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May 19, 2013

Dubai jails rape *victim* for 8 months because she reported being raped

UAE rape victim jailed - Sunday Night - Channel 7 - Yahoo!7 TV - Yahoo!7 TV
Dubai is being promoted as a luxury high-class paradise in the desert, but the reality is brutally different, as Australian Alicia Gali discovered. Gali took a job in the UAE with one of the world’s biggest hotel chains, Starwood. What happened next makes this story a must-watch for every Australian planning on travelling through the region. Gali was using her laptop in the hotel’s staff bar when her drink was spiked. She awoke to a nightmare beyond belief: she had been savagely raped by three of her colleagues. Alone and frightened, she took herself to hospital. What Alicia didn’t know is that under the UAE’s strict sharia laws, if the perpetrator does not confess, a rape cannot be convicted without four adult Muslim male witnesses. She was charged with having illicit sex outside marriage, and thrown in a filthy jail cell for eight months.

May 12, 2013

12 people shot at New Orleans Mother's Day Parade

NOPD: 12 Hurt at New Orleans Mother’s Day Parade Shooting
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans police say that a dozen people have been shot during a Mother’s Day second-line parade. Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters at least 12 people were shot during the parade in the city’s 7th Ward. Police say the incident happened about 2 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Frenchmen and Villere streets. The Times-Picayune reports there were about 200 people at the event when gunfire erupted. Serpas told reporters the victims include a 10-year-old who sustained a minor wound. WDSU-TV reports at least four people were in surgery and others had been taken to four area hospitals. Nobody has been arrested. It’s unclear what sparked the gunfire. Police are said to be looking for three people in connection with the attack.

May 01, 2013

Why would you give a five-year-old a loaded rifle as a gift?

5-year-old shoots, kills sister with gift rifle - UPI.com
Caroline Starks, 2, was shot and killed by her 5-year-old brother while he was playing with a .22-caliber rifle he'd been given as a gift. Cumberland County Coroner Gary White told the Lexington Herald-Leader the family had not realized a shell was left inside the gun. The boy picked up the gun from where it was kept in the corner of the house and it accidentally fired when he began playing with it. The siblings' mother was home when the shot was fired. The toddler was rushed to Cumberland County Hospital but pronounced dead. "It's a Crickett," White said. "It's a little rifle for a kid. ...The little boy's used to shooting the little gun." The boy's gun, given to him last year, was a Crickett Firearms model made by Keystone Sporting Arms and branded as "My First Rifle." The weapon appears in a variety of vibrant kid-friendly colors and designs, and the company website says the rifle aims to "instill safety in the minds of youth shooters."

April 19, 2013

There is no "Good War," but surely this is evil

The Elusive 'Good War' - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
Many prisoners of the Japanese had suffered a particularly gruesome and cruel fate. General MacArthur had given Australian forces the dispiriting task of clearing New Guinea and Borneo of the remaining pockets of Japanese. It became clear from all the reports collected later by U.S. authorities and the Australian War Crimes Section that the 'widespread practice of cannibalism by Japanese soldiers in the Asia-Pacific war was something more than merely random incidents perpetrated by individuals or small groups subject to extreme conditions. The testimonies indicate that cannibalism was a systematic and organized military strategy. The practice of treating prisoners as 'human cattle' had not come about from a collapse of discipline. It was usually directed by officers. Apart from local people, victims of cannibalism included Papuan soldiers, Australians, Americans, and Indian prisoners of war who had refused to join the Indian National Army. At the end of the war, their Japanese captors had kept the Indians alive so that they could butcher them to eat one at a time. Even the inhumanity of the Nazis' Hunger Plan in the east never descended to such levels. Because the subject was so upsetting to families of soldiers who had died in the Pacific War, the Allies suppressed all information on the subject, and cannibalism never featured as a crime at the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal in 1946.