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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Ten Things of Shame and Past

Feminist author subjected to a stream of sexist abuse over new book/Independent
  1. Feminist author Laurie Penny has been subjected to "a stream of vile sexist and anti-Semitic abuse" as part of a campaign against her book Unspeakable Things, she says. Penny also highlights how more than 20 one-star reviews on Amazon were an obvious attempt at sabotage and had nothing to do with intelligent criticism.
  2. Singer Amy Winehouse, who died in 2011, detailed her dreams to have children in a previously unpublished 2004 interview. "Ten years from now I'll be 30, so I'll maybe have one baby," she said.
  3. Choosing the sex of your child is illegal in the United Kingdom, unless it is done for medical reasons. Despite this, eighty percent of couples from the UK appear to favour girls in such a choice, a stark contrast with some Asian countries where male offspring are prized and boys are invariably chosen.
  4. Rare and risky multiple-organ transplants known as "domino" transplants - where one donor both receives new organs and passes on their own - are highly unusual. The first successful domino transplant in the UK was carried out in 2009.
  5. There are only three Ferrari 275 GTB/C Speciale cars in existence built during late 1964 and early 1965, making it hyper-rare.
  6. In December 1945, fifty-two ancient texts were discovered in Nag Hammadi, Egypt that included "secret" gospels poems and myths attributing to Jesus Christ and sayings and beliefs which are very different from the New Testament.
  7. The crescent moon and star is a Middle Eastern symbol that pre-dates Islam by several thousand years. The early Muslim community flew simple solid-coloured flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes, with no markings, writing, or symbolism on it. It wasn't until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. The Ottomans adopted the existing flag and symbol of Constantinople after conquering the Byzantine city in 1453, but it's believed the crescent and star goes back even further to the Sassanids in Persia. The star was originally six-pointed, too, suggesting it may have been adopted from the Star of David in Judaism.
  8. The casualties in Gaza mount under siege of Israeli troops, with the death count reported at over six hundred. United Nations officials say more than 100,000 people have been forced to take shelter in UN buildings in Gaza because of the violence - double the number of the Gaza conflict five years ago, as its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges Israel and the Palestinians to "stop fighting" and "start talking" to end the conflict in Gaza. Elsewhere, United States and European airlines suspended flights to Israel's Ben Gurion airport after a rocket landed one mile (1.6km) away. Some believe that a missing Israeli soldier and the cancellation of international flights to and from Israel on Tuesday could bolster Hamas, potentially shifting the dynamics of diplomatic efforts to bring about a cease-fire in the two-week-old Gaza Strip conflict. (Read more)
  9. A British politician has been accused of making "vile comments" on social media about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lib Dem MP David Ward tweeted on Tuesday: "The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes", but later "categorically apologised" for his comments. Meanwhile, a BBC Arabic journalist was attacked on-air while reporting on the conflict in the Gaza Strip apparently by an Israeli.
  10. Protesting on the streets of Moscow - or any other part of Russia, for that matter - will now not only cost a pretty penny, but also could land you behind bars, after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday signed a law into effect criminalising repeated street protests.

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