Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bangladesh Gay Rights Activist Is Hacked to Death - The New York Times

Bangladesh Gay Rights Activist Is Hacked to Death - The New York Times: "In the last two years, similar killings have taken place, targeting intellectuals, secular writers, members of religious minority groups and activists who had published views critical of Islam. Ms. Hossain said this was the first time extremists appeared to go after someone for his sexual identity.

 “It’s a new shift, a new turn,” she said. “This is something different now.”

 Monirul Islam, the head of the counterterrorism unit for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, described the attack as a “planned killing.”

 On Saturday, a university professor, Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, was hacked to death and nearly beheaded when he was attacked near his home in the northwest city of Rajshai. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on the professor, according to a message posted on Twitter by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadist websites.

 Last year, unidentified men used machetes to attack four activists who published views critical of Sunni Islam, and two publishers who had published their works. The attacks took place in broad daylight, on crowded city streets, or in the victims’ homes.

 Since those attacks, extremists appeared to broaden their list of targets to include new categories of minorities. Shiite Muslims, Hindu priests and Christian priests were attacked, and two foreigners were shot, apparently at random. The killings resumed this month, with the hacking death of a student activist in Dhaka and the killing of the university professor."

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Facebook threat targeted executed Ohio family - CBS News

Facebook threat targeted executed Ohio family - CBS News: "PIKE COUNTY, Ohio -- A law enforcement source has confirmed that investigators found some 200 marijuana plants in the executed Ohio family's indoor grow operation, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports.

 The source said the size of operation indicates it was being grown for sale not for personal use.

Each plant could produce about one pound of marijuana. A pound of high-grade quality marijuana has a street value of about $2,000.

A second law enforcement source said that investigators are looking at numerous avenues as a motive for the killings among them is whether there is a Mexican drug cartel connection or a possible drug turf war or family feud."

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Google is building its own in-house incubator | VatorNews

Google is building its own in-house incubator | VatorNews: "Over the last few years Google has been one of the leaders when it came to mergers acquisitions, gobbling up startups left and right. What if it could find, and nurture, those startups in-house, though? That would save it both time, and potentially money, if it wanted to bring them on board. 

Now that's just what the company has done, launching a new incubator so that teams within Google can work on their projects, according to a report from The Information on Sunday. 

Called “Area 120,” it will be overseen by Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz, who are both long-time Google executives. Harrison is Vice President of Corporate Development, while Horowitz is VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing at Google.

To join, teams of Google employees have to submit a business plan and apply. If they are accepted, then they are allowed to work full-time on their idea over a few months. After that, they'll be given the opportunity to pitch Google on creating a new company, and for additional funding.

If successful, these companies would obviously immediately be on Google's radar for a potential "spin-ins," where they would be acquired by Google to become part of the family. The company would get a first look at some emerging startups, and gobble them up before they can go somewhere else."

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Former US senator talks of 2 loves — Clare and Matthew - The Washington Post

Former US senator talks of 2 loves — Clare and Matthew - The Washington Post: "The 90-year-old Pennsylvania statesman said in the Sunday piece (http://nyti.ms/1SrVeEh ) it’s been his good fortune to pair love with a best friend twice in life.

“Too often, our society seeks to label people by pinning them on the wall — straight, gay or in between. I don’t categorize myself based on the gender of those I love,” he said. “I had a half-century of marriage with a wonderful woman, and now am lucky for a second time to have found happiness.”

Wofford reflected on his life with his wife of 48 years — they had three children — and how he unexpectedly fell in love with Charlton five years after her death in 1996."

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Friday, April 22, 2016

The smug style in American liberalism - Vox

The smug style in American liberalism - Vox: "If the smug style can be reduced to a single sentence, it's, Why are they voting against their own self-interest? But no party these past decades has effectively represented the interests of these dispossessed. Only one has made a point of openly disdaining them too.

Abandoned and without any party willing to champion their interests, people cling to candidates who, at the very least, are willing to represent their moral convictions. The smug style resents them for it, and they resent the smug in turn."

The smug style in American liberalism - Vox: "It is central to the liberal self-conception that what separates them from reactionaries is a desire to help people, a desire to create a fairer and more just world. Liberals still want, or believe they still want, to make a more perfect union.

Whether you believe they are deluded or not, whether you believe this project is worthwhile in any form or not, what I am trying to tell you is that the smug style has fundamentally undermined even the aspiration, that it has made American liberalism into the worst version of itself."

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

After raising money for a well in Sierra Leone, local teen turns focus on Flint - WTOP

After raising money for a well in Sierra Leone, local teen turns focus on Flint - WTOP: "Lewis first got interested in clean water issues when deciding upon a community project to do for his bar mitzvah.

“It ended up being a complete success. I was able to raise $6,875 to be the sole source funder of a well in Sierra Leone,” Lewis said of the clean water source constructed by The Water Project. “It’s so great to see them, they’re all smiling — so happy that they finally have access to clean water and it’s by their home.”

Now, raising money to help children affected by the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, Lewis is finding this second effort more of a challenge.

“Compared to raising money for a well in Africa — which is a direct, tangible thing that people are donating for — the fund that I’m raising money to donate money to is helping with long-term effects. It’s a little hard for people to understand, so sometimes they’re not as motivated,” Lewis said."

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Sierra Leone 'helped deploy ex-child soldiers to Iraq', academic says | Reuters

Sierra Leone 'helped deploy ex-child soldiers to Iraq', academic says | Reuters: "LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Sierra Leone's government helped British private security service firms recruit former child soldiers to work as guards in Iraq from 2009, said a Danish academic who has spent years investigating the issue.

Thousands of children were forced to fight in Sierra Leone's 11-year civil war, which ended in 2002. More than 50,000 people were killed in the fighting and many tens of thousands more mutilated or raped by rebels.

By 2009, with Iraq in chaos, impoverished Sierra Leone was looking for a way to engage its workforce, said Maya Mynster Christensen, a researcher at the Danish Institute Against Torture who made repeated trips to the West African country.

"From a Sierra Leone government perspective the recruitment was supposedly quite a good deal because it could take the local troublemakers and send them to Iraq for a couple of years," the anthropologist told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"The government returned the men, many of them now in their late twenties and thirties, with money earned on their overseas deployment," she said.

But Christensen said this ran counter to Sierra Leone's stated policy of demobilization following the civil war."

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