Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Sign the English Libel Law Petition now

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 27, 2010

I just signed myself and left the following message to accompany my signature:

Freedom of speech is sacred; it is an inalienable human right and the cornerstone of any democratic society. It cannot be allowed to be silenced by the rich and powerful, helped by a system which puts undue burden on the defendant. The Davids of this world ought to have the right to stand up to the Goliaths, and that is why I support this petition to reform the English libel laws, so that the little guy may not have to face financial ruin for summoning the courage to speak the truth. England has nothing to loose, and everything to gain by updating its libel laws, so that the charlatans and the self deluded may have a harder time misinforming its citizens.

The religious references were included on purpose, since most politicians seem to be religious, and I figured those words would be understood best (assuming they get to read these messages). Don’t fear, I haven’t turned religious! Please do the same and sign the petition here. Let us help  Simon Singh do the impossible and tame the beast that is English libel law.

UK warns world about useless ‘bomb detectors’

Posted in News by Skepdude on January 27, 2010

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC NEWS

A UK government ban on the export of “magic wand” bomb detectors to Iraq and Afghanistan becomes effective on 27 January, as the BBC reveals further shocking evidence of the shortcomings of these devices.

The restriction is being imposed following a BBC Newsnight investigation which showed that the supposed detectors were incapable of detecting explosives or anything else.

There are concerns that they have failed to stop bomb attacks which have killed hundreds of people.

The British Foreign Office has told the BBC that they will now be urgently warning all governments who may have bought devices such as the ADE651 and GT200 that they are “wholly ineffective” at detecting bombs and explosives.

The ADE651 is made by a company from Somerset called ATSC. The director of the company, Jim McCormick, was arrested at the beginning of this month on suspicion of misrepresentation.

The GT200 is sold by Global Technical in Kent.

Global concerns

Despite advice from the British embassy in Baghdad, the ADE651 is still in use on checkpoints in Iraq, while an investigation ordered by the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continues.

In the past three days, 58 people have died there in bombings.

In Pakistan, which is not covered by Britain’s export ban, rows have broken out after newspapers highlighted the continued use of similar devices at Jinnah International Airport in Islamabad.

READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE AT BBC NEWS

Girl gets raped in bakcwards muslim country….

Posted in Skepdude by Skepdude on January 27, 2010

I think you can guess how the story progresses, roughly right? Let me recap it for you: 16-year-old gets raped; she gets pregnant; “elders” issue fatwa against her and her family; she’s given 101 lashes; rapist is pardoned. Surprised?

The girl was raped by a 20-year-old villager in Brahmanbaria district in April last year.

Bangladesh’s Daily Star newspaper reported that she was so ashamed following the attack that she did not lodge a complaint.

Her rape emerged after her pregnancy test and Muslim elders in the village issued a fatwa insisting that the girl be kept in isolation until her family agreed to corporal punishment.

Her rapist was pardoned by the elders. She told the newspaper the rapist had “spoiled” her life.

“I want justice,” she said.

Guess God works in mysterious ways huh?