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Is ISIS Beheading Children in Iraq?

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New study about Africa is terrible news for climate-change alarmists

Proponents of the theory humans are primarily responsible for global warming have said for two decades that warmer temperatures would cause significant problems for the people of Africa. Crops would fail, water would dry up, and the lack of stability, coupled with these problems, would cause significant climate-change-related wars.

For instance, in 2015, Newsweek alleged global warming has already caused significant crises in Africa.

“In violence-plagued northern Mali, a desiccated landscape of dust and mud huts where the average rainfall is a third less than it was nearly two decades ago, scholars recently blamed a climate change–induced drought for fueling conflict between Tuareg separatist rebels, who need water and grass for their cattle herds, and government-backed forces. In March, the National Academy of Sciences published a peer-reviewed study stating that ‘there is evidence that the 2007–2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers.’ Some studies suggest climate change will produce permanent refugees.”

These kinds of sky-is-falling analyses rely on short-term views of regional and global climate changes, and they often fail to consider the numerous benefits of warming and/or increased carbon-dioxide levels, as evidenced by a new study showing increased CO2 has “driven” greening in Africa.

According to a study by Martin Brandt et al., published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution in May, 36 percent of the continent of Africa became greener over the 20-year period from 1992 to 2011, while only 11 percent became “less green.” Interestingly, the researchers found the increased greening was “driven” by higher carbon-dioxide levels and precipitation, and the decreased greening was largely a result of humans cutting down vegetation.

“Here we used a passive microwave Earth observation data set to document two different trends in land area with woody cover for 1992–2011: 36% of the land area (6,870,000 km2) had an increase in woody cover largely in drylands, and 11% had a decrease (2,150,000 km2), mostly in humid zones,” wrote the authors in their study’s abstract. “Increases in woody cover were associated with low population growth, and were driven by increases in CO2 in the humid zones and by increases in precipitation in drylands, whereas decreases in woody cover were associated with high population growth.”

This study, if accurate, serves as further proof that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not nearly as dangerous as so many alarmists say. In fact, historically, more-significant problems are linked to climates becoming colder, not warmer. This isn’t surprising, because when temperatures are higher and there is more carbon dioxide present, plants tend to grow better, which means animals and humans have more food to eat.

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95 percent of the victims of violence are men. Because women feel flattered when men fight each other and kill each other to prove that they are real men.

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Is there a torture manual?

KUBARK Manual: A User's Guide to Torture?

The 1950s appear to have been a time when the CIA put a tremendous amount of energy into perfecting the science of torture. The CIA conducted covert experiments, at times on unsuspecting Americans, using LSD in the search of a “truth serum” [source: The New York Times]. It used electrical currents to inflict pain [source: The Boston Globe]. The agency conducted trials investigating the effects of sensory deprivation [source: The Washington Post]. The CIA found that the best methods for extracting information from detainees come not through the infliction of physical pain or torture, but through psychological torture.

Although the brand of torture the CIA devised through more than a decade of trial and error may not inflict physical pain, it can still do some real damage. Historian and expert on the subject of the CIA and torture, Alfred McCoy, writes, “Although seemingly less brutal, no-touch torture leaves deep psychological scars. The victims often need treatment to recover from trauma far more crippling than physical pain”.

There is indeed a torture manual and the CIA literally wrote it. In 1963, the Agency created the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation manual. It was, as Alfred McCoy puts it, the “codification” of everything the CIA had learned from its experiments throughout the 50s. In the KUBARK (the codename for the CIA in the Vietnam War [source: The Washington Post]) manual, methods for breaking detainees are based generally on psychology. Identifying a victim’s sense of self and then stripping it away is part of the first step toward breaking him or her. An introverted or shy detainee might be kept naked and perhaps sexually humiliated, for example. Clothes may also be taken simply to alienate the detainee and make him or her less comfortable.

Creating a sense of unfamiliarity, disorientation and isolation seems to be the hallmarks of psychologically undermining a detainee in the purview of the KUBARK manual. Practices like starvation, keeping inmates in small, windowless cells with unchanging artificial light and forcing inmates to sit or stand in uncomfortable positions (stress positions) for long periods of time have been decried or banned outright by the United States government. Yet these techniques are part of the regimen prescribed by KUBARK. So, too, are using hypnosis and drugs to extract information.

While it doesn’t mention electric shock directly, the manual calls for interrogators to be sure that a potential safe house to be used for torture has access to electricity. As one source told The Baltimore Sun, “The CIA has acknowledged privately and informally in the past that this referred to the application of electric shocks to interrogation suspects” [source: The Baltimore Sun].

Physical pain, however, is ultimately deemed counterproductive by the manual. It’s a much worse experience, the guidebook concludes, for an inmate to fear that pain may be coming than to actually experience it. The old adage that anticipation is worse than the experience appears to also have a basis in the shadowy field of torture.

A newer book, largely a revision of the KUBARK manual, draws the same foundational conclusion -- that psychological torment is paramount to physical abuse. The Human Resource Exploitation Manual -- 1983 was first publicized as the result of an investigative report into the human rights abuses in Honduras.

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Saudi Police Crack Ethiopian Prostitution Ring, Distilleries

Albawaba News

Saudi police busted an Ethiopian prostitution ring and two distilleries in Riyadh, a newspaper reported Friday.

The prostitution ring was headed by an Ethiopian "infected with AIDS" and two of his brothers who employed several female compatriots in a brothel which also housed a distillery for the illegal brewing of alcohol, Al-Riyadh said.

The Ethiopian had previously been expelled from Saudi Arabia for pimping but managed to return on false papers, the paper said.

The police bust a second distillery run by four Indians with no residency papers and seized pornographic films on the premises, it said.

Authorities arrested last December 29 African prostitutes, some of them with AIDS, who entered the oil-rich Gulf state under the guise of pilgrims to Mecca - RIYADH (AFP)

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