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Tue, 18 May 2021
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'Shameful' failure to tackle slavery and human trafficking in the UK

© Karen Robinson/Panos Pictures
Danielle was only 15 when trafficked from Albania. A friend had been offered a job in London and Danielle decided to join her. On arrival she was taken to Birmingham, where a man sold her to an Albanian pimp for £3,500. She escaped, but says that she has 'been changed forever'.
Ministers, the police and social workers have been accused of a "shocking" failure to prevent the spread of modern slavery in the UK, leading to sexual exploitation, forced labour and the domestic servitude of adults and children from across the world.

Describing government ministers as "clueless" in their response to tackling human trafficking, both into and within the UK, the most exhaustive inquiry yet conducted into the phenomenon concludes that the approach to eradicating modern slavery is fundamentally wrong-headed. Instead of helping vulnerable victims who are trapped into forms of slavery after being trafficked from overseas, the legal system prosecutes many for immigration offences.

The major study by the Centre for Social Justice, which will be published on Monday, says that political indifference and ignorance alongside a leadership vacuum in Whitehall has meant that the country that led the way in abolishing slavery in the 19th century is now a "shameful shadow" of its former self as the practice makes a comeback in a contemporary guise.

To restore Britain's reputation on the issue, the centre's report outlines more than 80 recommendations, including the appointment of an independent anti-slavery commissioner, to ensure proper political focus and new legislation to better protect victims.

Researchers were stunned at the lack of awareness of the problem among frontline officials whose job it was to identify and help trafficked victims. "We have encountered unacceptable levels of ignorance and misidentification of victims among the police, social services, the UKBA [UK Border Agency], the judicial system and others," said the report.

Social workers, it added, were "not equipped" to identify victims of modern slavery. One charity described how it was normal for just a couple of hands to be raised when a room holding 40 social workers was asked if anyone knew about the national referral mechanism, the government's system for identifying and protecting suspected trafficking victims.

Bizarro Earth

Yale hosts workshop teaching sensitivity to bestiality


Sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt.
On Saturday afternoon, Yale hosted a "sensitivity training" in which students were asked to consider topics such as bestiality, incest, and accepting money for sex.

During the workshop, entitled, "Sex: Am I Normal," students anonymously asked and answered questions about sex using their cell phones, and viewed the responses in real time in the form of bar charts.

The session was hosted by "sexologist" Dr. Jill McDevitt, who owns a sex store called Feminique in West Chester, Pa.

Survey responses revealed that nine percent of attendees had been paid for sex, 3 percent had engaged in bestiality, and 52 percent had participated in "consensual pain" during sex, according to an article published in the Yale Daily News on Monday.

Evil Rays

Bees attack young children at South African park, injuring 44


Forty four children were stung by bees at the Bunny Park in Benoni on the East Rand.
More than 40 young children were injured and transported to area hospitals after a swarm of bees attacked them at a park in the northeastern region of South Africa, paramedics said on late Friday. Four of the children were critically injured.

The freak incident happened at around 3:30 p.m. local time on Friday when 80 children from a pre-primary school were waiting to board their bus after visiting a bunny park in Benoni, a city on the East Rand in Gauteng province. All of the children were between the ages of 2 and 6.

"They were waiting for a bus when things went drastically wrong. A swarm of bees came out of nowhere and attacked the children," said Chris Botha, a spokesman for ambulance service Netcare 911. The incident sparked a large emergency response with ambulances from across the region being sent to the scene.


Montana police: Cable hunting show host shot and killed by jealous husband

Police in Whitefish, Montana said on Friday that Sportsman Channel host Gregory Rodríguez was shot and killed by a friend's jealous husband.

According to KRTV-TV, Rodríguez, host of A Rifleman's Journal and an editor for Guns & Ammo Magazine and other outdoors publications, was visiting the state as part of a business trip when he went to see the woman at her mother's house on Thursday night.

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said the woman's husband, 41-year-old Wayne Bengston, "came into the house, immediately shot Mr. Rodríguez and killed him almost instantly. Dial also said Bengston beat his wife before leaving the house with her 2-year-old son.

Heart - Black

82-year-old woman dragged off train for allegedly singing too loudly

An 82-year-old Florida woman appears to be preparing for a legal battle against transit officials in Miami after video surfaced online of her being pulled to the ground and out of a local train.

WPLG-TV reported on Friday that an attorney representing Emma Anderson has filed a Freedom of Information Act request against Miami-Dade Transit asking for their policies regarding dealing with elderly passengers.

The request could be the first legal salvo in the wake of a Feb. 20 incident in which Anderson was ejected from a local Metrorail train for allegedly singing a religious song too loudly.

"I was beating my little beads with the bottle and I was singing a song," Anderson told the station on March 6. "[The security guard] came up to me and said, 'Ma'am, you're making too much noise.'"

The video, filmed on a cell phone by another passenger, shows the guard grabbing Anderson's bag by the handle while she held on to the other end. Shortly thereafter, Anderson is seen falling to the ground. Her attorney, Al Carbonell, said the fall caused injuries to her hip and shoulder.

"Right now, physically, she can't walk," Carbonell said. "She can't move around."

Cupcake Choco

Hysterization continues: 9-year-old gets in trouble for bringing cupcakes with Army figures on them to school

On Friday, a 9-year-old boy in Detroit brought cupcakes to Schall Elementary School for his birthday. Pretty innocent, right? You would think so, but no. Both the boy and his parents were reprimanded for a decoration on the cupcakes that the school principal found to be inappropriate - little green Army men.

According to CBS, school principal Susan Wright called the parents and said the cupcakes were insensitive. She then reportedly had the school staff remove the Army men before serving the cupcakes.


Royal Caribbean cruisers ill with apparent norovirus

© AP Photo
One hundred and five passengers and three crew members fell ill on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship the "Vision of the Seas."
A Royal Caribbean cruise ship has returned to port with more than 100 passengers sickened by a stomach illness thought to be norovirus.

Vision of the Seas returned to Port Everglades, Fla., after an 11-night Caribbean cruise. One hundred five passengers and three crew members fell ill, the cruise line said. There were 1,991 guests and 772 crew members on board.

The ship returned as scheduled and ill passengers responded well to over-the-counter medication being administered on board the ship, Royal Caribbean International said.

The Centers for Disease Control, which tracks norovirus outbreaks on its website, did not yet have a record of the incident.

Arrow Down

Why Bob Geldof is wrong about Africa

By praising Tony Blair's Gleneagles agreement, celebrity economist shows he knows nothing of the absurdity of aid

Bob Geldof
© Rex Features
Bob Geldof in Ethiopia in 1985
Bob Geldof is a humanitarian activist. He is also an egotist, a celebrity economist, and quite wrong on Africa.

Geldof, the lead singer of the Boomtown Rats, sprung to global prominence with his role in Band Aid to raise money for the Ethiopian famine. The single sold nearly 12 million copies; the Live Aid concerts raised £150m. For these efforts Geldof received an honorary knighthood and was elevated to a spokesman for African development.

But the reason for the famine that catapulted him to prominence had less to do with the weather than the Ethiopian government's policy to withhold food shipments to rebel areas and to spend nearly half of its gross domestic product on the military. Aid became a tool of the counter-insurgency strategy, being left to rot or distributed according to political objectives. The same political issues shape African development choices today and these, not external activism on aid, are key to the continent's future.


Social Hysteria: South Dakota school teachers could be allowed to carry guns

Neil Heslin
© Sipa USA/Rex Features
Neil Heslin, whose son Jesse was killed in the Newtown massacre, testifies at a Senate hearing on assault weapons, part of a national push for more gun controls.
State votes to allow school districts to decide if they want to arm staff in wake of Newtown shooting massacre

Teachers in schools in South Dakota could be allowed to carry guns after the state voted to allow 152 school districts to decide if they want to arm school staff.

The "school sentinels" bill was introduced after the Newtown shootings in Connecticut. School boards must get approval from local police, and sentinels would have to be trained to carry weapons in the schools. District residents could put the issue to a referendum.

Friday's vote in South Dakota follows a proposal in Georgia to extend the right to carry arms. The Republican-led state house voted 117-56 on Thursday to allow licensed gun owners to take weapons inside some unsecured government buildings where they are currently banned, starting on July 1. They would still be outlawed from college dormitories and sporting events.

Comment: Listen to some interesting fact-based discussion on SOTT Talk Radio regarding Gun Control in the USA: Do Guns Protect Freedoms?


Is it even possible to live a celibate life?

After another sex scandal involving a senior member of the Catholic Church, questions are again being asked about celibacy. Is it realistic for someone to permanently go without sex?

Celibacy does not mean abstinence.

To the purists, celibacy - derived from the Latin for unmarried - means a permanent state of being without sex.

Abstinence can be temporary. And it's possible to be abstinent in a relationship. "True" celibacy means a life without both sex and a spouse or partner. Of course, there are many who give it a looser definition - merely indicating some sort of commitment to be without sex.

The subject is back in the headlines after Cardinal Keith O'Brien admitted that his "sexual conduct" had fallen below the standards expected of him amid allegations of "inappropriate behaviour".

As a Catholic priest he was expected to abstain from all sexual activity and devote himself to God and the Church's followers. Buddhist monks have similar expectation. In both religions, masturbation is regarded as a breach of celibacy.

For non-religious people the institution can be hard to comprehend.