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Casual sex in the US is not just for college kids - website finds everyone is doing it

© WREN MCDONALD
Zhana Vrangalova had hit a problem. On a blustery day in early spring, sitting in a small coffee shop near the campus of New York University, where she is an adjunct professor of psychology, she was unable to load onto her laptop the Web site that we had met to discuss. This was not a technical malfunction on her end; rather, the site had been blocked. Vrangalova, who is thirty-four, with a dynamic face framed by thick-rimmed glasses, has spent the past decade researching human sexuality, and, in particular, the kinds of sexual encounters that occur outside the norms of committed relationships.

The Web site she started in 2014, casualsexproject.com, began as a small endeavor fuelled by personal referrals, but has since grown to approximately five thousand visitors a day, most of whom arrive at the site through organic Internet searches or referrals through articles and social media. To date, there have been some twenty-two hundred submissions, about evenly split between genders, each detailing the kinds of habits that, when spelled out, can occasionally alert Internet security filters. The Web site was designed to open up the discussion of one-night stands and other less-than-traditional sexual behaviors. What makes us engage in casual sex? Do we enjoy it? Does it benefit us in any way—or, perhaps, might it harm us? And who, exactly, is "us," anyway?

Up to eighty per cent of college students report engaging in sexual acts outside committed relationships—a figure that is usually cast as the result of increasingly lax social mores, a proliferation of alcohol-fuelled parties, and a potentially violent frat culture. Critics see the high rates of casual sex as an "epidemic" of sorts that is taking over society as a whole. Hookup culture, we hear, is demeaning women and wreaking havoc on our ability to establish stable, fulfilling relationships.

Newspaper

Journalist who voted twice to expose Brexit electoral fraud is investigated for electoral fraud

© Russell Boyce / Reuters
A journalist who claims he cast his ballot twice in Britain's EU referendum to expose "how lax the voting rules are" has been reported to police for alleged electoral fraud.

Charles Moore, the former Daily Telegraph editor, said he sought to expose security flaws in the voting system. Writing in the Spectator magazine, he said he was able to vote once in Sussex and a second time in London, where he spoiled his ballot.

"In Sussex, I went to the polling station early. I took my polling card, which is not compulsory, and asked the clerk what the significance of the barcode on it was," Moore wrote.

"He had no idea, so presumably it has no security function (or the clerks are poorly trained). I voted to leave the European Union.

"Then I caught the train to London, where I went to my local polling station. There I presented my London polling card, unchallenged. I went into the booth and wrote on the ballot paper 'I am spoiling my ballot because I have already voted. This second vote is my protest at how lax the voting rules are.'"

Crusader

LPR head claims over 95% of citizens returned to Donbass

© Mikhail Pochuyev/TASS
More than 95% of citizens who fled the conflict have already returned to the self-proclaimed Lugansk and Donetsk People's Republics after reconstruction, LPR head Igor Plotnitsky said on Friday.

"We have restored schools, social facilities, infrastructure, railways and industry. Today all this is working," Plotnitsky was quoted by the LuganskInformCenter as saying.

The citizens are returning to the republics as they "see the difference" between the conditions there and in the territory controlled by the Kiev authorities, he said. "This shows that people have not just come back home, they trust us."

Arrow Up

Federal court bans government prosecution of medical marijuana users and growers - if they comply with state laws

© denali healthcare
Last week, the tyrannical DEA doubled down on their asinine and immoral decision to classify marijuana as having no medical value — promising to continue to kidnap, cage, and kill people for possessing it. However, in a major victory, and a well-deserved slap to the face of the DEA, a federal appeals court just ruled that prosecuting medical marijuana users and growers is now banned.

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals' three-judge panel has ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) cannot spend budget money to prosecute people who grow, sell or use medical marijuana — if they comply with state law.

The 25 states who've found themselves subject to continuous raids — in spite of medical pot being legal — will now have solace in the fact that the DOJ can no longer throw money at the futile and immoral practice of arresting people for a plant.

"If the federal government prosecutes such individuals, it has prevented the state from giving practical effect to its law," Circuit Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote for the court.

The ruling stems from a 2014 congression budget rule saying that the DOJ cannot use funds to prevent US states "from implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana."

Handcuffs

Female prisoners were once a rarity, but now they're the fastest rising prison population

© Joshua Lott / Reuters
Female prisoners were once unheard of in most US counties, but in the last half-century, they have been filling cells with higher rate increases than their male counterparts, according to a new study.

Mandatory minimum sentencing and the drug war have contributed to the phenomenon of prison overpopulation, but even as the issue grows this presidential election year, the full scope of the impact on American life is still being uncovered.

In a study released Wednesday by the Vera Institute of Justice and the Safety and Justice Challenge initiative, the number of women in prison and jails in 2014 was reported to have multiplied nearly 14 times from 1970.

"Once a rarity, women are now held in jails in nearly every county — a stark contrast to 1970, when almost three-quarters of counties held not a single woman in jail," the report read, according to the New York Times.

Women made up only 11 percent of all arrests in 1960, but by 2014, that figure more than doubled to 26 percent, the recently-published report found.

While the imprisoned population has grown overall, with men still far outnumbering women behind bars, the rate increases are much higher for the fairer sex. In 1970, under 8,000 women were held in municipal and county jails for misdemeanors or pre-trial procedures, compared with 110,000 in 2014.

V

Fans of Scottish football team wave Palestinian flags in match against Israel, defying UEFA

© WaladShami/Twitter
The Celtic football team faces a penalty from UEFA after the Scottish club's fans waved Palestinian flags during a Champions League playoff match against Israel's Hapoel Be'er Sheva. The not-so-warm welcome was followed by a defeat for Israel: Celtic FC won the match 5-2.

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) forbids political statement displays at football matches. Prior to showdown, fans had been warned that any political protest inside the stadium would result in repercussions from the governing authority, which could lead to fines or even Celtic Park stadium closure.


Scottish police urged fans to not bring Palestinian flags, threatening them with arrest, the Daily Record reported. Under Scottish law anyone found guilty of inciting "hatred against a group of persons based on their membership (or presumed membership) of a group," could be detained.

But despite the UEFA warning, the Scottish fans went on to display Palestinian flags at the match, handed out prior to the game by "Palestine Alliance" activists.

Easter Egg 2

Russian mufti who said female genital mutilation 'reduces perversion in the world' says statement was joke gone wrong

© Ramil Sitidikov/Sputnik
One of Russia's most senior Islamic scholars says his statement that Muslim women should undergo genital mutilation to "decrease the amount of sin in the world" was taken too literally by the media and misinterpreted.

"I was asked by the media if I was aware of the practice of female circumcision. I said I was, though it is not a part of Sharia [Islamic law],"Ismail Berdiev, the head of the North Caucasus Muslim Coordination Center, told RT in a phone interview.

"Then as a joke I added that if there was more of it, there would be less perversion in the world. And the media just printed the words and ran with the story...next I hear of it, is 'cleric wants to sterilize all women'."


Comment: So, what he really meant was fewer clitorises would result in less perversion in the world? How is that a joke.


As well as heading an organization that represents millions of Russian Muslims in southern republics such as Chechnya and Dagestan, the mufti, a title given to Islamic scholars, also has a seat on the Presidential Council for Coordination with Religious Organizations, meaning he has a say in developing Russia's religious policies.

While different quotes appeared from the mufti throughout Tuesday, in at least one, given to the respected state news agency Interfax, Berdiev allegedly claimed that, "all women must be circumcised to reduce perversions in the world, to tame sexual urges." He also said that the practice was absolutely "harmless" to health.

Comment: Barbaric! Female genital mutilation is 'harmless, helps tame desire', says senior Russian mufti


USA

Brazilian police: Ryan Lochte fabricated story of being robbed, swimmers vandalized gas station

© Michael Dalder / Reuters
US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte "fabricated" a story about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian police official has said. A surveillance video shows that the swimmer and his teammates damaged a suburban gas station.

The incident actually involved the US Olympians breaking down a bathroom door at a gas station, and paying for the damages.

"There was no robbery," the police spokesman told reporters at the news conference on Thursday afternoon. While the investigation is still ongoing, police have determined that "acts of vandalism were perpetrated by one or more of the athletes," breaking mirrors and other fixtures inside the gas station bathroom.

The security guard did not speak English, the athletes did not speak Portuguese, so a customer offered to translate. In the end, the athletes paid "100 reals (around $30) and a $20 bill" in damages, and drove off in a taxi.

Comment: While the US athletes in Rio along with the Western media wags their finger at Russian athletes for a non-existent doping scandal, US athletes are going around acting like buffoons. The Americans try to act self-righteous towards the Russians, but they've not only shown a lack of sportsmanship during the competition, but the swimmers involved in this incident also show a lack of maturity and the "exceptional" state of mind that many Americans in foreign countries possess.


Bulb

Chicago police chief recommends firing 7 cops accused of covering up shooting of Laquan McDonald

© Carlo Allegri / Reuters
A Black Lives Matter protester demonstrates the police killing of Laquan McDonald
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson has recommended firing seven officers accused of covering up the police shooting of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.

An initial investigation into the incident carried out by the city's inspector general also recommended that two other officers involved should be fired. According to a statement from Chicago Police Department (CPD), however, these two officers "have since retired."

Johnson was also advised by the inspector general that a 10th officer, a female, should also be sacked, but Johnson has decided against this.

In a message to rank and file officers on Thursday, Johnson wrote that he's aware "this type of action can come with many questions and varying opinions," but added that "these decisions were not made lightly."

"As I have said before, with every decision that I make, I always keep in mind the tremendous sacrifice, bravery and commitment of every officer," he continued, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Pocket Knife

Jewish man injured in stabbing attack in France's Strasbourg

© Fotobank.ru/Getty Images/ Antoine Antoniol
A Jewish man was injured in a knife attack in the French city of Strasbourg on Friday.

According to Le Parisien newspaper, a police investigation revealed that the man was sitting at a table on the terrace of a cafe when the attacker approached him. The suspect reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) before hitting the man with a knife.

The life of the attack's survivor is not in danger, according to the paper.

A suspected perpetrator was swiftly arrested, the paper reported. At this stage, nothing points to the attack being an act of terrorism, according to the media.