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Fri, 01 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

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Alcoholics Anonymous killed my marriage

My husband and I met in a war zone in Sarajevo at the height of the siege. They were hardly ordinary circumstances in which to meet and fall in love - but, then again, neither one of us was an ordinary person.

Both in our late 20s, and just starting out in our careers as war correspondents, both of us had already been tear-gassed in angry crowds in the Middle East, travelled with rebel armies in Algeria, and passed checkpoints at night, hoping we would not get shot.

We had both decided we wanted to live a life that was fuelled partially by adrenaline, partially by the desire to report from the worst places on earth, to tell the human story of war.


Forget fists: Why BOYS not girls are using the internet to bully others

Boys are more likely than girls to use the cover of the internet to bully others, a study has found.

Half of the boys and young men polled admitted to 'cyber-bullying', something that had been thought to be favoured by girls as they are less likely to use their fists to settle disputes.

In addition, almost 70 per cent of the males surveyed had been victims of electronic bullying, ranging from the forwarding of embarrassing photographs without permission to adding humiliating information to someone's Facebook account without their knowledge.

Alarm Clock

TSA defends removing adult's diaper for pat down

© Associated Press
The Transportation Security Administration defended on Sunday the actions of its airport security officers at a northwest Florida airport after the agency came under criticism for requiring a 95-year-old woman to remove her adult diaper during a pat down.

The incident took place June 18 at Northwest Florida Regional Airport near Pensacola, Fla., while Jean Weber of Destin, Fla., escorted her mother, who suffers from leukemia, to Michigan to live with family members before moving into an assisted living facility, CNN reports.

"She had a blood transfusion the week before, just to bolster up her strength for this travel," Weber told CNN.


Egypt says will not need IMF, World Bank funds

Finance Minister Samir Radwan said on Saturday Egypt would not need funds from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, although a deal had been agreed, after budget revisions cut the forecast deficit.

"We do not need to go at this stage to the bank and the fund," Radwan told Reuters, adding Egypt still had the "best relations" with the institutions.

Bad Guys

Russia says Bushehr nuclear plant ready for August launch

Tehran - Iran's first nuclear power plant is set to start up in early August, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday, AFP reported.

"The project has been completed and everything has been ironed out," Ryabkov said.

"If this happens in the first days of August, it will fully meet our forecasts and expectations. And if it happens a few days later, there is nothing terrible about that," he added.


US: Police probe school principal over deaths of THREE students after he hypnotised them to improve their performance

© Unknown
Investigation: North Port High School principal Dr George Kenney was suspended after hypnotising three students
Police have launched an investigation into a high school principal who hypnotised three students who later died.

George Kenney was suspended from his job after he admitted hypnotising a 16-year-old boy who a day later committed suicide.

But it has since emerged he hypnotised another student who killed herself and a 16-year-old who died in a car crash days after seeing the principal for the private session.

Investigators with the North Port Police and Florida Department of Health have launched a joint investigation into the activities of Kenney.

Comment: Somehow, we don't think the hypnosis had ANYTHING to do with the deaths.


Israel passes draft law requiring Palestinians to pay for their own home demolitions

© Anticap/wordpress
Home demolition in Hebron
A Committee of the Israeli Knesset (Parliament) passed a first draft of a law that will require that Palestinians whose homes are destroyed by Israeli forces pay the Israeli government for the demolition costs.

The law will now be passed to the full Knesset for a final reading, where it is expected to pass due to the current makeup of the Knesset.

Since 1967, Israeli forces have demolished 24,813 Palestinian homes. 90% of these homes were destroyed for 'administrative' reasons - because they either lacked a permit or were in an area designated for expansion by the Israeli military. No permits have been issued by Israeli authorities for Palestinian construction in the Occupied Territories since 1967. The remaining 10% of the demolitions have been 'punitive' demolitions of the homes of Palestinians accused of attacking Israel, or of their families' homes.

Arrow Down

Asia Grain Outlook: Prices May Rebound on Physical Demand, U.S. Floods

Asian grains prices are likely to get support over the next few days from strong demand and concerns that recent floods may have dragged down acreage in the U.S., trade participants said Wednesday.

"After the recent long liquidation, prices seem to have bottomed out for the time being and another rally is on the cards," said a Singapore-based executive with a global commodities trading company.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is due to issue acreage and stockpiles reports on Thursday, and many traders are covering short positions and rebuilding long positions in preparation for what is expected to be bullish data, said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager for research with Japan-based commodities brokerage Nihon Unicom Inc.

Most traders expect near-month wheat, corn and soybean contracts on the Chicago Board of Trade to rise at least 20 cents a bushel in the next few days on the back of strategic buying by investors. The July contracts are currently trading around $6.49/bushel, $6.96/bushel and $13.38/bushel, respectively.

The corn contract has already tumbled more than $1.0/bushel since it hit a record high of $7.9975/bushel on June 10. In past few days, wheat prices have fallen to their lowest level in almost a year.


A Million Elderly Hit by "Epidemic of Poverty and Loneliness"

A generation of lonely and poverty-stricken pensioners needs urgent help from their communities, a think-tank study argues.

© Alamy
More than a million over-65s report feeling loneliness often or always, and a similar number feel trapped in their homes, according to the Centre for Social Justice.
More than a million over-65s report feeling loneliness often or always, and a similar number feel trapped in their homes, according to the Centre for Social Justice.

The report by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith's think-tank also claims that growing numbers are living alone in their own homes but are unable to meet repair and maintenance costs.

'The result is significant housing poverty among older homeowners, especially in the private sector,' it says.

'Currently there are 3.2million older householders living in non-decent private sector homes.'

The CSJ recommends that these pensioners should be prevailed upon to remortgage their homes to pay for this basic upkeep.

Evil Rays

French Woman Sues Opus Dei, Claims Brainwashing

statue of St Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer
© Agence France-Presse/Vincenzo Pinto
A French woman is suing Opus Dei, founded by St Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, a statue of whom is shown at the Vatican.
A French woman claiming to have been brainwashed by the secretive Catholic society Opus Dei is suing it for allegedly keeping her illegally as a domestic servant, she told AFP Tuesday.

Catherine T., who asked not to be identified by her family name, said she joined a hoteliers' school in northeastern France in 1985, aged 14, which she later discovered was run by associates of Opus Dei.

She said she was forced to take vows and made to work as a domestic servant for virtually no pay.

Opus Dei responded in a statement that it was "not involved in the charges being brought" and had "nothing to be guilty about."

It will be the first ever trial targeting the organization, branded a sect by some, which came to wide attention after featuring in the blockbuster novel and film The Da Vinci Code.

"They assigned me a 'tutor' who was actually a kind of conscience instructor," Catherine told AFP. "I entered into the system.... You were forbidden to talk about it to your parents."