Bangladesh Police Arrests 27 Gay Men

According to media reports, in Bangladesh 27 men have been arrested for being gay, a crime punishable by life imprisonment.

The men, mostly students aged 20 to 30, had traveled across the country to hold a party at a community centre in Keraniganj, outside the country’s capital of Dhaka.

The arrests were made by the Rapid Action Battalion, an elite police unit repeatedly described by Human Rights Watch as a government “death squad”.

Commander Zahangir Hossain Matobbar of the unit’s tenth division said illegal drugs and condoms were recovered in the men’s possession.

Bangladesh arrests gay men
Bangladesh arrests gay men

The police plan to charge the suspects with drug offenses, not homosexuality, because they were detained before they engaged in sex, Associated Press has reported.
The elite unit also revealed it had arrested the owner of the community centre for their part in making the party possible.

As reported by the Washington Post, police said they recovered illegal drugs and condoms in their possession and the men would be charged with drug offenses rather than Bangladesh’s colonial-era sodomy law, because they were detained before they had sex, the AP report said.

However, a different RAB spokesman told Agence France-Presse that the men had been arrested “for homosexuality” and that it had not yet been determined how they would be formally charged.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Muslim-majority Bangladesh — as in more than 70 other countries in the world, including neighboring India. The mass arrests come on the heels of a recent high-profile case in Indonesia, where two men were sentenced to public lashings for gay sex under a strict new provincial sharia law.

Bangladesh’s legal code prohibits “unnatural offenses,” which it says includes voluntary “carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal.” The offense is punishable with life in prison.

The law is rarely enforced, but LGBT groups have reported that police use the law as a pretext to bully gay or simply effeminate individuals to prevent the formation of LGBT organizations, according to a 2016 U.S. State Department report on human rights practices from its Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.

Last year, suspected militants killed a leading LGBT activist and his friend in Dhaka, reports The Independent.

The 35-year-old Xulhaz Mannan, a USAID official, was hacked to death in April last year at his home. He had founded the country’s only LGBT magazine Roopbaan and was a leading organiser of gays, who are ostracised in Bangladesh.

Since then, many of the gays and lesbians have left the country after they received death threats. Many still live double lives to avoid reprisals.


Maltese puppy used to clean supercar in London

A man on Instagram has been accused of animal cruelty after he was filmed using a Maltese puppy to polish a Maserati.

As reports by the Independent, The video uploaded to the Rich Kids of London Instagram account shows an unidentified man holding a tiny, white Maltese puppy and using its back to polish a Maserati MC12 car.

The caption on the five-second video, which had received close to 40,000 views at the time of writing, said: “The only way to wash the iconic 6.0 litre #MaseratiMC12 is with 100 per cent natural puppy fur ensuring a proper polish.”

The people behind the account denied claims the footage was abusive and insisted the puppy was happy throughout
The people behind the account denied claims the footage was abusive and insisted the puppy was happy throughout

However, despite an assurance that ‘no puppy was harmed in this video – all smiles and tail wags here ‘, there was an angry reaction to the post.

The caption continued: “(No puppy was harmed in this video – all smiles and tail wags here)”, but the account’s followers didn’t seem to buy in to the joke.

One person wrote: “Apparently this person spoke to his dog and found the dog said it was happy that they were being used as a car tool, which I find amazing the fact the human could speak dog…. that or the owner is an ignorant t*** who has no insight.”

Another accused the man of “abusing an innocent puppy.”
Others described the video as ‘messed up’ and that he had a ‘garbage mind’ for using an innocent puppy as a chamois on his car.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: ‘We can understand why people are concerned about this video.

‘While the owner does not seem to intend any harm to this dog, the animal may have found this stressful and we would urge owners to think about how something they see as a bit of fun could impact on their pet’s wellbeing.’

A conviction of animal cruelty in the Uk carries a maxim penitaly of 51 weeks in prison.


Starbucks Tests Coffee Ice Cubes

Starbucks coffee ice cubes

NEW YORK (EON)- = Like ice? Like coffee? Well do we have an idea for you!

Monday, Starbucks introduced coffee ice cubes (yes, ice cubes made of coffee) in 100 stores in St. Louis and Baltimore, Starbucks spokesperson Holly Shafer told USA TODAY. The release is part of a limited-time test, running up to 8 weeks, Cosmopolitan reports.

As reported by USA Today, this means iced espresso or brewed coffee drinks with coffee cubes won’t taste watery after sitting in the sun. And, they’ll pack more caffeine.

Starbucks coffee ice cubes
Starbucks coffee ice cubes

The extra kick doesn’t come without a fee though. The new cubes put customers back 80 cents per drink, TODAY reports.

But, 80 cents beats a watery coffee, amiright?

As we all know Starbucks drinks already cost a small fortune before adding 80 cent ice cubes, you still might be more inclined to simply make them yourself at home.

Reddit user Owlcitizen44 started a thread Tuesday explaining that when added to a White Mocha Frappuccino, “the coffee ice really made it better,” adding:

“the coffee taste was stronger and it was a lot smoother. I don’t know if it was kind of a placebo effect and I was pre-expecting it to taste that way, but the other partners I tried it with all agreed.”

Starbucks isn’t the only coffee maker to sell special ice cubes. Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme revealed their own coffee ice cubes—dubbed “Cube Beverages”—at some of their South Korea locations last fall, according to Delish.


Alex Jones Issues Apology To Yogurt Company

Infowars host Alex Jones was forced to publicly apologize to yogurt company Chobani on Wednesday after the right-wing radio host was sued for defamation.

According the Huff Post, last month, the company filed a suit against Jones and his website, Infowars, for posting a fake news story that linked the company and its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, to a 2014 sexual assault case involving refugees in Twin Falls, Idaho. According to Chobani’s lawyers, the falsified report accused his company of bringing “crime and tuberculosis to the community.” The story was given the headline “Idaho Yogurt Maker Caught Importing Migrant Rapists” when it was tweeted by Infowars to its hundreds of thousands of followers.

Chobani owns and operates the largest yogurt plant in the world in Twin Falls. Ulukaya has won praise for hiring immigrants and refugees to work at the company, recently telling the Financial Times, “If a refugee has a job, they are no longer a refugee.” But those business practices have also made him the target of xenophobic attacks from far-right entities like Infowars.

After settling the suit, Jones apologized Jones and has taken down all social media related to the story and vowed in his apology that nothing related to the story will be reposted.

This screen grab of YouTube was taken from Alex Jones’ response to the Chobani lawsuit posted on his channel April 25. The video has been viewed more than 88,000 times.
This screen grab of YouTube was taken from Alex Jones’ response to the Chobani lawsuit posted on his channel April 25. The video has been viewed more than 88,000 times.

“During the week of April 10, 2017, certain statements were made on the Infowars Twitter feed and YouTube channel regarding Chobani LLC that I now understand to be wrong. The tweets and video have now been retracted and will not be re-posted,” Jones said on the air. “On behalf of Infowars, I regret that we mischaracterized Chobani, its employees and the people of Twin Falls, Idaho, the way we did.”

Chobani confirmed that the lawsuit was settled and declined further comment.


Bee Swarm In London Has Twitter Buzzing

LONDON (EON) — Social media in London is buzzing about an apparent swarm of bees that has descended on one part of the city.

Videos posted online Tuesday show people ducking as the insects descend on Greenwich in southeast London. It’s not clear what the bugs were or why they appeared in unusual numbers. Some say they’re bees, but others describe them as wasps.

Abigail Hering, who runs the nearby Beadoir jewellery shop, posted a clip of the swarm online, describing the bee swarm to Metro as ‘absolutely crazy’.

She said she could initially hear an ‘underlying hum’, adding: ‘It was just literally swarming, above the cars around the one way system.’

She added:

‘When I left work, I went to walk towards my car, they were on the traffic lights. Millions of them on the traffic lights. And then at that point they’d come lower so they were actually buzzing around the people.

She said she was totally covered in bees!

‘And while I was videoing them I looked down and I could see literally the front of me covered in bees. They were on me. They were on everybody. They were in your hair, on your top.’

Transport for London, which oversees public transport in the capital, posted a picture from a traffic camera showing large numbers of the insects collecting on a traffic light, and warned drivers that a pedestrian crossing was “partially obstructed by bees.” It warned: “Please approach with caution.”

Thousands of bees swarmed around traffic lights in London (Picture: PA)
Thousands of bees swarmed around traffic lights in London (Picture: PA)
Handout photo issued by Transport for London (TfL) of a swarm of bees at Greenwich Church Street, close to the famous Greenwich market, in south-east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday May 16, 2017. See PA story ENVIRONMENT Bees. Photo credit should read: Transport for London/PA Wire
NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

London police didn’t immediately return a request for comment on whether they’ve received reports on the insects.


Millennials Can’t Afford A House Because Of Avocado Toast

TORONTO (EON) – Millennials would be more likely to afford a house if they stopped eating avocado toast, according to an Australian millionaire.

Real estate mogul Tim Gurner told the Australian 60 Minutes.

“When I was trying to buy my first home, I wasn’t buying smashed avocado for $19 and four coffees at $4 each,” he said. “We’re at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high. They want to eat out every day; they want travel to Europe every year.

“The people that own homes today worked very, very hard for it,” he said, adding that they “saved every dollar, did everything they could to get up the property investment ladder.”

Only 32% of home owners were first-time buyers in 2016.

he average price of a single avocado in March was $1.25, according to the Hass Avocado Board. One Twitter user, Nora Biette-Timmons, calculated that a serving of avocado toast cost her about $1.65 — or one-477,896th the average price of a home in Brooklyn. Compare that with New York City brunch prices, where you are likely to spend $10 to $20 for ornately dressed toast, and the savings are clear.

Gurner’s criticisms of young people’s spending habits did not go over well on social media.


Thailand King Wants Facebook To Take Down Strange Scandalous Photos

HONG KONG — Social networking giant Facebook is under pressure from Thailand’s government on Tuesday to remove dozens of pages from its servers, a few weeks after a video that appears to show the country’s new king walking through a shopping mall in a crop top was widely shared on the site.

According to NYT, hte standoff is the latest sign of a clampdown on online speech by a military junta that seized power in a 2014 coup, and the latest test for Facebook, which has struggled to balance local laws and cultural expectations with its core identity as a network where people are free to share ideas and news.

It may also be a gauge of how aggressively the junta plans to enforce an existing lèse-majesté law — which makes it a crime to insult the king, the queen or the crown prince — under new leadership.

“The government’s moves to restrict Facebook indicate that it is solidifying ideologically around the monarchy, making it the cornerstone of its overall efforts to stem political freedom,” said David Streckfuss, the author of the book “Truth on Trial in Thailand: Defamation, Treason, and Lèse-Majesté.”

The Bangkok Post reported earlier that the Thai Internet Service Provider Association (Tispa) may disconnect access to Facebook’s servers.

It cited an email purportedly sent from Tispa to the managing director of Facebook Thailand warning that if the company did not remove all 131 pages, “concerned authorities will request that we shut down” access to the site.

“This action may affect the entire delivery services of to customers in Thailand,” Tispa wrote, according to the Bangkok Post.

A Facebook spokesperson said the company reviewed requests by governments to restrict access to content. “When we receive such a request, we review it to determine if it puts us on notice of unlawful content, reports The Guardian.

Thailand king Facebook

“If we determine that it does, then we make it unavailable in the relevant country or territory and notify people who try to access it why it is restricted.”

The Thai government has not publicly released details of the posts it wanted removed.

Several images and a video appearing to show the Thai king, Maha Vajiralongkorn, 64, wearing a crop top and covered in tattoos have been published on social media in recent weeks.

Facebook opened an office in Thailand in 2015 and is the biggest social network in the country.

The military-run administration briefly cut access to Facebook after it launched a coup on 22 May 2014.

Most social media monitoring companies predict the number of users in Thailand has grown significantly since then.

The firm has previously said it carefully scrutinises requests made by governments wanting to restrict content.

If it determines the content does violate local laws, it makes it unavailable in the country and notifies people who try to access it.

In May 2014, days after the military coup, Thailand blocked access to Facebook, with the Information Communications Technology Ministry saying the order came from the military. The military denied this.

The military government has increased censorship of online content since coming to power – especially criticism of the royal family.

Last month it banned Thais making any contact or sharing content from three outspoken critics of the monarchy.