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May 12, 2016

Gun that killed Trayvon Martin being auctioned

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Gun that killed Trayvon Martin being auctioned

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

George Zimmerman is auctioning off the gun that he used to kill African American teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012.

“The firearm for sale is the firearm that was used to defend my life and end the brutal attack from Trayvon Martin,” Zimmerman describes the 9mm pistol on the website where he is auctioning off the gun.

Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin when he was walking home from a convenience store, and was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter in 2013.

The Counted, which specifically records gun violence in police brutality, puts the number of deaths of civilians by police at 367. The BBC reported that in the United States during 2015, there were 372 mass shootings in 2015 (as reported by the Mass Shooting Tracker) and that a total of 3 million firearms are owned.

In remarks to FOX 35, the Trayvon Martin Foundation stated, “The Trayvon Martin Foundation is committed to its mission of ending senseless gun violence in the United States. This election season, we are laser focused on furthering that mission. As such, the foundation has no comment on the actions of that person.”

“Many have expressed interest in owning and displaying the firearm including the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. This is a piece of American history. It has been featured in several publications and in current university text books. Offers to purchase the firearm have been received; however, the offers were to use the gun in a fashion I did not feel comfortable with,” said Zimmerman.



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Malcolm Turnbull implicated in Panama Papers

Malcolm Turnbull implicated in Panama Papers

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

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File photo of Malcolm Turnbull
Image: US Department of Defense.

An article in the Australian Financial Review published on Wednesday revealed documents from the Panama Papers name Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as having been the director of an offshore company managed by Mossack Fonseca during the early 1990s. Documents in the Panama Papers offered the fresh insight into the legal operations that facilitate corporate tax avoidance.

The company, Star Technology Systems Limited, was an offshore subsidiary of Australian company Star Mining NL. This company was established in the British Virgin Islands, a known corporate tax haven. The revelations come after the Australian Liberal Party proposed new strategies to crack down on corporate tax evasion in their 2016 budget announcement last week.

Prime Minister Turnbull has defended his involvement, saying there was no suggestion of impropriety. “Let me say to you that the company in which Neville Wran and I were directors was an Australian-listed company and had it made any profits which it did not, regrettably, it certainly would have paid tax in Australia — obviously you haven’t studied the accounts of the company concerned,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The company was reportedly established to investigate gold mining prospects in Siberia. Allegations have risen that donations were made to Russian politicians in relation to the mine, however Turnbull has denied any knowledge of this.

Despite his claims, political opponents are calling for a full explanation of his involvement with the company. In April this year, British Prime Minister David Cameron published his personal tax records after the Panama Papers revealed his connections to Mossack Fonseca. 140 politicians and public officials worldwide were named in the Papers.



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Italian parliament votes to back same-sex civil unions

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Italian parliament votes to back same-sex civil unions

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

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Members of Parliament in Italy voted yesterday in support of the introduction of same-sex civil unions. The vote passed by 369 to 193 by Italy’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies. The upper house approved the bill in February.

File photo of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
Image: Official website of Ali Khamenei.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a vote of confidence in the government and a successful vote has passed approval on the bill automatically. Italy was the last major western country where same-sex relationships were legally unrecognized.

“Today is a day of celebration for so many people”, Renzi wrote before the vote on his Facebook page. “We are writing another important page of the Italy we want […] It was no longer acceptable to have any more delays after years of failed attempts.”

The bill has been criticized for not going far enough to create equality for gay couples. Compared to some other European countries the bill does not stretch as far on such issues as adoption. A previous proposal calling for a pledge of loyalty, which would have made the unions more similar to marriage, was dropped. Despite this gay couples have more rights under the bill, such as the right to take a partner’s name.

Organization Arcigay national secretary Gabriele Piazzoni said of the vote, “The glass is half-full. The text contains the recognition and protection many gays and lesbians have been waiting for all their lives […] [but] everything this law has failed to guarantee leaves a bitter taste.”

Religion was a factor in the passing of this vote as well as previous attempts. Italy is largely Roman Catholic. Speaking to newspaper la Repubblica, Archbishop Michele Pennisi said “There is a large part of the country that did not want this law passed.” He also criticized that the vote was brought through using a confidence vote, a move he referred to as “creeping fascism“.



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ISIS claims they were behind Baghdad bombings

ISIS claims they were behind Baghdad bombings

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Three separate bombs have resulted in the death of at least 93 Iraqi people in Baghdad today and the wounding of several others, with the Islamic State (IS) taking the blame for the incident. The incidents also caused severe community damage, with an estimated 30 shops now in ruins as well as 20 vehicles .

The attacks are reported to be suicide bombings, with the first occurring at a busy market in Sadr City, which killed at least 64 people according to officials with another 87 left severely injured. The next attack occurred later in the day, when another suicide bomber detonated their explosive al-Kadhimiya, killing a further 17 people and injuring another 43.

The third and final attack resulted in the death of 12 people and the wounding of 31 more, when a bomb was detonated in Hayy Al-Jami’a. It is reported that along with the 93 deaths, 150 injured victims can be attributed to the bombings.

This is not the first bombing to take place in Baghdad this year, with another occurring last month which ISIS again claimed responsibility for, which resulted in the deaths of more than two dozen people . Another attack was made by the Islamic State on the 8th of May, when a suicide bomber killed 6 people at a funeral being held for a tribal member who fought against the terrorist group . February also saw the death of 70 people in Baghdad with twin bombings , and the following month saw the death of 30 at the bombing of a soccer stadium in Baghdad’s south .

These attacks can also be linked to the recent attack in Cairo, where four gunmen killed 8 police officers who were travelling in a government minivan to conduct security checks .



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China bans erotic banana eating

China bans erotic banana eating – Wikinews, the free news source

China bans erotic banana eating

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

The eating of bananas erotically online in China has been banned this week. Consuming the fruit in an erotic manner, while live streaming, was outlawed by officials. Since this enforcement, protests against the bans have commenced. Since, a man filmed himself eating a banana in an ‘erotic’ manner, with the Chinese embassy in London as his backdrop. The video filmed by Phil Watson has gone viral since it was uploaded to Youtube.

President, Xi Jinping told delegates from some of the world’s leading technology companies, that government action is needed to strengthen “civilised behaviour” online. He called to “rehabilitate the cyber ecology.” His comments were live tweeted, despite its ban by Beijing.

Stretching over 21,000 kilometres, the Great Wall of China was built from the 7th century to control the borders and for the control of transport. Today, the Great Firewall of China controls what travels into China on the Internet, based on its good or bad influence on the country.

The Beijing-controlled news company, CCTV, reported that Live-streaming platforms such as PandaTV and the most popular YY, have been warned to dump the bananas. Constant monitoring for any hint of illicit fruit consumption will now be a requirement.

There has been a recent boom in live streaming with a China Daily newspaper reporting that there are more than 100 live-streaming platforms on which young “hosts” broadcast their lives. {{w|YY} has more than 120 million active users and had revenues last year of 5.9bn yen, which equates to $105M Australian dollars.

China is a heavily regulated internet country already, with it employing up to 100,000 people to monitor internet use. As of September 2015, up to 3000 sites have been blocked by china. This includes websites such as Facebook. Websites can be banned entirely or blocked during times of tension. The Golden Shield, colloquially known as the Great Firewall of China, was set up in 1998 to keep a watchful eye on its 670 million web surfers, who are visiting over 4.13 million websites.

The punishment of viewing blocked material, or breaking Chinese law can mean jail time or a fine of up to $1800.



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