September 26, 2013 – CHINA – Twenty-eight people have died and hundreds have been injured in a wave of attacks by giant hornets in central China, according to reports. Victims described being chased for hundreds of meters by the creatures and stung as many as 200 times. Most of the attacks in the past three months were in remote, rural, wooded areas in southern Shaanxi, the province’s China Business newspaper reported. In the city of Ankang alone, 18 people have died from the stings, health official Zhou Yuanhong told Associated Press. People in the cities of Hanzhong and Shangluo have also been injured. The insects’ highly toxic stings can lead to anaphylactic shock and renal failure. An official from Ankang’s disease control centre urged people to seek medical help if they received more than 10 stings, and warned that emergency treatment was required for those stung more than 30 times. One woman in her 50s said she had spent almost a month in hospital and was still incontinent after receiving more than 200 stings. A man from her village died of kidney failure.
The hornet attacks are a recurring problem in the area from May to as late as November. According to Ankang police, 36 people died in the city and 715 were injured by the creatures between 2002 and 2005. But Zhou said the issue had been particularly severe this year, possibly because of weather changes. Experts have suggested in the past that warmer temperatures in the area have led to hornets breeding more successfully, that laborers have been moving deeper into areas where they may disturb nests, and that the insects are sensitive to chemicals found in food and cosmetics. Li Jiuzhou, deputy director of the Shaanxi Bee and Wasp Industry Association, said that hundreds or even thousands of hornets could live in a single nest. They attack humans only if disturbed, he added. But they are carnivorous and can quickly destroy bee colonies. Ankang’s fire service has removed over 300 hornet nests this summer, but experts said that the problem was unlikely to end entirely until the temperature drops. Wang Zhengcai, an official from one of the affected villages, said authorities had warned people to be careful if they enter the woods. Local authorities have also promised to help patients pay for the treatment, because of the heavy cost for the rural poor. The culprit appears to be the Asian giant hornet or Vespa mandarinia, which grows up to 5cm long with a 6mm sting, although the area is also home to the smaller Asian hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax. –The Guardian
September 26, 2013 – NICARAUGA – A volcano in Nicaragua has erupted with a mighty blast and a column of ash, then settled down again, the government said. No one was hurt but villagers near the Telica volcano in the northwest of the Central American nation were told to remain on alert. The mountain is about 1000 meters tall. The morning blast spewed ash 50 meters into the air, said Guillermo Gonzalez of the National System for Preventing and Mitigating Disasters. After the single blast, civil defense staff remained on site to gather information. Villagers were put on alert and told to protect their water and food sources. The volcano last erupted in 2011. – Sky News
A Christian pastor and his son were killed and a church was burned by suspected Islamic militants using automatic weapons and explosives in northeast Nigeria early Thursday morning, according to Nigerian police. A village leader was also killed in Dorawa, the Associated Press reported, quoting Corporal Musa Ibrahim. According to Ibrahim, the attackers used explosives to ignite the church as well as five homes. Dorawa is situated some 60 miles from the Yobe state school where dozens of people were killed by extremists on July 6, including some who were burned alive. Boko Haram, the jihadi extremist group that seeks to establish Sharia law in Nigeria, is believed to have been behind the school attack, though it has not been named as being behind Thursday’s killing of the pastor. “Yobe is one of three northeastern states under a military emergency to try to halt an Islamic uprising by militants who have killed more than 1,700 people since 2010 in their quest to turn Nigeria into an Islamic state and ban Western education though the country of 160 million people has as many Christians as Muslims,” the AP reported. More
The fifth-season premiere of ABC’s Modern Family featured a marriage proposal that wouldn’t have been possible only months ago. But in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision allowing same-sex marriage in California, producers of the Emmy-winning comedy knew the time was right for its gay couple, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), to take the plunge. Here, Jeffrey Richman — one of the 20th Television-produced comedy’s two openly gay writer-producers — reveals to The Hollywood Reporter’s Lacey Rose in his own words the emotional process of writing Wednesday night’s landmark episode. We hadn’t really talked about Mitch and Cam getting married until DOMA and Prop 8 came onto our radar when we got back to work in the middle of May. We don’t usually do California-centric stories — and while we don’t really identify where the characters live, we knew we weren’t going to send them to another state to get married and they weren’t going to have a fake commitment ceremony. We’d avoided that for four seasons. Mitch and Cam have been in a relationship for eight years, they already are a family and they have a daughter, so there needed to be a reason for them to get married. This became the “why now.” More
Pentagon intelligence agencies are closely watching Russian and Chinese war games now taking place in Europe and Asia involving tens of thousands of troops. Meanwhile, NATO military forces are set to conduct large-scale maneuvers in November that will be designed to counter growing concerns of a westward Russian military encroachment, according to U.S. officials. “The Russians are moving forces closer to Europe, and that is troubling,” said a military official. Russia’s Zapad-13 military exercises in Belarus are scheduled to end Thursday. They included practice attacks on a western state, said one official familiar with reports of the maneuvers. Some 13,000 Russian and Belarusian troops took part with over 60 aircraft and helicopters and up to 250 vehicles. The forces practiced “rapid reaction” drills. Russian officials recently denied Polish press reports that the Zapad-13 would include a notional nuclear attack on Warsaw. However, Russian officials have said the war games will involve practicing precision air and missile strikes. On the Russian air base, Russian air force chief Lt. Gen. Vladimir Bondarev announced in June that the air base for Su-27 jets in Belarus would be opened near the city of Lida, near the border with Poland and Lithuania. Bondarev said the warplanes would bolster a 1997 defense agreement between the two countries in response to NATO expansion. It will be Russia’s first military base in Europe since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and along with it the Warsaw Pact, in 1991. Moscow currently has military bases in Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has moved away from democracy and shifted the former Soviet republic away from Europe and toward Russia, restoring many symbols from Soviet Belarus. More
The cover of the Dec. 16, 2008, issue of The Advocate, the flagship gay publication, proclaimed boldly, “Gay Is the New Black,” stating that this is “The Last Great Civil Rights Struggle.” But whenever I mention this topic on my national talk radio show, asking my listeners if they believe it is fair to equate the black civil rights movement with today’s gay rights movement, I am flooded with African-American callers who take strong exception to this comparison. Some of them remind me of the public lynchings, of blacks being hosed down with fire hoses and attacked by police dogs, of families having to spend the night sleeping in their car because the hotels wouldn’t serve them, of water fountains marked “No Coloreds”—not to mention the horrible history of African slavery in our nation. They feel gays and lesbians are hijacking their movement, even if they recognize there has been real suffering experienced by many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. They simply feel that the comparison is totally unfair, also pointing out that the financial situation of the average gay or lesbian in America today is far better than the average situation of an African-American during the days of segregation (or even today, for that matter). Of course, there are quite a few compelling reasons why it is wrong to claim that “gay is the new black” (for a relevant article, click here), but during a recent TV interview, I made the comment that “during the days of segregation, we didn’t have people like Ellen DeGeneres who were national celebrities who were black and just loved by the whole nation.” For this, I was mocked by RightWingWatch.org (always a good sign) and ridiculed by the ironically named gay activist website TruthWinsOut.org (always a badge of honor). Both sites pointed to people like Jackie Robinson, Althea Gibson, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and Langston Hughes—none of whom, in my opinion, could be compared with someone like Ellen DeGeneres in terms of her platform and popularity. More
A 32-year-old Louisiana man was charged Tuesday with the aggravated rape of a baby who was not yet 1 year old, according to Louisiana State Police. Austin Gulledge, of New Iberia, La., was already in jail when he was served with the warrant. He was arrested a little over a week ago for manufacturing and distributing child pornography. It’s unclear when the alleged rape occurred or how police found out about it. However, if convicted, Gulledge could be punished harshly. Under Louisiana law, raping someone under 13 years old carries a death sentence, or life imprisonment with hard labor and without the possibility of parole. On Sept. 17, officers with the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office, the Louisiana State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigations searched Gulledge’s house after receiving a tip that he had child pornography. Officers seized more than 200 photos and 20 videos depicting child pornography from Gulledge’s home, and said they were able to discover that he was also making at least some of it himself, according to a state police press release. Both cases are still under investigation.
Campaigners have called for a boycott of Barilla, the world’s biggest pasta maker, after the company said they would never feature gay people in their advertisements. Company chairman Guido Barilla provoked outrage when he said that his idea of the ‘traditional families’ where the woman played a central part was ‘sacred’. If gay people didn’t like it they could eat another brand of pasta, he said. He said: ‘I would never do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect, but because I don’t think we are like them. ’Ours is a traditional family where the woman has a fundamental role. ‘ Mr Barilla told Italian radio Radio 24: ‘Our concept is not that of a gay family. Worldwide fury: Mr Barilla provoked further anger when he added that if gay people did not approve of his views ‘they could eat another brand of pasta’ ’For us, the concept of the nuclear family is a fundamental value of the company.’ When the interviewer pointed out that gay people also eat pasta he said: ‘Okay, if they like our pasta and our branding let them eat it, otherwise they can choose another pasta. ‘You can’t always please everyone. ‘Mr Barilla also remarked that he was against gay adoption although he did support gay marriage.The comments followed the launch of an initiative by Parliament Speaker, Laura Boldrini, on the role of women in advertising, in particular the prevalence of mothers serving the family at the table. Aurelio Mancuso, from the campaign group Equality of Italy, called the remarks ‘an offensive provocation ‘ and demanded an immediate boycott of Barilla products. As a wave of Italian MPs threatened to resign in support of Silvio Berlusconi, openly gay parliamentarian Alessandro Zan said: ‘I adhere to the boycott of Barilla and I urge other MPs, at least those who do not resign, to do the same ‘ The comments caused a storm on the web with Twitter #boicottabarilla (boycott Barilla) trending. Mr Barilla later apologised saying he had ‘maximum respect’ for gays. Dailymail
President Obama promised radical change when he took office. But never in my wildest dreams did I think that he would radicalize health care in America. To me, health care has three major components: medical professionals, patients and cost. However, these three components must help provide three important outcomes: disease prevention, effective medical treatment and medical innovation. I think that the president and his team have failed to take into account many of these components. First, private physicians’ input has not been taken into consideration. Solo practitioners have always comprised the backbone of medical practice in this country, serving their patients and helping their local communities deal with day-to-day health issues. And we all know perfectly well how they’re going to be affected by this new law. They won’t be able to keep their doors open and survive on the limits that all of these regulations will create for them. Second, patient opinions have not been properly heard or considered. In survey after survey, Americans have voiced their dislike for this radical change. And finally, the costs associated with this new law have been grossly underestimated. Recent data clearly shows that there will be major increases in insurance premiums in multiple state markets, not to mention the additional costs that will adversely affect the medical industry, small business owners and unions. So how did we get to this point? I would argue that it was through a loss of the democratic process and a lack of transparency. This mandate is all about a socialized America, where individualism is sacrificed for allowing the government to rule all or part of our society. Ultimately, we all get punished if we don’t adhere to the party line. Obamacare is the Costco of medicine. And soon, your small town medical practice will become nothing more than an empty store front. Fox News
With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, less than five months away, Russian officials are raising major alarms over the number of Islamists from the North Caucasus now getting urban warfare experience in Syria. They’ll be returning home, right in the shadow of the international sporting events, of course. The games, which are to take place from Feb. 7-23, 2014, have been threatened with destruction by the leader of the Islamist militants, Doku Umarov, who has called for “maximum force” to ensure that they don’t take place. These North Caucasus fighters now in Syria come from such southern Russian provinces as Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and North Ossetia. They are closely aligned with the al-Qaida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra Front, which has sided with the rebels opposing President Bashar al-Assad but wants to establish Syria as an Islamic caliphate, a goal opposite of what the Syrian rebels have in mind. Sources add that Islamist militants from Russia include from 400-500 Chechens, 600 Dagestanis and 200 Tatars and Bashkirs, all of whom are fighting in Syria. More
NICARAGUA – A volcano in Nicaragua has erupted with a mighty blast and a column of ash, then settled down again, the government said. No one was hurt but villagers near the Telica volcano in the northwest of the Central American nation were told to remain on alert. The mountain is about 1000 meters tall. The morning blast spewed ash 50 meters into the air, said Guillermo Gonzalez of the National System for Preventing and Mitigating Disasters. After the single blast, civil defense staff remained on site to gather information. Villagers were put on alert and told to protect their water and food sources. The volcano last erupted in 2011. Extinction Protocol
Excavations of an ancient synagogue found in a city where Mary Magdalene is thought to have lived have thrown up clues about how the Jewish and Christian religions developed. Jewish artifacts found at the site in Migdal on the shore of the Sea of Galilee – previously known as Magdala – include a table carved with a Menorah, yet the temple itself, as well as a coin, discovered on the site dates back to the time of Jesus and the rise of Christianity in the region. Archaeologists believe this combination suggests Jews and Christians may have once used the holy site to worship together, according to Israeli news site Haaretz, and it could lead to discoveries about how and when Jesus and Magdalene met. The synagogue was first uncovered in 2009 dating back to the 1st Century – around 2,000 years ago. It measures 11 x 11 metres, and the walls of the room plus the six columns that supported the ceiling, which was probably made of wooden beams and mortar, would have been covered with frescoes painted in seven colours including dark red, yellow and blue panels in black and white frames. The excavation revealed the synagogue was renovated in around 40 of 50 C.E, before being abandoned shortly before 68 C.E. This year is significant because it was the time of the Great Revolt of the Jews against the Romans. Archaeologists have also uncovered various Jewish artefacts, which Haaretz describes as ’firsts in archaeological excavations, in Israel and even worldwide. More
Now might be a good time to check your credit history for anything fishy. A new investigative report from security researcher Brian Krebs shows that a group of identity thieves have successfully infiltrated the networks of three major data brokers, giving them access to Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and other personal details that could put all our financials at risk. Through the use of a botnet – a system of infected computers used to do any number of bad things on the Internet – the ID thieves gained access to the networks of LexisNexis, one of the largest data brokers in the world; Dun & Bradstreet, a data broker that specializes in business data for determining credit worthiness; and Kroll Background America, a background, drug, and health screening company. LexisNexis and Dan & Bradstreet have both confirmed the attacks on their databases with Krebs. Kroll Background America’s parent company, Allegrity, neither confirmed nor denied an attack, and reiterated its commitment to “protecting the data and privacy of our customers.” The FBI confirmed with Krebs that it is investigating the attack. More
The Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest LGBT newspaper, has been selected to join the White House press pool on a rotating basis, the paper announced Wednesday. “This designation reflects the Blade’s nearly 45-year commitment to quality journalism,” said Blade editor Kevin Naff in a press release. “We’re excited to get started and continue the Blade’s long tradition of excellence in objective reporting.” Blade political reporter Chris Johnson will take the lead in covering President Obama, the paper said. The Washington Blade, based in D.C., is the second-largest LGBT newspaper to New York City’s Gay City News. In 2009, the New York Times called the paper “one of the most influential publications written for a gay audience.” The Washington Times
The State Department is renewing its global terrorism alert for US citizens following the attack by al-Qaeda linked extremists on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. In a new “worldwide caution” issued on Wednesday, the department said it continued to be concerned about threats to US citizens and interests in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. It said attackers could use a variety of tactics, including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings and bombings. It said potential targets could be high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, shopping malls and other tourist destinations where Americans gather in large numbers. The new warning follows the Nairobi mall attack in which at least 67 people, including 18 foreigners, died. The Sydney Morning Herald
Tuesday, following a 7.7 magnitude earthquake, there were reports that a small island had emerged off the coast of Gwadar, Pakistan. Despite initial skepticism from some quarters, the evidence seems to suggest it’s real. The Gwadar local government office released this close-up image of the island today: Business Insider
As the world becomes more digitized, smartphones, smart watches, and smart cars have begun to hit the market — and smart guns are no exception. High-tech weapons, gun-centric apps, and tech-infused optical shooting scopes are popping up not only at hunting and gun shows but also at consumer-focused electronics shows. Earlier this year, one of the world’s most high-tech long-range shooting rifles, Tracking Point’s XS1, went on sale. And it has competition. While many of these firearms and apps are geared toward perfecting a shot or feeding the shooter ballistics information, some new inventions are focused on making guns safer. These startups are working on what’s called “authorized user recognition technology,” which digitally locks guns so only the weapon’s owners can fire them. More
Reverend Justin Welby described the suicide bombing of a church in Pakistan which killed at least 80 as “appalling” and said the victims were “martyrs”. However, the Anglican church leader said he had prayed for both the victims and gunmen of the Nairobi shopping mall attack which killed at least 67 in Kenya. Speaking to BBC Radio 4′s The World At One, Reverend Welby said: “I think Christians have been attacked in some cases simply because of their faith. ”I think it is true to say in All Saints Peshawar that we have seen more than 80 martyrs in the last few days. ”They have been attacked because they were testifying to their faith in Jesus Christ by going to church and that is outside any acceptable expression in any circumstances for any reason of religious differences.” Revered Welby told worshippers not to forget “captors” in their prayers and that praying for them was in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ. At many as ten Britons have died in the Nairobi terrorist attack which resulted in a four day standoff between gunmen and police. More
Five years after Lehman Brothers’ collapse, an analyst warns the global financial crisis is far from over
Five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, economists are warning the worst fallout from the global financial crisis is yet to hit Europe and parts of Asia. The concerns come as the US Federal Reserve decides just when to start scaling back its massive economic stimulus program, which has so far succeeded in keeping much of the world from falling back into crisis. The Fed shocked financial markets when it decided to delay any slowdown in the money printing. Tim Hodgson is senior investment consultant at the global pension fund advisors Towers Watson. He argues that the current era of cheap and easy money from central banks might need to be extended. ”I think it’s changed more than just the financial world. But there’s a lot of repair still to do,” he said. ”So it’s clear that despite progress in banking systems to get risky assets off balance sheets, improve tier-one capital ratios, I don’t think anybody thinks that banks are home and dry yet, particularly, I would argue, in Europe.” More
The United States has signed a United Nations Arms Trade Treaty regulating the $US70 billion global trade in conventional arms, saying the move will not violate the rights of US gun owners. The treaty relates only to cross-border trade and aims to keep weapons out of the hands of countries where this a risk of human rights abuses, such as in Syria. The treaty still requires ratification by the US Senate and has been attacked by the influential gun rights group the National Rifle Association (NRA). Among the NRA arguments against the treaty are that it undermines American sovereignty and disregards the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees citizens the right to bear arms. The US is the world’s number one arms exporter, and became the 91st country to sign the treaty. US secretary of state John Kerry put pen to paper on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says the the move is an important step. ”It’s significant that the United States, which amounts for about 80 per cent of the world’s export in arms, has signed,” Ms Bishop said. Another 16 nations have signed on, raising the total to 107, and two more countries ratified the treaty, raising that number to six, Ms Bishop said. Fifty countries need to ratify the treaty for it to enter into force.”This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom, in fact the treaty recognises the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess and use arms for legitimate purposes,” Mr Kerry said after signing the treaty. ”Make no mistake, we would never think about supporting a treaty that is inconsistent with the rights of Americans, the rights of American citizens to be able to exercise their guaranteed rights under our constitution.” More
The Stream : Child empowerment or sexualisation?
Kenyans take Westgate questions online, Italians #BoicottaBarilla
Reports: Deal reached on Syria UN resolution
Thousands rescued in flood-hit western India
OMFG! BBC Banned From Using The Word “TERRORIST” & The Need For Alternative Media
WTF! Anti-drone activist detained at UK airport
Colo. farmers arrested in fatal listeria outbreak. 9/26/2013.
ALERT: Russia, China Hold Large-Scale War Games Preparing For Global Economic Reset
Gay Danish couples win right to marry in church
Homosexual couples in Denmark have won the right to get married in any church they choose, even though nearly one third of the country’s priests have said they will refuse to carry out the ceremonies.
By Richard Orange in Denmark
5:06PM BST 07 Jun 2012
The country’s parliament voted through the new law on same-sex marriage by a large majority, making it mandatory for all churches to conduct gay marriages.
Denmark’s church minister, Manu Sareen, called the vote “historic”.
“I think it’s very important to give all members of the church the possibility to get married. Today, it’s only heterosexual couples.”
Under the law, individual priests can refuse to carry out the ceremony, but the local bishop must arrange a replacement for their church.
The far-Right Danish People’s Party mounted a strong campaign against the new law, which nonetheless passed with the support of 85 of the country’s 111 MPs.
“Marriage is as old as man himself, and you can’t change something as fundamental,” the party’s church spokesperson Christian Langballe said during the debate. “Marriage is supposed to be between a man and a woman.”
Karsten Nissen, the Bishop of Viborg, who is refusing to carry out the ceremonies, has warned that the new law risks “splitting the church”.
“The debate has been really tough,” said Mr Sareen, an agnostic who has pushed hard for the legislation since taking his post last autumn.
“The minority among Danish people, politicians and priests who are against, they’ve really shouted out loud throughout the process.”
The first gay marriages will take place as soon as June 15. This contrasts with neighbouring Norway, where bishops are still debating the correct ‘ritual’ for the ceremonies, four years after a 2008 parliamentary vote in favour of gay marriage.
Stig Elling, a travel industry millionaire and former Right-wing politician, said he planned to marry his partner of 28 years next week.
“We have felt a little like we were living in the Middle Ages,” he told Denmark’s TV2 station. “I think it is positive that there is now a majority for it, and that there are so many priests and bishops who are in favour of it, and that the Danish population supports up about it. We have moved forward. It’s 2012.”
Denmark has been a pioneer in gay rights since 1989, when it became the first country in the world to offer civil unions for gay couples.
Rape victim sentenced 200 lashes by Saudi court
“The victim’s sentence was increased because her lawyer had spoken out…”
When the defense attorney for a raped Saudi Arabian woman appealed a Sharia Court decision that the 90-lash sentence against his client was unjust, all that was succeeded was the more than doubling of the punishment meted out to the woman who was raped and beaten by seven men, as reported by the women’s rights-centered news portal The Clarion Project on Sept. 22, 2013.
A yet to be publiclly identified female gang rape victim was initially found guilty and sentenced to 90 lashes for violating the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‘s (KSA) rigid Islamic law on segregation of the sexes.
The Kingdom’s General Court determined the woman sat in an automobile with an old school chum to whom she was no blood relation, hence, she violated IslamicSharia Law of gender segregation.
The victim’s lawyer Abdul Rahman al-Lahem had plead to the international community for help in freeing his client or at least pressuring the Saudi government to grant an appeal.
From Bad To Worse…
And an appeal he got — along with an increase in sentence from 90 lashes to 200 along with a six month prison sentence tacked on for good measure.
The KSA Ministry of Justice implied the victim’s sentence was increased because her lawyer had spoken out to the world’s news outlets.
As carried by the government’s official Saudi Press Agency:
For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows to appeal without resorting to the media.
The statement also said that the “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a strange male, and repeated criticism of her lawyer for talking “defiantly” about the judicial system, saying “it has shown ignorance.”
The Lead Up…
The victim was attacked in 2006 while she was attempting to retrieve a photograph from a male high school student she knew.
While in her acquaintance’s vehicle, two other men got in the car and drove the woman and her friend to a secluded area where five other men met them.
It was in this remote area where all seven men raped the woman.
The Clarion Project also cited that the woman’s friend was in turn “attacked” by the assailants, but it is unclear if he was beaten, raped or both.
The Price of Questioning Saudi Law…
Abdul Rahman al-Lahem has since banned him from further defending the woman, the KSA has confiscated his law license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month.