The Nine Circles of Hell! for Thursday: War, Guns, Meat Are Murder
The fight between Malaysia and Filipino rebel invaders is ongoing and deadly.
The Associated Press says, “Malaysian security forces gunned down 31 Filipino intruders in Borneo on Thursday, the highest number of casualties in a single day since nearly 200 members of a Philippine Muslim clan took over an entire village last month, police said.
“The armed clansmen have wreaked political havoc for both Malaysia and the neighboring Philippines by trying to stake a long-dormant royal territorial claim to Malaysia’s sprawling, resource-rich state of Sabah in Borneo.
“Most of the Filipinos had eluded capture in a coastal Sabah district filled with palm oil plantations and forested hills after Malaysian forces attacked them with airstrikes and mortar fire on Tuesday.
“Police and military forces tracking them waged a fierce gunbattle that ended in the deaths of 31 clansmen Thursday, national police chief Ismail Omar said, adding that no Malaysians were injured.
“Ismail said at least 52 Filipinos have now been killed in the past week since hostilities in the Sabah security crisis escalated. Eight policemen also were fatally shot by the Filipino clansmen and their allies last week in various parts of Sabah.
“Less than two hours before the announcement of the casualties, Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected a cease-fire call by Philippine-based members of the clan led by Jamalul Kiram III, who claims to be the sultan, or hereditary ruler, of the southern, predominantly Muslim province of Sulu in the Philippines.
The AP concludes, “The Filipinos say Sabah belonged to their royal sultanate for more than a century and should be handed back. Malaysia has dismissed their claim to the state, which has been part of Malaysia for five decades.
“An estimated 800,000 Filipinos, mostly Muslims from insurgency-plagued southern provinces, have settled in Sabah over the years to seek work and stability.”
You’d think that an invasion killing dozens would make the US nightly network TV news. Think again.
Fights between cops and protesters continue at Port Said.
Euronews reports, “There have been pitched battles between protestors and police in Port Said for the fourth night running.
“The Egyptian port city has been a flashpoint for violence since January.
“That is when death sentences were handed down to 20 people in connection with a riot at a football stadium last year in which more than 70 died.
“Earlier, hundreds gathered in the city centre. Missiles were thrown at police who responded with tear gas as they tried to drive crowds back from government buildings.
“The complex has been the focus of the recent discontent. Euronews has filmed inside. The extent of the damage is obvious.
“At least six people have been killed in the most recent protests and scores injured.”
This is the kinda sports news that doesn’t make Sportscenter.
Britain accused of interfering with Kenya’s election.
CNN informs us, “The running mate of one of Kenya’s two frontrunners in the presidential election said Thursday that the vote tallying should stop because it is ‘doctored’ and lacks integrity.
“A day before the announcement, election officials had said the new electronic voting system broke down, snarling the process and forcing the tallying to be done manually.
“The running mate, Kalonzo Musyoka, described the transmission system as a failure. He said his Cord Coalition has evidence the vote is doctored, and his coalition is looking at other options, including a court injunction.
“Musyoka, who is the running mate of Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, said the announcement is not a call for protests and urged their supporters to maintain peace.
“Kenyatta’s Jubilee Coalition on Wednesday accused Britain of interfering in the election, according to Kenyan media.
“The accusations prompted the UK Foreign Office to release a statement Wednesday.
CNN ends with, “Kenya’s election carries significance far beyond its borders.
“As the largest economy in East Africa, it is a crucial trade route into the rest of the continent and provides an important buffer of stability in a region that includes the fledgling Somali government and the politically tense Sudan and South Sudan.
“Kenya is also a major U.S. ally in the war against Islamist militants in the region and has remained relatively peaceful amid civil wars in neighboring nations.”
It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the West has tried to manipulate a vote in Africa. With Kenyatta wanted by the International Criminal Court and the role of Kenya in the ‘war on terror,’ overturning an election makes since from a Machiavellian point of view.
Militias attack Libyan leaders for backing anti-Gaddafi law.
The Guardian finds, “Police and army units have been deployed in strength across the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after an attack by rogue militias forced the country’s legislature to consider suspending its activities.
“Several hundred militiamen and protesters attacked the national congress building late on Tuesday night and the car of the parliamentary speaker Mohammed Magarief, who is effectively Libya’s acting head of state, was hit by more than a dozen bullets.”
The Guardian continues, “The attacks were launched by supporters of a proposed bill, the isolation law, that would purge Gaddafi-era officials from public office, with demonstrators fearing the law would be watered down by the 200-member congress.
“Security fears saw congress move its session on Tuesday to the Meteorological Institute south of the city in a bid to avoid violent protests which erupted as members arrived to debate the bill.
“Militias surrounded the building, attacking at least one MP, while several female members barricaded themselves inside.
“State media released photographs showing Magarief’s armoured Toyota Land Cruiser, with five bullet holes visible in the bulletproof glass of the rear window.”
The Guardian has Mohammed Toumi, an independent congress member saying, “There’s no army protecting us, there’s no police protecting us, the ministries didn’t do anything to protect us, we cannot work in this environment.”
The Guardian wraps up with, “Libya’s government, which relies on militias for the bulk of its forces, has yet to explain why security units did not protect congress, or its failure to guarantee that a new vote planned for the bill on Sunday will get that protection.
“On Thursday a dozen beige armed pickup trucks mounted with machine guns were deployed around the office of the prime minister, Ali Zaidan, with similar numbers at the city centre Corinthian hotel, home to many diplomats.
“The isolation law is proving the most divisive issue debated by congress since it was elected last July. The terms of the law would ban a swath of former Gaddafi officials from the government, civil service, police, judiciary and banking.”
I guess the whole ‘truth and reconciliation’ idea ain’t gonna work here.
French Goodyear workers strike, battle police.
According to The Associated Press, “Burning the very fruit of their labor, workers from Goodyear clashed with police outside the tire-maker’s French headquarters Thursday in a last-ditch attempt to save their jobs.
“Goodyear has been trying to restructure or close its plant in northern France for five years in the face of a shrinking European car market. The workers say Goodyear wants to shift the work to China, where tires can be made more cheaply and which is closer to booming markets. Goodyear says the type of tires made at the French plant is for Europe and are no longer selling.
“Workers’ protests, government concerns and the Byzantine layoff process in France have held up the factory closure. In yet another effort to save the plant and its 1,200 jobs, hundreds of Goodyear employees protested Thursday outside the company’s offices near Paris, setting fire to a pile of tires in protest. Inside, union representatives met with management.
“Protesters fired paintballs at a line of riot police sheltering behind their shields. There were several brief clashes, as police drove large barriers forward in an effort to push back the protest. One demonstrator tore away a policeman’s shield while others set upon the officer, hitting him on the head. Only a spray of tear gas pushed them back.”
Who said French workers were lazy?
They’re simply saving their energy for strikes.
There’s been ‘a 124% rise in reported rape cases in Delhi since the [December gang rape and murder] attack and a nearly sixfold rise in cases of harassment.’
The Guardian reveals, “A recent spate of attacks on women in Delhi has renewed fears over the safety of women in the Indian capital and raised doubts over the efficacy of reforms introduced since the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in the city last December.
“Two women are reported to have been raped by multiple attackers in moving cars in separate incidents in recent days. A third woman was robbed and then raped by two men after taking a motorised rickshaw in the satellite city of Ghaziabad at the weekend.
“Four victims under 18 were also assaulted in incidents reported to the police over the past four days, according to local media. Only a fraction of such attacks are ever reported in India.
“The gang rape and murder in December shocked the nation. Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets in India calling for widespread legal and policing reforms as well as a wholesale shift in cultural attitudes towards women.
“A series of measures – such as fast-track courts for sex crimes, harsher punishments for convicted offenders and gender training for policemen – have been introduced since the attack by authorities. The government was heavily criticised for its early lack of sympathy for protesters.
“The finance minister last week announced a new fund of £120m to improve the safety and empowerment of India’s women.
“But reporting a 124% rise in reported rape cases in Delhi since the attack and a nearly sixfold rise in cases of harassment, the Hindustan Times newspaper said ‘the harsh reality is Delhi hasn’t changed for the better, it has become worse.’”
Now this truly is hell.
“Rakhine state is going through a profound crisis that threatens to spread to other parts of [Burma].”
Reuters tells us, “The crisis in Myanmar’s Rakhine state, where sectarian violence erupted last year, risks spreading and endangering democratic reforms undertaken since military rule ended in 2011, a U.N. investigator said on Thursday.
“Myanmar should release the remaining 250 political prisoners, end torture by police and address root causes of ethnic conflicts, the independent investigator Tomas Ojea Quintana said.”
Quintana is quoted saying, “There remains a large gap between reform at the top and implementation on the ground,
“Rakhine state is going through a profound crisis that threatens to spread to other parts of the country and has the potential to undermine the entire reform process in Myanmar.
“While the process of reform is continuing in the right direction, there are significant human rights shortcomings that remain unaddressed, such as discrimination against the Rohingya in Rakhine State and the ongoing human rights violations in relation to the conflict in Kachin State.
“Both Muslim and Buddhist Rakhine communities continue to suffer the consequences of violence that the government has finally been able to control, though question marks remain over the extent to which excessive force has been used.”
Reuters says, “Quintana voiced concern at the ‘endemic discrimination’ against the estimated 800,000 Muslim Rohingyas who lack legal status, and called for discriminatory regulations to be removed.
“The Yangon government says the Rohingyas are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and does not regard them as citizens. Bangladesh also denies them citizenship.
“More than 1,100 people, the vast majority of them Rohingya men and boys, are reported to be detained, the U.N. envoy said, urging authorities to ensure that they are not mistreated.
“Despite a more open environment after decades of military rule, people in Myanmar can be imprisoned for taking part in a peaceful march, he said, calling for the law to be amended.”
Quintana said he saw “no evidence that the judiciary is developing any independence from the executive branch of government.”
Reuters explains, “The conflict in Kachin, a volatile area bordering China, escalated in recent months, with the military using air power and heavy artillery to attack targets in Laiza, [Quintana] said.”
Quintana cited continued allegations of “attacks against civilian populations, extrajudicial killings, sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, as well as torture.
“Any durable political solution must address the root causes of the conflict and should address the particular concerns of ethnic minority groups.”
Don’t hold your breath.
More gun laws means less killings by guns.
USA TODAY explains, “States with more gun laws have fewer gun-related deaths, according to a new study released Wednesday by Boston Children’s Hospital.
“The leader investigator behind the research hopes the findings will drive legislators to pass gun reform across the country and increase federal funding to research on gun laws and violence. However, at least one critic argues that the study fails to take into account several important factors such as the types of laws, enforcement of laws, and gun ownership rates in states.
Eric Fleegler, “the study’s lead investigator and a pediatric emergency doctor at Boston Children’s Hospital,” is quoted saying, “Our research gives clear evidence that laws have a role in preventing firearms deaths. Legislators should take that into consideration.”
USA TODAY adds, “Fleegler and researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health studied information from all 50 states between 2007 to 2010, analyzing all firearm-related deaths reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and data on firearm laws compiled by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.
“States with the most laws had a mortality rate 42% lower than those states with the fewest laws, they found. The strong law states’ firearm-related homicide rate was also 40% lower and their firearm-related suicide rate was 37% lower.”
Fleegler also says, “There is very minimal research going on and very minimal funding for the research that is going gone. We need to understand these relationships so that we can take action.”
In other words, when it comes to gun the American scientific community is censored by the government. This leads to all science on gun safety being uncertain which gives gun enthusiasts a reason to question the science.
Processed meats are killers.
BBC News has today’s worst news with, “Sausages, ham, bacon and other processed meats appear to increase the risk of dying young, a study of half a million people across Europe suggests.
“It concluded diets high in processed meats were linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer and early deaths.
“The researchers, writing in the journal BMC Medicine, said salt and chemicals used to preserve the meat may damage health.
“The British Heart Foundation suggested opting for leaner cuts of meat.”
The study “showed people who ate a lot of processed meat were also more likely to smoke, be obese and have other behaviours known to damage health.
“However, the researchers said even after those risk factors were accounted for, processed meat still damaged health.
“One in every 17 people followed in the study died. However, those eating more than 160g of processed meat a day – roughly two sausages and a slice of bacon – were 44% more likely to die over a typical follow-up time of 12.7 years than those eating about 20g.”
Professor Sabine Rohrmann, from the University of Zurich, is quoted saying, “High meat consumption, especially processed meat, is associated with a less healthy lifestyle.
“But after adjusting for smoking, obesity and other confounders we think there is a risk of eating processed meat.
“Stopping smoking is more important than cutting meat, but I would recommend people reduce their meat intake.”
They also have Dr. Rachel Thompson, from the World Cancer Research Fund, saying, “This research adds to the body of scientific evidence highlighting the health risks of eating processed meat.
“Our research, published in 2007 and subsequently confirmed in 2011, shows strong evidence that eating processed meat, such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami and some sausages, increases the risk of getting bowel cancer.”
Now what am I supposed to do with this smoke applewood bacon, Virginia ham, these veal and pork hot dogs, Hungarian salami and a half-dozen bratwurst with which I was planning on committing suicide?