Saturday, May 31, 2014
TEHRAN, Iran - An Iranian court has sentenced eight people to jail terms ranging from seven to 20 years for crimes including anti-regime propaganda posted on Facebook, an opposition website has said.
It is report, sentences were delivered last week giving the eight Facebook users a combined 123 years in jail.
They were charged with “insulting the supreme leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) and the authorities, anti-regime activities, sacrilege and spreading lies,” Kaleme said.
However, there was no official confirmation of the court ruling and AFP could not independently verify the report.
Access to the popular social networking site—along with others which Iranian authorities regard as un-Islamic, immoral or undermining the Islamic establishment—is obstructed by a massive filtering mechanism. But tech-savvy Iranians have resorted to measures, known as anti-filters, to circumvent the restrictions.

According to report, an Iranian-born British woman is among the eight sentenced to prison. 
Roya Saberinejad Nobakht(pic) was reportedly arrested in Shiraz last autumn for comments she had made on her Facebook page, and was sentenced to 20 years in jail.
The report comes amid an ongoing clash between the hardliners and moderates, backed by President Hassan Rouhani, over Internet freedom in Iran.
Rouhani argues against fears that the Internet and its social media platforms pose a major risk to the Islamic republic’s cultural and religious values, saying it must embrace the technology to progress.
Earlier this month, he vetoed a plan to ban WhatsApp, preventing implementation of curbs sought by a hardline committee in charge of web censorship.
But his push for social freedoms has angered conservatives who hold sway over several key institutions, including the judiciary.
Last week, the authorities arrested six young Iranians for dancing to US singer Pharrell Williams’ hit “Happy” in a video that went viral. The six were later released on bail.
Source: AFP.
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Saturday, May 31, 2014
English company Asda has thrown its weight behind the country's FIFA World Cup squad by selling a wearable flag. 
The British supermarket chain hopes that people will send their message of team support by sporting the St. George’s cross on their person. 
Instead, whoever wears this particular piece of clothing may be sending an altogether different kind of message. Because it kind of resembles a Ku Klux Klan outfit.
Asda is owned by Walmart, the American retail giant. 
A company spokesman somehow found a way to defend the clothing item when interviewed by The Press Association. 
"We know there's chatter on Twitter about our wearable World Cup flags, but it's simply a flag with a hood – nothing more, nothing less," she said.
"We opted for a hood on our wearable England and Brazilian flags as you never know what the British weather will bring. We want customers to get behind the team without getting wet."
The spokesman refrained from suggesting alternative means to support England without getting wet. Like staying indoors during rainy weather. Or bringing an umbrella. 

Source: Agenciesa
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Saturday, May 31, 2014

MANILA, Philippines - Eight women workers died when they were trapped inside their room in an apparently illegal electronics warehouse razed by fire Friday morning in Pasay City, near the Philippine capital.
Eight other workers, all also women, including a minor, survived the blaze that struck Asia Micro Tech, a multi-story house converted into a warehouse, on F. Samonte Street, Barangay 47, San Isidro owned by Juanito Go and Samson Co.
Three of the fatalities were apparently hired when they were still minors: Habagat had been working for three years, Saburiga, two years, and Balucos, three years.
The survivors were within the same age range except for the minor, a 16-year old who said she began working at Micro Tech when she was 14.
  • All 16 workers came from the towns of Tanjay, Tayasan and Bindoy in Negros Oriental province.
  • Police had arrested the owner of the building, charging him with human trafficking, negligence resulting in homicide and operating a business in the area without a license.
  • It is a common practice in the Philippines for low-paid employees to sleep in their place of work.
  • Employers typically do not provide enough safety measures for their staff, and some are known to lock them in to stop them stealing or prevent socializing.

Source: AFP
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Friday, May 30, 2014
ISLAMABAD – Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif demanded to know yesterday why police stood by while a pregnant woman was beaten to death by her family in front of one of the country’s top courts. 
Farzana Iqbal, 25, was killed by a group of attackers, including her father, on Tuesday because she had married the man she loved and prompted the anger of her family. 
  • An investigation into the case showed that her husband had earlier killed his first wife, said a source in Sharif’s administration. 
  • A statement from Sharif’s office described Iqbal’s death as a “brutal killing” and said it was “totally unacceptable”. 
  • “I am directing the chief minister to take immediate action and a report must be submitted by this evening to my office,” it quoted Sharif as saying. 
  • Her husband said that police did nothing during the 15 minutes the violence lasted outside Lahore High Court. 
  • “I begged them to help us but they said, this is not our duty,” Muhammed Iqbal told Reuters. “I took off my shirt (to be humble) and begged them to save her.” 
  • Later a source in Sharif’s administration quoted a Lahore police report as saying that Iqbal had killed his first wife. 
The person, who she had married had actually killed his own wife in an earlier case and remained a proclaimed offender. He was later arrested and was released on bail. Not a pristine character, according to source. 
The husband was not immediately available for comment.
In parts of Pakistan, a largely Muslim nation of 180 million people, women are expected to agree to arranged marriages and refusal can mean an “honour killing”.

Source: Reuter
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Friday, May 30, 2014
LUCKNOW, India - Two teenage girls have been found hanging from a tree in a northern Indian village after they were gang-raped by five men, police said on Thursday.
A post-mortem report indicated that the cousins from the low-caste Dalit community, aged 14 and 15, hanged themselves on Tuesday after being attacked in a village in the Budaun district of Uttar Pradesh state.
“The report suggests ante-mortem hanging, which means the girls probably committed suicide. But we will take into account all aspects before coming to a conclusion,” said Atul Saxena, Budaun police chief.
The prime accused Pappu, who goes by one name, was arrested after an initial police complaint was registered by the girls’ relatives against five men for gang-rape, murder and child sexual abuse, Saxena said.
  • “A team of around 50 police officers is on the lookout for the absconding accused,” he added.
  • Saxena could not confirm the exact ages of the accused, but said they were in their “late teens”.
  • The incident sparked protests by the victims’ families and villagers, who accused the police of apathy early on Wednesday when the bodies were discovered.
The attack is the latest to highlight India’s dismal record on preventing sexual violence, despite tougher laws and efforts to change attitudes towards women after the fatal gang-rape of a student in New Delhi in December 2012 shook the nation’s conscience.
Earlier this year, a young girl was gang-raped in a remote village in West Bengal state on orders from tribal village elders who objected to her relationship with a Muslim man.

Source: AFP.
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Thursday, May 29, 2014
MONTREAL, CanadaA group of four young Quebec residents helped rescue a newborn baby after receiving information on Facebook about the missing child after it was kidnapped Monday from a hospital maternity ward in Montreal, Canada by a woman dressed as a nurse.
Quebec police issued an amber alert after the day-old baby girl was taken at around 7pm from Ville-Marie hospital in Trois-Rivieres when a woman entered the ward where mother Melissa McMahon was staying under the pretext of weighing the baby.
The mother started worrying because the nurse did not leave through the usual door. Within minutes, she realised that her child had been abducted and police were called.
The alert, which included a security-camera photo of the suspect and a description of her car, a red Toyota Yaris with a “Bébé à bord” (Baby on Board) sign on the rear window, was spread across mainstream and social media.
  • The group of four teens – Melizanne Bergeron, her twin sister Sharelle Bergeron, and friends Marc-Andre Coté and Charlène Plante came across the kidnapping post on Facebook after it was posted by the missing baby’s father Simon Boisclair. Charlene immediately recognised the woman as her former neighbour.
  • The teens then spotted the vehicle described in the amber alert parked outside the woman’s house and contacted the police.
Police arrested the 21-year-old suspect at her home and found the baby safe just three hours after the abduction. The young sleuths were asked to accompany the police to the hospital, where the baby’s parents were anxiously waiting.
The authorities said: “It was really a story of the social media machine getting into working order, because after the amber alert was issued it was just passed around everywhere.”
The mother of the baby also wrote on a Facebook that it was social media that helped save the baby. 

Source: Reuters.
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
WELLINGTON, New Zealand - People-smugglers are looking to target New Zealand now that Australia’s tough border protection policies have effectively “closed down” that country to asylum-seeker boats, Prime Minister John Key said Tuesday. 
While the voyage to New Zealand from places such as Indonesia and Sri Lanka is potentially far more perilous than trying to reach Australia, Key said people-smugglers and asylum-seekers were willing to take the risk in the wake of Canberra’s clampdown. 
“We take this very seriously, we know it’s very hard to come to New Zealand, no one’s arguing it’s an easy distance or journey,” he told TV3. 
“But the reality is that as Australia closes down as a destination for asylum-seekers, they are trying to open up new frontiers and one of those is New Zealand.” 
  • Australia was facing record numbers of asylum-seekers before conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott was elected last year on a populist platform of “turning back the boats”. 
  • Under Canberra’s policy, any asylum-seeker arriving by boat is transferred to remote centres in the Pacific for processing and permanent resettlement. 
  • No refugee boat has yet reached New Zealand but Sri Lankan police in February arrested 75 would-be asylum-seekers who said were preparing to set off for the country. 
Fairfax New Zealand reporting that people-smugglers in Indonesia were about to launch another attempt from a beach near Jakarta last week but were intercepted by police. 
Wellington introduced laws last year allowing it to detain groups of asylum-seekers arriving by boat for six months, in what it said was a precautionary measure. 
Key is hoping New Zealand could avoid implementing policies similar to those adopted by Australia.

source: agencies
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Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Pope Francis spoke out against sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Monday and said he plans to meet with victims in early June.
In a wide-ranging talk with reporters, he also discussed celibacy in the clergy, saying it's not dogma so "the door is always open."
The Pope fielded questions on these subjects during an informal chat with reporters. 
He simply walked to the back of the papal airplane, sat down with a group of journalists and took questions for about 45 minutes, answering in Italian.
When the Vatican spokesman suggested he stop after half an hour to rest, the Pope indicated he was happy to continue. Such informality has become a hallmark of Pope Francis.
Stressing that sex abuse constitutes a horrific crime, he told reporters that three bishops are under investigation. One has already been found guilty and a penalty is being considered, he said.
It was not clear whether the bishops are under investigation for alleged abuse, or for purported involvement in some sort of cover-up. None of those clerics were named.
A priest who abuses a child betrays the body of the Lord, the Pope said, according to pool reports. He called for zero tolerance.
Among the expected invitees to the meeting are abuse victims from Germany, England and Ireland, and Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the 
archbishop of Boston.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

NEW DELHI, IndiaDelhi Police figures yet again show that the city is unsafe for women. Data of the first four months of this year show that six rapes and 14 molestation cases have been reported every day. Police, however, claim to have solved almost 90% of the cases. 
According to a recent compilation of data by Delhi Police as reported by the Times of India, 616 rapes and 1,336 molestation cases were registered between January 1 and April 30.
36% increase in rape cases compared with around 450 cases registered in the same period last year. 
Cases of molestation recorded in the same corresponding period show a similar rise with over 1,000 registered cases.

Police said over 89% cases of rape and molestation reported in the first four months had been solved and the accused arrested. 
In 2013, a total of 1,559 rape and 3,347 molestation cases were registered as compared with 680 rape and 653 incidents of molestation in 2012. 
Additional commissioner of police (crime branch), Ashok Chand said the increase in the number of cases against women was due to police following the “zero tolerance policy”. “Every case against women is being registered on a priority basis.” 
According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Delhi registered the highest 568 cases of rape in the country followed by 218 in Mumbai in 2011. 
Delhi, which earned the infamous tag of “rape capital”, saw street campaigns, especially by the young, in 2012 after a 23-year-old physiotherapy intern was gang-raped by six people, including a minor, and died later of grievous injuries. 
Following the shocking incident, Delhi Police took several steps to ensure safety of women. 
Another senior police officer said data had shown that in 90% of cases people known to the victims were involved, while a small percentage were committed by strangers. 
“In most of the rape and molestation cases, the accused were known to the victim and this makes prevention of such crimes comparatively more difficult.” 
Counting the steps taken by Delhi Police for women’s safety, additional deputy commissioner Varsha Sharma said, “a special police unit for women and children is already in place to handle women-related cases in all 11 districts.
A mobile women police team is also available round the clock to help women in distress.

Source: Agencies
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014
GEORGE TOWN, Penang, Malaysia - The winner of the Bukit Gelugur parlimentary by-election Ramkarpal Singh blames Umno for the misjudgement of his late father Karpal Singh. 
“It was their lies and using of the mainstream media to spin stories to eventually cause that misunderstanding of the man. 
“In 2008, it was hard to hoist the DAP flag at Kampung Melayu but now that the people know about Umno and their lies, they had voted in DAP,” he said at a ceramah at Kampung Melayu, Air Itam here last night. 
In a brief moment of interacting with the crowd, Ramkarpal asked what was the meaning and benefit of BR1M that was given by the federal government. 
“Bantuan Rasuah Satu Malaysia,” a supporter yelled. He said it was true that it was a form of corruption. 
“Take the money but don’t vote for Umno,” he urged. 
Ramkarpal said he felt comfortable talking for the first time in Kampung Melayu which prompted a Malay supporter to yell, “Don’t worry we are behind you.” 
Ramkarpal said he was proud after PAS(Islamic opposition party)  had launched their campaign machinery for the by-election. 
“There were many PAS leaders including their president that were present to support me. 
“He was there the next day for the nominations as well. 
Not just him but Azmin Ali, Wan Azizah was also there, does this not show our unity?” he said. 
Speaking about the alleged PAS member that was also contesting the by-election; Mohd Nabi Bux, he said, “he is an Umno member.” 
“We don’t care who wants to contest but why lie that you are from PAS? Who is lying, don’t play the fool,” he said. 
Ramkarpal went on to hit out at opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction. 
“How can a case that took 4 years to be heard in the High Court be heard for only two days in the Court of Appeal and also provide the judgement within that two days, does it make sense? 
“It happened because the next week was already the nomination day for the Kajang by-election. Is that just a coincidence? We don’t know but it looks to not be one,” he added.

Source: The Rakyat Post
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014
OTTAWA, Canada - Transport Minister Lisa Raitt(pic) said air passengers will be able to use their portable electronic devices during takeoff, ascent, descent and landing of a flight, subject to safety rules.
Raitt announced the changes billed to benefit Canadian air travellers at a news conference at the Ottawa airport yesterday.
Transport Canada held a day-long consultation last Thursday on a proposal to reduce the number of onboard flight attendants to passengers.
The government is hoping to introduce regulation that would allow airlines to have one flight attendant to every 50 passenger seats, a change from current regulations allowing one attendant to every 40 passengers.
Flight attendants have been pushing back against such a move, saying that the new ratio would put Canadians at risk. 

Source: CBC
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Tuesday, May 27, 2014
BEIJING - Storms in southern and central China have left at least 26 people dead and 10 missing, state media said Monday, as emergency measures were taken to deal with the extreme weather.
In Guangdong province 15 have died since Wednesday and five were missing due to the storms, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local flood control authorities.
Xinhua said working teams and relief materials were sent to the affected areas as part of an emergency response.
Seven people died and three were missing in Hunan because of the downpours, it added.
Pictures showed flooded streets in the city of Lining, and residents eating dinner sitting ankle-deep in brown water.
Storms also battered the southwestern province of Guizhou, where three people died on Saturday night and early Sunday.
A rescuer in Jiangxi province died after his boat capsized in a river while searching for a missing school pupil, Xinhua added.
Source:  AFP.
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Monday, May 26, 2014
TELUK INTAN, Perak, Malaysia — The dissemination of posters featuring DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud alongside a bikini-clad actress with whom she shares a striking facial resemblance has drawn outrage from several Malay residents in this usually placid town, recently. 
The photograph of Filipina actress Pauleen Luna, which was passed off as an image of the DAP hopeful, first emerged on the Internet when the 26-year-old lawyer was named for the May 31 race.
The A4-sized poster sighted by the Malay Mail Online was printed in colour and did not bear any party logo or emblem.
Two days ago, physical copies appeared in two Malay villages here, local PAS leaders said.
  • “It’s not good; it’s akin to character assassination,” Abdul Muin Basukey, a 42-year-old welder who lives in Kampung Selabak, told the Malay Mail Online.
  • “Even if you don’t support her, you shouldn’t run her down like that,” he added.
PAS’ Teluk Intan campaign deputy director Salman Saleh, who is helping the DAP (oposition party)on its blitz coverage in the Malay-majority Changkat Jong area, said dozens of copies of the posters were found strewn on the roads in Kampung Selabak and Batak Rabit on last Thursday and yesterday.
Teluk Intan PAS campaign deputy director Salman Saleh holds up an A4-sized poster showing DAP candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, (left) next to Filipina actress, Pauleen Luna.

Source: Yahoo News

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