www.theguardian.com

Hibatullah Akhundzada #fundie #god-complex #sexist theguardian.com

Taliban edict to resume stoning women to death met with horror

The Taliban’s announcement that it is resuming publicly stoning women to death has been enabled by the international community’s silence, human rights groups have said.

The Taliban’s supreme leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, announced at the weekend that the group would begin enforcing its interpretation of sharia law in Afghanistan, including reintroducing the public flogging and stoning of women for adultery.

In an audio broadcast on the Taliban-controlled Radio Television Afghanistan last Saturday, Akhundzada said: “We will flog the women … we will stone them to death in public [for adultery].

“You may call it a violation of women’s rights when we publicly stone or flog them for committing adultery because they conflict with your democratic principles,” he said, adding: “[But] I represent Allah, and you represent Satan.”

He justified the move as a continuation of the Taliban’s struggle against western influences. “The Taliban’s work did not end with the takeover of Kabul, it has only just begun,” he said.

In the past year alone, Taliban-appointed judges ordered 417 public floggings and executions, according to Afghan Witness, a research group monitoring human rights in Afghanistan. Of these, 57 were women.

Most recently, in February, the Taliban executed people in public at stadiums in Jawzjan and Ghazni provinces. The militant group has urged people to attend executions and punishments as a “lesson” but banned filming or photography.

Frank Hester #racist #sexist #psycho theguardian.com

West Yorkshire police are investigating “racist comments which were allegedly made at a meeting” by the Conservative [biggest ever] donor Frank Hester in 2019.

The investigation was triggered after the Guardian reported that Hester, a businessman based in Leeds, told colleagues that looking at Diane Abbott made you “want to hate all black women” and said the MP “should be shot”.

Hester, who has given £10m to the Tories in the past year, said in the meeting that he did not hate all black women. But he did say that seeing Abbott, who is Britain’s longest-serving black MP, on TV meant “you just want to hate all black women because she’s there”.

After the publication of the remarks, a statement from TPP said Hester “accepts that he was rude about Diane Abbott in a private meeting several years ago but his criticism had nothing to do with her gender nor colour of skin”. The statement said Hester abhorred racism, “not least because he experienced it as the child of Irish immigrants in the 1970s”.

Eli Regalado #fundie #mammon theguardian.com

‘The Lord told us to’: US pastor says he stole $1m from Christians to remodel home

A Colorado pastor who is charged with stealing more than $1m from his Christian community in a cryptocurrency scheme has admitted to the fraud but argued that God instructed him to carry it out.

Eli Regalado and his wife, Kaitlyn, are charged with creating and selling their cryptocurrency, known as “INDXcoin”, to Christians based in their home town of Denver, Colorado, allegedly telling would-be investors that the Lord had told him people would become rich if they invested, the state’s division of securities announced in a press release on Thursday.

But INDXcoin was “practically worthless” in reality, prosecutors said in the statement. Investors lost millions of dollars while the Regalados used their investments for lavish living.

In a video statement about the charges, Eli admitted that the couple had squandered $1.3m that was raised through cryptocurrency.

“The charges are that me and Kaitlyn pocketed $1.3m,” Regalado said in the video published to INDXcoin’s website on Friday. “I just wanted to come out and say those charges are true.”

Regalado added: “A few hundred thousand dollars went to a home remodel the Lord told us to do.”

Elgeyo Marakwet mob #sexist #psycho theguardian.com

Efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation in Kenya have suffered a setback after a police officer was killed in a confrontation with a gang of youths

Activists and local leaders condemned the murder, calling it a backward step in the fight to eradicate the practice in the country. Police in Elgeyo Marakwet county, in the Rift Valley region, had taken a group of girls who had been forced to undergo the illegal procedure to hospital when a mob of young men stormed a police station and stoned Cpl Mushote Boma to death

“Angry youth raided the police post in a bid to get the girls, who had been rescued by police after they were genitally mutilated, where they overpowered the officer who was on duty and stoned him to death before burning his body using a mattress,” reported the government-owned Kenya news agency

The six girls are recuperating at a local hospital, according to county police commander, Peter Mulinge[…]
Mwebia, whose organisation has since trained nearly 500 male champions in counties where FGM exists, says men cringe when they are shown videos of the cut, a rite they traditionally believe is undertaken for their benefit

“They are told the cut makes women more mature and avoid promiscuity. They are also told that they will lose any respect within the community by marrying an uncut woman. That is why they will kill anyone, including a policeman, who interferes with the cut,” Mwebia said

Mwebia was attacked by another group of men in Kuria in December 2016 after he and a colleague were suspected of filming a street parade of girls undergoing the cut

Martin Sellner, Gerrit Huy, Roland Hartwig and unnamed Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) and Identitarian Movement members #racist #wingnut theguardian.com

Politicians from[…]AfD[…]met the head of the[…]Identitarian Movement and neo-Nazi activists[…]
It is likely to feed a fraught debate over whether the AfD should be banned[…]
The meeting was attended not only by two state and municipal-level AfD politicians but also one active member of the Bundestag, Gerrit Huy, as well as Roland Hartwig, a former MP who has acted as a personal aide to Weidel since September 2022. One party branch of the AfD’s has described Hartwig as being tasked with the party’s “strategic positioning”

The AfD figures were meeting with Martin Sellner, who was tasked with introducing the “masterplan” and is a key figure in the pan-European “New Right”[…]
The Identitarian Movement is on a list of organisations whose membership the AfD considers incompatible with party membership[…]
One key idea that Sellner has been trying to nudge into the political mainstream is “re-migration”[…]Target not only asylum seekers but, as Sellner elaborated[…]also citizens holding German passports who, he claims, “form aggressive, rapidly growing parallel societies”[…]
The explosive subject of “re-migration” apparently dominated the discussions[…]Sellner allegedly presenting the forcible extradition of “non-assimilated” German citizens as the biggest “challenge” if the AfD were to gain power

Ideas discussed at the meeting[…]included that of deportations to an unnamed state in northern Africa that would provide space for up to 2 million people. People who lobby on behalf of refugees in Germany could also go there, Sellner is reported to have suggested[…]
During the meeting, Sellner said, he had made it “unmistakably clear that no distinction can be made between different types of [German] citizens[…]all re-migration measures have to be legal”[…]
Huy[…]is reported to have claimed that she developed her own “re-migration” concept, and appeared to suggest her party no longer opposed the government’s plan to lift a ban on dual citizenship for that reason

Operation Dudula, Philani Gumede and Isaac Lesole #racist theguardian.com

An anti-migrant vigilante organisation in South Africa has registered as a political party and plans to contest seats in next year’s general elections

Operation Dudula, whose name means “to force out” in Zulu, wants all foreign nationals who are in the country unofficially to be deported

The party, which first emerged in Johannesburg’s Soweto township after riots in 2021, claims to have widespread support, with a formal presence in seven of South Africa’s nine provinces. It claims to be planning to stand candidates in 1,500 of the country’s 4,468 voting districts

Many Operation Dudula followers have faced allegations of hate speech and physical violence. They have staged protests outside embassies, turned people away outside hospitals to prevent foreign nationals from accessing state medical services, and conducted door-to-door searches of businesses in poorer areas demanding to see identity documents

In August, Philani Gumede, a 36-year-old from Durban, was convicted of hate speech after sending a voice-note to members calling on them to evict foreigners from businesses[…]
In 2022, Operation Dudula followers camped outside Kalafong hospital in Atteridgeville, a suburb of South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria, preventing people, including pregnant women, from entering the hospital

“People were turned away by the protesters based on their appearance and accent,” said Sibusiso Ndlovu, a health promotion supervisor for Médecins Sans Frontières. “They have even demanded that critically ill patients who are migrants must be ‘unplugged’ and taken out”[…]
The Operation Dudula party’s spokesperson, Isaac Lesole, said the transition from civil movement to political party would mean a tempering of tactics

“We want to demilitarise Operation Dudula. We know the military angle did not appeal to a lot of people”[…]
But its core ideology would not change, he said. “We view illegal immigrants as criminals, and they must go back to their countries”

Elon Musk #conspiracy #racist theguardian.com

Elon Musk has accused George Soros’s foundation of wanting to destroy western civilisation, as the tech tycoon prepares to meet the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in California

Musk made the comment in reply to a post by a user sharing footage of people arriving on the Italian island of Lampedusa from north Africa that referred to a “George Soros led invasion” of Europe

“The Soros organization appears to want nothing less than the destruction of western civilization,” X’s owner posted[…]
Civil rights groups, including the Center for Countering Digital Hate and the ADL, have issued findings that the volume of hate speech on X has grown under the stewardship of Musk

Travis Ikeguchi #homophobia #psycho theguardian.com

A 27-year-old man who fatally shot a store owner in California had torn down her Pride flag and shouted homophobic slurs, officials said on Monday.

Laura Ann Carleton, 66, who went by “Lauri”, died at the scene of the shooting on Friday outside her Mag.Pi clothing store in Cedar Glen, an unincorporated community in the mountains roughly 60 miles (100km) east of Los Angeles.

San Bernardino’s county sheriff, Shannon Dicus, identified the shooter as Travis Ikeguchi in a Monday press conference. Ikeguchi fled on foot, and when he was confronted by officers, he opened fire on them and hit multiple squad cars, Dicus said. Sheriff’s deputies fired back and fatally shot Ikeguchi a mile from the store.

Ikeguchi, who lived in Cedar Glen, had a history of posting hateful content online, the sheriff said, adding that his family had reported him missing the day prior. He shot Carleton with a semiautomatic handgun, which was not registered to him, and he did not have a concealed carry license, according to Dicus.

Florida State Board of Education #dunning-kruger #racist theguardian.com

Kamala Harris went to Florida on Friday to address the state board of education’s controversial new standards for Black history, which include the contention that some Black people benefited from being enslaved[…]
On Wednesday, the Florida board of education approved new standards for how public schools should teach Black history.

According to a 216-page document, public school students will now be taught that some Black people received “personal benefit” from slavery – because it taught them useful skills

“Instruction includes how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit,” one curriculum benchmark said

The new curriculum also says Black people perpetrated violence during some race massacres, including the 1906 Atlanta race riot and the 1921 Tulsa massacre

On Thursday, at a conference for the Black sorority Delta Sigma Theta, Harris condemned the updated education standards as “revisionist history”[…]
The Florida Education Association, a union representing more than 150,000 educators, called the new curriculum a “disservice to Florida students” and a “big step backwards”

Yoweri Museveni & George Peter Kaluma #homophobia #pratt #psycho #wingnut theguardian.com

Ugandan president calls on Africa to ‘save the world from homosexuality’

Museveni says homosexuality is ‘danger to procreation of human race’ at Entebbe conference hosted by US anti-LGBTQ+ hate group

The Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, has called on African leaders to reject “the promotion of homosexuality”, suggesting he will sign into law a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which was passed by parliament last month.

The bill, which imposes the death penalty for “aggravated homosexuality” and life imprisonment for “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities”, has been widely criticised internationally, with the UN high commissioner for human rights urging the president not to sign it.

Speaking on Sunday, Museveni said homosexuality was “a big threat and danger to the procreation of human race [sic]”.

He said: “Africa should provide the lead to save the world from this degeneration and decadence, which is really very dangerous for humanity. If people of opposite sex [sic] stop appreciating one another then how will the human race be propagated?”

His comments followed a two-day inter-parliamentary conference held at State House in Entebbe on “family values and sovereignty”, attended by MPs and delegates from 22 African countries, including Zambia, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

Museveni praised Ugandan MPs for passing the anti-gay bill and vowed “never to allow the promotion and publicisation of homosexuality in Uganda, stressing that it will never be tolerated”.

A Ugandan LGBTQ+ activist, who asked to remain anonymous for their own safety, attended the conference via Zoom under a pseudonym. “They are drawing up an African strategy to fight homosexuality. They want their government heads to commit to what they called ‘the African position’,” the activist said.

The Uganda government tweeted quotes from a Kenyan MP, George Peter Kaluma, stating that “a person proposing that there should be same-sex marriages or same-sex relationships is a person seeking to wipe out the entire humanity out of the face of this earth [sic]”.

The government also tweeted that Kaluma, who attended the conference, had said many African states were drafting laws similar to the one in Uganda, including Kenya, Ghana and Malawi.

Nicolás Maduro #wingnut #moonbat theguardian.com

The foreign minister of[…]Guyana has said that neighbouring Venezuela is “on the wrong side of history”[…]
Tensions between the two countries have reached unprecedented heights ahead of a referendum on Sunday intended to rubber-stamp Venezuela’s claim on the region of Essequibo

Among the five questions President Nicolás Maduro is asking his citizens is whether they should convert the 160,000 sq km area into a new Venezuelan state

It remains unclear what the legal or practical implications of a yes vote would be, and the referendum is widely seen as a way for the deeply unpopular dictator to drum up public support ahead of presidential elections[…]But there are growing concerns that Maduro could push the country into war as he uses the century-old dispute to whip up patriotic fervour[…]
Venezuela has laid claim to the Essequibo ever since it gained independence[…]in 1811. Inhabited by 120,000 of Guyana’s 800,000 people, the region is largely impenetrable jungle but has large reserves of oil, gold and copper[…]
Past Venezuelan leaders have dredged up the dispute in times of domestic turmoil but perhaps none have campaigned as hard on the issue as Nicolás Maduro. The 61-year-old’s TikTok output has become increasingly prolific and his rhetoric more bellicose since 2015, when massive oil deposits were discovered in the contested region

Maduro has presented history lessons on state television, interrupted school classes to get young children to cheer on the country’s territorial claim and handed out revised maps depicting an engorged Venezuela straddling a Guyana a fraction of its internationally recognised size

The socialist government has also released a series of highly polished campaign videos of Venezuelan children playing in the lush forests and cascading waterfalls and an official song, The Essequibo is Ours

“It’s in your hands, compatriots,” Maduro pleads in one video, to the upbeat drumming of the catchy pop tune. “Vote five times yes!”

Yoweri Museveni, Robina Rwakoojo, John Musila and others #homophobia #pratt #psycho #wingnut theguardian.com

Ugandan MPs pass bill imposing death penalty for homosexuality

MPs in Uganda have passed a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which would make homosexual acts punishable by death, attracting strong condemnation from rights campaigners.

All but two of the 389 legislators voted late on Tuesday for the hardline anti-homosexuality bill, which introduces capital and life imprisonment sentences for gay sex and “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities”.

“A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction to suffer death,” reads the bill presented by Robina Rwakoojo, the chairperson for legal and parliamentary affairs.

Just two MPs from the ruling party, Fox Odoi-Oywelowo and Paul Kwizera Bucyana, opposed the new legislation.

“The bill is ill-conceived, it contains provisions that are unconstitutional, reverses the gains registered in the fight against gender-based violence and criminalises individuals instead of conduct that contravenes all known legal norms,” said Odoi-Oywelowo.

One MP in the chamber, John Musila, wore a gown reading: “Say No To Homosexual, Lesbianism, Gay.”

image

An earlier version of the bill prompted widespread international criticism and was later nullified by Uganda’s constitutional court on procedural grounds. The bill will now go to President Yoweri Museveni, who can veto or sign it into law. In a recent speech he appeared to express support for the bill.

President Museveni last month said Uganda will not embrace homosexuality, claiming that the west was seeking to compel other countries to “normalise” what he called “deviations”.

“The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other people,” said Museveni in a televised address to parliament on 16 March.

“Homosexuals are deviations from the normal. Why? Is it by nature or by nurture? We need to answer those questions. We need a medical opinion on that,” he said.

Yoweri Museveni, Anita Annet Among & Martin Ssempa #fundie #homophobia #psycho #wingnut theguardian.com

Ugandan president signs anti-LGBTQ+ law with death penalty for same-sex acts

Uganda’s president, Yoweri Museveni, has signed into law the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which allows the death penalty for homosexual acts.

The move immediately drew condemnation from many Ugandans as well as widespread international outrage.

Early on Monday, the speaker of the Ugandan parliament, Anita Annet Among, released a statement on social media confirming Museveni had assented to the law first passed by MPs in March. It imposes the death penalty or life imprisonment for certain same-sex acts, up to 20 years in prison for “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities”, and anyone convicted of “attempted aggravated homosexuality” faces a 14-year sentence.

Among tweeted on Monday morning: “The president … has assented to the Anti-Homosexuality Act. As the parliament of Uganda, we have answered the cries of our people. We have legislated to protect the sanctity of [the] family.

“We have stood strong to defend our culture and [the] aspirations of our people,” she said, thanking Museveni for his “steadfast action in the interest of Uganda”.

Martin Ssempa, one of the main backers of the bill, presented it as a victory against the US and Europe and suggested Uganda needed to push back against groups working to tackle HIV. He said: “The president has shown great courage to defy bullying of the Americans and Europeans. That bullying we shall not give you money. They intimidate and threaten you.”

In a joint statement, the heads of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNAids and the US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) reacted with “deep concern” and said progress on tackling Aids and HIV was “now in grave jeopardy”.

Museveni claimed in March that his government was attempting to resist western efforts to “normalise” what he called “deviations”.

“The western countries should stop wasting the time of humanity by trying to impose their practices on other people,” he said.

Father Ramon Guidetti #fundie #conspiracy theguardian.com

An Italian priest has been struck off after calling Pope Francis an “anti-pope usurper” in his New Year’s Eve homily

Father Ramon Guidetti’s speech to the congregation at St Ranieri church in Guasticce, a hamlet in the Tuscan province of Livorno, was a tribute marking the first anniversary of the death of Francis’s predecessor Benedict XVI

In a video of the homily, which lasted more than 20 minutes and was shared online, Guidetti refers to the Argentinian pontiff – whose former name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio – as simply “Mr Bergoglio”, before describing him as “a Jesuit Freemason linked to world powers, an anti-pope usurper”[…]
He was reportedly applauded by some of his flock. His excommunication, however, came swiftly. Simone Giusti, the bishop of Livorno, issued a decree saying Guidetti had “publicly committed an act of a schismatic nature” and ordered him to be “removed from the office of parish priest of St Ranieri in Guasticce”. The bishop warned other priests “not to participate in any of his celebrations or other cult practices” as that would incur “the very serious penalty of excommunication”

Guidetti, who was known locally to have made previous anti-Francis remarks, said he was proud to have been excommunicated, adding it was “a mark of pride to be out of this church, which is a tyranny”

“I am calm,” he told Radio Domina Nostra, a radio show hosted by Alessandro Minutella, another priest who was excommunicated after attacking Pope Francis. “But astonished at the speed at which the guillotine came down. I will frame the decree and hang it on the wall – it will be something I will boast about”

Unnamed Queensland Police Service officers in Brisbane #wingnut #racist #psycho theguardian.com

Audio recordings taken at the Brisbane city police watch house reveal officers joking about beating and burying black people, referring to Nigerians as “jigaboos”, and raising fears that Australia “will be fucking taken over”

A series of tapes, leaked to Guardian Australia by a whistleblower, record several Queensland police service officers using racist slurs and offensive language while working in the holding cells

The audio – which we have published below – features comments by several watch house officers (a non-policing role) and sworn police. It includes jokes about one officer’s desire to “skull drag” protesters, discussions of fears of “outbreeding” by Muslim immigrants, and, when speaking about African population growth, the comment “let’s just hope Ebola works”

The recordings were submitted to the state’s commission of inquiry into police responses to domestic and family violence by watch house officer Steven Marshall[…]
He says some conversations were about people of colour held at the watch house, including one black detainee being referred to as “a gorilla in the mist” and jokes made about a fellow officer that a female Indigenous detainee “won’t give you a fucking blowjob here”[…]
He says that he only complained internally about one of these recordings because he had previously complained about unrelated matters and had “exhausted all options over many years” to hold colleagues to account in relation to these, including lodging internal whistleblower complaints

The Government of India #wingnut theguardian.com

Indian government accused of rewriting history after edits to schoolbooks

References to Muslim rulers, deadly riots connected to PM and Gandhi’s dislike of Hindu nationalism removed

The Indian government has been accused of rewriting history to fit its Hindu nationalist agenda after school textbooks were edited to remove references to Mahatma Gandhi’s opposition to Hindu nationalism, as well as mention of a controversial religious riot in which the prime minister, Narendra Modi, was implicated.

Textbooks were also revised to remove chapters on the history of the Mughals, the Muslim rulers who controlled much of India between the 16th and 19th centuries.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), which has pursued a Hindu nationalist agenda that has moved India away from its secular foundations, has been open about its desire to rewrite the country’s history and break away from what it describes as the “slave mentality” of colonial oppressors. “It is our responsibility to write our history,” said the home affairs minister, Amit Shah, in a 2019 speech.

In recent years, references to the Mughals, whom Hindu nationalists consider to be Muslim oppressors, have been repeatedly removed or amended, while references to the hardline Hindu nationalist ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar as a “most celebrated freedom fighter” and a “great patriot” have been added.

According to scrutiny of the textbooks by the Indian Express newspaper, which revealed the amendments, multiple references to the Gujarat riots have also been purged from textbooks by NCERT.

The riots, which took place in 2002, are a particularly sensitive topic for Modi, who was chief minister of Gujarat at the time and was accused of being complicit in the violence, which involved brutal attacks on Muslim families and the deaths of more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims. A BBC documentary exploring Modi’s role in the riots was recently banned by the government.

After the recent revisions, references to the riots have now gone from all social science textbooks for those aged between 11 and 18.

Heinrich XIII Prince Reuß von Greiz, Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, Rüdiger von Pescatore and other conspirators #wingnut #conspiracy theguardian.com

An alleged far-right plot led by a German aristocrat to overthrow the state that sought the backing of the Russian government has been thwarted in Germany, after a series of dawn raids across the country[…]
Relatives of the group’s alleged ringleader, Heinrich XIII, Prince Reuß von Greiz[…]told the Ostthüringer Zeitung newspaper in August he was a “bitter old man” with “crazy conspiracy theory views” who had turned his back on the family years ago[…]
Peter Frank, Germany’s public prosecutor general,[…]Confirmed reports that an armed wing of the group, which was meant to form the basis of a new German army and included former active members of the military, had planned to violently storm the German Bundestag or parliament

“Those who have been arrested are supporters of conspiracy myths, from a conglomerate of narratives relating to the ideologies of the Reichsbürger and QAnon ideologies”[…]
The group[…]had been preparing for so-called “Day X”, on which about two dozen people were to storm the Reichstag building[…]
After their takeover, the group had envisioned renegotiating the treaties Germany signed after the end of the second world war. “For now, the Russian Federation was exclusively to be the central contact for these negotiations,” prosecutors said[…]
Among those arrested was a former senior field officer at the German army’s paratrooper battalion, identified as 69-year-old Rüdiger von Pescatore and believed to have been a commander in Calw. He was also described as a ring leader of the group[…]
They had even started to nominate ministers for a transitional post-coup government, according to the newspaper Die Zeit, in which one of the suspects, the former AfD MP Birgit Malsack-Winkemann, 58, a judge by profession, who was arrested at her home in the western Berlin district of Wannsee on Wednesday morning, was to be federal minister for justice

Unnamed Daghestani rioters #racist #psycho theguardian.com

A mob in Russia’s mostly Muslim region of Dagestan has stormed the airport in Makhachkala in search of Jewish passengers arriving from Israel

In the past day, local people have besieged a hotel in search of Jewish guests and stormed the airport after reports emerged that a flight from Tel Aviv was arriving in the city. Passengers were forced to take refuge in planes or hide in the airport for fear of being attacked

Local health authorities said that 20 people had been injured, including two who were critical. The RIA news agency said nine police officers had received injuries in the incident, two of whom were being treated in hospital. The passengers on the plane were safe, security forces told Reuters

Sixty people were later detained, RIA reported on Monday, adding that 150 of the protesters had been identified[…]
“This is your captain,” one announcement said. “There’s an angry mob outside that doesn’t know where we’ve come from and why [we are here]. It’s possible we’ll also come under attack.”

The riots appear to have been inspired by a number of posts on the social media platform Telegram, where followers were told that a flight from Tel Aviv would be arriving that evening with refugees from Israel

Some of the signs held by the rioters read, “We are against Jewish refugees”. Police stood by as hundreds of protesters surged into the airport’s main terminal, entering restricted areas and demanding that customs officials direct them toward the arriving passengers[…]
Reports of anti-Jewish acts were not confined to Makhachkala. In Nalchik, another city in the neighbouring Kabardino-Balkaria region, a planned Jewish centre was set on fire earlier on Sunday. Earlier on Sunday, protesters also besieged a hotel in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt, searching rooms for “Jewish refugees”

Ted Cruz #fundie theguardian.com

[Article title: ‘Spare us your prayers’: Ted Cruz faces backlash after Texas mall shooting kills eight]

Texas US senator Ted Cruz’s comment that he was “praying” for families of the eight victims killed in a shooting at a shopping mall in his state has sparked outrage as many critics say the Republican should advocate for meaningful gun control rather than repeatedly invoke prayer after mass, deadly violence.
[...]
Criticism of Cruz grew several hours after the shooting when he tweeted: “Heidi and I are praying for the families of the victims of the horrific mall shooting in Allen, Texas. We pray also for the broader Collin county community that’s in shock from this tragedy.”
[...]
After a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on 24 May 2022, Cruz commented: “Heidi and I are lifting up in prayer the entire … community during this devastating time and we mourn the lives that were taken by this act of evil. None of us can imagine the anguish the parents in Uvalde are going through. Our hearts go out to them.”
[...]
After authorities said that a Mexican national who had previously been deported shot five neighbors to death last month, Cruz tweeted: “Thank you to the brave men and women of law enforcement who worked tirelessly to apprehend this mass murdering illegal alien who killed 5 innocent people. The victims deserve justice. And this monster when convicted deserves the death penalty.”
[...]

Vladimir Putin #fundie #conspiracy #psycho theguardian.com

[Article title: Putin recycles old grievances on Victory Day as Russian army battered in Ukraine]

[...]
But the Russian leader’s Victory Day message to the nation on Tuesday was nearly identical to that of last year as he cast the war in Ukraine as an existential battle against an aggressive, Russophobic and woke west.

“Today, civilisation is again at a decisive turning point. A real war has been unleashed against us again,” Putin said as he delivered an angry yet somewhat routine speech in which he drew false parallels between today’s fight with Ukraine’s “criminal regime” and the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.

Putin also recycled some of his other go-to grievances, blaming “western globalist elites” for “destroying the family” and “traditional values”.
[...]

Kerrie and Jason Struhs, and The Saints #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

Twelve members of a religious group in Toowoomba have been arrested after the death of an eight-year-old girl, who Queensland police say was allegedly denied life-saving medication in the belief she would be healed by God.

Elizabeth Rose Struhs had type 1 diabetes and died in her family’s Rangeville home, west of Brisbane, on 7 January. Police allege her parents, who have previously been charged with murder, began withholding insulin six days earlier.

Police allege paramedics were not called to the scene until 5.30pm the next day, with the Courier Mail reporting members of the church group believed she would be resurrected.

The girl’s parents, Kerrie Elizabeth Struhs and Jason Richard Struhs, were charged with murder and torture offences earlier this year. They have not yet entered pleas, and will remain in custody until their next hearing at the Toowoomba magistrates court, due later this month. They are also charged with failing to provide the necessities of life.
Police allege others bear culpability in Elizabeth’s death.

Tuesday’s arrests were of other members of their small and tightly-knit religious group who were allegedly present when the eight-year-old died, reportedly singing and praying to God to heal her.

Detective Acting Supt Garry Watts alleged all 12 were aware of Elizabeth’s condition, were present during the course of those fateful six days and did not take any steps to provide medical assistance. He said the religious group comprised three families and that those arrested included seven women and five men.

Two were in their 60s, a man and a woman, one was a 19-year-old man and the rest were in their 20s and 30s. All were arrested in a Harristown home.

​​Elizabeth’s sister Jayde Struhs, the eldest of eight siblings, told Nine’s A Current Affair earlier this year that the group referred to themselves as The Saints.

Struhs, 23, said the group formed as a breakaway from a more mainstream church which they believed to be corrupt and had become stricter over the years.

They did not celebrate Christmas, rejected medical intervention and believed their one purpose was to serve God.

“They’re extreme. They’re small. Controlled,” she said.

Asuman Basalirwa, Anita Among and Yoweri Museveni #homophobia #fundie theguardian.com

Asuman Basalirwa, an opposition MP, made the remark as he tabled the draft law [pdf] which seeks to punish gay sex and “the promotion or recognition of such relations”

“In this country, or in this world, we talk about human rights. But it is also true that there are human wrongs. I want to submit … that homosexuality is a human wrong that offends the laws of Uganda and threatens the sanctity of the family, the safety of our children and the continuation of humanity through reproduction,” said Basalirwa, to applause from lawmakers

At a prayer service held in parliament and attended by several religious leaders Anita Among, speaker of the parliament, said “We want to appreciate our promoters of homosexuality for the social economic development they have brought to the country,” in reference to western countries and donors. “But we do not appreciate the fact that they are killing morals. We do not need their money, we need our culture.”

In 2014, Uganda’s constitutional court declared the widely condemned anti-gay bill “null and void” due to a lack of a quorum[…]
“We shall not allow that aspect of saying there was no quorum. We are going to vote by show of hands,” said Among, who in January directed the parliamentary education committee to investigate schools suspected of “encouraging” and “promoting” LGBTQ rights

“You are either for homosexuality or you are against it. We want to see the kind of leaders we have in this country”

In Uganda[…]homosexual sex is already punishable by life imprisonment. The original draft bill called for the death penalty[…]
Adrian Jjuuko, executive director of the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum, said new legislation widens the definition of homosexuality to include “holding out” (identifying) as being LGBTQ, meaning that identity and sexual orientation have also been criminalised[…]
President Yoweri Museveni last month said Uganda will not embrace homosexuality

The Taliban #conspiracy #fundie #sexist #wingnut theguardian.com

Taliban bans contraception calling use a ‘western conspiracy’

Reports that fighters have threatened those issuing birth control medicines come as Afghan midwives and activists warn of impact on women’s health and rights

Taliban fighters have stopped the sale of contraceptives in two of Afghanistan’s main cities, claiming their use by women is a western conspiracy to control the Muslim population.

The Guardian has learned that the Taliban has been going door to door, threatening midwives and ordering pharmacies to clear their shelves of all birth control medicines and devices.

“They came to my store twice with guns and threatened me not to keep contraceptive pills for sale. They are regularly checking every pharmacy in Kabul and we have stopped selling the products,” said one store owner in the city.

A veteran midwife, who did not want to be named, said she had been threatened several times. She said she was told by a Taliban commander: “You are not allowed to go outside and promote the western concept of controlling population and this is unnecessary work.”

Other pharmacists in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif confirmed that they have been ordered not to stock any birth control medicines.

“Items such as birth control pills and Depo-Provera injections are not allowed to be kept in the pharmacy since the start of this month, and we are too afraid to sell the existing stock,” another shop owner in Kabul said.

It is the latest attack on women’s rights by the Taliban who, since coming to power in August 2021, have ended higher education for girls, closed universities to young women, forced women out of their jobs and restricted their ability to leave their homes. Restricting contraceptives will be a significant blow in a country with an already fragile healthcare system.

One in every 14 Afghan women dies of causes related to pregnancy and it is one of the most dangerous countries in the world to give birth.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Public Health in Kabul has not issued any official statement on the issue.

Taliban fighters patrolling in the streets in Kabul told sources that “contraceptive use and family planning is a western agenda”.

Fundamentalist Mob #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

Mob storms Pakistan police station and lynches man accused of blasphemy

Killing is latest in string of mob attacks against people accused of blasphemy in Muslim-majority country

A mob in eastern Pakistan stormed a police station on Saturday, snatched a Muslim man accused of blasphemy from custody and lynched him, in the country’s latest religion-linked killing.

Muhammad Waris, in his mid-30s, was in police custody in Nankana Sahib, in Punjab province, for desecrating pages of the Qur’an.

“The angry mob stormed the police station using a wooden ladder, dragged him out and beat him to death,” Waqas Khalid, a police spokesperson, told the Guardian. “After lynching, they were still not satisfied and tried to burn his body,” he added.

There have been a number of cases in Muslim-majority Pakistan of angry mob killings of people accused of blasphemy, the most high-profile among them the lynching of a Sri Lankan citizen in 2021.

Video of the incident posted on social media showed hundreds of young people surrounding a police station. There was footage of people dragging a man by his legs in the street, stripping him naked and beating him with metal rods and sticks.

The prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif, condemned the incident and ordered an investigation. “Why didn’t the police stop the violent mob? The rule of law should be ensured,” he said.

International and Pakistani rights groups say blasphemy accusations are mostly used to intimidate religious minorities and settle personal vendettas.

Haibatullah Akhundzada #fundie #psycho #sexist theguardian.com

Afghan supreme leader orders full implementation of sharia law

Public executions and amputations some of the punishments for crimes including adultery and theft

Afghanistan’s supreme leader has ordered judges to fully enforce aspects of Islamic law that include public executions, stonings, floggings and the amputation of limbs for thieves, the Taliban’s chief spokesperson said.

Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted on Sunday that the “obligatory” command by Haibatullah Akhundzada came after the secretive leader met with a group of judges.

Akhundzada, who has not been filmed or photographed in public since the Taliban returned to power in August last year, rules by decree from Kandahar, the movement’s birthplace and spiritual heartland.

“Carefully examine the files of thieves, kidnappers and seditionists,” Mujahid quoted Akhundzada as saying. Those files in which all the sharia [Islamic law] conditions of hudud and qisas have been fulfilled, you are obliged to implement. This is the ruling of sharia, and my command, which is obligatory.”

Mujahid was not available on Monday to expand on his tweet.

Hudud refers to offences for which, under Islamic law, certain types of punishment are mandated, while qisas translates as “retaliation in kind” – effectively an eye for an eye.

Hudud crimes include adultery – and falsely accusing someone of it – drinking alcohol, theft, kidnapping and highway robbery, apostasy and rebellion.

Qisas covers murder and deliberate injury, among other things, but also allows for the families of victims to accept compensation in lieu of punishment.

Islamic scholars say crimes leading to hudud punishment require a very high degree of proof, including – in the case of adultery – confession, or being witnessed by four adult male Muslims.

Since last year’s takeover, videos and pictures of Taliban fighters meting out summary floggings to people accused of various offences have appeared frequently on social media.

The hard-won rights of women in particular have evaporated in the past 15 months, and they are increasingly being squeezed out of public life.

In the past week, the Taliban also banned women from entering parks, funfairs, gyms and public baths.

Iran’s ministry of intelligence and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps #conspiracy theguardian.com

Two female journalists who were instrumental in reporting the death of Mahsa Amini, the 22-year-old woman whose death in the custody of Iran’s morality police has sparked nationwide protests, have been labelled as CIA foreign agents by the Iranian regime

Niloofar Hamedi and Elahe Mohammadi, who were arrested shortly after news broke of Amini’s death and who are reportedly being held in Iran’s notorious Evin prison, were accused of being foreign agents in a joint statement released by Iran’s ministry of intelligence and the intelligence organisation of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards last night

The statement, which refers to the two women as NH and EM, also described the protests as a pre-planned operation launched by the CIA, Mossad and other western intelligence agencies

The statement, which accused both women of being “primary sources of news for foreign media”, accused Hamedi of posing as a journalist and of compelling the family of Mahsa Amini to release information about their daughter’s death[…]
Mohammadi has been accused by the IRGC and the intelligence ministry of receiving training as a foreign agent abroad for her reporting from Amini’s funeral in her home town of Saqqez

Mohammadi was arrested on 22 September and her lawyer said security forces broke down her door and took away personal items such as her phone and laptop

The statement, which was sent to Iranian news agencies on Friday evening, has been received with shock and fear by other Iranian journalists. The crime of spying for foreign governments carries the death penalty in Iran

Karianne Lisonbee #sexist #wingnut theguardian.com

Utah Republican apologises for saying women can control ‘intake of semen’

In the aftermath of the US supreme court decision that ended the right to abortion, amid nationwide protests over the removal of women’s control over their own bodies, one Utah Republican said women could “control [their] intake of semen”.

The comment by Karianne Lisonbee, a state representative, came in response to an assertion that men should be held accountable for unwanted pregnancies, not just pregnant women, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

“I got a text message today saying I should seek to control men’s ejaculations and not women’s pregnancies,” Lisonbee said.

She added: “I do trust women enough to control when they allow a man to ejaculate inside of them and to control that intake of semen.”

Liz Mitten Ryan #crackpot #mammon #quack theguardian.com

The Equinisity ranch in British Columbia promises a “full immersion” experience with horses that will “change your life forever” because “clearing old energies, opening hearts, and connecting us to one consciousness and higher guidance is what the horses do best”. It’s a new-age utopia of equine “spirit lodges” and “liberty play”. The trouble is, there’s no place for Covid protocols or consumer law. The owner, Liz Mitten Ryan, reckons the vaccine is a “bioweapon designed to reduce the population of the unaware and compliant”. She is, she says, awaiting the “great awakening” when “good will overtake evil”. In the meantime, she is unrepentant about pocketing the cash of the customers she’s banned. “My business has been illegally shut down for two years by government mandates,” she told me. “We definitely don’t accept people who have succumbed to the bioweapon depopulation tool and can shed on our sacred land and animals.”

Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, Bambang Wuryanto and the Indonesia parliament #fundie #sexist #homophobia theguardian.com

Indonesia’s parliament is expected to pass a new criminal code this month that would criminalise sex outside marriage and outlaw insults against the president or state institutions, prompting alarm from human rights campaigners

The deputy justice minister, Edward Omar Sharif Hiariej, said in an interview with Reuters that the new criminal code was expected to be passed on 15 December. “We’re proud to have a criminal code that’s in line with Indonesian values,” he said

Bambang Wuryanto, a lawmaker involved in the draft, said the code could be passed by as early as next week

If passed, the code would apply to Indonesian citizens and foreign visitors, and introduce sweeping changes affecting a wide range of civil liberties

Sex outside marriage, which under the code could be reported only by limited parties such as close relatives, could lead to up to a year in prison, while unmarried couples would be banned from living together

Civil society activists have said this would leave same-sex couples, who do not have the right to marry, at additional risk of prosecution[…]
Insulting the president, which under the code could be reported only by the president, would carry a maximum of three years. Insulting state institutions and expressing any views counter to Indonesia’s state ideology would also be forbidden

Abortion would remain illegal except in cases of rape, according to the latest draft seen by Reuters, which was dated 24 November[…]
Savitri raised concerns over a provision that would criminalise “unsanctioned public demonstrations” that cause public unrest, which she said could be used to restrict peaceful assembly[…]
It is feared that a broad article in the code that refers to “living laws” could be used to recognise hundreds of regulations that exist at a local level and that are discriminatory against women, religious minorities and LGBTQ+ people

Taliban officials of the Afghan Ministry of Finance #fundie #sexist theguardian.com

The Taliban have asked women working at Afghanistan’s finance ministry to send a male relative to do their job a year after female public-sector workers were barred from government work and told to stay at home

Women who worked in government positions were sent home from their jobs shortly after the Taliban took power in August 2021, and have been paid heavily reduced salaries to do nothing

But several women told the Guardian they had received similar calls from Taliban officials requesting they recommend male relatives in their place, because the “workload in the office has increased and they need to hire a man instead of us”, according to one woman who did not wish her identity to be revealed

Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women, said in May: “Current restrictions on women’s employment have been estimated to result in an immediate economic loss of up to $1bn – or up to 5% of Afghanistan’s GDP[…]
Maryam*, 37, received a call from the HR department of the Afghan ministry of finance, where she had worked for more than 15 years. She said: “I was asked to introduce a male family member to replace me at the ministry, so I could be dismissed from the job”[…]
“Since they came [to power], the Taliban have demoted me, and reduced my salary from 60,000 Afghanis [£575] to AFN12,000. I cannot even afford my son’s school fees. When I questioned this, an official rudely told me to get out of his office and said that my demotion was not negotiable”[…]
Maryam and her colleagues are mobilising to protest against Taliban policy. “We do not accept their order and we will try to get them to change it,” she said

Unnamed Male Vigilantes #magick #psycho #sexist theguardian.com

(NOTE: This is from April of 2021)

Two women tortured in latest sorcery-related attack in Papua New Guinea

Two women have been brutally attacked in Port Moresby by up to 20 men after being accused of witchcraft, in the latest instance of sorcery-related violence in Papua New Guinea.

The women were tortured and burnt with hot irons for hours on Sunday in a settlement at 5 Mile in the capital.

One woman managed to escape and ran down a hill before she was rescued by police. She said she was being interrogated by the male perpetrators and pressured to admit to the killing of another woman who died earlier in the week.

Police found the second woman badly wounded and bound with ropes, lying in a garden. Both had very severe injuries.

National Capital District (NCD) Metropolitan Supt Gideon Ikumu said up to 20 men fled before police arrived at the scene, but that the identities of the men were known to them.

“I strongly condemn these crimes and request the families and relatives of the two victims to come forward and provide their statements,” he said.

Sorcery violence – known as Sorcery Accusation Related Violence, or SARV – is persistent in PNG. This latest attack prompted outrage among senior police officers and politicians.

“People must change their mindset as we are living in a modern growing city. Police will ensure those responsible are brought to justice,” said Anthony Wagambie Jr, divisional commander NCD and central assistant commissioner.

NCD governor, Powes Parkop said: “I am totally disgusted and disappointed by the actions of the men who tortured the two women in the nation’s capital. I am appalled that men continue to believe and practice such barbaric practices in this day and age. The fact that it could still happen in the capital city shows we are a long way away from ending gender-based violence, and sorcery accusatory violence in particular.”

Vasily Nebenzya, Igor Kirillov & Sergei Lavrov #conspiracy theguardian.com

Russia makes claims of US-backed biological weapon plot at UN

Russia has accused Ukraine and the US at the UN security council of a plot to use migratory birds and bats to spread pathogens, raising alarm among other council members that the accusations could be intended to provide cover for future Russian use of biological weapons.

The Russian permanent representative to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, delivered a lengthy account of the alleged biological weapons plot, and said the birds, bats and insects supposedly intended to spread disease would cross Ukraine’s western border.

“We call upon you to think about a very real biological danger to the people in European countries, which can result from an uncontrolled spread of bio agents from Ukraine,” Nebenzya said. “And if there is a such a scenario then all Europe will be covered.

“The risk of this is very real given the interests of the radical nationalist groups in Ukraine are showing towards the work with dangerous pathogens conducted together with the ministry of defence of the United States.”

The head of the Russian military’s radiation, chemical and biological protection troops, Igor Kirillov, said on Thursday that US-backed labs in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Odesa were working on pathogens custom-designed to target Russians and other Slavs. According to Russian-state media, Kirillov alleged the US planned to exploit Ukraine’s “unique geographical position” by sending migratory birds carrying deadly diseases into Russia.

The Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, made a similar claim on Thursday, alleging that US-backed labs in Ukraine were working to “develop ethnically targeted biological weapons”.

The director of the CIA, William Burns, told the US Senate intelligence committee that Russia could be laying the groundwork for a chemical or biological attack, which it would then blame on the US or Ukraine in a “false flag operation”.

Herschel Walker #sexist #wingnut theguardian.com

Herschel Walker: anti-abortion Senate nominee denies media report he paid for abortion in 2009

A Republican nominee for the US Senate, who strongly opposes abortion rights, has denied a Daily Beast report that he paid for an abortion for a former girlfriend in 2009. Herschel Walker, a former American football player who is running for the US Senate in Georgia, called the accusation a “flat-out lie” and says he will sue the news outlet for defamation.

The Daily Beast published claims from a woman who says Walker paid for her abortion when they were dating. The woman, who was not named, claimed the allegation was supported by a receipt showing a $575 payment for the procedure, along with a get-well card, purportedly from Walker.

According to The Daily Beast, her bank deposit records show the image of a $700 personal check, purportedly from Walker, dated five days after the abortion receipt.

The woman claimed in The Daily Beast report that Walker encouraged her to end the pregnancy, saying that the time wasn’t right for a baby.

In a statement, Walker said he would file a lawsuit against the news outlet.

“This is a flat-out lie and I deny this in the strongest terms possible,” he wrote.

Matt Fuller, the politics editor for The Daily Beast, tweeted in response: “I can tell you we stand behind every word and feel very solid about the story.”

The allegation against Walker is the latest in a series of stories about the former football star’s past that have rocked the first-time candidate’s campaign in one of the most competitive Senate races in the country. Earlier this year, Walker acknowledged reports that he had three children that he had not previously talked about publicly.

As a Senate hopeful, Walker has supported a national ban on abortions with no exceptions for cases involving rape, incest or a woman’s health being at risk.

“I’m for life,” Walker has said repeatedly as he campaigns. When asked about whether he’d allow for any exceptions, he has said there are “no excuses” for the procedure.

judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, Alliance Defending Freedom, Erik Baptist #fundie #crackpot theguardian.com

[Columnist piece, Title: The right is stealthily working to remove Americans’ access to abortion medication]

[...]
This week a Republican-appointed federal judge weighed whether to grant an injunction that could remove mifepristone, the drug used in most American abortions, from the market nationwide. And the hearing almost happened in secret.

US district court judge Matthew Kacsmaryk had initially planned to keep Wednesday’s hearing in the case – in which a group of rightwing anti-abortion groups are suing the FDA to reverse its 20-year-old approval of mifepristone – quiet. In a conference call with lawyers for the anti-choice groups and the Department of Justice, Kacsmaryk asked attorneys not to disclose the existence of the hearing (“This is not a gag order,” he said repeatedly), and said that the event would only be made public late on Tuesday to minimize popular awareness.
[...]
[...] the federal judicial district has become a popular venue for rightwing litigation in part because Kacsmaryk, an exceptionally conservative jurist willing to publish poorly reasoned, policy-driven opinions, is the only federal judge there.
[...]
Lawyers from the Alliance Defending Freedom, the rightwing legal outfit that is representing the plaintiffs and which is designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, pursued this idea on Wednesday in court. “How many more women have to die?” attorney Erik Baptist asked.
[...]

The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches #fundie #homophobia #wingnut theguardian.com

Anglicans reject Justin Welby as head of global church amid anger at same-sex blessings

The leaders of Anglican churches in some developing countries have said they no longer recognise Justin Welby, the archbishop of Canterbury, as the head of the global church.

Their decision stems from the decision this month of the Church of England’s governing body, the General Synod, to allow clergy to bless couples in same-sex marriages.

The conservative Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches (GSFA), which claims to speak for 75% of Anglicans worldwide, said in a statement on Monday that the C of E had “departed from the historic faith” and disqualified itself as the “mother church” of the Anglican communion.

The statement, signed by 10 primates, said: “The GFSA is no longer able to recognise the present archbishop of Canterbury, the Rt Hon & Most Revd Justin Welby, as the ‘first among equals’ leader of the global communion.”

Welby had led his bishops in recommending that clergy be allowed to bless couples in same-sex marriages, knowing that it was “contrary to the faith and order of the orthodox provinces of the communion whose people constitute the majority in the global flock”.

The C of E and other churches, including those in Scotland, Wales, the US and New Zealand, that allow same-sex marriage or blessings had “taken the path of false teaching”, said the statement. “This breaks our hearts.”

Immediately after the synod meeting in London, Welby flew to Accra, the capital of Ghana, to meet global church leaders. He told them: “I was summoned twice to parliament and threatened with parliamentary action to force same-sex marriage on us.”

Henry Ndukuba, the archbishop of the Church of Nigeria, said the change of stance was “deviant” and it explained the C of E’s “terrible decline, loss and irrelevance in the secular and post-Christian western world”.

Jackson Ole Sapit, the archbishop of Kenya, criticised the “powerful secular voices that have captured the C of E” and said he was “saddened by the departure of our mother church from the true gospel”.

Stephen Kaziimba, the archbishop of Uganda, said: “The C of E has departed from the Anglican faith and are now false teachers.”

Andrew Tate #sexist theguardian.com

The controversial online influencer and self-described misogynist Andrew Tate has been banned from Meta platforms Instagram and Facebook

Tate, a former kickboxer and reality TV star, was removed for violating Meta policies “on dangerous organizations and individuals”, the company confirmed by email

Tate first rose to prominence after appearing on the TV show Big Brother in 2016, when he was removed from the series after a video of him beating a woman outside the show surfaced

Since then, he has garnered backlash for his posts across social media, which domestic abuse charities have called “extreme misogyny”. He stated on Twitter in 2017 that women belong in the home and that rape victims “bear responsibility” for their attack, after which Twitter permanently banned him from the platform
Tate has grown a following for his advice videos to men, many of them veering into sexist territory. On one YouTube video, Tate described himself as “absolutely a misogynist”. He said: “I’m a realist and when you’re a realist you’re sexist. There’s no way you can be rooted in reality and not be sexist”

In a statement to the Guardian, Tate characterized many of his videos as parody, stating he was “playing a comedic character”[…]
Tate was a vocal supporter of former president Donald Trump and has appeared on a number of rightwing podcasts, including shows like Infowars, hosted by the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones

Afghanistan Taliban #fundie #sexist theguardian.com

The Taliban are facing international condemnation after they announced on Wednesday that girls would not be allowed to attend secondary school, despite their previous assurances[…]
The surprise announcement came late on Tuesday night. Many teachers and pupils found out only on Wednesday morning, the first day of the school year in Afghanistan, as girls prepared to return to class after a six-month break caused by the turmoil in the country

“Lots of excited girls were already waiting outside the school. They were here hours before their classes started. They were very happy and excited. Then we told them about the new order,” a schoolteacher in Kabul said. “Many of them started arguing. I had nothing to tell them. I left an hour ago. I cried.” By the end of the school day, the teacher said, some of the girls were still standing outside the building, unable to “to move their legs to go back home”

Girls have been banned from education beyond middle school in most of the country since the Taliban returned to power in mid-August 2021. Most universities opened up earlier this year but Taliban edicts on education have been erratic and, while a handful of provinces continued to provide education to all, most closed institutions for girls and women[…]
The U-turn is seen as a concession to the rural and deeply tribal backbone of the hardline Taliban that, in many parts of the countryside, are reluctant to send their daughters to school

“The leadership hasn’t decided when or how they will allow girls to return to school,” said Waheedullah Hashmi, external relations and donor representative with the Taliban-led administration. While he accepted that urban centres are mostly supportive of girls’ education, he said much of rural Afghanistan was opposed to it, particularly tribal Pashtun regions

Hekmatullah #fundie #psycho #wingnut theguardian.com

‘I will continue killing foreigners’: soldier who shot dead unarmed Australians treated as ‘returning hero’ by Taliban

Hekmatullah, the rogue Afghan soldier who killed three unarmed Australian diggers in Afghanistan a decade ago, is living in a luxury home in the capital Kabul, treated as a “returning hero” by the Taliban who released him from prison.

He has said he does not regret killing Australian soldiers, and has vowed he would again kill Australians, or anyone who opposes the Taliban.

“If I am released I will continue killing foreigners,” Hekmatullah told an official of the former Afghan government when his release was being negotiated.

“I will continue killing Australians and I will kill you as well because you are a puppet of foreigners,” he said.

“I am among my brothers, we will be free, Afghanistan will be free. We will kill you.”

Since returning to Afghanistan, Hekmatullah has reportedly been housed in the former diplomatic quarter of Wazir Akbar Khan. He lives in a heavily secured property in a district adjacent to the clandestine former home of Ayman al-Zawahiri, the former al-Qaida leader assassinated eight days ago by a US drone strike as he stood on the balcony of his villa.

A former senior official in the democratically elected government of Afghanistan – overthrown in August 2021 – has confirmed to the Guardian Hekmatullah’s return to Afghanistan.

“He was welcomed back to Kabul as a hero … with a house, car, guards, an amnesty for his crimes, his expenses are being paid for. He is being treated as a hero.”

“The person I met is a dangerous terrorist, a dangerous man,” the source said. “He is not repentant, not regretful. He is a threat, he can cause harm to the world. He should not have been released.”

The source said Hekmatullah appeared to be “very well protected”, with close links to senior Taliban officials now in government.

“But the Taliban who hold the strongest grudges, who want to take revenge, are those who were in prison, including him, Hekmatullah. He has hatred still.”

“The Taliban is seeking revenge: they have no mercy. We will be identified soon. Our lives, and the lives of our families, are in danger.”

Metropolitan Police Service #sexist #racist theguardian.com

Racism cited as factor in police strip search of girl, 15, at London school
Black child’s ordeal, which involved exposure of intimate body parts, took place without parental consent, review finds

A black child was subjected by police to a strip search at her London school that involved exposure of intimate body parts, according to an official investigation which found racism was likely to have been an “influencing factor” in the officers’ actions.

No appropriate adult was present during the 15-year-old girl’s ordeal, described by a senior local authority figure as “humiliating, traumatising and utterly shocking” and which took place without parental consent and in the knowledge that she was menstruating.

Details of her treatment in her secondary school’s medical room have emerged in a child safeguarding review initiated by Hackney council after the incident in December 2020.

The child was made to bend over, spread her legs and use her hands to spread her buttocks while coughing, and she is now in therapy and self-harming, according to family members’ statements to the inquiry.

The damning report said: “Having considered the context of the incident, the views of those engaged in the review and the impact felt by Child Q and her family, racism (whether deliberate or not) was likely to have been an influencing factor in the decision to undertake a strip search.”

The report emphasised the importance of the question of whether the child was treated differently because she was black, adding this line of inquiry had been starkly reflected in several events that took place around the same time.

“Significantly, some six months prior, George Floyd was tragically killed in the USA and there were repercussions around the globe, including in the UK,” it said.

Police were called by teachers who told the review that they believed she was smelling strongly of cannabis and suspected she was carrying drugs, but none were found during the subsequent search.

The school was visited by four officers including two women who carried out the search of the girl – referred to in the report as ‘Child Q’ – while teachers remained outside the room and her mother was not contacted.

KCNA News Agency #conspiracy #dunning-kruger theguardian.com

North Korea blames Covid-laden balloons sent from South for virus outbreak

Experts sceptical of claim, as state media urge citizens to watch out for ‘alien things coming by wind’

North Korea has blamed its Covid-19 outbreak on balloons sent over its border with the South by groups of defectors, in an apparent attempt to shift the blame onto its neighbour.

The official KCNA news agency said on Friday an 18-year-old soldier and a five-year-old child who had touched “unidentified materials” in the eastern county of Kumgang in early April showed symptoms and later tested positive for Covid-19.

“A sharp increase of fever cases was witnessed among their contacts and that a group of fevered persons emerged in the area … for the first time,” it said.

However, the first time that groups of North Korean defectors are thought to have sent balloons across the border this year was in late April from the western Gimpo region.

KCNA warned citizens to “vigilantly deal with alien things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas along the demarcation line and borders”.

While the report did not name South Korea, defector-activists there use balloons to send anti-regime leaflets and humanitarian aid across the countries’ heavily armed border.

In response, the South’s unification ministry said on Friday there was “no possibility” that the coronavirus had entered the North via balloons.

Experts were sceptical about Pyongyang’s assertion. “It is hard to believe North Korea’s claim, scientifically speaking, given that the possibility of the virus spreading through objects is quite low,” said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says the risk of people getting infected through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects is generally considered low, though it is not impossible.