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Showing posts from August 13, 2015

Bill Cosby: three more women bring charges of sexual assault

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[A shameful legacy of depravity, duplicity, sanctimoniousness and horror. Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer, Eden Tiri and Colleen Hughes detailed alleged abuse as attorney Gloria Allred said, ‘These are not the last three to come forward.’ *RON*]
Rory Carroll, The Guardian, 13 August 2015
Three more women, including an actor who appeared on the Cosby Show, have come forward and accused Bill Cosby of sexual assault and harassment, giving graphic details of how he allegedly abused them during the prime of his fame.

Linda Ridgeway Whitedeer and Eden Tiri, both actors, and Colleen Hughes, a former air steward, said at a press conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday that the comedian used his power as a celebrity, and in one case a drug, to violate and harass them in the 1970s and 80s.

More than 40 women have gone public in the past year with allegations against Cosby, 78, a once-beloved figure who has fallen into disgrace.

ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape

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[Horrifying. Claiming the Quran’s support, the Islamic State codifies sex slavery in conquered regions of Iraq and Syria and uses the practice as a recruiting tool. *RON*]

Written by Rukmini Callimachi, New York Times, 13 August 2015

QADIYA, Iraq — In the moments before he raped the 12-year-old girl, the Islamic State fighter took the time to explain that what he was about to do was not a sin. Because the preteen girl practiced a religion other than Islam, the Quran not only gave him the right to rape her — it condoned and encouraged it, he insisted.

He bound her hands and gagged her. Then he knelt beside the bed and prostrated himself in prayer before getting on top of her.

When it was over, he knelt to pray again, bookending the rape with acts of religious devotion.

“I kept telling him it hurts — please stop,” said the girl, whose body is so small an adult could circle her waist with two hands. “He told me that according to Islam he is allowed to …

Windows 10 sends identifiable data to Microsoft despite privacy settings

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[Even if you do the manual installation, choose all your own privacy settings, and turn off Bing Search and Cortana, Windows 10 still contacts OneDrive, MSN and other services. There seems to be nothing you can do about this. *RON*]
Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian, 13 August 2015

Windows 10 sends identifiable information to Microsoft, even if a user turns off its Bing search and Cortana features, and activates the software’s privacy-protection settings.

Analysis by technology site Ars Technica has shown that Windows 10 still contacts Microsoft even when these features are disabled, although some of this is simple and non-identifiable testing for an internet connection.

However, other bits of information sent to and requested from Microsoft, including those associated with the company’s cloud storage service, OneDrive, and to an unknown content delivery network, have a user identification number attached.

Stephen Harper Forgets Stephen Harper’s Pledge to End Fossil Fuels

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[Harper’s reaction to Linda McQuaig's comments "seems conspicuously overwrought given the Prime Minister’s own pledge, along with the other G7 nations, to phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2100." Could this possibly mean he was lying through his teeth when he made this pledge? *RON*]

By Carol Linnitt, DeSmog Blog, 11 August 2015

If the recent frufrah over NDP candidate Linda McQuaig’s comment that “a lot of the oilsands oil may have to stay in the ground” is indicative of anything, it’s that Canada’s election cycle is in full spin. May all reasonableness and sensible dialogue and accountability be damned.

Perhaps that’s the blunt and singular reason behind the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s outrage at McQuaig’s entirely non-contentious assertion that, because of our international commitments to curtail global climate change, Canada won’t exploit the entirety of its oil reserves.

Harper accused the NDP of hav…

Income inequality turns "neglected tropic diseases" into American diseases of "the poor living among the wealthy"

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[Poverty increases disease which increases poverty. *RON*]

By Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing, 12 August 2015


The deadly infectious diseases that were eradicated in America during the 20th century are now roaring back, thanks to growing poverty, failing sanitation, and underinvestment in science and health research and regulation.

Chagas, hookworm disease, cysticercosis, and chikungunya -- just to name a few. They cluster in the American south and southwest, and disproportionately effect the poorest Americans, who are usually also the brownest Americans.

In 2014, Baylor tropical medicine physician Rojelio Mejia travelled to Montgomery to test his suspicion that hookworm remained a significant problem. He wanted to recruit 100 people for a small pilot study that would test them for hookworm and provide treatment where needed. His first trip netted just 11 participants.

“They have a lot of mistrust of a tall, bald white man coming to see them,” he says.

Part…

PMO tried to rewrite Senate audit report to avoid questions about Duffy’s residence, new emails show

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[Every worm they dig up has two more wriggling around underneath it. *RON*]

Lee Berthiaume, Postmedia News / National Post, 13 August 2015
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s staff tried to rewrite a Senate audit report to head off questions about whether Mike Duffy and other senators were constitutionally qualified to hold their seats, according to explosive new emails.

Tabled as evidence at Duffy’s criminal trial Wednesday, the emails show Harper’s staff were extremely sensitive to whether all senators were qualified to represent the province or territory from which they are appointed.

They also show that Harper believed owning property in a province – not necessarily being resident there – was enough for someone to represent that province in the upper chamber. The assertion is sure to stoke fresh questions about whether Duffy and other Harper appointees were qualified to sit in the Senate in the first place.

Dating from February to May 2013, the hund…

BC Hydro rushes to cut down eagles’ nests for Site C Dam, First Nations seek injunction

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[They are racing ahead to advance this project, for which there is no demonstrable need, except perhaps for some imaginary LNG project. Meanwhile they are disturbing if not destroying wildlife as part of a nontransparent project process. And the reason given for being nontransparent is that the project is being contested in the courts, while they ahead ahead with it. This would give Kafka a headache! *RON*]
By Damien Gillis, Commonsense Canadian, 11 August 2015



Treaty 8 First Nations are seeking an injunction as BC Hydro rushes to cut down a number of Bald Eagles’ nests along the Peace River, starting next month, for Site C Dam.
The news came by way of a 30-day notice issued to Treaty 8 representatives on June 30 (read here). Hydro received a package of permits from the BC Liberal government on July 7, authorizing a wide range of work on the controversial $9 Billion project – including one green-lighting the removal and destruction of eagles’ nes…

Why Turkey Is Fighting the Kurds Who Are Fighting ISIS

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[As good an explainer as any I've seen. Classic "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" stuff. Via my friend Peter. *RON*]

By Sarah Almukhtar and Time Wallace, New York Times, 12 August 2015

On the same day that Turkey announced it would help fight the Islamic State, Turkish forces began an airstrike campaign against one of the very groups that has been crucial to stopping the advance of the Islamic State.

Since the July 24 announcement, Turkey has launched several waves of airstrikes against elements of a Kurdish separatist group known as the P.K.K., which is widely listed as a terrorist group. But that group and its allies in Syria, who have been closely working with American forces, are pushing Islamic State militants out of areas they once controlled.So while the United States had long sought Turkey’s help in fighting ISIS, the events since the agreement reveal the tangle of diverging interests in the region.