Arrest in South African Lesbian Murder Case

Melanie Nathan | Oblogdeeoblogda | October 18, 2013.

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According to Sapa, police in Gauteng, South Africa have confirmed that a 22-year-old man was arrested in Tokoza in connection with the horrific and brutal murder of a young lesbian, Duduzile Zozo.

The man is scheduled to appear for charges, in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court on Monday, according to Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

“Police had been following up information since her body was found. Several suspects were arrested for questioning and released,” he said.

On June 30, the half-naked body of 26-year-old Zozo was discovered in Tokoza, Ekurhuleni, near her family home. Her mother Thuziwe Zozo told activists at the time of the funeral that  she suspected her daughter was killed because she was a lesbian. The case received widespread attention after press noted that a toilet brush was inserted into the victim’s vagina, a factor pointing to a motive of anti-lesbian hate.

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Who Masterminded U.S. Pot Prohibition?

English: A 4000-plant breeding nursery in the ...

English: A 4000-plant breeding nursery in the first year. Thinopyrum intermedium is being domesticated as a perennial grain crop. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fred Gardner | CounterPunch | AlterNet | October 20, 2013

Harry Anslinger, the longtime Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, is widely considered the prime mover behind marijuana prohibition. But during  the Congressional debate on prohibition in the spring of 1937, Anslinger was just one witness in a strange show trial.  He testified that marijuana induces homicidal mania and so forth, but it was not Anslinger who designed the complicated prohibitive-tax strategy. That maneuver was thought up by the Treasury Department’s top lawyer, Herman Oliphant. Nor was Anslinger called back to refute Dr. William Woodward of the American Medical Association, who made many telling points in opposition to the prohibitive-tax bill.

It was Congressman Fred Vinson of Kentucky who dealt with Woodward, subjecting him to a snide, relentless grilling. In the transcript of the hearing, which I recently published to get the hang of ebook production (thinking it would be a simple, finite project), Vinson comes across as an effective prosecutor committed to getting the prohibitive-tax bill enacted, while Anslinger seems like a carnival pitch man —yowza, yowza, yowza. Both men were carrying water for the Treasury Department, which had drafted the prohibition bill and was asking Congress to impose it on the nation.

When the final curtain fell in my imaginary drama, the actual villain seemed to be Vinson, not Anslinger. As I was mulling over the implications, Dave West referred me to his eye-opening essay, “ Low, Dishonest Decade,” published in 1999. West, who has a PhD in Plant Breeding and Genetics, spent most of his career as a geneticist/breeder of “corporate maize” (his term). He pioneered the application of molecular markers in crop breeding. He’s a very good writer and an insightful political analyst. Pot partisans ready to escape the single-issue trap should check out his website,

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Uganda police arrest activist as he grieves for his gay hero mom

English: Map showing the position of the distr...

English: Map showing the position of the district Kampala in Uganda. Deutsch: Karte, die die Position des Distriktes Kampala in Uganda anzeigt. Plattdüütsch: Koort, de de Positschoon vun’n Distrikt Kampala in Uganda wiest. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tris Reid-Smith, Omar Kuddus | Gay Star News | October 20, 2013

Police arrested a grieving Ugandan gay activist when he went to the bank to collect money to pay for his mom’s funeral.

Mleuben Maccarthy, an LGBT human rights campaigner from Kampala, Uganda, lost his mother Naomi to illness yesterday (18 October).

Known as ‘Mama Naomi’ in the Ugandan gay community, she was a popular figure who openly supported her gay son and her death has sparked tributes from LGBTI people.

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Russian lawmaker drops anti-gay parenting bill

Russian Language Day at the UN Armenia (6)

Russian Language Day at the UN Armenia (6) (Photo credit: UN in Armenia)

Ashlee Kelly, Omar Kuddus | Gay Star News | October 20, 2013

A Russian lawmaker has dropped a bill which proposed to strip parental rights away from gay couples with children.

The bill, proposed by Russian politician Alexei Zhuravlyov, had not recieved sufficient public backing from politicians, and was withdrawn on Saturday.

Sophia Cherepanova, Zhuravlyov’s spokesperson, confirmed the withdrawal by saying: ‘Yes, he has indeed withdrawn it’

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Conservative Activists Call For Class Action Lawsuit Against Homosexuality

On Top Magazine | October 20, 2013

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans For Truth About Homosexuality, and pastor Rick Scarborough are considering a “class action lawsuit” against homosexuality.

At a Tea Party Unity event held on Thursday, LaBarbera lamented the lack of visibility in the media for the stories of people who claim to have altered their sexual orientation from gay to straight.

“We need to work on our conservative, alternate media and say, ‘Look, don’t do the pro-gay thing, why don’t you rather step out and support these ex-gays?’” LaBarbera said.  “We should encourage Fox News to tell their stories.  Fox is now telling the stories of black conservatives because the other media is not doing that, we should all get on Fox and say, ‘Come on, tell these stories, these wonderful stories of happy men and women who have left the homosexual lifestyle.’”

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Support For Gay Marriage Leads Catholic Church To Defund Immigration Groups

Carlos Santoscoy | On Top Magazine | October 20, 2013

After an Illinois immigrant-rights coalition endorsed a proposed gay marriage bill, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development threatened to cut off funding to 11 affiliated groups.

According to The Chicago Tribune, officials overseeing the Roman Catholic anti-poverty program told the groups to abandon the Illinois Coalition for Immigration and Refugee Rights or face losing their Catholic funding.

Nine groups gave up grants totaling nearly $300,000.

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The National Guard’s Defiance on Civil Rights


Hagel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 | New York Times | October 20, 2013

In August, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that the Defense Department would begin offering full spousal and family benefits, including health care coverage, housing allowances and survivor benefits, to the same-sex spouses of military personnel. In doing so he swiftly aligned the military with the Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down the Defense of Marriage Act’s denial of federal marriage benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples.

National Guard units in four states — Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Oklahoma — have, however, refused to process applications by same-sex couples in a convenient and respectful manner. To register for benefits and obtain the identification card needed for programs and services at the Guard member’s home base, spouses are being told they must travel to federal military installations sometimes located a long distance away. This unfair procedural obstacle could delay important military benefits — or even make them unattainable, depending on how far the states take their discriminatory policy.

There is no valid basis for this treatment. The guard units say they are merely adhering to state constitutions that ban same-sex marriages and do not recognize same-sex marriages lawfully performed in other states. But state bans cannot pre-empt a lawful Defense Department order based on a Supreme Court ruling. Under the Constitution’s supremacy clause, federal law takes precedence.

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NSA Didn’t Have Latest Anti-Leak Software Installed at Snowden Site

National Security Agency Seal

National Security Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

 | Time | October 20, 2013

NSA contractor Edward Snowden was able to download thousands of  classified documents from the U.S. National Security Agency partly because of a  weakness in the agency’s IT infrastructure, Reuters has learned exclusively.

Current and former U.S. officials said the intelligence service had not  installed the most up-to-date anti-leak software at the site in Hawaii  where Snowden worked due to a lack of bandwidth to install it and make sure it  worked correctly.

The software’s purpose is to block “insider threats,” and was a response  to an order from President Obama in the wake of the WikiLeaks scandal in  2010 to make it harder for data breaches to occur.

“NSA and the Intelligence Community at large have been moving forward with IT  efficiency initiatives for several years. … The unauthorized disclosures have  naturally compelled NSA and the rest of the IC to accelerate the timeline,” said  a spokesperson for the NSA.

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5 Ways the Government Shutdown Could Cost Republicans the House in 2014

Official portrait of United States House Speak...

Official portrait of United States House Speaker (R-Ohio). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

@LOLGOP | The National Memo | Reader Supported News | October 20, 2013

When Republican insiders began to fret that there was a chance they could lose their majority earlier this summer, they were afraid their party would descend into chaos over the fall.

They got something worse: an incredibly weak Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wound up being rolled over by Ted Cruz and his Suicide Caucus friends in the House of Representatives into a 16-day government shutdown that ended with the Tea Party’s demands being completely rejected.

Of course, the GOP should not be worrying about losing its majority. Historically, the party out of power nearly always loses seats during a president’s sixth year in office and the GOP’s embrace of austerity has kept any recovery tepid at best. Republicans believed for a few months that the IRS and Benghazi “scandals” would destroy President Obama, but then became distracted by the doomed campaign to defund the Affordable Care Act.

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My Visit With Edward Snowden

Image representing Edward Snowden as depicted ...

Image by None via CrunchBase

Jesselyn Radack | The Nation | Reader Supported News | October 20, 2013

Last week I traveled to Russia with three other Americans to present former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with the annual Sam Adams Associates Award for Integrity in Intelligence. Ray McGovern (retired CIA analyst), Thomas Drake (former NSA senior executive and whistleblower), Coleen Rowley (retired FBI agent and whistleblower), and I felt it especially important that Snowden receive this award from Americans who served the government in the national security and intelligence fields. Being the first Americans to see Snowden since he left Hong Kong, we all had serious concerns about our trip-not about getting into Russia, but about getting back into our own country. We left Washington, DC, having a lawyer on retainer and no electronics-cell phones, laptops or any of today’s normal lifelines-knowing that the United States could geo-locate our whereabouts and find Snowden, and also knowing we could have our devices searched and confiscated upon our return.

The Sam Adams Integrity Award is named for a CIA analyst who discovered in 1967 that there were more than a half-million Vietnamese Communists under arms-roughly twice the number that the US command in Saigon would admit to, lest Americans learn that claims of “progress” were bogus. Adams continued to press for honesty and accountability but stayed “inside channels”-and failed. He died at 55 of a heart attack, nagged by the thought that, had he not let himself be diddled, many lives might have been saved. We believe that Snowden exemplifies Sam Adams’s courage, persistence and devotion to truth-no matter what the consequences. We wanted Snowden to know that, as opposed to the daily vitriol from the US government and mainstream media, 60 percent of the United States supports him, including thousands in the national security and intelligence agencies where we used to work.

The first thing I’m universally asked is how Edward Snowden is doing. Given the extraordinary circumstances and pressure he’s under, Snowden is doing remarkably well. He’s warm and engaged, greeting us with long embraces. His is well-grounded, centered, and has a quick sense of humor, darkly joking that if he were a spy, Russia treats its spies much better than leaving them trapped in the Sheremetyevo transit zone for over a month. He is brilliant, humble and idealistic-in the best sense of the word. It is the sort of idealism that allows someone to undertake such a magnificent act of civil disobedience. It’s an idealism that believes the democracy he once knew can be reined in from the surveillance state it has become, if only the public knew what was going on. And it is this idealism that prevented him from contemplating being rendered effectively stateless by the country he risked his life to help, even if he did understand that he would be accused of espionage and could face life in jail.

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