Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The trolls on Sunny Leone’s photo with adopted child show exactly how prejudiced we are...

Sunny Leone posted a photo on Facebook with her husband Daniel Weber and the little girl they adopted. The family looks happy with Nisha, the newest addition, and Sunny would have posted the picture to share the news with her fans.

A lot of fans congratulated her, but things took an ugly turn when some people proved they just could not go past their prejudice.

If you see the post now, most of the comments are overwhelmingly positive, supportive and congratulatory. But do a little digging in the comments section and it’s not difficult to find people making fun of Nisha’s dark complexion and even slut shaming Sunny.

Take a look at this man’s comments, who took to reiterating multiple times how Sunny should have her own children so she can pass on her ‘beauty’. Some people even suggest that the child should be ‘returned’ because she is dark skinned, and hence, ugly. Full story...

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Gaza in context...

The billion-dollar palaces of Apple, Facebook and Google...

We know by now that the internet is a giant playpen, a landscape of toys, distractions and instant gratification, of chirps and squeaks and bright, shiny things – plus, to be sure, ugly, horrid beasties lurking in all the softness – apparently without horizon. Graphics – rounded corners, lower case, Google’s primary colours, Twitter’s birdie, Facebook’s shades of blue – enhance the innocence and infantilism. It is a world, as Jonathan Franzen once said, “so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self”. Until we chance on the bars of the playpen and find that there are places we can’t go and that it is in the gift of the grown-ups on the other side to set or move the limits to our freedom.

We’re talking here of virtual space. But those grown-ups, the tech giants, Apple, Facebook, Google and the rest, are also in the business of building physical billion-dollar enclaves for their thousands of employees. Here too they create calibrated lands of fun, wherein staff offer their lives, body and soul, day and night, in return for gyms, Olympic-sized swimming pools, climbing walls, basketball courts, running tracks and hiking trails, indoor football pitches, massage rooms and hanging gardens, performance venues, amiable art and lovable graphics. They have been doing this for a while – what is changing is the sheer scale and extravagance of these places.

For the tech giants are now in the same position as great powers in the past – the bankers of the Italian Renaissance, the skyscraper-builders of the 20th century, the Emperor Augustus, Victorian railway companies – whereby, whether they want to or not, their size and wealth find expression in spectacular architecture. As Deyan Sudjic, formerly of this parish and now director of the Design Museum, wrote in his book The Edifice Complex, the execution of architecture “has always been at the discretion of those with their hands on the levers of power”. Having as much sense of their own importance as those previous powers, tech companies probably don’t mind commissioning structures that define their time. Full story...

Can pills for depression turn you into a killer?

David Carmichael, 59, calmly and methodically describes the events leading up to the day he killed his 11‑year-old son Ian.

He maintains his composure right up to the point when he describes his boy: ‘Oh man, he was the most loving child.’

His face clouds and he rocks with pain. ‘We spent so much time together and we got along great. He was a beautiful boy, a beautiful gift. I miss him so much.’

Ian had epilepsy and very mild dyslexia, but had no problems other than being a little behind with his reading. David was a nurturing and devoted dad, a sports coach from Toronto, Canada, who’d spent his entire professional life working with children.

But when David took Ian’s life during a psychotic episode, he was convinced that his wife Beth and daughter Gillian would thank him for getting rid of the ‘intolerable’ burden Ian had become. Full story...

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Amnesty calls on Saudi Arabia to halt execution of 14 dissenters...

Human rights group Amnesty International has called on Saudi Arabia to halt the executions of 14 individuals who were sentenced to death following a “grossly unfair mass trial” as part of the kingdom’s “bloody execution spree.”

“By confirming these sentences Saudi Arabia’s authorities have displayed their ruthless commitment to the use of the death penalty as a weapon to crush dissent and neutralize political opponents,” said Amnesty’s director of campaigns for the Middle-East, Samah Hadid, on Monday.

The 14 individuals were convicted over charges of “armed rebellion against the ruler” by, among other things, “participating in shooting at security personnel, security vehicles," “preparing and using Molotov Cocktail bombs," “theft and armed robbery” and “inciting chaos, organizing and participating in riots."

Legal documents show that the men were subjected to lengthy pre-trial imprisonment and had been tortured and ill-treated during their interrogation in which they confessed. Full story...

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The real John McCain..

As soon as John McCain had been diagnosed with brain cancer, Democrats and Republicans in Washington and the press spared no opportunity to lavish praise upon this lifelong government employee.

The truth, though, is that in exchange for the billions and billions of dollars that McCain has confiscated from them for well over three decades, taxpayers have received an ever-burgeoning administrative state, relentless illegal immigration from the Third World, and, of course, war—and all while McCain has pretended to be a “conservative.”

Thanks to his labors, hundreds of thousands of human beings, both foreign and American alike, are now dead.

And hundreds of thousands more are traumatized, orphaned, homeless, maimed, and continually besieged by those murderous terrorist organizations, like ISIS, that have taken over their countries after McCain’s policies prevailed. Full story...

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Ants among Elephants: The defiance of an 'untouchable' New York subway worker...

In Sanskrit, the main language used by scholars in ancient India and sometimes referred to as the language of gods, her first name means one of noble birth.

The irony is laid bare by Sujatha Gidla whose recent memoir speaks of her life and her family and the plight of 300 millions Dalits ("oppressed" in Sanskrit), formerly known as untouchables in India.

An expressive personal examination of her life, her parents, especially her mother, grandparents and Satyamurthy, a Maoist uncle who hoped revolution would help improve the caste discrimination his people suffered, Ants Among Elephants has quickly become the toast of critics and readers in America.

The New York Times said the "unsentimental, deeply poignant book" gives "readers an unsettling and visceral understanding of how discrimination, segregation and stereotypes have endured throughout the second half of the 20th Century and today".

Reviewer Michiko Kakutani wrote that Gidla's family stories reveal how "ancient prejudices persist in contemporary India, and how those prejudices are being challenged by the disenfranchised". Full story...

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Couple jailed total of 124 months for talisman scam in Singapore...

An elderly couple who swindled victims of more than S$800,000 (RM2,512,467) over 10 years, by selling talismans touted to have “special powers”, was sentenced to jail yesterday by a district court judge.

Ng Kim Yew, 62, was sentenced to 69 months’ jail, while her husband Ong Choon Lin, 67, was sentenced to 55 months’ jail.

They were each convicted of 20 charges, involving three victims, of abetment by conspiring to cheat from 2005 to October 2015.

The judge took into consideration 23 charges in sentencing Ng and 18 charges in sentencing Ong.

The total amount involved in Ng’s case was S$816,868, while that for Ong was S$734,068.

 During the 23-day trial, the court heard that the couple cheated three victims, who cannot be identified, of S$486, 268. Full story...

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Madness in the Med: how charity rescue boats exacerbate the refugee crisis...

Following the EU’s deal with Turkey over people smuggling, the issue of migrants trying to cross, and quite often drowning in, the Mediterranean has largely disappeared from the British media. There have been no more images like that of three-year-old Alan Kurdi, washed up on a Turkish beach after the rubber dinghy in which his family were trying to reach the Greek island of Kos capsized in August 2015.

Now, people smugglers and migrants know there is little point in trying to make the crossing from Turkey to Greece because they will only be sent back, in return for the EU taking refugees directly from camps in Turkey. The deal has successfully curtailed the activities of criminal gangs operating in the eastern Mediterranean: in the first six months of this year arrivals in Greece had fallen by 93 per cent compared with a year earlier.

But the problem hasn’t gone away; it has shifted westwards to Italy, where things just go from bad to worse. Last year a record 181,000 migrants arrived there by sea, nearly all from Libya, and this year there are sure to be many more: over 90,000 have so far been ferried across the Mediterranean from near the Libyan coast to Sicily, 300 miles away, according to the latest figures from IOM, the UN migration agency. Earlier this week IOM reported that 2,359 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean already this year, on top of 5,083 deaths last year and 2,777 in 2015. Full story...

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Monday, July 24, 2017

There's a reason you should be terrified of iris scanners and iPhone facial recognition – but it's not the reason you think...

I hate passwords. I forget them, I lose them, I agonise over someone stealing them. At work, I don’t change them when the system prompts me to. I get locked out of my computer and spend hours trying to regain access. The helpdesk hates me.

I’m a queen of the caps lock blunder too: not knowing I’ve struck the pesky key, I type in my password agonisingly – two, three, four times – only to be told to “please contact a system administrator”. And that usually happens last thing on a Friday. When my patience resembles a tissue that’s been through the washing machine. Twice.

So, as someone who likes to consider themselves relatively tech-savvy and reasonably receptive to new gadgets, you may therefore think that I would take to the idea of biometric identification like a duck to water. You’d be wrong. I’m terrified. And I’m going to tell you why you too should be afraid.

Last week, high street lender TSB announced that it was becoming the first bank in Europe to introduce iris recognition on its mobile banking app, allowing you to transfer money, check your balance and make payments, quite literally, in the blink of an eye. Full story...

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Handy way to pay: US firm plans to fit employees with microchip implants...

A US vending business is entering a new era of ‘convenience’ by implanting microchips in employees that will allow them access to basic workplace amenities.

At least 50 staff at Wisconsin firm Three Square Market have volunteered to have a microchip, similar to one in a contactless credit card, inserted into their hand, according to the company.

Three Square Market say the volunteers will be able to use the tiny electromagnetic device to bypass login requirements and buy food on their lunch breaks.

Implanted between the thumb and forefingers, the microchip uses radio-frequency identification (RFID) and near-field communication technology [NFC] to read information stored on external objects or products. Full story...

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Cracks in the firewall: China’s VPN game of cat-and-mouse...

Many of China’s internet users are accustomed to circumventing their government’s so-called ‘Great Firewall’. Early this month, however, one avenue of accessing the “real” World Wide Web was denied to them, as one of the country’s most popular Virtual Private Network service providers, Green VPN, was ordered to stop operating from July 1.

Chinese authorities have been playing a game of cat-and-mouse with VPNs for many years. However, web users are increasingly concerned that individual users may be targeted following recent VPN shutdowns and the government’s reassertion of its internet rules.

By redirecting their web traffic through a server abroad, VPN technology allows Chinese internet users to appear as though they are connected to the web from elsewhere and to access the wider web undetected. They have been a breakthrough tool in allowing citizens to skirt the restrictions imposed by the government on internet access. Blocked sites include Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, in addition to many western media organizations.

Vasyl Diakonov, Chief Technology Officer for KeepSolid, a New York-based VPN developer whose flagship VPN Unlimited, has over 6.3 million users worldwide, believes China is fighting a losing battle. “There are really no technical ways to remove all the VPNs and build walls for one country,” he says. “The only way is like North Korea, which whitelists only a few domains [for its people to access].” Full story...

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Pitching up...


Kenyans of Indian descent now recognized as 44th tribe...

Kenya said Saturday it had granted formal recognition to citizens of Indo-Pakistani origin, with President Uhuru Kenyatta making them a 44th tribe.

"I do hereby recognise, proclaim and order, 1. That Kenyans of Asian Heritage constitute a Community that is one of the Tribes of Kenya; 2. That from now henceforth the Community of Kenyans of Asian Heritage are Kenya's 44th Tribe," declared Kenyatta in a proclamation which appeared in the official presidential journal made public on Saturday.

The term "Asian community" in Kenya generally designates those of Indo-Pakistani origin who made their homes in the country from the late 19th Century as the then British colonial power was constructing a first railway link from the port of Mombasa to Kampala in Uganda.

According to Kenya's most recent census of 2009, the South Asian community numbers some 46,000 people. Estimates suggest there are a further 35,000 in the country who do not have citizenship. Full story...


Uruguay’s capital runs out of marijuana after 1 day...

Pharmacies in the Uruguay’s capital Montevideo have run out of cannabis stock just one day after it was fully legalized in the country.

The four pharmacies licensed to sell marijuana ran out of stock three hours before closing time on Wednesday.

Pharmacy owners in the capital have already asked for more supply from the Uruguayan Institute of Cannabis Regulation and Control and can expect a delivery within 15 days.

Sixty percent of registered cannabis users are in Montevideo.

In other parts of the country, legal marijuana is also selling quickly. A government source told Nodal that departments with only one pharmacy have seen “a very good pace of sales and it is likely that places like Flores or Artigas will also sell out.” Full story...

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Bolivia's president declares 'total independence' from World Bank and IMF...

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has been highlighting his government's independence from international money lending organizations and their detrimental impact the nation, the Telesur TV reported.

A day like today in 1944 ended Bretton Woods Economic Conference (USA), in which the IMF and WB were established," Morales tweeted. "These organizations dictated the economic fate of Bolivia and the world. Today we can say that we have total independence of them."

Morales has said Bolivia's past dependence on the agencies was so great that the International Monetary Fund had an office in government headquarters and even participated in their meetings.

Bolivia is now in the process of becoming a member of the Southern Common Market, Mercosur and Morales attended the group's summit in Argentina last week. Full story...

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Sunday, July 23, 2017

German boy runs off to Switzerland over 'bad' mark on his school report!

A 10-year-old boy, apparently with high expectations of himself, has been found in Switzerland after running away from his home in northern Germany for fear of telling his parents about what he considered a bad mark in his school report, German media reported on Saturday

The local newspaper Schleswiger Nachrichten quoted German federal police as saying that the child had been afraid of showing his marks to his parents even though the worst grade on the school report was a "3" - a solid "C" in international terms.

He even had a valid ticket on him for the duration of the journey to the Swiss city of Basel, according to Spiegel Online.

Train personnel had alarmed federal police on Friday evening about a boy traveling by himself, the Schleswiger Nachrichten said. His parents had already told local police in their hometown of Schleswig that their son had gone missing.

Needless to say, the parents were grateful that their son was found and were to be reunited with him on Saturday. Source...

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A warrant to search your vagina...

As debate raged around health care and Russia-gate last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions quietly held a “national summit” of law enforcement representatives to discuss the future of policing.

Vice President Mike Pence predicted that the summit, which was largely held behind closed doors, would “impact this country for years to come.” Its purpose was to influence the recommendations — due out next week — of the Department of Justice Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, created in response to one of President Trump’s executive orders. Drugs featured prominently on the agenda.

This should come as no surprise. This spring Mr. Sessions instructed federal prosecutors to seek the highest possible sentences in drug cases, and the administration’s proposed budget increased spending on the Drug Enforcement Administration by $150 million while cutting funds for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration by $109 million. Mr. Sessions has also signaled his intent to step up enforcement of laws targeting marijuana. All these are in contrast to recent policy shifts reflecting the growing consensus that the aggressive policing of the war on drugs has failed.

Doubling down on the drug war is likely to result in increased violence, not increased public safety. The damage these policies have done to black communities has been well documented. But less attention has been paid to the ways that women of color specifically are targeted in drug cases and are subject to abuse or assault by police officers. Full story...

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Does saffron fight cancer? A plausible biological mechanism...

The “superfood” craze is premised upon the dubious notion that some foods are so great, that eating them will bring good health and long life. For Popeye, spinach was a superfood. After gleefully swallowing a can full of the stuff, he grew big muscles and beat up Bluto.

The trouble with superfoods is that they aren’t real. That isn’t to say that some foods aren’t healthier than others; fruits and vegetables are better for you than potato chips and soda. But the notion that some foods are the secret elixir to youth or the magic cure for disease is hype.

Keeping that in mind, it is still worth investigating how food affects our bodies. Research in this area provides insights into our metabolism and physiology, which can tell us more about disease and how to prevent it. Full story...

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

To the government, Saudi Arabia is 'the kingdom whose name we dare not speak at all'

Theresa May has oddly declined to comment on the reported arrest of the mini-skirted lass who was videotaped cavorting through an ancient Najd village this week, provoking unexpected roars of animalistic male fury in a kingdom known for its judicial leniency, political moderation, gender equality and fraternal love for its Muslim neighbours.

May should, surely, have drawn the attention of the rulers of this normally magnanimous state to the extraordinarily uncharacteristic behaviour of the so-called religious police – hitherto regarded as extras in the very same kingdom’s growing tourism industry which is supported by its newly appointed peace-loving and forward-thinking young Crown Prince.

But of course, since May cannot possibly believe that a single person in this particular national entity would give even a riyal or a halfpenny to “terrorists” – of the kind who have been tearing young British lives apart in Manchester and London – she’s hardly likely to endanger the “national security” of said state by condemning the arrest of the aforementioned young lady. In any event, a woman so proper that she would not risk soiling her hands by greeting the distraught survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire has no business shedding even a “little tear” for middle class girls who upset what we must now call The Kingdom Whose Name We Dare Not Speak At All. Full story...

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Justine Damond shooting: Police chief Janee Harteau quits...

A police chief in the US state of Minnesota has resigned after one of her officers fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman.

Justine Damond was killed after she called the police to report a woman screaming outside her home in a quiet suburb of Minneapolis last week.

Police chief Janee Harteau had earlier said it "should not have happened".

The city's mayor accepted her resignation, saying she had lost confidence in Ms Harteau.

Ms Damond's death provoked outrage in her homeland, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it "inexplicable" and "a shocking killing". Full story...

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‘Holy cow is dividing India’, French comic book features cow vigilantes to illustrate dangers of Hindutva ...

A comic book by a French journalist and author William de Tamaris has used the crackdown on beef and violence of cow vigilantes to highlight the dangers of Hindutva and the rise of Hindu nationalism in India. The 30-page comic book introduces French readers the concepts of Hindutva and the propaganda for a Hindu nation.

“Here I was, supposedly, in the land of tolerance but the hate in the discourse of so-called gau rakshaks was shocking,” the journalist de Tamaris told the Scroll. “In France, people still believe India is the land of Gandhi but that no longer holds true,” he explained the reason behind the comic.

“We were inspired to do the story after I met Vijaykant Chauhan, who calls himself a gau rakshak,” de Tamaris added.

The French journalists had visited Maharashtra, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala to trace the cow vigilantes. The gau rakshak Chauhan told the French team that if he were Nathuram Godse, he would kill Gandhi all over again. More + images...

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Friday, July 21, 2017

Why do people steal cheese?

What do you think the most stolen food item is in the grocery store? I asked that question on Facebook, and most of my friends guessed items like baby formula, meat or checkout lane candy bars.

They were wrong. People love stealing cheese. And not always from grocery stores.

At the Yeovil Show in Somerset, England, two hefty blocks of cheddar cheese were declared champion and reserve champion on July 15. They were stolen that night. According to the Guardian, the blocks each weighed about 20 pounds and each would have retailed for about £800, or $1,042. That's some serious cheddar, literally.

Rich Clothier, a third generation cheesemaker and the managing director of Wyke Farms, which produced the cheeses, is offering a £500 ($651) reward for the return of the cheeses. "These cheeses could be considered masterpieces," he told the Guardian. "It's a bit like having a valuable painting stolen." Full story...

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Pregnant wife put chillis up woman’s vagina after catching husband and her having sex...

A pregnant wife who caught her husband cheating punished his mistress by putting chili peppers up her vagina.

Ly Chanel, 23, became suspicious when her husband of seven months, Chien Keo, 24, kept disappearing for hours on end.

The 23-year-old and four friends followed Chien to a motel before bursting in on him having sex with a young girl in Thai Nguyen province, northeast Vietnam.

Wearing latex gloves, Ly and the women held down the mistress and took pictures as they removed her underwear on Tuesday afternoon.

They then opened a large bag of super-hot 200,000 scoville units red bird’s eye chilies and pushed them inside the woman’s vagina causing her to be in excruciating pain from the hot spices. Full story...

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ILLUMINATI LEADERS? Now Angela Merkel makes 'that sign' with royals Kate and William...



ILLUMINATI conspiracy theorists have been left in disbelief after Angela Merkel made her "secret hand sign" in the presence of royalty.

The German chancellor was snapped making the gesture as she met Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at chancellery in Berlin, during their official visit to Germany and Poland.

The "diamond" hand gesture, Mrs Merkel, is often seen making, is described by conspiracy theorists as a secret code to other members of the alleged Illuminati.

It is alleged by believers of the Illuminati that it is a secret organisation made up of world government and business leaders and celebrities, which actually run all world governments from behind the scenes, and intend introducing a New World Order which will see just one government running the entire world.

The conspiracy varies, but, at its most extreme, the Illuminati is allegedly a Satanic group which uses hand signals to identify members to each other. Full story...

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John Pilger: Palestine's refusal to comply...

When I first went to Palestine as a young reporter in the 1960s, I stayed on a kibbutz. The people I met were hard-working, spirited and called themselves socialists. I liked them. One evening at dinner, I asked about the silhouettes of people in the far distance, beyond our perimeter.

“Arabs”, they said, “nomads”. The words were almost spat out. Israel, they said, meaning Palestine, had been mostly wasteland and one of the great feats of the Zionist enterprise was to turn the desert green.

They gave as an example their crop of Jaffa oranges, which was exported to the rest of the world. What a triumph against the odds of nature and humanity’s neglect.

It was the first lie. Most of the orange groves and vineyards belonged to Palestinians who had been tilling the soil and exporting oranges and grapes to Europe since the eighteenth century. The former Palestinian town of Jaffa was known by its previous inhabitants as “the place of sad oranges”.

On the kibbutz, the word “Palestinian” was never used. Why, I asked. The answer was a troubled silence. Full story...

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Vegans and vegetarians do not outlive meat eaters...

I am on a vegan diet to deal with my cancer. I eat no animal protein. I probably never will again. That's because I have cancer, and I have read Dr. John Kelly's book, Stop Feeding Your Cancer.

I have been researching diets for five decades. I was restored to health by Francis Pottenger in 1949-50. His diet had a lot of red meat. It had no refined sugar, no processed white flour, and lots of steamed vegetables.

I have asked myself this: Do vegans live longer? They don't. Statistical evidence is now available.

This video reports on detailed studies involving thousands of people. The studies studied longevity. It turns out that there is no difference: meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans. The lecture was delivered by a physician who is a vegan. He reports on facts that he found astounding. Full story...

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'Tourism is killing Venice, but it's also the only key to survival'

By the 17th century, a trip to Venice had become a rite of passage for upper class northern Europeans, who flocked to the lagoon city as part of the Italian Grand Tour. Writers and artists drank in inspiration from the city where imposing architecture was reflected in glittering waters and Venice became a symbol for Italian romance.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and the city is groaning under the weight of tourism.

Cheap flights, huge cruise ships, and the city’s Instagram appeal attract so many travellers that on a given day, there are more visitors than residents in the Veneto capital. It's the type of tourism as much as the sheer amount that causes problems: the majority of visitors don't stay overnight in the city, meaning most of them spend their time and their money in the same small areas.

Small businesses and artisans' craft shops have been replaced by identikit souvenir stalls and fast food restaurants to cater to day-tripping bargain hunters. In recent years, Venetians have staged frequent protests against the mass tourism which has pushed up rents and forced many families out of their hometown.

 But could the visitors hold the key to Venice's survival? Full story...

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Mass protests against mandatory vaccinations in Italy surpressed by the corporate media...

'Let them eat food off the floor, play in the soil!'

As parents, we can't help fret about keeping our children clean and safe from harm.

But over-sterlising their environment may be doing them more harm than good.

Exposing youngsters to microbes widespread in the great outdoors will give them a stronger, more robust immune system.

That's according to professor Jack Gilbert, co-author of 'Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child's Developing Immune System'.

Indeed, the germ expert – and parent – claims that our addiction to indoor-based, uber-clean lifestyles are weakening our children's defences against illness.

'Most parents think all germs are bad, that is not true. Most will just stimulate your immune system and make you stronger,' Prof Gilbert told The Independent. Full story...

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Groundbreaking study shows cannabis can help stop HIV from becoming AIDS...

(...)

Much of that is Greek to those of us not in the medical field, but the results suggest something stunning. HIV patients taking cannabis have likely helped prevent their condition from turning into full-blown AIDS. This will open the door for medical cannabis to be used for the dual purpose of treating side effects and preventing disease progression.

According to HIV.gov, “More than 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV today, and 1 in 7 of them don’t know it.” Although many thousands become newly infected every year, the rate declined 18 percent from 2008 to 2014.

Since the 1980s, over 1.2 million people have been diagnosed with AIDS, with 18,303 diagnosed with AIDS in 2015. 6,721 deaths were directly attributed to HIV in 2014.

Although HIV and AIDS cases are declining, they remain a significant problem. Now we find that the cannabis plant may have yet another miraculous benefit in the form of suppressing a deadly disease. Full story...

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High tech surveillance with 5G wi-fi...

Everyone who is enamored with smart technology probably won’t be interested in what I’m going to talk about, but I think it’s important to know what the future foreshadows and probably will entail once 5G technologies are rolled out and become the ‘norm’.

Recently, Health Impact News published the article “New 5G Cell Towers and Smart Meters to Increase Microwave Radiation – Invade Privacy” by John P. Thomas, which ought to get consumers thinking very seriously about how their lives and health will be affected when there will be nowhere to run to get away from electrosmog and the surveillance society forced upon everyone by utility companies.

The opening paragraph sets the stage:

When the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) approved the use of 5-G microwave communication technology in 2016 and approved the use of microwave frequencies in the 30 Ghz range, [1], they opened the door to even higher levels of human illness and severe disability for American children and adults.

First and foremost, consumers must realize what’s involved with 30 GHz. A Gigahertz (GHz) is a frequency equal to one billion hertz or cycles per second. Now multiply that 30 times; how many cycles per second do you get? Isn’t that 30 billion cycles per second? Now, imagine those GHz frequencies traveling over in-wall copper electric house wires that are built to take only 60 Hz! Full story...

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New sex robots with 'frigid' settings allow men to simulate rape...

It seems a new frontier has been reached in the fast-paced world of Artificial Intelligence, but as fast as technology is able to advance, it can still be reproached for moral retrogression.

This has been the subject of debate after the recent advertisement of ‘Roxxxy TrueCompanion’, a robot you can buy and simulate raping with a simple switch in setting.

One of the programmable personalities for the robot is ‘Frigid Farrah’, described as “reserved and shy” on the True Companion company website. Like ‘Wild Wendy’ and ‘S & M Susan’ whose characteristics are self-ascribed, the website says that for Frigid Farrah, if you touch her “in a private area, more than likely, she will not be to appreciative of your advance.”

In the website's description, the model lacks an attempt to reproduce consent in the real world and the company say that their robots “allow everyone to realise their most private sexual dreams." Full story...

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Japanese guy and the tablecloth...


Study finds Switzerland is a great place to retire...

Switzerland is second only to Norway as the best country to spend your retirement, a global study has found.

The country took second place in the 2017 Natixis Global Asset Management CoreData Global Retirement Index (GRI), which measures the security of people past pension age.

Iceland came third in the ranking ensuring the top three places were occupied by European countries.

The report comes ahead of a vote in September on a reform of the pension system that, if passed, would see the retirement age for women raised to 65 in line with that for men.

 The Swiss pension system is considered to be one of the best in the world with a three-pillar structure comprising state, professional and private contributions. Full story...

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Teenage girls pressured into ‘painful and coercive’ anal sex because of porn...

Straight young people are now engaging in sex acts which are often dangerous, and sometimes ‘coercive’, because of certain types of hardcore pornography.

Girls are said to be increasingly affected by the competition among teenage boys, in which they spur one another on to try and have anal sex.

One person told researchers: ‘Men wanted to tell their friends that they had had anal.’

The data collected in London, a city in the North and the rural South West, was collected for a submission to the BMJ. Full story...

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Cashless society alert: Visa will be giving up to $500,000 to restaurants that go ‘100% cashless’

The push toward a cashless society is becoming more of a shove. Before today I had never heard of “The Visa Cashless Challenge”, but after reading about it I have to say that I am quite alarmed. Visa is trying to “encourage” businesses to go cashless, and one of the ways that they will be doing this is by “awarding up to $500,000 to 50 eligible US-based small business food service owners who commit to joining the 100% cashless quest”. The food industry is still one of the last bastions where cash is used very heavily, and so it makes sense that Visa would want to target that segment. Of course the more people that use cards to pay for meals, the more money that Visa will make.

When I go to restaurants, I almost always use cash, and I know a lot of other people that very much prefer to use cash in those situations as well. But if Visa has their way, soon all of us will be forced to use some form of digital payment instead. The following is an excerpt from the press release that Visa issued about this new “challenge”…

(...)

Visa would love to eliminate the use of cash entirely because it would mean much bigger profits for them.

And of course cashless systems hold a lot of appeal for governments as well because such systems would allow them to monitor and track the behavior of their citizens much more closely. Full story...

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Hiding vaccine-related deaths with semantic sleight-of-hand...

Vaccine scientists and the public health community cautiously and occasionally will admit that vaccines can cause adverse reactions just like “any other medication or biological product.” Although experts are less willing to openly disclose the fact that adverse reactions can and do include death, one has only to look at reports to the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) to see that mortality is a possible outcome. From 1990 through 2010, for example, VAERS received 1,881 reports of infant deaths following vaccination, representing 4.8% of the adverse events reported for infants over the 20-year period. Moreover, analysts acknowledge that VAERS, as a passive surveillance system, is subject to substantial underreporting. A federal government report from 2010 affirms that VAERS captures only about 1% of vaccine adverse reports.

On the international frontier, the public health community—with the World Health Organization (WHO) in the vanguard—previously used a six-category framework to investigate and categorize serious adverse events following immunization (AEFI), including death. Guided by this tool, public health teams examined temporal criteria and possible alternative explanations to determine whether the relationship of an AEFI to vaccine administration was “very likely/certain,” “probable,” “possible,” “unlikely,” “unrelated,” or “unclassifiable.”

In 2013, the WHO’s Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety discarded the prior tool, ostensibly because users “sometimes [found it] difficult to differentiate between ‘probable,’ ‘possible,’ and ‘unlikely’ categories.” The WHO enlisted vaccine experts to develop a “simpler” algorithm that would be more readily “applicable” to vaccines. The resulting four-category system now invites public health teams to classify an AEFI as either “consistent,” “inconsistent,” or “indeterminate” with a vaccine-related causal association or as “unclassifiable.” Despite the patina of logic suggested by the use of an algorithm, “the final outcome of the case investigation depends on the personal judgment of the assessor” [emphasis added], especially (according to the tool’s proponents) when the process “yields answers that are both consistent and inconsistent with a causal association to immunization.” Full story...

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If junk food commercials were honest...

Chinese mahjong lovers take to the river to beat the heat...

Mahjong lovers in China have found a unique way to deal with a merciless heat wave descending on their city.

What do you do if it's way too hot but you just can't stay away from your favourite boardgame?

Well, kick your shoes and socks off, grab a chair and umbrella and head down to the river.

That's what people in the town of Dujiangyan are doing and regardless of who wins at mahjong - they certainly all beat the heat! More + photos...

Indian girl detained in Sri Lanka for Buddha image on dress...

Sri Lanka police on Monday detained and questioned an Indian tourist who was wearing a dress with a print of the Buddha on it, The Hindu reported.

Wearing the image of the Buddha remains a sensitive matter in the island where a majority practise Buddhism. In 2014, a British tourist was deported for sporting a tattoo of the Buddha on her arm.

The 26-year-old tourist was on the island on a family holiday at a resort near Bentota, along the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Before the group’s departure from Colombo on Monday, some of them were shopping at an upmarket mall in the capital.

“One of my nephews rushed to the store next door and bought a T-shirt, so my niece could wear it over the dress. But the police did not allow her to do that. They asked her to come to the police station with them,” Ms. Deepam told The Hindu over telephone, upon her return to Chennai.

Insisting that she would accompany her niece, Ms. Deepam went to the police station, where they were made to sign a statement and apologise, before being allowed to proceed to the airport for departure. Full story...

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