Monday, February 16, 2015

But Wait! There's More!

There usually is....

A ceasefire is not in effect in Ukraine:

Pro-Russian rebels pounded encircled Ukrainian government forces on Monday and Kiev said it would not pull back heavy guns while a truce was being violated, leaving a European-brokered peace deal on the verge of collapse. ...

Fighting subsided in many parts of eastern Ukraine under a ceasefire deal reached last week in marathon talks involving the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine. 

But the truce appears to have been stillborn in Debaltseve, where the most intensive fighting has taken place in recent weeks.

Oh, the anti-fun police are out:

Police in the German city of Braunschweig cancelled a popular Carnival street parade on Sunday because of fears of an imminent Islamist terror attack.

Police spokesman Thomas Geese said police received credible information that there was a "concrete threat of an attack with an Islamist background" on Sunday's parade and therefore called on all visitors to stay at home.

A North Korean woman recounts her abuse in the Stalinist state:

It took nine years and four separate attempts, but a 35-year-old North Korean woman named Ji Hyunah finally escaped the isolated communist regime of her birth. Now, she has revealed before a United Nations commission the horrors she underwent at the hands of North Korean officials and Chinese slavers during her journey to freedom – including the loss of her father, her sale into sexual slavery, and a forced abortion performed without anesthesia that left her with such severe injuries that a prison guard begged his superiors to grant her release. ...

After an illegal trip across the border to China, Ji’s father heard South Korean media for the first time and decided to defect. He went ahead to China to find a safe house for his wife and three children, but by the time his family arrived there, his hosts developed second thoughts about harboring escapees and kicked him out. "From that time on, I don't know where he is,” said Ji.

Alone without their husband and father, Ji’s mother and siblings were immediately captured by Chinese officials and handed over to North Korean police. But the North Koreans were so overwhelmed with would-be defectors that they let the family go with a warning.

Just two months later, the females of the Ji family again crossed into China. This time, they were intercepted by Chinese slavers, who captured them with the intent of selling them into sexual bondage.

“[H]uman trafficking is not just like being sold and forced to live with someone," Ji said. “[The slavers] were afraid that we would run away, so we were constantly watched. We lived in fear.”
Ji was sold to a young Chinese man, but before she could be handed over, the Chinese police found her and deported her back to North Korea.

For her second offense, she was sent to the infamous Jeungsan Reeducation Center, a prison so brutal that only one out of of every 10 inmates made it out alive. She remained there for a year, eating frogs and grasshoppers and lining her threadbare clothing with plastic bags just to survive.

As soon as she was released, Ji fled again to China, once again being caught by slave traders.

"I was sold to an old man this time," Ji told the Telegraph. "He was nice to me, but he had huge debts, so I had to work on his farm to pay off his debts."

In 2002, Ji was discovered by Chinese authorities and again deported back to North Korea. Soon after she arrived, the prison authorities discovered she was pregnant by her former owner.

“They carried out a forced abortion, without anesthetic,” Ji said. “I was bleeding heavily for a long time. I was fortunate that one of the guards took pity on me and convinced his senior officer to release me.”

Despite her injuries, Ji wasted no time in resuming her escape efforts, crossing back into China, where she lived as a fugitive for five years before finally making it to Seoul in 2007. Now, she is studying political science at Chonnam National University, and has authored a book about her arduous escape, 244 Miles In Search of Freedom.

It's a good thing no one wants to build pipelines:

Seven rail cars were on fire in northern Ontario after a train carrying crude oil derailed late on Saturday night, Canadian National Railway said on Sunday.

No, I don't think so:

The bondage and sadomasochism film Fifty Shades of Grey has earned more money on its opening weekend than any film released in the month of February, breaking a record set by The Passion of the Christ, studio executives said on Monday. ...

Initial reports showed Fifty Shades making $81 million, short of the $84 million Mel Gibson's Christian epic earned in 2004. However, studio executives released revised estimates on Monday, saying the film actually made $85 million from the 3,646 theaters that screened the movie Friday through Sunday.

Yes, about that:

Opening Weekend: $83,848,082  
(#1 rank, 3,043 theaters, $27,554 average)

Not so for the film only a self-loathing delusional fatty might watch.

And now, pancakes for Mardi Gras. Enjoy because for the next forty days, nothing.

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