Friday, September 30, 2011

OTTAWA, Ont, Canada - Police In a news conference Thursday morning, Ottawa police, Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP announced they had worked together in a yearlong investigation called "Project Finale."
They say they have dismantled one branch of the Hells Angels bike gang in eastern Ontario after a series of raids.

The culmination of that work ended up in all three tactical units executing 16 search warrants, including one at the Hells Angels clubhouse at 5416 8 Line Rd. in south Ottawa.
  • Police were seen taking away a Harley Davidson motorcycle and revealed they also confiscated illegal drugs, cash and weapons.
  • There were 107 charges laid against 12 people including a 37-year-old Ottawa man police say is a full patch member of the Hells Angels. He faces five charges.
  • "It's going to have a major dent in the Ottawa region and eastern Ontario region. The numbers seized yesterday, we're very pleased with the numbers," said Insp. Samir Bhatnagar from Ottawa police.
    "This group is known to potentially move $300,000 to $400,000 a month of illegal substances."
Source: CBC
Source: CBC
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Friday, September 30, 2011

MUMBAI, India - Luxury living in India is coming with a price. Huge entrance gates, higher boundary walls and round-the-clock private security guards at private homes have become a necessity for the rich.
Incidentally, all this is not so much for the security of family treasures as it is for the safety of their children because ransom kidnappings are becoming more ruthless by the day.
Knowing that the police are in most cases ineffective, gangs of ransom-seekers prey on well-off families, kidnapping children and demanding money in return for their release. But many times these kidnappers also end up killing the children, even while desperate parents negotiate with them on the ransom.
  • India at present ranks as the fifth most dangerous country in the world for kidnapping. This, criminologists say, is the fallout of the country's economic boom, when a large section of society made a sudden leap into the ranks of the upper middle class. Those who were left behind make kidnappings their way of getting revenge, demanding their share of the spoils.
  • A report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says that at any given time, "more than 60,000 children go missing in India, out of which a dismal 30 per cent are traced. Many of them end up working as child labourers, drug mules or beggars."
The report also revealed the recent arrest in New Delhi of a gang of seven, headed by a woman, which sold children to childless couples. The gang had apparently kidnapped nine children and sold them to some "parents" for Rs50,000 to Rs70,000.
Figures show that about five children go missing in the capital every day, many falling prey to drug trafficking rackets.
Source: Gulf News more....
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the waves of “divine awakening” will sweep across Europe and the United States to dethrone arrogant powers there,
TEHRAN, Iran - There is a storm on the way that will sweep through the establishments of hegemonic powers and this wave will also overtake Europe and the US, Ahmadinejad said in an address to the closing ceremony of the Fifth General Assembly of the Union of Islamic Radios and Televisions in Tehran on Wednesday.
  • Today, the wave of awakening is not limited merely to Muslim lands but is visible across the entire globe, he added and stated, “The day of Palestine's liberation is close with God's blessing.”
  • Ahmadinejad stressed the importance of recognizing, determining, introducing and guiding the correct path of the awakening.
  • The Iranian president stated that arrogant powers masterminded September 11, 2001 attacks and deceived the international community for 10 years.
  • This is while numerous events similar to 9/11 attacks are taking place in different countries, including Afghanistan and Iraq, which have killed people 300 times more than the September 11 incidents, he pointed out.
  • We should introduce a theory and model of the global management to counter the international dominance of liberalism and Humanism. Otherwise, they will always take the lead, the Iranian chief executive emphasized.
The era of colonialism and arrogance has come to an end, President Ahmadinejad said, adding the world expects a “new message.”
He noted that the world is currently faced with a “theoretical gap” and urged Islamic media to “determine the agenda for political centers in the world.”
He called for an active media role against the West's psychological warfare and its propaganda against other countries.
Source: PressTV
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

WASHINGTON, U.S.A. - Health officials say as many as 16 people have died from possible listeria illnesses traced to Colorado cantaloupes, the deadliest food outbreak in more than a decade.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday that 72 illnesses, including 13 deaths, are linked to the tainted fruit. State and local officials say they are investigating three additional deaths that may be connected.
  • The death toll released by the CDC Tuesday — including newly confirmed deaths in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas — surpassed the number of deaths linked to an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts almost three years ago. Nine people died in that outbreak.
  • The CDC said Tuesday that they have confirmed two deaths in Texas and one death each in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Last week the CDC reported two deaths in Colorado, four deaths in New Mexico, one in Oklahoma and one in Maryland.
  • New Mexico officials said Tuesday they are investigating a fifth death, while health authorities in Kansas and Wyoming said they too are investigating additional deaths possibly linked to the tainted fruit.
  • Listeria is more deadly than well-known pathogens like salmonella and E. coli, though those outbreaks generally cause many more illnesses.
Twenty-one people died in an outbreak of listeria poisoning in 1998 traced to contaminated hot dogs and possibly deli meats made by Bil Mar Foods, a subsidiary of Sara Lee Corp. Another large listeria outbreak in 1985 killed 52 people and was linked to Mexican-style soft cheese.
The CDC said the median age of those sickened is 78.
Source: Agency
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LONDON, U.K. – A study said, Britain's shrinking military will "never again be among the global superpowers" but will have enough capability to assist in operations such as Libya and Afghanistan in the future.
However, the Ministry of Defense's finances will be capsized and its resources further diminished unless there is a substantial increase in defense spending to cover the "looming" costs of the replacement for the Trident nuclear deterrent.
  • The warning comes from the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think-tank in a tough report which questions whether Britain's defence crisis is really over.
Last year's Strategic Defence and Security Review led to sweeping redundancies across all three services. In a brutally frank assessment of the British military, the report states: "The UK will never again be a member of the select club of global superpowers. Indeed, it has not been one for decades
But currently planned levels of defense spending should be enough for it to maintain its position as one of the world's five second-rank military powers with only the United States in the first rank.
Source: Agency
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NEW DELHI, India — At least five persons, including four women, were killed and over 25 injured when a multi-storey residential building collapsed in the congested Chandni Mahal area of Old Delhi on Tuesday night. Several people are still suspected to be trapped under the debris.
The three-storey building, just a few hundred metres from the local police station, was home to least half-a-dozen families. It came crashing down around 8 p.m.
  • Federal telecoms Minister Kapil Sibal was blocked by an angry mob from entering a local hospital where the injured have been admitted, TV channels said.
  • NDTV, citing police, said the building collapsed because of pressure from adjacent construction work.
Many Indian buildings do not conform to safety regulations, with owners building extra floors or structures without approval.
In November last year, a five-storey residential building collapsed in India’s capital, crushing at least 60 people to death.
Source: Agency
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Nesat slammed into the Philippines on Tuesday, killing at least four people, a baby, as it brought heavy rain and strong wind that blew away roofs, uprooted small trees and toppled power lines.
The Philippines endures about 20 storms annually, many of them deadly, but authorities warned Nesat was one of the largest to hit the country this year with its rain and wind path twice as big as average storms.
  • According to Science Undersecretary Graciano Yumul, who supervises the country's weather bureau . this typhoon is very wide in diameter, about 650 kilometres (400 miles), and covers most of (the main island of) Luzon.
  • Nesat hit the northeastern side of Luzon before dawn, bringing maximum sustained winds of up to 140 kilometres (87 miles) an hour and gusts clocking in at 170 kilometres an hour.
  • Many roads have been flooded and flights cancelled, and local media are urging people against non-essential travel, our correspondent says.
An adult and three children were crushed to death as a building collapsed in a northern Manila suburb on Tuesday, AFP news agency quoted the Office of Civil Defence as saying.
Two men were said to have died north of the capital in a landslide and weather-induced accident.There is waist-deep flooding in parts of the capital.
Source: Agency

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Monday, September 26, 2011

The development of this mental vision is where I began to truly understand myself and I found solutions to many outstanding problems which were recorded in my writings and letters. Once you have gone through death, you become fearless.” Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
KOTA KINABALU, Sabah, Malaysia - Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan is an academician cum politician from the state of Sabah in Malaysian Borneo. He was born in the town of Kota Marudu from a family whose origin is from Tambunan.
Dr. Jeffrey did his tertiary education in Perth Australia, returning to Sabah in 1975 with a much needed degree in Public Administration.
He quickly climbed the public service ladder and initiated a number of administrative changes in the public service. After his confrontation with former Sabah Chief Minister, Harris Salleh , he left for the US to study at Harvard University to get his PhD and returned in 1984. He was appointed as General Manager in the Yayasan Sabah administration and became director in 1985.

He is known to be a controversial politician, having been detained under the infamous Internal Security Act on suspicion of plotting to secede Sabah from the federation of Malaysia.
  • When former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad applauded Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s proposal to abolish the ISA, he described the ISA as “not too cruel”. But Jeffrey Kitingan recalls a very different scenario in Mahathir’s office in January 1994 upon his release from ISA detention.
  • Mahathir apparently said then, “I am sorry about the detention, Jeffrey, I know it is cruel.” “The cruelty of ISA is immeasurable,” Jeffrey says.
  • Recalling the details of the arrest, Jeffrey said he had to sign a letter the police had given him at the Tambunan Kaamatan (Harvest Festival) on 10 May 1991 in the presence of some 200 FRU personnel, who left immediately after he signed it.
  • On 13 May 1991, he presented himself at the Karamunsing police station and was arrested on the spot and sent to Kepayan detention centre. That same afternoon he was flown to Kuala Lumpur on a MAS flight with only himself and Special Branch officers as passengers.
  • That evening the plane was not permitted to land at the Kuala Lumpur airport and he ended up being flown to Penang to spend the entire night in a cell. The next morning, he was flown back to Kuala Lumpur. Upon landing, he was blindfolded and shoved into a black maria.
  • “At that moment, I lost sight of the world and my material life, not knowing where they were taking me and what they were going to do with me. I was glad to still be breathing,” said Jeffrey.
  • Hours later, the vehicle arrived at a building and his blindfold was taken off. He was ordered to strip naked and removes every item, including his watch. “I felt ashamed,” he says, “and felt ready to be wrapped up by for my own funeral.”
  • Given a blue uniform with the number “931” on the left side of his chest, Jeffrey’s photographs were taken at various angles before he was locked up in a maximum security cell. “AS the door shut behind me, I found myself confined to what can be described as a living hell to what seems forever.”
Jeffrey was thrown into his cell in the first 60 days. He was accused of subversive political activities. In that cold, bare room with nothing but an empty, solid wooden bed measuring about 2 ½ feet wide, there was no mattress, blanket, pillow, toilet, sink, water or window. There was a small peephole on the door that you could only look through from the outside and two holes on the floor the size of a chicken egg for ventilation.
  • The room was so small that he would pace up and down and see only walls and felt no different to a caged animal. “That’s how I realized how animals in a zoo behave when they’re deprived of their freedom.”
  • The lights were uncommonly bright and never, ever switch off. Occasionally, loud music would suddenly be played to shock him and he was deprived of his sleep.
  • “The toilet was at the other end of the building and if they don’t hear you knock you end up sleeping in a cell with your urine and faeces everywhere. I have to clean up my own waste with nothing but the newspaper they gave to wrap up my faeces.” There were no facility for bathing and there were no towels. “We just had the toilet”, he said.
  • This method of sensory deprivation was a living nightmare and the detainee would be denied any sense of time or conscious connection with the outside world. “I felt lost, I felt alone and I felt abandoned even by my own God. I tried talking to myself just to hear my own voice. Where am I? Who am I? Am I dead or just dreaming? I even tried to sing. In the first week, I blamed God and scolded him. What did I do wrong? After one week, I thanked Him for giving me the opportunity to experience this.”
  • Not knowing whether he was dead or alive or in some terrible dream, Jeffrey endured 60 days of this repetitive nightmare. Yet, it was his imagination that kept him sane. “I had to hold on to reality by creating patterns in my mind with my meals. Wrapped in plastic and newspaper, the rice was always wet and sometimes I had one fish and maybe six strands of bean sprouts. I saw patterns in my food. I would look at the walls and sometimes it felt like patterns would fly out of the wall and come to life.”
In a solitary world where he could not experience a 24 hours cycle of being alive and being asleep, he managed to count his days and nights. “To have some sense of time and give or take a margin of 3 to 4 days inaccuracy, I could determine how long I was in there by scratching the wall surface each time the rat comes through the hole in the ground or whenever my meal was delivered.”
  • He went through a terrifying interrogation ordeal that was tame in comparison to what he heard the other detainees had to go through. “Some of them said they went through physical torture.
  • I must have been one of the lucky ones. The first time they interrogated me I had to sit on a red stool in a dark red room with eight nameless interrogators who humiliated and insulted me as if I was a condemned, a worthless criminal ready to be sent to hell.
  • They did this non-stop and deprived me of rest, sleep, food and water till I could no longer bear it and asked to see a doctor.”
  • Jeffrey felt himself growing weaker, rapidly losing weight and his beard began to grow. He was eventually sent to the doctor in a blindfold with two men holding up his frail body. He was given vitamins and told to sit in the sunlight for twenty minutes. It was only after his recovery that he was told the interrogation took 4 days and 3 nights.
  • After two month of solitary confinement, Jeffrey was hoping for his release and was told that if he was taken to the airport he would be a free man. He was taken instead to Kamunting Detention Camp and spent the next 2 ½ years detained without trial.
  • “You don’t go straight to Kamunting. You go into an empty building somewhere on transit with hardly with anybody around. I was then transferred to to Camp 5 in Kamunting. That would be the time you’re given a pillow and a blanket.
  • Those are the only possessions. It’s worse than being a convict. The camp had maximum security and was an U-shaped building. I remember, with a barb-wired security fence as high as 12 to 15 feet, reinforced by zinc and cement so that you could not see the outside world. You could only see the sky. They locked us up at night and opened the cells in the morning, like a chicken coop.”
  • Kamunting had open areas for inmates to play sports but their footballs would burst against the weird fence. They bathed communally and they would poke and shove one another for soap and hassled to hurry. Every week, they would assemble to raise the Malaysian flag and sing the national anthem and recite the “Rukun Negara”. Their library was filled with propaganda materials and was uninspiring.
  • Jeffrey wrote books, poems and read voraciously. His family would post all the reading materials he requested. He learnt meditation and practice yoga, teaching taekwondo to communist detainees. They, in turn, taught him Chi Kung.
The inmates were high tensioned people, communists, terrorists, political detainees, spies, immigration fraudsters. An accidental knock in the playground would end up in fights. In the TV room, they argued all the time. The Indians would want to watch the Hindi movies, the Malays their dramas.
I saw all sorts of people, especially the vengeful, dangerous types who vent their anger on other inmates.
I believe these types would always keep their anger inside, even after their release. Yet, there were ‘happy-go-lucky’ types who would kill time by talking forever or giving others a massage.”
  • He remembered the paranoia they developed through whispering campaigns where some detainees were believed to be spies from the Special Branch. The inmates even became possessive over photos and pictures of women pasted on the table.
  • They engaged in manual labour by cleaning the compound, cutting the grass, doing domestic chores and cleaning the toilets. They took turns to cook and followed the roster quite diligently although the only delicacy they enjoyed was the odd snake or bird caught in the compound. When the authorities found out about the addition of wildlife in their diet, the roaster was changed and they had to eat “institutionalized, prisoner’s food” that had to variety and was only adequate to prevent starvation.
  • The inmates would rather be sick in the detention camp than face the humiliation of being handcuffed to their bed in the hospital. A lot of them went mad and tried to commit suicide, banging their heads violently on the floors, especially if they knew that their term would be extended. “They would rather die than spend another day inside”, Jeffrey says.
  • In his mind, Jeffrey believes that ISA gave him a greater insight into human nature.
  • “I survived by playing the role of researcher,” he says. “I studied and observed the behavior of detainees in confinement. Somehow, by taking on the role of a healer and friend I managed to remove myself mentally from the situation.”
  • Jeffrey’s diaries were confiscated and the letters he sent and received were screened. “I wrote a letter in Dusun once and the officer couldn’t understand it and sent in through. The letter caused a demonstration at home because it told of my experience. The officer was promptly replaced.”
  • Released with conditions in January 1994, Jeffrey was told not to be involed in politics and organizations and remembered Mahathir telling him not to teach the people what they don’t know. “This must be the attitude; to keep the people ignorant,” he says.
He remains resolute in his political drive to abolish all legislation deemed to be affront of human and civil rights and tows that fine line of risks which many fear to tread.
“Behind the negative is the positive,” he says calmly. “In that situation, I couldn’t see the world with my eyes so I traveled with my mind and learn to function through my spirit.
Source: Nilakrisna James, Agency
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Monday, September 26, 2011

NEW YORK, U.S.A. - American activists have accused New York police of unleashing a violent crackdown on demonstrators protesting against Wall Street firms and US government's financial policies, Press TV reports.
The demonstrators, protesting against the widening gap between the super rich and those struggling in the aftermath of the US financial crisis, took to the streets Saturday during the “Occupy Wall Street” protest and gathered near the New York Stock Exchange.
  • The demonstrators, whose protest efforts have entered the second week, have charged that police officers have resorted to excessive force against them and detained at least 80 protesters so far.
  • Protesters also complain that police have liberally used pepper spray, images of which have surfaced on the Internet.

Some of the US protesters say the idea to occupy the most vital financial district of the US was inspired by popular uprisings in the past months in Middle Eastern and North African countries, widely referred to as the “Islamic Awakening.”
They also state that they plan to use the revolutionary tactics people employed in countries such as Tunisia and Egypt to restore America's lost democracy.
Source: Press TV

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Monday, September 26, 2011

BARCELONA, Spain - Matadors in Barcelona have killed six half-tonne bulls in the last bullfight to be held in Catalonia before a ban on the centuries-old tradition goes into effect in the northeastern Spanish region.
A sold-out crowd of 18,000 applauded and chanted "Freedom!" throughout the bullfight at Barcelona's Monumental Arena on Sunday. The arena is the last of its kind still active in the region, and was originally built in 1914.
  • Catalan politicians voted for the ban, which goes into effect on January 1, after 180,000 people signed a petition to outlaw the tradition. The ban is a relief to animal rights activists, but supporters of bullfighting say they will challenge it in Spain's top court.
  • After the final bull was killed by Serafin Marin, a 28-year-old Catalan who is a fierce proponent of the practice, the crowd carried all three matadors - Marin, Juan Mora, 48, and Jose Tomas, 36 - involved in the day's proceedings on their shoulders out of the arena, to the applause of onlookers.
  • Marin wore a cape with the yellow and red colours of the Catalan flag as he entered the ring, a gesture seen as a rebuke to those that argue that bullfighting is a Spanish tradition, not a Catalan one.
  • Though the bullfight goes back to the 16th century in Catalonia, it is losing interest there as in the rest of Spain..
  • Elena Allue, an animal rights campaigner, told Al Jazeera: "In the 21st century there is no space for bullfighting, it's primitive." Fans at the final bullfight, however, were not convinced. In a 2008 survey, only 22.5 per cent of Catalans questioned said they were interested in the tradition.
Fans of the bullfight have not given up hope. They hope to find 500,000 backers to present their own petition to the national parliament and classify the combat as a cultural asset. If they can do so by the end of this year, bullfighting fans believe they can stop the ban from taking effect.
Source: Agency, Al Jazeera
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Sunday, September 25, 2011

KATHMANDU, Nepal - A small aircraft taking tourists on a sightseeing tour of the Himalayas crashed in Nepal on Sunday, killing at least 18 people, airport officials and police said.
The Buddha Air plane carrying three Nepali crew, and 10 Indian passengers, one local and five other foreign tourists crashed into a hillside in heavy rain and fog at Godavari, 10km from Kathmandu, police spokesman Binod Singh told Agencies.
An eyewitness, Haribol Poudel, told Avenues Television that the plane had hit the roof of a house in the village and that 18 bodies were pulled out. He said a man who appeared to have survived was taken to a hospital.
The plane had taken the tourists to view Mount Everest and other high peaks and was returning to Kathmandu.
Source: Agency
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

BEIJING, China - Police in central China have detained a man for holding six women as sex slaves in an underground prison for two years, killing two before one escaped and notified the authorities, Chinese media reported on Friday.
Retired firefighter Li Hao, 34, who worked at a local government office in Luoyang, Henan province, is accused of killing and burying two of the women in rooms he dug below his basement, the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper reported.
  • Li, who was detained on Sept. 6, kidnapped the six nightclub and karaoke bar workers and repeatedly raped them, the newspaper reported, adding that he kept his victims weak to prevent them from escaping by feeding them only once every two days.
  • The report said Li allowed the women to leave the basement only when he was short on cash and would force them to have sex with other men for money. A 23-year-old woman escaped during one of those sessions and led police to the basement.
Source: Agency
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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yoo Choi had a secret gambling addiction that led to her suicide, according to her husband Mark Dawson
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Canada - casinos need to do more to help addicted gamblers, says a man whose wife killed herself after running up more than a $100,000 in debt at a downtown Vancouver casino.
Yoo Choi was a second-generation Korean-Canadian from Camrose, Alta., who made her mark in Vancouver as the fun-loving owner of the once-popular Velvet Café on Broadway.
  • But according to her husband Mark Dawson, Choi had a secret and compulsive gambling habit which she battled for years to kick.
  • After eventually racking up $150,000 in debt, playing much of the time at Vancouver's Edgewater Casino, Choi registered herself in the casino's voluntary exclusion program.
  • She got counselling as she struggled with her addiction, and her husband thought she was in the clear.
  • Then on the night of June 16, she called him to apologize because she had started to gamble again, and then she disappeared. Twenty-six days later her body was found floating in Lynn Canyon on Vancouver's North Shore.
Dawson says he wishes he knew then that problem gamblers are twice as likely to commit suicide as other addicts.
Source: CBC
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