"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Friday, July 20, 2018

Links - 20th July 2018 (2)

Glasses make face recognition tech think you're Milla Jovovich

Woman Blames 'Windy Day' For Cocaine Found In Purse - "Kennecia Posey, 26, said she had no idea how the drug was found on her after she was pulled over by Fort Pierce police... two teenage boys in Sydney, Australia, were found with more than 40 bags of cocaine stuffed into their car's doors. They claimed they were just out to go fishing, despite not having any rods"

Chinese public toilets go hi-tech with Wi-fi and facial recognition - "Each person scanning their face received 40cm of toilet paper from a dispenser, the report said. The aim is to stop each user taking too much - and crack down on theft of paper. Sensors in toilet cubicles will also issue an alert an attendant if somebody has been inside for more than 10 minutes, according to the report... The toilets, which have received more than 20,000 people since the facilities opened in January, also provides free Wi-fi and mobile phone chargers. A screen on the wall shows the temperature, humidity and total volumes of water and electricity consumed in the building and how long each cubicle has been occupied... Most of China’s public toilets did not provide paper, in part because of theft"
Universal values!

Elderly Chinese toilet paper thieves face up to their crimes - "At the Temple of Heaven, one of the capital’s busiest tourist sites and a former hotbed of toilet paper kleptomania, a user in need of tissue paper must stand in front of a wall-mounted machine with a high definition camera. The device’s software remembers recent faces, and if the same a person reappears within a certain period, it refuses to activate the automatic roller. The current setting per person is 60cm of paper within nine minutes. For years many residents have been taking reams of paper from public toilets for use at home. Recently, mainland media outlets investigated the phenomenon and found most of the tissue bandits were senior citizens. Such behaviour has placed a considerable financial burden on public toilet management. Sometimes a newly replenished roll can disappear within a minute, leaving other users an empty holder."

Sydney barber in legal battle for refusing to cut girl’s hair - "Sam Rahim, who runs a barber shop in Hunters Hill Village in Sydney, said he was devastated when he was taken to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission after refusing the woman’s request on the grounds of being unqualified... when women come into the shop he just points them to the nearest hairdressing salon. “They are literally a 20-second walk away.” The woman took her complaint to the Human Rights Commission, claiming he breached anti-discrimination laws and embarrassed her daughter... “After her rant in the store, she proceeded to go on Facebook and continue the rant ... and discredit everything that he’s built, because her daughter was declined a haircut."... “We’re all for gender equality ... but the skillset is completely different. A barber course is about six months and a hairdressing TAFE course is three years, in which you have to do your apprenticeship as well. It’s completely different. When you walk into a barber shop, you rarely see any women in there because a barber shop is just known for men.”"
If he had accepted, she might've sued him for doing it despite being unlicensed

Sydney barber Sam Rahim reaches settlement with mother who was upset he didn't cut daughter's hair - "there are laws to protect female gyms and female-only services... Australian Hairdressing Council chief executive Sandy Chong said there were clear differences in the skills required to cut men's and women's hair."
Some sexes are more equal than others

Hanover Park High School let everyone join cheerleading team - "nraged parents have attacked a high school’s decision to change its rules to allow anyone who wants to be on the cheerleading team to join, regardless of their talent and ability. Hanover Park High School held its tryouts in East Hanover, New Jersey, last month, but after making cuts, a parent complained about their child not being allowed on the team. This led the athletic director to changed the policy, to allow anyone who wants to be on the cheerleading team to join. A school statement said the change was meant to 'facilitate a more inclusive program'. But this new rule upset some cheerleaders – and their less-than-impressed parents who asked the school ‘why go for excellence when you can just let a little snowflake whine and cry to get the position?’"

'Ethical' James Comey is under investigation for unethical acts - "One day after the disclosure that the Justice Department inspector general has recommended criminal charges against former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, it has been confirmed that fired FBI director James Comey is under investigation by the same office for leaking information to the media. This disclosure followed the release of the Comey memos, which seriously undermined both Comey and his cadre of defenders. Four claims by Comey are now clearly refuted, and the memos reaffirm earlier allegations of serious misconduct."

Married couple in S’pore agree to divorce to buy another HDB flat to rent out - "A husband and wife in Singapore had apparently agreed to divorce — just so that they can each own a HDB flat. This was after they figured marriage is just a status, and by divorcing, they can unlock their Central Provident Fund monies in a different way."

Muslims Recoil at a French Proposal to Change the Quran - "A manifesto published in the French daily Le Parisien on April 21—signed by some 300 prominent intellectuals and politicians, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls—made a shocking demand. Arguing that the Quran incites violence, it insisted that “the verses of the Quran calling for murder and punishment of Jews, Christians, and nonbelievers be struck to obsolescence by religious authorities,” so that “no believer can refer to a sacred text to commit a crime.”... although pushing for a theological reform of Islam in France is nothing new—everyone from leading imams to President Emmanuel Macron have made plans to restructure Islam—demanding that scriptural verses be deleted is another thing altogether. In Islam, the Quran is considered divinely revealed; because it’s deemed to be the word of God, altering or deleting any part of the text would be blasphemous. The manifesto came a month after the grisly murder of Mireille Knoll, an octogenarian Holocaust survivor who was stabbed to death in her apartment in an act authorities are calling an anti-Semitic crime. Last year, Sarah Halimi, a 67-year-old, was beaten to death and thrown out of her window, in the same area where Knoll lived. Her attacker yelled “Allahu Akbar!” as he committed the act; Knoll’s reportedly did the same. It took judicial authorities nearly a year to label Halimi’s death an anti-Semitic crime... This wave of violence is part of what the manifesto’s signatories call a “new anti-Semitism”—new in that it is perpetrated not by the far right, but by French Muslims. The manifesto denounced what it characterized as the government and media’s refusals to recognize this “Muslim anti-Semitism.” It also labeled as “low-volume ethnic cleansing” the trends that have forced Jewish families to change neighborhoods, leaving suburbs, or banlieues, that are home to significant immigrant populations, and to pull their children from public schools... Days after the manifesto’s release, 30 imams signed a counter-letter in Le Monde. The Observatory for Islamophobia, an organization affiliated with the Egyptian government, described the manifesto as “hateful racism” that proves that “France is not a land that welcomes Islam.”... the notion that anti-Semitism is built into Islam is “theologically false,” he added. As monotheistic “People of the Book,” Jews and Christians enjoy a special status in Islamic law. Historically, they were considered protected dhimmi communities, which meant they were allowed to practice their own religions, although they were subject to a tax and various indignities that symbolized their subordination to Muslims... “The problem is that Islamists refer to the same texts as ordinary Muslims,” said signatory Pierre-André Taguieff, a research director at the French National Centre for Scientific Research who has published extensively on anti-Semitism. Samy Ghozlan, a signatory who formerly served as police commissioner in the Paris banlieues and who founded a hotline for anti-Semitism, defended the manifesto’s willingness to “name the problem,” and its call for theological reform. “In Islam,” he said, “believers are instructed to respect the Quran—there’s no room for commentary.”"
Being against violent extremism is hateful racism?

Dozens killed in clashes as tens of thousands protest US embassy in Jerusalem on Gaza border - "Palestinians threw stones, rolled burning tyres towards the border and tried to approach the fence to damage it and potentially break through, with Israeli snipers firing from the other side... Israeli warplanes also struck a Hamas base close to the border, the army said, saying forces had come under fire. The army also said it killed three Palestinians seeking to plant an explosive device. Hamas leaders had backed attempts to break through the border fence during the protest... Israel says it only opens fire when necessary to stop infiltrations, attacks and damage to the border fence, while accusing Hamas of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence In Khan Yunis, groups of masked young men, some carrying wooden bats, walked between shops forcing them to close to respect a general strike."
"Peaceful protests

Israelis kill more than 50 Palestinians in Gaza protests, health officials say - The Washington Post - "Some young men brought knives and fence cutters. At a gathering point east of Gaza City, organizers urged protesters over loudspeakers to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them... A truck rolled past carrying young men chanting: “To Jerusalem we go with millions of martyrs” and “Death rather than humiliation.” Drones dropped canisters of tear gas, sending crowds fleeing. Other drones dropped leaflets that urged demonstrators to say back from the fence... others talked about their enthusiasm to break into Israel and wreak havoc. “We are excited to storm and get inside,” said 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura. When asked what he would do inside Israel, he said, “Whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.” Two other young men carried large knives and said they wanted to kill Jews on the other side of the fence"
Apparently it's racist if you don't allow armed murderers to flood into your country

Smoke & Mirrors: Six Weeks of Violence on the Gaza Border - "Inevitably, Hamas and other Palestinian groups will try the same tactic again in the future. To mitigate this, Israel is reportedly preparing to strengthen the Gaza border fence to make penetration more difficult without having to resort to lethal force. (They are already working on an underground barrier to prevent penetration by tunnelling.) However, this is a long-term project and the extent to which an impenetrable barrier can be produced is not clear. In addition, the IDF is giving increased consideration to non-lethal weapons. To date, despite significant international work in this area, no viable and effective system has been developed that would work effectively in such circumstances."

Questions the Press Hasn’t Asked about Violence in Gaza - "why hasn’t the mainstream press noted the extent to which Hamas officials provided demonstrators along the “Great Return March,” the quickest routes by which they could infiltrate Israeli communities upon breaching the border fence? And why hasn’t more been made of the fact that Hamas actively lobbied Gazan civilians to converge on the border while simultaneously using those civilians as cover to launch attacks on the IDF using grenades and Molotov cocktails? Perhaps because to note these things would be to expose the extent to which the press has played precisely the role Hamas and their benefactors wanted them to play... Precious little coverage in the West has been devoted to the non-response to yesterday’s events from Palestinian sponsors in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. Indeed, Egypt has been conveying Israeli messages to Gazan officials in an effort to prevent the escalation of hostilities and to facilitate reconciliation between Hamas-led Gaza and its supposed brothers in the West Bank. Why? Because the West Bank’s sponsors in Riyadh are more closely aligned with Cairo’s priorities than Hamas’s benefactors in Tehran... Tehran traditionally responds to domestic pressures by raising the temperature in the region. All of this is complicated and requires some modest familiarity with the Middle East, but it doesn’t take a regional expert to wonder why one Palestinian territory erupted and the other did not. If this was all really about Israeli behavior and the abuses of its government, why has the West Bank remained comparatively calm while Gaza has been on the brink for months? The answer is regional political dynamics, much of which has increasingly little to do with Israel."
When confronted with facts, diehard Palestinian supporters reveal their ideological stances when they say that since Israel is occupied territory, the Israelis had no right to prevent Gazans streaming into Israel to murder Jews

If you call the Gaza death toll 'disproportionate,' how many Israelis have to die for the sake of symmetry? - "Charges of disproportionality are among the most common leveled against Israel in her long struggle against Hamas, and they are among the most infuriating. Are Goldberg and Cassidy suggesting that if there were a lot more Israeli dead, and a hundred Jewish bodies were strewn across the desert in southern Israel, then Israel’s action would be acceptable, or at least more readily forgiven? If not directly stated, that is what is implied... 40,000 to 50,000 determined protestors - the number at the height of the protest - cannot be contained with water hoses or conventional crowd control... In 2007, the Quartet – Russia, the United Nations, the European Union, and the United States – set out the conditions for normalizing the political status of Hamas and for moving ahead with a plan to provide international support for Gaza residents. These conditions included a Hamas commitment to non-violence, recognition of Israel, and support of past international treaties and obligations relating to the Middle East. Hamas refused then, and refuses now, to meet these conditions. It is this refusal, and not the actions of Israel, that isolates Hamas and makes it a terrorist group and an international outlaw."
More American civilians should have died during World War II

Tragic baby Leyla symbolises Gaza’s life and death struggle - "The entire family — she said it was 15 members — had gone to the protest sites each Friday, egged on by local imams, and transported by buses paid for by Hamas. “We had to go,” she said. “So we went.”... “We all have to go — there is no excuse,” he said. “I tried to tell them not to go, but the mosques were asking them to go.” At 10am on Monday, the grandmother remembers the entire family sitting in a tent about 500 meters from the fence, when an Israeli drone dropped tear gas near them. Hamas has regularly set up tents for women and children behind the 300m perimeter that Israel has warned people to avoid"
Human rights don't matter when it comes to attacking Israel

Hardline feminist Clementine Ford removed as speaker for suicide charity Lifeline after complaints - "Suicide prevention group Lifeline has cancelled a domestic violence forum featuring hardline feminist Clementine Ford... A change.org petition, set up last month, argued her previous tweets saying 'kill all men' and 'all men must die' made her unsuitable to address the 'Recognise, Respond, Refer' event in Melbourne... A Lifeline spokesman Alan Woodward said the event, which was to be moderated by former Ten newsreader and Australian #MeToo campaigner Tracey Spicer, was cancelled because they regarded it as 'divisive'... Mr Woodward said the 'nature of the views expressed' in the petition had made the forum untenable, but he stressed the cancellation was not related to Ms Ford's previous tweets... 'Lifeline is a service that is crucial to people experiencing high levels of emotional distress, many of them suicidal over bullying experiences'... The author of 'Fight Like A Girl' has also previously tweeted 'I bathe in male tears' and last year wrote 'Have you killed any men today? And if not, why not?' in a book signed for a fan."
Feminism means you can publicly hate men and still be respectable

Tug of love: meet the man pulling his girlfriend across China in a rickshaw in the hope she will marry him - "The couple are from landlocked and mountainous Gansu province, in northwest China, which is home to part of the Gobi desert, but the girlfriend had set her heart on seeing the sea. Over a month ago the couple set off with their rickshaw to walk over two thousand kilometres (1,200 miles) to the sea in Weihai, eastern Shandong province."

This college professor gives her students extra credit for going on dates - The Washington Post - "About 12 years ago, Boston College philosophy professor Kerry Cronin added an unorthodox task to her syllabus: Ask someone out on a date, where there will be no alcohol or physical contact... to many college students, Cronin acknowledges, meeting for a cup of coffee and sober conversation with someone you’re interested in on a Sunday afternoon can feel more intimate than getting naked with them on a Friday night."

Holiday Cheer Leads to Birth-Rate Spike - "if you live in a culturally Christian country, whether you live in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere, you are more likely to have an increase in sexual appetite around Christmas. But if you live in a Muslim country, you are much more likely to conceive around Eid-al-Fitr, than at a different, at another time of the year.”

In Atheists We Distrust - "people distrust atheists because of the belief that people behave better when they think that God is watching over them. This belief may have some truth to it. Gervais and his colleague Ara Norenzayan have found that reminding people about God’s presence has the same effect as telling people they are being watched by others: it increases their feelings of self-consciousness and leads them to behave in more socially acceptable ways... From a psychological standpoint, God and secular authority figures may be somewhat interchangeable. The existence of either helps us feel more trusting of others. Gervais and Norenzayan’s findings may shed light on an interesting puzzle: why acceptance towards atheism has grown rapidly in some countries but not others. In many Scandinavian countries, including Norway and Sweden, the number of people who report believing in God has reached an all-time low. This may have something to do with the way these countries have established governments that guarantee a high level of social security for all of their citizens. Aaron Kay and his colleagues ran a study in Canada which found that political insecurity may push us towards believing in God"
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