Popular and widely read Egyptian newspaper Al Wafd published the above picture today portraying U.S. President Barrack Hussein Obama as Satan himself. The unflattering picture has been making the rounds on Facebook in the Middle East and, according to Al Wafd, is representative of the hatred growing numbers of people in the region have for the American president, thanks to his staunch and unwavering support for Islamists and jihadiis — whether in Nigeria, Libya, Egypt, or Syria — even as they terrorize, murder, rape, and burn down Christian churches, that is, even as they engage in diabolical activities.
(CNN) — He was sentenced to life in prison plus 1,000 years for a heinous crime, but in the end he cut that life short.
Ariel Castro, convicted of kidnapping and raping three women, as well as murder, committed suicide in his prison cell Tuesday night, the Franklin County, Ohio, coroner’s office said.
The discovery of the three women who had been Castro’s captives in his Cleveland home for about a decade was shocking from the outset, and surprising in its end.
Castro, 52, hanged himself with a bedsheet, Coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak told CNN on Wednesday. He was being held at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient.
Prison medical staff tried to revive him but failed.
Castro was taken to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m.
The Cuyahoga County prosecutor had tough words in the wake of Castro’s suicide.
“These degenerate molesters are cowards,” Timothy J. McGinty said. “… This man couldn’t take, for even a month, a small portion of what he had dished out for more than a decade.”
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Striving to take action where Congress would not, the Obama administration announced new steps Thursday on gun control, curbing the import of military surplus weapons and proposing to close a little-known loophole that lets felons and others circumvent background checks by registering guns to corporations.
Four months after a gun control drive collapsed spectacularly in the Senate, President Barack Obama added two more executive actions to a list of 23 steps the White House determined Obama could take on his own to reduce gun violence. With the political world focused on Mideast tensions and looming fiscal battles, the move signaled Obama’s intent to show he hasn’t lost sight of the cause he took up after 20 first graders and six adults were gunned down last year in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
One new policy will end a government practice that lets military weapons, sold or donated by the U.S. to allies, be reimported into the U.S. by private entities, where some may end up on the streets. The White House said the U.S. has approved 250,000 of those guns to be reimported since 2005; under the new policy, only museums and a few other entities like the government will be eligible to reimport military-grade firearms.
The Obama administration is also proposing a federal rule to stop those who would be ineligible to pass a background check from skirting the law by registering a gun to a corporation or trust. The new rule would require people associated with those entities, like beneficiaries and trustees, to undergo the same type of fingerprint-based background checks as individuals if they want to register guns.
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SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman’s wife says she’s going to have to “think about” whether she stays married to him.
Shellie Zimmerman made the comments to ABC on Wednesday after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor perjury charge for lying during a bail hearing following her husband’s arrest for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in February 2012.
Her husband, who was acquitted on second-degree murder charges in July, wasn’t in the Sanford courtroom Wednesday as she was sentenced to a year’s probation and 100 hours of community service — even though she supported him and even lied about their finances.
“She was scared,” her attorney, Kelly Sims, said after Wednesday’s hearing. “Her husband was locked up. She didn’t know what was going on. So, she stood by her man, like Tammy Wynette says.”
Shellie Zimmerman told ABC “I always want my husband’s support.”
Asked if she and George Zimmerman are still together, Shellie Zimmerman said, “I’m not going to answer that.”
She added that she “wants to have children and stay married.”
“With George?” the interviewer asked.
“That’s something I’m going to have to think about,” Shellie Zimmerman replied.
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The heated argument was regarding a woman’s son, who bought a cell phone more than two weeks ago and wanted a refund.
“They came in a week ago, I explained them the situation,” said the store clerk, who wanted his identity hidden. “I showed them everything on the receipt.”
Hyon Song-wol, a singer, rumoured to be a former lover of the North Korean leader, is said to have been arrested on Aug 17 with 11 others for violating laws against pornography.
The reports in South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper indicate that Hyon, a singer with the Unhasu Orchestra, was among those arrested on August 17 for violating domestic laws on pornography.
All 12 were machine-gunned three days later, with other members of North Korea’s most famous pop groups and their immediate families forced to watch. The onlookers were then sent to prison camps, victims of the regime’s assumption of guilt by association, the reports stated.
“They were executed with machine guns while the key members of the Unhasu Orchestra, Wangjaesan Light Band and Moranbong Band as well as the families of the victims looked on,” said a Chinese source reported in the newspaper.
FORT HOOD, Texas – A military jury sentenced Maj. Nidal Hasan to death on Wednesday for the 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, giving the Army psychiatrist what he believed would be a path to martyrdom in the attack on unarmed fellow soldiers.
The American-born Muslim, who has said he acted to protect Islamic insurgents abroad from American aggression, never denied being the gunman. In opening statements, he acknowledged to the jury that he pulled the trigger in a crowded waiting room where troops were getting final medical checkups before deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The same jurors who convicted Hasan last week had just two options: either agree unanimously that Hasan should die or watch the 42-year-old get an automatic sentence of life in prison with no chance of parole.
Hasan had no visible reaction when the verdict was read Wednesday, staring first at the jury forewoman and then at the judge.
Over the last 50 years this country has struggled to free itself from its racist legacy in pursuit of what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called an America where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Unfortunately there are still those, some even who were close to King, for whom race is the paramount consideration while character matters not at all.
It is surely an odd turn of events that finds us living in a country where character, behavior, is given less weight than it should in the course of everyday events while race has become a bludgeon to be wielded against political and cultural opponents of the dominant media culture. In ways both subtle and not-so-subtle race – ethnicity, skin color, national origin – are being manipulated to excuse behaviors that would not have been tolerated at the time King made his famous address on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
Neither political party is to blame for this. It is not solely a matter of partisanship; it’s more like a cultural sickness, the primary symptom of which is to use both race and racism as an excuse for illiteracy, lack of economic progress, the disintegration of the family as the primary building block of society, crime, terrorism and just about every other social ill that can be named.
At the same time character, which is expressed in the way one thinks, the way one acts and the way one reacts is discounted to the point where it is hardly counted at all.
A six-year-old Chinese boy who had his eyes gouged out does not know he has been blinded and asks his family why the sun has yet to rise, state media reported Wednesday.
The boy, surnamed Guo, was found covered in blood in the northern province of Shanxi after he went missing while playing outside, Chinese media reported previously.
His eyes, gouged out by an attacker, were recovered nearby, a police officer in Fenxi county who declined to be named told AFP.
The boy was being treated at an eye hospital and was not yet aware that he has been left blind for life, the Beijing Youth Daily said.
“He asks why the sky is always dark… and why the dawn still hasn’t come,” it quoted an uncle of the boy as saying.
Two-thirds of employees at the Department of Veteran Affairs, which has been the subject of widespread criticism for its excessive delays in providing veterans their benefits, received bonuses at the end of 2011 for “excellent” or “outstanding” performance. Additionally, employees at some of the department’s most ineffective offices were more likely to receive bonuses than workers at some of its most productive offices.
The VA’s regional office in Oakland, Calif., gave about 90 percent of its employees bonuses despite having to temporarily shut down operations to retrain its under performing workers and, in a Baltimore office, about 40 percent of workers receive a bonus despite the office’s having the longest wait time nationally, according to a News21 investigation. Yet, at the Sioux Falls, S.D., office, which processes claims up to four times more efficiently than Oakland, less than a tenth of its employees saw a bonus, the same investigation found.
Overall, employees received about $5.5 million in bonuses. According to the report, the department’s performance standards encourage workers to push aside more complicated claims and process easier ones to ensure their job security and qualify for extra pay through a points system. One Veterans Benefits Administration official said in defense of the bonuses, ”There are many, many employees who are exceeding their minimum standards, and they deserve to be recognized for that.”
The agency’s standards no longer allow employees to earn points for “supplemental development” — that is, making follow-up contacts and going through other documents in an effort to minimize the time employees spend on such issues. But as a result, the quality of work has worsened – documents show that nearly three-quarters of appeal claims were either done incorrectly or without complete information and that approximately 14,000 veterans had pending appeals of more than two years.
One employee told News21 that the current process “breeds cheating,” as employees resort to “survival mode” and work only on easy claims at the expense of backlog claims. “Your backlog is over here. But your points are in this direction. How stupid is that?” one employee said.
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