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Top academic accuses the British Medical Journal of 'abandoning science' due to ideology

Dr Michael Biggs britain transgender numbers
Dr Michael Biggs (pictured), an Oxford University sociologist, was blacklisted over a paper saying the official number of transgender people in the UK โ€“ 262,000 โ€“ is unreliable
BMJ rejecting research 'because of their views on the trans debate'

The British Medical Journal has been accused of 'abandoning science' after it rejected research from top academics over their views on the trans debate.

One researcher had his paper rejected because he was 'opinionated' and had tweeted in support of author JK Rowling's gender-critical views.

The other's research was taken offline by BMJ staff who accused him of being 'transphobic' based on a student paper article about him. Both academics saw the discussions in BMJ staff emails after making Freedom of Information requests.

Camcorder

'I was misidentified as shoplifter by facial recognition tech'

female
© BBCFacial recognition tech not always accurate
Sara needed some chocolate - she had had one of those days - so wandered into a Home Bargains store.

"Within less than a minute, I'm approached by a store worker who comes up to me and says, 'You're a thief, you need to leave the store'."

Sara - who wants to remain anonymous - was wrongly accused after being flagged by a facial-recognition system called Facewatch. She says after her bag was searched she was led out of the shop, and told she was banned from all stores using the technology.

"I was just crying and crying the entire journey home... I thought, 'Oh, will my life be the same? I'm going to be looked at as a shoplifter when I've never stolen'."

Facewatch later wrote to Sara and acknowledged it had made an error. Facewatch is used in numerous stores in the UK - including Budgens, Sports Direct and Costcutter - to identify shoplifters.

Broom

China sentences another banking official to death, accepted bribes worth $151 million

Bai Tianhui
Bai Tianhui, former general manager of China Huarong International Holdings Limited, is sentenced to death for taking bribes by a court in Tianjin on Tuesday.
Bai Tianhui, former general manager of China Huarong International Holdings, was sentenced to death for accepting bribes of more than 1.1 billion yuan ($151.8 million), a court in Tianjin said on Tuesday.

Bai was also deprived of political rights for life, with the confiscation of all his personal assets, according to the ruling announced by the Tianjin No 2 Intermediate People's Court.

In addition, the illicit gains that Bai made and the interests earned from them have been ordered to be turned over to the national treasury by the court.

From 2014 to 2018, Bai was found to have taken advantage of his various work posts in the company, including the capital operations director, general manager assistant and general manager, to seek profits for relevant departments in matters such as project acquisition and corporate financing, and then took bribes worth over 1.1 billion yuan in return, the court said.

Comment: In our turbulent times, this kind of corruption can wreak havoc on a country's economy and seriously destabilise governance, as attested to by the dire state of West.

Notably, the West has complained of the difficulty it's intelligence agencies are having in their attempts at infiltrating China: British intel agencies' lack of China 'language, historical, cultural' knowledge impeding operations - Former MI6 boss


Megaphone

Istanbul protesters set fire to vicinity of Israeli consulate following Rafah massacre

turkey protest gaza
People have once again flooded the streets of the Turkish city of Istanbul to protest against the crimes of the Zionist, especially the latest massacre of scores of civilians in Rafah, a city in the southern Gaza Strip.
IRNA's report citing the Palestinian Shihab news agency said thousands of people gathered around the Israeli consulate in Istanbul on Monday night to condemn the attacks on the Palestinian refugee camp in Rafah.

Molotov cocktail threw toward the building but some social media posts say a group of protesters set fire to the vicinity of the Israeli consulate in protest of the barbaric massacre of Palestinians by the Zionist regime.

Protesters also urged the international community to intervene and stop the Israeli attacks on Palestinian civilians.

Comment: The Western establishment may be hellbent on supporting Israel's genocide, however, increasingly, they're being forced to deal with the fall out at home. However, for now at least, it seems that the establishment is managing it well enough, even if, for example, as has been the case in the UK, a few MPs are losing out to anti-genocide nominees: EU mulls sanctioning Israel if its refuses to comply with ICJ genocide-prevention ruling - as Tel Aviv continues bombing Rafah


Better Earth

Russian government rejects niqab ban

niqab copenhagen
© APFILE: Women in the niqab walk in front of the Danish Parliament at Christiansborg Castle, in Copenhagen. The measure would violate citizens' rights and freedom of religion, the cabinet explained.
The Russian government has rejected an initiative to ban the niqab, a traditional Muslim veil that covers the entire face apart from the eyes, Kommersant reported on Monday, citing a cabinet document.

Last week, the head of Russia's Human Rights Council, Valery Fadeev, suggested the government should consider a ban on niqabs, citing the risk of extremism. His call came almost two months after the deadly terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow, in which 145 people died and over 500 were injured. The suspected perpetrators are citizens of Tajikistan, a majority-Muslim former Soviet republic in Central Asia.


Comment: Citing Crocus as a reason would be erroneous considering that these terrorists were, as is usually the case, stooges working for the West-Ukraine: US, UK and Ukraine could be behind Moscow terror attack - FSB chief


Comment: Considering how weaponised mass migration is being used by the establishment to destroy culture and divide society in the West, perhaps Russia, with its centuries of relatively successful integration of numerous ethnicities and religions under its Orthodox Christian culture, and governance, can serve as an example for the West of how it can be done: Muslims have lived peacefully in Russia for centuries so what is the West doing wrong?

See also: Illegal migrant decapitated 2 prostitutes in Austria, authorities had lost track of him


Binoculars

America in 2024: Fast food is a "luxury", 11 million children live in poverty, and 1000s of stores are closing

economic downturn
Little by little, our standard of living has been eroding. A couple decades ago, we had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now most of the country is struggling. At this point, fast food is considered to be a "luxury", 11 million children are living in poverty, and thousands of stores are permanently shutting down all over the United States because consumers have so little discretionary income these days. We are in the midst of a historic cost of living crisis, and those at the bottom of the economic food chain are being hit the hardest.

The ultra-wealthy don't really care that food costs have been soaring, but for those that are barely scraping by from month to month it makes an enormous difference.

Once upon a time, fast food restaurants were where those that were struggling went to eat.

But now fast food is considered to be a "luxury" in 2024, and that is because fast food prices have gone absolutely haywire...

Heart - Black

Israelis celebrate Rafah massacre as Jewish holiday bonfire

Rafah fire
© ReutersFire rages following an Israeli strike on an area designated for displaced Palestinians in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on 26 May
Soon after an Israeli air strike slammed into a camp in southern Gaza's Rafah on Sunday night, tearing through the bodies of dozens of Palestinian men, women and children, and igniting a ferocious blaze, video footage of the aftermath drew horror and condemnation worldwide.

In Israel, however, prominent figures and members of the public viewed the massacre and the fire as the perfect way to celebrate a religious holiday.

Sunday was Lag BaOmer, a Jewish holiday where people across Israel light bonfires as a representation of spiritual light brought by Shimon bar Yochai, a revered second-century rabbi.

Usually, the day's most prominent celebration is found on Mount Meron at Shimon bar Yochai's tomb, where a large bonfire is lit and tens of thousands of worshippers gather in one of the largest mass events in the Jewish world.

Comment: See also: 'Holocaust': Israel launches 60 air raids on Rafah 48hrs after ICJ stop-order, incinerates tent-camp burning dozens of people alive


Arrow Down

No, they're (probably) not going to bring back National Service

National Service
© Off-Guardian
As you all know, the UK is in the throes of campaigning following the announcement of an "election" on July 4th.

One particular campaign promise has already caused a huge stir, with incumbent PM Rishi Sunak pledging to re-introduce National Service - mandatory military or some other community service - should the Conservatives win:

It's caused a huge backlash already, with memes and videos circulating on social media either mocking or protesting the plan.

Not even the usual Tory defenders in the media have come to the governments aid, with defense of the policy relegated to joke hate-figures like Stanley Johnson.

Even the UK military is said to be "divided" over support for the scheme, with one ex-military Chief supposedly calling it "bonkers".

...and despite this backlash, the Tories have doubled down. Claiming that children and parents could face fines and criminal prosecution for refusing to participate.

So, will the Tories really do it?

Arrow Down

'A failed medical school': How racial preferences, supposedly outlawed in California, have persisted at UCLA

med students
© FatCamera/Grabien/UCLAMed Students โ€ข Jennifer Lucero
Up to half of UCLA medical students now fail basic tests of medical competence. Whistleblowers say affirmative action, illegal in California since 1996, is to blame.

Long considered one of the best medical schools in the world, the University of California, Los Angeles's David Geffen School of Medicine receives as many as 14,000 applications a year. Of those, it accepted just 173 students in the 2023 admissions cycle, a record-low acceptance rate of 1.3 percent. The median matriculant took difficult science courses in college, earned a 3.8 GPA, and scored in the 88th percentile on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT).

Without those stellar stats, some doctors at the school say, students can struggle to keep pace with the demanding curriculum.

So when it came time for the admissions committee to consider one such student in November 2021 โ€” a black applicant with grades and test scores far below the UCLA average โ€” some members of the committee felt that this particular candidate, based on the available evidence, was not the best fit for the top-tier medical school, according to two people present for the committee's meeting.

Their reservations were not well-received.

Comment: The formerly-renowned UCLA Medical School program is on life-support without prognosis for future recovery.


X

Nearly a decade of early Chinese internet content no longer exists

chinese goldfish
In a fitting illustration last week of the Chinese leadership's unrelenting efforts to manipulate collective memory, an online essay with a shocking revelation about the wholesale disappearance of Chinese internet content spanning the 2000s was deleted by content monitors. But the post, quickly archived and shared, reverberated in platforms beyond PRC-managed cyberspace.

Written by He Jiayan (ไฝ•ๅŠ ็›), an internet influencer active since 2018, the essay concluded, based on a wide range of searches of various entertainment and cultural figures from the late 1990s through the mid-2000s, that nearly 100 percent of content from major internet portals and private websites from the first decade of China's internet has now been obliterated. "No one has recognized a serious problem," wrote He. "The Chinese-language internet is rapidly collapsing, and Chinese-language internet content predating the emergence of the mobile internet has almost entirely disappeared."

Simple searches through the Baidu search engine for public figures such as Alibaba founder Jack Ma and Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun (้›ทๅ†›), who would have yielded perhaps millions of unique posts during the period of the "traditional internet" from the late 1990s through the end of the 2000s, turned up few if any results, He Jiayan revealed. These wholesale absences in Chinese-language content from inside China were repeated when He used non-Chinese search engines, including Google and Bing.

Comment: If nothing else this demonstrates the precariousness of storing our history digitally. Under the right circumstances, it can disappear in a moment - whether at the hands of a government censor, or a natural disaster doesn't make much difference.