The introduction of legalised euthanasia in the Netherlands has not led to an increase in the number of cases according to a team of Dutch university researchers, writing in The Lancet magazine.
While there was a slight decrease in the years after euthanasia was made legal in 2002, assisted suicide has now returned to pre-legalisation levels of around 2.8% of all deaths, the researchers from four Dutch teaching hospitals and the national statistics office CBS found.
And while opponents of euthanasia had warned the legislation would lead to a sharp rise in involuntary euthanasia among terminally-ill patients, there has actually been a reduction in this sort of deaths, professor Bregje Onwuteaka-Philipsen from Amsterdam’s VU university told the Volkskrant.
Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom claims the United States criminal case against him is collapsing but he is offering to go there without extradition provided federal authorities unfreeze his millions of dollars so he can pay for lawyers and living expenses.
In a now hallmark style, he made the offer on Twitter.
“Hey DOJ (Department of Justice), we will go to the US,” he tweeted, “No need for extradition. We want bail, funds unfrozen for lawyers & living expenses.”
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter Dotcom says the department knows it does not have a case.
“If they are forced to provide discovery, then there will be no extradition. That’s why they don’t want to provide discovery. If they had a case, they would not need to hide what they have.”
Yesterday, his lawyers confirmed the extradition case on charges of criminal copyright violation stemming from the Megaupload file-sharing website had been shifted from next month to next year.
“Extradition hearing delayed til March. Dirty delay tactics by the US. They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest.
According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids—or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘i, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax. Most recently, Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs” and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.”
The billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates, a practising Catholic, has thrown down the gauntlet to the Vatican and vowed to dedicate the rest of her life to improving access to contraception across the globe.
Gates, who with her husband, Bill, the founder of Microsoft, is one of the world’s biggest players on development issues, predicted that women in Africa and Asia would soon be “voting with their feet”, as women in the west have done, and would ignore the church’s ban on artificial birth control.
Gates, who was a speaker at the London Summit on Family Planning organised by her foundation in conjunction with the UK government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said that since she announced her new direction a few weeks ago she had been inundated with messages of support from Catholic women, including nuns.
“A church is made up of its members, and one of the things this campaign might do is help women speak out. I’ve had thousands of women come on to websites and say” ‘I’m a Catholic, but I believe in contraception.’ It’s going to be women voting with their feet.”
While it didn’t get nearly as much attention as other parts of SOPA, one section in the bill that greatly concerned us was the massive expansion of the diplomatic corp.’s “IP attaches.” If you’re unfamiliar with the program, basically IP attaches are “diplomats” (and I use the term loosely) who go around the globe pushing a copyright maximalist position on pretty much every other country. Their role is not to support more effective or more reasonable IP policy. It is solely to increase expansion, and basically act as Hollywood’s personal thugs pressuring other countries to do the will of the major studios and labels. The role is literally defined as pushing for “aggressive support for enforcement action” throughout the world. A few years ago, we detailed how, at a meeting of these attaches, they bitched and complained about how copyright “activists” were making their lives difficult and were a “threat” who needed to be dealt with.
In other words, these people are not neutral. They do not have the best interests of the public or the country in mind. Their job is solely to push the copyright maximalist views of the legacy entertainment industry around the globe, and position it as the will of the US government.
It was good that this was defeated as a part of SOPA… but now comes the news that Lamar Smith is introducing a new bill that not only brings back this part, but appears to expand it and make it an even bigger deal.
According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real–albeit shrinking–threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions.
“They erect this fence,” he said, “only to go out there a few days later and discover that these guys have a catapult, and they’re flinging hundred-pound bales of marijuana over to the other side.” He paused and looked at me for a second. “A catapult,” he repeated. “We’ve got the best fence money can buy, and they counter us with a 2,500-year-old technology.”