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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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Swiss MP wants to ban hijabs from passport photos

© Miro Kuzmanovic / Reuters
A politician from the right-wing Swiss People's Party, the largest in the federal parliament, has demanded that hijabs be banned from passport photos, just as caps are. This "unequal treatment" has nothing do to with religious freedom, he argued.

Walter Wobmann, an anti-immigration advocate, said he believes that equal rules should apply to hijabs, caps, headbands and other face-covering articles when taking passport photos.

"It is unacceptable that you can wear a hijab in a photo but not a cap," he told Blick newspaper on Sunday. "This is not a question of religious freedom but of equal treatment."

Currently, Swiss police guidelines for passport and ID card photos say that covering a face is not permitted except for religious reasons. Zurich police authorities have told Blick that hijabs are generally allowed, but the face must be open and identifiable.


Canadian government confirms citizen kidnapped with two Italians in Libya

© Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters
The old city of Ghat is seen in Libya
Ottawa has confirmed that one Canadian citizen has been kidnapped in Libya, and says it is working to obtain more information on the abduction. The citizen was captured along with two Italians last week.

In response to the kidnapping, Global Affairs Canada, the country's foreign department, on Sunday said it is "diligently pursuing all appropriate channels to obtain more information."

The department called the kidnapping "troubling," but declined to provide further details.

"The Government of Canada will not comment or release any information which may compromise ongoing efforts to secure their release or endanger the safety of Canadian citizens," a spokeswoman told Reuters in an email.

Comment: The chaos in Libya and subsequent takeover by militants is a direct result of the West's criminal war against the country: Any hope left? Libyan rebels 'miss Gaddafi' after years of chaos created by Western intervention


Falling in love?: Russian teen survives 23-floor fall after attempting to impress girl

© Maksim Blinov / Reuters
A 16-year-old boy from Siberia narrowly escaped death after he swung from a balcony 23 flights high and fell down, all while trying to impress a girl.

The teenager is now in intensive care with his life under no immediate threat. Doctors say he is stable and conscious. The teenager escaped what should have been a fatal fall with multiple injuries.

"He has a bruised abdomen and lung, a tear in his liver and a broken shoulder. The guy was born under a lucky star. He is stable and conscious," senior assistant to the head of the investigating committee of Novosibirsk, Anastasiya Kuleshova, told TASS.


Anti-smoking nanny state: Nebraskan city proposes smoking ban in private apartments

© AP Photo/Nati Harnik
In this Sept. 14, 2016, photo, restoration work is performed at a Bellevue, Neb., apartment complex which was hit twice by fire.
Some leaders in a blue-collar Nebraska suburb that's home to Offutt Air Force Base are borrowing an idea from a vastly more liberal state: Ban apartment renters from smoking cigarettes and e-cigarettes inside.

The proposal, which would be one of the few such restrictions outside of California and is similar to federal rules for public housing across the U.S., isn't meant to protect the health of the city's 50,000 residents, but instead to prevent fires.

Councilman Don Preister proposed the ban, which wouldn't affect duplexes and single-family homes, in August after cigarette smoking at a single Bellevue apartment complex led to two fires a month earlier. The second fire destroyed the building, displacing dozens of people, and injured four, including a firefighter.

Comment: Smoking bans are fascism, plain and simple, though their proponents would have the population think that bans are initiated for health and safety reason. To the thinking person smoking bans should stimulate their curiosity as to why they are consistently proposed.

Star of David

Israel calls on Norwegian theater to help remove fake BDS clip

Nationaltheatret Beklager
Tel Aviv has urged the National Theatre of Norway to deny links to and remove a video in which a fake theater official called for a boycott of Israel and its HaBima Theater. The Norwegian theater denied its part but stopped short of criticizing the clip.

While the theater apparently had no role in producing the video, the Israeli Foreign Ministry demanded that it should "clearly and immediately repudiate" the clip, as well as take "necessary measures to have the video removed from every site."

It went on to compare the video to "the works of the Reich Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, or the Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl," adding that it is "actively pursuing the matter with all involved parties."

Comment: The truth hurts. The nut jobs in Tel Aviv will stop at nothing to protect their false image.


UK acid attacks: Hidden from view and on the rise

© Pixabay
Globally, acid attacks disproportionately affect women, but in the UK, increasing numbers of men are reported to be suffering acid attacks, suggesting that the low cost and ease of availability of acid on the Internet means acid is becoming the weapon of choice among some criminals.

"Looking at the evidence from police reports, many victims tend to be young men and the perpetrators are also young men," Jaf Shah, executive director of Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTI) in the UK told Sputnik. "With acid, there's an attempt to disfigure and mane rather than kill. For this reason, it has become a weapon of choice for that particular purpose, instead of a knife or gun, for example."

Acid-related violence is a hidden crime, under-reported globally. Its many survivors fear reprisals and have little confidence in the police and judicial system to pursue the case.

Arrow Down

Fight with prison guards leaves indigenous Australian inmate 'brain dead'

© Toya Aroha / Facebook
An indigenous inmate in an Australian jail has died after an apparent altercation with five guards reportedly left him brain dead. Authorities say the fight was started by the inmate, while his sister says prison officials have "dirt on their hands."

Wayne Morrison, 29, was allegedly involved in a violent incident with guards at Yatala Labour Prison in Adelaide while waiting for a scheduled court video link appearance on Friday, according to the state of South Australia's Correctional Services Minister Peter Malinauskas.

Malinauskas said that Morrison received "on-the-spot medical treatment and an ambulance was called and he was transported to the RAH [Royal Adelaide Hospital]" following the incident.

Comment: Dudgeon, a professor of Indigenous studies at the University of Western Australia, has written before that the practice of psychology had been part of the "colonizing process" in Australia that had "objectified, dehumanized and devalued those from culturally different groups".

Social Darwinism was used by early Australian psychologists to describe Indigenous Australians as a primitive race, which in turn drove a series of research projects to study the mind of "primitive man". It was, she wrote, "a psychological determinism that has supported a racist agenda".

See also: Australian Psychological Society issues apology to Indigenous people for decades of mistreatment and exploitation


Several injured in Houston shopping mall shooting, scene 'contained'

© Lauren Talarico / Twitter
A shooting in Houston, Texas, has resulted in several people sustaining injuries, police have said. The scene is now contained, but residents are asked to avoid the area.

The Houston Police Department has confirmed "an active shooter situation in a shopping center near the corner of Weslayan and Bissonnet in southwest Houston."

Police also tweeted that the active shooter was shot by law enforcers. There are no reports of other suspects at this time.

The shooting is believed to have started at about 6:20 am local time.

Comment: Update: Houston shooting suspect is dead - police
The suspect in a Houston, Texas spree shooting has been killed, police said. At least six people sustained injuries. The scene is now "contained," but residents have been asked to avoid the area.


UK's first food waste supermarket opens

© The Real Junk Food Project
A shopper browses the shelves in the UK’s first food waste supermarket
The UK's first food waste supermarket has opened in Pudsey, near Leeds.

Food waste campaigners from the Real Junk Food Project have opened "the warehouse", a store on the Grangefield Industrial Estate. Customers are invited to shop for food thrown out by supermarkets and other businesses.

The food is priced on a "pay as you feel" basis and has already helped desperate families struggling to feed their children.

"The warehouse has absolutely been our lifeline over the past month or so," Kirsty Rhodes told The Independent.

Kirsty was recently diagnosed with a chronic pain condition, leaving her husband with no choice but to leave work to take over most of the care of the couple's three children. Overnight the couple's household income was reduced to almost nothing.

"With three young children and two adults to feed we started to struggle straight away. Luckily we took the plunge to go to the warehouse and it was amazing!" Kirsty said.

Comment: Another 'sign of the times' for wasteful and austerity ravaged 'Great Britain'. See also:


Kill and pay with your taxes: Police shooting costs Oakland $1.2 million

The city of Oakland has agreed to pay $1.2 million to the family of a man shot to death by police who found him unconscious in his car. The settlement, which brings to a close two separate lawsuits filed by Demouria Hogg's family, will be split among his mother, two children and one other family member.

Oakland Police officer Nicole Rhodes shot and killed Hogg on the morning of June 6, 2015, after firefighters spotted him sleeping in a BMW parked near Lake Merritt with a handgun resting on the passenger seat next to him. Rhodes and two other officers spent the next hour trying to wake Hogg with a bullhorn, loudspeakers and by firing beanbag rounds to break out the car's windows.

When they finally roused him, officer Daniel Cornejo-Valdivia used a stun gun on Hogg while Rhodes fired two shots into the car, according to an amended complaint. Hogg was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital. John Burris, an attorney for Hogg's son, said that Hogg didn't wake up right away because he was hard of hearing. He said the officers should have given Hogg time to comply with their orders before shooting him. Instead, the family claimed, police killed him as soon as he awoke. Hogg hadn't committed any crime or made any aggressive move that would have led officers to believe he was dangerous, the family said.