Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 01 Mar 2017
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Heart - Black

15yo Indian girl gang-raped, hanged from tree 'to make it look like suicide'

© Sajjad Hussain / AFP
Indian activists shout slogans as they are confronted by police officials during a protest outside Kerala House in New Delhi on May 4, 2016, following the rape of a student in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
A teenage girl's body has been found hanging from a tree in northern India after she was raped, allegedly by three men. The attackers strangled her and hanged the body to make it look like the girl had killed herself, police said.

The incident took place on Friday when the 15-year-old girl went missing, with her body later found hanging from a tree outside the village on Saturday, AFP reported, citing local police superintendent Salik Ram Verma.

The 15-year-old allegedly left her home in the Bahraich district of India's Uttar Pradesh state at night when her family was fast asleep and went to meet one of the men. When she came to the meeting place three men were waiting and attacked her.

"When the girl resisted their bid, she was raped and later strangled. To make it look like a case of suicide, they hung her body from a tree and left the spot," superintendent Verma added.

People 2

University North Carolina refuses to comply with transgender 'bathroom law'

© Jonathan Drake / Reuters
The University of North Carolina told a federal court it won't enforce a law requiring transgender students to use restrooms corresponding to their birth sex. The UNC is also seeking legal fees from the state Attorney General as they fight two lawsuits.

Tar Heels are named as the defendant in two separate lawsuits, alleging that the so-called "transgender bathroom law" enacted by the state in March violated civil rights protections. One suit was filed by the federal government and the other by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The 'bathroom law' requires transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with the sex on their birth certificate in public schools, universities and many other public buildings. It also excluded gender identity and sexual orientation from statewide anti-discriminatory protections. That provision has since been revised.

Comment: See also: Skewed priorities: Oklahoma lawmakers move to impeach Obama...over bathrooms

Heart - Black

VA police attack vet with PTSD over metal detector misunderstanding

Three months ago, Jose Olivia, 71, went to the Veterans Affairs Clinic in El Paso for a check up. However, he would not get a check up that day — instead, he'd be brutalized and arrested.

Because of the injuries Olivia sustained during the assault, Olivia says he's had to undergo two separate surgeries — one on his throat and one on his shoulder.

On February 16, as the elderly veteran attempted to walk through the metal detectors at the entrance to the VA clinic, the guards tell him to empty his pockets, and he does. That's when things go south.

The VA police officers then tell Olivia to put his ID in the bucket. He informs them that his ID is in the bucket, but they refused to let him through. For several minutes, Olivia exchanged words with the officers, explaining that his ID was indeed in the bucket.


LA has a plan to renovate run-down motels for homeless veterans

A deal has been approved by the city of Los Angeles that will allow nonprofit and private developers to modify "nuisance" motels into apartment housing that will permanently house 500 homeless veterans.

City officials consider the development a major accomplishment in the drive to create large-scale housing for the estimated 2,700 homeless veterans in Los Angeles County. The plan calls for developers to purchase crime ridden, often run down motels from private owners in an effort to convert them into efficiency apartments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

It's estimated that nationally between 529,000 and 840,000 veterans are homeless at some time during the year, and that on any given night, more than 300,000 veterans are living on the streets or in shelters in the U.S.

Comment: Does this mean that LA will be abandoning their previous policies regarding the homeless?


Police State Roundup! What's with cops and sex crimes, killing dogs & terrorizing kids while they're at school?

'Officer of the year' Michael Edwin Harding (left) was convicted of sexual crimes against children
Disturbingly, an officer given the label of 'Officer of the Year' in 2011 was convicted of multiple crimes involving sexual exploitation of minors. Michael Edwin Harding, pictured above, worked in Fort Pierce, FL as well as Port St Lucie before accruing enough disdain from fellow officers and the prosecutor's office to be charged and convicted of criminal behavior.

In a move that is highly unusual for police officers accused of horrible crimes, he was sentenced to life in prison. His crimes were abominable: possession, distribution & production of child pornography, coercing a minor to engage in sexual activity - some of this while he was on midnight shifts in his patrol car. Court documents show Officer Harding spent time using an app called Kik messenger and frequented a chat room labeled #toddlerfuck.

When his home was raided, they found a thumb drive which contained such titles as "7yo girl fingered deep in both holes" and "6yo suck" both of which contained graphic sexual abuse of children by adults. That same thumb drive also contained pictures of Harding in his uniform, according to the criminal complaint.

Thankfully, he was arrested in September of 2015 and was sentenced last Monday to life in prison. However, it is pretty unusual for cops to get such appropriate sentences for their crimes. I wonder, did Officer Harding know too much? Were there other officers involved? There must be a reason for him to be sentenced to life, one can't help but wonder what it was. Especially when other officers receive a much lighter treatment for similar crimes.


Memorial Day: Honor those who have died by exposing the lies of U.S. pro-war propaganda

Displaying flags and placing flowers on the graves of military members might be two of the more traditional Memorial Day methods of showing tribute to those who have fallen in battle; but perhaps a new tradition must be initiated — one that would constitute the highest form of respect. It's time, beginning with Memorial Day 2016, to prevent any further unnecessary deaths by exposing the lies of the American empire in corporate and defense profiteering as the now-exclusive driving factors behind its push for war on all fronts.

Before jumping to assert this would somehow disrespect those who have died, understand it is precisely because the lives of U.S. troops are precious that we should not allow anyone to die for less than the most noble cause. And the imperialist goals of a crumbling empire simply do not embody a laudable reason to put lives on the line. Exposing mendacious pro-war propaganda for what it is could swiftly change the minds of future soldiers considering devoting their lives to military service.

Plenty of past examples of unabashed pro-war propaganda can be found in narratives invariably regurgitated by mainstream media acting as the government's cheerleader.

When Russia delivered humanitarian aid to victims of ethnic cleansing in Ukraine, the United States attempted to present the move as an invasion. But its inept propaganda quickly became apparent when evidence to back up the claim never materialized — it was nonexistent because it wasn't true.

Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko's ultranationalist goals to clamp down on the people of Eastern Ukraine who wished to retain their Russian culture was quickly reinforced with military action. As thousands of civilians were killed and millions fled the violence, Russia sent a convoy of aid in medical supplies and food. But due to lingering Cold War resentment by the U.S. government, the aid convoy suddenly became a Russian invasion — properly touted as such by every corporate media outlet and, of course, by then-Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, as well as John Kerry.


Arrow Up

Russian Orthodox Church proposes ethical alternatives to predatory Western globalization

The Russian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate has published a draft of the document "Economy in the context of globalization. Orthodox ethical view. " This document demonstrates the key positions of the Russian Church on a number of issues relating to the economy and international relations.

1. The Russian Orthodox Church demonstrates that it supports only the trends in modern international processes that aim to build a multi-polar world, and the dialogue of civilizations and cultures on the basis of traditional, non-liberal values:
Consolidation of mankind on the basis of the moral commandments of God is fully consistent with the Christian mission. This incarnation of globalization provides an opportunity for fraternal mutual assistance, free exchange of creative achievements and knowledge, respectful coexistence of different languages and cultures, the joint protection of nature - would be a reasonable and pious.

If the essence of globalization is only to overcome the division between the people, the content of its economic processes had to be overcome inequalities, the prudent use of earthly riches, equitable international cooperation.


ISIS jihadists sell sex slaves on Facebook, hundreds of women held captive and traded by the terror group

© Jason Lee / Reuters
Islamic State terrorists use Facebook to sell sex slaves to fellow jihadists, justifying the price by "supply and demand." The worrying report by the Washington Post sheds more light on hundreds of women held captive and traded by the terror group.

Photos of a young girl of about 18 were posted on Facebook by an Islamic State (IS, previously ISIS/ISIL) militant called Abu Assad Almani, which is Arabic for "German," the Washington Post reports.

"To all the brothers thinking about buying a slave, this one is $8,000," said Almani's post dated May 20. The same man reportedly posted a second image a few hours later, this time showing a pale young face with weepy red eyes.

"Another sabiyah [slave], also about $8,000. Yes or no?" he wrote in the posting.

Comment: See also: A photojournalist describes going undercover as a sex worker


Why Russians don't smile?

© Eduard Korniyenko / Reuters
Children jubilantly celebrate at a ceremony in Kazminskoye, Russia, in 2015
Here's something that has always puzzled me, growing up in the U.S. as a child of Russian parents. Whenever I or my friends were having our photos taken, we were told to say "cheese" and smile. But if my parents also happened to be in the photo, they were stone-faced. So were my Russian relatives, in their vacation photos. My parents' high-school graduation pictures show them frolicking about in bellbottoms with their young classmates, looking absolutely crestfallen.

It's not just photos: Russian women do not have to worry about being instructed by random men to "smile." It is Bitchy Resting Face Nation, seemingly forever responding "um, I guess?" to any question the universe might pose.

This does not mean we are all unhappy! Quite the opposite: The virile ruler, the vodka, the endless mounds of sour cream—they are pleasing to some. It's just that grinning without cause is not a skill Russians possess or feel compelled to cultivate. There's even a Russian proverb that translates, roughly, to "laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity."


70% of Americans 'feel frustrated' about presidential election while half feel angry and helpless

© Andrew Kelly / Reuters
Just a handful of Americans view the 2016 presidential election through rose-colored spectacles, the latest poll has found. Seven in 10 people say they feel frustrated with it, while over half, including majorities in both parties, are angry and helpless.

About one-quarter say they have hardly any confidence that their votes will be counted accurately, a poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has revealed. As much as 55 percent, including majorities from Democrats and Republicans, say they feel totally helpless about the ongoing election.

Only eight percent of Americans say they have a great deal of confidence in the Republican Party, and 15 percent - in the Democratic Party. Similarly, just 29 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans have any confidence in their own political parties.