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rpannier

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Gender: Male
Current location: Boseong
Member since: Fri Jan 30, 2004, 05:44 AM
Number of posts: 21,788

Journal Archives

Democrats gain 6 seats in Marion City-County Council

Indianapolis Democrats gained ground in the City-County Council during Tuesday’s municipal election, with four Republican incumbents falling to their Democratic challengers and four Democratic newcomers winning seats.

The victories propelled Democrats toward gaining six seats overall and a 20-5 majority on the council. All 25 council seats were up for grabs.

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District 2 was a vital seat for Republicans, and the opposing candidates brought in more money than the candidates in most of the other races.

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In District 5, Democrat Alison Brown defeated Republican incumbent Adam Cox with 55% to Cox’s 45%. The previous council member, Republican Jeff Coats, did not run for reelection. It was one of the few council races to make news during the election cycle after an ad posted by Cox that appeared to attack Brown’s sexuality drew criticism, though Cox told IndyStar the ad was taken out of context.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/11/05/indiana-elections-2019-marion-city-county-council-races/4154673002/

Jazmine Long. The Model Voter

But one Indianapolis voter told IndyStar it took her several hours — and a number of trips — to cast her ballot.

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Jazmine Long, 34, said she moved from Hamilton County to Indianapolis in December, and updated the addresses on her photo ID and voter registration at a BMV branch in March.

Long said when she went to vote at her new north-side polling place at 8:30 a.m., workers were not able to scan her photo ID. She was not offered a provisional ballot and was told to return to the location where she last voted, she said.

But when Long arrived at her former polling place in Carmel, poll workers there told her to return to her new polling place on the north side of Indianapolis, she said. Long said she drove to and from the two locations six times before she was given a provisional ballot shortly before 1 p.m. at the north-side polling place.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/11/05/indiana-elections-2019-view-polls-nov-5/4158877002/

4 hours and a few trips back-and-forth because, come hell or high water, she was gonna vote!
I admire people like her. I realize not everyone may have the ability of time (due to work, or other obligation) to do that
But, I do admire her for voting no matter the difficulties
To Ms Jazmine Long, a tip of the hat

Indiana elections 2019: Democrats win three seats in historic Hamilton County election

In a historical shift in the state's most staunch Republican Party stronghold, three Democrats claimed upset victories in Hamilton County's city council races on Tuesday night.

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Every council seat in both cities has been held by Republicans for at least decades and veteran politicos cannot remember the last time a Democrat sat on the councils of either government, even when the two were towns.

"This is a major step for the Democratic party in Hamilton County,” said Joe Weingarten, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. “It is slowly turning blue and all I can say is wait until next year.”

Republicans have long counted on Hamilton County's support in elections, and typically the primaries are considered the municipal elections where the winners are determined. But a revamped county Democratic party entered candidates in 13 local races in Fishers, Carmel, Noblesville and Westfield this year, the most since 2003.

link
https://www.indystar.com/story/news/local/hamilton-county/2019/11/05/indiana-elections-2019-hamilton-county-results/2501314001/

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed

1. Spain's rape laws in the spotlight after men cleared of gang-raping teenager

Women's rights campaigners in Spain called for a change in the law on Friday after a court in Barcelona cleared five men of raping a 14-year-old girl, ruling that they did not use violence.

The men, who denied the charges, took turns to have sex with the teenager after a party in Manresa, a town to the north of Barcelona, in October 2016, the court heard.

On Thursday they were sentenced to between 10 and 12 years in jail for sexual abuse, avoiding more serious charges of rape or sexual assault because the court said the girl was drunk and unconscious, did not fight back and the men were not violent.

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The verdict has reignited a debate over the Spanish judiciary's treatment of women, which intensified with the 2016 "Wolf Pack" case, in which an 18-year-old woman was gang-raped during the running of the bulls festival in Pamplona.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/02/spain-s-rape-laws-in-the-spotlight-after-men-cleared-of-gang-raping-teenager


2. A Turkmen Doctor Came Out And Now He (And His Family) Have Gone Missing

A young man in Turkmenistan who detailed his tormented life being gay in a conservative country has vanished along with his family after going to a police station where he had been summoned.

Twenty-four-year-old Kasymberdy Garayev -- whose mother and father and siblings have also disappeared -- worked as a cardiologist at a prestigious clinic in Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital.

He recounted to RFE/RL's Turkmen Service the many problems he had being gay in Turkmenistan -- where homosexuality is still considered a crime -- in a story published on October 21.

snip

He said that only members of his family knew about his sexual orientation and even they attempted to convince him to “live a lie” and conceal the truth from everyone.

https://www.rferl.org/a/gay-turkmen-doctor-family-vanish-after-he-comes-out-details-tormented-life/30246642.html


3. Controversial new Russian internet law could increase censorship, critics say

A new Russian internet law came into effect on November 1 that lawmakers say is designed to protect the country's internet "Runet" in case of a cyber-attack or other external threat.

The "sovereign internet" law would allow the country's telecommunications body Roskomnadzor to isolate the Runet from the global network in the event of an attack.

The head of Roskomnadzor, Alexander Zharov, has said that they would only resort to blocking the internet or certain providers in an emergency.

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"Now the government can directly censor content or even turn Russia’s internet into a closed system without telling the public what they are doing or why," said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/11/01/controversial-new-russian-internet-law-could-increase-censorship-critics-say


4. EU leaders face legal action over Czech PM's alleged conflict of interest

The EU’s most powerful decision-making body is being taken to court accused of failing to act on an alleged conflict of interest centred on the Czech prime minister, Andrej Babiš.

Lukáš Wagenknecht, a Czech senator, said he had launched legal action at the European court of justice after the European council – the body representing EU leaders – failed to respond to his concerns about the alleged conflict of interest.

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The billionaire prime minister of the Czech Republic was found by EU lawyers in 2018 to have a conflict of interest, because his Agrofert agro-food conglomerate had benefited from at least €82m (£71m) in EU subsidies that year alone.
Advertisement

As a member of the European council, Babiš has a veto over the EU budget, giving him a say over how much money is allocated to farm subsidies compared with research.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/31/eu-leaders-face-legal-action-czech-pm-andrej-babis-alleged-conflict-of-interest


5. Sure, Help The Homeless, These Moscow Residents Say, But Don't Do It In Our Neighborhood

"If you want to do good deeds, do them – but don't make those around you uncomfortable," said Kira Gorchakova, a resident of Moscow’s Begovoi district when asked about a shelter and consultative center for homeless people that has been proposed for her neighborhood.

snip

For the last two months, Begovoi residents have been discussing a proposal by the nongovernmental organization Nochlezhka to open a small center to aid homeless people. Under the plan, the facility would provide legal, medical, and psychological consulting, as well as provide up to 15 beds for temporary shelter for its clients.

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"You have in your minds the image of a dirty, bad-smelling person," Sverdlin told the audience. "But 16 percent of those with whom we work have higher educations. Fifteen percent have been released from orphanages. Many of them are elderly people without families. And 40 to 45 percent of them are people who came from poor regions to earn a living and who were tricked by their employers.

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His audience remained skeptical throughout his presentation and most walked out after less than an hour. Opposition to the initiative has been spearheaded by local councilwoman Zoya Andrianova, who says she has gathered the signatures of some 1,500 residents of the Begovoi district, which is on the northwestern edge of the city center, on a petition against it.

https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-homeless-moscow-neighborhood-not-in-my-backyard/30238628.html

Indonesian man flogged after breaking adultery law he helped draw up

An Indonesian man working for an organisation that helped draft strict religious laws has been publicly whipped himself after he was caught having an affair with a married woman.

Flogging is a common punishment for a range of offences in the deeply conservative Aceh region on Sumatra island, including adultery, drinking alcohol, and having gay or premarital sex.

snip

The organisation for which Mukhlis works advised the local government and legislature on drafting and implementing Aceh’s religious law, including public flogging.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/01/indonesia-man-flogged-adultery-law-helped-draw-aceh

Definition of irony. I guess he thought the laws were for thee and for he.
The organization he works for is a menace. They help draft laws for the local government. They whined last summer because of a plan to form a women's soccer league and the stadium isn't specially built fotr only female players, match officials and spectators

Soviet-Era Dissident Vladimir Bukovsky Dies Aged 76

Prominent Soviet-era dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who helped expose the Soviet Union's abuse of psychiatry to silence critics, has died in Britain aged 76.

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During the 1960s and 1970s, Bukovsky spent 12 years in Soviet prison camps and psychiatric clinics on charges of "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda."

He was among the first to report the Soviets' use of psychiatric institutions to punish political prisoners.

He lived in Britain since 1976, when the Soviet government exchanged him for Chilean communist leader Luis Corvalan.

https://www.rferl.org/a/soviet-era-dissident-vladimir-bukovsky-dies-aged-77/30240022.html

Honduran inmate who linked president's brother to drug deals killed (not trump)

An alleged drug dealer with knowledge of drug shipments involving a brother of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez convicted this month for drug trafficking, was killed on Saturday in prison, his lawyer said.

Magdaleno Meza, who had been in the El Pozo prison since June 2018 on charges of money laundering, was shot dead during a fight between inmates of the facility, the deputy director of the national penal authority, German McNiel, told reporters.

Meza’s lawyer, Carlos Chajtur, told Reuters his client was attacked by two armed men trying to stop him from talking about the information about drug deals he had in several notebooks in case he was called to testify in the United States.

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Authorities seized the notebooks from Meza when he was arrested in 2018 on suspicion of narcotics trafficking. The notebooks had information linking Tony Hernandez to drug deals, according to documents from the attorney general’s office.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/27/honduran-inmate-who-linked-presidents-brother-to-drug-deals-killed

Watch: Scientists have taught rats to drive - and they love it

A team of researchers at the University of Richmond have taught rats to drive mini-cars - and not only are the rodents good at it, they enjoy it too.

The scientists built the rat-sized vehicles out of clear plastic food containers, with three copper bars that served as a steering wheel.

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“We already knew that rodents could recognise objects, press bars, and find their way around mazes, but we wondered if rats could learn the more complex task of operating a moving vehicle,” said Kelly Lambert, professor of behavioral neuroscience at the University of Richmond.

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The study found that the rats actually felt more relaxed after driving, with heightened levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), the hormone that counteracts stress.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/26/watch-scientists-have-taught-rats-to-drive-and-they-love-it


More relaxed after driving? I'll have to unlock my inner rat after driving, because I certainly am not

on edit: the video is kind of cute

Nusrat Jahan Rafi: 16 sentenced to death over Bangladesh murder

Sixteen Bangladeshis have been sentenced to death for the murder of a 19-year-old student, Nusrat Jahan Rafi, who was burned to death in April after complaining of being sexually harassed by her school principal.

Among those found guilty were former members of the school’s administration, teachers and pupils – 12 of the 16 having confessed to participating in the killing in which Rafi was lured on to the school’s roof, doused in paraffin and set alight.

The case was heard at the women and children repression prevention tribunal in Feni, where the judge, Mamunur Rashid, delivered the verdicts to a packed, chaotic courtroom after a fast-tracked trial.

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Rafi had been a student at the Sonagazi Senior Fazil Madrasa when she complained of being harassed by Siraj ud-Daula, on 27 March. After she first went to the police to report the sexual harassment a video was leaked showing a police chief registering her complaint but dismissing it as “not a big deal”.

Despite this, the headteacher was arrested and sent to jail, while his family pressured Rafi’s family to drop the complaint.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/24/bangladesh-nusrat-jahan-rafi-murder-16-people-sentenced-to-death

5 Stories from Europe You May Have Missed (One of them, grab some rocks and try hitting again)

1. Franco's remains to finally leave Spain's Valley of the Fallen

Spain’s socialist government is finally set to fulfil one of its key promises on Thursday when the remains of General Franco are exhumed from the austere splendour of the Valley of the Fallen and transferred to his family mausoleum outside Madrid.

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The government said the dictator’s remains needed to be moved as they could no longer “remain in a public mausoleum that exalts his figure”, adding that the removal would “symbolically close the circle of Spanish democracy”.

The move has been bitterly opposed by the Franco family, the foundation that bears his name, and the Benedictine abbot who presides over the basilica.

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A private family service will be held inside the Franco mausoleum, where the dictator’s widow, Carmen Polo, was buried following her death in 1988. At the family’s request, mass will be said by Ramón Tejero.

The priest is the son of Antonio Tejero, the Guardia Civil lieutenant colonel who led the failed 1981 military coup that sought to seize control of the country after its return to democracy following Franco’s death.

(last bit pretty much covers just how f&ck3d up the Franco's are)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/23/francos-remains-to-finally-leave-spains-valley-of-the-fallen


2. Song Mocking Ex-Central Bank Chief Sparks Outrage In Ukraine

A song appearing to make flippant fun of an arson attack on the home of former National Bank chief Valeria Hontareva was seen by many in Ukraine as bad enough

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The timing couldn't be much worse for Zelenskiy, who is facing renewed questions about his ties to Kolomoyskiy as the billionaire steps up efforts to overturn the central bank's decision in 2016, when Hontareva was its director, to take over the bank he owned, PrivatBank.

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Kolomoyskiy, who has taken jabs at Hontareva recently, was defiant, applauding the performance aired on his 1+1 station on October 20 and arguing that it was not in bad taste.

"What, is her house the only one that has burned down? How many homes in the Donbas have burned down?" Kolomoyskiy said in comments to RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service, referring to the section of eastern Ukraine where Russia-backed separatists hold parts of two provinces and their war against Kyiv's forces has killed more than 13,000 people since 2014.

https://www.rferl.org/a/song-mocking-ex-central-bank-chief-sparks-outrage-in-ukraine/30228398.html


3. LGBT In Turkmenistan: Go To Jail Or Live A Lie

To his friends and colleagues in Turkmenistan, Kamil is a successful cardiologist working at a prestigious clinic and an eligible bachelor from a well-connected family.

Only a few people in his close family circle are aware of Kamil's real struggle: He is secretly gay.

In Turkmenistan, where homosexuality is a crime and shunned by the Central Asian country's conservative society, being gay means having to choose between living a lie or facing up to two years in prison and a lifetime of disgrace.

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Turkmenistan hasn't dropped a Soviet-era law that criminalizes homosexuality. Along with Uzbekistan, they are the only two countries among the 15 former Soviet republics that consider being gay a crime.

https://www.rferl.org/a/lgbt-in-turkmenistan-go-to-jail-or-live-a-lie/30230788.html


4. Hungarian opposition MP holds 'lies' sign during Orban's parliament speech

The Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orbán was interrupted in parliament on Monday by an opposition MP denouncing Orban's "lies" and Hungary's "corruption".

The MP, Ákos Hadházy, carried two signs that read: "He must lie because he stole too much", and "Stop propaganda, stop corruption".

Hadházy, one of the most vocal MPs in the Hungarian opposition, chose to hold his protest during the first plenary session since Hungary's municipal elections, in which Orban's party Fidesz lost the capital, Budapest.

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Ákos Hadházy gained influence in Hungarian politics last year when he staged a demonstration in the Hungarian state TV headquarters to protest the new "slavery law", which brought to 400 the number of extraordinary working hours that employers can ask their employees.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/21/hungarian-opposition-mp-holds-lies-sign-during-orban-s-parliament-speech


5. The Brief: New British MEP stands out amongst the rest

According to some, Magid Magid is one of coolest MEPs.

He is outspoken and unapologetic, but he's not everyone’s cup of tea.

The Somali-British Green smashing political stereotypes in Brussels.

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"Matteo Salvini is a coward, a coward because what kind of grown man watches a child drowning gasping for breath and turns his back," Magid said about the former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy.

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"...when it came to the European elections that we weren't meant to have to begin with, it was like, you know what, I refuse to believe that the future authors of our country belong to the people like Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage, and I felt that we, as individuals, there were a lot more people that could be actually better than Farage and actually try to put a better vision of hope for the country," Magid explained.

https://www.euronews.com/2019/10/21/the-brief-new-british-mep-stands-out-amongst-the-rest

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