Author Archive | imkaan

Dalai Lama Claims Chinese Agents Trained Tibetan Women To Kill Him

Dalai Lama

Photo: Lucag (CC)

Reports Dean Nelson in the Telegraph:

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner, revealed he had been passed reports from inside Tibet warning that Chinese agents had trained Tibetan women for a mission to poison him while posing as devotees seeking his blessings.

The Tibetan Buddhist leader said he lives within a high security cordon in his temple palace grounds in Dharamsala, in the Himalayan foothills, on the advice of Indian security officials.

Despite being one of the world’s most widely revered spiritual leaders he has enemies in China and among some Buddhist sects.

His aides had not been able to confirm the reports, but they had highlighted his need for high security.

“We received some sort of information from Tibet,” he said. “Some Chinese agents training some Tibetans, especially women, you see, using poison – the hair poisoned, and the scarf poisoned – they were supposed to seek blessing from me, and my hand touch.”

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‘Trayvon Martin’ Gun Range Targets Sold Out in Two Days

Trayvon TargetLooks like now even the cached page has been removed from Google. Reports David Edwards on the RAW Story:

A person selling gun range targets modeled after slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin says that their “main motivation was to make money off the controversy.”

WKMG’s Mike DeForest reported on Friday that the unidentified seller told him that the targets “sold out in 2 days.”

“The response is overwhelming,” the seller said. While the item appears to have been removed from GunBroker.com, a cached version of the page was still available at the time of publication.

Photos of the item, which was titled “10 Pack Trayvon Martin Targets,” showed crosshairs over a hoodie similar to the one Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February. The figure has a bag of Skittle in his pocket and is holding what appears to be a can of iced tea, similar to what Martin had purchased before being gunned down.

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51 Japanese Food Items Exceed New Radioactive Safety Standards

RadiationWell, it's good to know Japan's government is seriously testing the food supply. Via the Japan Times:
Radioactive cesium was detected in 51 food products from nine prefectures in excess of a new government-set limit in the first month since it was introduced April 1st, according to data released by the health ministry Tuesday. The limit was exceeded in 337 cases, or 2.4 percent of 13,867 food samples examined by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. Cesium exceeding the previous allowable limit of 500 becquerels per kilogram was detected in 55 cases, while the new limit of 100 becquerels was exceeded in 282 cases. By prefecture, there were 142 cases in Fukushima, 69 in Tochigi, 41 in Ibaraki, 35 in Iwate, 32 in Miyagi, 13 in Chiba, two each in Yamagata and Gunma, and one in Kanagawa.
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The Reality That ‘KONY 2012′ Missed

Ugandan ArmyVery compelling read from Jakob Schiller on WIRED’s Raw File below. (Also, worth reading this Washington Post article if you have not come across it):

The video calling for a national campaign to raise awareness about Joseph Kony, the International Criminal Court’s #1 most-wanted warlord, has been viewed more than 100 million times since it was published on March 5. The day of action it calls for is tomorrow, April 20. While most people agree that Kony should be brought to justice for his crimes against the Ugandan people and children, the video has come under criticism for oversimplifications that could actually do harm to the people it aims to help.

For photographer Glenna Gordon, the inaccuracies were particularly shocking because she had spent two years in Uganda as a stringer for the Associated Press and knew that the facts on the ground were much different than what was portrayed.

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American Military Veterans Now Kill Themselves At A Rate of One Every 80 Minutes

US Dept Of Veterans AffairsNicholas D. Kristof writes in the New York Times:
Here's a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands. An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks. “I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” he told his mom. Two years later, Ryan followed his beloved older brother to the Army.
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Homophobes Likely Repress Same-Sex Feelings, Prejudice May Stem From Authoritarian Parents

Pride FlagPeople who greatly fear homosexuality are likely to have experienced an attraction to a member of the same sex, according to a new study presented in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. As Jeanna Bryner reports on LiveScience:
Homophobes should consider a little self-reflection, suggests a new study finding those individuals who are most hostile toward gays and hold strong anti-gay views may themselves have same-sex desires, albeit undercover ones. The prejudice of homophobia may also stem from authoritarian parents, particularly those with homophobic views as well, the researchers added. "This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, 'Why?'" co-author Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a statement. "Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection."
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Christians Fight for Their Children’s God-Given Right to Bully Gay Kids

INRIWrites Erin Gloria Ryan on Jezebel:

Despite the fact that there’s scant evidence in the Bible that Jesus was an asshole who commanded his followers to bully gay children to death, a group of American Christian parents seem to think Christ has called upon them to act like jerks. That’s why they’re actively working against the passage of anti-bullying laws at the state level — they believe that by making repeated, ongoing cruelty illegal, lawmakers are interfering with their Jesus loving child’s right to point out that homosexuality is wrong and bad and hellbound.

“Bullying children is wrong and bad” may sound like the most basic tenet of human decency, but if you ask conservative lobbying groups like Concerned Women for America and Focus on the Family, making it a crime to taunt someone until they kill themselves is akin to interfering with religious freedom. According to AlterNet’s Katherine Stewart, conservative groups across the country have opposed various anti-bullying measures because they say outlawing bullying is akin to state endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle.

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Americans Often Unfriend Over Politics on Social Media

Via PBS MediaShift:

As a teenager who was vocally opinionated about political issues, I often heard the cautionary refrain “Politics is not the topic of polite conversation.” That counsel must have been lost on me, since I find myself as an adult publicly airing my opinions as both the political correspondent for this blog and as a Democratic analyst periodically appearing on FoxNews.com. I understand the wisdom of that advice, however, and know that conversations about politics (like those about religion) often begin as well-intentioned contests of ideas but end as emotionally charged and intractable disputes.

A new study released today from the Pew Internet and American Life Project illustrates this point. It found that 18 percent of people who use social networking sites such as Facebook and Google+ have blocked, unfriended or hidden someone because of that person’s disagreeable political postings.

To determine whether this is simply a case of the online public steering clear of, um, impolite conversation or is broader evidence of political opinions abruptly ending meaningful relationships, one must dig a bit deeper into the data.

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Did Time-Travel TV Really Kill Two Chinese Schoolgirls?

TVAnna North writes on Jezebel:

A Chinese newspaper claims two young girls committed suicide in hopes of traveling back in time like the characters on popular TV shows. Is this a real case of death-by-TV, or is it government propaganda?

The English-language site People’s Daily Online has the story, which apparently originated at the paper China Daily. Fifth-grader Xiao Hua (not her real name) apparently “realized she lost the remote control for a rolling door at her house.” So she decided to commit suicide. Her friend Xiao Mei (also a pseudonym) decided to die with her, “because they were the best friends.” She, however, had bigger concerns than a remote control: “She planned to travel back to the Qing Dynasty (1644—1911) to make a film of an emperor; and she wanted to visit outer space.” The two wrote suicide notes and then drowned themselves in a pool.

This sounds like a cautionary tale about parenting — if your kid thinks killing herself is a good response to losing the remote control, you might not be sending the right message about the value of everyday objects …

Read More: Jezebel

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