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News from a World gone mad

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February 14, 2016

Temperatures As Low As -15C In Latest Cold Snap

Parts of the UK are set to shiver through Valentine’s Day and much of the week, with warnings of ice, snow and flooding.

Morning mist sits in the valley of the Spey River near Kincraig Scotland

The valley of the Spey River near Kincraig, Scotland, on Friday

Snow, ice and sub-zero temperatures are expected in northern parts of Britain today, while areas in the south could face flooding.

Up to 15cm of snow is expected to fall on higher ground in northern England and Scotland, where the mercury could fall as low as -15C (5F).

The Environment Agency has issued four flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected and immediate action required. Two of these are for the Midlands and two for the South West.

There are also 40 flood alerts for England and Wales, meaning flooding is possible and people should be prepared. Among these are 19 for the South East and 11 for the South West.

The warnings come after the Thames Barrier was closed on Friday for the first time this winter when the river burst its banks at Greenwich.

full report of how really cold it is going to get at SkyNews

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UN Report: 2015 a Record Bad Year for Civilians in Afghanistan
Afghan policemen prepare themselves near a frontline during a battle with the Taliban in Kunduz city, northern Afghanistan, Sept. 29, 2015.
More than 11,000 people were killed or wounded last year in Afghanistan, with one in four of the victims children.
Civilian casualties from the war in Afghanistan reached record levels for the seventh year in a row in 2015, according to a report released Sunday by the United Nation.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) blamed mounting ground fighting between Western-backed government forces and insurgent groups for at least 3,545 civilian deaths, with a further 7,457 Afghans wounded in 2015, a 4 percent increase in casualties from the year before.

"The harm done to civilians is totally unacceptable," said Nicholas Haysom, the head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. “We call on those inflicting this pain on the people of Afghanistan to take concrete action to protect civilians and put a stop to the killing and maiming of civilians in 2016.”
complete article at Telesur














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EXCLUSIVE: Robin Hood neuroscientist behind Sci-Hub research-pirate site talks to RT

© sci-hub.io

A saving grace for students across the world, Alexandra Elbakyan’s portal, Sci-Hub, pools millions of expensive academic papers published in online journals for free. At the center of a potentially multi-billion dollar court battle with US courts, she has vowed to continue her work.

“There should be no obstacles to accessing knowledge, I believe,” she told RT in an email interview, echoing her earlier reference to Article 27 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights: that “everyone has the right to freely participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.”

Whether you’re a young Master’s student, an ambitious postdoctoral researcher or a seasoned professor, you rely on other people’s research to supplement your own as a lifeline. But it has become so that while the scientists writing the papers are paid next to nothing, they are essentially faced with a middleman in the form of money-hoarding online publishers – academic hubs where all that research resides, sometimes costing $30 per paper to download. Now, imagine having to download at least 10-20 such papers – and that is for a scarcely popular topic. Researchers may have to go through dozens for other ones.

Elbakyan, a Russian neuroscientist from Kazakhstan, was among the many victims of this academic capitalist monopoly on knowledge. Writing her thesis on the lesser-researched areas of biometric scanning for consumer electronics, she was faced with $300 at the very least for papers she would probably never again have to read.

“For me, even the purchase of one such article would be a financial setback,” Alexandra told RT in an email. “So I had to go about acquiring all the articles by pirate means.

A year or two after 2009, when Alexandra took part in a large online forum on molecular biology, she was introduced to Fulltext – a hub where researchers could file requests for academic papers to help with research. Already an expert coder, it did not take Alexandra long to write her own, improved script a year later.

Called Sci-Hub, it circumvents university server security using access keys provided by sympathetic researchers with online resource access at those universities. Every time there was a search, Sci-Hub would locate the work, and it was on its servers forever.

Now the portal boasts close to 50 million papers and growing. If before, it was a mere search and extraction tool, it now automatically searches for missing articles on important topics, and downloads them to its database. “In the end the system got to its feet and started self-adding up to a million articles each month,” Alexandra says.

Akin to an anonymizer website, it looks for the link and, using university proxies, sends it back to the student unlocked.“That the original anonymizer codes were open-source was a huge blessing. But university proxies function slightly differently, so I had to alter the source code,” Alexandra says.

“The entire development, including testing, took only about three days,” she says. “I was surprised myself that the thing actually worked and people were using it… the ‘thank you’ button was clicked 316 times as soon as the service was announced.” Other scientists on the microbiology forum became the site’s first users.

The rest of this great artickle and please share it is at RT

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sexual Misery of the Arab World

Eiko Ojala

ORAN, Algeria — AFTER Tahrir came Cologne. After the square came sex. The Arab revolutions of 2011 aroused enthusiasm at first, but passions have since waned. Those movements have come to look imperfect, even ugly: For one thing, they have failed to touch ideas, culture, religion or social norms, especially the norms relating to sex. Revolution doesn’t mean modernity.

The attacks on Western women by Arab migrants in Cologne, Germany, on New Year’s Eve evoked the harassment of women in Tahrir Square itself during the heady days of the Egyptian revolution. The reminder has led people in the West to realize that one of the great miseries plaguing much of the so-called Arab world, and the Muslim world more generally, is its sick relationship with women. In some places, women are veiled, stoned and killed; at a minimum, they are blamed for sowing disorder in the ideal society. In response, some European countries have taken to producing guides of good conduct to refugees and migrants.

Sex is a complex taboo, arising, in places like Algeria, Tunisia, Syria or Yemen, out of the ambient conservatism’s patriarchal culture, the Islamists’ new, rigorist codes and the discreet puritanism of the region’s various socialisms. That makes a good combination for obstructing desire or guilt-tripping and marginalizing those who feel any. And it’s a far cry from the delicious licentiousness of the writings of the Muslim golden age, like Sheikh Nafzawi’s “The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight,” which tackled eroticism and the Kama Sutra without any hang-ups.

Today sex is a great paradox in many countries of the Arab world: One acts as though it doesn’t exist, and yet it determines everything that’s unspoken. Denied, it weighs on the mind by its very concealment. Although women are veiled, they are at the center of our connections, exchanges and concerns.

Women are a recurrent theme in daily discourse, because the stakes they personify — for manliness, honor, family values — are great. In some countries, they are allowed access to the public sphere only if they renounce their bodies: To let them go uncovered would be to uncover the desire that the Islamist, the conservative and the idle youth feel and want to deny. Women are seen as a source of destabilization — short skirts trigger earthquakes, some say — and are respected only when defined by a property relationship, as the wife of X or the daughter of Y.

These contradictions create unbearable tensions. Desire has no outlet, no outcome; the couple is no longer a space of intimacy, but a concern of the whole group. The sexual misery that results can descend into absurdity and hysteria. Here, too, one hopes to experience love, but the mechanisms of love — encounters, seduction, flirting — are prevented: Women are watched, we obsess over their virginity, the morality police patrols. Some even pay surgeons to repair broken hymens.

In some of Allah’s lands, the war on women and on couples has the air of an inquisition. During the summer in Algeria, brigades of Salafists and local youths worked up by the speeches of radical imams and Islamist TV preachers go out to monitor female bodies, especially those of women bathers at the beach. The police hound couples, even married ones, in public spaces. Gardens are off-limits to strolling lovers. Benches are sawed in half to prevent people from sitting close together.

One result is that people fantasize about the trappings of another world: either the West, with its display of immodesty and lust, or the Muslim paradise and its virgins.

read the full article at New York Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You guys might have heard the news….

The Authorities in Calais have confirmed they will be bulldozing about half of the Jungle by the end of this week

Over 1000 people of the south side of the camp will, again, be left with nothing, no home, no dignity and no hope.

The area planned to be cleared is where the majority of the families in the camp live, as well as many important community areas and facilities lovingly and time-consumingly built by refugees and volunteer groups over the last few months. These include:

– The Women and Children’s centre (supporting over 200 women and children)
– The newly built Youth Centre (supporting hundreds of young boys, many of whom are fleeing compulsory military service and are unaccompanied, alone and vulnerable)
– Three mosques
– One Church
– Three schools
– Jungle Books – the camp’s lovely library run by the amazing Mary
– The Good Chance Theatre (the dome)
– The Legal Centre
– The vaccination centre
– The Ashram Kitchen (and other aid distribution points and hot food distributions which serve over 2000 meals a day)

There are just no words for this ultimate injustice. How are the victims of war, of genocide, being treated this way? These are the very people we need to be supporting in full, showering with love and compassion, the victims of the biggest evils, the most devastating tragedies happening in our world right now.

And this is what is happening to them in France? Right on our doorstep..

This is history in the making.

Please sign this petition if you can: https://secure.avaaz.org/…/Premier_Ministre_Valls_Ministr…/… (it’s in french but it’s basically to stop the destruction)

Photos taken on film by Nils O’Hara

"You guys might have heard the news….

The Authorities in Calais have confirmed they will be bulldozing about half of the Jungle by the end of this week…

Over 1000 people of the south side of the camp will, again, be left with nothing, no home, no dignity and no hope.

The area planned to be cleared is where the majority of the families in the camp live, as well as many important community areas and facilities lovingly and time-consumingly built by refugees and volunteer groups over the last few months. These include:

- The Women and Children’s centre (supporting over 200 women and children)
- The newly built Youth Centre (supporting hundreds of young boys, many of whom are fleeing compulsory military service and are unaccompanied, alone and vulnerable)
- Three mosques
- One Church
- Three schools
- Jungle Books - the camp’s lovely library run by the amazing Mary
- The Good Chance Theatre (the dome)
- The Legal Centre
- The vaccination centre
- The Ashram Kitchen (and other aid distribution points and hot food distributions which serve over 2000 meals a day)

There are just no words for this ultimate injustice. How are the victims of war, of genocide, being treated this way? These are the very people we need to be supporting in full, showering with love and compassion, the victims of the biggest evils, the most devastating tragedies happening in our world right now. 

And this is what is happening to them in France? Right on our doorstep..

This is history in the making.

Photos taken on film by Nils O'Hara"
"You guys might have heard the news….

The Authorities in Calais have confirmed they will be bulldozing about half of the Jungle by the end of this week…

Over 1000 people of the south side of the camp will, again, be left with nothing, no home, no dignity and no hope.

The area planned to be cleared is where the majority of the families in the camp live, as well as many important community areas and facilities lovingly and time-consumingly built by refugees and volunteer groups over the last few months. These include:

- The Women and Children’s centre (supporting over 200 women and children)
- The newly built Youth Centre (supporting hundreds of young boys, many of whom are fleeing compulsory military service and are unaccompanied, alone and vulnerable)
- Three mosques
- One Church
- Three schools
- Jungle Books - the camp’s lovely library run by the amazing Mary
- The Good Chance Theatre (the dome)
- The Legal Centre
- The vaccination centre
- The Ashram Kitchen (and other aid distribution points and hot food distributions which serve over 2000 meals a day)

There are just no words for this ultimate injustice. How are the victims of war, of genocide, being treated this way? These are the very people we need to be supporting in full, showering with love and compassion, the victims of the biggest evils, the most devastating tragedies happening in our world right now. 

And this is what is happening to them in France? Right on our doorstep..

This is history in the making.

Photos taken on film by Nils O'Hara"
"You guys might have heard the news….

The Authorities in Calais have confirmed they will be bulldozing about half of the Jungle by the end of this week…

Over 1000 people of the south side of the camp will, again, be left with nothing, no home, no dignity and no hope.

The area planned to be cleared is where the majority of the families in the camp live, as well as many important community areas and facilities lovingly and time-consumingly built by refugees and volunteer groups over the last few months. These include:

- The Women and Children’s centre (supporting over 200 women and children)
- The newly built Youth Centre (supporting hundreds of young boys, many of whom are fleeing compulsory military service and are unaccompanied, alone and vulnerable)
- Three mosques
- One Church
- Three schools
- Jungle Books - the camp’s lovely library run by the amazing Mary
- The Good Chance Theatre (the dome)
- The Legal Centre
- The vaccination centre
- The Ashram Kitchen (and other aid distribution points and hot food distributions which serve over 2000 meals a day)

There are just no words for this ultimate injustice. How are the victims of war, of genocide, being treated this way? These are the very people we need to be supporting in full, showering with love and compassion, the victims of the biggest evils, the most devastating tragedies happening in our world right now. 

And this is what is happening to them in France? Right on our doorstep..

This is history in the making.

Photos taken on film by Nils O'Hara"

if you want to help go here :The Worldwide Grouse

 

 

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