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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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Nearly 60 percent of Qatar's population live in 'labor camps'

Figures from most recent census available in Qatar showed that almost 60 percent of Qatar's 2.4 million population live in what the government calls "labor camps," , highlighting the issue of the emirate's huge migrant workforce.

The figures from the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) revealed that 1.4 million people live in what the department officially designates as "labor camps", Daily Star reported.

At the time of the survey, the official population was 2.4 million and the statistics found the overwhelming majority, 1.34 million, were male. However, since the census, Qatar's population has grown further to just over 2.5 million.

The accommodation of migrant laborers working on Qatar's numerous infrastructure projects has long been a contentious issue.

Qatar, which will host the football World Cup in 2022, has been condemned by human rights groups, including Amnesty International, for providing "squalid and cramped accommodation" for its large migrant workforce.

Alarm Clock

Stanford swimmer who raped unconscious woman gets slap on the wrist

© Via Facebook
Brock Allen Turner

Comment: Another story highlighting how the the judicial system protects the rapist and blames the victim.

Rape Culture in America - How the system protects the rapists and fails the victims

Sometimes to get to the beginning you have to start at the end.

Thursday afternoon in a Santa Clara courthouse, Judge Aaron Persky sentenced 23-year-old former Stanford student Brock Turner for sexually assaulting an unconscious female student behind a dumpster on the Stanford campus over a year and a half ago.

Turner — an All-American swimmer with Olympic aspirations — could have been sentenced to a maximum of 14 years in a state prison. Prosecutors asked Persky to give Turner six years. Instead, acting upon the advice of probation officers, Turner received six months in a county jail from the judge — with the possibility of only serving three months with good behavior.

Citing Turner's age and lack of criminal history, Persky explained the sentence thusly: "A prison sentence would have a severe impact on him...I think he will not be a danger to others."

Comment: This man was charged with "one count of rape of an intoxicated person, one count of rape of an unconscious person, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of an intoxicated woman, one count of sexual penetration by a foreign object of an unconscious woman and one count of assault with intent to commit rape". How is he not a danger to others? What about the impact on the woman he raped?

And that is the latest dispatch from the toxic American rape culture that continues to thrive in America where victims of sexual assault might as well be bagged and tagged afterward along with all the other evidence and filed away with their testimony and impact statements.

There is no question about what happened that January evening; this wasn't something that happened behind closed dormitory doors. Brock was spotted on top of his victim by two passing students, he bolted and they they tackled him and held him until campus security showed up. The victim woke up the next morning in a hospital with no recollection of what happened.

Star of David

Israeli rabbi wants to ban girls over 5 from riding bikes, claiming it is provocative to men

© Ammar Awad / Reuters
An Ultra-Orthodox Israeli rabbi has introduced a new decree in one of Jerusalem's neighborhoods that forbids all girls over the age of five from riding bicycles, claiming the activity is "provocative" and could "cause serious damage to their modesty."

The rabbi is from Jerusalem's Nahloat district and part of the ultra-Orthodox Haredi branch of Judaism that rejects modern secular culture. His ruling was distributed to a number of synagogues.

"We inform parents that they are obligated to forbid their daughters from age five and up from acting in this illegitimate way," Ynet reported, citing the ban.

The rabbi said that bike seats "cause serious damage to their modesty" and the sight of girls sitting on them can be "provocative" to men.

Comment: The rabbi's views on women don't seem to be all that different from how women are treated in Saudi Arabia by the ruling class. Claiming that girls as young as 6 riding a bike is "provocative" is merely a projection by the rabbi of his inner views onto the world. The majority of the people in the world won't see a young child riding a bike and immediately draw a sexual comparison. Maybe the rabbi ought to have his head examined instead of forcing the outside world to conform according to his twisted worldview.


Why a Trump presidency would be the greatest gift to status quo American politics

"It can't be. Donald Trump is an outsider! Washington hates him!" I can already predict the comments on this article before I even begin to make my case. And that's exactly what the establishment wants. It doesn't want you to ingest new information and perhaps change your point of view; it wants you to be loyal to The Party, regardless of which one of the two monoliths it hopes you belong to. There's a reason the political establishment is made up of two parties, and for that reason Donald Trump is the greatest gift to that establishment in recent memory.

Before you report this post as spam or react emotionally by accusing me of being a shill for Hillary Clinton, please see my other works, which have taken an equally (if not more) critical look at her awful record of war crimes, deceit, lies, and manipulation. You see, it actually is possible to oppose Trump and Hillary; I'm living proof. With that out of the way, allow me to make my case.

Comment: See also:


Muhammad Ali, boxing great and anti-war legend dies at 74

© YouTube/Foremost Poets Version
"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening," said family spokesperson Bob Gunnell in the statement.
"My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America... How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail."

Boxing great Muhammad Ali, known around the world as a humanitarian who spoke out forcefully against racial inequality, social injustice, and the Vietnam War during the 1960's, has died at the age of 74.

The news of the athlete's passing was confirmed by several news outlets late Friday night as well as a brief statement released on behalf of the family.

"After a 32-year battle with Parkinson's disease, Muhammad Ali has passed away at the age of 74. The three-time World Heavyweight Champion boxer died this evening," said family spokesperson Bob Gunnell in the statement.

In addition to those using #MuhammadAli hashtag on Twitter, the Guardian newspaper was also capturing and cataloging reactions to the news from around the world.

Comment: How sad that there are so few individuals in the public eye today who have the courage, character and tenacity to say and do the things that Ali did...

Thank you for your message and your strength, Muhammad Ali.

Eye 2

Psychopath: Man who raped up to 200 Asian children posted how-to manual on pedophilia online, blames actions on "immaturity"

© Reuters
Richard Huckle
British pedophile Richard Huckle, who is believed to have raped or molested up to 200 young victims in Malaysia and Cambodia, has told a court his prolific child abuse was due to his "immaturity."

Huckle, 30, from Ashford, Kent, has admitted raping and assaulting 23 children aged between six months and 12 years from 2006 to 2014.

National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators fear he may have abused many more children after they discovered more than 200,000 indecent images of minors on his computer and camera.

At court on Friday, Huckle's lawyer asked for leniency and read a statement from the defendant, Sky News reports.

"I am open and eager to rehabilitate from this offending behaviour,"the statement read. "I don't want to become a martyr to sex tourism in Malaysia. This was all my doing as a consequence of my immaturity and I'm truly remorseful."

Comment: The man is a psychopath who listed how to groom and seduce children in order to rape them, then gave himself points for how depraved his actions were towards them. That behavior is not at all about immaturity. It's about a person with a psychopathic mind preying on innocent children who trusted him. He needs to be removed from society and kept locked up.


Eric Holder credits Snowden; Obama utilizes 1917 Espionage Act to criminalize whistleblowers

© Dagens Nyheter / AFP
Mr. Snowden, whistleblower, traitor or credit due?
Former US Attorney General Eric Holder gave some credit to Edward Snowden for what he did, but the praise would have been more beneficial while Holder was still in office, says ex-MI5 agent and whistleblower Annie Machon.

Holder praised whistleblower Edward Snowden for starting a debate over global surveillance. Snowden replied by posting a timeline of the seemingly changing reaction of US officials to his actions.

RT: What's your first reaction to the words of the former US Attorney General?

Annie Machon: He [Eric Holder] is giving a tacit acknowledgement to the fact that there should be a public interest defense under law for intelligence whistleblowers coming out and exposing malfeasance and crimes on the part of the spies. And it is a crying shame that after so many whistleblowers have come out over the last two decades, at least in the UK and the US, there is no such public interest defense. I think it is criminal in itself that these people are not protected but they are prosecuted.

RT: Why is he going public with his thoughts on the issue right now?

AM: Holder has retired from pubic office; he's the most senior lawyer in the US. He is now back in private practice. Unfortunately, we see this time and time again when senior spooks, senior lawyers, senior government officials come out after they are retired and say "we could think about this in a different way." It would be lovely to see them doing it when they are actually in office when they have power to actually effect that change. Think about it: in the US they are working under old laws - the 99-year-old Espionage Act of 1917. This has been used more times by the Obama administration than all the other presidents put together since 1917 to go after whistleblowers - not spies, not traitors, it is not espionage. These people are coming forward and saying that there are things that are seriously wrong with our intelligence agency, we need to fix them, they are breaking our constitution and they are abusing human rights all around the planet.

Comment: It is up to the public to support and protect whistleblowers. It won't come from agencies or companies or the legal system.


Family of slain Michigan man hope to use parrot as evidence in murder investigation

© Patrick Olum / Reuters
The parents of a man shot in Michigan last year believe his pet parrot witnessed his murder and, in an extraordinary twist, might be mimicking a heated argument leading up to his death.

The African gray parrot belonged to 46-year-old Martin Duram, who was shot dead at his home near Newcosta Avenue, Ensley, on May 13 last year, reportWZZM13.

Duram's wife also sustained a gunshot wound to the head in the incident but survived. Her husband's death is still being investigated by Michigan State Police, but no-one has yet been charged over what cops are treating as a homicide.

The case is notable for the fact that it took investigators almost an hour to realise that Duram's wife was still alive, reported MLive.


Powerful gas explosions rip through street in Urk, the Netherlands - Six houses destroyed

On Friday evening, just after 18.00, a huge gas explosion took place in a new residential area in Urk, the Netherlands. A row of six houses were (partly) destroyed by the explosion and the resulting fire. Two houses collapsed before the fire brigade and ambulance arrived. A second explosion took place shortly after help arrived.

Six people were injured with three taken to hospital and two already released. This morning Mayor Pieter van Maaren told Radio 1-Journaal that it is a miracle nobody died as a result of the explosion. Van Maaren told Dutch broadcaster NOS that the explosion may have been caused by gas accumulation inside the sewer. It is still unclear however what caused it, and he hopes that research into the cause will offer answers soon.


Protecting and serving: Police stand by and watch during Trump rally violence

© Reuters
A Trump supporter collides with another man after leaving the rally in San Jose, California, as ugly scenes erupted in the surrounding area.
America is in a crisis of consciousness — nothing highlights this notion quite like the clashes at political rallies across the country. We've seen Trump supporters attack Bernie supports and Bernie supports attack Trump supporters — all the while both sides are ignoring the giant pink elephant in the room — the police state.

Do people really think things will be different if their candidate gets into office? Failing to realize that both parties are merely two sides to the same coin is sending the country into perpetual decline. Republicans are for big government if with war, and Democrats are for war, if with big government.

Nothing illustrates this notion quite like the Trump rally in San Jose, California this week.