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Sat, 09 Dec 2023
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Pedophilia is the problem

Boy Scouts of America
© Llifezilla.net
The bosses of the Boy Scouts of America surprised everyone this week by postponing their decision on whether to allow gay leaders and gay Scouts to join their ranks.

If the BSA's long-standing ban on gays is lifted by national officials in May, the choice to admit gays may be left to local Boy Scout chapters - as it should be.

Churches and civic groups that sponsor Boy Scout troops wouldn't be forced by the national organization to admit gays. And parents can choose whether they want their child to be in a troop led by a gay man.

If you're asking me if I'd put my child in a Boy Scout troop with a leader who is a known homosexual, I would answer on the side of caution and say "No." But despite what some of my conservative friends think, allowing gays in the Boy Scouts will not be an open invitation to pedophiles to begin preying on children.

Being gay doesn't mean you are a pedophile. Homosexuality and pedophilia are two completely different issues, and studies show that a child is no more at risk of being molested by a gay or bisexual man than a heterosexual one.

As someone who was sexually molested by a camp counselor when I was 8, I know more than I care to about pedophilia and the long-lasting harm it does to children. You can read about my experience and what I learned from it in Twice Adopted, my 2004 book.


Horsemeat scandal blamed on international fraud by mafia gangs

© Photograph: Will Oliver/AFP
Environment secretary Owen Paterson wants to see more DNA testing on food products.
DNA testing of food to be stepped up following fears there has been criminal activity on an international scale

Organised criminal gangs operating internationally are suspected of playing a major role in the horsemeat scandal that has seen supermarket shelves cleared of a series of products and triggered concerns about the contamination of the UK's food chain.

Sources close to the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Food Standards Agency said it appeared that the contamination of beefburgers, lasagne and other products was the result of fraud that had an "international dimension".

Experts within the horse slaughter industry have told the Observer there is evidence that both Polish and Italian mafia gangs are running multimillion-pound scams to substitute horsemeat for beef during food production. There are claims that vets and other officials working within abattoirs and food production plants are intimidated into signing off meat as beef when it is in fact cheaper alternatives such as pork or horse.


Briton arrested over school shooting threats on Facebook

© Photograph: Leon Neal/AFP
A man apparently posted a message on Facebook saying: "My father has three guns … I’m gonna kill hopefully at least 200."
Schools in Tennessee strengthen security after man from South Shields allegedly threatens to kill 200 people

A British man has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill 200 people which led to schools in America beefing up security.

The 24-year-old from South Shields in south Tyneside, was in custody after apparently posting a message on Facebook two days ago.

According to reports, the post was made anonymously on an online memorial page.

That led schools in Warren County, Tennessee, to tighten security, with limited access to premises. According to reports around 3,000 pupils were absent from school the next day.

A Northumbria police spokesman said: "At 2.12pm today police received notification that a man had posted threatening information on Facebook.


At least 15 dead in Chile bus accident

© AFP Photo
Chilean rescue workers at the accident site in Tome, Biobio province, on February 9, 2013. At least 15 people were killed and 19 injured when a bus carrying soccer fans plunged into a ravine in central Chile.
At least 15 people were killed and 19 injured on Saturday when a bus carrying soccer fans plunged into a ravine in central Chile, a local official said.

The accident occurred near the town of Tome, in Biobio province, at about 1:00 am (0400 GMT), said Luciano Parra, a spokesman for the Tome mayor's office.

"The information that we have right now shows that, unfortunately, 15 people did not survive, and 19 others were injured," Parra told 24 Hours, a television news channel.


Greek MP's flout no smoking law

greek smoking

Greeks ignore No Smoking laws

Joining other Greeks who have ignored five smoking bans in the last decade and light up just about wherever and wherever they want, Greek lawmakers are openly smoking in Parliament in violation of the law they passed, and in the building where they did it.

The defiance has angered 88 of the 300 Members of Parliament who wrote to the body's speaker urging action against what they called a "pathetic and infuriating" state of affairs.

MP's enjoy other special privileges as well and a lifestyle that has angered Greeks suffering under crushing austerity measures. Greek media reported that during debates, most of them are in the halls drinking whiskey and eating unlimited free food.


Plane crash kills 5, closes Belgium's Charleroi airport

© Reuters/Sebastien Pirlet
A police photographer inspects the scene of a tourist plane crash at Charleroi airport February 9, 2013.
A small passenger plane crashed at Belgium's Charleroi airport on Saturday, killing five people and closing the international hub used by Ryanair and other low-cost carriers.

The aircraft, a Cessna, had problems on takeoff and tried to return to Charleroi to make an emergency landing but crashed on the side of the runway, airport officials said.

"There was a problem on takeoff and they tried to come back, but unfortunately the plane crashed," said Melissa Milioto, an airport spokeswoman. "Five people were killed."


Women shot during LAPD ex-cop manhunt had no warning, lawyer says

© Reuters / Patrick T. Fallon
Police detectives investigate a shooting incident involving a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck in Torrance, Calif. Police opened fire on the vehicle in a case of mistaken identity while searching for former Los Angeles police officer Christopher Dorner.
A mother and daughter who were mistakenly shot by Los Angeles police hunting for rampage suspect Christopher Dorner had no warning before bullets started whizzing through their newspaper-delivery truck, their lawyer said Friday.

"No command, no instruction, no warning. They just opened fire on them," said Glen Jonas, who is representing Emma Hernandez, 71, and Margie Carranza, 47, in possible legal action against the Los Angeles Police Department.

"They had no idea what was going on. They're huddling, covering up and praying and hoping they're not going to die."

Both women survived. Hernandez, shot in the back, was in good condition Friday. Her daughter suffered a hand injury and is physically fine but emotionally scarred, Jonas said.

The LAPD admits the predawn Thursday shooting was a case of mistaken identity that unfolded while police were guarding the Torrance home of someone named in a manifesto that ex-cop Dorner posted online about his twisted plans to avenge his firing.

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Sudan's inflation eases but food prices remain 'very high'

© (File photo)
Police in Sudan using US and UK-supplied tear gas to break up student protests against high food prices in June 2012.
Sudan's annual inflation eased marginally to 43.6 percent in January from 44.4 percent in December, official data showed on Thursday but food prices stayed very high, adding to the hardship of ordinary people.

Sudan has avoided "Arab spring" turmoil that has unseated rulers in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, but spiraling food price inflation has sparked small protests against President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, in power since 1989.

Prices have soared in the African country since South Sudan seceded in July 2011, taking with it three-quarters of the country's oil output. Annual inflation was 15 percent in June 2011, the last data before southern independence.

Arrow Up

The 'perfect storm' of conditions that has worldwide food prices surging, itemized

The World Bank just published its Commodity Market Outlook.
"Most commodity prices are expected to ease marginally in 2013," they write. "[C]rude oil will average US$102/bbl in 2013, just 3 percent lower than in 2012. Agricultural commodity prices are also forecast to decline: food by 3.2 percent, beverages by 4.7 percent, and raw materials by 2.2 percent. Metal prices are expected to rise slightly but still average 14 percent lower than in 2011. Fertilizer prices are set to decline 2.9 percent, while precious metal prices will increase almost 2 percent."


Massachusetts Nuclear plant shuts down during snowstorm

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a power plant in Massachusetts has lost power and shut down during a massive snowstorm.

The NRC says the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth experienced an automatic shutdown at around 9:15 p.m. Friday after losing off-site power. Spokesman Neil Sheehan says the plant has declared an unusual event, which is the lowest level of emergency classification.

Sheehan says that the reactor shut down without any problems and that backup generators are powering plant equipment.

The NRC says there's no threat to public safety.

The shutdown came as a major snowstorm began clobbering the New York-to-Boston corridor, knocking out power to more than 300,000 customers in Massachusetts.