www.bbc.com

unnamed patient #quack #pratt bbc.com

A young adult in New York has become the first US resident in nearly a decade to contract polio, state health officials say.

The unnamed patient in Rockland County is said no longer to be contagious, but has developed paralysis from the virus.

Officials say the person was unvaccinated, and was probably exposed to an individual who received a vaccine that contains the weakened live virus.

The last known US case of the highly contagious virus was recorded in 2013.

Once feared across the nation, the disease was largely eradicated by a national vaccination campaign that began in 1955.

Annual cases quickly fell from fewer than 100 in the 1960s to fewer than 10 in the 1970s - and the US was declared polio-free by 1979.

Whole Bible Believers Church, Rev. Josiah Peter Asumosa and Rev. David Anifowoshe #fundie bbc.com

Police in Nigeria have rescued 77 people, including children, from a church where they were confined in the south-western state of Ondo

Some of them are believed to have been there for months

A police spokesperson said many of them had been told to expect the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in April and had abandoned school to witness the event

The raid came after a mother complained her children were missing and she thought they were in the church

Police say they are investigating suspected mass abduction after the raid on the Whole Bible Believers Church in the Valentino area of Ondo Town

The pastor of the Pentecostal church, David Anifowoshe, and his deputy have been arrested, while the victims have been taken into the care of the authorities

"Preliminary investigation revealed that one Pastor Josiah Peter Asumosa, an assistant pastor in the church, was the one who told the members that Rapture will take place in April, but later said it has been changed to September 2022 and told the young members to obey only their parents in the Lord," said police press officer Funmilayo Odunlami

In all, police rescued 26 children, eight teenagers and 43 adults, she added

commerce ministry of saudi arabia #homophobia #fundie bbc.com

Saudi authorities seize rainbow toys for promoting homosexuality

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have been seizing rainbow-coloured toys and children's clothing, which they claim encourage homosexuality, state TV says.

An Al-Ekhbariya report showed commerce ministry officials removing a range of items from shops in the capital Riyadh.

They included hair clips, pop-its, t-shirts, hats and pencil cases.

One official said the items "contradict the Islamic faith and public morals, and promote homosexual colours targeting the younger generation".

The commerce ministry tweeted separately that its teams were confiscating "products that contain symbols and signs calling for deviation and contradicting common sense".

Shops found to be selling them would face legal penalties, it added.

In December, authorities in neighbouring Qatar announced that they had confiscated rainbow-coloured pop-its and other toys from shops for "bearing slogans that go against Islamic values".

Although Sunni Muslim-ruled Saudi Arabia has no laws regarding sexual orientation or gender identity, sexual relations outside marriage, including homosexual sex, are strictly prohibited.

Under the country's interpretation of Islamic law, consensual same-sex sexual conduct is punishable by death or flogging, depending on the perceived seriousness of the case.

It is also illegal for men to "behave like women" or to wear women's clothes, and vice versa, and for anyone to carry out online activity impinging on "public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy".

In April, cinemas in the kingdom did not screen the film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after Disney refused a request from Saudi authorities to cut what they called "LGBTQ references".

A source close to Disney told AFP news agency on Tuesday that its new animated film Lightyear, which features a same-sex kiss, had also been banned in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials have not yet confirmed such a move, but the kingdom's two main cinema chains are not advertising screenings.

[...]

Vladimir Putin #wingnut #god-complex bbc.com

Vladimir Putin's admiration for Peter the Great is well known but he now seems to have ideas of "Great"-ness himself

He has openly compared himself to the Russian tsar, equating Russia's invasion of Ukraine today with Peter's expansionist wars some three centuries ago, and making his strongest acknowledgment yet that his own war is a land grab[…]
Russia's president was meeting young scientists and entrepreneurs when he made the remarks. Before talking IT and tech development he talked politics and power: the new battle he sees for geopolitical dominance. In that, he told his select audience that Peter the Great was a role model

"You might think he was fighting with Sweden, seizing their lands," Mr Putin said, referring to the Northern Wars which Peter launched at the turn of the 18th Century as he forged a new Russian Empire

"But he seized nothing; he reclaimed it!" he said, arguing that Slavs had lived in the area for centuries

"It seems it has fallen to us, too, to reclaim and strengthen," Mr Putin concluded, with a near-smirk that left no doubt he was referring to Ukraine and his aims there

Peter's rule, he suggested, was proof that expanding Russia had strengthened it

Oklahoma Republicans #sexist bbc.com

Oklahoma passes bill banning most abortions after conception

Oklahoma legislators have passed a law banning abortion after conception, which critics say is the most restrictive such measure in the US.

The Republican-led bill would prohibit all abortions, except to save the life of the woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

It comes after a leak suggested the US Supreme Court may quash the 1973 ruling that legalised abortion nationwide.

Republican-led US states are ramping up bills to limit abortion access.

On the other side, US Senate Democrats last week tried to pass a bill that critics said would allow abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. It was stopped by Republicans.

Opinion polls find most Americans are in favour of abortion access, though surveys also show public support for allowing the procedure drops sharply after the first trimester of pregnancy.

Abortion is generally legal in US states that do not restrict it up to about 24 weeks of pregnancy, which is near the end of the second trimester.

Oklahoma has recently passed several laws aimed at setting it apart as the most "pro-life" state in the US.

The bill, which passed overwhelmingly on Thursday, is modelled on a Texas anti-abortion law that allows anyone to sue abortion providers.

But the Oklahoma bill bans abortion even earlier than Texas, where it is not legal after six weeks. This is around the time cardiac activity can be detected in the embryo, and before many women realise they are pregnant.

The Oklahoma measure defines fertilisation as the "fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum". Banning abortion after conception has been a long-held goal of national anti-abortion groups.

The bill still needs to be signed into law by the state's Republican governor, who has vowed to approve any anti-abortion legislation that comes to his desk.

The Oklahoma measure allows exemptions in cases of rape and incest, but only if reported to the police. It does not ban contraception or morning-after pills.

In the past three months, Oklahoma has passed two other anti-abortion bills, which have already caused most abortion providers in the state to close.

[…]

Dr Olaleye Kayode, Jude Akanbi & unnamed cultits #dunning-kruger #magick bbc.com

The hunt for Nigerians who can change into cats

Gbenga Adewoyin could have passed for a medieval witch hunter as he walked around a market in the south-western Nigerian city of Ibadan.

"Anyone that can provide any evidence for the existence of the supernatural, be it juju or voodoo magic, will be offered 2.5m naira ($6,000, £4,650)," he announced repeatedly. "The knife is for anyone that claims their juju makes them blade-proof."

The 24-year-old atheist has recently emerged as a rebel publicly contesting the powers of the supernatural in this deeply religious country.

Many Nigerians believe that magic charms can allow humans to morph into cats, protect bare skins from sharp blades and make money appear in a clay pot.

Dr Olaleye Kayode, a senior lecturer in African Indigenous Religions at the University of Ibadan, told the BBC that money-making juju rituals - where human body parts mixed with charms makes money spew out of a pot - really work. The naira notes that supposedly appear "are gotten by spirits from existing banks."

Jude Akanbi, a lecturer at the Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, is also unequivocal about juju.

"This ability to be able to transform yourself to [a] cat, to disappear and reappear, these things are possible within the dynamics of traditional African religion. It sounds illogical, however from what we have seen and heard, these things are possible," he said.

Such beliefs, especially that human body parts and charms can produce money from a clay pot, have led to a recent wave of gruesome murders in the country, with single women often the victims. Hardly a day passes without reports of a missing person and pictures of mutilated corpses linked to juju.

There was widespread outrage last month after three men killed a 17-year-old girl in Ogun state to use her body parts in a ritual they believed would make them rich.

Jitendra Narayan Tyagi, Prabodhanand Giri, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati and unnamed Hindu clerics and BJP leaders #fundie #psycho bbc.com

Videos from a meeting of Hindu religious leaders showing provocative speeches went viral earlier this week, sparking outrage

The event took place in the holy town of Haridwar between 17 and 19 December

Police said they had not opened a case until Thursday because there had been no official complaints before that

There have been no arrests and the police case names only one man - Waseem Rizvi, a Muslim who says he has converted to Hinduism and is now known as Jitendra Narayan Tyagi

Police said a case had been registered against Mr Tyagi and unnamed "others" under charges of "promoting hatred between religious groups". Social media users, however, have identified many of the speakers in the videos who are important religious leaders often seen in the company of ministers and members from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
[…]
One organiser of the Haridwar event, Prabodhanand Giri, has often been photographed with party leaders, reported NDTV. In one photo, Uttarakhand's Chief Minister Pushkar Dhami, a BJP politician, is seen touching his feet

At the event, Mr Giri was seen asking India's army, politicians and Hindus to do what was done in Myanmar - referring to the deadly violence against Rohingya Muslims that led to their exodus

He told NDTV he wasn't afraid of the police and stood by his statement

Another speaker, Yati Narsinghanand Saraswati, has made several anti-Muslim statements in the past

At Haridwar, he, like many others, asked Hindus to pick up weapons to "protect" their religion from Muslims

Italian Anti-vaxxer #quack bbc.com

An Italian man who wanted a Covid vaccination certificate without getting the jab turned up for his vaccine with a fake arm, officials say.
The man, in his 50s, arrived for his shot with a silicone mould covering his real arm, hoping it would go unnoticed.
The nurse told local media that when she had rolled up his sleeve, she found the skin "rubbery and cold" and the pigment "too light".
After being discovered, the man tried to persuade the nurse to turn a blind eye, la Repubblica reported. But instead she reported him to the police for fraud.
La Repubblica suggests the incident may not have been a one-off, pointing to a message on social media that may have been written by the man.
The Twitter post quoted by the paper featured a silicone male chest half-body suit, complete with fake arms and neck, that was on sale on Amazon for €488 (£416).
"If I go with this, will they notice? Maybe beneath the silicone I'll even put on some extra clothes to avoid the needle reaching my real arm," the Twitter user reportedly wrote.

Unnamed Sanaa Houthi rebels #fundie #sexist #racist bbc.com

A Yemeni actress and model has been jailed for five years by rebel authorities after being convicted of "indecency"

Intisar al-Hammadi, 20, alleged that she was physically and verbally abused after being detained by Houthi forces in Sanaa in February, and that she had to sign documents while blindfolded

Three other women arrested alongside her were also handed prison terms

Human Rights Watch said the case was "marred with irregularities and abuse"
[…]
Houthi-run news agency Saba reported that a court in Sanaa found Ms Hammadi guilty of charges including committing an indecent act and possessing drugs

She and one of the other three women were given five-year prison terms, it said. The others were jailed for three years and one year respectively
[…]
Ms Hammadi, who has a Yemeni father and an Ethiopian mother, has worked as a model for several years and acted in two Yemeni TV series. She sometimes appeared in photographs posted online without a headscarf, defying strict societal norms in the conservative Muslim country
[…]
In March, Ms Hammadi was transferred to the Central Prison in Sanaa, where guards called her a "whore" and "slave", because of her dark skin and Ethiopian descent, her lawyer said

James Harris Jackson #racist bbc.com

A white US Army veteran with a hatred for black people travelled to New York City and confronted a black man before killing him with a sword, police say.

James Harris Jackson, 28, is said to have taken a bus from Baltimore to New York with the intention of targeting black men.

When he came across Timothy Caughman, 66, he allegedly stabbed him in the chest and back.

Mr Caughman was pronounced dead in hospital.

His alleged assailant walked into a Times Square police station about 24 hours later and was arrested on suspicion of murder.

He is said to have told officers that he had harboured feelings of hatred towards black men for at least 10 years.

The ex-serviceman is believed to have travelled to New York on 17 March, and booked himself into a Manhattan hotel.

Assistant Chief of Police William Aubry said he had walked the streets in a long coat, which hid the 26in (66cm) sword, and came across Mr Caughman while the victim was collecting bottles for recycling from rubbish bins.

"The reason he picked New York is because it's the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement," Mr Aubry said.

Investigators said they believed the suspect was considering other attacks, but surrendered after noticing his photo in media reports. He had been captured on CCTV footage near the crime scene.

[...]

James Harris Jackson served in the US Army from March 2009 to August 2012 and worked as a military intelligence analyst, the army said. He was deployed in Afghanistan from December 2010 to November 2011.

Robin Camp #sexist bbc.com

A Canadian judge who asked a sexual assault complainant why she could not "keep your knees together" is resigning.

Alberta Federal Court Justice Robin Camp's decision came after a scathing Canadian Judicial Council review called for his removal.

The review concluded he acted in a manner that seriously undermined public confidence in the judiciary.

The federal justice minister has accepted his resignation.

Mr Camp's comments made during a 2014 rape trial sparked outrage and drew sharp criticism from sexual assault victims and their advocates.

The judge had tried to hold on to his position and told the Council he had undergone education and had apologised for his comments.

The Council, which oversees the judiciary, found that Mr Camp's actions during the trial were "so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the concept of impartiality, integrity and independence of the judicial role that public confidence is sufficiently undermined to render the Judge incapable of executing the judicial office".

It also found he spoke to the complainant in a manner "that was at times condescending, humiliating and disrespectful".

Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould said on Thursday she is confident Mr Camp received due process in his disciplinary review and accepts his decision to step down as of 10 March.

"Sexual assault and gender-based violence is in no form acceptable and we will continue to stand up for victims," she said.

In the 2014 case, he asked a 19-year-old woman: "Why couldn't you just keep your knees together?"

He also said, "pain and sex sometimes go together" and had referred to the complainant as "the accused," court records show.

Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger #fundie bbc.com

Retired Pope Benedict XVI has published a letter which blames clerical sex abuse on the "all-out sexual freedom" of the 1960s.

He said that cultural and historical change had led to a "dissolution" of morality in Catholicism.

The sexual revolution in the 1960s had led to homosexuality and paedophilia in Catholic establishments, he claimed.

The letter sparked fierce criticism from theologians who claim it is "deeply flawed".

Vatican expert Joshua McElwee said in the National Catholic Reporter: "It does not address structural issues that abetted abuse cover-up, or Benedict's own contested 24-year role as head of the Vatican's powerful doctrinal office."

Some allegations of child sex abuse by priests that have emerged date back to decades before the 1960s, the decade that Pope Benedict claims sparked the abuse crisis.

Julie Rubio, a Catholic theologian, said in a tweet that the letter was "profoundly troubling".

[..]

Published in the German Catholic magazine Klerusblatt, the 5,500-word letter is divided into three parts.

The first part presents the "wider social context of the question", lamenting the 1960s as a time when "previously normative standards regarding sexuality collapsed entirely".

He blames sexual films, images of nudity and "the clothing of that time" leading to "mental collapse" and "violence".

At the time of the sexual revolution, "Catholic moral theology suffered a collapse that rendered the Church defenceless against these changes in society", he said.

The sexual revolution led to paedophilia being "diagnosed as allowed and appropriate".

Next, the letter examines how this period affected the "dissolution of the Christian concept of morality", particularly in Catholic educational institutions.

In some cases, bishops "sought to bring about a kind of new, modern" Catholicism and the sexual revolution led to "homosexual cliques" in seminaries.

[..]

"Why did paedophilia reach such proportions?" he questions. "Ultimately, the reason is the absence of God."

He says "the death of God in a society" means "the end of freedom" and the solution is to "live by God and unto Him".

Luigi Brugnaro #fundie bbc.com

[Hyperlink removed.]

The mayor of Venice has been quoted as saying that he will try to ban Gay Pride parades in the city, provoking fury from gay rights activists.

"There will be no gay pride in my Venice," Luigi Brugnaro told La Repubblica newspaper, describing the event as farcical and kitsch.

However, he said he was not homophobic, insisting he had friends who were gay.

[...]

In the interview with La Repubblica newspaper (in Italian), Mr Brugnaro said he firmly opposed hosting the parade in Venice.

"Let them go and do it in Milan, or in front of their own homes," he was quoted as saying.

Mr Brugnaro earlier provoked controversy by withdrawing books that depicted same-sex families from Venice's nurseries and primary schools.

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy bbc.com

The Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro, has threatened the seizure of factories that have stopped production and the jailing of their owners.

In a speech to supporters in the capital Caracas, he said the country had to recover the means of production, to counter its deep economic crisis.

On Friday, he introduced a new, nationwide state of emergency.

Opposition protesters have been rallying in Caracas to push for a recall vote to eject him from power.

Mr Maduro said the state of emergency was needed to combat foreign aggression, which he blamed for Venezuela's problems.

And he said military exercises would take place next weekend to counter "foreign threats".

[...]

There are severe shortages of food, medicines and basic goods which Mr Maduro argues are due to business leaders and the US waging an economic war against his government.

[...]

The threat to seize closed factories came after Venezuela's largest food and beverage company, the Polar Group, halted production of beer, blaming government mismanagement for stopping it importing barley.

The group's billionaire owner, Lorenzo Mendoza, is a fierce critic of President Maduro.

"We must take all measures to recover productive capacity, which is being paralysed by the bourgeoisie," Mr Maduro told a rally in Caracas.

"Anyone who wants to halt [production] to sabotage the country should get out, and those who do must be handcuffed and sent to the PGV [Venezuelan General Penitentiary]," he said.

"We're going to tell imperialism and the international right that the people are present, with their farm instruments in one hand and a gun in the other... to defend this sacred land," he added.

Marlene Malahoo Forte #fundie bbc.com

Jamaica's attorney general has sparked criticism after saying it was "disrespectful" to Jamaican law for the US embassy to fly a rainbow flag following the Orlando shooting.

In response, the US embassy in the capital Kingston asked Marlene Malahoo Forte to explain her legal reasoning.

Forty-nine people died when a gunman opened fire in a gay club in Florida.

Jamaica has laws criminalising gay sex and rights groups have warned LGBT face frequent discrimination.

[...]

In a post that now appears to have been deleted, Ms Malahoo Forte said: "I strongly condemn #OrlandoNightClubShooting but find it disrespectful of Jamaica's laws to have #RainbowFlag flown here. #MyPersonalView."

The US embassy replied: "We're listening. Explain the legal reasoning? It was an attack of terror !!and!! hate, targeting the LGBT community".

She faced a backlash on social media where she was accused of ignorance and bigotry.

Others though defended her right to speak out. "This is her country, not America," said one comment on Facebook.

Russian government #fundie bbc.com

Russia has listed transsexual and transgender people among those who will no longer qualify for driving licences.

Fetishism, exhibitionism and voyeurism are also included as "mental disorders" now barring people from driving.

The government says it is tightening medical controls for drivers because Russia has too many road accidents.

"Pathological" gambling and compulsive stealing are also on the list. Russian psychiatrists and human rights lawyers have condemned the move.

The announcement follows international complaints about Russian harassment of gay-rights activists.

In 2013 Russia made "promoting non-traditional lifestyles" illegal.

Nawaz Sharif, Abdul Wali Khan University students #fundie bbc.com

A university student in Pakistan accused of blasphemy against Islam has been killed by a mob of fellow students on campus, police say.

Many students have been arrested after the brutal attack in the northern city of Mardan, and the campus has been closed.

Reports suggest that two young men were accused of posting offensive content on Facebook. One survived with injuries.

[...]

The murdered student has been identified as Mashal Khan, who studied journalism. Some reports say he was shot, while others say he was beaten to death with planks.

"He was badly tortured after being shot at a close range... He was beaten with sticks, bricks and hands," senior police official Niaz Saeed told the AFP news agency.

Hundreds of people were involved, the officer said. Graphic video footage of the incident has emerged online.

Police had not been investigating the two accused men, nor had any case been filed against them, and the mob appeared to have acted on rumours, the Dawn newspaper reports.

Last month Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif voiced his support for a wide-ranging crackdown on blasphemous content on social media.

In a statement on his party's official Twitter account, he described blasphemy as an "unpardonable offence".

An official at Abdul Wali Khan University who spoke on condition of anonymity said Mr Khan was disliked by other students for his liberal and secular views.

At least 65 people have been murdered in Pakistan after being accused of blasphemy since 1990, a recent think tank report said.

Donald Trump #fundie bbc.com

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has said he would "cancel" the Paris climate deal in his first major speech on energy policy.

More than 195 countries pledged to reduce carbon emissions in a landmark agreement last year.

The billionaire businessman has said before there is no evidence that humans are responsible for climate change.

He called for more drilling, fewer regulations and the approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Mr Trump said.

"We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."

Donald Trump's desire to see the end of US participation in the Paris climate agreement is increasing the pressure for a rapid ratification around the world.

But that's not easy as the process can often get bogged down in national parliaments. The Obama administration and others believe they are well on the way to securing that level of support which they feel would then make a US withdrawal, in the face of global condemnation, much less likely. But they could be dead wrong about that.

Mr Trump though doesn't have to go to such lengths to end US involvement. He could choose to ignore or reverse or delay Obama's initiatives on climate including the Clean Power Plan. The real strength of the Paris agreement is that it comes from the bottom up, countries decide for themselves what their emissions cutting commitments will be. But this could also be a huge weakness.

If a President Trump doesn't put emissions cutting regulations into place, no one could force him to. Would China or India and others continue to cut their carbon while the US did not? Unlikely.

Before this speech, he had said he would "renegotiate" the global agreement involving nearly all countries, but this time he went further and said the US would pull out.

The climate change deal is "bad for US business" and said the pact allows "foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use".

Under the deal, countries set emission limits themselves, not an outside panel.

Mr Trump has called climate change "a hoax" devised by the Chinese government.

It is uncertain whether Mr Trump, if elected, could actually make any changes to the deal.

The accord will have legal force once it is ratified by 55 countries that contribute 55% of global emissions.

If the deal is ratified by January, a new American president would have to wait four years to withdraw from the deal.

While the US is the second-largest greenhouse gas polluter, it has been instrumental in helping other countries such as India reduce emissions.

Mr Trump said on Friday that the US would stop funding these efforts.

Environmental advocates called Mr Trump's proposals "frightening".

"Trump's energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health," Tom Steyer, a billionaire environmental activist, told Reuters.

On Thursday, he officially became the presidential nominee for his party, surpassing the 1,238 delegates required.

Benjamin Netanyahu #conspiracy bbc.com

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a UN call to end illegal Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land is "shameful".

He stressed that Israel would not abide by Friday's vote at the 15-member UN Security Council.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman said the resolution was a "big blow to Israeli policy".

The document was passed after the US refused to veto it, breaking with long-standing American practice.

Washington has traditionally sheltered Israel from condemnatory resolutions.

The Egyptian-drafted resolution had been withdrawn after Israel has asked US President-elect Donald Trump to intervene, but it was proposed again by Malaysia, New Zealand, Senegal and Venezuela.

It was adopted by 14 votes to zero, with one abstention.

The issue of Jewish settlements is one of the most contentious between Israel and the Palestinians, who see them as an obstacle to peace.

About 500,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Mr Netanyahu said: "Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms.

"At a time when the Security Council does nothing to stop the slaughter of half-a-million people in Syria, it disgracefully gangs up on the one true democracy in the Middle East, Israel, and calls the Western Wall 'occupied territory'."

Mr Netanyahu said the administration of US President Barack Obama "not only failed to protect Israel against this gang-up at the UN, it colluded with it behind the scenes", and added that he looked forward to working with Mr Trump.

Adel Salman, Islamic Council of Victoria #fundie bbc.com

A proposal by an Australian Islamic group to allow "safe spaces" for young Muslims to discuss "inflammatory" issues has sparked a row.

The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) said such forums enabled young people's opinions to be "respectfully and intelligently debated and challenged".

But State Premier Daniel Andrews said he was "very troubled" by the idea of a space where people "could be radical".

Victoria was rocked by a suspected terror attack earlier this week.

[...]

The ICV, which says it represents some 200,000 Muslims in Victoria, says the community is suffering mental health and other problems because of the widespread suspicion it faces.

It recommends, to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion, funding a number of community-led initiatives - saying financial resources at the moment are concentrated mainly on national efforts to counter violent extremism.

ICV spokesman Adel Salman said they did not consider the "safe space" proposal controversial, because it is a practice that is already used to help young people in countries around the world.

"This is about good practice because the youth require an avenue to express their views in a safe environment... where they feel their views are valued, where they can be respectfully challenged and counter views presented," he said.

He said such spaces would be "conducted with experts who are familiar with the methodology, and understand the way the conversation can be guided".

And he criticised headlines which called the proposal "rage space" and "hate space", saying the media had misconstrued what they were asking for.

But Premier Andrews ruled out any possibility of funding such an initiative.

"I am very troubled by the suggestion that we might have a space where people could be radical as part of a de-radicalisation programme. That makes no sense to me whatsoever".

Ryamizard Ryacudu, Burhanaddin ZR #fundie bbc.com

Indonesia has decided to investigate one of the darkest chapters of its own history. In 1965 at least 500,000 people died in organised killings of suspected communist sympathisers. But, as BBC Indonesian's Rebecca Henschke reports, the new investigation into that bloody time is re-opening old wounds.

[...]

In central Java where most of the killings took place anti-communist banners have been erected. Vigilante groups have shut down discussions about Marxism at universities. Soldiers even briefly detained some students for wearing red T-shirts with a picture of a hammer and sickle inside a coffee cup.

It's also creating divisions in the government.

Defence Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu has met with Islamic vigilante groups and resists these moves to dig up the past.

"I am responsible for security in this country. I need to make sure there are no more conflicts. ...if we keep looking back we are not going to go forward," he told the BBC.

He is worried that those responsible for the massacre could be indicted for crimes against humanity.

[...]

It is easy to find someone who will proudly tell you how many they killed in 1965 and how they did it.

Burhanaddin ZR says he killed more people than he could count and shows no remorse.

"There is no need for reconciliation."

"The only path is they need to let go of their angry feelings," he says of those that lost relatives. "They just want revenge because their family members were victims in our raids."

In the Oscar-nominated documentary The Act of Killing a group of men acted out the murders in horrific detail. In many areas killers live close to the families of the dead. Land and property that was illegally confiscated has never been returned.

Until recently they have always thought of themselves as heroes because they were supported by the government and mainstream media. Many of the executions were directly committed by the security forces. The largest Muslim organisations are also accused of taking part.

Conan Zamolo #sexist bbc.com

A former guard at an Australian youth detention centre has admitted filming himself asking teenage inmates for oral sex.

Conan Zamolo's testimony came during a royal commission inquiry into youth detention in the Northern Territory.

The commission was launched last year after photos showing inmates being strip-searched and placed in a spit hood drew widespread condemnation.

Mr Zamolo said his requests for oral sex were "a joke".

"I was actually just going to say goodnight to them because I was leaving shift," Mr Zamolo said on Monday.

"I knew they'd take it as a joke, or I just assumed they would take it as a joke."

Mr Zamolo also admitted to urging another inmate to eat faeces, and to filming a boy urinating.

"At the time I didn't think it was inappropriate, but now I see how inappropriate it is," he said.

He claimed he had a good relationship with the detainees.

The incidents happened at the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, where Mr Zamolo worked from 2012 to 2014.

The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory follows widespread condemnation of the treatment of detainees at Don Dale in 2014 and 2015.

In 2015, Amnesty International described the regime at the centre as "institutionalised brutality", with teenagers being held in solitary confinement with no access to light or water for long periods.

Unidentified vegan activist #fundie bbc.com

A vegan activist in France who posted a Facebook message saying the killing of a butcher by an Islamist militant was "justice" has received a suspended prison sentence, court sources say.

She reportedly wrote that she had "zero compassion" for the victim of the supermarket attack in Trèbes last week.

Her seven-month sentence was issued as punishment for condoning terrorism.

The victim, butcher Christian Medvès, was one of four people killed by gunman Radouane Lakdim on 23 March.

The animal rights activist was prosecuted under France's tough anti-terror laws by a judge at a court in Saint-Gaudens, not far from Toulouse, in the south-west of the country.

Condoning terrorism carries a maximum seven-year jail sentence and a fine of up to €100,000 (£88,000).

Police said they were alerted to her Facebook post on Monday evening.

"So does it shock you that a murderer gets killed by a terrorist? Not me, I have zero compassion for him, there is justice in it," she is said to have posted, according to a judicial source quoted by the French news agency AFP.

France's butchers federation said it had filed a legal complaint over the post, which has since been removed.

The woman's appearance in court came two days after a left-wing activist received a one-year suspended sentence for celebrating the death of another victim of the same attack, gendarme Arnaud Beltrame.

Lt-Col Beltrame, 44, was killed after offering himself in exchange for a hostage being held by Lakdim after he attacked the Super U grocery in Trèbes on Friday.

Col Beltrame was honoured as a national hero at a ceremony in Paris on Wednesday.

Sixteen people were injured, two seriously, in what was the worst jihadist attack under Mr Macron's presidency. The gunman was shot dead by police.

Alexei Mozgovoi #fundie bbc.com

One of the top rebel commanders in eastern Ukraine, Alexei Mozgovoi, has been killed in an attack on his car, Russian and Ukrainian media report.

[...]

Last November Mozgovoi was seen at the head of a summary court system.

He is heard issuing a warning to residents: "Too many women go to restaurants. What kind of example do they show to their children? From now on, we will arrest all women we find in restaurants and cafes."

Rizieq Shihab, Islamic Defenders Front, Indonesia #fundie bbc.com

Indonesian police have named a controversial hardline Muslim preacher as a suspect in a pornography case.

Rizieq Shihab is accused of exchanging graphic messages and nude pictures in text conversations with a woman.

The cleric, who is currently in Saudi Arabia, has denied the accusations.

Mr Rizieq heads the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), which led mass protests against Jakarta's former governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama who was jailed for blasphemy last month.

Known for his fiery rhetoric, Mr Rizieq has been jailed twice for violence and disrupting public order.

In this latest case, Mr Rizieq is accused of violating Indonesia's strict anti-pornography laws by transmitting pornography to activist Firza Husein, who has also been named as a suspect.

Screenshots of what appeared to be text and picture messages between the two of them began circulating online earlier this year.

[...]

Mr Rizieq's lawyer has also said the allegations were fabricated by supporters of Mr Purnama, also known as Ahok.

Mr Rizieq is known to be a vocal opponent of Mr Purnama.

He and the FPI campaigned for months last year against Mr Purnama, a Christian and ethnic Chinese, claiming that he could not lead Muslims.

When Mr Purnama addressed these claims in a speech while campaigning for Jakarta's mayoral election, he was accused of insulting Islam, prompting even larger protests.

He was subsequently tried and found guilty of blasphemy.

Supreme Court of India #fundie bbc.com

A 10-year-old girl who is pregnant and has been refused an abortion is at the centre of a media storm in India. The BBC's Geeta Pandey travelled to the northern city of Chandigarh to piece together her story.

[...]

But on 28 July, India's Supreme Court rejected a petition - filed on her behalf - to allow her to abort, on the grounds that at 32 weeks, she is too far into her pregnancy. A doctors' panel had advised the court that a termination at this stage would be "too risky" for the girl, and that the foetus was "doing well".

The court order was a huge disappointment for the girl's family.

[...]

Medical tests so far show that her health is "good" though she suffers from "mild anaemia".

But there are other concerns. The girl was born with a hole in her heart, which was plugged in 2013. Although doctors say it's unlikely to interfere with her pregnancy, the fact remains that she is way too young to give birth.

Every year, 45,000 adult women die during childbirth in India. The risk of pregnant girls under the age of 15 years dying is two-and-a-half times higher than that for women above 20. Doctors say the risk is even higher for someone who is only 10.

It's a concern the Supreme Court took on board, but the judges still ruled that the pregnancy could continue.

Nicolas Maduro, Eduardo Saman #conspiracy bbc.com

In 2003, then-President Hugo Chavez introduced price controls for some 40 food and hygiene products to guarantee the poor had access to staple goods.

But lately, in the midst of a cash crisis, price controls seem to have become a headache.

For the first time in years, shortages and inflation have replaced security as the biggest worry for Venezuelans, according to a recent poll by Caracas-based Datanalisis.

[...]

President Nicolas Maduro says shortages are caused by US-backed, far-right groups who smuggle and hoard products in an economic war to destabilise his socialist government.

"Venezuela currently has the necessary goods to feed the people, but there is a problem with distribution," says Eduardo Saman, a former commerce minister in the government of the late Hugo Chavez.

"And distribution is in the hands of companies who operate as a cartel and seek to affect the government," he tells the BBC.

Catholic Church #fundie bbc.com

Bread used to celebrate the Eucharist during Roman Catholic Mass must not be gluten-free - although it may be made from genetically modified organisms, the Vatican has ruled.

In a letter to bishops, Cardinal Robert Sarah said the bread can be low-gluten.

But he said there must be enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives.

The new rules are needed because the bread is now sold in supermarkets and on the internet, the cardinal said.

Roman Catholics believe bread and wine served at the Eucharist are converted into the body and blood of Christ through a process known as transubstantiation.

The wine used must also be "natural, from the fruit of the grape, pure and incorrupt, not mixed with other substances", said Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

The ruling was issued at the request of Pope Francis, the letter said.

There are about 1.2 billion Roman Catholics around the world.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority #fundie bbc.com

Pakistani authorities have banned all broadcast advertisements for contraceptives.

The regulator, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), said there had been public complaints that they prompted curiosity in "innocent children".

Pakistan is a socially conservative country and such commercials were already rare.

Last year a specific advert for Josh condoms was banned as "immoral".

Pakistan, the world's sixth most populous nation, has a lower rate of access to birth control than the average for the region, according to the World Health Organization.

Unnamed Sudanese judge #fundie bbc.com

"We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death," the judge told the woman, AFP reports.

Amnesty International condemned the sentence, handed down by a judge in Khartoum, as "appalling and abhorrent".

Local media report the sentence would not be carried out for two years after she has given birth.

Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law. It rules that apostasy - the abandonment of one's religious faith - is a crime.

[...]

The judge also sentenced the woman to 100 lashes after convicting her of adultery - because her marriage to a Christian man was not valid under Islamic law.

[...]

Amnesty International said the woman, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother's religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood.

In court, the judge addressed her by her Muslim name, Adraf Al-Hadi Mohammed Abdullah.

[...]

There were small groups of protesters outside the court - both her supporters and those who back the punishment.

[Bolding mine]

Jozsef Szajer #homophobia bbc.com

Jozsef Szajer: Hungary MEP quits after allegedly fleeing gay orgy

An MEP from Hungary's ruling party, which is hostile to LGBT rights, has quit after he was caught attending what Belgian media describe as a gay sex party in Brussels on Friday. Jozsef Szajer, a top member of Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz party, was stopped by police after reports of a house party violating lockdown rules. Prosecutors say he was found with drugs as he tried to flee the gathering, reportedly shinning down a drainpipe. He apologised for "a personal failing".

Jozsef Szajer's resignation, followed by his confession that he took part in what media have described as a "gay orgy", is a serious blow for Fidesz, which has governed Hungary for the past decade. Mr Szajer was one of the founders of Fidesz in March 1988, and remains a close confidant of Prime Minister Orban. He has been an MEP for 16 years, for the past 11 as chief whip and vice-president of the European People's Party. He has played a key role in keeping Fidesz inside the conservative political grouping, despite fierce criticism. He is married to Tunde Hando, former president of the National Judiciary Office, now a Constitutional Court judge. The sex scandal is particularly embarrassing for a party which campaigns for traditional family values and recently proposed a law to ban gay adoption.

Faraz Naveed #fundie bbc.com

A Pakistani policeman has been arrested after allegedly killing a man with an axe because he suspected him of committing blasphemy.

Police say Faraz Naveed struck the victim, Tufail Naqvi, on the neck and head after the latter was arrested during a street fight on Wednesday.

The victim is reported to have had a history of mental instability.
[...]
Mohammad Amir, head of Gujrat city's Civil Lines police station, told BBC Urdu that Mr Naveed had been arrested for the killing.

He added that Mr Naqvi, a Shia Muslim, "was not of a sound mind and would hurl abuses at any one". There was some evidence, Mr Amir said, that he had spent time in a mental asylum.

The Malaysian Government #fundie bbc.com

A competition launched on the health ministry's website offers up to $1,000 (£780) for the best videos tackling "gender confusion".

Responding to an outcry from LGBT activists, the health ministry said that its aim was to promote creativity, not to discriminate.

The contest is for 13- to 24-year-olds.

Their entries should explore prevention and control; issues and consequences; and how to get help, said the ministry's website.

In a statement, Deputy Director-General of Health Lokman Hakim Sulaiman said: "This creative video competition is purely to tap knowledge and creativity of adolescents on sexual and reproductive health related matters and does not intend to create discrimination to any particular group."

The competition, which closes at the end of August, has three main categories: gender confusion, sex, and sex and the internet.

The guidelines cited gay and lesbian people, transgender people and tomboys as examples of people who suffered from "gender confusion".

"The very fact that they lump LGBT people under a category called 'gender confusion' shows that the authorities are very much confused themselves," activist Pang Khee Teik told AFP news agency.

"It is mind-blowing that a government agency wants the whole country to be sucked into its confluence of confusion," he said.

"I was shocked. This is encouraging discrimination, hatred and even violence towards the minorities," transgender activist Nisha Ayub told Reuters.

Homosexual activity is illegal in Malaysia under both secular and religious laws.

It is punishable by a prison sentence or corporal punishment.

In March, the release of Disney's Beauty and the Beast was postponed in the country, because it contained a "gay moment".

Despite demands from the Malaysian censorship board, Disney refused to remove the scene, featuring LeFou, their first openly gay character.

The Malaysian board eventually conceded and it was shown uncut.

A prominent Malaysian opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was jailed for sodomy in 2014, after a court overturned his earlier acquittal. In elections in 2013, he led a three-party alliance which posed the strongest-ever challenge to the coalition which has governed Malaysia for more than half a century.

Micah Johnson #racist bbc.com

Micah Xavier Johnson, who was involved in the killing of five US police officers in Dallas before himself being killed by police, was a US army veteran who had served in Afghanistan.

[...]

During negotiations with police, Johnson said he was upset about the recent police shootings of black people, Police Chief David Brown said.

"The suspect said he was upset at white people. The suspect stated that he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers," Mr Brown told a news conference.

Johnson's Facebook profile photograph showed him giving a raised fist "black power" salute associated with the Black Panther Party movement, a radical political organisation that emerged during the 1960s in response to police brutality in California.

Complete Monster Award

Your life is of no value.

Gaurav #fundie bbc.com

[Bolding mine]

One of the men I interviewed, Gaurav, had raped a five-year-old girl. I spent three hours filming his interview as he recounted in explicit detail how he had muffled her screams with his big hand.

He was sitting throughout the interview and had a half-smile playing on his lips throughout - his nervousness in the presence of a camera, perhaps. At one point I asked him to tell me how tall she was. He stood up, and with his eerie half-smile indicated a height around his knees.

When I asked him how he could cross the line from imagining what he wanted to do, to actually doing it - given her height, her eyes, her screams - he looked at me as though I was crazy for even asking the question and said: "She was beggar girl. Her life was of no value."

Venezuelan government #conspiracy bbc.com

Gunmen have killed 11 people, including three teenagers and a Colombian national, in Venezuela, officials say.

They say the unidentified attackers ordered the victims out of their homes before shooting them dead in the western Trujillo state on Saturday.

The gunmen then fled the scene in cars and motorcycles.

Non-governmental organisations say Venezuela's crime rates are increasing, as the country's economy is in recession due to falling oil prices.

Last year, the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence group released its report for 2014, recording 24,980 violent deaths. That equated to 82 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, up from 79 in 2013.

The NGO says those are figures for a country at war.

The government disputes the group's findings, saying the rates are much lower.

Nicolas Maduro #conspiracy bbc.com

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says the owners of an unnamed chain of shops have been arrested for artificially creating long queues.

Mr Maduro said the owners had reduced the number of employees working on cash tills in order to create queues and "annoy the Venezuelan people".

He has accused Venezuela's business elite of boycotting his government.

The opposition blames the socialist policies of the past 16 years for the worsening economic crisis.

"Yesterday we detected that a famous chain of stores was conspiring, irritating the people," said Mr Maduro.

"We came, we normalized sales, we summoned the owners, we arrested them and they're prisoners for having provoked the people," he said.

Michael Gibbens #sexist bbc.com

A US judge has found that two girls, aged 13 and 14, were partly to blame in a sex abuse case involving a 67-year-old man - and reduced his sentence.

County District Judge Michael Gibbens said "the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct".

He reduced the sentence of Raymond Soden, who was convicted last year.

Prosecutors are considering an appeal. A child rights group said the girls were the victims, not the aggressors.

Soden was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison, less than the minimum of 13 years called for by Kansas sentencing guidelines.

The judge said the girls went to Soden's house voluntarily and had taken money for sexual favours.

"They were certainly selling things monetarily that it's against the law for even an adult to sell."

Abubakar Shekau #fundie bbc.com

Abubakar Shekau, militant leader of Boko Haram in a video about young girls he abducted:

In a video, he states that the girls should not have been in school in the first place, but rather should get married

"God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions," he said.

Nantwich Education Partnership #fundie bbc.com

Head teachers in Cheshire have warned parents they will report them to the authorities if they allow their children to play computer games rated for over-18s.

The letter was sent by the Nantwich Education Partnership group to parents from 16 schools in the county.

The heads claim games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty contain unsuitable levels of violence.

They warn parents they could be reported for neglect in some cases.

The heads state that playing such games or accessing certain social media sites can increase early sexualised behaviour in youngsters and leave them vulnerable to grooming for sexual exploitation.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan #fundie bbc.com

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslims to reject contraception and have more children.

In a speech broadcast live on TV, he said "no Muslim family" should consider birth control or family planning.

"We will multiply our descendants," said Mr Erdogan, who became president in August 2014 after serving as prime minister for 12 years.

His AK Party has its roots in Islamism and many of its supporters are conservative Muslims.

In Monday's speech in Istanbul, the Turkish leader placed the onus on women, particularly on "well-educated future mothers", to not use birth control and to ensure the continued growth of Turkey's population.

Mr Erdogan himself is a father of four. He has previously spoken out against contraception, describing it as "treason" when speaking at a wedding ceremony in 2014.

He has also urged women to have at least three children, and has said women cannot be treated as equal to men.

Benjamin Netanyahu #conspiracy bbc.com

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been criticised for saying a Palestinian leader persuaded the Nazis to carry out the Holocaust.

Mr Netanyahu insisted Adolf Hitler had only wanted to expel Jews from Europe, but that Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini told him: "Burn them."

However, the chief historian at Israel's memorial to the Holocaust said this account was factually incorrect.

[...]

Speaking alongside Mrs Merkel in Berlin, Mr Netanyahu said "no one should deny that Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust".

But Mr Netanyahu insisted the Mufti of Jerusalem "told the Nazis to prevent Jews fleeing from Europe and supported the Final Solution".

Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi #fundie bbc.com

At least 24 people have been killed and 40 others injured during clashes between police and squatters in the northern Indian town of Mathura.

Clashes broke out on Thursday as police tried to evict several thousand former members of a religious sect who had occupied a public park for two years.

Two senior police officers were among those killed overnight.

[...]

Members of the Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi (Free India Legal Ideas Revolutionary Protesters) have been occupying Mathura's largest public park Jawahar Bagh for two years.

Reports say the group is headed by Ramvriksha Singh Yadav, but very little is known about him.

Members of the group earlier followed religious guru Baba Jai Gurudev, but since his death in 2012 some had started calling themselves "revolutionaries" and claimed to be followers of Indian independence hero Subhas Chandra Bose.

The group has been making radical demands such as declaring the Indian parliament and the posts of prime minister and president unconstitutional.

They also want the authorities to sell fuel at dirt-cheap prices. In their view 40 litres of petrol or 60 litres of diesel should cost just 1 rupee (about 1.5 cents; one penny).

Mathew Emukule #fundie bbc.com

A Kenyan High Court has dismissed a case challenging the legality of anal tests as proof of homosexuality.

Two men who say Kenyan police forced them to undergo the procedure to prove they had had gay sex launched the case, calling for the tests to be declared unconstitutional.

Judge Mathew Emukule in the coastal city Mombasa, said there were grounds in Kenyan law for the testing.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Kenya, punishable by up to 14 years in prison.

Josef Stalin #fundie bbc.com

[NSFW: Gross subject matter]

Stalin 'used secret laboratory to analyse Mao's excrement'
by Steven Rosenburg

[...]

It is former Soviet agent Igor Atamanenko who claims to have uncovered this unusual project, while doing research in the archives of the Russian secret services.

"In those days the Soviets didn't have the kind of listening devices which secret services do today," he told the paper.

"That's why our specialists came up with the most extravagant ways of extracting information about a person."

Mr Atamanenko says it was Stalin's henchman Lavrenti Beria who was put in charge of the secret laboratory.

When I contacted Mr Atamanenko, he told me what the Soviet scientists had been looking for in fæces.

"For example, if they detected high levels of amino acid Tryptophan," he explained, "they concluded that person was calm and approachable. But a lack of potassium in poo was seen as a sign of a nervous disposition and someone with insomnia."

Mr Atamanenko claims that in December 1949, Soviet spies used this system to evaluate the Chinese leader Mao Zedong who was on a visit to Moscow. They had allegedly installed special toilets for Mao, which were connected not to sewers, but to secret boxes.

For 10 days Mao was plied with food and drink and his waste products whisked off for analysis. Once Mao's stools had been scrutinised and studied, Stalin reportedly poo poo-ed the idea of signing an agreement with him.

[...]

Extract from The Coldest Winter by journalist and historian David Halberstam:

When Mao first arrived in Moscow, he announced that China looked forward to a partnership with Russia, but he emphasised as well that he wanted to be treated as an equal.

Instead he was being taught a lesson each day. He had become, in Ulam's words, ''as much captive as guest".

As such, he shouted at the walls, convinced that Stalin had bugged the house: "I am here to do more than eat and shit."

Andrew Dymock, Oskar Koczorowski and other Sonnenkrieg Division members #racist bbc.com

A university student from Bath and a London teenager are among those involved with a UK version of a violent American neo-Nazi group linked to five murders, a BBC investigation has found.

A propaganda image placed online by the British group suggests Prince Harry is a "race traitor" and should be shot.

Private messages between members show the leader stating that police officers should be raped and killed.

Evidence suggests the leader is Andrew Dymock, 21. He denies wrongdoing.

The BBC has seen evidence he set up the new British group known as the Sonnenkrieg Division.

Mr Dymock, who is originally from Bath and whose father is a dentistry professor, has been studying at university in Wales.

A key propagandist - responsible for designing extremist material - is said to be Oskar Koczorowski from west London, who is only 17 years old.

He did not respond to a request for comment.

[...]

The chat logs include senior members of the Atomwaffen Division, a nihilistic American organisation that encourages terrorism and says civilisation needs to be smashed in order to build a national socialist state.

The group promotes a dystopian ideology it calls "universal order" which lionises Adolf Hitler, the murderous cult leader Charles Manson, and the veteran neo-Nazi ideologue James Mason, who provides regular diatribes for a website run by Atomwaffen members.

[...]

Messages from the gaming server include correspondence about the creation of the Sonnenkrieg Division.

"Blitzy" described Sonnenkrieg as "full on Universal Order" and "atomwaffen with less guns".

He also discussed his plans to travel to the US to meet Atomwaffen members in person.

In one exchange, he stated "kill all police officers" and said they should be "raped to death".

The BBC has obtained evidence that "Blitzy" is Mr Dymock, and that he and Mr Koczorowski, who uses a separate pseudonym, both placed Sonnenkrieg propaganda into the chats.

Violent images posted by the group on social media state "fill your heart with hate" and glorify the Norwegian terrorist and mass murderer Anders Breivik.

One image suggests that Prince Harry should be shot for marrying someone of mixed race and exclaims "see ya later race traitor".

A further image, showing a female hanging from a noose, states that white women who date non-white men should be killed.

Mr Koczorowski posted images of himself wearing an Atomwaffen top near Parliament and a video of a British flag being burnt.

It is thought Sonnenkrieg has no more than 10-15 members in the UK and some European countries.

[...]

Other private messages show some neo-Nazis claiming they have encouraged young women to engage in acts of self-harm along with pictures of the mutilation and criticism of the women concerned.

It is understood that Mr Dymock has been questioned by police over alleged sexual offences against a teenage girl.

Images, allegedly shared by Mr Dymock with his associates and later placed online, show a swastika and runic symbols cut into a girl's naked body and - in another image - Mr Dymock appears to brandish a book by James Mason in the air as she lies on the floor.

The bed seen in the images is consistent with the background in a picture posted by "Blitzy" and another of Mr Dymock himself.

It is understood that both Mr Dymock and Mr Koczorowski were previously involved with the neo-Nazi group System Resistance Network, which can be linked to acts of racist vandalism in as many as 10 UK cities.

The BBC has been told that Mr Koczorowski was a pre-ban member of National Action, which became the first extreme-right organisation to be outlawed in the UK since the war when it was proscribed under terrorism legislation in December 2016.

Irish officials and unidentified man #fundie bbc.com

Police in the Republic of Ireland have launched an investigation after a viewer claimed comments made by Stephen Fry on a TV show were blasphemous.

Officers are understood to be examining whether the British comedian committed a criminal offence under the Defamation Act when he appeared on RTE in 2015.

Fry had asked why he should "respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world.... full of injustice".

He later said he was not "offensive towards any particular religion".
According to a report in the Irish Independent newspaper, no publicised cases of blasphemy have been brought before the courts since the law was introduced in 2009 and a source said it was "highly unlikely" that a prosecution against Fry would take place.

25,000 euros fine

Appearing on The Meaning of Life, hosted by Gay Byrne, in February 2015, Fry had been asked what he might say to God at the gates of heaven.
Fry said: "How dare you create a world in which there is such misery? It's not our fault? It's not right. It's utterly, utterly evil. Why should I respect a capricious, mean-minded, stupid god who creates a world which is so full of injustice and pain?"

He went on to say that Greek gods "didn't present themselves as being all seeing, all wise, all beneficent", adding "the god who created this universe, if it was created by god, is quite clearly a maniac, an utter maniac, totally selfish".

The Irish Independent reported a member of the public made a complaint to police in Ennis in the same month the programme was broadcast. He was recently contacted by a detective to say they were looking into his complaint.

The viewer was not said to be offended himself but believed Fry's comments qualified as blasphemy under the law, which carries a maximum penalty of a fine of 25,000 euros (£22,000).

The law prohibits people from publishing or uttering "matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion".

The government said at the time it was needed because the republic's 1937 constitution only gives Christians legal protection of their beliefs.

'Absolutely astonished'

Fry's representatives have been contacted for a comment.

Speaking to the BBC in 2015, Fry said he had been "absolutely astonished" by some of the reaction on social media to what he had said on the show.

He said: "I don't think I mentioned once any particular religion and I certainly didn't intend, and in fact I know I didn't say anything offensive towards any particular religion."

A police spokeswoman told the BBC: "We are not commenting on an ongoing investigation."

Sergey Andreyev #conspiracy bbc.com

Poland is to summon the Russian ambassador over remarks which appeared to suggest he said Poland was partly to blame for the start of World War Two.

Sergey Andreyev said Poland had blocked a coalition against Nazi Germany several times in the run-up to war.

He also said the USSR's invasion of Poland in 1939 was not an aggression.

[...]

In an interview with a private Polish TV station aired on Friday evening, Mr Andreyev said that Poland had stood in the way of an alliance against the Nazis.

"Therefore Poland partly bears responsibility for the catastrophe that ensued in September 1939," he said, referring to the Nazi invasion of Poland.

He appeared to be referring to Poland's refusal to allow the transit of Soviet troops through its territory.

Mr Andreyev also said that the Soviet invasion of eastern Poland later that month was not an aggression but "to ensure the safety of the USSR" when the outcome of the German invasion of Poland was already clear.

The ambassador added that relations between Poland and Russia were at their lowest ebb since 1945, because Poland had frozen political, cultural and humanitarian contacts.

Stéphane Poussier #moonbat bbc.com

A former French left-wing parliamentary candidate has been arrested over his tweets about a policeman killed during a jihadist siege in southern France last week.

Stéphane Poussier appeared to celebrate the death of Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, saying it was great.

He added that the death in the town of Trèbes meant one less voter for President Emmanuel Macron.

various saudis #fundie bbc.com

Saudi Arabia investigates video of woman in miniskirt

17 July 2017

The authorities in Saudi Arabia are investigating a young woman who posted a video of herself wearing a miniskirt and crop-top in public.

The woman, a model called "Khulood", shared the clip of her walking around a historic fort in Ushayqir.

The footage sparked a heated debate on social media, with some calling for her arrest for breaking the conservative Muslim country's strict dress code.

Other Saudis came to the woman's defence, praising her "bravery".

Women in Saudi Arabia must wear loose-fitting, full-length robes known as "abayas" in public, as well as a headscarf if they are Muslim. They are also banned from driving and are separated from unrelated men.

In the video initially shared on Snapchat over the weekend, Khulood is seen walking along an empty street in a fort at Ushayqir Heritage Village, about 155km (96 miles) north of the capital Riyadh, in Najd province.

Najd is one of the most conservative regions in Saudi Arabia. It was where the founder of Wahhabism - the austere form of Sunni Islam that is practised by the Saudi royal family and religious establishment - was born in the late 18th Century.

The video was quickly picked up by Saudis on Twitter, where opinion was divided between those who believe Khulood should be punished and others who insisted she should be allowed to wear what she wanted.

Journalist Khaled Zidan wrote: "The return of the Haia [religious police] here is a must."

Another user argued: "We should respect the laws of the country. In France, the niqab [face-covering veil] is banned and women are fined if they wear it. In Saudi Arabia, wearing abayas and modest clothing is part of the kingdom's laws."

The writer and philosopher, Wael al-Gassim, said he was "shocked to see those angry, scary tweets".

"I thought she had bombed or killed somebody. The story turned out to be about her skirt, which they did not like. I am wondering how Vision 2030 can succeed if she is arrested," he added, referring to the reform programme unveiled last year by Saudi Arabia's newly-appointed 31-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.


Media captionIn April, Saudi women's rights campaigners filmed themselves walking silently in protest against driving restrictions

Some defended Khulood by noting that US President Donald Trump's wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, had chosen not to wear abayas or headscarves during a visit to Saudi Arabia in May.

Fatima al-Issa wrote: "If she was a foreigner, they would sing about the beauty of her waist and the enchantment of her eyes... But because she is Saudi they are calling for her arrest."

On Monday, the Okaz newspaper reported that officials in Ushayqir had called on the provincial governor and police to take action against the woman.

The religious police, the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, meanwhile wrote on Twitter that it had been made aware of the video and was in contact with the relevant authorities.