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Mon, 27 Feb 2017
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US media distorts Venezuela's food crisis by blaming Socialism

© Reuters
Supermarket shoppers in Caracas.
The facts are clear — Venezuela does have a food crisis, but mainstream U.S. media always blames the socialist government.

Disgruntled customers, empty store shelves, long supermarket lines. These are the images that mainstream U.S. media typically feature in their coverage of Venezuela's ongoing food crisis.

These images are usually accompanied by sarcastic headlines like Forbes' "Venezuela Discovers the Perfect Weight Loss Diet" and the Cato Institute's "Hunger Is in Retreat, But Not in Socialist Venezuela."

U.S. media outlets publish stories blaming Venezuela's food crisis on the socialist government almost daily. Today isn't any different.

A new study released by researchers from three Venezuelan universities reported that nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016 for lack of food. The report, titled, "2016 Living Conditions Survey," added that about 32.5 percent of Venezuelans eat only once or twice a day, compared to 11.3 percent last year.

Moreover, 93.3 percent told the researchers that their income was not enough to cover their food needs.

Eye 2

Hate criminals should be registered like sex offenders & banned from certain jobs, inquiry told

© Darren Staples / Reuters
Demonstrators from the far-right English Defense League (EDL), central England.
People guilty of hate crimes should be put on an official register and banned from certain jobs, according to a Durham University academic.

The Commons Home Affairs Committee is currently holding an inquiry into hate crime and its consequences.

In written evidence submitted to the inquiry, Thom Brooks, professor of law and government, says a "Hate Crime Offenders Register" would list those guilty of racist abuse or assault. Such an approach would send a "clear signal" about the severity of such offences, he said.

"Given increasing concern about hate crimes, there may be scope for parliament to consider establishing a Hate Crime Offenders Register along the lines of the Sex Offenders Register - and to similar effect.

"Anyone on a Hate Crime Offenders Register could be restricted from working with children and/or working in certain professions. This seems sensible, mirrors current policies in place and would help send a clearer signal of how serious these offences are," he added.

Comment: See also: UK police deny there is any link between reported spikes in hate crimes and Brexit vote


The difference between justice and social justice, and why the search for social justice continues to erode our freedoms

Recently, Harvard political theorist Danielle Allen wrote in the Washington Post of "The most important phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance" — "with liberty and justice for all."

Allen recognized that justice required "equality before the law" and that freedom exists "only when it is for everyone." But she confused democracy — defined as progressives "build[ing] a distributed majority across the country, as is needed for electoral college victory" — with liberty, which is very different. Similarly, she replaced the traditional meaning of justice ("giving each his own," according to Cicero) with a version of "social justice" inconsistent with it. And her two primary examples of rights — "rights" to education and health care — were inconsistent with both liberty for all and justice for all.

Americans cannot have both liberty and this type of social justice — under whose aegis one can assert rights to be provided education and health care, not to mention food, housing, etc. Positive rights to receive such things, absent an obligation to earn them, must violate others' liberty, because a government must take citizens' resources without their consent to fund them. Providing such government benefits for some forcibly violates others' rights to themselves and their property.


US government reports heroin-related overdose deaths quadrupled from 2010-15

© Max und Moritz / www.globallookpress.com
Heroin-related deaths in the US skyrocketed in the span of five years, amounting to a quarter of all overdose deaths by 2015, according to new federal data, presenting another grim snapshot of America's opioid epidemic.

Newly-released data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) on nationwide overdose-related deaths indicate that such fatalities are increasing at a rapid pace, jumping from 38,329 in 2010 to 47,055 in 2014, then to 52,404 by 2015, a 27 percent increase in five years.

Heroin deaths quadrupled in that time period, going from 3,036 in 2010, an 8 percent share of all overdose-related deaths, to 12,989 in 2015, a 24.3 percent share of all overdose-involved fatalities, the NCHS found.


UK traffickers ferry underage girls to hotel and sell them for sex

© Flickr/ Ira Gelb
A mother and three young men are accused of being part of a sex trafficking gang, which forced underage girls to have sex with men for money.

The case was heard at Guildford Crown Court in the UK, Diane Chilcott, 39, used her home as a base by which to ply the teenage girls with alcohol before she and one of the other men, named Daniel Pusey drove them to hotel rooms at the chain, Travelodge.

The foursome stood in the dock accused of continuing to traffic "vulnerable" victims after 20-year-old Pusey was arrested in bed with a 13-year-old girl.


Dozens arrested as police & military clear DAPL protest camp

© Terray Sylvester / Reuters
Police detain a protester against the Dakota Access oil pipeline, North Dakota, U.S., February 23, 2017
Dozens of DAPL protesters were arrested after police raided and cleared the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Some activists refused to leave peacefully and set fire to their makeshift housing.

The Oceti Sakowin camp was completely emptied shortly after 2:00pm local time (8:00pm GMT), the Morton County Sheriff's Department said, as cited by Reuters.

About 50 police in riot gear, aided by members of the National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers, entered the site.

At least 47 people were arrested, department spokeswoman Maxine Herr said.

© Stephen Yang / Reuters
Police form a line to push back protesters, North Dakota, U.S., February 23, 2017
On Thursday, military vehicles, bulldozers, and police in riot gear moved into the camp to clear out the remaining protesters against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).

Comment: See also:

Eye 2

Indian mother walks in on son devouring boy he had murdered to eat

© Pixabay
Residents of Amariya in northern India's Uttar Pradesh are horrified after finding a junkie in his den with a half-eaten corpse of a seven year old boy who had gone missing from the area a few days ago.

Nazim Miyan, who had been thrown out of his home due to substance abuse, had been living in a shed the same locality. He was not social, so people seldom checked on him. However, a few days ago, his mother walked in on him while he was devouring the flesh of the boy he had apparently kidnapped and murdered.

Red Flag

Liberal hysteria: California city calls for Congress to investigate Trump for treason

© Patrick Fallon / Reuters
After just one month of President Donald Trump, the Richmond City Council in California has become the first city to officially call on Congress to investigate impeachment proceedings.

Councilmember Gayle McLaughlin, who proposed the resolution, cited Trump's business holdings as the reason for congressional investigation.

In her statement, McLaughlin says Congress should investigate the president, saying, "Due to the worldwide financial benefits of President Trump, he is in violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause and the Domestic Emoluments Clause of the US Constitution."

"Ordinarily, it would be odd to be talking about the—well, everything about this administration is odd," Councilmember Jael Myrick, who voted for the resolution, said, according to Democracy Now. "But it would be odd to be talking about the impeachment of a president only a month into his term. Unfortunately, with this president, it's oddly appropriate."

Bad Guys

British ISIS suicide bomber linked to Manchester jihadist network

© Medyan Dairieh / www.globallookpress.com
An Al Qaeda Fighter from the Islamic State.
Suicide bomber and former Guantanamo detainee Jamal al-Harith has been linked to a network of young jihadists in his native Manchester, some of whom died fighting for Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

A report by the Times claims Al-Harith, originally named Ronald Fiddler, was part of an extensive network of radicals in Manchester.

He appears to have developed relationships with various young extremists between leaving Guantanamo Bay in 2004 and traveling to Syria in 2014.

He was killed on Monday, when he drove an explosives-packed pickup truck into an Iraqi army base south of Mosul, in northern Iraq.


Anti-immigrant demonstrators clash with South African police - violence erupts

A South African police forces during a stand off between members of the Somali community and anti immigrant demonstrators, February 24, 2017.
Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse anti-immigrant protests in Pretoria, South Africa, after street clashes broke out among opposing groups armed with sticks, knives, and other weapons.

Residents of the township of Atteridgeville were blocked from going to work after protesters threw rocks and burned tires, News24 reported. Police spokesperson Superintendent Isaac Mahamba said they had received reports of several shops being looted, but had yet to confirm the incidents.