Welcome to Sott.net
Wed, 20 Oct 2021
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Extinguisher

US: Fire Department New York: Voodoo Sex Candles Caused Fatal Fire in Brooklyn

Candles used in a voodoo sex ceremony ignited a fast-moving fire that swept through a Brooklyn apartment building on the evening of February 19 and into early February 20, 2011, and killed a woman, according to FDNY fire marshals and a city official.



Also, an open door and a delay in calling 911 allowed the fire to get even bigger, the marshals determined.

"Time and time again we respond to tragedies that could have been so easily prevented," Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said. "This fire had so many of those elements -- candles left on the floor near combustible material, one of the occupants trying to douse the flames before calling 911 and an open door, which allowed fire to spread into the hallway. Hopefully others will learn from this tragedy."

Fire marshals said the fire started around 6:40 p.m., when a woman visited a man in the building and paid him $300 to perform a voodoo ceremony to bring her good luck. The man was known in the neighborhood as a voodoo priest, the AP reported.

A city official told the AP that the ceremony involved the man and woman having sex in a bed surrounded by candles. Those candles set fire to the linens and clothes on the floor, the FDNY said. But instead of calling 911, the man conducting the ceremony tried in vain to douse the flames with water.

Attention

Bloomberg Journalist Assaulted as China Heightens Security

A Bloomberg News journalist was assaulted yesterday in Beijing while covering the deployment of police in response to online calls for protests in the Chinese capital.

At least five men in plain clothes, who appeared to be security personnel, punched and kicked the reporter at Beijing's Wangfujing shopping street at 2:45 p.m. local time yesterday. They also took the video camera he was carrying and detained him in a roadside store.

Uniformed police arrived after the attack and escorted the journalist to a nearby station where he filed a report of the attack before seeking treatment for his injuries at a local hospital. Police returned the video camera while the reporter was at the station, saying a passerby had found it.

Hundreds of police deployed in Beijing and Shanghai yesterday at the site of planned demonstrations called to protest corruption and misrule. In Beijing, few protesters were apparent amid the police presence. In Shanghai, at least seven people were bundled into police vans near Shanghai's People's Square

Info

Row over Russia Winter Olympics Mascots

Image
© Agence France-Presse
An illustration of a leopard which was announced to be one of the official mascot winners from a list of 10 short-listed entries. Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste have marred Russia's choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
Allegations of plagiarism, high-level political meddling and sheer poor taste on Sunday marred Russia's choice of three furry mascots to represent the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Russians chose three mascots -- a cute-looking snow leopard, polar bear and hare -- by popular vote in a seemingly innocent television show late Saturday that aimed to choose a people's mascot.

Eyebrows were first raised when the initial favourite to win the most votes -- a portrayal of Russian Father Christmas Ded Moroz -- was rather undemocratically ditched from the competition by the organisers.

Then it just so happened that the mascot which strongman Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had declared his favourite -- the "strong, fast and beautiful" snow leopard -- polled easily the most votes.

Prominent Russian political analyst Dmitry Oreshkin told Moscow Echo radio that it was possible some none too cuddly tricks through a rigging of the telephone system had been used to engineer the desired result.

"Just after Vladimir Putin showed his sympathy for the leopard, its votes climbed sharply," he said.

The snow leopard, who somewhat implausibly moves around on a snowboard, was nowhere to be seen in the initial ratings which were led by the unfortunate Ded Moroz.

Heart - Black

Future Uncertain For Children in Thai Baby Scam

Image
© Agence France-Presse
Boats carrying tourists sail on the famous Chao Priya in Bangkok. The fate of around nine unborn children hangs in the balance as Thai authorities weigh what to do with the offspring of Vietnamese women freed from an illegal baby breeding ring in Bangkok
The fate of around nine unborn children hangs in the balance as Thai authorities weigh what to do with the offspring of Vietnamese women freed from an illegal baby breeding ring in Bangkok.

A total of 14 women, half of them pregnant, were freed on Wednesday from an operation using them as surrogates for wealthy childless couples overseas who placed orders for newborns online.

Campaigners fear for the future of the infants who are born to desperate women -- perhaps not their biological mothers -- and into a legal grey area, with Thailand still mulling the ramifications of the case.

"There is a risk that those children might end up as stateless, that they won't get citizenship anywhere," said Benedict Phillips, Asia strategy director at Save The Children.

Public Health Minister Jurin Laksanawisit has described the gang, which operated under the name Baby 101, as "illegal and inhuman" and suggested some of the women had been raped.

A few were offered up to $5,000 per baby, but others said they had been tricked into the scam, said police, who have arrested four Taiwanese, one Chinese and three Myanmar nationals in connection with the operation.

One 35-year-old Taiwanese woman was arrested on suspicion of human trafficking.

Arrow Up

UK: Motorway Speed Limit Could be Raised to 80mph

Image
© PA
Britain's maximum speed limit has been 70mph since 1965
Speed limits on the motorway could be increased to 80mph in a bid to increase productivity, Philip Hammond, the transport secretary, has suggested.

Mr Hammond said that safety might no longer be the sole consideration in judging how fast cars can go and that gains to the economy from shorter journey times should also be taken into account.

Britain's maximum speed limit has been 70mph since 1965 and is lower than most in continental Europe.

Mr Hammond, who drives a Jaguar XJ saloon said: "We need to do this on a pretty rigorous cost-benefit basis. At the moment there are a clear set of criteria for making these decisions. Perhaps we ought to ask if we are using the right set of criteria."

Handcuffs

Fox News Boss Roger Ailes To Be Indicted???

roger ailes
© Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Last week it was revealed that legendary Fox News boss Roger Ailes allegedly told underling Judith Regan to lie to federal investigators to protect Rudy Giuliani.

Regan reportedly has a tape of the telephone call in which Ailes urged her to do this.

If this story is true, and the telephone call is clear, Ailes would obviously be exposed to obstruction-of-justice charges.

And now the scuttlebutt is that Ailes will in fact be indicted.

Vader

Video of thousands clashing with police in Croatia, dozens injured

Croatian police clashed with approximately 15-thousand anti-government protesters who rallied in the capital on Saturday, and state television reported that officers used tear gas to disperse the group. At least 25 people were injured.


Stormtrooper

Libyan rebel army may march on Tripoli

libyan protester

Army leaders in eastern Libya who have turned against the Gaddafi regime are preparing to send a rebel force to Tripoli to support the beleaguered uprising in the capital, according to a top military official.

Brigadier General Ahmed Gatrani said a small force comprising army defectors and rebels had already reached the outskirts of Tripoli, where an attempt to oust Muammar Gaddafi on Friday was crushed by pro-regime paramilitaries and soldiers firing indiscriminately at protesters on the streets.

The move came as the UN Security Council voted unanimously to impose military and financial sanctions against the Libyan leader and his inner circle and to refer his regime's crackdown on protesters to a war crimes tribunal for an investigation of possible crimes against humanity.

Megaphone

Wisconsin: Police Vow No Forcible Removals as Protesters Hold Ground in Capitol

Wisconsin protest
© n/a
Updated 7:51PM ET -- Wisconsin state police say they will make no forcible removals of protesters from the state Capitol on Sunday evening.

"A decision has been made to do what they've been doing all week long and that is to do everything to keep things peaceful and keep people safe," Peg Schmidt, spokeswoman for the police command in the Capitol, told the Wisconsin State Journal Sunday evening. "There's not going to be any forcible removal."

Officials say they hope to clear the building through voluntary compliance, though the possibility of protesters leaving of their own volition seems nebulous at best. Protesters continue to sing and chant "We Shall Overcome" and engage in ad hoc drumming (choppy video of the singing taken using a mobile phone follows this article).

Around 5pm ET, Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs told the Wisconsin State Journal that law enforcement "would monitor the gathering for at least the next hour."

"We're still working with organizers and looking for voluntary compliance," Tubbs said. "No arrests have been made at this point. At this point, we haven't made any decision on whether to arrest people."

Che Guevara

China Uses Whistles, Water, Police on Protests

China police
© n/a
Large numbers of police - and new tactics like shrill whistles and street cleaning trucks - squelched overt protests in China for a second Sunday in a row after more calls for peaceful gatherings modeled on recent democratic movements in the Middle East.

Near Shanghai's People's Square, uniformed police blew whistles nonstop and shouted at people to keep moving, though about 200 people - a combination of onlookers and quiet sympathizers who formed a larger crowd than a week ago - braved the shrill noise. In Beijing, trucks normally used to water the streets drove repeatedly up the busy commercial shopping district spraying water and keeping crowds pressed to the edges.

Foreign journalists met with tighter police controls. In Shanghai, authorities called foreign reporters Sunday indirectly warning them to stay away from the protest sites, while police in Beijing followed some reporters and blocked those with cameras from entering the Wangfujing shopping street where protests were called. Plainclothes police struck a Bloomberg News television reporter, who was then taken away for questioning.