Japan, S Korea finance ministers resume talks

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japan-s-korea-finance-ministers-resume-talks

TOKYO —

Japan and South Korea on Saturday held the first dialogue of their financial chiefs in two and a half years, agreeing to improve economic ties despite diplomatic frictions between the two Asian countries.

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso and his South Korean counterpart Choi Kyung-Hwan held a one-day meeting in Tokyo, the first since November 2012 and since conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December that year.

“We agreed to continue pushing for bilateral and multilateral cooperation,” Aso told reporters afterwards.

In a joint statement, the ministers said that during the meeting they agreed on the importance of addressing the enormous demand for infrastructure investment in Asia. Aso said they also discussed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

South Korea is among initial members of the Beijing-backed institution, but Japan and the United States were the biggest standouts earlier this year when Beijing began courting members.

The dialogue came after a 14-year-old currency swap accord between Japan and South Korea was not renewed in February when it expired, amid soured bilateral ties.

Relations between the two main US military allies in Asia are currently at their lowest ebb for years, dogged by issues related to Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule over the Korean peninsula and a long-running territorial row.

Choi was quoted by Jiji Press as saying: “Although there are various problems, we want to gain a chance to solve them… on the principle of separating economics from politics.”

The two ministers agreed to hold another dialogue next year in South Korea, saying in the statement that they would continue to enhance communications at various levels and functions.

DiGRA Wants To Ban Non-SJWs From Entering College Game Design Programs

http://www.reaxxion.com/9006/digra-wants-to-ban-non-sjws-from-entering-college-game-design-programs

In a paper entitled “Designing the Designer,” two professors have proposed that colleges decide who to admit to their game design programs based off of what games the applicants like. The two authors of the paper, Robin Potanin and Oliver Davies, want an affirmative-action style quota system; too many aspiring video game designers like to play Call of Duty, and not enough like to play Candy Crush.

The paper was presented to DiGRA, the Digital Games Research association. DiGRA is an association of academics who do “game studies”: that is, talking about games rather than making them  Instead of designing games, which is hard, DiGRA authors like to make large, sweeping proposals about “increasing gender balance” and “raising awareness of privilege.” While making games is hard, papers about diversity can be hammered out in an afternoon over coffee, and are easy to write even if you’re a moron who knows nothing about gaming.

The paper these two authors have written is a fine example of this trend.

Chasing The Gamers Out Of Gaming

Their theory is that the type of games you like to play are the type of games you’re likely to make. If you’re a fan of RPGs, you might make a Final Fantasy clone. If you thoughtModern Warfare 2 was the greatest game ever, you’re likely to make an FPS. If, on the other hand, you’ve spent 10,000 hours on Fruit Ninja, you’re more likely to want to make a cell-phone game.

The authors did a “study” (meaning they took 30 kids in one of their game design classes and asked them what their favorite games were) that showed that the majority of potential game designers were fans of RPGs and FPS games. This is quite possible, since most hardcore gamers are. No matter how much you might like Depression Quest, you’re unlikely to want to make a career out of it.

The authors (who are clueless enough about gaming that they classify League of Legends and Red Dead Redemption as “roleplaying” titles) hope that by letting the Depression Quest players go to game design college and not letting the CoD fans go to college, they can “break stereotypes,” “diversify developers/players” and “innovate titles in the game industry.”

In other words, the “Design the Designer” in the paper title means literally designing the next generation of game makers, by picking who gets the training required to make games, and who doesn’t. It’s a sort of affirmative action for game design, but instead of being based on your race, its based on the type of games you want to play.

This is entirely in keeping with modern academia, which sees itself as “making a difference” and “changing the world” instead of just teaching people how to make video games, and perhaps doing some research. Only give the training and credentials to the “right” people, and in 5-10 years only the “right” people will still be around.

This worked spectacularly in the humanities, as anybody who’s ever met a university professor knows. If you want to be in grad school or higher, you absolutely must spout the right platitudes and feminist talking points, or you’ll never even make it in the door. Ever wonder how that happened? The exact same way you’re seeing here.

If Potanin and Davies had their druthers, in a few years coding colleges and games programs would be turning out nothing but social justice types. And if that’s all that’s available, that’s all companies are going to hire. The left would take over gaming like they’ve taken over so many other fields.

Thankfully, that’s probably not going to happen. A”gaming college” is essentially an expensive waste of money, and everybody knows it. If you want to code, the way to do it is the same way that it’s always been: you go get a copy of some game engine (Unity is a good one), get a book, and start coding. Gaming is an extremely tough industry, and if you don’t have that level of dedication you’re never going to make it.

Since there are so many entry points into the industry besides a degree from a gaming college, Potanin and Davies’ dream of increasing “diversity” by keeping out the wrong people is futile. In the end, they’re just children playing at being academics. And anybody who thinks League of Legends is an RPG is too dim to teach you anything about gaming anyway.

One year after Meriam Ibrahim’s release, two Christians face possible death penalty in Sudan

Terrorist genocidal state of North Sudan strikes again!

 

http://www.christiancentury.org/article/2015-05/one-year-after-meriam-ibrahim-s-release-two-christians-face-possible-death-penalty-s

RNS) Last year, a death penalty sentence slapped on a Sudanese doctor for refusing to renounce her Christian faith stirred international outrage and heightened calls on the government to increase religious liberty.

Meriam Yahya Ibrahim was released a month later, but now two Christian pastors have been jailed and they also face a possible death sentence.

Michael Yat and Peter Yein Reith, both ordained ministers in the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, have been charged with undermining the constitutional system and spying, offenses punishable by death or life imprisonment.

The clerics are charged with waging a war against the state and assault on religious belief.

“We know they have been arrested, but we don’t know where they are being detained,” said Kori Romla Koru, general secretary of the Sudan Council of Churches. “We are trying to find them.”

Yat was arrested last year after visiting the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church’s Bahri congregation in Khartoum, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a charity that works on behalf of persecuted Christians.

The congregation had resisted the takeover of the church by a Muslim businessman, who had demolished part of the worship center.

In December, police beat and arrested 38 Christians for worshipping in the church.

With Yat’s arrest, South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church sent Reith with a letter to the authorities to demand his release. He was arrested on January 11.

Human rights groups have expressed deep concern over the charges, warning that the two clerics could face torture.

“It is unacceptable that after enduring extended detentions without charge, the men now face extreme and unwarranted charges,” said Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s chief executive, said earlier this month.

Since the separation of Sudan and South Sudan in 2011, Sudan has forced out all foreign missionaries, raided churches and arrested and interrogated Christians on grounds that they belonged to South Sudan.

 

 

CANADA – Arrests of ten young people at Montreal airport renew scrutiny of Muslim teacher

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/arrests-of-ten-young-people-at-montreal-airport-renews-scrutiny-of-muslim-teacher/article24553931/

The whispers followed Muslim teacher Adil Charkaoui for months as young Quebeckers who crossed his path headed off to join overseas jihadi groups. Those murmurs suddenly turned into shouts when a member of the Parti Québécois called Mr. Charkaoui a “merchant of hate” and directly accused him of indoctrinating young extremists.

The arrest of 10 young people who police say tried to leave Montreal to join the terrorist group Islamic State has placed renewed scrutiny on Mr. Charkaoui, who became a religious teacher and leader of a community centre after years under surveillance and in detention as a terrorism suspect.

In the National Assembly, where members have immunity against defamation lawsuits, PQ MNA Agnès Maltais on Thursday said aloud what until now was limited to insinuation by Mr. Charkaoui’s hardline anti-Islamist critics. She accused Mr. Charkaoui of indoctrinating more than 20 Montreal youth who have left Quebec to join militant groups or were stopped by police as they tried to leave.

Each time Quebec youth try to leave “there is one point in common, one individual – Adil Charkaoui,” Ms. Maltais said. “What is going on at that centre? What is Adil Charkaoui telling the children who attend? How is it that children who attend his centre and hear his teaching have a sudden desire to join the Islamic State?”

Reached on Thursday, Mr. Charkaoui referred requests for comment to a short message on his Facebook page: “With her irresponsible speech, Ms. Maltais is acting as an agent of radicalization, as the PQ has since 2013” when it proposed a charter of Quebec values that would limit religious expression in the province’s public service.

Ms. Maltais demanded the Liberal government intervene with the Muslim community centre Mr. Charkaoui leads, Islamic Community Centre of Montreal East.

She did not suggest exactly what the provincial government could do.

Early this year, seven Quebec youth travelled to Turkey and then joinedjihadi forces.

Two were said to have attended lectures by Mr. Charkaoui. One of the 10 arrested at Montreal’s Trudeau airport last weekend is reported to have been enrolled in community centre courses.

An 11th person was arrested at a Montreal home on the weekend.

Mr. Charkaoui has denied any role in radicalizing the youth. He recently told The Globe and Mail he is the victim of a witch hunt. “It’s a new form of McCarthyism,” he said.

“It’s this social climate that is radicalizing people. Instead of telling Muslims they are partners, they are telling them they are suspects.”

Ms. Maltais’s accusation against Mr. Charkaoui ignored a second connection many of the young people shared: At least 11 of them are known to have attended Collège de Maisonneuve, a junior college that is part of Quebec’s CEGEP system, which most teenagers attend after high school. (Mr. Charkaoui once rented space from the college, but was not employed there.)

College officials have made their own denial, saying indoctrination happens outside of school and on social media.

Provincial Public Security Minister Lise Thériault refused to single out Mr. Charkaoui or the school, saying: “Ninety per cent of these youth are radicalized on the Internet from the comfort of their own home.”

Born in Morocco, Mr. Charkaoui arrived in Canada in the 1990s and was arrested in 2003 under an immigration security certificate on suspicion of having attended an Islamist training camp in Afghanistan.

After six years under surveillance and in detention, he successfully challenged the certificate in 2009.

Lawyers representing the Canadian Security Intelligence Service refused to turn over any evidence they had against him. Mr. Charkaoui is suing the federal government.

“The fact I got my citizenship [in 2014] signed by the Honourable Prime Minister Stephen Harper with a letter of congratulations shows there’s no evidence I’m threat to national security,” Mr. Charkaoui said in March.

Earlier this spring, The Globe interviewed a half dozen of Mr. Charkaoui’s former and current students.

Each denied he has ever talked up jihad or endorsed the Islamic State.

“All he does really is explain what’s in the [Koran]. So that someone doesn’t read the book and misinterpret it,” said one youth who did not want his name published.

But even Mr. Charkaoui’s allies say he can be his own worst enemy, using angry, divisive rhetoric to lash out against perceived injustice. “You may like or dislike some of what he says, but that’s what we are. He has the right to say what he has to say,” said Salam Elmenyawi, head of the Muslim Council of Montreal.

Mr. Harper was at Trudeau airport on Thursday to speak about plans to boost security programs to counter the terrorist threat. He expressed sympathy for families dealing with youth extremists, but shifted to a harder line.

“We have a beautiful country, a country that is democratic, free, open, tolerant.

“There is no excuse, no reason for a Canadian to become a jihadist or a terrorist. It’s unacceptable in our country,” he said.

When Women Abuse Authority To Commit Violence

Last week, a piece of world news grabbed media attention when, on the streets of the capital in unrest-torn Burundi, officers clashed with dozens of rioters who had taken to the street to demonstrate against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s controversial bid for a third term in office.

A female police officer had shot at unarmed protesters at point-blank range with a Kalashnikov during those protests in Burundi.

The video footage showed the female officer looking agitated as she and her fellow officers slowly moved towards the rioters, who stood pressed against a brick wall. Moments later a brief scuffle between one of her colleagues and a rioter led to her inexplicably shooting at the unarmed man from no more than ten feet.

And just seconds after the shots were fired, the policewoman was punched, kicked, and dragged along the streets of Bujumbura by a furious mob who managed to separate her from her colleagues. However, the female officer’s colleagues eventually managed to get between her and her attackers, enabling her to flee to safety with only minor injuries.

Considering the size of the mob and their crazed nature (they even stuck a dead owl to a stick to mock the ruling party) one wonders at the logic of the female officer’s decision to open fire on the unarmed protester—which only served to further ignite the mob’s fury and already volatile situation.

And, at the same time, the thought which came to mind looking at the pictures in which she was dragged away to safety by her male colleagues was that: eggs are precious, sperms are dispensable—even in that part of the world, no matter how unjustified and stupid the actions of those eggs might have been.

more at

http://www.returnofkings.com/64355/when-women-abuse-authority-to-commit-violence

As Another Accusation Bites the Dust, Columbia Rape Saga Takes New Turn

http://reason.com/archives/2015/05/20/columbia-rape-saga-lingers-after-mattres/

This week’s graduation at Columbia University caps the bizarre, often sordid saga involving the two most famous members of the Class of 2015: Emma Sulkowicz, the activist who protested the school’s alleged mishandling of her alleged rape by carrying a mattress around campus, and Jean-Paul Nungesser, the German scholarship student she accuses of raping her. On Tuesday, Sulkowicz carried her mattress across the stage at Class Day, despite half-hearted attempts by Columbia officials to enforce a regulation against bringing “large objects” into the ceremonial area—and despite the fact that the “mattress performance” was for a senior visual arts thesis she had already completed. Her activism was also lauded (with no mention of her name) by two commencement speakers, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power.

This isn’t quite the end of the story: Nungesser is suing Columbia, university president Lee Bollinger, and Sulkowicz’s thesis supervisor for allowing him to be subjected to “gender-based harassment” which severely damaged his educational experience and future prospects, even though a campus panel found him not culpable on the sexual assault charge. Meanwhile, there is new information related to one of this story’s many strange twists: another sexual assault complaint brought against Nungesser late last year by a male classmate. The charge was made public in February, on the heels of my article in The Daily Beast questioning the pro-Sulkowicz narrative.

Now, I have learned that after a hearing in late April, Nungesser was found “not responsible” in this latest case—altogether, the fourth time he has been cleared of a sexual assault charge at Columbia. When Sulkowicz first went public a year ago, the fact that her alleged attacker was still on campus and had never been subjected to any formal sanctions despite being accused of sexual assault by three different women helped fuel the outrage. Yet the latest investigation strongly supports Nungesser’s claim, made in media interviews and in his lawsuit, that the multiple complaints were not independent of each other and may have been part of a vendetta stemming from the original charge by Sulkowicz.

Several days after my Daily Beast piece, which featured not only Nungesser’s account of his relationship with Sulkowicz but social media messages tending to support his version, the feminist blogJezebel ran a purported rebuttal titled “How to Make an Accused Rapist Look Good.” Much of the story, by Jezebel editor Erin Gloria Ryan, dealt with Sulkowicz’s not entirely convincing explanation of her friendly messages to Nungesser days after what she says was a terrifyingly violent rape. But the piece also contained a new revelation meant to bolster the claim that Nungesser was a serial sexual predator: the existence of a hitherto unknown male victim, identified by the pseudonym “Adam.”

Adam, who also graduates this week, told Jezebel that “he was close friends with Paul during his freshman year in 2011” and that “one fall night, in the midst of an emotional conversation in Paul’s dorm room…Paul pushed him onto his bed and sexually assaulted him.” He claimed that after much self-doubt and internal struggle, he finally reported this incident, first to a student society to which both he and Nungesser belonged and then in a formal complaint to the university in the fall of 2014. Adam rather melodramatically lamented that my Daily Beast piece “invalidates and completely erases [his] experience.” It should be noted that, as accuser and accused in a sexual misconduct case, both Adam and Nungesser had presumably received the usual instructions from the university to “make all reasonable efforts to maintain the confidentiality/privacy of the involved parties.”

About three weeks prior to graduation, the hearing panel made its decision. It found for Nungesser. As is now the norm in campus sexual misconduct proceedings, the charge was considered under the “preponderance of the evidence” standard. Thus, Adam could not meet the very complainant-friendly burden of showing that it was even slightly more likely than not that the offense was committed. Since there was no appeal, the case is over, and as far as Nungesser’s formal record at Columbia is concerned he is entirely in the clear.

Nungesser declined to be interviewed for this story, due to concerns that statements to the media might affect his lawsuit. However, through a source close to the case, I was able to review several documents related to Adam’s complaint—including, crucially, the report prepared by a two-person Title IX investigative team.

The gist of the complaint was that in November 2011, Adam, who lived in the same dorm as Nungesser and was part of the same social circle, went to Nungesser’s room to tell him he was upset about being “caught in the middle” of relationship drama between Nungesser and his then-girlfriend. (This girlfriend later became one of Nungesser’s accusers, known in several media accounts under the pseudonym “Natalie”; she claimed that Nungesser had psychologically and sexually abused her throughout their relationship. The case was eventually closed after she stopped cooperating.)

According to Adam, during this conversation Nungesser asked him to sit on the bed, rubbed his shoulder and back, then “gently” pushed him down and proceeded to stroke his leg and finally massage his crotch “for approximately 2-3 minutes” while Adam froze in shock. He was finally able to muster the will to get up and leave.

Adam told investigators that he spoke to Nungesser’s girlfriend about this; however, he didn’t seem to remember when, or what her reaction was. At one point, he said that he “assumed” he had told her immediately afterward, and “it wasn’t until months later that I realized that I had not and she was unaware.” He also claimed that he avoided Nungesser after the alleged assault, and that Nungesser eventually texted him and then messaged him on Facebook; according to him, Nungesser was upset with him for telling Natalie about their sexual contact, but also suggested that they get together for coffee.

Nungesser’s story was quite different. He said that he confided in Adam about his and Natalie’s relationship troubles, that there was no sexual contact of any kind, and that later on he was dismayed to learn that Adam had recounted their conversation to Natalie.

The Facebook exchange, which Adam himself eventually found and turned over to the investigators, did not exactly help his story. Far from showing avoidance of Nungesser, it showed Adam seeking him out, complaining that “our friendship has been negatively affected” by Nungesser’s relationship problems and that “we’re less close/you’re preferring it that way.” It also showed Nungesser saying, “It was obviously pretty hard for me when I found out that you shared my entire conversation that I had with you with [Natalie], because I had assumed that it was confidential.”

The investigators’ report noted numerous contradictions in Adam’s account, as well as its drastic discrepancy with the Facebook record. Nungesser’s account, on the other hand, was not only consistent but matched by corroborative evidence. Adam’s credibility was further sunk by his rather fanciful complaints of “retaliation” by Nungesser in a class they shared. These “deliberately aggressive acts” consisted of sitting too close to Adam or to his friends, which left Adam “distraught and traumatized,” and complimenting some points Adam had made in a class discussion (which “felt like he was claiming a collective sense of power”). I am happy to report that, even on the trauma-happy modern campus, such claims of harassment are still recognized as, in the words of the report, “hyperbolic and illogical.”

In the end, the investigators concluded that Adam was “unreliable” and that his story simply did not add up, and recommended that Nungesser be found “not responsible.” But there is another fascinating wrinkle to the story.

Adam did have a corroborating witness of sorts: a woman who had held a governing position in a fraternity to which both he and Nungesser had belonged—Alpha Delta Phi, a coed Greek organization with an intellectual and literary bent. This woman confirmed that during the 2012/2013 academic year, she heard a rumor that Nungesser had “engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior” toward Adam; she said she had questioned Adam about it and written a report based on his verbal statement. The report, an undated Word document she had saved on her computer, added more inconsistencies to Adam’s  account; among other things, it placed the alleged misconduct in February 2012 rather than November 2011.

The record leaves virtually no doubt that this witness is the same ADP officer—I’ll call her Leila—who played a fairly important supporting role in the case against Nungesser in the spring and fall of 2013. As I reported in The Daily Beast, after learning about the complaint brought by Sulkowicz in late April of that year, Leila sent out an email on the ADP listserv announcing that a male society member and house resident stood accused of raping a female member. In rather florid language, the email declared that the accused had “flagrantly violated his vows, disregarded his obligations as a Member, and…transgressed the rules of life,” and that if he did not resign from ADP voluntarily the executive board would seek his immediate expulsion.

The next day, after Nungesser informed Leila that the university had assured him he could stay at the house while the case was pending, she sent a sheepish follow-up email noting that “all members deserve due process, as well as an opportunity to tell their side.” Shortly after that, however, Nungesser found himself facing another accusation—this time from an ADP resident, identified as “Josie” in several media reports, who claimed he had grabbed her and tried to kiss her at a party over a year earlier. As a result, he was ordered to move out of ADP.

According to both Nungesser and a student advocate who attended the hearing on Josie’s complaint, Leila testified at that hearing and acknowledged that she encouraged Josie to come forward. The record in Adam’s case provides additional confirmation that she was actively collecting allegations against Nungesser. Interestingly, while the investigators’ report stated that Adam didn’t have an apparent motive to falsely accuse Nungesser, it took note of the fact that “at the time of the Complainant’s initial disclosure, at least several of his close friends and co-fraternity members were engaged in a process intended to evict the Respondent from the fraternity house.” For a university document, this comes startlingly close to an admission that Nungesser may have been the target of a group vendetta.

Nungesser’s lawsuit, which briefly mentions Adam as “a fourth accuser,” alleges that he is a “close friend” of Sulkowicz’s, that she instigated his complaint after Nungesser began to tell his side of the story to the media, and even that she mentioned this new accusation to reporters before Nungesser was officially notified of it. At present, these are unproven charges. Nonetheless, the circumstances under which Adam told his story to the media certainly support the claim of an agenda to discredit Nungesser after he made some headway in the court of public opinion.

After my Daily Beast article, a number of people said that while they found some of the evidence in Nungesser’s favor persuasive, they found it hard to believe that three women would collude for no apparent reason to accuse an innocent man of rape. Feminist pundit Amanda Marcotte, in her commentary on Nungesser’s lawsuit, sneered that my article painted him as “a hapless victim of a coven-like conspiracy of wicked women who make false accusations” for no apparent reason except “misogynist stereotypes about the inherent wickedness of women.”

But the collusion scenario in this case requires no irrational and groundless malevolence. If Nungesser is innocent, it is entirely plausible that Sulkowicz and Natalie, who met at a party and discussed their history with him shortly before they filed charges, may have genuinely goaded each other into the conviction that he abused them (or, as Sulkowicz put it to Jezebel, “Together, we [came] to a better understanding of our shared trauma”). It is also entirely plausible that Josie and Adam either reinterpreted their past encounters with him, or even fabricated stories in the sincere belief that they were helping eject a rapist from the house and supporting his victims. The problem is not female “wickedness”; it is a campus culture that fetishizes trauma and turns “survivorship” into a cult.

In time, Nungesser’s lawsuit—assuming that he is in it for the long haul—will probably reveal more about the facts of this convoluted story. In the meantime, the new charge, originally hauled out as a counterattack to Nungesser’s defense, seems instead to bolster his case.