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Wed, 29 Nov 2023
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Starbucks CEO rebukes anti-gay corporate pressure group


Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has attracted a large measure of notice from the blogosphere following a shareholder meeting this past Wednesday, where he inadvertently waded into political waters by rebuking an opponent of same sex marriage.

The incident occurred when Starbucks shareholder Tom Strobhar of the Corporate Morality Action Center, an anti-gay corporate pressure group, raised the issue of Starbucks having been recently boycotted by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). This, Strobhar suggested, had lost the company money and suggested they might want to backtrack on the issue.

"In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing," Strobhar said.

Schultz could have responded to this indictment with platitudes, or simply addressed it in the least offensive way possible. This, however, he did not do. Rather, he launched into a full-throated defense of the company's pro-gay stance.

Monkey Wrench

Confirmed: 'Rat-like animal' caused massive Fukushima power outage

rat like animal
© AFP Photo / Tepco
This handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on March 20, 2013 shows the body of a dead rat which may have caused the short-circuit of a switchboard at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma in Fukushima prefecture

A "rat-like animal" was the cause of a power supply problem that disabled cooling systems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant last week. The rodent touched a switchboard and triggered a short circuit, Tepco Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said.

The 25-centimeter-long animal was found dead in the switchboard, a TEPCO official told Kyodo News.

Arrow Down

Shocking photos show seven murdered men lined out on lawn chairs in Mexico

Shocking photos from Mexico show seven murdered men lined out in chairs near a roundabout in the city of Uruapan.
Mexican Murders_1
© Irish Indpendent
The bodies of seven men arranged in chairs are pictured in Uruapan, in the Mexican state of Michoacan.
Some of the men have warning messages nailed into their flesh with stakes.

Heart - Black

Jerry Sandusky interview: 'Maybe I tested boundaries' (ya think?)

Jerry Sandusky said in interview excerpts broadcast Monday that a key witness against him misinterpreted him showering with a young boy in Penn State football team facilities more than a decade ago.

Sandusky told documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, in recordings played on NBC's "Today" show, that he does not understand how Mike McQueary concluded "that sex was going on" when he witnessed Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001.

"That would have been the last thing I would have thought about," Sandusky said during what Ziegler described as 3½ hours of interviews. "I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that."

McQueary, a graduate assistant in 2001, testified at trial that he heard "skin-on-skin smacking sound" and had no doubt he was witnessing anal sex.


Nebraska police chase down man video recording their abuse while second man video records it all

Arrow Down

Fewer people have toilets than cellphones, according to the UN

© Clive Chilvers/Shutterstock
More people worldwide own a cellphone than have access to toilets or latrines, United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson revealed as part of what the global governing body has deemed "a call for urgent action to end the crisis of 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation."

According to statistics released by the UN on Thursday, six billion of the world's seven billion people have mobile phones, but only 4.5 billion can get to clean restroom facilities when they need them. The remaining 2.5 billion, most of whom live in rural areas, do not have proper sanitation.

Furthermore, Mashable's Zoe Fox reports more than one billion people are forced to defecate out in the open. That practice is prevalent in countries with the highest rate of fatalities amongst children under the age of five, as well as elevated malnutrition and poverty rates and other significant health issues, Fox added.

"While that might seem like an apples to oranges comparison, the contrast is interesting and somewhat alarming," explained Gizmodo's Leslie Horn, adding "in Indonesia, for example, it's pretty normal to see someone in a metal roofed shack without a bathroom checking Facebook on a phone. And though many countries' governments aren't responding to basic needs in terms of infrastructure, tech companies will damn well get phones in people's hands."


Second New York cop confirms illegal 'quota' system

nypd police
© Stuart Monk / Shutterstock.com.
A second New York Police Department officer confirmed Wednesday that the department's management continued using a system of quotas for arrests and citations even after the legislature explicitly banned the practice.

Appearing in court to give testimony in a class action lawsuit against the NYPD, officer Pedro Serrano, 43, said he was labeled a "rat" for refusing to bring in the 20 citations and one arrest per month required of him.

"They said, 'Hey, this is the way it is, you can't fight a losing battle,'" he said on the witness stand, according to The New York Daily News.

Heart - Black

"Castrate them!" "Burn them!" "Bullet in the head!": Facebook Israelis react to photo of Palestinian kids

boys in tent
© Shadi Hatem

An image of three Palestinian boys sparked an outpouring of violent and sadistic fantasies after it was reposted to an Israeli Facebook page
Having regularly documented the horrifying racism and violent fantasies frequently expressed by Israelis on Facebook or Instagram, I thought I had seen everything.

But this may be the worst yet. On Wednesday, the picture above of three Palestinian boys in a tent was posted on a popular Facebook page titled in Hebrew "We are all in favor of death to terrorists." Under the picture is the following caption:
Arab boys in the illegal Arab outpost established near Maale Adumim. What should the Israeli army do to them?
This is an apparent reference to the peaceful "Bab al-Shams" encampment established by Palestinians near Jerusalem to protest Israel's plans to seize more land for settlements. The protest was timed to coincide with the visit of US President Barack Obama.
"Run the tent over with a truck/Merkava tank/a bus/ whatever it takes to crush and kill these children," suggested Facebook user Lidor Swisa.

Gold Bar

Fort knox of Texas: Texas takes step toward secession with Rick Perry's plan to hoard gold

Rick Perry
© Unknown
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and freshman state Rep. Giovanni Capriglione have a plan to create a "Fort Knox of Texas" so that the state can start hoarding gold.

Giovanni has filed a bill to establish a Texas Bullion Depository to store the $1 billion worth of gold bars that are owned by University of Texas Investment Management Co. (UTIMCO), which are currently being housed by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Speaking to conservative radio host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, Perry said that lawmakers were in the process of "bringing gold that belongs to the state of Texas back into the state." Beck has been a longtime paid spokesperson for the precious metal seller Goldline, which agreed to refund up to $4.5 million to former customers last year after being sued for marking up gold more than 50 percent.

"If we own it, I will suggest to you that that's not someone else's determination whether we can take possession of it back or not," Perry told Beck.

Former Rep. Ron Paul on Thursday explained to The Texas Tribune that the gold would be safer in the hands of Texans.

"If you think gold is a hedge, or a protection, you always want it as close to the individual and the entity as possible," Paul said. "Texas is better served if it knows exactly where the gold is rather than depending on the security of the Federal Reserve."

For his part, Capriglione said that he had gotten the idea while attending a tea party rally with Perry in Tarrant County earlier this year


Third teen charged in Torrington High School sexual assault investigation

A third student has been charged in the Torrington High School sexual assault investigation, and police say even more charges could be on the way.

The third student is a 17 year old male who cannot be named due to his age, according to Fox affiliate WTIC-TV in Hardford, Connecticut. His charges follow the arrests of Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, two 18-year-old football players who are accused of sexually assaulting two 13-year-old girls in February, in a case that ultimately led to the girls being harassed by fellow students.

Gonzales and Toribio were both arrested in February. Police and school officials announced the arrests, along with the charges for the unnamed third individual, at a media briefing on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Lt. Michael Emanuel cautioned that there may yet be more arrests forthcoming. "It's very complex, but [the case is] under control," he said, according to The Hartford Courant. "I'm not minimizing this."