Puppet Masters


Mother Teresa: Sadistic religious fanatic guilty of medical malpractice

Mother Teresa: Fanatic, fundamentalist and fraud
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Mother Teresa was a sadistic religious fanatic who took pleasure in the suffering of others, and denied appropriate medical care to the sick and dying, according to a recently released study.

The study, published by Canadian researchers in the journal of studies in religion and sciences called Religieuses, claims that Mother Teresa was "anything but a saint." The study reports Teresa was generous with her prayers but miserly with her foundation's millions when it came to alleviating the suffering of the sick and the poor.

Researchers report Mother Teresa saw beauty in suffering, and was far more willing to pray for those in her care rather than provide practical medical treatment. In addition to her medical malpractice and her perverse and sadistic enjoyment of the suffering of others, the study also raises questions about Teresa's financial mismanagement of large sums of money, and her friendship with unsavory and immoral world leaders.

Yet despite serious questions about Teresa's character, motivation and methods, as well as concerns about her suspicious financial dealings and contacts, the Vatican engaged in a well orchestrated public relations campaign to manufacture a Catholic hero, even going so far as to take the unprecedented step to forgo the usual five-year waiting period before her beatification, the first step on the path to sainthood.

U.S. Air Force scrubs drone strike data from reports

© John Moore/Getty Images/AFP
Maintenence personel check a Predator drone operated by U.S. Office of Air and Marine (OAM).
As the US military continues to court scrutiny regarding drone use, the Air Force has stopped sharing information on the number of drone strikes in Afghanistan. Going one step further, it has removed those statistics from prior reports on its website.

The Air Force's Central Command began keeping track of drone weapon releases in October 2012, according to the Air Force Times. The move was described at that time as a bid to "provide more detailed information on [drone] ops in Afghanistan," said Central Command spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bender, the magazine reports.

Catholic bishops 'knew of 20 sex abuse allegations by priests'

© Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
A Catholic newspaper reported that Cardinal Keith O'Brien was summoned to Rome last year over abuse claims.
Separate report alleges that Vatican is investigating child abuse claims against another Scottish priest

The hierarchy of Scotland's Catholic church was on the defensive again last night over claims that bishops knew of as many as 20 allegations of child sex abuse by priests in the 1980s and 90s, along with a separate revalation that the Vatican is currently considering the case of a Scottish priest accused of child sex abuse.

The claims about the 20 cases, which were made by an academic previously involved in advising the church on sexual abuse and how to respond to it, also came as a report suggested that Cardinal Keith O'Brien was summoned to Rome to answer charges of sexual impropriety as early as October last year.

O'Brien was forced to resign last month by Pope Benedict XVI, barely 36 hours after the Observer disclosed that three serving priests and one former priest were accusing him of "inappropriate acts" against them nearly 30 years ago.

Lawyer: State's main witness in George Zimmerman murder case lied

Trayvon Martin: Makeshift memorial
Trayvon Martin's girlfriend, the state's most important witness in the George Zimmerman murder case, was caught in a lie, it was revealed Tuesday.

It was not the first piece of misinformation tied to her, but it was the most damaging to date and left prosecutors in a very awkward position.

They had to publicly acknowledge that their star witness had lied under oath and had to answer questions about what they intend to do about it.

Reporters asked: Will you charge the 19-year-old Miami woman with perjury?

The state's lead prosecutor, Bernie de la Rionda, gave an ambiguous answer: "You can all read the law and make your own decision."

30 Years of genetically engineered plants - Consequences of commercial growing in the US

Today in Berlin a new report was published presenting a critical assessment of the consequences of the commercial cultivation of genetically engineered plants in the US. The first genetically engineered plants were created 30 years ago in Europe and the US. Commercial growing in the USA began almost 20 years ago, but in the EU, acceptance of these crops is much lower. Nevertheless, companies are asking for further authorizations for cultivation, including in the EU. In the light of this development, past experience in the USA was assessed and recommendations made for the future handling of this technology in the EU.

Egypt protesters torch buildings, try to target Suez Canal

© Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
Abd El Monaem ''Kabo'' (C, in cap), leader of Al-Ahly fans who are also known as ''Ultras'', shouts slogans in front of the Al-Ahly club after hearing the final verdict of the 2012 Port Said massacre in Cairo March 9, 2013.
Egyptian protesters torched buildings in Cairo and tried unsuccessfully to disrupt international shipping on the Suez Canal, as a court ruling on a deadly soccer riot stoked rage in a country beset by worsening security.

The ruling enraged residents of Port Said, at the northern entrance of the Suez Canal, by confirming death sentences imposed on 21 local soccer fans for their role in the riot last year when more than 70 people were killed.

But the court also angered rival fans in Cairo by acquitting a further 28 defendants that they wanted punished, including seven members of the police force which is reviled across society for its brutality under deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Security sources said one person had died in Cairo from the effects of tear gas and 65 people were injured, some by rubber bullets.

Saturday's protests and violence underlined how Islamist President Mohamed Mursi is struggling - two years after Mubarak's overthrow - to maintain law and order at a time of economic and political crisis.

Uhuru Kenyatta wins Kenyan election by a narrow margin

Rival Raila Odinga refuses to concede and sets his sights on court battle over alleged fraud

Kenyatta supporters
© Simon Maina/Agence France-Presse
Kenyatta supporters celebrate his victory in Nairobi earlier today.
International criminal court indictee Uhuru Kenyatta was officially declared the winner of Kenya's presidential election this afternoon, although his rival, Raila Odinga, will not concede defeat and a legal challenge, alleging widespread fraud, is certain.

Kenyatta won by the slimmest of margins, earning 50.07% of the vote to clinch a first-round win, in an election that saw a record turnout of 84.9% of registered voters. Kenyans waited for nearly a week for its beleaguered electoral body, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, to announce the result. So far protests have remained peaceful in a country known for ethnic violence.

"This is a coming of age for Kenya," Kenyatta said in his acceptance speech. "Despite the misgivings of many in the world, we have demonstrated a level of political maturity that surpassed expectation. We voted in peace, we upheld order and respect for the rule of law, and maintained the fabric of our society."

A new pope won't save the sinking ship

© Associated Press
As the College of Cardinals slinks into Rome to elect a new pope, the usual chorus of eternal optimists and media lapdogs follow close behind. The secular press is ecstatic because they can pose as pious while lifting sagging newspaper sales and static cable ratings. Beaten down progressive Catholics will do their predictable dupe dance, hoping against all odds that an almost modern pontiff will be elevated to the throne.

Of course, we already know the outcome, given that the last two popes stocked the pool of bishops and cardinals with ideological clones, ensuring conservative continuity. If this weren't bad enough, the former pope will be looking over the new boss' shoulder and has even installed his live-in "personal assistant," to serve the pope-elect, guaranteeing he has eyes and ears inside the Vatican.

But even if my dire assessment were completely off base, it would take nothing short of a miracle to avert failure for the next pope and a crisis of faith for believers. Here are four reasons why the next pope will be met with nearly insurmountable challenges, no matter how talented or charismatic:

Governments urged to prepare for the worst

Events trigger events, and responding to crisis means policy makers often do not deal with long-term risks
Governments should learn from companies and appoint dedicated "risk ministers", according to the authors of a World Economic Forum (WEF) report.

The "ministers" should assess a broad range of economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological risks, the Global Risks 2013 report's authors reason.

Companies have long had their own "finance ministers", though they call them chief financial officers, and in recent years it has become common to also have risk management functions in companies, according to Axel Lehmann, himself a chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance and a co-author of the report.

It would be useful, adds Lee Howell, managing director of the WEF's Risk Response Network and editor of the report, if governments were to create similar functions, with a view to "take an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to risk".

"How often do you see a central bank governor talk to a defence minister?" he says. "It doesn't really happen."
Bad Guys

Davos 2013: Iceland slams Europe over fishing policy

Surrendering powers over fishing is a factor of being within the EU, which Iceland is not a part of
Iceland's president has dismissed the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy as a "colossal failure" as some 75% of Europe's fish stock is endangered.

The policy sets quotas for each of the 27 member states and for types of fish.

"Europe is the problem," Olafur Ragnar Grimsson said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"It is paradoxical that Europeans see themselves as the most enlightened policy makers in the world," he added.

The global figure for stocks of fish that are endangered or in a very bad shape is 20%, according to Frans Muller, chief executive of German supermarket group Metro, which he says is "by far the largest seller of fish in Europe".

The director of the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography agreed that the situation is very serious, and not only in Europe.

"We've engaged in a war on fish and we've won," he said. "We can't afford to prevail in this war. We have to back off."