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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
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Six Found Alive from Missing Indonesia Asylum Boat, 144 Still Missing

© Agence France-Presse/Basarnas
A boat believed to be carrying up to 180 asylum-seekers sails towards Australian waters in July 2012
Sydney - Six people were plucked alive from the ocean by a cargo ship Thursday after an asylum-seeker boat went missing off the Indonesian coast, as hopes faded for the 144 still unaccounted for.

The recovery of the survivors by the APL Bahrain, after nearly a day in the water, came after Indonesian rescuers abandoned their search.

"We have had confirmation that six survivors have been rescued by a merchant vessel," an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokeswoman told AFP, adding that the distress call they received said 150 were on board.

In an update, AMSA said crews at the scene had made sightings of debris, but there were no further reports of survivors or bodies being recovered.

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) received an alert from AMSA early Wednesday that a boat was in distress between Java and Sumatra, 220 nautical miles from the Australian territory of Christmas Island.

Basarnas sent two police rescue boats and a helicopter but found nothing and returned to base, only for AMSA to task the Bahrain, which responded to an earlier broadcast to shipping, to attend a broader search area.

The captain of the Bahrain said screams and whistles alerted his crew as it scoured the Sunda Strait in darkness.


Minister Warns British Columbia Universities Sex Recruiters May Prowl Campuses for Workers

Canada, Vancouver - The B.C. government is warning of a new kind of head hunter targeting Canadian campuses, but the job description requires skills not on offer at the institutions.

British Columbia's advanced education minister has sent a letter warning post-secondary schools to keep an eye out for adult entertainment businesses that may try to recruit strippers in exchange for tuition.

Naomi Yamamoto wrote this week she's concerned recruiters may attempt to set up booths at post-secondary job fairs across Canada this fall.

"Students, who often feel new stresses due to new living environments and managing their own affairs for the first time, may be tempted by these monetary inducements," Yamamoto wrote.

"Many initiatives are in place to ensure students have access to our province's world class institutions. It should not be necessary for students to submit themselves to the risks potentially involved in working in the adult entertainment business."

She said in her letter that her information comes from a series of news stories out of Windsor, Ont. about the trend occurring at some of the city's campuses.

"The concern is our post secondary institutions should be considered safe places for students, and some of these adult entertainment businesses are luring students into what most people would consider risky behaviour," she said later in an interview.

"What we're not doing is telling students they can't pursue job opportunities or career opportunities in the adult entertainment business. We're saying we just don't want them aggressively recruiting on our campuses."

She also noted in her letter that during the spring, the sex industry suggested it would recruit near Vancouver public schools.


Feared Hijacking on Spanish Plane Was False Alert

© The Associated Press/ Cris Toala Olivares
A Vueling plane is parked at a remote corner of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, about 1.5 miles from the main terminal.
Amsterdam - The Netherlands scrambled two F16 fighter jets Wednesday to escort a Spanish passenger plane to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after air traffic controllers could not make contact with the aircraft's crew.

Dutch media initially reported a possible hijacking, but local police and Vueling, the Spanish carrier whose jet was at the center of the scare, later confirmed there was never a hijacking or a hostage situation. "Amsterdam's protocol for security was activated owing to a temporary loss of communication between the plane and air traffic control," Vueling said in a tweet.

The Dutch Defense Ministry said the F16s were scrambled when no radio contact could be made with the plane, which was carrying more than 180 passengers. The ministry's statement said that F16s are sent up to "establish visual contact with the crew" whenever a plane is in Dutch airspace and cannot be contacted by radio.

After it landed, the Vueling Airbus 320 taxied to a remote corner of Schiphol about 1.5 miles from the main terminal and was immediately surrounded by security personnel and several ambulances. A bus later arrived to ferry the passengers to the airport.

National Dutch broadcaster NOS spoke by phone with a person it identified as one of the passengers who said that there was no panic on board. "Everything is calm," the passenger said shortly after the plane landed.


Brian Mulligan, Deutsche Bank Exec, Files $50 Million Police Brutality Claim In Bizarre Bath Salts Episode

Brian Mulligan
© Getty Images
Deutsche Bank executive Brian Mulligan allegedly told the Los Angeles police during an incident in May that he ingested “white lightning,” which police say is a commercial name for bath salts.
Los Angeles - A senior executive at Deutsche Bank has filed a $50 million claim against the city of Los Angeles, alleging he was beaten by two officers during a bizarre incident after they dropped him off at a motel where they ordered him to stay until the following morning.

Brian Mulligan, 53, filed the claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, earlier this month, saying his injuries included a broken nose and shoulder. He said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and his medical bill could reach $1 million because of his encounter with police.

"I think their actions were excessive," Mulligan's attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, said of the officers Monday. "I don't know why they did what they did, but as soon as we file a lawsuit, we can get depositions and find out what they did."

Police arrested Mulligan for investigation of resisting arrest, but county prosecutors declined to file charges. A declination letter from prosecutors said Mulligan had been "acting crazy" and was injured after he swung and lunged at officers who restrained him.

Police declined comment Monday, citing the pending claim.

The strange set of events began on the night of May 15 for the Deutsche Bank vice chairman, who also once served as co-chairman of Universal Studios and chief financial officer of Seagram Co. Flanagan wouldn't say what Mulligan was doing in Highland Park, about 10 miles from his home in La Canada-Flintridge, but maintained his client believes "someone was chasing him."

Heart - Black

Quebec Woman Remains in Coma after Acid Attack

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

© Facebook
Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, has been charged with aggravated assault.
A woman from Longueuil, Que., is in a medically induced coma with serious burns to her upper body after she was attacked with acid during a conjugal fight on Sunday.

According to Martin Simard of the Longueuil police, Tanya St Arnauld, 29, has burns to 70 per cent of her body caused by a household cleaning liquid, like drain or cement cleaner.

Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, of Brossard, Que., has been charged with aggravated assault. His bail hearing was put over at his first court appearance on Monday.

Wall Street

Nearly 50 killed or missing in Chinese mine blast

Nineteen miners were killed and 28 are missing in China after a gas explosion in a coal shaft, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, marking one of the biggest disasters of the year in the accident-plagued industry.

Rescue teams from other mines had been sent to the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in Sichuan province where 107 miners had been rescued after Wednesday's blast, it reported.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world because of lax enforcement of safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy. But the death toll from accidents has been falling, government statistics show.

The government work safety watchdog said that 1,973 miners were killed in coal mine accidents last year, according to state media. In 2010, 2,433 people were killed, down from a toll of 2,631 the previous year.

Xinhua said the Xiaojiawan mine was owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co., Ltd. Police were questioning the owner.

Better Earth

Men Should Sit To Pee Says Taiwan Minister

Toilet Etiquette
© kclarkscorner.blogspot.com
Men should sit down to urinate in the toilet instead of standing up because it helps maintain a cleaner environment, says a Taiwanese government minister.

Stephen Shen is Taiwan's minister for Environmental Protection Administration (EPA). He has stirred up a widespread debate on whether men should sit down on the toilet to urinate, like women do.

Shen himself maintains he does, both at home and in public toilets.

The EPA carries out regular inspections of Taiwan's 100,000 or so public toilets and suggests while many of them are very clean, there is room for improvement. Standing up to urinate causes urine splatter which creates a bad smell, say EPA officials.

Local governments in Taiwan are being advised in the next few days to place public notices asking men to sit when urinating.

Cindy Sui, of BBC News, Taipei, says the announcement has stirred a lot of online debate. Although social media activity suggests women think it is a good idea, the men are likely to find it hard to change their ways.

Chart Pie

Majority of Americans Think the Rich are Greedy, Dishonest and Should Pay More Taxes

© AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm
A new poll shows that the 58 percent of Americans believe the rich are intelligent and hardworking, but also greedy and dishonest, and should pay more taxes.

The poll, released by the Pew Research Center on Monday, also found that 52 percent of Americans - including the upper class - want upper middle class Americans to pay more in taxes, while only 10 percent said they pay too much.

As America's middle class is shrinking and poverty is reaching a record high since the 1960's, the wealth is increasingly distributed among the upper percentile of Americans, the Associated Press reports.

9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes
Class War in America
How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us: The Astonishing Story of the Last Few Decades is a Massive Redistribution of Wealth, as the Rich have Shifted the Tax Burden
US: Subsidies for The Rich and Famous


Clashes, Arrests as Over 30,000 Students Protest in Canada

© Facebook/Hubert Pineault
Eleven students have been arrested and are facing charges in Quebec following confrontations with police. The incident took place during an ongoing student-led strike against proposed tuition fee hikes, with over 31,000 participating in the protests.

The demonstrators are disobeying Quebec's back-to school law in Montreal, which demanded that students return to their universities on Monday despite their stated opposition to the proposed government tuition hikes. Over 31,000 students are striking - boycotting class, demonstrating, banging pots, disrupting classes and marching through university halls in masks, Canadian media reported.

A total of 49 classes were forced to be suspended at the University of Montreal, due to a lack of attendance.

Black Cat

Right Wing Billionaires Romney and Ryan Think it's Time to Take the Gloves Off

The right wing elite think they can make a major breakthrough, they can end the last vestiges of the welfare state

Comment: A scary team indeed:
Mitt Romney: Alien or Psychopath?
Paul Ryan's Economic Policies - Tax Cuts for Wealthy, Spending Cuts for Everyone Else
Romney Justifies Denying Health Care To People With Pre-Existing Conditions: 'We Can't Play The Game Like That'
US: Romney: 'I'm Not Concerned About the Very Poor'
Authoritarian Followers: How Ordinary People Come to Embrace Paul Ryan's Cruelty