| A two-year-old Indian girl born with four arms and four legs left hospital Saturday, more than a month after a marathon operation to remove her extra limbs, doctors said.|
Lakshmi left Sparsh Hospital in the southern city of Bangalore with her parents and older brother after doctors said she had recovered from the 27-hour operation to separate her from her headless, conjoined twin.
But she will return to hospital in March for doctors to assess whether she will need reconstructive surgery, said Sharan Patil, who headed the surgical team for the operation last month.
"She's doing well now and her parents are quite keen to take the baby home," Patil told reporters.
"We have to respect their wishes," he said. "I also feel further surgical steps are not of great urgency and I'm not in a hurry to perform them."
Lakshmi, named after the four-armed Hindu goddess of wealth, was born fused to the pelvis of a twin that had stopped developing in her mother's womb -- a condition that occurs once in 50,000 conjoined twin births.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
|In a dramatic reversal Saturday, the United States rejected and then accepted a compromise to set the stage for intense negotiations in the next two years aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.|
The White House, however, said in a statement that it still has "serious concerns" about the agreement.
"The negotiations must proceed on the view that the problem of climate change cannot be adequately addressed through commitments for emissions cuts by developed countries alone. Major developing economies must likewise act," the White House said.
Under the global warming pact, negotiating rounds would end in 2009.
The head of the U.S. delegation, Paula Dobriansky, undersecretary of state for democracy and global affairs, announced the United States was rejecting the plan. Her comments were met by booing from other delegations.
After Dobriansky's announcement, a delegate from the developing country of Papua New Guinea challenged the United States to "either lead, follow or get out of the way."
Five minutes later, when it appeared the conference was on the brink of collapse, Dobriansky took the floor again to say the United States was willing to accept the arrangement. Applause erupted in the hall and a relative level of success for the conference appeared certain.
What melo-drama! Break them down and build them back up. The glorious compromise is something the US was looking for the last couple of days.
|Humberto Rosa, a Portuguese environmental official, said a standoff had come to an end when specific guidelines were removed from wording about future emission cuts.|
The United States objected to the specific guidelines, saying including them was moving the process too quickly and would preempt any future negotiations.
The European Union wanted an agreement to require developed countries to cut their emissions by 25 to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2020. The United States, Japan and Canada oppose those targets.
The latest draft of the agreement removes the specific figures and instead, in a footnote, refers to the scientific study that supports them.
In other news, some crazed Dutch diplomat broke down sobbing like a baby because the world was uniting behind the enviro plan.
|He is known as the "hard man" of climate-change negotiation.|
But after 12 exhausting days of trying to reach a worldwide agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it was suddenly all too much for Yvo de Boer.
As the 200-nation Bali conference wrangled over a minor procedural matter, the Dutch diplomat in charge of the talks burst into tears and had to be led away by colleagues.
Moments earlier, Mr de Boer had been warning delegates that failure to reach an agreement on global warming could "plunge the world into conflict".
Officials from China, which feels Western countries should do more to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, accused UN negotiators of ignoring conference protocol.
Mr de Boer, distinctively dressed in a floral shirt, stepped up to the microphone to defend his staff - only to find that the words would no longer come.
As his unfinished sentences trailed away, he broke down and walked off the platform to supportive applause.
"He wasn't just wiping his eyes, he was in floods of tears," said one observer.
"Three colleagues - one of them a woman - formed a protective group around him and escorted him out of the hall. It was all very dramatic."
I support the look of disgust at those looking at the man blubbering in his floral shirt.
|According to an arrest report, released by the State Attorney's office, Eunice Lopez, a Cuban national, has married 10 different men in nearly five years, and she never filed for divorce in any of the cases.|
The first marriage took place in June of 2002 and the 10th marriage took place in November of 2006. She even married two men in the same month, in November of 2005, according to the arrest report.
So why did she do it? According to the Office of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), she was paid by the men so that they could stay in the U.S. She was allegedly running a virtual marriage mill.
"What we're starting to see is a new scheme in which Cuban nationals are being recruited to marry in -- bring people in -- under this type of scheme, in which they can come in, get married and then become a citizen quicker than if they were marrying a Cuban citizen," said Carmen Pino, an Assistant Special Agent In Charge with ICE.
|So how exactly did Lopez obtain all those marriage licenses without being flagged by the county clerk of courts office?|
''I'm not sure if there's a checks and balances system in place,'' Chavez said. ''If they had a checks and balances system, then perhaps her name would have come up through a search, but that doesn't seem to be the case here,'' Chavez said.
A simple check on the Miami-Dade County Clerk's website, providing only the bride's name and birthdate, yielded 17 marriage licenses.
Welcome to Miami!
|THE HAGUE - the emancipation of foreign women will lead the coming years according to the expectations to more fallen of eergerelateerd violence. Minister Ella bird ear for integration Thursday in a consultation with the House of Commons has said that.|
She recognised that the government has visibility still no on the exact scope of the problem. The phenomenon has been put in the previous years however on the agenda and open to discussion has been made. That reduces the threshold to come outside to and for example to knock for aid.
That will lead bird ear to an increase cases of violence, thus, registered of the number of. Moreover they has of especially woman organisations understood that the emancipation process experiences that foreign women, paired will go with huiselijk and eergerelateerd violence. „We must take into account an increase of the problem”, said them.
Meanwhile of it a rural Service Centre is eerwraak and other forms to eergerelateerd improve violence tackle to be able. Moreover each politiekorps has a contact for eerwraakzaken, thus minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (justice). At the special eerwraakteam, the Unit MEP, this year has come in approximately 470 matters. A third was related to matter from the police force region hedge countries, the rest played in other politiekorpsen.
Not only women, but also men become victim of eergerelateerd violence. State Secretary jet Bussemaker (Health, Welfare and Sport) works for this reason for a rurally covering relief for adult and under 21 male victims. That can be homo's, but for example also brothers who want help their little sister. To start, Bussemaker come for them in the four large cities five Ã ten relief places by city, announced.
| A small sign that asked customers to order in English at a famous cheesesteak shop was never meant to be offensive, the shop's owner testified Friday at a hearing to decide whether the policy was discriminatory.|
Joe Vento, the owner of Geno's Steaks, defended his policy before the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations, which filed the discrimination complaint.
"This country is a melting pot, but what makes it work is the English language," Vento told the commission. "I'm not stupid. I would never put a sign out to hurt my business."
Vento posted two small signs in October 2005 at his shop in a diverse South Philadelphia neighborhood, telling customers, "This is AMERICA: WHEN ORDERING PLEASE 'SPEAK ENGLISH.'"
He said Friday that he posted the sign because of concerns over the debate on immigration reform and the increasing number of people from the area who could not order in English.
Camille Charles, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, testified that Vento's signs harken back to the "Whites only" postings of the Jim Crow era.
"The signs give a feeling of being unwelcome and being excluded," Charles said.
No ruling is expected for at least two months, the three-member panel said.
Jim Crow laws were meant specifically to seperate blacks from whites to inferior places and settings. This doesn't harken back to a damn thing especially that era of America. To show what a farce this commission is this is their other complaint.
|Another sign at Geno's that says employees have the right to refuse service to any customer, but Vento said it has been there for about 20 years and is not related to the speak-English sign. He testified that he has never turned anyone away because he couldn't order in English.|
"Nobody goes away without a sandwich," Vento said.
"Do you think I'm stupid? I built the business from six dollars into a multimillion-dollar business . . . And you're gonna tell me I'm refusing service to people and I'm that successful?" he asked. "Well, if I am, I'm a very lucky guy and I should be on a plane to Las Vegas 'cause I'll probably break Las Vegas with this kinda luck."
Hummer countered that the sign "implies" that you can't get a cheesesteak there if you can't speak English, and is therefore discriminatory.
Meanwhile, Vento's business has been "phenomenal" since the controversy erupted last year, he said.
As if the right to refuse service is a new deal and not part of a business anywhere in America. This is a kangaroo court more than anything else helped by busybody multi-cults who are livid someone is playing by their rules.
|One of Ken Livingstone’s closest advisers faced calls for an investigation yesterday into grants of more than £500,000 paid to an organisation run by a friend. |
Lee Jasper, the Mayor of London’s director of equalities, is the subject of a complaint made by Conservatives in the London Assembly. They want an inquiry into grants by the London Development Agency to Brixton Base, a project to train black Londoners in creative arts.
The allegations were described as a “smear” by the Greater London Authority (GLA) which said Mr Jasper was not involved in grant decisions by the agency.
Mr Jasper is a patron of Brixton Base and is a friend of its director, Errol Walters. The project has received two grants from the agency totalling £287,000 for premises, even though it uses a building owned by the agency. A further grant of £230,000 was made towards equipment for the centre and for training courses.
The London Evening Standardreported claims of intimidation of students attending courses and links to gangs. Richard Barnes, Conservative Group leader on the London Assembly, said Mr Jasper should be suspended. Mr Barnes told the BBC: “This raises very serious issues about Lee Jasper’s conduct and his fitness to hold the office of Mayor’s Director of Equalities and Policing.
Mr Jasper said: “This is a purely politically motivated attack, and it is also an attack on black organisations.”The GLA backed Mr Jasper, saying: “All funds spent by the London Development Agency are decided by London Development Agency staff, via formal processes, and Lee Jasper has no right to take such decisions.” On allegations of gang activity at Brixton Base, it added: “In order to get people out of criminal lifestyles, it is obviously necessary to come into contact with ex-offenders.”
Then it turned into a he said he said, cries of racism and of course the overused wretched cliche of the "metaphorical lynching."
|Black organisations and the Mayor of London's senior advisor Lee Jasper,|
have blasted allegations made by London's Evening Standard newspaper that Jasper helped channel £2.5million into organisations controlled by close associates, which did little for the black community.
"This is a metaphorical lynching…It is disgraceful, impugning my reputation and the reputation of these black organisations. All of them are providing much needed services. To suggest anything else is just a blatant lie," Jasper told The Voice.
Andrew Gilligan who is the lead reporter on this story responds to a tirade posted by Livingstone on the Guardian's CiF page.
Now we come to the top as the Livingstone is accused of misleading the public.
|London's mayor has been accused of misleading the public over financial arrangements for a community project. |
Earlier this month Ken Livingstone said all public funds given to community projects could be accounted for.
But since October his auditors have been trying to trace £193,000 given to south London project Brixton Base.
The mayor believed all audits were in place when he spoke earlier this month, his spokesman said. Liberal Democrats asked for an independent investigation.
The Brixton Base project received £510,000 from the mayor's business arm, the London Development Agency (LDA) to provide media courses to young black people.
It included £280,000 for rent, even though the LDA is the landlord, and £230,000 for training.
Answering questions about the funding on 5 December, Mr Livingstone said: "We have a complete audit trail of all these organisations."
I am trying to follow the story but I do know over here when you take taxpayer money to fund
|ABC News' Sunlen Miller reports: Barack Obama often touts his work in the Senate on ethics reform legislation in which meals from lobbyists were eliminated. |
At a campaign stop in Manchester, N.H. while talking up his success, he revealed a little bit about his dining establishment preferences with his bravado about the legislation.
Obama recalled a conversation he had with another senator who was giving him grief about working for the meal ban. The other Senator questioned to Obama, “What do you expect me to just start eating at McDonalds all the time?”
Obama recalled his response, “You get paid $160,000 a year, you can even afford Applebee's, you don’t even have to stoop so low as to eat at McDonalds.”
Some in the crowd were seen raising their eyebrows as Obama, the man who touts himself from the South Side of Chicago, critiqued the popular fast food chain.
Friday, December 14, 2007
more funny pictures
|Poorer countries accuse the rich of pressuring them to control emissions of greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, while refusing to provide them with technology needed to do so without hurting their economies. |
They have made their demands that rich nations provide cheap access to green know-how a centerpiece of the U.N. climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia.
"We know the challenges are there, but we cannot respond to the challenges because we don't have the capacity," said Maria Mutagamba, Uganda's environment minister.
Wealthy countries say they must consider demands of private companies for protection of their intellectual property rights, assurances they will have the opportunity to profit from their investments, and better regulation and laws in host nations.
....Developing nations have also called on the U.N. to fully fund the programs for technology transfer, set up powerful incentives for companies to share their know-how with the developing world, and set international targets for such transfers.
Wealthy countries, meanwhile, are pushing free-market answers to speed the diffusion of technologies.
The United States and the European Union, for instance, have proposed tearing down trade barriers to 43 green goods and services such as wind turbines. Washington is also concerned about protecting intellectual property rights as technology is spread around.
"If you want funds, venture capital funds, going to such inventions, the entrepreneurs, the businesses that invest, need to know they're going to get a return on their investment," U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab said in Bali earlier this week.
If companies are forced to send tech they spent hundreds of millions even billions of dollars on to poor nations on the cheap, the R&D on that sort of tech will cease to exist. Figure out a way to protect rights and then there can be a system put in place to sell the tech making with worth their companies time.
|Friends of the girl said she often clashed with her family over her refusal to wear a hijab, the traditional Muslim head scarf. |
El-Sayyed said Islam teaches that women have the right to choose whether or not they want to wear the hijab.
But the Muslim leaders admitted a child who didn't wear the hijab could bring shame to a family, and the parents could be viewed as failures in the community.
Mohammad Iqbal Alnadvi, a marriage counsellor and religious expert at the Al-Fatah Islamic Centre in Oakville, said he believes it's important for parents in Muslim families to give their daughters a choice when it comes to decisions of dress.
"My daughter, she's going into Grade 11, and she's taking the hijab,'' Alnadvi said.
"I never asked her to take the hijab, but I developed a mentality in her to choose -- it is her choice.''
There is something way off about the way she made her choice about wearing the hijab, at least they admitted that there is community pressure about the hijab and how it can shame them if the daughter doesn't do as they want her to choose.
This other report makes the two Imams look like insensitive a-holes who want to blame the girl for her own death in a backhand sort of way which was too much for two women there. This is unreal.
|National Post: While stressing the sanctity of human life, denouncing the crime and describing it as a case of domestic abuse, religious leaders yesterday insisted on the hijab’s importance to such parents as Aqsa’s, even if a daughter rejects it. |
“They were believing that part of their culture was hijab, and it is their duty to convince their kids that this is part of their culture,” said Mohammad Al-Nadvi, who sits on the Canadian Council of Imams, adding that if the daughter opts out, then they feel they have failed.
Still, Imam Al-Nadvi said that judging from the information he received, the hijab was only one of the issues.
“This girl, she refused to stay at home,” he said. “There were feelings that she is going in some wrong direction … going with some other boy or some other thing.”
After he made those comments, two women in hijabs interrupted him and started to disagree, before abruptly leaving the gym where the conference was being held.In an interview afterward, the women -- a mother and daughter -- said they had taken Aqsa into their home on various occasions, but would not offer any more information.
The convener of the event, Sheikh Alaa Elsayed, said that one of the keys to getting daughters to wear the hijab is teaching them about religion at a young age. The other, he said, is “a proper spouse.”
In his introductory remarks filled with religious references, Arabic flourishes and abundant blessings, Sheik Elsayed stressed that parents should teach the benefits of the religious clothing. “We have to be successful teachers,” he said, adding later in the dialogue that parents should encourage daughters “to do the right thing.”
Even people there realized how badly the conference went.
| After the meeting, several Muslims had conflicted feelings about the message given to the media. |
“I don’t know how important the hijab is,” said the centre’s director, M.D. Khalid. “My wife didn’t wear it until we had children, and then they went to Islamic school and she felt she should set a role in the family.”
|Five young boys who were convicted of causing a pensioner’s death by pelting him with stones had their convictions for manslaughter overturned yesterday.|
Ernest Norton, 67, suffered a heart attack after he was attacked while playing cricket with his son James, 17, at Erith Leisure Park, southeast London, last February.
The pair were confronted by a gang of about 20 youths who swore at Mr Norton and threw rocks, stones and pieces of wood at him. The former engineering draughtsman collapsed. Despite the efforts of Christopher Malone, an off-duty police officer, to revive him, he died while being air-lifted to hospital.
In August five boys who at the time of the attack were aged between 10 and 13 were convicted of manslaughter and violent disorder. They were sentenced two months later to detention terms of two years each for the former offence.
Yesterday at the Court of Appeal in London, Mark Wall, QC, representing the boys, challenged the safety of those convictions, arguing that the boys were not responsible for Mr Norton’s death. The court was told that the pensioner had had a triple heart bypass four decades before his death.
Lord Justice Gage, sitting with Mr Justice Tugendhat and Judge Scott Gall, ordered the release on bail of all the boys after quashing their convictions for manslaughter. Sentencing for the violent disorder offences will return to the trial judge at the Old Bailey.
Lord Justice Gage said that he would give the reasons for overturning the convictions at a later date.
|The capture of 15 Royal Navy personnel by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard during an operation in the Gulf in March was an embarrassment to the country, a report by the Commons Defence Committee said yesterday. |
Royal Navy commanders involved in the mission that led to the seizure of eight sailors and seven Royal Marines were also castigated for a “lapse in operational focus” and a “widespread failure of situational awareness”.
The MPs also criticised officials involved in the decision to allow two of the hostages to sell their stories to the media. This was “a serious mistake and deeply damaging to the reputation of the Royal Navy”, the MPs said.
Although Des Browne, the Defence Secretary, had apologised, “this should not absolve others from blame”, the MPs said. The 15 personnel who were held hostage for 13 days had all been operating from HMS Cornwall, a Type 22 frigate, commanded by Commodore Nick Lambert.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
|Union officials representing striking Hollywood writers said Thursday they filed an unfair labor practices complaint claiming studios violated federal law by breaking off negotiations.|
The Writers Guild of America also demanded that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers return to the bargaining so the six-week strike can be ended and thousands of workers idled by the walkout can return to their jobs.
Negotiations broke off Dec. 7 when the alliance refused to bargain further unless the union dropped a half-dozen proposals that included the authority to unionize writers on reality shows and animation projects.
The producers alliance criticized the complaint filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
The "baseless, desperate NLRB complaint is just the latest indication that the WGA's negotiating strategy has achieved nothing for working writers," the producers fired back in a prepared statement.
The labor board did not immediately return a call to its Los Angeles office.
The guild said in its statement that it was "a clear violation of federal law for the AMPTP to issue an ultimatum and break off negotiations if we fail to cave to their illegal demands."
It also said it was irresponsible for the alliance to break off talks in the midst of the holiday season, "with thousands of our members and the membership of other unions out of work."
I don't think I have ever heard of you have to bargain with us because its the holiday season angle before, but the complaint may just be a bug on the windshield.
|It's not unusual for opposing sides in a labor dispute to file such complaints in an attempt to turn up the bargaining pressure, said Daniel J.B. Mitchell, a professor of management and public policy at the University of California at Los Angeles.|
The guild said it expects the labor board to assign an investigator and complete an inquiry within 30 days.
Generally, if the board decides a complaint has merit, it can require a hearing that could lead to an order to resume bargaining in good faith or punitive measures such as fines.
Jonathan Handel, an entertainment attorney and former associate counsel for the writers guild, said the union made an "ill-considered and inflammatory" move that jeopardizes back-channel efforts to restart talks.
"The AMPTP would not want to look like it's caving into a legal threat," Handel said.
Earlier today, Businessweek said the writer's guild is losing ground and another union accuses the WGA of bargaining in bad faith.
|IATSE, a 50,000-person union, says as many as 40,000 editors, grips, and others have been laid off as the strike shut down some 100 TV shows. "I don't believe the WGA ever intended to bargain in good faith," IATSE President Thomas Short says. The talks, he adds, won't continue, "until the WGA leadership starts behaving responsibly, which is unlikely."|
A Nasty Little Surprise for the WGA
IATSE has its own issues with the WGA: The writers on reality shows are mostly editors, who are covered by their union. The WGA tried, and failed, to organize them in the past. But the attitude of the WGA, as outlined by Short, is beginning to splinter the WGA leadership and some of its rank and file. "I want unity, I want progress, I want a good deal," writes Scary Movie 3 writer Craig Mazin on the Artful Writer blog. "I just think [the WGA leadership] is hurting us now, and hurting us in a fashion that could leave permanent scars." Mazin, and I suspect a growing number of writers on strike, would just as soon scrap the reality writer provision and concentrate on getting a piece of the action from new media, which he rightly says is "the stuff that matters."
The Director's Guild said by new year, they will talk to the studios.
|Hollywood directors said Thursday they will hold off on contract negotiations with studios for now but could start talks after New Year's Day.|
The move could put added pressure on striking Hollywood writers to reach a new contract with studios and end their six-week walkout.
In a statement, the Directors Guild of America said it was deeply disappointed by the collapse of talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
So this complaint now looks more of a PR move than anything of substance.
|If a candidate wants to potentially lose a lot of Hispanic votes, then he or she should focus on cracking down on illegal immigrants.|
That's one important take-away message from a new Pew Hispanic Center poll released today. The survey suggests that when politicians, particularly Republicans, try to outcompete each other on immigration enforcement, many Hispanics take such talk personally.
If a candidate wants to lose a much larger amount of votes then advocate an amnesty position.
|The survey finds that Hispanics oppose these enforcement measures, often by lopsided margins. Three quarters (75%) disapprove of workplace raids; some 79% prefer that local police not take an active role in identifying illegal immigrants; and some 55% disapprove of states checking for immigration status before issuing driver's licenses. By contrast, non-Hispanics are much more supportive of all these policies, with a slight majority favoring workplace raids and a heavy majority favoring driver's license checks.|
....Whatever new vulnerability Hispanics feel in the present political and policy environment, the survey finds little evidence of a backlash against illegal immigration by Hispanics themselves.
To the contrary, Hispanics generally see illegal immigrants as a plus – both for the Latino community itself and for the U.S. economy in general. Here, too, there are differences by nativity – with the foreign born significantly more positive than the native born in their views about the effects of illegal immigration. But even the native born are more positive than negative.
And, as they assess the impact of illegal immigrants on the economy, native-born Latinos are more inclined to see a positive impact now (64%) than they were five years ago, when just 54% said the impact was positive.
So the Pew poll is saying Hispanics do not want the rule of law to be followed and just let everyone in because its a good thing for them. This sort of arrogant talk also plays well into the groups who want to point out they are getting shafted like say... Blacks.
The poll results are just astonishing because it shows an open border mentality among Hispanics that will not go over well with vast majority of the general public.
Now we find out she got set back and went thru six weeks of sexual assaults.
|THE little girl who was gang-raped in the Cape York community of Aurukun was subjected to a six-week reign of sexual abuse by her attackers.|
The story of the attacks on the 10-year-old is told in sparse but chilling detail in a police statement presented in court to Sarah Bradley, the District Court judge who failed to jail the attackers.
The document also reveals that apart from the gang rape, the little girl was raped at least six times over a period of six weeks by the nine males who pleaded guilty to attacking her.
Steve Carter, the prosecutor who has been stood aside pending an investigation into the case, did not give details of the gang rape during the sentencing hearing in Cairns District Court, which was sitting in Aurukun.
Instead, Judge Bradley apparently relied on the statement of facts Mr Carter presented to the court, and released to The Australian yesterday.
As you can expect considering what she has gone thru her entire young life she may be beyond repair.
|THE Aboriginal girl raped by nine males in the remote Cape York community of Aurukun was left "broken and uncontrollable", the child's former case worker says.|
After being taken into care following her sexual abuse over six weeks last year, the girl, now 12, destroyed property and stabbed and held her case workers hostage.
On one occasion the girl was so out of control she was placed in detention and sedated, the source said.
The revelations came as Child Safety Minister Margaret Keech released details of the intensive therapy program developed to rebuild the girl's shattered life.
Ms Keech said the child – who was allegedly seriously sexually abused at ages five and eight years and was 10 at the time of the multiple rapes in 2006 – was now attending dancing classes and undergoing anger management therapy.
Cover up claims are surfacing.
|QUEENSLAND government ministers ordered Department of Child Safety workers not to tell police about hundreds of cases of suspected child abuse and neglect on Cape York following a row over the gang rape of a 10-year-old girl at the Aboriginal community of Aurukun.|
The explosive claim is contained in a record of interview by investigators with a senior child protection specialist police officer, which was obtained by The Australian yesterday.
An investigative review team - led by the state's Crime and Misconduct Commission - was tasked with determining why the department took the 10-year-old girl from a safe foster home in Cairns and returned her to the Aurukun community, where she was subsequently gang-raped in May last year, and then failed to promptly alert police of the crime.
The review team heard that hundreds of reports of children being sexually abused and neglected in Cape York communities last year were kept from police by Child Safety officers, who had been directed not to pass the reports to police or even talk to them.
According to the team's 400-page report, Detective Sergeant David Harold from Cairns Child Protection Investigation Unit told the team that police became aware of "numerous child protection issues through the Cape we hadn't been advised of".
While there have been numerous cases where child safety officers had failed to pass evidence to police, Sergeant Harold said: "It got to a political level at that stage where I believe ministers got involved and certain people were told not to speak to police. My job was to track down each (medical) clinic in the Cape and I got that under way ... but then there was some political issues where a directive came from Brisbane (that) 'You are not allowed to talk to the police - don't tell them anything'."
Sergeant Harold said that even the clinics were eventually told not to advise police of any reports they had made of abused or raped children and which had been sent to the Department of Child Safety.
Prominent indigenous leader Noel Pearson, director of the Cape York Institute, today called for an investigation into the claims, describing them as “extremely alarming”.
People need to be put in jail and a severe crackdown must be implemented in these Aboriginal communities. I could care less about past events and a "need" for cultural tolerance which allowed this girl to be put in a community devoid of morals and values to protect their young people from harm. People had to know what was going on and did nothing. That includes all the worthless aboriginal activists that have put more effort in getting an official apology than taking care of their communities.
This last part shows a complete lack of common sense and thinking in terms of political correctness instead of what is best for this girl.
|The department is now caring for the child.|
"She is currently in a safe place with indigenous carers, maintaining cultural links with her community," the department said last night.
"She continues to receive long-distance education, counselling and other therapeutic support, including music and dance lessons. It is hoped she will be able to attend school in 2009."
Her cultural links to this vile community need to be cut off because she will never be right with continued back and forth movement she has gone thru to this point.
|What is it with our craven mainstream media? They simply cannot give you the news straight when it comes to bloody sharia and bloody jihad. A Muslim girl was murdered over her refusal to wear a hijab, for crying out loud, and this is how it’s headlined:|
Canadian Teen Dies; Father Charged
Meantime, the Canadian press is pulling out its “Broad Strata” card again.
This curious defense and obviously coordinated between the various groups has popped up.
|Across Canada, the killing has taken on larger proportions, with many using it to more broadly indict fundamentalist Islam, and one Internet blogger going as far as suggesting a boycott of all taxicabs driven by Muslims.|
But a spokesman for the Canadian Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-CAN) said he is dubious of opinions the girl's death resulted from a clash of cultures.
"Teen rebellion is something that exists in all households in Canada and is not unique to any culture or background," CAIR-CAN's Sameer Zuberi told AFP. "Domestic violence is also not unique to Muslims."
"The strangulation death of Ms. Parvez was the result of domestic violence, a problem that cuts across Canadian society and is blind to color or creed," echoed Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Social Services Association.
Teen rebellion and domestic violence does cut across all color and culture lines. But violence like honor killing and a father killing his own daugher because she refused to wear a hijab is depressingly not that rare in the grand scheme of things.
|Fresh Direct, the online grocery delivery operation that caters to affluent and overworked New Yorkers, lost dozens of employees this week after federal immigration officials notified the company that its employee records were under investigation.|
The company sent its workers a memo on Sunday and Monday saying that Immigration and Customs Enforcement planned to inspect the records of every employee and asked them to update their information and provide documents, like Social Security cards, to prove employment eligibility. At least 40 warehouse workers who could not produce proof that they were authorized to work in the United States quit or were suspended.
....Companies that knowingly hire illegal immigrants can face fines or criminal charges, but until recently, prosecutions were extremely rare. In some workplaces elsewhere in the country, workers without proper documents were summoned to the main office without warning, and taken away in handcuffs.
Union officials said that many Fresh Direct employees, who earn between $7.50 and $9.75 an hour, were so frightened of being detained and separated from their children that they stayed home on Wednesday. Others said they were told not to come back.
Ms. Pope said that some employees were warned by company officials not to show up for their paychecks. She said the union was scrambling to find clergy members or other volunteers to collect paychecks for workers who feared going back to the warehouse.
One 41-year-old woman from Ecuador, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of deportation, said she was let go with an expression of regret when she told human resources workers at the company that the Social Security number she had been using for nearly four years was false.
“I’m really desperate now because I have no money to send to my kids,” she said, referring to four children in Ecuador. “I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life.”
| A MELBOURNE mother is being investigated by police over her links to Somali jihadis and accusations she supports Islamic martyrdom.|
The Muslim convert, a friend of Sydney's militant Islamic matriarch Rabiyah Hutchinson, is also alleged to have declared herself and her family "soldiers of Osama bin Laden", who act on his orders.
The allegations are contained in an official statement given to the Australian Federal Police in relation to its investigation into Somali community figures suspected of encouraging dozens of young men to return to their homeland and join Islamic jihad.
The statement accuses another Australian convert, Aisha Whitehead, of encouraging her Somali-born Australian husband Ahmed Ali to fight alongside terrorists in his war-torn homeland.
The mother, who introduced Ms Whitehead to Mr Ali, allegedly told a small gathering of Muslim women in Melbourne that she supported Islamic jihad and was a follower of the hardline Wahabi form of Islam.
"We are Wahabi," the mother is quoted as saying in the sworn statement seen by The Australian and given by a Somali community member to the AFP in August. Asked at the gathering whether it was bad to be a Wahabi, she replied: "No, we are soldiers of Osama bin Laden. We take orders from him. If he tells us to go somewhere, we go."
|A Conservative cabinet minister says the Canadian Islamic Congress is attempting to undermine basic Charter freedoms by filing complaints against a journalist who wrote a book on the Muslim world.|
Jason Kenney, the secretary of state for multiculturalism, weighed in Wednesday on the controversy surrounding columnist Mark Steyn's bestseller America Alone. The Canadian Islamic Congress has filed complaints with federal and provincial human rights commissions based on an excerpt of Steyn's book that appeared in Maclean's Magazine in October.
"To be attacking opinions expressed by a columnist in a major magazine is a pretty bold attack on the basic Canadian value of freedom of the press and freedom of expression," Kenney said in an interview. "I think all Canadians would reject that kind of effort to undermine one of our basic freedoms."
|NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- NBC has taken the unusual step of giving cash back to a sampling of its advertisers, owing to ratings shortfalls in the 2006-2007 programming season. |
When TV networks miss agreed-upon ratings targets, they typically offer marketers additional advertising time, also known as a "make-good." NBC, like other broadcast networks, pushed off delivering make-goods from last season until this fall, thinking it would be able to deliver the extra ratings points for advertisers more easily when its new shows launched. But NBC has battled to launch a big hit for the last few seasons, and giving money back is a sign that the network's fall season is not performing as well as executives at the General Electric-owned outlet might like.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
|Samurai swords will be banned from next April, the Government has announced.|
Their importation, sale and hire will be made illegal following a series of crimes committed using the weapons, Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said.
Collectors of genuine Japanese swords and martial arts enthusiasts will be exempt from the ban.
Mr Coaker said: "In the wrong hands, samurai swords are dangerous weapons - there have been a number of high profile, serious incidents involving samurai swords in England and Wales in recent years. It is therefore crucial that we take this action to tackle the menace of violent crime.
Gary Anthony Williams plays Clarence/Clarice on ABC's "Boston Legal" as well as doing the voice for Uncle Ruckus on the Cartoon Network's "The Boondocks."
Williams is chatty as he waits for his turn in the recording booth.
|he three main minorities in the United States -- blacks, Hispanics and Asians -- have little trust for each other and hold prejudiced views about Americans of different ethnic origins to their own, a poll showed Wednesday.|
"This extraordinary poll reveals some unflattering realities that exist in America today," said Sandy Close, head of new America Media (NAM) which sponsored the poll together with ethnic media groups.
Forty-four percent of Hispanics and 47 percent of Asians are "afraid of African-Americans because they are responsible for most of the crime," the survey of 1,105 adults drawn from the three ethnic groups showed.
More than half of black Americans polled and 46 percent of Hispanics said Asian business owners do not treat them with respect.
And half of African-Americans said Latin American immigrants "are taking jobs, housing and political power away from the black community."
Hispanics and Asians, whose populations are made up mainly of immigrants, were positive about the American dream, saying that those who work hard in the United States reap the rewards of their toil.
In contrast, more than 60 percent of African-Americans dismissed the American dream as not working for them.
All three ethnic groups viewed white Americans in a more favorable light than they did members of another minority.
Sixty-one percent of Hispanics, 54 percent of Asians and 47 percent of African-Americans said they would rather do business with whites than members of the other two groups.
This last part raises a question.
|The three minority groups did agree that the United States would be a better place if blacks, Asians and Hispanics held more authoritative positions at universities, in business, media and government.|
They also said they believe racial tensions in the United States will ease over the next 10 years.
Logically not every group will be equally represented in these positions of power, so what happens if one group gets more than the other, still think the complaints and distrust will go away?
|So why is it that the very powerful NFL is getting doors slammed in its face? It all comes down to money. Cities have learned that spending hundreds of millions of dollars for new facilities that may be used no more than 15 times a year is not worth the effort or the expense. Football stadiums do not act as economic engines for standalone businesses: There is only a stadium and a huge parking lot. Unless that land is developed as it will be in Arlington, Texas, for Jerry Jones's new Dallas Cowboys facility, or the Giants' and Jets' Meadowlands project, football stadiums are virtually worthless economically because of a lack of use.|
The failures of getting stadium funding in the Los Angeles market may have a domino effect on a number of franchises, including Wilf's Vikings, Tom Benson's New Orleans Saints, Ralph Wilson's Buffalo Bills, and York's 49ers and the Spanos' Chargers. To play the stadium game correctly, one needs competition and a threat of relocation. But neither Los Angeles nor Anaheim has decided to get into the game.
Nothing you haven't read somewhere in the article, just the same claptrap.
|Australia's federal government said Wednesday it may extend a controversial plan to take control of Aboriginal communities in the Australian Outback in response to the abuse of a 10-year-old girl whose rapists went free from prison.|
The case has fueled fears about the breakdown of society in Aboriginal townships that are riven by poverty, violence and alcohol abuse.
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin said she would speak to the leader of Queensland state, where the rape occurred, about a federal plan under way in the Northern Territory to combat rampant child sex abuse. The federal government earlier this year launched an intervention plan in the Northern Territory, after an official investigation concluded child sex abuse was rife because of neglect and the effects of what it called "rivers of grog" -- or alcohol.
On Tuesday, federal officials conceded that Australia's welfare system failed a girl who was removed from a remote Aboriginal community after being sexually abused at age 7, then gang raped at age 10 when she was returned to live in the town.
The case has drawn outrage in Australia after it was revealed that nine males who pleaded guilty to the second rape were paroled or had their sentences suspended by a judge who said the victim had probably consented to having sex with them.
The case underscores fears about the breakdown of society in remote Aboriginal communities, where joblessness, alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault and violence are reported as rampant.
Australia's original inhabitants are a minority of about 400,000 in a population of 21 million, and are the poorest and most disadvantaged citizens, with a life expectancy 17 years shorter than any other group.
The federal government earlier this year launched a radical intervention plan in another Outback region, the Northern Territory, after an official investigation concluded child sex abuse was rife because of neglect and the effects of what it called "rivers of grog" -- or alcohol.
The plan, which involves bans on alcohol and pornography and tying welfare payments to schooling and buying food, does not apply outside the territory, where the federal government retains powers it does not have over the states.
|The European Union's highest court has backed the right of companies to move to another EU state to cut costs. |
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) was ruling on a Finnish ferry company, Viking, which replaced the crew on one of its ships with Estonian workers.
Trade unions intervened, preventing Estonian union members from negotiating with the company.
The court said unions were allowed to take collective action, if jobs and work conditions were under threat.
The ECJ decided it was up to the national court to decide whether jobs were likely to be affected.
But it warned the unions that collective action would be illegal if it restricted the EU's freedom of establishment, which guarantees a company's right to carry out economic activity in other member states.
|Gordon Brown will announce today that he intends to talk to the Taliban in a bid to end the war in Afghanistan. |
In a major shift in UK foreign policy the Prime Minister is expected to tell the Commons today that negotiation is the only way to bring peace to the war torn country.
This year has been the deadliest in Afghanistan since the U.S. led invasion of 2001.
In a landmark statement in the Commons he will say that the Cabinet has agreed a three pronged strategy for Afghanistan which will security guaranteed by NATO and the Afghan national army followed by economic and political development in the country.
The third prong of the plan is likely to be most controversial - to engage Taliban leaders in constructive dialogue.
A senior source said last night: "We need to ask who are we fighting? Do we need to fight them - can we be talking to them?"
...The British forces in Afghanistan are increasingly aware that the Taliban is not a clearly-defined structure, as it was in the days when it ran the country prior to 2001, but rather a shifting group of foreign and Afghan fighters with varying levels of loyalty to the cause.
Commanders on the ground speak of 'tier 1' and 'tier 2' Taliban, and the need to separate the two.
'Tier 1' consist of religious extremists and hard-core idealists, fully committed to a state governed by their own interpretation of Sharia law.
It is thought there may be only a few hundred such fighters left in Afghanistan, although there is little hope of constructive dialogue with them.
The 'tier 2' Taliban are those who could be persuaded to give up the struggle. Many are thought to fight against coalition forces under duress, or because they have no other means of making a living but to fight for money, at the going rate of around $10 a day.
Many of these 'reconcilable' Taliban could be won over, according to the UK military, particularly if the tribal leaders who command their loyalty decide that the coalition and the Afghan national government in Kabul represent a better bet for the future.
So this would be the same thing America is doing in Iraq peeling off tribes and leaders who we can work with and turn them against the Tier 1? The other thing they should be doing is stop fighting the damn opium crops, at the very least buy them from the farmers so the Taliban and gangs get it first to finance their operations.
|The journey is coming to an end for NBC's freshman series "Journeyman."|
NBC had until Tuesday to give a full-season pickup to the time-travel drama starring Kevin McKidd. The network let that option lapse, practically canceling the series, which posted its lowest adults 18-49 rating (1.7 rating/8 share) on Monday without a "Heroes" lead-in. The network already tried out fellow rookie "Life" in "Journeyman"'s Monday 10 p.m. slot last week.
Despite the Hollywood writers strike, "Journeyman" was able to complete its 13-episode order.
The remaining two original segments will air as scheduled, an NBC spokeswoman said.
NBC recently handed out full-season pickups to two of its four rookie scripted series, "Life" and "Chuck."
Since the production of most scripted series has been suspended because of the strike, such orders are considered a vote of confidence to the shows and a potential renewal for next season if the additional episodes can't be produced by the end of this season.
In limbo is the fate of the fourth new NBC series, the once-promising "Bionic Woman," which has been sliding in the ratings since its premiere.
|Venezuela lifted price caps on sterilized milk, marking the first reversal of controls on food that President Hugo Chavez began imposing in 2003, as the government seeks to relieve supermarket shortages.|
The move comes a week after voters in a national referendum rejected Chavez's plan for a revised constitution, handing him his first electoral loss since he ran for president nine years ago. Growing discontent about scarce food supplies may be eroding Chavez's popularity among the poor Venezuelans who formed the base for his re-election last year.
``With these price controls it's impossible to produce milk,'' said Ana Maria di Leo, chief economist for economic research firm Veneconomia in Caracas. ``The government is admitting that the problem is getting out of hand.''
Milk production, along with output other basic foods including eggs, meat and cooking oil, has lagged behind growth in demand since the government implemented the controls, resulting in block-long lines at supermarkets across the country and growing criticism of Chavez's management of the economy.
Datanalisis, a Venezuelan polling company, last month found that 46 percent of Venezuelans blame the government for food shortages compared with 31 percent who hold private companies responsible, according to a report in Caracas newspaper El Universal. Luis Vicente Leon, president of Datanalisis, didn't reply to messages left at his office seeking confirmation of the poll's results.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
|A Canadian teenager who was said to have clashed with her father about whether she should wear a traditional Muslim head scarf died of injuries late on Monday, and her father told police he had killed her.|
Aqsa Parvez, 16, was found without a pulse in her home in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga earlier on Monday. She was resuscitated by paramedics, treated at two hospitals, and later succumbed to her injuries, police said on Tuesday.
Her father, 57-year-old Muhammad Parvez, has been charged with murder and was remanded back into custody after his first court appearance early on Tuesday.
"There was a 911 call placed by a man who indicated that he had just killed his daughter," Jodi Dawson, a constable with Peel Regional Police, told Reuters. "Everything else is evidentiary in nature and the investigation is in its preliminary stages at this point."
The victim's brother, Waqas Parvez, 26, was arrested and charged with obstructing police.
Astonishingly, Canadian papers are already trying to give out excuses and act almost non-plussed about it. The liberal Toronto Star had this article that tries to smooth out the "tension" about wearing it which has nothing to do with the story that a girl got attacked/killed by her father because she did not want to wear it.
The Canadian Islamic Congress who is trying to sue Mark Steyn and other critics into silence gives out a warning to the public and press about the killing.
|TORONTO - A slain Muslim teen whose father has been charged with murder apparently chafed at the prospect of wearing traditional religious garb, but members of the Islamic community warn against anyone using the tragedy to vilify the head scarf known as the hijab.|
Friends have said Parvez clashed with her family about her reluctance to wear the hijab, a traditional garment for all devout Muslim women. Police have not commented on a possible motive in the case and experts caution against jumping to conclusions about the source of any conflict in the family.
"I don't want the public to think that this is really an Islamic issue or an immigrant issue," said Mohamed Elmasry of the Canadian Islamic Congress. "It is a teenager issue."
So far the evidence points out to it being an Islamic issue due to the father and it is an immigrant issue because these type of values were not created in Canada.
|The News spoke with several students at Applewood today. They said their friend, known by those close to her as "Axe," feared her father and had argued with him over her desire to shun the hijab, a traditional shoulder-length head scarf worn by females in devout Muslim families.|
Ashley Garbutt, 16, said Parvez was so afraid, that she recently moved out and was living with a friend.
She had returned home late Sunday night to pick up clothes, friends said.
Police aren't saying what time Parvez was attacked.
"She said she was always scared of her dad...and, normally, she's not scared of nobody," said Garbutt.
Ebonie Mitchell, 16, and other friends said Aqsa wore the hijab to school last year, but rebelled against wearing it this fall.
They said she would leave home wearing the traditional garment and loose clothing, but would often change into tighter garments at school.
"She was really into fashion," Mitchell said.
Another classmate and close friend, Dominiquia Holmes-Thompson, said Parvez "got threatened" in the past year during her tumultuous relationship with members of her family.
Carla Gianetti said Parvez's father imposed several restrictions on his daughter, all in the name of religion. Parvez couldn't take it anymore and threatened to move out, she said.
"He wouldn't let her go out. He wouldn't let her socialize and she rebelled. She wanted to go out with her friends; just be like a normal person," Gianetti said.
Staff members at the school were aware of the "conflict" between Parvez and members of her family and were working with them to resolve the issues and "bridge the gap," said Peel District School Board spokesperson Sylvia Link.
"They were trying to connect (Aqsa and her family) with support services in the community," she said, adding school staff had no idea of the extent of the conflict.
|A furore has erupted in Australia after it emerged that a judge failed to imprison nine men and teenage boys who pleaded guilty to gang-raping a 10-year-old Aboriginal girl.|
The judge said the victim "probably agreed" to have sex with the men, who were from Aurukun, a violence-plagued Aboriginal community on the Cape York peninsula of Queensland.
Justice Sarah Bradley noted that even prosecutors in the case had not asked for custodial sentences.
Amid accusations of a gross error of judgment, there were calls for Ms Bradley to be sacked.
The Judge has a problem with the legal system when it comes to dealing with Aborignals.
|THE judge who handed down non-custodial sentences to nine males who admitted raping a 10-year-old girl has previously spoken out about the challenges involved in sentencing Aboriginal offenders.|
At a judges conference in January, Judge Sarah Bradley said indigenous offenders needed to be given special consideration by judges because of their gross over-representation in the criminal justice system.
Judge Bradley said a raft of issues, including cultural and language barriers, made it difficult for Aboriginal people to access the justice system and receive equal treatment.
She also identified the advantages and limitations of indigenous community justice initiatives and said justice could often only be done after obtaining input from community leaders. "Sentencing indigenous offenders is never easy. There are times when the offending behaviour clearly warrants the imposition of severe and significant penalties," she told the Perth conference.
"There are also times when a judge who has knowledge of a community, has information about the community view of the offending, the background to it and the full particulars of those involved may decide an alternative penalty is appropriate. Determining which category of case is before you can be problematic and can often only be done with input from the indigenous community itself."
...In her sentencing remarks, Judge Bradley pointed out the seriousness of their conduct rather than deliver condemnation. "I hope that all of you realise that you must not have sex with young girls," she said. And she told the 26-year-old: "You should have known a lot better."
The guidelines set out by the Director of Public Prosecutions say the prosecutor must show child offenders "knew that what they were doing was seriously wrong and was deserving of punishment".
The community is speaking out and want heads to roll.
|Queensland Aboriginal leaders have called for a District Court judge to be stood down after she allowed nine Indigenous males who raped a 10-year-old girl at Aurukun on Cape York to walk free.|
Queensland Attorney-General Kerry Shine is appealing against the sentences, saying they do not reflect the community's expectation of punishments for this type of offence.
Six boys were sentenced to 12-month probation orders, with no convictions recorded, while three others aged 17, 18 and 26 were given suspended sentences.
The mayor of the town where these males came from who are also part of some powerful families wants no part of this case and blames the media.
|THE mayor of Aurukun yesterday refused to publicly condemn the pack rape of a 10-year-old girl by nine males.|
Neville Pootchamunka called the outcry over the refusal of far north Queensland judge Sarah Bradley to jail nine males over the rape "a lot of crap".
Mr Pootchamunka called the case "a media beat-up".
The nine come from some of the most powerful Aboriginal families on the Cape.
But Mr Pootchamunka denied knowledge of any undue influence being exerted on the legal system by well-connected families.
"The most powerful people in the Cape are the indigenous people," he said. "We are the ones with the power."
Asked if he, as the community leader, condemned the pack rape of a 10-year-old girl, Mr Pootchamunka refused to respond.
"I don't want to comment about it," he said.
"If I do my community will read it and they will say the mayor got involved, they will say I had something to do with (the men getting off).
Aurukun resident Robert Yunkaporta said the abuse of the girl, and the apparent lack of justice, added to tensions in the 1200-strong township.
"Yes, it causes violence. People want payback," Mr Yunkaporta said.
Another sorry aspect of this crime is the girl was in foster care with a white family because she was previously raped before and was put back in the same community because of "cultural consideration." Once again Multicults comes up and bites everyone in the ass.
|Premier Anna Bligh has admitted the Child Safety Department let the girl down by removing her from her foster family in Cairns and sending her back to the Aboriginal community where she had previously been sexually assaulted.|
Foster care groups are outraged, saying cultural considerations were given priority over the girl's safety.
The girl at the centre of the case has again been removed from the community. She is now with another foster care family who have told Ms Bligh she is doing well.
"The foster family that she is living with are doing the best in what is a difficult case, but she's getting a lot of assistance and so are they, and I thank them for the job they're doing," Ms Bligh said.
But the Premier admits the Department of Child Safety was wrong to send the girl back to Aurukun on Cape York, after she had already been sexually assaulted there.
Once back in her community she was gang-raped. Her nine rapists pleaded guilty but were not sent to jail.
The system failed this girl beyond imagination.
| Protesting parents shut down a Toronto District School Board meeting on Wednesday after realizing the issue of a black-focused school would not be discussed. |
Dozens of supporters of a proposal to implement a black-focused school showed up to last night's meeting expecting to discuss details of a feasibility report on the issue.
The TDSB spent $300,000 preparing the controversial report, which is the first comprehensive survey that includes information on race and ethnicity.
However, when parents realized that the report would not be discussed, many erupted in outrage.
"You guys have the power to make a decision and move on tonight!" one woman shouted. "We want to move on!"
The board has agreed to hold a special council meeting in mid-January, where the only issue on the agenda will be black-focused schools.
The debate for a black-focused school has enraged some parents, who feel the initiative is a dangerous throwback to the days of segregation.
However, some parents, community leaders and educators support the concept. They say the current curriculum is failing the city's black youth.
More than half of black male teens at Toronto's public schools haven't earned the 16 credits required by the end of Grade 10, according to the school board.
Supporters of the plan say an "African-centred alternative school" would lower the dropout rate of young black males.
Some parents say an African-centred school with black teachers and role models would help black youths graduate and succeed.
This is a dumb idea that will only divide people and even add to the public perception that black kids need special help to succeed on even minimal requirements. Then what about other groups who will want their own school based on race and religion?
Monday, December 10, 2007
|BRITAIN’S equality chief has attacked “politically correct” critics of traditional Christmas festivities for undermining diversity in society.|
Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has condemned attempts to “brush Christmas under the carpet” for fear of offending other religions.
Citing cases such as schools scrapping nativity plays, he says that being oversensitive to minority views can lead to pointless embarrassment. “[This can] lead us down ludicrous paths; paths populated with winter festivals instead of Christmas celebrations; anodyne messages of ‘seasons greetings’ and pointless embarrassment over biblical nativity scenes.” Phillips’ critique will be seen as significant because he heads the quango set up by the government to protect the interests of the minorities whom the “PC” lobby claim are being marginalised at Christmas.
Sunny Hundal of the CiF is outraged about this saying its all a "right wing" paranoia fest which is him being intellectual dishonest or hopelessly blind to the matter. Here in America over the last couple of years we haven't had any big blowups just the predictable Multicult whiners who want everything to be non-offensive.
Illinois schools trying not to offend Muslims may cancel holidays
Arizona gov refuses to call it a Christmas tree.
Missouri State backtracks on Christmas tree.
Plus the fiasco in Wisconsin and the town in Colorado that wanted to be inclusive by downplaying Christmas instead of just adding others. So yes there is a war on Christmas, most of it just well meaning mouth breathers who think being diverse and Multicult means dragging down the majority to make the perceived oppressed minorities feel better about themselves.
|The parents of six Vaughan children with life-threatening allergies have filed complaints to the Ontario Human Rights Commission after one Woodbridge school stopped the practice of checking the lunches of its students.|
The families say failing to screen lunches for eggs, peanuts and other allergens to which their children suffer severe reactions is a form of discrimination.
The students, who are aged between six and 11, attend St. Stephen Catholic School.
"During the last school year, the principal and the board removed the accommodations that were in place and working well since the school opened in 2002, without consulting those who were impacted," the parents said in a statement to the media on Monday.
The students who suffer from the severe allergies say they no longer feel safe.
"At school, I'm afraid because I don't really know some of the food with eggs and milk look like, and most of the time the kids won't spot it because if it's like a candy or something, they'll just eat it," 11-year-old Alex told CTV News.
This is a lesson you learn when you get older and go to clubs. Don't drink/eat anything you are not sure which applies to this situation. I feel bad for them but you can't have everyone else act like they are in a bubble.
|The BBC's version of the Nativity this Christmas will depict Mary and Joseph as asylum seekers rejected by brutal Britain. Yes, once again the Beeb plays fast and loose with history so that we can all think the worst of our country. So let's remember some facts. First, this country's record in giving genuine asylum seekers refuge is second to none, a matter for pride rather than disparagement. Second, Mary and Joseph were not in any sense asylum seekers, nor were they dirt poor.|
They were a Middle Judean family who had gone to Bethlehem to participate in a census (primarily for tax purposes) but arrived so late all the inns were full (hence the resort to the stable). None of this matters, of course, to the cultural secularists who dominate BBC drama. You'd have a bit more respect for them if they also did a story about a bit of an oddball -- let's call him Mohammed -- who thought he had a hot line to God, was a bit too keen on waging war and not at all queasy about massacring Jews -- but we doubt you'll see that on a BBC screen any time soon.
|You don't wrap these presents in a box. You can't wear them, play with them or show them off, at least not in the real world.|
Even so, virtual gifts — computer-generated items given and displayed online — are quickly becoming must-haves. And increasingly, people are willing to pay cold, hard, real-life cash to purchase them for friends, family and co-workers.
"For the person who gets the gift, it is like a badge of honor," says Dave Coffey, who tracks online trends for Sapient, a Florida-based marketing company.
....Just like the real world, appearance matters in the virtual world. Gifts of digital clothing, accessories, makeup and even digital furnishings for an avatar's virtual home are especially popular. A pair of virtual boots, for instance, might cost $2 or $3 in a world where one could pay $20 or $30 for an intricately designed "skin," an avatar's outer layer.
Jeff Roberts, a New Yorker who is one of about 11 million Second Life "residents," has given SL gift certificates, worth real money, to friends and co-workers.
Their avatars "come back from 'stores' with all sorts of clothing, bling, and new hair styles," says Roberts, who heads a commercial radio station in Second Life, known as the Virtual World Radio Network (VWRN).
|CANBERRA (Reuters) - Australia on Monday accepted seven asylum seekers from Myanmar as refugees as the country's new Labor government began unwinding tough immigration laws which force boatpeople into detention on Pacific island nations.|
New Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard also signaled Labor was likely to scrap a deal to swap refugees that the former conservative government struck with close ally the United States in April.
"We have consistently said that we think Australia should deal with its own caseload, that is people who make application for asylum here and are granted refugee status," Gillard told reporters in Canberra.
Labor has promised to dump the conservative government's policy, introduced in 2001, of sending people trying to reach the mainland to Papua New Guinea and Nauru for refugee assessment.
The policy, widely criticized by the United Nations and human rights groups, became known as the "Pacific Solution".
This second part is a WTF moment.
|A team of Australian immigration and intelligence officials flew to Nauru on Sunday to accelerate the processing of 80 Sri Lankans still in detention there.|
Under the deal with Washington, Cuban refugees held by the United States in Guantanamo Bay were to be resettled in Australia while Canberra would send boatpeople to the United States.
The Sri Lankans and the seven from Myanmar had been expected to be among the first asylum seekers sent to the U.S. until the conservatives were swept from government by Labor in an election late last month.
Evan denied that dumping the immigration policy meant a softening of border security under Labor and said a A$500 million ($438 million) detention centre set up between Australia and Indonesia on remote Christmas Island would remain in operation.
"There's no suggestion of us weakening the policy in terms of border security and intercepting boats," Evans said.
Except I doubt you will discourage the practice and be open borders to the Pacific area. You can see it coming can't you?
Walmart tried not to give discounts a couple of years ago and got slammed. This year they have taken the lead weeks before and after the traditional holiday sales period to get ahead. Given sites like Fatwallet and Slickdeals people have caught on to the sales hype and are in the driver's seat. You can't retrain the customers not to expect bargains.
|American consumers will wait till the day before Christmas to shop and are prepared to buy fewer gifts this holiday season if retailers do not offer deep enough discounts, according to a survey released on Sunday.|
Roughly 44 percent of consumers surveyed intend to wait for 50-percent off sales to finish shopping, and 47 percent will give fewer presents if retailers fail to offer even better deals, consumer marketing firm America's Research Group said.
"Retailers have gotten themselves into a box," Britt Beemer, founder and chairman of the group told Reuters. "The two weekends after Thanksgiving, retailers haven't given consumers great deals."