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  1. #2851
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Australian Prime Minister Commits Stunning Indigenous-People Gaffe
    By Ben Mathis-Lilley

    Conservative Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is not unaware of his country's fraught relationship with its original population; he promised before his 2013 election that he would prioritize issues related to the indigenous Australian people, saying that he'd be a so-called "prime minister for Aboriginal affairs." But this July he was criticized after saying that the country was "unsettled or, um, scarcely settled" before the arrival of the British, a slip that implied he'd forgotten that native residents counted as people. In other words, Abbott has made a point of highlighting his relationship with the indigenous community—and it's already a somewhat troubled one. In this context his remarks Thursday, given at an event with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Sydney, are even more incomprehensible than they would be otherwise:

    Here's the video:

    Nothing but bush! Like the moon! Extroardinarily basic! He keeps digging and digging, and it seems like he's not even speaking off the cuff.

    Aboriginal populations have lived in the Sydney area, Australian Museum anthopologist Val Attenbrow writes, for approximately 18,000 years.
    Oh Grigor. You silly man.

  2. #2852

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Putin exits testy G20 summit early, citing desire for sleep
    Meeting dominated by exchanges over Ukraine, with Moscow accused of 'bullying' neighbor state
    November 16, 2014 11:30AM ET

    Russian President Vladimir Putin made an early exit from the G20 summit in Brisbane on Sunday, after being rounded on by Western leaders the day before over alleged meddling in Ukraine.

    On Saturday, Moscow was accused of “bullying” by the U.K., while Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Putin to “get out of Ukraine” or face further sanctions.

    After a series of snubs and criticisms at the summit and during one-on-one meetings with other leaders, Putin exited the summit Sunday skipping a planned working lunch. He said the decision to leave had nothing to do with tensions over Ukraine. Rather he had a long flight ahead of him and wanted to catch up on sleep.

    “We need nine hours to fly from here to Vladivostok and another nine hours from Vladivostok to Moscow,” he said in comments reported by the RIA Novosti news agency.

    “Then we need to get home and return to work Monday. There’s a need to sleep at least four to five hours,” he added.

    But debate over the Ukraine crisis has overshadowed events at the G20 summit, at which nations agreed Sunday to boost flagging global growth, tackle climate change and crack down on tax avoidance.

    Several Western nations warned Russia of further sanctions if it did not withdraw troops and weapons from Ukraine.

    "I think President Putin can see he is at a crossroads," said British Prime Minister David Cameron. "If he continues to destabilize Ukraine there will be further sanctions, further measures.

    "There is a cost to sanctions, but there would be a far greater cost in allowing a frozen conflict on the continent of Europe to be created and maintained."

    Obama said Russia's isolation was unavoidable.

    "We would prefer a Russia that is fully integrated with the global economy," he told a news conference. "But we are also very firm on the need to uphold core international principles.... you don't invade other countries or finance proxies and support them in ways that break up a country that has mechanisms for democratic elections."

    Before leaving the G20 Summit, Putin said a solution to the Ukraine crisis was possible, but did not elaborate.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  3. #2853
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    Miss Honduras shot dead 'after fleeing sister's boyfriend'
    By Noe Leiva
    November 19, 2014 10:33 PM

    Miss Honduras was fatally shot as she tried to escape her sister's jealous boyfriend, police and reports said, hours after the siblings were found dead beside a river.

    Maria Jose Alvarado, 19, who had been due to fly to London to compete in the Miss World beauty pageant, disappeared with her sister Sofia Trinidad Alvarado six days ago after a party, sparking an exhaustive search.

    La Prensa newspaper reported that police were investigating whether Trinidad's boyfriend, Plutarco Ruiz, shot Sofia Trinidad in the head after he became jealous when he saw her dancing with another man. He then reportedly shot her beauty-queen sister twice in the back as she tried to flee.

    Chief detective Leandro Osorio said the bodies of Maria Jose and her 23-year-old sister had been found buried along the banks of the Aguagual River in the town of Arada, in violence-plagued Honduras's northwest.

    "We are 100 percent sure that it's them," Osorio said.

    Police arrested Ruiz and his alleged accomplice on Tuesday, seizing a Colt-45 pistol and two vehicles.


    Honduras, a poor Central American country of eight million people, has the world's highest homicide rate, at 90.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012.

    The United Nations' special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, warned in July that violence against women was on the rise in Honduras, with a 263.4-percent increase in the number of females killed violently between 2005 and 2013.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children.

  4. #2854

    Re: World News Random, Random

    A British politician lost her job over a tweet: how to explain it to someone outside the UK
    If you’re not British, Labour politician Emily Thornberry’s resignation for posting a tweet of a house, some flags and a van may seem baffling. Here’s why it happened

    Emily Thornberry’s #Rochester Twitter image. Photograph: Emily Thornberry/Twitter/Twitter

    Emily Thornberry’s resignation from the Labour shadow cabinet for posting an image of a house in Rochester has provoked fury in Britain and bafflement abroad. While political commentators in the UK were divided over whether she should have resigned, they were fairly united in the belief that Thornberry had committed an embarrassing and potentially devastating faux pas.

    At worst, she had shown her (and therefore Labour’s) contempt for the patriotic working classes. According to the prime minister, David Cameron, “effectively what this means is Ed Miliband’s Labour party sneers at people who work hard, who are patriotic and who love their country. And I think that’s completely appalling.”

    All for tweeting this photo, with the caption: “image from #Rochester”.

    So how would you explain to someone from outside Britain why Thornberry’s position became untenable? Obviously there’s the timing, turning what should have been a tricky day for the Conservatives – who were about to lose another MP to the insurgent rightwing party Ukip – into one dominated by questions of Labour snobbery. And it played perfectly into the narrative of the main political parties being a bunch of out-of-touch metropolitan elites. The tweet was particularly disastrous as Thornberry is MP for Islington, an area of London long a byword for rich, bourgeois cultural and political elitism.

    But why? After all, Thornberry has a habit of taking pictures of buildings and posting them on Twitter. The problem, as with so much of British politics, was one of class. She had taken a picture of a working-class home, covered in England flags: exactly the kind of home potentially containing the kind of “white van man” voter that the Labour leadership is accused of being out of touch with. And, some claimed, there was an air of contempt in her choosing to tweet the image at all.This, despite Thornberry herself being brought up in a council house.

    Her case was not helped by her subsequent comments to Mail Online, who she told: “I’ve never seen anything like it before. It had three huge flags covering the whole house. I thought it was remarkable. I’ve never seen a house completely covered in flags.”

    The St George’s flag has a complicated history in England, and its association with far-right politics, though fading, is still one that resonates with some. And the idea that the flag is synonymous with anti-immigration feeling – and that Thornberry’s tweet was drawing attention to this – also explains why the MP got into such hot water on the day an anti-immigration party was on course to win a byelection in the area.

    “Amazing how many coded cultural messages are contained in some St George’s flags and a white van,” said Kate Shea Baird, a political communications adviser living in Barcelona. “It’s also common to see the flag of St George (St George is also the patron saint of Catalonia), but here it is a benign symbol, with none of the associations with racism or anti-immigration sentiment it has in the UK, nor any assumed relationship with social class.

    “Also, in Spain politicians often refuse to resign even when they are under criminal investigation, so it’s easy to see why a resignation prompted by a tweeted picture of a flag would be greeted with bafflement here.”

    How would you explain Thornberry’s resignation to someone who isn’t British? Post your suggestions in the open thread below.

    • This article was amended on 22 November 2014 to correct Philip Klein’s employer.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  5. #2855

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Definition of a "white van man" from the NY Times in 2000

    In his hands he has a wheel; in his ears, rings; on his arms, tattoos; and in his heart, loathing for anyone he sees through his windshield. He is known as White Van Man, and he is identified in motorist surveys as the scourge of the stressed-out British road.

    Once in the driver's seat, he considers red lights relative and his own authority absolute. His vocabulary is the kind represented in newspapers by asterisks, and the hand signals he uses to find his way are the kind that tell everyone else to get lost.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  6. #2856

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Jewish-nation bill frays Israel's delicate social fabric

    KAFR QASSEM, Israel Tue Nov 25, 2014 10:38am EST

    (Reuters) - Israel is poised to pass one of the most divisive laws in its 66-year history, a bill that would declare it the homeland of the Jewish people only -- and further alienate its Arab minority.
    Political infighting over the measure is already threatening to tear apart Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition.
    The legislation, which is seen as compromising equality by differentiating between Jewish and non-Jewish citizens in enshrining some symbolic rights to the Jewish people, could also have long-term practical ramifications for Israeli democracy and jurisprudence.
    Netanyahu, along with other right-wing politicians pushing the law, say it is essential to protecting Israel's identity against those questioning its right to exist.
    Some commentators say Netanyahu is going ahead now to court a key constituency of right-wing voters he has been losing to far-right parties in his already shaky coalition, with an eye to a possible early election next year should cracks within the government widen.
    Centrists in his government argue such legislation is unnecessary, noting the 1948 Declaration of Independence already proclaimed a Jewish state. They accuse him of pandering to hardliners in his Likud party.
    "There are many who are challenging Israel's character as the national state of the Jewish people," Netanyahu said on Sunday at a cabinet meeting. "The Palestinians refuse to recognize this and there is also opposition from within."
    Palestinians say accepting Netanyahu's call could deny Palestinian refugees of past wars any right of return.
    "The discussion on the nation-state (bill) puts obstacles in the way of peace," Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday. "It has met fierce opposition inside the Israeli government, Knesset and among the Israeli people."
    The bill was approved by Netanyahu's cabinet on Sunday, but political bickering has pushed back by a week, to next Wednesday, a preliminary ratification vote in parliament.
    His draft of the bill -- two other versions are being considered and no final wording has been agreed -- pledges to "uphold the individual rights of all of Israel's citizens".
    But it also says only the Jewish people have "national rights" -- the right to self-determination in Israel and to a flag, an anthem and free immigration. One draft proposed by a Likud legislator would remove Arabic as an official state language.
    "With this law, the state will be less democratic and more racist," said Arab legislator Jamal Zahalka.
    Israeli Arabs make up 20 percent of the population of 8.2 million and have long complained of being treated a second-class citizens. Law professor Mordechai Kremnitzer of The Israel Democracy Institute said the bill could open the courtroom door to discrimination.

    "Judges could learn from this bill that the Jewish foundation overrides the democratic foundation and draw inspiration from it to hurt equal rights all citizens are entitled to, including the minorities," Kremnitzer said.

    In the Arab town of Kafr Qassem, whose Arabic- and Hebrew-signed shops and garages are frequented by Israeli Jews, residents, some of whom saw themselves as Arab-Israeli or as Palestinian citizens of Israel, united against the bill.
    "This is our country, our land," said Rasha, a 27-year-old teacher and mother of two at the local market. "Israel is a democracy for Jews only, not for Arabs."
    Sitting outside a mosque, as the call for prayer sounded over loudspeakers, Ibrahim Issa, 68, said: "Israel is a strong state, what does it need all this for? Who are they afraid of? The Israeli Arabs?"

    The controversy comes at a time of high tensions in Israel, the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, where a dispute over access to a religious site sacred to Jews and Muslims has ignited Palestinian streets protests and lethal attacks on Jews.


    Lawmaker Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party said the proposed law would not hurt minorities' rights. It is needed, she said, to ensure rulings of the Supreme Court -- often criticized by the right-wing as being left-leaning -- are balanced.
    Shaked, who authored one of the drafts, said that once Israel's status as a Jewish nation-state was anchored in law, the court would be able to take into account Jewish values and national considerations in passing judgment.
    "When the Supreme Court rules on whether a law is constitutional or not today, it only has the democratic leg to stand on," she said. "It does not have a Jewish foundation in its legal toolbox."

    Rabbi Michael Melchior, a former cabinet minister from the Labour Party, said the law would distort both the Jewish and democratic nature of Israel. "It's one of the worst things ever done in Israel," he said.

    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  7. #2857

    Re: World News Random, Random

    New Brunswick abortion restriction lifted by Premier Brian Gallant
    We All Play for Canada

  8. #2858
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    The Guy Who Delivers HIV Medicine On His Bicycle

    He was sitting in a clinic. Waiting. And waiting. And waiting for his grandparents' HIV medicine.

    Sizwe Nzima was a high school student in Cape Town, South Africa, when he would pick up the medicine for his HIV-positive grandparents, who had difficulty traveling to the clinic themselves. Because of the long lines, Nzima usually waited hours and often made multiple trips to the clinic before and after school. He tried to bribe the pharmacists to get the medication sooner. But it didn't work.

    So there he was, sitting on a hard wooden bench at the clinic one day about four years ago, when he had an idea: Why not start an HIV medicine delivery service?

    He did some research and found that plenty of companies in Cape Town delivered medication to people's homes. But none were operating in the city's low-income townships, where unemployment levels are high and most people live in wooden or metal shacks. The companies told Nzima it wasn't that they were discriminating against poor people. They just couldn't find the houses.

    "You punch [an address] into Google, Google won't find it," Nzima agrees. "It needs local knowledge."

    Nzima might be onto something. The problem of wait times in sub-Saharan African is epic. In South Africa alone, one in eight people – more than six million – are HIV-positive. Across the continent, tens of millions are infected with the virus. The result is overcrowded health clinics, and patients who travel great distances to get their HIV medicine.

    For poor people, long waits are more than just an annoyance. Suhair Solomon, an HIV expert with the international health organization Doctors Without Borders, says spending all day in line means lost income and lost opportunities to look for work. As a result, many poor people don't show up.

    Across sub-Saharan Africa, millions fail to take their HIV medication consistently, leading to easily preventable sickness and death. Long lines are part of the reason.

    South Africa has come up with some solutions. Doctors Without Borders has created HIV "adherence clubs" – basically, support groups that often meet at patients' houses. At the end of each meeting, a health worker distributes HIV medicine to the attendees. Solomon says the entire process takes 45 minutes to one hour.

    There's also a new pharmacy in South Africa that utilizes electronic prescriptions and dispenses HIV medicine almost immediately.

    And then there's Nzima's business, which might be the first of its kind: a bicycle-based, HIV medicine delivery service. It's called Iyeza Express.

    On a recent afternoon, Nzima pedaled his bike — which is partially powered by an electric motor — along a narrow road, past rows of shacks. Motorcycles and buses whizzed by. He rounded a corner and was chased by an angry dog. Of the many dangers he faces — cars, robbers, vandals — he says dogs are the biggest hazard.

    He eventually arrived at a small brick home and knocked on the door. Loyce Peko, a 63-year-old man with gray hair, answered. Nzima handed him a white plastic bag of HIV medicine and collected a delivery fee of about 90 cents. The two chatted inside Peko's house for a few minutes.

    Peko said this delivery service, which brings his medicine one day each month, is wonderful. "Because my wife and me, we are elderlies, and without my medication, I'm nothing."

    The two thanked each other and Nzima got back on his bike to head to the next client's house.

    When Nzima started this business a few years ago, he had just two customers — his grandma and his grandpa. He slowly started to expand, but ran into a problem. His arrival at someone's doorstep – clad in a fluorescent green vest, with the Iyeza Express logo – felt like a pronouncement: The person who lives here is HIV-positive. He says this deterred many potential customers.

    So Nzima diversified. He began delivering other medications, too – for chronic illnesses like diabetes and epilepsy. That's when his business really took off. He now has 930 clients and a staff of six riders, some of whom work full-time. He says no staff members are getting rich, but they're making a decent living.

    Iyeza Express also gets support from a local business incubation program that provides free office space, including a telephone, computer and WiFi. Nzima says if it weren't for this support, he wouldn't be able to offer the service at such a low cost.

    He may soon be branching out even further. Earlier this year, Nzima, now 23, was contacted by an international shipping company that hopes to offer package delivery to Cape Town's urban townships.

    They want Nzima and his crew to be the deliverymen.
    Gender should never be a death sentence. A civilized nation doesn't tolerate violence against women. Microlending harbors tremendous potential to improve the economic, social, political, and educational empowerment of women and children.

  9. #2859

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Mexicans mock president's proposed national 911 system
    Pena Nieto vows to overhaul corrupt police amid outrage over missing students.

    Photo via Twitter user @LiberPolitica.

    Mexicans are taking to Twitter to mock President Enrique Pena Nieto's announcement of a series of reforms to end corruption in the nation's municipal police forces. The president laid out his plans on Thursday, amid anger and protests over the presumed massacre of 43 students who went missing in September.

    Among the 10 measures proposed was the establishment of a single telephone number for emergencies. Frustrated with gang linkages in some of Mexico's police forces, many took to Twitter with #EmergenciasMexicanas911 ("Mexican Emergencies 911") to ridicule the idea of a national 911 system:

    When assured the police were on their way, the caller responds: “But it’s the police doing the shooting.” #EmergenciasMexicanas911
    There's a lot more.

    So sad.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  10. #2860

    Re: World News Random, Random

    It is the default mode in Latin America. We do not respect the police; we fear them.
    It is very common for the police to be the ones covering the gangs, for a cut of the profits.
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

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