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Jean-Marie Le Pen convicted of saying Nazis weren't so bad

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© Patrick Seeger/EPA
Jean-Marie Le Pen, whose three-month suspended prison sentence and €10,000 fine was upheld by a Paris appeals court.
Court confirms conviction of far right Front National founder, who said Nazi occupation was not 'particularly inhumane'

Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of France's far right Front National, has been convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying the Nazi occupation was not "particularly inhumane".

A Paris appeals court upheld the three-month suspended prison sentence and €10,000 (£8,283) fine handed to Le Pen in 2009.

Le Pen had told the far-right magazine Rivarol in 2005: "in France at least the German occupation was not particularly inhumane, even if there were a number of excesses - inevitable in a country of 550,000 sq km."

He added: "If the Germans had carried out mass executions across the country as the received wisdom would have it, then there wouldn't have been any need for concentration camps for political deportees."

Comment: In a way Le Pen is right: France did not suffer as much as other countries like Poland and Russia because its population largely embraced Nazi philosophy.

The French Resistance Myth


Boat

Warrior Princess: Lucy Lawless and Protesters Spend Third Night Aboard Oil Drilling Ship

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© Greenpeace Source: Associated Press
Actress Lucy Lawless is spending her third night on board an oil-drilling ship bound for the Arctic with a group of protesters.
A group of protesters on board a Shell-contracted oil-drilling ship in Taranaki, New Zealand, are preparing for a third night on board but their water is running low.

The protesters, including TV actor Lucy Lawless, boarded the Arctic-bound Noble Discoverer and scaled the 53m drilling tower on Friday morning, using locks on the access ladder to barricade themselves on the derrick.

The group of six had a cold and uncomfortable night on Saturday with loud music blasting at 3am and spotlights shining on them all night, Greenpeace New Zealand says on its website.

Smoking

Anti-Smoking Fascism: California Town Set to Ban Smoking ANYWHERE Outside... Even in Your Own Backyard

smoking
© unknown
A town in California is proposing to ban smoking outside, even for residents lighting up on their own property.

Smoking is already banned indoors in public places in most of the country, and in California it is illegal to smoke in parks and playgrounds too.

The town of Rocklin, near Sacramento, could take the draconian regulations further by extending them to private property as well.

The unusual legislation was prompted by a local family annoyed with their neighbour smoking outside and causing smoke to waft near their house.

They claimed their children's health had been jeopardised by second-hand smoke, according to CBS 13.

X

Murder in high places! Countess Lucan: I would have helped my husband get away with murder

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© REX
Lord Lucan at a West End club in London back in 1973
The wife of missing aristocrat Lord Lucan, who disappeared after murdering his childrens' nanny, has told how she would have covered up his crime has he not turned on her and left her too badly injured to help.

The Countess of Lucan also admitted she still harbours feelings for her husband, despite the fact he beat her savagely with a lead pipe, leaving her with an inch-long scar on her forehead.

She said: "I remember the happy times. I have three children by him. He is still a part of my life and a part of me, even though it was all so long ago.

"If I could have helped him I would have done."

Lucan disappeared in 1974 after bludgeoning Sandra Rivett, the nanny, to death at his home in Belgravia, London. His wife claims he had mistaken Rivett for her in the darkened basement.

The couple had recently been involved in a bitter custody battle and when she entered the room he attacked her but she managed to fight him off and escape.

Laptop

Homeland Security Manual Lists Government Key Words For Monitoring Social Media, News

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© AFP/Getty Images
Ever complain on Facebook that you were feeling "sick?" Told your friends to "watch" a certain TV show? Left a comment on a media website about government "pork?" If you did any of those things, or tweeted about your recent vacation in "Mexico" or a shopping trip to "Target," the Department of Homeland Security may have noticed.

In the latest revelation of how the federal government is monitoring social media and online news outlets, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has posted online a 2011 Department of Homeland Security manual that includes hundreds of key words (such as those above) and search terms used to detect possible terrorism, unfolding natural disasters and public health threats. The center, a privacy watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued to obtain the release of the documents.

The 39-page "Analyst's Desktop Binder" used by the department's National Operations Center includes no-brainer words like ""attack," "epidemic" and "Al Qaeda" (with various spellings). But the list also includes words that can be interpreted as either menacing or innocent depending on the context, such as "exercise," "drill," "wave," "initiative," "relief" and "organization."

Arrow Up

Indoor Toilets in India? What a concept!

Toilet Revolution
© The Indian Express

Toilet humour has acquired a degree of respect in Ratanpur, a tiny village of five tribal-dominated clusters in Madhya Pradesh's Betul district. But it took a gutsy, newly-wed woman to walk out of her husband's home last year for things to come to this pass.

When Anita Narre left her in-laws' home in May last year because it had no toilet, Zitudhana, a cluster of 175-odd houses, in the village, was shocked. Defecation in the open was a norm even among those who own big houses and tractors, so the new bride's defiance made news in the community. But Anita was steadfast in her demand. If her husband Shivram wanted her back, he had to build a toilet for her. "I did not do that to become famous. I did what I felt strongly about,'' she says. The 24-year-old returned eight days later after Shivram, who was then a daily wage labourer and now a temporary teacher at a government school (where he teaches environmental sciences), constructed a toilet in their house with the gram panchayat's help.

Anita went on to script a near-revolution in sanitation in the region, doing what years of government campaigns could not achieve, when other women followed her lead and demanded toilets in their homes. More than half a billion people in rural India do not have access to latrines, even while the central government's "sanitation for all" drive has made the construction of toilets mandatory in states like Chhattisgarh. Anita's defiance earned her respect among the villagers, particularly the women. Without her precedent, they say they could never have put their foot down, despite the inconvenience of having to choose between the lingering darkness before dawn and the late evening hours.

People

Retired Soviet Officer Rewarded for Averting Nuclear War

Stanislav Petrov
© RT
Stanislav Petrov, former Soviet lieutenant colonel, dons his formal uniform.
Most people become heroes for doing things. Stanislav Petrov became one through having the courage to do nothing - in the face of a potential nuclear threat.

­The retired Russian Lieutenant Colonel has picked up a major humanitarian accolade, the German Media Prize, for preventing possible catastrophic all-out conflict. The previous recipients of the award include Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, and the Dalai Lama.

­Teetering on the brink

­On September 26, 1983, Stanislav Petrov was the duty officer at an early-warning anti-nuclear center just outside Moscow.

The clock had just struck midnight, when a piercing warning siren began to wail.

It was less than a month after the USSR had shot down a Korean passenger jet, and Cold War tensions were at their highest for years.

Petrov's computer showed that the United States had launched a ballistic missile towards the Soviet Union. In seconds, several more appeared.

Star of David

Cassandra Wilson Cancels Israel Show: "I Identify With the Cultural Boycott of Israel"

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© Ynet News
US jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson has canceled her gig this weekend at the Women's Festival in Holon, following appeals by boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) activists encouraging her to respect the Palestinian call for boycott. She took a public political stand just before she was due to board a plane to Tel Aviv.

Israeli daily Ynet reported (in Hebrew, translated) that Wilson announced, "as a human rights activist, I identify with the cultural boycott of Israel." The report also stated that concert promoters are considering legal action against her.

Activists from Boycott from Within, who drafted an appeal to Wilson last week, asked her not to "support selective empowerment of women under Israeli apartheid."

Comment: A recent post to Cassandra Wilson's Facebook Page stated:
Cassandra Wilson refused to sing in Apartheid Israel, and her page is being attacked by many Israeli extremists. Please click on her name below, and "like" on her page. Thanks.



Handcuffs

Maternity Nurses "Aggressors," Not RFK Son: Doctor

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© Unknown
New York - A son of Robert F. Kennedy is facing misdemeanor charges after he struggled with nurses who tried to stop him from carrying his newborn son out of the maternity ward at a hospital near New York City.

Douglas Kennedy said he was trying to take the baby out of Northern Westchester Hospital for a quick walk when a group of nurses who thought the infant should remain indoors tried to stop him.

Security video obtained by WNBC-TV shows that the nurses stopped Kennedy from using an elevator, then tried to block him from using a stairwell.

Nuke

Fukushima: Official Commits Suicide After Measuring Radiation in Tokyo Park

Mizumoto Park from the air
© n/a
Mizumoto Park from the air in 1989
According to a Japanese news outlet, Iza, on July 1st, 2011 63-year-old Mr. Takashi Kabayama was found dead with a plastic bag over his head in his home office.

Kabayama was a member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly for the Liberal Democratic Party and had been measuring radiation in an assortment of locations throughout Tokyo.

He would then upload his findings to his blog for the world to read and on the day before he died (June 30, 2011) he measured 0.25 microSv/h in Mizumoto Park in the Katsushika ward located in Tokyo.

Fukushima Diary reported on February 22, 2012 via Gendai that ludicrously high levels of cesium contamination were discovered, also in Mizumoto Park.

These levels were so high that they "turned out to be the same level of [the] 'off-limits zone' in Chernobyl."