OTHER STUFF

Belgium to scrap prison sentences less than 1 year from penal code

Belgium plans to axe all prison sentences of less than 12 months as part of a large-scale reform to modernize the country’s penal system and make it more efficient. Earlier this week, Belgian Justice Minister Koen Geens told parliament short prison sentences have proven ineffective.

“A short prison sentence, a try-out in jail, rarely leads to good results. It does not contribute to re-integration, but helps inmates to learn bad habits,” the minister is cited as saying by Reuters.
READ MORE: http://rt.com/news/243041-belgium-prison-reform-sentence/

X Factor Headline News in New Zealand

Something happened on X Factor. The whole country is in uproar.

Joint Viking: Norway buzzes Russian border with biggest military drill since Cold War

Unprecedented war games, involving 5,000 Norwegian troops and 400 vehicles, have started in Norway’s northernmost province, bordering Russia. The biggest exercises since Cold War days will last for a week, amid growing tensions between Russia and NATO.

Joint Viking, Norway's biggest military training exercise in nearly 50 years, is being held in the country’s far northeast Finnmark County, above the Arctic Circle. The region borders Russia’s Kola Peninsula.

The last time a similar military exercise was conducted in Finnmark was in 1967.
Read more: http://rt.com/news/239209-nato-norway-viking-drills/

Iceland Decided To Do This With The Last McDonald’s Meal EVER Sold!

After spending over a year in Iceland’s National Museum, the last McDonalds meal sold in the country will now be going on display at the Bus Hostel in Reykjavik. The world-famous fast food chain shut down its Iceland locations in 2009, and even after all this time the last meal sold in the country has still not become rotten or moldy.

After the economic collapse, McDonalds failed to keep customers coming back in Iceland, and the company was forced to close their doors in the country. The final day that McDonalds was open in Iceland was October 31, 2009, and on that day a man named Hjortur Smarason purchased a meal as a souvenir. Smarason had no intention on actually eating it but wanted to hang onto it out of curiosity, and because he saw it as a piece of history.
READ MORE: http://www.trueactivist.com/iceland-decided-to-do-this-with-the-last-mcd...

Google to Become Ministry of Truth: Google Moving to Shut Down Alternative Media by Ranking Sites on “Facts” Rather than Popularity

Search Engine giant Google, the major driver of traffic to the majority of media portals is moving to change the way it ranks websites, declaring that it intends to use known partisan debunking outlets to determine the “truthfulness” of content.

Currently, Google rankings are determined by the number of incoming links to a web page, meaning that if a story becomes popular it can be driven to the top of search results, and by viewed by millions of people.

However, this is a little too democratic for the liking of some, who only like to get their “facts” from pre-approved sources.
READ MORE: http://www.globalresearch.ca/google-moving-to-shut-down-alternative-medi...

MAPS and Erowid won redditDonate

Announcing the winners of reddit donate! Last week we announced that we would be giving 10% of our 2014 gross ad revenue to support the goals and causes of the entire reddit community. We did this by hosting a vote and allowing our users to vote for any US based charity registered with the IRS.

Every winning charity will receive a donation in the amount of $82,765.95 from reddit.

After +250,000 votes cast on +8,000 charities by 80,000+ voters, we have our top 10 list of charities:

1 Electronic Frontier Foundation
2 Planned Parenthood Federation of America
3 Doctors Without Borders, USA
4 Erowid Center
5 Wikimedia Foundation
6 Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
7 NPR
8 Free Software Foundation
9 Freedom From Religion Foundation
10 Tor Project Inc.

MORE: http://www.redditblog.com/2015/02/announcing-winners-of-reddit-donate.html

Where Are the FBI's Drone Privacy Reports? Why Are They Flying Over Me and I Know Squat About It?

The FBI is known to have flown unmanned aerial vehicles since at least 2005 and, like any other federal agency, it's supposed to conduct a privacy impact assessment prior to such activity. But according to Muckrock, the Beaurau can't track them down, and nor can the Justice Department office that's supposed to collate them.

An investigation by Muckrock has been hurling FOIA requests at both the FBI and the DOJ. We know the FBI flies drones, but each request for the corresponding privacy impact assessments comes back empty. Each of the assessments—that are legally required to be produced by the FBI—should, at least, include details about what information is being collected, why, how it will be used, and who'll be able to use it. They're designed to be fit for public consumption.
READ MORE: http://gizmodo.com/where-are-the-fbis-drone-privacy-reports-1685610775

Unvaccinated Families’ Addresses Should Be Made Public

The names and addresses of parents who won't vaccinate their children should made available on the Internet through a public registry

Shouldn’t we know where they live? California’s measles outbreak has touched off a debate about how to reduce the number of parents who choose—in defiance of all credible public health information—not to vaccinate their children. So far, the debate has focused on tightening California laws that make it easy for parents to obtain exemptions from school vaccination requirements. Newly introduced state legislation would eliminate the “Personal Belief Exemption” that thousands of anti-vaccine parents have used.
READ MORE: http://time.com/3703769/vaccine-refusal-measels-addresses/

KickassTorrents Taken Down By Domain Name Seizure

KickassTorrents has lost access to its Kickass.so domain name and is currently offline. The Somalian domain of the most-visited torrent site on the Internet is now listed as "banned" by the .SO registry, forcing the site's operators to find a new home.

kickasstorrents_500x500With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) is one the most used torrent sites on the Internet.

The site’s popularity has made it a prime target for copyright holders, many of whom would like to see the site taken offline.

To evade law enforcement and ease pressure from the entertainment industries, KAT has moved domain on a few occasions over the past several years. Most recently the site has been operating from the Kickass.so domain.

The Somalian .so TLD appeared to be a relatively safe haven, but today it’s apparent that this isn’t the case. About an hour ago the Kickass.so domain status listing was updated to “banned.”

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