Friday, September 22, 2017

Morgan Freeman's moment: just like a movie script...

To my friends in Australia: the vaccine war deepens...

The string of abuses laid on citizens of Australia by their government grows almost week by week.

Now, parental rights to raise children, without interference from the State, is under a new form of attack. This must be resisted.

Schools are bringing doctors on board, as a permanent feature. Young children will be subjected to medical diagnoses and treatment, without consent or approval from parents, even if those parents actively object. The State is stealing the role of guardian.

The Herald Sun reports. Read carefully: Full story...

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British supermarket offers 'finger vein' payment in worldwide first ...

A UK supermarket has become the first in the world to let shoppers pay for groceries using just the veins in their fingertips.

Customers at the Costcutter store, at Brunel University in London, can now pay using their unique vein pattern to identify themselves.

The firm behind the technology, Sthaler, has said it is in "serious talks" with other major UK supermarkets to adopt hi-tech finger vein scanners at pay points across thousands of stores.

It works by using infrared to scan people's finger veins and then links this unique biometric map to their bank cards. Customers’ bank details are then stored with payment provider Worldpay, in the same way you can store your card details when shopping online. Shoppers can then turn up to the supermarket with nothing on them but their own hands and use it to make payments in just three seconds. Full story...

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Flouride exposure in utero linked to lower IQ in kids...

Year after year, more and more people are becoming aware of the harmful effects fluoride can have on the human body. Fluoride has been a known neurotoxin for a long time, but the government claims it benefits our teeth.

In reality, it’s not even known to actually prevent the buildup of harmful oral bacteria; however, it is known to be toxic, with long-term ingestion linked to brain, heart, and bone issues. Fluoride is also an endocrine disruptor, and can affect your thyroid gland, pineal gland, and blood sugar levels.

Many universities and established scientific publications have gathered data on the health risks associated with fluoride. For example, a 2014 study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health and Icahn School of Medicine studied the effects of certain developmental neurotoxicants, including fluoride.

The researchers stated that children exposed to fluoride in drinking water showed “an average IQ decrement of about seven points in children exposed to raised fluoride concentrations.” Full story...

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Loneliness: The cost of the 'last taboo'

Researchers have put a financial price on an "epidemic of loneliness" - estimating it costs £6,000 per person in health costs and pressure on local services.

But the London School of Economics study of older people says for every £1 spent in preventing loneliness there are £3 of savings.

Deborah Moggach, author of the novel adapted for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel films about retired people from the UK going to India, said: "Loneliness really is the last taboo."

She said old age must not be an "inevitable descent into despair" and more efforts had to be made to stop people becoming isolated and lonely.

"We have to stop thinking of this as someone else's problem. As a society, we need to recognise loneliness as an issue, and put something in place that enables older generations to flourish - not flounder," said Moggach. Full story...

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France calls for UN action on Rohingya 'genocide'

President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday became the latest voice to brand the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as “genocide”.

“France will work with its partners at the UN Security Council to take the initiative to get the UN to condemn the continuing genocide and ethnic cleansing,” Macron said in an interview with French broadcaster TMC in New York.

In his first address to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Macron used the words “ethnic cleansing” to describe the mass killing of Rohingya in Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.

“We must condemn the ethnic purification which is under way and act,” he added in his Wednesday interview. Full story...

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The EU suppressed a 300-page study that found piracy doesn’t harm sales...

The European Commission paid €360,000 (about $428,000) for a study on how piracy impacts the sales of copyrighted music, books, video games, and movies. But the EU never shared the report—possibly because it determined that there is no evidence that piracy is a major problem.

The Dutch firm Ecory was commissioned to research the impact of piracy for several months, eventually submitting a 304-page report to the EU in May 2015. The report concluded that: “In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. That does not necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect.”

The report found that illegal downloads and streams can actually boost legal sales of games, according to the report. The only negative link the report found was with major blockbuster films:“The results show a displacement rate of 40 percent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally, four fewer films are consumed legally.” Full story...

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Damning evidence Cuba's launched a sci-fi sonic weapon at America: How 21 US diplomats were hit by hearing and memory loss - and even mild brain damage - after suspicious attack ...

The attacks have usually come at night. Many victims say they never noticed anything amiss. Others insist they have definitely felt or heard something — either vibrations or any number of odd sounds including a loud ringing, a scraping noise and a high-pitched chirping like the noise made by crickets or cicadas. Several said the noises came in minute-long bursts.

One diplomat described being jolted awake in a Havana hotel room by a grinding, blaring cacophony. When he moved a few feet across the room, the noise stopped. When he got back into bed, the agonising sound hit him again — as if, he told doctors, he had walked through some invisible wall cutting straight down the middle of his room.

Whether they heard anything or not, the consequences have been unmistakable — symptoms ranging from nose bleeds, nausea, dizziness and severe headaches to mild brain damage and permanent hearing or memory loss. Oddly, as soon as some of the victims left Cuba, they stopped hearing noises.

Or maybe it wasn’t so odd, given the astonishing explanation that has surfaced as to why at least 21 U.S. diplomats, as well as others from Canada, have been brought low while serving in Communist Havana. Although America hasn’t pointed any finger at the likely culprit, Washington believes they were victims of a secret sonic weapon. Full story...

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Climate alarmists finally admit "we were wrong about global warming"

This is the inescapable conclusion of a landmark paper, published in Nature Geoscience, which finally admits that the computer models have overstated the impact of carbon dioxide on climate and that the planet is warming more slowly than predicted.

The paper – titled Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5 °C – concedes that it is now almost impossible that the doomsday predictions made in the last IPCC Assessment Report of 1.5 degrees C warming above pre-industrial levels by 2022 will come true.

In order for that to happen, temperatures would have to rise by a massive 0.5 degrees C in five years.

Since global mean temperatures rarely rise by even as much as 0.25 degrees C in a decade, that would mean the planet would have to do 20 years’ worth of extreme warming in the space of the next five years. Full story...

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‘I’ll kill you’: Duterte vows to have son murdered if drug-trafficking allegation true...

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte says he will not hesitate to have his own son murdered if allegations of his involvement in a $125-million drug shipment prove to be true. He has also vowed to “protect the police who kill him.”

“I said before my order was: ‘If I have children who are into drugs, kill them so people will not have anything to say,’” Duterte said in a speech on Wednesday night, as quoted by AFP.

“So I told Pulong [son's nickname]: ‘My order is to kill you if you are caught. And I will protect the police who kill you, if it is true.’”

The statement comes amid an allegation that Paolo Duterte is connected with an international drug cartel that attempted to ship $125 million worth of crystal methamphetamine from China to Manila in May.

The accusation was brought forward by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a vocal opponent of the president. Full story...

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Why is a condom advert with Sunny Leone angering Indians?

Just days before the nine-day festival was to begin on Thursday, huge billboards went up in several cities in the state in which the Canadian actress of Indian origin Sunny Leone is seen advising people to "Play this Navratri, but with love [Aa Navratriye ramo, paraantu prem thi]".

A former porn star who has made a successful transition to the role of leading lady in hit Bollywood movies, Ms Leone has a massive fan following in India and is the brand ambassador for Manforce, the country's biggest condom company.

The advert outraged some conservative Indians who accused the contraceptive firm of "taking marketing to an all-time low".

Many took to social media sites to criticise the "offending advert" and the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) even lodged a complaint with the government, calling for an immediate ban on it. Full story...

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Lost luggage: "Mischievous" Singapore handler sent bags astray at world's best airport...

A man who worked as a baggage handler at Singapore’s Changi Airport swapped tags on hundreds of bags, sending the luggage to the wrong destinations, the Straits Times newspaper reported.

Tay Boon Keh, a 63-year-old working as a baggage handler for a sub-contractor of the Changi Airport Group, was charged in court on Tuesday with 286 counts of mischief, the newspaper said.

He did not explain his actions, but intends to plead guilty, it said. The next hearing is on Oct 17, when, if convicted, he can be jailed for up to one year and fined for each charge.

Luggage originally bound for various parts of the world, including Perth, Manila, Frankfurt, London and San Francisco, was affected, according to court documents. Tay is believed to have changed baggage tags almost every day from November until February, they said.

An airport spokesman said there was no breach of security.

Nearly 59 million passengers used Changi Airport in 2016. The world’s sixth busiest airport for international traffic, it flies passengers to 380 cities on over 100 airlines and was voted the world’s best airport in 2017 by the Skytrax air travel consultancy.

It handles about 70,000 bags per day, according to the Changi Airport Group website. Full story...

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Big corporations like Nestle are aggressively making people even fatter across the globe

There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times recently. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door to door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Such a deal. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, "micro-entrepreneurs." Right.

Big Food is increasing targeting poor countries as "emerging markets" to please shareholders, supplanting their indigenous diets with fast food, packaged goods and soft drinks. In addition to creating obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic illnesses, the junk food supplants subsistence agriculture crops with sugar cane and GMO corn and soybeans. Even philanthropic groups like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have drunk Big Food's Kool-Aid about GMOs "feeding the world." Actually, GMOs drench the fields of poor communities with toxic pesticides and pollute their waters.

Nestle's exploitation of the poor goes back more than 40 years when it convinced poor mothers to reject their own breast milk—the one thing poor mothers actually have to give their babies—in favor of its infant formula. Activist groups say babies die in poor areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America because their mothers bottle-feed them with Western-style infant milk.

In Brazil, meat giant JBS and Coca-Cola have donated millions to congressional campaigns and McDonald’s $561,000, effectively burying dialogue about the health of junk food and its role in obesity. A few years ago, Reuters reported that the World Health Organization's Pan American Health Organization takes hundreds of thousands of dollars and "obesity" advice from junk food and soft drink companies. No wonder the advice stresses "exercise" and gives junk food ubiquity and its marketing to children a pass.There are now more than 700 million obese people worldwide, 108 million of them children, reported the New York Times recently. In Brazil, food giant Nestle sends vendors door to door hawking its high-calorie junk food and giving customers a full month to pay for their purchases. Such a deal. Nestle calls the junk food hawkers, who are themselves obese, "micro-entrepreneurs." Right.

Big Food is increasing targeting poor countries as "emerging markets" to please shareholders, supplanting their indigenous diets with fast food, packaged goods and soft drinks. In addition to creating obesity, diabetes, heart disease and chronic illnesses, the junk food supplants subsistence agriculture crops with sugar cane and GMO corn and soybeans. Even philanthropic groups like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have drunk Big Food's Kool-Aid about GMOs "feeding the world." Actually, GMOs drench the fields of poor communities with toxic pesticides and pollute their waters.

Nestle's exploitation of the poor goes back more than 40 years when it convinced poor mothers to reject their own breast milk—the one thing poor mothers actually have to give their babies—in favor of its infant formula. Activist groups say babies die in poor areas of Asia, Africa and Latin America because their mothers bottle-feed them with Western-style infant milk.

In Brazil, meat giant JBS and Coca-Cola have donated millions to congressional campaigns and McDonald’s $561,000, effectively burying dialogue about the health of junk food and its role in obesity. A few years ago, Reuters reported that the World Health Organization's Pan American Health Organization takes hundreds of thousands of dollars and "obesity" advice from junk food and soft drink companies. No wonder the advice stresses "exercise" and gives junk food ubiquity and its marketing to children a pass. Full story...

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Lords claim millions in expenses despite barely speaking in Parliament...

Peers who have barely spoken in the House of Lords for an entire year have claimed more than £7m in expenses and allowances, new research reveals.
Critics have condemned the “something-for-nothing culture” in the second chamber after analysis of official figures found that 115 peers – around one in seven – failed to speak at all in debates during the 2016-17 session, despite claiming more than £1.3m in attendance fees.
Analysis by the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) found that nearly half of the 798 peers made 10 contributions or fewer in the same year, claiming £7.3m, while some £4m was pocketed by 277 members who spoke five times or fewer. 
The research prompted calls for a move away from “couch-potato peers” towards an elected upper House with a smaller number of salaried peers, instead of current rules where members do not receive a salary but can claim up to £300 for sitting days. Full story...

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

'I'm 25, I've never had alcohol and I want to take my hijab off': Ex-Muslims speak out about leaving Islam - but fear they may be KILLED if they do so...

A number of Muslims living in Australia are leading secret double lives as they try to break away from their religion.

One 25-year-old woman was born into a Muslim family and told The Feed she wants to leave the religion, but fears she would be disowned or 'worst case ... murdered'.

The 25-year-old claims she has not drunk alcohol, listened to music, felt wind on her skin, watched movies, dated or danced.

'I want to take my hijab off,' the woman said.

'I feel so trapped. I'm terrified of someone finding out I'm ex-Muslim, I feel like I'm carrying around a ticking time bomb.'

The 25-year-old is one of many Muslims trying to escape the religion through a private ex-Muslim network. Full story...

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Entire Volume of CIA Files On Lee Harvey Oswald, Set to Be Released in October, Has ‘Gone Missing’

Countless concerned individuals are still searching for answers surrounding the mysterious death of the 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy. The official narrative, that a lone former Marine named Harvey Oswald assassinated him, is widely disputed.

All available documents from all government entities are required by the Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992 to be released on October 26th of 2017. But if history repeats itself, the Central Intelligence Agency may not release an entire volume of documents on Oswald, known as “volume 5.”

As Sputnik reports, the release in July of 3,810 CIA and FBI documents on the assassination by the Assassination Records Review Board threw up a number of revelations that JFK researchers have hungrily devoured and enthusiastically publicized. For instance, the mayor of Dallas at the time of Kennedy’s assassination, Earle Cabell, was a CIA asset in the 1950s, and his brother, Charles Cabell, a high-ranking CIA official until 1962.

The release in October has been highly anticipated by those seeking answers. However, thanks to a deliberate fudging or records, or a conveniently timed clerical error, an entire volume may never see the light of day. Full story...

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Freedom is a myth: We are all prisoners of the police state’s panopticon village...

First broadcast in Great Britain 50 years ago, The Prisoner—a dystopian television series described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the freedom of the individual, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of humankind to meekly accept their lot in life as a prisoner in a prison of their own making.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly tranquil retirement community known only as the Village.

The Village is a virtual prison disguised as a seaside paradise: its inhabitants have no true freedom, they cannot leave the Village, they are under constant surveillance, their movements are tracked by surveillance drones, and they are stripped of their individuality and identified only by numbers. Full story...

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Sri Lanka general has been denied visa to attend UN because of war crimes...

Sri Lanka’s ex-army chief Sarath Fonseka yesterday said he had been denied a visa to attend the UN general assembly because of unresolved war crime allegations against the military. The war-time general, who is now minister of regional development, said he was due to travel to New York this week, but he was the only one in the Sri Lankan delegation not issued a visa. Fonseka said he could not accompany President Maithripala Sirisena who left Colombo on Sunday to address the United Nations General Assembly.

“I was not given a visa because of the war crimes allegations against the military,” Fonseka told reporters. “That is why I say they must be investigated.” He said the excesses by a “few” during the final stages of the island’s Tamil separatist war should not tarnish the image of the Sri Lankan armed forces. The military crushed separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 following a no-holds-barred offensive that also triggered allegations against the forces of killing at least 40,000 Tamil civilians.

The government at the time insisted that no civilians were killed by its troops and faced international censure over its dismal human rights record. Fonseka, who led the military, has maintained that he did not order troops to target civilians, but has acknowledged that there may have been excesses that should be investigated. The new government, which came to power in January 2015, promised investigations but those are yet to begin. Earlier this month Fonseka accused his successor Jagath Jayasuriya of committing crimes against Tamil rebel suspects during and after the island’s ethnic war and said he was ready to testify against the former military commander. Full story...

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More than 40 million people trapped in slavery...

More than 40 million people were trapped as slaves last year in forced labor and forced marriages, according to the first joint effort by key anti-slavery groups to estimate the number of victims worldwide of the international crime. The International Labour Organization (ILO), human rights group Walk Free Foundation, and International Organization for Migration said 40.3 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2016 – but added this was a conservative estimate.

They estimated 24.9 million people were trapped working in factories, on construction sites, farms and fishing boats, and as domestic or sex workers, while 15.4 million people were in marriages to which they had not consented.

Almost three out of every four slaves were women and girls and one in four was a child, with modern slavery most prevalent in Africa followed by Asia and Pacific, said the report.

“Forced labourers produced some of the food we eat and the clothes we wear, and they have cleaned the buildings in which many of us live or work,” the groups said in a report released on Tuesday, stressing the crime was prevalent in all nations.

The findings mark the first time the groups collaborated on an international estimate and prompted calls for stronger labor rights, improved governance of migrants, action to address root causes of debt bondage, and better victim identification. Full story...

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The Finnish experiment with basic income...

(...)

With that in place, one of the first experiments the Finnish government decided to try was with basic income. Instead of attempting to modify the extensive and complicated welfare system already in place, this experiment is performed on a sample segment of the population sample in a randomized and automatic fashion. Basic income just gets deposited in participants’ bank accounts every month.

The program is currently overseen by Marjukka Turunen, who works for a government institution called KELA. This agency helps oversee the over forty different kinds of benefits Finns can receive, including student support, parental care, pensions and other subsidies. In January of 2017, KELA picked 2,000 unemployed Finns from all over the county. They ranged in age from 25 to 58 (too old for student support, too young for a pension), and they were selected completely at random. They didn’t volunteer for the experiment — at the beginning of the year, they just got a letter that explained they were to be part of the test, and would now receive 560 Euros a month.

Sanna Leskianen one of those selected, and she was excited about the news. The amount is slightly less than she got through her unemployment benefits, but this basic income is guaranteed, and will be unaffected by her employment status. “Finding a job is very important to me,” she says. “So now I’m able, if I find a job … [to] take it and not lose the support money.”

Normally, to collect unemployment in Finland, Sanna would have to go to job training meetings and check-ins every few months. Under the basic income experiment, Sanna and the other test participants scattered around the country don’t have to do anything at all to get their 560 euros every month. Full story...

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Cheapskate mourner has been crashing every funeral at local church for 14 YEARS to tuck into free buffet at wake...

A phantom mourner who goes to every funeral at a local church to tuck into food at the wake has been slammed by grieving relatives.

It is claimed the unnamed woman has joined mourners at almost every funeral for the last 14 years and even chats to grieving family members and at one recent funeral ate buffet food ‘like there is no tomorrow’.

But it was revealed today that the bogus mourner is known to the local priest who said he had spoken to her and gleaned that she believes it is her “duty to attend as many church masses as possible.”

The bemused priest added that he could not stop her attending funerals, adding: “I can’t exactly say you can’t come here.” Full story...

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Operation wheelchair...

Are Facebook and Google the new colonial powers?

I was struck by a phrase from a recent essay on advertising and social media,You Are the Product: As Taplin points out, that remark ‘unwittingly revealed a previously unspoken truth: Facebook and Google are the new colonial powers.’

As you’ve no doubt noticed, the dominance of Facebook and Google in online advertising is now “in the news” for a variety of reasons: the possibility that agents of other governments influenced U.S. elections with media buys on Facebook; anti-trust concerns; the potential for these advert-tech giants to effectively silence legitimate online voices under the guise of limiting “fake news”, and of course, the ongoing issues of click fraud and the underperformance of digital ads.

The phrase that captures this broad narrative is: When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.

In other words, if you’re not paying for the service or content, then your information (harvested by Google, Facebook, et al.), your time online (i.e. your attention, a.k.a. eyeballs) and the content you create and post for free (videos of your cute cat, etc.) are the products being sold to advertisers at a premium. Full story...

'It's not even my biggest cock-up'

More than 250,000 people caught up in the Ryanair cancellation chaos will miss out on compensation but boss Michael O'Leary insists he won't quit and said: 'It's not my biggest cock-up'.

Passengers have been left stranded in Britain and abroad and forced to spend up to £1,500 of their own money on new flights to get home.

The debacle affecting two per cent of the airline's giant customer base could cost the airline £18million and knocked £500million off the airline's value yesterday.

During an extraordinary press conference in Dublin Mr O'Leary said: 'As the largest individual shareholder in Ryanair, I never give a rat's a** about the share price. I couldn't care less'.

He added: 'It's not my biggest cock-up. I have a litany of cock-ups in Ryanair over the past 25 years'. Full story...

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Facebook silences Rohingya reports of ethnic cleansing...

Rohingya activists—in Burma and in Western countries—tell The Daily Beast that Facebook has been removing their posts documenting the ethnic cleansing of Rohingya people in Burma (also known as Myanmar). They said their accounts are frequently suspended or taken down.

The Rohingya people are a Muslim ethnic minority group in Burma. They face extraordinary persecution and violence from the Burmese military; military personnel torch villages, murder refugees, and force hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Human rights watchdogs say the persecution has intensified in recent months, and a top UN official described a renewed offensive by the Burmese military as “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh. Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, has called for reduced military cooperation with the Burmese government because of the violence.

Rohingya people trying to use social media to share information about the attacks on them tell The Daily Beast they have had their posts removed and their accounts shut down, and that they hope Facebook stops silencing them. Full story...

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Monday, September 18, 2017

A word to the 1%


How big business got Brazil's poor hooked on junk food...

Children’s squeals rang through the muggy morning air as a woman pushed a gleaming white cart along pitted, trash-strewn streets. She was making deliveries to some of the poorest households in this seaside city, bringing pudding, cookies and other packaged foods to the customers on her sales route.

Celene da Silva, 29, is one of thousands of door-to-door vendors for Nestlé, helping the world’s largest packaged food conglomerate expand its reach into a quarter-million households in Brazil’s farthest-flung corners.

As she dropped off variety packs of Chandelle pudding, Kit-Kats and Mucilon infant cereal, there was something striking about her customers: Many were visibly overweight, even small children.

She gestured to a home along her route and shook her head, recalling how its patriarch, a morbidly obese man, died the previous week. “He ate a piece of cake and died in his sleep,” she said.

Mrs. da Silva, who herself weighs more than 200 pounds, recently discovered that she had high blood pressure, a condition she acknowledges is probably tied to her weakness for fried chicken and the Coca-Cola she drinks with every meal, breakfast included. Full story...

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Court asks if donkey at fault for mistaking orange sports car for carrot!!!

A court case has been in session in Gießen this week over a rather unusual dispute: a hungry donkey, a bright orange Mclaren sports car and thousands of euros of damage.

On September 15th last year Markus Zahn parked his €300,000 bright orange Mclaren 650S Spider in a car park bordering a paddock in the state of Hesse.

To his misfortune, a donkey by the name of Fitus, who was grazing in the paddock at the time, decided to take a bite out of the car. Police speculated at the time that he had mistaken the garish vehicle for a a carrot.

After dropping off his health card, Zahn returned to his car, but was surprised to see a fluffy pair of ears in his rear wing-mirror, he told Bild. Full story...

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Accused of war crimes, Saudis investigate themselves and find no wrongdoing...

Amid international calls for an independent inquiry into Saudi war crimes in Yemen, the Kingdom has investigated itself and found it has done nothing wrong.

Countries including China, the Netherlands, and Canada have pushed forward with a U.N. Human Rights Council draft resolution to establish an independent investigation into Saudi war crimes against civilians in the small war-torn nation of Yemen.

This week, Human Rights Watch also accused the coalition of committing war crimes.

Though these allegations have been circulating and documented for years, little has been done to stop the Saudi attacks, and the Saudis and their U.S. and Arab allies have worked to undermine efforts to uncover wrongdoing.

“The minimal efforts made towards accountability over the past year are insufficient to respond to the gravity of the continuing and daily violations involved in this conflict,” U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein said in Geneva this week. Full story...

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Shashi Tharoor and the British in India...

Entire Philippine city police force fired over killings...

An entire city police force in the Philippines has been fired in metropolitan Manila after some of its members were suspected in the gruesome killings of three teenagers and others were seen on surveillance cameras robbing a house.

The 1,200-strong Caloocan city police force will be relieved in batches and replaced, said metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde.

The officers will undergo 45 days of retraining, after which those facing no charges can be reassigned to other stations.

The Department of Justice has started an investigation based on a murder and torture complaint against four Caloocan policemen allegedly linked to the killing of 17-year-old student Kian Delos Santos during an anti-drug raid last month.

The parents of two other teenagers - 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz and 14-year-old Reynaldo de Guzman - have also filed murder, torture and planting of evidence complaints against two Caloocan policemen. Full story...

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Rohingya crisis: 'Last chance' for Aung San Suu Kyi...

Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has "a last chance" to halt an army offensive that has forced hundreds of thousands of the mainly Muslim Rohingya to flee abroad, the UN head has said.

Antonio Guterres told the BBC unless she acted now, "the tragedy will be absolutely horrible".

The UN has warned the offensive could amount to ethnic cleansing.

Myanmar says it is responding to deadly militant attacks in northern Rakhine state and denies targeting civilians. Full story...

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Edward Snowden just retweeted about the CIA being in “cahoots with Al-Qaeda...

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden created so much transparency when he leaked information about the NSA’s mass surveillance programs. He wasn’t the first to do so, but thanks to his and many others’ efforts, whistleblowers are now a major gateway to the truth behind the military industrial complex. It makes you wonder, what else does a man like this know? Surely there are more facts he is aware of, but hasn’t revealed. This, however, has not stopped him from retweeting some interesting things over the past few years. One of the latest relates to the CIA’s connection with terrorist organization Al-Qaeda.

The tweet concerns Even McMullin, a former operations officer for the CIA who also ran during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He’s served as a senior adviser on national security issues for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs as well as a Chief Policy Director for the House Republican Conference in the U.S. House of Representatives. He has also worked as an investment banker.

Below is a the retweet from Snowden, where Dr. Max Abrahms, an assistant professor of political science and public policy at Northeastern University who specializes in international security, especially terrorism, posits the connection between the CIA and al-Qaeda.

McMullin responds by ridiculing the assertion, which should raise immediate red flags. You would think he would offer a respectful, intelligent response, but many within the intelligence community and the “1 percent” desire to make people feel stupid for even raising an issue like this in the first place. It’s reminiscent of other controversial issues today, like vaccines. When proper dialogue ceases, and one side uses ridicule to share their beliefs, it’s most likely that they have something to hide, and the tweet below this one perfectly illustrates that. Full story...

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Christian man in Lahore sentenced to death over blasphemous WhatsApp text...

A Christian man in Lahore has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after he sent a Muslim friend a poem on WhatsApp that insulted Islam, a lawyer said Friday.

The accused was charged in July last year after his friend, Yasir Bashir, complained to police that he received a poem on the messaging app that was derogatory toward the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and other holy figures.

The accused “was handed a death sentence by the court on Thursday on blasphemy charges,” defence lawyer Anjum Wakeel told AFP, alleging that his client was been framed by Bashir.

“My client will appeal the sentence in the high court as he has been framed by his friend who was annoyed over his [the accused's] affair with a Muslim girl,” Wakeel said. Full story...

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Friday, September 15, 2017

The surprising place where cash is going extinct...

Half a dozen men crowd round one of the many small colourful wooden shacks off a main street in Hargeisa, Somaliland, shouting and arguing over the quality of khat – a mild narcotic that has been likened to both coffee and cocaine – that they’ve just been hastily handed by the vendor.

Customers quickly come and go, grabbing bundles of the green leafy, legal plant that they deem good enough before punching digits into phones and disappearing as quickly as they came.

“We need to do everything quickly, and paying with cash here is slow,” Omar, one of the khat sellers says as he chews on the green leafy plant himself. “It keeps people calm if they can get their khat quickly.”

No cash is transferred, and there’s not a credit card in sight. But customers haven’t got their daily khat fix for free; they’ve paid using their mobiles, transferring money on the sandy Somali street in seconds with little more than a mobile phone and a few numbers.

There are not many things tiny Somaliland can claim to be a world leader in, but cashless payments might be one. Full story...

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Paul McCartney's scrambled eggs which evolved into one of the most recorded songs of all time...

Tiny bodies of slain Rohingya children wash up on Bangladesh shores...

The tiny bodies of slain children, believed to belong to the desperate Muslim families fleeing the Myanmar ‘genocide,’ have reportedly washed up on shores of Bangladesh.

Unverified footage shows crowds of people surrounding the shallows of Naf River as a young boy helps pull lifeless children from the water and lays them on the sand.

An unidentified woman is also seen clinging to a silent infant. It is not clear from the footage as to whether the child is alive or not.

The ABC, which published the video, quotes relatives of the children as claiming the young were shot dead by Myanmar police during the crossing.

Since late last month, about 400,000 Rohingya villagers have escaped Myanmar for Bangladesh, with many of them dying trying. Full story...

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