Search

News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty

Date

February 5, 2016

Police kill asperger’s sufferer who made touching YouTube video of her dog helping with attacks

Police kill asperger's sufferer who made touching YouTube video of her dog helping with attacks

Danielle Jacobs was shot dead by police on Thursday in Arizona

An Asperger’s syndrome sufferer who filmed herself having a meltdown and her dog desperately trying to stop her has been shot dead by police.

Danielle Jacobs’ touching video showed her punching herself and her rottweiler Samson, who is trained to stop her from self-harming, attempting to intercept her blows with its paws.

full story at Metro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Law In London Would Fine Homeless £1,000 For Sleeping Outside Or “Loitering”

homeless London

By John Vibes

The homeless people in Hackney, London are facing expulsion from the street due to a new law will allow the police to give out fines and other legal penalties to homeless people who are found loitering, begging and sleeping in commercial places.

This “Public Space Protection Order” which was introduced by the council of Hackney will place a fine of £1000 on homeless activities. The order has been met with numerous criticisms, with many pointing out that the new laws effectively outlaw homelessness.

Matt Downie of homelessness charity Crisis, one of the major opponents of this legislation, said that the homeless population in London has been victimized enough.

“Rough sleepers deserve better than to be treated as a nuisance – they may have suffered a relationship breakdown, a bereavement or domestic abuse. Those who sleep on the streets are extremely vulnerable and often do not know where to turn for help. These individuals need additional support to leave homelessness behind, and any move to criminalize sleeping rough could simply create additional problems to be overcome,” Downie said.

A similar scenario was supposed to happen in Oxford, but during the consultation process, there was so much outcry from the local population that the government was forced to pull back on their proposal. In the case of Hackney, there was not a single consultation before the policy was introduced.

The policy has been largely rejected by people in Hackney, and there have been thousands of people to sign petitions that ask for the ban to be lifted. However, it is not clear if the city has any intention of paying attention to these people.

We have covered many other instances of homelessness being criminalized in recent months. As we reported just a few weeks ago, that homeless people and supporters in Sacramento were protesting a recent ordinance that makes it illegal for them to camp in the city. Many of them were camped out in front of city hall for the past month and are demanding a reversal of the camping ban. Soon after,police invaded the encampment in riot gear and made several arrests.

Activist Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Could You Stomach the Horrors of ‘Halftime’ in Ancient Rome?by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz,

The Christian Martyrs' Last Prayer by Gérôme

“The Christian Martyrs Last Prayer” by Jean-Leon Gerome (1824 – 1904).
Credit: Courtesy of Walters Art Museum, Wikimedia Commons

The enormous arena was empty, save for the seesaws and the dozens of condemned criminals who sat naked upon them, hands tied behind their backs. Unfamiliar with the recently invented contraptions known aspetaurua, the men tested the seesaws uneasily. One criminal would push off the ground and suddenly find himself 15 feet in the air while his partner on the other side of the seesaw descended swiftly to the ground. How strange.

In the stands, tens of thousands of Roman citizens waited with half-bored curiosity to see what would happen next and whether it would be interesting enough to keep them in their seats until the next part of the “big show” began.

With a flourish, trapdoors in the floor of the arena were opened, and lions, bears, wild boars and leopards rushed into the arena. The starved animals bounded toward the terrified criminals, who attempted to leap away from the beasts’ snapping jaws. But as one helpless man flung himself upward and out of harm’s way, his partner on the other side of the seesaw was sent crashing down into the seething mass of claws, teeth and fur.

The crowd of Romans began to laugh at the dark antics before them. Soon, they were clapping and yelling, placing bets on which criminal would die first, which one would last longest and which one would ultimately be chosen by the largest lion, who was still prowling the outskirts of the arena’s pure white sand.

And with that, another “halftime show” of damnatio ad bestiassucceeded in serving its purpose: to keep the jaded Roman population glued to their seats, to the delight of the event’s scheming organizer.

The Story of our Christianity by Bird and Harrison
The Story of Our Christianity” by Frederic Mayer Bird (1838-1908) and Benjamin Harrison (1833-1901)
Credit: The Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons

Welcome to the show

The Roman Games were the Super Bowl Sundays of their time. They gave their ever-changing sponsors and organizers (known as editors) an enormously powerful platform to promote their views and philosophies to the widest spectrum of Romans. All of Rome came to the Games: rich and poor, men and women, children and the noble elite alike. They were all eager to witness the unique spectacles each new game promised its audience.

To the editors, the Games represented power, money and opportunity. Politicians and aspiring noblemen spent unthinkable sums on the Games they sponsored in the hopes of swaying public opinion in their favor, courting votes, and/or disposing of any person or warring faction they wanted out of the way.

The more extreme and fantastic the spectacles, the more popular the Games with the general public, and the more popular the Games, the more influence the editor could have. Because the Games could make or break the reputation of their organizers, editors planned every last detail meticulously.

Thanks to films like “Ben-Hur” and “Gladiator,” the two most popular elements of the Roman Games are well known even to this day: the chariot races and the gladiator fights. Other elements of the Roman Games have also translated into modern times without much change: theatrical plays put on by costumed actors, concerts with trained musicians, and parades of much-cared-for exotic animals from the city’s private zoos.

But much less discussed, and indeed largely forgotten, is the spectacle that kept the Roman audiences in their seats through the sweltering midafternoon heat: the blood-spattered halftime show known asdamnatio ad bestias — literally “condemnation by beasts” — orchestrated by men known as the bestiarii.

Super Bowl 242 B.C: How the Games Became So Brutal

The cultural juggernaut known as the Roman Games began in 242 B.C., when two sons decided to celebrate their father’s life by ordering slaves to battle each other to the death at his funeral. This new variation of ancient munera (a tribute to the dead) struck a chord within the developing republic. Soon, other members of the wealthy classes began to incorporate this type of slave fighting into their own munera. The practice evolved over time — with new formats, rules, specialized weapons, etc. — until the Roman Games as we now know them were born.

In 189 B.C., a consul named M. Fulvius Nobilior decided to do something different. In addition to the gladiator duels that had become common, he introduced an animal act that would see humans fight both lions and panthers to the death. Big-game hunting was not a part of Roman culture; Romans only attacked large animals to protect themselves, their families or their crops. Nobilior realized that the spectacle of animals fighting humans would add a cheap and unique flourish to this fantastic new pastime. Nobilior aimed to make an impression, and he succeeded. [Photos: Gladiators of the Roman Empire]

With the birth of the first “animal program,” an uneasy milestone was achieved in the evolution of the Roman Games: the point at which a human being faced a snarling pack of starved beasts, and every laughing spectator in the crowd chanted for the big cats to win, the point at which the republic’s obligation to make a man’s death a fair or honorable one began to be outweighed by the entertainment value of watching him die.

Twenty-two years later, in 167 B.C., Aemlilus Paullus would give Rome its first damnatio ad bestias when he rounded up army deserters and had them crushed, one by one, under the heavy feet of elephants. “The act was done publicly,” historian Alison Futrell noted in her book “Blood in the Arena,” “a harsh object lesson for those challenging Roman authority.”

The “satisfaction and relief” Romans would feel watching someone considered lower than themselves be thrown to the beasts would become, as historian Garrett G. Fagan noted in his book “The Lure of the Arena,” a “central … facet of the experience [of the Roman Games. … a feeling of shared empowerment and validation … ” In those moments, Rome began the transition into the self-indulgent decadence that would come to define all that we associate with the great society’s demise.

Christian martyrs of the world by John Foxe
Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World” by John Foxe (1516-1587)
Credit: The Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons
 
Full story and images at Storigami History section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naming the Dead: Only 10 of Scores Killed by US Drones in Pakistan Last Year Have Been Identified

Photos for nine of the 10 killed in 2015 for whom we have names, including Warren Weinstein (bottom left) and Giovanni Lo Porto (top left). Qari Ubadiullah’s picture is not available. (Composite of images from terrorist propaganda videos, except Giovanni Lo Porto which is adapted from Nazionale Anpas/Flickr (Creative Commons).

Just 10 of the scores killed by US drones in Pakistan last year have so far been identified, according to data collected by the Bureau’s Naming the Dead project.

The names for all 10 came from either terrorist propaganda or the US government, with officials from Pakistan’s government, military and intelligence services declining to provide any names of those killed by the CIA for the first time since strikes started in 2004.

Only a minority of those killed are ever identified, but the number of those named in 2015 was particularly low. In total, according to Bureau research, of the minimum 2,494 people killed by US drones since 2004, only 729 have been named. At least 1,765 victims remain nameless.

The Bureau’s Naming the Dead project is an attempt to identify more of these victims to better ensure accountability for the drone strikes. The CIA continues to carry out signature strikes in Pakistan – attacks on people it claims are terrorists from extensive surveillance and data analysis operations – but the targets’ names are often not known.

In 2015, at least 60 people were killed by 13 strikes.

Of the 10 victims named, two were civilians: westerners Giovanni Lo Porto and Warren Weinstein, who were both aid workers taken hostage by al Qaeda when they were killed in a calamitous drone strike on January 15.

Five more were from al Qaeda and the remaining three were part of the Pakistan Taliban (TTP).

Of the 10, four names were provided by the US after weeks of CIA investigations, while the other six emerged from al Qaeda and TTP propaganda.

Name Nationality Group affiliation or job Source
Giovanni Lo Porto Italian Aid worker The White House
Warren Weinstein US Aid worker The White House
Ahmed Farouq US Al Qaeda The White House
Adam Gadahn US Al Qaeda The White House
Qari Ubaidullah Pakistani Al Qaeda Al Qaeda propaganda
Mohammad Ashraf Dar Indian Al Qaeda Al Qaeda propaganda
Talwar Shaheed Pakistani Pakistan Taliban Pakistan Taliban propaganda
Umar Shaheed Pakistani Pakistan Taliban Pakistan Taliban propaganda
Kharey Mehsud Pakistani Pakistan Taliban Pakistan Taliban propaganda
Burak Karlier Turkish Al Qaeda Al Qaeda propaganda

 

Little or nothing is publicly known about the remaining 50 people. Most were described as “militants” of varying nationalities by intelligence and government officials, and military officers who were quoted anonymously in Pakistani and international media.

In six of the 13 strikes in 2015, the unnamed sources labelled some if not all the people killed as “Uzbeks”.

In four more strikes, the dead were described by their affiliation to an armed group, such as a TTP faction under a specific commander.

Although Pakistani officials were happy to brief journalists throughout last year on the nature of the drone strikes and the nationalities or terrorist affiliations of those killed, it was the first time since 2004 they did not help in the identification process.

They have previously leaked the names of those killed.

Why so few named in 2015?

It is unclear why 2015 was different. It could be that the identities of those killed were not known before Hellfire missiles struck and unless friends, relatives or comrades come forward their names might never be known.

Alternatively, victims’ names could have been caught in the information lock down put in place in the tribal areas by ISPR – the Pakistani military’s propaganda wing.

The Pakistani military has been fighting terrorists and other non-state armed groups in Waziristan since June 2014. Since then there has been a tight control on information released to the press about the campaign.

CIA drone strikes may be subject to the same strict information control.

Spies, officials and terrorist propaganda: How we get the names

It is not unusual for the those carrying out drone strikes – nor for communities on the receiving end – to give out the names of the dead, though they have never been the only sources of names.

Terrorist propaganda has been a rich seam for identities and background information. Similarly, intelligence service and government officials in Washington have also quietly revealed to reporters the names and potted histories of some of the senior terrorists killed in the strikes.

Pakistan’s premier spy agency, the ISI, may know the identities of many if not all of the dead. It is believed to have kept a record of the names of the people killed in the tribal areas, by drones and other means. Its officers have been sources of names of the dead in strikes from 2004 to 2014.

Why this stopped in 2015 is all the more confusing considering unnamed “Pakistani security officials” told the Express Tribune the first and so far only CIA strike of 2016 killed senior Taliban commander Maulana Noor Saeed, along with four others, on January 9.

Although the ISI enjoys a reputation for omniscience it is still possible even its officials do not know who died.

The same officials, intelligence officers and soldiers in Pakistan, however, told journalists the names of TTP and al Qaeda terrorists killed in US strikes across the border in eastern and southern Afghan provinces.

The Pakistani army has slowly worked its way across the tribal areas that run along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan, driving the various armed groups deeper in to the mountains that run across the boundary separating the two countries.

Many of these fighters appear to have been forced across the border.

Afghan officials in Kabul and the provincial capitals also identified people killed in strikes in Afghanistan. The Bureau has recorded more than 100 names from over 700 people reported killed last year in Afghanistan.

The true death toll is higher. The Bureau’s tally of people killed relates to 187 US strikes in Afghanistan last year for which there are media or other open source reports. The US says it carried out 411 air and drone strikes in total. The US will not provide individual details on each of these attacks and most of them go unreported – leaving a considerable gap in public understanding of the ongoing US war in Afghanistan.

This story is part of the Bureau’s Naming the Dead project, which is funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

Share This Article source Common Dreams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve Spent 5 Years Hunting For The Perfect Lights To Show The Real Beauty Of Budapest  by Makro86

I took these photos through the last five years when I was searching for the perfect moment and the perfect lights over Budapest, Hungary.

For me, the most beautiful moment is when the sun comes up the horizont and the day begins with a couple of colourful minutes. Also the last lights of the day for me symbolize a special moment, a “thank you” from nature for a beautiful day.

To search for such amazing moments for me is a great challenge and experience, sharing it with friends and later with other people. The beauty of nature and the lights is a great gift for us from mother Earth. It doesn’t need more words, I’ll just let the pictures speak.

full article and a lot more stunning pictures at BoredPanda

 

 

 

 

WikiLeaks’ Assange should go free from embassy and be compensated: U.N. panel

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be allowed to go free from the Ecuadorian embassy in London and be awarded compensation for what amounts to a three-and-a-half-year arbitrary detention, a U.N. panel ruled on Friday.

Assange, a computer hacker who enraged the United States by publishing hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables, has been holed up in the embassy since June 2012 to avoid a rape investigation in Sweden.

Both Britain and Sweden denied that Assange was being deprived of freedom, noting he had entered the embassy voluntarily. Britain said it could contest the decision and that Assange would be arrested if he left the embassy.

Assange, an Australian, appealed to the U.N. panel, whose decision is not binding, saying he was a political refugee whose rights had been infringed by being unable to take up asylum in Ecuador.

Reuters

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: