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Sun, 01 May 2016
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Iran to replace all Turkish food imports to Russia

On Thursday 28 April, Russia reported that it had received reassurances from Iran over the country's ability to replace Turkey in terms of food imports.

"Iran solemnly promises: we'll replace the whole of Turkey in the deliveries of perishable goods to Russia," said Russia's Federal Customs Service Chief Andrei Belyaninov.

Belyaninov suggested that this will be part of a new arrangement between Iran and Russia that would in a later stage entail the opening of a green corridor between the two countries.

Comment: Russia to ban agricultural imports from Turkey


Punjab, Pakistan: Poisoned sweets death toll climbs to 33

© AFP Photo/Arif Ali
Police investigator Haji Mohammad Akhtar told AFP that two sweet shop owners and one worker who were arrested after the incident in Punjab province would be brought before a court on Monday
Some 33 people including five children have now died in central Pakistan after eating sweets accidentally tainted with insecticide, officials said Sunday.

The mass poisoning occurred in the Karor Lal Esan area of Punjab province last month.

"The death toll from poisonous sweets has risen to 33 and 13 other victims are still in hospital," district police chief Muhammad Ali Zia told AFP.

Local resident Umar Hayat bought the baked confectionery on April 17 to distribute among friends and family to celebrate the birth of his grandson.

But their jubilation was short-lived when ten people died on the same day.


Dashcam video reveals New Jersey cop brake-checking a motorist

© youtube/Omar B
A New Jersey cop was caught on the private dashcam of a citizen conducting a dangerous and unethical practice of 'brake checking' to extract revenue from citizens.

In the video, which was posted to YouTube, a man is doing nothing wrong as he's driving down the road behind a police officer. All of the sudden, the officer slams on his brakes in an apparent attempt to cause an accident. Had the driver not been paying attention, he would have hit the officer, who was unlawfully obstructing the flow of traffic.

Instead of apologizing to the driver for nearly causing an accident, this power tripping cop began to harass and extort him.

The New Jersey police department would not give up the name of the officer. However, public records identify him as Juan Velez, who has been working with the Clifton Police Department since 2005 and makes a whopping annual salary of $119,558.

Comment: This officer should be given a citation for reckless driving and fired for being a jerk.


Washington, D.C.: Train derails and leaks sodium hydroxide

© NBC4
A CSX freight train derailed near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station Sunday morning, leaving several cars overturned and a hazardous leak coming from at least one car, according to city officials.

Upwards of 10 cars derailed from a train bound for Hamlet, North Carolina, from Cumberland, Maryland, about 6:40 a.m.

The leak of sodium hydroxide, described as coming from one full tank car, was finally "plugged," and emergency responders, including hazmat crews, had moved on to the clean-up phase, officials said during a 10:45 a.m. press conference.

"CSX operations and hazardous materials personnel are working with first responders on the derailment this morning in Washington D.C." CSX said in a statement. "The safety of the community, first responders and CSX's employees is our highest priority."


Colorado woman who cut baby from womb of stranger given life sentence

© Longmont Police Dept / Reuters
Catrece Dynel Lane is shown in this booking photo provided by the Longmont Police Department near Denver, Colorado March 19, 2015.
The Colorado woman who lured an expectant mother to her home under the false pretense of giving her free maternity and baby clothes, only to cut her baby from her womb, has been sentenced to 100 years in prison.

Dynel Lane, 35, was given the lifelong sentence Friday for attacking and butchering Michelle Wilkins, 27, and killing her unborn baby girl in March 2015.

Arrow Down

The pathology of America's entitled upper middle class

The upper middle class is well and truly doomed by self-delusion and the pathology of entitlement.

Two recent articles describe America's entitled (and doomed) upper middle class: the top 5% of households with incomes above $206,500 annually and individuals with incomes of $160,000 or higher annually. (source: Historical Income Tables: Households Census.gov)

The first describes how businesses are responding to the new Gilded Age in which spending by the top 5% has pulled away from the stagnating bottom 95%:


11yo Alabama boy shoots intruder, mocks him for 'crying like a baby'

© WVTM 13 News / YouTube
Chris Gaither
An 11-year-old boy from Talladega, Alabama, boasted about shooting at a fleeing burglar 12 times and mocked the man (whom he had wounded in the leg) for "crying like a baby".

Chris Gaither told WVTM news he was home alone Wednesday morning when he heard an intruder breaking into his house.

Heart - Black

Kenya sets 100 tons of ivory on fire to combat poaching

© Thomas Mukoya / Reuters
A section of an estimated 105 tonnes of elephant tusks confiscated ivory from smugglers and poachers burns in flames at the Nairobi National Park near Nairobi, Kenya, April 30, 2016.
Some 100 tons of ivory were set ablaze by Kenyan authorities in a bid to combat wildlife trafficking and poaching. The ivory stockpile was worth some $170 million and is the largest in history ever to be burnt.

The ceremony was held in Kenya's Nairobi National Park on Saturday and is set to last for a few days. Some 105 tons of elephant ivory, 1.35 tons of rhino horn, along with animal skins which had been collected across Africa, are to be reduced to ash in a crematorium which took Kenya 10 days to build.

The event was attended by the Kenyan president and other African heads of state including the president of Gabon who said that by the symbolic action they wanted to send a strong message to people involved in all kinds of illicit activities.


13 killed in helicopter crash near Bergen, Norway

© Rune Nielsen
A search and rescue vessel patrols off the coast of the island of Turoey, near Bergen, Norway, as emergency workers attend the scene after a helicopter crashed believed to be have 13 people aboard, Friday, April 29, 2016.
A helicopter transporting North Sea oil workers crashed off the coast of western Norway yesterday, killing all 13 people on board, rescue services said.The Super Puma chopper went down around midday in the archipelago off the coast of Bergen, Norway's second-biggest city.

Eleven bodies have been recovered and the two remaining people are presumed dead, rescue services said. "We presume that all 13 are dead," Sola rescue centre spokesman Borge Galta told Media

Search and rescue operations were called off late yesterday. The aircraft was carrying 11 Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian, rescue services said.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Eye 2

Rape and self-immolation in Australia's refugee centers

© Will Burgess / Reuters
A woman raped in Australia's offshore detention camp in Nauru has been refused to travel to Australia for an abortion, while an Iranian refugee has died two days after setting himself alight in protest at his treatment at the facility.

While the number of asylum seekers flowing into Australia remains tiny compared to that of Europe, migration is a constant political issue in the land down under. When refugees reach Australian shores, they are usually deported back to the state of origin or are detained in offshore facilities located on a distant island country of Nauru or Manus Island, a part of Papua New Guinea. However, these facilities turn out to be far from homey stay.

The Nauru camp has come into the focus of international attention this week, after two major incidents occurred. This Tuesday, while the representatives of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Office were visiting the facility, an Iranian immigrant named Omid deliberately set himself alight. He received critical burns over 50% of his body, and eventually died yesterday, April 29th. According to his roommates, he did this in protest at his treatment in the facility.

Comment: Further reading: