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More adventurous than the average bear

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Links - 29th September 2016

Court jails man caught illegally importing beef patties for Ramly burgers | TODAYonline - "Hoping to turn a quick profit over the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a man who tried to illegally import beef patties has been sentenced to nine months’ jail... Dawood, who runs a car grooming and a food distribution company, had driven into Malaysia in a rented BMW around 7am on June 23 last year. After collecting the food items, he stored 105 packets of beef patties — weighing 37.8kg — under the spare tyre in the car boot. He was planning to supply the traditional cakes and pastries to shops in Singapore, and sell the beef patties to night market booths at Woodlands. About four hours later, he headed to Tuas Checkpoint to return to Singapore. After clearing immigration, he drove to a clearance area to declare his goods. An officer found that there were discrepancies on the permit submitted by Dawood, and asked her colleague to attend to him. Dawood was then told to drive to an inspection pit for further checks. But before turning into the pit, he realised that his lack of licence for the beef patties would be exposed. He saw that the vehicle barrier was raised and decided to make a run for it, the court heard. Around 12.30pm, his car broke down near Nanyang Technological University “as the engine had failed due to it being over-revved”. When the police eventually caught up with him, they found boxes of cakes and pastries on the grass patch beside the car. Dawood later led them to a drain near the expressway, where he had dumped the beef patties... The items, he added, were meant to help Dawood “make a small profit to help sustain his family”, which included 10 children. In her sentencing remarks, Judge Lee said: “Entrepreneurship is encouraged but this is certainly not the way to go about it. From start to end, you contravened the law. The manner you kept the (patties) — hiding them in the spare tyre — would have caused health problems.”"
Ramly Burgers are serious business in Singapore

Leader of Isil-allied migrant smuggling ring arrested in Italy - "According to investigators, the group used textile factories owned by the Bangladeshi men in Casandrino and Grumo Nevano as a front to falsify contracts and pay slips in order to provide migrants with the paper trail they needed to apply for stay permits."
For ISIS, the migrant crisis is the gift that keeps on giving

Muslims demand polygamy after Italy allows same-sex unions

Germany Puts Migration-Related Costs at Over $86 Billion Over Next Four Years - WSJ - "Yearly cost estimates are set to remain broadly stable over the years even though arrivals have slowed considerably—a testament to the government’s low expectations about its ability to integrate the newcomers, most of them from the Middle-East and poorly trained, into its economy... The high cost of caring for migrants also means German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative parties will have little leeway to pledge tax cuts during the campaign. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development data from 2015 showed Germany had the third-highest tax wedge—the difference between before- and after-tax wages—of the club’s 35 members after Belgium and Austria"

Italian mayor hands out pepper spray instead of mimosas on Intl Women’s Day - "The measure comes as other European countries are taking more measures aimed at defending the female population. On Monday, police in the town of Ostersund in central Sweden told women not to go outside alone anymore. The warning was made due to reports of recent attacks in the area. It is best for women to “arrange a ride or walk in groups,” Stephen Jerand, the regional police chief, told Swedish broadcaster SVT . While maintaining that police have been doing everything possible to protect citizens, Jerand said “it is impossible to scan all the streets.”... Since February 20, six assaults on women have been reported in Ostersund, police said, adding that at least two had been subjected to violence over the weekend. Speaking at a press-conference on Monday, police said that nothing of the kind had ever happened in Ostersund before."

Refugee crisis: Influx of migrant child brides tests Germany - "Attention has been focused on the issue since June, when a court in Bamberg, Bavaria, accepted the marriage of a Syrian man of 21 and his 14-year-old cousin. The youth welfare service had separated the pair, who settled in nearby Aschaffenburg, and made the girl a ward of court. The couple then challenged the decision. The court ruled the marriage was valid because it had been carried out in accordance with Syrian law. Authorities have appealed to the constitutional court in Karlsruhe. Under German child welfare laws, anyone under the age of 16 must have a legal guardian. To find a solution to such cases, some officials have resorted to a controversial practice in which the husband is made legal guardian of an underage girl... Some in Germany argue the religious and cultural practices of the newcomers should be respected as part of their right to asylum. “If those ways of life are common elsewhere and such people legally migrate to here, it would mean denying them protection and robbing them of their rights,” said law professor Hans Michael Heinig."

BBC World Service - The Food Chain, Seeds, Syrup and Subversion - "It's a tragedy, the deaths that have been linked to farming in India. But the piece was almost like a satire of what's really going on. For instance the idea that the seeds adopted in India have led to an increase in the use of pesticides when in fact there's one GMO seed approved in India, it's called BT. And it uses the same chemical that organic farmers spray on their crops in the United States and Britain. And it's led to an 85% reduction in the use of insecticides in India. There's been very little change in the rate of suicides that have occured in India with the introduction of hybrid seeds and in 2001 with the introduction of GMO seeds... the kind of agro-ecological-organic fantasies that are being presented in that story would lead to about a 40-50% reduction in yield and that would be a sustainability ecological disaster...
[On planting vegetables on the streets of Los Angeles] When there was toilets and beds and condoms, nothing ever happened. But soon as I planted a carrot and cleaned it up, all hell broke loose. I was cited by the city, I was told that this citation would turn into a warrant for my arrest if I didn't comply... we got the ordinance totally turned around where it's now totally legal in Los Angeles to plant food on the parkways in front of your home"

People Are Mad At This Newspaper Headline About Katie Ledecky
Comments: "greatest olympian of all time verses a talented woman at start of career. making a mountain out of a molehill. give ledecky 3 more games and she might take the crown from phelps but for now its his time"
[On an accusation of mansplaining] "Can you pretend that argument comes from a woman for a second? it's really stupid to dismiss somebody's opinion on the basis they are a given gender. In fact, that is the same sexism you seem to be complaining about."
"Michael Phelps tying for silver is more attention-grabbing than some person most people have never heard of breaking a record. Records are constantly being broken at the Olympics, but there's only one Michael Phelps."
"So a newspaper should not run stories people want to read but instead should only post stories that help end sexism? Honestly newspapers are already on the brink of extintion if they were to follow your advice they should just close up and move on. The bigger story was that Michael Phelp's lost his last individual event of a storied carrier. If I am being honest it would have been bigger news if Ledecky had lost given she was picked to win that race well ahead of her competitiors. In the end, achievment and news are two very seperate things."
"Do you think it was sexist when Brazilian news papers ran headlines saying "Giselle Bundchen's husband wins Super Bowl" (no mention of his name or team name)? I think they were playing to what their readers knew about."
""draw on all your experiences from the last time you were a woman"
And I presume you're drawing on your past experiences as a newspaper editor in dictating how they should do their jobs? Or perhaps our ability to think about and discuss various topics is not restricted by our identities."
"One was surprising and newsworthy. The other we could all see coming from the distance between Katie Ledecky and the next person away."
"there are plenty of times when men experience sexism. We just don't constantly whine about it."
"Maybe...just maybe... the writer believed that Phelps was the bigger story? And, maybe... just maybe Phelps would STILL have been the bigger headline even if Ledesky was a male swimmer? There are a lot of maybes to be considered before jumping to one conclusion. I choose not to be instantly offended. I prefer to understand the intention or agenda first before forming an opinion."
"Crimony, what an utter clusterfuck of a circular thread. Mansplain? Sure, I'll do it succinctly. You're all out of your blessed minds. All of you. A little bit - well, let's say, well-intentioned - effort initially from both sides to elucidate and hence subtlely the other, has degenerated into a battle of Borg vs. Borg. Resistace if futile. Ad infinitum. Convergent evolution of social regression."
"If Angelina Jolie even appeared at the Olympics, her name would be the top of the newspaper in the biggest font size possible. It's all about the more well-known name, nothing to do with gender."
"perhaps show katie some actual support by purchasing her sports illustrated cover issue. or committing yourself to actually following her skyrocketing career once the olympics are over. i assure you it will do you and her a lot more good than sitting here getting angry over a headline in a small town newspaper."
"Ok, let's solve this problem. Let the women race with the men. That's fair right? They won't win but at least they get the equality they want."
The different reaction to male and female commentors making the same point is a great illustration of feminist sexism

Arundhati Roy, India's Conscience? - "Where art thou, Arundhati Roy? The silence of India’s only winner of the Booker Prize is deafening after the country’s Maoists, whom she strongly supports, massacred a number of senior politicians recently... Another criticism of Arundhati also seems credible; that when she bats for someone, she gives no quarter to the other side. So when she takes up the cause of Kashmir’s Muslims, she pays little heed to the plight of Kashmir’s Hindus, who have been ethnically cleansed from Kashmir. The separatist Kashmiri leader, Ali Shah Geelani, wants to impose Sharia law in Kashmir, but that has not prevented Arundhati from becoming his fervent admirer. Imagine how she would fare in the world of Sharia if she comported there as she does now."

BBC World Service - Assignment , The City Giving Wine to Alcoholics - "When we began this, and we wrote this up and published this, we got a lot of very negative criticism from certain groups who were very abstinence-based. I got death threats during that period of time... it was from people who just did not understand what was happening here. The addiction community is very divided about harm reduction...
'Residents contribute to the cost of their keep, and the wine, through benefits or pensions. But the savings to Ottawa's taxpayers because people like Ray are no longer constantly being hospitalised are huge, says Dr Turnbull.'
'One of our clients was in the emergency department 191 times in the 6 months preceding coming into the program.'
'191 times? More than once a day some days'
'Absolutely. And that was just our hospital'...
Everyone I speak to tells me they're drinking less at The Oaks than they did on the streets. And some people: sure, it's a tiny minority - have stopped having the pour completely"

BBC Radio 4 - Analysis, Protectionism in the USA - "Using economic crises to demonise free trade and to say that protectionism is the answer. It turns into this tit for tat trade wars that were going on between the United States and its trade partners, in part because of this Hawley-Smoot tariff. It shrinks international trade and for once the Republicans were not able to blame free trade. Protectionism was taking the brunt of the blame for worsening the Great Depression...
After the Second World War, the United States bestrode the world like a colossus. The economies of all the major industrial powers had been destroyed for all practical purposes. So the US economy and industrial sector had nothing to fear from the rest of the world. That was a period in which corporate leaders and labour leaders came together in defence of free trade because the American economy had nothing to lose. Nothing to lose. It was easy to be in favour of free trade when we had no competitors"

BBC Radio 4 - Crossing Continents, Poland's Amateur Defenders - "This game called Combat Alert is being played on a big scale. There are nearly a 1,000 participants, battling from nightfall one day to nightfall the next across 40 square kilometres of forest, fields, lakes and rivers. Their weapons aren't real, though they look it. They're called airsoft guns. They fire tiny plastic pellets that only sting like a mosquito, so they're fantasy warriors. But they've been lent this mother of all playgrounds by the real Polish army which has also lent them real tanks and military trucks to get them from shootout to shootout. No surprising then that they're so happy. But it's not fun for free. The Polish state is supporting them for a purpose"

BBC World Service - The Documentary, Obama's World - "In the cybersphere there was an obscure theological text that someone discovered and they put it on their blog. And in that obscure theological text I think from the 15th century, it said something to the effect that there will be a man who comes from the West who will have african origins. And he will be with us, right? Now, how do you say the one who is with us in Persian? Oo-ba-mah...
The US-China relationship is somewhat akin to the sport of water polo where on the surface it's a competitive game, but below the surface it's a brutal game where there's a lot of scratching, pulling, cheap shots. We see it in the South China Sea, we see it in the way that they're trying to treat some of our allies in the region...
Nabil Farmy [?] in Cairo, Egypt.
'Politics is a contact sport and it's not easy. He has a tendency to take strong positions, a lot of them quite correct. And then if he faces a problem he gives up'"
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