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Heart - Black

Michelle Obama is 'hopelessly out of touch' with the reality of divorced families

Laura bush michelle obama and husbands
© Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty
My husband, a child of divorce, texted me after hearing Michelle Obama compare the Trump presidency to spending time with a divorced dad: "I had many great times with my dad; but they weren't always fun, and I never got sick."

Obama announced at a London event to a room full of laughter, "We come from a broken family. We're a teenager. ... Sometimes, you spend weekends with divorced dad. That feels like it's fun, but then, you get sick."

Obama just over-generalized divorced dads as frivolous parents who put their own selfish desires above their children's health. Not only is that a malicious lie, implicit in the statement is the assumption that mothers, not fathers, are the "real" parents who meet children's needs.

Eye 1

So much for 'humanitarian reforms': Saudi Arabia SECRETLY decapitates two Indian men

Shi'ite Muslims blood religious festival Saudi Arabia
© Reuters / Stringer
Shi'ite Muslims with swords during the religious festival in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has secretly beheaded two Indian nationals without notifying either the embassy or the men's relatives of the brutal executions. To add to the shock, the Kingdom will not surrender the remains to the families.

Satwinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur and Harjeet Singh of Ludhiana were decapitated on February 28, in connection with the case of the murder of another Indian man back in 2015. The verdict was reached without the knowledge of the Indian embassy and without any prior warning issued to the men's families.

The news of the capital punishment only surfaced after Satwinder's wife, Seema Rani, approached the Indian government asking them to contact the Kingdom to seek clarification on her husband's fate, after hearing rumors of his demise in a Saudi jail. This week, India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) finally confirmed the beheadings, which Punjab's chief minister has called "barbaric and inhuman."

Megaphone

Bangledeshis demand reform after schoolgirl who reported abuse is set on fire by her classmates

nusrat justice
© Getty Images / Mamunur Rashid
Protesters rally against the murder of Nusrat Jahan Rafi in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The tragic murder of a school girl, lured onto a roof and set on fire by classmates for reporting sexual abuse by her principal, has provoked outrage across Bangladesh and beyond, with politicians and the UN voicing disgust.

Nusrat Jahan Rafi was pinned to the ground by a group of students and teachers wearing burqas and doused in kerosene before being set alight on the roof of her school in Feni on April 6. The 18-year-old student died from the severe burns, that covered 80 percent of her body, five days later.

As her singed body was rushed to hospital, Rafi knew death coming so the brave girl made a recording on her brother's phone, "The teacher touched me, I will fight this crime till my last breath."

Stock Down

Germany cuts economic growth forecast for second time as slowing world economy, trade disputes and Brexit uncertainty take their toll

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier
The German government is eyeing incentives to boost corporate research and development after cutting its forecast for 2019 economic growth for the second time in three months, reflecting a worsening slowdown driven by a recession in manufacturing.

German exporters are struggling with weaker demand from abroad, trade tensions triggered by U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First" policies and business uncertainty caused by Britain's planned departure from the European Union.

The difficult trade environment means that Germany's vibrant domestic demand, helped by record-high employment, inflation-busting pay increases and low borrowing costs, is expected to be the sole driver of growth this year and next.

To counter the slowdown, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz plans to support corporate research and development with incentives worth 1.27 billion euros ($1.43 billion) annually from 2020, a draft law seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

Companies doing basic research or industrial development can apply for a bonus of up to 500,000 euros per year, with the incentives not limited to small- and medium-sized firms as originally planned, according to the draft law.

Comment:


Stop

Facebook bans British far-right groups

Facebook bans British far-right groups
© AFP
Social media giant Facebook on Thursday banned various far-right British groups including the English Defence League from its network for promoting hate and violence.

Other groups kicked off both Facebook or Instagram include Knights Templar International, Britain First, the British National Party (BNP) and the National Front.

The tech titan banned the groups for contravening its policy forbidding "terrorist activity, organised hate, mass or serial murder, human trafficking or organised violence or criminal activity".

"Individuals and organisations who spread hate, or attack or call for the exclusion of others on the basis of who they are, have no place on Facebook," a spokeswoman for Facebook said.

NPC

SJW librarian accuses libraries of 'promoting and proliferating whiteness'

book burn
© Pexels / Movidagrafica
White men and their ideas take up too much space in libraries, a social justice-obsessed librarian has declared, stopping just short of suggesting we burn all those oppressive white men's books to make way for diversity.

"White dudes writing about white ideas, white things, or idea, people and things they stole from POC [people of color] and then claimed as white property" are hogging all the space in American libraries, and it's perpetuating centuries of racial inequity, Massachusetts Institute of Technology librarian Sofia Leung has claimed in a post that tiptoes around the question of what is to be done with this "so-called 'knowledge.'" Her outburst was retweeted by the Library Journal - a publication normally devoted to discussing the preservation of knowledge rather than the rejection of entire categories of it.

"Libraries filled with mostly white collections indicates that we don't care about what POC think, we don't care to hear from POC themselves, we don't consider POC to be scholars, we don't think POC are as valuable, knowledgeable, or as important as white people," she writes. While she conspicuously avoids finishing the thought - squirming out of the obvious conclusion with the excuse that "I still have some thinking to do around this topic" - it's pretty obvious where she's leading, especially when she mentions "Swedish death cleaning," the practice of getting rid of one's possessions upon realizing one is near death, so as not to leave a mess for loved-ones to clean up.

Comment: An anti-knowledge librarian? What has this world come to?


Arrow Down

Gallup poll: US church membership at all-time low

US church membership at all-time low
© The Hill
Church membership in the U.S. is at an all-time low, according to a new Gallup poll.

The survey, released Thursday, shows that 50 percent of Americans last year said they belong to a church, synagogue or mosque, representing an all-time low.

That figure was 70 percent or higher between 1937 and 1976 and averaged 68 percent from the 1970s through the 1990s, according to Gallup. The drop-off has occurred over the past two decades, with a 20-point decline since 1999.

More than half of the decline in the past 20 years has been in the past decade, with more Americans saying they have no religious affiliation.

The percentage of Americans who say they aren't affiliated with a religion has jumped from 8 to 19 percent since 2000.

Black Magic

Man with 'demonic eyes' and 'vampire' fangs murders woman, leaves teeth marks on neck

Andrey Gorbatyuk
© vk
Andrey Gorbatyuk
A man with black demonic black eyes and vampire fangs has been arrested after allegedly killing a female tattoo master and leaving bite marks on her neck.

Tattoo master Tatiana Podvashetskaya, 27, was found dead in her rented apartment in the city of Ternopil in western Ukraine's Ternopil Oblast region.

The woman's body was found by the apartment owner who came to carry out repairs, according to reports.

When the unnamed owner entered the flat, she saw Podvashetskaya lying on the floor in a pool of blood and called emergency services.

Witness Oleg, who lives next door, said to local media: 'The woman was lying in a pool of blood. A knife was sticking out of her stomach.'

Handcuffs

Opioid sting: US federal prosecutors charging medical professionals for health care fraud and pushing opioids

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowsk, opoid sting

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said Wednesday that if doctors or pharmacists behave like drug dealers, the Justice Department would prosecute them accordingly.


Updated at 11:25 a.m. ET


Federal prosecutors are charging 60 doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others in connection with alleged opioid pushing and health care fraud, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

The charges came less than four months after the Justice Department dispatched experienced fraud prosecutors across hard-hit regions in Appalachia.

The cases involve more than 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and more than 32 million pills - the equivalent of a dose of opioids for "every man, woman and child," across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia, said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.

"You can rest assured, when medical professionals behave like drug dealers, the Department of Justice is going to treat them like drug dealers," added Benczkowski, who runs the DOJ's criminal division.

Those charged include 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals, the Justice Department said.

Comment: It's a good start in cleaning up the drug supply, but the DOJ is basically targeting low-lying fruit. The head of the hydra, the pharma industry insiders who are ultimately responsible for this tragedy will likely escape with little more than a few fines (if that); something these monsters simply consider a 'cost of doing business'.


Attention

Sibling rivalry: 'Mo-Mo' twins spotted 'boxing with each other' in mother's womb during ultrasound scan

ultrasound twins boxing

Mr Tao told Chinese news outlet The Paper that he found it amusing to see his unborn daughters seemingly 'boxing with each other for a few rounds'.
Twins bring twice the happiness to their parents. They can also bring twice the headache.

A pair of identical twin sisters have been spotted apparently fighting with each other while they were still in their mother's womb.

In the trending video from China, the two foetuses were seemingly kicking and hitting each other as their mother underwent an ultrasound scan at four months pregnant.

The twins' father, 28-year-old Mr Tao, said the footage was filmed by him when he accompanied his wife to an antenatal check late last year in the city of Yinchuan.

Mr Tao told Chinese news outlet The Paper that he found it amusing to see his unborn daughters seemingly 'boxing with each other for a few rounds'.