Wednesday, March 29, 2017

This is your brain on terrorism...

Duterte tops Time poll as EU critics told ‘stick to child porn’

The Filipino people’s “love affair” with their leader “is like a jet plane that's just taken off” and EU critics of President Rodrigo Duterte should ‘stick to child porn’.

That’s according to Philippines Social Welfare Assistant Secretary Lorraine Badoy who defended Duterte’s standing in Time magazine’s Top 100 Men and Women for 2017 survey, where he leads Vladimir Putin, Mark Zuckerberg, Justin Trudeau and Bill Gates. The final 'Time 100' list will be published on April 20.

“Plus 9 out of 10 Filipinos right now approve of him.” She added “Wrap your dim minds around that, you clowns. Nine out of ten.”

Anyone with a “teaspoon of IQ on them” would wait for Duterte to make a “huge error” before trying to topple him, she claimed.

“Then and only then would it be the time to let your cash flow to pay the EU idiots with galls as huge as Goodyear blimps to call for the president's resignation,” she said, adding in Filipino that “those in the EU, just engage in online child pornography. Since that's what you are good at.” Full story...

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Doctors gave boy 3 days to live, then his mother secretly gave him cannabis...

Both anecdotal evidence and clinical research are beginning to show the promise of cannabis in treating a variety of health issues. According to one family in the U.K., cannabis helped a dying teenage boy recover fully from complications from leukemia. The family recently appeared on the British talk show, This Morning, to discuss their experience.

Callie Blackwell’s son Deryn had been fighting leukemia followed by Langerhans cell sarcoma for four years — since the age of ten. Following doctors’ fourth and final attempt at a bone marrow transplant, they warned the family it was the last opportunity to save his life.

Though the surgery was successful, Deryn’s mother says he contracted an infection in the hospital. He grew extremely ill, and according to Callie, “He was literally being kept alive by antibiotics. That’s what they told us.” Doctors estimated he had three days to a week left to live following the turbulent aftermath of his transplant.

Deryn says he was ready to give up and had started planning his funeral. “After four years of treatment, it [was] enough,” he told This Morning. Full story...

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Orwell rolls in his grave as police roll out unprecedented drone air force to "track anti-social behaviour"

The Devon and Cornwall police force, tasked with the patrol of the largest geographical area in England, are pioneering perpetual drone surveillance by establishing an unprecedented 24-hour drone surveillance of its patrol area set to begin this summer.

The police drones, also identified as “unmanned aerial systems,” have undergone smaller tests last year. Multiple reports state that the drones will mostly be used for locating crime suspects and missing persons as well as surveillance of crime scenes.

Steve Barry, the UK’s National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman regarding police drones, touted the cost savings of choosing these devices rather than deploying police helicopters; according to a report from The Daily Mail, Barry predicts “forces across Britain would soon be using them as they are cheaper than helicopters and can perform some duties of bobbies on the beat.” The does not specify how deeply these police drones will be able to inspect individuals, including in regards to audio capacity.

The Mail noted that Barry has pondered the possibility of drones replacing some officers and said “there may be an opportunity at some point in the future to rationalise what we need our cops to do because we find drones can do it more effectively and more cost-efficiently.” However, Barry did not indicate that he approves of a reduced police force in favor of the devices, and other officers and experts were quoted in the report as viewing drones as a supplement for police rather than their replacement. Full story...

What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence...

The reactions to Khalid Masood’s attack last week played out with script-like predictability: rightwing commentators tried desperately to blame the actions of this Kent native on immigration, while the media pored over whatever anecdotes they could find from neighbours and schoolmates. All The Day Today cliches were ticked off: he was “always polite”, he came from “a normal family”, he once “got drunk” as a teenager.

This kind of desperate profiling plays to people’s desire to believe we should be able to spot terrorists. But while rent-a-gobs flail around naming and shaming Kent and drunk teenagers, it is telling how rarely one feature common to many “lone wolf” attackers is called out: a history of domestic abuse.

Before Katie Hopkins gets excited, this isn’t evidence of a misogyny unique to the Muslim culture, or Muslim killers

A relative of Masood’s former wife Farzana Isaq told the Daily Mirror that Isaq had fled her ex-husband in terror after just three months of marriage: “He was very violent towards her, controlling in every aspect of her life – what she wore, where she went, everything.” Full story...

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Death at your door: Knock-and-talk police tactics rip a hole in the constitution...

It’s 1:30 a.m., a time when most people are asleep.

Your neighborhood is in darkness, except for a few street lamps. Someone—he doesn’t identify himself and the voice isn’t familiar—is pounding on your front door, demanding that you open up. Your heart begins racing. Your stomach is tied in knots. The adrenaline is pumping through you. You fear that it’s an intruder or worse. You not only fear for your life, but the lives of your loved ones.

The aggressive pounding continues, becoming more jarring with every passing second. Desperate to protect yourself and your loved ones from whatever threat awaits on the other side of that door, you scramble to lay hold of something—anything—that you might use in self-defense. It might be a flashlight, a baseball bat, or that licensed and registered gun you thought you’d never need. You brace for the confrontation, a shaky grip on your weapon, and approach the door cautiously. The pounding continues.

You open the door to find a shadowy figure aiming a gun in your direction. Immediately, you back up and retreat further into your apartment. At the same time, the intruder opens fire, sending a hail of bullets in your direction. Three of the bullets make contact. You die without ever raising your weapon or firing your gun in self-defense. In your final moments, you get a good look at your assailant: it’s the police.

This is what passes for “knock-and-talk” policing in the American police state. Full story...

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Indian engineer named Saddam Hussain refused 40 jobs...

An Indian engineer has claimed he has been rejected from 40 jobs because he shares a name with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Saddam Hussain (whose name is spelt slightly differently) has now gone to court to change his name to Sajid, but says he does not blame his grandfather for giving him the dictator's name 25 years ago.

Despite graduating from Tamil Nadu's Norrul Islam University, the marine engineer from Jamshedpur in Kharkhand has said shipping companies have turned him away because of his name.

"People are scared to hire me," he told The Hindustan Times. Full story...

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Chinese anger, fears exposed in France after police killing...

Chinese immigrants and China's government are protesting a police killing in Paris that prompted violent street clashes and exposed the fears and frustrations of France's large Asian community.

Protesters gathered Tuesday in northeast Paris for a second day of demonstrations over the fatal shooting of a Chinese man in his apartment, and police launched an internal investigation into a death that took on diplomatic implications.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had summoned a representative of the French embassy in Beijing Tuesday and urged French officials to "get to the bottom of the incident as soon as possible."

Chinese authorities "hope that Chinese nationals in France can express their wishes and demands in a reasonable way," Hua said.

Residents and police gave conflicting accounts of what happened before the man was shot to death by police on Sunday evening. Full story...

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Fast food diets causing majority of stroke and diabetes deaths across U.S.

Health care specialists have been advising the general public to cut back on fast food consumption for years, and for good reason. Recent data showed that poor dietary habits accounted for nearly half of all cardiometabolic deaths in the U.S. Researchers at the Tufts University in Massachusetts found that there were more than 702,000 cardiometabolic deaths among American adults in 2012. Forty-five percent of these deaths were linked to poor diet, researchers said.

Researchers also noted higher rates of diet-related cardiometabolic deaths in men compared with women. Cardiometabolic deaths associated with poor dietary choices were also more prevalent among people ages 25 to 54 years old. The risk of cardiometabolic deaths were 10% higher in African Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians.

Diets high in sodium and processed meats, commonly seen in fast food restaurants, increased the risk of cardiometabolic death, the study showed. On the other hand, the risk of cardiometabolic death remained stable for diets high in whole grain, vegetables, fruits and omega-3 fatty acid. Full story...

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Ron Paul: Did the govt spy on Trump? Of course, it spies on all of us...

There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.

If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using Section 702 of the FISA Act. Could it have been then-President Obama? We don’t know. Could it have been other political enemies looking for something to harm the Trump campaign or presidency? It is possible.

There is much we do not yet know about what happened and there is probably quite a bit we will never know. But we do know several very important things about the government spying on Americans.

First, there is Section 702 itself. The provision was passed in 2008 as part of a package of amendments to the 1978 FISA bill. As with the PATRIOT Act, we were told that we had to give the government more power to spy on us so that it could catch terrorists. We had to give up some of our liberty for promises of more security, we were told. We were also told that the government would only spy on the bad guys and that if we had nothing to hide we should have nothing to fear. Full story...

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Crowds attack Africans in India after teen's death...

Hundreds of residents of an Indian city where a teenage boy died of a suspected drug overdose went on a violent rampage against Africans, using steel chairs to attack shoppers in a local shopping centre.

The riots broke out late on Monday after police in Greater Noida, a satellite city of New Delhi, released five African students detained over the youth's death, saying they had no evidence against them.

One television station showed an angry mob hitting a car with sticks, while another showed dozens of attackers using steel chairs to hit shoppers in a mall.

Police said 10 people had been wounded, while India's foreign minister said authorities were investigating the attacks. Full story...

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They perform "poojas" for mobile phones in India!!!

Digital spies in your home (not mine)

(...)

I have no doubt that government agencies are going to use any access that citizens give them to invade their homes. This is free information as far as the government is concerned. They can collect it almost free of charge. They can store it on a permanent basis. They never know when they will use it, but if they want to use it, they will be able to.

As far as the CIA is concerned, it is going to find itself drowning in data. Computers can monitor our informational digits, but bureaucrats have to make decisions about the value of this information to their agencies. The more data they have to survey, the more paralyzed these agencies are going to become. The quality of the data will keep getting better, and the quality of the bureaucrats will keep getting lower. Competent people are not going to spend their lives digging around in the muck of digital data.

The federal government's bureaucrats have an innate desire to play God. One of the attributes of God is omniscience. Every time anyone pursues this goal, he winds up paralyzed. Yet this is basic to most federal government agencies. They feel compelled to gather more data. They don't know what to do with this information. They don't know how to analyze it. They don't know how to take action in terms of it. All they know is that they want more of it. The Internet of Things is going to give them massive quantities of data. Full story...

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Ex-cyber security chief says Government is 'using' Westminster attack to grab unnecessary spying powers...

The Ministry of Defence’s former cyber security chief has accused the Government of trying to “use” the devastating Westminster attack to grab unnecessary and intrusive surveillance powers.

Major General Jonathan Shaw said ministers were attempting to “use the moment” to push for security services having more control, despite there being only a weak case for it.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has turned up the heat on internet firms, saying it is “completely unacceptable” that authorities cannot look at encrypted social media messages of attacker Khalid Masood, but her words come as debate continues over allowing spy agencies further intrusive powers – only last year Parliament granted them sweeping new capabilities.

After Ms Rudd demanded access to encrypted messages on sites like WhatsApp, Major General Shaw said unlocking the data would also allow other parties – like criminals and foreign spies – to access it, and said legislating for such a move would not necessarily make it easier to stop future terror attacks. Full story...

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Monday, March 27, 2017

Singapore jails couple for starving Filipino helper...

A Singapore court jailed a couple on Monday for starving their Filipino domestic helper, a case that highlighted what rights groups say is a common complaint in the wealthy city-state.

Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, 40, weighed just 29.4kg in April 2014 after being given too little to eat for about 15 months, prosecutors said.

She was given 2-3 slices of plain white bread and 1-2 packets of instant noodles for breakfast, while for her second and last meal of the day she was given 5-6 slices of plain bread, prosecutors said.

Lim Choon Hong was jailed for three weeks and fined S$10,000 ($7,200), while his wife, Chong Sui Foon, got three months with no fine. They had both pleaded guilty.

Prosecutors said they would appeal. The maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment and a S$10,000 fine.

"I accept that... you are remorseful and that you did not intentionally seek to starve your maid," Judge Low Wee Ping said. Full story...

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The 712-page Google doc that proves Muslims do condemn terrorism...

It happened in history class. Heraa Hashmi, a 19-year-old American Muslim student at the University of Colorado, was supposed to be discussing the Crusades with the man sitting next to her. Within a few minutes, however, he was crusading against Islam.

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims,” Hashmi’s classmate told her. What’s more, he complained, not enough Muslims were making a stand against terrorism.

Hashmi was perplexed by this analysis. Muslims are constantly denouncing atrocities that have been committed in the name of Islam. Yet many people seem to think Muslims don’t condemn terrorism enough. So Hashmi decided to put the notion to the test. Using Google spreadsheets, she made a “712-page list of Muslims condemning things with sources”, which she tweeted. The list includes everything from acts of domestic violence to 9/11.

“I wanted to show people how weak the argument [that Muslims don’t care about terrorism] is,” she explained. Full story...

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Canada to announce marijuana will be legal by July 1, 2018...

The Liberal government will announce legislation next month that will legalize marijuana in Canada by July 1, 2018.

CBC News has learned that the legislation will be announced during the week of April 10 and will broadly follow the recommendation of a federally appointed task force that was chaired by former liberal Justice Minister Anne McLellan.

Bill Blair, the former Toronto police chief who has been stickhandling the marijuana file for the government, briefed the Liberal caucus on the roll-out plan and the legislation during caucus meetings this weekend

The federal government will be in charge of making sure the country's marijuana supply is safe and secure and Ottawa will license producers.

But the provinces will have the right to decide how the marijuana is distributed and sold. Provincial governments will also have the right to set price. Full story...

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Sunday, March 26, 2017

Off-the-grid couple creates a life without bills, builds home for $30,000...



What if you could build an inexpensive, energy efficient, self-sufficient home for as little as $30,000 and kiss monthly bills and mortgage payments goodbye? Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, one couple from Bisbee, Arizona, made this little fantasy come true. Karen and Bill, both in their fifties, started building their 600-square-foot house in 2010 and moved in 18 months later.

While Karen said that it was a lot of hard work, they enjoy their house and lifestyle every day. And who can blame them? Except for Internet service costs and property taxes, this off-the-grid couple doesn’t pay a single dollar for water, heat, trash pick-up, or electricity. Furthermore, they are debt free and are becoming gardening experts to provide for their own food needs.

In a 20-minute video tour, Karen and Bob proudly present their beautiful, tiny, home made of cob, straw, and an outer coating of plaster to protect their house against Arizona’s excoriating sun. In the video, Bob explains that they used the basic principles of solar design with south- and southeast-facing windows.

While pointing out a few items in their colorful home, Karen says that they made a real effort to recycle as much as they could. Except for an energy-efficient refrigerator, everything in their home is either secondhand, gifted, repurposed, or comes from the dump. The bathroom walls, for instance, are made from tin sheets that were laying around in someone’s backyard while the windows were gathering dust in a pasture shed. Full story...

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Saudi-led coalition destroys over 2,300 schools in Yemen over two years...

The Saudi-led coalition of Arab states has destroyed over 2,300 schools in Yemen since its military campaign against the opposition Houthi movement began two years ago, Ismail Zaidan, the information officer at the Ministry of Education of Yemen, told Sputnik.

According to Zaidan, the operation has created $400 million worth in damages and left dozens of teachers and pupils dead in the wake of the ongoing hostilities.

Yemen's civil war between the internationally recognized Aden-based government of President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in March 2015.

Zaidan's comments mark the second anniversary of the start of the Saudi-led coalition's air campaign against the Houthis, which was launched at Hadi's request on March 26, 2016. Full story...

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Dad caught stealing bag full of knickers - by his own daughter!!!

A disgraced dad was caught stealing a bag full of knickers from Debenhams - by his own daughter.

Neirmal Singh targeted a branch of the department store in Bristol as part of a pilfering spree.

Bristol Crown Court heard his estranged daughter pointed him out and he was found with a stolen backpack stuffed with stolen knickers.

Singh, 49, of Jamaica Street Hostel, pleaded guilty to four thefts and attempted burglary and was jailed for 15 months, the Bristol Post reports.

Sir John Royce, sitting as a judge of the High Court, told him: “You have a terrible record.

“You were given chance after chance by the courts but you shunned those chances. Full story...

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13-year-old girl from Rajasthan raped by 8 teachers for a year...

A 13-year-old cancer patient from Bikaner's Nokha has alleged rape and blackmail by eight of her teachers at a private school in 2015. The accused allegedly forced the girl to stay back after school hours on the pretext of extra classes, made her take off her clothes and raped her. They even shot a video of their act which they used to blackmail the victim, alleged the girl's father.

The eight accused repeatedly raped her for over a year, says the girl's father in an FIR which he filed yesterday. He also alleged that when her daughter got pregnant, the accused gave her medicines to terminate her pregnancy.

Around one-and-a-half year ago, the girl was diagnosed with blood cancer. She is currently undergoing treatment.

The girl's father said he came to know of the incident in 2016. "The abuse went on for a year. The accused harassed and threatened me. They would not let me leave my house or go to the hospital to see my child. I feared social stigma, so I didn't file the case earlier. But finally, I decided to file a complaint," he said. Full story...

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Acceptance of death...

Austria says it will double money offer to refugees who volunteer to leave the country...

Austria has said it will double the amount of money paid to migrants who voluntarily return to their home countries as part of a plan to speed up the repatriation of 50,000 asylum seekers.

Interior minister Wolfgang Sobotka said migrants would be offered €1,000 or about £864, during a press conference in Vienna.

The scheme, which is reportedly run in collaboration with pro-refugee groups, is aimed at migrants who are unlikely to qualify for at least temporary residence by 2019.

Those eligible for the scheme include people whose refugee status was still unclear as of 15 March and who are from non-European countries, including sub-Saharan countries, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq and who can demonstrate financial need.

But the payment offer is only available to the first 1,000 people who register their interest. Full story...

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Saturday, March 25, 2017

All Apple devices, including iPhones and Macs, are CIA spy devices embedded with spyware from the factory...

Wikileaks has released their latest Vault 7 data dump, and the new documents are shining a light on how the CIA can hack Apple devices before they even end up in the hands of consumers. The sad reality is, most Apple users already suspected this type of activity was taking place, but the new information shows us just how it works.

“Dark Matter,” which is the title of the most recent leak, claims that not only has the CIA hacked iPhones, they’ve been doing so since at least 2008, one year after the product was introduced to the market. Wikileaks posted the following statement on their website:

~Today, March 23rd, 2017, WikiLeaks releases Vault 7 “Dark Matter,” which contains documentation for several CIA projects that infect Apple Mac firmware (meaning the infection persists even if the operating system is re-installed) developed by the CIA’s Embedded Development Branch (EDB). These documents explain the techniques used by the CIA to gain ‘persistence’ on Apple Mac devices, including Macs and iPhones, and demonstrate their use of EFI/UEFI and firmware malware. Among others, these documents reveal the “Sonic Screwdriver” project which, as explained by the CIA, is a “mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting” allowing an attacker to boot its attack software, for example, from a USB stick “even when a firmware password is enabled”. The CIA’s “Sonic Screwdriver” infector is stored on the modified firmware of an Apple Thunderbolt-to-Ethernet adapter. Full story...

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Someone is selling a ‘legit bag of air’ breathed by singer Adele on Ebay, bidding up to $1,500...

(...)

That’s right, folks! It’s a “legit bag of air” — “air straight from Adele live” up for auction on EBay with 48 bids up to $2,000 AU (approximately $1,525 USD).

The bidding, it should be noted, had started at $14.95 with free shipping, meaning the guy knew he was selling an otherwise empty zip lock baggie with a bunch of stuff written on it in Sharpie marker as a total gimmick and yet…

People couldn’t wait to blow their money on…

The seller, user @shaun_mcdonough, had also included a picture from the Adele concert he was supposedly at in the listing to help prove his case that he shared the air with the singer… More + photo...

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British Airways introduces boarding without passports as it installs facial recognition at Heathrow ...

British Airways is introducing technology that will allow passengers to go through boarding gates at Heathrow using facial recognition.

Biometric devices in Terminal 5 will capture a traveller’s features along with the boarding pass, and then a facial scan at the gate verifies the person’s identity, allowing them to get on the plane without showing documents, BA said in a letter to staff.

The system is designed to speed up boarding and reduce errors, it said. Three gates are now using the equipment, with another 33 planned in the coming months.

The system will be used initially only for domestic routes, before being extended to international flights.

BA already operates self-service luggage check-in desks at both Heathrow and Gatwick as part of moves to improve the passenger experience. Full story...

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Yemenis ‘pay the price’ for UK and America’s ‘brazenly hypocritical’ arms deals...

Amnesty International has condemned the US and Britain for supplying arms to Saudi Arabia, arms which have then been used to kill hundreds of civilians in Yemen.

Figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute show that the two countries have sent weaponry worth more than $5 billion to Saudi Arabia since Riyadh’s intervention began in March 2015. This is over 10 times the approximately $450 million that the US State Department and the UK’s Department for International Development have sent (or planned to send) in humanitarian aid to Yemen over the same period, which Amnesty has described as a “shameful contradiction.”

“Two years of conflict have forced 3 million people to flee their homes, shattered the lives of thousands of civilians and left Yemen facing a humanitarian disaster with more than 18 million in desperate need of assistance. Yet despite the millions of dollars’ worth of international assistance allocated to the country, many states have contributed to the suffering of the Yemeni people by continuing to supply billions of dollars’ worth of arms,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's deputy director of research for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Weapons supplied in the past by states such as the UK and US have been used to commit gross violations and helped to precipitate a humanitarian catastrophe. These governments have continued to authorize such arms transfers at the same time as providing aid to alleviate the very crisis they have helped to create. Yemeni civilians continue to pay the price of these brazenly hypocritical arms supplies.”


Amnesty accuses the UK and US, both of whom are party to the 2014 Arms Trade Treaty, of “undermining the spirit” of the treaty, and has called on the international community to “immediately to impose an arms embargo” on all parties involved in the Yemeni conflict. Full story...

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Musings of a Swiss street cleaner...

Why men are giving up their jobs for gaming...

David Mullings was always a self-starter. Born in Jamaica, he moved to Florida to go to university, and founded his first company – a digital media firm that helped Caribbean content find a wider audience – before finishing business school at the University of Miami. In 2011 he opened a private-equity firm with his brother. In 2013 the two made their first big deal, acquiring an 80% stake in a Tampa-based producer of mobile apps. A year later it blew up in their faces, sinking their firm and their hopes.

Mullings struggled to recover from the blow. The odd consulting gig provided a distraction and some income. Yet depression set in as he found himself asking whether he had anything useful to contribute to the wider world.

Then Destiny called.

Like millions of people of a certain age, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) had occupied a crucial place in Mullings’s childhood. It introduced him to video gaming, gave him a taste for it, made him aware of the fact that he was good at it: a “born gamer”, in his words. Yet the pixelated worlds of the Mario brothers, for all their delights, were nothing like the experiences available to gamers today. Full story...

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Torture, rape in Myanmar...

When soldiers went searching for militants in Myanmar’s Rakhine state last October, the result for members of the Rohingya minority was disastrous. Villages were burned, men were killed, women were sexually abused. And when one woman complained of rape, she was accused of lying by the office of the country’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and hounded by vengeful soldiers.

Sitting cross-legged on the floor, 25-year-old Jamalida Begum told me what happened in the days after her husband was shot dead in the village of Pyaung Pyaik, north-western Myanmar.

Jamalida fled with her two children and watched from a distance as the army set houses in the village on fire. Satellite images confirm that at least 85 buildings were destroyed.

Five days later she returned with some of her neighbors to find her belongings and home destroyed. They sheltered together in one of the few homes that had survived – but at dawn the next day the soldiers came back.

“They chose 30 women. Half were young girls aged between 12 and 15,” Jamalida told the BBC Our World Team. The soldiers took them to the village school. Full story...

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Spanish teen takes mum to court for confiscating his mobile phone...

A 15-year-old in southern Spain denounced his mother for “mistreatment” after she confiscated his mobile phone in an attempt to make him study.

But a judge who heard the case at Court Number 1 in Almeria, came down firmly on the side of the mother declaring that “evidently” she was “well within her rights” and took “the correct action” as a responsible parent.

“She would not be a responsible mother if she allowed her son to be distracted by the mobile phone and fail to study,” said the court ruling from magistrate Luis Columna as seen by Europa Press.

He even went on to say that such an action was almost required by law. “Among the duties required to be undertaken by a parent, as outlined in the Civil Code, is that of being responsible for the education of one’s children, which is exactly what the accused did in this case, without taking it to unnecessary extremes”. Source...

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How a spate of killings in Bahrain has raised suspicions of state brutality...

In modern Bahrain, the truth behind violent deaths is hard to establish. And the fact that they are largely ignored by the international media means you may well be reading about the following events for the first time.

On December 23 2016, a female journalist, Eman Salehi, was shot in front of her son. Activists have claimed the killing was carried out by an army officer they accuse of being a member of the ruling Al Khalifa family. This has not been confirmed. And in January 2017, three young Bahrainis were executed after what was widely considered to be an unsafe trial for allegedly killing three policeman.

Shortly afterwards, scarcely anything was made of the killing of three Bahrainis under unusual circumstances at sea. Redha Ghasra, 29, Mahmud Yusif 22, and Mustafa Yusif 35, were shot by security forces on a boat on February 9. The Ministry of the Interior stated that the prisoners opened fire on the police coast guard, who responded by killing three of the fugitives. Full story...

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India's major airlines ban Shiv Sena MP after slipper assault on steward...

An Indian politician has been banned from flying on most of the country’s major carriers after admitting he used a slipper to thrash an Air India steward.

Ravindra Gaikwad, an MP in India’s lower house for the Hindu nationalist Shiv Sena party, claimed the attendant had insulted him on the Pune to New Delhi flight.

“What did he say, that I hit him with my hand? I hit him 25 times with a slipper,” an unrepentant Gaikwad told ANI news agency in video footage it posted on Twitter and aired on Indian news channels.

He added that he “dare[d] the Delhi police to arrest me” over the attack and asked the Indian state airline for an apology.

 “I am booked on a 4pm flight to Pune,” he said on Friday morning. “I will take that flight. How can they not let me travel when I have a booking and I am their passenger.” Full story...

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Israeli soldiers drag shoeless Palestinian eight-year-old from house to house in shocking video from Hebron...

Footage of a crying little boy being dragged around by Israeli soldiers as he is forced to help find other children accused of throwing stones has emerged from the Palestinian city of Hebron.

Eight-year-old Sufian Abu Hitah disobeyed his mother to sneak out from his grandparents’ house to look for a missing toy when he was seized by a group of around 15 soldiers who asked him in Arabic to give the names of children who had thrown stones and a Molotov cocktail at the nearby Kiryat Arba Israeli settlement.

Crying, the boy told the soldiers he didn’t known anything. However, he was then grabbed by both arms and escorted to both the Kiryat Arba gate and into several houses, despite only wearing socks. Several women who witnessed the scene tried to intervene, eventually managing to free the boy more than an hour later. Full story...

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Teenage Singaporean blogger Amos Yee granted asylum in U.S...

Singaporean teenage blogger Amos Yee has been granted asylum in the United States, his lawyer said Saturday.

The 18-year-old has been held in a detention facility in Chicago since December 16, after border control officers stopped him from entering the country upon finding out about his plans to seek asylum.

“On March 24, 2017, the Honorable Immigration Judge Samuel B. Cole granted Amos Yee’s asylum application,” Sandra Grossman, Yee’s pro-bono lawyer in the US, said in a statement.

“Judge Cole concluded that the Singapore government persecuted Yee on account of his political opinion, and that Yee is deserving of asylum as a matter of discretion.” Full story...

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Friday, March 24, 2017

Meet the Hyderabad couple fighting for the right to reject religion...

What’s in a sarkaari form? A lot of things, including your name, ‘father/husband’s name’, date of birth, and of course, your religion and caste.

But what happens when you don’t believe in religion, and don’t want to bring up your child with a caste? What about the non-religious, the agnostics, the atheists, the children of couples who hold different faiths, or just about any person who does not want to tell the government which gods they pray to?

A couple from Hyderabad are fighting a very interesting battle to seek a provision in official forms, for those who follow no religion and caste. They took the case to court, and the Hyderabad High Court on Tuesday issued notices based on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by DV Ramakrishna Rao and S Clarance Krupalini.

The court has asked the government of Telangana and Andhra, along with the Centre to respond in two weeks, on some of the questions raised by the couple.

"It all started in 2010, when my younger daughter was joining school, and the authorities insisted that we had to mention some religion in the place provided, even though it was against our wishes," Ramakrishna Rao tells TNM. Full story...

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Saudi Arabia asks for $10bln in Aid from Kuwait to continue war in Yemen...

Documents leaked by Arab military sources disclosed that the Saudi regime has gone bankrupt as a result of the war on Yemen, and asked for huge amount of cash from Kuwait.

"Saudi King Salman in a letter to Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has asked for a sum of $10 billion in aid to go on with the war on Yemen," documents provided to the Arabic-language al-Massira television by Yemeni military sources revealed.

"Had the situation not been difficult and intolerable, Saudi Arabia would not have asked for financial assistance (from Kuwait)," said one of the documents that is a letter written by the Saudi king to the Kuwaiti emir.

The leaked documents also show fierce internal conflicts among the Saudi-backed militias over Saudi Arabia's cut-off financial support for these groups of militants that has, in turn, resulted from the Kingdom's bankruptcy. Full story...

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‘Bury them alive!’: White South Africans fear for their future as horrific farm attacks escalate...

LAST month, British woman Sue Howarth and her husband Robert Lynn were woken at 2am by three men breaking into a window of their remote farm in Dullstroom, a small town in the northeast of South Africa, about 240km from the nearest capital city.

The couple, who had lived in the area for 20 years, were tied up, stabbed, and tortured with a blowtorch for several hours. The masked men stuffed a plastic bag down Mrs Howarth’s throat, and attempted to strangle her husband with a bag around his neck.

The couple were bundled into their own truck, still in their pyjamas, and driven to a roadside where they were shot. Mrs Howarth, 64, a former pharmaceutical company executive, was shot twice in the head. Mr Lynn, 66, was shot in the neck.

Miraculously he survived, and managed to flag down a passer-by early on Sunday morning. Mrs Howarth, who police said was “unrecognisable” from her injuries, had multiple skull fractures, gunshot wounds and “horrific” burns to her breasts.

“Sue was discovered amongst some trees, lying in a ditch,” writes Jana Boshoff, reporter for the local Middelburg Observer newspaper. “Her rescuers managed to find her by following her groans of pain and then noticing drag marks from the road into the field. Full story...

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