www.theguardian.com

Tony Abbott #fundie theguardian.com

Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has suggested climate change is “probably doing good” in a speech in London in which he likened policies to combat it to “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods” .

Abbott delivered the annual lecture to the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a climate sceptic thinktank on Monday evening. The Guardian and several other media outlets were blocked from attending the event but a copy of the speech was later circulated.

Abbott told the group the ostracisation of those who did not accept climate science was “the spirit of the Inquisition, the thought-police down the ages”. He also reprised his 2009 assertion that the “so-called settled science of climate change” was “absolute crap”.

Measures to deal with climate change, which Abbott said would damage the economy, were likened to “primitive people once killing goats to appease the volcano gods”.

“At least so far,” he said, “it’s climate change policy that’s doing harm. Climate change itself is probably doing good; or at least, more good than harm.”

“There’s the evidence that higher concentrations of carbon dioxide – which is a plant food after all – are actually greening the planet and helping to lift agricultural yields. In most countries, far more people die in cold snaps than in heatwaves, so a gradual lift in global temperatures, especially if it’s accompanied by more prosperity and more capacity to adapt to change, might even be beneficial.”

When he was prime minister, Abbott said he took the issue of climate change “very seriously”. But since he was deposed as prime minister by his Liberal party colleague and bête noire Malcolm Turnbull in 2015, Abbott has returned to many hardline views he had tempered as leader.

He told the GWPF Australia needed “evidence-based policy rather than policy-based evidence” and took aim at a 2013 study that showed that 97% of scientists agree humans are driving climate change, “as if scientific truth is determined by votes rather than facts”.

Morrissey #conspiracy theguardian.com

Morrissey has once again stirred up controversy by declaring his belief that the Ukip leadership election was rigged to ensure an anti-Islam activist did not win.

The singer made the comments during a live appearance on BBC 6 Music to promote his new album Low in High School.

Morrissey told the audience: “I was very surprised the other day – it was very interesting to me – to see Anne Marie Waters become the head of Ukip. Oh no, sorry she didn’t – the voting was rigged. Sorry, I forgot.”

It was hard to tell whether the former Smiths frontman was joking or simply attempting to be controversial. However, after his comments were met by silence from the audience, he added: “You didn’t get it, did you? You obviously don’t read the news.”

Waters was one of the most polarising candidates who stood to be Ukip leader, but despite being a frontrunner lost out to the outsider Henry Bolton.

Waters has been outspoken in her Islamophobia, calling the religion “evil”, and set up a far-right organisation, Pegida UK, with the former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson in 2016 to counter what it called “the Islamisation of our countries”. She was deselected from running in Ukip’s previous leadership election. Many Ukip members and MEPs threatened to leave the party if she was elected leader.

Waters finished second, with 2,755 votes to Bolton’s 3,874.

In 2013 Morrissey said he almost voted Ukip out of respect for Nigel Farage’s views on Europe. He said the Brexit referendum result “was magnificent, but it is not accepted by the BBC or Sky News because they object to a public that cannot be hypnotised by BBC or Sky nonsense”.

This was followed by an interview with an Australian news organisation where he said: “Liberal educators such as George Galloway and Nigel Farage are loathed by the BBC because both men respect equal freedom for all people, and they are not remotely intimidated by the BBC.”

Morrissey’s deep mistrust of news organisations inspired his new single, Spent the Day in Bed, in which he says the news “contrives to frighten you / to make you feel small and alone / to make you feel that your mind isn’t your own”.

answerthis #racist theguardian.com

The left have become so puritan and uptight they lost the hearts and minds battle that was once their stock in trade. They have one joke with one punchline that even they don't laugh at any more.

The fact is the right, alt-right and even the far right is a far more welcoming place than the angry, moralising, doxing left. They need a new act.

Saad al-Hijri #sexist theguardian.com

A Saudi cleric who said women should not drive because their brains shrink to a quarter the size of a man’s when they go shopping has been banned from preaching.

Saad al-Hijri, head of fatwas (legal opinions) in Saudi Arabia’s Assir governorate, was suspended from all religious activity after advising against allowing women to drive in a speech that contained comments “diminishing human value”, a spokesman for the governor of Asir province said.

Women remain banned from driving in Saudi Arabia despite ambitious government targets to increase their public role, especially in the workforce.

The ultra-conservative kingdom has some of the world’s tightest restrictions for women. They are also bound by law to wear long robes and a headscarf and require the consent of a male guardian for most legal actions, including study, travel and other activities.

In a video this week, Hijri asked what the traffic department would do it if it discovered a man with only half a brain. “Would it give him a licence or not? It would not. So how can it give it to a woman when she has only half?” he said.

“If she goes to the market she loses another half. What is left? A quarter ... We demand the traffic department check because she is not suitable to drive and she has only a quarter.”

The comments sparked outrage on social media, which is hugely popular in the kingdom.

Twitter users shared the video, many criticising it and making jokes about his remarks, under the Arabic hashtag “Al-Hijri-women-quarter-brain”.

The hashtag was used 119,000 times in just 24 hours.

Some users posted pictures of Saudi female scientists and academics in response and questioned Hijri’s own intellectual capacities.

But there were many others who supported the cleric, and the hashtag “Al-Hijri is with the woman, not against her” was used on 20,000 tweets in the same time period.

Hijri’s suspension, ordered by the provincial governor, was aimed at preventing the spread of views that spark controversy and do not serve the national interest, the provincial spokesman said.

Valerie Sinason and Dr Fleur Fisher #conspiracy theguardian.com

At 9.02am Richard Felstead answered the phone; by 9.03am he was breathless with crying. It was the coroner's assistant in Battersea with the news that his sister, Carole, had died two weeks earlier. "I'm sorry it's taken so long to notify you," she said. "Carole's next of kin told us there was no family. But a letter was found – from you."

Two minutes later, the phone rang again. A different caller, with a strange voice, said, "I know you're not one of the ones that harmed Carole."

"Who are you?" said Richard.

"I'm Carole's next of kin."

"What's your name?"

"That's not important."

"How did Carole die?"

"She had a very difficult childhood."

"What? No she didn't."

"The cremation's tomorrow. People have taken time off work. It's very important it goes ahead."

Richard reacted furiously. The phone went dead.

The brothers gathered at their parents' Stockport home: Richard, David, Anthony and Kevin, whose principal memory of the morning of 14 July 2005 is his mother, "Finished. On the floor. Drained. Shattered. Gone." They began talking. Who was the mysterious caller who claimed to be Carole's "next of kin"? Why did she talk of a "difficult childhood" when Carole was happy and popular? She had a successful nursing career down in London. How could she die at just 41? Why had it taken two weeks to be informed? How could there be a funeral tomorrow?

Joseph, their father, stood up. "I'll put a stop to it."

"You can't stop a funeral, Dad!" said Kevin.

Joseph phoned the coroner's assistant. She brusquely informed him that, now the family had been discovered, the funeral would be halted. She mentioned a "life assessment", written by Carole. "It's very upsetting," she said. It was six pages, typed. It said: "My parents were abusive in every way imaginable - sexually, physically and emotionally. At three years of age, my mother smothered my sister. She sat me on top of her body and set the house on fire."

Joseph was astonished. "Had she been ill?" he said. "Had she been sectioned?"

The coroner's assistant replied: "Yes."

Over the coming weeks there came more questions. They were told the nameless "next of kin" had emptied Carole's flat and driven off in her car. Officials kept mentioning a "psychiatrist friend" who accompanied Carole to medical appointments. Joseph was speaking to a police inspector when something occurred to him. "This psychiatrist and this next of kin," he said. "Are they the same person?"

"That's right," said the inspector. "Dr Fleur Fisher."

The Felsteads' search for answers to the many mysteries surrounding Carole's decline is now in its sixth year. Endless letters and FOI requests, alongside hours of legal research and long nights on the internet, have resulted in the collection of hundreds of documents and the generation of yet more questions: angry ones about individuals they believe to have been malign presences in her life; strange ones about startling and little-known corners of human psychology; sad ones about the life and death of the kind and sparky woman they still miss every day.

When I tell them I'd like to write about Carole, they pass me the telephone number, discovered in Carole's phone records, of the woman whose role in the tale is, they're convinced, both sinister and central: that of the "next of kin", Dr Fleur Fisher.

"I'm not sure I want to talk about this," Fisher tells me. "You'll have to let me think about it. That family – they're bloody terrifying."

"You're frightened of them?"

"They're frightening people. And the things they've been saying," she says, adding confusingly: "I'm not a therapist!" She rings off, warning me darkly: "Tread carefully."

The house in which Carole grew up has mauve and dark-red rooms that are shadow-struck and decorated with golden candlestick holders, old family portraits and statues of dogs, birds and deer. Today Joseph sits glowering in the lounge, his patriarch's hands gripping his armchair. Kevin – a softer presence – informs me that Richard's at work, and Anthony's too distraught to speak. Their mother, Joan, passed away last year. David's here, though, friendly yet possessed of an anxious, wiry tension. Over the coming hours, he'll answer questions with flumes of facts and furious analysis, fossicking in boxes for the relevant document to illustrate his point.

For these men, Carole's life is as much a mystery as her death. She had been a friendly, bolshy and academically successful teenager, who loved watching M*A*S*H and wearing the tartan shorts beloved of her favourite band, the Bay City Rollers. She was popular at school and had a noted instinct for caring, going out of her way to play with Michael, the neighbour with Down's syndrome, and paying regular visits to a lonely old man down the road known as Mr Partridge. At 15 she got a weekend job in a home for the disabled. At 21 she qualified as a nurse at Stockport College and rented a nearby flat, making frequent visits back home to borrow milk and money, and sunbathe in the garden. And then, in the mid-1980s, there began a silent drift away from the family.

(...)

In 1986 they discovered Carole had moved to Macclesfield. She'd still send Christmas cards and ring occasionally, assuring them her career was going well. But by 1992 she had moved to London and changed her name from Carol Felstead to Carole Myers. They had to accept that Carole, for some reason, had chosen to stay away.

After her death they discovered Carole had become mentally ill. Her medical records revealed self-harm, alcohol abuse and stretches in psychiatric wards. She'd frequently been suicidal.

They felt shattered about the claims she'd made in her life assessment – and confused. She said she'd been abused by Joseph and his wife, who were the high priest and priestess of a satanic cult, and that during her teens she'd had six children – some fathered by Joseph – that she'd been forced to kill. She also said she had an implant in her eye that would explode if she spoke of the satanists, and that a friend she'd confided in was murdered in front of her.

Carole's charges were easily proven to be false. The sister, whose murder she'd apparently witnessed, actually died of heart problems two years before Carole was born. The house fire, too, predated Carole's birth. And yet, to the Felsteads' disbelief, it seemed the mental-health professionals rarely challenged these impossible horrors. Worse, they'd concluded that Carole's psychological problems came as a result of this fictitious abuse.

But the family is pointing the finger straight back at the clinicians. They believe the blame for Carole's psychological downfall lies with credulous, satanist-obsessed therapists who went along with her claims that she'd been sexually menaced. After all, they point out, it's happened before – most famously in Orkney in 1991, when nine children were forcibly removed from their homes following interviews by social workers led by an individual who was subsequently accused of being "fixated on finding satanic abuse".

I ask the Felsteads when the first mention of mental-health problems appear in Carole's medical records. In August 1985, it turns out, she received therapy for insomnia and nightmares related to "family abuse". Soon afterwards a 1986 letter mentions further "psycho-sexual counselling" by someone whose name sends a cold stun of recognition through me. It's her: the next of kin; the woman who baffled me by abruptly – perhaps defensively – announcing: "I'm not a therapist!" It's Dr Fisher.

Arriving back in London I'm in no doubt that Carole's abuse claims were untrue. But is it really possible, as the Felsteads insist, for a person to have memories "implanted" by a therapist? Professor Elizabeth Loftus, of the University of California, certainly believes so. In one famous study she sought to examine the process by which a therapist can generate a memory of an event simply by suggesting it. Loftus told 24 adults to write detailed descriptions of four childhood events supplied earlier on by a family member. Unbeknown to them, one of those events never actually happened.

(...)

The concept of repressed memories itself is, according to psychologist Chris French of the University of London, highly questionable. "There's a divide on this in psychology," he says. "But these 'recovery' methods are also used in the context of alien abduction accounts. If you're going to accept recovered memories of abuse, you should also accept the alien claims."

While chatting with French, I mention a psychotherapist who saw Carole called Valerie Sinason. Unexpectedly he lets out a guttural, melancholy groan.

"Oh Gooooodddd," he says.

If the Felsteads are right, Carole is likely to have had some form of recovered-memory therapy in the mid-80s – roughly the time her behaviour began to sour. But the only person I know who might be able to answer this question of whether she did is Dr Fisher. Since our last chat, she's vanished. She's changed her mobile number and has ignored several emails.

Instead I arrange an interview with Valerie Sinason who, according to the records, saw Carole for psychotherapy biweekly for eight months in 1992. I want to know if she'll fit the description Professor Loftus gave of the therapists she's come across in legal cases who have involved false memory – that of a highly credulous believer in satanic abuse who has a tendency to believe ritual damage in patients.

Sinason insists she doesn't use recovered-memory techniques. "I'm an analytic therapist," she says. "The idea of that is someone showing, through their behaviour, that all sorts of things might have happened to them." Signs that a patient has suffered satanically include flinching at green or purple objects, the colours of the high priest and priestess's robes. "And if someone shudders when they enter a room, you know it's not ordinary incest."

Another warning, she says, is the patient saying: "I don't know." "What they really mean is: 'I can't bear to say.'" A patient who "overpraises" their family is also suspicious. "The more insecure you are, the more you praise. 'Oh my family was wonderful! I can't remember any of it!'"

In the medical records, Sinason noted that Carole was her first chronic sadistic-abuse patient. Today, when I ask about her first patient, Sinason describes the arrival of two medical professionals – a nurse and a psychologist – one of whom was limping.

"I just had that nasty feeling," she says. "It's her, and she's been hurt by them."

Soon, we get to the actual satanism. Sinason talks of a popular ritual in which a child is stitched inside the belly of a dying animal before being 'reborn to satan'. During other celebrations, "people eat faeces, menstrual blood, semen, urine. There's cannibalism." Some groups have doctors performing abortions. "They give the foetus to the mother and she's made to kill the baby."

"And the cannibalism – that's foetuses?" I clarify.

"Foetuses and bits of bodies. The foetuses are raw. And handed round like communion. On one major festival, the babies are barbecued. I can still remember one survivor saying how easy it is to pull apart the ribs on a baby. But adults are tougher to eat."

She describes large gatherings in woodlands and castles, with huge cloths being laid out. "That's normally when there's a sacrifice," she notes, "and because the rapes are happening all over the place. There's a small amount of cannon fodder in terms of runaways, drug addicts, prostitutes and tramps that are used. There's sex with animals. Horses, dogs, goats. Being hanged upside down. In the woods, on a tree."

(...)

Dr Fisher lives in Plymouth, and is a former head of ethics at the British Medical Association. She speaks with the all the authority that such a position suggests. Sometimes confident, sometimes wary, sometimes maudlin and resigned, she actually has good reason to fear the Felsteads. After discovering she'd taken Carole's possessions, they reported her to the GMC and the police. Neither found sufficient evidence to act against her.

Fisher admits she had no legal claim to be Carole's "next of kin", but denies the Felsteads' accusations that she stole her property. She emptied the flat, she says, because the property managers were demanding it. As she cleared up, she found the letter from Richard. "Honourably, I gave it to the police," she says. "Otherwise the family would never have known. Never, never, never!" The clearout happened on 7 July 2005, a date, of course, that became known as 7/7. The terrorist explosions crippled the public transport network, which is why she needed to take Carole's car to get home. It was soon returned to London.

I ask why she phoned Richard on the day the Felsteads were informed of the death. She did so, she says, because the coroner mentioned how crushed he'd sounded. "Concern for somebody else's distress sometimes overcomes you," she says. "I was foolish. Unwise."

Ironically, it was her discovery of Richard's letter that led to the funeral's cancellation. Was she upset when she heard it had been halted? "You can't even imagine," she says. "I just screamed and screamed."

Finally, we get to the question of whether Carole's memories of satanic abuse were recovered. Initially Fisher refuses to speak about Carole. "I have a duty of confidentiality, even after a patient has died. I was never her psychiatrist or psychotherapist or anything like that." She raises her voice. "I'm not a psychotherapist, for God's sake!"

"According to her medical notes, she saw you for counselling," I say.

"No."

"I have the letter here, dated 27 November 1986, that says: 'She required to see Dr Fisher for psychosexual counselling.'" There's a silence. "Psychosexual is the wrong term," she says.

"What's the correct term?"

"Uh, I really don't know. People come and tell you things that have happened to them."

"Things like abuse?"

Was she ever worried that Carole had lapsed into fantasy? "Never," she says.

By 1997, I tell her, Carole was claiming a government minister had raped her with a claw hammer in Conservative Central Office. "That's not something I knew about," she says. "It may have been fantasy. I couldn't say. In general she was a common-sense woman."

"Are you aware of any evidence that any of Carole's claims actually happened?"

"I never looked for any evidence."

"Then what made you believe her?"

"She's not the only patient I've had who told the same kinds of stories."

"About ritual abuse?"

"It turned out to be that, yes. The people didn't remember at first. They weren't aware. They were memories they'd had a long time and they just came out."

Finally, I seek advice from Dr Trevor Turner, a consultant psychiatrist at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London. A former vice president of the Royal College of Psychiatry, Turner is an expert in schizophrenia. I wanted to speak with Turner because I've heard that delusions and paranoias like the ones Carole suffered are a common facet of the condition.

Turner confirms this, adding: "Another thing that's a part of the schizophrenic illness syndrome is the idea that your body has been interfered with," he tells me. Carole's slow withdrawal from the family, it turns out, is also typical. "If you're thinking things are being done to you, you blame those around you," he says. "Families of people who have got schizophrenia are commonly accused of things by the patient."

Assuming that Carole was suffering from schizophrenia, I wonder what effect it might have had on her, having therapists validate her darkest delusions. What would it be like for a paranoid psychotic to have it confirmed that, yes, there really are satanists out there, trying to get you? "Absolutely terrifying," he says. "It's highly likely it would make it worse."

Russian consumer watchdog and Russian news outlets #conspiracy theguardian.com

Russia’s state consumer watchdog has warned that fidget spinners could be harmfully addictive, after state TV said the toys could make people susceptible to the messages of the political opposition.

The watchdog said it had noted “the aggressive promotion of so-called spinners around children and teenagers” and was aware of concern from parents and teachers.

It said it would ask scientists to “study the effects of the influence of spinners on children’s health, including possible negative consequences”.

The announcement, accompanied by warnings not to buy spinners on the street and to check them for chemical smells, came after fearmongering over the toys on state television.

A show called Virus on Rossiya 24 television on 12 July called spinners an “instrument for zombifying” and a “form of hypnosis”.

Spinners “often have a negative effect on the psyche and make a person susceptible to manipulation”, the presenter warned.

“Possibly it is not by chance that they have started selling spinners” at opposition rallies, he added.

The Life News pro-Kremlin news site on Tuesday ran a feature on “Seven tragedies that happened to children because of spinners”, including a six-year-old boy who got one stuck on his finger.

The move to check spinners prompted plenty of ridicule.

“How would you check this? Make 1,000 children play with 1,000 spinners for 1,000 hours and then make them write a test?” wrote the video blogger and comedian Yury Khovansky on Twitter.

The toys first became popular in the US this spring before hitting Europe. They have been banned at some schools in the US, France and Britain.

Donald Trump’s son Barron was photographed playing with one last month as he descended the steps of Air Force One.

German far-left rioteers, Andreas Beuth #fundie theguardian.com

Extra police sent to Hamburg as G20 protest violence escalates
Demonstrators set fire to cars and throw rocks at shop windows in Altona district as world leaders meet in nearby Messehalle

Overnight clashes between anti-capitalist protesters and police continued into the first day of the G20 summit in Hamburg as dozens of cars were set aflame and shop windows smashed around the city while world leaders met at the Messehalle conference centre.

Masked protesters in black clothes used flares to set fire to at least 20 cars and pelted rocks at the windows of banks and smaller shops as they made their way through the Altona district and along the Elbchaussee road along the river at about 7.30 am on Friday morning.

Police forces around Germany dispatched reinforcements to help 15,000 police already deployed to the northern port city for the summit as violence escalated.

On Friday morning, many shops and cafes in the area, including a local Ikea, boarded up their windows in anticipation of further rioting.

Other protest groups marched peacefully through Hamburg’s harbour area and historic centre, blocking access routes for delegates and envoys travelling in and out of the conference centre where leaders including Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Angela Merkel gathered on Friday morning.

Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, was reportedly stopped from attending an event in the G20’s supporting programme by the protests. “Police has not given us security clearance to leave the guest house,” Trump’s spokesperson told German press agency dpa.

A planned visit for leaders’ partners to a climate research centre was scrapped and replaced with a presentation by climate scientists at a luxury Hamburg hotel.

Hamburg police spokesperson Sven Jahn said that a group of around 60 masked protesters attacked three police vehicles with molotov cocktails, and that a flare fired at a police helicopter only narrowly missed its target.

Authorities claimed 160 police officers had been injured. At least 15 people were arrested and dozens more held for questioning. Organisers of Thursday evening’s “Welcome to Hell” march said three protesters had been seriously injured and one person remained in a critical condition, while several others had sustained lighter injuries during the skirmishes.

Andreas Beuth, a lawyer who had co-organised the march at a riverside plaza used for Hamburg’s weekly fish market, accused police of knowingly risked an escalation of the volatile situation in the city with heavy-handed tactics.

Contrary to police claims, Beuth said protesters had complied with orders to remove their masks when hundreds of officers used water cannon and teargas to disperse the crowds. “The escalation was clearly started by the police,” said Beuth at a press conference inside the stadium of local football club FC St Pauli on Friday morning.

A number of journalists working for leftwing German newspapers reported on Friday that their press accreditation had been withdrawn from them without an explanation.

HanAssholeSolo #racist theguardian.com

On Sunday, Donald Trump caused outrage with a tweet that appeared to contain a repurposed post by a Reddit user: a gif showing the president wrestling to the ground a figure with a CNN logo for a head.

[...]

“Holy shit!!” HanAssholeSolo wrote at 11.11am. “I wake up and have my morning coffee and who retweets my shitpost but the MAGA EMPORER [sic] himself!!! I am honored!!”

Three hours earlier, HanAssholeSolo had been taking part in a discussion on the “Reddit pics” section of the website. Another user had posted a photo of a banner which said: “Totally failed at life? Then why not blame a foreigner.”
HanAssholeSolo wrote: “In America it’s blame the white person.”

On Monday, the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the face of condemnation from Republicans, Democrats and free press groups, Trump has not commented on his Sunday tweet.

HanAssholeSolo also did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The user appeared to have deleted a series of posts after Trump tweeted the CNN video, but screengrabs collected by Quartz and other outlets showed a series of disturbing remarks.

HanAssholeSolo has repeatedly railed against the perceived mistreatment of white people and denigrated other races using shocking and abusive language.

In May the user took part in a discussion, which appears to have been deleted, and described someone as a “nigger” before asking: “Explain to me why a weekend doesn’t go by where 80 of you fucking moon crickets aren’t shooting each other down in Shitcago [Chicago]? Why you dumb fucking nignogs can’t attend a rap concert without someone being shot up?”

He went on to make further offensive remarks about black people in the same thread.

In reply to another poster, he wrote: “500,000 dead Muslims is a good start. Kill the rest and I’ll be impressed. Good keep up the good work until the last Islamic piece of shit is wiped from the planet.”

In other posts, HanAssholeSolo used the terms “goatfucker”, “faggot” and “retard”. On 13 June, he posted an image showing dozens of CNN hosts and employees, each with a star of David attached and with the caption: “Something strange about CNN … can’t quite put my finger on it.”

Hindu "cow protectors", Narendra Modi, Gulab Chand Kataria #fundie theguardian.com

A Muslim man has died in western India after he was attacked by hundreds of Hindu cow protection vigilantes, the latest attack in a spate of mob killings in the name of the revered animal.
Police said on Wednesday that Pehlu Khan, 55, had died in hospital two days after a group attacked his cattle truck on a road in Alwar in the desert state of Rajasthan.
Gangs of “cow protectors” have been implicated in killing at least 10 people in the past two years as the welfare of the animal has become an increasingly charged issue in Indian politics.
Cows are revered by most of India’s majority Hindu community and beef consumption is permitted in only eight of the country’s 29 states and territories.
Alwar’s police chief, Rahul Prakash, told Agence France-Presse at least six others were injured in the attack, but they had now been discharged from hospital.
Police posted a 5,000-rupee (£62) reward to help identify the attackers and have listed more than 200 people as suspects in the murder case.
“We are yet to receive the postmortem report, but [the victim] had multiple rib fractures,” Prakash said.
Khan was driving in a convoy of six cattle transport trucks and returning to his home state of Haryana when the mob intercepted his vehicle.
Video of the attack was broadcast on Indian television, showing the men being beaten with iron rods and sticks.
Cow protection has been a trigger for sectarian violence throughout modern Indian history and its resurgence since 2015 has been linked to an increasingly assertive Hindu nationalist movement.
India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, won office in 2014 pledging to ban beef across India, and calls to declare the cow India’s national animal have grown since his election.
Illustrating the careful path some Indian politicians walk in discussing the violence, the Rajasthan home minister said on Wednesday the vigilantes had “done a good job by protecting cows from smuggling”.
“But they have violated the law by beating people brutally,” Gulab Chand Kataria said.
Police are regularly accused of working alongside cow-protection vigilantes and one state, Haryana, announced plans last year to license some of the groups.

Sabo #fundie theguardian.com

The guerrilla art movement is usually associated with leftwing politics. Banksy targets capitalism, consumerism and inequality. Blek le Rat, the father of stencil graffiti, depicts oppression and resistance.

Shepard Fairey gilded Barack Obama’s rise with the iconic “Hope” poster and now highlights the scapegoating of Muslims and the corporatisation of US politics.

In the Trump era, the right, however, has its own guerrilla artist: Sabo, a former US marine who works from an apartment-cum-studio in Los Angeles beneath a sign that says “Fuck Tibet”. Another says “Fuck peace”.

Under cover of darkness, he peppers public spaces in LA with images and slogans targeting liberals, whom he associates with “pot-smoking lazy bums” hostile to western values. He puts the same images and slogans on posters, T-shirts and pins which he sells from his website and at Republican party gatherings across the US.

“I think leftism is a mental disorder,” Sabo, 49, said in an interview at his home. “I truly believe I’m fighting the good fight.”

[...]

He has decorated his home with samples of his work: a framed toilet seat with Barack Obama’s face and mouth; a life-sized poster of Bernie Sanders with Soviet tattoos and diaper “full of free shit”; a billboard-style portrait of Hillary Clinton as a maniacal queen.

Another billboard declares that “Black lives are just matter”, accompanied by a Planned Parenthood logo and an abortion-themed punchline: “We’ve killed more blacks than the klan.”

[...]

The left, he said, has mastered cultural and political “dark arts” and “weaponised” Hollywood, the FBI, the IRS, universities and other institutions to promote a nefarious agenda.

He claimed Islam was taking over Europe and espoused debunked conspiracy theories: Obama is a Muslim who sought to undermine America, and senior Democrats literally worship the devil and run pedophile rings. “I truly believe Hillary is demonic.”

Challenged for evidence, Sabo cited leaked emails, which online conspiracy theorists claimed proved the accusations. “I’m a fan of logic and reason.”

The fan of logic and reason also lamented America’s polarisation. “The whole climate is sick right now.” Asked if his work contributed to that sickness, Sabo shook his head. “The left are the ones who dehumanise.”

Alvi Karimov and the Chechen authorities #fundie theguardian.com

Authorities in the Russian republic of Chechnya have launched an anti-gay campaign that has led to authorities rounding up dozens of men suspected of being homosexual, according to the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta and human rights activists.

The newspaper’s report, by an author regarded as a leading authority on Chechnya, claimed that more than 100 people had been detained and three men killed in the roundup. It claimed that among those detained were well-known local television personalities and religious figures.

Alvi Karimov, spokesperson for Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, described the report as “absolute lies and disinformation”, basing his denial on the claim that there were no gay people in Chechnya. “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic,” he told Interfax news agency.

“If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement organs wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

A spokesman for the region’s interior ministry told the Russian newspaper RBC that the report was “an April fool’s joke”.

However, Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Russia project director for the International Crisis Group, told the Guardian she had been receiving worrying information about the issue from various sources over the past 10 days. “I have heard about it happening in Grozny [the Chechen capital], outside Grozny, and among people of very different ages and professions,” she said.

The extreme taboo nature of the subject meant that much of the information was arriving second or third hand, and as yet there are no fully verifiable cases, she added. “It’s next to impossible to get information from the victims or their families, but the number of signals I’m receiving from different people makes it hard not to believe detentions and violence are indeed happening.”

lasmontanas #fundie theguardian.com

[Commenting under " Developing world leaders pay respects to Castro, their champion during cold war"]

Couldn't care less. We are up against fascism and need all the allies we can get. Castro was more then welcome in the good cause. Smashing fascists like Trump and May and Farage and Le Pen is what the future is about. No prisoners taken.

The US national character was mercilessly and finally exposed for all the world to see in the recent election. Not even a dog will now pay them the tribute of one red cent. Bogey has had his day. As Graham Greene so accurately realised long ago, the American claim to stand for freedom is utterly bogus. No sale.

Catholic Church and Irish State #fundie theguardian.com

It is true, as survivors said it was. Under a small patch of grass by a playground in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland, the bodies of the children who died in the local Mother and Baby home lie in unmarked graves. The Mother and Baby homes of Ireland – the last of which closed in 1996 – were run like punishment hostels for unmarried pregnant women. Their children were taken for adoption, fostering or the horror of the industrial schools, or they died in their thousands, of malnutrition and neglect. In some cases the bodies were used for dissection in medical schools.

This was veiled until two years ago when an amateur historian, Catherine Corless, learnt that 796 children had died at Tuam between 1925 and 1961; but where, she asked, were the graves? An inquiry was established and has now partially excavated the Tuam site. (The home has been replaced with a housing estate. Hence the ghoulish – and preposterous – playground.) Remains of children aged from those prematurely born to three years old have been found; Corless, then, is vindicated.

You might say that, for survivors, stonewalled and ignored by the Irish state and Catholic church for decades, denied their birth records and medical histories – essentially, their identities – and thwarted in their attempts to find their families, this is a victory.

[...]

The inquiry will deal with the 35,000 inmates and children of the nine homes, and a small number of associated institutions operated by various religious orders on behalf of the state – plus a few county homes. Some of these orders – such as the Sisters of Bon Secours and the order of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary – are still active, and thriving; the Bon Secours, for example, is wealthy enough to hire a public relations consultant who, two years ago, denied the existence of the burial pit at Tuam. But there is a second web of institutions that also removed children from their mothers. These included private nursing homes, public hospitals and so-called holding centres and orphanages for children who were not orphans; or, if they were, the state had made them so.

Other children were taken from private homes, or by small adoption agencies and societies. One – the Catholic Rescue and Protection Society – operated in the UK under the auspices of a Dublin priest. Its job was to return fleeing pregnant women to Ireland, and the homes. One woman made this journey at full term. If you seek evidence of the physical welfare of these women and their children, look only to her testimony, and the burial pits.

[...]

Natavha Bouchart #racist theguardian.com

[There's more in the article, but I wanted to keep this concise]

The mayor of Calais has banned the distribution of food to migrants as part of a campaign to prevent the establishment of a new refugee camp as hundreds of people return to the port three months after the original one was demolished.

Natacha Bouchart, from the centre-right Les Républicains party, said she would implement policies “to prevent the distribution of meals to migrants”, and legal documents setting out the restrictions were put up in the vicinity of the camp on Thursday. Officials have already obstructed attempts by local charities to open showers for teenage migrants in the town.

Food distribution volunteers said they had been forced to do so in secret because of a heightened police presence. Refugee charities said they would ignore the ban but were taking legal advice.

Colonel Fawaz al-Maiman, various Twitter users #fundie theguardian.com

Saudi police have arrested a young woman who tweeted a picture of herself outdoors without the body-length robes and head scarf that women in the kingdom are required to wear.

A woman identified as Malak al-Shehri posted a picture of herself on Twitter in a jacket and multi-colored dress last month after announcing that she would leave her house without her abaya, a long loose-fitting robe, and headscarf.

The tweet caused a backlash with many calling for Shehri – whose first name means angel, which was also her moniker online – to be executed with the hashtag “We demand the arrest of the rebel Angel Shehri.”

The picture posted on the downtown Riyadh street of al-Tahliya, led to someone filing a complaint with the religious police, and eventually to the woman’s arrest, according to the local Arabic-language Al-Sharq newspaper.

A police spokesman told the newspaper that Shehri, who is in her 20s, was taken to prison and he also accused her of “speaking openly about prohibited relations with (non-related) men”.

“Police officers have detained a girl who had removed her abaya on al-Tahliya street, implementing a challenge she announced on social media several days ago,” the newspaper quoted Colonel Fawaz al-Maiman as saying.

Police spokesman Maiman reportedly said in a statement that they had acted inline with their duty to monitor “violations of general morals”.

Donald Trump #fundie theguardian.com

US refugee ban: Trump decried for 'stomping on' American values

Donald Trump is facing strong criticism from aid organisations after ending his first week as president with a ban on all Syrian refugees entering the US and a halt on arrivals from a string of predominantly Muslim countries.

The president signed an executive order to stop all refugee arrivals for four months – and Syrian arrivals indefinitely – on Friday, hours after meeting the British prime minister, Theresa May, and reportedly reaffirming his commitment to Nato.

The move, which he described as “extreme vetting” intended to “keep terrorists out”, was more severe than expected. It will amount to a de facto ban on Muslims traveling to the US from parts of the Middle East and north Africa by prioritising refugee claims “on the basis of religious-based persecution”.

The order has already reportedly blocked people from flying into US airports or clearing customs after arriving in the country. The Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee said people who had landed after the order was enacted at 4.30pm had been blocked and told they had to return to their point of origin.

Named the Protection of the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, the order places a 90-day block on entry to the US from citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia. It is unclear whether the measure would apply to citizens of those countries on trips abroad who already have permission to live and work in the US.

The order also caps the total number of refugees entering the US in 2017 to 50,000, less than half the previous year’s figure of 117,000.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) called on the Trump administration to continue offering asylum to people fleeing war and persecution, saying its resettlement programme was vital.

“The needs of refugees and migrants worldwide have never been greater and the US resettlement programme is one of the most important in the world,” the Geneva-based agencies said in a joint statement.

They said the US’s acceptance of refugees had offered a double benefit, “first by rescuing some of the most vulnerable people in the world and second by enabling them to enrich their new societies”.

Chuck Schumer, Democratic leader in the Senate, said: “Tears are running down the cheeks of the Statue of Liberty tonight as a grand tradition of America, welcoming immigrants, that has existed since America was founded, has been stomped upon.

“Taking in immigrants and refugees is not only humanitarian but has also boosted our economy and created jobs decade after decade. This is one of the most backward and nasty executive orders that the president has issued.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations announced it would be filing a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the order “because its apparent purpose and underlying motive is to ban people of the Islamic faith from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States”.

“There is no evidence that refugees – the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation – are a threat to national security,” said Lena F Masri, the council’s litigation director. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education who survived an attempted murder by the Taliban when she was 15, said she was “heartbroken” that America was “turning its back on a proud history of welcoming refugees and immigrants – the people who helped build your country, ready to work hard in exchange for a fair chance at a new life”.

She added: “I am heartbroken that Syrian refugee children, who have suffered through six years of war by no fault of their own, are singled out for discrimination.”

Madeline Albright, the former US secretary of state, said: “There is no fine print on the Statue of Liberty. America must remain open to people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

She was referring the inscription of the iconic New York landmark: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

[...]

As well as halting Syrian arrivals indefinitely, the president’s order suspends the admittance of all refugees to the US for 120 days. In Syria alone, the nearly six-year war under Bashar al-Assad’s regime has led to more than 500,000 civilian deaths and displaced an estimated 11 million Syrians.

Although Trump administration officials continue to insist the president’s actions are not targeted at any one faith, the text of the order made explicit that, when the 120-day suspension ended, the US government would prioritize religious minorities in Muslim-majority countries.

It states: “Upon the resumption of USRAP [US Refugee Admissions Program] admissions, the secretary of state, in consultation with the secretary of homeland security, is further directed to make changes, to the extent permitted by law, to prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority #fundie theguardian.com

A man groomed online and sexually abused by a string of older men when he was 13 has been denied compensation because the agency that handles claims says he “consented” to the assaults.

Peter, who is now 19, was abused by 21 men, two of them teachers, who all acted independently. They were found guilty of charges including sexual activity with a child, causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, and meeting a child after sexual grooming.

A judge who presided over most of the cases made it clear that Peter was not to blame, describing the actions of one perpetrator as vile and depraved.

But the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, the government agency that makes financial awards to victims of violent crime, has refused Peter compensation on the grounds that he “willingly” met the men after registering on websites for over 18s, had not been manipulated and “consented in fact” to the sexual contact. Human rights organisation Liberty is appealing the ruling.

Peter (not his real name), who needed psychiatric help for five years following the abuse, told the Guardian he was shocked and distressed by CICA’s decision.

“I was a child being manipulated and used. After years of people telling me the men were in the wrong and I was a victim, having a government-linked agency telling me it was all consensual was very, very upsetting,” he said.

“I can’t believe we’re actually having to fight them on this. I felt like they were saying, ‘you did this to yourself, so why should we help you?’”

Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians #fundie theguardian.com

A veteran group of squatters has occupied an empty £15m central London property purchased by a Russian oligarch in 2014 and opened it as a homeless shelter.

The extensive, five-storey Grade ll-listed Eaton Square property was bought by Andrey Goncharenko, a little-known oligarch who has bought a number of luxury properties in London in recent years.

The squatters – Autonomous Nation of Anarchist Libertarians, known as ANAL – said they entered the building through an open window on 23 January and have accommodated about 25 homeless people so far, many of whom had been sleeping rough around Victoria station.

Tom Fox, 23, one of the squatters, said: “It is criminal that there are so many homeless people and at the same time so many empty buildings. Our occupation is highlighting this injustice.”

[...]

“We have squatted many other high-profile buildings in central London in the past,” said Fox. “Admiralty Arch, Mayfair and Pall Mall. There are so many empty buildings like this one in central London.”

[...]

A banner above the front door reads ‘USA ANTI-GOVERNMENT IN EXILE’, and a black flag displays the words ‘Antifaschistische Aktion’, a European anti-fascist network.

anonymous train conductor, Ichibazushi restaurant chefs #fundie theguardian.com

Japanese train conductor blames foreign tourists for overcrowding

Rail company reprimands conductor who made announcement blaming foreigners for inconveniencing Japanese passengers

A railway company in Japan has reprimanded a conductor who blamed the large number of foreign tourists on a crowded train for inconveniencing Japanese passengers.

The outburst will have done little to help Japan’s attempts to become a more welcoming destination for foreign visitors as it prepares to host the 2019 rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics a year later.

Japan’s successful pitch for the 2020 Games made much of the country’s reputation for omotenashi– traditional hospitality and service.

But there was precious little omotenashi on display when the conductor addressed passengers on a Nankai Electric Railway express train bound for Kansai international airport near Osaka on Monday morning.

“There are many foreign passengers on board today … this has caused serious congestion and is causing inconvenience to Japanese passengers,” said the conductor, a man in his 40s.

A Japanese passenger reported the incident to a station attendant at the airport, questioning whether the conductor’s wording was acceptable.

The conductor, who has not been named, later defended his choice of words: “I heard a male Japanese passenger at [another station] yelling: ‘All these foreigners are a nuisance,’” the Mainichi Shimbun quoted him as saying.

“I made the announcement to avert trouble and had no intention of discriminating [against foreign passengers],” he said.

A Nankai Electric spokesman told the newspaper that the firm had previously received complaints about foreign visitors with large suitcases, but added: “Whether people are Japanese or non-Japanese, the fact remains that they are our passengers. Language that sets them apart [from other passengers] is inappropriate.”

The incident follows an accusation by South Korean tourists that a sushi restaurant in Osaka deliberately smeared their orders with eye-watering quantities of wasabi, a pungent condiment that should be used sparingly.

The restaurant chain Ichibazushi apologised but denied accusations of racism, saying its chefs had decided to use excessive amounts of wasabi after other foreign diners had previously requested larger dollops for added piquancy.

“Because many of our overseas customers frequently order extra amounts of pickled ginger and wasabi, we gave them more without checking first,” the chain’s management said. “The result was unpleasant for some guests who aren’t fans of wasabi.”

It was not clear how many such incidents – labelled “wasabi terrorism” on social media – had occurred, but some disgruntled diners posted photos of sushi containing twice as much wasabi as usual.

Whether or not the incidents resulted from misunderstandings, the potential for friction between visitors and local people is likely to increase as Japan gains popularity as a tourist destination.

A record 2.05 million people visited the country in August, according to the Japan Tourism Agency, including 677,000 from China, 458,900 from South Korea and 333,200 from Taiwan.

Japan’s government hopes to double the number of foreign visitors to 40 million in 2020, and expects a tourism windfall of 8tn yen (£63bn).

Rodrigo Duterte #fundie theguardian.com

Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines president, appears to have compared himself to Hitler, saying he would be “happy to slaughter” millions of drug addicts in his bloody war on crime.

During a press conference in his home city of Davao, the former prosecutor told reporters that he had been compared to a “cousin of Hitler” by his critics.

“If Germany had Hitler, the Philippines would have...,” he said, pausing and pointing to himself.

“Hitler massacred three million Jews ... there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

More than six million Jews were killed by the Nazis and their collaborators before and during the second world war, according to historians.

Duterte has spent his first three months in office running a campaign to kill all involved in the rampant drugs trade, including alleged addicts, causing outrage from rights groups and foreign governments.

More than 3,500 alleged drug dealers and addicts have been killed, about a third of them in police operations but the majority by armed vigilante militias. Duterte has publicly encouraged civilians to kill addicts and said he will not prosecute police for extrajudicial executions.

“You know my victims. I would like (them) to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition,” he said during the press conference early on Friday.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte #fundie theguardian.com

Barack Obama has cancelled a meeting with the president of the Philippines after Rodrigo Duterte appeared to call him a “son of a whore”.

The move followed a warning from Duterte to the US president to keep off the subject of extrajudicial killings in his country’s brutal drug war when they were due to meet on Tuesday at a regional summit in Laos. Duterte told a press conference that Obama “must be respectful”.

The firebrand president was answering a reporter’s question about how he intended to explain the extrajudicial killings to Obama, before boarding a plane to Laos for the Association of South-east Asian Nations summit.

“You must be respectful. Do not just throw away questions and statements. Son of a whore, I will curse you in that forum,” Duterte was quoted by as saying by Agence-France Presse. “We will be wallowing in the mud like pigs if you do that to me.”

When his comments reached the Obama camp, the US president initially said he was asking his staff to find out whether holding the meeting as scheduled would be useful.

“What I’ve instructed my team to do is to talk to their Philippine counterparts to find out, is if this in fact a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations,” Obama said at a news conference at the end of a G20 summit in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou.

“Obviously the Filipino people are some of our closest friends and allies and the Philippines is a treaty ally of ours. But I always want to make sure that if I’m having a meeting that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done.”

But hours later the decision was made to cancel, a White House spokesman said. Instead, Obama will meet with South Korean president Park Geun-hye.

Duterte has faced condemnation from human rights campaigners, diplomats and the UN for inciting a war on drugs that, according to official figures published on Sunday, has led to 2,400 deaths in just two months.

The defiant Philippine leader has responded to critics with a string of outbursts, including labelling the US ambassador to Manila a “gay son of a whore”, telling the Catholic church “don’t fuck with me”, and accusing the UN of issuing “shitting” statements about his anti-drugs policies.

Obama joins a long list of people whose mothers’ purity have been called into question by Duterte, including Pope Francis, Philippine bishops and a murdered journalist, as well as the drugs traffickers who are the main targets of his domestic law and order policies.

He took office in June after winning a landslide on promises to sort out drug crime in the country, and told crowds on the day of his inauguration: “If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”

During his campaign, he said 100,000 people would die in his crackdown, with so many dead bodies dumped in Manila Bay that fish there would grow fat from feeding on them.

The call has led to what critics say amounts to open season on suspected drug criminals on the streets of Manila and other major cities, with thousands killed by vigilantes and police, who invariably claim to have fired back in self-defence.

In June, the UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, condemned Duterte’s apparent support for extrajudicial killings, saying they were “illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms”. Duterte replied by calling the UN “stupid” and threatening to withdraw the Philippines from the supranational body.

Asked about the possible consequences of his comments, he said: “What is ... repercussions? I don’t give a shit to them.”

Black_Sun #fundie theguardian.com

“Is Islam incompatible with democracy?”."

Of course not which is why freedom loving liberals living in Western Secular Liberal Democracies don't want Islam or anything to do with it anymore than they would Nazism.

Democracy also allows people the right to be Nazis, Fascists or Communists but it doesn't mean that the rest of us have to put up with them or shouldn't fight them with absolutely everything we have.

BTW, there is no such thing as Islamophobia - a phobia is an irrational fear and there is nothing remotely irrational in fearing the idiot ideology and demented Dark Age dogma of feeble-minded fascists who want to live in a Totalitarian Theocracy.

The real question is what are the overwhelming majority of freedom loving people in a secular liberal democracy who are non-Muslim going to do about about Islam.

Len McCluskey #conspiracy theguardian.com

Intelligence services posing as Jeremy Corbyn supporters could be behind the abuse and intimidation of MPs on social media in an attempt to “stir up trouble” for the Labour leader, the Unite boss Len McCluskey has suggested.

Speaking to the Guardian, the general secretary of the UK’s largest trade union and one of Corbyn’s strongest supporters said he thought “dark practices” would ultimately be uncovered by the 30-year rule, under which classified documents are released into the public domain three decades after being written.

Asked if he believed the online abuse of Corbyn’s critics was posted by people trying to discredit his supporters, McCluskey said: “Of course, of course. Do people believe for one second that the security forces are not involved in dark practices?

“I have been around long enough … the type of stuff that we ultimately find out about, about who was involved in who, the 30-year rule.

“We found out just a couple of years ago that the chair of my union then, the Transport and General Workers Union, was an MI5 informant at the time that there was a strike taking place that I personally as a worker was involved in. [In] 1972, I was on strike for six weeks. And 30 years later it comes out that the chair of my union at that time was an MI5 informant.”

Asked again if he believed that classified documents would eventually reveal the involvement of security forces in Corbyn’s leadership difficulties, McCluskey said: “Well I tell you what, anybody who thinks that that isn’t happening doesn’t live in the same world that I live in.

“Do you think that there’s not all kinds of rightwingers who are not secretly able to disguise themselves and stir up trouble? I find it amazing if people think that isn’t happening.”

McCluskey said he believed that MPs and others who had spoken of death threats and intimidation were exaggerating the extent of those threats.

“There’s a hysteria being whipped up,” he said. “A few people say things they shouldn’t and then it’s blown up out of all proportion, to suit the imagery that the Labour party has somehow become a cesspit, and suddenly it’s a crisis.”

McCluskey said he condemned the threats, but he was unsure what politicians could do to stop it. “God knows how you can control social media,” he said. “I know the more vicious elements hide their identities, and all these horrible things like [the Labour MP for Wigan] Lisa Nandy’s baby being threatened are despicable.

“They’re nothing to do with me. And they’re nothing to do with what I believe in. But how can you control them? Who are they?”

SillySillyBoy #fundie theguardian.com

This is rubbish. The VAST majority of the violence is being directed from the left and towards Trumpers. Anyone who denies that is either lying or relies entirely on heavily biased progressive media.

For today's hysterical attempt to paint Donald Trump as worse than, like, literally Hitler: Newsflash: school children bully each other in playground, this never happen before Trump go nominated.

The bigger issue is the brainwashing of an entire generation to the point where any complaint or criticism about any foreigner is automatically labelled "Hitler/Nazi/Racist" and dismissed as immoral to even talk about.

There is nothing illegitimate about Americans being concerned with millions of illegal immigrants coming into their country from Mexico. Just like there's nothing illegitimate about uncontrolled immigration being a huge issue in the Brexit debate.

You are absolutely right. This is the progressive media propaganda machine at its worse. The thing is, it's game over for them and they don't realise. These words "Nazi", "racist", "xenophobe" are losing their power because they've been overused to silence debate for far too long. Young people are starting to laugh at these terms, starting to make jokes about them just to trigger the neurotic progressive thought police. They've lost control of the Narrative and we are seeing the final desperate throws before the left sinks into despair (or possibly reacts with their traditional mass violence).

Why do the left never include Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot in these lists? The left's 20th century body count is far higher. A recent survey found half of young people in Britain don't recognise Stalin's name, but nearly everyone knows Hitler. That's what decades of the left's complete control over education gives you: redwash.

micktravis1968 #fundie theguardian.com

Meanwhile, in the real world, the general public can see perfectly well that: a) Donald Trump represents a right-wing populist insurgency that is the inevitable consequence of the wholesale selling-out of the people by the liberal and social-democratic left, such that Trump now conceivably represents a credible lesser evil than Mrs Clinton. b) Israel is a vicious racist state that makes apartheid South Africa look like Disneyland; criticism of Israel and Zionism is a progressive duty, and has nothing whatsoever to do with anti-Semitism. c) Vladimir Putin is a sensible, pragmatic leader - who, thankfully, has a much cooler head and clearer worldview than the nut-cases running Western policy in Washington and Westminster. d) Jeremy Corbyn is a nice, mild-mannered, ethically-committed gentleman who, whatever one thinks of his policies, goes about politics in a far more dignified way than the pro-corporate Cameronite/Blairite clique and their stenographers in the mainstream media. e) The European Union is a corrupt undemocratic organisation whose main roles are to facilitate the continued US economic/political domination of Europe, maintain the transfer of wealth from the people of Europe to the pockets of European big business leaders, and preserve a vast, useless, parasitic bureaucracy whose chief purpose is to provide career politicians like the Kinnocks with highly paid jobs for life.

wetnap #conspiracy theguardian.com

Social Justice Warriors are not a tiny subset of writers. They infest all the major media venues, all the major forums and even reddit. Mass production of slanted articles has been seen and noted by the likes of youtuber Internet Aristocrat, its not surprise that all those sites came out with their "gamer is dead" articles on the same day. All these sites suppress information, enact mass bans on commenters for making them look bad by criticising them with the truth, and even on reddit, a moderator who had personal contact with Zoe Quinn just mass deleted tens of thousands of comments sight unseen. Its level of abuse of power which is hard to stomach, and its not a small subset, its almost all the major venues, and the rest who are even slightly stand offish on the issue still give their ideas credence, even weak support is support. And of course this is once again amplified by the main stream media, which sources its news about gaming and such issues from the corrupt gaming media.

You see, even when "journalists" try to appear fair by ceding a little ground they aren't. There is no middle ground against the truth. There is only truth. When accusations against gamers are made without any substantive evidence, they should be called on it. Instead we see just tacit acknowledgement that this is just a presumed fact. But its not.

Just some back of the envelope calculations/logic tells you this. How many gamers are there in the US alone? Industry figures say 200 million+, now discount half as women, and you have 100 million. How many supposed threats against Anita? I doubt it was anything more than double digits, if that(her claims are dubious). I'll give you 100 threats for the sake of argument. Whats 100 threats out of 100 million? Its 0.000001%
So we see "journalists" lecturing all gamers over 0.000001% of the population. Ask yourself, how many African Americans are felons? Its 7.7% based on felony disenfranchisement numbers, and yet, we don't start off every conversation involving a black person with a lecture about crime do we? It would be labeled for what it was, bigotry of the highest order, insulting, patronizing and just not something to be tolerated. Yet we see "journalists" lecturing gamers over the supposed behavior of 0.000001% of the population, its simply intolerable.

Anyways youtubers who have covered this entire issue better

Internet Aristocrat
Thunderf00t
JordanOwen42
Dangerous Analysis
Sargon of Akkad
Investig8tiveJoournalism
Gaming Anarchist
The Fantastic Skeptic
Aurini
Karen Straughan -Honey badger radio
Anyone who wants to see what's not being covered...those are a good watch.

Georgian rioters #fundie theguardian.com

A vegan cafe in the centre of Tbilisi was shocked to find itself the subject of far-right ire after a group arrived and threw meat on patrons’ plates, leading to a public brawl.

Customers said a group entered the cafe wearing sausages around their necks and carrying slabs of meat on skewers, before attacking customers and staff.

Witnesses described the attackers as “far-right extremists”, and said the clash spilled onto the street outside after the attackers were asked to leave. Minor injuries were reported but the perpetrators fled before police arrived.

A statement issued on Facebook by the Kiwi Cafe on Monday described the incident as “an anti-vegan provocative action” accusing the attackers of being “neo-Nazis” who support “fascist ideas”.

According to the statement, the attackers “pulled out grilled meat, sausages, and fish and started eating them and throwing them at us... they were just trying to provoke our friends and disrespect us.”

The statement also alleged that memberes of group had come to the neighbourhood a month earlier and asked a nearby shopkeeper whether foreigners or members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community frequented the cafe.

Launched a year ago, the cafe has become a popular meeting place for foreigners and had been showing English-language episodes of the animated sci-fi sitcom Rick And Morty when the violence broke out.

BradBenson #conspiracy theguardian.com

[Spain's ambassador to Venezuela recalled in diplomatic spat after Spain calls for release of political prisoners in Venezuela]

Yes, unfortunately, Spain now has a right wing government that is denying rights to its populace, restricting free speech and limiting demonstrations. I'm not surprised that Maduro wouldn't want any more scumbag Fascists in his country than those that are already there. He did deport a bunch of US AID and CIA Thugs last week though. Were any of your co-workers in the group?

Gradually, Maduro will rid himself of all the scum if he wants his government to survive. He will and it will. Not only that, the Bolivarian Movement will continue to grow and spread.

As for your list, there is only one country on that list that matters and that is the US. We determine the foreign policy for the UK and Colombia in all matters that concern us. Canada now has it's own Fascist Government and we've addressed Spain above.

So what we have is the US, two of its prime surrogates and two other quasi-Fascist States that are supporting the US efforts to undermine Venezuela. That makes sense. If Netanyahu and Obama got along better, Israel would be withdrawing their ambassador too!

Bobby Ray Simmons Jr #conspiracy theguardian.com

Bobby Ray Simmons Jr, better known as BoB, American rapper and music producer, believes that the Earth is flat, according to recent tweets from his account.

The rapper – who has released hits Nothin’ on You, Airplanes and Magic – posted dozens of tweets, presenting a variety of arguments as to why modern science is wrong.

“A lot of people are turned off by the phrase ‘flat earth’ ... but there’s no way u can see all the evidence and not know... grow up,” he tweeted.

He argued that if the Earth were indeed curved, evidence of that would be apparent when looking at the horizon in the distance and distant cities would be hidden from view because of curvature.

“No matter how high in elevation you are... the horizon is always eye level ... sorry cadets... I didn’t wanna believe it either,” the rapper tweeted.

He shut down any and all attempts from followers to question his evidence, turning their questions about his theories back on them. When one user asked how no edge of the Earth had been discovered, if it were indeed flat, BoB responded: “Have u been to the edge ? or is that what your science book told you”?

“Well, at least ppl are better at insulting me than they are at thinking,” the rapper added.

[...]

BoB assured his followers that if they simply did the research, they too would come to the same conclusion that he had.

“Don’t believe what I say, research what I say,” he tweeted.

Communist Party of China #fundie theguardian.com

China bans depictions of gay people on television

The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”.

Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates the dark side of society” and now deem homosexuality, extramarital affairs, one night stands and underage relationships as illegal on screen.

Last week the Chinese government pulled a popular drama, Addicted, from being streamed on Chinese websites as it follows two men in gay relationships, causing uproar among the show’s millions of viewers.

The government said the show contravened the new guidelines, which state that “No television drama shall show abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours, such as incest, same-sex relationships, sexual perversion, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual violence, and so on.”

The ban also extends to smoking, drinking, adultery, sexually suggestive clothing, even reincarnation. China’s State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television told television producers it would constantly monitor TV channels to ensure the new rules were strictly adhered to.

The clampdown follows an increase in cultural censorship in China since Xi Jinping came to power in November 2012. In December 2014, censors stopped a TV show, The Empress of China, from being broadcast because the actors showed too much cleavage. The show only returned to screens once the breasts had been blurred out.

In September 2015, a documentary about young gay Chinese called Mama Rainbow was taken down from all Chinese websites.

The new regulations have angered gay activists in China, who have fought for two decades to overcome the substantial stigma in their country against homosexuality. It was only decriminalised in 1997 and was only taken off the official list of mental illnesses in 2001.

In November, one Chinese campaigner took the government to court over its description of homosexuality as a “psychological disorder” in textbooks.

Oxford University Labour Club members #racist theguardian.com

The news that the Oxford University Labour Club co-chair has resigned due to claims of antisemitism within the club may have been shocking to some. To Jewish students at Oxford, it was not. The student left produces the most aggressive and virulent propagators of antisemitism on campus.

Alex Chalmers’ resignation statement was clear, emphasising that: “A large proportion of both OULC and the student left in Oxford more generally have some kind of problem with Jews.” The Oxford University Jewish Society noted that it was “not the first time that it has had to deal with antisemitic incidents within the student left and it will not be the last”. The Labour MP John Mann, chair of the all-party parliamentary group against antisemitism, has called for the party to sever all ties with the club.

Following Chalmers’ resignation, further allegations have appeared. Other OULC members, including past executive officers, approached Oxford University Jewish Society with a list of antisemitic incidents they had recorded. One OULC member argued that Hamas was justified in its killing of Jewish civilians and claimed all Jews were legitimate targets. A committee member stated that all Jews should be expected to publicly denounce Zionism and the state of Israel, and that we should not associate with any Jew who fails to do so. It has been alleged that another OULC member organised a group of students to harass a Jewish student and to shout “filthy Zionist” whenever they saw her.

This type of rhetoric is not confined to OULC. Leftwing student leaders have rallied against “any Rothschild” and “Zios” in their Facebook statuses. One of Oxford’s online political forums removed members with Jewish sounding surnames from the group. In another group, a member called for Jews to pack their bags and leave the Middle East. One notable far-left student politician said, “I don’t like being smeared as antisemitic, but I don’t bleed from it either.”

ID1597567 #conspiracy theguardian.com

Because we all know this is about getting Assange to the USA What is the saying the bigger the lie the easier it is too get people to accept.I for one am insulted that we are expected to take this outrages lie seriously when we all know this is 101 gov. tactic to get someone.What about the raping by UN troops of little african boys.Stop tell to tell me black is white.

jeremycorbynsupport #fundie theguardian.com

[This comment appears under a review of a television show about travel by rail]

Benjamin Creme says speaking on behalf of Maitreya and the Masters says that the only reason we have not had any nuclear attacks on a human population since 1945 in Japan is that the UFO beings have several times prevented such launches, which I find quite plausible, as it seems unlikely the sort of incompetents and despots we have had in power all around the world for the intervening 71 years since WWII would not have launched a nuclear strike by now.

Of course I am well aware a lot of the public does not believe genuine ET UFO craft and beings are here, though a lot now does (over 50% in some polls), but many ex-military and civil aviation people have sworn on oath to their genuine UFO experiences, such as in the Full Disclosure Project Video on YouTube, and I would be very interested to see someone like Mr Portillo do a serious investigation into the UFO issue, because I have seen the UFOs myself, as have millions of others worldwide, and it's time the public knew the truth that apparently various government or military already know - that we are very definitely not alone in this solar system, and that has massive (and benevolent) implications for all people on our planet.

Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh #fundie theguardian.com

Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti has ruled that chess is forbidden in Islam, saying it encourages gambling and is a waste of time.

Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh was answering a question on a television show in which he issues fatwas in response to viewers’ queries on everyday religious matters.

He said chess was “included under gambling” and was “a waste of time and money and a cause for hatred and enmity between players”.

Sheikh justified the ruling by referring to the verse in the Qur’an banning “intoxicants, gambling, idolatry and divination”. It is not clear when the fatwa was delivered.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s supreme Shia religious authority, has previously issued rulings forbidding chess.

Unnamed South Korean family #fundie theguardian.com

German police have arrested five members of a South Korean family suspected of beating to death a 41-year-old woman in a religious exorcism ritual in a hotel room.

The relatives allegedly believed that the woman, also South Korean, was “possessed by demons” and tied her to a bed, gagged and severely beat her for two hours with the goal of “driving out the devil”, prosecutors said.

“I have never seen anything like it,” said Nadja Niesen, chief prosecutor of the city of Frankfurt.

The body was found Saturday in a hotel room where the five suspects – a 44-year-old woman, her 21-year-old son and 19-year-old daughter, and two boys aged 15, one of whom was the victim’s son – were arrested on suspicion of murder.

The cause of death was “suffocation due to massive chest compression and trauma to the neck”. Officials said the woman’s killers used “severe violence” against her, beating her chest and stomach while gagging her with a towel and then a cloth-covered coat hanger.

The national news agency DPA reported that the family were of unknown religious affiliation and had arrived in the city around six weeks earlier.

The investigation led police to discover a second suspected victim alive in the garage of a house the group had rented in the town of Sulzbach. The female relative was badly injured, had hypothermia and was dehydrated.

ICUASUCME #conspiracy theguardian.com

Emwazi and Bin Laden may have had embarassing things to say about their acquaintances in western intelligence services. That's why they prefer to kill em. We must force transparency of these unelected 'National Security' wonks for a chance to solve this. Terrorism is a useful distraction from the daily robbery of the super rich. Why else insist on a bombing policy as if it's a new thing that we've just got to get down to now. Fourteen years of testing this in practice has led to a massive increase in terrorism. We must surely now get down to the business of doing exactly as we have been doing. Exasperatingly stupid. Follow the money - who benefits!

xGxxVx #racist theguardian.com

(Camera women filmed attacking refugees)

I doubt you'd see the same outcry if she tackled an armed robber on the street.

Has the media has spun this story to the point that we don't even see these people as criminals anymore!?
worrying

Various German xenophobes #racist theguardian.com

Angela Merkel warns against intolerance towards refugees

Chancellor dismisses ‘traitor’ jibes from far-right hecklers at Saxony refugee shelter and thanks Germans trying to help asylum seekers

The German chancellor’s visit to the Heidenau refugee centre, greeted, above, by a placard reading “traitor of the people” came a day after Berlin said it had eased some asylum rules.

Angela Merkel was met by a barrage of whistles, boos and calls of traitor when she visited an emergency asylum seeker and refugee centre near Dresden. She insisted that hatred towards refugees would not be tolerated.

About 50 protesters had gathered outside the disused DIY store turned reception centre in Heidenau, Saxony, as the German chancellor, on Wednesday, made her first visit to a refugee shelter. Her visit reportedly followed criticism that she had failed to openly condemn recent violence against the large numbers of refugees arriving in Germany.

In a protest organised on social media by far-right groups car horns were blown to try to block out her words. Merkel insisted on the importance of “human and dignified treatment” of asylum seekers. “There will be no tolerance towards those who are not prepared to help,” she said. “The more people that make that clear, the stronger we will be.”

Heidenau, which has been housing 600 refugees since Friday, was the scene of violent clashes between police and demonstrators at the weekend, confrontations which, on Wednesday, Merkel branded shameful and repulsive. Right-wing radicals and racist protesters threw fireworks and bottles at police, injuring 31 of them.
German neo-Nazi protesters clash with police at new migrant shelter
Read more

Following the announcement last week that Germany was expecting to receive at least 800,000 refugees this year, attacks against refugee shelters which were already high, have intensified, particularly in the east of the country.

“Germany will help where help is necessary, and of course we need to put this into practice,” Merkel said. “We cannot act as if this situation was a perfectly normal one. And it will only work if we take this new path together.”

Protesters repeatedly shouted “people’s traitor” and chanted “Wir sind das Pack” (we are the mob), a dig at the deputy chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, who called the protesters a mob during a visit to Heidenau on Tuesday. It was also a play on the popular demonstration cry “Wir sind das Volk”, (we are the people) used by pro-democracy demonstrators in the run-up to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 but recently hijacked by supporters of the racist movement Pegida.

Merkel thanked the tens of thousands of people in Germany who have been joining in the effort to help the refugees who have dispersed across the country, after arriving mostly via Bavaria in the south.

She also praised mayors across Germany for trying to care for the refugees, thanking them and everyone who had “had to endure the hatred”. Her closing words amounted to what was, for Merkel, an unusually heartfelt appeal to all Germans to keep talking about the issues and about how Germany could best deal with what she described as the exceptional situation.
Germans greet influx of refugees with free food and firebombings
Read more

At the same time, the German president, Joachim Gauck, visited a refugee shelter in Berlin. He said the attacks belonged to a “dark Germany” and said those who were involved in helping refugees to integrate belonged to a “bright Germany” and offered a clear answer to the rabble-rousers. He added that while it was the job of politicians to listen to the fears of the people, now was a time when the people needed to trust politicians to “master the challenges”.

“I’d like to remind you that during times in the past when Germany was grindingly poor we have faced far greater challenges than this. But people nowadays have of course forgotten this.”

In the first half of 2015 there were about 200 attacks on the accommodation of asylum seekers, a huge increase on last year.

William Bader, Steven Johnson and the KKK #fundie theguardian.com

Outside the South Carolina statehouse, William Bader stood tall and defiant as he brandished a large Confederate battle flag. It was not unlike the one embroidered on his black shirt, or the one a local honor guard recently removed from a flagpole outside the legislative building where he protested.

Bader, an imperial wizard in the Trinity White Knights, drove hundreds of miles from Kentucky – or, rather, “Klantucky”, as he quipped – to Columbia, all in hopes of defending the flag on a sweltering Saturday afternoon.

“They took our flag, so be it,” said Bader, a member of the Ku Klux Klan for the past two decades. “They’re taking our heritage from us. They’re taking the freedom out of America.”

More than a week ago, South Carolina lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to take down the Confederate flag from its prominent position on the statehouse grounds. The controversial decision, which followed a racially motivated 17 June shooting that left nine African American men and women dead inside a historic Charleston church, prompted competing rallies between white supremacist and black activist groups.

The Loyal White Knights, a North Carolina-based group thought to be the largest KKK faction, scheduled the protest to stop the removal of the flag. The group decided to carry on regardless. They received support from other KKK factions, National Socialist Movement members and Christian fundamentalists.

“The blacks have been out here attacking people, stealing people’s property, taking their flags,” said Steven Johnson, a South Carolina father of two who was among those waving Nazi flags during the rally. “I’m scared of what my family’s about to grow up with.”

Forgoing their notorious hoods, more than 50 protesters brandished flags and yelled racial epithets at minority onlookers from behind the protection of steel barricades, watched by dozens of law enforcement officers. According to Bader, some KKK members had planned to hold a church burning, wearing the infamous Klan uniforms.

66Applicationsperjob #conspiracy theguardian.com

London only brings in the extra money because a) it has raided it from all other regions within the UK and has even stolen money sent by the EU; b) the immigration policy which encourages immigrants to want to live and settle where the money is (in the South) making demands for people who live there to move out, so they can move in owing to favoured conditions thanks to the EU (Government creates the conditions remember e.g. the bedroom tax) who are against nationalism and by making all other immigrants illegal even those from the Commonwealth c) favouring certain countries and their natural resources for exploitation by the EU and to ensure expansion of the EU capturing wealth and then paying itself handsomely with the rewards even to the point of printing money in trillions and then awarding austerity onto populations who pay for it.

Morrissey #fundie theguardian.com

Eating meat is not murder, it's much worse than that, according to the celebrated miserablist and former Smiths singer Morrissey.

"I see no difference between eating animals and paedophilia," he said. "They are both rape, violence, murder. If I'm introduced to anyone who eats beings, I walk away."

While devout Morrissey fans may regard his every word as divine writ – including his recent monumental autobiography which he insisted on being published in the Penguin Classics series – he pushed them to the limit in his latest utterances.

"Imagine, for example, if you were in a nightclub and someone said to you: 'Hello, I enjoy bloodshed, throat-slitting and the destruction of life,' well, I doubt if you'd want to exchange phone numbers," he said.

The insights were shared in a Q&A session on his fan website, True to You. Asked about his proudest achievement, he said it was persuading many people to stop eating meat. "If you believe in the abattoir then you would support Auschwitz. There's no difference."

But he wasn't done: "If Jamie 'Orrible is so certain that flesh-food is tasty then why doesn't he stick one of his children in a microwave?" he asked. And of Cilla Black preparing a leg of lamb recently on television: "Since a lamb is a baby, I wondered what kind of mind Cilla Black could possibly have that would convince her that eating a baby is OK?"

Belzer rabbis of Stamford Hill #fundie theguardian.com

Leaders of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect in north London have said children who are driven to school by their mothers will be turned away at the school gates.

Rabbis from the marginal Hasidic sect Belz have told women in Stamford Hill who drive that they go against “the traditional rules of modesty in our camp”.

In a letter sent to parents last week, seen by the Jewish Chronicle, they say there has been an increase in the number of mothers driving their children to school and add that this has led to “great resentment among parents of pupils of our [Hasidic] institutions”.

The letter says the ban, to come into force in the summer, is based on the recommendations of Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach, the Belzer spiritual leader in Israel.

It says that if a mother has no other choice but to drive her child to school – for medical reasons, for example – she should “submit a request to the special committee to this effect and the committee shall consider her request”.

The move has been met with some disagreement within the Orthodox community. Dina Brawer, the UK ambassador of the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, said: “What this is really about is the curtailing of women’s freedom of movement rendering them dependent on men. It’s an issue of power and control not one of religious sensibility.

“The positioning of this ban is that women drivers somehow breach the values of modesty, which is absurd, as by any objective standpoint there is nothing at all immodest about a women driving a car.”

The Board of Deputies of British Jews distanced itself from the decree, saying the letter was from a marginal and unaffiliated group.

But a statement issued on behalf of women in the sect by a local Belz women’s organisation said they felt “extremely privileged and valued to be part of a community where the highest standards of refinement, morality and dignity are respected”.

“We believe that driving a vehicle is a high pressured activity where our values may be compromised by exposure to selfishness, road-rage, bad language and other inappropriate behaviour,” they said.

“We do, however, understand that there are many who conduct lifestyles that are different to ours, and we do not, in any way, disrespect them or the decisions they make.”

Not all Orthodox sects discourage women from driving. This is believed to be the first time a ban has been imposed in the UK.

The Belz, who originated in Ukraine in the early 18th century and established their headquarters in Israel after the second world war, are one of the most prominent Hasidic sects.

In September last year, there was similar controversy when posters put up by an Orthodox Jewish group warned women to walk on one side of the road for a religious parade. The posters were removed by Hackney council after they were deemed unacceptable.

Robert Ménard #fundie theguardian.com

A French mayor backed by the far-right Front National has been accused of racism after using the names of schoolchildren in his town to decide how many were Muslim.

Under France’s strict secularism laws, the government does not keep statistics on people’s religion or ethnicity.

But Robert Ménard, mayor of Béziers in the south of the country, said his administration had used lists of pupils’ names to decide how many were Muslim, and claimed the figure came to 64.6%.

“Sorry to say this, but the mayor has, class by class, the names of the children,” he said on France 2 television on Tuesday night.

“I know I don’t have the right to do it. Sorry to say it, but the first names tell us their religion. To say otherwise is to deny the evidence,” he added.

His comments brought condemnation from the Socialist government, with the prime minister, Manuel Valls, tweeting: “Shame on the mayor”.

[...]

However the town hall of Béziers denied on Wednesday that there was any list of children’s names or that any effort had been made to identify which were Muslim.

“The town hall of Béziers does not have, and has never had, files on its children,” it said in a statement.

Mostafa Gavahi & other hardliners #fundie theguardian.com

“Homosexual” and “devil worshipping” hairstyles have been banned in Iran, alongside tattoos, sunbed treatments and plucked eyebrows for men, which are all deemed un-Islamic.

The move – aimed at spiky cuts – follows a trend where, each summer, Iranian authorities Iranian authorities get tough on men and women sporting clothing or hairdos seen as imitations of western lifestyles.

In 2010, Iran banned ponytails, mullets and long, gelled hair for men, but allowed 1980s-style floppy fringes or quiffs.

Iran’s moderate president, Hassan Rouhani, has spoken against such crackdowns, stating that the police’s duty is to implement the law and not enforce Islam. But hardliners have remained defiant.

Mostafa Govahi, the head of Iran’s barbers’ union, told the semi-official Isna news agency on Monday that fancifully spiked hairstyles were banned and those who styled them risked having their shops closed.

He said: “Devil-worshipping hairstyles are forbidden. Any shop that cuts hair in the devil worshipping style will be harshly dealt with and their licence revoked. Tattoos, solarium treatments and plucking eyebrows [for men] are also forbidden.”

Govahi said shops who imitate such “western hairstyles” or violate “the Islamic establishment’s regulations” would be shut down if they failed to take an initial warning seriously. “Usually the barber shops who do this do not have a licence. They have been identified and will be dealt with,” he said.

In a separate interview broadcast by the exiled Iranian opposition television channel, Manoto, Govahi said barbers across Iran had been given a list of appropriate hairstyles for men. He said hairstyles adopted by homosexuals were also banned but did not provide further details on what sort of haircut that would be.

“Haircuts that show symbols or signs of devil worshippers or those adopted by homosexuals are banned,” he said. “I won’t allow such wrongful western styles as long as I’m in this position.” He said the policy was in line with the cultural norms outlined by Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Recently, a group of hardliners in the city of Qazvin wrote to the authorities asking them to ban full-body waxing for women in beauty salons. Women receiving hair removal treatments to their private parts was of particular concern.

Shop mannequins have not been immune from such measures either, with those displaying sizeable breasts or hips not tolerated.

Religious police and plainclothes basij militia are often deployed on the streets or in public buildings such as big shopping malls where they crack down on men and women who fail to stick to their forced Islamic dress code.

Rouhani has repeatedly made clear he stands opposed to such practices, but Iran’s police and similar forces operate under the direct control of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In controversial remarks last week, Rouhani told a group of senior Iranian officers: “Police do not have a duty to enforce Islam. No police officer can do something and say he did it because God commanded it, or the prophet had said so. It has nothing to do with the police.”

He added: “The police only have one duty: to implement the law. That’s it.”

This week, he reiterated his position once more but it has been met with sharp criticism from hardliners, among them many influential clerics. Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi responded by saying: “All individuals, including the police, are required to enforce rules of Islam.”

roninwarrior #conspiracy theguardian.com

Personally, I think there are far greater dangers to our children in the 21st century. Here in Britain there is an agenda to install "smart meters" into every home by 2020. These devices will be pumping out wi-fi every 30seconds or so and creating a blanket of radioactivity we`re all going to bathe in. That includes those unborn as well as babies, infants etc.

What research we do have indicates that wi-fi is even more toxic to the human organism than cell phone emissions, and both are carcinogenic. Increasing countries have recognised this as rates of cancer, autism etc are climbing at alarming rates. This is not due to the spin line that we better diagnose, and many are trying to do something about it.

Wi-fi is banned in schools in various countries, but here in Britain we can`t allow anything to stand in the way of profit or the surveillance grid so the plan is to radiate the entire country.

Much like the vaccine industry, no time is given to allow for true and accurate findings before roll out. The same can be said for GMO. Some people need to accept that science isn`t gospel. It`s just the best guess at a given time with information available at that time.

Ravi Kulasekere #conspiracy theguardian.com

Sure, now that a pharma consulting company, a bug eyed ball of wool and a bold faced liar have all claimed that there is no association between vaccines and autism (or neurological disorders such as the ones listed in vaccine inserts) then it must be true.. yeah I also believed in Santa for awhile. The study is quite obviously rigged with the study subject selection criteria and until such time as a true unbiased vaccinated versus un-vaccinated study is done vaccines will and should remain unavoidably unsafe, marginally efficacious in most instances and should remain a choice. The only thing that this study shows is that there should NOT be a one size fits all vaccination agenda like the one we have here in the USA where our babies are given a whopping 49 vaccines from the time they are born until age six. Oh yeah we should probably not question that either because some expert (who by the way runs away from peer-to-peer debates on TV) has claimed that a child can take 10000 vaccines at once and be fine. That must be the money talking or the rear end, take your pick. I am so sick of the bullying, coercion and lies on this subject and the fact that intelligent people who ask intelligent questions are being shut down by people who have blatant conflict of interest and love to play god.

Nissam Ben Haim and others at Kikar HaShabbat #fundie theguardian.com

For most media outlets a picture of Kim Kardashian, reality television celebrity and wife of rapper Kanye West, would be regarded as guaranteed clickbait. Now, however, the woman for whom the word over-exposed might have been invented has found herself crudely excised from ultra-orthodox Jewish website Kikar HaShabbat.

A photograph of Kardashian in a Jerusalem restaurant enjoying a meal with her husband was doctored, with a receipt placed where she was sitting. In a second image she was rendered unrecognisably fuzzy.

Even Kardashian’s name was left out of the piece by the paper, which referred to her only as “Kanye West’s wife”.

The article from which Kardashian was excised had criticised the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, for dining with the couple at a well-known non-kosher restaurant, Mona, which not only opens on the Jewish sabbath but serves non-kosher dishes mixing meat and dairy, including for the meal in question.

Barkat – the target of the article – had posted a photograph of himself with the couple on his Facebook page, in which he wrote: “Raising a glass to Jerusalem with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West! I asked them to serve as Jerusalem’s ambassadors and spread the word that Jerusalem is an open city and welcomes everyone.”

Nissim Ben Haim, an editor at the Kikar HaShabbat website, said on Wednesday Kardashian had been removed because she clashed with ultra-Orthodox values, not least that women should dress and behave modestly.

Jean-Marie Le Pen #fundie theguardian.com

[Hyperlinks in original]

It has been described as a far-right, political death-match somewhere between King Lear and Dallas.

France’s far-right Front National has been plunged into an all-out war between its president, Marine Le Pen, and her ageing father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, after he made inflammatory comments belittling the Holocaust and defended Marshal Pétain, the leader of France’s Nazi collaborationist Vichy regime.

[...]

Then in an interview this week with Rivarol, a notorious far-right weekly, Jean-Marie Le Pen attacked his daughter’s criticism of his Holocaust comments, saying: “You’re only betrayed by your own.”

He defended Philippe Pétain, the leader of France’s Nazi collaborationist Vichy regime in the 1940s, who was convicted of treason after the war. He told the magazine: “I have never considered Marshal Pétain a traitor. He was treated too severely after the liberation.”

He also lamented: “We’re being governed by immigrants and children of immigrants at all levels.” Citing France’s Spanish-born Socialist prime minister, Manuel Valls, he asked: “What is his attachment to France?”

He said France should join with Russia to save the “white world” and said he understood why some fought democracy.

Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock #fundie theguardian.com

Yoga classes do not violate students' religious rights, Californian court rules
Appeals court upholds ruling against lawsuit brought by family who claimed yoga promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity.
Yoga taught in a public school is not a gateway to Hinduism and does not violate the religious rights of students or their parents, a California appeals court has ruled.

An appeal court in San Diego upheld a lower court ruling that tossed out a family’s lawsuit that tried to block Encinitas Union school district from teaching yoga as an alternative to traditional gym classes.

“While the practice of yoga may be religious in some contexts, yoga classes as taught in the district are, as the trial court determined, ‘devoid of any religious, mystical, or spiritual trappings,’” the court wrote in a 3-0 opinion.
Stephen and Jennifer Sedlock and their two children had brought the lawsuit claiming yoga promoted Hinduism and inhibited Christianity. They were disappointed with the ruling and considering their options.

“No other court in the past 50 years has allowed public school officials to lead children in formal religious rituals like the Hindu liturgy of praying to, bowing to, and worshipping the sun god,” attorney Dean Broyles said in a statement.

Paul V Carelli IV, a lawyer for the district, said there were no rituals occurring in the classroom and no one was worshipping the sun or leading Hindu rites. The district said the practice was taught in a secular way to promote strength, flexibility and balance.

Yoga is now taught at schools across the US, but the district is believed to be the first with full-time yoga teachers at all schools.

A three-year grant from the KP Jois Foundation, a nonprofit group that promotes Ashtanga yoga, provides twice-weekly, 30-minute classes to the district’s 5,600 students.

About 30 families opted out of the classes begun in 2011.

Chelsea football fans #racist theguardian.com

Police in Paris and London have launched investigations after Chelsea supporters were filmed singing a racist chant and preventing a black man from boarding the Paris Métro.

...

The footage, obtained exclusively by the Guardian, shows a man repeatedly trying to squeeze on to a busy train, only to be forcefully shoved out of the door and back on to the platform at the Richelieu–Drouot station before Chelsea’s Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain.
The fans on the train are then heard chanting: “We’re racist, we’re racist and that’s the way we like it,” while a black woman is standing in front of them.

...

A Chelsea fan who was on the train claimed the supporters pushed the man off the carriage because he was a PSG fan rather than for being black. Season-ticket holder Mitchell McCoy, 17, from Fulham in London, told the Press Association: “We got on the train and at the station where the man was trying to get on we stopped for a couple of minutes.
“He tried to get on and a few people were pushing him off because there wasn’t much space on the carriage. You couldn’t move.
“People were saying it was because he was black. It’s not true at all. I personally think it’s because he was a PSG fan. Obviously they didn’t want him anywhere with us. That guy in the video tried to force himself on, so they pushed him off.”
Mitchell, who travelled to Paris with five friends, admitted that fans chanted “we’re racist and that’s the way we like it”, but said it was a reference to Chelsea captain John Terry. Asked why that song was sung at that moment, he said: “I’m not sure. I didn’t sing it.”

Stephanie Messenger #quack #conspiracy #dunning-kruger #psycho theguardian.com

An anti-vaccination children’s picture book written to “educate children on the benefits of having measles” has been bombarded with hundreds of scathing reviews in the past few days in the wake of the disease’s current outbreak in the US.

Australian author Stephanie Messenger, who writes that she has raised three children “vaccine-free and childhood disease-free”, first self-published Melanie’s Marvelous Measles two years ago. But since the measles outbreak in California’s Disneyland last month spread to more than 100 people, it has received more than 800 one-star reviews on Amazon.com as readers laid into the title.

...

The book sets out to take children on a “journey to learn about the ineffectiveness of vaccinations and to know they don’t have to be scared of childhood illnesses, like measles and chicken pox”. With a cover showing a rash-covered girl playing in the garden, Messenger’s story sees Tina worrying about her friend Melanie, who is away from school with measles. Her mother tells her not to be concerned. “Many wise people believe measles make the body stronger and more mature for the future,” she tells her daughter, who then asks if she can visit Melanie and catch measles herself. “That sounds like a great idea,” laughs her mother. “Let’s take her some carrot juice and melon to help her get strong and recover from the measles.”

...

Messenger, in her book, claims that “often today, we are being bombarded with messages from vested interests to fear all diseases in order for someone to sell some potion or vaccine, when, in fact, history shows that in industrialised countries, these diseases are quite benign and, according to natural health sources, beneficial to the body”.

Al-Khanssaa Brigade #fundie theguardian.com

Girls can marry at the age of nine, should ideally have husbands by 16 or 17 and should not be corrupted by going to work, according to a treatise published by female Islamic State supporters in Iraq and Syria.

The document, Women of the Islamic State: Manifesto and Case Study, says women must stay behind closed doors and leave the house only in exceptional circumstances.

“It is always preferable for a woman to remain hidden and veiled, to maintain society from behind this veil,” the English translation says. Fashion shops and beauty salons are denounced as the work of the devil.

The semi-official Islamic State manifesto on women – believed to be the first of its kind – was published on a jihadi forum in Arabic last month and is purported to be by the media wing of the al-Khanssaa Brigade, an all-female militia set up by Islamic State (Isis).

It has now been translated into English by the London-based counter-extremism thinktank Quilliam Foundation.

The introduction to the treatise says it has not been sanctioned by “the state” – meaning Islamic State – or its leadership but is a document to “clarify the role of Muslim women and the life which is desired for them” and “to clarify the realities of life and the hallowed existence of women in the Islamic State”.

The manifesto says: “From ages seven to nine, there will be three lessons: fiqh (understanding) and religion, Qur’anic Arabic (written and read) and science (accounting and natural sciences).

“From 10 to 12, there will be more religious studies, especially fiqh, focusing more on fiqh related to women and the rulings on marriage and divorce. This is in addition to the other two subjects. Skills like textiles and knitting, basic cooking will also be taught.

“From 13 to 15, there will be more of a focus on sharia, as well as more manual skills (especially those related to raising children) and less of the science, the basics of which will already have been taught. In addition, they will be taught about Islamic history, the life of the prophet and his followers.

“It is considered legitimate for a girl to be married at the age of nine. Most pure girls will be married by 16 or 17, while they are still young and active. Young men will not be more than 20 years old in those glorious generations.”

The western model for woman has failed, the treatise says, with women who go to work taking on “corrupted ideas and shoddy-minded beliefs instead of religion”. “The model preferred by infidels in the west failed the minute that women were ‘liberated’ from their cell in the house,” it says.

The manifesto includes a lengthy condemnation of the culture of the “disbelievers of Europe”, urging its readers to disavow “falsity and materialism in civilisation” and to devote oneself instead to religious knowledge.

The ideal Islamic community, it says, should not be caught up with “trying to uncover the secrets of nature and reaching the peaks of architectural sophistication”. They should instead concentrate on the implementation of sharia law and the spreading of Islam.

In a section entitled: “How the soldiers of Iblis [the devil] keep women from paradise”, the authors take aim at the western lifestyle that encourages both men and women to gain an education and employment. The manifesto denounces the wearing of fashionable clothes and piercings, concluding: “This urbanisation, modernity and fashion is presented by Iiblis [the devil] in fashion shops and beauty salons.”

It is the “fundamental function” of a woman to be in the house with her husband and children, the jihadi guide says, adding that they may leave the house to serve the community only in exceptional circumstances – to wage jihad when there are no men available, to study religion, and female doctors and teachers are permitted to leave but “must keep strictly to sharia guidelines”.

“Yes, we say: ‘Stay in your houses’, but this does not mean, in any way, that we support illiteracy, backwardness or ignorance,” the English-language translation reads. “Rather, we just support the distinction between working – that which involves a woman leaving the house – and studying, as it was ordained she should do.”

Mike Huckabee #fundie theguardian.com

The Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee on Sunday said same-sex marriage was like drinking and swearing – a concept appealing to others but not to him as a Christian.

The former Arkansas governor, appearing on CNN, said forcing people opposed to same-sex marriage to accept it was the same as telling Jews they had to serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli”.

“We’re not going to do that,” he said, adding: “We’re not going to ask a Muslim to serve up, ah, something that is offensive to him, to have dogs in his backyard.

“We’re so sensitive to make sure we don’t offend certain religions, but then we act like Christians can’t have the convictions that they have had for over 2,000 years.”

Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, showed strongly in the 2008 Republican primaries, winning the Iowa caucus. In January, he announced he was quitting his Fox News show in order to explore another run for the presidency in 2016.

“I’d like to think there is room in America for people to disagree instead of screaming and shouting and having to shut their businesses down,” he said, adding: “People can be my friends who have lifestyles that are not necessarily my lifestyle. I don’t shut people out of my circle or out of my life because they have a different point of view.

“I don’t drink alcohol, but gosh – a lot of my friends, maybe most of them, do. You know, I don’t use profanity, but believe me, I’ve got a lot of friends who do. Some people really like classical music and ballet and opera – it’s not my cup of tea.”

Same-sex marriage is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. Alabama could become the 37th state to allow it, pending the outcome of a legal fight stoked by resistance by the state government to a judge’s repeated rulings. The US supreme court is due to rule on the issue this year.

Same-sex marriages occurred in Huckabee’s home state, Arkansas, in May 2014, but are currently on hold pending an appeal. The state banned the practice in a 2004 constitutional amendment that was approved by voters.

Polls show 30% support for same-sex marriage among voters who identify themselves as Republicans.

“For me … this is not just a political issue,” Huckabee said. “It is a biblical issue. And unless I get a new version of the scriptures it’s really not my place to just say, ‘OK, I’m just going to evolve.’”

Huckabee is currently promoting a book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, which heralds what he says are the values of the states located between the more liberal east and west coasts. The book has courted some controversy, notably over his contention that President Obama was unwise to let his teenage daughters listen to music by Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

Huckabee did not answer a question about whether he thought being gay was a choice, but said he appreciated different viewpoints on gay marriage and was friends with gay people.

Binyamin Lipkin #fundie theguardian.com

A small Jewish ultra-Orthodox newspaper in Israel has found itself in the spotlight after digitally removing Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel from a photo of this week’s Paris march.

World leaders had linked arms to march in Paris against terrorism after Islamic extremists killed 17 people. At the march, Merkel stood in the front row between the French president, François Hollande, and Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.

But readers of the Hamevaser newspaper’s Monday edition didn’t know, as she had been digitally removed, leaving Abbas standing next to Hollande. Israeli media joked it was meant to bring Abbas closer to Israeli premier Binyamin Netanyahu, who was standing nearby.

Within the insular ultra-Orthodox community, pictures of women are rarely shown, due to modesty concerns. In Jerusalem, ultra-Orthodox vandals frequently deface buses and billboards with advertising deemed to be immodest.

The picture in Hamevaser also cut out other women, like the Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, though the newspaper clumsily left her dark glove on the sleeve of a marcher. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was cropped out.

Binyamin Lipkin, editor of Hamevaser, said the newspaper is a family publication that must be suitable for all audiences, including young children.

“The eight-year-old can’t see what I don’t want him to see,” he told Israel’s Channel 10 television station. “True, a picture of Angela Merkel should not ruin the child, but if I draw a line, I have to put it there from the bottom all the way to the top.”

He also said he did not want to tarnish the memories of the people killed in the attacks.

“Including a picture of a woman into something so sacred, as far as we are concerned, it can desecrate the memory of the martyrs and not the other way around,” he said.

Meryl Dorey #conspiracy theguardian.com

More venues have cancelled appearances from a US anti-vaccination campaigner, prompting a supporter of the seminars to compare opponents to the gunmen who targeted French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

At least five venues have now ditched bookings for Sherri Tenpenny, who is due to visit Australia in February and March.

An online network opposing her visit, the Stop the Australian (Anti) Vaccination Network (SAVN), has called for venues to refuse bookings and is demanding that Peter Dutton, the immigration minister, reject her visa.

Meryl Dorey, a former president of the Australian Vaccination Skeptics Network, drew a comparison with Wednesday’s attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 12 people dead.

“The organisation that is pushing this censorship is a hate group and they are very much like the groups in France that have been carrying out these actions,” she told 3AW.

“No one is forcing people to attend but when you say in a democratic country that you can’t discuss an issue, that’s a problem. There’s an imbalance – 99% of what appears in government brochures is the benefits of vaccination, but not the risks. When someone talks about the risks they are downplayed or ridiculed.”

Helpers of God's Precious Infants #fundie theguardian.com

Women trying to get an abortion in Albury, New South Wales, have ended up self harming or even attempting suicide because of harassment from protesters outside the only clinic offering the procedure in the area, health workers have said.

[...]

A social worker, who did not want to be named because she has been frequently targeted by protesters, said women had been intimidated about attending the clinic for too long.

“Many women end up travelling to Melbourne or Sydney for the procedure because they can’t face the protesters,” she told Guardian Australia.

“Some teenage girls do self harm because they don’t feel safe going to the clinic here, or they’re worried they will be identified by the protesters and the whole city will know about it.

“They don’t have the resources to go to Melbourne or Sydney, their parents may not know, and they are so stressed and traumatised, they attempt suicide.”

[...]

One woman described how she panicked as the protesters began to approach. “I couldn’t take a step forward,” the woman, who did not want to be identified, said.

“I panicked very badly; my anxiety was so heightened I hyperventilated. I was so distressed knowing they were going to race at me.”

She said the group surrounded her and blocked her entrance to the clinic, telling her she was making the wrong decision and holding up graphic images of dead babies.

“I finally responded that I had no choice, that my foetus was likely both deformed and brain damaged, and that if I continued with the pregnancy that I’d likely leave four children motherless,” she said. “I was told that I should choose death. This ... made me hysterical.”

[...]

[W]omen were being filmed by protesters and that their names were being recorded, shattering their privacy.

[...]

A study conducted by a fertility clinic in East Melbourne found 78% of their patients were more traumatised by anti-abortion protesters than getting a termination.

Anna von Marburg, the co-ordinator for Albury Helpers of God’s Precious Infants, did not directly answer questions from Guardian Australia about claims women were being driven to self harm or being psychologically traumatised.

But she said the group had displayed “exemplary behaviour and incredible courage in the face of very aggressive tactics by abortion advocates”.

“The abortion clinic, abortion activists, police and pedestrians have hundreds of hours of footage of the [group] and have never been able to show evidence of any harassment, blocking, or violence,” she said.

She also dismissed Mourik’s assessment that staff were stressed as a result of the protests.

“Society should feel stress and anxiety that doctors and nurses are using surgical means to solve a largely psychosocial problem,” Von Marburg, who also runs the local Catholic bookstore, said.

“We believe that we can offer a solution that does not involve the destruction of human life.”

When asked why her group could not compromise and carry out protests down the street from the clinic, Von Marburg replied: “Why doesn’t Occupy Wall Street move to Kansas?”

Marine Le Pen #conspiracy theguardian.com

Marine Le Pen's public relations efforts to soften the image of the far-right Front National were dented this week after she caused outrage by questioning the beards and scarves worn by returning French hostages.

Le Pen, whose party's trademark is speaking out against immigration and public displays of Islam, said the appearance of the four men who had been held captive by for three years by Islamist militants in the Sahel desert was "troubling".

She told Europe 1 radio: "Two of them had beards cut in a rather strange way. Their clothing was strange. One hostage had a scarf on his face. That all calls for some explanation on their part."

Asked whether she was implying the French workers kidnapped in 2010 from a uranium mine site in Niger might have converted to Islam, she said: "I'm not making allusions. I'm telling you how I felt. I wouldn't go so far as to offer a theory."

The mother of one of the former captives, Pierre Legrand, said her son and the three other men had agreed to keep their beards and scarves in a gesture of solidarity with other French hostages still held in the region. The four, flown back to Paris within 48 hours of their release from harsh conditions in northern Mali, had appeared tired and relatives said they needed time to recover from their ordeal.

[Bolding mine - links in the original]

Garron Helm #racist theguardian.com

An internet troll accused of sending an antisemitic message to Labour MP Luciana Berger has been sentenced to four weeks in prison at Merseyside magistrates court.

Garron Helm, 21, from Litherland, north of Liverpool, tweeted a picture of the MP with a Holocaust yellow star superimposed on her forehead, with the hashtag “Hitler was right”. The tweet, which referred to Berger as a "communist jewess", read: "You can always trust a Jew to show their true colours eventually."

Helm send the tweet in the early hours of the morning on 7 August and claimed to have sent it in a state of anger and frustration. He pleaded guilty to sending an offensive, indecent or obscene message.

Berger, the MP for Liverpool Wavertree, said she hoped the jail term would deter would-be trolls. “This sentence sends a clear message that hate crime is not tolerated in our country," she said. "I hope this case serves as an encouragement to others to report hate crime whenever it rears its ugly head."

When police searched Helm’s home they found Nazi memorabilia including an SS flag and flags from the British neo-Nazi group National Action. Helm’s twitter account, called "Æthelwulf" – Old English for Noble Wolf – links to the National Action website, which promotes a "free, white Britain".

The account includes a tweet that refers to David Cameron and Ed Miliband as “Jews masquerading as Englishmen” and many references to far-right politics.

[Bolding mine ; links in the original]

Janusz Korwin-Mikke #fundie theguardian.com

Dapper in bow tie and blazer, Nigel Farage’s new European ally likes to welcome a woman to his grey-walled, grey-carpeted Brussels office by stooping to kiss her hand. There is a danger, though, that he will follow up this display of old-fashioned courtesy by sharing some old-fashioned views about her inferiority.

Janusz Korwin-Mikke is the eccentric head of Poland’s Congress of the New Right. With his agreement, a member of the party, Robert Iwaszkiewicz, has just joined Ukip’s parliamentary alliance, Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD), pushing it over a threshold of 25 parliamentarians from seven countries and thus securing more than £1m in funding for Ukip alone.

A friend in need is a friend indeed. But Korwin-Mikke has the potential to be an embarrassing ally. For instance, he thinks women’s opinions are shaped by the sperm of the men they sleep with, that they are “on average” less clever than men, and that nearly half of women who tell a man they don’t want to have sex with them are feigning reluctance and should be ignored.

“Semen probably is not wasted, because nature usually makes use of the material it has, and there is a hypothesis that the attitudes of men are passed to women by way of the semen which penetrates the tissue,” he told the Observer, in the tone a science teacher might use for a basic lesson.

Giggles only prompt an admonition. “It is not a political statement. There is a very strong argument for this hypothesis, that now when contraceptives are much more in use, the women become much more independent.”

Korwin-Mikke, 72, is an extreme libertarian. A veteran with half a century’s political experience, he throws out his bizarre views in rapid-fire sentences, broken by the easy smile of a man used to deference, which only makes them seem more disturbing. There is no proof Hitler knew about the Holocaust, he has argued for years, and he told the Observer that Mussolini, who stripped Jewish citizens of property and civil rights, then sent thousands to German concentration camps, “was trying to protect Jews”.

He would like to abolish not just the European Union but democracy altogether, replacing it with an absolute monarchy, which he considers the gold standard for government. His main objection to dictatorship is that it leaves open the question of who succeeds a leader.

He hungers for what he says is a lost Europe of dog-eat-dog economic rules, the freedom to buy arsenic over the counter by the kilo, drive without seatbelts and give free rein to the aggression that he says made the continent great. “If someone gives money to an unemployed person he should have his hand cut off because he is destroying the morale of the people,” Korwin-Mikke said, adding that the state should not give anyone a cent either. “Europeans were very aggressive and now the boys are taught not to be aggressive … Give them the pistol, give them a sword.”

ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) #fundie theguardian.com

Researchers have discovered that the hydrogen canopy that may have enclosed Earth before the Flood had some very interesting effects on plant and animal life. The hydrogen in the canopy absorbed blue light, but radiated red light, so the sky was pink rather than blue! Not only did pre-Flood man see the panorama of Creation “through rose-colored glasses,” but the pink light had a definite effect on his mind and body. Modern scientists have discovered that pink light stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete a hormone called norepinephrine. Norepinephrine is both a tranquilliser and a neurotransmitter that both calms the person and sharpens his ability to think. The tranquilliser in the hormone can reduce stress and the accompanying medical complications (heart conditions, ulcers, etc) that come with our-hectic, modern-day lifestyles. Some drugs have the same tranquillising effect, but these drugs also decrease the ability to think and respond to the environment. The neurotransmitter in the norepinephrine sharpens the person’s senses and enables him to think clearly by speeding up his nervous impulses.

Metal hydrogen not only filters blue light, but it also has a fiberoptic effects. This means that light from the sun was not only transmitted through the canopy, but was also spread out across the canopy. The light was dispersed around the world – even at night! At sunrise the sky was a vivid pink color. As the colour of the sky changed, the light grew in intensity throughout the morning, until it was a light pink at noon. As the light subsided during the afternoon, the color of the sky returned to vivid pink again at sunset.

The pink colour and the light dispersion worked together to create a perfect working condition. The pink morning sky caused the norepinephrine to begin flowing and stimulating the man to work. At noon, when the pink light and the norepinephrine production were at their peak, the man worked most efficiently. The decreasing intensity of the pink light in the afternoon gradually calmed the person so that by sunset he was relaxed and ready for a peaceful night’s sleep.

Modern scientists are just now discovering what Christians have always believed – that God’s Creation was perfect.

For more information on the subject of Creation model, you might like to read the book Panorama of Creation by Dr Carl Baugh. You might also want to read some of the numerous books on Creation written by Dr Henry M Morris or other contemporary Christian scientists.

ACE (Accelerated Christian Education) #fundie theguardian.com

Scientists have known for years that snowflakes are shaped in six-sided, or hexagonal, patterns. But why is this? Some scientists have theorised that the electrons within a water molecule follow three orbital paths that are positioned at 60° angles to one another. Since a circle contains 360°, this electronic relationship causes the water molecule to have six ‘spokes’ radiating from a hub (the nucleus). When water vapour freezes in the air, many water molecules link up to form the distinctive six-sided snowflakes and the hexagonal pattern is quite evident.

Snowflakes also contain small air pockets between their spokes. These air pockets have a higher oxygen content than does normal air. Magnetism has a stronger attraction for oxygen than for other gases. Consequently, some scientists have concluded that a relationship exists between a snowflake’s attraction to oxygen and magnetism’s attraction to oxygen.

Job 38:22, 23 states, ‘Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?’ Considering this scripture, some scientists believe that a tremendous power resides untapped within the water molecules from which snowflakes and hailstones are made.

How can this scripture, along with these observations about snowflakes, show us a physical truth? Scientists at Virginia Tech have produced electricity more efficiently from permanent magnets, which have their lines of force related to each other at sixty-degree angles, than from previous methods of extracting electricity from magnetism. Other research along this line may reveal a way to tap electric current directly from snow, eliminating the need for costly, heavy, and complex equipment now needed to generate electricity.

Mohamed Nagy Shehata #fundie theguardian.com

The judge who sent three al-Jazeera English journalists to jail in Egypt has accused them of being in league with the devil in a 57-page explanation of his verdict.

Judge Mohamed Nagy Shehata sentenced Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed last month to between seven and 10 years in jail on charges of aiding terrorists and falsifying news. At the time, diplomats and rights observers described the charges as baseless, the process as flawed and the trio's jailing as an attack on free speech.

In his first statements since the trial, Shehata said "the devil encouraged them to use journalism and direct it towards actions against this nation".

Unnamed Islamists from Birmingham #fundie theguardian.com

Concerns over how some of [Birmingham]'s 430 schools were being run first emerged when an anonymous letter known as Operation Trojan Horse was leaked to councils and teaching unions, claiming that a small but radical group of Muslims were pursuing their own agenda in the classrooms, with non-compliant headteachers and governors forced out.

The document, which is unsigned and undated, claimed to have caused "a great amount of organised disruption" in the city, crediting the plan with forcing a change of leadership at four schools.

Since the letter came to light, anonymous whistleblowers, including former staff, have come forward, making claims that boys and girls were segregated in classrooms and assemblies, sex education was banned, and non-Muslim staff were bullied. In one case it was alleged that the teachings of a firebrand al Qaida-linked Muslim preacher were praised to pupils.

Jean-Marie Le Pen #racist theguardian.com

Jewish leaders have called on Le Pen, 85, was to be stripped of his parliamentary immunity as an MEP after acontroversial play on words linking "oven" with a celebrated Jewish singer in a video posted in the FN's website.

Launching into an attack on celebrities who have criticised the far-right party, including Madonna and tennis player turned musician Yannick Noah, Le Pen was asked about the French singer Patrick Bruel.

"On fera une fournée la prochaine fois" (next time we'll make a batch), he said. The word "four" [from which comes the word "fournée"] translates as oven.

[Italizing, bracketing and bolding mine

The word "fournée" can be translated as "baker's batch" and can be colloquially be used to speak about a work shift.]

Unnamed British Racists #racist theguardian.com

(New figures reveal dramatic increase in hate crimes against Polish people

Tenfold rise in attacks since 2004 blamed on the recession, benefit cuts and stereotyping by politicians)

Damian Citko was attacked outside the Cross Keys pub in Dagenham in January by 15 men as he was about to drive off on his motorbike. The group beat him to the ground with kicks and punches. "They kicked my head so hard that even though I was wearing a helmet I had black eyes," says Citko, 39, a network administrator from Opole, who arrived in Britain shortly after Poland's accession to the EU in 2004. "All I could hear while they were beating me was: 'Go back to Poland, go back home.'" The police arrived and rushed Citko to Queen's hospital, Romford. Luckily his heavily padded biking gear meant he survived the assault without major injuries.

Citko is just one of hundreds of Poles who are victims of race crime every year in the UK. Exclusive figures obtained for Society Guardian through freedom of information requests reveal that, in 2013, police officers arrested 585 people for a hate crime (such as a violent assault, vandalism or a public order offence) against a Pole – one person every 14 hours. That's a tenfold increase from 2004. And the total number of arrests is likely to be much higher, because only 26 of the country's 46 forces replied to the Guardian's request for information.

In the decade since Poland joined the EU, at least half a million Poles have come to Britain. Many say they have suffered some form of xenophobia. In a recent survey of 1,000 Polish people by journalism students at the London College of Communications, nearly three-quarters (71%) said they had been subjected to some form of abuse and knew someone who had been physically attacked because they were Polish.

And the problem is worsening. In Belfast, over 10 days in April, three young Polish nationals were attacked by a gang after being asked for a cigarette; a 23-year-old man was stabbed in the leg and seven Polish homes were vandalised. "It was terrifying, they were throwing bricks through our windows," says Maria Glok, who lives in the one of the vandalised homes. "I really feared for my family. I honestly don't know if I can continue to live here like this."

"It's like people think it is OK to discriminate against [us]."

For Andrzej Rygielski, 51, a retail manager from Kent, these cases are all too familiar. Rygielski says he has suffered from an appalling level of abuse since he arrived in the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, from Inowroclaw in 2005. "For years I have had stones thrown at me and my house", he says. In 2012, Rygielski came home from shopping with his teenage daughter to find "Pollish suck cock" (sic) scrawled in fake blood on the outer wall of his house and, in January this year, he was attacked in his shop by a customer.

In February, 20 Polish community leaders and organisations wrote an open letter to David Cameron criticising the government's approach. "It is truly hurtful that once excellent British-Polish relations are on the verge of being shattered by populist politicians, who are using Poles as scapegoats," the letter said. "We will not allow bigotry and discrimination against our people."

On the same day, hundreds protested outside parliament calling on the government to do more to combat anti-Polish attitudes in the UK. Many blame the media. "The newspapers make us like monsters, like scum. They say we are stealing jobs and benefits. This is simply untrue," says Rygielski.

Others attribute the increase in anti-Polish feeling to senior political figures. George Byczynski, one of the protest organisers and founder of the British Polish Law Association (BPLA), which was created in January to offer legal assistance to Poles who have suffered discrimination, says: "When the prime minister is name-checking Poles as somehow responsible for taking benefits away from this country, it is no wonder people who read those comments believe it and that, as a result, Poles are under attack in their communities. It was utterly irresponsible."

Bon Secours Nuns #fundie theguardian.com

The bodies of 796 children, between the ages of two days and nine years old, have been found in a disused sewage tank in Tuam, County Galway. They died between 1925 and 1961 in a mother and baby home under the care of the Bon Secours nuns.

Locals have known about the grave since 1975, when two little boys, playing, broke apart the concrete slab covering it and discovered a tomb filled with small skeletons. A parish priest said prayers at the site, and it was sealed once more, the number of bodies below unknown, their names forgotten.

The Tuam historian Catherine Corless discovered the extent of the mass grave when she requested records of children's deaths in the home. The registrar in Galway gave her almost 800. Shocked, she checked 100 of these against graveyard burials, and found only one little boy who had been returned to a family plot. The vast majority of the children's remains, it seemed, were in the septic tank. Corless and a committee have been working tirelessly to raise money for a memorial that includes a plaque bearing each child's name.

Sean Ross Abbey
Sean Ross Abbey, a home run by nuns in County Tipperary, from where 438 babies were secretly exported to the US for adoption. Photograph: Brian Lockier/www.adoptionrightsalliance.com
For those of you unfamiliar with how, until the 1990s, Ireland dealt with unmarried mothers and their children, here it is: the women were incarcerated in state-funded, church-run institutions called mother and baby homes or Magdalene asylums, where they worked to atone for their sins. Their children were taken from them.

According to Corless, death rates for children in the Tuam mother and baby home, and in similar institutions, were four to five times that of the general population. A health board report from 1944 on the Tuam home describes emaciated, potbellied children, mentally unwell mothers and appalling overcrowding. But, as Corless points out, this was no different to other homes in Ireland. They all had the same mentality: that these women and children should be punished.

Ireland knows all this. We know about the abuse women and children suffered at the hands of the clergy, abuse funded by a theocratic Irish state. What we didn't know is that they threw dead children into unmarked mass graves. But we're inured to these revelations by now.

Corless expresses surprise that the media were so slow to report her story, that people didn't seem to care. If two children were found in an unmarked grave, she observes, it would be news; what about 800? But what is the difference between the wall of lies, denial and secrecy the church constructed to protect its paedophile priests and a concrete slab over the bodies of 796 children neglected to death by nuns? Good people unearth these evil truths, but the church always survives.

The archbishop of Tuam and the head of the Irish Bon Secours sisters will soon meet to discuss the memorial and service planned at the site. The Bon Secours sisters have donated what the Irish TV station RTÉ describes as "a small sum" to the children's graveyard committee.

Father Fintan Monaghan, secretary of the Tuam archediocese, says: "I suppose we can't really judge the past from our point of view, from our lens. All we can do is mark it appropriately and make sure there is a suitable place here where people can come and remember the babies that died."

Let's not judge the past on our morals, then, but on the morals of the time. Was it OK, in mid-20th century Ireland, to throw the bodies of dead children into sewage tanks? Monaghan is really saying: "don't judge the past at all". But we must judge the past, because that is how we learn from it.

Monaghan is correct that we need to mark history appropriately. That's why I am offering the following suggestions as to what the church should do to in response:

Do not say Catholic prayers over these dead children. Don't insult those who were in life despised and abused by you. Instead, tell us where the rest of the bodies are. There were homes throughout Ireland, outrageous child mortality rates in each. Were the Tuam Bon Secours sisters an anomalous, rebellious sect? Or were church practices much the same the country over? If so, how many died in each of these homes? What are their names? Where are their graves? We don't need more platitudinous damage control, but the truth about our history.

Gordon Ferguson #fundie theguardian.com

A Ukip candidate who sent a letter to his constituents calling for pro-Europe leaders to be hanged has apologised, saying he has not had media training.

Gordon Ferguson, who is standing in the Cambridge ward in Southport, said in an email to the Guardian: "In retrospect I can see the language I used and ideas I alluded to may be perceived as rather strong. However, it's a reflection of how strongly I feel about the growing undemocratic power and influence of the EU over UK affairs. I am by no means media trained but an ordinary chap who wants the best for Britain."

He said the media were looking for any way to embarrass the party by going after "ordinary men and women who wish to stand proudly for Ukip at local level". He said he "regretted any embarrassment he had caused the party at this crucial time".

In the letter to constituents, Ferguson wrote: "The Lib-Lab-Cons have conspired with a foreign power the EU and all are thereby guilty of treason. They have sold Britain with the world's fifth largest economy illegally into increasing slavery inside the EU dictatorship. Those responsible should be brought to trial and those found guilty of treason should be hung by the neck until dead (Blair illegally changed the penalty to save his neck)."

He went on to claim it was unlikely that treasonable acts by politicians would be brought trial because most police officers, judges and the Crown Prosecution Service were "almost all exclusively freemason", adding: "Britain's courts have been corrupt for many years. They are all almost in the pocket of the EU."

Ferguson has appeared in a YouTube video denouncing opponents of Ukip for pulling down posters and throwing paint over a Ukip van

Vitaly Milonov #fundie theguardian.com

The Russian politician who inspired a controversial anti-gay law has found a new source of gay propaganda: the Eurovision song contest.

St Petersburg legislator Vitaly Milonov – who sponsored a local law against homosexual propaganda in 2011 that helped pave the way for a similar federal law last year – has written a letter to Russia's Eurovision selection committee asking it not to send Russian musicians to the 2014 competition in Copenhagen in May.

Calling the event a "Europe-wide gay parade," Milonov argued that Russian performers' participation would "contradict the path of cultural and moral renewal that Russia stands on today". In a tweet, the lawmaker called for a full boycott of the "Sodom show".

"Even just broadcasting the competition in Russia could insult millions of Russians," Milonov said in the letter, according to a statement from his press service.

"The participation of the obvious transvestite and hermaphrodite Conchita Wurst on the same stage as Russian singers on live television is blatant propaganda of homosexuality and spiritual decay."

Singer Thomas Neuwirth will represent Austria at Eurovision this year in his drag persona of Conchita Wurst. Milonov later tweeted that "completely boycotting" the show was not necessary, but said the "pervert from Austria" should be excluded.

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah #fundie theguardian.com

The sultan of oil-rich Brunei has announced the introduction of tough Islamic criminal punishments, pushing ahead with plans that have sparked international condemnation and rare domestic criticism of the fabulously wealthy ruler.

[...]

But 67-year-old Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah – one of the world's wealthiest men – said in his decree that the move was "a must" under Islam, dismissing "never-ending theories" that sharia punishments were cruel in comments clearly aimed at detractors.

"Theory states that Allah's law is cruel and unfair but Allah himself has said that his law is indeed fair," he said.

The initial phase beginning on Thursday introduces fines or jail terms for offences ranging from indecent behaviour, failure to attend Friday prayers, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies.

A second phase covering crimes such as theft and robbery is to be implemented later this year, involving more stringent penalties such as severing of limbs and flogging.

Late next year, punishments such as death by stoning for offences including sodomy and adultery will be introduced.

[Bolding mine]

DonH #fundie theguardian.com

[Comment on article about clashes between government and pro-Russian forces in Odessa]

The West WANTS not just civil war but world war - just as it did in 1914 and 1939. It is the only way out of capitalist crisis which despite all the nonsensical boasting about "recovery" is in catastrophic failure. As soon as the fraudulent conjuring trick of Quantitative Easing implodes things will be even more disastrous than 2008 (the worst collapse in all history - Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England). We need a revolution

Eclipso #fundie theguardian.com

[Comment on article describing daily life in North Korea]

To be honest ... apart from the food shortages, I'm not sure how it's any worse than life in the UK. Where are the slums and the ghettos? Judging by those photos, I'd guess that working class people in the UK have it worse. At least the North Koreans have solidarity and they all feel part of society. Over here, some people are just left to fend for themselves. They're sufficiently embittered by being spat on and treated like dirt that they take out their anger on even their own families. And that leads the one the highest rates of family breakdown in the whole world. Most people would rather have friends, family and community than a few fancy gadgets which probably take the richness out of life anyway.

Afghan government #fundie theguardian.com

Afghan government officials have proposed reintroducing public stoning as a punishment for adultery, Human Rights Watch said, even though the practice has been denounced both inside and outside the country as one of the most repugnant symbols of the Taliban regime.

The sentence for married adulterers, along with flogging for unmarried offenders, appears in a draft revision of the country's penal code being managed by the ministry of justice.

There are several references to stoning in a translated section of the draft seen by the Guardian, including detailed notes on judicial requirements for handing down the sentence.

"Men and women who commit adultery shall be punished based on the circumstances to one of the following punishments: lashing, stoning [to death]," article 21 states. The draft goes on to specify that the stoning should be public, in article 23.

Demonstrators and the Minute newspaper #fundie theguardian.com

A formal investigation has been launched over a racist slur made by a French far-right magazine against the country's justice minister.

On the cover of this week's edition, Minute magazine taunted Christiane Taubira with the headline: "Crafty as a monkey, Taubira gets her banana back". It is the third racist attack on Taubira in as many weeks and has provoked outrage and soul searching in France across political divides.

A member of the far-right National Front was suspended after comparing Taubira to a monkey in a recent television interview, and during a visit to the city of Angers, the minister faced children waving bananas. One 11-year-old girl shouted: "Monkey, eat your banana".

[...]

The headline is a play on words: banana can also be used as slang for a broad smile.


NB:bolding added

Gilles Bourdouleix and Jean-Marie Le Pen #racist theguardian.com

A centrist MP is facing expulsion from his party and legal action by the state after he allegedly said of French Travellers: "Hitler maybe didn't kill enough of them."

Gilles Bourdouleix, MP and mayor of the town of Cholet in the Maine and Loire region of western France, was reported to have made the comments on Sunday during an encounter with a group of Travellers who had parked over 100 caravans in a field owned by the local authority.

According to the local paper Le Courrier de L'Ouest the meeting, in which Bourdouleix told the Travellers they would have to move on, was tense, with some Travellers accusing him of racism and a few making a Nazi salute towards him.

During the exchange, as reported by the newspaper, a man said to Bourdouleix: "You know how to talk better than [the former president Nicolas] Sarkozy." The MP replied that "the law must be implemented".

There was murmuring and Bourdouleix reportedly said in a hushed tone: "Just goes to show that Hitler maybe didn't kill enough of them."

When the MP denied the comments, the paper published a recording on its website. The 53-year-old insisted he had been the victim of a "scandalous montage" and was considering suing.

[...]

Last month, rights groups said they would take legal action against the far-right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen after he told a meeting in Nice that Roma in the city were "rash-inducing" and "smelly".

[Emphasis mine]

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