Misogyny is going to be treated as a hate crime for the first time in the UK.

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Misogyny is going to be treated as a hate crime for the first time in the UK.

Police officers in the UK are to classify misogyny and incidents of harassment against women as hate crimes for the first time, under new measures.

Nottinghamshire Police announced crimes ranging from harassment on the street to aggressive physical approaches will be recorded as hate crimes, becoming the first force in the country to change its definition.

The force now defines misogynistic hate crime as “incidents against women that are motivated by an attitude of a man towards a woman, and includes behaviour targeted towards a woman by men simply because they are a woman”.

By the end of July, selected Nottinghamshire officers and staff will have completed comprehensive misogyny hate crime training, in keeping with the new guidelines.

Planning for the scheme began in summer 2014, when members of the police force met with women’s rights campaigners and staff from Nottingham Women’s Centre.

Officers listened to a range of testimonials from women who had been harassed, abused and attacked in the city of Nottingham over the past few years.

Sam Smethers, chief executive at the Fawcett Society which campaigns for women’s rights, told the Independent: “This is what the Fawcett Society has been calling for. Nottinghamshire Police’s commitment to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously should be welcomed and rolled out nationwide.

What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing

“We need to call out misogyny for what it is – a hate crime. Women and girls face a tidal wave of abuse and harassment every day. Our law has to send a clear signal that this is not acceptable. It is a crime.”

Meanwhile, Nottinghamshire Police’s chief constable Sue Fish said the force was committed to tackling misogyny “in all its forms”.

“What women face, often on a daily basis, is absolutely unacceptable and can be extremely distressing,” she said. “It’s a very important aspect of the overall hate crime work being conducted and one that will make Nottinghamshire a safer place for all women.

“Nottinghamshire Police is committed to taking misogynistic hate crime seriously and encourages anyone who is affected by it to contact us without hesitation.”

The use of mobile devices to send unwanted or uninvited messages or take photographs without consent or permission are also included in the guidelines for officers.

The force confirmed that domestic abuse will not be included in the scope of misogynistic hate crime as there are separate procedures already in place.

Melanie Jeffs, Centre Manager at Nottingham Women’s Centre, said: “We’re pleased to see Nottinghamshire Police recognise the breadth of violence and intimidation that women experience on a daily basis in our communities.

“Understanding this as a hate crime will help people to see the seriousness of these incidents and hopefully encourage more women to come forward and report offences.”

Source: http://ind.pn/29BVwgB

Baby raised on vegan diet hospitalized for malnutrition & removed from parents.

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Baby raised on vegan diet hospitalized for malnutrition & removed from parents.

When an Italian baby was taken to hospital in Milan earlier this month by his grandparents, doctors there were shocked by the baby’s condition. At 14 months old, he weighed only slightly more than a 3-month-old, according to the Local Italy.

Upon further examination, a more harrowing picture began to take shape. The baby, whose parents allegedly kept him on a vegan diet without providing dietary supplements, was found to be severely malnourished, suffering from dangerously low calcium levels. Complicating matters, the baby had to undergo an emergency operation because of a congenital heart condition, which was aggravated by his low calcium levels.

The Local reported that hospital staff reported the case to social services and that the baby’s parents have lost the custodial rights to their child.

The case “forces us to reflect on uncommon feeding regimes,” Luca Bernardo, director of pediatrics at the hospital, told the Daily Telegraph.

He was careful not to take sides on the issue of what constitutes an optimal diet for a baby, however. “It is not a problem to choose different or unusual kinds of nutrition, and we certainly do not want to enter into a discussion of the merits of the decision. But since birth, the baby should have had support in this case with calcium and iron,” Bernardo said.

In recent months, Italy has seen multiple cases of children on vegan diets being hospitalized for malnutrition. In June, a 2-year-old girl was brought to a hospital in Genoa, where she spent several days in intensive care after doctors found her to be suffering from vitamin deficiencies and low levels of hemoglobin. And last June, an 11-month-old baby, whose parents are vegans, was treated for severe malnutrition at a hospital in Florence

Similar cases have played out in other countries as well. In 2007, a vegan couple were given life sentences after their 6-week-old baby boy died of starvation in 2004. They had fed the baby a diet of mainly soy milk and apple juice, and a jury found the couple guilty of murder, manslaughter and cruelty to children. And in 2011, a French vegan couple were charged with child neglect after their 11-month-old baby died from vitamin deficiencies.

It is not a problem to choose different or unusual kinds of nutrition, and we certainly do not want to enter into a discussion of the merits of the decision. But since birth, the baby should have had support in this case with calcium and iron. Luca Bernardo, director of pediatrics at the hospital where the baby was taken

It’s not necessarily the case that veganism leads to malnourished young children, of course, as a 2007 op-ed in the New York Times titled “Death by Veganism” seemed to suggest, drawing a furious reaction from some vegans, including articles with such titles as “Veganism is Not Child Abuse.”

“Holy guacamole – can we all just stop the madness when it comes to ill-informed journalists claiming that vegan diets harm/kill babies?!” said a broadside in the Your Daily Vegan. “Every year or so, an article enters the world with inflammatory headlines and content about how dangerous a vegan diet can be for infants and children.”

As an article in the Spectator last year argued, it isn’t veganism that harms children – it’s neglectful parenting. Veganism, if done right, can give kids all the nutrients they need for healthy growth, experts say.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics agrees that “well-planned vegetarian and eating patterns are healthy for infants and toddlers,” according to its publication, “Eat Right.” For breast-feeding mothers and for infants who don’t consume milk products and eggs, it recommends supplements or fortified foods for vitamins B12, vitamin D, calcium and iron and advises parents to consult a dietitian.

Britain’s National Health Service makes similar recommendations.

“It’s not a problem if parents want to raise their children using alternative or even unusual diets,” the hospital’s head pediatrician told the Corriere, the Local reported.

“But care needs to be taken to make up for any nutritional shortfalls using supplements. For example, the 1-year-old child we are treating should have been taking iron and calcium supplements.”

As Slate’s parenting advice columnist put it: “Can kids be vegan and be healthy? Of course they can. Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are undoubtedly good for growing bodies, and research even suggests an association between veganism and a reduced risk for cancer.”

But there’s a caveat: Veganism requires a lot of extra work. Parents and caregivers, the Slate columnist writes, “have to ensure that their children are getting the calories and wide variety of nutrients they need – not a small feat when dealing with typically fussy, food-neophobic kids.”

Spanish matador gored to death in bullfight live on TV.

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Spanish matador gored to death in bullfight live on TV.

LINK TO VIDEO: http://ind.pn/29stalv

A well-known matador has been killed during a bullfight in eastern Spain, the first such incident to occur in the country this century.

The fight was taking place at the festival Feria del Angel in Teruel, during an event which was being shown live on TV.

Professional bullfighter Victor Barrio, 29, was killed by a bull which flipped him over with a horn, then continued to gore and push him along the ground.

Bystanders immediately rushed to help but Mr Barrio had already sustained severe injuries. Doctors were unable to save him and he died in hospital.

The festival was suspended after the incident, which was broadcast live on Spanish television.

The bull was called Maños, according to El Mundo, and weighed 529 kilos.

Televison footage of the event showed Maños with several spears already hanging from his back.

Tributes poured in from Spain, with politician Cristina Cifuentes writing:  ‘”All my love to your family and friends”.

However, others were more critical of Mr Barrio.

Bullfighting is a controversial sport but deaths of Matadors are rare. The last to die in Spain was Jose Cubero in 1985.

Source: http://ind.pn/29stalv

Iraq bombing in Baghdad death toll rises to 250.

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Iraq bombing in Baghdad death toll rises to 250.

A lorry packed with explosives blew up on a crowded shopping street, which was packed with families out socialising after they had broken their fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Many of those killed were women and children.

A massive suicide bombing in central Baghdad has now become the deadliest attack in Iraq since the 2003 US-led invasion, with the death toll reaching 250, according to the health ministry. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) claimed responsibility for the devastating blast, which went off early on Sunday in Karada, a predominantly Shia neighbourhood.

Ghabban called on the government to hand over responsibility for the security of the country’s cities to the interior ministry and described the hundreds of checkpoints dotted around the capital as “absolutely useless”.

People search for their relatives at the Karada site hit by the bomb attack [Ahmed Saad/Reuters]

He said the explosives-rigged lorry came from Diyala province north of Baghdad, meaning it most likely successfully navigated multiple security checkpoints on the way into the Iraqi capital.

Responsibility for security in Baghdad is divided between the army, federal and local police. The interior ministry is in charge of the police.

Ghabban handed authority to his deputy, until Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi makes a decision on who will replace him. Abadi’s office made no immediate comment.

Many Iraqis blame their political leadership for lapses in security in Baghdad that have allowed large amounts of explosives to be transported past checkpoints and into neighbourhoods packed with civilians.

A group of protesters marched on Sunday from Karada to Abadi’s home to show their anger over what they described as repeated security failings.

Source: http://bit.ly/29NYVG2

New documentary exposes the horror of life in Saudi Arabia.

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New documentary exposes the horror of life in Saudi Arabia.

Five bodies hang from a pole suspended between two cranes, a public display which serves as a reminder to those who might contemplate a life of crime.

They belonged to a gang of five robbers, all of whom were publicly beheaded before their corpses were hoisted high in the air, where they remained for days.

The gruesome sight is one scene in a shocking documentary to be aired this week which sheds light on life in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s bloodiest and most secretive countries.

This gruesome sight is one scene in a shocking documentary to be aired this week which sheds light on life in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s bloodiest and most secretive countries

This gruesome sight is one scene in a shocking documentary to be aired this week which sheds light on life in Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s bloodiest and most secretive countries

Five bodies hang from a pole suspended between two cranes, a public display which serves as a reminder to those who might contemplate a life of crime

Five bodies hang from a pole suspended between two cranes, a public display which serves as a reminder to those who might contemplate a life of crime

The film, Saudi Arabia Uncovered, contains harrowing footage of beheadings

The film, Saudi Arabia Uncovered, contains harrowing footage of beheadings. A woman dressed in black is held down at the side of a public road by four Saudi policemen, after she has been convicted of killing her stepdaughter.

She is executed with a sword blow to the neck, as she screams: ‘I did not do it.’

We have all heard of the brutality of the Saudi regime, but what makes this documentary so chilling is that we see it on camera.

In another beheading scene, the executioner, dressed in the white robes typically worn by Saudi men, raises his curved sword above his head and brings it down in a single sweep.

The documentary introduces viewers to a large public space nicknamed Chop Chop Square because it is the site of so many executions in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The camera lingers on the red-stained drainage system used to wash away the blood of those executed.

Police are seen brandishing whips against women, who are considered second-class citizens. At one point they brutally knock a woman to the ground and you hear her scream.

In a similar vein, a male supermarket customer pushes a female shopper to the floor for no apparent reason. He then walks past her, oblivious to her anguish, as she scurries terrified out of his way.

What the film makes abundantly clear is that the country is a murderous dictatorship which refuses to tolerate dissent.

The documentary introduces viewers to a large public space nicknamed Chop Chop Square because it is the site of so many executions in the Saudi capital, Riyadh

The documentary introduces viewers to a large public space nicknamed Chop Chop Square because it is the site of so many executions in the Saudi capital, Riyadh

Yet Saudi Arabia remains one of Britain’s closest allies, not just in the Middle East but worldwide, as it has for nearly a century. We sell them arms. They sell us oil. The royal families of each country are close. Prince Charles has made numerous trips to the kingdom and, when King Abdullah died last year, flags at Westminster flew at half-mast in a highly unusual tribute to a foreign ruler.

Our leaders conveniently overlook the truth about the desert kingdom.

In Saudi Arabia, even a minor criticism of the regime can result in a lashing or long prison sentence. Beheadings, the film makes clear, are commonplace — so far this year, the country has been executing its people at the rate of almost one a day.

Ferocious moral codes are enforced by the religious police as they patrol the streets and shopping malls. Blasphemy is punishable by stoning or execution, theft by amputation. Anyone found guilty of insulting Islam faces ten years in prison or perhaps 1,000 lashes.

The outside world is kept in ignorance of most of this because it is impossible for foreign journalists to report from or film in Saudi Arabia without minders. Indeed, it is difficult to get into the country even as a tourist.

Only because of the extraordinary bravery of the film’s makers, and Saudi democracy activists who helped them, is the truth now being aired

Only because of the extraordinary bravery of the film’s makers, and Saudi democracy activists who helped them, is the truth now being aired

Only because of the extraordinary bravery of the film’s makers, and Saudi democracy activists who helped them, is the truth now being aired.

The documentary is based on six months of undercover filming and its footage of beatings and beheadings is disturbing enough. But it also exposes the extremes of wealth and poverty in this oil-rich country.

Furthermore, it tells the story of the men and women who dare to speak out against the Saudi dictatorship, and reveals the terrible price they have to pay for their courage.

The film, to be shown tomorrow night, is a shared production by ITV and the Public Broadcasting Service in the U.S.

This is the same broadcasting combination which caused a storm of international controversy when, nearly 36 years ago, it screened Death Of A Princess, the story of a Saudi princess and her lover who were executed for adultery.

In the resulting furore, the British ambassador to Saudi Arabia was expelled and trade contracts were broken off. The film was condemned by the Foreign Office because it offended Saudi rulers, and it has never been reshown on British television.

Already, similar pressure is being brought to bear over this new documentary. Saudi activist Loujain al-Hathloul, who campaigns for women’s rights in a country where women are not even allowed to drive — and who was jailed and treated as a terrorist after posting an online video of herself driving a car — has received death threats after taking part in the film.

It is easy to see why such an exposé might be greeted with horror by the Saudi establishment.

The brutality aside, secret filming in a Saudi mosque shows a preacher spreading grotesque anti-Semitic messages. ‘The Jews have abused, dictated and contaminated the land,’ he says. ‘So, oh Allah, stop them and spill on them the whip of torture, don’t let their flag fly high, and make an example of them.’

The film reveals how hatred is directed at other religions in Saudi schools. One of the secret cameramen asks a 14-year-old Saudi boy what he is taught at school. Back comes the reply: ‘The Christians should be punished with death until there are none left. They should be beheaded.’

But schoolchildren are not just taught to direct hatred at Christians and Jews. They are also instructed to turn on Shia Muslims, a substantial minority in Saudi Arabia.

The boy says chillingly: ‘We learn that the Shia are blasphemers. They should be punished by death. We should fight them in the name of Islam.’

It is easy to see why such an exposé might be greeted with horror by the Saudi establishment

It is easy to see why such an exposé might be greeted with horror by the Saudi establishment

The film includes rare footage of desperate Shia in the east of Saudi Arabia bravely protesting against their oppression. It illustrates how one young protester, Ali Nimr, was arrested at the age of 17 and sentenced to be beheaded, with his headless body displayed publicly for two days for his role in the protests.

The British Government says it has received assurances that he will not now be killed, but Saudi media reports last week suggested he could be executed imminently.

Ali’s uncle, Sheikh Nimr, a controversial Shia cleric, was executed on January 2 this year, along with 46 other men, in Saudi Arabia’s largest execution since 1980.

The British Government is well aware of all the brutality meted out in Saudi Arabia. Here is what the UK embassy in Riyadh says in its information pack for British prisoners in the desert kingdom: ‘The Saudi courts impose a number of severe physical punishments.

The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery, and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, stoning or firing squad.’

The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery, and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, stoning or firing squad

The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery, and can be carried out by beheading with a sword, stoning or firing squad

Anyone who protests against the Saudi regime faces harrowing punishments. One blogger, Raif Badawi, was convicted of insulting Islam after making public comments about his government and Islam.

‘The only way to deal with an unfree world,’ he wrote, ‘is to become so absolutely free that your very existence becomes an act of rebellion.’

For comments like this, Badawi, a father of three whose family now live in exile, was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and ten years in jail.

The religious police even ban the playing of music in public. The film contains disturbing footage of them smashing a lute which was being played on a beach.

The police ruthlessly enforce their militant version of Islam, known as Wahhabism. There is footage of these state-sponsored fanatics forcing women to cover themselves, complaining about them wearing make-up and herding people out of cafes to pray.

The official title of the religious police is the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Chillingly, only two other movements in the world — the Taliban in Afghanistan and Islamic State in Syria and Iraq — have organisations with the same name.

The Saudi government has always denied that it has any connection either with Islamic State or with Al Qaeda. Nevertheless, both jihadist organisations endorse the state religion which Saudi Arabia has spent an estimated $70 billion (£48 billion) exporting around the world.

This is a documentary that exposes the deep hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Britain and the West

This is a documentary that exposes the deep hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Britain and the West

Britain is determined to maintain this relationship even though the country it deals with is, by any definition, barbaric

Britain is determined to maintain this relationship even though the country it deals with is, by any definition, barbaric

Saudi Arabia denies any link to terrorism, and is indeed preparing to send troops to fight Islamic State in Syria. But this film examines evidence to suggest that there were links between the Saudis and Al Qaeda in the period before the attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11.

It is well known that 15 of the 19 Al Qaeda-inspired 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens. However, there have always been suggestions that the links ran much deeper, and the film offers compelling evidence that this might indeed be the case.

This is a documentary that exposes the deep hypocrisy of Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Britain and the West. Britain is determined to maintain this relationship even though the country it deals with is, by any definition, barbaric.

The film even shows how the fearsome Saudi police — who fire bullets at unarmed protesters and activists simply for expressing an opinion contrary to the state’s — are trained by the British Government’s College of Policing.

Our nation’s friendship with Saudi Arabia means collaborating with a regime that persecutes its own citizens with a savagery that defies imagination.

Some might argue that this domestic brutality is a matter for Saudi Arabia alone. When he was asked recently to justify our relationship with the Saudis, David Cameron replied that the country’s intelligence services have provided vital information exposing terror plots aimed at Britain.

Yet this argument is undermined by the undoubted fact that Saudi Arabia exports its murderous jihadi ideology around the world.

On the basis of this deeply disturbing film, it is time to reassess Britain’s connection with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.