Bichara said there had been other cases of Filipino workers jumping out of their employers' apartment to escape and return to the Philippines after President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo ordered the mass evacuation due to the worsening security situation.Unfortunately, unlike Israel, the Filipinos are unlikely to go to war over the fate of their abused daughters (and they are abused throughout the Arab world, where they and Sri Lankan girls are ubiquitous as maids). Much like Mexico, the authorities enjoy the foreign currency remittances too much to do anything substantial for the betterment of their own people. You won't even hear a peep of protest from the Philippines over the chronic rapes, beatings, imprisonment, and de-facto slavery of their citizens in the Arab world.
Nearly 3,000 have already returned to the Southeast Asian country over the past two weeks, some of them defying employers' orders to stay. Most of the Filipinos working in Lebanon are women hired as domestic help.
Three Filipino women were brought to an orthopaedic clinic in Syria this week with broken legs and arms after falling from apartment buildings in Lebanon, Philippine diplomats said.
CAIRO (AFP) - On the back of dire poverty, legal shortcomings and religious conservatism, a new mafia is prospering in Egypt and turning the country into the regional hub for the human organs trade, experts say.
There are no official statistics but in a country where social inequality is high and a quarter of the population is believed to live under the poverty line, more and more destitute Egyptians are falling prey to the phenomenon.
The large scars slicing the sides of many Egyptians in impoverished Cairo neighborhoods most probably testify to an illegal kidney sale to a rich fellow countryman or a Gulf Arab who could not find a donor.
"A Saudi patient can pay up to 80,000 dollars split between the doctor, the donor and the go-between," says Hamdi al-Sayyed, the head of Egypt's doctors' union.
"For example, a Jordanian or a Saudi who needs a transplant comes to Egypt accompanied by a relative as an official cover and then looks for an Egyptian or a Sudanese who is ready to sell his organ," he explains.
While most donors are poor and hoping for a better life, not all are volunteers, with grisly accounts of forced organ 'donations' earning Egypt the sinister reputation of 'Brazil of the Middle East.'
Like millions of Egyptians, Abdelhamid AbdelHamid, Ahmed Ibrahim and Ashraf Zakaria were seeking better paid jobs in the Gulf but their quest cost them a kidney.
In a recent interview to the independent Al-Masri Al-Yom daily, they explained how they had been promised jobs but were requested to undergo a medical examination beforehand.
The doctor "discovered" they were all suffering from a kidney infection requiring immediate surgery. They woke up later in hospital with a missing kidney. The go-between had vanished but they feared to speak out.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not list right-wing domestic terrorists and terrorist groups on a document that appears to be an internal list of threats to the nation’s security.This sure smells fishy.
According to the list — part of a draft planning document obtained by CQ Homeland Security — between now and 2011 DHS expects to contend primarily with adversaries such as al Qaeda and other foreign entities affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement, as well as domestic radical Islamist groups.
It also lists left-wing domestic groups, such as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), as terrorist threats, but it does not mention anti-government groups, white supremacists and other radical right-wing movements, which have staged numerous terrorist attacks that have killed scores of Americans. Recent attacks on cars, businesses and property in Virginia, Oregon and California have been attributed to ELF.
DHS did not respond to repeated requests for comment or confirmation of the document’s authenticity.
The conspirators behind the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, which killed 168 people and wounded more than 500, were inspired by radical right-wing movements. Eric Rudolph, the man charged with carrying out the 1996 Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta, which killed one woman and injured more than 100, was a member of the radical anti-abortion group Army of God. Initially, Rudolph was the object of a massive North Carolina manhunt in connection with a Birmingham, Ala., abortion-clinic bombing that killed a police officer and seriously maimed a nurse.
Another Army of God member, James Kopp, was convicted in the 1998 shooting of a doctor who performed abortions.
Individuals affiliated with such groups have also been involved in many smaller terrorist acts, including mailing hundreds of bogus anthrax letters to abortion clinics, and in plots to obtain and use conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons against civilians. In 2003, for instance, a Texas man prosecutors say was a white supremacist and anti-government radical pleaded guilty to charges of possessing a weapon of mass destruction. Authorities had discovered enough sodium cyanide bombs to kill hundreds of people; machine guns and several hundred thousand rounds of ammunition; 60 pipe bombs; and remote-control explosive devices disguised as briefcases in a storage space he rented. The man, William J. Krar, was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison.
‘Still a Threat’
Domestic terror experts were surprised the department did not include right-wing groups on their list of adversaries.
“They are still a threat, and they will continue to be a threat," said Mike German, a 16-year undercover agent for the FBI who spent most of his career infiltrating radical right-wing groups. “If for some reason the government no longer considers them a threat, I think they will regret that," said German, who left the FBI last year. “Hopefully it’s an oversight."
James O. Ellis III, a senior terror researcher for the National Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT), said in a telephone interview Friday that whereas left-wing groups, which have been more active recently, have focused mainly on the destruction of property, right-wing groups have a much deadlier and more violent record and should be on the list. “The nature of the history of terrorism is that you will see acts in the name of [right-wing] causes in the future."
A popular Brooklyn teacher was arrested yesterday after she was caught kissing a 15-year-old boy in an empty classroom, police said.(A cold Heineken to KianB)
Joanna Hernandez, a math teacher at Intermediate School 55 in Brownsville, was seen passionately kissing the eighth-grader April 12, police said.
Another teacher spotted the two in the hot-and-heavy embrace and told the principal, authorities said.
"This wasn't a peck on the lips. It was a very lengthy lip lock," a police source said.
Hernandez, 27, was placed on administrative duty. She was arrested and charged yesterday with sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor, police said.
Students defended the teacher, who has taught the boy she allegedly kissed. "She's innocent," said student Jaykeem Bark, 14. "She's mad popular."
Hernandez has taught at IS 55 since 1999 and earns $45,583 a year. The Education Department will seek to fire her if she is convicted, a spokesman said.
The teacher said nothing yesterday as she was escorted out of the Brooklyn special victims unit in handcuffs.
Hernandez's husband pounded a wall in rage when he found reporters waiting for him at the couple's Kew Gardens, Queens, home. "I can't believe this," he said.
Meanwhile, another Brooklyn teacher, Richard Walker, 53, of Transit Tech High School, was arrested yesterday. He was carrying two knives when he was busted off school grounds on a warrant of resisting arrest and marijuana possession, police said.
Last week, two female teachers in Manhattan were accused of having affairs with students, a Staten Island teacher was charged as a serial kiddie flasher and a Queens instructor was investigated on charges of having sex with two teen girls.
Reports from Turkmenistan say President Niyazov has ordered the closure of all the hospitals in the country except those in the capital, Ashgabat.
The order, announced by a government spokesman, is part of the president's radical health care policies.
Thousands of medical workers have already been sacked under the plan.
Civil rights activists have accused the president of sacrificing public services in favour of vast projects that glorify his regime.He sounds like Pol Pot. Yeah, army conscripts are a great substitute for doctors and nurses!
President Niyazov apparently took the decision to close the hospitals at a meeting with local officials on Monday.
"Why do we need such hospitals?" he said. "If people are ill, they can come to Ashgabat."
For the Turkmens, it means the end of a nationwide health service already on its knees.
There are few able doctors and little medicine in rural Turkmen hospitals, and last year President Niyazov sacked 15,000 medical workers, replacing them with army conscripts. However the local hospital was the only place for sick people to go - especially those without the funds to travel to Ashgabat for treatment.
The foreign community will be horrified by the decision.The Turkmen community may or may not be horrified. Its opinion is irrelevant in Niyazovistan.
President Niyazov is well known for his idiosyncratic orders, but it is extraordinary for a head of state to take such a step."Idiosyncratic"? "Idiosyncratic"?! How about "batshit raving monster loony dingbat"!
At the same time, the president has also ordered the closure of rural libraries, saying they are pointless because village Turkmens do not read.
Criticism of the president is not allowed in Turkmenistan, but civil rights activists abroad say he has destroyed social services while spending millions of dollars of public money on grand projects, such as gold statues of the leader and a vast marble and gold mosque, one of the biggest in Asia.
A Colorado judge ordered two teen-age girls to pay about $900 for the distress a neighbor said they caused by giving her home-made cookies adorned with paper hearts.I don't know if I'm more mad at the judge or the neighbor. Way to reward a good deed.
The pair were ordered to pay $871.70 plus $39 in court costs after neighbor Wanita Renea Young, 49, filed a lawsuit complaining that the unsolicited cookies, left at her house after the girls knocked on her door, had triggered an anxiety attack that sent her to the hospital the next day.
Taylor Ostergaard, then 17, and Lindsey Jo Zellitte, 18, paid the judgment on Thursday after a small claims court ruling by La Plata County Court Judge Doug Walker, a court clerk said on Friday.
The girls baked cookies as a surprise for several of their rural Colorado neighbors on July 31 and dropped off small batches on their porches, accompanied by red or pink paper hearts and the message: "Have a great night."
The Denver Post newspaper reported on Friday that the girls had decided to stay home and bake the cookies rather than go to a dance where there might be cursing and drinking.
It reported that six neighbors wrote letters entered as evidence in the case thanking the girls for the cookies.
But Young said she was frightened because the two had knocked on her door at about 10:30 p.m. and run off after leaving the cookies.
She went to a hospital emergency room the next day, fearing that she had suffered a heart attack, court records said.
The judge awarded Young her medical costs, but did not award punitive damages. He said he did not think the girls had acted maliciously but that 10:30 was fairly late at night for them to be out.
Colorado Teens Fined for Giving Cookies to Neighbor