremism and all those who support it," she said in the short speech. And she will also "give the police and the authorities the powers they need to keep our country safe". Full story...

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Monday, June 12, 2017

What if animals were round?


The sideshow that never leaves town...

(...)

What has emerged from the politicization of our lives – a process that has made us subservient to institutional interests – is the “size theory of social misery” so well described by Leopold Kohr. We have allowed ourselves to be burdened by a supra-institutional body, the political Establishment; an entity owned and controlled by self-appointed elites who have an interest in keeping mankind under their domination at the base of their pyramidal structures of power. Schools and the mainstream media have been the principal tools with which to condition and reinforce the conditioning in our imposed duty of obedience to the state.

Both the purpose and effect of all this is to train us in the skills that will be useful to the established order. It is not to help us learn how to think independently, how to make relevant distinctions, how to explore reality and values that lie beyond the boundaries set for us, how to discriminate between truth and fashion, how to be self-directed in our thinking and actions, and how to live for our own purposes. In your own experiences, has your formal schooling or encounters with the establishment media served any of the ends that enhanced your individuality?

Trained to serve the power structure that presumes to have authority over us, we are quite familiar with the verb form of the word train. But the noun usage of that word tells us something of what we have become. “Training” produces a “train,” which one dictionary informs us is “a succession of pack animals traveling in the same direction.” What better description of what we have allowed ourselves to become: both the means and the ends by which otherwise self-directed individuals are compacted into one manageable herd of indistinguishable parts. The U.S. government’s collectivist motto, e pluribus unum, is an open admission of the dehumanized and morally obscene nature of the state. Full story...

School bans unvaccinated kids after immunized children start chickenpox outbreak...

Close to one-quarter of students at a California elementary school have been directed by school officials to stay home for three weeks due to a small onset of chickenpox cases that began in March.

The chickenpox outbreak at Mariposa School of Global Education in Augora Hills, California is unique because the first case of chickenpox discovered at the school was found in a student who had been fully vaccinated.

Daniel Stepenosky, the superintendent of Las Virgenes Unified School District that includes the Mariposa School, acknowledged to CBS Los Angeles that three students were found to have chickenpox. “A kindergartener, a first-grader, a third-grader. The first case happened around mid-March. The student was immunized, however still contracted chickenpox.”

According to local newspaper, The Acorn, Stepenosky noted that “(It’s) interesting . . . the first of three cases was a student that was fully immunized. . . . He was the vaccinated one.” Full story...

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Postman behind online game where teenagers are made to kill themselves is arrested in Russia...

The man allegedly behind a new teenage online death group, similar to the 'Blue Whale' game, has been detained in Russia.

Postman Ilya Sidorov, 26, confessed to seeking to coax its members - believed to be as many as 32 mainly underprivileged schoolchildren - to commit suicide.

The sobbing Moscow resident told state investigators he developed an elaborate online game involving 50 tasks which culminated in the teenagers killing themselves.

He broke down as he was interrogated on his role in demanding that a schoolgirl should 'jump under a metro train at a certain station'.

Sidorov was asked in a shocking video questioning: 'What was the final task? How does the game end?'

He replied: 'To commit suicide.' Full story...

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Japan has a chicken sandwich with hot sauce so spicy you have to sign a consent form to eat it...

For a while, it seemed like whatever psychotherapy Lotteria’s chefs were undergoing was working. It’d been months since Japan’s craziest fast food chain had released a hamburger with super-stretchy cheese, purple sauce, or ten patties and an anime tie-in.

But apparently Lotteria’s chefs have busted out of the asylum, and they’ve created something that’s, by the standards of the company itself, litigiously insane. On June 8, Lotteria began selling what it calls the Death Spicy Tandoori Chicken Sandwich, and if you want it as spicy as possible, you’re required to sign a liability waiver before they’ll serve you.

Lotteria has actually added three spicy sandwiches simultaneously to its menu. There’s the standard Karakuchi (“Spicy”) Tandoori Chicken Sandwich, and above that in the pantheon there’s the Umakara (“Deliciously Spicy”) Tandoori Chicken Sandwich and the Gekikara (Shockinlgy Spicy) Tandoori Chicken Sandwich. Full story...

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Pity the nation...

Pity the nation whose people are sheep,
and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,
and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice,
except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero
and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own
and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money
and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode
and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.


– Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Socialism strikes back!


MIT/IPCC Scientist Shares The Truth About Global Warming/Climate Change Science...

We have reached a dangerous state of scientific tyranny. People are ridiculed and even vilified for questioning the prevailing narratives about the nature of our world, but this counters the true meaning of science. At its core, science is about questioning what we think we know.

“A central lesson of science is that to understand complex issues (or even simple ones), we must try to free our minds of dogma and to guarantee the freedom to publish, to contradict, and to experiment. Arguments from authority are unacceptable.”
— Carl Sagan

Today, many scientific assumptions have transformed into scientific dogmas. In almost every field of science, from the study of consciousness, to modern day medicine, to food and drugs, controversy and corruption exist. As many whistleblowers have revealed, big corporations have a monopoly on science and control what gets published and enters the public domain.

Dr. Diane Harper, for example, one of a mere handful of experts on the human papillomavirus (HPV) and one of the leading researchers in biomedical science, has pointed to this fact a number of times, specifically with regards to Gardasil, the HPV vaccine. She has spent her life studying vaccines; she was the principle investigator of both HPV vaccines — Gardasil manufactured by Merck, and Cervarix manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. In multiple interviews she’s stated how the vaccine was approved and fast-tracked before all of the science had been completed. Full story...

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United Airlines faces more problems after injured wheelchair-bound woman sues...

A handicapped Florida woman, who claims she fell after an airport employee dropped her, has filed a lawsuit against United Airlines and its contracted workers.

Erica Fulton, of Largo, Florida, was flying out of Houston’s Bush Airport with United Airlines last September when an airport employee picked her up to help her into her seat.

The employee reportedly continued to reassure Fulton that he “got” her while transporting her from her wheelchair to her seat, but Fulton said she knew he didn’t.

“Once he got me totally upright, I just saw this look of panic in his face,” Fulton told WFLA. “I said, ‘Oh my God, he’s gonna drop me.”

Fulton, who has a degenerative disease that requires her to use a wheelchair, said she fell over, and all of her weight landed on her right shoulder and tore muscles in her arm.

“The pain was excruciating,” said Fulton. “I had tears rolling down my face.” Full story...

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Man jailed for 35 years in Thailand for insulting monarchy on Facebook...

A Thai man has been jailed for 35 years for Facebook posts deemed insulting to the royal family, a watchdog said, in one of the harshest sentences handed down for a crime that insulates Thailand’s ultra-rich monarchy from criticism.

A Bangkok military court convicted him of 10 counts of lese-majesty for posting photos and videos of the royal family on a Facebook account that purported to belong to a different user.

Wichai, 34, whose last name was withheld to protect his relatives from ostracism, was accused of using the account to slander a former friend, said iLaw, a group that tracks royal defamation cases.

“The court punished him with seven years per count. Altogether he was given 70 years, but it was reduced in half because he confessed,” said Yingcheep Atchanont from iLaw. Full story...

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Saudi women are going to jail for driving cars, fleeing abusers...

How would you like to wear a black blanket in the desert heat and remain legally a child your entire life, banned from moving about without male supervision or a chaperone, thrown in jail for driving a car or running away from an abusive man?

Welcome to the world of women in Saudi Arabia, America’s foremost Middle Eastern ally, where misogyny is still a quaint cultural custom. Despite a social media campaign by and for Saudi women’s rights activists, and tweets and other signs of support from younger members of the royal family, the Kingdom keeps throwing women in jail for demanding basic human rights: the freedom to move and to be free of domestic violence.

A new book, Daring to Drive, by the Saudi exile and feminist activist Manal al-Sharif, was published this week in the midst of a new spate of female jailings. Al-Sharif, one of the founders of the Women2Drive movement, shares memories of growing up in Saudi Arabia and confronting the myriad medieval rules and regulations the Saudi government enforces in order to keep women down. Full story...

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

The 81-year-old bin-woman with a PhD...

An 81-year-old who set up an all-woman rubbish collection team in her village in Lebanon now has a stream of visitors asking how she did it. For nine months in 2015 and 2016 rubbish piled up on the streets of the capital, Beirut, and even now a lack of landfill sites means some of the city's waste is being thrown in the sea. Zeinab Mokalled has shown that when government fails, do-it-yourself local initiatives can work.

"There used to be dirt everywhere and the kids were filthy," Zeinab Mokalled tells me.

She is remembering the 1980s and 90s, when Israel occupied part of the south of the country for 15 years, and waste collection came to a halt in her village, Arabsalim.

As the years went by, it piled up, and Mokalled went to the regional governor to ask for help.

"Why do you care? We are not Paris," he told her. Full story...

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You’ll never eat McDonald’s french fries again after watching this ...

Facebook wants to SPY on you through your webcam or phone: Creepy patent reveals footage collected would be used to tailor material but critics warn it is an 'ethical minefield"

A patent filed by Facebook has been discovered, which suggests that the firm wants to spy on its users through their phone or computer cameras.

The creepy patent reveals that the footage collected would be used to analyse your emotions while you browse the site, tailoring material to how you're feeling.

While it is unclear whether Facebook plans to implement the technology, experts are describing it as an 'ethical minefield.'

The patent, called 'Techniques for emotion detection and content delivery' was discovered by CB Insights, a market intelligence firm based in New York.

In a post about the patent, a spokesperson for CB Insights said: 'On the one hand, they want to identify which content is most engaging and respond to audience's reactions, on the other emotion-detection is technically difficult, not to mention a PR and ethical minefield.' Full story...

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London, Manchester, Paris et al – state sponsored terror, again and again?

And again, as in previous terror attacks, the alleged three perpetrators are conveniently shot dead by police. Dead men can’t talk. The same pattern, all over again.

In Manchester, in London, Paris, Nice, Brussels, Berlin, Munich, Stockholm, Orlando, San Bernardino – and wherever terror strikes, the alleged culprits are killed. And they usually leave conveniently an ID behind. Dead terrorists can’t testify. They can’t be asked to corroborate the stories of the police and authorities. These stories become truth without questioning.

By the way, has anybody ever seen these dead terrorists? Anybody, I mean, other than the police? Somebody neutral, trust-worthy? – Or are these dead terrorists perhaps invented to hide the real perpetrators behind these awful crimes on society? – Horrific crimes on a government’s own people, with only one purpose – continue and step up wars by military, financial and propaganda aggression throughout the world, to achieve what Washington’s bible, the PNAC (Plan for a New American Century), proclaims as ultimate goal: Full Spectrum Dominance?

We are almost there. If we are not careful and wake up soon, the New World Order is already upon us, swallowing us alive, as a Python swallows an okapi. Full story...

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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Video of Malaysian woman beating child goes viral a year after the event...

A video of a teenage Malaysian mother beating her baby daughter has generated a storm of outrage online a year after it was filmed, prompting the Malaysian Police to announce that the woman is already serving an 18-month prison sentence for the offense.

In a post on their Facebook page this week, the Malaysian Police said they had received hundreds of complaints and comments about the case after the four-minute video of the mother repeatedly striking the baby with her hand, her foot and a pillow went viral.

The video fueled anger and disgust among Internet users from Malaysia to Massachusetts, where local news broadcaster WWLP-22News reported receiving "many emails" about the footage.

The mother was 18 years old when she inflicted the beating on her 10-month-old child in May 2011, according to Arjunaidi Mohamed, the chief of police in Petaling Jaya, the suburb of Kuala Lumpur where the attack took place. Full story...

In Singapore, this is having leaders of all the major religions getting together to bless a train station...


More Muslim leaders refuse funeral prayers for London attackers...

Scores more imams and Muslim religious leaders have said they will not perform funeral prayers for the perpetrators of the London Bridge attack, bringing the number of signatories to a statement to more than 200.

The grassroots, cross-denominational initiative from imams, teachers, chaplains and other religious figures is intended to send a strong message to extremists considering acts of terror in the name of Islam.

“We decided we needed to make a public statement, to send a strong message – effectively, you’re not welcome in our community either in life or in death,” said Qari Asim, imam at the Makkah mosque in Leeds.

“This decision was not taken lightly. One of the last things you offer to the deceased is to seek forgiveness for them from God. By not performing the funeral prayer, we are not asking for forgiveness. Full story...

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Qatar in 'chaos' as Arab powers halt food supply to country amid diplomatic rift...

Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all announced they would withdraw their diplomatic staff from Qatar on Monday, with Yemen, the Maldives and one of Libya's three rival governments following suit.

The Qatar Government has indicated it is ready for mediation efforts.

Doha also decided not to retaliate against the measures.

It is being accused of providing funding to Islamists — an allegation which it vehemently denies.

In an unprecedented move, fellow Gulf states have closed all transport links with Qatar and ordered their citizens out of the country. They have given Qataris abroad 14 days to return home. Full story...

Muslim man saves 64 Christians from being executed by militants in Philippines...

A Muslim man in the Philippines has been hailed as a hero for giving shelter to 64 Christians in his home while terrorists were hunting them.

Noor Lucman, a Muslim who lives in Marawi, gave shelter to Christians were working near his home as militants were attacking Marawi, the capital city of about 200,000 people on the Philippine island of Mindanao.

Nearly 240 Christians had been kidnapped and held hostage by militants since the start of the conflict more than a week ago.

After Lucman said after he had fled the city, Christians “couldn't leave the city, so I had to take responsibility in protecting them.” More + photos...

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

VincerĂ²


Revealed: What REALLY goes into a jar of Nutella (and the amount of sugar may shock you)

A new image claims to show exactly what goes into your jar of Nutella - and it may shock you.

Instead of the usual chocolate-hazelnut spread, this picture shows the famous jar filled with layers of the brand's five main ingredients in their raw form: palm oil, cocoa, hazelnuts, skimmed milk powder and sugar.

Each layer is said to accurately represent the proportion of each ingredient in a jar of Nutella - and shockingly, half the jar is filled with white sugar.

The picture went viral on social media this week, circulating on Reddit where it was upvoted 28,700 times.

It follows the recent Nutella cancer scare, which arose after a report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) declared palm oil to be more carcinogenic than any other oil.

But Nutella has since denied its spread poses a cancer risk, saying the palm oil it uses is of high quality and is safe to eat. Full story...

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Bill Cosby 'used power and fame to prey on woman'

Bill Cosby used power and fame to drug and sexually assault a helpless woman, a court has heard on day one of the US comedian's trial.

"Trust, betrayal and the inability to consent - that's what this case is about," a prosecutor told the court in Pennsylvania.

Mr Cosby is on trial for allegedly molesting a woman who was seeking career advice in 2004.

Dozens of other women accuse the 79-year-old entertainer of sexual assault.

It is seen as the biggest US celebrity court case since the murder trial of former American football player OJ Simpson in 1995. Full story...

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The God of Great Things, India’s Arundhati Roy returns with a new novel...

Imagine comparing a beautiful landscape painting with a harsh TV documentary on contemporary social issues; an old sepia photograph with an award-winning controversial photo exhibition; a multi-layered poem to a collection of activist songs. There may be truth in each of these forms and they may even approach the same subjects, but the way of telling the story remains different. The differences are as vast when one compares the two novels by the award-winning Indian novelist, Arundhati Roy.

Arundhati Roy belongs to an elite club of internationally recognized Indian authors writing in English. She rose to immediate fame with her first novel, The God of Small Things, published in 1997. The book has since claimed the Man Booker prize; it has gone through reprints and has become a hero of many essays and academic articles on English literature. Roy, in turn, became a famed writer internationally but within India she gradually became even much more famous for her activism and blunt comments on Indian politics and the state of society.

Twenty years have passed and now Roy is giving us her second novel: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. How does it fare in comparison to the The God of Small Things? As mentioned above, the task of comparing is not an easy one as these are not simply two different novels by the same author but two different literary forms. Full story...

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Calf born with ‘human face’ treated as ‘incarnation’ of Hindu god in India...

A deformed calf born with human-like features is reportedly being treated as a representation of the Hindu god Vishnu in a village in northern India.

The bull calf was born in the village of Pachenda, Muzaffarnagar, in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The bizarre creature has very peculiar features, including an almost human-like mouth, ears and nose.

The deformed animal died shortly after birth, but has been placed on display and people have been flocking to visit the unusual animal.

Reports in local media say the calf is being hailed as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Video footage obtained by Ruptly shows crowds of people gathering to look at the animal, which is in a glass display case with flowers garlanded around its neck. Cows are considered sacred in India in accordance with Hindu beliefs. More + video...

More than 130 British imams refuse to bury London attackers...

More than 130 imams from Britain are refusing to offer Islamic burials to the three men who launched attacks Saturday night in London, killing seven and wounding dozens more.

"We will not perform the traditional Islamic funeral prayer for the perpetrators and we also urge fellow imams and religious authorities to withdraw such a privilege," the Muslim leaders said Monday in a statement posted on social media.

The imams described their actions as "unprecedented," though mosques in Manchester, England, and in the United States have refused to bury Muslims involved in terror attacks in recent years.

Imam Abdullah Hasan of Imams Against Domestic Abuse, who posted the statement online, said the funeral rite "is normally performed for every Muslim regardless of their actions."

Seven people died and 48 were injured when three men drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge, then leaped out and stabbed several others in nearby bars and restaurants. Police killed the three attackers. Full story...

Read also: Religious scholars issue unanimous fatwa declaring suicide attacks Haram

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Monday, June 05, 2017

Simon's cat: copy cat...

Two decades into his legendary career, Roger Federer is playing with a newfound freedom -- and having way too much fun to quit now...

Ah, s---, it's all happening again."

Roger Federer remembers the moment, the word, with painful clarity. "Again."

He was down 3-1 in the fifth set of the 2017 Australian Open final, losing to Rafael Nadal, his career kryptonite. Nadal, who was 6-0 against Federer in grand slams since 2008, pounded forehands at him. Federer felt his legs go heavy. Then heavier. He started talking to himself. "I recall saying, 'You have to try to break now, pal, because later on he is going to stay in the lead and have the break, and then too much luck is involved to turn the whole thing around.'"

More than any player in the modern era, Roger Federer has made the game look easy. Federer, the graceful. Federer, the perfect. Federer, the ideal tennis player. It's what makes him so intoxicating to watch. It's what inspires a near literal traveling church of Roger Federer faithful at ATP events. But what looks easy comes with a soundtrack, an internal monologue, and in that monologue, the greatest male tennis player of all time will sometimes grind hard, full of doubt and pressure and frustration, wrestling with history and ambition, fearful of coming up short. Full story...

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A very British response to terror...

(...)

These moments encapsulated something about Britain’s calm, defiant response to the threat of terror. Even as we face an increasing number of attacks, we are learning to cope with grief, loss and violence in our own way.

Saturday night was the third terror attack in Britain in the last three months. On March 22, Khalid Masood, a 52-year-old Briton, drove a car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, killing three people and injuring at least 50, before emerging from his vehicle and fatally stabbing a police officer. On May 22, a bomb was set off outside an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester by 22-year-old Briton Salman Abedi, killing 22.

In the face of this, we’re choosing vigilance, calm and just a little bit of humor. And any fear projected on to us will be met with a very British response: Sarcasm.

On Sunday morning, CNN spoke of London’s streets being “eerily quiet” following the attack. Brits were quick to react. Full story...

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Filipinos flee Duterte’s violent drug crackdown...

Every morning before dawn, Rosario Perez checks to make sure her sons are still alive. The three brothers, all in their 20s, sleep at the houses of friends and relatives, moving regularly, hoping that whoever may have been assigned to kill them won’t catch up with them.

They are not witnesses on a mob hit list, or gang members hiding from rivals. They are simply young men living in the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte.

“How could I not send them to hide?” said Ms. Perez, 47, after peeking in on two of her sons and phoning the third. “We can barely sleep out of fear.”

Nearly a year into Mr. Duterte’s violent antidrug campaign, in which more than 4,000 people accused of using or selling illegal drugs have been killed and thousands of other killings are classified as “under investigation,” fear and mistrust have gripped many neighborhoods of Manila and other cities.
Continue reading the main story

Residents are cobbling together strategies to hide and survive. Many young men are staying indoors, out of sight. Others have fled the urban slums, where most of the killings occur, and are camping out on farms or lying low in villages in the countryside. Full story...

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Jeremy Corbyn accuses Theresa May of ignoring terror warnings when she cut 20,000 police officers and claims she is suppressing a report about Saudi funding of extremists...

Jeremy Corbyn tonight accused Theresa May of ignoring warnings about the terror risks of cutting police officers.

Labour's leader said Mrs May accused the Police Federation of 'crying wolf' about the cuts as he responded to the third terror attack in three months to hit Britain.

He said the Government could not protect the public 'on the cheap' in a hard-hitting address.

Mr Corbyn also accused her of suppressing a report believed to make embarrassing allegations about major British arms customer Saudi Arabia funding extremists.

And he sought to end the earlier controversy over his support for police use of 'shoot-to-kill' tactics against armed attackers, by stating that he backed the 'full authority for the police to use whatever force is necessary to protect and save life as they did last night, as they did in Westminster in March'.  Full story...

Read also: in a thinly veiled reference to Saudi Arabia.