Did You Know

As a hard working,honest person in Britten it is against Government Policy to be Sick in any way that was designed to help.
Reason be is that the system does not support the working persons with family but fully support whoever it is that sits on their backside everyday and never lift a straw in their life.
How justified can that be, does honesty pay or dishonesty payed more.

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One block of flats but Two entrances.

Humiliating Britten I wonder what’s the point in the Council that pretend to make property available to the poorer Citizen of this country but make sure that the Poor and the Rich don’t enter through the same entrance.
So is the money of the poor is more scornful than that of the rich, why take from them or even try to make properties available to poor old scum like us then.

Pressure on police over anti-Semitic protests


Demands are growing in Germany for the prosecution of protesters in Berlin, Frankfurt and other cities who led anti-Semitic chants and incited violence against Jews over Israel’s military offensive in Gaza.
“We cannot and should not let this go,” Frankfurt city councillor and head of the local CDU faction Uwe Becker said in comments reported on Wednesday by the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.

The CDU has now filed formal complaints of anti-Semitism and incitement of the people against participants in a rally on Friday who led anti-Israeli chants, Becker said.

The head of the FDP Liberal Party faction in the Hesse parliament also demanded that the state’s interior minister, Peter Beuth, take action against protesters in Frankfurt who overstepped legal bounds of freedom of expression.

“Regardless of all strategies to de-escalate the situation, do not allow slogans of incitement that hark back to the darkest hours of our history to echo in Hesse,” the deputy head of Frankfurt’s FDP branch, Wolfgang Greilich, wrote to the minister.

Merkel speaks out

Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday pledged the country’s 200,000-strong Jewish community her unwavering support, a government spokesman said.

“The chancellor and the entire German government condemn the anti-Semitic remarks made at pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli demonstrations in Germany in the strongest terms,” Georg Streiter told reporters.

“These outbursts are an attack on freedom and tolerance and an attempt to shake the foundations of our free and democratic system. We cannot and will not tolerate this,” said Streiter, adding that any violence against Jewish people or institutions would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

In Berlin, there were also calls for legal action after Danish citizen Abu Bilal Ismail, an imam from a mosque in Copenhagen, used an appearance at a mosque in the Neukölln district on Friday to pray for the death of Jews.

CDU parliamentarian Burkard Dregger has filed a complaint of incitement against Ismail with the city police. “Such people who call for violence are not welcome in our country,” the politician told the Berliner Zeitung.

The mayor of Neukölln, Heinz Buschkowsky, said there was only one adequate response to the actions of the imam: “[Send him] back across the border with a ban on re-entering the country,” he said.

In a video posted online, Ismail is seen imploring, “Oh Allah, destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them to the very last one. Don’t spare a single one of them.”

Despite the taped comments, he later insisted he was referring only to “Jews who have killed people in Gaza.”

In street demonstrations in Berlin, crowds of pro-Palestinian protesters also shouted “Death to Israel” and “Zionists are fascists, killing children and civilians”.

Anti-Semitic slogans are illegal in Germany, where atonement for the Nazi killing of some six million European Jews in the Holocaust is a cornerstone of the post-war order.

The calls for action were echoed by a senior police officer and professor of law who oversees the police in three of the city’s districts.

‘Police must respond’

“The police must take action,” Michael Knape told the Tagesspiegel newspaper, adding that the slogans shouted were “right on the border of incitement”.

Public safety was a “central guarantor of the right to assembly”, and since the conduct of the protesters had caused fear among people, legal action was justified. But Knape denied that police in the capital had been lax in enforcing the law during the protests.

In a telephone conversation with German President Joachim Gauck, the leader of the country’s Jewish community, Dieter Graumann, said he had discussed events of recent days and the fear they had created.
“Many members of our community are very shaken, worried and absolutely shocked by the worst anti-Jewish slogans that some out-of-control crowds have shouted, calling for Jews to be ‘gassed’, ‘burned’ and ‘slaughtered’,” Graumann said in a statement after the call. Gauck told him he took Jewish fears “very seriously”.

In Mainz, ex-parliamentarian and former head of the German-Israeli Society, Johannes Gerster, filed charges against the leader of a demonstration on Friday at which participants chanted inflammatory slogans.

The actions of the 1,500 mainly Palestinian demonstrators exceeded legally permissible bounds, said Gerster, who is a lawyer.

The leader of the protest, Fatih Bayram, had “whipped up hatred and called for violence and arbitrary actions against Israel and Jews in Germany, and thereby disturbed the peace in our country,” he told the Allgemeine Zeitung.

Flight MH17 and the RUSSIAN sa-11 Buk

The tragic destruction of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was a sadly predictable result of Russia supplying the powerful and long-ranged SA-11 “Buk” surface to air missile systems to separatists in eastern Ukraine who had no access to state air traffic control information.
The SA-11 system which was used to shoot down MH17 is a Russian-built, heavy anti-aircraft missile launcher coupled to a phased-array radar on a tracked chassis.

It is designed to engage military aircraft and missiles at altitudes of up to 72,000ft. It is in service with the Russian and Ukrainian armed forces, as well as other forces around the world.

In recent days, there have been multiple sightings of SA-11 systems in separatist hands near Donetsk reported on social media. This is close to where the airliner was shot down. On Monday 14 July, separatists shot down a Ukrainian Air Force An-26 military transport aircraft which was flying at above 22,000ft.

This incident signalled a significant rise in the anti-aircraft capabilities of the separatists since, up until this week, the only anti-aircraft missile systems seen in their possession were man-portable air defence systems (Manpads) such as SA-18 and SA-24 which are not capable of hitting aircraft flying above 19,500ft. As well as being incapable of engaging high-altitude targets, they are of limited use against the armoured Su-25 attack jets deployed by the Ukrainian Air Force.

After recent separatist defeats around Slavyansk, Russia evidently decided to supply their allies in eastern Ukraine with the much more powerful SA-11 system to check the advance of the Ukrainian anti-terror operation, which has been making heavy and increasing use of air power.

Almost certainly what occurred on Thursday was that separatists targeted what they assumed to be another An-26 transport flying at high altitude and shot it down using the same SA-11 systems employed earlier in the week. As the story broke, separatist social media accounts boasted of shooting down another An-26, only for these posts to be swiftly removes as it became clear an airliner was missing, and separatist leaders realised what they had actually hit.
system usually includes several launch vehicles and a command vehicle with a larger radar array, to coordinate the targeting of the launch vehicles. However, only the launch vehicles have been seen in eastern Ukraine. This means that the system used to bring down MH-17 was most likely being operated using the smaller integrated radar on the launch vehicle itself, and possibly by separatists unfamiliar with its specific functionalities.

Given that there seems to be little doubt that an SA-11 system was used to shoot down MH17, the question must now be who is responsible. Russian and separatist claims that the Ukrainian military is responsible are absurd. The Ukrainian military has absolutely no reason to have deployed their SA-11’s anywhere near Donetsk as the separatists do not use aircraft and shooting down a Russian aircraft violating its airspace is that last thing that Kiev wants.

Given the strength of reaction from Moscow over a single artillery shell which landed on the Russian side of the border last week, and the fears over direct Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian forces are being extremely careful to avoid actions which could give a pretext for Russian retaliation. However, the separatists have been shooting down aircraft over eastern Ukraine for weeks using surface to air missiles.

This is simply a tragic case of incorrect target selection by separatists using a weapons system which was much more powerful than previously seen in the conflict, and capable of reaching MH-17 and 33,000ft.

Unlike state operators of the system who are linked to national air traffic control networks, the separatists in Donetsk had no information about international flights and probably did not consider the possibility.

This is exactly why the international community has up to now been very careful to avoid non-state actors acquiring advanced anti-aircraft missile systems such as the SA-11 which Russia supplied to its proxies in Donetsk this week.

Delay in Justin Bieber’s DUI case

Justin Bieber’s lawyers and Florida prosecutors said Wednesday they need more time to work out a possible plea deal on charges that the pop star drove under the influence and resisted arrest.

Assistant State Attorney David Gilbert and Bieber attorney Mark Shapiro asked for an additional three weeks. Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield reset the matter for Aug. 5.

Gilbert said at a brief hearing the two sides would inform Altfield on that date how the plea negotiations are progressing “and set a trial date, if necessary.” He gave no other details, and Shapiro also would not get into specifics. Bieber did not attend the hearing.

“It’s pretty much status quo,” Shapiro said.

Bieber was arrested early January 23 in Miami Beach after what police described as an illegal street race between Bieber’s rented Lamborghini and a Ferrari driven by a friend, R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff. Neither was charged with drag racing.

Alcohol breath tests found Bieber’s level below Florida’s 0.02 limit for underage drivers but urine tests showed the presence of marijuana and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system. Bieber was also charged with resisting arrest and driving on an expired license. Sharieff is also charged with DUI.

Earlier this month, Bieber resolved another criminal case by pleading no contest to a misdemeanor vandalism charge for throwing eggs at a neighbor’s house in Los Angeles. In that case, Bieber agreed to pay more than $80,000 in damages and meet a number of other conditions.

Bieber is also charged in Toronto with assaulting a limo driver in late December. His lawyers have said he is not guilty in that case.

Back in Miami, Bieber is being sued by a photographer who says he was roughed up while snapping pictures of the singer outside a recording studio.

The Canadian-born Bieber shot to stardom at age 15, after initially gaining notice through YouTube videos. He was nominated for two Grammy Awards for his 2010 full-length album debut “My World 2.0,” but his popularity has begun to wane.

New Research Shows How Marijuana Compound Can Reduce Tumor Growth In Cancer Patients


Scientists have long known that compounds derived from marijuana have some cancer fighting properties, but a recent discovery demonstrates how exactly one compound may fight tumors.

Published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the research reveals two previously unknown “signaling platforms” in cells that allow THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis known for producing the “high” sensation, to shrink some cancerous tumors.

“THC, the major active component of marijuana, has anti-cancer properties,” Dr. Peter McCormick, a researcher from University of East Anglia in England and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “This compound is known to act through a specific family of cell receptors called cannabinoid receptors. However, it was unclear which of these receptors were responsible for the anti-tumor effects of THC.”

When the researchers applied THC to tumors induced in mice using human breast cancer cells, the interaction between two cannabinoid cell receptors — CB2 and GPR55 — were responsible for THC’s anti-tumor benefits.

“Our findings help explain some of the well-known but still poorly understood effects of THC at low and high doses on tumor growth,” McCormick added. He emphasized in an email to The Huffington Post that dosage is critical to outcome, since the wrong protocol can sometimes increase tumor growth, he said.

“So, the ideal would be either the purified THC in an effective dose provided by a health care provider to reduce the known cognitive side effects and still deliver the appropriate reduction in tumor growth, or a synthetic homolog that provides the same effects,” McCormack said. He added that the research team didn’t screen all tumors and that some types may not respond to this treatment if they do not have compatible receptors expressed.

The endocannabinoid (EC) system is a communications network in the brain and body that is involved in a number of physiological processes that affect a person’s feelings, motor skills and memory. The EC system is responsive to the body’s naturally-occurring endocannabinoids as well as the cannabinoids found in marijuana, like THC. And scientists have found that the CB2 receptor specifically is sensitive to the therapeutic properties of marijuana-based compounds.

This isn’t the first time scientists have found that marijuana can be effective at fighting cancer. Previous studies have found that THC cuts tumor growth in lung cancer in half and also prohibited the cancer from spreading. THC has also been shown to induce death in brain cancer cells.

But THC is just one of many cannabinoids found in marijuana. Others, like CBD, a non-toxic, non-psychoactive chemical compound in the cannabis plant, has also shown promise in the battle against cancer. Researchers in California found that CBD could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer.

In the United Kingdom, a team of scientists found that six different purified cannabinoids — CBD (Cannabidiol), CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid), CBG (Cannbigerol), CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid), CBGV (Cannabigevarin) and CBGVA (Cannabigevaric acid) — showed a wide range of therapeutic qualities that “target and switch off” pathways that allow cancers to grow.

A number of studies in recent years have demonstrated the medical potential of pot beyond cancer treatment. Purified forms of cannabis has been tied to better blood sugar control, and may help slow the spread of HIV. Legalization of the plant for medical purposes may even lead to lower suicide rates.

Currently, the federal government classifies the plant as one of the “most dangerous” substances alongside heroin and LSD with “no currently accepted medical use.”

McCormack told HuffPost that the researchers are moving toward clinical trials but that it would be at least five years before those would begin.


The search is on for a would-be-robber who chewed on the finger of an elderly woman in an attempt to get her wedding band, while she jogged in her upscale St Andrew community late last week.

Information reaching THE STAR is that the woman was out doing her daily rounds of morning exercise when she was attacked by a man who held on to her hands and bit her ring finger without success.

The STAR gathered that the incident took place in view of another resident who was going about his own business.

He told THE STAR, “Mi a walk bout minutes after 7 in a di morning and mi see a strange man. Mi never pay him nuh mind really until mi walk past him … after the lady past me with her walking stick, heading in the opposite direction. She stop and then mi hear she start scream when the man a walk go over to her.. Next ting, mi see him grab her finger and a bite it and she a scream … then mi jus see a car come out of nowhere and turn, then him run go meet the car.”

The man continued, “Mi couldn’t believe a so di man bite bite up the woman finger and still nuh get di ring … right now mi a wonder if is a mad man or coke head …”

Our news team understands that after the ordeal the woman went home and told her husband, who is believed to be a retired policeman, what happened.

THE STAR understands that the couple traversed the route in search of the would-be-robber, asking neighbours if they saw or heard anything, before filing a report with the area police.

The St Andrew North police confirmed reports of the incident and told our news team that nobody had been apprehended in relation to that incident.

THE STAR was also informed that the police have stepped up patrol in the area where the incident occurred.

Some residents also told THE STAR that the area is often used by unscrupulous persons to carry out illegal deeds.

Over the past few months there have been several reports of robbery and at least one confirmed case of rape in the vicinity of where this latest incident took place

UK needs four-day week to combat stress, says top doctor

One of Britain’s leading doctors has called for the country to switch to a four-day week to help combat high levels of work-related stress, let people spend more time with their families or exercising, and reduce unemployment.

Bringing the standard working week down from five to four days would also help address medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and the mental ill-health associated with overwork or lack of work, Prof John Ashton said.

The president of the UK Faculty of Public Health said the five-day week should be phased out to end what he called “a maldistribution of work” that is damaging many people’s health.

“When you look at the way we lead our lives, the stress that people are under, the pressure on time and sickness absence, [work-related] mental health is clearly a major issue. We should be moving towards a four-day week because the problem we have in the world of work is you’ve got a proportion of the population who are working too hard and a proportion that haven’t got jobs”, Ashton said.

“We’ve got a maldistribution of work. The lunch-hour has gone; people just have a sandwich at their desk and carry on working,” added the leader of the UK’s 3,300 public-health experts working in the NHS, local government and academia.

The Faculty of Public Health’s members work on issues such as obesity, poor diet, alcohol misuse and smoking, often related to poverty, unemployment or poor housing, and also to try to narrow widening health inequalities between the rich and poor. Ashton is using his three-year presidency of the organisation to raise awareness of the fact that mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, can be either a cause or effect of many public health issues.

“We need a four-day week so that people can enjoy their lives, have more time with their families, and maybe reduce high blood pressure because people might start exercising on that extra day.

“If you’ve got two people in a couple working, they need to be able to work in such a way that they can spend time together with their children. It’s a nightmare,” said Ashton, who worked in the NHS for 42 years until he retired last year.

He cited the example of a four-day week giving parents the time to collect their children from school.

Britons work some of the longest hours in Europe, which surveys have linked to stress, sleep problems, reduced productivity and the taking of sick leave.

“My concern is that too many people are working too long hours and too hard, and too many people aren’t working at all. A large number of people are working crazy hours and a significant amount of people can’t get work,” Ashton said.

A YouGov survey in April found that 57% of workers support the idea of a four-day week, and that 71% think it would make Britain a happier place.

“It would mean that people might smile more and be happier, and improve general health,” Ashton said.

Employees struggling to cope with working too much can end up stressed or with high blood pressure or problems in their relationship, and even resort to alcohol or drugs, he said.

His comments, in an interview with the Guardian, come a day after the government extended the right to request working flexible hours to all employees. Until Monday, only carers and people looking after children had been able to make such a request.

“It [a four-day week] is viable. We need an ambition in the next 10 to 20 years to move to that on a European level. We’ve had the European working-time directive. Why couldn’t we have the ambition to move to a four-day week? The fifth day could be a community activity day, a giving back day. This is how you operationalise the big society,” he said.

The Trades Union Congress said many workers would welcome moving to a four-day week.

“Too few people in the UK are able to work the hours they want and need. Far too many still work part-time when they want a full-time job, leaving them struggling to make ends meet,” said Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary.

“But there’s also a growing problem with excessive working hours, with millions of employees under real pressure as they attempt to balance work with their everyday lives. And despite this week’s change in the law it’s still too easy for employers to block flexible working requests, however nicely a worker asks.

“A four-day week won’t work for everyone, but at the moment it’s way beyond the grasp of many who would like to change the hours they work. The new right to request flexible working should be strengthened so that those who need shorter hours have a better chance of getting it.”

Pregnant Josie Cunningham admits to starting chainsmoking after psychic tells her she’s having a boy

The wannabe model who rose to fame after getting a boob job on the NHS and later infuriated the nation further by declaring her intention to have an abortion in order to get on Big Brother, has caused another stir.

Last week she hit headlines (again) after boasting of receiving taxpayers handouts to pay for taxis as she claimed public transport gives her anxiety attacks, now it seems navigating a double decker isn’t the only issue testing her resolve…

The sex of her unborn child is.

Cunningham – who already has two sons – claims that she turned to cigarettes and booze after being told by a psychic that her third child would also be a boy.

The 24-year-old told The Mirror: ‘The evening I found out the sex of the baby was when I lit up my first cigarette. I’m not proud of myself. It changed everything.

‘Once I’d finished the cigarette I found it difficult to focus on anything positive, so I had a small glass of wine. My intention was to have one, but before I knew it I was on my second and I’d smoked a whole packet of fags. Now I’m smoking 20 a day.

She added: ‘I knew it could harm my child but it didn’t stop me. Deep down I know I wouldn’t be smoking or drinking if I knew I was having a girl.’

No word on if she has had a scan to confirm the sex of the child or consulted a medical professional.

Picked your jaw off the floor yet?

She has admitted had she known earlier in her pregnancy that the baby was a boy, she ‘most probably’ would have gone through with a termination.

What never to do when your relationship ends

BEING in a relationship is a great experience. You feel happy, you are ecstatic, you glow, and you feel valuable and cherished. You and your partner look beyond the struggles of life, believe your love is eternal, and that you are free from problems. But as life progresses, the magical feelings of love ebb and reality takes over. You start to lose respect and fail to understand each other and the relationship ends.

It is often said that love is blind and it makes us into fools at times. You may have figuratively given your heart and soul to a man or woman who didn’t appreciate you and in your attempts not to lose the love you once had you do some stupid stuff. Indeed, some stupidity is expected when you lose your love, but below are some silly things you should never do when your marriage or long-term relationship ends.

1. Beg

Don’t do it, ever. This is one of the greatest signs of weakness and vulnerability. You will hate yourself for it in the end. He or she may or may not return but begging won’t change why they left in the first place.

2. Call/visit/e-mail/text

Your former mate and their new partner will sit and laugh at your desperation. Calling, e-mailing and texting are signs that you are thinking of someone and possibly miss them. Though it may be true, you don’t have to live out your feelings, especially when the other individual thinks nothing of you. Visiting is an indication that you haven’t got over the individual. It also scores 100 points on the desperation scale.

3. Rebound

Getting over an ex doesn’t require getting under another person. Give yourself time to heal, reflect and rid yourself of the hurt or pain you may feel. Broken hearts are real. Yours is broken, fix it through venting, counselling or talking to a trusted friend. Don’t go breaking other’s hearts in a bid to relieve yourself.

4. Settle for less

Setting standards are important and so is moving on. However, ensure that you don’t accept someone because you want to make your ex see that you have moved on. Ensure that who you have moved on with is not less than you deserve but treats you with respect and understands your needs.

5. Wallow in sadness

For heaven’s sake, cheer up! Think of it as good riddance. If the individual wanted to stay they would have. Yes, it’s OK to cry and express your feelings in order to heal but don’t let it get the best of you. Try activities that will force you to focus your attention elsewhere.

6. Keep remnants

If the relationship was long-term, chances are you have a wealth of memories in the form of pictures, gifts, clothes, jewellery and the list goes on. But it’s now time to pack them up and put them far away from sight. Out of sight, out of mind. It will help with the healing process. Seeing him or her on your wall — whether the real one or the one on Facebook — will stir up grief, anger and resentment and that’s not healthy. Purge yourself of the person.

7. Be a loner

Go out, embrace your social side. You are now single, free and have fewer responsibilities. Enjoy it while it lasts. Learn a new craft, try a new sport, hang with a few friends, go clubbing, go to church, and enjoy yourself. If you’re seeking revenge, that’s the best way. Let them see you being happy alone.

Decriminalise ganja spliff now — Grange

OPPOSITION Spokesperson on Youth, Culture and Entertainment Olivia “Babsy” Grange has called on government to amend legislation to decriminalise possession of small amounts of ganja and to expunge the records of those persons, including artistes, who have been convicted for having a ‘spliff’.

Grange said that during recent discussions with a number of individuals in the music industry as well as young persons from various communities on different matters affecting them, she was again faced with how many lives are being affected by government’s delay in decriminalising possession of small amounts of marijuana.

According to Grange, the former administration had already started the process.

“A Cabinet decision had been taken and a Ministry Paper tabled in Parliament proposing to, through legislation, decriminalise possession of small amounts, and to expunge records of those persons previously convicted of such possession. After almost three years in office, when public and international attitudes have become even more supportive of the idea, the present administration continues to drag its feet,” Grange said.

She further pointed out that while the government delays in making changes to legislation, each week hundreds are locked up, prosecuted and fingerprinted for what is in essence, a victimless crime. “They are left with criminal records which define and constrain their entire potential,” she said.

“The horrible irony is that when they can’t get jobs, it adds to rising levels of unemployment and makes them even more susceptible to engaging in criminal activities,” she said, adding that the time had long come to change that.

Grange said she is of the understanding that magistrates can use their discretion regarding fingerprinting, and asked whether in these changing times, and pending new legislation, they might not apply a different context when deciding whether or not to fingerprint individuals for possession of small amounts of ganja.

“My focus, in urging the government to act now, is on the damage to the potential of young persons, most of whom are poor and from the inner cities. We must take every opportunity to reduce their marginalisation, and to create opportunities for employment. This issue also specifically affects young artistes who by reason of being caught with a single spliff find themselves unable to get a visa to travel and grow their careers, ” she argued.

Oldest known alien planet that might support life discovered


Astronomers have discovered what appears to be the oldest known alien world that could be capable of supporting life, and it’s just a stone’s throw away from Earth.

The newfound exoplanet candidate Kapteyn b, which lies a mere 13 light-years away, is about 11.5 billion years old, scientists say. That makes it 2.5 times older than Earth, and just 2 billion years or so younger than the universe itself, which burst into existence with the Big Bang 13.8 billion years ago.

“It does make you wonder what kind of life could have evolved on those planets over such a long time,” study lead author Guillem Anglada-Escude, of Queen Mary University of London, said in a statement.

[10 Exoplanets That Could Host Alien Life]

Anglada-Escude was referring to Kapteyn b and its newly discovered sister world, Kapteyn c, which both orbit a nearby red dwarf known as Kapteyn’s Star. But only Kapteyn b, a “super-Earth” about five times as massive as our own planet, is thought to be potentially habitable; the larger Kapteyn c is likely too cold, researchers said.

The astronomers spotted both alien planets by noting the tiny wobbles their gravitational tugs induced in the motion of Kapteyn’s Star. These tugs caused shifts in the star’s light, which were first detected using the HARPS spectrometer at the European Southern Observatory’s La Silla Observatory in Chile. Further observations by two other spectrometers — HIRES at the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the PFS instrument at Chile’s Magellan II Telescope — backed up the finds.

The team didn’t expect to find a possibly habitable world around Kapteyn’s Star, which is one-third as massive as the sun but so close to Earth that it’s visible in amateur telescopes, in the southern constellation of Pictor.

“We were surprised to find planets orbiting Kapteyn’s Star,” Anglada-Escude said. “Previous data showed some moderate excess of variability, so we were looking for very short-period planets when the new signals showed up loud and clear.”

Kapteyn b lies in the star’s habitable zone, the range of distances that could support liquid water — and thus, perhaps, life as we know it — on a world’s surface. The exoplanet completes one orbit every 48 days. The colder Kapteyn c is much farther out, circling the star once every 121 days.

Adding to the intrigue is the strange history of the Kapteyn system. The star originally belonged to a dwarf galaxy that our own Milky Way eventually absorbed and disrupted, researchers said, throwing Kapteyn and its planets into their speedy, elliptical orbit in the galactic “halo” — the region surrouding the Milky Way’s familiar spiral-armed disk.

The remnant of this gobbled-up dwarf galaxy is likely Omega Centauri, a globular cluster about 16,000 light-years away that contains many thousands of stars that are around 11.5 billion years old, researchers said.

“The presence and long-term survival of a planetary system seems a remarkable feat given the peculiar origin and kinematic history of Kapteyn’s star,” the researchers write in the new study, which will be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. “The detection of super-Earth mass planets around halo stars provides important insights into planet-formation processes in the early days of the Milky Way.”

The new discovery is an exciting one that could inform the search for alien life throughout the galaxy, outside researchers said.

“It suggests that many potentially habitable worlds will be found in the next years around nearby stars by ground-based and space-based observatories such as ESA’s PLATO mission,” said Richard Nelson of Queen Mary University of London, who was not a part of the study team. “Until we have detected a larger number of them, the properties and possible habitability of the near-most planetary systems will remain mysterious.”

Police spot gunman who killed 3 in Canada, but he’s still at large

In a country often stereotyped as being too genteel, the Canadian city of Moncton, New Brunswick, prides itself on a special distinction: It was named the most polite.
So what happened there Wednesday seems unimaginable to some residents.
A man dressed in fatigues and carrying a rifle went on a rampage, killing three police officers and wounding two others.
On Thursday morning, the shooter was still on the loose.
Police say they know who the suspect is: 24-year-old Justin Bourque of Moncton.
On Thursday morning, police spotted Bourque at least three times in the area, but “results for apprehension have been negative,” New Brunswick Royal Canadian Mounted Police Superintendent Marlene Snowman said.
Police posted to social media a photograph of a man dressed in fatigues, carrying what appeared to be a rifle.
Police posted to social media a photograph of a man dressed in fatigues, carrying what appeared to be a rifle.
The search for the suspect is ongoing, and Snowman asked residents to continue to stay indoors and remain calm.
The victims were all officers of the RCMP, said Roger Brown, the commander for the New Brunswick RCMP.
“This is perhaps the darkest day in the history of RCMP New Brunswick,” he said.
Authorities have not released the names of the officers killed, saying they are waiting for all family members to be notified.
More than 16 hours into the manhunt, police don’t know — or haven’t disclosed — what prompted the attacks.
Police leaders appeared emotional as they conveyed the few details they had to reporters.
“As you can imagine, this is working through your worst nightmare,” Brown said.
3 officers wounded in Canada shooting
Terror outside the window
The rampage began Wednesday evening when police responded to a report of an armed man in the north end of Moncton.
The gunman opened fire.
Three RCMP officers were shot and killed, Constable Damien Theriault told reporters.
“Two of our officers were also injured, but their lives are not threatened at this time,” he said, his voice breaking at times.
Joan MacAlpine-Stiles recalled seeing the gunman when she opened a window.
“It was really warm in the house, so we opened up the windows in the family room, and there he was going across through the back with this rifle on his shoulder,” she told CNN partner CBC.
“I said, ‘Oh my God, there he is with camouflage and the headband and a gun,’ and it looked like a bow he had with him, and I mean he was just through our backyard,” she said.
After police arrived, neighbor Vanessa Bernatchez watched with a couple of others from a living room window. She uploaded a video of the confrontation to Facebook.
“He shot him. He shot the … cop,” a man in the video exclaims. “Call 911!”
‘That could never happen here’
Moncton, a city of about 140,000 people, is about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Saint John.
The Canadian magazine Chatelaine has described Moncton as one of the best places to live and work in Canada, according to the city’s website.
In addition, Reader’s Digest recently named Moncton as the most polite city in all of Canada, the city said.
Such accolades seem to matter little now.
The violence shook Moncton and beyond.
“It’s a lot. Especially for a city like this, where you wouldn’t expect something to happen like this,” local resident Jonathan Hurshman told CTV. “You see it all in the states, and you think, ‘No, that could never happen here’ — and sure enough, it happens here.”
There were no homicides in Moncton in 2011 and 2012, and the average number of homicides per year between 2006 and 2011 was one.
In 2012, the homicide rate in Canada was 1.6 per 100,000, while in the United States, it was 4.7 per 100,000, according to U.N. statistics.
Hurshman told CTV that he tried to get close to the confrontation with his video camera, only to be brusquely turned away by police.
He didn’t see the suspect, but he heard the gunshots and saw what he thought was a police officer on the ground.
“There was a lot going through my head. It was a lot to take in, seeing something like this happen here,” he said.
Hurshman’s family would remain inside their house all day, he told CTV, but early Thursday, he witnessed neighbors who didn’t feel safe packing their cars and leaving.
As the hunt dragged into Thursday morning, police continued giving updates and warnings throughout the night.
“Shooter still believed to be in Pinehurst Subdiv. area of Moncton. Stay locked inside. Avoid area,” the RCMP’s New Brunswick office tweeted.
All entrances to the neighborhood where the attack took place were blocked off, city spokeswoman Isabelle LeBlanc said Wednesday night. Her husband had not been able to get home.
Even some buses were pulled off the road out of concern for public safety, she said.
Hospital calls in more help
As the two injured officers were being treated, a local hospital had to get reinforcements.
“We have called in extra staff and physicians at The Moncton Hospital to help deal with this situation,” said John McGarry, president and CEO of Horizon Health Network.
“We are restricting visitors to those with critically ill family members, and ask all others to refrain from visiting at this time.”
Searching while grieving
As police keep looking for the gunman, they must do so while grieving the deaths of their colleagues.
When asked how officers would push through, Constable Theriault said, “We are professional.”
Moments later, he choked up and ended the news conference.

Gary Glitter charged with sex offences

Gary Glitter has been charged with eight counts of sexual offences against girls.

The charges relate to two women who were aged between 12 and 14 at the time of the alleged offences between 1977 and 1980.

The former pop star – real name Paul Gadd – is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 19 June.

The Crown Prosecution Service said no further action would be taken over five allegations made by two other people.

Baljit Ubhey, chief crown prosecutor for CPS London, said: “We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service.”

Mr Gadd, 70, was arrested on 28 October 2012 at his London home following an investigation by detectives from Operation Yewtree, which was set up after the Jimmy Savile abuse scandal.

Police material
Ms Ubhey said police had been “providing material to the CPS since July 2013, with the most recent material submitted in March 2014″.

The charges relating to the first complainant, who was aged 12 or 13 at the time of the alleged offences, are:

Two counts of indecent assault between 31 January and 31 May 1977
One count of administering a drug or other thing in order to facilitate sexual intercourse between 31 January and 31 May 1977
One count of sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 13 between 31 January and 31 May 1977
Two counts of indecent assault between 31 May and 31 December 1977
Charges relating to the second complainant, who was aged 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged offences, are two counts of indecent assault between 1 October 1979 and 31 December 1980.

Glitter rose to fame in the UK in the 1970s with a flamboyant stage persona and hits such as Rock and Roll (Part 2) and Leader of the Gang, the latter reaching No 1 in the UK music charts in 1973.

CAPLETON IGNORES GAY PROTEST – Performed despite demonstration at club

Capleton’s management team says they were not bothered about the protests by gay rights’ lobbyists at a club in New York last weekend. It was reported last week that protests were held for the removal of dancehall artiste Capleton from a concert at the BB King Club.

The demonstrations came on the heels of a rally by gay rights lobbyists for the withdrawal of reggae artiste Queen Ifrica from a concert in New York recently.

But last night, Capleton’s Manager, Claudette Kemp, told THE STAR that despite the gay lobbyists’ effort, the artiste was unperturbed and was focused on more important things.

“We have more important issues to deal with, it’s foolishness and we are ignoring them, we are not going there,” she told THE STAR.

Capleton was scheduled to perform at the BB King Club and Grill, in New York last Wednesday night. On the day of the event, the Jamaica Anti-Homophobia Stand (JAHS) issued a release calling for the cancellation of the artiste’s performance.

“The protest calls for the cancellation and condemns the promotion of and profiting from anti-gay hateful music here in NYC where LGBT lives and rights are valued.”

The release also stated, “Jamaican reggae performer Capleton is known for his songs that call for LGBT people to be killed and makes comments from the stage calling for LGBT people to be killed. Capleton signed the Reggae Compasionate Act agreement (an agreement to not promote hatred and violence) in the middle of 2007 and broke the agreement on 12/24/07.

But, despite their efforts, their protest, outside the club was in vain, THE STAR contacted the BB King Club and Grill and was informed by a member of the club’s management team, that Capleton did indeed perform that night.

second protest

THE STAR spoke with the President of the Caribbean Alliance for Equality, Jason Latty-Travis, who was also present at the protest and he told THE STAR that although disappointed that Capleton’s performance was not cancelled, that was not the main object of their protest.

“We protested because we wanted the world to know that people like Capleton are causing the death of innocent Jamaicans, our main aim was to let people know what his lyrics are and how they are contributing to the disenfranchisement of gays in Jamaica.”

This is the second protest that was held by members of the gay community against a Jamaican entertainer.

Recently, members of the gay community staged a protest outside the Amazura Concert Hall in Queens, New York, for the removal of reggae artiste Queen Ifrica from the ‘Invasion of the Queens’ concert, which was hosted at the club.

The day after the protest at Amazura, another protest was allegedly staged by members of the gay community at the Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller received an honourary degree from the institution.

Blame climate change for summer flash floods (and maybe just about everything else) in the UK

Climate change and rising global temperatures could be to blame for future flash floods in the United Kingdom, as per the new announcement.

The Met Office and Newcastle University in England report predictions of flooding and extreme weather events in southern areas of England have been underestimated. Forecasters at the organization believe their nation will soon be the target of more frequent incidents of extreme weather.

Researchers predict rivers in the UK will begin to overflow their banks in the next 85 years, as global temperatures continue to rise.

Traditional climate models of England study detail on square areas roughly 12.5 miles on a side. This research increases the level of detail to just 1.25 miles on each edge, providing 100 square units for each one in traditional models. Predictions were created concerning hourly storms, which could potentially create flash floods.

Intense rainfall could become more frequent as temperatures rise. By the year 2100, the Met Office believes, summers will be drier, abbreviated by more frequent, but shorter downpours of rain than today.

The climate model was based on two 13-year periods. One is on current temperatures and conditions, the other on expected conditions around the year 2100.

“The changes we have found are consistent with increases we would expect in extreme rainfall with increasing temperatures and will mean more flash floods,” Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University’s School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, said.

Rising global temperatures would allow the atmosphere to absorb greater quantities of water as the century progresses. This additional moisture would eventually fall out of the atmosphere, often in the form of extreme storms.

Winters will become wetter as temperatures rise, with greater precipitation during cooler months, the Met Office predicted.

“However, the 1.5 km model also shows a future intensification of short-duration rain in summer, with significantly more events exceeding the high thresholds indicative of serious flash flooding,” researchers wrote in an article announcing the new study.

Only the southern half of the United Kingdom was modeled, in order to save computer resources. The simulation still contained so much data; it took one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers nine months to complete the program.

“We need to understand about possible changes to summer and winter rainfall so we can make informed decisions about how to manage these very different flooding risks in the future,” Newcastle researchers stated in a university press release.

Investigation of the role of global warming on flash floods and extreme weather events in the United Kingdom was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

British police gets MQM’s Bhai, Sindh on toes

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain was arrested on Tuesday in London on charges of money laundering and was later shifted to a local hospital over deteriorating health condition where, according to Scotland Yard, he will remain under police custody.

The London Metropolitan Police said a Specialist Operations Unit was currently carrying out a search operation at Hussain’s property in North West London while according to Scotland Yard, the MQM chief’s investigation would continue for 24 hours while his British passport had also been seized by authorities.

In a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, MQM Senior Deputy Convenor Nadeem Nusrat said that London Metropolitan Police arrived at Hussain’s residence in North London with a search warrant and wanted to take him to the police station for investigation into money laundering.

The MQM leader said that Hussain had been ill for some time, adding that he was scheduled to be shifted to a hospital Tuesday when the police arrived at his residence. Nusrat insisted that Hussain was not under arrest but at home.

Nusrat advised all party members inside and outside Pakistan to control their emotions and not do anything that may go against the teachings of their leader.

MQM leader Farogh Naseem also said that Hussain had not been arrested and Scotland Yard only needed him for a statement in relation to a case.

Moreover, MQM leader Farooq Sattar also appealed to party workers to remain calm and pray for Hussain.

“We should act on the teachings of Altaf Hussain. We should pray for his health, we should say that he should be given medical treatment and his medical tests should be conducted,” he added.

Hussain’s supporters had gathered outside the party’s headquarters, Nine Zero, chanting slogans in favour of Hussain. They said they would continue protesting until Hussain was freed.

MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi said it was the prime responsibility of the activists not to resort to violence and remain peaceful. He denied reports of Hussain’s arrest and said that the MQM chief was still at his residence.

It is time for party activists to be composed and avoid spreading rumours, he said, adding that those who were trying to create panic among the citizens were not MQM activists.

Later in the day, Rizvi said that the protest sit-in outside Nine Zero had concluded and now supporters and workers of the party would hold a sit-in at Numaish Chowrangi. He added that MQM workers would continue the protest sit-in at Numaish until Hussain addressed them.


Amidst conflicting reports pertaining to the nature of arrest, Jaffer Rizvi of the BBC said if someone was arrested, it involved a long process.

“They may even have arrested him for a statement only and may let him go after 24 hours.”

Rizvi said the police had not named Hussain and had only said that a 60-year-old man had been arrested. He said the police in London must have strong evidence on Hussain, adding that the development would have a strong impact on Pakistan’s politics and economy.

Moreover, London-based journalist Farooq Shah said that Hussain had been arrested and the police was searching his house. He added that the British High Commission had told the Pakistani government that if they take action against Hussain, it would be with full evidence.

Shah moreover said that if proven guilty for committing a crime in the UK, the guilty person would not be able to leave the country and would be penalised in Great Britain only. He, however, insisted that evidence against the accused must be strong enough to merit action.


As tension grips Karachi, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said that the issue of Hussain’s arrest was of an extremely sensitive nature, adding that the government would take all legal angles into account. The premier directed parliamentarians and members of the PML-N not to comment on the news.

The federal government has also pledged “moral and legal” support for Hussain, directing the law enforcement agencies to focus on the protection of life and property of citizens of Pakistan as the city feels the heat post Hussain’s arrest.

Within minutes of Hussain’s arrest, panicked shop-keepers and market stall owners rushed to close their businesses for fear of violence.

Moosa Raza, a resident of Karachi, said, “All shops and markets are shut. Even small cigarette shops are closed. Petrol station operators have also closed down, fearing violence.”

Moreover, unidentified people took to the streets and the city was in a state of frenzy with a number of neighbourhoods experiencing traffic jams.

Three people were injured in firing in Baldia Town, Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Natha Khan areas while three buses and a dozen cars were also set alight in Shafiq Mor and Gulshan-i-Iqbal.

Many rushed to stock up on groceries in anticipation of a prolonged shutdown while office workers left for home early, clogging up roads.

“We don’t know for how long the shops will remain closed and I want to store as much groceries as I could,” Razia Begum, 45, said as she jostled for space in a packed shop.

A spokesman for Pakistan Railways told a foreign news agency that all trains leaving Karachi had been temporarily halted.


In the meanwhile, a spokesman for the British High Commission said that the UK’s Consulate in Karachi has been temporarily closed down.

“We deployed extra security at the British High Commission in the southern part of Karachi as soon we learnt about Altaf Hussain’s arrest in London through media,” Deputy Inspector General Abdul Khalique Shaikh told reporters.


Moreover, the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE-100 index) fell 780 points immediately after the news came and commercial centres across Sindh’s provincial capital started to shut down.

In the wake of the frenzy engulfing the city, the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) demanded that the provincial capital be handed under military control, adding that if the government failed to establish peace in the next 24 hours, a strike will be held.


Hussain was being investigated for money laundering worth at least 400,000 pounds as well as for incitement to violence and MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq’s murder.

Last week, senior MQM leader Farooq Sattar had disclosed at a public meeting that Hussain’s bank accounts in London were being frozen and had asked party workers and supporters to continue their ‘peaceful struggle’ against the British government.

Hussain, who has been living in London for over two decades and is now a British citizen, did not address that meeting held to condemn money-laundering investigations against him by UK authorities.

In July 2013, the London Metropolitan Police had confirmed that investigations against Hussain had been initiated on charges of money laundering and incitement to violence.

The Metropolitan Police had confirmed that ‘a considerable amount of money’ had been found during raids on Hussain’s residence and office in London.

The reply had said that the cash was found when a counter-terrorism unit of police raided Hussain’s office on December 6, 2012 under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act in connection with the investigation of Dr Imran Farooq murder case.

Police had at the time said that the money was seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Boy found locked in Ontario bedroom for 2 years

A malnourished 10-year-old boy was found living in squalor in a locked bedroom at an Ontario home, where authorities allege he’d been held for up to two years by his aunt and uncle, police said Friday.

The boy was fed twice a day with fast food, was left alone for long stretches each day, did not attend school and spoke limited English, authorities said.

Police were alerted to the boy by the Children Aid’s Society, which received a tip from the public, London Police Detective Kevin Heslop said. When police arrived to the home where the boy was staying alone at the time, they found him locked in a bedroom with food waste and feces strewn about.

“The bed was soaked in urine as was child’s pyjamas and there was food remains throughout the house,” said Heslop. “The child was confused and upset but the child is doing quite well now.”

The boy was taken to hospital Thursday and was diagnosed as being underweight and suffering from malnutrition. He has since been released from hospital and is in the care of the Children’s Aid Society.

Officials said the child had access to a toilet and shower because the home’s master bedroom had an en suite bathroom, but said the entire house was in squalid condition.

“It’s a horrific case and everyone sees it like that,” said Heslop. “Of course this is upsetting, it’s upsetting to everyone.”

His guardians, an uncle and aunt, were arrested Thursday. The couple was charged with forcible confinement and failing to provide basic necessities.

One guardian living in the house also had a 9-year-old biological child who was living with the couple. That child, whose age and gender have not been released, is also now in the care of the Children’s Aid Society. Police said there is no evidence that the couple’s biological child was confined inside the house and that child attended school.

Police are not releasing the name of the couple charged to protect the identity of the children.

Police said it had no prior dealings with the couple.

Heslop said the boy’s biological parents are not in Canada, and that he had lived with his aunt and uncle since he came to the country in 2010. Police have not yet been in contact with the parents and would not reveal where the parents are living or where the boy was born.

Jane Fitzgerald, executive director of London Children Aid’s Society, said she is grateful that a vulnerable child has been rescued.

“We’re just getting to know this boy but what I can tell you is that among the first things he wanted was regular food and he wants to go to school,” said Fitzgerald.

Raising happy kids

Parents who have been doing it for years will tell you that there’s no book, no set of rules to follow when it comes to raising happy kids, but certain key principles must be followed to get it right.

These principles include having a rock solid relationship they can emulate, not aiming for perfection, having a plan that works for discipline, and allowing the kids to shine in their own right.

Below, some parents share the secrets that work.

Melanie, 32, mother of three:


Don’t get too involved. Don’t hover. Don’t be a helicopter parent. You don’t need to oversee or be involved in everything your child does. Let them make mistakes and let them learn from the mistakes. Raising happy kids means allowing each child to be an individual, accepting each for who they are, and maintaining your role as parent and disciplinarian, and never as a friend on the same level as them.

Joshua, 44, dad of two:


It means lightening up sometimes — not everything is so serious, whether it is good grades, being the best at sports or whatever. Not every child will be a super student or super athlete, don’t get too serious about that stuff.

Nadine, 48, mom of six:


Teach them virtue, how to value themselves, teach them empathy. Send them to Sunday School and to regular school all the time. Teach them time management and teach them to respect authority. And teach them to have fun.

Vernon, 30, dad of one:


Be their stability. Be good to your partner and let them see that relationships are solid and lasting. Treat your partner with respect.

Nordia, 22, mom of one:


Be happy yourself. You need good mental health to parent. If you’re depressed get help, as your stress will make your kids stressed.

David, 38, dad of three:


Fathers, be good to your daughters, mothers, be good to your sons.

Paula, 38, mom of four:


Know that there are no set rules for anything. Raise each child as the individual he or she is.

THINGS NEVER to say to your kids

PARENTING is no easy job and at times as parents you may become frustrated, feel the urge to give up and out of anger say mean things to your children, which, most times you don’t mean.

But regardless of the challenges that come with being a parent, certain things should never be uttered to your child or children. Below, a few seasoned parents weigh in.

Janice G:

Never say “shut up” and never say tomorrow you’ll give them something and not do it. My girls always remember promises so I try not to make them to put them off. I’ve also learned not to tell them to shut up or shout while I’m correcting them because they end up doing the exact opposite of what I want them to do.

Okeno J:

I’ve learned never to tell them I have no money. It is a disappointment but instead I tell them I’ll see what I can do and try to strike a compromise somewhere.

Julian R:

Don’t tell them what they can’t do, rather say something like “you may want to try something else, however there are always exceptions to the rule”. You have to be careful when dealing with young people, one bad talk could crush them forever.

Julia H:

Never tell a child that they are worthless and will turn out to be no good, because it will break their spirit and may just happen. If you are upset, calm down first then talk to the child and explain to them what they did wrong and how they can do better the next time.

Nicole A:

As a single mom I learned never to curse the other parent in the presence of your child or compare qualities. It does the child no good.

Yvette L:

Don’t tell them that they are wasting your resources or money. Not every child is book smart.

Hyacinth B:

As a mother of three children, I’ve learned not to comment on body image. Though it is in your best interest that the child maintains a healthy lifestyle, be careful how you approach issues that have to do with their body image or looks.

Gary C:

One of my sons was not performing well at school and I got upset and asked him if he wanted to end up loading buses. That’s probably the worst thing I did as a parent and my wife was really upset. So I’ve learned not to tell children they are academically challenged or curse them about poor academic performances, rather, find ways to get them to improve.

EU willing to fund study on cost of not having CARICOM — Envoy

The European Union (EU) has said it is willing to fund a study that would explore the opportunity costs of not having a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in place.

Ewout Sandker, head of Cooperation, Delegation of the EU to Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago and the Dutch Overseas Countries and Territories, made the announcement on Monday, May 26 during the High Level Advocacy Forum on Statistics in Grenada, a release from CARICOM said Friday.

As he underlined the importance of a solid data foundation for development in general, and regional integration in particular, Sandker posed some questions to the Forum and made reference to the path the European Union took to integration.

He told the gathering of senior government officials, statisticians, and representatives of international organisations, that in the 1980s, the EU conducted a study that calculated the opportunity cost of not having a fully integrated market in Europe. The results, he related, were “quite amazing”. They were an “enormous push” to regional integration and provided a good opportunity for mobilising the private sector in Europe which saw the benefits they were not getting by not having a fully integrated market, he said.

“Something like that could be done in the Caribbean as well, and we would be happy to provide funding for such a study (of) the cost of not having CARICOM,” Sandker said.

Over the past decade, the European Union has been providing support to the Community to strengthen regional statistics and to improve its use in policymaking. About €4M of the €57M Ninth European Development Fund (EDF) cycle to the Community was allotted to produce and disseminate economic statistics, to harmonise statistical structures across the region and to train staff to use the economic statistics to monitor the regional integration process.

The EU and the Caribbean Forum of African Caribbean and Pacific States (CARIFORUM) deepened support to the field of statistics under the 10th EDF to build on earlier achievements, the CARICOM release said, and to fill the gaps that remained. From the €18M allocated to the CSME under the 10th EDF, about €2M was allocated to strengthen the intra-regional systems to produce and disseminate timely, high quality, harmonised statistics to monitor the CSME. The funding, Sandker said, was used to monitor regional integration, further develop merchandise trade statistics and to boost social and environmental statistics, among other areas.

Statistical monitoring of the integration movement, he said, was particularly close to his heart.

“I’ve been working on it the first time I was in Guyana with the CARICOM Secretariat and I believe that monitoring of both compliance of regional integration commitments at the national level, and secondly, the impact of regional integration activities and processes are absolutely key to the success of the regional integration enterprise.

“If you can’t measure it; if you don’t know the compliance at national levels with different areas of integration, how can you allocate resources in a sensible way? If you don’t know, you cannot prioritise. If you don’t know what is the impact of the regional integration process, how can you argue that it is a good thing? How can you argue that you should go further and deeper?” he queried.

SAD PERSONS scale to indentify suicide risks

A person at risk of committing suicide is sometimes seen as one who acted unpredictably in the heat of the moment, or was simply crying for help for a while but no one noticed. Notwithstanding, there are known risk factors which a keen eye can detect.

According to consultant psychiatrist Dr E. Anthony Allen, through the use of the SAD PERSONS scale, a clinical assessment tool used to determine suicide risk, we can help identify such persons, thereby better arming ourselves to lend assistance to those reluctant to give life a second shot.

“There are two types of acronyms that we use. One has to do with the nature of the person and the other has to with the immediate risk of killing oneself. So for example, we know that SAD PERSONS, the acronym, If you look at sex for example, you know that males are at higher risks than females,” he said.

“And there are many reasons for this. Males tend not to open up to share their feelings with the macho approach; we tend to hold things in and we feel that it’s not manly to open up and share, and to go and get help.” Dr Allen explained. “Now you have age. Age; the elderly are susceptible. The thing about being elderly as you recognise, there’s retirement. They’re retired; they lose the roles of parenting the roles of work. Loneliness and greater chance of chronic diseases. And so these are some of the factors that make them more vulnerable,” he added

Dr Allen explained the remaining letters in the acronym, citing a lack of social support, an organised plan (suicide attempt), the absence of a spouse and sickness are also critical warning signs.

14-y-o girl’s nude pics posted for revenge – ‘She made her dad rape me,’ culprit claims

The creator of a malicious Facebook page, who uploaded nude pictures of an underage girl, has threatened to commit suicide after being bashed by viewers for the heinous act.

The page, which bore the name of the 13-year-old victim, was created on Sunday and had received close to 12,000 likes within seven hours of being made, and featured nude images of the girl along with other pornographic images.

About eight hours after its inception, Facebook removed the page.

underage girl

The creator of the illicit page, under the guise of the teenager, stated in the ‘about’ section, “my name is … am 13 years old, and a bi-sexual and I love girls and love to do oral, I think it’s fun,”. The creator had also posted the teen’s Skype address, which caused many viewers to at first think it was the victim who was posting the images of herself.

Disturbingly, the page had mainly adult male followers, many of whom were requesting the underage girl to privately send them nude pictures as well as to make contact with them to engage in sexual activities.


However, shortly after being deleted by Facebook, another Facebook page was created duplicating the original, however, on this page the maligner revealed herself, claiming to be the cousin of the teenage girl and threatened to take her own life.

“I must admit, I’m … cousin. I set her up because she watch her dad rape me! She trick me and led me to him, so I did this back to her, I was only 10, nobody believe me until this very day! Now I am going to kill myself!

And write a note and explain everything!! Goodbye I’m 14,” the page’s creator posted after uploading an image, which she claims, is of herself.

However, viewers bashed the maligner, with some going to the extreme of encouraging her to take her own life as punishment for her wrongdoing, and others encouraged her to continue posting the nude pictures, while some implored her to shut down the account.

The second page was deleted from Facebook the following day. That page had received more than 1,000 likes before it was deleted.

THE WEEKEND STAR contacted Veronica Gilzean, head of the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse, who said she was unaware of the illicit page. She, however, said she will be contacting the Organised Crime Investigation Division to conduct an investigation into the matter.

Why watching too much porn could be bad for the brain

Men who watch regularly pornography could be reducing the size of their brain, a study has found.

Researchers discovered less grey matter in the brains of men who regularly view pornography compared with those who don’t.

Experts say it’s the first evidence for a link between watching sexually explicit material and reductions in brain size – but the new study doesn’t prove that pornography causes changes to the brain.

They say an alternative explanation could be that men with a certain type of brain with overly-sensitive reward stimuli – known as the ‘striatum’ – could be more likely to use pornography.

Dr Simone Kühn from the Max Planck Institution in Berlin led the study. “Unfortunately we cannot answer this question based on the results of the present,” she said.

“It’s not clear, for example, whether watching porn leads to brain changes or whether people born with certain brain types watch more porn”.

Dr Kühn and colleagues from Berlin’s Charite University used 64 healthy men between the ages of 21 and 45 years and studied their porn-watching habits.

They matched their survey results with scans of the men’s brains and observed both the volume of the brain and the way they reacted to sexually explicit images.

The findings, published in the JAMA Psychiatry Journal, have been met with scepticism from some experts who say that watching pornography in moderation was probably not harmful.

Dr Gregory Tau from Columbia University said that porn-watching was “probably not terrible in moderation”.

“It is possible that there are individuals with a certain kind of brain that are more susceptible to these kinds of behaviours,” he said.

“Or, it’s possible it’s the excessive use (of porn) that’s perpetuating itself to causing brain changes. Or, it could be both.”

Dr Kühn has called for future studies to conduct deeper investigations into the effects of pornography on the brain over time.

Women who sleep in light bedrooms are more likely to be overweight

Sleeping with too much light in the room increases the risk of obesity in women, research has found.

Greater exposure to light at night raised both Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist size in more than 113,000 women, the Breakthrough Generations Study found.
The British study followed the women for 40 years in an attempt to identify root causes of breast cancer. Obesity is a known risk factor for the disease.

“Metabolism is affected by cyclical rhythms within the body that relate to sleeping, waking and light exposure.The results open up an interesting direction for research,” Professor Anthony Swerdlow, from The Institute of Cancer Research in London, said.

Systolic and diastolic blood pressures predict risk of different cardiovascular diseases

Raised systolic and diastolic blood pressures may have different effects on different types of cardiovascular diseases and at different ages, according to new research involving 1.25 million patients from primary care practices in England published in a special themed issue of The Lancet. The issue is published ahead of ahead of Hypertension 2014, the Joint Meeting of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and International Society of Hypertension (ISH), to be held in Athens, Greece, June 13-16, 2014.

The new findings suggest that individuals with higher systolic blood pressures have a greater risk of intracerebral haemorrhage (stroke caused by bleeding within the brain tissue), subarachnoid haemorrhage (the deadliest form of stroke), and stable angina, whereas raised diastolic blood pressure is a better indicator of abdominal aortic aneurysm risk.

“Our findings do not support the widely held assumptions that systolic and diastolic pressure have similar strong associations with the occurrence of all cardiovascular diseases across a wide age range”, explains lead investigator Dr Eleni Rapsomaniki from The Farr Institute for Health Informatics Research, London, UK.*

The study is the first to explore the effects of blood pressure on the risk of 12 different cardiovascular conditions in various age groups as a first presentation of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers examined blood pressure data using the electronic health records of 1.25 million patients without cardiovascular disease, aged 30 years and older, who were followed for a median 5.2 years to record the first cardiovascular event. They also calculated the lifetime risks of developing specific cardiovascular diseases linked with high blood pressure at age 30 through to 80 years of age.

The findings show that despite modern therapy, the lifetime burden of hypertension remains substantial. For example, in a 30 year old with hypertension (blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg), the lifetime risk of developing cardiovascular disease was 63% compared with 46% in an individual with healthy blood pressure, and they developed cardiovascular disease 5 years earlier. Stable and unstable angina accounted for almost half of the loss of time free from cardiovascular disease at this age, whereas heart failure contributed to nearly a fifth of the years lost in individuals 80 years and older.

According to Dr Rapsomaniki, “With lifetime risks this high, the need for new blood pressure lowering strategies is paramount. Our estimates provide vital new information that can be used to improve patient counselling and decision making for people with hypertension, which are currently based mainly on the risks of heart attack and stroke, and will help to focus guidelines and doctors to the cardiovascular conditions that might be more common and in which screening and treatments are more likely to have an effect.”*

Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Thomas Kahan from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden says, “Although the efficacy of antihypertensive drug therapy is undisputed, observational studies suggest that few patients reach target blood pressure. Several steps therefore need to be taken to improve antihypertensive treatment and control: the assessment of global cardiovascular risk in individual patients; improving caregiver organisation, support, and education; increasing drug compliance and treatment persistence to prescribed treatment; expanding the use of home blood pressure monitoring and 24 h ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; considering secondary forms of hypertension in difficult-to-treat patients; and referring patients with remaining uncontrolled hypertension to a specialist hypertension centre.”

India gang rapes: Outrage over police ‘discrimination’

There is outrage over police inaction in a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where two teenage girls were gang raped and hanged from a tree.

The father of one victim said he was ridiculed by policemen when he sought help in finding his missing daughter.

He said when the policemen found out he was from a lower caste, they “refused to look for my girl”.

At least three men, including one policeman, have been arrested in connection with the incident.

The victims’ families have complained that police had refused to help find the missing girls, aged 14 and 16, who were cousins from a low caste.

“When I went to the police station, the first thing I was asked was my caste, when I told them what my caste was, they started abusing me,” the father of one of the girls told the BBC
India has numerous castes and divisions among them run deep. Violence is often used by upper castes to assert power and instil fear in lower castes.

Although both the victim and the accused belonged to a caste grouping known as ‘Other Backward Classes’, the victims were lower in that hierarchy.

Further suspects hunted
Police said two men had been arrested for the gang rape and murder of the girls.

A constable was also detained for conspiring with the suspects and for dereliction of duty, authorities said, adding they were looking for one more suspect and one constable.

Senior police official Atul Saxena said there would be a “thorough investigation” into the allegations of caste discrimination by the police.

People in Katra Shahadatganj, a village of 10,000 people in Badaun district where the incident took place, say caste “plays an important role in social affairs” in the community.

One villager, named only as Teerath, said: “If media hadn’t come here the police wouldn’t have done anything.”

Rape cases that have shocked India
23 January 2014: Thirteen men held in West Bengal in connection with the gang rape of a woman, allegedly on orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man
4 April 2014: A court sentences three men to hang for raping a 23-year-old photojournalist in Mumbai last year
15 January 2014: A Danish woman is allegedly gang raped after losing her way near her hotel in Delhi
17 September 2013 : Five youths held in Assam for allegedly gang-raping a 10-year-old girl
4 June 2013: A 30-year-old American woman gang-raped in Himachal Pradesh
30 April 2013: A five-year-old girl dies two weeks after being raped in Madhya Pradesh
16 December 2012: Student gang raped on Delhi bus, sparking nationwide protests and outrage
A neighbour of one of the victims said the police “discriminated” against people from the lower castes in the village.

“Even though the police has suspended some constables, the ones who replace them would not be any better, they would discriminate too,” he said.

Scene fro mvillage
Most of the people in the village are farmers or farm labourers and many live in poverty
But Mr Saxena denied that caste biases played any part in “influencing police behaviour” in the state.

“The police follows its rule book and considers all criminals equal before the law. There might be one or two cases like this one and we will make sure that the culprit doesn’t go scot-free,” he said.

Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

The government tightened laws on sexual violence last year after widespread protests following the attack.

Fast-track courts were brought to the fore to deal with rape and the death penalty was also brought in for the most extreme cases.

Some women’s rights groups argue that the low conviction rate for rape should be challenged with more effective policing rather than stiffer sentences.

Famous St Lucia pirate ship sinks

The St Lucian pirate ship which was featured in several Hollywood movies including the popular ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ has sank.

The Brig Unicorn Pirate Ship sank off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Saturday.

According to reports, the vessel was heading to St Vincent from St Lucia for repairs when it encountered difficulties and sank. No one was injured.

The exact number of persons aboard the vessel has not been confirmed but news reports say there may have been nine crew members and the captain.

They were reportedly rescued by the St Vincent Coast Guard shortly after the incident.

The Brig Unicorn was used in the filming of all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies as well as in the series Roots.

For some time, the 148-feet long vessel had been docked on the Rodney Bay Marina and was used there as a mini bar and restaurant.

The Unicorn was built in Finland in 1948.

The softwood schooner “had made St Lucia proud” according to the words of Captain Sam Alleyne sometime after it was featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean film starring Johnny Depp.

Policemen arrested after gang rape and death of Indian girls

Police in northern India have arrested three men, including two police officers, and are searching for at least four more after two teenage girls were found hanged from the branches of a mango tree after being gang-raped.
A postmortem indicated that the cousins, aged 14 and 15, hanged themselves after being repeatedly assaulted by a group of men in their village, in the Budaun district of the huge, poverty-stricken state of Uttar Pradesh.
The social stigma attached to being a rape victim in conservative India frequently leads to suicides. Earlier reports suggested the victims were strangled.
The incident provoked angry demonstrations locally and outrage elsewhere in the country. “It is a gruesome, barbaric act. The whole nation has been up against this, but every day there is this kind of problem,” said Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research and a women’s rights activist.
Indian television channels showed footage of the villagers sitting under the girls’ bodies as they swung in the wind, preventing authorities from taking them down until the suspects were arrested. The bodies had been found on Wednesday morning, hours after the two teenagers had disappeared from fields near their home in Katra, 240km from Delhi, police superintendent Atul Saxena said.
Around half of India’s 1.25 billion inhabitants do not have access to a toilet. Women are vulnerable to assault because they use fields around villages instead.
Family members named two policemen who they said had taken part in the assault and accused others of refusing to take action when they complained of repeated harassment of the two teenagers. They also accused the head of the local police station of ignoring a complaint by the girls’ father on Tuesday night that they were missing. He has since been suspended.
“The report suggests antemortem hanging, which means the girls probably committed suicide,” said Mr Saxena.
Death penalty
India tightened its anti-rape laws last year, making gang- rape punishable by the death penalty. The new laws came after protests over the fatal gang-rape of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in New Delhi in December 2012.
That incident led to an unprecedented national debate and to calls for widespread changes in cultural attitudes as well as policing and legal reform. Records show rising incidences of rape in India. Activists say the true number of assaults is higher than suggested by official records because of an entrenched culture of tolerance for sexual violence, which leads many cases to go unreported, and the social stigma which victims suffer.
Last month, the head of Uttar Pradesh’s governing party told an election rally that he opposed the law calling for gang- rapists to be executed. “Boys will be boys. They make mistakes,” said Mulayam Singh Yadav, who is also the father of the state’s chief minister.

Drugs and prostitution to be included in UK national accounts

George Osborne famously declared “we are all in this together”
when it comes to Britain’s prosperity. The Office for National Statistics has now taken him at his word, adding up the contribution made by prostitutes and drug dealers.

For the first time official statisticians are measuring the value to the UK economy of sex work and drug dealing – and they have discovered these unsavoury hidden-economy trades make roughly the same contribution as farming – and only slightly less than book and newspaper publishers added together.

Illegal drugs and prostitution boosted the economy by £9.7bn – equal to 0.7% of gross domestic product – in 2009, according to the ONS’s first official estimate.

A breakdown of the data shows sex work generated £5.3bn for the economy that year, with another £4.4bn lift from a combination of cannabis, heroin, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines.

According to the estimates there were 60,879 prostitutes in the UK in 2009, who had an average of 25 clients per week – each paying on average £67.16 per visit.

There is also detailed data on drugs. The statisticians reckon there were 2.2 million cannabis users in the UK in 2009, toking their way through weed worth more than £1.2bn. They calculate that half of that was home-grown – costing £154m in heat, light and “raw materials” to produce.

The ONS will work in the coming months to bring the data more up to date. The figures will then be included in the broad category of household spending on “miscellaneous goods and services” alongside life insurance, personal care products and post office charges.

The more inclusive approach brings the ONS into line with European Union rules, and will eventually allow comparisons of the size of the shadow economy in different member states.

Joe Grice, chief economic adviser at the ONS, said: “As economies develop and evolve, so do the statistics we use to measure them. These improvements are going on across the world and we are working with our partners in Europe and the wider world on the same agenda.

“Here in the UK these reforms will help ONS to continue delivering the best possible economic statistics to inform key decisions in government and business.”

The new elements will be published in the national accounts from September onwards, supplementing the more traditional measures of GDP including construction and manufacturing output. By comparison, the construction sector contributed around £90bn to the UK economy in 2009, and manufacturing £150bn.

The ONS said that in every year between 1997 and 2009 prostitution and illegal drugs boosted the economy by between £7bn and £11bn. Combined with other changes to the national accounts from
September, £33bn or 2.3% will be added to the 2009 level of GDP, the ONS said.

Graeme Walker, head of national accounts for the ONS, acknowledged there were limitations to measuring the value of illegal activities to the economy, but said it was a useful exercise nevertheless.

“It’s a model-based estimate but one that serves a purpose for the picture of the overall economy.”

He said the ONS would attempt to “fill in the gaps” left by available studies but it would be impossible to measure illegal activities as accurately as other components of GDP. Other activities are measured using questionnaires but the response rate in the sex and drugs trades are unlikely to be high.

Alan Clarke, a UK economist at Scotiabank, said that although the government would not feel the benefit of illegal work in terms of income tax take, there would be a spending boost.

“A drug dealer or prostitute won’t necessarily pay tax on that £10bn, but the government will get tax receipts when they spend their income on a pimped up car or bling phone.”

Steve Pudney, professor of economics at the University of Essex, said he was sceptical about the methods used by the ONS to estimate the size of the drugs market.

“In my view, the ONS estimate of the size of the drug market is unlikely to be very accurate. It rests on some heroically large assumptions which would be difficult to test, and it also uses a measure of demand that is likely to understate systematically the true scale of drug use.”

He added: “They are using a demand-side approach which loosely involves multiplying a survey estimate of the number of drug users by another estimate of the amount consumed by the average user.

“Average retail prices of drugs come from other sources – mainly police/customs/security service intelligence sources – and, multiplying this by the estimated demand, gives the size of the market in cash terms.”

Support Tower Hamlets mayor or risk riots,

A senior adviser to Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-linked mayor of Tower Hamlets, has said there will be street violence unless people stop questioning the manner of his re-election.
The Electoral Commission is to hold an inquiry into polling in the east London borough after dozens of reports of voter intimidation and a chaotic count that took more than five days to declare a final result.
Mr Rahman narrowly won re-election as an independent, by 48 per cent to 52 after second preferences. He was expelled from the Labour Party in 2010 after The Telegraph revealed his close links to an Islamic extremist group, the Islamic Forum of Europe.
Kazim Zaidi, Mr Rahman’s publicly-funded political adviser at Tower Hamlets, wrote on a local blog: “If those who still seem unable to accept the result continue as they are, it will spill out onto the streets where even the cleverest machine politicians will not be able to manage it.”
Cllr Peter Golds, leader of the opposition on the council, said: “I am gobsmacked. This is actually a threat of violence. Given what we know of the mayor’s ability to bring people out on to the streets, this is deeply disturbing.”
Around two thousand of Mr Rahman’s supporters mobbed the count centre in Limehouse during counting on Friday, effectively barricading Mr Rahman’s opponents inside the building. A number of Labour figures, including Sadiq Khan, the shadow justice secretary, were told by police that they could not leave.
Many polling stations in the borough were also picketed by large crowds of Mr Rahman’s supporters, through whom voters had to push to reach the ballot box.
Rachael Saunders, a Labour councillor in Tower Hamlets, said: “There were huge mobs of people at the polling stations, shouting, intimidating, actually making it quite difficult for people to vote.”
Another voter told The Daily Telegraph that he was followed into the polling booth by Mr Rahman’s supporters who attempted to ensure that he cast his vote in the “correct” way.
A spokesman for the Electoral Commission said: “Everyone should be able to vote free from intimidation and be confident that their vote is safe. Clearly there have been issues at the Tower Hamlets count and we need to make sure we understand what happened, and the reasons for it, before reaching conclusions.”
Mr Rahman’s council is under two further investigations by police and auditors called in by the Department for Communities and Local Government for corruption and misuse of funds. The Telegraph and the BBC’s Panorama showed that he channelled council money disproportionately to members of his own Bangladeshi community.
Mr Zaidi, who is paid around £53,000 a year from public funds, previously wrote a chapter in an Exeter University pamphlet libelling members of the Tower Hamlets Labour Party. The university was forced to apologise and pay damages.
The council insisted that the count went well and that it had received no reports of intimidation.

‘Satanic Islam’ pastor gets Robinson support

First Minister Peter robinson has voiced support for the Belfast preacher whose firebrand sermon is at the centre of a hate-crime investigation. The DUP leader said that in the past he had joined the congregation at Whitewell Metropolitan tabernacle to listen to Pastor James McConnell preach and that he intended to go back to the church in the future. It is the first time Mr Robinson has commented publicly on a sermon in which the evangelical pastor branded Islam as “heathen” and “satanic”. The comments are being investigated by police more than a week after a video of the controversial sermon appeared online. However, they have yet to make any arrests. The preacher’s remarks have been criticised by representatives of the north’s Muslim community and the leadership of the three main Protestant Churches.
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness described the anti-islamic sermon as “hate-mongering” and said it needed to be condemned “in the strongest possible terms”.
But Mr robinson has defended Pastor McConnell, who he said he had known for 20 years.
He described the preacher as “somebody who has lived his life for Christ”. The first minister said it was “the duty of any Christian preacher to denounce false doctrine”.
“That’s a duty — so he’s perfectly entitled to do that — it’s an appropriate thing for a minister to do,” he said.
Challenged over Pastor McConnell’s assertion that he did not trust Muslims, the DUP leader said he also did not trust Muslims who had been involved in “terrorist activities” or those who were “fully devoted to Sharia Law”.
But he did say he would “trust them to go down the shops for me” and undertake other day-to-day tasks.

Guyana celebrates 48th independence anniversary

Guyana is celebrating its 48th anniversary as an independent country with acknowledging that the journey has been “long and arduous” and characterised by “valiant struggles and acts of mass heroism as well as great individual feats”.

In his address to the nation, President Donald Ramotar said that country is marking the milestone of its political history in a world that has grown more complex, more interconnected, but, unfortunately, one which still remains very unequal between the developing South and the developed North.

“International relations today are still dominated and determined by a handful of rich countries. Many of the institutions established, particularly the international financial institutions mostly geared to serve the interest of the most rich and powerful countries.”

He said developing countries have to manage the affairs of their states in a great disadvantageous situation and this is reflected in the growing inequality in relation to access to resources and the huge income gap between the rich and poor countries of the world.

Ramotar said that the richest 85 people in the world are worth more than the poorest 3.5 billion people and that almost a half of the world’s wealth is owned by just one per cent of the population.

“The struggle, therefore, for socio-economic justice and a more equitable world, continues. One of the major issues is the need to democratise international relations. It is patently evident that the vast majority of countries in the world and by extension the peoples of those countries do not have enough influence on international politics and economics.”

Ramotar said that the situation demands that Guyana continues to build greater solidarity among the developing world while it works in alliance with those developed countries interested in genuine partnership.

He said the country must also continue to take the lead in promoting regional unity and pledge to work tirelessly within the Caribbean Com

Expanded health centre in St Thomas eases pressure

SEVENTY-two — year-old Donald Dayle has been struggling to find the $400 to travel from his home in Hampton Court, St Thomas to the parish capital Morant Bay every month to see the doctor.

But that struggle is over, as he will now be receiving medical attention at the recently opened Isaac Barrant Centre of Excellence in Hampton Court, which will serve him and hundreds of other residents from 16 communities in the eastern part of the parish as well as neighbouring communities in Portland.

“This is one of the best things they could have ever done for us and I am so grateful,” the senior citizen told the Jamaica Observer North East at a recent ceremony to officially open the facility. Many residents, who recalled when the health centre once operated as a hospital several decades ago, expressed appreciation that the facility would once again be offering some services which they could only previously access at the Princess Margaret Hospital in the capital.

Like Dayle, many of them said the transportation cost from their farming community to Morant Bay to access medical attention was burdensome. His daughter Aldene said it can cost as much as $4,000 to charter a taxi to take sick relatives and friends to the hospital.

“Mi feel so good that here so open. So much so that every night mi pass here mi say ‘Thank you, Jesus’,” she said. Irodel Harrison said the new health centre is well-needed in the parish. Although she doesn’t live in the Hampton Court community, the Port Morant resident said she has been using the facility since the days when it was a hospital.

“This is a sugar-belt community with so many accidents with machete and everybody have to go all the way to Princess Margaret, so this is a good thing,” Harrison said.

Expanded at a cost of $32 million, the type five health centre now boasts an extended waiting area and pharmacy, a well-equipped dental department, a blood lab and upgraded staff accommodation. Minister of Health and member of parliament for eastern St Thomas Dr Fenton Ferguson said the Centre of Excellence is designed to ease the pressure on hospitals as it will offer a wide range of services. The centre will also roll out some specialist services when phase two of the expansion is complete later this financial year.

“Eventually, we will have some rooms but as it is now we don’t want to bring the expectations and hope of the people above and beyond what it was designed to do,” he explained.

Given its history as a hospital, Fenton said the facility has the possibility of evolving into more than a centre of excellence. “For now, it will have an ambulance so you can move patients from there to Princess Margaret Hospital and there is a first class dental clinic which will be good because given the cost of dental care, oftentimes in rural Jamaica even when persons have the need they just don’t have the money to go for private care,” he said.

Ferguson explained that the facility will also offer maternal and childcare services and will be among the first health facilities to use electronic medical records. Like with other public health facilities, the services at the centre will be offered under the no-user fee policy, but he said it is expected to change as time goes by as persons will be required to pay for some diagnostic services. Acting Board Chairman of the Southeast Regional Health Authority Dr Andrei Cooke said the centre will help to streamline health care in the parish.

“With Princess Margaret being about 30 kilometres away, what happens is when you don’t have this sort of thing, 16 communities in St Thomas and a couple communities from Portland end up having to make that commute and then you have a bottleneck at Princess Margaret,” he told the Observer North East. He added that with the presence of the Isaac Barrant facility only the critically ill will be required to go to Princess Margaret Hospital. “Most of the primary health care, curative aspects can be dealt with at the Centre of Excellence.

Dental care, health promotion, health education, maternal and child health, all of those things can be concentrated here, dealt with efficiently and only the critical needs to be taken to the hospital,” he explained. Expansion of service, according to Cooke, is what transforms a health centre into a centre of excellence.

“When you incorporate diagnostic facilities, dental facilities, curative and also health promotion and health education, it takes it a little beyond what would be a typical health centre,” he said. When phase two is complete, Cooke said it is going to offer specialist medical services such as gynaecology, psychiatric care and internal medicine, which will make it just a notch below a hospital. The pharmacy, he said, will be taken over by the National Health Fund in August and this will ensure there is always an ample supply of medication.

Cannabis conference wants quick action on ganja decriminalisation

THE first Jamaica Cannabis Conference ended at the University of the West Indies, Mona on Saturday, with a declaration from participants that the Government immediately put in place a road map, of no more than 120 days, to deal with the decriminalisation issues.

The conference, boasting a high-level list of international speakers concerned with medical cannabis and other related issues, from Jamaica, Israel, Canada, China and the United States, declared that no “meaningful results”, in terms of legislative reforms, had emerged from various parliamentary committees and consultations which have been pursued.

The participants, therefore, called on the Government to create the road map to immediately expunge the criminal record of all Jamaicans who have been convicted for the smoking and for the possession of small amounts non-compressed ganja.

It also wants to see amendments to the relevant laws so that ganja is decriminalised for the private, personal use of small quantities by adults and for it to be fully recognised as a sacramental rights of the Rastafari community to use ganja in their homes and places of worship. It further called for the establishment of a sustained all-media, all-schools education programme, aimed at demand reduction and that its target should be, in the main, young people.

The declaration called for the establishment of a properly regulated medical cannabis industry that incorporates cultivation, agro processing and other relevant ingredients critical for its success as well as to significantly increase the penalties for all illegal exportation, and persons found with compressed ganja, so as not to allow this illegality to contaminate the tremendous potential of a regulated medical cannabis industry.

The participants also agreed, in principle, and endorsed the Submission on the Rights of Ganja Usage (Updated document, Thursday 22nd May, 2014) by the Rastafarian Millennium Council, and generally supported by representatives of the Rastafarian Community present.

“We fully support the Conference Theme, ‘Wake up Jamaica, Our Opportunities are Slipping Away’, and strongly urge our legislators to act expeditiously, and not fall prey to undue caution, legalism and conservatism, or trying to get a ‘picture- perfect’ solution, leading to inaction,” the declaration from the conference said.

Uptown Light Thieves – Tomblin Wants Law To Allow JPS To Name And Shame Crooks

PLAGUED BY electricity theft across the length and breadth of Jamaica, including in the upscale communities of upper St Andrew, Kelly Tomblin, president and chief executive officer of the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS), is calling for legislative backing to name and shame persons who defraud the light and power company.

The request for legislative support to help the company combat electricity theft comes as senior executives of the JPS revealed last week that the purloining of power was not only confined to the dispossessed and poor, but has been detected among the wealthy.

Gleaner editors were told that an operation in Norbrook, St Andrew, last year unearthed a string of irregularities in the posh residential community.

Speaking at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum at the newspaper’s North Street offices in central Kingston last Thursday, Tomblin said without this piece of legislation, if the company names persons who are involved in irregularities, it could be open to legal action.

Sophisticated ways

The top brass of the JPS divulged that affluent people steal electricity, too, but carry out the act in more sophisticated ways.

Meter tampering and highly technical methods of bypassing meters are only some examples cited by JPS executives of how some persons in upscale communities use electricity without paying.

Dan Theoc, chief financial officer at the JPS, explained that the rich, while denying knowledge of any irregularities, often settled amounts charged by the JPS in an apparent bid to escape embarrassment.

He indicated that predictable comments such as “It existed before I purchased the property,” or sometimes the blame being placed on the gardener are stories JPS personnel have become accustomed to hearing.

Gary Barrow, senior vice-president, energy delivery, at the JPS, said the company has to prove in law that the homeowner deliberately and wilfully intended to defraud the company before an arrest could be made.

Commenting on electricity theft in the business sector, the JPS said it has discovered irregularities at pharmacies, supermarkets, hotels, and restaurants.

Shaw Pleads For The Resumption Of Hanging

Opposition Member of Parliament, Audley Shaw, is calling for the resumption of hanging in Jamaica, threatening a major debate with human rights advocates.

Shaw made the plea as he spoke yesterday in Manchester at the funeral of a woman and her two sons who were viciously murdered last month.

The lacerated bodies of 42-year-old Nadine Carridice, and her sons 16-year-old Joven Thomas and 11-year-old Roshane Ellis were found at their house on April 29.

Yesterday Shaw urged angry mourners not to pursue vigilantism.

However, he said the people should demand that the Government resume the use of the death penalty, whether by hanging or lethal injection.

The last execution in Jamaica was in 1988.

Anticipating the backlash from anti-death penalty advocates, Shaw said Jamaica must consider all possible solutions because of the high levels of crime and violence.

According to the United Nations, Jamaica has the sixth highest murder rate in the world.

Shaw says Jamaica must determine what it wants adding that human rights groups have pushed against the death penalty yet powerful countries such as the United States continue to use the measure.

Human rights group Amnesty International has said the death penalty is nothing but a false promise when it comes to tackling crime.

However, Shaw stressed that capital punishment would only be one method used by the State to tackle crime and violence.

The Parliament voted in 2008 to retain the death penalty, although the country has not had an execution since 1988.

Jamaica’s efforts to carry out the death penalty have been affected by a Privy Council which says executions must be carried out within five years after being handed down.

This is because it is unlikely that convicts may exhaust all the judicial processes within five years after sentencing is passed.

KFC worker suspended on claim of pubic hair in food


A KFC worker has been suspended after claims that a customer’s food was “laced with pubic hair”.
The hair was placed in the customer’s food after they were apparently rude to staff.
The grisly revenge happened in drive-thru in a KFC restaurant in Cardiff, Wales.
In a message posted on a Facebook page, one user wrote: “To the girls who came through KFC drive thru on western avenue just then… Threatened my friend who served you because she ‘needed to smile more’? Karma’s a bitch girls, hope you enjoyed your food I made for you after over hearing the way you spoke to my girl on the head set… be picking pubes out your teeth for a week, mwah xo.”
A spokeswoman for KFC told Wales Online that they do not believe the food was contaminated “in any way”.
She added: “We have the highest standards of food hygiene and do not tolerate even the suggestion of this kind of behaviour, and therefore the employee was suspended as soon as the matter came to our attention.

Jos bomber would have killed 400 football fans

More than 400 football fans cheated death in the Saturday night bomb blast that rocked Bauchi road area of Jos. Three people were confirmed dead on the spot in the blast with the fourth body discovered early Sunday morning, raising the death toll to four

Our correspondent who visited the scene gathered that the lone bomber had targeted a Television viewing centre where youths were watching the finals of the EUFA Championship League between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

An eye witness, Alhaji Garba Ahmad, who said he lost his senior brother, Alhaji Bello, in the blast, told our correspondent that the bomber had first attempted to enter the viewing centre, but was prevented by a barricade erected along the road.

He then turned back and tried to enter through a garage, but also encountered a wall between the centre and the garage.

In frustration, the bomber packed the car, a Honda Odyssey, in front a house.

Ahmad said, “When we saw the car, unusually packed in front of our house, my brother challenged him. He told my brother that his car had a fault and wanted to repair it. My brother then asked him to take the car away. Sensing something unusual I went inside and asked all the members of our family to leave the house. Just as my by brother was persuading the man to leave the premises, he (the bomber) entered the car and immediately he started I, it exploded, killing my brother, his son and his friend.”

It was also gathered that the bomber had gone to the viewing centre earlier in the day on reconnaissance.

An official of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mr. Mohammed Suleiman, told our correspondent that the agency received a distress call at about 9 pm on Saturday and immediately rushes to the scene to carry out search and rescue operation. He said that three people died on yen spot, while the body of the fourth person was discovered early Sunday morning.

Member representing Jos North in the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. Ibrahim Hasaan visited the scene along with the Chairman of the Care taker Committee of Jos North Local Government Area, Dr. Sanda Wakili, said that the recent bombing in an exclusively Muslim enclave is an indication that nobody is safe in Nigeria.

Hassan, who spoke to newsmen at the scene of the blast, called on youths in the state irrespective of tribe, religion to rise up and fight insurgency.

“We should put sentiments aside because if the latest bomb can be exploded in an area that is 100 per cent Muslim, then we should stop playing the blame game and know that all of us are at risk.

Wakili, who also spoke to newsmen said that insurgency has gone wild. He said that the aim of the attackers was to stoke reprisal so that the whole state would be on fire and enjoined people of Jos North to be resolute in their resolve to live together.

“It is here today, only God knows where next, but whatever is their purpose, they have have to achieve their aim, because if the bomb had exploded at the television viewing centre, the death toll would have been unimaginable.”

He said that the fact that the owner of the house was able to challenge the bomber meant that the campaign for vigilance is being heard and adhered to by the citizens.

Far-right projected to top EU elections in France

France’s far-right National Front was projected to win European Parliament elections in France on Sunday, according to three exit polls.

Pollsters CSA, TNS-Sofres and Ifop gave the NF 25 percent of the vote, the center-right UMP opposition between 20 and 21 percent and President Francois Hollande’s ruling Socialists about 14.5 percent, down from the 16 percent they received in 2009.

If the National Front’s victory is confirmed, it will be the first time that the anti-immigrant, anti-EU party has won a nationwide election in its four-decade history.

Responding to the exit polls, NF leader Marine Le Pen called for the dissolution of the French national assembly. “What else can the president do after such a rejection?” she told reporters at National Front headquarters. “It is unacceptable that the assembly should be so unrepresentative of the French people.”

Survey group Ifop said the abstention rate was 59 percent, lower than many pollsters had expected.

Critics of the European Union, riding a wave of anger over austerity and mass unemployment, gained ground through much of Europe, though in Germany, the EU’s biggest member state, the pro-European center held firm, according to exit polls.

With officials results from around the 28-nation bloc due late on Sunday evening, pro-European center-left and center-right parties seemed sure to maintain control of the 751-seat EU legislature, but the number of Eurosceptic members may double.

In Britain, the UK Independence Party, which campaigns to leave the European Union, was set for a strong score after making big gains in local elections held at the same time on Thursday.

But in the Netherlands, the anti-Islam, Eurosceptic Freedom Party of Geert Wilders’ – which plans to forge an alliance with France’s National Front – fell well short of its goal of topping the poll.

Projections by German television indicated that Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats would secure 36 percent of the vote, down from a 23-year-high of 41.5 percent in last year’s federal election but still a clear victory.

The anti-euro Alternative for Germany (AfD) party won parliamentary representation for the first time, with an estimated 6.5 percent, the best result so far for a conservative party created only last year.

It was a different story in Greece, epicentre of the euro zone’s debt crisis, where the far-left, anti-austerity Syriza movement of Alexis Tsipras was expected to take 26-30 percent of the vote, pushing the governing New Democracy into second place.

The extreme right Golden Dawn party was expected to win 9 to 10 percent of the vote.

The vote would appear to reflect popular frustration with the harsh spending cuts the government has adopted in recent years to meet the terms of its economic rescue program.

Sunday was the fourth and final day of voting in the European elections, with up to 388 million Europeans eligible to vote for their representatives in the European Parliament, which is an equal co-legislator with member states on most EU laws.

California Gunman Flew Under Radar, Sheriff Says

The gunman involved in a killing spree in Southern California on Friday night was able to persuade sheriff’s deputies who visited him in April that he was not a threat to himself or to others, the sheriff of Santa Barbara County, Bill Brown, said on nday morning.

The gunman, identified as Elliot O. Rodger, 22, did not meet the criteria for an involuntary hold when deputies visited him as part of a welfare check on April 30, Sheriff Brown said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The deputies were acting on the complaints of Mr. Rodger’s mother, who was alarmed by videos he had posted online.

“They found him to be apparently shy, timid, polite, well-spoken,” Mr. Brown said. “He explained to the deputies that this was a misunderstanding,” and that while he was having some social problems they were unlikely to continue.

“He was able to convince them that he was not at that point a danger to himself or anyone else,” the sheriff said.

Video Rant, Then Deadly Rampage in California TownMAY 24, 2014
In his manifesto, which he called “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger,” Mr. Rodger said of the visit by officers: “If they had demanded to search my room… That would have ended everything. For a few horrible seconds I thought it was all over. When the left, the biggest wave of relief swept over me.”

Mr. Rodger, a college student who posted videos about his anger against women for rejecting him, was found dead with a bullet wound to his head after the attacks on Friday. The police said that he had apparently taken his own life.

Police said that Mr. Rodger killed six people and wounded 13 others in the small town of Isla Vista, Calif. He stabbed three men to death in his apartment and shot and killed three students as he drove to several locations in the town, the police said.

“Obviously looking back on this, it’s a very tragic situation, and we certainly wish that we could turn the clock back and maybe change some things,” Sheriff Brown said on the CBS program “Face the Nation.” “But at the time that the deputies interacted with him, he was able to convince them that he was O.K.”

Early Sunday morning the streets of Isla Vista were extremely quiet, save for a few bicyclists and news crews. The town was pockmarked with remnants of the shooting, like the broken glass of a storefront in the middle of town. A pile of flowers and candles sat on the lawn of Alpha Phi Sorority house, where the shooting began. A hastily made sign in red marker stated that the sorority would not speak about the shooting.

Thousands of students attended a candlelight vigil on campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara last night, walking together to a park in Isla Vista.

At Mr Rodger’s apartment complex, a row of candles had been laid outside. But residents mostly remained indoors. “People are just staying inside,” said Connor Brossart, 20, who was staying with a friend who lived in the apartment complex. “It’s hard to deal with. They’re trying to work out what they can in their own heads.”

Sheriff Brown, on “Face the Nation,” said that the deputies who had visited Mr. Rodger in response to concerns raised by his family were not the only professionals who had not understood the extent of the man’s problems.

“When you read his autobiography and manifesto that he wrote, it’s very apparent that he was able to convince many people for many years that he didn’t have this deep, underlying obvious mental illness that also manifested itself in this terrible tragedy,” Sheriff Brown said. The department so far, he said, had found no indication that anyone close to Mr. Rodger could have foreseen Friday’s events.

“In reading his manifesto, I think that he was able to fly under the radar, so to speak, in terms of his likelihood or propensity to hurt anyone else,” the sheriff said.

While Mr. Rodger had received mental health treatment and counseling, he had neither been institutionalized nor held involuntarily for treatment, the sheriff said. “And those are the two triggers that actually would have made him a prohibited person in terms of a firearms purchase. So he was able, sadly, to obtain those three firearms” legally.

Sheriff Brown said the deputies who visited Mr. Rodger “probably” spoke to him about the three handguns he had bought last year, but added, “I’m not sure an actual weapons check was conducted.”

The police have identified three students at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who were killed: Katherine Breann Cooper, 22, of Chino Hills, Calif.; Veronika Elizabeth Weiss, 19, of Westlake Village, Calif.; and Christopher Ross Michaels-Martinez, 20, of Los Osos, Calif. The names of three other victims who were found dead inside Mr. Rodger’s apartment have not been released, pending family notification, the sheriff’s office said.

The two women were killed across the street from the Alpha Phi sorority house after Mr. Rodger knocked on the door but was unable to enter the house. Mr. Michaels-Martinez was killed while he was eating at a nearby delicatessen.

The shooting revived the debate over gun control that had surged amid public outrage over the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012. Despite a major push by the Obama administration, a gun initiative fell short of the needed votes.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Connecticut, said Sunday that he hoped that the latest shooting would “provide an impetus to bring back measures that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people who are severely troubled or deranged, like this young man was.”

The legislation that failed after the Newtown shooting, he said, might have made a difference in the way California authorities were able to respond to someone like Mr. Rodger.

That bill “would have provided a mental health initiative with more resources, greater ability for the Santa Barbara police to intervene, to use the sheriff’s word, to have professionals trained in diagnosing and detecting this kind of derangement,” Mr. Blumenthal said on “Face the Nation.”

Mr. Blumenthal said that a resurrected version of the legislation might need to be retooled with a focus on mental health care, “which is a point where we can agree that we need more resources.”

A Republican senator, John Thune of South Dakota, concurred on the point about improving mental health care. “I think that’s something on which there is agreement, and that’s where we ought to be focusing our efforts,” he said, also on CBS.

The chancellor of the university, Henry T. Yang, released a statement on Saturday saying the university was “horrified and deeply saddened” by the killings. The university was offering counseling services to students affected by the violence, he said.

“The flag on our campus will be at half-staff this week to honor those whose lives were so suddenly and tragically cut short,” Mr. Yang said.

Bizarre court cases: Man sued wife for sex and university expelled student over smelly feet

A man is suing the City of New York for literally all the money on earth after being bitten by a dog.

Angry Anton Purisima, 62, has filed a 22-page lawsuit demanding two undecillion dollars – $2,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 – for injuries including an infected middle finger after he was nipped by a “rabid” dog on a bus.

Mr Purisima also complains that “a Chinese couple took unauthorised pictures” of him in hospital.

He claims his suffering can’t be repaired by money and is therefore “priceless” – hence his ludicrous demand.

He may be bonkers but he is not alone. Some people will sue anyone….even themselves!

Lag sues himself for millions over booze
Prisoner Robert Lee Brock sued HIMSELF for £2.3million, claiming he had violated his civil rights by getting drunk.

Brock, serving time for robbery, claimed his religion forbade him from boozing. But he said his arrest for grand larceny came after he “partook of alcoholic beverages”.

He said the US government should pay as he could not work while in jail in Virginia. A judge dismissed the case but praised Brock’s “innovative approach”.

Refusal to have sex with me is ageism

Playboy Rolf Eden sued a teenager for ageism in 2007 as she would not sleep with him.

German strip club owner Eden, right, then 77, was turned down by Katharina Weiss, 19, after wooing her with champagne.

Eden claimed to have bedded up to 3,000 women. Before dropping the lawsuit, he said: “It was shattering. No woman ever said that to me before.”

Comet crash messed up my horoscope

Russian astrologer Marina Bai sued Nasa for £170million saying her horoscope was distorted after the space agency crashed a probe into a comet.

She believed the Deep Impact strike on comet Tempel 1, 82 million miles from Earth in July 2005, had violated her “life and spiritual values”.

Tempel 1 was important to her because her grandfather had wooed her grandmother by showing her the comet.

But a physicist said the probe had no real effect on the comet’s trajectory.

I won a Renault Clio… it was 4in tall

Listener Cathy McGowan was overjoyed when a DJ on Radio Buxton, Derbys, told her she had won a Renault Clio.

But Cathy, 26, was given a 4in model of the car instead.

The DJ said it was a joke but she sued in 2001 for £8,000 – the price of the real thing.

A Derby crown court judge ruled the radio station had entered into a contract with Cathy – and ordered it to pay up.

Sick of being taken for Michael Jordan

Allen Heckard sued former basketball star Michael Jordan for looking like him.

Heckard, from Portland, Oregon, said in July 2006 the sportsman and Nike’s Phil Knight should pay him £493million for making Jordan so famous that he suffered personal harm from being repeatedly mistaken for him.

My wife limits sex to once a week

David Mason, 30, took his own wife Brenda, 31, to court after she rationed sex to once a week because she was scared of getting pregnant for a third time.

Mr Mason, a mechanic from Basingstoke, Hants, initially won his case in 1980.

But he lost on appeal when judges decided no court could rule that Brenda was being unreasonable.

God breached my baptism contract when I killed
Murderer Pavel Mircea tried to sue God for breach of contract, claiming the Almighty reneged on the deal made at his baptism.

“He was supposed to protect me from all evils and instead he gave me to Satan who encouraged me to kill,” he said.

Mircea, 40, serving 20 years, said God had accepted his prayers.

In 2007 he demanded reimbursement for what he’d spent on religious goods and offerings.

Romanian judges rejected the case, ruling that God is not a person in the eyes of the law and has no legal address where he could be served with papers.

Pineapple injury turned policewoman into recluse

Police officer Tracey Ormsby tried to claim £1.5million damages after being hit by a pineapple during a protest at the closure of a swimming pool in 2001.

The Glasgow WPC, 37, said more than three years later the slight injury she sustained left her a mentally scarred recluse, forced to quit her job.

But a court heard Tracey holidayed in Australia, France, Crete and Spain and that she yelled “Ker-ching, I’m in the money!” when a doctor diagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder.

A judge awarded £3,000 for the minor injury.

Ad lied and said I’d be a hit with ladies

American Richard Overton sued the maker of Budweiser in 1991 for false advertising after the attractive women in their beer ads rfailed to materialise in his own life.

The dad-of-three said the constant merriment was “untrue” and the drink had not improved his love life.

He wanted £6,500 from brewer Anheuser-Busch for mental injury, emotional distress and financial loss.

His case was dismissed.

Wrath of ‘God’ after Blaine performance

In 2005, Christopher Roller sued David Copperfield and David Blaine for using “godly powers”.

He claimed he was God Almighty and hadn’t consented to the magicians’ acts.

Roller, of Minnesota, USA, also claimed The Truman Show was based on his life and he planned to father one million babies with “wives” Celine Dion and US TV host Katie Couric.

The way university treated me stinks

A philosophy student sued his university after he was expelled for having smelly feet.

Teunis Tenbrook’s professors and fellow students at Erasmus University, Rotterdam, said it was impossible to concentrate due to the whiff.

After a 10-year legal battle, a judge ruled in 2009 it was no reason to expel him and said: “They must hold their noses.”

Which is your favourite bizarre court case?
Sex limit
Godly magicians
4in tall Clio
Ageist sex claim
God and baptism contract
Pineapple injury
Comet and horoscope
Michael Jordan
Smelly feet
Lag sues himself
Beer ads

Student who starred on amateur porn website shot herself after being bullied by classmates.

A teenage university student shot herself weeks after being bullied for starring in an amateur porn film.

Alyssa Funke, 19, was taunted mercilessly online after taking part in a sex film with a stranger for website Casting Couch-X.

After weeks of gossip and trolling, the aspiring anaesthesiologist drove out to her family’s boat in Stillwater, Minnesota, and killed herself.

Alyssa had been a straight A student despite a difficult childhood – her dad was jailed for fraud and her mother and new boyfriend were charged with drug-dealing.

Struggling for money, she had recently transferred to the University of Wisconsin.

In the sex video posted online, she had called herself ‘Stella’ and talked of her academic background.

“I’m Stella Ann. I’m 18, from Minnesota, and I’m really looking forward to get started,” she said.

“I want to be a major in biology, minor in chemistry, and I want to be an anesthesiologist,” she added.

MirrorOnline has included a clip of Alyssa introducing herself in the video below.

But word of the video soon spread and old school mates began sending Alyssa abuse via Twitter and Facebook.

One called her a ‘thot’ – slang for prostitute – and added: “Does her dad know?”

Two weeks after the video was posted online she bought a shotgun, drove to a nearby lake and killed herself.

One friend said she has no doubt the bullying drove Alyssa to her death.

“A lot of people are really negative about it or standing up and saying it shouldn’t happen to people,” said Katrina Dodg.

“Sad it’s still happening, actually.”

Washington County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating her death, but detectives don’t believe the postings on social media constitute criminal harassment, reports Fox.

Abortion clinic guidance emphasises illegal gender grounds

New guidance issued for abortion clinics in England makes clear that terminating a pregnancy on the grounds of gender alone is illegal.

It also states “pre-signing” abortion certificates without considering a woman’s individual case is illegal.

The Department of Health guidance is being published after concerns over both issues were raised.

It will now assess abortion providers to ensure they are abiding by the updated rules.

The 113 independent clinics providing abortions for the NHS must do so in order to be re-approved to provide the service by the Health Secretary.

Officials say they do not expect to find any major problems.

Good practice
Concerns over sex selection were raised after secret filming by the Daily Telegraph appeared to show two doctors agreeing terminations of female foetuses could go ahead.

However no charges were brought – and the Crown Prosecution Service said it was satisfied there was no intention to proceed with a termination.

A subsequent investigation into the work of abortion clinics found 14 were pre-signing certificates.

The law says two doctors have to certify an abortion under the terms of the 1967 Abortion Act.

But pre-signing suggests the second doctor has not considered that woman’s individual case.

Under the updated guidance, doctors are reminded that pre-signing forms is not allowed and both doctors have a legal duty to certify abortions “in good faith”.

The updated guidance restates the rules governing abortions. It says:

abortion on the grounds of gender alone is not lawful
two doctor need to certify that an abortion is permitted under the criteria in the 1967 Abortion Act and be prepared to justify their decision
it is good practice for at least one of the doctors to have seen the pregnant woman
pre-signing of certificates is “not compliant” with the Act
Updated annual birth ratio statistics for England and Wales for 2008-2012 have also been published by the department.

This data is broken down by the mother’s country of birth and shows no evidence of sex selection occurring in the UK.

Ann Furedi, chief executive of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service which is a major provider of abortions for the NHS, said it abided by the guidance.

But she added: “There is no clinical need for two doctors to certify a woman’s reasons for abortion, in addition to obtaining her consent – it simply causes delays.”

Ann Scanlan, of the pro-life charity Life, said the organisation welcomed the re-emphasis on sex selection and pre-signing being against the law.

But Ms Scanlan said she was “disappointed but not surprised” that the guidance potentially allowed for neither of the two doctors certifying an abortion to actually see the woman concerned.

Mosquito-borne chikungunya virus spreads in the Caribbean


A painful mosquito-borne virus spreading quickly through the Caribbean is causing alarm in Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, where health officials are scrambling to respond to a surge of new patients.

Chikungunya, a virus more commonly found in Africa and Asia and transmitted by the same daytime-biting aedes aegypti mosquito that causes the more deadly dengue fever, was first detected in the eastern Caribbean five months ago.

Since then, it has jumped from island to island, sending thousands of patients to the hospital with painful joints, pounding headaches and spiking fevers.

“These mosquitoes know no borders,” said Phyllis Kozarsky, a physician with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

Seven deaths have been associated with the virus, but those people likely suffered from other health problems, health officials say. Chikungunya is normally not deadly and symptoms begin to dissipate within a week.

The Pan-American Health Organization reports more than 55,000 suspected and confirmed cases in the Caribbean. Officials say the number is likely much higher due to unreported cases.

Florida health officials confirmed at least three cases, though Reuters is aware of at least two other unreported cases.

In Haiti, where the virus was first detected early this month, the Health Ministry estimates 5,500 people have been sickened.

“My 22-year-old son is brave, but now he’s crying like a kid. His arms, his neck, his back, every part of his body is in pain,” said Marco Dorival in Port-au-Prince.

There is no vaccine or treatment that can cure the virus. Paracetamol, an over-the-counter painkiller, is used to treat high fevers.

The price of the medication has doubled in Haiti, leading the Ministry of Health to order 400,000 doses of acetaminophen, the ingredient in many non-prescription painkillers, be distributed around the country.

World Health Organization representatives in Haiti said chikungunya will continue to spread as the mosquitoes breed in standing water and open water containers used in many Haitian homes that lack running water.

“Thirty to 35 percent of the population will get sick,” WHO representative Dr. Jean-Luc Poncelet said.

The Dominican Republic’s Public Health Ministry suspects 14,000 cases. Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic said they would spray pesticides to kill mosquitoes and urged residents to destroy breeding grounds, such as pools of standing water.

“There was a period of time that I couldn’t walk, and when I could walk again I was bent over,” said Richard Barbour, a pastor at Advent Lutheran church in Boca Raton, Florida, who believes he and another church volunteer contracted the virus, after a trip to Haiti last week.

Thai military tightens grip, bans more than 150 from leaving country

The Thai military on Friday tightened its grip on the politically unstable Southeast Asian nation, banning more than 150 prominent figures from leaving the country and threatening to arrest politicians who disobey its orders.
Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra was among those who reported to the military junta, which seized power in a coup Thursday after months of turmoil that paralyzed much of the government and caused deadly clashes in the streets of Bangkok.
The United States and other countries have criticized the military’s intervention, the latest in a long list of coups in Thailand, and called for the swift restoration of democracy.
Yingluck, whose government was in power when the unrest began in November, was removed from office this month by the country’s Constitutional Court over the appointments of top security officials.
Prominent people summoned
Thai Ex-PM Yingluck Shinawatra detained Some Thai free-to-air channels return
Military coup in Thailand Military coup in Thailand
Yingluck arrived around noon Friday at a military compound in Bangkok with one of her sisters and was still there hours later, a source close to the former leader told CNN. The military on Thursday summoned Yingluck and three other members of her politically powerful family to report to authorities.
It has also called on more than 100 others, including prominent figures on both sides of Thailand’s political divide, to come to military facilities. Those who don’t report, it has warned, will be arrested.
Military officials haven’t provided much explanation about the reasons for the summonses, saying it’s necessary “to ensure smooth operation of restoration of peace and order.”
They have also placed travel bans on Yingluck and scores of others.
Yingluck was being detained at a military barracks outside Bangkok, the Thai government’s national security adviser, Lt. Gen. Paradon Patthanathabut, said late Friday. Paradon said Yingluck was detained for her own safety along with and former ministers and one-time members of her Cabinet.
The junta on Thursday detained some of the leaders of the country’s deeply polarized political factions. Some of those held, including opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva and members of Yingluck’s Pheu Thai Party, were later released.
Constitution ditched, curfew imposed
Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, the head of the military, has assumed the powers to act as Prime Minister until a new one takes office, the military said Thursday.
Life under martial law in Thailand Bangkok park at center of protests
How the government will operate remains unclear, given that the military also has thrown out the constitution it drew up in 2007 after a previous coup, except for Section 2, which acknowledges that the King is the head of state.
The last six months have been marked by large-scale protests, both by those backing Yingluck’s government and those opposed to it. There have been periodic outbursts of deadly violence in the streets.
Protest camps of both sides in Bangkok have been cleared away since the coup.
Under the new order, schools will be closed nationwide between Friday and Sunday, the military said. A curfew is in place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. And all state-run, satellite and cable TV providers have been ordered to carry only the signal of the army’s television channel; CNN is among those networks that have been taken off the air.

The military warned against posting misleading or critical comments on social media platforms.
In a speech Thursday, Prayuth explained that these actions were necessary to restore order and push through reforms.
In Bangkok, calm and a cleanup
The day after the coup, a peculiar calm had settled on the streets of much of the Thai capital, which has been the focal point of political unrest.
A few hundred anti-coup protesters gathered in central Bangkok, some cheering and whistling and others holding banners saying “no to coup,” but members of the military kept a distance.
A few demonstrators from rival camps argued among themselves, but police tried to calm both sides down. The crowds were thinning out by early Friday evening.
Life in most of the city’s center appeared normal during the day, with shops open and people going to work.
In the area by the Democracy Monument, where anti-government protesters had camped out for months, work had begun to clear up the detritus that had been left behind.
Dozens of people were dismantling large tents, cleaning and sweeping. Trucks and cranes were pulling down the infrastructure the protesters had put up at the camp.

The military presence around the city remained subtle, with few soldiers in view, except outside the Defense Ministry and military sites.
“The situation in Bangkok is quite calm at the moment, but obviously we’re all watching very, very closely to see what happens next,” Kristie Kenney, U.S. ambassador to Thailand, told CNN.
Kenney said she would not be attending a briefing Friday that the Thai military was holding for diplomats but would send someone from the U.S. Embassy.
Her comments came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that there was “no justification” for the military coup.
The U.S. Embassy in Bangkok has updated its guidance for Americans traveling to Thailand. It “recommends that U.S. citizens reconsider any nonessential travel to Thailand, particularly Bangkok, due to ongoing political and social unrest and restrictions on internal movements, including an indefinite nighttime curfew.”
The question many analysts are asking is how the popular “Red Shirt” movement, which supports Yingluck and her exiled brother Thaksin Shinawatra, will respond to the coup.
The Red Shirts, whose support base is in the rural north and northwest of Thailand, were already angered by Yingluck’s ouster this month, a move they viewed as a judicial coup by Bangkok elites.
Senior Red Shirt leaders, as well as prominent figures from the anti-Yingluck protesters, were still being held Friday by the military, according to Paradon, the national security adviser to the government.
Thaksin, a business tycoon who built a highly successful political movement through populist policies benefiting the rural masses, was deposed as Prime Minister in a military coup in 2006.
In 2010, when the pro-Thaksin party was out of power, the Red Shirts mounted large protests in the heart of Bangkok. An ensuing crackdown by security forces resulted in clashes that killed around 90 people.
Thailand martial law: A cheat sheet to get you up to speed

Why women are hooked on violent crime fiction

A couple of weeks ago, I was about three-quarters of the way through Becky Masterman’s gory crime thriller Rage Against the Dying – a book about a series of grisly sex murders along the old Route 66 – when I was struck by a sudden, awful thought: “I hope I’m never raped and murdered.” Masterman’s novel, populated as it is by sadistic, psychotic rapists and necrophiliacs, had got under my skin to the extent that for a moment it felt impossible to envisage my own life uninterrupted by extreme male-on-female violence.

My reaction was certainly symptomatic of the kind of paranoid, hyper-aware symptoms associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (I was violently attacked in 2010) and some of the content could definitely be said to be “triggering”. Certainly more so than The Great Gatsby, a book from which necrophilia is notably absent but which American students are saying should come with a content, or trigger, warning. And yet I kept reading, just as I did on holiday last month when unexpectedly confronted by a brutal rape scene during a Stephen King short story.

According to several crime writers this week, women love reading about other women being murdered, which perhaps accounts for the genre selling about 21 million books a year in the UK. I would count myself among those consumers, though I’m not sure “love” is quite the right word when it comes to how the process of reading a book featuring extreme violence against women makes me feel. I don’t enjoy it necessarily, but I do find it compelling.

The writer Val McDermid rightly says that “women are better at scaring us”, partly because “since childhood we have learned to imagine this”. This definitely plays a part; from the time we are little girls, we are taught to imagine ourselves embodying a variety of roles, not least – with our first utterance of the words “don’t talk to any strange men” – that of potential victim. Crime fiction allows us to explore those looming horrors, and what they might entail.

When it comes to reading about the rape, murder and mutilation of fictional women, I do think there might be an element of curiosity, a feeling of “let’s see what we’re dealing with here”. Germaine Greer said that “women have very little idea of how much men hate them”, a generalisation that any female beneficiary of the love, affection and support of the men in their lives would obviously refute. But we are brought up to know that there are men out there who hate us, and who would like to hurt us, and we are taught to fear them.

Many women I know spend their nocturnal lives in a state of heightened preparedness: they carry rape alarms, and makeshift mace or lemon sprays for the blinding of male predators; they have emergency strategies in place (wet yourself, grab their balls, ask after their mother). Ever since I was a child, I have walked as far as possible away from the curb, hugging the walls of houses, in case someone in a passing vehicle tries to snatch me. I think crime fiction plays into that fear, and also the desire to know what we are up against, or could be up against. It renders concrete what can feel like a vague threat.

Friends can spend hours online, reading about serial killers. I myself became fascinated by the Black Dahlia case in the 1940s, after reading a reference to it in a crime novel. The female author Jessie Keane says that consuming crime fiction allows women to examine violence “in a safe way”. In other words, we are attempting to address our fears. This is probably the case for me, someone who has never been able to stomach onscreen violence (I was that child at the Halloween sleepover, threatening to tell the others’ mums if they didn’t turn off The Texas Chainsaw Massacre).

There is something addictive about fear, about pushing your tolerance for darkness to the limits. But I have to admit, I do prefer it when the female victims, having finally had enough of all the torture and the rape and the violence, turn vigilante and embark on some hatred-fuelled murdering. In the last two books I have read women turn the tables on their attackers. As a woman reader who got away, in real life, there’s probably something in that.

Man jailed for life for murder of ex-partner

A man has been jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years for murdering his ex-partner in a “vengeful and jealous rage”.

David Gikawa, 39, stabbed 29-year-old Linah Keza to death – fulfilling his threat to her and to others that if he could not have her, nobody could, said judge Michael Topolski at the Old Bailey. “It was not a loss of control, but a loss of temper, and an act of calculated, jealous revenge on an innocent woman whose life you had made a fearful misery,” Topolski said.

The prosecution said during Gikawa’s trial that the “systems in place” failed to prevent the death of Keza, who had been in contact with both police and social services.

Gikawa denied murdering Keza while she was with their two-year-old daughter at her flat in Leyton, east London, at about 4.20am on 31 July last year, but he was convicted by the jury.

The judge told Gikawa: “You stabbed her three times. The third, and probably final, stab wound was in her back. The evidence was that it would have required the use of severe force – the point of the knife broke off, and remained inside her body. You did all this in front of your two-year-old daughter.”

The couple met in 2009, and their child was born in September 2010.

Gikawa was capable of being kind, helpful and even loving, but also showed possessiveness and had jealous and violent outbursts, the judge said.

Five or six days before her death, Keza made a statement in an application for a non-molestation order, describing his controlling behaviour and his verbal and physical abuse. She alleged that on one occasion he put a knife in her mouth.

Gikawa was not prepared to accept the end of the relationship, the judge said.

“The very thought of her forming another relationship offended and enraged you,” he told him.

“By July, it was obvious that she wanted you out of her life altogether, but you were not prepared to accept that. You would not leave her alone, you were stalking her, you were harassing her, and you failed to remove all your property from her flat.”

On the evening of the night of the 28th and 29th, she rang the police three times, telling them in one call: “I’m so scared, I can’t even breathe.”

After the killing, Gikawa just drove away, without attempting to call for help. The trial heard that he gave himself up later that day.

A neighbour, Gideon Bello, who tried to intervene when he heard Keza screaming, was commended and awarded £500 from public funds by the judge.


Mummified mammoth Lyuba is getting a lot of attention in London, but the baby woolly mammoth got her start in Chicago.

The “Mammoth and Mastodons” exhibition at the London Natural History Museum, which opens on May 23, was created by The Field Museum in Chicago in 2010.

The star – Lyuba, a baby woolly mammoth – was discovered in Siberia in 2007 by a reindeer herder. Her name, which is Russian, means “love.” She is believed to have died 42,000 years ago when she was just 1-month old.

Lyuba debuted at Chicago’s Field Museum. The exhibit ran from spring to fall 2010, and has been on tour ever since, according to Emily Waldren, public relations manager, at The Field Museum.

“It was really popular. People loved it,” Waldren said. “It gets a lot of attention wherever it goes.”

“Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age” is on a 10-city tour.

“Lyuba doesn’t always go. So some places have gotten a cast of Lyuba. Some places get the real Lyuba,” Waldren said.

London got the real thing. The exhibit runs from March 23 to September 7, 2014.

“This is one of the things we love about traveling exhibits. People become more aware of the Field Museum,” Waldren said.

Lyuba is on loan for the exhibit from tRussia’s Shemanovsky Museum.

Wales defender subject to Twitter death threats from furious Uruguay fans after it is revealed Luis Suarez could miss part or all of World Cup

Welsh defender Paul Dummett has been the target of death threats from Uruguay fans who blame him for putting Luis Suarez’s World Cup chances in jeopardy.

One fan took to social networking to warn “a bullet” would be waiting for Dummett if he ever visited Uruguay.

It comes after Dummett was red-carded for a tackle on the Liverpool striker on the last day of last season.

The red card was chalked off by the FA last week and Dummett was cleared of any wrongdoing.

But Suarez has since undergone an operation on the meniscus in his knee that means he is facing a race to be fit for the World Cup finals, where Uruguay are set to face England in Group D.

The threats came on the same day Dummett was named by Chris Coleman in the Wales squad to face Louis Van Gaal’s Dutch team in Amsterdam on June 4.
They began on Twitter with one follower Federico Gonzalez posting:”Hi Paul Dummett, from Uruguay we hope someday u come here to have a nice time w/ friends.

“We have things for you, like a bullet in the head.”

Another tweeter going by the name of @DjAlvinGreen said menacingly: “Hey, Paul Dummett, if Suárez doesn’t play against England, you’ll never play again. Kisses.”

Dummett himself has stayed silent on the matter while the Uruguayan FA has actually given a statement saying Suarez’s injury was sustained in training.

In a statement the association said on Thursday: “Luis Suárez suffered an intense pain in his left knee after undergoing a normal warm-up.

“The early diagnosis was a stable injury to the external meniscus in the knee. He was examined by a scan, which confirmed a partial injury to the external meniscus.

“This morning the meniscus was repaired via arthroscopy at the Médica Uruguayan hospital. There was no evidence of other injuries to the knee.”


Originally posted on HumansinShadow.wordpress.com:


Celtic Woman – You Raise Me Up


There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

Posted August 03, 2014


“You Raise Me Up”

When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I…

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Brendan Rodgers must sign a world class striker if Liverpool are to win the Premier League

Featured Image -- 9213

Originally posted on Metro:

Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge celebrates scoring his side’s fifth goal against Cardiff City (Picture: AP)

Brendan Rodgers says Daniel Sturridge will be fit for the start of the new Premier League season but either way the Reds boss will have to splash the cash and bring another forward to Anfield.

A hamstring injury has forced the Liverpool striker to return early from the club’s tour of the USA and he now faces a race against time to be fit to face Southampton on the opening day of the season.

Yet whatever happens the news of the England striker’s problem highlights the fact  Rodgers urgently needs more firepower.

Liverpool have been generally short of attacking options in recent years – although they got by as they had Luis Suarez who was both world class and very resilient.

But now with Suarez gone I can’t see Sturridge and new signing Rickie Lambert providing enough goals for Liverpool to win…

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ISIS Stones a Woman to Death in Syria for Adultery

Originally posted on sharia unveiled:

ISIS Stones a Woman to Death 1

by, Agence France Presse (AFP) | The Daily Star | h/t Trop

BEIRUT, Lebanon: Jihadists in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa have accused a woman of adultery and stoned her to death, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday.

It was the first “execution” of its kind by the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) group in Syria, which has proclaimed the establishment of an Islamic “caliphate” straddling Syria and Iraq.

ISIS carried out its first sentence of death by stoning against a woman in Tabaqa, accusing her of adultery,” said the Britain-based Observatory, referring to a town in Raqa province, most of which is under ISIS control.

An activist in the province confirmed the report, and said the stoning took place in a public square in the Tabaqa market area Thursday evening.

“This is the first time that this has happened here,” added Abu…

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Orange sunset with a purpulish tinge – Ajaytao

Originally posted on Ajaytao 2010:

Orange sunset with a purpulish tinge - Ajaytao

Orange sunset with a purpulish tinge – Ajaytao

Every time you shift
to a different color or
different hue you are
creating interest
It’s a subtle thing
but it builds content

Clyde Aspevig

Nature is so astonishing, it is full of wonders, and changes its beautiful colors every moment, and reflects its true beauty and its magic. Lets sink in it. 

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