Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 21 Oct 2020
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Bad Guys

Ethiopia Forcing Thousands off Land: US Rights Group

Ethiopian people
© n/a
Addis Ababa: Ethiopia is forcing tens of thousands of people off their land so it can lease it to foreign investors, leaving former landowners destitute and in some cases starving, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday.

The Horn of Africa state has already leased 3 million hectares - an area just smaller than Belgium - to foreign farm businesses and the US-based rights group said that Addis Ababa had plans to lease another 2.1 million hectares.

The United Nations has increasingly voiced concern that countries such as China and Gulf Arab states are buying swathes of land in Africa and Asia to secure their own food supplies, often at the expense of local people.

HRW said that 1.5 million Ethiopians would eventually be forced from their land and highlighted what it said was the latest case of forced relocation in its report "Ethiopia: Forced Relocations Bring Hunger, Hardship."

Crusader

US: Santorum Staffer Says Women Shouldn't Be President Because It's Against God's Will

Rick Santorum / Michele Bachmann
© n/a
Rick Santorum / Michele Bachmann
In an article about the reasons Rep. Michele Bachmann's campaign fizzled, the Des Moines Register points to "sexism among conservatives," singling out an offensive email written by a staffer to Rick Santorum:
Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum's Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children's lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. [...]

"The question then comes, 'Is it God's highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, ... to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?' " Johnson's email said.

2 + 2 = 4

It's a Girl: The Three Deadliest Words in the World

Screenshot from <em>It's a Girl</em>
© n/a
Screenshot from It's a Girl
It's a Girl, a film being released this year, documents the practice of killing unwanted baby girls in South Asia. The trailer's most chilling scene is one with an Indian woman who, unable to contain her laughter, confesses to having killed eight infant daughters.

The statistics are sickening. The UN reports approximately 200 million girls in the world today are 'missing'. India and China are said to eliminate more female infants than the number of girls born in the US each year. Lianyungang in China has the worst infant gender ratio on record with 163 boys born for every 100 girls. Taiwan, South Korea and Pakistan are also countries in which unwanted female babies are aborted, killed or abandoned.

Gendercide in South Asia takes many forms: baby girls are killed or abandoned if not aborted as foetuses. Girls that are not killed often suffer malnutrition and medical neglect as sons are favoured when shelter, medicine and food are scarce. Trafficking, dowry deaths, honour killings and deaths resulting from domestic violence are all further evils perpetrated against women. This femicide has led the Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces to report in 'Women in an Insecure World' that a secret genocide is being carried out against women at a time when deaths resulting from armed conflicts have decreased.

Stop

US Florida: Police Officer Beats 66-year-old Man Suffering from Dementia

The family of an elderly Melbourne with dementia man says they plan on suing the police department -- all over a violent confrontation that was caught on camera.

The dash camera video shows 66-year-old Albert Flowers being kicked by Melbourne officer Derek Middendorf back in October. Flowers was also punched repeatedly, and another officer used a stun gun to shoot him in the face.

Police reports said the officer was investigating a call about an argument at the time. Officer Middendorf said Flowers was acting aggressively and refused to stop at a safe distance.

But the man's family said they're horrified and that the officer went too far.

"I know he has a job to do, but when you take it above and beyond after being warned that he has dementia when you are warning that he has dementia and be brutal like that it's criminal," said Flowers' son Carlos.

News 13 contacted Melbourne Police. They referred us to a spokesperson for the city who said because no complaint has been filed yet, they have nothing to respond to.

They do say though the officer turned off his camera before the incident - but the video was still able to be retrieved from a hard drive.

A hearing is set for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the city says Officer Middendorf is still employed with the police department, but is currently off the job after an unrelated injury.

Megaphone

Romney's Bain Capital Owns Media Giant Broadcasting Limbaugh, Hannity

Image
Activists are expressing serious concerns that Mitt Romney's private equity firm Bain Capital owns one of America's largest media conglomerates, Clear Channel Communications, Inc., which broadcasts numerous popular talk-show hosts with incalculable influence in the 2012 GOP primary. Among the radio personalities syndicated by Clear Channel or aired on hundreds of stations it owns nationwide are Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, and many others.

Because of the San Antonio-based media giant's enormous influence - it is the largest owner of radio stations in the United States, and experts point out that it essentially owns what has come to be known as the conservative talk-radio industry - Romney critics, supporters of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, Tea Party groups, and elections commentators are all raising the alarm. Some analysts are even calling for the firm to disclose the fact that Romney's Bain Capital owns a station or syndicates a show whenever a media personality is reporting on the Republican presidential campaign.

Bizarro Earth

Ancient Greek Sites Could Soon be Available for Rent

Acropolis
© AFP/Louisa Gouliamaki
Available for rent: The Acropolis.

In a move bound to leave many Greeks and scholars aghast, Greece's culture ministry said Tuesday it will open up some of the debt-stricken country's most-cherished archaeological sites to advertising firms and other ventures.

The ministry says the move is a common-sense way of helping "facilitate" access to the country's ancient Greek ruins, and money generated would fund the upkeep and monitoring of sites. The first site to be opened would be the Acropolis.

Archaeologists, however, have for decades slammed such an initiative as sacrilege.

The culture ministry said any renting of ancient Greek sites would be subject to strict conditions.

Dollar

The US Government Is Bankrupt

Image
© thedailysheeple.com
Everyone knows that the US government is bankrupt and has been for many years. But I thought it might be instructive to see what its current cash-flow situation actually is. At least insofar as it's possible to get a clear picture.

As you know, the so-called Super Committee recently tried to come up with a plan to cut the deficit by $1.5 trillion and failed completely. To anyone who understands the nature of the political process, the failure was, of course, as predictable as it was shameful. What's even more shameful, though, is that the sought-after $1.5 trillion cut wasn't meant to apply to the annual budget but to the total budget of the next 10 years - a fact that is rarely mentioned.

Now whenever the chattering classes talk about cuts, it's always about cuts over the course of 10 years. Which is a dodge, partly because most of the supposed cuts will be scheduled for the end of the period, but also because new programs, new emergencies and hidden contingencies will creep in to offset any announced cuts. So the numbers below aren't a worst case; they're the rosiest possible scenario. People have thought I was joking when, asked how bad the Greater Depression was going to be, I answered that it would be worse than even I thought it would be. But I haven't been joking.

Blackbox

US - Houston, Texas: Mysteries deepen in case of Iranian activist shot to death outside Memorial-area townhome

Image
© ABC13
HPD investigators at the scene of the murder of Gelareh Bagherzadeh, found in her car in the Memorial area early Monday morning.
Houston - What originally seemed like a neighborhood tragedy in an upscale community near Memorial has now taken on international overtones with the identification of a murder victim as an Iranian women's advocate.

Gelareh Bagherzadeh, 30, was shot to death around midnight Monday in the parking area behind the townhome at 894 Augusta Drive where she lived with her parents. She was a student in molecular genetics technology at MD Anderson Cancer Center and was an organizer of Sabz-Houston, an organization calling for political change in Iran.

Born in Mashhad, Iran, she was prominent for her activism in demanding a regime change in Iran in 2010 and rights for women in her native country. Websites devoted to that cause ran accounts of her death Monday and Tuesday.

The mystery of Bagherzadeh's death deepened Tuesday, when Houston police revealed they first responded to a shots-fired call in that block about 11:45 p.m. Sunday but found no evidence of a shooting and left the scene.

Attention

India's Black Hole: A Bleak Fate for Delhi's Vanishing Children


Frightening statistics from Delhi's police have revealed that 13 children go missing in the city each day. Many end up as slaves or are forced to work in the sex industry in a city which is now India's undisputed kidnapping capital.

­With almost 17 million people packed into its crowded city streets, New Delhi is the perfect place for people to get lost. But some are never found again. They simply disappear.

That is what happened to Rao Kumar's 12 year old son, Ravi. He went missing one year ago when he left the house to get his bicycle, and never returned.

"I don't know who took my son away. I looked for him everywhere but did not find him," says Rao Kumar, the father of the missing child.

And Ravi is far from the only one.

In Delhi alone, anywhere from 2-5,000 children go missing every year, while in India as a whole, a staggering 800,000 disappear.

Having a loved one disappear takes a dreadful toll on families. Kumar has not been able to hold down a steady job or stay healthy. His only focus is finding out what happened to his son. But the answer is likely a grim one - most children who disappear in Delhi end up as sex workers or slaves.

"The kids are kept in places where no one will be able to find them. They're also kidnapped for the organ trade business, adoption and also for begging," says R.S. Chaurasia, chairperson of the Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a non-governmental organization in India which campaigns against child labor, child trafficking and child servitude.

Bad Guys

US Poll: 84 Percent of Americans Disapprove of the Job Congress is Doing

Image
© Andrew Harrer / Bloomberg
According to a recent Gallup poll, Congress's approval rating has reached an all-time low of 11 percent. Here are some surprising things from recent history that were more popular than the current Congress.
Lawmakers will return to Washington on Tuesday to begin an election-year work session with low expectations for any significant legislative action, while also receiving low approval ratings for themselves.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows a new high - 84 percent of Americans - disapproving of the job Congress is doing, with almost two-thirds saying they "disapprove strongly." Just 13 percent of Americans approve of how things are going after the 112th Congress's first year of action, solidifying an unprecedented level of public disgust that has both sides worried about their positions less than 10 months before voters decide their fates.

It has been nearly four years since even 30 percent expressed approval of Congress, according to the Post/ABC survey, and support hasn't recovered from the historic low it reached last fall.