Society's Child


China revives Great Silk Road to create Eastern hemisphere trade zone

© Wikimedia Commons
When it comes to the rise of Eurasia as the ascendent axis set to oppose US global hegemony, conventional wisdom focuses on the roles of China and Russia. However, the changing geopolitical landscape is certainly far more nuanced than merely the "west" versus the BRICS, and as the following infographic from SCMP shows, China has been quietly working to recreate one of the most legendary trade routes, "the Silk Road", linking Africa to the Middle East (Iraq and Iran) to India, to Indonesia and all culminating in Beijing, while at the same time the reverse leg of the route goes to Kazakhstan, Moscow and ultimately, Germany. The purpose: "to enhance political and economic ties with southeast Asia and beyond."

As SCMP reports, China has set up a 10 billion yuan fund to support infrastructure projects under the umbrella of the silk road plan. Initially floated in relation to Asean countries, the idea has grown to include ports such as Colombo and Gwadar. China is already working with Malaysia to upgrade the Malaysian port of Kuantan and Cambodian officials have made clear their enthusiasm in developing port infrastructure.

Racist injustice! Greek court acquits farmers who shot 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers

© Menelaos Mich/Demotix/Corbis
Migrant workers react with shock and tears to the decision to release two of the men on trial; the strawberry pickers had demanded six months' back pay and four were badly injured
A Greek court's decision to acquit local farmers who admitted shooting 28 Bangladeshi strawberry pickers when they dared to ask for months of back pay has sparked outrage in the country.

Politicians, unionists and anti-racist groups roundly condemned the verdict describing it as a black mark for justice in a case that had shone a light on the appalling conditions in which migrant workers are often kept in Greece.

"I feel shame as a Greek," said the victim's lawyer, Moisis Karabeyidis, after the tribunal in the western port city of Patras, delivered the shock ruling. "This decision is an outrage and a disgrace ... the court showed an appalling attitude toward the victims."

What can you do to protect the people of Gaza? Boycott Israel

boycott israel
The Israeli government has already proven that it fears international isolation

Israel has lost its grip on reality. The death toll in Gaza stands at well over a thousand and continues to rise by the day. The coastal strip has been reduced to rubble. Rather than celebrating Eid this week, Palestinians in Gaza have been burying their dead.

Jon Snow's poignant message after his return from Gaza on Channel 4 news was heart-breaking. He had been reporting from Al Shifa hospital where he saw many horrific injuries and scores of dead children.

He ended his report with this plea to the public: "If our reporting is worth anything, if your preparedness to listen and watch and read is anything to go by, then together we can make a difference."

This latest massacre of Palestinians has been well documented, with every death recorded and every bombing filmed. Although this has yet to deter Israel, it is still important to keep documenting this assault so that its victims do not fall into the chasms of history.
Light Saber

Former IDF soldiers 'Breaking the Silence': A drop of conscience in a sea of Israeli psychopathy

Israel is calling up sixteen thousand additional reserve troops as its assault goes on. But, there are 51 IDF soldiers who are making a stand and refusing to take part in any more destruction.


'I may criticize my government, but I have never criticized the soldier' : Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura

Jesse Ventura
© AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowsky
Former pro wrestler Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura, the former professional wrestler-turned-governor of Minnesota, told RT on Tuesday that he was relieved that a long-standing libel case filed on his behalf against the estate of a slain Navy SEAL had finally come to an end.

"I really was backed into a corner," Ventura told RT. "I was left with no choice but to continue the litigation to clear my name because the story is fabricated."

The story in question involves allegations first made by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in his best-selling book, American Sniper. In Kyle's first-person account telling of "the most lethal sniper in US military history," he wrote that once he punched out Ventura at a bar after the former governor made disparaging remarks about the Navy. Kyle didn't mention Venture by name in his memoir, but did identify the individual as such in subsequent media appearances. In the years since, Ventura has adamantly insisted he never told Kyle that the SEALs "deserve to lose a few" in the Iraq war, as alleged in American Sniper.

Kyle was killed early last year after being shot at a gun range in Texas, but Ventura followed through with suing his estate for libel. This week, a jury sided with plaintiff and agreed to award him $1.8 million for harm to his reputation and unjust enrichment.

Shortly after the jury's verdict was announced, Ventura told RT that he was relieved that an outcome had finally been reached. Nevertheless, he said that it's been impossible to shake Kyle's accusations and that he no longer feels safe among his fellow SEALS.

Man shoots wife, three children and self - 'one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Maine's history'

State police call it "one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Maine's history."
© Via facebook
Heather Smith, left, and her sons.
In Saco, Maine on Saturday night, 33-year-old Joel Smith used a pump-action shotgun to kill his 35-year-old wife, Heather Smith, his 12-year-old stepson, and the couple's two biological children, a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, before turning the gun on himself. The horrific scene was discovered on Sunday morning after a concerned family friend called the apartment complex where the Smith family lived and asked a maintenance worker to check on them. In a statement to the media, a Maine State Police official called the mass shooting "one of the worst cases of domestic violence in Maine's history."

As we reported in the wake of a mass shooting in Texas earlier this month, domestic violence and guns are a frightening combination: A woman's chances of being killed by her abuser increase more than fivefold if he has access to a gun. And most fatal violence between intimate partners across the United States involves firearms. (Here are just a few examples from the past few months.)

Comment: Guns or not, violence against women is an epidemic across the globe:
  • Violence against women at epidemic proportions
  • One-third of women abused in world: UN


Sick Society: 17-year-old allegedly raped as bystanders record incident on video during Keith Urban concert

A Boston man was accused of raping a 17-year-old girl he met at a Keith Urban concert over the weekend.

Country music singer Keith Urban's Boston concert made news earlier this week after at least 46 fans were treated for alcohol-related illnesses, and 50 people were taken in to custody by police.

But on Monday, authorities disclosed that the booze-soaked fun turned violent in at least one case.

According to The Sun Chronicle, Mansfield police determined that 18-year-old Sean Murphy began kissing the 17-year-old girl after meeting her at the concert on Sunday, and then took her away from her friends to another part of the outdoor amphitheater. She said that she went with him because "she was afraid of what would happen" if she didn't agree.

After removing the girl's shorts and underwear, Murphy reportedly began having sex with her.


Hold on there sparky. Consensual act? That's questionable simply on the basis of her age, the surroundings, and the amount of alcohol involved. He was 18 (under the drinking age) and drunk. Witnesses have testified that when a concerned woman asked if it was consensual she said "No" and finally managed to escape. At the very least this is Statuatory Rape. But to any person with two brains cells to rub together this is a criminal assault.

We all know the saying "in vino veritas." We experience it often, we see that alcohol reveals an inner person in a unique and consistent way. So what did alcohol reveal about this person?

Eye 2

Psychotic! Man kills girlfriend by dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire

© Shutterstock
An Alabama woman whose former boyfriend doused her in gasoline and set her on fire died early on Tuesday after two days in the hospital, authorities said.

Deborah Diane Prater, 49, had recently ended her three-year relationship with Michael Kennedy, 48, when police say he came to her house in a Birmingham suburb early on Sunday and argued with her before setting her ablaze.

"It's a totally senseless and violent loss of life," said Sergeant Jack Self, spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. "This is a special kind of evil that has no place existing in our society."

Kennedy fled in Prater's sport utility vehicle and was arrested on Monday about five miles away by U.S. Marshals. He was initially charged with attempted murder - a charge likely to be upgraded with Prater's death.
Eye 2

Family outraged after psychopathic Houston cop forces man to leave blind dog on the side of the freeway after traffic arrest

The mayor of Houston has apologized to a family whose nearly blind dog was killed in traffic after a police officer forced them to leave it on the side of the road.

Josie Garcia told KTRK that the family pet Chihuahua, named Guero, was along for the trip when her husband gave a friend a ride on July 13. The men were stopped by a Houston police officer for failing to use a turn signal, and a search of the vehicle turned up prescription medication, which Garcia said belonged to the passenger.

The officer took both men into custody. And when the tow truck arrived, the dog was placed on the side of the road.

"My husband pleaded with the officer to let him call someone to come get Guero, and asked him to call Barc [animal shelter], but he said it wasn't his problem, that the dog would be fine," Garcia recalled.
Evil Rays

Australia wants access to MH17 crash site, no interest in further sanctions against Russia - Tony Abbott

© RIA Novosti / Andrei Stenin
Crash site of Malaysian Boeing 777 in Ukraine
Australia's number one priority is getting access to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine, rather than imposing further sanctions on Russia, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Wednesday as quoted by The Star.

"I am not saying that we might not, at some point in the future, move further," Abbott said. "But at the moment our focus is not on sanctions, our focus is on bringing home our dead as quickly as we humanly can."

Australia has not stopped attempting to gain access to the Boeing crash site, the prime minister stressed.

"If it doesn't happen today we will try again tomorrow, if it doesn't happen tomorrow we will try again the next day," Abbott said.

On Tuesday, a group consisting of Dutch and Australian specialists for the third time failed to reach the MH17 crash site near the city of Torez due to ongoing fighting in the region. Tony Abbot expressed concern over the armed conflict around the crash site, adding that "it's not just the separatists, it's the Ukrainian government as well."

A total of 298 people, including 193 Dutch citizens and 27 Australians, died on July 17 as a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur crashed in Donetsk Region of Ukraine.