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African leaders vote to give themselves immunity from war crimes

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 18:20 by John Sinteur in category: News


African leaders gathered for a continent-wide summit voted to give themselves and their allies immunity from prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide at a new African Court of Justice and Human Rights.

The decision comes as the continent confronts human-rights violations and has two sitting presidents and one ousted president facing charges at the International Criminal Court.

Amnesty International called it “a backward step in the fight against impunity and a betrayal of victims of serious violations of human rights.”

“At a time when the African continent is struggling to ensure that there is accountability for serious human-rights violations and abuses, it is impossible to justify this decision which undermines the integrity of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, even before it becomes operational,” said Amnesty’s Netsanet Belay.

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  1. Isn’t it odd that Al Jazeera isn’t popular with, for example, the Egyptian regime?

  2. So… We’re not planning to rob the bank, definitely not, we’d never do such a terrible thing, no sirree bob. But… we’d like to pass a law protecting us from prosecution if one of us ever robs a bank…
    Yep, seems legit. It’s not like banks (cough: War Crimes! cough cough Crimes Against Humanity!) have ever been robbed in Africa in the past and it’s completely impossible that such things would happen in the future…
    Carry on then, nothing to see here.

From despair to repair: Dramatic decline of Caribbean corals can be reversed

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 18:18 by John Sinteur in category: News


With only about one-sixth of the original coral cover left, most Caribbean coral reefs may disappear in the next 20 years, primarily due to the loss of grazers in the region, according to the latest report by the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The report, Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012, is the most detailed and comprehensive study of its kind published to date – the result of the work of 90 experts over the course of three years. It contains the analysis of more than 35,000 surveys conducted at 90 Caribbean locations since 1970, including studies of corals, seaweeds, grazing sea urchins and fish.

The results show that the Caribbean corals have declined by more than 50% since the 1970s. But according to the authors, restoring parrotfish populations and improving other management strategies, such as protection from overfishing and excessive coastal pollution, could help the reefs recover and make them more resilient to future climate change impacts.

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Here’s why cops should be required to wear a lapel camera while on duty

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 18:03 by John Sinteur in category: News


Police officers in Rialto, Calif., carry cameras to record their every action while on duty. The city says the program has reduced complaints against police officers by 88 percent during the first year.

The idea is sparking debate across the country. On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union endorsed the idea. In a short position paper endorsing the idea, it also emphasized the potential for the technology to be misused, and recommended policies to minimize the potential downsides.

“Although we generally take a dim view of the proliferation of surveillance cameras in American life, police on-body cameras are different because of their potential to serve as a check against the abuse of power by police officers,” the civil liberties group argues.

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Atheist business owner believes treatment for erectile dysfunction interferes with evolution

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 17:45 by John Sinteur in category: News


Athiest business owner Ding Lingersen stopped covering dick pills for his employees, citing conflict with his ardent belief in evolution. Lingersen owns a 500-employee accounting firm that employs mostly middle-aged, bald men.

“Why should I subsidize their sexual lives when it conflicts with my beliefs?” Lingersen said. His decision came immediately following a ruling from SCROTUS on the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. case.

When asked if he expected resistance to his decision, Lingersen said, “Fundamentalist Christians may be opposed to my decision, but if they’re not fit enough to get an erection naturally, then it’s just wrong to help them pass their defective genes on to the next generation.”

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Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 17:16 by John Sinteur in category: Pastafarian News


Twin Cities (Minnesota) Archbishop John Nienstedt has spent years arguing against LGBT rights. In 2007, he wrote that “those who actively encourage or promote homosexual acts… formally cooperate in a grave evil and, if they do so knowingly and willingly, are guilty of mortal sin.” He condemned Brokeback Mountain when it came out. And he spent $650,000 of the Church’s money trying to convince Minnesota voters to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage — an amendment that ultimately failed.

So guess what an investigation just found? GUESS! (Oh, this is too damn easy…)

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  1. Give him credit for consistency, though. The archbishop doesn’t “encourage or promote homosexual acts”. He forces those acts on the unwilling.


Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 17:12 by John Sinteur in category: Cartoon

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Privacy board backs NSA’s foreign spying

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 7:49 by John Sinteur in category: Privacy, Security


A federal privacy watchdog is largely putting its support behind a major pillar of the National Security Agency’s foreign snooping.

A draft version of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) report released late Tuesday said that NSA programs targeting foreigners are effective, legal and show “no trace” of “illegitimate activity,” though some changes should be made to better protect Americans’ privacy.

The conclusion stands in stark contrast to a previous blistering report from the PCLOB, which ruled the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records illegal earlier this year.

Makes you wonder what kind of dirt does the NSA has on the board members…

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  1. Ever since Obama reversed his opposition to FISA as Senator, and his behavior as POTUS, I have wondering what the NSA has on him?

  2. Surely it’s simpler to assume evil than conspiracy 🙂

  3. Even a “vast right-wing” one…

The new 501(c)(3) and the future of free software in the United States

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 0:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

[IRS Quote]:

We have not found any authority for the proposition that the world is a community

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  1. Authority? Disney. “It’s a small world after all…”

    Oh, sorry. That was a long time ago, children, when everyone was being nice.

Congress Quietly Deletes a Key Disclosure of Free Trips Lawmakers Take

Posted on July 2nd, 2014 at 0:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


It’s going to be a little more difficult to ferret out which members of Congress are lavished with all-expenses-paid trips around the world after the House has quietly stripped away the requirement that such privately sponsored travel be included on lawmakers’ annual financial-disclosure forms.

The move, made behind closed doors and without a public announcement by the House Ethics Committee, reverses more than three decades of precedent. Gifts of free travel to lawmakers have appeared on the yearly financial form dating back its creation in the late 1970s, after the Watergate scandal. National Journal uncovered the deleted disclosure requirement when analyzing the most recent batch of yearly filings.

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  1. No comments from the Tea Party? I guess they haven’t been told what to think yet.