Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Australia plans to ban convicted pedophiles from traveling overseas to protect vulnerable children in Southeast Asia from exploitation.

Australia plans to ban convicted pedophiles from traveling overseas in what the government said Tuesday is a world-first move to protect vulnerable children in Southeast Asia from exploitation.
Australian pedophiles are notorious for taking inexpensive vacations to nearby Southeast Asian and Pacific island countries to abuse children there.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she would cancel the passports of around 20,000 pedophiles on the national child sex offender register under legislation that will be introduced to Parliament soon.
"There has been increasing community concern about sexual exploitation of vulnerable children and community concern is justified," she told reporters.
Almost 800 registered child sex offenders travelled overseas from Australia last year and about half went to Southeast Asian destinations, she said.
"There will be new legislation which will make Australia a world leader in protecting vulnerable children in our region from child sex tourism," Bishop said.
Justice Minister Michael Keenan said no country has such a travel ban. He said 2,500 new convicted pedophiles would be added to the sex offender register each year and would also lose their passports.
The register contains 3,200 serious offenders who will be banned from travel for life. Less serious offenders drop off the register after several years of complying with reporting conditions and would become eligible to have their passports renewed.
Independent Senator Derryn Hinch, who was molested as a child and was jailed twice as a radio broadcaster for naming pedophiles in contravention of court orders, took credit for the government initiative.
Hinch said he had not known that convicted pedophiles were allowed to travel before he received a letter from Australian actress and children's rights campaigner Rachel Griffiths soon after he was elected to the Senate last year.
"If we can take a passport from a bankrupt, why can't we stop our pedophiles from traveling to Myanmar?" Griffiths wrote. Under Australian law, a bankrupt person cannot travel overseas without a trustee's permission.
Hinch, who was involved in drafting the legislation, said temporary passports could be provided to pedophiles who need to travel for legitimate business or family reasons, and for pedophiles living overseas who need to return to Australia as their visas expire.
"This will not apply to a teenager who has been caught sexting to his 15-year-old girlfriend," said Hinch, referring to sexual phone communications.
"I know sometimes, I think unfairly, they go on registers, but we're trying to work it out so they don't," he added.
Bishop said governments in the Asia-Pacific region wanted Australia to do more to stem child sex tourists.
"There's most certainly deep concern among countries in our region about the number of registered child sex offenders in Australia engaging in the child sex tourism industry," she said.

Spooky Split Face Portraits of Family Members

Sisters: Roxane, 22 years & Jill, 25 years
Girl / Mother: Jill, 25 & Johanne, 54
Mother / Daughter: Johanne, 54 & Roxane, 22 years
Girl / Mother: Marie-Pier, 18 & N'sira, 49
Girl / Father: Ariane, 13 & André, 55
Son / Father: Nathan, age 9 & Ulric, 32
Girl / Father: Ismaelle, 10 & Ulric, 32
Sisters: Anne-Sophie, 19 & Pascale, 16
Twins Alex & Sandrine, 20
Sisters Gabrielle, 28 & Leah 25 years
Sisters: Isabelle, 32 & Amélie, 33 years
Mother / Daughter: Julie, 61 & Isabelle, 32 years old
Mother / Daughter: Julie, 61 & Amélie, 33 years
Girl / Father: Amélie, 33 years & Daniel, 60
Father / Daughter: Daniel, 60 & Isabelle, 32 years old
Mother / Daughter: Francine, 56 & Catherine, 23 years
Sisters: Catherine, 23 & Véronique, 29
Daughter / Mother: Veronica, 29 & Francine, 56
Sister / Brother: Karine, Dany & 29 years, 25 years
Cousin / Cousin: Justine, 29 & Ulric, 29
Brothers: Christopher, 30 & Ulric, 29
Father / Son: Laval, 56 & Vincent, 29 years
Father / Son: Denis, 53 & William, 28 years
Twins: Laurence & Christine, 20 years
Brother, Matthew, 25 & Ulric, 29
Father / Son: Denis, 60 & Mathieu, 25 years
Son / Father: Nathan, age 7 & Ulric, 29

Monday, 29 May 2017

Judges Reject Orange County's Claim That Social Workers Didn't Know Lying In Court Was Wrong

Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years?
From the you-can't-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn't have "clearly" known that dishonesty wasn't acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees.
A panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week ruled on Orange County's appeal of federal judge Josephine L. Staton's refusal last year to grant immunity to the bureaucrats in Preslie Hardwick v. County of Orange, a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages. In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton's decision.
But to grasp the ridiculousness of the government's stance, read key, Oct. 7, 2016 exchanges between the panel and Pancy Lin, a partner at Lynberg & Watkins.
Trott: How in the world could a person in the shoes of your clients possibly believe that it was appropriate to use perjury and false evidence in order to impair somebody's liberty interest in the care, custody and control of that person's children? How could they possibly not be on notice that you can't do this?
Lin: I understand.
Trott: How could that possibly be?
Lin: I understand the argument that it seems to be common sense in our ethical, moral . . .
Trott: It's more than common sense. It's statutes that prohibit perjury and submission of false evidence in court cases.
Lin: State statutes.
Trott: Are you telling me that a person in your client's shoes couldn't understand you can't commit perjury in a court proceeding in order to take somebody's children away?  
Friedland: The issue here is committing perjury in a court to take away somebody's children and you just said that's obviously not okay to do.
Lin: According to our moral compass and our ethical guidelines, but we're here to decide the constitutionality of it and we look to the courts to tell us.
Trott: You mean to tell us due process is consistent with a government official submitting perjured testimony and false evidence? How is that consistent? I mean I hate to get pumped up about this but I'm just staggered by the claim that people in the shoes of your clients wouldn't be on notice that you can't use perjury and false evidence to take away somebody's children. That to me is mind boggling.
Lin: In criminal proceedings we know this to be true because . . .
Trott: No, no! It's a court proceeding with a liberty interest, a fundamental liberty interest at stake.
Lin: And on the reverse side . . .
Trott: And you're telling us that these officials [weren't] on notice that you can't commit perjury and put in false evidence?
Lin: I understand broadly the principle that common sense tells us that lying is wrong and lying to . . .
Trott: Yeah, but it's more than common sense. We're using statutes against this kind of behavior.
Lin: I, uh, I don't. I was not presented [sic]. I have not been seen [sic] any federal law or case law or law that tells me that in this situation that we were faced in that, which is what we have to look at . . .
Trott: Well, say your clients hired six people to be actors and to go into court and to say, 'We're neighbors and we saw all this terrible stuff.' And then your client presented those witnesses in court. You're telling me that they would have no reason to believe that you can't do that because there was no federal case that says you can't bring actors into court to swear falsely against somebody?
Lin: But again here we're appealing to a sort of broader definition of what is a clearly established right. I mean we have to find the clearly established right in the context our, um, social workers were presented with, which was they were faced with a court order.
Trott: Again, I cannot even believe for a micro-second that a social worker wouldn't understand that you can't lie and put in false evidence!
Owens: Let me ask the question a different way. Is there anything you know of that told social workers that they should lie and that they should create false evidence in a court proceeding?
Lin: No, and, of course, that is, uh, we contend that is not what happened here.

Successfully arguing for Hardwick, attorney Dennis Inglos of San Jose followed up to Lin's dismal performance, stating, "Lying is bad. It's obviously bad. It's constitutionally bad . . . They keep fighting the proposition that lying is bad. This is astounding to me that this case is still being fought. It's so simple. The lies are on paper in a transcript—the deliberate falsehoods."

British Airways Union Blames Global IT Meltdown on Outsourcing IT Jobs To India

British Airways GMB union has blamed the airline's 2016 decision of outsourcing IT jobs to India as the reason behind cancelling all Saturday flights from London's two biggest airports: Heathrow and Gatwick.
The GMB union said the airline's decision to outsource hundreds of IT jobs to India last year was behind the problems, the Guardian reported. The GMB union said BA laid off hundreds of IT staff last year and outsourced the work to India and blamed cost cutting for the travel chaos.
"This could have all been avoided," said Mick Rix, national officer for aviation at the GMB union. According to the GMB website, the union had on February on February 29, 2016 warned against BA outsourcing IT jobs.
British Airways has cancelled all flights from Heathow and Gatwick on Saturday due to a major IT failure causing severe disruption to its global operations that is expected to run into Sunday. The airline said its terminals at Heathrow and Gatwick became "extremely congested" due to the computer problems.
Initially the major IT failure was being speculated as that BA's IT systems had been hacked as recently WannaCry ransomware attack affected 150 countries. "We believe the root cause was a power-supply issue and we have no evidence of any cyber attack," Chief executive Alex Cruz said.
The computer crash affected BA's booking system, baggage handling, mobile phone apps and check-in desks, leaving passengers facing long queues and confusion in airports or delays while planes were held on runways. More than 1,000 flights were affected. At Heathrow alone, BA had 406 flights scheduled to depart after 9am and a further 71 at Gatwick, according to flightstats.com on Saturday.

Palestinian judge bans divorce during Ramadan because ‘people make hasty decisions when they’re hungry’

A Palestinian judge has banned divorces during the month of Ramadan as people may make hasty decisions “because they have not eaten and not smoked”.
Mahmoud al-Habbash, head of the Palestinian Islamic sharia court system, said people who deprive themselves of food and cigarettes during daylight hours may “create problems” in their relationship and then make “quick and ill-considered decisions”.
To avoid such decisions, judges will only consider and rule on divorce applications made after the month of fasting is over, Al Jazeera reports.
He said his order was based on “the experience of previous years”. 
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, but also in Israel and Lebanon, only religious courts have the power to allow marriages and divorces. 
More than 50,000 weddings were celebrated in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 2015, but over 8,000 divorces were also registered, according to the Palestinian Authority. 
Millions of Muslims across the globe are fasting for Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam.
During the month, many Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset, forgoing food and water, smoking and sex during daylight.
The end of Ramadan will be marked by the Eid al-Fitr festival, a celebration that can last up to three days each year.

Americans and Brits Try Out Their Map Skills (46 pics)

Americans attempt to label European countries on a map while Brits are tasked with identifying the United States.


OK, in our defense, Europe is really complicated.

Turns out, this effort — which places several countries in the ocean — is one of the best.
A common problem was filling in all the countries that one knows and then realizing there’s still a half-dozen blank spots on the map.
This person’s nearly crossed-off list likely aided them in having one of the most complete maps we received. 
Most of us went to college.
And yet, here we are (apologies to all of the Mr. Harrisses in the world).
At least we (sort of) know where Borat is from.
Borat is a really big deal here, I guess?
Borat is the president of Europe, right?
And MOST of us know where Russia is (and that it’s very cold).
I had never heard of the countries I, Am, Very, Sorry, You, Are, All, or Great before!
I find this impressive but have no idea if it’s correct. Cypress!!!
Second Poland is a hot tourist destination, I hear.
But not as hot as Affordable Vacations.
This tiny hand Turkey is having a really good time, and I hear mini-Poland is almost as fun as Second Poland.

“What is that?”
One thing is clear: Europe is overrun with meandering arrows.
The motherland?! Starting to regret not asking for names…
Moomins are really cool, but I’m pretty sure they don’t live next to the USSR.
Points for honesty, though.
Cold is a recurring theme, which may have had something to do with the weather in NYC today.
It’s really cold, and so is this entire area of middle Europe.
People wear fur coats there!
Shame is also a very common component.
The great GOTH vs. METAL wars of the 1800s are long behind us…
…but apparently war still plagues much of Europe (thankfully saving Benedict Cumberbatch’s house).
“Your mom Romania.”
But seriously: When is someone going to do something about all of the fake countries in Europe?

Erm, sooo, yeah. We really wish we could tell you this is the worst attempt. It’s not even close.

What’s the state capital of Squaresies?
Little known fact: No one actually knows what that state in the middle is.
When all else fails, draw pretty pictures.
In a country this big, being “close enough” is as good as being right. Right?
It’s easy to get Hawaii and Alaska confused. Shut up.
RIP, Midwest.
How many S’s are there in Mississississ…ippi?
They need to close the border to Nickelback, STAT.
That’s a lot of Utahs.
The “not a clue” arrow could probably have extended a little further.
Hmm. The “special relationship” doesn’t stand much chance after this one.
The Wibbly, Wobbly, Border, Worder region is beautiful at this time of year.
Wow much Washington.
Breaking Bad reference AND a moose = all the points. We have a winner.