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Oklahoma Senate punishes senator found with teen in motel

OKLAHOMA CITY — Charges could be filed Thursday against an Oklahoma state senator who police say was found with a teenage boy in a motel room in the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore, according to a local prosecutor.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Wednesday that he could not say what charges might be filed against Republican Sen. Ralph Shortey of Oklahoma City, but told The Associated Press that police have presented a report to his office.

“She (the first assistant district attorney) could send it back for more work or file it as is,” Mashburn said.

Police in Moore have said they’re still investigating the circumstances surrounding a March 9 incident involving Shortey and a teenager. Police did not immediately return a phone call for further comment.

Police on Wednesday released a heavily redacted report that said a juvenile boy was found in a motel room with an adult male on March 9.

The names of those in the room and the boy’s age are redacted in the report.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Senate imposed sanctions Wednesday on Shortey, voting 43-0 for a resolution that accuses him of “disorderly behavior.” Among other things, it removes Shortey from membership and leadership of various Senate committees, bars him from occupying his office and reserved parking spot at the Capitol, blocks his expense allowances and authorship of bills, and revokes his right to have an executive assistant.

Senate officials said Shortey will still receive his $38,400 annual salary as a senator and will be allowed to vote.

Shortey, who was not present in the Senate chamber when the resolution was adopted without opposition, was also not in his Capitol office Wednesday and has not responded to requests for comment.

The resolution by Senate President Pro Tem Mike Schulz, a Republican from Altus, was co-sponsored by 44 of the Senate’s 48 senators. In a statement following its passage, Schulz said it was not intended to be “a presumption of guilt or innocence.”

“The Oklahoma Senate has full faith that the judicial system will play out appropriately and bring this matter to a lawful conclusion,” Schulz said. “This resolution reserves the right of the Oklahoma Senate to pursue further action if more facts come to light.”

The chair of the Oklahoma Republican Party, Pam Pollard, released a statement Wednesday condemning Shortey and alleging he is being investigated for a sex crime.

“No person, particularly a child, should be subjected to sex crimes,” Pollard’s statement said. “While we believe in the right to a fair trial and that all people deserve their day in court, the accusations against Ralph Shortey are in no way in line with the principles of the Oklahoma Republican Party.”

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BUSTED: Trump campaign chair caught in a motel room with an underage boy

Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey is facing numerous charges from Moore police after he was caught in a Super 8 Motel room with a minor boy.

According to KOCO reporter Bret Buganski‏, police are recommending the Republican lawmaker be charged with soliciting prostitution of a minor, prostitution within 1,000 feet of church and transporting purpose of prostitution.

“On March 9 … officers of the Moore Police Department were contacted in reference to a welfare check at a local hotel,” Lt. Kyle Dudley told NewsOK.com. “Responding officers found a juvenile male in a hotel room which was also occupied by an adult male. The circumstances surrounding this incident are currently under investigation and no additional information can be released at this time.”

An employee of the hotel confirmed to KOCO that a man named “Ralph Allen Shortey” checked in at approximately 12:20 a.m. asking for a room with two beds. Just 30 minutes later the police arrived responding to a “welfare check,” though no one has come forward admitting to the call.

No one has been arrested and no charges have been filed, but text messages between the boy and Shortey are being investigated by police. Shortey’s legislative office door was found to have a note saying that he would be gone for the week.
Shortey was the state chair of President Donald Trump’s campaign during the primary elections.

“I am proud and honored to have been tapped as Chairman of the campaign for Oklahoma,” Shortey wrote on his Facebook Sept. 2015, according to The Lost Ogle. “We are very excited for the opportunity to have Mr. Trump here,” he said announcing a rally for Trump at the Oklahoma State Fair.

Shortey has been in office since 2010 and is most known for a bill he proposed to ban fetuses in food. NewsOK reports Shortey has been married to his high school sweetheart since 2002 and that he studied at Heartland Baptist Bible College in Oklahoma City in preparation for mission work in Uganda. A direct mail piece sent to Shortey’s constituents show that he was also endorsed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio for his opposition to immigration and immigrants and by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) for his “conservative principles.” Beth and Dog the Bounty Hunter hosted a rally for Shortey’s election in 2014.

“The Oklahoma Republican Party takes all accusations against elected officials seriously, especially when the welfare of a minor is involved,” Pam Pollard of the Oklahoma Republican Party said in a statement. “We have reached out to Senator Shortey for comment and have not heard back from him at this time. We await the report from law enforcement on whether charges will be filed.”

Feds Drop Charges in Child Porn Case to Protect Secrets

http://www.renegadetribune.com/feds-drop-charges-child-porn-case-protect-secrets/
By James Holbrooks of The Anti-Media

In a case that’s drawn criticism from multiple angles, last week federal prosecutors in Washington state dropped all charges against a man who allegedly downloaded child pornography from a website that was infiltrated, taken over, and allegedly even improved by the FBI.

The site, Playpen, operated on a platform designed to mask the real identities of its users, as Gizmodo explained Monday:

The site in question operated on the Tor network, a system used to anonymize web activity. The network makes use of a special web browser that conceals people’s identities and location by routing their internet connections through a complex series of computers and encrypting data in the process.”

The feds first targeted Playpen back in February of 2015. About a year later, the Washington Post ran a piece outlining the FBI’s methods in going after pedophiles. Using suspect “Pewter” as an example, the paper described how the feds’ operation worked:

The agency, with a warrant, surreptitiously placed computer code, or malware, on all computers that logged into the Playpen site. When Pewter connected, the malware exploited a flaw in his browser, forcing his computer to reveal its true Internet protocol address. From there, a subpoena to Comcast revealed his real name and address.”

The case, United States v. Jay Michaud, is one of around 200 that resulted from the FBI’s Playpen operation. Regardless of the manner in which the evidence against Michaud was collected — which drew staunch criticism — a lack of it wasn’t the reason the charges were dropped.

The reason, as was made clear in a court filing last Friday, is that the FBI would rather let Michaud walk free than reveal its tactics in open court.

The government must now choose between the disclosure of classified information and dismissal of its indictment,” federal prosecutor Annette Hayes explained in the filing. “Disclosure is not currently an option. Dismissal without prejudice leaves open the possibility that the government could bring new charges should there come a time within the statute of limitations when and (if) the government (should) be in a position to provide the requested discovery.”

That’s right. The federal government is letting a potential child predator back out onto the streets so it doesn’t have to reveal its law enforcement methods.

Some, such as Zachary Goldman, executive director of the Center on Law and Security, argue that the FBI supplying the court with its techniques would ostensibly weaken its ability to enforce the law.

The adjunct NYU professor told Gizmodo the fact the charges against Michaud are being dropped “doesn’t mean that the F.B.I.’s investigation was unjust or unjustified,” and that it actually proves the agency is “placing paramount importance on preserving the ability to use this technique in the future.”

Attorney Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, who has represented some of the defendants in the Playpen investigation, disagrees. He says the FBI’s dragnet-style approach violated citizens’ Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“In law enforcement situations, some people have the mentality that ends justify the means,” Margulis-Ohnuma said, referring to the news about Michaud. “I do not think they would have done this in a drug case. They wouldn’t mail out drugs to hundreds of people. I think because child pornography is so heinous, they bend the rules.”

Many feel the government should have shut Playpen down the second it took it over. The feds, however, went in another direction. Once the FBI was in control, a federal attorney in North Carolina says, it made the site run better.

In a motion to have charges against a Playpen client thrown out, assistant defender Peter Adolf claimed the government improved the Playpen service in order to draw in more customers — in other words, people they were planning to arrest:

Indeed, government agents worked hard to upgrade the website’s capability to distribute large amounts of child pornography quickly and efficiently, resulting in more users receiving more child pornography faster than they ever did when the website was running ‘illegally.’”

Adolf claimed Playpen membership grew by 30 percent during the two weeks under FBI control and that average weekly visitors rose from around 11,000 to somewhere closer to 50,000. He also claims in the motion that during that two-week period, “approximately 200 videos, 9,000 images, and 13,000 links to child pornography were posted on the site.”


This article (Feds Drop Charges in Child Porn Case to Protect Secrets) was originally created and published by The Anti-Media and is re-posted here with permission. 

Sex might make you happier at work, study says

Today in “duh”: People who get laid might be happier at work, according to a recent study.

Married men and women who made sex during off-hours a priority were more satisfied and engaged at their jobs the next day, Oregon State University researchers found in a two-week survey study.

“This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority,” co-author Keith Leavitt said in a statement. “Just make time for it.”

The report, published in this month’s Journal of Management, asked 159 married workers to answer twice-daily surveys over two weeks. Those who got busy at home reported being in better moods the subsequent morning — a buzz that endured throughout the workday.

Are you getting enough sex? Find out here!

Men and women saw in equal measure the positive effects, which seemed to hang around at least 24 hours, according to the researchers. They held steady even after accounting for sleep quality and marital satisfaction.

It’s also possible, of course, that work satisfaction is but one positive outcome of regular intercourse. The authors note that sex triggers release of the hormone oxytocin and neurotransmitter dopamine — making horizontal refreshment “a natural and relatively automatic mood elevator.”

“We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it,” Leavitt said.

“Maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help employees stay happy and engaged in their work, which benefits the employees and the organizations they work for.”

A Jewish artist draws inspiration, and customers, from Amsterdam’s Red Light District

Juan Tajes at his studio in Amsterdam in 2016. (Courtesy of Juan Tajes)

AMSTERDAM (JTA) — For someone who produces and sells masks for a living, it makes sense to set up shop in the center of this city’s famed Red Light District.

After all, there are countless masks and costumes on sale in the many adult toy shops that dot this part of the Dutch capital, which gets its name from the glow of lamps that frame the windows where prostitutes pose for potential customers

The sex stores offer a dazzling variety of naughty costumes, including Dick Tracey suits and Catwoman getups that leave little to the imagination.

Yet those sex accessories are quite different from the masks being made here by Juan Tajes — a Uruguay-born Jewish artist who says he draws inspiration and customers from the unending stream of tourists and gawkers passing through this part of the city at all hours of the day and night. Tajes calls this his neighborhood’s “never-ending masquerade.”

Some of Tajes’ masks reference body parts that refer to the district’s main trade – especially one flesh-colored mask with a projecting proboscis. But most of them are more classical, referencing old European theatrical styles, including the 16th-century commedia dell’arte that inspired Moliere. Others echo even more ancient forms, with blank-eyed likenesses of the sort used in Greek tragedies.

But they all are traceable, says Tajes, to his own Jewish and Catholic roots in Uruguay and the inspiration he draws from living and working in his Red Light District studio.

“I get a lot of inspiration from them, from being constantly surrounded by people from so many places,” Tajes, 70, told JTA last week in an interview ahead of Purim and Carnival — respectively, the Jewish and Christian springtime holidays in which revelers wear identity-altering costumes and disguises.

Around the display window of Taje’s atelier, which is also where he lives, tourists huddle for a closer look at his masks. “There’s a lot of interaction,” he says of the window shoppers. “I think I now know the word for mask in at least 25 languages.”

In an area of town where men – some of them too embarrassed to make eye contact with other pedestrians – window shop for sex just outside the city’s oldest church, Tajes, who settled in the Netherlands 35 years ago, recalled the role that masks played in religions in many parts of the world.

“Some say the origin of the mask in some cultures is to be found in God,” Tajes said. “Masks were used for people who sought to become a god, or at least portray one. But in others, it was a way to hide away from God.”

For one of Tajes’ neighbors, a prostitute from a small town in Macedonia who gave her name as Annie, his masks offer a chance to reflect about her own reality.

“I like looking at these different masks on my way to the room,” said Annie, who on some days of the week works abut 300 yards from Tajes, whom she has never met. “I guess I like these masks because I wear a mask to work every day. I wear my makeup but I also wear a personality that is not really me.”

Though he still enjoys living and working in the Red Light District, Tajes says that increasingly, he is seeing his city becoming increasingly less authentic.

It’s a common observation in a city that used to be a hippie’s mecca but has since gentrified so thoroughly that many locals find it unaffordable – and unbearable because of the ever-growing numbers of tourists flooding it.

“This is not the place where I settled 35 years ago, and I think it has changed for the worse,” said Tajes. As the municipality slashed subsidies that made it possible for less-than-affluent artists to live here, “not much is left now of the community that used to exist here. It has mostly been replaced by tourists.”

Fascinated by the medieval architecture of Northern Europe, Tajes was himself a tourist when he first came to the Netherlands in 1973. That year, a military dictatorship rose to power in Uruguay in a coup d’etat that marked the beginning of a 12-year reign marked by censorship, oppression and torture.

Already abroad and reluctant to subject himself to such a regime, Tajes stayed in the Netherlands, where he ended up having two daughters. Uruguay lost approximately 10 percent of its population during those years.

The son of a Catholic father and Sephardic Jewish mother, Tajes was raised a Catholic. He had an early connection to masks in Montevideo, where he grew up. Carnival is as popular in Uruguay as it is in its northern neighbor, Brazil, and as a boy Tajes used to enjoy the colorful processions and the flamboyant costumes and masks.

“The masks signify a new start to me,” he said.

Both Purim and Carnival tend to highlight the change of seasons, from grim winter to hopeful spring.

“It’s not surprising that Purim and Carnival used to mark beginnings,” Tajes said. “There’s something about putting on a mask that speaks of new possibilities, new beginnings.”

Illegal Immigrant: “I Came to Fuck the Women”

A rejected “asylum seeker” from Algeria living in Austria, on trial for an attempted rape in Linz, has told the court that he only came to Europe to “f**k the women.”

(New Observer Online)

It has not proven possible to deport the criminal because Algeria has no extradition agreement with Austria, and the invader is now being “tested for insanity,” the court was also told.

According to the Nachtrichten news service, the attack took place in April this year, when the 35-year-old invader attacked a 41-year-old woman at a bus stop.

 

The woman, identified in another Nachtrichten report as Timea Lorenz, fought back bravely. After he had pulled off her pants and lay down on top of her, she had bitten him through the lip.

He then punched her several times in the face before running off. Timea suffered severe injuries, including a broken nose, and lost consciousness in the bushes where he had tried to carry out the attack.

Witnesses, alerted by the noise, observed the attacker running off half-naked, bleeding profusely.

The Wochenblick newspaper carried further details of the Algerian’s background. He had already been arrested in November 2015 for an attack upon a 58-year-old woman, and ordered deported.

That deportation process had failed because there is no extradition agreement with Algeria, and that country routinely refuses to take back any of its citizens who have invaded Europe.

The nonwhite criminal was denied “asylum” in Austria in 2012, and deported to Hungary—from where he had entered the country. He had however returned using a false French passport.

In addition, he had been convicted of “several crimes” in France and Austria, the court heard.

In court, the accused denied everything, swearing “by Allah” that he had not even been at the scene, the Wochenblick report continued.

When asked by the prosecutor why he had come back to Austria after being deported in 2012, he replied—to gasps from the courtroom audience—that he had “come to Austria to f **k the women.”

After the testimony had been heard, presiding judge Ursula Eichler asked the invader whether he would like to add something to his statement, since the statements of the victim and the witnesses and DNA evidence would “weigh heavily against him.”

He answered through an interpreter, saying that he had “never seen this woman [the victim] in my life. I swear by Allah that I did not rape that woman.”

The hearing was postponed until a psychological examination could be carried out.

The victim took the unusual step of attending the court appearance and recounted her experiences.

The mother of three can no longer work since the incident, as she suffers from frequent headaches and insomnia.

“I am afraid to go out of my own apartment in the evening,” she said, adding that even in daytime she would only go out if she was accompanied. “If a stranger in the tram gets too close to me, I freak out.”

She added that her fear for her children was now equally great. “My daughter is 15. I’m afraid that I will not be able to protect her when she is out.”

UK Police Announce There Are So Many Pedophiles, They Will Stop Arresting Them

http://www.renegadetribune.com/uk-police-announce-many-pedophiles-will-stop-arresting/

 

By Claire Bernish of The Free Thought Project

Because police “cannot cope” with the “huge” influx of reports on child abuse, they now say pedophiles whose ‘only’ crime is viewing child pornography should undergo rehabilitation — instead of going to prison.

In a mere three years, child abuse reports have skyrocketed in volume by 80 percent; and, as Chief Constable Simon Bailey of the National Police Chiefs’ Council and head of Operation Hydrant, “which is investigating multiple allegations of historic sexual abuse across the UK,” the BBC reports, “knew his view would cause nervousness and draw headlines.

“But he said the numbers of reports of abuse were at ‘huge proportions’ — an NSPCC study in late 2016 used figures which suggested the number of individuals looking at such images could exceed half a million.”

Child pornography, indeed an incredibly serious crime from any standpoint, seems to have erupted in popularity — Bailey told BBC Radio 4’s Today program around 400 people each month are arrested by police working with the National Crime Agency for viewing indecent images.

“There are undoubtedly tens of thousands of men that are seeking to exploit children online with a view to meeting them,” he continued, “with a view to then raping them and performing the most awful sexual abuse upon them.

“That’s where I believe our focus has got to be. They are the individuals that pose the really significant threat.”

Bailey’s stance isn’t unfamiliar to the dark realm of child sexual abuse, but it’s exceedingly unusual for a police official of such high rank to advocate re-prioritizing criminality — particularly given the murkier crime at hand perpetuates and fuels the cycle.

Without providing statistics or references, Bailey championed referrals to rehabilitation for viewing child porn, saying they “increasingly are effective” — as would be vacating the court system of these cases, to “speed things up.”

Because the child abuse and exploitation is so rampant, the overwhelmed chief constable believes the imperative to target the worst pedophile offenders far outweighs the severity of the crime of viewing explicit images — despite the latter being a serious, repeat transgression against the victim.

“Every time an image is viewed, the victim is being victimised again and there is nothing as abhorrent. But we have to be able to manage the totality.”

Besides police operations, a spokesperson for the Home Office told the BBC it had allotted £20 million (over $24.8 million) to the National Crime Agency, specifically for battling child sexual exploitation on the web.

“Alongside ensuring we have a tough law enforcement response to bring offenders to justice, we are also committed to preventing offending in the first place,” the spokesperson said.

Prison terms and harsh punishment can be efficacious as deterrents, but, a spokesperson from the NPCC noted, “We cannot arrest our way out of the situation. If we are to protect more children we must make prevention and rehabilitation a priority.”

Resources across the U.K. have been stretched to the breaking point recently, after a series of high-profile cases of child abuse and sexual exploitation involving prominent figures had commandeered headlines for weeks. Such astonishing scandals might have provided public awareness and a platform for victims, but reports to police and pleas to charitable organizations for help have created an enormous backlog.

Lisa Thornhill, a senior practitioner at the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, “which works with people who have sexually harmed or fear they may harm a child,” said the center is not only full to capacity, but has had to turn away hundreds asking to be rehabilitated.

“Most people who commit these offences have some idea what they are doing is wrong,” Thornhill told the BBC. “We appeal to the brave and responsible part of those people to get in touch with us and stop, and stay stopped.”

According to the station, “Calls to the helpline are over capacity – about 800 people each month call, but about 2,500 calls are unable to be taken due to demand.”

Whether or not Bailey’s appeal to lessen the severity by default for pedophiles who view child pornography will result in a change in policy or law remains to be seen, but a furious backlash from victims and their families will almost certainly ensue now.

Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) Gang: Major Players in Sex-Slave Trafficking and More

http://www.renegadetribune.com/mara-salvatrucha-ms-13-gang-major-players-sex-slave-trafficking/

 

By Thomas Müller of The New Nationalist

Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) is a trans-national criminal gang that originated in El Salvador that has expanded to the United States, Canada and Mexico. In Mexico, the Sinoloa cartel hired these gang members as thugs and killers. The majority of the 70,000-member gang is ethnically composed of Central Americans, mostly Salvadorans. The gang’s presence is heavy in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Texas, New York, Washington, D.C. and urban areas of New Jersey.

They are notorious for their use of violence and a subcultural ethos of merciless revenge, cruel retributions and ruthlessness. They are also openly threatening and lethal against law enforcement. Mara is a fierce and nasty ant.

The savage gang has been connected to crimes that run the gamut, from human trafficking to kidnapping and child prostitution to killing for a whim (kicks), including satanic killings. Noteworthy crimes include the brutal murders of students on Long Island over the course of three years and machete and baseball attacks against two girls in suburban California. Last week, two gang members were arrested and charged for a satanic ritual murder in Houston.

In recent years, MS-13 has clearly gone heavily into human and child trafficking. Pedogate investigators have been focused on the D.C. and Virginia areas, where there is evidence this gang functions as sex-slave procurers for the veracious appetites of hardcore pervs infesting the region. TNN reported here on D.C. as a missing children hub. The gang has specifically set up shop in the areas of Langley Park and Takoma Park, Maryland.

In one 2012 case, a MS-13 leader named Rances Ulices Amaya of Virginia was sentenced to 50 years in prison for child prostitution. He sold girls as young as 14, according to NBC4 Washington. It’s said he forced girls to have sex up to 10 times per day.

In 2011, Alonso “Casper” Bruno Cornejo Ormeno, an associate of MS-13 from Fairfax, Virginia, was sentenced to 292 months in prison for child prostitution. Ormeno recruited juvenile females into a prostitution ring by locating runaway children.

In September 2012, Yimmy Anthony Pineda Penado, also known as “Critico” and “Spike” of Maryland, was a former “clique leader” of MS-13. Penado became the 11th MS-13 gang member to be convicted of child prostitution since 2011.

The FBI had started a MS-13 National Gang Task Force […] but resources have been diverted to the bogus war against terrorism, thus the MS-13 threat has grown even larger. Inquiring minds would like to know: Is this by design?

A sidebar issue popularized by (((media))) and (((certain government officials and their mouthpieces))) is that racial gangs like this are allied with “black separatists” and “white supremacists” groups. This smear theme was put forth in the bogus movie Imperium, which we reviewed. The New Nationalist (TNN) highly suspects this is a red herring, and we would like to investigate this claim further to confirm or refute.

In the past, most Mara Salvatrucha members covered themselves in tattoos, as shown in the taxidermy human rug in the photo at right made by a rival gang “Mexican artist.” The most common markings are satanic “Devil Horns” and the name of their clique. However, in the last decade, the appearance has morphed to a blend in mode. If you notice, the satanic killers in the Houston video story look pretty clean cut.

The History Channel put out a documentary about MS-13 entiled “Gangland: Root of All Evil” [see below].

A good recent detailed article on MS-13 is available here.


 

Amid Libya’s chaos, human traffickers have free rein

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/03/libya-chaos-human-traffickers-free-rein-170301092942861.html
‘Europe does not want to help us. Europe wants to stop seeing the dead. European leaders only want to shift the problem, not to solve it’ [UNICEF]

Tripoli, Libya – On February 21, the bodies of 74 migrants were found by the Libyan Red Crescent on the shore of Zawiya, a Libyan town known for being a capital of fuel smuggling and human trafficking.

A Zawiya resident said he was on the beach as Red Crescent volunteers filled dozens of body bags.

“The first thing I did on the shore was search for the rubber boat in which they left,” said the Zawiya resident, who preferred not to reveal his name for security reasons.

“It was not far from the corpses, destroyed, and the first thing I noticed was that the engine was not there. This probably means when the smugglers realised that the rubber boat was sinking, [they] came back … to carry off the engine. They will use it for other migrants.”

Libya’s militias have become increasingly powerful amid the power vacuum since Muammar Gaddafi’s toppling in 2011. The militias control the human trafficking trade, and many young Libyans lacking work are eager to join.

“We are realising that more and more young people are attracted by these crimes,” the man said. “The young people need money, and the smugglers provide them with this money. Nobody cares if migrants arrive in Europe alive or if they die drowned in the sea … they are worse than murderers.”

The most powerful militia in the area is Abu Himyra al-Naser (translated as “Victory”). Another Zawiya resident, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said the militia’s boss “is paid directly by the government with the task of monitoring what’s going on in the harbour. He should work together with official navy officers, but actually he is the boss of the human trafficking here. He not only manages what happens in the port; he also directly controls several detention centres.”

Libya’s Interior Ministry has little control over these centres, where militias exploit, blackmail, abuse, and even sell migrants to other militias.

A source at the Libyan Interior Ministry confirmed this. “Corrupt coastguards gave migrants to the militias, and the militias keep them in illegal detention centres,” he said. “There, they start to blackmail migrants. They take their money, phones, documents. With the phone numbers they find in their mobiles, smugglers call their families asking for ransom to free them. The militias also sell them to masters in the area who use them to work for free. Fighting them is almost impossible, even for the official police.”

Issa, 40, who did not provide his last name, works for the Coast Guard in Gasr Garabulli, a town 60 kilometres east of Tripoli. He said the Libyan coast today is “a tragedy”.

“Until two years ago I had a dinghy to try to stop the boats leaving. Today all that remains is wreckage. The rubber boat broke down and the Coast Guard of Tripoli did not not send me any means to replace it. Now I no longer have resources to control the coasts.”

Issa sits alone on a wooden bench, watching the sea with a radio transmitter beside him. The Coast Guard headquarters here consists of a concrete house overlooking a small port. The house is nearly bare: Inside is a table, a map, a compass and a refrigerator with little food.

“See over there,” Issa said, indicating a stand of trees around the bend. “The coast is surrounded by woods where they can easily collect migrants the evening before departure.”

Smugglers hold migrants in makeshift houses for days, sometimes weeks, before departure. “We all know where migrants are gathered,” Issa said. “Human trafficking is a chain made up of many tasks: Someone is responsible for bringing them food, someone is responsible to find a dinghy, someone has to bring migrants to the shore at night.”

Issa said he has been threatened by local traffickers, who offered him money to close his eyes and pretend not to see the boats departing. He refused, and two armed boys came by at night, threatening to kill him.

“The situation is out of control,” Issa said. “Only confusion reigns. I know coastguards directly paid by the militias, they are accomplices of smugglers. They are an active part of their chain. Often the Coast Guard itself recovers rafts … and gives them to the militias that control human trafficking. This is one of the reasons why Europe has recently decided to give money to the Libyan Coast Guard – to control what happens here.”

On February 3, European Union leaders approved a plan to curb migration from Libya. The plan called for giving €400m ($423m) to Libya, offering training and equipment to the Libyan Coast Guard, and improving detention centres.

“[It] makes me bitterly smile. Now it’s too late; there are too many corrupt people,” Issa said.

“Europe does not want to help us,” he said. “Europe wants to stop seeing the dead. European leaders only want to shift the problem, not to solve it.”

Here’s A ‘Smart Condom Ring’ That Tries To Track Your Sexual Performance

OK. Getting some men to wear condoms is hard enough…so to speak. Now British Condoms is trying to get you to wear a wearable on your wearable. Its i.Con Smart Condom is a ring that fits over your condom and tracks the activity of you know what. The website says that the device is not yet available that they “are in the final stages of testing i.Con” (whatever testing entails) and “aiming for general public release in 2017.”

The i.Con is “a ring that will sit over a condom at the base, which you can use over and over again. It is extremely comfortable, water resistant and lightweight.” (It better be water-resistant or even bleach resistant because you may want clean it over and over again.) It is also “wearable” technology, which can connect to an app on your smartphone, using what the web site describes as a Nano-chip and sensors. This wearable doesn’t track the number of steps you take unless you are walking in a really weird way. Instead, the web site explains that for £59.99 the i.Con will be able to record:

  • Calories burnt during sexual intercourse: On average, 100 calories per session, according to a University of Montreal study.
  • Total number of thrusts: Is this like the number of steps? Is there a daily limit that you want to achieve?
  • Frequency of sessions: Do you really need a wearable to tell you that you just had sex? Was that sex or just a firm handshake? And if you really need a wearable to count the number of times you are having sex, then you are probably having enough sex.
  • Total duration of sessions: Or maybe you can what’s called a clock.
  • Girth measurement: Big data?
  • Speed of thrusts and average velocity of thrusts: Sex is not pitching in baseball. Faster is not necessarily better.
  • Different positions used (currently BETA testing – will have more info in a release coming soon): How exactly will this be measured?
  • Average skin temperature: Not sure what this information tells you. Although if it drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit or above 200 degrees, you probably need medical attention.

Additionally, Denisese Moreno reports for Medical Daily that “developers of the smart condom said the i.Con can indicate the presence of sexually transmitted infections (STIs); the ring has an ‘antibodies filter’ which sends an alert to the app when it detects proteins or antigens found in STIs.” Is the “world’s first smart condom ring” really that smart? Has this diagnostic capability actually been scientifically tested? What if a false negative gives the user some false assurance?

The website says that “all data will be kept anonymous but users will have the option to share their recent data with friends, or, indeed the world.” Really, is this data that you want your friends to share with you? Do you want your buddy to send you the following text: “Hey, here’s the score of the Ravens versus Steelers game, the directions to the party, and, by the way, here is some more information…”?

The website adds that “You will be able to anonymously access stats that you can compare with i.Con users worldwide.” Because that’s all you need, another way to feel like you don’t measure up to people whom you don’t know. Such anonymous stats will also heavily depend on how many people are actually using the device and whether the measurements are accurate. Someone putting the device on a dog’s nose may generate some interesting but also misleading data. Moreover, the website does not indicate how the device has and will be scientifically tested, making you wonder about whether the device can provide reliable and trustworthy information. Again, don’t use such a device to replace real medical testing for STIs. Finally, should you even care about such data? The only data that actually matters (unless you are dating Siri) are the thoughts and feelings of the person whom you are with…and a wearable can’t measure such things…yet.

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