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Thu, 25 Feb 2021
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Black Cat 2

Traffic accident in China rescues over 1,000 cats from restaurant slaughterhouses

Cats Rescued
© Medical Daily
A car accident in China saved over 1,000 cats from being shipped off to restaurants to be slaughtered as cat meat.

Animal activists in Changsha, the capital city of China's Hunan province had time to free the starving cats crammed in some 40 cages after the truck hauling over 1,000 felines destined for restaurants in Guangdong got in a traffic accident, Care for Chinese Animals reports.

The accident delayed the journey by 24 hours, which allowed 50 locals to rescue the animals. Apparently, while the truck was stranded by the side of the road, a call went out through the social network Weibo (the Chinese version of Twitter) for all Changsha residents who were willing to save the cats.

Some of the cats died in the accident, but the survivors had been nursed with food, water and milk before being sent to Changsha Small Animal Protection Association for treatment.

Cats in China can spend months stuffed 25 at a time inside small 2ft by 3ft cages. While many of the animals die before they reach their final destination, the cats are usually sold to restaurants for about $1 or $2 or less if they are bought in bulk.

Eye 2

Man accused of threatening to eat judge's kids

Man threatens judge

A north Georgia man has been arrested after authorities say he mailed a letter to the wife of a Cobb County Superior Court judge saying he would cook the couple's children and eat them.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports 58-year-old James Edward Satterfield is accused of sending the threatening letter Dec. 20 to the home of Cobb County Superior Court Judge Reuben Green.

Green Light

Evangelical minister calls to embrace LGBT instead of 'condemn and exclude' policy

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© Flickr user HowardLake
The Rev Steve Chalke says Christians need to find ways to support those in or seeking faithful same-sex partnerships

An influential evangelical minister has declared his support for monogamous and loving same-sex relationships, and called on the church to stop treating gay people as pariahs.

The Rev Steve Chalke, a Baptist minister who founded the Christian charity Oasis, says the time has come for the church to demonstrate its compassion and commitment to inclusivity.

His intervention comes amid the Church of England's continuing struggles with the highly divisive issues of celibacy for gay bishops and the introduction of female bishops.

In a long and passionately articulated piece for Christianity magazine, Chalke writes: "I believe that when we treat homosexual people as pariahs and push them outside our communities and churches; when we blame them for what they are; when we deny them our blessing on their commitment to lifelong, faithful relationships, we make them doubt whether they are children of God, made in his image."

Star of David

American-born Israeli settler convicted of murdering Palestinians

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An Israeli court on Wednesday found a US-born Jewish settler guilty of murdering two Palestinians and convicted him on two counts of attempted murder.

Jack Teitel, a 41-year-old extreme right religious activist, was found guilty of the killings in 1997 of a bus driver and a shepherd, both Palestinians.

He was also found guilty of two attempted murders, making and illegally possessing weapons and incitement to violence, according to the Jerusalem district court decision, a copy of which was seen by AFP.

The court ruled that Teitel was mentally competent when the offences he was accused of were carried out, and rejected defence lawyers' arguments that their client had not been mentally stable and was therefore not guilty.

USA

Satanists plan rally in support of Florida governor

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The Satanic Temple is planning a rally outside of Florida Governor Rick Scott's office to support his bill allowing students to pray at school events.

Senate Bill 98 gives students "sole discretion in determining whether an inspirational message is to be delivered" at a school assembly - including religious prayers. Scott has long advocated for students to be able to pray at school events, but he wasn't expecting Satanists to jump on the opportunity.

To celebrate the governor's signing of the bill, Satanists will rally outside of his office on Jan. 25 to show their support for Scott's decision, as well as to promote their own beliefs.

"You don't build up your membership unless people know about you," Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves told the Palm Beach Post. "So this allows us to get our message out in public. We're hoping it will reduce the stigmatism."

V

Food prices may be catalyst for 2013 revolutions

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© Reuters
Food prices around the world could soar this year if there’s a repeat of 2012’s drought in the American Midwest.
What is the trigger for a revolution? Sometimes it a brutal act of repression. Sometimes it a lost war, or a natural catastrophe, that exposes the failings of a regime.

But more often than not, it is soaring food prices.

The easiest prediction to make for 2013 is that everything we eat will once again rise sharply in price. So where will the revolutions start this year? Keep an eye on Algeria and Greece - and if you want to feel very nervous, Russia and China. And if you are smart, keep your money out of those countries as well.

The link between the cost of feeding your family and political turmoil is too well-established to be ignored. We saw it most recently with the Arab Spring of 2011. The uprisings that deposed the autocracies of the Middle East had their roots in food inflation. Most of the Middle East countries import 50% or more of their food, making them acutely vulnerable to rising commodity prices. In Egypt the food inflation rate hit 19% in early 2011. For President Hosni Mubarak that was game over. The regime was finished.

Attention

Will there be a global food crisis in 2013?

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© Photo: Jaspreet Kindra/IRIN
Global supplies of staple grains are tight
Drought last year devastated much of the maize crop in the US, the world's biggest maize exporter, driving prices of the staple cereal to record levels.

While food experts did not anticipate the rising prices would trigger the kind of crises seen in 2008 and 2011 - when the world faced structural deficits in the more widely consumed staples wheat and rice - they are concerned about the ability of the world's poorest people to feed themselves.

Cereal prices have declined by a modest 2.4 percent, largely the result of lower demand as economies stagnate, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported last week. But we are already in an era of high prices. The price of wheat was more than 20 percent higher in October 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, according to FAO.

IRIN - with the help of food experts, the most recent reports from FAO and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) - reflects on the global food situation in 2012 and the outlook for 2013.

Dollars

We must focus on the working poor

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In many respects the economy is healing, as both the unemployment rate and hiring statistics slowly improve. But there are growing numbers of Americans being left out.

These are not just the unemployed. Rather they are families that, despite having a working adult in the home, earn less than twice the federal poverty income threshold - a widely recognized measure of family self-sufficiency. They are working, but making too little to build economically secure lives. And their number has grown steadily over the past five years.

They are cashiers and clerks, nursing assistants and lab technicians, truck drivers and waiters. Either they are unable to find good, full-time jobs, or their incomes are inadequate and their prospects for advancement are poor.

New analysis of the most recent U.S. Census American Community Survey by the Working Poor Families Project shows that the number of low-income working families in the United States has increased to 10.4 million in 2011, up from 10.2 million a year earlier. In all, nearly one third of all working families - 32 percent - may not have enough money to meet basic needs.

Bad Guys

Wave of Iraq attacks kills 42

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© AFP Photo
Local men inspect the site of an explosion in Kirkuk, Iraq, on January 16, 2013.
Attacks in Baghdad and north Iraq killed 42 people on Wednesday as hundreds attended the funeral of a Sunni MP who died in a suicide attack a day earlier, as a political crisis grips the country.

The violence, which struck mostly in disputed territory in the north and which officials also said wounded at least 245 people, was the deadliest this year.

It comes as Iraq grapples with a long-running political dispute, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki facing several protests in hardening opposition against his rule and calls from many of his erstwhile government partners for his ouster.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militants often launch waves of violence in a bid to destabilise the government and push Iraq back towards the sectarian violence that blighted it from 2005 to 2008.

Attention

Some 22,000 children considered missing in Turkey

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According to the Turkish statistics data, some 27,000 children were missing in the country from 2008 to 2011, CNN Turk TV channel said today. Some 16,200 of this number are girls.

According to the statistics, only 5700 children were found.