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Wolf

Russia and the changing world

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© RIA Novosti / Aleksey Nikolsky
In the run-up to Russia's presidential elections, prime minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin has published his seventh article in which he defined Russia's niche in a "changing world."

In my articles I have already mentioned the key challenges that Russia is facing internationally today. Yet this subject deserves a more detailed discussion and not only because foreign policy is an integral part of any national strategy. External challenges and the changing world around us affect our economic, cultural, fiscal and investment policies.

Russia is a part of the big world, economically, culturally and in terms of information flow. We cannot be isolated, and we do not want to be isolated. We expect our openness will bring the people of Russia more prosperity and culture and will promote trust, an item that has been in short supply lately.

At the same time, everything we do will be based on our own interests and goals, not on decisions other countries impose on us. Russia is only treated with respect when it is strong and stands firm on its own two feet. Russia has practically always had the privilege of pursuing an independent foreign policy and this is how it will be in the future. Furthermore, I strongly believe that the only way to ensure global security is by doing it together with Russia, not by trying to "demote" it, weaken it geopolitically or undermine its defensive potential.

The goals of our foreign policy are strategic rather than short-term. They reflect Russia's unique role in international affairs, in history and in the development of civilization.

Mr. Potato

Video: Sarkozy, booed by protesters, hides in bar

Campaigning in Bayonne, a town in France's southwestern Basque region, President Nicolas Sarkozy was booed by hundreds of protesters. The French leader escaped to a café under the protection of riot police.

­The president was jeered as he got out of his car heading, to a bar to meet with voters. Protesters mobbed the president, threw eggs and cried insults at Sarkozy, causing him to seek refuge in Bar du Palais. The protesters are believed to be Basque separatists and opposition Socialist party loyalists.


Comment: Let's watch that in action-replay, this time from The Guardian:











Pirates

Libya's Western puppet regime celebrates takeover by caging and torturing blacks

A shocking video has appeared on the Internet showing Libyan rebels torturing a group of black Africans. People with their hands bound are shown being locked in a zoo-like cage and forced to eat the old Libyan flag. ­"Eat the flag, you dog. Patience you dog, patience. God is Great," screams a voice off-camera.

Thanks to NATO, now Libyans can also enjoy the freedoms of psychopaths run amok.


Heart - Black

Ohio Adoptive Father Accused of Prostituting Adopted Boy

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© The Associated Press/Police Photos via The Daily News
This combination made with police photos shows Patrick Rieder, 31, of Dayton, Ohio, left, and Jason Zwick, 29, of Beavercreek, Ohio. Law enforcement officials are widening the investigation into child sexual exploitation allegations against the two men and an adoptive father, authorities said Thursday, March 1, 2012.
US: Ohio, Troy - A 10-year-old boy shook when asked about being prostituted to two other men by an adoptive father who regularly had sex with him, according to police, who said the boy was fearful of talking because he didn't want to be taken from his home or separated from his new siblings.

The adoptive father has been charged with raping three boys in his care and compelling prostitution by hiring the 10-year-old out for sex. He and two other men remained in jail Thursday on rape charges.

Federal and local law enforcement officials said they're widening the investigation into child sexual exploitation allegations against the father, who worked out of his home as an insurance claims adjuster. His name is being withheld by The Associated Press to protect the children's identities.

Troy police said they impounded the father's truck and seized four laptops from the home and a video camera and two wooden paddles from the master bedroom.

School officials said the man had recently withdrawn the three adopted children from school, saying he would home school them. A neighbor said he had no idea anything lurid might be going on in the home.

"You don't know what goes on inside people's homes," said neighbor Ed Rogers, who had lived across the street from the man the past five years in a neighborhood lined with single-story ranch homes, typical in this working class city of 25,000 people about 20 miles north of Dayton. "I'll never look at that house the same way again. I'll just look at it with sickness."

Pistol

Greek Man Shoots Two, Takes Hostages Over Layoff

greek police
© unknown
Athens - An unemployed man shot and wounded his former boss and one other worker and took another two hostage at a small factory in Greece in protest at losing his job, police said on Thursday.

He later released the hostages and turned himself over to police after officers surrounded the factory in northern Greece.

Police said the man, a 61-year-old father of two who was laid off about seven months ago, did not harm his captives.

Greeks are growing increasingly desperate as public sector spending cuts, designed to save the country from a debilitating debt crisis, exacerbate a recession now in its fifth year. Rioters last month torched and looted buildings in Athens as Greece's parliament approved austerity measures in order to secure an EU/IMF bailout.

Megaphone

'Time to Set Scientists Free': Prominent Journal Slams Harper Government

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© bulletproofcourier
Stephen Harper's Science Censor-Matic
Canada, Toronto - One of the world's leading scientific journals has criticized the federal government for policies that limit its scientists from speaking publicly about their research.

The journal, Nature, says in an editorial in this week's issue that it is time for the Canadian government to set its scientists free.

It notes that Canada and the United States have undergone role reversals in the past six years, with the U.S. adopting more open practices since the end of George W. Bush's presidency while Canada has been going in the opposite direction.

The editorial says that since taking power in 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has tightened the media protocols applied to federal government scientists and employees.

Nature says policy directives on government communications that have been released through access to information requests have revealed the Harper government has little understanding of the importance of the free flow of scientific knowledge.

The journal says its own news reporters have experienced firsthand the obstacles the Canadian government puts in the way of people trying to gain access to science generated by government scientists on the public payroll.

Handcuffs

Grandmother Charged with Capital Murder for Death of Girl Forced to Run as Punishment

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Gadsden, Alabama - A woman accused of running her 9-year-old granddaughter to death as punishment for eating chocolate was captured on a school bus videotape saying she planned to run the child "'til she can't run no more," a prosecutor told a judge Thursday in announcing capital murder charges.

Joyce Hardin Garrard, who faces a potential death penalty if convicted, made the comment to the driver of Savannah Hardin's bus, which was equipped with a surveillance system, said Marcus Reid, an assistant district attorney in Etowah County.

Angered by a supposed lie the child told the day before, Garrard told the driver: '"I gonna run her 'til she can't run no more,'" Reid said.

"That's exactly what she did," said the prosecutor, calling Garrard a "drill sergeant from hell."

Garrard, 46, and Savannah's stepmother, 27-year-old Jessica Mae Hardin, are both charged in the child's death last month. Authorities say the older woman made the child run for three hours as punishment, and the younger woman - who was nine months pregnant at the time and has since given birth - did nothing to intervene.

Bulb

Teen With Photographic Memory Able to Instantly Say Words Backwards

US Philadelphia - It's like an easy game for 14-year-old Alyssa Kramer. She can easily say words backwards in seconds. Her video on YouTube quickly got a million hits, and now she has her own channel: alyssatalkingback.com. CBS3 asked when she realized she had the special ability.

"Whenever I learned how to read, I just started doing it. I have a photographic memory, and whenever someone tells me a word, I can see it in my head. And if I want to spell it backwards then, it can flip and I'll read it that way," Alyssa says.

Mr. Potato

Research Study Finds Attending Meetings Can Make You Act Brain-Dead

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© REX
Women were affected by the situation more clearly than men
Meetings make people stupid because they impair their ability to think for themselves, scientists have found.

The performance of people in IQ tests after meetings is significantly lower than if they are left on their own, with women more likely to perform worse than men.
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Crilion Research institute in the US said people's performance dropped when they were judged against their peers.

Read Montague, who led the study, said: "You may joke about how committee meetings make you feel brain-dead, but our findings suggest that they may make you act brain-dead as well.

"We started with individuals who were matched for their IQ. Yet when we placed them in small groups, ranked their performance on cognitive tasks against their peers, and broadcast those rankings to them, we saw dramatic drops in the ability of some study subjects to solve problems. The social feedback had a significant effect."

Document

Obama Birth Certificate a 'Forgery' Says Sheriff Arpaio

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© Associated Press/Ross D. Franklin
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio
US - Armed with a new 10-page report he commissioned, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Thursday he suspects the birth certificate President Obama released last year is a "computer-generated forgery" - and also raised questions about the authenticity of the president's selective service registration card.

In an extensive - and at times combative - press conference in Phoenix, Sheriff Arpaio repeatedly said he is not questioning the president's legal status under the Constitution nor alleging fraud on Mr. Obama's part, but did say there is evidence crimes have been committed by someone and his investigation continues.

"Based on all of the evidence presented and investigated, I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic," Sheriff Arpaio said. "My investigators believe that the long-form birth certificate was manufactured electronically and that it did not originate in paper format as claimed by the White House."