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Mon, 17 Jan 2022
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Malaysia Defamation Case: 100 Apologies on Twitter

Twitter screen
© Twitter
A Malaysian social activist is apologizing 100 times on Twitter in an unusual settlement with a magazine publisher in a defamation case, his lawyer said Thursday.

The penalty has sparked debate among Internet users about the pitfalls of social media in Malaysia, where authorities have repeatedly warned people to be more cautious about they write on blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Fahmi Fadzil, an opposition politician's aide and respected commentator on social issues, claimed on Twitter in January that his pregnant friend had been poorly treated by her employers at a magazine run by BluInc Media.

Cowboy Hat

US: Yearbook Causes Controversy After it Names George W. Bush in List of 'Worst People' of All Time

A middle school yearbook in Arkansas has created controversy around the country after it named Former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in a list of the "worst" people of all time.

The yearbook included a list titled the "Top 5 worst people of all time." The list begins with Adolph Hitler, Osama Bin Laden, Charles Manson, but then lists Bush and Cheney.


US: Maryland Transit Administration Officers Detain Man For Taking Pictures

The Maryland Transit Administration says more training may be called for after three MTA officers detained a man for taking pictures at a light rail station.

According to the ACLU, this isn't the first time MTA Police have overstepped their bounds.


Facebook 'Planking' Craze Claims Life in Australia

© Agence France-Presse
Ambulances in Cairns. A new craze sweeping the Internet known as "planking" has claimed a life in Australia with a man attempting the fad plunging to his death from a balcony Sunday
A new craze sweeping the Internet known as "planking" claimed a life in Australia Sunday and police fear the tragedy may not be the last.

Planking involves someone lying flat on their stomach with their arms against their bodies in unusual and sometimes dangerous situations, with photographs of their exploits shared through social media sites.

It has gone viral in recent weeks with Facebook page Planking Australia boasting over 55,000 fans and hundreds of photos of people lying on train tracks, escalators, fire hydrants, motorbikes and other objects.

Police last week warned "plankers" of the dangers and their fears have been realised with the death of a man in Brisbane who plummeted from a seventh-storey balcony and died at the scene.

"This morning we have seen a young man take this activity a step further and attempt to plank on a balcony. Unfortunately he has tragically fallen to his death," Queensland Police Deputy Commissioner Ross Barnett said.

Heart - Black

Kenyan Olympic Marathon Champion Wanjiru Dies After Balcony Fall

© Reuters
Wansiru of Kenya runs in front of Tiananmen Gate after the start of the men's marathon at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Kenyan Olympic marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru plunged to his death from the first-floor balcony of his home after the athlete's wife found him in bed with another woman, police told Reuters.

Regional police chief Jaspher Ombati said that Wanjiru's wife, Triza Njeri, surprised the couple when she came home late on Sunday, locked them in the bedroom and ran outside.

"In a rage, Samuel Kamau Wanjiru jumped from the first floor of the house and he was badly injured. When he was rushed to the hospital the doctors tried to resuscitate him but unfortunately he passed on," said Ombati.

Wanjiru, 24, won Kenya's first men's marathon gold in Beijing in 2008 and had been regarded as one of the greatest current talents in an east African country long renowned for its distance runners.

He also won the prestigious London and Chicago marathons, but his private life was troubled.

Ombati said Wanjiru returned home with the woman after a drinking spree. Nyahururu residents said Wanjiru had taken to heavy drinking of late and was stressed by personal problems.


Nigerian 'Baby Factory' Raided, 32 Teenage Girls Freed

© Agence France-Presse
Nigerian police have raided a home allegedly being used to force teenage girls to have babies that were then offered for sale for trafficking or other purposes
Nigerian police have raided a home allegedly being used to force teenage girls to have babies that were then offered for sale for trafficking or other purposes, authorities said on Wednesday.

"We stormed the premises of the Cross Foundation in Aba three days ago following a report that pregnant girls aged between 15 and 17 are being made to make babies for the proprietor," said Bala Hassan, police commissioner for Abia state in the country's southeast.

"We rescued 32 pregnant girls and arrested the proprietor who is undergoing interrogation over allegations that he normally sells the babies to people who may use them for rituals or other purposes."

Some of the girls told police they had been offered to sell their babies for between 25,000 and 30,000 naira (192 dollars) depending on the sex of the baby.

The babies would then be sold to buyers for anything from 300,000 naira to one million naira (1,920 and 6,400 dollars) each, according to a state agency fighting human trafficking in Nigeria, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Heart - Black

Ukraine: Was Muslim Girl 'Stoned to Death for Taking Part in Beauty Pageant' Actually Murdered by a Stalker?

© unknown
Murdered: Katya Koren was attacked after taking part in a beauty contest but police say she may have been murdered by a stalker
At first it appeared that she had been stoned to death for disobeying Sharia law.

But glamorous Muslim beauty queen Katya Koren may actually have been battered with a rock by a crazed stalker after she spurned his advances.

The body of the 19-year-old was found dumped in a remote forest on the Crimean peninsula days after she went missing.

She had died in agony after suffering horrific blows to the head from stones or rocks.

Initial reports suggested that Ms Koren had been battered by three local men after flouting the strict Islamic law. Sharia law prohibits women from taking part in beauty contests.

But police have now said that Ms Koren may have been attacked by a deranged classmate who had been besotted with the teenager.

The man is believed to have given Ms Koren a ride on his moped before robbing her and possibly raping her. He may then have battered her to death with a rock.

Light Sabers

US: Bradley Manning Supporters Head To Fort Leavenworth

bradley manning protest wikileaks
© Unknown
Demonstrators from around the country will converge on Leavenworth, Kan., this Saturday to rally in support of Bradley Manning, the Army private accused of leaking classified documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

The event will mark the first public rally in support of Manning since he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, after being imprisoned for nine months on the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia.

There, Manning was forced to sleep naked in a military jail after a commander of the brig in Quantico, Va., ordered his clothes be taken away for a full seven hours. He was also forced to stand naked outside his cell in front of the rest of the clothed inmates until he passed inspection and was given his clothes back.

"Due process and the assumption of innocence are principles we soldiers are sworn to defend, but PFC Bradley Manning has already been declared guilty by our Commander in Chief and subjected to unlawful pretrial punishment," said William Stewart-Starks, an organizer of Saturday's rally and a regional coordinator for Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Gathering in Bob Dougherty Memorial Park on Saturday, demonstrators will denounce Manning's treatment and call on the government to drop all charges against him.


Yemen crisis deepens as dozens are killed in street battles

© Ahmad Gharabli/AFP
A wounded Yemeni man is carried into a makeshift clinic outside Sana'a university during clashes with government forces.
The crisis engulfing Yemen deepened on Wednesday with dozens of people killed as President Ali Abdullah Saleh reinforced his troops after heavy clashes with gunmen loyal to an influential tribal leader.

Overnight street battles left at least 41 people dead, some trapped in burning buildings. Fighting raged until dawn as presidential guard units shelled the headquarters of an army brigade responsible for protecting government institutions.

Arab embassies were said to be evacuating their staff and the few remaining western residents were being advised to leave urgently. The Foreign Office is urging all Britons to leave while flights are still available in a situation diplomats described as "worse than Libya."

Comment: It's "worse than Libya" because unlike in the Mediterranean country, Yemen's government is actually killing civilians by violently suppressing dissent. Yet there are no warships lined up to launch cruise missiles at this leader's residence. Why is that?

Che Guevara

Spanish Anti-Austerity Protests Spread to More European Cities

On Sunday evening thousands of protesters voted to continue the occupation of Madrid's Puerta del Sol square, in the "tent city" established in the immediate aftermath of the mass demonstration on May 15.

Voting to stay, protesters chanted, "We are not going! We are not going!"

The rally was the culmination of some 120 protests held in the capital over the weekend. Protests are also continuing in Spain's major cities and towns including Barcelona, Seville, Valencia and Logrono.

The AFP agency reported a Puerta del Sol protest spokesman who said, "We have started something in Sol. We have started to spread to the rest of the world, so this is not the time to stop it. The support we received internationally was very important, it was something that moved us in Sol, especially the mobilisation in Paris was a very big support, and also the mobilisation in Greece".

"For the moment we are here indefinitely. We will decide depending on events", he added.

Those gathered also observed a minute's silence in tribute to those who faced vicious police and "political oppression" repression during the protests, including in Barcelona's Plaza de Catalunya. On Friday, police in Barcelona were instructed to clear the square, using the pretext of Saturday evening's football Champions League final between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Wembley. Around 120 people were injured during the assault by riot police, who attacked peaceful protesters with batons and tear gas and fired rubber bullets.