Showing posts with label International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International. Show all posts

May 17, 2018

So Many Nations Trying to Bribe The President Now! Because They Can

 Who catches the eye of the business man making tons of millions on everything Trump? and President?


In light of the news that entities controlled by the Chinese government will contribute $500 million to an Indonesian development project that includes several Trump-branded properties, it’s worth taking a step back and marveling at how many powerful foreign groups and individuals appear to be attempting to influence the U.S.’s distinguished president by giving money or favors to his chintzy real-estate company and/or sketchy pals. And while there’s no conclusive evidence (yet) of such incentives having led directly to changes in the administration’s policies, there’s certainly no evidence that sending cash in the president’s general direction will hurt your chances of getting the hookup, so to speak, from the American government. Take a look:

• China, as mentioned, just committed $500 million to build a theme park in an Indonesian luxury mega-development that will also feature Trump Organization-branded hotels and a golf course. Days after the commitment was finalized, Trump announced that he wants to lift sanctions that have been imposed on a Chinese telecom company called ZTE, which did business with Iran.

On another front, White House adviser Jared Kushner’s family business has solicited individual Chinese investments in one of its U.S. developments with a presentation that explicitly noted that Kushner is Trump’s influential son-in-law. In February, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence agencies have collected evidence that the government of China believes that Kushner can be manipulated through his business interests.

• A well-connected investor from Qatar, Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, is accused in a U.S. court filing by an aggrieved former business partner of having attempted to bribe said former partner for an introduction to Steve Bannon—and of having claimed in the process that former national security adviser Michael Flynn had taken Qatari money. The latter claim was made more noteworthy by video footage that shows Al-Rumaihi entering Trump Tower in New York City at the same time as infamous Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on Dec. 12, 2016, a day that Michael Flynn was also in the building. (Al-Rumaihi, in a bombshell interview published Wednesday by the Intercept, acknowledged having met with Trump officials and says Cohen asked him for a personal $1 million “fee” to help facilitate Qatari investments in the U.S.—but said he did not pay the fee and did not meet on Dec. 12 with Flynn. Cohen denies asking for the $1 million.) 

Qatar’s government has also reportedly met multiple times with representatives of Newsmax, the conservative media outlet run by Trump’s frequent Mar-a-Lago companion Christopher Ruddy, about a potential investment in the company. The reported negotiations have coincided with a shift in the Trump administration’s rhetoric about Qatar: After initially condemning the country for supporting terrorism, a condemnation that coincided with a Qatari decision not to invest in Jared Kushner’s company, the White House has now decided that Qatar is a trustworthy ally whose leader is, in Trump’s words, a “great friend.”

• Michael Flynn was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by companies connected to Turkey and Russia in 2015 and 2016 before reportedly pursuing Turkey- and Russia-friendly policies during his short tenure as national security adviser. It was also recently revealed that, in 2017, a U.S. investment company controlled by a Russian billionaire named Viktor Vekselberg paid Michael Cohen $500,000. Vekselberg is among the Russian individuals targeted by economic sanctions that Trump has reportedly been reluctant to impose despite the advice of his advisers and the wishes of Republicans in Congress. (The investment firm in question, Columbus Nova, denies that Vekselberg ordered the payment to Cohen and says Cohen was employed to provide legitimate business consulting services. There are, however, several reasons to doubt Columbus Nova’s version of the story.)

• A lobbyist named George Nader reportedly arranged lucrative contracts with the government of the United Arab Emirates for a security firm owned by Republican fundraiser/Trump buddy Elliott Broidy. Broidy then reportedly advocated UAE-friendly positions to Trump on several occasions, including a meeting in the Oval Office. (You may recognize Broidy’s name because he resigned from his role with the Republican National Committee when reports emerged that he’d employed Michael Cohen to arrange a $1.6 million NDA payment to a Playboy model. It’s a situation that has not quite been fully explained.) Nader, for his part, is now reportedly cooperating with Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.

• Saudi Arabia, in addition to sharing the interests pursued by its ally the UAE, is reportedly involved in negotiations to invest in businesses owned by Trump crony and National Enquirer publisher David Pecker. Saudi Arabia was also reportedly involved, as a potential client, in a private-sector plan to build nuclear plants that Michael Flynn helped promote during his time in office. The Trump administration has consistently pursued policies that benefit Saudi Arabia and the UAE, most notably by withdrawing from the nuclear deal that provided economic and geopolitical benefits to the countries’ Middle Eastern rival Iran. 

• The Trump Organization has a number of active projects in India’s notoriously corrupt real-estate market—where several of its suspect local partners, as the New Republic has documented in an exposé, are “closely intertwined with the ruling party” of prime minister Narendra Modi. Donald Trump Jr. traveled to the country this February to promote Trump-branded apartment properties, a sales trip during which new buyers were offered the chance to have “conversation and dinner” with him. Don Jr., in addition to being the president’s son, has taken a role in the already-active Trump 2020 re-election campaign—and, during his trip to India, was scheduled to give a speech about U.S. foreign policy at a conference at which Modi also appeared. (After backlash, Trump Jr.’s speech was canceled and he instead participated in a softball interview about his life and “business culture.”)

On the potential “quo” end of things, the Trump administration has been consistently hostile toward India’s rival, Pakistan.

• Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, named the developer of a Trump-branded building in Manila as the country’s trade envoy to the U.S.

• Diplomatic and lobbying delegations from some of the countries above and several others have spent significant sums at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Trump Organization has said it is donating all the profits the hotel derives from foreign government patronage to the U.S. Treasury—but hasn’t released any documents or details to support that claim.

One piece of subtext to all of this: European heads of state, who are generally governed by laws prohibiting bribery, have treated Trump like a typical U.S. president, making the case to him via formal diplomacy that doing things like withdrawing from the Paris climate accords and Iranian nuclear deal would damage U.S. interests. He’s generally ignored them in favor of developing buddy-buddy relationships with a number of authoritarians whose countries are friendly toward the Trump Organization and the people in its orbit.

All in all, it’s really starting to seem like Trump’s promise to create a “blind trust” that would completely insulate him from his business interests have not been entirely effective in its implementation. Sad! 

December 4, 2015

Catfishing in Damascus: People on the Net Pretending to be someone else {Movie ‘A Gay Girl in Damascus’}


The documentary, A Gay Girl in Damascus , which will be shown on YES Docu on December 13 at 10 p.m. and on YES VOD, examines the bizarre phenomenon of what is called catfishing, or people on the Internet pretending to be someone very different from who they actually are. Catfishing is different from scamming, because those who practices are not looking to get money from those they dupe. It’s often difficult to understand the motivations of those who engage in it, other than a wish for attention.

I originally learned the phrase catfishing from the 2010 documentary, Catfish , about a man who becomes infatuated with a gorgeous young woman he meets online. When he finally meets her, he discovers that she is not nearly so glamorous and lives a difficult life taking care of her husband’s severely disabled sons.

But A Gay Girl in Damascus has a political and international dimension that Cafish did not. Directed by Sophie Deraspe, the movie follows the story of the blogger of who went by the name of Gay Girl in Damascus in 2011. This blogger claimed to be a teenager named Amina, struggling to live her life under the Assad regime. The blog drew interest from people around the world, among them human-rights activists who wanted to support the young blogger. French-Canadian lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist Sandra Bagaria began writing to Amina, to offer help. Their exchanges became personal, even romantic.

If you don’t know how this story turns out, I won’t spoil it for you, but even if you do, this documentary is worth watching. It’s not who this blogger really turned out to be, but how and why the blogger created this identity that is so bizarre, and so fascinating.

Another interesting documentary coming up on YES Docu is Power and the World’s Women , a portrait of three former US secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice. It’s showing on December 7 at 10 p.m., and on YES VOD.

These three women had very different styles and approaches but all three speak about how they put women’s rights front and center of the US diplomatic agenda during their tenure. The documentary shows quite convincingly how the more troubled and oppressive the country is, the more women’s rights are trampled. Clinton looks especially presidential in speech she made at a conference in China in 1995 (when she was first lady of the United States, before she became secretary of state), when she declared, “Women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.” This seems self evident, but at the time it seemed revolutionary and threatening, at least to the Chinese government, which censored it in news accounts.

Director Richard Linklater won great acclaim last year for his movie, Boyhood , in which the same actor played a character from childhood through young adulthood. But before that, his most interesting movies were a trilogy about a couple, an American man (Ethan Hawke) and a French woman (Julie Delpy). They meet on a train in Europe and have a brief romance that may or may not be the beginning of something more serious, in the first film, Before Sunrise (1995). In 2004, in Before Sunset , the two characters meet again and realize they have wanted to be together all along. In the third, and most interesting part of the trilogy, Before Midnight (2014), they are a married couple with children having problems on a seemingly idyllic vacation in the Greek Islands.

This description doesn’t do justice to how interesting the movies are. Over the years, the project turned into a collaboration among Linklater and his actors, who have co-screenwriting credits on Before Midnight . Delpy is especially endearing as she abandons her French starlet cuteness and shows great vulnerability and humor.

It’s showing on HOT Gold at 12:50 p.m. on December 5.

Regarding the retooled Muppet Show , it is showing on HOT VOD, not YES VOD as I wrote in error last week. Those of you with YES will have to wait for the DVD.

September 20, 2015

33 Yr Old Son of Sheik al-Maktoum Reports his Son Dies of Heart Attack


ABU DHABI: Dubai announced a three-day mourning period after the 33-year-old son of the Gulf emirate’s ruler passed away, the official state news agency WAM said on Saturday.

Sheikh Rashid was the first son of Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his senior wife, Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma al-Maktoum.

The United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM said on Saturday that he died of a heart attack. Rashid’s brother Sheikh Hamdan is the crown prince of Dubai. Sheikh Rashid was an avid sportsman and horse racing enthusiast.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif expressed deep sorrow over the sad demise of Sheikh Rashid.

Nawaz prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and sympathised with the people and the government of the UAE in this hour of grief. President Mamnoon Hussain and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif also expressed deep grief and sorrow over sad demise of Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. They prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari also condoled with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum over the death of his son Sheikh Rashid.

In his condolence message, Zardari said that he was immensely saddened with the news. He said that the death of a close family member and that too of a son was one of the greatest tragedies for a family. He prayed to Almighty Allah to grant eternal peace to the departed soul and strength and fortitude to the royal family to bear this irreparable loss.

March 20, 2015

American Evangelicals Attacking Gays Abroad


The last few years have seen a significant tidal change in favour of LGBTI rights throughout the West. Although Australia's parliamentarians drag their feet on marriage equality, the United States, has seen the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 36 states as well as the striking of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell provision. This progress has come about despite active and well-funded opposition.
Unfortunately, the positive advances have been tempered by saddening regression elsewhere. The common response of Western observers to anti-gay measures- such as Uganda's "kill the gays" and Russia's "gay propaganda" laws- has been to blame the allegedly inferior culture of these countries.
Not only is this assumption bigoted, it is downright wrong.
A gay rights activist in Uganda.
A gay rights activist in Uganda. Photo: AFP
The erosion of LGBTI rights in African and Latin American countries, as well as in Russia, has occurred with the support and outright incitement of cashed-up religious groups based in the US.

"But the tide has turned and these groups are no longer the political powerhouses they once were. They have had to export their particular brand of intolerance and have managed to find a strong foothold in countries like Uganda and Russia.” 
According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), there are six key groups at the forefront of attacks against LGBTI people: the World Congress of Families (WCF), the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CFAM), Family Watch International (FWI), and United Families International (UFI).
As their names suggest, these groups attempt to insert their ideology across the world under the banner of freedom and family, even as they lose territory at home.
Of course, they adhere to a very narrow interpretation of the biblical family, one with heterosexual parents and the father as the natural head of the household. In such a family unit, the woman's primarily role is mother and the role of LGBTI people is non-existent.
Their tactics have been two-pronged: to attack the reproductive rights of women and to rail against homosexuality. Regarding the latter, John Oliver humorously exposed the role of American religious groups in Uganda when he broadcast a clip of a local activist passionately declaring "God made Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve".  
But what these groups are doing is no laughing matter.
According to the SPLC, under the guise of "protecting the natural family", these organisations have "in one way or another, sanctioned the idea of criminalising gay sex."
In Belize, for instance, The ADF (with an annual budget of $30 million) and the CFAM provided lawyers to advise a local anti-gay coalition. Belize has an anti-homosexuality law, known as Section 53, that prescribes a 10-year sentence for "carnal intercourse against the order of nature".
In 2010, LGBTI activists launched a challenge to the law, prompting the religious right to financially support local anti-gay groups determined not to see this relic of Britain's colonial-era "anti-buggery" laws overturned. According to the SPLC, while the ADF shies away from publicly sharing its activities in Belize, it has previously expressed support for Section 53, and other laws criminalising homosexuality.
Interestingly, the religious right uses different tactics in each region it works in. When Russia passed its anti-gay law in 2013, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Yet, the roots go all the way back to 1997 when Allan Carlson, the founder of the World Congress of Families, was invited to Moscow by two sociologists concerned by what they termed a "demographic winter" – the fear that Russia's white, Orthodox population would soon be overtaken by its indigenous Muslims (who form 15 per cent of the population) and by non-white immigrants.
His response was to present "the family" as the solution to Russia's so-called demographic problems. In practical terms, this necessitates both anti-abortion measures (which were duly signed into law by president Medvedev in 2010), and hostility towards sexual diversity.
While the family was offered as the answer to Russia's fears of being swamped by Muslims and brown people, in Africa it is –ironically- presented as a magic salve that will defeat "Western imperialists" who are determined to "abort African babies" and impose homosexuality.
Meanwhile, these groups have even formed alliances in Muslim-majority countries (including some where Christianity is banned), like the so-called Baptist-burqa network, that also work to undermine the rights of women and gays.
The result is a world where women's sexual and reproductive health and the rights of LGBTI people are increasingly threatened.
How do we counteract this regressive agenda?
First, we must disavow ourselves of the notion of cultural superiority. The ambitions of these groups supersede any cultural or religious divide as they seek to elevate their narrow view of the family in every region of the globe.
Second, it is vital to look at women's rights and LGBTI rights as two sides of the same coin. Comments such as those recently made by Madonna and Patricia Arquette that position these as different arenas are not only misguided but dangerous because they do not recognise that attacks on women and LGBTI communities occur largely for the same reasons.
Lastly, religion need not be hostile to the rights of women and LGBTI people. "There are many different ways to understand faith," Caroline Lambert, executive officer of the Australian YWCA (a global Christian organisation, although the Australian chapter is secular), who is in New York to attend the Commission on the Status of Women, says.
"The bible at its heart is about compassion and human rights. It is about recognising the dignity of all humans [and] recognising expressions of sexuality in all its diversity."
Secular progressives can and should work with faith-based organisations that are sympathetic to women's and LGBTI rights. While the religious right claims to adhere to the Bible, Lambert says her organisation begs to differ.
"We're here because the religious right has colonised God," she says. "But God is so much more than they make God out to be."
The World Congress of Families and the Alliance Defending Freedom were approached for comment but declined to respond.

January 12, 2014

Victoria Will Sponge Sex Convictions of Men to Men Sex

It's shocking to think, in these enlightened times, that there are men living in Victoria today who have a criminal record because they were once found guilty of having consensual gay sex.
It's almost as incredible that homosexuality was decriminalised in this state only relatively recently: we may disparage countries such as Uganda and India for their persecution of homosexuals, but before 1981 men right here in Victoria who had sex with other men could be charged with crimes such as ''gross indecency with a male person'' or ''the abominable act of buggery'' and, in later years, loitering for homosexual purposes.
They might not have been stoned to death, but they were arrested, jailed and treated as criminals. Famously, a Melbourne gay couple who reported a burglary in the late 1970s were charged with gross indecency after the police noticed their apartment had only one bed.
The exact number is not known, but experts believe there could be thousands of Victorian men who have endured life with a conviction, which has not only had practical ramifications - such as restrictions on travel and applying for certain jobs, such as teaching - but has carried with it an indelible stigma. 

It is welcome news, then, that the state government will introduce legislation allowing anyone with a historical conviction for gay sex to have it expunged from their record. Victoria is the first Australian state to take this action, with Premier Denis Napthine acknowledging that consensual acts between two adult men ''should never have been a crime''.
For some, particularly elderly men, the change may come too late. Many of those convicted kept it secret and suffered mental health effects as a result. But at least they now have the opportunity to finally wipe their slate clean.
How things have changed: when the Hamer government finally decriminalised homosexuality in 1981, many opposed the move. National Party leader Peter Ross-Edwards said it was impossible for gay men to get real happiness out of life, and minister for labour and industry Jim Ramsay suggested it would be better to help homosexuals ‘'regain normal sexual behaviour''.

In 2001, when the Victorian Liberal Party initially opposed the state government's relationships bill, which granted same-sex couples equal rights in areas such as wills and superannuation, one Liberal MP told The Age at the time: ''There are a lot of homophobes in the party.'' (They eventually supported an amended version.)
Dr Napthine should be commended for pushing through this new legislative change. It should also be noted that much of the credit goes to Prahran MP Clem Newton-Brown, who lobbied Attorney-General Robert Clark for two years. We also recognise that Labor's Daniel Andrews has already pledged to make the change should he win government later this year.
Dr Napthine is hardly a gay rights activist, yet he is clearly pragmatic. He has a rainbow sticker in the window of his Warrnambool electorate office, declaring it a safe place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. Today he will become the first premier to launch the Midsumma gay and lesbian festival since its first appearance in 1989.
In March last year, when asked on radio if he supported same-sex marriage, he replied ''no'' (prompting a response from visiting American entertainer Ellen DeGeneres, who quipped: ''The Premier's wrong. But he'll come around'').
By December, though, after the High Court threw out the ACT's same-sex marriage laws, Dr Napthine suggested it would be appropriate for the federal government to hold a conscience vote on the matter. ''The mood of the Australian people is changing,'' he said, recognising the inevitable.
We urge the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, to acknowledge it, too.

And another thing...

Jesus once noted that rich people face an odd difficulty. That is, he reckoned it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich fellow to gain entry to heaven. One might have thought it would have been just as difficult for businessmen to get tax deductions for promoting their businesses.
Not so.
A state tribunal in Western Australia granted the WA Chamber of Commerce tax exempt status after ruling its activities were carried out ''mainly for a purpose beneficial to the community''.
Victoria's most powerful business lobby group, the Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry, hopes to follow suit.
Not only has VECCI petitioned the Supreme Court to give it charitable, not-for-profit status, it has asked the State Revenue Office to refund millions of dollars in state taxes. That shows a hell of a lot of cheek. 

December 1, 2013

Some Guys Get Excited by Being Eaten Alive-Happy Thanksgiving!

Forensics investigate in the garden of the suspected murderer on November 29

  •  German policeman is accused of murdering and dismembering a man
  • The 55-year-old policeman met the victim on a cannibalism website, police say
  • The victim, 59, reportedly "had been fantasizing about being killed and eaten since his youth"
  • The policeman is believed to have killed the man at a house and buried his body parts
Police in Dresden, Germany, say they have arrested a 55-year-old police officer on suspicion of murdering and butchering a man he met on a cannibalism website.
The two men met on Zambian Meat, an Internet chat forum where people discuss their sexual and cannibalistic fantasies. Text messages and online chats revealed that the 59-year-old victim from Hanover asked to be killed, police said.
Dresden Police Chief Dieter Kroll said at a news conference: "The victim had been fantasizing about being killed and eaten since his youth."
Marko Laske, a police spokesman, said: "Our investigations have just begun, and we cannot confirm rumors yet that the suspect has eaten parts of the victim or that it was a sexually motivated act." There is no evidence that the suspect ate body parts, and he denied doing so, Laske said.  The arrested man works for Saxony's State Office of Criminal Investigation in the forensics department. He was known as an "inconspicuous and normal colleague," police said.
Police did not name the suspect. German media are identifying him as "Detlev G."
After having been in contact for months through chat, e-mail, telephone and text, the men agreed to meet on November 4. They met at Dresden's main train station, police and prosecutors said, and shortly after went to a guesthouse in the Ore Mountains that belongs to the alleged killer. The police officer is believed to then have killed, tortured and dismembered the man, and buried his body parts on the land around his guesthouse.
The victim was reported missing in November. The police officer gave a partial confession by admitting that he killed the man from Hanover. He did not reveal his motive.
The police officer was arrested two days ago while on duty. "It is an utterly extraordinary case. For an unusual case with such wide repercussions, it will take a while to find out the truth about what really happened and why he did it," Laske said.
In 2001, Armin Meiwes was arrested for killing and eating a voluntary victim he met on the Internet. Meiwes posted an advertisement on the Cannibal Cafe website, looking for a young man for "slaughter and consumption." His victim, Bernd Brandes, reportedly agreed to be butchered alive before being killed and eaten.
Meiwes, who captured the killing on video, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.

Sources: CNN

What’s with cops and eating people up?  There are others that have made the news, but cops usually have rings of other non vegetarians to help people get made into feces the fastest and freshest way possible. If there are extraterrestrials you can easily understand why they stay away. Not only do humans kill each other on purely political and religious reasons but we eat each other up to get the maximum deadly orgasm. As I type this I am not so proud of being human right now. As a single man the times I have been with someone new and I’ve heard the words” I want to eat you up”  Pants up and out the door! if it’s my door, time for pants up and cup of coffee. It’s time we talk a bitty more about what type of steaks he likes if it’s rare the new friendship will have to die right there without anything or anybody being consumed…even if he was talking about innocent things. I have no great fear of death but I have a phobia of ending stuck on someone’s tooth.

Gilberto Valle, 28, was arrested on October 24 and charged with conspiracy to kidnap a woman.
March 2013
 Computer included images of women being bound and tortured during sex, and being roasted on a spit in a human barbecue pit, according to testimony.
Valle, who was suspended without pay after his arrest last fall, is charged with conspiracy to kidnap and accessing a law enforcement database illegally. The government concluded its case Monday, and the defense will call its first witness Tuesday.
Prosecutors have argued that Valle was "deadly serious" about online plans allegedly to kidnap, rape, torture, cook and eat women.
Defense attorneys have argued that their client's conduct was "pure fiction," "make believe" and fantasy role-playing. None of Valle's alleged targets was ever victimized.
Testimony Monday from prosecution witness Stephen Flatley, an FBI forensic computer analyst who reviewed the content copied off Valle's wife's computer and hard drive, indicated the computer was used for various searches for ways to kidnap people and eat them.
Valle's wife, Kathleen Mangan, handed over the computer to the FBI in September after she installed spyware under the suspicion her husband was looking at websites of a violent sexual nature.
Screen shots used by prosecutors revealed conversations Valle had with others about kidnapping, torturing, raping, cooking and eating women.
According to testimony, FBI analysis of the computer showed online searches conducted under Valle's account included topics such as "What to look for in human meat," "How to tie up a girl," "Eat her for dinner cannibalism," and "How do you give chloroform to girls."
The government entered into evidence a cached webpage from a site that included this message from a user to Valle: "Looking forward to bringing over another girl to cook for dinner."
During cross-examination of Flatley, the defense revealed that Internet history from the computer account as shown in court was just a fraction of overall searches, which included topics such as Major League Baseball, fantasy sports, weight-loss programs, the Olympics and the New York Yankees.
But prosecutors focused on the computer's contents, including a cataloge of 79 folders with women's names on them.
The computer also contained cartoon images in which the faces of real women were superimposed on characters' heads. The three cartoons showed graphic sexual images, and referred to cannibalism.
Photos found on Valle's account included images of women being tied up with duct tape, and two images that appeared to show a woman being roasted on a spit in a human barbecue pit.
A video was found in the recycle folder of Valle's computer account titled "Girl Being Burned." It was played in court and depicted a naked woman with her hands tied and and with a scarf wrapped around her neck, screaming and moaning while a flame burns near her genitalia.
As the government rested its case, the defense entered a motion for acquittal, saying the government failed to prove a kidnapping conspiracy. The defense argued again that the computer's contents depicted fantasy. The judge made no ruling on that motion.
If the motion for acquittal is denied, it is possible Valle will take the stand, according to defense attorneys.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher

October 12, 2013

NI Judge Rules Gay Ban on Blood is Irrational

  • blood pack

  • Stormont's health minister did not have the power to keep an "irrational" lifetime ban on gay men giving blood in Northern Ireland, a judge has ruled.
  • The High Court judge also found that Edwin Poots had breached the ministerial code by failing to take the issue before the Stormont Executive.
  • The Department of Health said Mr Poots would "read and consider" the verdict.
  • The complete ban, put in place during the 1980s, was lifted in England, Scotland and Wales in November 2011.
  • It was replaced by new rules that allow blood from men whose last sexual contact with another man was more than a year ago.
  • The 12-month deferral was left in place following a Government Advisory Committee report.
  • Beyond religious belief
  • It identified a much shorter period during which infection with blood-borne viruses could not be detected.
  • Importing blood from other places which do accept MSM (males who have sex with other males) donors, even in limited quantities, leaves the door open for MSM blood to do just that”
  • Mr Justice Treacy
  • High Court judge
  • Mr Poots maintained the ban in Northern Ireland on the basis of ensuring public safety.
  • But a gay man granted anonymity due to his perceived vulnerability launched a judicial review challenge to Mr Poots' position on blood donation.
  • The judge heard claims that the minister had displayed apparent bias that went beyond religious beliefs and into the realms of prejudice.
  • It was revealed in court that despite the unidentified applicant's sexual orientation, he has become a born-again Christian who now disapproves of homosexual practices.
  • Attorney General John Larkin QC, the chief legal adviser to the Stormont Executive, questioned the legitimacy of the challenge.
  • He claimed the challenge was a waste of time because the applicant had previously had sex for money
  • Start Quote
  • The decision raises in many people's minds serious questions as to whether Edwin Poots has the ability to carry out his duties as health minister for all”
  • Maeve McLaughlin
  • Stormont health committee chairwoman
  • Mr Larkin rejected arguments that the issue required full executive approval and questioned whether the minister had made a decision to maintain the current ban.
  • However, the judge said that in continuing the lifetime deferral policy the minister had deviated from the position taken in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • 'Defect in reason'
  • He said the decision was made against the secretary of state's recommendation that the report from the advisory committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO) should be followed.
  • The judge held that the additional risk from deferring donation for 12 months, instead of permanently, was very minimal.
  • He said: "The minister has decided that MSM (males who have sex with other males) behaviour creates such a high risk of infection to the donor that such donors must be permanently deferred with the result that such blood cannot enter the Northern Ireland blood stock
  • Start Quote
  • We will consider the potential implications of this judgement on UK blood policy”
  • UK Department of Health statement
  • "Importing blood from other places which do accept MSM donors, even in limited quantities, leaves the door open for MSM blood to do just that.
  • "There is clearly a defect in reason here."
  • Applying different standards to imported blood defeats the whole purpose of a permanent deferral, he added.
  • Declaring the decision irrational, he said: "If there is a genuine concern about the safety of MSM-donated blood, such that the blood stock must be protected absolutely from such blood, then the security of that blood must actually be maintained absolutely."
  • Dealing with the alleged breach of the ministerial code, the judge said the lifetime ban was both controversial and cross-cutting, taking in equality issues.
  • "As such the minister had no authority to act without bringing them to the attention of the Executive Committee which he failed to do.
  • "In doing so the minister breached the ministerial code and... had no legal authority to take a decision in breach of the ministerial code."
  • _70430924_health_minister_edwin_poots_announced_'baby_bug'_inquiry_004.jpg
  • The Department of Health said minister Edwin Poots would read and consider the verdict
  • In response to the judgement, a spokesperson for UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: "We will consider the potential implications of this judgement on UK blood policy."
  • Sinn Féin assembly member Maeve McLaughlin, who is currently the chair of Stormont's health committee, said: "The decision raises in many people's minds serious questions as to whether Edwin Poots has the ability to carry out his duties as health minister for all."
  • She added: "It goes without saying that we need to have robust screening of blood, whoever it comes from. Discriminating against people from within our community who are prepared to give blood, which would be used to save lives, needs to be reversed immediately."
  • Alliance Party health spokesman Kieran McCarthy said the DUP MP's position as health minister had been "seriously compromised" and he should "consider his position".
  • "He has been badly advised and now has serious questions to answer. Not only has he wasted public funds, but he also acted to prejudice one section of society in Northern Ireland," he said.
  • John O'Doherty of the Rainbow Project, a gay advocacy organisation, said: "This ruling is a shocking indictment of the conduct of Minister Poots, who has proven himself incapable of separating his personal prejudices from his public responsibilities 
  • BBC 

August 9, 2013

Philippine’s Only Gay Soap is Attracting a New Anti Gay Law

After being monitored by Philippine bishops for having a very risky topic tackling the once taboo gay relationship, the popular bekiserye My Husband's Lover has spawned a bill that seeks to punish homosexuals or lesbians indulging in same-sex adultery.

On Thursday, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman Jr filed Bill 2352 or the My Husband's Lover bill that would broaden the coverage of Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code that the penalty for a spouse who had indulged in sexual intercourse with a person from the opposite gender.
"What if a married woman engages in a sexual activity with another woman? Conversely, what if the married man engages in a sexual activity with another man? Under the present law, no crime is committed here," Mr Lagman said in a statement.
Article 333 of the Revised Penal Code provides prison term of up to four years for violators of that law in which a married woman in a relationship commits adultery and a married man commits concubinage.
He insisted the bill was filed not to discriminate against gays, lesbians and other members of the LGBT community, but "Equality must be upheld both in the rewards as well as in the sanctions for violations handed by society through innovative laws. Every person must also be prepared to accept and carry the burden of equal liability and responsibility," the neophyte lawmaker said.
The bill is a take-off from characters in the GMA soap opera where the characters played by Tom Rodriguez, Vincent who is the married man, has a love affair with the character portrayed by Dennis Trillo, Eric, despite Vincent being married to Lally, played by Carla Abellana.

In response to the bill, LGBT advocate Danton Remoto said the gay community is against the bill because while he admits it is wrong for married people to indulge in extramarital affair, the proposed penalty is too harsh considering that many gays who marry women do so just to meet expectations of society, but a trapped in unhappy marriages. This leads them to seek secret love affairs with other men behind the back of the wives, just like what happened in the soap opera.
However, there is one possible gray area in the bill since the definition of sexual intercourse could be questioned if it is applicable to same-sex intimate acts since the normal definition of coitus involves the insertion of an erect penis inside a vagina. Female-to-female sex often involves stimulation of their genitalia using mouth and sex toys like dildo, while male-to-male intimacy often involves fellatio or anal intercourse, both of which could be questioned legally if it constitutes sexual intercourse.
The country's Anti-Rape Law of 1997 lists forced sexual intercourse as well as sexual assault including insertion of penis into another person's mouth or anus or any instrument or object into the genital or anal opening, but force is involved which is not the case in same-sex adultery. 
 Vittorio Hernandez 

July 25, 2013

Hundreds of Anti Gay Demonstrators in Montenegro May Have Killed Chances for Their Country Be Part of EU

Anti-gay protesters in Montenegro

 Hundreds of anti-gay demonstrators in the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro may have set back their country’s bid to join the European Union on Wednesday with their rock-throwing protest against a gay pride march.
At the first known pride event in the Balkan enclave, angry demonstrators outnumbered those marching for gay rights by at least 10 to 1, according to news reports of the clash in the Adriatic Sea resort of Budva.
Montenegro, one of the most conservative and macho bastions in the tradition-bound region, last year began negotiations with the 28-member EU for eventual membership. Whether and how soon it can join the continent’s political and economic club depends in part on its conforming to the bloc’s joint pledge of respect for human rights for all citizens.
The Associated Press reported from Budva that the mob protesting the gay pride march hurled rocks, bottles and insults at the activists and shouted “Kill the gays!”  Some among those being attacked responded with “Kiss the gays,” the news agency said.
“Unfortunately, in 20 years of transition Montenegro has not matured enough to tolerate differences,” Aleksandar Zekovic, one of the organizers of the rally, told the AP.
Several people were injured in the clash between the anti-gay protesters and riot police, the AP quoted Interior Minister Rasko Konjevic as saying. About 20 people were detained.
A statement posted on the website of the U.S. Embassy in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital, said the U.S. government“condemns the acts of violence and hateful language aimed at parade participants. We urge the government to take appropriate measures against those individuals responsible for such actions.”
An account of the Budva clash carried in the Irish Independent cited a recent survey by the Ipsos research group in which more than two-thirds of Montenegrins polled said they considered homosexuality an illness and 80% were opposed to publicly professing sexual orientation. It was only three years ago that a Montenegrin publicly came out as gay.
Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, a key backer of the bid to join the EU, told Parliament on Wednesday that his government “supports protection of human rights for all people without difference.”
 by Carol J. Williams LATimes

July 16, 2013

Prominent Gay Human Rights Activist Killed by Thugs in Cameroon

Cameroon Gay Activist.JPEG
I Would like that the Church these thugs belong to
raise their hands and take the responsibility!
A prominent gay rights activist in Cameroon was tortured and killed just weeks after issuing a public warning about the threat posed by "anti-gay thugs," Human Rights Watch said.
Friends discovered the body of Eric Ohena Lembembe at his home in the capital, Yaounde, on Monday evening after he was unreachable for two days, the rights group said in a statement Tuesday.
One friend said Lembembe's neck and feet looked broken and that he had been burned with an iron.
Lembembe was among the most prominent activists in one of Africa's most hostile countries for sexual minorities. First as a journalist and later as executive director of CAMFAIDS, a Yaounde-based human rights organization, he documented violence, blackmail and arrests targeting members of Cameroon's gay community. He was also a regular contributor to the Erasing 76 Crimes blog, which focuses on countries where homosexuality is illegal, and he wrote several chapters of a book released in February on the global gay rights movement titled "From Wrongs to Gay Rights."
"Eric was an inspiring activist whose work was deeply appreciated by human rights activists in Cameroon and around the world," said HRW senior LGBT rights researcher Neela Ghoshal.
Lembembe is the most high-profile African gay rights activist to be killed since 2011, a year that saw the deaths of Uganda's David Kato and South African lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza.
Homosexuality is punishable by prison terms of up to five years in Cameroon, and the country prosecutes more people for gay sex than any other in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Human Rights Watch.
In a statement, a U.S. State Department deputy spokeswoman deplored Lembembe's murder. "We condemn this terrible act in the strongest terms and urge the Cameroonian authorities to thoroughly and promptly investigate and prosecute those responsible for his death," Marie Harf said.
Lembembe was among the first activists in the country to mobilize following a sharp increase in anti-gay prosecutions beginning in 2005, said Yves Yomb, executive director of Alternatives-Cameroon, a gay rights group based in Cameroon's largest city, Douala. A local office of the group was set on fire June 26, Harf said in her statement.
"It is a big loss for our community, and we are a bit scared about what can happen to us," Yomb said. "He was one of the leaders of this community. So what can happen to the other leaders?"
Yomb said Lembembe was known as "Princess Erica" because of his designer clothes and his gracious way with visitors, offering them fresh juice and an attentive ear.
But he was also a tenacious journalist and activist, Yomb said.
"He was very, very, very active in the fight for LGBT rights in Cameroon," Yomb said. "In his work as a journalist, when he wanted to have information he would call you until you gave him the information that he needed."
Just two weeks ago, Lembembe spoke out against a recent spate of break-ins at organizations advocating for gay rights in Cameroon.
"There is no doubt: anti-gay thugs are targeting those who support equal rights on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity," Lembembe said in a statement on July 1. "Unfortunately, a climate of hatred and bigotry in Cameroon, which extends to high levels in government, reassures homophobes that they can get away with these crimes."
Ghoshal told The Associated Press that friends grew concerned for Lembembe on Saturday when he uncharacteristically missed a meeting.

On Monday, they visited his house and found the door locked from the outside, though they could see Lembembe's battered body through a window.
Law enforcement officials in Yaounde could not be reached Tuesday. Ghoshal said officials had transported the body to a hospital and begun taking statements.
The precise motive for the killing was not immediately clear, but Ghoshal said Lembembe's friends indicated he had no enemies.
"As far as they know he didn't have any other disputes, relationship disputes or money matters, so they attribute this to a likely homophobic killing, but that's just speculation at this point," Ghoshal said.
She added that while the initial steps of an investigation appeared to be underway, it was unclear whether officials would follow through.
"What worries us is that in the previous incidents of homophobic threats or violence, the police have done the basics but it's never gone beyond taking statements," she said. "It remains to be seen whether the police will carry out a serious investigation into this matter.”

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