June 13th, 2013


Things aren't looking better for the protesters in Turkey

Turkish PM vows to clear Istanbul square of ‘troublemakers,’ upbraids EU Parliament move

ANKARA, Turkey — “Troublemakers” will be removed from Istanbul’s Taksim Square, Turkey’s prime minister declared Thursday, rejecting the European Parliament’s resolution condemning the excessive use of force by Turkish riot police against demonstrators.

Ratcheting up his defiant tone, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears determined to end two weeks of protests that have put an unflattering international spotlight on his Islamic-rooted government and its handling of the biggest street unrest of his 10-year tenure.
Erdogan’s comments came a day after his Justice and Development party proposed a referendum over a development plan at Taksim Square that has fanned the protests. Police have repeatedly fired water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters; five people have died and over 5,000 have been injured. The government says 600 police were injured as well.

“This square belongs to the people of Istanbul, the people of the whole country, and to all international visitors. So we cannot allow troublemakers to hang around freely in this square,” Erdogan told local party leaders. “We will clean the square.”

Erdogan also lashed out at the European Parliament over its non-binding motion for a resolution that expressed its concern over “the disproportionate and excessive use of force” by Turkish police.

The EU assembly said it “deplores the reactions of the Turkish Government and of Prime Minister Erdogan” — and accused him of adding to the polarization of the situation.

Just minutes before the legislature approved the motion in a show of hands, Erdogan thundered to raucous applause: “I won’t recognize the decision that the European Union Parliament is going to take about us ... Who do you think you are by taking such a decision?”

The protests erupted May 31 after a violent police crackdown on a peaceful sit-in by activists objecting to a development project that would cut down the trees in Gezi Park, adjacent to Taksim Square, with a replica of Ottoman-era barracks.

The demonstrations then spread to dozens of cities, rallying tens of thousands of people each night, and broadened to a protest over Erdogan’s overall rule.

Protesters who have camped out in a peaceful sit-in in Gezi Park remained on site Thursday. Their continued presence by the hundreds has served as a base for large numbers of protesters who have congregated by the thousands on Taksim Square — usually in the evening, after work.

Also Thursday, 26-year-old Ethem Sarisuluk — who had been on life support for days — was pronounced dead, according to family lawyer Sema Aksoy. He was believed to have been hit in the head by a tear gas canister June 1 during protests in Ankara, though lawyers were going to sit in on the autopsy to verity the exact circumstances leading to his death.


Taliban Exporting Terrorism AND Heroin. Hardliners Fear Drug is Hurting their Positive Image.

The Taliban's Life of Luxury
Is Afghanistan destined to be run by a drug mafia?

Pashtunabad—a poor, wind- and flyblown suburb of Quetta—is the type of Pakistani town where commanders in the Afghan Taliban generally lived after being kicked out of their home country in 2001. Modest cement-block and mud-brick, one- and two-story homes sit cheek by jowl along the narrow, largely unpaved streets and open sewers. Graffiti such as “Long Live Mullah Omar” and “Long Live the Jihad” are scrawled on walls; the black-and-white flag of a pro-Taliban political party flies over many homes.

Living in a town like Pashtunabad carried advantages for the Afghan Taliban’s leadership: it allowed them to fly under the radar and cultivate an image as average Joes, even as they were directing an insurgency against U.S. troops across the border. But in recent years, some Taliban commanders have begun moving out of places like Pashtunabad—and into new neighborhoods that could not be more different. They have transformed rural districts of mud-brick homes in places like Kuchlak—a stretch of poor and arid land populated largely by fruit and vegetable farmers, located on the road from Quetta to the Afghan border—into little boomtowns. Farther to the south, they have abandoned Karachi’s poor Sohrab Goth neighborhood for wealthier developments like Clifton, where they live in the vicinity of the Pakistani elite, including businessmen, entertainers, artists, and politicians. (The Bhutto family has a sprawling compound in the area, and Benazir Bhutto’s widower, Pakistani President Ali Asif Zardari, often stays there.) Many Clifton residents live in such a heavy security bubble, they probably don’t even know the Taliban are in town.

In these wealthier neighborhoods, Taliban members are building and buying flashy mansions featuring faux Grecian columns, silver-tinted blastproof windows, and 10-foot-high walls topped with concertina wire. Once, the stereotype of a Taliban leader was that he drove around in an old, secondhand, beaten-up Toyota Corolla; these men, by contrast, drive new Toyota Land Cruisers or other luxury cars.

Taliban leaders, in other words, are a lot richer than they used to be just a few years ago—and the source of their sudden influx of wealth is no secret in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The Taliban are more involved than ever in systematically promoting, financing, organizing, and protecting the drug trade,” Ghulam Muhammad Woror, the director of narcotics control in Helmand province, tells Newsweek. “Drugs are ultimately providing the money, food, weapons, and suicide bombers to the insurgency and the good life to Taliban leaders in Quetta, Karachi, and across Afghanistan.”
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contemplative gambit sitting on a chair

Nope, you can't patent human genes

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that companies cannot patent parts of naturally-occurring human genes, a decision with the potential to profoundly affect the emerging and lucrative medical and biotechnology industries.

The high court's unanimous judgment reverses three decades of patent awards by government officials. It throws out patents held by Myriad Genetics Inc. on an increasingly popular breast cancer test brought into the public eye recently by actress Angelina Jolie's revelation that she had a double mastectomy because of one of the genes involved in this case.
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OP: I was worried they might rule the other way, given how powerful biotech companies are. Very, very glad to see a unanimous decision. Now if we can just curb Monsanto's fuckery...
i am an ogre
  • chaya

Sexual Harassment Is A Grassroots Political Movement

One of the biggest misconceptions out there about sexual harassment is that it’s mostly intended as a kind of flirting, an attempt by the harasser to get positive attention and maybe even consensual sex. If you believe that, you’re much more likely to be hoodwinked by pro-harassment arguments about how innocent men are getting castigated, thrown out of conferences and bars, blocked on Twitter, etc. because they are either socially inept (Asperger’s is often trotted out as an excuse) or because “hypersensitive” bitches are freaking out because they love to “play the victim”. (Enjoy my take on this misogynist stereotype at the Daily Beast.) The reality is that harassment is usually about, well, harassing someone. It’s often disguised as flirting, but only so the harasser can (oh irony) play the part of the victimized innocent when his target pushes back. Disguising it as flirting also helps draw out the harassment, because the target often doesn’t want to be painted as “hypersensitive” and so she can be coerced with that into playing along and pretending she’s being flirted with when she and the harasser both know that he’s pushing her boundaries to get the pleasure of making her uncomfortable. Collapse )

No lies detected at source.


Man calls Solihull police to complain about prostitute's looks

A man has been warned after he dialled 999 to complain about a prostitute's looks after meeting her.

West Midlands Police said they were contacted by the caller who said he "wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act". The force said the call was received at about 19:30 BST on Tuesday complaining that the woman was not as attractive as she had claimed.

Officers have now sent the man a letter warning him about wasting police time.

West Midlands Police said the man had claimed he met the woman at a hotel car park.

'Satisfactory quality'
"The caller claimed that the woman had made out she was better looking than she actually was and he wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act," a spokesperson for the force said. "When he raised this issue with the woman concerned, she allegedly took his car keys, ran away from the car and threw them back at him, prompting him to call police."

Sgt Jerome Moran, based at Solihull Police Station, called the man back to offer some advice. He said: "It was unbelievable - he genuinely believed he had done nothing wrong and that the woman should have been investigated by police for misrepresentation.

"I told him that she'd not committed any offences and that it was his actions, in soliciting for sex, that were in fact illegal."

Despite the man refusing to give his details, police were able to identify him and have sent him a letter warning him about his actions.

The Sale of Goods Act 1979 gives consumers legal rights, stipulating goods which are sold must be of satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose and must match the sellers' description.


You couldn't make it up. What an asshole.
Ricky and Kevin being cute

Rubio Says It Should Be Legal To Fire Someone For Being Gay

By Adam Peck and Scott Keyes on Jun 13, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) (Credit: Mark Wilson/Getty)
WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who is touted as a top GOP presidential prospect in 2016, thinks it should be legal to fire someone for their sexual orientation.

ThinkProgress spoke with the Florida Senator at the opening luncheon of the annual Faith and Freedom Forum on Thursday and asked him about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill to make discrimination against LGBT individuals illegal across the country.

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샤이니 -> FIVE

Forced 'infidelity check' is rape: Supreme Court

This a follow-up on this post.

The Swedish Supreme Court (Högsta domstolen) has ruled that performing an "infidelity check" on a woman is a form of rape, overturning a lower court ruling that cleared a man who tore off his wife's pants and underwear in an attempt to determine whether she had had sex with another man.
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