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Wed, 22 Jan 2020
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Cancel culture strikes again and kills Apu from 'The Simpsons' - where does this nonsense end?

Apu Simpsons
© REUTERS/Fred Prouser
A poster with Apu at 7-Eleven in Burbank, California.
Cancel culture has shown its ugly face once again, claiming another victim, this time one of the cartoon variety. Actor Hank Azaria has announced that he will no longer voice convenience store owner Apu of the 'The Simpsons.'

Azaria announced the decision this week and said it was one made with the producers of the show. The seeming abandonment of the character follows accusations of racism in recent years, which hit a peak after the documentary 'The Problem with Apu,' which debuted in 2017. Critics argued Apu played into offensive stereotypes about South Asians — ignoring other stereotypes on the show. Also ignored was the fact Apu has become not 'cartoonish,' but a three dimensional, complex character playing a central part of the series since debuting in 1990.

Many fans of 'The Simpsons' have responded negatively to the news of Apu's seeming cancellation. Even the filmmaker behind the 'Problem with Apu' documentary jokingly welcomed the "death threats" to come, and said he would like to see the character continue.

Comment: From People:
Hank Azaria Confirms He'll No Longer Voice Controversial Simpsons Character Apu
By Helen Murphy January 18, 2020 12:30 PM


In an interview on Friday, Azaria told Slashfilm, which was first to report the news, that he will no longer voice Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, who has become a controversial character on the Fox television franchise. Throughout the longest-running scripted series, many argued that Apu perpetuates racial stereotypes and should not be voiced by a white actor.

"All we know there is I won't be doing the voice anymore, unless there's someway to transition it or something," Azaria, 55, told the outlet.

"What they're going to do with the character is their call," the actor said. "It's up to them and they haven't sorted it out yet. All we've agreed on is I won't do the voice anymore."

Azaria added: "We all made the decision together. We all agreed on it. We all feel like it's the right thing and good about it."

It was unclear from Azaria's comments what the decision will mean for the character of Apu on the show. Fox had no comment when reached by PEOPLE.


In April 2018, Azaria said during an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that he was willing to step away from the role.

"The idea that anybody, young or old, past or present, was bullied or teased based on the character of Apu, it just really makes me sad. It was certainly not my intention. I wanted to spread laughter and joy with this character, and the idea that it's brought pain and suffering in any way, that it was used to marginalize people, it's upsetting. Genuinely," the actor said.

"I am perfectly willing and happy to step aside or help transition it into something new," Azaria added. "I really hope that's what The Simpsons does. It not only makes sense, but it just feels like the right thing to do to me."


China reporting 17 new cases of Sars-like mystery virus - UPDATE

coronavirus sars china
© AFP via Getty Images
Staff carry a patient into the Jinyintan hospital, where patients infected by a Sars-like virus are being treated, in Wuhan.
Experts worried about the disease's spread during lunar new year period of mass travel

Chinese authorities are to step up efforts to contain the outbreak of a new virus before the lunar new year holidays amid fears of the bug spreading to other countries.

Health officials in Wuhan, the city at the heart of the outbreak, confirmed 17 new cases of the Sars-like coronavirus on Sunday, including three patients who are said to be in a severe condition.

The new strain has caused alarm because of its connection to severe acute respiratory syndrome, which killed more than 750 people globally in 2002-03.

Comment: Update: Virus is spreading. Authorities confirm 136 new cases in 2 days. RT reports:
Health officials in Wuhan, China have revealed that 136 new cases of a mysterious new strain of the coronavirus have been diagnosed over just two days, bringing the total in the city to 198.

In a statement detailing the latest escalation in figures for the major viral outbreak, Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said a third person has died from the illness, while two more are in critical condition. A further 33 cases among the newly diagnosed patients are classified as "severe." All of the patients are being kept in isolation.

"The first symptoms were mostly fever, cough or chest tightness, and shortness of breath," the agency said, advising anyone coughing or sneezing to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of germs.

"Pay close attention to symptoms such as fever and cough," they added. "Seek immediate medical attention when such symptoms occur."

Health officials said they've been carrying out medical observations on hundreds of people who came into close contact with those diagnosed to date, and no human-to-human transmission has been found. So far, the outbreak appears to be centered on Wuhan, but a small number of cases have been reported outside of China - two in Thailand and one in Japan.

Infectious disease experts at Imperial College London have calculated that the number of cases in Wuhan alone is approaching 1,700.


4 convicted of infamous gang rape of a student on a Delhi bus will be hanged on Feb. 1

  • An Indian court has ordered the four men to be hanged on February 1
  • Two of the killers lost their final appeals against their death sentences this week
  • They are convicted of gang raping and murdering a student on New Delhi bus
  • Their 23-year-old victim died shortly after the attack in a case that shocked India
Nirbhaya case convicts
An Indian court has ordered that four men convicted of the infamous 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a New Delhi bus would now be hanged on February 1.

The court had earlier said they would be executed on January 22, a ruling that prompted the convicts to seek last possible legal remedies.

Indian media reports say Tihar prison, where the four are incarcerated, recently held a dummy execution to test the gallows.

Six people were originally charged with taking part in the brutal attack aboard a city bus that made headlines around the world and triggered massive nationwide protests across India.


Bizarro world! Doctored pics of Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton used in violence against women campaign

violence women art

A woman walks past a poster showing a manipulated picture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel with bruises and scars, during the street art campaign Just Because I am a Woman by Italian artist AleXsandro Palombo, in downtown Milan.
An Italian artist looking to raise awareness of violence against women has unveiled a series of posters featuring doctored, roughed-up faces of top political figures such as Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The "Just Because I am a Woman" campaign created by AleXsandro Palombo, which is currently on display in Milan, also features altered portraits of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French first lady Brigitte Macron.

"I am a victim of domestic abuse. I am paid less. I've experienced genital mutilation," reads a message underneath each of the posters, according to the BBC. "I do not have the right to dress as I want. I can't decide who I'm going to marry. I was raped."

The posters note that such violence against women does not differ between races, classes or religions, the BBC points out.

In a statement, Palombo said he created the posters "to illustrate the drama that affects millions of women throughout the world... with the aim of denouncing, raising awareness and obtaining a real response from institutions and politics."

Yellow Vest

Paris: Fierce clashes erupt as Yellow Vests protest for 62nd consecutive weekend

French Police
© dailymail.co.uk
At least 59 people have been arrested in Paris after scuffles broke out between Yellow Vests and police on Saturday. The protests have gained new momentum fueled by a nationwide strike against pension reform.

Thousands of anti-government protesters flooded the streets of the French capital Paris on Saturday, chanting slogans to berate the sweeping social security system reforms initiated by the pro-business government of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The march led by Yellow Vest protesters in downtown Paris was marred by violence, and saw police using batons and tear gas on activists, who hurled objects in return.

Videos posted on social media show officers in full riot gear beating protesters as they lay on the ground. The footage prompted activists to accuse police of using disproportionate force to quell the unrest.

Comment: Videos recorded by social media:

Even Macron found himself as a target fleeing from protesters:


Over 60 injured after Boeing 777 dumps fuel on suburb of Los Angeles, soaking FIVE elementary schools - UPDATE: Four teachers suing

boeing 777 fuel Los Angeles
An airplane returning to Los Angeles International Airport on Tuesday morning dropped jet fuel onto a school playground, dousing several students at Park Avenue Elementary School in Cudahy, officials said.

Delta Flight 89 — a Boeing 777 — had taken off from LAX with more than 140 passengers on board and was en route to Shanghai when it turned around and headed back to the L.A. airport.

"Shortly after takeoff, Flight 89 from LAX to Shanghai experienced an engine issue requiring the aircraft to return quickly to LAX," Delta said in a statement released Tuesday night. "The aircraft landed safely after a release of fuel, which was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight. Delta is in touch with Los Angeles World Airports and the L.A. County Fire Department as well as community leaders, and shares concerns regarding reports of minor injuries to adults and children at schools in the area."

Comment: Update: ATC specifically asked the pilots if they needed to dump fuel. They said ' no'...
The crew of a Boeing 777 that showered schools outside Los Angeles with jet fuel on Tuesday apparently told controllers they were not going to release the toxic liquid right before they did so, newly released audio suggests.

An audio recording of communications between the LAX airport control tower and the pilots of the Delta flight reveals that air traffic controllers asked the crew twice if they needed to get rid of any excess fuel before making an emergency landing due to an issue with the aircraft's right engine.

At one point in the exchange - which was surprisingly calm given the circumstances - the controller can be heard asking the pilot if he was going back to the airport "immediately" or whether he needed to "hold and burn fuel."

At first, the pilot simply dodged the question, saying that the situation "is not critical" and that he was turning the aircraft back to the airport. As the controller pressed further, he asked one more time: "OK, so you don't need to hold to dump fuel or anything like that?" The pilot responded with a rather definitive 'No.' "NEGATIVE," he said.

The audio was obtained through LiveATC.ne, a site that provides a live feed of Air Traffic Control communications around the world, and was published in full by the Los Angeles Times.

It remains a mystery what transpired in the next 20 minutes that forced the pilot to make an about-face and jettison the fuel over heavily populated areas - home to multiple elementary schools - with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) now saying that the Delta Flight 89 failed to notify controllers of the move.

"A review of yesterday's air traffic control communications shows the Delta Flight 89 crew did not tell air traffic control that they needed to dump fuel," the US aviation watchdog said in a statement on Wednesday, noting that the dump "did not occur at an optimal altitude that would have allowed the fuel to atomize properly."

While FAA guidelines do not expressly prohibit dropping fuel at such a low altitude - about 2,300 feet at the time of the incident - air controllers typically direct crews to dump it over water or unpopulated terrain. It's standard practice for pilots to drop fuel at an altitude of over 10,000 feet, which ensures the substance evaporates on its way to the ground.

That the move was not per se illegal, however, will likely come as small comfort to dozens of schoolchildren caught off guard and drenched in the toxic downpour. The incident sowed panic on the ground, and led to about 60 people being treated for skin irritation and breathing issues. Some had to be decontaminated with soap and water.

In a statement on Wednesday, Delta, which argued that the fuel dump "was required as part of normal procedure to reach a safe landing weight," said it had sent "13 cleaning crews" to assist local authorities in cleansing all contaminated areas around the schools.
In response to the event four California teachers are suing Delta Airlines:
Filed on Friday by attorney Gloria Allred, the suit alleges that the crew of Delta Flight 89 was negligent in dumping the fuel when and where it did, arguing the toxic substance led teachers and students to become "sick, dizzy and nauseated," producing "a lasting and severe irritation and a lasting and noxious taste and smell."

"A Delta Airlines pilot flying at a relatively low altitude and through clear skies dumped massive amounts of toxic jet fuel onto teachers, the school where they worked, onto the children who were in their care, and onto the neighborhood below the jet airplane," Allred said at a press conference announcing the suit on Friday.

The crew of the Delta flight, which encountered an engine malfunction not long after taking off from LAX airport en route to Shanghai, has come under fire after audio surfaced on Thursday detailing the plane's communications with air traffic control. Asked whether he needed to "hold and burn fuel" before making an emergency landing, the Delta pilot gave a clear "negative." It remains unclear why the pilot decided to dump the fuel after that point.

"Our lawsuit alleges that the Delta pilot notified air traffic control personnel of the need for the aircraft to return to Los Angeles International Airport, but the pilot did not inform air traffic personnel of any need to dump fuel in order to lighten the plane for landing," despite being explicitly asked, Allred said.

The four teachers, who have each requested anonymity in the case, are employees of Park Avenue Elementary in Cudahy, a suburb of Los Angeles.

While none required emergency treatment, some 60 students and staff members from six different schools were injured in the bizarre mishap last Tuesday, with one of the Park Avenue teachers suffering "recurring symptoms" after the incident.

I thought, 'Oh my God, it must be a terrorist attack.' All I could do was think of making sure my students were safe and calm... because they were screaming and crying.


Philippines looks for safer homes for volcano residents

Philippine officials said Sunday the government will no longer allow villagers to return to a crater-studded island where an erupting volcano lies, warning that living there would be "like having a gun pointed at you."

Taal volcano has simmered with smaller ash ejections in recent days after erupting on Jan. 12 with a gigantic plume of steam and ash that drifted northward and reached Manila, the capital, about 65 kilometers (40 miles) away. While the volcano remains dangerous, with large numbers of local villagers encamped in emergency shelters, officials have begun discussing post-eruption recovery.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Ano said officials in Batangas province, where the volcano is located, have been asked to look for a safer housing area, at least 3 hectares (7 acres) in size, for about 6,000 families that used to live in four villages and worked mostly as tourist guides, farmers and fish pen operators on Volcano Island. The new housing site should be at least 17 kilometers (10 miles) away from the restive volcano to be safe, he said.

The island has long been declared by the government as a national park that's off-limits to permanent villages. The government's volcano-monitoring agency has separately declared the island a permanent danger zone, but impoverished villagers have lived and worked there for decades.


FBI: Saudi govt 'almost certainly' assists Saudis to escape prosecution in US for serious crimes

© Unknown
Abdulrahman Sameer Noorah appears during his arraignment in Portland on Aug. 22, 2016.
The FBI believes the Saudi Arabian government "almost certainly" helps its citizens flee the country after they are accused of serious crimes, "undermining the US judicial process," according to a newly declassified document obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The surreptitious action is done, in part, to spare the wealthy Persian Gulf kingdom embarrassment, the FBI said. Intelligence officials believe the flights from justice will continue without intervention by the American authorities.

Saudi officials "are unlikely to alter this practice in the near term unless the US Government directly addresses this issue with (Saudi Arabia) and ties US cooperation on (Saudi) priorities to ceasing this activity," according to the FBI.

The details are contained in an intelligence bulletin dated Aug. 29. The FBI released the document Friday as part of a recent law pushed by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and signed by President Donald Trump last month that requires the FBI to publicly disclose what it knows about the Saudi government's suspected role in helping its citizens avoid prosecution in the U.S.

Comment: Middle East Monitor: 18/1/2020: Saudi officials help fugitives flee US
The revelations are the latest details to emerge to stoke tensions between the US and its hydrocarbon-rich Gulf ally, in the wake of a Saudi officer's fatal shooting of three Americans at a naval base in Florida last month.
See also:


Soros-linked political pressure group Avaaz and MSM join ranks to purge climate skeptics from YouTube

Extinction Rebellion
© Global Look Press/ZUMA Press/Guilhem Baker
Extinction Rebellion activists, Google UK headquarters in London
Independent mainstream media outlets are engaging in a politically-motivated campaign to force YouTube to demonetize and hide any video that denies climate change.

Published on Avaaz's website, the left-leaning non-profit group released a report on January 16 that claims YouTube is profiting by broadcasting misinformation to millions of people by giving climate denial videos too much prominence. The report is an undisguised intimidation campaign, as not only does it list major advertisers who are running ads on videos that question the legitimacy of the threat climate change poses for humanity, but it explicitly calls for them to put pressure on the platform as a means of putting an end to the so-called disinformation.

Comment: See also:


We have to talk about these Pakistani gangs

child sofa
© Getty
This week, we have seen the true toll of political correctness. PC isn't just irritating or stupid. It isn't just woke students banning sombreros or schools getting iffy about 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. PC destroys lives.

A report into police and council failings in Manchester has found that gangs of predominantly Pakistani men were free to abuse up to 57 girls after chief cops and local officials turned a blind eye to this foul, cruel behaviour. Why did they turn away? Partly out of fear of stoking racial tensions. Partly because they were worried that drawing attention to the grooming and exploitation of mostly white working-class girls by Asian men might 'incite racial hatred' and damage multicultural relations.

Let's put it plainly: they sacrificed girls to political correctness; they thought that preserving the ideology of multiculturalism was more important than protecting girls from harm.

Comment: It's a sad state of affairs when the police who are supposed to protect and defend, care more for political correctness than stopping the abuse of children. Could they not see that by doing nothing, it would actually cause more division between races? Or, was this an intended effect by some of those at the very top? One also wonders whether they have ulterior motives for quashing investigations of this nature... UK 'Establishment': Unmasking psychopathic faces - Pedophilia and murder in VERY high places

Further reading: