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Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Links - 6th May 2015

Will police act if you're punched? It's not so simple - "the most problematic area lies in the distinction between voluntarily causing hurt (a non-seizable offence) and voluntarily causing grievous hurt (which is seizable)... the hands of the police are tied by the law and how it distinguishes a 'simple' hurt case from one which is 'grievous'. The law states that for an injury to be 'grievous', it has to meet one of 10 criteria set out in the Penal Code. The criteria include permanent loss of sight or hearing, castration, fracture and permanent loss of limb or joint. There is also one where the classification of grievous hurt hinges on whether the victim is hurt badly enough to feel pain and cannot go about his normal activities for 20 days or more... Singapore Management University law lecturer S. Chandra Mohan said it was 'not in the public interest' to subject all people who have been accused of committing a minor offence to the process of being arrested, detained and bailed out. 'That sort of ready interference with the liberty of a citizen, upon a mere allegation of the commission of a non-seizable or minor offence, would be intolerable in Singapore,' he said. Prof Hor also felt such 'drastic steps' of making simple hurt a seizable offence were not necessary. 'The consequence may well be that valuable resources might have to be spent on relatively trivial offences against the good judgment of the police, at the expense of proper investigation of the more serious offences,' he said. Police received 8,288 reports of causing simple hurt last year and investigated about 20 per cent of these. Going by these figures, if causing simple hurt became a seizable offence, the police would have an extra work load of about 23 cases a day. On the other hand, grievous hurt cases numbered a much more manageable 106 last year and 85 in 2006 - about one case every three or four days. Prof Hor said: 'We could include simple hurt in the list of seizable offences - but that would mean that every slap or punch will have to be investigated, so long as it causes some pain, no matter how slight.' Many simple hurt cases include situations such as parents slapping children, family disputes and quarrels getting out of hand. Most are resolved quickly without the need for the police to intervene or press charges."

Why some critics think Japan’s Miss Universe contestant isn’t Japanese enough - "The Japanese like to think of their society and culture as having a unique identity that is “inaccessible to foreigners,” according to Theodore Bestor, a professor of anthropology and Japanese studies at Harvard University. “One of the ways in which Japanese think of their own society as ‘unique’ is to emphasize the homogeneity of Japanese society, and indeed by lots of comparisons, Japan is certainly a much more homogeneous society than say the United States,” Bestor told Columbia University‘s Asian Topics. “And, it’s often said by Japanese that they are ethnically homogeneous, that there are no real foreign populations in Japan”... Some Japanese women, hoping to replicate the Western beauty standards that are reflected in Japanese pop culture, are even seeking out foreign men for children"

Pope finally gets his pizza - albeit hand-delivered - Yahoo News - "Francis said what he misses most being pope is going out to get a pizza. Now, he eats in the communal dining room of the Vatican hotel, serving himself cafeteria-style like the rest of the guests at dinner... The Naples' archbishop, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, who made a special dispensation so the nuns could come out of cloister for the papal visit, admonished the nuns for their behavior. But he said their cookies are very good and that he eats them for breakfast with milk every day."

Vaccination as “rape”: Meryl Dorey and the Australian Vaccination Network - "The mother produced opposing evidence that the vaccinations were unnecessary, but was criticized in the judgment for submitting evidence from an “immunization skeptic”, who made what the magistrate described as “outlandish statements unsupported by any empirical evidence”. Meryl Dorey naturally wasn’t happy about this (it is unknown if she was the “immunization skeptic”) and made it clear in a most distasteful post on the AVN Facebook page, where she said this after a link to the story:
“Court orders rape of a child. Think this is an exaggeration? Think again. This is assault without consent and with full penetration too.”
Rape of a child is akin to vaccination? Wow. I don’t think anyone who has been subject to this type of sexual assault would agree with you Meryl."

Twitter Data Mining Reveals the Origins of Support for Islamic State - "Studies of people who have joined these kinds of organizations suggest that they tend to be better educated, financially better off, more exposed to Western culture and generally more accomplished than average. Neither do these individuals show evidence of psychological disorders. On the contrary, they appear to be more psychologically robust than average... "a major source of support for ISIS stems from frustration with the missteps of the Arab Spring,” say Magdy and co. “As for opposition to ISIS, it is linked with support for other rebel groups, mostly in Syria, that have been targeted by ISIS, support for existing Middle Eastern regimes, and Shia sectarianism.”"

A year in Oxford for NUS students - "Prof Shim noted: "This is probably the only place in the world where both Oxford and Cambridge students can sit side by side, and compete in the same team instead of opposing teams.""

Teen may face probation for beating up foreign workers -- to hone fighting skills - "Lim had said they were feeling bored, and he wanted to practise his fighting skills, and had negative encounters with foreign workers, so they were chosen as targets."

Youth sentenced to reformative training for extorting from man he slept with - "Naveenthiran hatched a plan to extort money from Kanthimathi. He would proceed to have sex with Kanthimathi and take a video while doing so. He would then send a text message to his two friends who would then show up at the flat, claiming to be Naveenthiran's elder brothers. They would tell Kanthimathi that their supposed brother was underaged and would report the matter to the police unless Kanthimathi paid them some money."

Caning is constitutional, Court of Appeal rules in drug trafficker's case - "M Ravi argued that caning violated the Constitution as it was discriminatory and that it amounted to torture, which is prohibited by international law and common law. On Wednesday, the appeal court, after examining cases from Europe, Africa and elsewhere, held that caning as administered in Singapore does not amount to torture. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, delivering the court's decision, said that even though international law prohibits torture, international law and domestic law are two separate legal systems. A domestic court cannot strike down a piece of domestic legislation by reason alone of its incompatibility with international law, he said. In the same way, a state cannot rely on domestic legislation to justify a breach of its international obligations."
If international law cannot affect domestic law, doesn't that mean a country can sign any treaties it wants and not honour them

Man fined $1.5k for throwing hot milk at doctor who accused him of 'tantrums' - "A homeless man who splashed a jug of hot milk at a doctor after she wrote that he was prone to tantrums was fined the maximum $1,500 on Monday.
When Dr Parvathy Babu Surendra Babu, 31, refused to delete the comment, 63-year-old Abdul Aziz Selamat told her that he would "show what a tantrum was", then grabbed the jug from a nearby pantry at Thye Hwa Kwan Hospital... The prosecution admitted to being unable to ascertain the temperature of the milk."
At least the accuracy of the remark is confirmed

Peanut allergy 'cut by early exposure' - "Eating peanut products as a baby dramatically cuts the risk of allergy, a study suggests. Trials on 628 babies prone to developing peanut allergy found the risk was cut by over 80%. The King's College London researchers said it was the "first time" that allergy development had been reduced."

Why Putin -- and Some of His Female Fans -- Go Shirtless - ""masculinity" is not only about what men do. A male politician's "manly" image can also be enhanced by portrayals of attractive young women's support for him. And Putin's image makers have embraced this tactic. In 2010, as a gift for Putin's birthday, twelve female students and alumni of Moscow State University's prestigious journalism department published a calendar featuring photos of themselves in lingerie, each woman suggesting herself as a potential lover for Putin. "You put the forest fires out, but I'm still burning," smiled a student illustrating the month of March. In a similar vein, in 2011, an all-female group called "Putin's Army" announced an "I'll Rip [it] for Putin" contest via an Internet video clip that ended with a cleavage-boasting young woman ripping open her tank top to demonstrate her dedication to Putin. That same month, a bikini car wash took place in Moscow in Putin's honor, where scantily-clad young women from the "I really do like Putin" group volunteered to wash Russian-made cars for free... In 2011, Putin's Army continued its activity by filming a video for Putin's birthday. Promising that their birthday gift would be "the sweetest," a handful of women wearing only underpants and white button-down shirts were shown baking their idol a chocolate birthday cake (decorated with a heart) while squirting whipped cream into their mouths."

Putin Visibly Amused by Topless Femen Protest in Germany - "The Russian president appeared unperturbed by the criticism, smiling and even giving two thumbs up to the bare-breasted activists, who accused him of being a dictator."

Secret society groups canvassed votes for Lee Kuan Yew

Circumcision and AIDS - "Does male circumcision actually help prevent HIV/AIDS?
Studies linking male circumcision and AIDS are conflicting. Two studies completed in 2006 in Kenya and Uganda concluded that male circumcision had a 48% - 53% protective effect against HIV over a 14 month period, and an earlier published Auvert Study (criticized for having methodology flaws and overly optimistic conclusions) found that circumcision reduced HIV transmission in South African men by 63% over a period of 21 months. The multi-country Mishra study concluded that circumcision may actually increase transmission of the AIDS virus, however, which is what many earlier studies found. The Brewer Study published in March 2007, also concluded that circumcision in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania increases the transmission of AIDS, and the Connolly study published in November 2008 found that circumcised men in South Africa are just as likely to be HIV-positive as uncircumcised men.
What about female circumcision and AIDS?
The relationship between female circumcision and AIDS has also been studied, with similar conflicting results. The Stallings Study found that female circumcision reduces transmission of the AIDS virus, while other studies have shown that it increases transmission."

Circumcision and HIV - "Using or promoting unnecessary surgery when much less invasive, much less costly, and much more effective methods are available (e.g., condoms) raises ethical concerns and conflicts with common sense. The cost of one circumcision in Africa can pay for 3000 condoms. Significantly, the studies recommend the use of condoms in addition to circumcision. Because of the superior effectiveness of condoms, circumcision adds little additional protection. Unlike circumcision, condoms also have the advantage of also protecting women, and there are no surgical risks and complications.
If circumcision results in lower condom use, the rate of HIV infections will increase. Unfortunately, with the promotion of circumcision as a "natural condom," some African men have chosen circumcision with the mistaken belief that they will not have to use condoms. In addition, circumcision with instruments that are not sterilized would also increase the transmission of HIV...
In a survey of men who were circumcised after they became sexually active, there was a reported decrease in sexual enjoyment after circumcision. One described it as like seeing in black and white compared to seeing in color. If you have less, you feel less. A study showed that circumcision removes the five most sensitive parts of the penis. (For this reason, many circumcised men are reluctant to use condoms because it contributes to further decreased sensation. Reduced condom usage adversely affects the HIV infection rate.) In a survey of those with comparative sexual experience, women preferred the natural penis over the circumcised penis by 6 to 1."
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