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Tue, 20 Aug 2019
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Philadelphia cheese and Volkswagen ads banned in UK for 'gender stereotyping'

sexist ad
Two ads for Volkswagen and Philadelphia cheese have been banned from the UK by its advertising watchdog under new rules on gender stereotypes. The regulator's decision was both mocked and criticized for its "depressing direction."

The offending Volkswagen eGolf ad showed a female rock climber asleep while a man closes their tent on a cliff to make sure the moonlight won't disturb them, two male astronauts in a spaceship, a disabled male athlete performing a long jump and finally a mom on a bench next to a pram. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received three complaints about it and ruled the ad breached the code by "showing men engaged in adventurous activities in contrast to a woman in a care-giving role."

Comment: Talk about first-world problems...

The car manufacturer disagreed with the ruling, claiming that 'the core message of the ad was centered on the ability of the human spirit to adapt to challenges and change brought about by circumstances," and explained the final scene of the woman in the park as another example of a challenge and "adaptation to change, as they believed that welcoming a newborn into the family was a life changing experience."

Comment: Nope, it's purely a patriarchal oppression of the feminine spirit, apparently.

The Philadelphia cream cheese ad, which received 128 complaints, showed two young dads getting distracted by lunch leaving their children on a conveyor belt circulating with food.

Mondelez UK Ltd - which makes Philadelphia cheese - said the advert was intended to highlight the appeal of the product by showing a humorous situation in which parents found it so delicious they got momentarily distracted and that the gender roles could be reversed.

Moreover, according to the brand, they specifically chose two men to avoid the typical stereotype of two new mothers with childcare responsibilities. Apparently, that didn't help: the ASA acknowledged the video was intended to be light-hearted and comical but the ban was upheld.

Comment: Damned if you do, damned if you don't. This what happens when you give power to humorless bureaucrats.

Christmas Tree

Lost forests: Russia considers banning lumber exports to China over concerns about illegal logging

© Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
Moscow may impose a full embargo on lumber exports to its largest trade partner, China, if Beijing fails to deal with illegal logging, Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has warned.

"China should have a clear understanding that if it fails to engage in solving this problem, we will have no other choice but to ban the export of lumber completely," minister Dmitry Kobylkin told Russia's Vedomosti newspaper.

"They come, buy up the [illegal] timber and leave us to clear up the debris," Kobylkin said of Chinese loggers.


Peak PC logic: To shield students from 'offensive' image, activists opt to censor anti-racist mural

george washington
© Global Look Press/ imageBROKER.com /Petra Wallner
Who would ever have thought it would be liberal students and activists leading the charge to have an anti-racism mural removed from public view at an institute of education?

That is the absurd situation that has arisen at one San Francisco high school, where an ongoing campaign to remove murals depicting the life of George Washington has resulted in a decision to have the art hidden from view. The school had earlier even considered destroying the work completely.

The mural, which includes images of slaves on Washington's plantation and a slain native American figure has apparently "upset" students and is regarded by some as a "racist" painting. But there is a crucial distinction to be made here. The mural is not "racist" - rather, it depicts racism, and the two are very different things.


Employee stabbed outside UK Home Office in central London

Items including a sheathed knife and a mobile phone were seen behind a police cordon near the Home Office building
A man has been stabbed outside the Home Office building in central London.

The victim, who is in his 60s, was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries, police said.

Metropolitan Police officers were called to the building in Marsham Street, near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, at 13:06 BST.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and possession of CS spray. He remains in police custody.

The wounded man went into the building to seek assistance, an eyewitness said. The building is now in lockdown.

Eyewitness Gareth Milner said he was outside the Home Office when "a number of armed police officers arrived on scene and entered the building".

Comment: The man's injuries were originally described as life-threatening, but medics said his condition improved. There are photos of them leading the man out of the building:
home office stabbing
© REUTERS/Simon Dawson


CNN anchor Don Lemon is sued by a Hamptons bartender over alleged assault

Don Lemon

Don Lemon
Don Lemon is being sued by a Florida man who claims that the CNN anchor sexually harassed and assaulted him while out at a Hamptons hotspot.

Dustin Hice, 38, claims that he was with co-workers at Murf's Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor on or around July 15, 2018, when Lemon allegedly assaulted him, detailing the incident in a complaint that was filed over the weekend in New York Supreme Court for Suffolk County court and obtained by DailyMail.com. Lemon denies the assault.

Upon recognizing Lemon, Hice made what he describes as a 'cordial gesture' and 'tried to get Mr. Lemon's attention and offered to buy Mr. Lemon a drink'.

Lemon, 53, responded to Hice's offer by declining the drink and telling the young man he was 'just trying to have a good time', according to the court filing.

Bad Guys

Truck drives into protester group blocking entrance to ICE detention center

jewa ice protest rhode island
© Never Again Action
A video made by protesters shows the moment a pickup truck drives into sit-in demonstrators blocking the street entrance to an ICE detention center in Rhode Island. A crowd starts banging on the car then gets pepper-sprayed.

Protesters had gathered at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) center in Central Falls, Rhode Island, on Wednesday evening, with dozens of activists blocking the entrance to the center's parking lot.

Organized by Never Again Action, a newly-formed Jewish group protesting US immigration policy, the act of civil disobedience quickly turned ugly. Footage shows a truck driving through a line of sitting protesters in an attempt to enter the blocked entrance.

Comment: The driver should not have been so aggressive. On the other hand, if these virtue-signallers are 'putting their bodies on the line', shouldn't they be prepared for the possible consequences?


Autopsy finds broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein's neck, deepening questions around his death

prison epstein
© Mary Altaffer/AP
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death.

Among the bones broken in Epstein's neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam's apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

The details are the first findings to emerge from the autopsy of Epstein, a convicted sex offender and multimillionaire in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking. He died early Saturday morning after guards found him hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and he could not be revived.

Comment: See also:


These 3 lawsuits are protecting the rights of companies like Beyond Meat to call their products 'burgers', 'hot dogs,' and other words associated with meat

beyond meat burger
© Facebook/Beyond Meat
As demand for plant-based meat and dairy alternatives is booming, so is legislation around how such products can be labeled in grocery stores - and lawsuits protecting the free speech rights of companies that make them.

In nearly half of the states in the US, bills have been announced or passed that would monitor how products derived from plants are labeled when sold to consumers. A number of the labeling laws try to make it illegal to use works like "milk," "burger," and "rice" to describe anything made from plants.

The reasoning? States argue that it is misleading to use words associated with meat or dairy to describe a product that does not come from an animal.

Comment: When it comes down to it, it's rather unlikely that customers are unaware that the meat alternatives they're buying are not actually meat. The same could likely be said of milk alternatives and whatever other fake animal products exist now or in the future. For one thing, the alternatives are far more expensive than the real thing. It's understandable that meat industries would want to protect their brands, so to speak, but this seems like a silly place to be making a stand.

See also:


'Extraordinary Find': Woolly Mammoth tooth discovered in US Creek by Minor

Wooly Mammoth Tooth
© Courtesy of The Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg, Ohio
Jackson Hepner was playing in a creek bed near The Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg, Ohio, in July when he found a fossilized tooth from a woolly mammoth, an extinct cousin of the modern elephant.

"I found the mammoth tooth about ten yards upstream from the bridge we had our family pictures on. It was partially buried on the left side of the creek. It was completely out of the water on the creek bed," the 12-year-old wrote in a letter obtained by the inn.


At least 6 Philadelphia police officers shot during firefight - may be multiple gunmen - UPDATES

police shot philadelphia
© CBS3 Philadelphia
Police converge on Nicetown-Tioga neighborhood in Philadelphia
At least six Philadelphia police officers were shot during an active firefight in Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tioga section and rushed to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police said. Another officer suffered a non-shooting injury during the incident.

The officers were taken to Temple University Hospital, where dozens of officers have surrounded the hospital.


UPDATE 6:30 pm EDT: The local CBS affiliate reports a seventh officer injured. It also reported the shooter(s) was livestreaming (no platform mentioned) the incident. Efforts were being made to cut off the gunman's media access.

6:42 pm EDT: Suspect still holed up apparently with a rifle. More shots fired. Entire street is being cleared.

10:30 pm EDT: From CBS3:
At least six Philadelphia police officers were shot during a gun battle in Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tioga section and rushed to the hospital on Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. Two officers and three others who were trapped inside the home with the shooter were safely evacuated several hours after the standoff began. The gunman remains armed inside the house.

"We have gone from a hostage situation to a barricade," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

Ross said that the two officers and three others inside the home took fire during the incident.

"We are trying to get him to come out peacefully, but he is refusing to do so," Ross said.

All six officers wounded in the shooting have been released from the hospital. Another officer injured in a car crash on the way to the scene still remains hospitalized

Sources tell CBS3 the suspect was live-streaming some of the shootout while he barricaded himself inside the home.
UPDATE 15/08/2019 12:03 am EDT: CBS3 reports the suspect shooter has been taken into custody
A suspected gunman has been taken into custody after he allegedly shot six Philadelphia police officers in the city's Nicetown-Tioga section Wednesday. The suspect surrendered to police shortly after midnight, following more than a seven-hour-long standoff.

All six police officers were released from the hospital Wednesday night. A seventh officer, who was injured in a car crash while responding to the scene on the 3700 block of North 15th Street, remains in the hospital.

Two officers, who were trapped on the second floor of the residence, were safely evacuated, along with three hostages, while police say the gunman remained on the first floor.

Additionally, two women and two children were escorted by SWAT and Philadelphia Police from the scene. They told CBS3 that they were inside the home on the second floor at the time of the shootout and that police saved them.
The Philadelphia Inquirer has provided a tentative identification:
Police sources identified him as Maurice Hill, 36 — a Philadelphia man with a lengthy history of gun convictions and of resisting attempts to bring him to justice.

Just before he exited the residence, loud booms could be heard, apparently from police projectiles. He was then placed into an awaiting police van and taken to Temple University Hospital to be evaluated.
More on Maurice Hill's background from the Inquirer:
Public records show that he [Hill] has been arrested about a dozen times since turning 18, and convicted six times on charges that involved illegal possession of guns, drug dealing, and aggravated assault. He has been in and out of prison; the longest sentence handed him came in 2010, when a federal judge gave him a 55-month term.

And, his record would indicate, he does not like to go to prison. In 2008, he was convicted of escaping, fleeing from police, and resisting arrest. Along the way, he beat criminal charges on everything from kidnapping to attempted murder.

Hill also spent time in federal prison. In 2008, he pleaded guilty to federal firearms violations after he was caught with a Smith & Wesson .357 and later a Taurus PT .45 semiautomatic. His prior felony convictions should have barred him from owning those weapons. U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond sentenced him to four years and seven months in prison.

More recently, Hill was convicted of perjury in 2013 and sentenced to seven years of probation. He appeared before Common Pleas Court Judge Rayford Means for three different alleged violations of probation — at least two of them related to new cases, which he later beat.

In one of those cases, Philadelphia police arrested Hill in May 2014, after spotting him driving an unregistered scooter. But when officers tried to stop him, he raced down an alleyway against traffic on a one way street and then onto a sidewalk, sending pedestrians scattering, court records say. Hill crashed the scooter and then fled on foot but was apprehended. He was charged with driving without a license, recklessly endangering another person, and fleeing police, but later was acquitted on all counts.

Philadelphia police arrested Hill again in October 2014 on charges of drug possession and false imprisonment.