...where failure is documented
Pink stinks, says toy marketing campaigner
24 August 2012
As Kinder Surprise launches a new egg wrapped in pink, containing fairies in push-up bras and labelled “just for girls”, a campaign is growing against such marketing. Pinkstinks Germany founder Stevie Schmiedel spoke to The Local.
Just like their American and British counterparts, German girls are drowning in a sea of pink which clearly defines what they are supposed to want - and by definition what the boys are not allowed to desire. The marketing of just about everything in an apartheid world for children, with girls in bright pink and boys in blue or darker colours, is clear to see in most toy shops.
The Kinder Surprise is just the latest wave to break – and is being tackled by Pinkstinks. “We are calling for Ferrero which makes these products, to stop marketing them in this way. Our girls are being flooded with pink, with these images which sexualize and pigeonhole them,” Stevie Schmiedel, founder of Pinkstinks Germany told The Local. “The problem is that we are seeing a huge rise in body image problems among children. More than half of girls aged between 12 and 17 hate their bodies according to a study by Dr Sommer, the sex expert at Bravo magazine.”
Equatorial Guinea is no place to hold a human rights summit
by Joseph Kraus and Jonathan Hershon St-Jean
Friday 24 August 2012
Equatorial Guinea under President Obiang has been criticised for human rights abuses and corruption. Photograph: Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images
One of Africa's most despotic regimes, Equatorial Guinea is an unlikely host for a summit about improving life for Africans
The Leon H Sullivan Foundation, founded on the legacy of the late civil rights leader and anti-apartheid pioneer Reverend Sullivan, is holding its ninth biennial Sullivan summit in Equatorial Guinea this week. In doing so, it is disregarding a global standard of principles created by its namesake and championed by the organisation.
China - where the motorways collapse just TEN MONTHS after being built
By Sam Adams
24 August 2012
China's economy is continuing to grow at breakneck speed but - as these pictures show - the giant nation's infrastructure is quite literally buckling under the strain.
At least three people were killed and five injured when this motorway bridge in Heilongjiang province in north east China collapsed today sending four huge trucks crashing 100ft to the ground below. The tragedy comes after what is claimed to be the world's largest 'sofa chair' was unveiled in Shanghai - showcasing the more positive side of China's incredible economic growth.
Collapse: Huge trucks lie on their side after being thrown off the Yangmingtan Bridge after it collapsed in Harbin in Heilongjiang province, north east China
Bank's stimulus plan 'has lined pockets of the rich'
by Ben Chu
Friday 24 August 2012
Mervyn King claims QE has boosted the economy by 2 per cent. PA
Report shows wealthy do 240 times better out of QE than the poor
The Bank of England's money-printing programme, intended to revive economic growth, has delivered a massive boost to the wealth of the most prosperous 10 per cent of households in Britain while delivering relatively scant returns for the poorest, a new analysis from the Bank indicated yesterday.
Click here to view the 'Quantitative Easing: How it works' graphic
In its report on the effectiveness of its controversial quantitative easing (QE) programme, the Bank said it successfully pushed up share prices and other asset values, delivering an overall boost to the net financial worth of UK households of around £600bn. The Bank said this worked out at an average benefit of around £10,000 per person. However, financial assets are unevenly distributed around the population, meaning that the benefit was highly unequal. And an analysis by The Independent reveals that the wealthiest 10 per cent of households would have benefited from QE more than 240 times as much as the poorest 10 per cent.
WikiLeaks: Met police embarrassed as Assange arrest plan revealed
By Martin Beckfordor
24 August 2012
The policeman's handwritten tactical brief Photo: PA
A policeman has accidentally revealed a secret plan to seize Julian Assange “under all circumstances” if he steps outside the Ecuadorian embassy, in an embarrassment for Scotland Yard.
The uniformed Met officer was pictured holding a clipboard detailing possible ways the WikiLeaks founder could try to escape from the building he has been holed up in for the past two months.
His target, who is trying to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over alleged rape and sexual assault, is currently safe on diplomatic territory. He has been given political asylum by the Latin American country, on the grounds that he faces persecution in the USA over his whistle-blowing website, but faces arrest the second he steps outside because he has breached his bail conditions.
The policeman’s handwritten tactical brief, captured by a Press Association photographer as he stood outside the Knightsbridge embassy on Friday afternoon, discloses the “summary of current position re Assange”. It stated: “Action required – Assange to be arrested under all circumstances.”
Pussy Riot is the tip of the iceberg – 'there's a lot of intimidation going on'
by Miriam Elder in Moscow
Thursday 23 August 2012
A woman is restrained by riot police during the 'march of the million' opposition protest in Moscow on 6 May 2012. Photograph: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
Maria Baronova has had her flat raided, her laptops taken, and now faces two years in jail – all for being an anti-Putin activist
Maria Baronova wasn't at home on the morning eight masked officers armed with Kalashnikovs broke down her front door. They took troves of family photos, four laptops, a bunch of books and several white ribbons – the symbol of the protest movement opposed to Vladimir Putin. They took a pin with a pink triangle, a symbol of gay rights activism. They even took an ultrasound from when she was pregnant with her son six years ago. "I later asked them – do you think my child was planning unrest?" Baronova, 28, said.
Brazil fines Monsanto $250,000 for misleading ad
22 August 2012
A Member of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), carrying the movement's flag, passes part of a destroyed field at the Monsanto facilities in Nao-Me-Toque, Brazil, in 2001.
AFP - A Brazilian court fined US biotech giant Monsanto $250,000 on Wednesday for what a judge said was the company's misleading advertising concerning GM soy.
Monsanto released an advert lauding GM seeds in 2004 -- a time when their use in Brazil was banned -- suggesting that they benefited the environment. But Judge Jorge Antonio Maurique in Porto Alegre, capital of Rio Grande do Sul state, slammed the commercial as "abusive and misleading propaganda," dubbing the scientific benefits of Monsanto's product as "very questionable."
Mexico murders almost triple since 2005
20 August 2012
A soldier stands guard at the site where trucks with over 20 corpses inside were found in Jalisco State in 2011.
AFP - The murder rate in drug-violent Mexico has almost tripled since 2005, government figures showed Monday, though officials did not specify how many homicides were linked to the country's war on drugs.
A total of 27,199 people were killed in 2011, or 24 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, compared to 9,921 in 2005, or 9 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to preliminary figures from the National Statistics Institute (INEGI). It was an increase of 5.6 percent from 2010, when 25,757 homicides were committed. The INEGI figures do not specify how many homicides were linked to the drug war, but the number of murders has surged since President Felipe Calderon unleashed the military against powerful cartels in 2006.
Woman forced to pay £200 to print out Ryanair tickets
By John-Paul Ford Rojas, and Oliver Smith
22 August 2012
Suzy McLeod with her children Harry and Mary. She has received the support of more than 350,000 people on Facebook Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS
A holidaymaker says she was forced by Ryanair to pay more than £200 for a "piece of paper" after she arrived at an airport without printing her boarding passes in advance.
Suzy McLeod's complaint about "unfair" charges appears to have touched a raw nerve with frustrated fellow customers of the no-frills airline, after it was backed by more than 350,000 people on Facebook.
Passengers using the carrier are expected to check in on the internet and print their boarding card before travel. If they fail to do so they will be charged a £60-per-person boarding card reissue fee if flying from the UK - or €60 if departing from the continent or Ireland.
Putinism Is the Only Religion That Matters
21 August 2012
By Garry Kasparov
There was shock, if no real surprise, at the verdict against Pussy Riot on Friday.
Despite whispers of leniency, I never doubted that a conviction and prison term would result. Not because they violated anything in the Criminal Code, which, as of this writing, is still freely available on the Internet. No, Pussy Riot's actions were hateful toward religion only in breaking the First Commandment of today's Russia, "Thou shalt not take Putin's name in vain."
This commandment has replaced the more famous original set of Ten Commandments in Russia. No one observing the Kremlin would believe there is any prohibition against theft or murder. No visitor to a Moscow courtroom would guess that bearing false witness is forbidden. The only statute that matters is that there is no god but Putin, no acceptable religion but Putinism.