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Sun, 10 Dec 2023
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Humor banned in the New World Order: Minnesota family fighting to get son out of Abu Dhabi prison for posting parody video to his YouTube account


Shezanne Cassim
He was put behind bars in April because the gov't didn't like a parody video

A Woodbury family is fighting to get their son out of a prison in Abu Dhabi. He's been living in Dubai for the last seven years working as a business consultant.

But 29-year-old Shezanne Cassim was put in prison because the government didn't like a parody video he posted on YouTube.

His family says he made it with some friends as a spoof about young people in Dubai.

United Arab Emirates officials say it violates cybercrimes law and poses a threat to national security.

The video was uploaded in October of last year. And then in April of this year, Cassim and four others who appear in it were thrown in jail.


On illegal immigration, more U.S. cities are rolling out a welcome mat

Tucson, a longtime foe of Arizona's 'papers, please' law, is modifying how it enforces SB 1070 to join a national trend that suggests the pendulum is swinging on illegal immigration.

Illegal Immigrants
© Ross R. Franklin/AP/File
Illegal immigrants prepare to enter a bus after being processed at Tucson Sector US Border Patrol Headquarters, August 9, 2012, in Tucson, Arizon.
The passage by conservative state lawmakers of Arizona's controversial immigration law SB 1070 in 2010 inspired copy-cat measures in several other states that made them similarly hostile to illegal immigrants.

But city leaders in this desert town, in an example of a growing national trend more hospitable to immigrants, are pushing back against Arizona's "papers, please" law in renewed repudiation of the measure and in a nod to immigrant integration.

Tucson, in liberal-leaning Pima County, is a longtime foe of the tough immigration law designed to push out of state those in the country illegally.

But now the city council is going a step further, voting this month to change how police implement the immigrations status inquiries during law enforcement stops, a provision upheld by the US Supreme Court when it struck down most of the rest of SB 1070 in June 2012. For instance, minors may not be questioned away from an attorney or guardian, and people who report a crime can do so without fear of having their immigration status checked.

Heart - Black

Moroccan teen, forced to marry her rapist, commits suicide

Amina Filali
© Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images
Last year Amina Filali, 16, killed herself after being forced to marry the man who had raped her. Here, her sister, Hamida, protests outside the local courthouse that approved the marriage deal.
Justice minister says legislation to stop the practice is still underway

A Moroccan teen committed suicide last month after her family forced her to marry her rapist, rights activists told Al Jazeera after reports of her death surfaced in the North African kingdom's media on Friday.

The suicide happened amid protracted efforts to repeal a law, Article 475 of the Moroccan Penal Code, exonerating rapists who marry their victims, after the high-profile suicide last year of another teen, Amina Filali.

In March 2012, 16-year-old Filali killed herself in the northern town of Larache by taking rat poison after she was forced to marry her rapist. Her death provoked several demonstrations and the Twitter hashtag #RIPAmina to demand the repeal of Article 475.

The 16-year-old girl who died last month was from the northern port city of Tetouan and was raped by another minor, according to Abdel Ali El-Allawi, director of the local chapter of the international NGO the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH).

The girl's family has refused to grant interviews to the press.

"He was put in prison," said Allawi. "The family of the rapist entered negotiations with the family of the victim. They proposed the two get married."

"These are things that are common here in Morocco. When a man rapes a woman or girl, the justice authorities say, you have a choice - you can marry the girl or go to prison."

Arrow Up

UK food prices jumped 33% in 5 years

And once gain this year the Salvation Army is urging people to donate gifts to give children a Merry Christmas.

This week the larder celebrated their first birthday, and shocking figures reveal that as food prices have increased by a third (33 per cent) in just five years, it is ordinary families as well as the vulnerable who a returning to the food bank for help.

Anthony Bernard of the Community Larder said: "We see people from all situations, all ages...

"There are many reasons why people come to us.

"Out of work from a good job with no severance pay; failing to make ends meet from a low paid job with a long commute with fuel and other costs rising; unable to understand benefits changes through learning disabilities; partner went off with all the money leaving kids and debts; huge debts after spending on credit in a good job that was lost; went away briefly and squatters moved into house and stole identity."

And as Christmas looms, with cold weather starting to bite and rocketing heating bills, the people who perhaps could cope a year or so ago are now struggling.

Brick Wall

Billionaire bunkers: Elites prepare for the apocalypse in style

Al Corbi's residence in the Hollywood Hills has the requisite white walls covered in artwork and picture windows offering breathtaking views of downtown Los Angeles, but it has more in common with NSA headquarters than with the other contemporary homes on the block. The Corbi family doesn't need keys (thanks to biometric recognition software), doesn't fear earthquakes (thanks to steel-reinforced concrete caissons that burrow 30 feet into the private hilltop) and sleeps easily inside a 2,500-square-foot home within a home: a ballistics-proof panic suite that Corbi refers to as a "safe core."

Paranoid? Perhaps. But also increasingly commonplace. Futuristic security technologies - many developed for the military but sounding as though they came straight from James Bond's Q - have made their way into the home, available to deep-pocketed owners whose peace of mind comes from knowing that their sensors can detect and adjust for, say, a person lurking in the bushes a half-mile away.
House with bunker
© Edit International
A computer generated drawing showing an underground bunker that is secretly built under a family house. If the structure is destroyed by any threat event the family will survive in the bunker buried deep underground.

Comment: Why is it that when ordinary folks do it, they're "paranoid, doomsday, anarchist, conspiracy cult survivalist preppers"... but when the rich do it they're "enhancing home security" and "carving out safe rooms"?


Woman shoots and kills daughter who she thinks is boyfriend

Winter Haven, Florida, woman Adele Bing shot and killed her daughter in a deadly mistake. Bing thought the person at the door was her boyfriend, with whom she had just had a serious fight.

"How could I look my grandkids in their face and say I killed their mother?" Bing told police when they arrived at the scene. "Y'all can lock me away for good."
Adele Bing
© Unknown
Bing's 25-year-old daughter, Ruby Bing, was coming to visit with her 4-month-old baby the night of Nov. 26, CNN reported. Adele Bing, 52, had just had a "heated argument" with her boyfriend, James Lane.

Police said she came to the door with "a baseball bat in her left hand and a .22-caliber pistol in her right hand," intending to kill Lane, 39, who reportedly told her he planned to kill her. Police were actually interviewing Lane at the time, who was in the emergency room with a head injury caused by Bing, who had hit him with a gun.

Bing shot her daughter in the chest. She died at the scene. The baby was unharmed.

Eye 1

Outraged mother says her daughter's school crossed the line with privacy infringement

An Oregon middle school student’s video was deleted but she found administrators went through other applications on the device as well. Her mother views this as a privacy violation.
Khloey Summers, a student at a Hillsboro, Ore., middle school, like many of her peers, whipped out her cellphone to take footage of an incident occurring in the gym last week. School officials confiscated all the students' cellphones though, and when Summers' device was returned, the video was deleted.

Now, Summers' mother said she feels her daughter's rights were violated.

According to KATU-TV, R.A. Brown Middle School administrators took Summers' phone, on which she had filmed a confrontation between a student and staff member Friday. When she got her phone back the video was gone. She also reviewed her recently opened apps and found they had gone through her messages and photos as well, presumably to see if information about the confrontation had been sent elsewhere.


Anti-Monsanto activists assaulted in Argentina

At least 20 people have been injured in clashes in Argentina between union members and environmental activists, who were protesting the construction of a plant by the biotech giant Monsanto. The clashes happened outside of the construction site in Cordoba province on Thursday.

Some 60 workers from the Argentine Construction Union attacked the protester camp, beating the activists and stealing from them, Environmentalist Vanina Barboza charged in comments to local TV. The union denied any involvement in the scuffles while Adrian Vilalba a Monsanto executive, blamed the environmentalist of damaging workers' cars.

Construction of the corn-processing plant was disrupted in October, when the activists started to block roads to the site, which eventually put the project on hold. The activists are concerned that once finished, the plant would process Monsanto-made genetically modified corn, with the products ending up in the local market.

Comment: See also:
Monsanto continues expansion in Argentina
Monsanto Lies, Again (and Again and Again)
Monsanto's Roundup is Causing DNA and Cellular Damage


Victims' helpline in France never responds

An association of victims of domestic abuse has called on a minister to try out an emergency helpline that is supposed to help women, but which never answers

In an internet video uploaded for today's International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the association Paroles de Femmes demonstrated how difficult it was for mothers to find a shelter with their children.

It also showed that the 115 emergency helpline was never actually answered and called on the Minister for womens' rights Najat Vallaud-Belkacem to test the number herself.

Cow Skull

Global food crisis: Nutrient-rich food consumption down 40% in India, mostly affecting lower classes


Malnutrition, a daily reality for most children on the planet's second most populous country
The spiralling inflation has forced homemakers to tweak their budgets, slashing consumption of nutrient-rich food by almost 40 percent, a survey by an industry chamber said here Sunday.

The survey, which was conducted in October-November, revealed that the maximum impact was felt in major cities led by Delhi-NCR and followed by Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Chandigarh.

The Assocham survey claimed that nearly 72 percent of lower middle-class families covered by the survey said they have been forced to squeeze their budgets for fruits, vegetables and milk because of consistently high retail prices. The survey was conducted on 2,000 housewives and 1,000 working people.

"The price rise of essential commodities and expenses on other necessities like education, transport and health have stayed higher than the pace at which earnings have increased, making life difficult for the poor, lower income and even middle class families," Assocham secretary general D.S. Rawat said.

Comment: The root problem of high inflation and food scarcity is of course the greedy elites who blame their victims for the problems they create:

India's Minister for Justice, Law & Order and Communications Kapil Sibal blames food price hikes on poor people eating more than one choice of vegetable