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Uganda Bill Punishes Homosexuality with Life in Prison

Uganda's Parliamentarian David Bahati
© n/a
Uganda's Parliamentarian David Bahati
A Ugandan member of parliament has reintroduced a bill that increases criminal penalties for some homosexual acts, but dropped a provision that allows homosexuals to be executed by the state.

Parliamentarian David Bahati on Tuesday reintroduced the so-called "kill the gays" bill that he had first introduced in 2009. It was later shelved in 2011 after an international outcry.

Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but under the original bill, some homosexual acts would have been punishable by death. The latest iteration of the bill increases current punishments for certain acts to life in prison.

Ugandans would also face criminal prosecution if they failed to report homosexuals to authorities.

In 2010, President Barack Obama called the first version of the bill "odious."

Chalkboard

US: Los Angeles Miramonte school suspends entire faculty over sex abuse claims

Police guard Miramonte elementary school in Los Angeles
© Krista Kennell/AFP/Getty
Police guard Miramonte elementary school in Los Angeles.

Two teachers are accused of committing lewd acts on children, leading to extraordinary move by distric

The entire teaching staff has been suspended at Miramonte elementary school in Los Angeles, where two teachers have been arrested on suspicion of sexually abusing children.

The Los Angeles school superintendent, John Deasy, announced the extraordinary move, telling parents that replacement teachers would be taking over classrooms and psychiatric social workers would be placed with each class to help students and staff.

Heart - Black

Israel: Ethiopian students? Not in our school

Students of Ethiopian descent living in Netanya are sent to 'their own' school; municipality: Registration areas determined years ago

In the Azorim neighborhood in Netanya 40% or residents are of Ethiopian descent. Most of them live on Motzkin and Eshkol Streets. The local Rambam elementary school is on Eshkol Street. The school has a student body that consists of mostly Ethiopian students.

In its website, the municipality made a statement that more than anything underscores the separation that exists within schools. On the same street, but in different 'blocks' there are two separate registration areas.

Evil Rays

Australia: No opt-out rule for airport body scanners

body scanner
Civil libertarians are worried by proposed legislation meaning passengers will not be able to opt out of undergoing full body scans at Australian airports.

The Federal Government will introduce legislation this week so the technology can be rolled out in all of Australia's international airports.

The move follows a trial in Sydney and Melbourne.

Except for travellers with serious medical conditions, all passengers will have to go through the scanners if asked by airport staff.

Eye 1

UK Government 'may sanction nerve-agent use on rioters', scientists fear

UK riot
Leading neuroscientists believe that the UK Government may be about to sanction the development of nerve agents for British police that would be banned in warfare under an international treaty on chemical weapons.

A high-level group of experts has asked the Government to clarify its position on whether it intends to develop "incapacitating chemical agents" for a range of domestic uses that go beyond the limited use of chemical irritants such as CS gas for riot control.

The experts were commissioned by the Royal Society, the UK's national academy of sciences, to investigate new developments in neuroscience that could be of use to the military. They concluded that the Government may be preparing to exploit a loophole in the Chemical Weapons Convention allowing the use of incapacitating chemical agents for domestic law enforcement.

The 1993 convention bans the development, stockpiling and use of nerve agents and other toxic chemicals by the military but there is an exemption for certain chemical agents that could be used for "peaceful" domestic purposes such as policing and riot control.

Extinguisher

'Apocalyptic' blast at Russian power plant stops motorists in their tracks

An accident at power station in Russia lights up the sky above a busy highway and knocks out electricity in south St Petersburg.


A video recorded on the dashboard camera of a car has captured a the moment an apocalyptic flash of light filled the Moscow sky.

Bad Guys

Hundreds of 9/11 Cops Diagnosed with Cancer

NYPD
© Spencer Platt/Getty Images
The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center took the lives of 23 NYPD officers who responded to the scene that day.

In the decade since though, the number of cops that have died from cancer is more than double that number, and the link, experts say, is astounding.

Before the 9/11 tragedy, an average of six NYPD cops filed claims for cancer-related disability each year. Around 12,000 men and women were dispatched to Ground Zero on September 11, and a decade down the road, the number of annual cancer claims has nearly tripled. Today there around 16 police officers each year in New York that are applying for cancer-related disability insurance, and the statistic has some saying that it is more than a coincidence.

In all, 297 cops that came to the scene of the September 11 terrorist attack in Lower Manhattan have been diagnosed with cancer since late 2001. 56 of them have passed away from their illnesses and the average age of diagnosis is only 44 years old. Less than half of that number - 23 police officers - were actually killed on the scene at Ground Zero.

Ambulance

Deadliest Crash in Years Kills 11 in Canada

Hampstead, Ontario -- Ten migrant farm workers from Peru were killed when a flat bed hit a passenger van in rural Canada on Monday afternoon, police and the workers' employer said. The truck driver also was killed.

Three other passengers were critically injured, The Globe and Mail reported.

The crash, the deadliest in Ontario since 1999, will leave at least 10 families in another country without a breadwinner, according to the Globe and Mail.

Police said one survivor was airlifted to a hospital with life-threatening injuries, and two others were seriously injured.

"On behalf of 13 million Ontarians, I want to offer our deepest condolences to those who lost a loved one and to offer our most sincere prayers for those taken to hospital," Premier Dalton McGuinty said in a statement.

No names of the victims have been released. Albert Burgers, who owns the farm where the workers were Monday before the crash, said some had been with his crew for more than 10 years.

Police told the CEO of the truck company, Speedy Transport, that the van apparently went through a stop sign and was hit by the truck.

The impact sent the van hurtling across a lawn before smashing into a house. The van's passenger side was nearly ripped off.

"I've been on the job for 28 years and I've never seen anything like it," Inspector Steve Porter told the newspaper as he stood near the scene after dark.

The Associated contributed to this report.

People

Iran's Middle Class on Edge as World Presses In

Iranian woman
© n/a
Tehran - One measure of the profound anxiety now coursing through Iranian society can be seen on Manouchehri Street, a winding lane at the heart of this city where furtive crowds of men gather every day like drug dealers to buy and sell American dollars.

The government has raised the official exchange rate and sent police into the streets to stop the black marketeers, but with confidence in Iran's own currency, the rial, collapsing by the day, the trade goes on.

"Am I afraid of the police? Sure, but I need the money," said Hamid, a heavyset construction engineer who was standing by a muddy patch of greenery amid a crowd of other illicit currency traders here. "Food prices are going up, and my salary is not enough." Glancing nervously around him, he added that he had converted almost all of his assets into dollars. Like many Iranians, he had also stockpiled months' worth of rice and other staples.

The fuel for this manic trade is not an actual economic collapse - the new European oil embargo has yet to take effect, and there is plenty of food on the shelves - but a rising sense of panic about Iran's encirclement, the possibility of war and the prospect of more economic pain to come. The White House announced a further tightening on Monday aimed at freezing Iranian assets and constricting the activities of Iran's Central Bank.

V

US: Occupy Movement at Crossroads


When the Occupy Wall Street movement came to Austin four months ago, there was a big party. About 1,300 people gathered at City Hall for a celebration with live music. Protesters posed for pictures with smiling police officers.

But Friday night, in a sign of the protest movement's burgeoning identity crisis, police moved in and dismantled the Occupy Austin encampment at City Hall. The city said it no longer could afford the cost of police overtime and site maintenance.

It was a week when authorities across the nation took similar action, from McPherson Square in Washington, D.C., to Thomas Square in Honolulu. It raised once again the question of whether the Occupy movement has a future, and if so, what kind.