Video of “sexy ice cream girl” in Taipei only delivers on half its milky promises

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bi-1In marketing, it’s important to deliver on the various components of the expectations you create. For example, if I advertise an apartment as having a toilet and shower, but after you move in you discover it actually only has one of those, you’re going to be pretty upset, right?

Likewise, we imagine a lot of people were excited when they heard about this videospreading around the Japanese Internet, where it’s been described with the lead-in, “The sexy ice cream stand girl in Taiwan that everyone’s talking about!” After all, ice cream and sexy people are two of the most popular things on the planet.

But it turns out that breathless description is only half-true.

Taipei’s Songshan District is home to some of the Taiwanese capital’s most bustlingnight markets. Of course, if you’re spending your nights shopping, you’re not spending them cooking, so there’s plenty of food available, including desserts.

Even with hordes of commerce-focused consumers milling about, though, it’s always important to make sure to differentiate yourself from your competitors. To that end, this Songshan sweets stand specializes in cheesecake, and we’re not talking about the edible kind.

“Cigarettes containing human poop flood UK market”

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1400x8825Cigarettes containing human poo and rat droppings are flooding the UK market.

People have reportedly bought the fake fags in pubs, a betting shop, cab offices and car washes.

Ex-Met detective Will O’Reilly, who ran the probe in Medway, Kent, said: ‘All sort of chemicals and high levels of toxins are also found.’

Earlier this year the Local Government Association (LGA) warned people to think twice before purchasing cigarettes from the black market.

The LGA said fake cigarettes also pose a fire risk, damage legitimate businesses and cost the UK economy about £3 billion in unpaid duty annually.

Crews Have Been Pulling Zombies Out Of Lake Michigan

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Call them the floating dead.

n-ZOMBIES-IN-LAKE-MICHIGAN-large300Rescue crews in Chicago have been hard at work pulling zombies out of Lake Michigan after a Halloween barge sank off Navy Pier on Oct. 31. The roughly 50 zombies on the boat have continued to surface throughout the week, WGN reports.

“It’s an unbelievable amount of effort from painters to costume makers,” owner John LaFlamboy told WGN Wednesday, estimating the investment in the barge to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. “So to watch it sink was very heartbreaking for a lot of us.”

Winds above 70 mph ripped through the city on Halloween, causing 21-foot waves in some parts of the lakeshore. The Zombie Containment, a floating haunted house docked outside Navy Pier, was among the casualties of the rough weather dubbed a “Halloween Howler.”

After the haunted house was damaged Friday, officials closed other attractions, including the Ferris wheel, Grand Ballroom and East End Plaza, due to the weather, the Chicago Tribune notes.

There’s a cop in Red Bank TN who will arrest you for DUI if you blow a 0.0. He don’t care if he thinks you’re drunk, it’s an arrrestin

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Even though Matt McQuiddy hadn’t taken a drink or had a smoke in 24 hours, he got a little nervous when a Red Bank police officer asked him to step out of his car during a late-night traffic stop in April 2013.

StoryMcQuiddy had just driven under a bridge on Signal Mountain Road — the lanes shifted and he had to swerve to stay in the lines — when Officer Mark Kaylor pulled behind him and flipped on his blue lights. McQuiddy stopped at a gas station across from the entrance to Baylor School around 1:30 a.m.

Kaylor put McQuiddy through a battery of sobriety tests — walk the line, stand on one foot, put your head back, close your eyes and count to 30. When it was over, McQuiddy felt good. He was sober, so he had to pass, he thought.

Then Kaylor told him to turn around.

“I was like, ‘No way,'” McQuiddy said.

Kaylor told the 23-year-old that he was under arrest for driving while under the influence of marijuana.

How much weed have you smoked tonight? he asked McQuiddy.

“I told him I hadn’t done that,” McQuiddy said. “And he just gave me this look like, ‘Come on. I don’t believe you.'”

McQuiddy spent the next 12 hours in jail. When he got out, he fought the charge. He had to make multiple trips from his home in Nashville to court in Red Bank. He missed work on those days, and his parents missed work, too, to come to court for support and take care of things if he went to jail.

About six months later — with help from a family member who is a lawyer — the charge was dropped.

McQuiddy’s experience is not unusual. During the past two years, Kaylor has arrested more than 300 people on suspicion of DUI in Red Bank. Of the 229 cases that have been decided thus far in court, 27.9 percent have been dismissed.

That’s 64 people like McQuiddy who were arrested, fought the charges and won for one reason or another. Some of those drivers blew below the legal limit of .08 blood alcohol content — but Kaylor still arrested them. Other drivers weren’t within the 6.4 square miles of Red Bank’s city limits — but Kaylor still arrested them.

The three-year Red Bank police officer has a robust reputation for cracking down hard on DUI suspects. Too hard, some attorneys and citizens say.

“He picks the apples when they’re green,” lawyer Jerry Summers said. “I think he claims people are intoxicated when they really aren’t. [My firm] has been watching Officer Kaylor for a long time.”

Kaylor, it seems, has made DUI arrests a personal crusade.

It’s a crusade born of a single night in 2001.

••••

MARK KAYLOR DUI ARRESTS 2012 – October 2014

Total DUI arrests: 303

Guilty: 165

Dismissed: 64

Active cases: 74

SIMILAR CPD OFFICER’S DUI ARRESTS 2012 – October 2014

Total DUI arrests: 247

Guilty: 168

Dismissed: 41

Active cases: 38

Sources: Red Bank City Court, Hamilton County Sessions Court, Hamilton County Criminal Court

HOW IT WORKS

How can a driver whose blood alcohol content is within the legal limit be arrested?

Mobile breathalyzers aren’t admissible in court in Tennessee because they’re inaccurate, so most police officers don’t even carry them in their patrol cars.

Instead, they rely on physical field sobriety tests to judge the driver’s level of intoxication. Based on those tests the officer makes essentially a judgment call on whether to arrest the driver.

In the case of the Red Bank Police Department, the officer and suspect then go back to the jail or the police station and perform an Intoxilyzer test there. Intoxilyzer tests are admissible in court because they are more accurate.

There’s no national standard for what an officer’s conviction rate should be as arrestees work their way through the court system, but Kaylor’s percentage of dismissed cases is high compared to that of a Chattanooga officer who does a similar job.

The CPD officer works in the traffic unit and is considered one of the department’s more vigorous enforcers of DUI laws. He has arrested 247 people for DUI since 2012. Of the 209 cases that have been decided in court, 41 — or 19.6 percent — have been dismissed, his court records shows.

“Over the years you kind of sense when there is a guy like Kaylor who is really gung-ho,” Summers said. “And there is nothing wrong with enforcing the law. The question is, does he go over the line?”

The arresting officer is a key part of any DUI case, said attorney Rich Heinsman. The officer must make accurate observations, administer the sobriety tests by the letter of the law and score those tests correctly to determine whether a driver is intoxicated.

“In a run-of-the -mill theft case, the officer just takes a report,” Heinsman said. “But in the case of a DUI, the officer’s actions are everything.”

And sobriety tests aren’t bulletproof, he added. The tests are full of technical rules — the suspect can’t raise her arms above a certain point while walking the line, can’t start before the officer tells her to, must stand in one position — and every time the suspect messes up, points are taken off.

Lose enough points and the person fails the test. Sober people can fail the test, Heinsman said.

“Officers have to use common sense as well as the rules to make arrests. I think that’s where Kaylor was arresting too many people — there were technical failures that should not have been prosecuted as DUIs.”

Thirty-year-old Aaron Limon thinks he was one of those cases. Kaylor arrested him in January 2013 for DUI but the case was dismissed after Limon blew a .05 — below the legal limit. Limon said it was freezing when he performed the sobriety tests around 2 a.m. and he wasn’t dressed for the weather.

“I was in a long-sleeved T-shirt and I was shaking,” Limon said. “My body wouldn’t respond. He was wearing gloves and a jacket and a hat and he was shaking, too.”

Despite the chill and Limon’s insistence that he wasn’t drunk, Kaylor took him to jail. The officer initially told Limon he had been pulled over because he switched lanes too quickly.

“I had the feeling he was looking for an excuse to take someone to jail,” Limon said.

••••

Local attorneys describe Kaylor as zealous, gung-ho and especially interested in DUI enforcement. They also call him patient, honest and cooperative.

“I’ve never found his conduct to be questionable in cases,” said lawyer Lee Davis, who has defended clients whom Kaylor arrested for DUI. “Although there are cases when he’s made arrests that are below the legal limit, that’s been true for the vast majority of officers who work DUI.”

Kaylor did not respond to requests for comment on this story. But months ago, he did speak out on a local anti-drunken driving organization’s website. In the post he sent to the organization, Kaylor describes a night in 2001 when he was a young officer in Rhea County.

He was transporting a man to jail when he pulled behind a small black car that he quickly realized was his 19-year-old cousin’s car, he wrote in the post. His cousin wasn’t speeding or playing loud music. He wasn’t swerving. But Kaylor felt like something was wrong.

However, Kaylor convinced himself it was fine and let his cousin go, he wrote. Later that night, he was called to a single-car accident — his cousin, Justin Kaylor, had been speeding, crashed and died.

“He had been drinking and lost control of his vehicle,” Kaylor wrote. “His neck was broke. He would die. I beat myself up pretty good for not stopping him. For months, I replayed that night over and over looking for an indicator of his impairment. I never found it.”

What he did find, Kaylor wrote, was what he “was born to do.”

“The death of my cousin drives me to prevent other families from knowing that pain, and it’s been an ability I was blessed with,” he wrote. “I would be foolish to ignore it.”

Tina Finlayson, co-founder of the anti-drunken driving organization 1N3, confirmed that Kaylor emailed the post to 1N3. She said she’d rather have an officer arrest too many people for DUI than too few. Her son was killed in 2011 by a drunken driver who had been arrested before the night of the wreck and given a pass, she added.

“The officer said because she wasn’t too much over the limit, just to be careful getting home,” Finlayson said. “She said if she’d been arrested at that point, that probably would have been her wake-up call and she wouldn’t have been drinking and driving the night of my son’s death.”

••••

Kaylor’s prolific DUI arrests are not the only controversial part of his career. In late September and early October, two men accused Kaylor of beating them and using excessive force during their arrests.

After video of the first man’s arrest was made public, District Attorney Neal Pinkston asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate Kaylor’s actions even though an internal investigation by Red Bank police concluded Kaylor did nothing wrong.

And in 2011, Kaylor and a sergeant were accused of pulling over a 911 dispatcher for DUI and showing preferential treatment by letting her go after calling her father to pick her up. An internal investigation into those allegations also concluded the officers did nothing wrong.

Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

That TBI investigation into the excessive force allegations is ongoing. But some Red Bank residents are demanding that Kaylor be fired. A Facebook group called “Fire Officer Kaylor,” formed before the alleged beatings became public, now has 225 members.

McQuiddy said Kaylor was never violent or rude when arresting him. Initially, he thought Kaylor had just been too quick to arrest him. But after he was arrested, he said, several people told him about their own experiences with Kaylor.

“As more and more things come out, it makes me think he doesn’t need to be on the force,” McQuiddy said. “My initial reaction wasn’t to fire him. It was that he’d jumped the gun a little bit. But the more I see, the more I think maybe this is more than that.”

Pastor accuses Starbucks of flavoring its coffee with semen of ‘sodomites’

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If you’re a coffee snob, you might not think that, say, the skim latte at Starbucks tastes very good. But you probably don’t think it’s flavored with the semen of men who have sex with other men, as this New York City pastor surmised in a bizarre YouTube rant about the coffee chain.

76202d003c4ec17e189a2f7674935caaThe video was produced by Pastor James David Manning, the head pastor at the ATLAH (All the Land Anointed Holy) Worldwide Missionary Church in Harlem, New York. Last week, Pastor Manning made headlines when he claimed that Starbucks was “ground zero” for the Ebola virus, as Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer, a “sodomite” and fellow Harlem resident, allegedly frequented the coffee shop.

Manning’s remarks sparked protests from gay-rights activists, who stood outside the ATLAH church handing out free coffee and chanting “Stop the hate.” This week on his YouTube channel, the Manning Network, Manning fired back, accusing the “sodomite” activists of doling out semen-spiked Starbucks coffee to innocent passersby:

“They had a big bucket of Starbucks coffee. They said that this church is a hate church, and that I’m a hate preacher…Starbucks is a place where these types frequent and a lot of body fluids are exchanged there. But the thing that I was not aware of is that there has been information that has been released… what Starbucks was doing, is they were taking specimens of male semen, and they were putting it in the blends of their lattes. Now, this is the absolute truth.”

Manning added that Starbucks was discriminating in the male “specimens” it adds to its blends. He speculated that they likely didn’t use garden-variety semen to spice up their blends, but rather, the semen of “sodomites.” Said Manning, “Semen flavours up the coffee, and makes you thinks you’re having a good time.”

Of course, the “information” Manning was citing wasn’t actually from a news story, but rather a satirical article from a website called the Inquisitr, which “reported’ on an FDA investigation into Starbucks spiking its coffee with semen. Apparently lacking the critical faculties necessary to distinguish fact from parody, Manning ran with the article—and he ran fast.

This isn’t the first time that Manning has spouted bigoted nonsense on his YouTube channel. In the past, he’s claimed that Vladimir Putin will out Obama as a “homo” in the next 90 days (his deadline is next Thursday), that Obama is a Muslim, and that Americans are addicted to “homo heroin.”

There is little chance that Manning is onto something here, but just in case, don’t order your next latte with extra froth.

The reason that Iran “has no homosexuals” is because they are forced to get gender reassignment surgery

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_78648579_img_5474Growing up in Iran, Donya kept her hair shaved or short, and wore caps instead of headscarves. She went to a doctor for help to stop her period.

“I was so young and I didn’t really understand myself,” she says. “I thought if I could stop getting my periods, I would be more masculine.”

If police officers asked for her ID and noticed she was a girl, she says, they would reproach her: “Why are you like this? Go and change your gender.”

This became her ambition. “I was under so much pressure that I wanted to change my gender as soon as possible,” she says.

For seven years Donya had hormone treatment. Her voice became deeper, and she grew facial hair. But when doctors proposed surgery, she spoke to friends who had been through it and experienced “lots of problems”. She began to question whether it was right for her.

“I didn’t have easy access to the internet – lots of websites are blocked. I started to research with the help of some friends who were in Sweden and Norway,” she says.

“I got to know myself better… I accepted that I was a lesbian and I was happy with that.”

But living in Iran as an openly gay man or woman is impossible. Donya, now 33, fled to Turkey with her son from a brief marriage, and then to Canada, where they were granted asylum.

_78759357_donyaIt’s not official government policy to force gay men or women to undergo gender reassignment but the pressure can be intense. In the 1980’s the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa allowing gender reassignment surgery – apparently after being moved by a meeting with a woman who said she was trapped in a man’s body.

Shabnam – not her real name – who is a psychologist at a state-run clinic in Iran says some gay people now end up being pushed towards surgery. Doctors are told to tell gay men and women that they are “sick” and need treatment, she says. They usually refer them to clerics who tell them to strengthen their faith by saying their daily prayers properly.

But medical treatments are also offered. And because the authorities “do not know the difference between identity and sexuality”, as Shabnam puts it, doctors tell the patients they need to undergo gender reassignment.

In many countries this procedure involves psychotherapy, hormone treatment and sometimes major life-changing operations – a complex process that takes many years.

That’s not always the case in Iran.

“They show how easy it can be,” Shabnam says. “They promise to give you legal documents and, even before the surgery, permission to walk in the street wearing whatever you like. They promise to give you a loan to pay for the surgery.”

Supporters of the government’s policy argue that transgender Iranians are given help to lead fulfilling lives, and have more freedom than in many other countries. But the concern is that gender reassignment surgery is being offered to people who are not transgender, but homosexual, and may lack the information to know the difference.

“I think a human rights violation is taking place,” says Shabnam. “What makes me sad is that organisations that are supposed to have a humanitarian and therapeutic purpose can take the side of the government, instead of taking care of people.”

_78647474_img_5502Psychologists suggested gender reassignment to Soheil, a gay Iranian 21-year-old.

“My father came to visit me in Tehran with two relatives,” he says. “They’d had a meeting to decide what to do about me… They told me: ‘You need to either have your gender changed or we will kill you and will not let you live in this family.'”

His family kept him at home in the port city of Bandar Abbas and watched him. The day before he was due to have the operation, he managed to escape with the help of some friends. They bought him a plane ticket and he flew to Turkey.

There is no reliable information on the number of gender reassignment operations carried out in Iran.

Khabaronline, a pro-government news agency, reports the numbers rising from 170 in 2006 to 370 in 2010. But one doctor from an Iranian hospital told the BBC that he alone carries out more than 200 such operations every year.

Many, like Donya and Soheil, have fled. Usually they go to Turkey, where Iranians don’t need visas. From there they often apply for asylum in a third country in Europe or North America. While they wait – sometimes for years – they may be settled in socially conservative provincial cities, where prejudice and discrimination are commonplace.

_78647472_img_5443Arsham Parsi, who crossed from Iran to Turkey by train in 2005, says that while living in the city of Kayseri, in central Turkey, he was beaten up, and then refused hospital treatment for a dislocated shoulder, simply because he was gay. After that he didn’t leave his house for two months.

Later he moved to Canada and set up a support group, the Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees. He says he receives hundreds of inquiries every week, and has helped nearly 1,000 people leave Iran over the past 10 years.

Some are fleeing to avoid gender reassignment surgery, but others have had treatment and find they still face prejudice. Parsi estimates that 45% of those who have had surgery are not transgender but gay.

“You know when you are 16 and they say you’re in the wrong body, and it’s very sweet… you think. ‘Oh I finally worked out what’s wrong with me,'” he says.

When one woman called him from Iran recently with questions about surgery, he asked her if she was transsexual or lesbian. She couldn’t immediately answer – because no-one had ever told her what a “lesbian” was.

Marie, aged 37, is now staying in Kayseri after leaving Iran five months ago. She grew up as a boy, Iman, but was confused about her sexuality and was declared by an Iranian doctor to be 98% female.

“The doctor told me that with the surgery he could change the 2% male features in me to female features, but he could not change the 98% female features to be male,” she says.

After that, she thought she needed to change her gender.

Hormone therapy seemed to bring positive changes. She grew breasts, and her body hair thinned. “It made me feel good,” she says. “I felt beautiful. I felt more attractive to the kinds of partners I used to have.”

But then she had the operation – and came away feeling “physically damaged”.

She had a brief marriage to a man but it broke down, and any hope she had that life would be better as a woman was short-lived.

“Before the surgery people who saw me would say, ‘He’s so girly, he’s so feminine,'” Marie says.

“After the operation whenever I wanted to feel like a woman, or behave like a woman, everybody would say, ‘She looks like a man, she’s manly.’ It did not help reduce my problems. On the contrary, it increased my problems…

“I think now if I were in a free society, I wonder if I would have been like I am now and if I would have changed my gender,” she says. “I am not sure.”

Marie starts to cry.

“I am tired,” she says. “I am tired of my whole life. Tired of everything.”

Introducing The Dumbest Drug Smuggler Ever

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Call her The Bumbling Smuggler.

sylviamashiahA California woman who had 27 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in her car successfully got through a Customs checkpoint last night, but then mistakenly drove her vehicle into a lot reserved for suspect vehicles to be examined by federal agents.

During the ensuing search of Sylvia Mashiah’s car–which had not been ordered–investigators found 17 packages of meth concealed in the 2006 Ford Focus’s rear quarter panels.

The 33-year-old Mashiah, seen at right, was alone in her car when she approached the Otay Mesa Port of Entry at 7:45 PM Monday. The border crossing is one of three that connects San Diego with Tijuana, Mexico.

As reported in a probable cause statement, Mashiah, a Los Angeles resident, was cleared for entry into the U.S. after a “primary” inspection. However, she “mistakenly drove the vehicle to the secondary lot where Customs and Border Protection Officers inspected the vehicle.”

otaymesaA “secondary” inspection involves a more thorough questioning of the driver, a closer inspection of the vehicle, and a canine review of the auto. The “secondary” inspection is usually ordered due to the suspicions of the agent who first contacted the driver (as well as any passengers).

After tearing apart Mashiah’s Ford, agents found 12.45 kilos of methamphetamine. As a result, she was arrested on a felony drug importation count carrying a minimum five-year prison term.

Mashiah is scheduled to make an initial appearance today in U.S. District Court in San Diego