As police standby last week, two elderly women were beheaded after three days of torture by an angry mob which is the latest in a string of sorcery related crimes. According to the Post-Courier police could not overtake the angry mob leaving them helpless to save the two women from a grisly public death. As Bougainville police inspector Herman Birengka explained to the paper: “We were helpless. We could not do anything” as his officers were threatened while trying to release the women. He described the killing as barbaric and senseless as the women were held captive since Tuesday by relatives of a former school teacher who died recently. He explained that, “The two women were rounded up and taken to Lopele village after they were suspected of practising sorcery and blamed for the death of the former teacher, who was from Lopele village.” The report states that the two women were tortured for three days, suffering axe and knife wounds, before the beheading in front of the police who were there to mediate. The reports comes only days after another report that six women accused of witchcraft were tortured with hot irons in an Easter sacrifice in the southern Highlands and just last month a women accused of the same was burned to death by a mob. Amnesty international is calling for the government to end the sorcery related violence in Papua New Guinea and stamp out the practice where there is a widespread belief in sorcery and where people do not accept natural causes to explain a death. In recent years, there has been several of these cases as well as cannibalism in the country even reports of a man eating his screaming newborn as part of a sorcery initiation ceremony in 2011.
With the sequestration in full effect and no sign of any deals anytime soon, companies are finding ways to cut costs in order to make the hefty profits pre-recession by outsourcing, automating, and downsizing, but one company refuses to do so. The story of Avedis Zildjian Company sounds like something of a myth especially since in its 390 year history of cymgal manufacturing has never laid off a worker at least in recent history. Instead of laying off employees, the company retrains them for a new position when their jobs are automated plus offers incentive pay for increase productivity. The CEO Craigie Zildjian told NBC about the relationship with workers explaining, “It comes down to trust doesn’t it? You take care of us, and we take care of you.” Being the oldest family owned business in the U.S., the Zildjian company made cymbals in Turkey during the Ottoman Empire, then in Massachusetts during the Great Depression and can trace their history to Avedis Zildjian who was an Armenina alchemist whose secret formula for metals created cymbals with such an entrancing sound that he was invited to live with the sultan in the palace according to AOL jobs. Today, the facotry in Norwell, Mass., is run by 14th generation embers of the family and the Zildjian cymbals have been used by everyone from 19th century composer Richard Wagner to big band drummer Gene Krupa and Ringo Starr. The company currently controls 65 percent of the cymbal market with Craigie Zildjian as CEO and her sister Debbie Zildjian as vice president of Human Resources. The company’s commitment to retraining employees for new jobs is in stark contrast to employers who have cut back on training for decades which increased during the recession leaving only 1 in 5 workers with new skills from employer provided training in the past five years, according to a recent survey. For the past fifteen years, the company has offered 125 employees incentive pay for greater productivity and accuracy which has lead to only two months in 15 years where employees haven’t received a bonus according to Debbie Zildjian. This explains why so many employees are lifers who have been with the company for decades. Zildjian has been inviting music legends to test out their products and help them innovate for decades and to this day they send good tidings and birthday wishes to their artists on their twitter account which almost has 50,000 followers. The company has evolved with time as Craigie and Debbie Zildjian are the first women to run the company. The company’s success may also be due to the special rules for family management which requires as BBC reports that no family member can report to another, everyone must have job experience, college degrees are required, and no spouses allowed.
As the world goes into an economic tail spin, Greece is a glimpse into the future if things keep going the way they are. Unemployment in Greece rose to 27 percent in November as a result of financial crisis and austerity measures leaving nearly a third of the population in poverty by the end of the year. More than 30,000 people have lost their jobs in November with jobless rates continuing to acceleration according to the Statistics Agency. The worst affected are 15-24 years old without a job at 61.7 percent. Greece is in its sixth year of recession and is relying on international rescue loans to keep afloat. In return, the government imposed major spending cuts and tax hikes that have caused increased poverty and thousands of businesses to close. New tax hikes went into effect this month leading to further pressure on a shrinking workforce with 3.6 million Greeks remain employed, but 3.3 million are registered as inactive and 1.35 million are unemployed, according to the November figures. 3.9 million out of 11 million will be living in poverty by the end of the year as the poverty line in Greece is set at less than $9,700 per year. Several hundred pensioners marched to the Labor Ministry in heavy rain to protest the new tax increases. Dimos Koumbouris, leader of Greece’s main pensioners association, told AP that,”We can’t pay our electricity bills, or the emergency taxes. We haven’t enough for our medicines, and it’s putting our lives in danger.” Unions have called a strike for Feb. 20, protesting new tax hikes and government decision to ax collective wage agreements in the public sector. Another battle soon to erupt is over whether the minimum wage will be reduced from $666 a month to much lower. The government has denied any plans to cut the minimum wage or that this has been demanded by the country’s debt inspectors. According to Huff Post, the EU’s monetary affairs commissioner, Olli Rehn, noted that under Greece’s agreement with its bailout lenders, “a review of the minimum wage system is provided for in 2014.” His spokesman stressed “there is no explicit, or even implicit, agreement that there should be further cuts.”
Well it was fun while the ride lasted as most would say, but this could be the end of the sex industry all together if Iceland has anything to do with it. I for one agree something needs to be done to protect kids…will this help? It’s going to be bit a colder in Iceland since the government is considering a sweeping ban on Internet pornography preventing people from viewing or downloading x rated material. The law, written by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson aims to block the effect on young people by filtering access of pornographic material through smartphones, computers and game consoles, according to the Telegraph. Ogmundur a left wing party member has said that violent pornography has harmful effects on young people and is linked to incidences of violent crime. Ogmundur’s law would extend the band to the Internet as a pre-existing law already forbids the printing and distribution of pornography already. Some methods include enacting laws to make porn purchases illegal with an Icelandic credit card and filtering out porn IP addresses. Halla Gunnarsdottir, political advisor to Ogmundur, told the Daily Mail that the law isn’t anti-sex but anti-violence because young people seeing porn has led to them acting out as the material blurs the lines of what is right and wrong. Beside the laws existing for porn material, Iceland has already outlawed strip clubs a move that led the Guardian to proclaim Iceland as a global leader in feminism in 2010. The response from the world community is mixed with some seeing it as censorship and others seeing it as protection women and safe guarding young children’s sexuality.
This is a very troubling situation that happens more often than people think. Drug trafficking is a billion dollar industry with a lot to lose all around especially for drug smugglers whether voluntary or forced. In Bali, Indonesia a British grandmother, Lindsay Jun Sandiford 56, was sentenced to death by the court for smuggling $2.5 million in cocaine in her suitcase to a Bali island resort. The prosecution was only asking for 15 years not death. She had claimed in court the act was forced upon her because a gang threatened to hurt her children. More than 40 foreigners are currently on death row in Indonesia mostly for drug charges. Sandiford’s lawyer will appeal the case and the process could take years. So far, two other British citizens, and an Indian have been sentenced already in connection with the bust, while her so called accomplice awaits a verdict expected out Tuesday. The Bristish Foreign Office Minister Hugo Swire said on Wednesday the government strongly disagrees with the verdict and has offered assistance to the Sandiford family. In the verdict, a panel of Denpasar District Court judges determined that Sandiford damages the reputation n of Bali’s tourism and weakened the government’s drug prevention program. Sounds like they are making her an example to other foreigners not serving justice, but their own egos. The president has given clemency to only four drug offenders on death row and the most recent still remains in prison.
A gunman fired into a vehicle killing two people and wounded a juvenile Tuesday in the parking lot of an eastern Kentucky community college, Hazard Community and Technical College in Hazard. The campus was on lock down for over an hour and students were not allowed to leave until the premises was cleared by police to ensure no further danger. At the time of the shooting, there was 30 student students on campus. Three hours after the shooting at a news conference, no suspects have been identified and the semiautomatic pistol used was recovered. A male and female were dead already when the police arrived at 6 pm while the wounded female juvenile was taken to University of Kentucky Hospital. The police as well as college officials do not believe the violence was directly connected to the school and may have been the result of a domestic dispute. The relationship between the victims and shooter are not known.