www.theguardian.com

Jonathan Gullis #wingnut theguardian.com

Tory MP says using term ‘white privilege’ should be reported as extremism

Jonathan Gullis also urges ‘sacking’ of teachers who criticise Conservative party in classroom

A Conservative MP has said anyone using the term “white privilege” should be reported to the government’s counter-terror programme, and that teachers who criticise the Conservative party should be sacked.

Jonathan Gullis told a fringe meeting during the party’s conference in Manchester last week that anyone using the phrase should be referred to the government’s Prevent programme, which is used to track potential terrorists.

He told activists: “The term white privilege is an extremist term, it should be reported to Prevent, because it is an extremist ideology. It’s racist to actually suggest everyone who’s white somehow is riddled with privilege.”

Gullis, who is a former member of the parliamentary education select committee, added: “I hope [using the term] will be reported, I hope that will be looked into, and any teacher who’s perpetuated it in the classroom ultimately should face a disciplinary hearing at the very least.”

The Prevent programme was set up in 2006 to stop people from becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism, and to clamp down on radicalisation.

During the same event, the 31-year-old MP said that teachers should be “sacked” if they criticise the Conservatives.

“The other way we can stop the cancel culture is by actually saying to the woke left lecturers and the woke left teachers – who seem to be becoming more and more apparent – is that ultimately, what’s going to happen if you are going to push your ideology in the classroom there are going to be consequences for you,” he said.

“For some reason, if a Labour party member wants to stand up in front of the classroom and say how bad and evil the Tories are, then the headteacher has to take some kind of sympathetic view to that.

“It’s absolutely disgusting, we need to start sacking people who are pushing their political ideology.”

Ahmadullah Wasiq #fundie #sexist theguardian.com

Afghan women, including the country’s women’s cricket team, will be banned from playing sport under the new Taliban government, according to an official in the hardline Islamist group

In an interview with the Australian broadcaster SBS, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said women’s sport was considered neither appropriate nor necessary

“I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,” Wasiq said. “In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this

“It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate [Afghanistan] do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed”

Unnamed Pakistani prosecutor and rioters #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

An eight-year-old Hindu boy is being held in protective police custody in east Pakistan after becoming the youngest person ever to be charged with blasphemy in the country

The boy’s family is in hiding and many of the Hindu community in the conservative district of Rahim Yar Khan, in Punjab, have fled their homes after a Muslim crowd attacked a Hindu temple after the boy’s release on bail last week. Troops were deployed to the area to quell any further unrest
[…]
The boy is accused of intentionally urinating on a carpet in the library of a madrassa, where religious books were kept, last month. Blasphemy charges can carry the death penalty
[…]
Blasphemy charges filed against a child have shocked legal experts, who say the move is unprecedented. No one this young has ever been charged with blasphemy before in Pakistan

Blasphemy laws have been disproportionately used in the past against religious minorities in Pakistan. Although no blasphemy executions have been carried out in the country since the death penalty was introduced for the crime in 1986, suspects are often attacked and sometimes killed by mobs

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi #fundie theguardian.com

The Taliban will resume executions and the amputation of hands for criminals they convict, in a return to their harsh version of Islamic justice
[…]
In an interview with Associated Press, Mullah Nooruddin Turabi – who was justice minister and head of the so-called ministry of propagation of virtue and prevention of vice during the Taliban’s previous rule – dismissed outrage over the Taliban’s executions in the past, and warned the world against interfering with Afghanistan’s new rulers

Under the new Taliban government, Turabi is in charge of prisons
[…]
“Everyone criticised us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi said in Kabul. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Qur’an”

“Cutting off of hands is very necessary for security,” Turabi added, saying it had a deterrent effect. He said the cabinet was studying whether to carry out punishments in public and would “develop a policy”
[…]
During the previous Taliban rule, Turabi was one of the group’s most ferocious and uncompromising enforcers. When the Taliban took power in 1996, one of his first acts was to scream at a female journalist, demanding she leave a room of men, and to then deal a powerful slap in the face of a man who objected

Sam Nartey George and other Ghanaian MPs #homophobia #transphobia #wingnut theguardian.com

Ghana: anti-gay bill proposing 10-year prison sentences sparks outrage

Draft anti-gay legislation submitted to Ghana’s parliament could propose up to 10 years in jail for LGBTQ+ people as well as groups and individuals who advocate for their rights, express sympathy or offer social or medical support, in one of the most draconian and sweeping anti-gay laws proposed around the world.

Support for intersex people would also be criminalised and the government could direct intersex people to receive “gender realignment” surgery, said the draft legislation.

The prospect of harsh new laws has been hailed by numerous MPs and supported by figures in President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government.

It follows a wave of repression against LGBTQ+ people in the west African country since January this year. In February, a community space offering support for sexual minorities was forced to close amid a backlash from politicians, civil and religious groups and the media, and also led to a rise in arrests and abuse against people perceived to be gay or queer.

On Friday, Sam Nartey George, an MP who has described gay rights as a “perversion” and led a group of lawmakers who drafted the bill, dismissed online condemnation of the bill as “uninformed”.

“Homosexuality is not a human right. It is a sexual preference,” he said in a post on Twitter. “We shall pass this bill through.”

Ghanaian officials have privately sought to allay fears that that the bill will pass.

Among other aspects of the bill that has sparked condemnation, groups or individuals found to be funding groups deemed as advocating for LGBTQ+ rights or offering support could be prosecuted. Marriage would be clearly defined in Ghanaian law as being between a male and female.

Media companies, online platforms and accounts which publish information which could be deemed to encourage children to explore any gender or sex outside of the binary categories of male and female could face 10 years in prison.

Matthias Cicotte #fundie #racist #transphobia #wingnut #psycho theguardian.com

The Guardian has identified an Alaska assistant attorney general as a supporter of the Mormon-derived extremist group the Deseret nationalists who has posted a series of racist, antisemitic and homophobic messages on social media
[…]
Matthias Cicotte, whose job means he works as the chief corrections counsel for Alaska’s attorney general, has acted for the department of law in a number of civil rights cases
[…]
In 2016, the account sent a tweet evoking a past time when “real history was taught in school, angry yentas didn’t rule, white men didn’t play the fool”
[…]
In a March tweet, JReubenCIark claimed that accusations of racism were “purely a tool to control people on the right”
[…]
On 15 June last year, he riffed on a catchphrase of the so-called Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, tweeting: “The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its Consequences Have Been a Disaster for the Human Race”
[…]
He tweeted: “Is it ‘white supremacy’ to note that some racial groups have higher IQs than others based on IQ tests? I believe that and I am only a Deseret supremacist”
[…]
On 25 June last year he wrote: “I can’t believe there’s a faithful Latter-day Saint out there who can look at the collapse of birthrates among the Latter-day Saints and say, ‘Well, hey, at least lots of Catholic Mexicans are coming to the US’”
[…]
Discussing an incident in Provo, Utah, in which a man appeared to drive his car into a crowd of BLM protesters, he remarked: “No one had a right to block his car. You all belong in jail”
[…]
Responding to news of a Drag Time Story Hour event in Long Beach, California, Cicotte wrote: “This demon should be burned to death and everyone responsible for that library event should be in prison”
[…]
JReubenCIark concluded a thread on how best to respond to the left’s characterizations of conservatives with the remark: “If brute violence is the only way to be free of them, what do they expect us to do?”

Governor Greg Abbott #fundie #psycho #sexist #wingnut theguardian.com

The Texas Republican governor Greg Abbott has signed into law one of the most extreme six-week abortion bans in the US.

“This bill ensures that every unborn child who has a heartbeat will be saved from the ravages of abortion,” said Abbott.

Senate Bill 8 bars abortion at six weeks of pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest, a near-total ban as most women are not aware they are pregnant at this stage.

Any individual can sue anyone who “aids or abets” abortion care. “This law is so broadly written it could target not just abortion clinics and staff but anyone that volunteers or donates to an abortion fund or activist organization like ours,” says Aimee Arrambide “Domestic violence and rape crisis counselors who offer guidance, family members who lend money to abortion patients, a friend who gives a ride to an appointment, or even someone that provides an address to a clinic could also face lawsuits.”

In response to concerns over the potential for a rapist to sue his victim’s abortion provider, the legislature passed an amendment that exempts rapists and those who commit incest from taking legal action. However, it only applies to those convicted of rape. Since 91% of women in Texas do not report rape to the police and the small number of those who do rarely see their abuser convicted, the amendment largely failed to allay fears.

Furthermore, the law does nothing to prevent someone associated with a rapist, like a friend or family member, from suing his victim.

“This bill empowers rapists and abusers,” said Representative Donna Howard “And this forced pregnancy act will drive women back into the [pre-Roe] shadows out of fear of harassment through lawsuits that anyone in this country can file.”

hatWRKS #wingnut #racist theguardian.com

Stetson has said it will stop selling its products through a hat store in Nashville, Tennessee which advertised anti-vaccination patches in the style of a Star of David, the badge which Jewish people were made to wear by the Nazis…

A hatWRKS Instagram post that was deleted showed a smiling woman touching the front of her shirt, where a “Not Vaccinated” patch was affixed. The caption read: “Patches are here!! They turned out great.”

It said the patches cost $5 and had a “strong adhesive back”, and that the shop would be “offering trucker caps soon”.

A message posted to the store Instagram account, which has also promoted vaccine conspiracy theories and touted the chance to shop without wearing a mask, said “people are so outraged by my post” but asked: “Are you outraged with the tyranny the world is experiencing?”

Another post on the hatWRKS Instagram account said: “In NO WAY did I intend to trivialise the Star of David or disrespect what happened to millions of people. That is not who I am and what I stand for.

“My intent was not to exploit or to make a profit. My hope was to share my genuine concern and fear, and to do all that I can to make sure nothing like that ever happens again. I sincerely apologise for any insensitivity.”

Donald Trump #wingnut #dunning-kruger theguardian.com

On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things”

The remark from the former US president on the 2018 trip, which reportedly “stunned” Kelly, a retired US Marine Corps general, is reported in a new book by Michael Bender of the Wall Street Journal
[…]
Bender reports that Trump made the remark during an impromptu history lesson in which Kelly “reminded the president which countries were on which side during the conflict” and “connected the dots from the first world war to the second world war and all of Hitler’s atrocities”.
[…]
In a statement a Trump spokesperson, Liz Harrington, said: “This is totally false. President Trump never said this. It is made-up fake news, probably by a general who was incompetent and was fired”

But Bender says unnamed sources reported that Kelly “told the president that he was wrong, but Trump was undeterred”, emphasizing German economic recovery under Hitler during the 1930s

“Kelly pushed back again,” Bender writes, “and argued that the German people would have been better off poor than subjected to the Nazi genocide”

Bender adds that Kelly told Trump that even if his claim about the German economy under the Nazis after 1933 were true, “you cannot ever say anything supportive of Adolf Hitler. You just can’t”

Alberto Fernández #racist theguardian.com

Uproar after Argentina president says ‘Brazilians came from the jungle’

Misjudged comments to prime minister of Spain sought to play up the South American country’s ties with Europe

Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández, has triggered a Twitter storm and a regional race debate with misjudged comments to visiting Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain that sought to play up the South American country’s ties with Europe.

“The Mexicans came from the Indians, the Brazilians came from the jungle, but we Argentines came from the ships. And they were ships that came from Europe,” Fernández said, referring to the many European migrants who arrived in the country. He later apologized for the comments and said his country’s diversity was something to be proud of.

Fernández seems to have taken the phrase from a song by local musician Lito Nebbia, of whom the president has declared himself an admirer on more than one occasion.

The comments sparked a viral response on social media, with many criticizing the center-left leader for racial insensitivity.

“I did not mean to offend anyone, in any case, whoever has felt offended or invisible, I give my apologies,” he said on Twitter.

Brazilian media ran Fernandez’s statements on Wednesday and many on social media joked that rightwing President Jair Bolsonaro would enjoy getting back at the leftwing Argentine leader, with whom he has not always seen eye to eye.

Eduardo Bolsonaro, a congressman and the Brazilian president’s son, slammed the comments as “racist” and shot a retort back at Argentina over its troubled economy, in recession since 2018.

“I say the ship that is sinking is that of Argentina,” he posted on Twitter.

Ho City Police #homophobia #psycho #wingnut theguardian.com

Outcry after 21 people arrested in Ghana for ‘advocating LGBTQ activities’

Rights groups have condemned the arrest of 21 people by Ghanaian police for “unlawful assembly” and promoting an LGBTQ+ agenda, in the latest move against sexual minorities in the country.

Police have held 21 people since Friday for “advocating LGBTQ activities” at an event the previous day in Ho city, in the eastern Volta region.

Several rights groups called the arrests illegal, saying those detained did not have access to legal representation before they were remanded to court on Friday, and that some suffered medical illnesses and needed treatment for trauma.

The arrests came after a group of journalists reportedly descended on an event by Rightify Ghana, which was held to provide training for activists and paralegals when supporting LGBTQ+ people.

“The press teamed up with the police to storm the meeting location, started taking images, took their belongings and arrested them,” Rightify Ghana said.

The targeting and abuse of LGBTQ+ people in Ghana has sharply risen this year, said Alex Kofi Donkor, the founder and director of LGBT+ Rights Ghana, an advocacy and aid organisation based in Accra.

Same-sex relationships are illegal in Ghana, yet while prosecutions are rare, rights groups say it has led to widespread targeting and extortion of vulnerable people and anyone suspected to be gay or queer.

A statement by the police on Friday calling members of the public to come forward with information about LGBTQ+ activities amounted to “a witch-hunt”, Donkor said.

“It is very, very disturbing – also for the fact that the police are now inciting the public against Ghanaians. It’s already a vulnerable situation for LGBTQ+ people in Ghana,” he said.

Miguel Díaz-Canel & Rogelio Polanco Fuentes #conspiracy #moonbat theguardian.com

Cuban president claims protests part of US plot to ‘fracture’ Communist party

Cuban officials blame the US for Sunday’s demonstrations as Biden calls on island’s leaders to hear citizens’ ‘clarion call for freedom’

The Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, has attacked the “shameful delinquents” he claimed were trying to “fracture” his country’s communist revolution after the Caribbean island witnessed its largest anti-government protests in nearly three decades.

“The approach wasn’t peaceful yesterday,” the 61-year-old politician claimed, criticising the “completely vulgar” behaviour of some demonstrators who he accused of throwing rocks at police and destroying cars. Díaz-Canel conceded other protesters had legitimate concerns over food shortages and blackouts, although he blamed those problems on US sanctions. “It’s legitimate to feel dissatisfaction,” the party’s powerful first secretary said in the broadcast.

Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, a top party official who runs its ideology department, denounced the protests as part of a well-funded US-sponsored effort to create “instability and chaos” in Cuba, which is currently experiencing its worst economic slump in decades as well as a worsening Covid crisis.

Polanco Fuentes compared Sunday’s protests to the failed US-backed uprising against Venezuela’s authoritarian leader, Nicolás Maduro, in 2019. “We are living through new chapters of the non-conventional war … in other places they have called these Colour Revolutions … or soft coups,” Polanco said.

Cuban dissidents rejected those claims about the protests which rippled across Cuba on Sunday, with thousands taking to the streets to denounce the lack of medicine and food and the lack of political freedoms.

Metalman71 #moonbat #pratt theguardian.com

At least we now know that an astonishing almost 10% of the uk's population are economic migrants from the rest of the EU. No wonder there's been a chronic housing shortage in recent years and public services so stretched.

Meanwhile in Eastern Europe working age populations are falling rapidly leaving a chronic shortage of doctors and other medically trained professionals to treat the aging population who can't migrate elsewhere.

I've asked this question of dozens of remainers and they all dodge it.

Why are British patients more important than the patients in the countries where these EU citizens have come from, and who are now suffering from the lack of medically trained staff in their own countries?

As an example, Romania has lost 5,000 doctors, or 10% of their total, in the last 20 years.

Why are British patients more important than Romanian ones?

Hopefully, that will start to change and more and more NHS workers of EU origin will leave the UK.

As the populations of Eastern European countries continues to fall, and as more and more of their skilled population migrates, their GDPs will suffer accordingly and it will become ever more difficult to make life more attractive for those they want to encourage to stay.

Freedom of movement has been a complete disaster for many European nations which really only benefits a handful of countries like Germany and France.

Chris1889 #pratt #wingnut theguardian.com

There is an obvious contradiction between holding a progressive immigration policy and championing workers rights, better pay and better public services. If socially democratic politicians truly want to improve the lives of working class people then they should want to restrict corporate demand for more cheap labour.

The left appear confused on this and have done for 20 years and this explains much of there decline in popularity especially amongst the working classes in recent years.

Keiko Fujimori & Other Wingnuts #conspiracy #psycho #racist #wingnut theguardian.com

Peru: Fujimori cries electoral fraud – and unleashes torrent of racism

Claims of rightwing candidate, trailing Pedro Castillo in the polls, emboldens far right, who have vowed not to accept result

The prospect of the son of illiterate Andean peasants becoming president as his rival cries fraud has shaken Peru’s entrenched class system and its fragile democracy, letting loose a torrent of racism in the bicentennial year of the country’s independence.

“The tension has reached a breaking point,” said José Ragas “The Lima elite is not just trying to keep power, they are trying to cancel the rural vote.”

In one ugly but not unusual case, the news site Sudaca published text messages between middle-class white men in Lima who discussed how people from the highlands should “die of hunger” and called for the return of Alberto Fujimori’s alleged forced sterilisations which mostly targeted indigenous women.

Other memes characterised Castillo as a donkey or said Andeans were too ignorant to be allowed to vote.

As officials at Peru’s electoral board work overtime to reinspect the disputed ballots, social media and partisan news broadcasters have helped spread fake news stirring up the spectre of totalitarian rule, violence and even mass expropriations if Castillo is declared the winner amid rumblings of coup plots among the far-right.

Apparently inspired by Donald Trump’s refusal to accept defeat at the US elections, Fujimori has led a string of marches against “fraud” telling supporters at one rally: “The election will be flipped, dear friends.”

Peru’s interim president Francisco Sagasti slammed as “unacceptable” a letter signed by nearly a hundred retired military officers urging the armed forces not to recognise Castillo.

Raye Johnson #psycho theguardian.com

Experience: I paid to have my daughter kidnapped

That first day I grieved. I knew deep down I was right, but I didn’t know if my daughter would forgive me.
It was 3am. I went into my daughter’s room, woke her, told her I loved her and that she was going on a trip. She was drowsy from the sleeping pills I’d slipped in her drink a few hours earlier. Then the two strangers I’d hired to take her away went into her room. She tried to get her bag and makeup. “Where you’re going, you don’t need anything,” they told her. I stood outside the door, shaking. Had I just created a situation in which I would lose my 17-year-old for ever?

I’d quit a successful financial career and moved across the country to bring up my daughter and son in Florida, so we’d have time as a family after their father and I divorced. I loved them fiercely and we were close. They knew I had high hopes for them. But at 17, my daughter started hanging around with different people; her straight-A grades dropped and her attitude changed. We started to fight about her going to school. “Even if you drive me there, you can’t make me go inside,” she would say. Then she told me she had decided to quit school to become a high-end hairdresser and wanted me to pay for her to go to beauty school. I was distraught. There is nothing wrong with hairdressing, but I wanted her to get a proper education first, so she would have choices.

Around the same time, police twice caught her 14-year-old brother with drugs. I wasn’t having it a third time, so I sent him away to a strict boarding school in another state. On a weekend visit, it struck me how much he’d changed and how my daughter would benefit from the same intensive treatment.

But I had to act fast. Her beauty school fees were due the coming Saturday. And, legally, I had control over her only while she was still under 18. I found a boot camp for troubled children in Utah and hired a private service to escort her there, whether she wanted to go or not. That Friday night we went to dinner on the pretence that it was to celebrate her new school. It was actually to stop her seeing friends and ensure she’d be home for the escorts.

After their appearance in the middle of the night, the security service flew with her to the Utah desert. That first day I grieved. I knew deep down I was right, but I didn’t know if my daughter would forgive me: I had to be prepared to lose her in order to help her. Her friends called and I said she’d gone on a trip. “Where did she go? When will she be back?” they asked. I told them I didn’t know.

I had paid $16,000 (£11,380) for seven weeks of gruelling physical and mental challenges. The other kids were in desperate situations: young offenders, drug addicts, some were suicidal. I was aware my daughter didn’t share their circumstances. They lived like cavemen: they didn’t see a roof the whole time, took care of their sanitary waste, learned survival skills and did physical labour; some cut off their hair because they couldn’t bathe.

They had daily therapy and wrote letters to their parents. My daughter’s were full of apology: how she had made mistakes, wanted to be forgiven, how she loved me. Sure, she was angry at first when she didn’t know what was going on, but she soon understood why I’d sent her there and was embarrassed.
Experience: my plane was hijacked
Read more

At the end, parents were taken into the desert to be reunited with their kids. We could see them walking towards us from a mile away. I was scared. I didn’t know how my daughter would react. Then I spotted her; she was muscular and dirty. We hugged and cried. She was back to the daughter I knew, the one without the attitude.

She finished high school with straight As, went to college, then did a master’s. She works in the legal system now. Both my kids joke that I’m a psycho mom, but they forgave me and we remain close. It’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. Could they have got where they are today without such drastic action? Perhaps, but it wasn’t a chance I was willing to take. I believe the more we suffer in life, the more we grow. I have two strong, amazing kids, and I’d do it again.

• As told to Candice Pires. Raye Johnson is a pseudonym.

Mr Bond #psycho #racist theguardian.com

Austrian rapper arrested over neo-Nazi songs

Austrian authorities have arrested a rapper accused of broadcasting neo-Nazi songs, one of which was used by a man who livestreamed a deadly antisemitic attack in Germany.

Austrian intelligence officers had been trying for months to unmask the rapper, who went by the pseudonym Mr Bond and had been posting to neo-Nazi forums since 2016.

The suspect, who comes from the southern region of Carinthia, has been detained for allegedly producing and broadcasting Nazi ideas and incitement to hatred.

“The words of his songs glorify National Socialism (Nazism) and are antisemitic, racist and xenophobic,” said the interior ministry statement.

One of his tracks was used as the soundtrack during the October 2019 attack outside a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle.

In posts to online forums based in the US, the rapper compared the man behind the 2019 Christchurch shootings that killed 51 people at a New Zealand mosque to a saint, and translated his racist manifesto into German.

Last September, an investigation by Austrian daily Der Standard and Germany’s public broadcaster ARD said that the musician had been calling on members of neo-Nazi online forums and chat groups to carry out terrorist attacks for several years.

They also reported that his music was used as the soundtrack to the livestreamed attack in Halle, when a man shot dead two people after a failed attempt to storm the synagogue.

During his trial last year for the attack, 28-year-old Stephan Balliet said he had picked the music as a “commentary on the act”. In December, a German court jailed him for life.

Mogoeng Mogoeng #fundie #conspiracy theguardian.com

South Africa’s chief justice has dismissed concerns that he may be endangering people’s health by linking coronavirus vaccines to a “satanic agenda”.

The comment by Mogoeng Mogoeng marked the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic that a senior judge had aired such preoccupations. [...] Worries quickly surfaced, in a country where new medical interventions are often controversial, that people might avoid vaccination as a result of the comments.

After South Africa began hosting the continent’s first coronavirus vaccine trial, anti-vaccine activists protested against Africans being used as test subjects.

Two decades ago, the then-president Thabo Mbeki questioned whether HIV caused Aids, which has ravaged the country.

Mogoeng, who frequently displays his Christian faith while performing his duties, prayed at a public event on Thursday that people should be spared any vaccine that sought to “advance a satanic agenda of the mark of the beast”.

Addressing questions about this at a news conference on Friday to release a judiciary report, he said: “If there is any vaccine that is deliberately intended to do harm to people, that vaccine must never see the light of day. I cry unto God to stop it.”

Shaun Bailey #wingnut #elitist theguardian.com

Tory London mayoral candidate: homeless can save for house deposit

The Conservative candidate for London mayor has sparked controversy after suggesting that homeless people in the capital would be able to save up for a £5,000 deposit to buy a share in a newly-built affordable home.

Shaun Bailey has promised to deliver 100,000 affordable homes with his £4bn housing budget if he wins the election in April, many of them shared ownership, of which buyers would be able to purchase a share for as little as £100,000.

Asked how these families would produce a £5,000 deposit and secure a mortgage, he said: “I don’t think the £5,000 will [be a problem]. The mortgage application thing might be a bit tougher … they could save for it, yeah.”

Pressed by the interviewer on whether he was suggesting a homeless family in bed and breakfast accommodation could afford a deposit, Bailey replied: “Not all of them, but some people could. A full proportion of people could.”

Bailey’s comments attracted widespread bewilderment on Twitter. The Liberal Democrat councillor and candidate for London mayor, Luisa Porritt said: “Oh dear, the Tory candidate is at it again. This time he’s suggesting homeless families ‘save up’ for a deposit. Just how out of touch can he get?”

Lambeth Labour councillor Ed Davie tweeted: “Famously, people living in poverty usually have at least £5,000 lying around – it’s amazing that it hasn’t occurred to them to simply buy a London property, which are well known for being really cheap. Thank God senior Tories are here to give out this good advice.”

War on Women Award

Ohio Republicans #fundie #sexist theguardian.com

Ohio bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face 'abortion murder' charges

Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science

A bill to ban abortion introduced in the Ohio state legislature requires doctors to “reimplant an ectopic pregnancy” into a woman’s uterus – a procedure that does not exist in medical science – or face charges of “abortion murder”.

This is the second time practising obstetricians and gynecologists have tried to tell the Ohio legislators that the idea is currently medically impossible.

The move comes amid a wave of increasingly severe anti-abortion bills introduced across much of the country as conservative Republican politicians seek to ban abortion and force a legal showdown on abortion with the supreme court.

Ohio’s move on ectopic pregnancies – where an embryo implants on the mother’s fallopian tube rather than her uterus rendering the pregnancy unviable – is one of the most extreme bills to date.

“I don’t believe I’m typing this again but, that’s impossible,” wrote Ohio obstetrician and gynecologist Dr David Hackney on Twitter. “We’ll all be going to jail,” he said.

An ectopic pregnancy is a life-threatening condition, which can kill a woman if the embryonic tissue grows unchecked.

In addition to ordering doctors to do the impossible or face criminal charges, House Bill 413 bans abortion outright and defines a fertilized egg as an “unborn child”.

It also appears to punish doctors, women and children as young as 13 with “abortion murder” if they “perform or have an abortion”. This crime is punishable by life in prison. Another new crime, “aggravated abortion murder”, is punishable by death, according to the bill.

The bill is sponsored by representatives Candice Keller and Ron Hood, and co-sponsored by 19 members of Ohio’s 99-member House.

Mike Gonidakis, the president of the anti-abortion group Ohio Right to Life, declined to comment on the bill, and said he was still reading the legislation because, it’s “approximately 700 pages long”. He said his office is “taking off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving”.

The Guardian also contacted the Susan B Anthony List, a national anti-abortion organization. The organization did not reply to a request for comment.

Keller, Hood and eight of the bill’s 19 co-sponsors did not reply to requests for comment. The Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association also did not reply to a request for comment.

Ohio passed a six-week abortion ban last summer. The “heartbeat bill”, as supporters called it, banned abortion before most women know they are pregnant. Reproductive rights groups immediately sued, and the bill never went into effect. Abortion is legal in all 50 US states.

In May, researcher Dr David Grossman argued reimplanting a fertilized egg or embryo is “pure science fiction” in a Twitter thread that went viral in May, when the bill was first introduced.

“There is no procedure to reimplant an ectopic pregnancy,” said Dr Chris Zahn, vice-president of practice activities at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “It is not possible to move an ectopic pregnancy from a fallopian tube, or anywhere else it might have implanted, to the uterus,” he said.

“Reimplantation is not physiologically possible. Women with ectopic pregnancies are at risk for catastrophic hemorrhage and death in the setting of an ectopic pregnancy, and treating the ectopic pregnancy can certainly save a mom’s life,” said Zahn.

Orthodox Church in Romania and Archbishop Teodosie #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

The Orthodox Church in Romania is facing growing pressure to change baptism rituals after a baby died following a ceremony which involves immersing infants three times in holy water.

The six-week-old suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to hospital on Monday but he died a few hours later, the autopsy revealing liquid in his lungs. Prosecutors have opened a manslaughter investigation against the priest in the north-eastern city of Suceava.
[...]
Local media recounted several similar incidents in recent years. Church spokesman Vasile Banescu said priests could pour a little water on the baby’s forehead instead of full immersion. But Archbishop Teodosie, leader of the Church’s traditionalist wing, said the ritual would not change.

NEpalese Ministry Of Immigration #sexist theguardian.com

Nepalis protest 'ridiculous' proposed ban on women travelling abroad

Activists warn new anti-trafficking law requiring permission from families to travel is evidence of ‘deep-rooted patriarchal mindset’

A proposed law in Nepal that would ban women from travelling abroad without permission from their families and local government officials has been called unconstitutional and “ridiculous”. The proposals, introduced by the Department of Immigration last week in an attempt to prevent women being trafficked, would require all women under 40 to seek permission before they visit Africa or the Middle East for the first time.

Following criticism, the department said the law applied only to “vulnerable” women and stressed it had yet to be finalised.

Ila Sharma, a former election commissioner of Nepal, said: “It’s preposterous the way educated bureaucracy seems to be objectifying women. Clearly, they do not see women as fully fledged adults. “Instead of empowering and building the capacity of women, as well as the rest of the emigrant labour workforce, they are being regressive, unconstitutional, not to say ridiculous.”

Nepal’s Human Rights Commission estimated that about 35,000 people, including 15,000 women and 5,000 girls, were victims of trafficking in 2018. Activists pointed out that it is not just women who are trafficked, so immigration lawmakers should consider women and men in any proposed legal changes. There have been several attempts over the past decades to combat exploitation through travel restrictions. The latest was in 2017 when the government banned Nepali citizens from working in the Gulf as domestic workers, a move that targeted women. Activists have long complained that banning women from travelling doesn’t work and infringes their rights.

Unnamed Counter-Protesters & Delhi Police #wingnut theguardian.com

Counter-protesters in Delhi have burned effigies of the Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg after she tweeted support for India’s protesting farmers in posts that have prompted an investigation by Indian police.

Crowds gathered in Delhi to protest against several international celebrities including Thunberg and the pop singer Rihanna, who inflamed sentiments in India and angered the government after tweeting about the continuing farmer protests this week. Photos of Thunberg and Rihanna were set alight and banners were held aloft warning that “international interference” in Indian affairs would not be tolerated.

Since November, hundreds of thousands of farmers have been camped out around Delhi demanding several new agriculture laws are repealed. After a march last week turned violent, with hundreds storming the capital’s historic Red Fort, Delhi police had been cracking down on the farmers by sending in riot officers and paramilitary troops, cutting off entry and exit to the protest sites and blocking mobile internet access.

In response to reports that a case had been filed against Thunberg, Praveer Ranjan, the special commissioner of police for Delhi, said: “‘We haven’t named anybody in the FIR [first information report], it’s only against the creators of the toolkit which is a matter of investigation and Delhi police will be investigating that case.”

The Indian government released a statement in response sharply warning against celebrities tweeting “sensationalist social media hashtags and comments”.

Nigel Farage & Richard Tice #quack #wingnut theguardian.com

Reform UK: Brexit party to rebrand as anti-lockdown voice

Party chairman Richard Tice says country must ‘learn to live with’ Covid not ‘hide in fear’

The Brexit party has applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name to Reform UK in a bid to rebrand the party, which has no elected representatives, as a voice in the anti-lockdown movement. The party’s leader, Nigel Farage, and chairman, Richard Tice, first announced the plan in a joint article in the Telegraph where they wrote it was “time to redirect our energies”. The name change is subject to approval of the commission. Prior to the December election, Farage had announced the party would change its name following the UK’s exit from the European Union and focus on campaigning for changes in the electoral system.

In a statement on Sunday announcing the plans to rebrand the party, Farage said: “As promised, we continue to keep a very close eye on the government’s trade negotiations with the EU, to ensure a proper Brexit. Further reform in many other areas is also vital for our nations’ future.” Tice added: “The need for major reform in the UK is clearer now than ever. A new approach is essential, so that government works for the people, not for itself.” He said that a new strategy was needed for tackling the coronavirus so that “we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it”. The idea of ending the Covid pandemic through herd immunity was recently denounced as “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence”, by 80 researchers who wrote a warning letter in a leading medical journal.

Unnamed CPC Cadres #psycho #racist #sexist theguardian.com

China sterilising ethnic minority women in Xinjiang, report says

Uighurs are among those facing involuntary contraception or threats over birth quotas

Chinese authorities are carrying out forced sterilisations of women in an apparent campaign to curb the growth of ethnic minority populations in the western Xinjiang region, according to research published on Monday.

The report, based on a combination of official regional data, policy documents and interviews with ethnic minority women, has prompted an international group of lawmakers to call for a United Nations investigation into China’s policies in the region.

The move is likely to enrage Beijing, which has denied trampling on the rights of ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and which on Monday called the allegations “baseless”.

The country is accused of locking more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim minorities in re-education camps. Beijing describes the facilities as job training centres aimed at steering people away from terrorism following a spate of violence blamed on separatists.

A report by Adrian Zenz, a German researcher who has exposed China’s policies in Xinjiang, says Uighur women and other ethnic minorities are being threatened with internment in the camps for refusing to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas.

Zenz’s data-driven work on the camps – which uses public documents found by scouring China’s internet – has previously been cited by experts on a UN panel investigating the facilities.

Women who had fewer than the legally permitted limit of two children were involuntarily fitted with intrauterine contraceptives, says the report.

It also reports that some of the women said they were being coerced into receiving sterilisation surgeries.

Former camp detainees said they were given injections that stopped their periods or caused unusual bleeding consistent with the effects of birth-control drugs.

Government documents studied by Zenz also showed that women in some rural minority communities in the region received frequent mandatory gynaecological exams and bi-monthly pregnancy tests from local health officials.

Zenz found that population growth in Xinjiang counties predominantly home to ethnic minorities fell below the average growth in primarily Han majority counties between 2017 and 2018, a year after the officially recorded rate of sterilisations in the region sharply overtook the national rate in 2016.

Uighur activists say China is using the internment camps to conduct a massive brainwashing campaign aimed at eradicating their distinct culture and Islamic identity.

“These findings raise serious concerns as to whether Beijing’s policies in Xinjiang represent, in fundamental respects, what might be characterised as a demographic campaign of genocide” under UN definitions, Zenz said in the report.

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), a group of North American, European and Australian members of parliament from a range of political parties, said in a statement on Monday that it would push for a legal investigation on “whether or not crimes against humanity or genocide have taken place” in Xinjiang.

IPAC was formed in June with a stated mission of standing up against “challenges posed by the present conduct and future ambitions of the People’s Republic of China”.

China’s foreign ministry said the allegations were “baseless” and showed “ulterior motives”.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian attacked media outlets for “cooking up false information on Xinjiang-related issues,” saying at a regular press briefing that Xinjiang is “harmonious and stable”.

The rights group World Uyghur Congress said the report showed a “genocidal element of the CCP’s [Chinese Communist party] policies” and called in a statement for international action to confront China.

Anonymous Asshole #racist theguardian.com

image

Happy Brexit Day
As we finally have our great country back we feel
there is one rule to that needs to be made clear to
Winchester Tower residents.
We do not tolerate people speaking other languages
than English in the flats.
We are now our own country again and the the
Queens English is the spoken tongue here.
If you do want to speak whatever is the mother
tongue of the country you came from then we suggest
you return to that place and return your flat to the
council so they can let British people live here and we
can return to what was normality before you infected
this once great island.
It's a simple choice obey the rule of the majority or
leave.
You won't have long till our government will
implement rules that will put British first. So, best evolve
or leave.
God Save the Queen, her government and all true
patriots.


Unnamed Kabiangek teacher #sexist theguardian.com

A 14-year-old schoolgirl in Kenya took her own life after a teacher allegedly embarrassed her for having her period in class.

The girl’s death has prompted protests from female parliamentarians and reignited a national conversation about “period shaming” and access to menstrual products.

The girl’s mother said her daughter was found dead last Friday after she got her period during class and stained her clothes. Her teacher allegedly called her “dirty” and expelled her from the classroom in Kabiangek, west of Nairobi.

It was the girl’s first period, her mother told local media, and she did not have a sanitary pad.

The incident has cast a spotlight on a 2017 law requiring Kenya’s government to distribute free sanitary pads to all schoolgirls. Poor implementation of the law is the subject of a parliamentary investigation.

On Wednesday, female MPs “laid siege” to the education ministry to protest about the girl’s death and discuss the programme, MP Esther Passaris wrote on Twitter.

Andrew Sabisky (Former adviser to Boris Johnson) #wingnut #racist #elitist #dunning-kruger theguardian.com

If the mean black American IQ is (best estimate based on a century’s worth of data) around 85, as compared to a mean white American IQ of 100, then if IQ is normally distributed (which it is), you will see a far greater percentage of blacks than whites in the range of IQs 75 or below, at which point we are close to the typical boundary for mild mental retardation. Typically criminals with IQs below 70 cannot be executed in the USA, I believe.

That parsimoniously explains the greater diagnostic rates for blacks when it comes to ‘Intellectual disability’.

Keira Bell, Paul Conrathe & High Court Judges #quack #transphobia theguardian.com

Puberty blockers: under-16s 'unlikely to be able to give informed consent'

Children under the age of 16 considering gender reassignment are unlikely to be mature enough to give informed consent to be prescribed puberty-blocking drugs, the high court has ruled. Even in cases involving teenagers under 18 doctors may need to consult the courts for authorisation for medical intervention, three senior judges have ruled in an action brought against the Tavistock and Portman NHS trust, which runs the UK’s main gender identity development service for children. The claim was brought by Keira Bell, a 23-year-old woman who began taking puberty blockers when she was 16 before detransitioning, and the unnamed mother of a 15-year-old autistic girl who is on the waiting list for treatment.

“It is highly unlikely that a child aged 13 or under, or 14 or 15, would be competent to give consent to the administration of puberty blockers,” the judges added. For those over 16 it is normally presumed that they have the ability to give consent. But where puberty blockers may lead to subsequent surgical operations, the judges said: “Given the long-term consequences of the clinical interventions at issue in this case, and given that the treatment is as yet innovative and experimental, we recognise that clinicians may well regard these as cases where the authorisation of the court should be sought prior to commencing the clinical treatment.”

At a hearing in October, lawyers for the claimants argued that children going through puberty were “not capable of properly understanding the nature and effects of hormone blockers”.

Lui Asquith, from the trans children’s charity Mermaids, said: “It’s frankly a potential catastrophe for trans young people across the country and it cannot be exaggerated the impact that this might have, not only on the population of trans young people that require hormone blockers, but it may potentially open the floodgates towards other questions around bodily autonomy and who has the right to govern their own body.”

Oregon Republican Party #wingnut #conspiracy theguardian.com

The Oregon Republican party has falsely claimed in a resolution that there is “growing evidence” that the 6 January attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob was “a ‘false flag’ operation”.
[…]
To back up these false claims, the resolution cited links to rightwing websites, including the Epoch Times, a pro-Trump outlet that has frequently published rightwing misinformation, as well as the Wikipedia entry for “Reichstag Fire.”

In a Facebook video released on 19 January, the Oregon Republican party chairman, Bill Currier, said that Oregon Republicans were working with Republicans in other states to release similar resolutions. “We are encouraging and working with the others through a patriot network of RNC members, the national level elected officials from each state, to coordinate our activities and to coordinate our messaging,” Currier said as part of the video conversation with other members of the Oregon Republican party.

“We’re partway in the door of socialism and Marxism right now … and we have to fight,” Currier said. “It’s a time for choosing. People can decide what they want to believe and what they want to do, but there are people standing up and there are people sitting down.”
[…]
In addition to labeling the Capitol attack a potential false flag operation, the Oregon GOP’s resolution also condemned several House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump over the 6 January assault. The statement called the legislators “traitors” who had “conspired” with the enemy, and described members of the Democratic party as “Leftist forces seeking to establish a dictatorship void of all cherished freedoms and liberties.”

Valeurs actuelles #racist theguardian.com

A French magazine has apologised after portraying a black lawmaker as a slave, as France’s government and officials across the political spectrum decried the publication.

The legislator, Danièle Obono, from the far-left party La France Insoumise (Defiant France), said the publication flies in the face of those who complain that free speech is threatened by the fight against racism and sexism.

“The extreme right – odious, stupid and cruel,” she tweeted.

The magazine, Valeurs actuelles, which caters to readers on the right and far-right, apologised. The deputy editor, Tagdual Denis, told BFM television on Saturday that the image was not designed to wound Obono, and denied that it was an attention-getting ploy. But he added: “What I regret is that we are always accused of racism ... we are politically incorrect, it’s in our DNA.”

[...]

Elisabeth Moreno, the junior minister for equality and the only black member of the French government, tweeted: “I don’t share Danièle Obono’s ideas, but today I offer her all my support.” A similar refrain came from politicians from multiple parties, including the treasurer of Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party.

Pablo Cassado, Vox party #conspiracy #wingnut theguardian.com

Spain’s coalition government has vowed to overturn an “authoritarian” initiative by the far-right Vox party that allows parents to stop their children attending talks, workshops or classes during school hours whose content “goes against their moral principles”.

According to Vox, the policy – referred to as the “parental pin” – is designed to protect children by requiring parental permission for exposure to content relating to “ethical or social values or civic or sexual morals”.

But critics claim it will shut down debate on gender, sexual orientation, feminism and the environment as the scheme also requires parental consent for any activity relating to “socially controversial moral questions or sexuality”.

Although the initiative featured in Vox’s manifesto for last April’s general election, and has been in effect since last September in the south-eastern region of Murcia – where Vox props up a regional government between the conservative People’s party (PP) and the centre-right Citizens party – it has only recently become a topic of fierce debate.

Last week, Vox threatened to veto the Murcia government’s annual budget unless the PP and Citizens adopted the parental pin as part of the regional education programme.

Although the pin was not signed into law, the regional budget was agreed after a deal was reached to allow “families to educate their children freely, without any kind of impositions, through the express permission of families when it comes to their children’s participation” in extracurricular classes and activities.

The debate could have more national consequences as Vox has also played kingmaker to PP-Citizens coalition regional governments in Madrid and Andalucía.

The new central government of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ party (PSOE) and the far-left, anti-austerity Unidas Podemos alliance, said last week that it would work to have the scheme overturned – by legal means if necessary – as it “goes against constitutional values”.

Spain’s new equalities minister, Irene Montero, described the measure as an attempt at educational censorship.

“The sons and daughters of homophobic parents have the same right as everyone else to be educated about respect, the promotion of human rights and being able to love whoever they want,” she said last week.

“The sons and daughters of sexist parents also have the same right to be educated about equality and feminism.”

On Monday, eight regional education ministers from the PSOE published an open letter decrying the parental pin as a measure that would “rupture school harmony and the culture of dialogue and reflection and impose a blind and uncritical authoritarianism”.

Pablo Casado, leader of the PP, said a balance needed to be found between freedom of choice and information for parents, adding that he thought most “sensible” Spaniards wanted to decide what kind of education their children receive.

“I don’t believe in a country where parents have to be subject to the whims of what a politician or bureaucrat says,” Casado said on Monday.

He also renewed his attack on the new government’s decision to appoint a former justice minister, Dolores Delgado, as the new attorney general, saying the outrage over the parental pin was a “smokescreen” to distract from criticisms of the move.

Critics argue that Delgado’s appointment blurs the separation of powers, with some members of the General Council of the Judiciary suggesting it could serve to “create the appearance of a link with the executive branch that does not contribute to the perception of the judiciary’s independence”.

Jair Bolsonaro #wingnut theguardian.com

Jair Bolsonaro has taunted Michelle Bachelet, the UN high commissioner for human rights, over the Chilean dictatorship that tortured her and her parents, after she criticised rising police killings and a “shrinking” space for democracy in Brazil.

“She is defending the human rights of vagabonds,” the Brazilian president told reporters on Wednesday. “Senhora Michelle Bachelet, if Pinochet’s people had not defeated the left in 73 – among them your father – Chile would be a Cuba today.”

Bachelet’s father, Alberto, an air force general, was imprisoned and tortured for opposing the 1973 military coup led by Augusto Pinochet, and died of a heart attack in prison. In 2014, two retired Chilean military officers were handed prison sentences for torturing him. Bachelet and her mother, Ángela Jeria, were also imprisoned.

Bolsonaro has frequently praised Brazil’s 21-year military dictatorship and expressed admiration for rulers such as Pinochet, whose regime killed more than 3,000 people from 1973 to 1990.

His comments came after Bachelet criticized the increase in police killings in Brazil’s two biggest cities.

Father Dan Reehil and the St Edward Catholic school #fundie theguardian.com

A private Catholic school in Nashville has removed the Harry Potter books from its library, saying they include “actual curses and spells, which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits”.

Local paper the Tennessean reported that the pastor at St Edward Catholic school, which teaches children of pre-kindergarten age through to 8th grade, had emailed parents about JK Rowling’s series to tell them that he had been in contact with “several” exorcists who had recommended removing the books from the library.

“These books present magic as both good and evil, which is not true, but in fact a clever deception,” Rev Dan Reehil wrote. “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text.”

Curses and spells included in the bestselling books, which were published between 1997 and 2007, include “avada kedavra”, the “killing” curse; “crucio”, the torture curse; and “imperio”, which allows the wizards to control others’ actions.

Rebecca Hammel, superintendent of schools for the Catholic diocese of Nashville, told the Tennessean that Reehil had sent the email after an inquiry from a parent. She added that “he’s well within his authority to act in that manner”, because “each pastor has canonical authority to make such decisions for his parish school”.

Unnamed Killers #fundie #sexist #psycho theguardian.com

Pakistan: teenage girls shot dead by relatives over online footage

Father of one victim and brother of the other arrested in connection with the murders

Two female teenagers in Pakistan have been murdered by family members after a video emerged online of them associating with a man.

The pair, said to be aged 16 and 18, were shot dead by male relatives in their remote village in Pakistan’s North Waziristan province this week after footage was posted online of them in the company of a young man in a secluded area.

After they were shot, the pair were then buried in the village by their family members.

Local police confirmed they had arrested the father of one of the victims, and the brother of the other victim, in connection with arranging and carrying out the murders, and they were now being held in custody.

The police are searching for two other family members believed to have been involved in the killings.

The footage of the women, which is less than a minute long, was said to have been filmed last year but only appeared on social media a few weeks ago. The police said they were still searching for a third young woman who also featured in the video to ensure she did not suffer the same fate.

The tribal areas in North and South Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan, are known for the strict “honour code” imposed on women, whose movements are heavily restricted and who are often not allowed out of the house unaccompanied.

So called “honour” killings remain common in Pakistan’s tribal areas, mainly against women who are believed to have brought shame on a family, and activists say up to 1,000 such killings are still carried out every year.

The issue was brought to the fore in Pakistan in September after three men were found guilty and sentenced to life behind bars for the killing of three women in Kohistan who had been caught on video singing and clapping at a wedding in 2011. The women’s bodies were never found.

Though against the law, “honour” killing cases were previously difficult to convict owing to a loophole in the law that allowed perpetrators to walk free if they were given a pardon by the victim’s family member.

However, the crimes now come with a mandated life sentence.

David N. Anderson and Francine Graham #racist #psycho theguardian.com

Authorities in New Jersey on Thursday announced they are investigating Tuesday’s killing of a police officer and an attack on a kosher supermarket, with three gunned down by a man and woman on a rampage, as an antisemitic hate crime.

“I can confirm we are investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism, fueled by antisemitism and anti law enforcement beliefs,” New Jersey’s attorney general, Gurbir Grewal, said.

The two killers who shot dead a detective in Jersey City, then stormed a kosher supermarket and killed three bystanders, had apparently been followers of the Black Hebrew Israelites, a fringe group whose members have been known to rail against white people and Jews.

One of the suspects had made antisemitic posts online, a law enforcement official briefed on the investigation, but who was not able to disclose their name, said on Thursday.

[...]

The FBI on Wednesday searched the Harlem headquarters of the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, which is the formal name of the Black Hebrew Israelites group, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

“The why and the ideology and the motivation that’s what we’re investigating,” Grewal said, adding that authorities are trying to determine whether anyone other groups were involved in planning the attack.

Others, including Jersey City’s mayor, Steve Fulop, pronounced the bloodshed a hate crime against Jews, with Fulop saying surveillance video made it clear that the attackers targeted the Jewish market, slowly and deliberately driving up to the grocery in a stolen rental van and immediately opening fire.

The attackers were identified as David N Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, both of them also prime suspects in the slaying of a Uber driver found dead in a car trunk in nearby Bayonne over the weekend, who was Jewish.

Anderson used a rifle in the grocery attack. Grewal wouldn’t confirm if Graham also had a weapon when she followed Anderson into the market. Several weapons were recovered from the store.

Shin Ok-ju and the Grace Road Church #fundie theguardian.com

The leader of a South Korean doomsday cult who held 400 people captive in Fiji and subjected them to violent beatings has been sentenced to six years in jail.

Shin Ok-ju, founder of the Grace Road Church, convinced her followers to move to Fiji in 2014, which she said was the “promised land”, pointed to in the Bible, where they would survive coming apocalyptic events.

Once they arrived on the island their passports were confiscated. Those who left the group reported brutal rituals, called “threshing floors” in which people were beaten as punishment for sinful actions or to drive out evil spirits.

On Monday a South Korean court found Shin guilty on multiple criminal charges including violence, child abuse and fraud.

“The victims suffered helplessly from collective beatings and experienced not only physical torture but also severe fear and considerable mental shock,” said the Anyang sub-court of the Suwon district court.

“Heavy punishment is inevitable against illegal acts carried out in the name of religion,” it added in a statement earlier this week.

Shocking footage showing Shin beating her followers and ordering them to beat one another was shared with the Guardian by South Korean police last year.

In several videos, Shin was shown calling members of the church forward during her sermons and then hitting them in the face, pulling and cutting their hair and throwing them to the ground.

She was arrested along with three other church leaders when they landed at Incheon airport just outside the South Korean capital Seoul in July 2017.

People have joined Grace Road Church and travelled to join the group in Fiji from all over the world.

In an interview with the Guardian, one American teenager who was taken to Grace Road Church by her mother, told how she was trapped there, had her passport taken, her medication withheld and all contact with her father and sister in the US cut off. She eventually escaped by running out of the church and making a phone call from a convenience store.

Grace Road Church still owns and operates multiple businesses across Fiji, including farms, cafes and construction companies.

After the sentence was handed down, an opposition leader in Fiji called for an investigation into alleged links between the Fijian government and the cult, according to RNZ, saying that as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, the government should do more to investigate concerns about modern-day slavery in Fiji.

William Lane Craig #fundie #psycho theguardian.com

In commanding complete destruction of the Canaanites, the Lord says, 'You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons, or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods' (Deut 7.3-4). […] God knew that if these Canaanite children were allowed to live, they would spell the undoing of Israel. […] Moreover, if we believe, as I do, that God's grace is extended to those who die in infancy or as small children, the death of these children was actually their salvation. We are so wedded to an earthly, naturalistic perspective that we forget that those who die are happy to quit this earth for heaven's incomparable joy. Therefore, God does these children no wrong in taking their lives.

So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgment. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalising effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.

André Schmitt, the Kommando Pipeline and unnamed German preppers #wingnut #psycho theguardian.com

A network of elite German combatants with links to far-right “prepper” circles secretly trained civilians in “commando-like structures”, raising fears the group planned to build up a paramilitary fighting unit.

Drone footage filmed in June 2018 at a former barracks of the German armed forces in the southern town of Mosbach shows a group of around half a dozen men in military-style gear moving in formation across sandy terrain, holding what appear to be assault rifles in a firing position.

Experts interviewed by the German public broadcaster ARD’s Monitor programme after viewing the footage classified the exercises as “combat training” – illegal in Germany unless carried out by active members of the military, police or private security companies and supervised by state authorities.

The exercise in Mosbach, however, was organised by Uniter, a private support network for active and former soldiers and security personnel. Its founder, André Schmitt, is known to have founded and administered a Germany-wide Telegram chat group, which had sub-groups in which so-called preppers discussed plans to build up parallel infrastructures in preparation for the anticipated collapse of the prevailing social order.

The group chat, which was divided into southern, northern, western and eastern districts, expanded in the autumn of 2015, when Angela Merkel’s refugee policy became the focus of the national debate in Germany. Members discussed the threat of terrorist attacks and how to respond to them by hoarding weapons, munitions and food supplies.

They have since dismissed their chats as “thought experiments”.

[...]

Internal documents presented on the programme suggest the exercises were part of “Kommando Pipeline” training designed to produce in its last phase “combat-ready” fighters trained in handling rifles and handguns, as well as close combat and urban warfare.

In recent months a number of investigations across Germany have tried to establish a fuller picture of the network’s activities. In November, a member of one of the northern German chat groups went on trial in the north-east city of Schwerin accused of illegally hoarding and stealing weapons, partly from the German military.

A member of the southern network, a disgraced former army officer known as Franco A, is to stand trial over alleged plans to impersonate a Syrian refugee and carry out a terrorist attack that would be perceived as motivated by Islamist extremism. Investigators found a Uniter badge at his home, though the association denies he was a member of the network.

Germany’s public prosecutor general is also investigating a police officer and a lawyer who are suspected of plotting to round up and murder “representatives of the political left”. The accused deny any such plans.