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  1. #3541
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by MJ2004 View Post
    "cruelty towards women, children and animals is, Pinker claims, in steady decline"

    If you don't count farm animals, I guess... The number of animals in CAFOs is staggering, and to say they are treated cruelly is an understatement.

    I am not a vegetarian, by the way, so I'm not making any holier than thou statement here. I'm just not aware of the systemic torture of animals in sheer-large scale numbers in the history of the world as what is done today to our farm animals.
    I'll tell ya, I love meat (chicken, pork, beef, all of it), but I've been reading and seeing some reports lately that have left me literally sick to my stomach about how animals-for-food are treated. A lot of it is pretty barbaric.
    Oh Grigor. You silly man.

  2. #3542
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by MJ2004 View Post
    "cruelty towards women, children and animals is, Pinker claims, in steady decline"

    If you don't count farm animals, I guess... The number of animals in CAFOs is staggering, and to say they are treated cruelly is an understatement.

    I am not a vegetarian, by the way, so I'm not making any holier than thou statement here. I'm just not aware of the systemic torture of animals in sheer-large scale numbers in the history of the world as what is done today to our farm animals.
    About 1.5 years ago, I was in DC to hear Richard Dawkins give a talk about his latest book. They did a Q&A at the end, and someone asked him if he has felt any need to stop eating meat, which made some folks in the audience groan.

    Dawkins replied that he had meat for dinner that very night but that he also has been thinking about this issue a lot. And then he wondered aloud how differently we might see our world if some of our not-yet-human ancestors were still around and whether we would feel free to eat them because we were a higher order or if we would feel compelled to protect them because we felt and respected a genetic kinship to them...
    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.

  3. #3543

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Some societies in the past used to eat fellow humans so I'm sure our ancestors wouldn't be immune either.

    I personally wouldn't eat a monkey. Any monkey let alone a highly inteligent one like chimpanzee or a gorilla.
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  4. #3544

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Having read the Pinker book, this is what he says:
    Cruelty towards animals has decreased. It has not disappeared. In the past, for example, in Europe it was seen as fun when they would tie a rope around a cat and set it on fire (the rope was for the cat not to be able to escape the flames). Attaching fireworks to bulls and then setting them loose to run was seen as fun.
    The simple fact that people now even talk about animal rights is progress. A lot of new regulations limit the use of animals in pharmaceutical research (limit, not eradicate. Sorry, either we accept some testing or we do the testing on humans. You decide). If you think that conditions in modern farms are appalling (in some/many they are) you have to compare it to not so distant methods.
    One key issue to me is this: would I slaughter a cow, or a pig (mammals) for dinner? I am not sure. In The Omnivores Dilemma (a study about human eating habits) the author makes this point: the food we eat nowadays (in advanced societies) DO NOT EVEN RESEMBLE its original form. Even though a steak used to be part of a cow, it does not look like one (the closest one gets to that, in my opinion, is when one eats ribs). We have been moving away from automatic slaughter-and-eat (you kill, you skin, you cook, you eat) so that now a lot of our food is of different taste and colors. Will we move into a vegetarian society? Well, we do need protein (the correlation between the increase in human brain size and the beginning of meat consumption it spot on) so either we find newer ways to deliver that protein (food technology) or we remain meat eaters.
    But we do not have to do it cruelly.
    (Disclosure: I used to work for USDA, and have been to many slaughterhouse and meat packing plants. Some humane, others took my appetite away for days)
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

  5. #3545

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Historical Pics ‏@HistoricalPics 2h2 hours ago
    Syrian girl thought the photojournalist was holding a weapon, so she "surrendered". Heartbreaking.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  6. #3546

    Re: World News Random, Random


  7. #3547

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Personal details of world leaders accidentally revealed by G20 organisers
    Exclusive: Obama, Putin, Merkel, Cameron, Modhi and others kept in the dark after passport numbers and other details were disclosed in Australia’s accidental privacy breach
    Paul Farrell
    Monday 30 March 2015 01.17 EDT

    The personal details of world leaders at the last G20 summit were accidentally disclosed by the Australian immigration department, which did not consider it necessary to inform those world leaders of the privacy breach.

    The Guardian can reveal an employee of the agency inadvertently sent the passport numbers, visa details and other personal identifiers of all world leaders attending the summit to the organisers of a football tournament.

    The United States president, Barack Obama, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, and the British prime minister, David Cameron, were among those who attended the Brisbane summit in November and whose details were exposed.

    The Australian privacy commissioner was contacted by the director of the visa services division of Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection to inform them of the data breach on 7 November 2014 and seek urgent advice.

    In an email sent to the commissioner’s office – obtained under Australia’s freedom of information laws – the breach is attributed to an employee who mistakenly emailed a member of the Asian Cup local organising committee with the personal information.

    “The personal information which has been breached is the name, date of birth, title, position nationality, passport number, visa grant number and visa subclass held relating to 31 international leaders (ie prime ministers, presidents and their equivalents) attending the G20 leaders summit,” the officer wrote.

    “The cause of the breach was human error. [Redacted] failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person’s details into the email ‘To’ field. This led to the email being sent to the wrong person.

    “The matter was brought to my attention directly by [redacted] immediately after receiving an email from [the recipient] informing them that they had sent the email to the wrong person.

    “The risk remains only to the extent of human error, but there was nothing systemic or institutional about the breach.”

    The officer wrote that it was “unlikely that the information is in the public domain”, and said the absence of other personal identifiers “limits significantly” the risk of the breach. The unauthorised recipient had deleted the email and “emptied their deleted items folder”.

    “The Asian Cup local organising committee do not believe the email to be accessible, recoverable or stored anywhere else in their systems,” the letter said.

    The immigration officer then recommended that the world leaders not be made aware of the breach of their personal information.

    “Given that the risks of the breach are considered very low and the actions that have been taken to limit the further distribution of the email, I do not consider it necessary to notify the clients of the breach,” she wrote.

    The recommendation not to disclose the breach to the world leaders may be at odds with privacy law in some of their countries.

    Britain, Germany and France all have different forms of mandatory data breach notification laws that require individuals affected by data breaches to be informed.

    It is not clear whether the immigration department subsequently notified the world leaders of the breach after the initial assessment.

    The office of the Australian immigration minister, Peter Dutton, did not respond to questions.

    Disclosure of the data breach is likely to embarrass the Australian government after controversial mandatory data retention laws were passed last week.

    The passage of the new laws – which requires telecommunications companies to store certain types of phone and web data for two years – has been marked by concerns about the adequacy of privacy safeguards by companies and government agencies that will handle the data.

    Australia’s immigration department was also responsible for the country’s largest ever data breach by a government agency.

    In February 2014 the Guardian revealed the agency had inadvertently disclosed the personal details of almost 10,000 people in detention – many of whom were asylum seekers – in a public file on its website.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  8. #3548
    Everyday Warrior MJ2004's Avatar
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    Re: World News Random, Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post

    “The cause of the breach was human error. [Redacted] failed to check that the autofill function in Microsoft Outlook had entered the correct person’s details into the email ‘To’ field. This led to the email being sent to the wrong person.
    Uh, that's why sensitive information should not be sent via email. The cause is less human error (bound to happen) and more lack of proper policy.

    For example, at my university, and this is standard across higher ed, we are not allowed to send any emails that contain confidential information such as student ID numbers.

  9. #3549

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Amazing. On the other hand: why would Barack Obama, Vlad Putin and Angela Merkel need passports?
    "Excuse me, Mr. Putin. We need to see your passport. And a Visa"
    50 ways to leave your (non) lover: "I hope you understand me when I say it was torture having met you"

  10. #3550

    Re: World News Random, Random

    At least one of those three will be a private citizen very soon
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  11. #3551

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:22pm EDT
    Crash pilot had been treated for suicidal tendencies

    (Reuters) - The German pilot suspected of deliberately crashing a plane in the French Alps last week was treated for suicidal tendencies years ago before he received his pilot's license, German prosecutors said on Monday.

    This was the first acknowledgement from German officials that the pilot, Andreas Lubitz, had suffered bouts of depression and it is likely to intensify a debate about how airlines screen and monitor their pilots.

    Investigators believe Lubitz, serving as co-pilot on a Germanwings flight from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on March 24th, locked the captain out of the cockpit and steered the Airbus A320 plane into the side of a mountain while passengers screamed in horror. A total of 150 people died in the crash.

    Lufthansa, the parent of the budget airline, has said it was not aware of anything in the 27-year-old's past which suggested he might have posed a risk.

    It has confirmed that Lubitz broke off his pilot training in 2009 for nearly a year, around the time he was reportedly suffering from depression and anxiety.

    "Several years ago before obtaining his pilot's license the co-pilot was in a long period of psychotherapeutic treatment with noticeable suicidal tendencies," Duesseldorf prosecutors said in a statement on Monday.

    They said that in recent years he had not shown signs of suicidal behavior or aggressive tendencies in visits to doctors.

    After searching his family home in Montabaur and apartment in Duesseldorf, and following interviews with friends and relatives, the prosecutors said they had not found any evidence Lubitz was planning such an attack, nor the reasons behind it.

    "No special circumstances have come to light, whether in his personal life or his work life, that shed any plausible light on a possible motive," they said.


    Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr has said the airline prides itself on the rigorous selection methods of its pilot training scheme. The school is currently closed to new applicants, but around 6,000 people apply each year, with just 7-8 percent of them making the cut.

    Lufthansa has also made clear that Lubitz's medical records were subject to doctor-patient confidentiality and that the airline therefore had no knowledge of what they contained.

    Under German law, employers do not have access to employees' medical records and sick notes excusing a person from work do not give information on their medical condition.

    Some politicians have called for a loosening of these rules in the wake of the Germanwings disaster.

    But at a news conference in Berlin on Monday, a spokeswoman for the German health ministry said doctors already had the right to break their vow of confidentiality if they thought their patients posed a danger to others.

    French investigators said on Monday they were digging an access route to the mountain crash site in order to speed up the investigation.

    The head of the French police forensic team told reporters it would take two to four months to identify the victims and that there was no certainty all would be identified because of the high speed at which the plane crashed.

    "After a plane crash like this, the state of the bodies is not like after a simple car crash. The bodies are not necessarily whole, as the families know," Colonel Francois Daoust, head of the French Gendarmerie's criminal research Institute, told reporters.

    He added that some 400 samples from body parts taken from the crash had allowed police to identify 78 different DNA profiles so far, but no identifications had been made as yet.

    The plane's second flight recorder, which contains flight data, has not yet been found.

    Kay Kratky, a board member of Lufthansa's German airlines unit, told a German talkshow on Sunday evening that, due to the force with which the plane hit the mountain face, it was possible the recorder's locator beacons had been damaged and were not working properly.

    "I am hopeful that we will find the recorder by physical searching," he said.

    (Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Caroline Copley in Berlin, Lucien Libert in Seyne les Alpes, Jean-Francois Rsnoblet in Marseille, Geert De Clercq in Paris; Writing by Noah Barkin and Victoria Bryan; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  12. #3552

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Muhammadu Buhari, center, a 72-year-old former general and Nigerian presidential candidate, at a party rally in Kano this week. Credit Sani Maikatanga/Associated Press

    Beleaguered, Nigerians Seek to Restore a General to Power
    By ADAM NOSSITER JAN. 23, 2015

    KADUNA, Nigeria — Boisterous crowds packed the streets for the retired general, while young men climbed lampposts, walls and billboards to glimpse his gaunt face. Others danced on careening motorcycles, brandishing homemade brooms, symbols of his campaign.

    With Nigeria’s presidential election only weeks away, Boko Haram’s unchecked rampaging here in the country’s north is helping to propel the 72-year-old general, Muhammadu Buhari, to the forefront.

    After ruling Nigeria with an iron hand 30 years ago as the country’s military leader, Mr. Buhari is now a serious threat at the ballot box, analysts say, in large part because of Boko Haram’s blood-soaked successes.

    “The state is collapsing and everybody is frightened,” Jibrin Ibrahim, a political scientist with the Center for Democracy and Development in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, said of Boko Haram.

    “They are able to capture more and more territory, but also increase the level of atrocity,” he added. “A lot of people are frightened that these people can take over the whole country. So a lot of people are saying, ‘Give Buhari a chance.’ ”

    A Buhari victory over President Goodluck Jonathan would be a rare upset for an incumbent in a country where petrodollars have long flowed and the presidency has great latitude to distribute them.

    But oil prices have crashed; attacks on schools, markets and entire villages continue unabated; and Nigeria’s army has been thoroughly incapable of stopping Boko Haram, which now controls substantial portions of the northeast and regularly sends the country’s soldiers fleeing.

    “We have to solve it; it’s the first problem of the country,” Mr. Buhari said tersely about the battle with Boko Haram during a long day of campaigning this week.

    “This should have been an easy one,” added the former general, who is believed to have been a target of bombings in this city over the summer in which dozens were killed. “But it has been allowed to develop over five years.”

    There is much at stake in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, even as it falters — the currency has dropped sharply, questions are swirling about the ability to pay civil servants and the country’s oil-money reserves have withered. The campaign has become a vociferous, at times violent, joust between Buhari partisans in the mostly Muslim north and supporters of Mr. Jonathan in the largely Christian south.

    Mr. Buhari’s tenure as Nigeria’s military ruler was brief: a 20-month stint in the 1980s, ended by another military coup. Yet it is remembered with trepidation by many Nigerians.

    His self-proclaimed “war against indiscipline” was carried to “sadistic levels, glorying in the humiliation of a people,” wrote the Nobel laureate and writer Wole Soyinka. Mr. Buhari forced tardy civil servants, even older ones, to perform frog jumps, jailed journalists for critical articles, and expelled tens of thousands of immigrants from other West African countries, blaming them for the country’s problems.

    he current president and his party, which has held power since military rule ended more than 15 years ago, have made this past a central part of Mr. Jonathan’s re-election strategy, hoping to fan old fears about the general.

    Full-page newspaper ads suggest that Mr. Buhari is eager to introduce Shariah law all over the country, beyond the northern states where it already exists (in the campaign, Mr. Buhari has not said that).

    Other ads remind readers of the retired general’s coup-prone past. (Historians say that even before Mr. Buhari came to power in a military coup at the end of 1983, he played an active role in the coups that marked Nigeria’s early years.)

    But Mr. Buhari’s supporters are far more interested in the instability shaking the north, urging a total overhaul of the lackluster fight against the Islamists. Many of them turned out in this northern metropolis this week for a glimpse of the general, who has traded his medal-bedecked uniform for traditional robes and thick-framed spectacles.


    Hadiza Bala Usman, the main campaigner for the return of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram last spring, was waiting for the general at the airport here. She helped start the group that pressed the government on the girls’ fate, demonstrating for weeks in a public square in Abuja. Nine months after their abduction, the girls remain missing.

    “The resources meant for the military don’t go to the military; the bullets and boots don’t go to the soldiers,” Ms. Usman said. “And what is happening to security, you see it in all the sectors.”

    “The support we’re giving” to Mr. Buhari “is for ending the insurgency,” she added. “And so no more children are abducted.”

    A retired general in the crowd of supporters, Alhassan Usman, who is not related to Ms. Usman, agreed, expressing anger that Boko Haram had gained the upper hand over Nigeria’s soldiers.

    “The issue is lack of discipline; the commander has eaten his money,” he said, arguing that officers take money meant for soldiers, who then see little reason to obey orders.

    Mr. Buhari stood as ramrod straight as he had in the days when he rose in a coup against Nigeria’s fledgling, but corrupt, democracy. After taking power, he soon instituted what he called his attempt to straighten out a chaotic nation.

    That tarnished past has been, if not forgotten, at least pushed aside by many in the tumultuous jumble of Nigerian history. Mr. Buhari is expected to do particularly well in the Muslim north, his home turf, on Election Day, as he did in an unsuccessful run four years ago.


    As military ruler, Mr. Buhari showed little respect for the democratic process, rising to power in a coup that swept aside a civilian government and promising to include the political participation of Nigerian citizens “at some point.”

    His government also carried out a bizarre kidnapping plot targeting a former minister who had fled to London. It involved Israeli secret agents, giant packing crates and anesthetic drugs.

    In an interview, Mr. Buhari said that the times had changed and that he had changed with them.

    “I operated as a military head of state,” he said. “Now I want to operate as a partisan politician in a multiparty setup. It’s a fundamental difference. Whatever law is on the ground, I will make sure it is respected.”

    Yet it is Mr. Buhari’s long military career, not the respect for civil liberties he has proclaimed later in life, that will ultimately swing voters wary of his past, analysts say.

    “You’ve got the Boko Haram in the northeast, where they bomb churches and marketplaces, and slaughter children,” Mr. Buhari said.

    But he also noted the security problems in the nation’s south, where militants at oil fields have created havoc for years. “No highway in the country is absolutely safe,” he said.

    Though supporters insist he will knock out the Islamists “in a month,” as Mr. el-Rufai put it, the retired general is far more cautious. He spoke of a methodical approach, declining to say whether he would fire the country’s top military chiefs.

    “We have to see the whole picture,” Mr. Buhari said. “We’ll ask them to brief us, one by one. Why haven’t they been performing?”

    “Let them justify the use of funds,” he said. “What is the intelligence community doing?”

    Referring to Boko Haram, he added, “Where do they get weapons?”

    He focused on the individual failures in confronting Boko Haram — the misspent money, the lack of weaponry for the soldiers, their lack of motivation for the fight — rather than on an overall condemnation of the army.

    His jaw muscles tightening, he said, “This is not the Nigerian Army I knew.”
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  13. #3553

    Re: World News Random, Random

    Buhari appears to have won the election.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

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