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Tue, 13 Apr 2021
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Chili powder and knives given to Mumbai women to fend off rapists

© AFP Photo / Punit Paranjpe
The Shiv Sena party has distributed knives and chili powder to women in Mumbai to send a message to 'eve-teasers' after the fatal gang rape of a student in Delhi last month, which has ignited a debate on India's appalling rise in sexual offenses.

The Shiv Sena party, an ally of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has distributed 21,000 knives with 3-inch (7 cm) blades to women in Mumbai and its surrounding areas and plans to hand out a total of 100,000.

"This is a symbolic gesture. Its only to pass a signal to eve-teasers, anti-social elements and perpetrators of crime against women that women are empowered and can take care of themselves," said Rahul Narvekar, a spokesman for the party. 'Eve teasing' is an Indian euphemism for molesting women.

"Don't be afraid of using this knife if someone attacks you. We have set up a team of nine advocates to protect you from any potential court cases that may arise." Ajay Chaudhari, who is running the knife campaign for Shiv Sena, was quoted as saying by the Party's newspaper, Saamana.


Heroin's coming back in a big way - in affluent suburbs, small cities and rural towns

© AFP Photo
For years, heroin was considered an affliction mainly of poor urban neighborhoods. But these days, the drug is becoming popular in affluent suburbs, small cities, and even rural towns - especially among young people.

From Arizona to New Jersey, many communities that never imagined they would have a heroin problem now face a rising toll of addiction, overdoses, and even deaths.

"You would have to go pretty remote to find a place that didn't have this," says Kathleen Kane-Willis, a researcher at Roosevelt University in Chicago who has tracked heroin use since 2004. "It's just everywhere."

But for communities and in particular parents, the problem can come as a total surprise.

Take Tamara Olt and her husband, who were vacationing in Mexico last April when they got the call that every parent dreads. One of their sons was lying unconscious in his basement room at the family's home in Dunlap, a small town in central Illinois.

Joshua Olt died in the emergency room that evening. He was 16.


Minnesota man pointed AK-47 at daughter during argument over grades, charges say

© Photo courtesy Ramsey County sheriff's office
Kirill Bartashevitch
A St. Paul man pointed an AK-47 rifle at his teenage daughter in a dispute over her getting two B's instead of straight A's, according to a criminal complaint filed Friday, Jan 25.

The Ramsey County attorney's office charged Kirill Bartashevitch, 51, of St. Paul with two counts of terroristic threats, one against the girl and the other against her mother. Bartashevitch is a Minneapolis Public Schools employee. The complaint gives this account:

Police were called to a school on Jan. 17 after a school social worker received a report from a parent who said she'd been monitoring her son's electronic communications and saw a message to her son. In the message, Bartashevitch's daughter said her father had pointed a rifle at her.

Apple Green

Apple audit finds child workers in China

© AP
Apple has vowed to route out children from its vast workforce after an audit in China revealed one of the company's component makers employed over 70 underage workers. The tech giant increased its audits by 72 percent in 2012 following numerous scandals emerging over working conditions in its Chinese factories, including a spate of suicides in manufacturer Foxconn factories in 2010.

Heart - Black

Drugs, wired warriors and "virtual" insanity: The creation of a zombie army


The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs have spent over $4.5 billion on antidepressants, antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs over the past decade despite more than 170 warnings issued by international drug regulatory agencies warning of drug induced suicide, violence, mania, psychosis, aggression, hallucinations, death and much more.
In an effort to create the "Super Soldier," the U.S. military spends hundreds of millions of dollars on psychiatric research programs that can only be described as science fiction-esque experimentation. The Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), a mental health watchdog group, is dedicated to exposing these mental health abuses.

It's no secret that the nation's military forces long have been used as guinea pigs for psychological and pharmaceutical experiments. Recent history is littered with examples of the botched experiments brought to light in the form of lawsuits and congressional investigations. As for the troops, well, it appears they truly are expendable.

The military is spending billions of dollars on psychiatric drugs; a Nextgov investigation published on May 17, 2012 uncovered the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs having spent nearly $2 billion on antipsychotics and anti-anxiety drugs over the past decade, and the Dec. 29. 2012 Austin American-Statesman article, "Soaring cost of military drugs could hurt budget," quoted Department of Defense spending of $2.7 billion on antidepressants, totaling more than $4.5 billion in the last decade, despite more than 170 warnings issued by international drug regulatory agencies warning of drug induced suicide, violence, mania, psychosis, aggression, hallucinations, death and much more. The U.S. Military's Central Command policy even allows a 90-180 day supply of highly addictive psychiatric drugs before deployment.

There is also Seroquel, or "Serokill," as it now is referred to, which is not permitted for treatment of deploying troops with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but, rather, is prescribed off-label to treat insomnia. The fact that "Serokill" is still in the military's formulary becomes more bizarre when one considers that the antipsychotic has been suspected of being linked to hundreds of "sudden cardiac deaths" among returning soldiers.

Yet, in desperation, top brass are continuing to turn to psychiatrists and psychologists who apparently have seen way too many sci-fi movies and seem ready "to go where no man has gone before," when it comes to altering the human mind. But when one becomes fully aware of the planned and on-going experiments, the famous line from The Fly comes to mind: "Heeeeelp meeeee!"


Liars, Gun Control and Money in a Culture of Violence

Liars, Gun Control and Money in a Culture of Violence1

Load up on guns, bring your friends
It's fun to lose and to pretend
She's overboard and self-assured
Oh, no, I know a dirty word

'Smells Like Teen Spirit' - Kurt Cobain2

Gun control is a hot topic right now. As usual, COINTELPRO is in full force trying to control and define the debate within the narrowest possible field, limiting the questions people ask and presenting loud and obnoxious pundits who are supposed to represent "the people." We doubt the people are this mentally backwards.

Gun and weapon control has a long and illustrious3 history. It has never led to any tangible results. Murders are just as prevalent, if not more, than at any other time in history (rates of murder and violence tend to rise and fall throughout history4). If history is taken as a lesson, reliance on gun control in the forms of registration of ownership and limiting of the types of arms and ammunitions, has caused more deaths than it has ever prevented.

People are focused on the now. The collective memory of a civilization is very short. I have heard the number 3 years suggested as the average duration of recall for the ordinary person; sometimes it is more, sometimes less. I really don't know. I only know that it is shorter than it should be.

Each successive generation appears to feel as if they have moved beyond the influence of the problems of their forebears in a poorly defined and mentally retarded concept called 'progress'5. There is no such thing as progress. Man is a bit like a hamster in a cage; eventually he always comes full circle.6 No matter how hard he runs, he's never going to get anywhere until he learns to step off the damned wheel.

It's the same dance, just a different tune.


Swartz legacy: Countering the banality of evil in the bureaucratic machine

In this interview with Aaron Swartz from three years ago, we get a glimpse of the talent, energy and commitment to Truth that drove this pioneer of Internet freedom and civil liberties.

Arrow Down

Suspects prayed to 'alligator god' to destroy evidence

Murder Trial
© Rafael Olmeda
Robert Mackey, right, is accused of murdering Lorraine Hatzakorzian and dumping her head in the Everglades. He is flanked by defense lawyers John George (to his right) and Louis C. Pironti (to his left, partly visible).
At least once a day, Robert Mackey and Paul Trucchio would pray to "the alligator god" that a human head, the only evidence of the brutal murder they committed, would be devoured by a reptile in the Everglades, two witnesses told jurors Thursday.

The witnesses, former roommates of the suspects during their 2007 stay in Volusia County, said Mackey and Trucchio each confessed to murdering Lorraine Hatzakorzian, 41, dismembering her, and tossing her head into an Everglades canal, where it was discovered near a boat ramp in western Broward County on April 28, 2007.

The head was the only part of the victim's body that was ever found, and even though no one knows where the victim met her demise, the location of her head resulted in a murder trial in Broward.

Mackey, 44, faces life in prison if convicted of second-degree murder or 30 years if convicted of being an accessory after-the-fact. He cannot be convicted of both crimes. Trucchio was sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading no contest to the murder charge a year ago.

Prosecutors say Mackey and Trucchio beat Hatzakorzian to death when she tried to get away from them, then used their tree-trimming tools to cut her head off. Witnesses Doug Stine and Louis Caroleo, who roomed with Mackey and Trucchio in Port Orange from May to July 2007, each said they heard the men confess to the crime and discuss how they could get away with it.

Eye 2

Drunk uncle 'chopped up 18-month-old niece then roasted body parts in the oven' while looking after toddler for her mother


Horrific: An 18-month-old girl was chopped up by her drunk uncle
A drunk uncle chopped up his 18-month-old niece then roasted her body parts in an oven, police said today.

Andrey Gadzhiev's sister Elena Titova, 29, had left him caring for the toddler for 15 minutes while she visited a neighbour.

When she returned there was no sign of the child and her intoxicated brother could not explain what had happened to her.


Tortoise found alive in locked store room after thirty years

© The Independent, UK
A family in Brazil have expressed their joy at finding their pet tortoise, Manuela, more than thirty years after she went missing.

She disappeared from the Almeida family home in Rio de Janeiro in 1982 and was never found despite an extensive and thorough search.

The family assumed she must have escaped through the front door, after builders who were working on the house at the time had left it open.

It was only after their father Leonel died earlier this month that the family started tidying and sorting his locked store room and made the discovery.

Leandro, Leonel's son, was clearing out boxes from his father's locked second-floor store room, and was throwing out what he thought was just a box with an old record player, when a neighbour pointed out the tortoise.