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Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a heavily pregnant Sudanese Christian


 

Dear friend,

“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death.”

Those terrifying words were spoken to Meriam Yahia Ibrahim, a heavily pregnant Sudanese Christian. She’s just been sentenced to death for ‘apostasy’ – leaving Islam. Please take action for Meriam now.   Meriam was arrested on 17 February, and sentenced to 100 lashes for adultery and death for apostasy, after Sudanese authorities became aware of her marriage to a Christian man. She is currently detained in Omdurman Federal Women’s Prison along with her 20-month-old son, Martin Wani. Since she was arrested she’s been allowed no visitors, and has been denied vital medical treatment. Although she testified that she is a life-long Christian, the court ruled she had abandoned Islam, and was originally Muslim because her father, who left her Christian mother when Meriam was six, was a Muslim. Since Muslim women are not allowed to marry non-Muslims, her marriage is invalid under Islamic law – so she was convicted of adultery as well as apostasy.
Meriam is heavily pregnant, and has a toddler to look after too in prison. We can’t allow this terrible injustice to continue. Email the Sudanese embassy in the UK to protest Meriam’s sentence. Thank you for taking action. Blessings Emma CSW Campaigns Team

 

  Working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice. CSW. PO Box 99, New Malden, KT3 3YF                                                     

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May 16, 2014 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Business, Charity, Death, Disgusting, fraud, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion | Leave a comment

Inside North Korea’s brutal prison camps – Yahoo! News UK


 

Inside North Korea’s brutal prison camps

Prisoner Shin was beaten, starved, tortured and treated as a slave. Miraculously he escaped and survived to tell the tale

The North Korean military has put on a lavish display to mark the anniversary of the armistice which ended the Korean War. But despite the truce nearly 60 years ago, North Korea is still seen as a volatile nation. It has been condemned by other countries for its nuclear testing programme and its record of human rights violations – in particular its use of brutal prison camps. One man who knows all about the country’s abuse of human rights is Shin Dong-hyuk – the only man born inside a North Korean prison camp who managed to escape. His story has been documented in a book ‘Escape from Camp 14’ by journalist Blaine Harden. Here the author offers Yahoo! News a startling picture of what life is like in notoriously secretive North Korea.

A naked Shin was hung from the ceiling by his arms and legs, his body in the shape of a U. Just a boy at the time, he was lowered by a winch towards a tub of burning charcoal. Crazed with pain, he smelled his burning flesh. A guard then pierced his stomach with a hook on a pole and held him over the fire until he lost consciousness. This was just one instance of the brutal torture Shin experienced and witnessed at Camp 14 – one of North Korea’s inhumane prison camps.

American Journalist Blaine Harden spent years trying to gain the trust of Shin, now in his late 20s, so that his story could be told. He tells us: "The purpose of writing the book is to grab people by the throat and explain how North Korea operates and Shin’s story does that so well because no one has told it before."

Shin is the only person to be born in a prison camp who has escaped and lived to tell the tale.
His only crime? Being related to his father’s brothers who escaped to South Korea after the Korean War in the 1950s. There are people like Shin who were born in the camps and never allowed to leave and others, considered defectors, who are either there for ‘rehabilitation’ – or more likely until they die.

Harden says: "They can arrest anybody they want, for any reason, without any charge and take them away in the middle of the night and never tell them why they were taken."

The camps have been around since the late 1950s and Harden says they have always operated in almost exactly the same way. He says: "There is an incredible culture of brutality. Working people to death, usually by the time they’re in their mid-40s, they have executions, guards who are at liberty to murder, rape and torment the prisoners without any sanctions against them. They are taught to regard the prisoners as pigs and dogs. They can rape them, impregnate them, kill the babies and kill the women. They can also beat children to death if they’re in the mood."

A female North Korean soldier looks out from behind a barbed-wire fence around a camp (PA)

A total of 60 former camp inmates have told their stories to human rights investigators. Harden explains how those interviews, carried out separately across a decade, tell a remarkably consistent story about how the camps operate, what life is like, who lives, who dies, why and how.

Shin was starved, beaten and raised as a slave in a culture of disclosure and reward. He reported his mother and brother for plotting an escape which ultimately led to their execution.

Harden says: "How Shin was raised in the camp is an example of the sort of mentality that is spread across the country. There are about 170,000 secret police in North Korea. They are in virtually every apartment block, every village. They are there to incentivise people to snitch on each other. And children, relatives and friends do snitch on each other."

An estimated 200,000 people are detained in prison camps and there are fears the camps are growing. Satellite images show the existence of the camps, yet North Korea still denies their presence to the rest of the world.

But people in North Korea know the camps exist. "They know that every once in a while people disappear into the night – an entire family," says Harden. "And they know if they speak out there’s a chance that they could join them."

North Korean female soldiers on parade in Pyongyang (Reuters)

People may be scared into silence but they are armed with more knowledge. Despite its extravagant ceremonial parades and military displays, North Korea is poor. Times are hard and although the Kim family rulers have tried to isolate the notoriously secretive country from the rest of the globe, censoring media, preventing access to the internet and effectively starving the populace of information, knowledge about the wealth and freedoms in the outside world has seeped through into this totalitarian state. 

More electronic products such as DVDs, radios and USB sticks are crossing the border illegally, primarily from China, and the number of radios that can tune into outside radio stations has increased. A recent survey of all defectors who have fled the country revealed that while in North Korea, 60 per cent were able to listen to outside radio stations on a daily basis.

Harden says: "They know more about the outside world but their ability to act on it and interact with each other based on the new information they have is not changing very much at all. There’s no civil society inside North Korea. People do not get together. They cannot meet in more than groups of three or four anywhere and people cannot travel easily within the country so they are socially and politically atomised."

Harden believes that life may have actually got worse under new leader Kim Jong-Un, who was declared the ‘Supreme Leader’ of North Korea at the end of 2011 following the death of his father.

He says: "It seems to have gone backwards in some ways. The border has been effectively closed down, people are not crossing or fleeing the country. The number of defectors arriving in South Korea has been cut significantly in the past year. Kim Jong-Un recognised that having this porous border was allowing people to go off and tell stories to human rights people and he wanted to end it. The Government has lost none of its appetite for cruelty."

                                    [Amnesty: North Korea Prison Camps ‘Expanding’]

Propaganda is also used incessantly and it is extremely powerful. Pictures of the ‘great’ and ‘dear’ leader Kim Jong-Un are everywhere and the state owned Central News Agency is the sole news provider in the country, ensuring the publication and broadcast of specific messages, including verbal attacks on America and South Korea.

Harden says: "They teach people that the US in particular, South Korea and Japan are plotting to murder them, to bomb them to kill their children – and there are some good reasons for North Koreans to believe it. During the Korean War the Americans bombed North Korea. They destroyed virtually every city, town and village, including about 85 per cent of the structures.”

Harden states that every single person in the country had a relative killed in the war. "That is sold and resold in the state propaganda about why you need the Kim family to protect you."
                     [
North Korean defector’s ‘impossible’ dream of closing prison camps]

Shin was not subject to the propaganda. There was no use for propaganda for the prisoners born in the camps. They have no choices. They are put to work, then they die. For the rest of the population though it’s a highly effective method of control.

Despite all this, Harden is optimistic change will occur in North Korea. The UN has authorised a human rights investigation into the camps, amid denials from the country’s UN ambassador Sin Son-ho, who recently asserted ‘we don’t have any human rights problems’.
Harden says: "They are surrounded by a booming China and an absolutely amazing South Korea which is one of the fastest growing economies, one of the most wired places in the world and Japan. They’re getting poorer and their options are fewer. As more information seeps into the country, the contradictions become sharper, so change has to happen."

Shin is one of many who dares to hope he is right.

Inside North Korea’s brutal prison camps – Yahoo! News UK

Nermin OomerNermin Oomer – Fri, Aug 2, 2013

August 5, 2013 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, Politics, religion, Weird | | Leave a comment

Life In North Korea Prison Camp Horror – Business Insider


It is the year 2013 and this is happening in our world today…

shame on us…..shame on the world for letting this happen……..jboy2244

North Korea’s Prison Camps Are Absolutely Horrifying

Paul Szoldra and William WeiMar. 18, 2013, 10:37 AM1,949,39379

 

Camp 22 North Korea from Google Earth

Google Earth

North Korean Prison Camp 22

As international leaders fear what Pyongyang may do beyond its borders, perhaps the biggest issue is what happens within.

North Korea operates a growing network of prison camps containing up to 200,000 prisoners in conditions likened by survivors to Nazi concentration camps. This atrocity gains little international attention, though the United Nations Human Rights Council is considering a formal inquiry for possible crimes against humanity.

Information about the camps is limited to reports from the few successful escapees, notably Shin Dong-hyuk, who told 60 Minutes about spending 23 years behind the wire.

Although there are no pictures from inside the camps, satellite images plus a set of illustrations supposedly done by a defector (the source of these images is unconfirmed) give a hint of the terror inside.

Warning: Some images are disturbing.

There are over 24 million people living inside North Korea.

There are over 24 million people living inside North Korea.

Wikimedia Commons

But there are between 150,000 and 200,000 who have ‘disappeared’. They live in brutal concentration camps throughout the country.

But there are between 150,000 and 200,000 who have 'disappeared'. They live in brutal concentration camps throughout the country.

freekorea.us

Source: Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

Former prisoners say conditions are so bad that 20 to 25 percent of the prison population dies every year.

Former prisoners say conditions are so bad that 20 to 25 percent of the prison population dies every year.

 

Source: Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

The North uses guilt by association to lock up entire families just for knowing someone convicted of "wrong thought."

The North uses guilt by association to lock up entire families just for knowing someone convicted of "wrong thought."

Stephanie T. Kleine-Ahlbrandt

Source: Committee for Human Rights in North Korea

Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside one camp, and lived there 23 years before he was able to escape.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born inside one camp, and lived there 23 years before he was able to escape.

60 Minutes

Successful escapes have been few. That’s because anyone who tries, plans, or has knowledge of an escape is executed, and all prisoners are required to watch.

Successful escapes have been few. That's because anyone who tries, plans, or has knowledge of an escape is executed, and all prisoners are required to watch.

Google Earth

Starvation is common, as prisoners are usually only fed gruel made of cornmeal and cabbage. "We were always hungry, and the guards always told us ‘through hunger you will repent,’" Shin said. They often eat rats and insects just to stay alive.

Starvation is common, as prisoners are usually only fed gruel made of cornmeal and cabbage. "We were always hungry, and the guards always told us 'through hunger you will repent,'" Shin said. They often eat rats and insects just to stay alive.

Imgur

Without protein and calcium in their diet, prisoners develop hunchbacks from bending over in the fields or lose toes and fingers due to frostbite.

Without protein and calcium in their diet, prisoners develop hunchbacks from bending over in the fields or lose toes and fingers due to frostbite.

Imgur

(Source)

The guards are relentless in their brutality.

The guards are relentless in their brutality.

AP Photo/Ng Han Guan

They often terrorize and torture their captives, sometimes just for fun, according to escapees.

They often terrorize and torture their captives, sometimes just for fun, according to escapees.

Imgur

The tip of one of Shin’s fingers was chopped off as punishment for accidentally breaking a machine while working in a factory.

The tip of one of Shin's fingers was chopped off as punishment for accidentally breaking a machine while working in a factory.

60 Minutes

When he was just 13 years old, Shin was sent to an underground torture center when his mother and older brother were accused of attempting an escape. "They hung me by the ankles and they tortured me with fire."

When he was just 13 years old, Shin was sent to an underground torture center when his mother and older brother were accused of attempting an escape. "They hung me by the ankles and they tortured me with fire."

60 MInutes

All of the methods of torture are appalling — but some are more disturbing than others.

All of the methods of torture are appalling — but some are more disturbing than others.

Imgur

And women aren’t afforded any leniency.

And women aren't afforded any leniency.

Imgur

Pregnancy is strictly forbidden, except in the case of a ‘marriage’ arranged by the prison guards.

Pregnancy is strictly forbidden, except in the case of a 'marriage' arranged by the prison guards.

Imgur

Prisoners are categorized as their conditions deteriorate …

Prisoners are categorized as their conditions deteriorate ...

Imgur

… While guards and party officials are treated well for their dedication to the regime.

... While guards and party officials are treated well for their dedication to the regime.

Courtesy of The Bohemian Blog

But if prisoners can make it past guards and electrified fences …

But if prisoners can make it past guards and electrified fences ...

60 Minutes/Google Earth

They still need to get across the border to China, and if discovered, they face the possibility of being sent back.

They still need to get across the border to China, and if discovered, they face the possibility of being sent back.

60 Minutes

While North Korea denies they even exist, satellite imagery shows camps scattered around the country, and they are growing.

While North Korea denies they even exist, satellite imagery shows camps scattered around the country, and they are growing.

Google Earth

Source: Amnesty International

And for North Koreans outside the camps, the fear of the gulag ensures their loyalty to the regime …

And for North Koreans outside the camps, the fear of the gulag ensures their loyalty to the regime ...

AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin

… And Kim Jong-un’s complete power over his own people.

... And Kim Jong-un's complete power over his own people.

North Korean leaders

Life In North Korea Prison Camp Horror – Business Insider

July 22, 2013 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Charity, Death, Disgusting, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, People, Politics, religion | | Leave a comment

Victoria’s Secret model loses an arm to airbrushing – Yahoo! Lifestyle UK


Be Yourself why does everyone want to be perfect…love yourself the way you are..jboy2244

Victoria’s Secret model loses an arm to airbrushing

Another Victoria’s Secret model has become a victim of overzealous airbrushing

When it comes to Photoshop blunders Victoria’s Secret are well known for making errors.

This time, a photo on the Victoria’s Secret website that promoted a lace flyaway babydoll has stirred up an airbrushing debate online.

Has this Victoria’s Secret model lost an arm? © Victoria’s Secret

In the image it appears a model’s left arm has been totally cut out, so all she is left with is her hand that floats midair beside her body. But if you take a closer look from another angle, her arm is there just hidden in the shadow.

We can’t decide whether this is another VS Photoshop fail or just terrible case of airbrushing?

Now the image has been removed from the website and replaced with a suitable photo of a model showing two arms.

This isn’t the first model to fall victim to amputation by the Victoria’s Secret art team. Back in 2011 Marissa Miller lost an arm in an ad for the lingerie brand’s spring/summer collection and unlike this recent error it wasn’t hard to spot – it was obvious. 

Victoria’s Secret model loses an arm to airbrushing – Yahoo! Lifestyle UK

Yahoo Lifestyle

By Bianca Ffolkes

October 2, 2012 Posted by | Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, Film, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, scams, Star | | Leave a comment

US-based preacher ‘saddened’ after ban prevents town visit .


US based Preacher “saddened” after ban prevents him from entering UK

Todd Bentley
 
Todd Bentley

THE controversial US-based preacher Todd Bentley has spoken of his disappointment after he was banned from appearing at a three-day healing event in Portadown.

 Mr Bentley, whose unorthodox approach to healing – including choking and kicking people – provoked wide-spread international criticism, had been due to appear at The Christian Centre on September 1, 2 and 3.

The former drug addict, who was convicted of sexually assaulting a child when he was a teenager, had been invited to Portadown by Pastors George and Irene Elliott who run the Tandragee Road-based church.

However, the Home Office announced this week that it was refusing to permit Mr Bentley entry to the UK via an exclusion order. He had also been due to preach in England. A spokesperson for the Home Office explained, “The Government makes no apologies for refusing people access to the UK if we believe they’re not conducive to the public good.”

Mr Bentley reacted to the Home Office decision by publishing a statement on the Fresh Fires Ministries Church, an American church he is affiliated to.

He said, “I am deeply saddened by the recent decision of the UK government regarding my entry into the country. At this point, we are thankful to God for the support from our friends in the UK who truly love Jesus and embrace the supernatural, faith and healing.

“We know and believe that the UK has a great destiny, and we are praying for the leaders and those in government. Please continue to stand with us in prayer regarding this decision and our return to the UK.”

When news broke that the Canadian-born preacher was due to fly to Northern Ireland and mainland UK, town clergymen expressed their fears that such a visit by the 36-year-old would ‘exploit’ the most vulnerable in society. Clips of the preacher on video-sharing website, YouTube, show Mr Bentley hitting a man in the stomach with what he describes as his “holy knee”. Another clip shows Mr Bentley speaking about how he banged a crippled woman’s legs “like baseball bats” off the ground.

The Rev Jim Campbell, Rector of St Mark’s Church, and Pastor Johnny Brown of Portadown Elim Church both said they felt Mr Bentley’s style of healing was at odds with Biblical teachings. And local psychologist, Dr Arthur Cassidy, told the paper that Mr Bentley’s ‘healing’ events could potentially lead ill people to stop taking their medication.

The Portadown Times contacted Pastors George and Irene Elliott for their response. However, they said they did not wish to make any comment.

From the: Portadown Times N Ireland…..http://www.portadowntimes.co.uk/

August 25, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Disgusting, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, religion, scams | , | Leave a comment

Drivers refunded after traffic wardens issued fines for cars parked on snow-covered double yellow lines.


 

Drivers refunded after traffic wardens issued fines for cars parked on snow-covered double yellow lines

Yahoo! NewsBy Simon Garner

This is the moment a traffic warden was caught ticketing parked cars – by kicking snow off double yellow lines.
Pensioner Anthony Wilkinson, 70, captured two officials as they slapped penalty notices on dozens of cars during the cold snap in November 2010.

This is the moment one of the traffic wardens was caught illegally ticketing parked cars The law states parking tickets can only be issued if the double yellow lines are visible.
Mr Wilkinson claimed he caught two traffic wardens shuffling the snow away with their feet before putting penalty tickets on the car windows to make it appear the lines could be seen.
Despite not being issued a ticket himself, Mr Wilkinson has successfully battled against the fines which were issued by Nottingham City Council.
After viewing his footage of the underhand wardens, all the drivers who were issued a ticket outside Mr Wilkinson’s home in Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, were told they could get a refund.

Pensioner Anthony Wilkinson (Picture: NTI / SWNS)


Mr Wilkinson, who was today told his appeal against the fines had finally been accepted, said: "I think it has highlighted a possible culture of deception and disdain for the public among the employees of the parking industry.
"When I saw the footage on my cameras I just thought to myself ‘no, it is wrong’. I couldn’t believe what I saw. How sneaky and underhand can you get?"
The council today admitted the wardens – employed by private firm NSL – should not have issued the penalty tickets.
A council spokesman said: "We instruct the civil enforcement officers that they must be able to see the lines and the windscreen in order to be able to issue.
"This would normally cover snow, standing water, frost, leaves and similar.
"It is clear the penalty charge notices should not have been issued.
"The conduct of the civil enforcement officers was not and would never be condoned by Nottingham City Council.
"In this instance the enforcement was certainly not fair or accurate and was not consistent with the high standards of enforcement expected."
The council no longer uses NSL and its own staff now enforce parking regulations.
A spokesman from NSL said: "This incident was bought to our attention in January 2011, not long after it took place. The matter was dealt with in accordance with our usual processes and appropriate action was taken."

 

Drivers refunded after traffic wardens issued fines for cars parked on snow-covered double yellow lines – Yahoo! News UK

August 19, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Computers, Entertainement, fraud, Internet, Just Wrong, Money, nature, People, Politics | | Leave a comment

WikiLeaks to release vast dossier of 2million incriminating emails sent by Syrian officials | Mail Online


 

WikiLeaks to release vast dossier of 2million incriminating emails sent by Syrian officials

By Ian Garland

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepared a statement from his hiding place in the Ecuadorian Embassy

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepared a statement from his hiding place in the Ecuadorian Embassy

WikiLeaks has announced it has begun publishing more than two  million embarrassing and incriminating emails from Syrian government officials.

In a news conference, the whistle-blowing website’s spokesman Sarah Harrison revealed the emails were sent by political figures, government ministers and companies between August 2006 and 2012.

She read a statement from the website’s controversial founder Julian Assange – currently holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London – claiming the emails contain material embarrassing to both ‘Syria and its opponents’.

Assange, who is attempting to avoid extradition to Sweden to face allegations of rape and sexual abuse,  wrote : "The material helps us not merely to criticise one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it.’

WikiLeaks said the emails, which it has called ‘The Syria Files’, would shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, and ‘also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.

 Syria Files: WikiLeaks announce the release of the leaked emails online

Syria Files: WikiLeaks announce the release of the leaked emails online

There are more than eight times as many documents in "The Syria Files" as the number of diplomatic cables WikiLeaks published in 2010, when it angered Washington by disclosing confidential information relating to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is reportedly sleeping on a blow up mattress

The Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange is reportedly sleeping on a blow up mattress

The range of files extends from the intimate correspondence of the most senior Baath party figures to records of financial transfers sent from Syrian ministries to other nations, WikiLeaks said.

The emails are in several languages and include 68,000 in Russian. Moscow is one of Syria’s main arms suppliers and has shielded its long-standing ally President Bashar al-Assad from tougher U.N. sanctions over his crackdown on a 16-month uprising.

The revolt, which started with peaceful pro-democracy protests in March 2011, has turned into a something approaching a civil war as the government’s crackdown triggered an armed uprising.

Opposition leaders and Western governments say more than 15,000 people have been killed in the uprising. The government says "terrorist gangs" steered from abroad have killed several thousand troops and police.

WikiLeaks said that although it had not yet verified all the emails due to their significant volume, it was "statistically confident" the vast majority of files were genuine.

WikiLeaks to release vast dossier of 2million incriminating emails sent by Syrian officials | Mail Online

July 5, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Disgusting, Entertainement, fraud, Internet, Just Wrong, Money, nature, People, Politics, religion, scams, Weird | | Leave a comment

Julian Assange Seeks Asylum at Ecuador Embassy – ABC News


 

Julian Assange Seeks Asylum at Ecuador Embassy

PHOTO: On June 19, 2012, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced in Quito that Julian Assange is seeking asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London, and that Ecuador's government is studying the request.

On June 19, 2012, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced in Quito that Julian Assange is seeking asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London, and that Ecuador’s government is studying the request. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo)

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is seeking political asylum in Ecuador after taking refuge in its embassy in London Tuesday.

The Ecuadorian embassy in Washington, D.C. confirmed to ABC News that the 40-year-old Australian national, who faces extradition to Sweden over allegations that he sexually assaulted two women, was on the grounds of the embassy in London and had requested asylum. The Ecuadorian government said in a statement that it is "evaluating the request of Mr. Julian Assange and whatever decision that we adopt about him will take into account the respect for the norms and principles of international law."

According to the Ecuadorian government’s statement, Assange said he was seeking asylum because his home country "had declared that they will neither defend nor guarantee the least [of my rights] in front of any government."

"These statements make it impossible for me to return to my home and place me in a state of indefensibility," the statement quotes Assange as saying.

Assange accused Sweden of investigating him because of "political crimes" in the United States, "a place with the death penalty for said offenses."

Though it remains unclear how Assange reached the Ecuadorian embassy, news first broke of his seeking asylum on the Wikileaks twitter account, which tweeted "Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London."

 

 

PHOTO: On June 19, 2012, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced in Quito that Julian Assange is seeking asylum at Ecuador's embassy in London, and that Ecuador's government is studying the request.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP Photo

On June 19, 2012, Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino announced in Quito that Julian Assange is seeking asylum at Ecuador’s embassy in London, and that Ecuador’s government is studying the request.

 

 

 

Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister had indicated publicly in 2010 that Assange could come live in the South American country. "We are open to giving him residence in Ecuador, without any kind of trouble and without any kind of conditions," said Kintto Lucas. Lucas is no longer the deputy foreign minister.

Assange has been under house arrest in a mansion in the British countryside since December 2010. He has hosted a television talk show on the international cable channel Russia Today, or RT, from the house since March. Last week, the highest court in Britain rejected his appeal to block his extradition to Sweden.

In August 2010, police in Sweden began investigating accusations of sexual assault against Assange made by two women. According to British police documents, one of the accusers claims Assange pulled her clothes off, pinioned her arms and legs and refused to use a condom. She told a friend that the act was both violent and the worst sex she’d ever had. A British attorney representing Swedish prosecutors told the court earlier this year that Assange had raped the second woman while she was sleeping.

Assange has denied any wrongdoing.

Last month, in a 5-2 vote, the British Supreme Court upheld the validity of an arrest warrant made by a Swedish prosecutor to question Assange over the assault accusations.

In its ruling, the court dismissed Assange’s argument that the Swedish Prosecution Authority, which issued the warrant in November 2010, did not have the legal authority to do so.

But the court also granted a request from Assange’s attorney for 14 days to make an application to reopen the case. The court rejected the bid to reconsider his case on June 14, clearing the way for him to be extradited to Sweden before the end of June.

Julian Assange Seeks Asylum at Ecuador Embassy – ABC News

June 19, 2012 Posted by | Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, fraud, Health, Internet, Money, People, Politics, religion, Star | | Leave a comment

56 stars tattooed on Belgian woman’s face still visible a year after she planned to have laser surgery | Mail Online


 

Still star struck: Young Belgian’s misery three years after she had 56 tattoos on her face

By Lyle Brennan

A disastrous mistake looked set to cost Kimberley Vlaeminck more than her looks after the young Belgian had 56 stars tattooed on her face.

Last summer she was preparing to shell out £9,000 for laser surgery and said she hoped to have the design removed by the end of September.

But, almost three years after the 21-year-old decided to go under the needle, the constellation shows little sign of fading.

Clear as the night sky: Kimberley Vlaeminck still bears the 56 tiny black stars she said she planned to have surgically removed

Clear as the night sky: Kimberley Vlaeminck still bears the 56 tiny black stars she said she planned to have surgically removed

In June 2009, Miss Vlaeminck lied to family and reporters that she had asked tattooist Rouslan Toumaniantz for just three stars near her eye.

As her regret sank in, she claimed he kept adding more and more after she fell asleep at the Tattoo Box in Coutrai, Belgium.

She promised to sue the tattooist for the cost of removal, claiming a language barrier meant the Flemish speaker had misunderstood when she gave instructions in French and English.

Miss Vlaeminck said she avoided going out in public because the tattoos made her feel like a ‘freak’.

But a week later she confessed to a Dutch TV station that she had been awake throughout and had indeed asked for the full 56 marks.

She said she lied because she was afraid of how her father would react.

Fresh: Miss Vlaeminck at the age of 18, shortly after she asked tattooist Rouslan Toumaniantz to cover her face in black stars

Freshly inked: Miss Vlaeminck at the age of 18 in 2009, shortly after she asked tattooist Rouslan Toumaniantz to cover her face in black stars

Even still, Mr Toumaniantz – whose own face is covered in tattoos and piercings – offered to pay half the cost of laser removal, saying he did not want to leave a customer unsatisfied.

He later retracted this offer, leaving Miss Vlaeminck to cover the cost alone.

Though laser treatment has been shown to be a effective way of removing ink, even the most advanced technology would leave white marks across her face.

According to Belgian media, Mr Toumaniantz said he did not regret tattooing Miss Vlaeminck, adding that it had given him publicity.

He has since started asking all his customers to give written consent to his designs.

Kimberly Vlaminck, who wanted three stars tattooed on her face and got 56

Rouslan Toumaniantz

Bizarre: Tattooist Mr Toumaniantz (right) originally offered to pay half the cost of Miss Vlaeminck’s laser removal – even though she threatened to sue him and lied that she had asked for only three of the 56 stars

56 stars tattooed on Belgian woman’s face still visible a year after she planned to have laser surgery | Mail Online

April 13, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, Entertainement, fraud, Health, Internet, Just Wrong, People, scams, Star, Weird | | Leave a comment

David Cameron fundraising scandal: Guest list of Tory donors who had dinner at Downing Street | Mail Online


 

Cam dine with me: The guest list of Tory donors who had dinner with Dave and Sam at No. 10 and Chequers

By Jason Groves and Emily Allen

The guest list of Conservative Party donors wined and dined by David Cameron and his wife Samantha at Downing Street and Chequers has been revealed today.

Lord John and Lady Sainsbury, secretive tycoon David Rowland – once branded a ‘shady financier’ – and billionaire City businessman Michael Spencer, are among the 26 people who have been invited for supper with the Prime Minister either at Number 10 or his country residence Chequers.

Mr Cameron – who sometimes cooks – confirmed he had dinner with ‘significant’ Conservative Party donors at his flat on three occasions since becoming Prime Minister, as well as at a post-election dinner in No 10 in 2010.

Scroll down to hear David Cameron’s reaction

Close relationship: Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas, left, boasted that he could give donors private access to David Cameron, right

Close relationship: Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas, left, boasted that he could give donors private access to David Cameron, right

Today he pledged to publish a quarterly register of any future meals at official residences with people who have given more than £50,000 to the Tories.

The announcement came as Mr Cameron was put under huge pressure over claims by former Tory co-treasurer Peter Cruddas that individuals could secure meetings with ministers and influence policy formation in return for a ‘premier league’ donation.

Mr Cruddas quit on Saturday after the Sunday Times published secret recordings in which he urged undercover reporters to give more than £250,000 in return for direct face time with senior ministers.

David Rowland

MURDOCH MACLENNAN

Invited: David Rowland in an early picture and right, Telegraph Media Group chief executive Murdoch MacLennan, who is not listed by the Electoral Commission as a donor to the Tories

Mr Cameron yesterday denounced his comments as ‘completely unacceptable’ and announced an internal party inquiry to ensure there would be no repeat.

And senior Tory Francis Maude this morning appeared to hope that this had drawn a line under the affair, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme it was ‘a bit of a nonsense’.

CITY BOSS MICHAEL SPENCER.

Billionaire city boss Michael Spencer went for dinner at Number 10 in February

But it was later announced that Mr Maude would give an oral statement to the House of Commons this afternoon to update MPs on reform of political party funding.

And Mr Cameron broke into a scheduled speech on dementia care in London to address the Cruddas affair head-on.

He confirmed that he had held a post-election ‘thankyou’ dinner for supporters, including some major donors, in 10 Downing Street in July 2010, followed by three private dinners in the flat above Number 11 where he lives with wife Samantha.

He denied that any of those invited had been recommended by Mr Cruddas, describing most of them as people he had known for many years. Neither had Mr Cruddas – himself a big donor to the Tories – ever attended a Downing Street dinner.

‘In the two years I have been Prime Minister, there have been three occasions on which significant donors have come to a dinner in my flat. In addition, there was a further post-election dinner which included donors in Downing Street itself shortly after the general election,’ said Mr Cameron.

‘None of these dinners were fundraising dinners and none of these dinners were paid for by the taxpayer. I have known most of those attending for many years.’

Sir Anthony Bamford

Lord Sainsbury

Dinner date: Sir Anthony Bamford of JCB and right, Lord Sainsbury who attended dinner on July 14 2010

It was publicly known that the Conservatives held regular dinners with the PM and other ministers for the ‘Leader’s Group’ of donors who give more than £50,000, said Mr Cameron. From now on, the party will publish a register of attendees at these events.

Mr Cameron dismissed Mr Cruddas’s promise that major donors’ concerns would be fed into a Downing Street ‘policy committee’.

No such committee exists, and members of the Number 10 Policy Unit had never met anyone as a result of a request from the former co-treasurer, he said.

Mr Cameron added: ‘To avoid any perception of undue influence, from now on we will put in place new procedures in which if any ministerial contact with a party donor prompts a request for policy advice, the minister will refer this to his or her private office, who can seek guidance from the permanent secretary.’

Secretive tycoon David Rowland and billionaire City businessman Michael Spencer, are among the people who have been invited to either Number 10 or his country residence Chequers (pictured)

Secretive tycoon David Rowland and billionaire City businessman Michael Spencer, are among the people who have been invited to either Number 10 or his country residence Chequers (pictured)

The internal Conservative inquiry into the Cruddas affair will be led by Tory peer and prominent lawyer Lord Gold, said the Prime Minister. It had earlier been reported that Tory co-chairman Lord Feldman would lead the probe.

Labour former Cabinet minister Jack Straw said that today’s announcement was ‘symptomatic of the pandemonium that has broken out in the Conservative Party and in the higher reaches of the Government.’ He told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: ‘I think that we will still need an independent inquiry.’

WHO HAD A DINNER INVITE TO DAVE AND SAM’S?

May 31, 2010 – Chequers – lunch

– Michael Spencer and his partner

June 6, 2010 – Chequers – lunch

– Lord Ashcroft and his wife

July 14, 2010 – 10 Downing Street. Described as a ‘thank-you dinner’ inside Number 10 itself, while flat was being refurbished

– Anthony and Carole Bamford

– Michael and Dorothy Hintze

– Murdoch and Elsa MacLennan

– Lord John and Lady Sainsbury

– Andrew Feldman

– Jill and Paul Ruddock

– Mike and Jenny Farmer

– Michael and Clara Freeman

August 8, 2010 – Chequers – lunch

– David Rowland and his wife

November 7, 2010 – Chequers – lunch

– Fares Fares and his wife

February 6, 2011 – Chequers – lunch

– Howard Leigh and his wife

February 28, 2011 – Downing Street flat.

– David Rowland and his wife

– Andrew Feldman also attended

October 15, 2011 – Chequers – A charity fundraiser in aid of Mencap and three smaller charities in aid of disabled children, attended by a large number of people, including donors to both the Labour Party and the Conservative Party.

November 2, 2011 – Downing Street flat. Described as a ‘social dinner for strong and long term supporters of the party, with whom the PM has a strong relationship’.

– Henry and Dorothy Angest

– Michael Farmer and wife

– Ian Taylor and wife

February 27, 2012 – Downing Street flat. Said to have been a ‘social dinner’

– Michael Spencer and partner

Lord Feldman is said to have visited Chequers on ‘several occasions’ as Conservative Party co-chairman.

The Prime Minister renewed calls for Labour to agree on a cap of £50,000 on donations to parties, but insisted that this limit must apply not only to individuals and companies but also to unions – something Labour has always resisted.

Labour leader Ed Miliband will respond to Mr Maude’s statement in the Commons this afternoon, and said he had contacted Downing Street to say that it was Mr Cameron – and not his Cabinet Office minister – who should address MPs.

The Conservative Party said that a post-election ‘thank-you dinner’ was held at 10 Downing Street on July 14 2010, attended by Anthony Bamford of JCB, hedge fund tycoon Michael Hintze, Tory peer Lord Sainsbury of Preston Candover, Lansdowne Partners chief executive Sir Paul Ruddock, City financier Mike Farmer and Michael Freeman, as well as their spouses.

Telegraph Media Group chief executive Murdoch MacLennan, who is not listed by the Electoral Commission as a donor to the Tories, also attended.

On February 28 last year, property tycoon and major donor David Rowland, who had previously been appointed party treasurer but quit before taking up the post, attended a dinner in the flat, along with party co-chairman Lord Feldman.

Mr Rowland spent some 40 years as a tax exile and on his return to Britain, began giving generously to the Tory Party, eventually donating over £4million.

He has had an extremely controversial business career, being once described as ‘shady’.

He attracted unproven accusations of misallocating millions of dollars in New Zealand, and also of asset-stripping.

On November 2 last year, Mr Cameron held a ‘social dinner for strong and long-term supporters of the party, with whom the PM has a strong relationship’, including banker and Tory donor Henry Angest, Mr Farmer and oil company boss Ian Taylor.

And on February 27 this year, he held a social dinner with former treasurer and major donor Michael Spencer and his partner.

An aide to the Prime Minister said he would not be releasing retrospective records of party dinners at Chequers as it would be difficult to provide an accurate record, but added that there had been no ‘donor only’ meals at the grace and favour estate.

News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, whose own meetings with politicians have come under intense scrutiny as a result of the News of the World hacking scandal, called for an independent inquiry into the ‘cash for access’ affair.

Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life

Leader of the opposition Ed Miliband

Appalled: Sir Christopher Kelly, Chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, said the revelations were ‘not an isolated incident’ while Labour leader Ed Miliband called the news ‘disturbing’

Writing on Twitter today, Mr Murdoch said: ‘Of course there must be a full independent inquiry on both sides. In great detail, and with consequences. Trust must be established. Without trust, democracy, and order will go.’

'Business deals': Mr Cruddas was secretly filmed telling undercover reporters he could arrange private meetings with senior Conservatives

‘Business deals’: Mr Cruddas was secretly filmed telling undercover reporters he could arrange private meetings with senior Conservatives

Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, last night warned that the revelations were ‘not an isolated incident’.

He added: ‘As long as we have a system in which the main political parties are reliant on very large donations from very rich individuals – or organisations, in the case of the Labour Party – then events of this kind are almost bound to happen.

‘It is a cancer which needs to be addressed.’

The revelations are deeply embarrassing for Mr Cameron, who pledged two years ago to crack down on the shadowy world of lobbying.

The existence of secret dinners with donors also undermines the Coalition’s much-vaunted transparency drive, which allows the public to see who ministers have met in their official capacity.

Downing Street insisted that the Government had been ‘more transparent’ than any previous administration.

Asked about the actions of Mr Cruddas, the spokeswoman said: ‘We are just as flabbergasted as you guys.’

David Cameron fundraising scandal: Guest list of Tory donors who had dinner at Downing Street | Mail Online

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