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1 dead, 5 rescued in California sailboat race accident

© AP
This latest accident comes nearly a year after US coast guards were called to the wreck of the 37-foot sailboat Aegean which crashed during a race from Southern California to Mexico killing four crewmen.
STORMY seas off Southern California destroyed a sailboat during a race on a rocky island shore, leaving one sailor dead.

Five other crewmembers of the Uncontrollable Urge were rescued Saturday after the 32-foot sailboat lost its steering capability and the craft began drifting toward San Clemente Island, where it then broke apart, Coast Guard Petty Officer Connie Gawrelli said.

The boat first sent a mayday call but then reportedly waved off help from the Coast Guard and other boaters.

Friday night, the crew radioed the mayday call and also activated a feature on the boat to provide authorities their GPS coordinates and other crucial information, but then declined assistance and requested a tow boat, she said.

However, stormy ocean conditions kept the tow boat from getting to them.
Pills

Northern Irish women risk jail by admitting use of abortion drugs

© Stephen Barnes/Demotix/Corbis
Protesters outside the Marie Stopes clinic in Belfast.
More than 100 women put their name to letter amid attempts to halt amendment that would make non-NHS abortions illegal in province

More than 100 women in Northern Ireland risk imprisonment after publicly admitting they have taken abortion-inducing pills, which are illegal in the province.

The women have signed a letter openly confirming that they took abortion pills bought on the internet from pro-choice charities, further fuelling the debate prompted by the opening of the first private clinic to offer legal abortions to women in the province.

The 1861 Offences Against the Persons Act makes abortion illegal in most cases and carries a penalty of life imprisonment. Several men who have helped women obtain the pills have also signed the letter, even though the 19th-century act also makes it a serious offence to help someone procure an abortion.

The province is the only part of the UK where women cannot get an abortion through the NHS except in extreme circumstances, such as when a mother's life is at risk. As a result, thousands of Northern Irish women have crossed the Irish Sea to have terminations in English hospitals and clinics.
People

Sixth body recovered as Russia mourns avalanche victims

© General Directorate of Emergency Situations in the Republic of Tuva
Rescuers searching for the missing teenagers
Rescuers have recovered the body of the sixth missing teenager at the site of an avalanche in Russia's East Siberian republic of Tyva, where a mourning has been declared for the victims.

The head of the republic, Sholban Kara-ool, declared a one-day mourning on Saturday for the six teenagers, who were killed in an avalanche last week.

The avalanche occurred on a remote mountain slope six kilometers (four miles) from the village of Mugur-Aksy in the republic's Mongun-Taiginsky distinct on March 3.
Rose

Women "carry all" of Palestine's suffering

Women in Gaza
© Ashraf Amra/APA images
Women in Gaza mark International Women’s Day by calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners, 7 March.
"In Gaza we don't lead normal lives, we just cope, and adapt to our abnormal lives under siege and occupation," said Dr. Mona El-Farra, a physician and a long-time women's rights activist in the Gaza Strip. On International Women's Day, when many of the world's women are fighting for workplace equality and an end to domestic violence, Farra and the majority of Gaza's women fight for the most basic of rights.

"It is difficult to live in this small piece of land, where basic needs like clean water, regular electricity, proper sanitation and means of recreation are not met. Women in Gaza are particularly traumatized by the continuous Israeli military attacks," said Farra.

A 2009 Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) report highlighted the suffering of Palestinian women under the illegal Israeli-led siege imposed on Gaza, and under the 23 days of Israeli attacks in 2008-2009 which killed over 1,400 Palestinians, including 112 women.

The report noted Gazan women's continued struggle "as they attempt to come to terms with their grief and their injuries; with the loss of their children, their husbands, their relatives, their homes and their livelihoods" ("Through women's eyes," 28 September 2009).

For Hiba an-Nabaheen, 24, a media studies graduate from Gaza's Palestine University, the biggest issues facing women in Gaza are the poverty and unemployment that result from the siege.
War Whore

California' finest? 8 LAPD officers involved in shooting after Dorner 'case of mistaken identity'

LAPD Capt. Phil Tingirides and LAPD Sgt. Emada Tingirides recalled fearful and anxious days under police protection, after their eight-member family was targeted by former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner.

Bullet holes in front doors, trees and a kitchen serve as reminders of the chaos brought to their Torrance, Calif. neighborhood during a frantic manhunt for an ex-police officer bent on revenge killings.

Nine bullets pierced a tree on Redbeam Avenue where two newspaper delivery women were shot by police officers who had mistaken them for fugitive Christopher Dorner.

, , and

Margie Carranza and her 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez, were delivering the Los Angeles Times before dawn near the home of a police officer named in Dorner's angry manifesto.

Comment: It's sad that even with clear evidence of the incompetence of the LAPD in this case, the public is still brainwashed to excuse them. Just a variation of "supporting the troops" regardless of their psychopathic actions.

Light Saber

Canadian students challenge Harper's support for Israeli apartheid

canadian students against Israel
© Thien V/Flickr
Activists in Montreal protest during Israel’s bombing of Gaza last November.
A new alliance of on-campus Palestine solidarity groups has been launched in Canada.

The Canadian Student Coalition for Palestine is hoping to build on recent triumphs by the campaign for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Its formation follows votes by seven student unions in Canadian universities - including two campuses in the University of Toronto - to support the BDS call over the past year.

"There are Palestinian solidarity groups across Canadian universities, and though each group is fighting almost identical battles, we are each fighting alone, and now we have the opportunity to come together under a collective coalition," said Sabrina Azraq, co-president of Toronto Students for Justice in Palestine.

Having launched the alliance at a conference in London, Ontario last month, organizers are already planning a follow-up assembly in Toronto toward the end of the year.

There is a long history of Palestine solidarity activism on Canada's campuses; in 1999, several student Palestine advocacy groups in Montreal unified to create Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights. It rose to national prominence in 2002 when protested against a planned visit by Benjamin Netanyahu, then an opposition leader in Israel, to Concordia University in Montreal. Netanyahu's speech was cancelled as a result ("Discordia: When Netanyahu came to town," Palestine Solidarity Review, Fall 2004).
Ambulance

60 diners at world's best restaurant struck with vomiting bug after employee 'cooked food while ill'

Noma restaurant

Elite restaurant: But diners at Noma in Copenhagen were struck ill after eating there last month
Danish restaurant Noma, crowned the world's best restaurant three years running in one poll, on Friday apologised after 63 guests fell ill with sickness and diarrhoea after visiting the haute cuisine establishment.

According to the Danish health authorities, the guests fell ill during a five-day period in February and the outbreak could have come from a sick kitchen staff employee.

Health inspectors criticised the restaurant for not alerting authorities soon enough and for not taking proper action after the employee was struck ill upon returning home after work.

The two-Michelin-star restaurant recognised in a report that internal procedures had not been good enough and said an e-mail from the employee reporting his sickness had not been seen.

'We are in the business of making people happy and taking care of our guests, so this is the worst thing that could happen to us,' Noma managing director Peter Kreiner told Reuters.

'Since the outbreak we have worked closely with the health authorities to get to the bottom of it and find the source of infection.

'We are extremely sorry about all of this and I have personally been in dialogue with all the guests who were affected and discussed compensation for them,' he said, adding there was never any danger of the restaurant being closed down.
Handcuffs

California school board member to serve time for pimping

© Staff photo
Moreno Valley School Board Trustee Mike Rios.
A Southern California school board member convicted of running a prostitution ring in his home has been sentenced to 14 years and four months in prison.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports 42-year-old Mike Rios was officially removed from the Moreno Valley School Board after being sentenced Friday.
Stormtrooper

Kentucky police officer fined $2 for striking handcuffed suspect multiple times

David Graham
© Louisville Metro Police
Louisville - A Louisville police officer has been fined $2 after being convicted of official misconduct and harassment for striking a handcuffed suspect multiple times.

A Jefferson District Jury on Friday fined officer David Graham $1 for each of the charges stemming from the March 31, 2012 arrest of 19-year-old John R. Sanders. A videotape of Sanders' arrest shows Graham poking Sanders multiple times in the throat and slapping him.

Defense attorney Steve Schroering told The Courier-Journal his client was disappointed at being convicted, but thankful the jury gave him the "absolute minimum penalty."

Graham, a Fourth Division officer who has been on the police force since 1999, could still face disciplinary action from the police department.
Arrow Down

'Shameful' failure to tackle slavery and human trafficking in the UK

Slavery
© Karen Robinson/Panos Pictures
Danielle was only 15 when trafficked from Albania. A friend had been offered a job in London and Danielle decided to join her. On arrival she was taken to Birmingham, where a man sold her to an Albanian pimp for £3,500. She escaped, but says that she has 'been changed forever'.
Ministers, the police and social workers have been accused of a "shocking" failure to prevent the spread of modern slavery in the UK, leading to sexual exploitation, forced labour and the domestic servitude of adults and children from across the world.

Describing government ministers as "clueless" in their response to tackling human trafficking, both into and within the UK, the most exhaustive inquiry yet conducted into the phenomenon concludes that the approach to eradicating modern slavery is fundamentally wrong-headed. Instead of helping vulnerable victims who are trapped into forms of slavery after being trafficked from overseas, the legal system prosecutes many for immigration offences.

The major study by the Centre for Social Justice, which will be published on Monday, says that political indifference and ignorance alongside a leadership vacuum in Whitehall has meant that the country that led the way in abolishing slavery in the 19th century is now a "shameful shadow" of its former self as the practice makes a comeback in a contemporary guise.

To restore Britain's reputation on the issue, the centre's report outlines more than 80 recommendations, including the appointment of an independent anti-slavery commissioner, to ensure proper political focus and new legislation to better protect victims.

Researchers were stunned at the lack of awareness of the problem among frontline officials whose job it was to identify and help trafficked victims. "We have encountered unacceptable levels of ignorance and misidentification of victims among the police, social services, the UKBA [UK Border Agency], the judicial system and others," said the report.

Social workers, it added, were "not equipped" to identify victims of modern slavery. One charity described how it was normal for just a couple of hands to be raised when a room holding 40 social workers was asked if anyone knew about the national referral mechanism, the government's system for identifying and protecting suspected trafficking victims.
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