...where failure is documented
Wildlife NGO drops Spain king as patron over hunting
21 July 2012
Spain's King Juan Carlos, pictured in June 2012, was dropped by the wildlife charity WWF as honorary patron of its Spanish branch Saturday because of an elephant-hunting trip he made to Botswana.
AFP - The wildlife charity WWF dropped Spain's Juan Carlos as honorary patron of its Spanish branch Saturday because of an elephant-hunting trip he made to Botswana, the group said.
"The members of WWF Spain voted today in a general meeting to end the position of honorary president, held until now by King Juan Carlos, from the statutes of the organisation," it said in a statement published online. It said the decision was prompted by complaints over the April hunting trip, which came to light when the king was rushed home for emergency surgery after breaking his hip.
Syria's Assad emailed sexist jokes: WikiLeaks
19 July 2012
A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, on July 3.
AFP - Hundreds of emails purportedly written by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad show he sent several sexist or irreverant messages in the months before the ongoing Syrian uprising began.
WikiLeaks 'back open for donations' after banking blockade
19 July 2012
AFP - Whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said Wednesday that it had found a way to get around the banking blockade that has dramatically cut its donations over the last 18 months.
"After almost two years of fighting an unlawful banking blockade by US financial giants VISA and MasterCard, WikiLeaks has announced it is back open for donations," the website said in a statement. It aims to use Carte Bleue, a French affiliate of Visa, to beat the blockade and raise a million euros ($1.2 million), which it says it needs immediately if the website set up by Julian Assange is to continue operating.
"VISA and MasterCard are contractually barred from directly cutting off merchants through the Carte Bleue system," the website said. "WikiLeaks advises all global supporters to make use of this avenue immediately before VISA/MasterCard attempts to shut it down."
HSBC 'sorry' for aiding Mexican drugs lords, rogue states and terrorists
Executive quits in front of US Senate as bank faces massive fines for 'horrific' lapses that resulted in laundering money for drugs cartels and pariah states
by Dominic Rushe
Tuesday 17 July 2012
US senators hear humiliating apologies from executives from HSBC, Europe's biggest bank
Executives with Europe's biggest bank, HSBC, were subjected to a humiliating onslaught from US senators on Tuesday over revelations that staff at its global subsidiaries laundered billions of dollars for drug cartels, terrorists and pariah states.
Lawmakers hammered the British-based bank over the scandal, demanding to know how and why its affiliates had exposed it to the proceeds of drug trafficking and terrorist financing in a "pervasively polluted" culture that persisted for years.
Somalia anger at corruption claims in leaked UN report
17 July 2012
Somali women wave their national flag at Konis stadium, in Mogadishu, during a ceremony marking the anniversary of Somalia's independence on 1 July 2012
Somalia's interim government has denied allegations of corruption contained in a leaked UN report.
It alleged that around 70% of money intended for development and reconstruction in a country racked by 20 years of war was unaccounted for.
A statement from the prime minister's office said the allegations were "absolutely and demonstrably false". The UN-backed government's mandate expires next month when it is due to hand over to an elected president. The Horn of Africa nation has been without an effective central government since 1991 and has witnessed near constant fighting between rival factions ever since - a situation that has allowed piracy and lawlessness to flourish.
Man shoots his own genitals, goes to jail
July 17, 2012
Tavares Donnell Colbert
OKLAHOMA CITY (UPI) -- A felon was arrested in Oklahoma City for possession of a firearm after he told police he shot himself in the genitals, officials said.
Tavares Donnell Colbert, 36, shot himself in the genitals Saturday near Interstate 35 while testing a gun he bought on the street in Kansas to see if it functioned properly before selling it, The Oklahoman reported.
Colbert drove himself to the hospital and police were alerted soon after, the newspaper said. He was arrested on a complaint of possession of a firearm when he was medically cleared. Colbert was convicted in 2003 of a felony possession of a controlled and dangerous substance with intent to distribute charge.
UNESCO awards 'shameful' E.Guinea science prize
17 July 2012
Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema is pictured in February 2012.
AFP - UN culture and science body UNESCO on Tuesday awarded a prize financed by the leader of Equatorial Guinea despite fierce criticism from rights groups who decried the move as "shameful".
Rights groups and Western nations have condemned the life sciences award, financed to the tune of $3 million (2.5 million euros) over five years, because of accusations that President Teodoro Obiang Nguema rules with an iron grip and heads a government festering with corruption.
The prize was awarded to Egyptian Maged al-Sherbiny for research into endemic illnesses, to South African plant scientist Felix Dapare Dakora and to Mexican Rossana Arroyo, a specialist in parasitic diseases. Each received $100,000. Obiang was not present at the ceremony.
Representatives of Western governments, including from France, boycotted the ceremony, with French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero saying: "This prize absolutely does not reflect the universal values UNESCO is supposed to promote."
Russia: Group calls for Facebook ban over gay marriage icon
by Stephen Gray
11 July 2012
Facebook recently updated its timeline icons to include two grooms and two brides
Religious activists in Russia are calling for a nationwide ban on Facebook now the social network allows gay couples to use an icon to represent their marriage.
According to the government-funded RT.com news network, a group of Russian Orthodox activists in the southern city of Saratov say Facebook is involved in “gay propaganda”.
The social network recently updated the icons users can put on their profile timelines to indicate key personal events. Gay married users had previously had to use an icon of a bride and groom to mark the date of their wedding.
Study: One in seven UK employees harassed over perceived sexuality in the last year
22 June 2012
One in six UK LGBT employees said they had been harassed over sexuality (Photo: Jyri)
An international study into the experiences of LGBT people living in 21 countries around the world has revealed what it described as “endemic” homophobia in workplaces internationally.
The new research study includes information on life experiences of LGBT people across six continents and claims to reveal the clearest picture yet of the prevalence of homophobia and its current impacts on the lives of many millions of lesbian and gay people globally.
Almost one in six respondents to the LGBT2020 study from the USA and more than one in seven in the UK (US: 15.3 percent and UK: 14.5 percent) told researchers they have personally experienced harassment from colleagues at work during the past twelve months, because of their perceived sexuality.
Unesco Equatorial Guinea Obiang Nguema prize 'shameful'
16 July 2012
Equatorial Guinea President Obiang
Human rights groups have denounced plans by a UN agency to award a science prize sponsored by Equatorial Guinea President Teodor Obiang Nguema.
The groups said such move by the UN scientific and cultural agency (Unesco) would be "irresponsible" and "shameful". Unesco is expected to award the $3m (£1.9m) prize fund in Paris on Tuesday. Mr Obiang is accused of rights abuses, rigging elections and corruption. The West African leader denies the charges.