21 January 2013

Tehran Street Attackers Hanged In Public

Report by Radio Zamaneh; photos by Majid Asgaripour, Mehr News Agency

Two men charged with assaulting and robbing a victim on the streets of Tehran were hanged today, January 20, in public. The two were arrested after a video of the assault and robbery was posted on YouTube last month and later aired on public TV in Iran, triggering widespread outrage. The video showed then robbing and assaulting a pedestrian with a machete in broad daylight.

Four people were arrested in connection with the crime. Two were accused of "enmity against God" which covers a range of offenses from anti-government activities to armed robbery. Following the incident, the head of Iran's judiciary announced that the use of cold weapons and firearms in a robbery are considered equal in the eyes of the law.

Tehran robbery captured on surveillance camera

The two other individuals were each sentenced to 10 years in jail, five years in exile and 74 lashes.

The head of the judiciary confirmed that there are "alternative punishments" for the crime committed by these individuals but the judiciary had decided to give the highest sentence in order to deter similar actions in the future.

The two were hanged in public in Tehran Artists' Park, which according to the media is the location where the crime reportedly took place.

15 January 2013

In memory of Aaron Swartz: a tragic loss in the fight for the freedom of information.

07 January 2013

Some of the Weirdest Least Known News Stories of 2012

South Korean Man Kills Himself by Crucifixion

Shortly after Easter weekend, a middle-aged South Korean killed himself. This isn’t outright shocking, as suicide is fairly common, but the method through which he shuffled off this mortal coil is one for the books.

South Korea Crucifixion 500x288 South Korean Man Kills Self by Crucifixion picture

After an investigation, police in South Korea say the man, whose last name has been identified as Kim, killed himself by crucifixion. Found in an abandoned quarry in Mungyeong on May 1st, Kim had apparently gone to great lengths to ensure his death emulated the death of Jesus Christ. In addition to being nailed to a wooden cross, he was wearing only a pair of underwear and a crown of thorns atop his head. He had also apparently self-flagellated his torso, as well as stabbed his side to emulate the wound delivered by Longinus while Christ was on the cross.

The date of death was determined to be during Easter weekend, though the body was not discovered until over a week later. Police were able to determine the sequence of events through notes that were found that matched the handwriting of Kim. The notes detailed how to properly carry out a crucifixion.

According to police, the man’s religious faith helped him endure the pain he likely endured. An autopsy revealed that Kim died from a mix of bleeding from the stab wounds and suffocation, the latter of which likely due to the stabbing.

One thing that remains unclear, however, is whether or not he was given assistance.
It is thought that after whipping and stabbing himself, he drilled holes in hands and slipped them through the already driven in nails. According to one source, police reenacted the scenario and determined that it was entirely possible that a man could do what Kim did without assistance.
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Atheist Chaplain

One of the best-known research universities in America is now using the services of an atheist chaplain to counsel unbelieving students on campus, writes Heather Clark for Christian News.

Stanford University has added 28-year-old John Figdor to its Office of Religious Life. He joins 17 other chaplains and individuals who reach out to students of various faiths. According to reports, Figdor’s responsibility is to meet with students and to visit the sick. “Atheist, agnostic and humanist students suffer the same problems as religious students – deaths or illnesses in the family, questions about the meaning of life etcetera, and would like a sympathetic nontheist to talk to,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Figdor, who has a seminary degree from Harvard School of Divinity, first served as a chaplain at Harvard before moving west to work with students.
Full report on the Christian News site

Breast Milk… By The Carton

For some new mothers, getting their newborn child to suck out the moo juice of mankind from their breast for sustenance is a daunting task. Either it hurts too much, or the baby simply refuses to latch on, resulting in one frustrated mother who firmly believes that breast milk is necessary for a healthy, growing baby.
 Breast Milk... By The Carton picture
Thanks to those fine folks in the land of the rising sun, breast milk is now available in a carton! No need to worry about your baby latching, or dealing with an overzealous child with the sucking power of a Hoover. Now you can save your breast the hassle all while giving your baby the nutrition he or she needs!

Naturally, the company that manufactures this “breast milk” has employed the image of a baby suckling on his or her mother’s breast. One can only surmise this is for easy identification purposes, as I imagine it would be absolutely hilarious to discover the moo juice you’ve been drinking has come from your own species.

Ron Johnson on Iranian Sanctions and America's Top Priority

Thank you for contacting me regarding Iran, their nuclear program, and the question of the United States implementing stricter sanctions on their government.

I fully support holding the Iranian government accountable for their ongoing efforts that destabilize the Middle East, and for their words and actions that continue to threaten America and the rest of the world.

Earlier this year, I was proud to support S.2101, The Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Human Rights Act, which passed the Senate on a bipartisan voice vote. The bill enhances America's resolve to impose sanctions on Iran for their continued pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and for its ongoing human rights abuses.

By approving S.2101, Congress spoke with one loud and clear voice to impose strong economic sanctions against Tehran and penalties for those who knowingly choose to do business with the Iranian government. I also joined 82 of my colleagues in co-sponsoring Senate Joint Resolution 41.

This resolution expressed the sense of Congress regarding the Iranian government's nuclear program. Unfortunately, Iran has defied the international community by continuing to pursue nuclear weapons. If the Iranian regime continues down this path, America and her allies will be left with few options to prevent a nuclear Iran.

Defending our nation is a top priority of the federal government. We live in a dangerous world and face a number of threats both at home and abroad. The despotic Iranian government represents one of the greatest threats to world peace as they continue their efforts of acquiring nuclear weapons. Maintaining the strongest possible sanctions and leaving all options on the table - including military - is the best way to persuade the Iranians to abandon their nuclear ambitions.

Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts. It is important for me to hear the views and concerns of the people I serve. Since taking office, I have received over 600,000 pieces of correspondence and have had over 200,000 people participate in live forums and telephone town hall meetings. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can further assist you or your family. It is an honor representing you and the good people of Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate.

Ron Johnson
United States Senator