Breaking News

The latest news from around the world, hot off the presses.

Killing in the Name of Honor

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
How to be an Indian Women

Image by Heavenhated via Flickr

An Indian village on the edges of Delhi is reeling, and the whole world is in shock over the honor killings of two teenagers in love. They were beaten and tortured for hours, and eventually killed, by the girl’s father and other relatives. The reason? They wanted to get married, which was forbidden because they came from different castes.

The boy's family is asking for the death penalty for the killers. But the girl's family stands resolute in their belief that it had to be done to preserve the family's honor. The reason for the torture is less clear.… Continues …

Sperm Whales Not the Cure for Global Warming

— Filed under: Breaking News, Science & Technology
Sperm whale from above

Image via Wikipedia

An interesting article which seems to have hit every news outlet over the last 6 days in relation to the benefits of sperm whale faeces has been stated before, over 20 years ago. The report by Australian university Flinders suggests that sperm whale waste could help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air.

Sperm whales produce up to 50 tons of iron per year via defecation, which is usually deposited in the upper waters and helps phytoplankton flourish. Phytoplankton naturally absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis, and the reports suggest that the amount absorbed could be twice the amount that the sperm whales produce from breathing.… Continues …

Afghanistan's Mineral Riches and the Trouble It Brings

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
Mountains and river in Helmand Province of Afg...

Image via Wikipedia

The New York Times on Sunday revealed that massive stores of precious minerals have been found in Afghanistan, a development that clouds the forecast for the stability of the struggling Central Asian nation.

Although Afghanistan's mineral riches were apparently already documented (Steve Hynd at Newshoggers calls it a zombie story) it certainly comes as a surprise to most of us.  Even more surprising is the fact that the monstrous veins of industrial-use minerals are valued at nearly $1 trillion USD.

So why are we only hearing about this now?  The Raw Story suggests that it's a ploy to raise public support for longer involvement in a war that is becoming increasingly unpopular.  Josh Mull says that it's propaganda, and that it's "aimed at the elites who make the wars."… Continues …

Saudi Arabia to Allow Israel to Attack Iran?

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
RAMON AIR FORCE BASE, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 19:  A...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

The Times Online (UK) reported this weekend that Saudi Arabia had given Israel the green light to use its airspace for an attack on Iran.  Saudi Arabia has since denied this report.  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims that it is simply an effort by the West to drive a wedge between Iran and Saudi Arabia.… Continues …

Oil Spill: A Question of Priorities

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, Business & Finance
A very angry Obama

Image by boutmuet via Flickr

Another day, another screaming headline in the ongoing saga of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster.  We're being bombarded by new stories every day, and it sometimes feels like we're focusing on the wrong things.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria took the unusual step of blasting the press for their obsession with Obama's emotional response to the spill, an obsession which forced the president to utter the now-famous "ass to kick" phrase.  As Zakaria points out:

"What exactly is the point of all this? What purpose would be served by having the president scream or cry or whatever it is he's supposed to do to show emotion? Would it plug the hole?"

Female Genital Mutilation "Lite"

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture

Source: Afrol NewsSource: Afrol NewsThe American Association of Paediatrics (AAP) has ignited a firestorm by suggesting that perhaps we should allow a small "ritual cut" instead of aiming for the elimination of genital mutilation altogether. They've since retracted the statement, but the debate rages on: is allowing a small symbolic cut the lesser of two evils?

Some condemn this idea and adopt a zero-tolerance view. But some people are starting to suggest that by making a small cut more available to families, performed by a doctor in a sterile environment, that we might be able to reduce the instances of infection and other complications.

Dena Davis, a professor at Cleveland State University, says that this kind of compromise might be effective in terms of "harm reduction", and uses Indonesia as an example, "where cutting has died out, according to the WHO, but a ritual form persists, involving a symbolic scratch of the clitoris."

Iran Throws Down Gauntlet, Offers to Escort Ships to Gaza

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government
Ali Khamenei has been the supreme leader of Ir...

Image via Wikipedia

Ayatollah Ali Khameini

After scattered reports last week that Turkey was planning to escort the next aid flotilla to Gaza, new information is trickling in now that Iran has entered the fray by offering to provide protection to ships trying to enter Gaza.

The Guardian reports that Ali Shirazi, representative of the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini, said:

"Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval forces are prepared to escort the peace and freedom convoys that carry humanitarian assistance for the defenceless and oppressed people of Gaza with all their strength."

Gun Spree in Northern England Raises Questions

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
Google StreetView: Home and Taxi of Derrick Bird
Derrick Bird's home and taxi

It is with a heavy heart that I bring to your attention another unforeseeable and utterly pointless mass murder in the UK. Derrick Bird, a self-employed taxi driver from Cumbria, Northern England went on a rampage that lasted around 3 hours and ended with the gunman taking his own life. 12 people have been killed and several others injured. To read the full story click here.

This is the third mass shooting in the UK. In 1987 Michael Ryan shot and killed 16 people and injured another 15 in Hungerford, Berkshire and in 1996 Thomas Hamilton gunned down 16 children and their teacher at their school in Dunblane, Perthshire.

The Dunblane tragedy led to a campaign to tighten gun controls and succeeded in making it illegal to buy or own a handgun.… Continues …

Can White People Be Victims of Hate Crime?

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
No Hate

Image by sea turtle via Flickr

Shane McClellan, a white 16-year-old boy in Seattle, was attacked and beaten down recently by two (this video claims four) assailants who were black and Asian. The attackers whipped him with a belt, held a gun to his head, threatened him with a knife, burned cigarettes into his neck, forced his head into a hole in the ground, urinated on him, and poured beer on him. The attack lasted four hours, and was punctuated all the while by racial slurs and references to slavery. The attackers also robbed him of cash, an MP3 player, and a jacket.

Seattle police are investigating the case as a possible hate crime, and two suspects have been ID'd and had DNA samples taken for further testing.… Continues …

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