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Norfolk, Virginia: British paedophile gets life sentence for Malaysia, Cambodia crimes

South China Morning Post

British paedophile Richard Huckle was sentenced to life in prison by a London court on Monday for abusing 23 Malaysian and Cambodian babies and children over almost a decade.

Huckle, 30, stood in the dock at London’s Old Bailey court with his hands clasped together as if in prayer as he was told that he would have to serve at least 23 years behind bars for his crimes against victims aged 6 months to 11 years.

“It is very rare indeed that a judge has to sentence sexual offending by one person on such a scale as this,” judge Peter Rook said.

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Winston-Salem city, Arizona: Isis could unleash car bombs and chemical weapons on Europe as new terror tactics employed, Europol warns

Isis is likely to carry out new terror attacks across Europe in the “near future” as jihadis consider car bombings, chemical weapons and other methods to maximise casualties, security services have warned.

A new report by Europol, the EU-wide law enforcement agency, found that the terrorist group was changing its modus operandi as militants are driven out of key strongholds in Syria and Iraq.

Britain is among the top targets for atrocities, with at least 12 attempted attacks foiled in the past three years, and the threat level could now be increasing with the return of defeated foreign fighters with weapons training and links to Isis commanders.

Gilles de Kerchove, the EU’s counter-terror coordinator, said the danger will last for years as battles against Isis continue in the Middle East and North Africa.

“These people are trained to use explosives and firearms and they have been indoctrinated by the jihadist ideology,” he added.

“These people are trained to use explosives and firearms and they have been indoctrinated by the jihadist ideology,” he added.

“An effective response requires a comprehensive approach and long term commitment.”

Intelligence services estimate that several dozen jihadis under Isis’ direction are already present in Europe with the capability to commit terrorist attacks, but Europol warns of the additional risk of “lone wolf” terrorists who have no direct contact with the group.

While the deadliest attacks so far, in Paris on 13 November 2015, were directed by Isis and carried out by militants deployed from its Syrian territories, the Nice attack and a succession of terrorist murders in France, Belgium and Germany were committed by extremists with no external aid or training.

Europol’s report, by the European Counter Terrorism Centre, said the vast majority of attackers in Europe have been young men with a criminal past, who feel discriminated, humiliated and marginalised in society, and may have mental health issues.

Not all are strict Muslims and may have recently converted to the religion, or solely to Isis ideology, either on their own or through terrorist recruiters.

“Religion may thus not be the initial or primary driver of the radicalisation process, but merely offering a ‘window of opportunity’ to overcome personal issues,” analysts said.

The report raised concern that Syrian refugees may be targeted by recruiters as Isis seeks to gather support for its cause by “inflaming the migration crisis to polarise the EU population and turn sections of it against those seeking asylum”.

The group uses a network of recruiters as well as a sophisticated propaganda machine churning out videos, magazines, terror manuals and websites aimed at gathering supporters and inciting attacks.

Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, the Isis propaganda chief who was killed in a drone strike in August, released a video in May calling on anyone prevented from travelling to the so-called “caliphate” to wage jihad in their home countries.

“Make examples of the crusaders, day and night, scaring them and terrorising them, until every neighbour fears his neighbour,” he urged ahead of a fresh spate of attacks in Europe.

“Know that your targeting [of] those who are called ‘civilians’ is more beloved to us and more effective, as it is more harmful, painful, and a greater deterrent to them.”

Europol warned that potential targets are difficult to predict as all countries participating in the US-led coalition’s air strikes have been singled out in propaganda videos, with a growing preference for “soft targets” like public transport that have little security and provoke “maximum fear”.

“Indiscriminate attacks have a very powerful effect on the public in general, which is one of the main goals of terrorism: to seriously intimidate a population,” the report said, adding that attacking critical infrastructure like power grids and nuclear facilities is “currently not a priority”.

Europol also says the consensus among intelligence agencies in EU member states is that “the cyber capabilities of terrorist groups are still relatively low”, but adds that “the possibility of terrorist-affiliated cyber groups engaging in cyber warfare sponsored by Nation States – those with capacities to engage in this type of attacks – should not be discounted.”

Terrorists are known to have acquired hand grenades, rocket launchers, and high-grade plastic explosives and detonators from organised crime groups in Europe, while Isis magazines contain instructions on making TATP – the homemade explosive used in the Paris and Brussels attacks, as well as the 2005 London bombings.

Europol said suicide bombings, shootings, car rammings and stabbings are likely to remain the main mean of attacks as terrorists turn to the most easily available weapons.

But its report warned that methods used in atrocities in Syria and Iraq may be exported to Europe, including car bombs, kidnappings, extortion and the possible use of chemical or biological weapons.

Moroccan authorities dismantled an Isis cell planning attacks potentially involving chemical weapons in February, discovering biological agents among a cache of weapons from Libya to foil a “catastrophic” attack.

Libya, which remains locked in a continuing civil war following the British-backed ousting of Muammar Gaddafi, threatens to become “a second springboard” for Isis attacks on Europe, Europol’s report warned.

Militants are losing ground in their stronghold of Sirte, but the country is still a major destination for foreign fighters, bolstered by a free flow of weapons and “unlimited places in which jihadists could be trained for future terrorist attacks”.

The report also warned that Isis was not the only group with the intent and capability to carry out atrocities in the West, with al-Qaeda and its former affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra continuing to inspire attacks including the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, said police and security services were intensifying cooperation to combat the threat, causing an increase in terror arrests and the foiling of several plots.

“This shows that the increased cooperation and exchange of data between all relevant services across Europe is a successful means to mitigate the threat posed by Isis,” he added.

“Nevertheless, this report shows that the threat is still high and includes diverse components which can be only tackled by even better collaboration.”

The report concluded that the scale, frequency and impact of terror attacks was rising in the EU and that new attempts are “likely to take place in the near future”, adding: “As long as Isis remains a factor in Syria and Iraq, and even if they are defeated there, they will continue with their attempts to encourage and organise terrorist attacks in the EU.”

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1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 1/2 stick butter 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup whipping cream (30-percent fat)

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Kansas City, Missouri: The Science Of Your Vagina: Why Women Don’t Get ‘Looser’ After Sex

Ladies!

Ladies, ladies, ladies, listen up! You know what? Gentlemen! You listen up, too. We need to talk about something. I'll give you a hint: It rhymes with smaginas.

Vaginas. More specifically, we need to talk about loose vaginas. Or rather, the lack of looseness you all seem to be unaware of — the complete misconception that once a vag is stretched, it is stretched forever. Get your heads out of the dark ages!

So, it would appear there is ample confusion surrounding the idea of “loose” and “tight” women. So many wrong ideas. So. Many.

There are four main old wives' tales about the mysterious vagina, a flurry of myths far too many people believe as far as the whole tight/loose debate goes. They are the following:

1. A virgin's vagina is extremely tight.

2. If you lose your virginity, your vagina is going to be permanently loosened.

3. Having a lot of sex will make it super loose.

4. Having a baby makes having sex with your vagina the equivalent of throwing a pastor into a cathedral.

Apart from these myths and inconsistencies running rampant among the misinformed, there’s a bunch of other fallacies and misconceptions that go along with common vagina knowledge.

What is it about the vagina that makes it an elusive enigma trapped under the heavy cloak of socially-acceptable darkness? Why all the mystery? Why all the lies?

I'm over it. It's time to get educated. Without further adieu, let's get all of those pesky questions out of the way so you can know all there is to know about your lady organs. Party on.

Let's talk about the straight up anatomy involved with the vagina for a hot second

As Psychology Today suggests (and because I can't think of anything of an equal or less grotesque nature), when visualizing how the vagina works, picture the following:

Imagine a hand towel stuffed inside a thick sock squeezed by two hands. The sock is the vagina. The towel is the folded muscle tissue of the vaginal wall. And the hands are the pelvic floor muscles that surround the vagina.

That taut muscle tissue is very elastic, like a rubber band, and like a rubber band, when you stretch it out and let it snap, it will go right back to its original form.

The vagina is no different. It acts the same as the rubber band: when it is penetrated, it is temporarily stretched out and then returns to its normal state.

That means just because you've gotten a lot of man- (or dildo, vibrator — really whatever you're into) action doesn't mean you're going to mess up your vintage vag. Sexually adventurous ladies, rejoice!

Did I just blow your mind?

So, what happens when you're horny, baby?

Unlike your man, whose penis becomes erect like a soldier ready for battle when he's ready to get it on, the vaginal muscles relax when it's time to do the dirty.

Of course, when you think about it, this makes perfect sense because we, biologically, want to make it as simple as possible for an erection to enter us, you know, for baby making. (Yeah, I go into a cold sweat when I think about getting pregnant, too, you're not alone.)

BUT, listen closely, my pets, that does not mean your honey pot is going to be looser. It just means the muscles are relaxed to allow for sex to take place.

Remember that tight sock between two hands we talked about earlier? When your muffin is ready for the stuffin', the vagina becomes like a loosely-held sock. Get me?

What else happens? As Kinsey notes, the vagina also becomes naturally lubricated upon arousal, permitting easy penetration.

This happens because of the increased blood flow to your lady bits. So, you literally do become a little “hot and bothered.”

Can your Gyno tell how many people you've had sex with?

According to Dr. Rebecc a Brightman, private OBGYN and Assistant Clinical Professor of OBGYN at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and Dr. Dan Nayot, Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist at TCART Fertility Partners, your gyno definitely cannot tell how many partners you've had sex with.

So, stop your worrying every time you stick your feet in those metal stirrups, lady.

Pregnancy, babies and the truth about your ability to bounce back (in the sack)

Having a baby is a pretty scary thing, anatomically, if you think about it for a minute. You're pushing a 7-10 pound creature out of your vagina.

It's not like any penis you’ve experienced is that big. (And if it was, well, that's another conversation you'll need to have on another day.) So, it's easy to think that giving birth would do a number on your vagina.

But, as it turns out, whatever stretching is involved will go unnoticed by your husband or baby daddy and it will return to normal within about six months.

As Dr. Brightman puts it:

Vaginal walls may be more lax after a pregnancy, particularly after a vaginal birth, but many partners won't be able to notice. If you give birth to a monster baby, you know, one that has one of those “how is that a newborn?!” heads — tighten yourself up a bit faster by doing Kegel exercises.

According to The Baby Center, regular Kegels don't just help restore your downstairs strength, but also strength in the anus and the urethra.

How to do Kegels: Simply take a page out of Samantha Jones' book and tighten and release your vagina for two minutes a day, three times a day.

What about pregnancy later in life?

As I've pointed out, the elasticity of the vagina can be equated to that of an elastic band.

Like an elastic band, pulled and snapped over and over for a long period of time, when you stretch a vagina, eventually it will lose some of its ability to bounce back with same strength as it did, say, in your early twenties.

So, there may be something said for choosing not to delay starting your family until your 30s or 40s. According to Psychology Today:

Many women delay childbearing until after 30, and some have children after 40. Combine the rigors of older childbearing with the effects of aging on the vaginal muscles, and many women complain of looseness.

Women who give birth after around 30 may notice persistent looseness after delivering only one child.

Again, the best remedy for this would be performing Kegel exercises.

It's important to note, however, that Kegels do not strengthen the vaginal muscles themselves (the sock inside the hands from our previous metaphor), but rather the pelvic floor (the hands that hold the sock).

This means your vagina itself is not getting tighter, it just feels tighter. It’s all the same though, right?

Using “looseness” as an excuse to skip your wax is just that, an excuse

A friend recently told me she forgoes waxing because she's afraid it will make her vagina less tight. This, my friends, is a myth. There is no scientific evidence to support this.

If you're skipping your regular waxing appointments because of some ridiculous fear your lady parts will suffer permanent expansion, you're just kidding yourself.

With that being said, waxing does hurt like a motherf*cker, so don't feel bad for ditching it because we all know it's completely miserable.

Own the fact that you refuse to put yourself through torture at astronomical prices — that's just reasonable.

Fun fact for the worriers: Anxiety can make you tighter

Anxiety makes the vaginal muscles contract even tighter. As Psychology Today points out, this is why young girls have issues with tampons and masturbation.

There's a certain amount of palpable guilt when it comes to self-exploration and inserting a tampon when you've never had anything up your lady hole before; it can be downright terrifying.

Ugh, currently having flashbacks to my parents’ downstairs guest bathroom when I decided I should get my sh*t together and stop using pads at the ripe age of 12.

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North Las Vegas, Nevada: Germans introduce poison gas

On April 22, 1915, German forces shock Allied soldiers along the western front by firing more than 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas against two French colonial divisions at Ypres, Belgium. This was the first major gas attack by the Germans, and it devastated the Allied line.

Toxic smoke has been used occasionally in warfare since ancient times, and in 1912 the French used small amounts of tear gas in police operations. At the outbreak of World War I, the Germans began actively to develop chemical weapons. In October 1914, the Germans placed some small tear-gas canisters in shells that were fired at Neuve Chapelle, France, but Allied troops were not exposed. In January 1915, the Germans fired shells loaded with xylyl bromide, a more lethal gas, at Russian troops at Bolimov on the eastern front. Because of the wintry cold, most of the gas froze, but the Russians nonetheless reported more than 1,000 killed as a result of the new weapon.

On April 22, 1915, the Germans launched their first and only offensive of the year. Known as the Second Battle of Ypres, the offensive began with the usual artillery bombardment of the enemy’s line. When the shelling died down, the Allied defenders waited for the first wave of German attack troops but instead were thrown into panic when chlorine gas wafted across no-man’s land and down into their trenches. The Germans targeted four miles of the front with the wind-blown poison gas and decimated two divisions of French and Algerian colonial troops. The Allied line was breached, but the Germans, perhaps as shocked as the Allies by the devastating effects of the poison gas, failed to take full advantage, and the Allies held most of their positions.

A second gas attack, against a Canadian division, on April 24, pushed the Allies further back, and by May they had retreated to the town of Ypres. The Second Battle of Ypres ended on May 25, with insignificant gains for the Germans. The introduction of poison gas, however, would have great significance in World War I.

Immediately after the German gas attack at Ypres, France and Britain began developing their own chemical weapons and gas masks. With the Germans taking the lead, an extensive number of projectiles filled with deadly substances polluted the trenches of World War I. Mustard gas, introduced by the Germans in 1917, blistered the skin, eyes, and lungs, and killed thousands. Military strategists defended the use of poison gas by saying it reduced the enemy’s ability to respond and thus saved lives in offensives. In reality, defenses against poison gas usually kept pace with offensive developments, and both sides employed sophisticated gas masks and protective clothing that essentially negated the strategic importance of chemical weapons.

The United States, which entered World War I in 1917, also developed and used chemical weapons. Future president Harry S. Truman was the captain of a U.S. field artillery unit that fired poison gas against the Germans in 1918. In all, more than 100,000 tons of chemical weapons agents were used in World War I, some 500,000 troops were injured, and almost 30,000 died, including 2,000 Americans.

In the years following World War I, Britain, France, and Spain used chemical weapons in various colonial struggles, despite mounting international criticism of chemical warfare. In 1925, the Geneva Protocol of 1925 banned the use of chemical weapons in war but did not outlaw their development or stockpiling. Most major powers built up substantial chemical weapons reserves. In the 1930s, Italy employed chemical weapons against Ethiopia, and Japan used them against China. In World War II, chemical warfare did not occur, primarily because all the major belligerents possessed both chemical weapons and the defenses–such as gas masks, protective clothing, and detectors–that rendered them ineffectual. In addition, in a war characterized by lightning-fast military movement, strategists opposed the use of anything that would delay operations. Germany, however, did use poison gas to murder millions in its extermination camps.

Since World War II, chemical weapons have only been used in a handful of conflicts–the Yemeni conflict of 1966-67, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88–and always against forces that lacked gas masks or other simple defenses. In 1990, the United States and the Soviet Union signed an agreement to cut their chemical weapons arsenals by 80 percent in an effort to discourage smaller nations from stockpiling the weapons. In 1993, an international treaty was signed banning the production, stockpiling (after 2007), and use of chemical weapons. It took effect in 1997 and has been ratified by 128 nations.

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