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The killer being apprehended

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Russian man arrested under anti-terror law after talking about philosophy of yoga

The Yarovaya law includes restrictions on religious groups and followers of 'non-traditional' religions

A Russian yoga teacher has been arrested for "illegal missionary activity" under controversial new laws designed to combat terrorism.

Dmitry Ugay is said to have fallen foul of the country’s anti-terror measures, dubbed a ‘Big Brother' law by Edward Snowden, while giving a talk about the philosophy of yoga at a St Petersburg festival.

The computer programmer was arrested and charged with allegedly conducting illegal missionary activity, which is an offence under the so-called Yarovaya laws brought in last year.

Named after its author MP Irinia Yarovaya, the new legislation, signed off by President Vladimir Putin, includes restrictions on missionary activity, religious groups, and followers of what the government deems non-traditional religions.

Mr Ugay’s arrest comes after he was accused by fellow festival-goer, Nail Nasibulin, of recruiting young people to join his “pseudo-Hindu organisation".

The 44-year-old claims he was bundled into a police car and ordered to sign a blank piece of paper, which he refused to do.

Two months after his arrest and subsequent release, he now faces a fine at a court hearing next week in St Petersburg, state news agency Rapsi reported.

But Mr Ugay, who admits following Hinduism, strenuously denied the other claims, telling the Meduza news agency: “I did not name a single religious organisation in my speech, nor did I use a single religious book, and did not name a single religious figure apart from Christ and Buddha.”

Source: Independent

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Putin hates ladies in Yoga Pants.

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Former Banbury area pastor is sentenced at Northampton court after performing sexual acts on a Henry hoover at church

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A former pastoral manager from Middleton Cheney has been sentenced in Northampton after performing sexual acts on a Henry hoover in church and exposing his genitals to another person.

John Jeffs, aged 74, of Bull Baulk in Middleton Cheney, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, July 13 after being convicted of indecent exposure.

The court heard Jeffs was based at The Baptist Centre in Middleton Cheney when he committed the offence in September 2020. The offence did not involve anyone from the centre.

A member of the public, walking past his office at The Baptist Centre, said they saw Jeffs almost completely naked, except he was wearing ladies stockings. He was described as standing between two dark chairs, thrusting into a Henry hoover.

The court heard that Jeffs noticed the member of the public but continued to thrust into the machine. He was also seen pleasuring himself, the court heard. Jeffs said he felt "naughty", the court was told.

Prosecution barrister, Ellie Hutchinson, said that Jeffs accepted in a police interview that he was touching himself in church but claimed he did not know he would be seen.

The court heard that Jeffs has no previous convictions and no other offences have been committed since then.

Alistair Evans, the defence barrister, said that Jeffs was still coming to terms with the loss of his wife at a young age and was in “a lot of pain” because he was ignoring his health and his diabetes was not medicated.

Jeffs, after pleading not guilty to the offence, was tried at Northampton Magistrates’ court and found guilty of indecent exposure.
Deputy District Judge Harte said: “Why you thought it best to bring this matter to trial, I have no idea.”

Jeffs was given an 18-month community order, during which he is required to attend 40 rehabilitation requirement days, and he will placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

He was additionally ordered to pay £845 to the court and £200 in compensation to the victim.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article reported evidence that was given in court regarding John Jeffs' work with the Parents Talking Asperger's group. Following the court case, we have been asked by PAT to clarify that they ceased involvement with Jeffs seven months prior to the offence taking place. The article has been amended to reflect this.

Source: Banbury Guardian

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Filipino woman shows ‘white privilege card’ instead of license during Anchorage traffic stop — drives away ticket-free

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An investigation has been launched into an Anchorage police interaction with a Filipino woman who handed over a “white privilege card” instead of her driver’s license when she was pulled over in Alaska.

Mimi Israelah claimed in a now-deleted Facebook post that she was driving to a pizzeria in Anchorage when she was pulled over for weaving in traffic.

Israelah wrote she could not find her driver’s license when “Officer Bo” asked to see it.

“When I saw my White Privilege card, I gave to him if it’s ok,” she wrote in her caption. “He laughed and called his partner. It’s their first time to see a White Privileged [sic] card.”



Along with the description of the interaction, the woman included a selfie with an apparent Anchorage Police Department officer on her Facebook post. In the photo, she holds up her novelty card that reads, “White Privilege Card Trumps Everything.”

In a video reposted on Twitter that was apparently taken by Israelah, two officers can be seen standing outside her car. She asks the officers if they like her card, and one of the unidentified officers responds, “That’s hilarious.”



The end of the video flashes the Facebook post’s comments, which shows a user asking if Israelah received a ticket. The woman replied, “nope.”

It is not known whether Israelah received a citation or if disciplinary action was taken against the officers. However, an Anchorage Police spokesperson stated that an investigation into the officers’ interaction with the Filipino woman has been launched.

“Per the municipal attorney’s office we are unable to answer these questions as the incident is currently under investigation and it relates to personnel matters,” Anchorage police spokesperson Sunny Guerin wrote in an email to The Associated Press.

“I want to personally address the community to provide some clarity regarding our internal standards of conduct and ensure that it is clear to Anchorage citizens what the expectations of APD employees are and how we interact with our community,” Police Chief Michael Kerle said in a statement on July 12. “As law enforcement professionals, we are held accountable for our actions, and I am aware that the action of one officer can impact the trust between the police force and our community.”

“Our mission is to protect and serve our community in the most professional and compassionate manner possible,” Kerle added. “Our vision is to create an environment where everyone matters.”

Israelah said she flew to Alaska from California to join a Donald Trump rally with a group of people called the “Front Line Joes.” The rally is reportedly in support of local Republican candidates that Trump has backed.

Anchorage Police Sgt. Jeremy Conkling, president of the Anchorage police union, said the officers involved were given a notice of investigation.

“There’s always more to the story than a photograph tells,” Conkling said. “I look forward to these officers having their chance to explain to the department, sort of what their thoughts were, what their intent was, because they’re the only ones who can speak to that.”

Source: Yahoo

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Smile or Be Disciplined, Philippine Mayors Warn City Workers

“Frowning is not allowed in the municipality!” said the mayor of Mulanay in the Philippines. Many residents applauded his new policy.

Soon after taking office last month as mayor of a town in the northern Philippines, Aristotle Aguirre signed an order to fulfill one of his campaign promises.

Executive Order No. 002 Series of 2022 did not just require all local government employees to smile when serving the public. It also threatened disciplinary action for those who did not comply.

“Frowning is not allowed in the municipality!” the mayor said in a Facebook post last week announcing his “smile policy.” The order made failure to smile a violation of public employees’ code of conduct and said it would be a factor in their performance reviews.

And the people of Mulanay — many of them, anyway — applauded.

“This is a good policy,” said Ella May Legson, a university student in Mulanay, a town of about 56,000 in the province of Quezon, southeast of Manila. She said in an interview that she had experienced some frustrations with public employees under the previous mayor, and that she was glad to know she would, potentially, “never see a frowning employee in our municipality again.”

It wasn’t immediately clear how municipal workers in the town felt about the new mandate — or even whether the order was legal. Mr. Aguirre said he expected some resistance.

“Definitely there will be some instances when, let’s just say, it’s not always going to be a perfect day for everyone,” he said in an interview. But he insisted, “It is not that very hard,” adding, “A smile is very contagious.”

Officials and supervisors the world over, of course, have told workers to be more amiable around those they serve, though they tend to stop short of issuing executive orders. Smiles are good for business, titans of industry say. There is some evidence that facial expressions can influence mood, and science has suggested that even an artificially induced smile can spur the same brain changes that emerge during spontaneous moments of joy.

In 1948, George Philips, the mayor of Pocatello, Idaho, a city of 55,000, went so far as to push through an ordinance making it illegal for anyone in the city not to smile. “An exceptionally severe winter” had “dampened the spirit of city employees and citizens alike” that year, according to Pocatello’s website. The tongue-in-cheek ordinance remains in place to this day and has not been seriously enforced, the city says.

In the Covid era, keeping a friendly face has been a herculean task for airline employees dealing with what they call a “mob mentality” in the air. Flight attendants described a “hellish summer” last year as they experienced a barrage of abuse from customers who refused to wear masks, along with others who violently vented their frustrations at the stress of flying.

As a candidate for mayor, Mr. Aguirre, 47, pledged that the smile mandate would be one of his first actions in office. It was his first political campaign; Mr. Aguirre said he was his family’s “last hope” to beat a rival political clan in the province. An occupational therapist, he had returned to the Philippines in 2016 after living with his wife and children in New York for 10 years.


“The funny part was I worked in the Bronx — one of the toughest neighborhoods there,” he said. “So I am used to people not smiling.”

When Mulanay residents go to the municipal hall, he said, “they encounter a lot of disappointments because the services are so slow, and sometimes the government employees are not that friendly. One of my battle cries during my campaign was to change that behavior.”

Mr. Aguirre joined another newly elected Philippine mayor, Alston Kevin Anarna of Silang, a city of 296,000 in the province of Cavite, in dictating smiles all around. Mr. Anarna, 37, another first-time public official, also vowed during his campaign that all civil servants in City Hall would be taught to smile.

“Public servants need to smile,” Mr. Anarna said in an interview, “especially since those who normally go to the municipal hall are people who have nothing, people who have big problems. Imagine if those who will greet them are unsmiling and ill-tempered people, then what? But if they are treated nicely, with people who are visibly smiling and willing to help them, they’d feel a little better.”

The Silang mayor prohibited frowning among municipal workers — even as he wondered, during a speech, if some of them had been “conceived out of resentment,” according to the local news media. Under civil service rules, Mr. Anarna said, those who flout his order can be fined or suspended.

He said he had already seen a lot of positive changes. “They told me that even the garbage collectors are now all smiling,” he said, “even the traffic enforcers who man the roads.”

The Silang mayor hasn’t stopped there. He announced on Facebook last month that municipal employees would not be allowed to wear any colors associated with political organizations. That’s to ensure that all members of the public feel equally welcome, he said.

In Mulanay, the punishment stipulated by the law was clear. “If one is to be strict with this policy,” Mr. Aguirre said, “anyone who violates it can be suspended for six months, fined the equivalent of their salary for six months, or removed depending on the gravity of the offense.”

But he said: “I don’t want to do that. That’s too harsh.” He said that “a simple censure or putting the offending employee through sensitivity training so they can serve the public diligently will do.”

But is a smile policy sustainable?

Mr. Anarna thinks it’ll be a breeze: “I smile a lot,” he said. “I find it easy to smile while doing work.”

As for how all this will work during a pandemic, he added: “It may be hard to see people smiling under the face masks, but I guarantee you, you’ll see it in the glint of their eyes.”

Source: NY Times


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‘Reversible death’: Scientist revive heart, cells of dead pigs

New York: The pigs had been lying dead in the lab for an hour. No blood was circulating in their bodies; their hearts were still, their brain waves flat. Then a group of Yale scientists pumped a custom-made solution into the dead pigs’ bodies with a device similar to a heart-lung machine.

What happened next adds questions to what science considers the wall between life and death. Although the pigs were not considered conscious in any way, their seemingly dead cells revived. Their hearts began to beat as the solution, which the scientists called OrganEx, circulated in veins and arteries. Cells in their organs, including the heart, liver, kidneys and brain, were functioning again, and the animals never got stiff like a typical dead pig.

Other pigs, dead for an hour, were treated with ECMO, a machine that pumped blood through their bodies. They became stiff, their organs swelled and became damaged, their blood vessels collapsed, and they had purple spots on their backs where blood pooled.

The group reported its results in Nature on Wednesday.

The researchers say their goals are to one day increase the supply of human organs for transplant by allowing doctors to obtain viable organs long after death. And, they say, they hope their technology might also be used to prevent severe damage to hearts after a devastating heart attack or brains after a major stroke.

But the findings are just a first step, said Stephen Latham, a bioethicist at Yale University who worked closely with the group. The technology, he emphasised, is “very far away from use in humans”.

The group, led by Dr Nenad Sestan, professor of neuroscience, of comparative medicine, of genetics and of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, was stunned by its ability to revive cells.

“We did not know what to expect,” said Dr David Andrijevic, also a neuroscientist at Yale and one of the authors of the paper. “Everything we restored was incredible to us.”

Others not associated with the work were similarly astonished.
“It’s unbelievable, mind blowing,” said Nita Farahany, a Duke law professor who studies ethical, legal and social implications of emerging technologies.

And, Farahany added, the work raises questions about the definition of death.

“We presume death is a thing, it is a state of being,” she said. “Are there forms of death that are reversible, or not?”
The work began a few years ago when the group did a similar experiment with brains from dead pigs from a slaughterhouse. Four hours after the pigs died, the group infused a solution similar to OrganEx that they called BrainEx and saw that brain cells that should be dead could be revived.

That led them to ask if they could revive an entire body, said Dr Zvonimir Vrselja, another member of the Yale team.
The OrganEx solution contained nutrients, anti-inflammatory medications, drugs to prevent cell death, nerve blockers — substances that dampen the activity of neurons and prevented any possibility of the pigs regaining consciousness — and an artificial haemoglobin mixed with each animal’s own blood.

When they treated the dead pigs, the investigators took precautions to make sure the animals did not suffer. The pigs were anaesthetised before they were killed by stopping their hearts, and the deep anaesthesia continued throughout the experiment. In addition, the nerve blockers in the OrganEx solution stop nerves from firing to ensure the brain was not active. The researchers also chilled the animals to slow chemical reactions. Individual brain cells were alive, but there was no indication of any organised global nerve activity in the brain.

There was one startling finding: the pigs treated with OrganEx jerked their heads when the researchers injected an iodine contrast solution for imaging. Latham emphasised that while the reason for the movement was not known, there was no indication of any involvement of the brain.

Yale has filed for a patent on the technology. The next step, Sestan said, will be to see if the organs function properly and could be successfully transplanted. Sometime after that, the researchers hope to test whether the method can repair damaged hearts or brains.

The journal Nature asked two independent experts to write commentaries about the study. In one, Dr Robert Porte, a transplant surgeon at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, discussed the possible use of the system to expand the pool of organs available for transplant.

In a telephone interview, he explained that OrganEx might in the future be used in situations in which patients are not brain-dead but brain-injured to the extent that life support is futile.

In most countries, Porte said, there is a five-minute “no touch” policy after the respirator is turned off and before transplant surgeons remove organs. But, he said, “before you rush to the [operating room], additional minutes will pass by,” and by that time, organs can be so damaged as to be unusable.

And sometimes patients do not die immediately when life support is ceased, but their hearts beat too feebly for their organs to stay healthy.
“In most countries, transplant teams wait two hours” for patients to die, Porte said. Then, he added, if the patient is not yet dead, they do not try to retrieve organs.

As a result, 50-60 per cent of patients who died after life support was ceased and whose families wanted to donate their organs could not be donors.

If OrganEx could revive those organs, Porte said, the effect “would be huge” — a vast increase in the number of organs available for transplant.
The other comment was by Brendan Parent, a lawyer and ethicist who is director of transplant ethics and policy research at New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine.

In a telephone interview, he discussed what he said were “tricky questions around life and death” that OrganEx raises.
“By the accepted medical and legal definition of death, these pigs were dead,” Parent said. But, he added, “a critical question is: what function and what kind of function would change things?”

Would the pigs still be dead if the group did not use nerve blockers in its solution and their brains functioned again? That would create ethical problems if the goal was to preserve organs for transplant and the pigs regained some degree of consciousness during the process.
But restoring brain functions could be the goal if the patient had had a severe stroke or was a drowning victim.
“If we are going to get this technology to a point where it can help people, we will have to see what happens in the brain without nerve blockers,” Parent said.

In his opinion, the method would eventually have to be tried on people who could benefit, like stroke or drowning victims. But that would require a lot of deliberation by ethicists, neurologists and neuroscientists.

“How we get there is going to be a critical question,” Parent said. “When does the data we have justify making this jump?”
Another issue is the implication OrganEx might have for the definition of death.

If OrganEx continues to show that the length of time after blood and oxygen deprivation before which cells cannot recover is much longer than previously thought, then there has to be a change in the time when it is determined that a person is dead.

“It’s weird but no different than what we went through with the development of the ventilator,” Parent said. “There is a whole population of people who in a different era might have been called dead.”

Source: The Age

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