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rpannier

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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 20,949

Journal Archives

Dark web: Largest ever online child porn bust leads to 337 arrests

Three-hundred and thirty-seven suspects were arrested after a massive, international multi-agency operation knocked out a horrific child abuse site.

Welcome to Video, a dark web site hosting over 250,000 videos featuring brutal child abuse, was being run from South Korea by 23-year-old Jong Woo Son, the British National Crime Agency uncovered in a press release announcing hundreds of arrests. The website's content amounted to almost eight terabytes of data containing sexual abuse images, that were sold on a bitcoin-centred marketplace worth over 730,000 dollars.

snip

The individuals were identified by following a trace of presumably untrackable digital currencies that had been used to buy illegal child pornography videos. "The website monetized the sexual abuse of children and was one of the first to offer sickening videos for sale using the cryptocurrency bitcoin," the NCA explained.

snip

The global operation was conducted by a task force set up by the NCA in collaboration with the United State's Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, South Korea's National Police and Germany's Federal Criminal Police. The arrests were made in 38 countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain, the Czech Republic, Canada and the United States

link
https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/17/dark-web-largest-ever-online-child-porn-bust-leads-to-337-arrests

Five Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

(Sorry for not having posted in a while, Typhoon Hagibis kept us all pretty busy and didn't give me time to look for new stories)

1. First Flag: Kosovo's Would-Be PM Takes Serbian Heat For Favoring Albanian Banner

When Albin Kurti and his Self-Determination (Vetevendosje) party declared victory in Kosovo's snap elections earlier this month, it was unclear how the dramatic rise in Pristina of a 44-year-old Albanian nationalist might affect Kosovo's biggest international challenges.

Primary among them are stalled negotiations on normalizing relations with neighboring Serbia, whose resolution could boost Kosovo's decade-long pursuit of full recognition in the United Nations and eventual membership of major European institutions.

snip

Then there was a reminder of Kurti's insistence on displaying Albanian national symbols and his repeated calls in the past for a referendum on Kosovo's unification with Albania.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/kosovo-kurti-serbia-vucic-albanian-flag/30222104.html


2. Orban says would have to 'use force' if Turkey 'opens gates' to refugees

Hungary would "use force" at its southern border with Serbia to protect the European Union's frontier if Turkey follows through on its threat to open the gates to Europe to refugees, Hungary's Viktor Orban said.

The Hungarian prime minister put up a fence on the country's border with Serbia to block the Balkan route of migration, where hundreds of thousands of people marched through from the Middle East to western Europe at the peak of the crisis in 2015.

snip

"If Turkey sets off further hundreds of thousands on top of this, then we will need to use force to protect the Hungarian border and the Serbian-Hungarian frontier and I do not wish for anyone that we should need to resort to that," he said.

link
https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/17/orban-says-would-have-to-use-force-if-turkey-opens-gates-to-refugees

(Sounds like he's planning on using force against refugees, not Turkey)


3. Dutch police arrest father of family held in farm basement

Dutch police have arrested the father of a family kept for nearly a decade in a farmhouse, saying they were investigating whether a “certain belief in faith” was behind the case.

The 67-year-old was suspected of depriving people of their liberty, harming the health of others and money laundering following the discovery of the family in the northern village of Ruinerwold, police said.

He is the second person to be arrested. The 58-year-old tenant of the farmhouse, an Austrian man, appeared before an examining judge on Thursday on similar charges and was ordered to be detained for two weeks.

link
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/17/dutch-police-arrest-father-of-family-held-at-farm-against-will


4. Bulgarian National Radio Chief Sacked In Free Speech Row

Bulgaria's broadcast regulator has sacked the chief of Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) for taking the channel off the air for several hours last month in a row with a presenter known for covering the country’s corruption-prone judicial system.

The five members of the Council for Electronic Media on October 17 voted to oust Svetoslav Kostov as BNR general director, saying that briefly suspending a live talk show for five hours represented a “grave violation” of Bulgarians' right to information.

snip

The September 13 shutdown occurred after BNR the previous day decided to suspend journalist Silvia Velikova from her job, claiming she had violated her contract by urging listeners while on air to join a protest over the appointment of Bulgaria's next chief prosecutor.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/bulgarian-national-radio-chief-sacked-in-free-speech-row/30221988.html


5. Eurostar enjoys busiest August as passengers seek alternative to flying

Eurostar has reported its busiest August ever, with more than a million passengers travelling on the cross-Channel train service in that month.

The service appears to have benefited from increasing demand for an alternative to flying - a trend highlighted in Eurostar’s advertising campaign.

snip

“We have seen positive momentum over the summer, with strong growth in the number of North American passengers choosing to travel by high-speed rail,” he said.

link
https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/oct/17/eurostar-enjoys-busiest-august-as-passengers-seek-alternative-to-flying

5 Facts You May Find Interesting

1. Want to be immortal? You can. You just need to be a jellyfish.

Turritopsis dohrnii is now officially known as the only immortal creature. The secret to eternal life, as it turns out, is not just living a really, really long time. It’s all about maturity, or rather, the lack of it. The immortal jellyfish (as it is better known popularly) propagate and then, faced with the normal career path of dying, they opt instead to revert to a sexually immature stage.

It turns out that once the adult form of the 4.5 mm-wide species Turritopsis dohrnii have reproduced, they don’t die but transform themselves back into their juvenile polyp state. Their tentacles retract, their bodies shrink, and they sink to the ocean floor and start the cycle all over again. Among laboratory samples, all the adult Turritopsis observed regularly undergo this change. And not just once: they can do it over and over again.

https://immortal-jellyfish.com/
https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/greatmomentsinscience/the-strange-life-of-the-immortal-jellyfish-dr-karl-kruszelnicki/7666380

The fish can die. It can be eaten by other creatures and can catch illnesses.

2. Prince Charles has a car that runs on wine.

Queen Elizabeth gave Prince Charles an Aston Martin for his 21st birthday.

Engineers at Aston Martin had discovered that their cars could run on surplus English white wine (albeit mixed with a whey). Still, they urged the Prince not to switch out his fuel. "The engineers at Aston said, 'Oh, it’ll ruin the whole thing,'" he said, according to The Telegraph.

Charles wasn't about to take no for an answer. "I said, 'Well I won’t drive it then,' so they got on with it and now they admit that it runs better and is more powerful on that fuel than it is on petrol... And also, it smells delicious as you’re driving along."

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/society/tradition/a24883994/prince-charles-car-aston-martin-runs-on-wine/


3. Martin Luther King Jr and Anne Frank were both born in 1929

https://www.buzzfeed.com/kristinchirico/iconic-people-you-had-no-idea-were-the-same-age


4. The plural of Octopus should be Octopodes

Though octopuses is the most used and accepted plural form for octopus, octopus is (Latinized) Ancient Greek, from oktṓpous (ὀκτώπους ), gender masculine, whose plural is oktṓpodes (ὀκτώποδες ).


5. Betty White really is older than sliced bread

Betty White was born in 1922, the bread slicer was sold in 1928.
Betty White is also older than the trampoline, ballpoint pens, the jukebox, the garage, traffic signals, garbage disposals, synthetic rubber tires and frozen food.

Oh... and one more thing about sliced bread; it was briefly banned during WW II because it was sold in plastic bags and plastic was needed for the war effort.

The Bible's first critic

-Centuries before Spinoza, there was Ḥiwi al-Balkhi, a Jewish freethinker for whom the Bible was too irrational for faith

Much less known today is the fact that they, too, had a forerunner, and a rather early one at that. He lived eight centuries before their time, hailing from medieval Afghanistan: Ḥiwi al-Balkhi (also spelled as Chiwi), a man whom Spinoza and da Costa never heard of. But what do we know about this very early Jewish freethinker?

snip

Ḥiwi was an amazingly radical freethinker. About his life we know next to nothing. And most unfortunately, his notorious work, often called the Book of Two Hundred Questions, has not been preserved because the leaders of both Jewish communities of his day had no interest at all in its survival. They did all they could to achieve its disappearance, and nearly succeeded.

That we still know a fair amount about Ḥiwi’s work is something we owe to it being so controversial that, for several decades after its appearance, Jewish authors (including even Karaites) tried to refute the ideas of this heretic. Of course, in order to refute him they had to quote him: hence our knowledge of his radicalism. One of these authors was no less a person than Saadia Gaon, a leading Jewish scholar and rabbi from the early 10th century. (Abraham ibn Ezra, a famed biblical commentator of the same era, was another critic.)

snip

Ḥiwi argues that anyone who reads the Bible carefully will see that it often presents God as unjust and even ruthless (a question he asks is ‘Why did God inflict the Egyptian servitude upon the offspring of Abraham?’). Moreover, the Bible does not picture God as almighty and omniscient: in Genesis 3: 9, God asks Adam ‘Where are you?’ In Genesis 4: 9, God asks: ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ God is pictured as capricious since he repeatedly changes his mind, as in Genesis 6:6: ‘The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled.’ The fact that the biblical God wants to receive bloody sacrifices can hardly be interpreted as an indication of God’s lofty status, or as Ḥiwi puts it: ‘Is not God represented as eating and accepting bribes?’ And what sense does it make that, when God prods David to commit a grave sin, it is the people of Israel who are severely punished, as when God sends a brutal plague to claim 70,000 innocent lives (2 Samuel 24)? Why did 30,000 Israelites have to be killed by the Philistines because the sons of the priest Eli seriously misbehaved (1 Samuel 4:10)? The conclusion, for Ḥiwi, must be that the biblical concept of the divine is primitive and in fact unworthy of God Himself.

link
https://aeon.co/essays/why-the-jewish-freethinker-iwi-al-balkhi-criticised-the-bible?utm_source=Aeon+Newsletter&utm_campaign=67d9247265-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_10_10_06_16&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_411a82e59d-67d9247265-70731013

Hard-Liners Upset, Iranian Women Celebrate After Buying Soccer Tickets For First Time

After decades of being banned from attending men's sporting events, Iran's female soccer fans are celebrating the fact they will be able to attend their national team's upcoming World Cup qualifier against Cambodia.

snip

Women -- as well as men -- have been celebrating on social media by posting copies of their tickets for the much-anticipated match, with the tickets reserved for women selling out within minutes after going on sale on October 4.

snip

Other women who managed to buy tickets expressed their excitement and disbelief on social media under the hashtag #Come_with_me_to_the_stadium (in Persian).

snip

"I bought tickets for my mother and my wife," said the deputy of Tehran's sports municipality, Farzad Radboy, on Twitter. He added that he will be babysitting his 10-month-old daughter on October 10 so that his mother and his wife can enjoy the match in peace.

snip

(adding this bit of the typical idiocracy)

The ultra-hard-line daily Kayhan criticized the decision to allow women to attend male sporting events by suggesting it wasn't a priority for them and that women have more pressing problems that need to be addressed.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/iranian-women-celebrate-soccer-tickets-first-time-hard-liners-upset/30206200.html

I would point out to the Kayhan, that Iran has more pressing problems to be addressed than who is attending soccer games -- Just saying

Trump proved me wrong

In 2017, I told several people there is no way il douche could ever pick someone as less qualified, more onerous and horrible than Jeff Sessions
And, along came this AG

The Russian Bear Is Spooked By Greta The Eco-Activist

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg found herself thrust into the global spotlight after electrifying the UN General Assembly in New York, where she denounced world leaders for failing to tackle climate change in a speech on September 23.

snip

Russian President Vladimir Putin was the latest global leader to join the chorus of those condemning Thunberg, telling an energy forum in Moscow on October 2 that he did not share the excitement about her UN speech.

"No one has explained to Greta that the modern world is complex and different and...people in Africa or in many Asian countries want to live at the same wealth level as in Sweden," Putin said.

snip

Kremlin-friendly or controlled media have also found little to like about Thunberg or her speech.

"Mentally ill girl promised humankind 'mass extinction,'" was the headline of Komsomolskaya Pravda's article on Thunberg after her speech.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-greta-global-warming/30197495.html

On Srebrenica Massacre Road, School Won't Teach Of Tragedy

Konjevic Polje was ground zero of Europe's worst atrocity since World War II -- the killing by Bosnian Serb forces of nearly 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in July 1995, known as the Srebrenica massacre.

Nearly a quarter of a century later, the all-Bosniak village's Bosnian-Serb administered school does not teach children about the atrocities that haunt the surrounding woods and road outside its windows.

In fact, the school -- now named after the Bosnian Serb writer and politician Petar Kocic -- was used as a military barracks by Bosnian Serb forces that carried out the massacre under the command of Ratko Mladic.

Like many other schools in the area, Petar Kocic Elementary School also reportedly was used as a temporary detention center for some Srebrenica massacre victims before they were transported to nearby execution sites.

Now, with the new school year beginning on September 2, most parents in Konjevic Polje are keeping their children out of the school to protest the language and history curriculum under its Bosnian Serb administrators.

link
https://www.rferl.org/a/on-srebrenica-massacre-road-school-won-t-teach-of-tragedy/30139243.html

5 Stories from Europe You May Not Have Seen

1. US diplomat’s wife suspected of involvement in crash that killed teenager leaves UK after claiming diplomatic immunity

The wife of a US diplomat has claimed diplomatic immunity to leave the UK after she became a suspect in a police investigation into a fatal car crash.

Harry Dunn, 19, died after his motorbike collided with a car near RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire on 27 August.

Northamptonshire Police confirmed a 42-year-old American woman being treated as a suspect in their investigation had left the country.

snip

In its own statement to Sky News, the US embassy in London offered its “deepest sympathies” to Mr Dunn’s family following the accident “involving a vehicle driven by the spouse of a US diplomat assigned to the United Kingdom”.

snip

“Due to security and privacy considerations, we cannot confirm the identity of the individuals involved, but we can confirm the family has left the UK.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/us-diplomat-wife-car-crash-killed-teenager-harry-dunn-leaves-uk-immunity-a9144051.html


2. Russian Authorities 'Harassing' Journalists Covering Case Against Prokopyeva

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is calling on Russian authorities to “stop harassing” reporters covering the terrorism case against journalist Svetlana Prokopyeva.

Prokopyeva’s prosecution and “the intimidation and harassment of journalists reporting on her case shows how far Russian authorities will go to silence independent voices,” Gulnoza Said, CPJ’s Europe and Central Asia program coordinator, said in a statement on October 4.

snip

The move came after the two outlets recently published an open letter in which Prokopyeva described the charges against her as "the murder of freedom of speech."

snip

Prokopyeva, a prominent journalist from Pskov who is a freelance contributor for RFE/RL's Russian Service, faces up to 7 years in prison on charges of "justifying terrorism" in comments made during a 2018 Ekho Moskvy broadcast.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russian-authorities-harassing-journalists-covering-case-against-prokopyeva/30199810.html


3. Dutch government ditches Holland to rebrand as the Netherlands

The Dutch government has decided to stop describing itself as Holland and will instead use only its real name – the Netherlands – as part of an attempted update of its global image.

The national rebranding, which has been signed up to by business leaders, the tourist board and central government, will be rolled out later this year.

Ministers want to shift the international focus from certain aspects of national life with which the country is commonly associated, such as its recreational drug culture and the red-light district of Amsterdam.

As part of the new strategy, the Netherlands will be the official brand at the Eurovision song contest, which takes place in Rotterdam next May, and during the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/04/holland-the-netherlands-dutch-government-rebrand


4. 1 Out Of 5 Million' Serbian Protests Resume, Shine Spotlight On Plagiarism
Serbian anti-government protesters marched through the streets of the nation’s capital for the 43rd consecutive week on September 28.

The latest protests took place at the headquarters of Belgrade University amid allegations that the finance minister, Sinisa Mali, may have plagiarized his doctoral dissertation.

snip

Controversy regarding the doctorate began years ago when a group of experts ruled that Mali copied other people’s works but within the allowable limit.

Some professors, however, subsequently analyzed the work and found additional parts were lifted from different authors without attribution.

snip

The latest protests are part of a wave of demonstrations dating back to December when leftist opposition leader Borko Stefanovic was beaten by masked attackers in central Serbia before a televised political debate.

https://www.rferl.org/a/out-of-5-million-serbian-protests-resume-shine-spotlight-on-plagiarism/30189355.html

5. Portugal election: What to expect from Sunday’s vote as Socialist Party fights to stay in power

No loud populists, no surging far-right groups, a liberal and migrant-welcoming Socialist Party tipped for a victory – Portugal's general election this weekend makes the country look like Europe's odd man out.

Across the European Union, radical new parties are reshaping the political landscape while Europe's socialist parties have lost ground in recent years.

snip

The two mainstream parties are expected to garner the most votes in Sunday's ballot, with the centre-left Socialist Party showing an opinion poll lead of at least 7 percentage points over the centre-right Social Democratic Party.

snip

On Sunday, prime minister Antonio Costa’s Socialists are set to win, according to opinion polls, but without an outright majority, after four years of economic growth.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/portugal-election-socialist-social-democratic-party-antonio-costa-exit-poll-a9143301.html

Judge shoots himself in court 'after being pressured to give guilty verdicts despite lack of evidenc

A judge shot himself in the chest in a court in Thailand after he was reportedly pressured to find several defendants guilty despite the lack of evidence against them.

Khanakorn Pianchana made the apparent suicide attempt after acquitting five people of murder and firearms charges in his courtroom in the southern province of Yala on Friday.

Mr Khanakorn was rushed to hospital for surgery but his injuries were not life-threatening, the Bangkok Post reported.

A statement attributed to him that circulated online claimed his superiors had tried to force him to change the verdicts to guilty.

The verdicts could have condemned three of the men to death and sent two to prison. The evidence did not support a guilty verdict, the statement said.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/thailand-judge-shoots-self-court-guilty-verdicts-khanakorn-pianchana-yala-a9143966.html
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