December 9, 2017

Yay! It's A Wonderful Life Is Going To Be On USA Channel At 8pm On The West Coast. Awe I Love This Feel-Good Movie. Timeless Classic! ❤



w00t! Getting Ready To Watch Saturday Night Fever (1977) On DVD. I Have To Share Tony Manero's Epic Walk and Epic Dance With You. ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ’–


I found this AWESOME video dedicated to Tony Manero and his cool style! I love it. I am one happy camper right now! ๐Ÿ˜ This is one of my favorite movies. It brings back such fond memories of my club days. It was always a delight to see my friends and acquaintances. But what I enjoyed most was dancing to amazing music. We sure had pretty magnificent clubs back in the day, and we dressed to impress. ;)

This movie is superb because it highlights growing pains, the love of dance and the desire to become a better person. I can relate to this movie in so many ways. I have no regrets. It was a phase in my life that I grew out of, and now for the time being, I comfortably live the life of a monk who loves disco lol ;) I can reminisce with a smile in my heart and soul.

I wish they included the mirror scene in this vid!

Yaaay... I FOUND IT! I am so happy somebody actually uploaded this scene! This was totally me during my club days. Getting ready and sporting my new outfit was a big deal. Oh and the hair... fuhgeddaboudit! lol Enjoy. :)

This song makes my heart sing. Enjoy these beautiful lyrics...♥

ZIMBABWE: Emmerson Mnangagwa Was Sworn In As President On November 24 After A De Facto Military Coup Ended Mugabe’s 37-Year Rule. Nation Agrees First Post-Mugabe Loan Deal With China.

EWN, Zimbabwe
written by Reuters staff
Thursday December 7, 2017

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sworn in as president on 24 November after a de facto military coup ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule.

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s new government signed a $153 million loan agreement with China on Wednesday, its first post-Mugabe deal with a foreign government, to expand and refurbish its international airport in Harare as it bids to attract investors and tourists.

Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sworn in as president on 24 November after a de facto military coup ended Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule, has vowed to rebuild the country’s ravaged economy and re-engage with the international community.

“This (airport) project) and the budget we are presenting tomorrow will show we are serious about reshaping our economy ... ” Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said after signing the agreement, one of three, with Chinese ambassador Huang Ping.

The deal means “we are back in business to build the capacity to honour our obligations not only to China but also to our international creditors,” Chinamasa said.

The loan for refurbishing the Robert Gabriel Mugabe airport is payable in 20 years with interest rates of 2% per year and a seven-year grace period. The other two agreements are for grants worth 400 million yuan for a new parliament building and for expansion of a computing centre at the University of Zimbabwe.
I hope Emmerson Mnangagwa renames the airport to give Zimbabweans hope of a better, brighter, more prosperous future, for all. It's a new era for Zimbabwe. Mugabe's name needs to go if you want to also attract foreign tourists to bring in additional revenue for the economy where everyone benefits.
(emphasis mine)
Chinamasa, who was re-appointed to the finance ministry post last week, admitted that the country had failed to repay China for previous loans. But he said Beijing was still willing to deal with Zimbabwe.

“The Chinese government understands the economic situation we are going through,” he said. “We’re under sanctions and had no lines of credit coming into the country. This is why we call them ‘all-weather friends’.”

Chinamasa is scheduled to present the 2018 national budget on Thursday.

He had been finance minister since 2013 until he was shifted to the new ministry of cybersecurity in October. During his time in charge, the economy stagnated. A lack of exports caused acute dollar shortages that crippled the financial system and led to long queues outside banks.

The issuance of billions of dollars of domestic debt to pay for a bloated civil service - a key component of the ZANU-PF patronage machine under Mugabe - also triggered a collapse in the value of Zimbabwe’s de facto currency and ignited inflation.

One of Mnangagwa’s most pressing tasks will be to patch up relations with donors and the outside world and work out a deal to clear Zimbabwe’s $1.8 billion of arrears to the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

INDIA: Family Of Baby Wrongly Declared 'Dead' By A Hospital In Delhi Speaks Out About Tragedy. Twins Were Declared Still Born Wrapped In Plastic Uncleaned And Given To Grieving Parents. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

International Business Times
written by Suman Varandani
Friday December 8, 2017

The father of a newborn wrongly declared "dead" by a hospital in Delhi, India, spoke out just two days after the baby died for real while receiving treatment. In an interview with BBC, Ashish Kumar remembered the morning of Nov. 30 when Max Hospital handed his twins in a plastic bag saying both the babies were stillborn.

"Max Hospital declared my little boy dead while he was struggling to survive," Kumar said. "He was wrapped in five layers of plastic. Nobody can survive without oxygen for that long."

Kumar said that the news about the death of his twins was "heartbreaking" and a massive shock came when "my father-in-law realized that one of the babies was moving inside the plastic bag."

Kumar's father Kailash, who saw the baby move, said: "They had put the twins together in one basket. They were not even cleaned. I can't stop thinking that my grandson who was alive, was kept for hours with my granddaughter, who was stillborn."

Kumar's mother Meena also spoke to BBC, saying: "He looked so beautiful - exactly like my daughter. I had a faint hope that he would survive. We were planning the traditional ceremonies to celebrate his birth. But he is gone and all I can now see is a void that will never be filled."

Kumar told BBC that a day before the twins were born, the hospital conducted an ultrasound and said that everything was fine, but later the hospital demanded a huge amount of money for keeping the newborns in a special unit for four days. Despite financial trouble, Kumar managed to arrange for the money.

"Any parent would do that to save their babies. But I am heartbroken and Varsha has been completely inconsolable. My entire family was so excited to welcome the children," Kumar said. "But they never came home. We never heard their cries. I have come to hate the silence in my house."

The tragic incident sparked outrage in the country and protests erupted outside the hospital. On Friday, the Delhi government canceled the license of the hospital after finding the medical institution guilty of negligence.

“We have canceled the license of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh. The negligence in the newborn death case was unacceptable,” Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said at a press conference.

***************

Okay, so after reading this article I was left curious as to what kind of health care system India has for the nation. I'm not surprised to find out that India has a Universal Health Care System in place and does offer free health care. They have Obamacare on steroids. As you can see Socialist healthcare ends with very unpleasant results like as we have seen with the US Medicaid system and the US Veterans Administration Hospitals. But, thank goodness President Trump has signed a VA Accountability Act into law in June 2017 that promises better care for our Veterans. I share more detailed information below. (emphasis mine)

***************

Quartz News, India
written by Devjyot Ghoshal
April 18, 2016

Indians are visiting hospitals in higher numbers than at any time in the past—and visiting them more often.

What’s good for their health, though, isn’t necessarily good for their wallets, with healthcare costs rising exponentially in the last decade.

A decade ago, about 31 out of every 1,000 Indians in urban areas were hospitalised (excluding childbirth) every year, according to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) estimation in 2004.

In 2014, according to the latest NSSO report (pdf), 44 out of every 1,000 Indians end up getting hospitalised in a year.

The trend is similar in rural India, and represents the expansion of healthcare facilities—both public and private—and the population’s increasing ability to access such services.

Up to 42% of rural patients went to public hospitals in 2014, a number that has remained steady since 2004. In urban areas, however, there has been a decided shift towards private establishments.

Most of these hospitalisations are for infections, but a significant number also for treatment for cancer and blood-related diseases.

The increase in access to healthcare has also brought with it a massive spike in costs.

Between 2004 and 2014, for example, the average medical expenditure per hospitalisation for urban patients increased by about 176%. For rural patients, it jumped by a little over 160%.

During the same period, India’s GDP per capita, based on purchasing power parity (current international $), grew by 121%.

There is, however, substantial variation in the cost of healthcare across states, for both rural and urban areas.

Moreover, this ranking hasn’t remained static. The list below consists of the 10 most expensive states for hospitalisation in rural areas in 2004, which have subsequently seen costs grow by anywhere between 83% and 265% over the past 10 years.

Such spikes do no favours to India’s massive, uninsured population. Over 85% of Indians in rural areas and 82% of urban residents have no health expenditure support. “On the whole, the poorer households appear unaware or beyond the reach of such coverage, both in rural and urban areas,” the NSSO explained in its report (pdf).

That’s why the Narendra Modi government’s push for the National Health Protection Scheme, which provides a cover of Rs1 lakh per family, as a possible measure to fix India’s creaking healthcare system, makes sense. But given the incredible rise in costs in the last decade alone, Rs1 lakh for a family of four may not amount to much.

*********

Deutsche Welle (DW)
written by Murali Krishnan, New Delhi
Wednesday November 22, 2017

Social media outrage over the hefty hospital bill charged to the family of a seven-year-old who died of dengue fever near Delhi has once again turned the spotlight on India's poor state of public healthcare infrastructure and private hospitals that slap their patients with excessively high rates.

Following the death of the patient, identified as Adya Singh, in September, the private corporate hospital Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, a Delhi suburb, slapped her family with a bill amounting to around 1.8 million rupees (€23,600, $25,000)

The 20-page itemized bill stoked criticism that the hospital prescribed expensive medicines and overcharged for things like strips that check blood sugar levels.

The father of the deceased patient has demanded a probe into the treatment and billing done by the corporate hospital, while a family friend's tweet expressing anger about the billing sparked social media outrage.

India's Health Minister JP Nadda responded to the incident by tweeting: "We will take all the necessary action."

Malpractices rampant

While this case has been thrust into the public domain, the bigger question is how private healthcare institutions which are known for charging sky-high fees for medical services operate without any accountability in the South Asian nation.

"These five-star hospitals have no transparency and no regulation whatsoever. This is the new reality in India and we need legislation to prevent patients from being treated like a cash cow," Puneet Bedi, a gynecologist from the premier Apollo Hospital, told DW.

Many doctors who spoke to DW on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue and its potential impact on their positions say that three types of malpractices are particularly common in private hospitals: kickbacks for referrals, irrational drug prescribing and unnecessary interventions.

"The decay is deepening with the increasing onslaught of big corporate hospitals, growing pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and the massively expanding clout of medical equipment agencies," said a senior oncologist.

Last year, investigative agencies busted a racket of top doctors, including the CEO of a private hospital, in north India in connection with kidney transplants at big private hospitals in Indian cities. Then, in 2015, the Supreme Court passed a landmark verdict awarding nearly 20 million rupees to a young victim who lost her eyesight owing to the incompetence of doctors in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The unfortunate aspect, though, is that India lacks appropriate laws to regulate hospitals, diagnostic centers and other healthcare facilities in the private sector. The more reputed the hospital, the more it charges.

The practices of private hospitals was brought into the fore by two doctors Abhay Shukla and Arun Gadre in their book "Dissenting Diagnosis," which gives a chilling insider account of widespread malpractices afflicting the nation's healthcare sector.

The book explains that the nexus between corporate hospitals, pharma companies and doctors has increased the risks and costs of healthcare to such an extent that millions of middle-class Indians slide into poverty when they fall sick.

Low priority

Just last year, a year-long investigation by a web portal called Cobrapost detailed medical practices spanning three mega-cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and covering 20 major private multi-specialty hospitals. It unearthed a racket of referrals in which these hospitals offer commission ranging between 10 and 30 percent to doctors and smaller hospitals or nursing homes.

In May this year, medical journal Lancet pointed out that India ranks below much poorer nations such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana and even Liberia when it comes to providing healthcare for its masses.

On the basis of data from the Global Burden of Disease report, it said that India ranked 154 out of 195 countries in terms of access to healthcare.

The low priority accorded to health is highlighted by the fact that India spends less than 2 percent of its GDP on healthcare, which is far less than what is required considering the country's huge 1.2-billion-plus population.

In March this year, the long-awaited National Health Policy, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, promised to increase public health spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP in a time-bound manner and guarantee healthcare services to all Indians, particularly the underprivileged.

"But that is not the case. We have to do more. I agree there is commercialization of healthcare and there is overcharging, but there needs to be a serious rethink about how to go forward. The poor will suffer otherwise," Dr M C Mishra, former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told DW.

"The only way to tackle this situation is by boosting health insurance and educating people. Like financial inclusion we need healthcare inclusion," says Jitendra Kumar Singh of the Indian Medical Association.

DENMARK: Denmark’s Immigration Minister Wants To Send Failed Muslim Asylum Seekers To Deserted Islands While They Await Deportation.


Bare Naked Islam
written by Staff
Friday December 8, 2017

Breitbart (h/t Marvin W) The proposal, which was initially put forward by the populist Danish People’s Party (DF), would see failed asylum seekers being kept on one of the 300 or so deserted islands while they await deportation. Stรธjberg said that while she agrees with the proposal in principle there would be some challenges in regard to its implementation, Berlingske reports.

“I am always ready to look into good ideas for how we can improve the control of rejected asylum seekers. This is of course also a proposal from the Danish People’s Party,” Stรธjberg said.

Denmark has been much tougher on mass migration than her neighbour Sweden since the migrant crisis reached its height in 2015, enacting laws to discourage economic migrants. The Danes have even proposed to strengthen the border with Sweden, citing the high numbers of Islamic extremists in the country that could pose a threat to Denmark.

Earlier this year the Danish parliament, or Folketing, passed a resolution against mass migration stating that Danes should not become a minority in their own country.

The text of the resolution read: “Parliament notes with concern that today there are areas in Denmark where the number of immigrants from non-Western countries and their descendants is over 50 per cent. It is parliament’s opinion that Danes should not be a minority in residential areas in Denmark.”

More than any other Scandinavian country, Denmark has taken the lead in restricting Muslim asylum seekers from coming in.

Muslim asylum seekers don’t want to stay in Denmark anymore because their “migrant salary” aka welfare, has been reduced by 50%.

CCTV English Published on Jan 26, 2016: Refugee Crisis: Denmark passes law to seize valuables from asylum seekers

SWEDEN: Church Of Sweden To Stop Clergy Calling God 'He' Or 'The Lord' In Bid To Crack Down On Gendered Language. Wow ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

The Telegraph, UK
written by Staff
Friday November 24, 2017

The Church of Sweden is encouraging its clergy to use the gender-neutral term "God" instead of referring to the deity as "he" or "the Lord".

The decision was made on Thursday, wrapping up an eight-day meeting of the church's 251-member decision-making body. The decision will take effect on May 20 during Pentecost.

It is the latest move by the national Evangelical Lutheran church to modernise its 31-year-old handbook setting out how services should be conducted.

The decision to update the book of worship gives priests new options on how to refer to God during their services.

Priests can now open their services by referring to the traditional "Father, son and Holy Ghost" or the gender-neutral phrase "in the name of God and the Holy Trinity". Other gender-neutral options are available for other parts of the Church of Sweden liturgy.

"We talk about Jesus Christ, but in a few places we have changed it to say 'God' instead of 'he'," Church of Sweden spokesperson Sofija Pedersen Videke told The Telegraph. "We have some prayer options that are more gender-neutral than others."

"A wide majority of people decided on the book," she said, adding that she had heard of no priests who objected to the new linguistic framework.

The Church of Sweden is headed by Archbishop Antje Jackelen, who was elected Sweden's first female archbishop in 2013.

Archbishop Jackelen defended the decision, telling Sweden's TT news agency: "Theologically, for instance, we know that God is beyond our gender determinations, God is not human."

The decision was met with some criticism. Christer Pahlmblad, an associate theology professor at Lund University in Sweden, told Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad that the decision was "undermining the doctrine of the Trinity and the community with the other Christian churches."

"It really isn't smart if the Church of Sweden becomes known as a church that does not respect the common theology heritage," he said. The Church of Sweden has 6.1 million baptised members in a country with a population of 10 million.

The Church of England told The Telegraph that it also chooses to avoid divisive language in its services, but not with regards to God. “When liturgy is revised we also seek to use inclusive language where appropriate when referring to people,” a spokesperson said.

“The Church of England has always used masculine language when speaking about God, for example in the words of the Lord’s Prayer – ‘our Father, who art in Heaven’ – and in referring to God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and continues to do so."

The decision by the Church of Sweden mirrors an international trend for inclusivity in major churches. Earlier this month, the Church of England published guidelines for helping children “explore the possibilities of who they might be", including their gender identity.

SWEDEN: Nobody Helped Woman Raped By 20 Muslim Migrants — Neighbors Have “Learned Not To See Or Hear Too Much” ๐Ÿ˜ฆ๐Ÿ˜ 

Jihad Watch
written by Nicolai Sennels
Tuesday November 28, 2017

A rape case so brutal that even Swedish mainstream media is reporting about it shows signs of total collapse of moral and culture in Swedish society.

10News Update

“Eeew, you have sperm on your face and on your clothes, don’t involve us,” they said to the woman. She had just endured a gang rape and abuse by up to twenty perpetrators in a stairwell in Fittja, but nobody in the southern Stockholm suburb wanted to help the victim, Metro reports.

More details are now being published about the high profile case in Fittja, which took place in a stairwell in August 2016. The woman was gang-raped and also beaten up by up to twenty perpetrators. The woman was kicked, beaten, threatened with a knife and her head was knocked against the floor until she went unconscious.

A neighbor who witnessed the brutal attack chose to ignore the it. He later stated to the police that he has “learned not to see or hear too much.” The man has lived for 15 years in Fittja, a Muslim-dominated area.

Seeking help after the rape, the woman rang the doorbell of one apartment to ask for assistance to call the police. But the man who opened the door ignored her appeal and turned the bloody victim soaked in the rapists’ bodily fluids away.

The woman then managed to get to the Fittja city center to seek help but there she was told she was “disgusting.” Nobody wanted to help her. “A guy told her she was disgusting and she had sperm in her hair,” reads the police report. She also tried to get help from a guard at the train station, but also he didn’t care about the woman’s situation.

Instead, the woman was forced to take the subway to central Stockholm in order to seek help. Several men are now charged with the crime. According to the prosecution, they also filmed the rape and laughed during their sexual abuse.

All of the rapists are reported to have “migrant background,” the Swedish media’s expression for Muslim migrants.
Metro News, Sweden
written by Karl Enn Henricsson
Saturday November 25, 2017

After the suspected group violence in Fittja, the woman asked several people for help. Instead, she was told she was disgusting. "Usch you have sperm on your face and on your clothes, do not blend us in."

In hours, the woman was raped by several men in a stairwell in August last year. Up to 20 people may have been involved, and she was also subjected to abuse. After the men had left the stairwell, she called a doorbell and asked the resident to lame the police. But he did not care but just saw her coming out of the gate, she told the police.

Instead, she went to Fittja center for help. Several of her met asked her what she had been with. When she told her that she had been raped she was told, "But, uh, you have sperm on the face and on the clothes, do not interfere with us," as evident from hospital habits.

"A guy like NN went to tell her that she was disgusting and that she had sperm in her hair." The woman then tried to get help from the barracks at the subway station. "He just opened the barriers and waved to NN that she would pass. He had no interest in helping her, "according to interrogation.

The woman took the subway to central Stockholm where she contacted the police, and was helped to get to the hospital.

During the rape itself, a man had come out of the stairwell. He had seen what happened, according to the woman, but chose to not let the police. When the police later heard that man suspected of having seen the rape, he declared that he lived in Fittja for 15 years and that he had "learned not to see or hear so much".

Metro has reported in several articles about the group violence in Fittja. Sperm secured on women's clothes was matched at the end of last year against three suspected offenders. However, they were not arrested until June this year because of a lack of resources at the police, according to prosecutor Markus Hankkio.

Then it was also discovered that the police had investigated wrong trapphus and had to make a new crime scene investigation. Sperm was found and could be matched to a 22-year-old man charged with assaulting gross rape. A 28-year-old man was charged with the same crime. They will have laughed and filmed the rape with mobile cameras, according to the prosecution.

Three men between 19 and 23 years old were charged with gross rape. The accused denies crimes, and now the trial is ongoing.

Timeline: Group violence in Fittja

August 14, 2016. A 30-year-old reports that she has been exposed to a group violence in Fittja. Up to 20 people may have been involved, according to the police, who are investigating the stairwell where they believe the rape has been carried out.

December 2016: Seed secured to the woman's body is analyzed at the NFC National National Center, and can be matched to three suspects - now 19, 21 and 23 years old.

March 2017: 21-year-old arrested suspected of gross crimes and drug offenses. He will be released after a few weeks.

June 16, 2017: 21-year-old, 19-year-old and 23-year-old arrested suspected of serious rape.

June 20, 2017: The police are conducting a new crime scene in an adjacent stairwell and find semen.

Summer 2017: A total of ten men are suspected of being implicated in rape.

November 10, 2017: The three detainees are charged with gross rape. A 22-year-old man and a 28-year-old man are prosecuted for assisting in serious rapes.

Source: District Court, Prosecutor

PAKISTAN: How Sexual Abuse Of Children By Islamic Clerics (Imams) Exposes Pakistan's Deep Moral Rot.

Dawn News, Pakistan
written by Rafia Zakaria
Wednesday November 29, 2017

THE child’s body was found naked in a ditch in Madina Town in Faisalabad at 4:00 in the morning on Nov 1. There it stayed for nearly five more hours, until the police, repeatedly called by the residents who had crowded around the body, finally arrived.

A few months earlier another body of a child had been found lying in an empty plot not much further away. In this particular case, the police arrested a 16-year-old boy and four others, including the administrator of the madressah where both the little boy and his killer had been students. The 16-year-old was charged with molesting and killing the little boy.

This case happened just weeks before the Associated Press released an investigation into the rampant child abuse prevalent in this country’s madressahs. The power of the clerics in the country is such that the poor, whose children are being sexually assaulted and even murdered at the hands of madressah administrators, have absolutely nowhere to go.

In a country where the majority is terrified by the mob rule perpetuated by those who claim to have exclusive rights over faith, the poor — and particularly poor children — are absolutely and utterly helpless. The consequences can be seen in the AP story: a madressah principal stuffed a student’s shirt into his mouth before raping him, the gang rape of a sleeping student by a number of older students, another madressah administrator who assaulted a young boy and threatened him with death if he told anyone.

That boy did tell someone; his case, according to the report, is one of three cases that is actually being prosecuted in court. The outcome, as with so many other similar cases involving men who don the mantle of faith, is doubtful. In the few cases in which prosecution even progresses that far, men from Pakistan’s varied panoply of hard-line religious groups show up at hearings to ‘support’ the accused or, more accurately, to intimidate the victims and their families.

In recent days (and years), much of the country has become rather well acquainted with how effective this mode of coercion is, even when witnessed from afar. It is no surprise, then, that it works very well on the poorest and most hapless of parents; those who have not already agreed to ‘forgive’, do so at this point. They have to save whatever little is left of the child’s abused self — or if the child is dead then they have other children to save. Those in the business of silencing and intimidating know that there is always a way to shut people up.

And so they get them to keep quiet. The youngest, abused themselves, are likely to continue the cycle of molestation, ensuring that several if not all who pass through are subject to the worst crime that can be inflicted upon a child.

The rest of society is smugly complicit too. The middle class and the wealthy, whose children are not at the mercy of such institutions, wish to maintain the vow of silence that allows the abuse to continue; it is easier to believe that what one does not see does not exist. Many will tell you that sexual abuse does not exist in Pakistan, let alone in madressahs — those realms that are the bastion of imparting faith in the land of the pure.

But what is happening at the hands of clerics and principals and students, all flashing the cloth of faith, is indicative only of the deep moral rot that has seeped into the farthest reaches of Pakistan. Faith is seen as big business and good politics but it is no longer the basis of moral life.

The faithful are not necessarily moral; many at best engage in a close pantomime of morality, wearing the clothes that look the part, throwing around the words that sound the part and being outraged at everything that fits with their mask of piety. But pretence, after all, is a hollow deal; for all the trouble they take to maintain appearances, they cannot muster any real concern for those most needing it — the innocent children whose bodies and brains are being sacrificed for Pakistan’s collective pretence of piety.

It is not, of course, an isolated phenomenon. In recent years, the Catholic church has had to contend with the rotten core of its clergy. Paedophiles and child abusers seek out professions that provide them with the cloak of piety, the superficial trappings of being holy and hence beyond reproach. As with the case of rapist clerics and murderers, the paedophile priests hid behind the trust that the faithful had in them. It took generations, scores of the brave and the unafraid, to speak out, to prosecute, to not be intimidated by the threat of losing papal support or worse, of facing excommunication and being called Christian no more.

The cost to Muslims, those real Muslims who are interested in more than just the outward trappings of faith, who wish to speak the truth and stand up for the most desperate, the least powerful, will be similar. As others too have pointed out, it is a tragedy of our times that being called insufficiently Muslim, improperly Muslim, inadequately Muslim, is precisely what may be required to actually be Muslim — authentically Muslim beyond the games of appearances and reputations, the visible and the audible.

The truth is no longer what is visible, the good and the right are no longer the same, and it is the broken and beaten bodies of the children that are proof of the rot that lies within.

The writer is an attorney teaching constitutional law and political philosophy.
rafia.zakaria@gmail.com

PAKISTAN: Environment Pollution: People Call Upon Government To Shift Factories From Residential Areas.

The Express Tribune, Pakistan
written by Staff
Wednesday November 29, 2017

SARGODHA: Scores of residents of the city and adjoining areas demanded that the authorities to shift small and medium industries from residential areas.

They say a lot of small factories and mills are operational in the city which are creating air and noise pollution and lead to traffic gridlock. They said due to environment pollution, children are getting respiratory problems due to pollution.

The people demanded of the government to take action against those responsible for polluting the environment.

When contacted, district administration officials said that efforts were being made to register and shift these industries in the allocated industrial area.

Pakistan suffers from some of the worst air pollution in the world, owing to its giant population plying poorly maintained vehicles on the roads and unchecked industrial emissions.

The environmental situation is aggravating in Sargodha due to ever-increasing number of vehicles, industrial units and air pollution.
Health experts also link liver damage, kidney issue, neurological problems, thyroid system disorders, malaria, earaches, pink eyes, brain and nerve damage to the growing environmental pollution in the city.

Air pollution in Punjab is 20 times the safe limit

Such sorry state of affairs and role of silent spectators of the regularity bodies speak volumes of the health issues of the people of the Sargodha which are affected mainly due to the high air pollution coupled with the insanitary conditions and the clouds of dust and smoke emitted from the factories.

VIETNAM: Government Officials Halt Exportation of Silica Sand Used In Glassmaking.

Tuoi Tre News, Vietnam
written by Staff
Thursday November 16, 2017

Silica sand is quartz broken down by water and wind into tiny granules used as the primary component in glassmaking.

According to statistics acquired by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, Vietnamese companies shipped nearly 800,000 metric tons of silica sand to foreign markets last year.

Silica sand exports for 2017 were forecast to pass the one-million-ton mark.

The General Department of Vietnam Customs had previously added silica sand to its list of price-sensitive goods subject to government control over their export rate.

Accordingly, the sale of washed silica sand to foreign buyers was given a price floor of US$20 and price ceiling of $116 per ton.

In March, a series of investigative reports by Tuoi Tre revealed that Vietnam’s sand was being transported to Singapore to fuel an ongoing megaproject in the city-state.

The revelation sent a shockwave through the local public and authorities, prompting Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to take firm steps to put an end to the resource drainage, including a decision to indefinitely halt saline sand exports from September.

The recent dispatch by the General Department of Vietnam Customs asking its subordinate bodies to cease their clearance of silica sand for export is therefore seen as another move toward preserving Vietnam’s natural resources.
I just checked for updates on this news and there are none. But I was curious why the uproar of the export to Singapore. So this is what I found below. Very interesting read. I had no idea sand was this important. Wow. But I'm glad environmentally conscious people and organizations are keeping watch in that region and protecting nature while allowing business to function in harmony.
(emphasis mine)
Today Online, from Singapore (SG.gov)
January 23, 2017

The Republic stopped importing sand from Cambodia after a ban took effect in November last year, said the Ministry of National Development (MND) as the issue of sand imports once again takes the spotlight.

Responding to media queries, the MND also stressed that Singapore sets strict criteria for imports of sand, including on environmental protection, but reiterated that sand is imported on a commercial basis and it is the contractors who must meet the criteria. It also said that Singapore has not come across any illegal shipments of sand here.

In Nov, Cambodian authorities reportedly temporarily halted sand exports by companies that hold valid permits after local activists found discrepancies in the export and import trade data from the United Nations. The data showed that Singapore reported 73.6 million tonnes in sand imports from Cambodia since 2007. Yet the Cambodian government reported that only 2.7 million tonnes left for Singapore.

The extraction and export of Cambodian sand has been controversial, as firms allegedly extract sand in defiance of quotas, destroying coastal mangrove systems in the process and affecting the livelihoods of local fishing communities.

Aside from Cambodia, Singapore also imports sand from the Philippines and Myanmar, according to media reports.

Earlier this month, the Cambodian Daily reported that Mother Nature, a non-governmental organisation, was exploring bringing lawsuits against government agencies and companies involved in sand exports to Singapore.

The MND said the Government does not condone any trade or extraction of sand that breaches the source countries’ laws and regulations, and contractors “must source sand from legally permissible areas, comply with all the environmental protection laws of the source country, and have the proper sand export documentation and permits from the relevant authorities in the source countries”.

On the discrepancy in sand trade figures, the MND spokesperson said they are unable to verify this as the figures reported by various parties and countries are dependent on their own calculation formulas that the ministry is not privy to.

She also noted that Singapore has not encountered instances of smuggled sand, or contractors bringing sand into Singapore carrying fake export permits. “The authorities will investigate any such instances and take enforcement action, if evidence is provided,” she added.

Sand is often used in the construction industry to produce cement or used for land reclamation. According to a 2014 United Nations Environment Programme report, Singapore is the largest importer of sand worldwide.

The volumes of sand imported annually into Singapore vary according to the availability of sand and the requirements of the reclamation and construction projects, said the MND. No figures breaking down the uses of sand in Singapore were available.

Speaking to TODAY, Mother Nature co-founder Alex Gonzalez-Davidson said in Cambodia that quotas are on how much sand mining companies can extract, but the companies tend to exceed this as there are no checks and law enforcement.

He also claimed that Cambodian government agencies had “wilfully assisted” these companies by turning a blind eye to violations of regulations or issue documents that do not represent the full amount of sand that was being exported.

The MND said that as sand is not a natural resource in Singapore, it would be “highly challenging” to achieve self-sufficiency. Nonetheless, Singapore has been exploring alternative methods, such as recycling excavated materials from the construction industry to replace a proportion of sand in some reclamation projects, said the spokesperson. The reclamation project in Pulau Tekong will also use a method called empoldering to reduce the amount of sand needed.

BACKGROUND TO THE ISSUE

Singapore’s sand imports have sparked controversy over the years, with environmental activists pointing to the environmental impact from the extraction process.

Malaysia imposed a ban on sand exports in 1997, but Malaysian media have previously reported instances of sand smuggling, allegedly destined for Singapore.

In 2007, Indonesia announced a ban on the export of land sand to Singapore, citing concerns that sand extraction activities were leading to environmental degradation. At the time, 90 per cent of Singapore’s sand imports came from Indonesia, and the ban sparked a supply crunch, leading to a search for sand from other sources.

Cambodia and Vietnam are also source countries, but in 2009, Cambodia banned the export of sand from rivers, although exports from areas where sand was replenished regularly was still allowed. Vietnam followed suit in the same year.

In 2010, anti-corruption non-governmental organisation Global Witness alleged in a report that the Cambodian government was engaging in corrupt practices and ignoring environmental safeguards against sand dredging, and that Singapore was buying sand unsustainably dredged from the rivers in the Koh Kong Province.

Singapore rejected the allegations, stressing that it requires sand vendors to act responsibly and observe source country regulations.

ARGENTINA: Ex-President Of Argentina Cristina Fernandez Is Accused Of Covering Up Iran And Hezbollah Role In Terror Attack On AMIA Jewish Center. Court Issued Arrest Warrant.

The Algemeiner
written by Ben Cohen
Friday December 8, 2017

The landmark arrests and indictments issued in Argentina on Thursday — following a federal inquiry into the cover-up of Iran’s responsibility for the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires — offer decisive proof that it was the Tehran regime which committed the crime, the president of AMIA said on Friday.

The arrests “confirm that Iran is the main party responsible” for the bombing of the AMIA building in downtown Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, in which 85 people died and hundreds more were wounded, AMIA president Agustin Zbar told the Argentine Jewish newspaper Iton Gadol. Iran has always dismissed the charge of responsibility, despite the issuing of “Red Notices” for six Iranian and Hezbollah operatives wanted in connection with the bombing by Interpol, the global law enforcement agency.

In the first move of a possible treason trial that carries a maximum sentence of 25 years imprisonment, Argentine federal judge Claudio Bonadio on Thursday requested the country’s Senate to strip former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of her immunity from prosecution.

Former Foreign Minister Hector Timerman is also under house arrest, while several other Kirchner lieutenants have been detained by police or prevented by the authorities from leaving the country.

Bonadio’s inquiry into the allegations of collusion with Iran were based on the complaint against Kirchner and her associates assembled by former federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman — who spent a decade investigating the AMIA bombing, before being found murdered in his Buenos Aires apartment in January 2015. At the heart of Nisman’s complaint was the claim that, in January 2011, Timerman signed a secret pact with this Iranian counterpart pledging both countries to a so-called “truth commission” regarding the AMIA bombing. Subsequent testimonies to Bonadio’s inquiry showed that increased trade and even the exchange of nuclear technology were approved by the pact.

Noting that 23 years had passed since the AMIA bombing, Zbar said, “We have consistently traveled a long and arduous path to demonstrate, with ample evidence, the intellectual and material responsibility of citizens and officials of the Iranian state and of the terrorist group Hezbollah, in the attack against the headquarters of AMIA.”

Zbar added that he was encouraged that the Argentine authorities were also investigating local complicity in the attack, following news that Carlos Telleldin, a businessman accused of supplying the truck used in the AMIA bombing, will face a retrial nearly two decades after a previous prosecution against him collapsed. Zbar said it was his hope that the coming Telleldin hearing and “the progress of the investigation into the death of Alberto Nisman” would eventually lead to the trial of the Iranians who planned and executed the AMIA atrocity.

“AMIA from the beginning strongly opposed the pact with Iran,” Zbar stated. “The search for justice has been our priority since July 18, 1994, and we will never give up until all those guilty of that crime against humanity are convicted and imprisoned.”

On Friday, thousands of Kirchner supporters staged a rally in Buenos Aires’ famed Plaza del Mayo to protest what they depicted as government-sponsored persecution of the former president. Kirchner has repeatedly claimed that Nisman’s allegations against her and her government are a fabrication.
Business Insider
written by Linette Lopez
Saturday December 9, 2017

An Argentine judge has ordered the arrest of the country's former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on charges of treason. When she is finally in custody it will not only be a victory for Argentina, but a victory for the security of the entire western hemisphere.

To understand why you have to understand what she's going down for.

Fernandez — one half of the most romantic and powerful political couple in Argentine politics since the Juan and Evita Peron — is being accused of covering up the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires. That bombing has wide ranging implications beyond the tragic deaths of 84 Argentines.

That is because the bomb was set off by Iran-backed terrorists, who for decades have been building a presence in South America.

Alberto Nisman, an Argentine prosecutor, had been tracking their whereabouts for years — and was even ordered to investigate the AMIA bombing by Fernandez's late husband, former president Nestor Kirchner.

When he took power in 2003 Kirchner, like the rest of the country, wanted the perpetrators of the AMIA bombing brought to justice.

But later in his regime things changed. After a collapse in 2001, Argentina's economy would not get out of in crisis mode. It was locked out of international markets and the situation looked increasingly desperate. The accusation of treason against Christina Fernandez de Kirchner is that when money got tighter, she got more desperate too.

She needed friends with cash. And there was Iran, waiting with a bag — strings attached of course.

It was under her tenure as President that Nisman was murdered in early 2015, the very day he was going to testify that she was covering up Iran's involvement in the AMIA bombing.

This is not about Argentina, it's about Iran
Iran decided to murder Argentine citizens because the country had stopped sharing nuclear knowledge with Iran. People often forget that Argentina developed one of the most advanced nuclear programs in the world after WWII. There's your motive.

But of course, the more important question for this story is: Why would the president of Argentina cover for the people who murdered 84 of her own citizens? Mostly it was money.

When Argentina's economy collapsed in 2000-2001, it began a slow, painful recovery — recovery made more arduous by the fact that Argentina flat-out refused to pay some of its creditors. This ostracized Argentina from international markets, made it a cash-strapped nation, and ultimately hurt the Kirchners politically.

That meant the couple would have to fight to hold on to power, and that fight would take money. According to Brazilian journalist Leonardo Coutinho, who testified on this matter before members of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in 2015, that's when late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stepped in.

Coutinho told Congress that he interviewed three defected officials of Chavez's regime who said they witnessed a conversation between the Venezuelan president and his then-Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in January 2007.

Ahmadinejad and Chavez reportedly planned to coerce Argentina into sharing nuclear technology with Iran and stopping the hunt for the perpetrators of the AMIA bombing in exchange for cash, some of it to finance Fernandez's political aims. It's unclear whether Fernandez knew exactly where this money was coming from. Either way, she took it and the deal was done.

Alberto Nisman knew all of this, and Iran knew he knew it. According to diplomatic cables published in the 2010 Wikileaks dump, he even confronted Iranian officials about it in 2007 and they went ballistic calling for his arrest.

He was about to tell Argentina's legislature about Fernandez's attempt to hide this arrangement when he was found dead in his apartment. That death, and the government's attempt to have it labeled a suicide, has rocked Argentina to this day.

Fernandez is gone, Iran is not
Fernandez is currently a senator, and therefore enjoys immunity. But the Argentine legislature recently stripped a former member of her administration of their immunity, so her arrest seems like foregone conclusion at this point.

Of course, that doesn't mean this saga is over. The US, Argentina and other nations in the western hemisphere must still contend with the threat of Iran in the region.

According to Politico, the Trump administration has ramped up efforts:
The administration’s counter-Hezbollah campaign is an interagency effort that includes leveraging diplomatic, intelligence, financial and law enforcement tools to expose and disrupt the logistics, fundraising and operational activities of Iran, the Qods Force and the long list of Iranian proxies from Lebanese Hezbollah to other Shia militias in Iraq and elsewhere. But in the words of Ambassador Nathan Sale, the State Department coordinator for counterterrorism, “Countering Hezbollah is a top priority for the Trump administration.”

Since it took office, the Trump administration has taken a series of actions against Hezbollah in particular—including indictments , extraditions , public statements and issues rewards for information on wanted Hezbollah terrorist leaders—and officials are signaling that more actions are expected, especially in Latin America. Congress has passed a series of bills aimed at Hezbollah as well.

The goal, according to an administration official quoted by POLITICO, is to “expose them for their behavior.” The thinking goes: Hezbollah cannot claim to be a legitimate actor even as it engages in a laundry list of illicit activities that undermine stability at home in Lebanon, across the Middle East region and around the world.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of the article...

USA: Navy Investigation Finds That A Sailor Who Claimed To Be A Victim Of Racially-Motivated Vandalism Aboard USS George H.W. Bush Staged The Incident Himself. Another Fake Hate Crime!

MRCtv.org
written by Monica Sanchez, @moniii328
Friday December 8, 2017

A sailor who claimed to be a victim of racially-motivated vandalism aboard USS George H.W. Bush staged the incident himself, the Navy said Friday.

Marquie Little, a 27-year-old African seaman, shared several pictures via Facebook on Nov. 15 showing the alleged vandalism of his rack on board the aircraft carrier.

The pictures exhibit torn pillows, trash ripped up all over his bed, and racial slurs written in marker on the sheets and walls.

The language has been blurred in the photos.

“I am a United States sailor. I proudly serve the Navy and this is what I’m receiving in return,” the Facebook post reads. “#SailorAskingForHelp things are getting out of hand. Please share. Somebody knows something. (Thank you all for your guidance)”

The post went viral, shared more than 20,500 times as of Friday. It is no longer public.

After a thorough investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) found that the vandalism was a hoax, Little was dealt “appropriate administrative actions as well as additional counseling and training,” Navy spokesperson Commander Dave Hecht said.

He added that the sailor, who he would not identify because he was not charged with a crime, would “remain a member of the crew and continue to perform his military duties.”

“The United States Navy does not tolerate racial discrimination of any form and the well-being of our Sailors is our top priority,” Hecht said.

Little denies staging the vandalism.

“And now I’m to be here looking like a bad guy for attention,” he told the Navy Times on Friday. “I have nothing to gain from doing such an incident but I have everything to lose.”

Navy spokesperson Hecht said the carrier’s command used the incident “to provide additional crew training and reemphasize that vandalism and racism would not be tolerated,” reports the Navy Times.

The incident comes after a black cadet “victim” at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School staged racist messages outside his and his fellow cadets’ rooms in September and an African-American man filed a police report about racist graffiti painted onto his car that turned out to be a total hoax.

December 7, 2017

USA: Porn Star August Ames Commits Suicide After Being Cyberbullied To Death By Social Justice Warriors (SJW) Mob For Refusing To Have Sex With Man Who Did Gay Porn. My Gosh WOW! ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

SJWs Have NO CONSCIENCE! Shame on you. How dare you bully others. So SJWs feel that it's OKAY for them to commit 'hate crimes', but it should not be allowed on them?! Cyberbullying IS a crime and so is stalking, vandalism, harassment. I pray that she gets justice.

CLICK HERE to be directed to Cyberbullying Research Center to find out the bullying laws across America.

CLICK HERE to be directed to Stomp Out Bullying to find out when bullying and cyberbullying become a crime.

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FOX News
written by Staff
Thursday December 7, 2017

A porn star relentlessly bullied on Twitter after saying she did not want to have sex with someone who had shot gay porn committed suicide by hanging.

August Ames, a 23-year-old rising star in the adult film industry, died Tuesday in California. The Ventura County Medical Examiner confirmed to The Blast that Ames died of asphyxiation due to hanging.

“She was the kindest person I ever knew and she meant the world to me,” her husband, Kevin Moore, told industry trade magazine Adult Video News (AVN), which first reported the news. “Please leave this as a private family matter in this difficult time.”

According AVN, Ames joined the adult film industry in 2013 and steadily rose to prominence mostly thanks to a large following on social media.

Close friends told The Blast that they suspect her social media presence and recent harassment may have contributed to her death.

In recent days, Ames’ Twitter feed has been littered with cyberbullies accusing her of being homophobic after she publicly chose to not work with an unidentified actor who had previously shot gay porn.
“Whichever (lady) performer is replacing me tomorrow for @EroticaXnews, you’re shooting with a guy who has shot gay porn, just to let cha know. BS is all I can say,” she wrote in a tweet earlier this month. “Do agents really not care about who they’re representing? I do my homework for my body.”

The tweet garnered an onslaught of responses toward Ames, forcing her to defend her decision – and her words – against the PC mob.
“NOT homophobic. Most girls don’t shoot with guys who have shot gay porn, for safety,” she wrote. “That’s just how it is with me. I’m not putting my body at risk, I don’t know what they do in their private lives.”
In another tweet Ames wrote: “How am I homophobic if I myself am attracted to women? Not wanting to have sex with gay men is not homophonic; they don’t want to have sex with me either so byeeeee.”

“I don’t have anything to apologize for! Apologizing for taking extra steps to [ensure] that my body stays safe? F--k you guys for attacking me when none of my intentions were malicious. I f--king love the gay community! What the f--k ever! I CHOOSE who I have inside my body. No hate,” she wrote in another tweet.

After Ames’ death, fellow porn stars came to her defense and slammed the online mob bullying her.
“A beautiful life is GONE because people like to use their ‘fan base’ to bully others because THEIR opinion doesn’t agree with YOURS,” Brett Rossi, ex-girlfriend to actor Charlie Sheen wrote on Twitter. “RIP to a sweet, kind soul… I’m so sad & so angry. A life wasted simply because HER opinion didn’t mesh with YOURS.”

Anikka Albrite wrote: “Omg, I can’t believe she’s dead. You people should have known better than to berate her over her personal thoughts! Shame on all you for beating it into the ground. Online harassment is a real thing & it claimed another life. Someone who liked & would have even called a friend!”
Breitbart News
written by Charlie Nash
Thursday December 7, 2017

Porn star August Ames was found dead of an apparent suicide Wednesday, one day after the adult actress was apparently bullied by social justice warriors on social media for explaining she would not perform in scenes alongside male actors who also perform in gay porn, due to health concerns.

Ames, whose real name is Mercedes Grabowski, “died of asphyxia due to hanging” in what has been ruled as a suicide, according to Ventura County, California officials. She was 23 years old.

Grabowski was bullied on Twitter after she announced her refusal to do porn scenes with gay porn actors, citing what she claimed was a higher likelihood of contracting HIV.

Users quickly called Grabowski, who was bisexual, “homophobic” for her remarks, prompting the actress to further explain.

Former porn actress Jenna Jameson also revealed her own story of bullying from the LGBT community, proclaiming, “This mob mentality must end.”
CLICK HERE to read the entire article and read all related tweets.