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Fri, 26 Feb 2021
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Anonymous Hits UK Government Websites Over Julian Assange Row

hacker mask
© Mike Kemp/In Pictures/Corbis
The hacking group Anonymous claims to have brought down British government websites in protest at the handling of Julian Assange's bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

The self-styled hacktivist group targeted the websites of No 10 and the Home Office early on Tuesday under what it called "Operation Free Assange".

Hackers said they had also brought down websites belonging to the justice department and Department for Work and Pensions in the attack.

Anonymous vowed to continue targeting government websites as the diplomatic temperature around the WikiLeaks founder continued to rise.

The online DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks, which also hit sites in Sweden, came as the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa warned Britain that attempting to enter his country's embassy in London would be an act of diplomatic suicide.


Middle School Custodian Arrested in Baton Rouge Teen Human Trafficking Case

Samuel Woodside
Samuel Woodside
Baton Rouge, Louisiana - A Miami, Florida man is in police custody after an undercover operation caught him trying to meet a 14-year-old East Baton Rouge Parish teen for sex. Officials say he bought a bus ticket for the teen to go to Miami to meet him.

According the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, Samuel Woodside, 45, was arrested at the Greyhound Bus Station in Miami, Florida on Saturday, August 18.

EBRSO says Woodside is accused of communicating with who he believed was a 14-year-old girl over the internet in July and August. An undercover EBRSO detective was actually posing as the child as part of a Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children Unit initiative.

Woodside is accused of sending sexually explicit photos to the girl, along with an invitation to come to Miami to participate in sex acts with himself and others.

According to EBRSO, he discussed with the girl on multiple occasions that she would be used to make money for him by performing sex acts with others. Woodside allegedly purchased a bus ticket for the child to travel from Baton Rouge to Miami. Woodside was arrested when he arrived at the bus station in Miami to pick up the child.


Baton Rouge Man in Custody After Locking Himself in Plane's Cockpit

© Getty Images
The man was trying to use the plane's radio, officials said.
The man had a ticket and had made it through airport security

US, Louisiana - A 37-year-old man was taken into custody after rushing on to an empty plane parked at a gate at Baton Rouge's Metropolitan airport and barricading himself in the cockpit.

The American Eagle commuter jet had landed in Baton Rouge Tuesday afternoon when Andrew Aleffi, who was inside the gate, rushed past attendants and boarded the aircraft, NBC station WVLA reported. Passengers and crew had already exited and the plane was being refueled and prepped for its next flight when Aleffi boarded.

A law enforcement official told NBC News that the man, who had a ticket and made it through security without incident, tried to communicate with the tower but apparently did not know how to use the radio nor fly the plane.

Power to the plane had been cut off and the aircraft was inoperable.

The man did not have any weapons when he was taken into custody by the Baton Rouge Police and he was not on any no-fly lists.


Rhino Horn the New Hangover Cure in Vietnam

Rhino Horns
© Reuters
Johannesburg - A new breed of moneyed Vietnamese are fuelling the involvement of criminal networks to secure South African rhino horn.

Traffic, a wildlife trade-monitoring network, has released a comprehensive report on SA's rhino-poaching crisis. It points to an increased demand for horn in Vietnam, contributing to the deaths of almost two rhinos a day in SA.

"Vietnam, since 2003, has rapidly grown to become the world's largest recipient of both legal and illegal sources of horn from South Africa," reads the report, entitled "The South Africa-Vietnam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus".

"Vietnam in the 1980s and 1990s was on no one's radar. Now, with double-digit economic growth, there is suddenly growth in the trade," said Tom Milliken, one of the authors of the report. Speaking at the launch of the report last night in Rosebank, Milliken said increased personal wealth in Vietnam was driving the horn trade.

His report identifies four types of rhino-horn consumers in the south-east Asian country. These include not only the terminally ill, but also users who take the horn as a detoxifying agent for alcohol and rich food.


BBC nixes statue of George Orwell at its headquarter's entrance

George Orwell BBC statue
© n/a
To the surprise of right-wing commentators, it is possible to be too lefty for the BBC.

The British public broadcaster, which is often criticized by conservatives for its political slant, will not allow a statue of George Orwell to grace the entrance of its new headquarters, reportedly because the idea is too partisan.

Orwell, who worked briefly at the BBC, earned international renown through his writing, aiming his pen at imperialism,unbridled capitalism, the Spanish civil war,revolutionary excess, and totalitarianism. In 2008 he was named the second-best British writer since the war, trailing only Philip Larkin in a list compiled by the Times of London.

But in spite of his fame -- and a range of targets that has seen him claimed by both the right and the left -- outgoing BBC Director-General Mark Thompson was apparently quick to dismiss the idea of Orwell's statue at the broadcaster's entrance.

"I met Mark Thompson at a BBC reception and mentioned the project," Baroness Joan Bakewell, a supporter of the George Orwell Memorial Trust, told the Daily Telegraph. "He said, 'Oh no, Joan, we can't possibly. It's far too left-wing an idea'."

Comment: The British branch of the Ministry of Truth could hardly allow a monument to its greatest critic now, could it?

Heart - Black

Shocking undercover video captures inhumane butchering of cattle at Central Valley Meat Co. slaughterhouse for US burger chain

Horrifying undercover footage from inside a Californian slaughterhouse shows incompetent workers standing on the mouth and nostrils of a cow to suffocate it after failing to kill the animal with a bolt-gun.

The shocking video, which allegedly demonstrates rampant animal abuse and suffering from inside Central Valley Meat Co., has led the the U.S. Department of Agriculture to shut down the slaughterhouse which was a major supplier of their National School Lunch Program and In-N-Out Burger.

The sad film produced by animal rights group Compassion Over Killing reveals how already sick cows are stunned when they are unable to walk to their deaths and shows how they are hoisted up by their legs onto conveyor-belts even if the bolt-gun has failed to kill the animal.

A cow starts vomiting after a pneumatic bolt gun fails to kill it as it is transported along a conveyor belt in a slaughterhouse

Most of the animals slaughtered by CVM are 'spent' dairy cows who are no longer economically viable as milk-producers to the dairy industry.

And now USDA regulators who shut down the slaughterhouse after viewing the animal welfare video are investigating whether beef from sick cows reached the human food supply.

The investigation will determine whether sick cows were slaughtered and whether meat products from the company should be recalled, said Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service.

There is no indication any of the cows slaughtered at the Central Valley Meat plant were diseased and the USDA did not order a recall of beef coming from the plant.

A spokesman for In-N-Out Burger said that CVM provided between 20 to 30 percent of the meat used by their restaurants and that it canceled its contract immediately.

The west cost burger chain has a loyal following and is regulalry patronised by Hollywood celebrities such as the soccer player David Beckham.

On the firm's website the chain claims to make its own hamburger patties 'using premium cattle selected especially for In-N-Out Burger', and says it pays 'a premium' for this.

In a statement to ABC News, the company's chief operating officer, Mark Taylor said, 'In-N-Out Burger would never condone the inhumane treatment of animals, and, in fact, all of our suppliers must agree to abide by our strict standards for the humane treatment of cattle.'

The agency suspended operations Monday at Central Valley Meat Co. in Hanford after receiving the video Friday from the animal welfare group Compassion Over Killing (COK).

The footage shows animals bleeding and thrashing after being repeatedly shot in the head with a pneumatic gun in unsuccessful efforts to kill them for slaughter.

Federal regulations say that to avoid unnecessary suffering during slaughter, animals must be rendered unconscious by a single shot to the head from a pneumatic gun that fires a bolt through the skull to pierce the brain.

The USDA said investigators are trying to determine whether the cows in the video were just lame or sick, which would render them unfit for human consumption.

'That's the main issue right now,' said DeJong of the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service.

Central Valley Meat Co., owned by Brian and Lawrence Coelho, declined to comment on the video, saying company officials had not seen it.


Germany Debates Paying Stay-at-Home Moms

© weddingbee.com
Germany's conservative coalition, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, is planning to pay mothers who stay at home to care for their children.

The draft law has touched off debate between those who see this as offering more people the option of staying at home and those who see it as a missed opportunity to expand access to affordable child care outside the home.

Private daycare or nannies are uncommon in Germany, and most often only chosen if government-funded or church-funded daycare is not available.

But the government system struggles to handle the demand, especially in large cities like Berlin, Munich, or Hamburg, where parents scramble to register for daycare even before their child is born. Private daycare for little children is on the rise, but expensive.

The proposed law, which is scheduled to be debated for a second time in parliament at the end of August, might ease some of the burden on the system. Women would receive 150 euros per month (about $190) if they decide to look after their children ages 1 to 3 at home rather than sending the child to government-funded daycare.

Comment: While the debate rages about what is best for the mothers and their children, it would be nice for mothers to have a choice, rather than be forced into the workplace. There are studies confirming that children raised in the home are healthier:
Study: Working moms have unheathier kids
Mother's Employment Increases Children's Health Risks

Heart - Black

Weirdo Pat Robertson: Don't adopt sexually abused children that could grow up 'weird'

Pat Robertson
© The 700 Club
Televangelist Pat Robertson on Thursday cautioned his viewers to think twice before adopting disadvantaged children that had been sexually abused or deprived of food because they could grow up "weird."

During Thursday's edition of The 700 Club co-host Kristi Watts read a letter from a woman who wanted to know why men stopped dating her when they learned that she had adopted three daughters from three different countries.

"Can I answer?" Watts asked. "I was going to say because they're dogs. ... That's just wrong on every level."

"No, it's not wrong," Robertson disagreed. "A man doesn't want to take on the United Nations, and this woman's got all these various children and blended family. What is it?"


Racism: Parents in Israeli city of Eilat don't want Sudanese in their schools

Parents in southern city threatening to hold strike if district court does not revise decision to integrate illegal migrants' children in local school system

Less than a week before the new school year is set to begin, parents in Israel's southern city of Eilat are threatening to hold a strike in the city's schools. The reason: A Beersheba District Court decision on the integration of illegal migrants' children in the city education system.

The migrants called the threat insulting and racist.

Sudanese migrants
© Meir Ohayon
Yinrot with her two children

Comment: The things some countries will do to protect their xenophobic and racist identities. See:

Israel falsifies documents to deport Sudanese migrants - reports


Jewish Settler Attacks on Palestinians Named 'Terrorist Incidents' for First Time by US

Palestinian taxi burned
© Israeli Police. Source: Haaretz
Palestinian Taxi burnt as a result of settler attack by fire bomb Thursday near Hebron.
A recent US State Department terrorism report listed violence by Jewish settlers on Palestinians in the West Bank as "terrorist incidents," for the first time, following a recent upsurge in such attacks.

"Attacks by extremist Israeli settlers against Palestinian residents, property and places of worship in the West Bank continued," said the Country Reports on Terrorism 2011.

According to the UN, violent attacks by settlers on Palestinians and their property, mosques and farmland has increased by almost 150% since 2009.

Comment: Words which are not followed by actions are only that: words; particularly if they come from governments notorious for their history of state terrorism and which have done all in their power to stimulate violence against the innocent as described in the article. Israeli officials are the major hypocrits, since Jewish settlements were always intended by the government as a weapon to fragment and destroy Palestinian society and steal their land, or to "change the facts on the ground", as they call it. The fact that they are now using the 't' word on the settlers may simply be an indication that the public is not buying the usual lies anymore. Change of rhetoric, but don't expect anything else. We are not holding our breath for a "war on terror" against the real terrorists.