The nightclub dancer at the centre of the sex trial of Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister, has told a court that guests at the media tycoon's "bunga bunga" parties dressed as nuns, nurses and US President Barack Obama.
Morrocan-born Karima El Mahroug, better known by her stage name Ruby the Heartstealer, spoke on Friday as a witness in a trial at which several people are accused of inducing and aiding prostitution.
They include Lele Mora, a scout; Emilio Fede, a television anchor; and Nicole Minetti, a regional councillor and former showgirl.
Minetti was once Berlusconi's dental hygienist who graduated to a career in showbusiness and politics.
El Mahroug denied ever having sexual relations with Berlusconi, 76, and said she did not see him engaged in physical contact with other women at the parties.
Berlusconi is being tried separately for paying for sex with El Mahroug when she was a minor and then abusing office by having her freed from police custody after her arrest for theft.
El Mahroug's appearance is nevertheless an embarrassment for Berlusconi and a reminder of the legal threats that the billionaire businessman - who leads the centre-right and is a key partner in the governing coalition - faces.
A verdict in the sex trial is expected in June, and a conviction for tax fraud is moving to a final appeal.
Berlusconi says he has never paid for sex, denies any wrongdoing and says judges are politically motivated against him.
El Mahroug failed to appear as a witness at Berlusconi's trial in December because she was on holiday in Mexico.
In her Friday testimony, she challenged Berlusconi's assertion that events at his villa were elegant dinner parties.
Marysthelle Polanco, a glamour model and one of 14 women who became notorious after they were discovered to be housed at a Milan address at Berlusconi's expense, dressed up as Obama and Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho, according to El Mahroug.
On one occasion Minetti "dressed up as a nun ... and as she danced, she took off her clothes and was left in her underwear", El Mahroug told the court.
Cash in envelopes
Wearing a large grey scarf and her hair tied back in a sleek ponytail, she entered the Milan courtroom flanked by police, walking quickly past waiting journalists.
It was the first time she has testified about the parties.
El Mahroug said she received envelopes containing thousands of euros in cash from Berlusconi.
She said she spent the night at Berlusconi's villa on one occasion, after which she and several other women who had slept there shared breakfast with him.
El Mahroug was 17 when she attended the parties at the villa outside Milan.
She said she lied about her age and that she had told guests she was a relative of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt's former president.
Berlusconi's defence against the abuse of office charge is that he acted under the belief that El Mahroug was related to Mubarak, and that he needed to free her from police custody to prevent a diplomatic upset.
Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra of the council said people were sometimes reluctant to speak out - but they have a "religious duty" to do so.
He said the council was working with groups including the NSPCC, police and Muslim organisations to educate people.
The action comes after high-profile sex abuse cases involving Muslim men in Rochdale and Derby.
"This is an appalling and abhorrent kind of behaviour which is totally unacceptable regardless of race or religion," said Sheikh Mogra, the MCB's Assistant Secretary General, on BBC Radio 4's Sunday programme.
"Some of those perpetrators who have recently been convicted happen to be from the Muslim community so we need to be at the very front of the voice that is condemning this."
Sheikh Mogra said grooming should be seen purely as criminal behaviour, and using "labels of race or religion" could "drive the problem deeper underground".
He said men who were grooming children and "profess to be following the religion of Islam" were really doing "exactly the opposite".
"They have used drugs, they have used alcohol, they have used prostitution and all kinds of other methods which are all forbidden within Islam," he went on.
The Muslim Council of Britain is planning a national conference to educate people about grooming, and Sheikh Mogra said the message would be very clear.
"You cannot hide these criminals within your ranks; it is your duty to come out and speak out against it because that is what Islam requires of you," he said.
After the Rochdale case, in which nine men, mainly of Pakistani origin, were convicted of grooming and abusing five white girls, there was a debate about whether race was an issue in such cases.
Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of The Ramadhan Foundation, which aims to promote better understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, said on-street grooming was "a significant problem for the British Pakistani community".
"There should be no silence in addressing the issue of race as this is central to the actions of these criminals," he said.
"They think that white teenage girls are worthless and can be abused without a second thought; it is this sort of behaviour that is bringing shame on our community."
But police said grooming was "not a racial issue", with Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, of Greater Manchester Police, saying the case was about "adults preying on vulnerable young children".
"It just happens that in this particular area and time, the demographics were that these were Asian men," he said.
MP Keith Vaz also said "no particular race or religion" tended to be involved.
"There is no excuse for this kind of criminality, whoever is involved in it, but I don't think it is a particular group of people, I don't think it's a particular race or religion," he said.
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) said child sexual exploitation spanned "all cultures and ethnicities".
However, a spokeswoman said recent cases did "highlight that Asian males have been involved in an organised manner in exploiting young women".
"Some of these cases involved offenders from different backgrounds as well, although CEOP are investigating why there may be a majority of Asians in these particular kinds of offence."
Source: BBC News
The charges against the girl were brought against her last year after police investigated accusations that her stepfather had raped her and killed their baby. He is still to face trial.
Prosecutors said her conviction did not relate to the rape case.
Amnesty International condemned the punishment as "cruel, degrading and inhumane".
The government said it did not agree with the punishment and that it would look into changing the law.
Zaima Nasheed, a spokesperson for the juvenile court, said the girl was also ordered to remain under house arrest at a children's home for eight months.
She defended the punishment, saying the girl had willingly committed an act outside of the law.
Officials said she would receive the punishment when she turns 18, unless she requested it earlier.
The case was sent for prosecution after police were called to investigate a dead baby buried on the island of Feydhoo in Shaviyani Atoll, in the north of the country.
Her stepfather was accused of raping her and impregnating her before killing the baby. The girl's mother also faces charges for failing to report the abuse to the authorities.
The legal system of the Maldives, an Islamic archipelago with a population of some 400,000, has elements of Islamic law (Sharia) as well as English common law.
Ahmed Faiz, a researcher with Amnesty International, said flogging was "cruel, degrading and inhumane" and urged the authorities to abolish it.
"We are very surprised that the government is not doing anything to stop this punishment - to remove it altogether from the statute books."
"This is not the only case. It is happening frequently - only last month there was another girl who was sexually abused and sentenced to lashes."
He said he did not know when the punishment was last carried out as people were not willing to discuss it openly.
Source: BBC News
An Istanbul court of the first instance delivered a landmark ruling saying that gay sex is natural, contradicting a previous ruling by Turkey's supreme court.
Yesterday’s (18 February) ruling regarded a trader who was caught selling 125 DVDs of gay and group sex porn.
The person, known only by his initials, DM, faced up to four years imprisonment according to article 262/2 of the Turkish penal code that prohibits owning, trafficking, distributing and publishing ‘unnatural sex’ videos.
Judge Mahmut Erdemli, however, ruled that sexual orientation can not be considered as ‘unnatural’ and should be respected.
The ruling contradicted a previous decision of Turkey’s supreme court that did include gay sex in the category of ‘unnatural sex’.
In support of his decision Erdemli cited examples of the legality of gay marriages in Europe and North America.
Erdemli differentiated gay sex from necrophilia and bistiality which he agreed were right to be classified as ‘unnatural’.
Erdemli was quoted by the daily Haber Turk as saying: ‘Today, it is possible to have gay marriages in modern countries.
'International regulations prohibit discrimination regarding peoples’ sexual preference, and it is therefore an obligation to respect their sexual orientation...
‘In this respect, most of the European countries see gay relationships as equivalent to marriage...
‘Contemporary societies allow [gay relationships] to achieve this legal status and therefore the contents of the DVDs can not be seen as unnatural’.
The court did not find DM guilty of selling 'unnatural' porn but of ‘unauthorized’ selling of porn with a punishment of 8 months imprisonment.
Turkey’s criminal division of the supreme court, however, criticized the ruling saying that gay and group sex are unnatural and that the court was wrong not to accept them as a crime.
Last year, in a ruling on a similar case of porn videos sales, Turkey’s supreme court of appeals in Ankara (the country's capital) ruled as ‘unnatural’ any acts of gay sex, oral, anal or group sex - including SM - as well as necrophilia and bestiality.
The supreme court provided for the imprisonment of any persons in possession of videos depicting such sex scenes on the basis of Article 262/2 of the Turkish criminal code.
The court set a minimum punishment of one year, and a maximum of four years imprisonment.
The supreme court’s ruling of 2012 rejected a six-month sentence imposed by a provincial court for the selling of pornographic videos with ‘unnatural’ content saying the ruling was too lenient.
A spokesperson for Turkish LGBT rights group KAOS GL told GayStarNews: ‘The decision given by the court yesterday is not binding.
‘However it is a positive development that may affect a future ruling by Turkey’s supreme court.
‘Even if the supreme court will not accept this ruling - this sets a very positive precedent for future cases’.
Source: Gay Star News
Study: Straight men who watch porn are more likely to support equal marriage
The results of the study suggested a link between consumption of porn and support for equal marriage
New research suggests that the more pornography consumed by straight men, the less likely they are to be opposed to equal marriage.
The new study, published in the Communication Research journal, suggests that the more straight men watch porn, the more likely they are to support equal marriage.
According to the study the link is made because porn opens up the mind of straight people to be more accepting of “non-traditional sexual situations”, such as gay sex.
“Our study suggests that the more heterosexual men, especially less educated heterosexual men, watch pornography, the more supportive they become of same-sex marriage,” Indiana University Assistant Professor Paul Wright told The Washington Examiner.
Mr Wright goes on to say: ”Pornography adopts an individualistic, nonjudgmental stance on all kinds of nontraditional sexual behaviors and same-sex marriage attitudes are strongly linked to attitudes about same-sex sex.
“If people think individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether to have same-sex sex, they will also think that individuals should be able to decide for themselves whether to get married to a partner of the same-sex.”
He added: “Since a portion of individuals’ sexual attitudes come from the media they consume, it makes sense that pornography viewers would have more positive attitudes towards same-sex marriage.”
The results of the study, which was co-authored by Ashley Randall of the University of Arizona, were gathered by studying 500 straight men over six years.
“Pornography consumption did predict over-time increases in support for same-sex marriage,” the duo found.
Source: Pink News
|+ | by Admin | Date February 04, 2013 | Time 23:06 | Comments (0)|
New York’s Community Healthcare Network (CHN) focused on men who use apps such as Grindr, Scruff and Manhunt to meet sexual partners for its survey of 725 men, Canadian website Xtra reports.
The focus of the survey, which received responses from men in Australia, South America, Eastern Europe, the UK, Canada, and predominantly in the US, was to gain insight into men’s perspectives on HIV and unprotected sex.
It also included an optional section asking respondents why they might take risks during sex.
81% of respondents know HIV is transmitted through “unprotected anal sex, vaginal sex and, less frequently, oral sex.”
However, almost 47% of respondents admit to barebacking “always, often or sometimes,” while almost 54% say they never have unprotected anal intercourse.
Renato Barucco, from CHN, said respondents have unprotected sex primarily because condoms don’t feel good (almost 85%); they act impulsively (74%); or they are under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Given the high rates of at least occasional barebacking, the CHN researchers recommend increased use of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) pills in the gay community.
Source: Pink News
Red Pepper, a Ugandan daily has published today (7 December) graphic photos allegedly depicting the head of the country’s prime football team ‘sodomising’ a young team player.
A photo depicting Chris Mubiru having anal sex with a young man covered the entire front page of the paper entitled: ‘SMOKED OUT! Uganda Cranes boss nabbed sodomising players – Shocking pictures inside’.
The paper printed five striking photos of the head of Cranes football team allegedly in the process of ‘sodomising’ a young team player.
The photos detailed the alleged sexual acts with captions designed to outrage the country’s conservative population: ‘MASTER AT WORK: Mubiru nails the boys butt’, ‘shafting’ and ‘hurting the boy’, to finally ‘END GAME: The boy struggles to stand up after the bum shattering session.’
The alleged ‘young player’ was not identified nor could the validity of the pictures be ascertained.
No statement has been issued by the Crane’s football team at the time of publishing this story.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Denis Nizoka, editor of Identity Kenya said: ‘This was clearly designed to provoke a moral outrage about what is seen as a bastion of male sportsmanship – the country’s top football team.'
Uganda’s Parliament resumed work Tuesday (4 December) and are poised to debate the country's 'Kill the Gays Bill' any time now.
The proposed law would give life in jail for gay sex and even the death penalty for ‘aggravated homosexuality’.
It is being pushed through by the Speaker of the Uganda Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga who has promised the law as a ‘Christmas present’ to her supporters.
If passed, men or women who have gay sex could be imprisoned for life – even if he or she merely ‘touches another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality’.
Those guilty of ‘aggravated homosexuality’ include HIV positive people who have gay sex or ‘serial offenders’ will face the capital punishment.
Red Pepper routinely carries stories outing prominent figures.
It’s last major anti-gay campaigns however occurred in April and December of 2009, according to Box Turtle Bulletin.
In August 2006, Red Pepper published the first names and occupations of prominent Ugandan men whom it asserted were homosexual.
This decision was sharply criticized by rights groups which said that the move could expose the men to harassment by the government, as homosexuality in Uganda remains illegal.
The following month, it published a similar list of 13 women whom it claimed were lesbians.
In an interview published in May 2009, the news editor of Red Pepper, Ben Byarabaha, vowed that the tabloid would continue its campaign against alleged homosexuals by publishing their names, photographs and addresses.
Source: Gay Star News
One Woman And Three Men Hanged In Western Iran- One Hanged Publicly
Four prisoners among them one woman, were hanged in Kermanshah (Western Iran) today Monday December 3.
According to the official site of the Iranian judiciary in Kermanshah, one female and two male prisoners were hanged in the prison of Kermanshah, while a foruth prisoner was hanged publicly in the Azadi (Freedom) Square of Kermanshah Monday noon. None of the prisoners were identified by name.
The three prisoners who were hanegd inside the prison were convicted of drug-related charges, while the prisoner who was hanged publicly was convicted of rape and kidnapping.
None of the above mentioned charges have been confirmed by independent sources.
Azadi (Freedom) Square of Kermanshah has been the site of several public executions in the past years.
Source: Iran Human Rights
|+ | by Admin | Date December 03, 2012 | Time 22:35 | Comments (0)|
The 12-page questionnaire, which was sent to about 4,000 women, is intended to help the state get a better grasp of the need for family-planning services in Florida. But critics say the survey crosses the line.
Among the questions are, “How many sexual partners have you had?” “Has a man ever poked holes in a condom to get you pregnant?” and “Have you ever been raped?”
Paige Waugh, a student at the University of Tampa, told an ABC News affiliate that the survey is “a bit invasive.”
And the women who agree to take the survey, she added, are probably not going to be truthful.
“That’s private information” Waugh says. “So they are probably going to get biased results.”
The state says that the survey is completely voluntary and participants will remain anonymous.
There is, however, a small perk for women who agree to take the survey. A $10 gift card to CVS to use on various health-related items is given to all participants in exchange for the intimate details of their sex lives.
Source: ABC News
The reigning scientific consensus on sexual orientation is that it’s an inherited, biological trait, but that’s just because scientists don’t know how to party. A far sexier explanation has been offered up by Christian magazine Charisma, which conducted its own investigation into the origins of homosexuality to reveal the real culprit: sex with demons.
“Can demons engage in sexual behaviors with humans?” the magazine asks. Why yes, they can! At least according to the article’s primary source, a former stripper-turned-ministry leader named Contessa Adams. Adams shares her decades-long struggle with demon sex, sparing no horrible, sexy detail:
These spiritual rapists, as Adams describes them in her book, Consequences, often prey on people by performing sexual acts through nightmares and erotic dreams. Some people become so dependent upon these demonic experiences that they actually look forward to them.
“Anybody that has been attacked by them will tell you … they’re worried [that] they could not find that pleasure with mortal people,” says Adams, who claims she was once possessed by sexual demons.
The two most identifiable sexual demons are the incubus, which is a male sexual demon that traditionally assaults women, and the succubus, which is a female sexual demon that assaults men. Sometimes they also lure people into homosexual behavior.
Adams says the succubus spirit that used to attack her confused her so much that she contemplated becoming a lesbian.
Then God came along and ruined everything, I mean saved her, putting her on the path to righteousness and helping others who are (naked) wrestling with their own sex demons.
But demons aren’t just about getting laid. They’re wreaking havoc all over the place, in addition to the mischief they’ve wrought on confused Christian genitalia.
The primary demon fighter in the modern Christian world is the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR), a global network of Charismatic Christian ministries devoted to Dominionism, the idea that they must take over public institutions in order to save America and the world from … demons (and gays, of course). NAR is ridiculous, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful, with millions of followers worldwide and domestic and international political relationships ranging from Senator Sam Brownback, Mike Huckabee and Newt Gingrich to heads of state in Uganda.
Bruce Wilson, who’s reported on the movement for years, tells Alternet, “for the apostles and prophets of the New Apostolic Reformation, demon powers, and also divine curses — incurred by human unfaithfulness to God’s plan, are at the root of virtually any and all conceivable misfortunes, from crime trends, drops in the stock market, and declining SAT scores, to headaches and dandruff. I mean that literally.”
The movement broke into mainstream political coverage a few times in recent years: once, when reporters obtained footage of a bizarre ceremony involving Sarah Palin, and also during the interminable Republican primary when Rick Perry, long-rumored to have wrestled a few sexy gay demons himself, hosted a massive prayer rally organized by two NAR ministries.
NPR reported at the time that the Perry rally was modeled on the prayer events of the Call, a NAR group founded by apostle Lou Engle. As Rachel Tabachnik, who’s done extensive reporting on NAR, told NPR, “The apostles teach what’s called ‘strategic level spiritual warfare’ [because they believe that the] reason why there is sin and corruption and poverty on the Earth is because the Earth is controlled by a hierarchy of demons under the authority of Satan.”
Here are just a few places you might encounter Satan’s minions.
The last thing Detroit needs is a large-scale demonic invasion. Fortunately, all the people of Detroit had to do to beat back the forces of hell was join the New Apostolic Reformation movement’s giant prayer-a-thon.
In 2010, Engle held a prayer rally in Detroit. Engle, who seems to know how to move tickets, warned Detroit’s citizenry, “If we actually have the Call and you don’t sustain prayer ongoing you open a vacuum for demons seven times worse to come in … if black and white can’t move together in prayer and sustain it, forget it — let’s not even go there, you get demons seven times worse.”
The goal was to convert the state’s Muslims to Christianity. In a YouTube clip filmed prior to the rally Engle explained that the prayers would send Jesus into Muslims’ dreams, which sounds like way less fun than a visit from a sex demon.
2. The Financial Markets
For obvious reasons, it doesn’t seem like a giant stretch that financial markets are run by evil demons, but still — here’s a theory on global financial instability, outlined by Bruce Wilson:
Van Nuys, California-based megachurch pastor Jack Hayford, current head of sex scandal-embroiled GOP Senator John Ensign’s religious denomination, has endorsed a theory proposing that a supernatural mechanism drove down Japanese stock market prices during the early 1990s: the Japanese emperor’s alleged sexual intercourse with a “sky goddess” who, according to the theory, might be a succubus.
3. Inside Your Head
C. Peter Wagner, influential NAR leader, blamed demons for his headaches, writing in a 1996 book called Confronting the Powers:
“Beginning in the early ’70s I suffered severe headaches for 10 consecutive years. It was so bad that at one point I had no relief from pain at all for 70 days and 70 nights. No available painkiller could stop the headaches. Then in 1983, John Wimber received a rhema word from God that the root cause of my headaches had been a demon and that I was to drive it out myself rather than ask someone else to do it for me. I obeyed. I cast out the demon in the name of Jesus, and I have not suffered any such headaches since that day.”
4. Among Native Americans
Territorial demons are standing in the way of the mass evangelization of Native Americans, according to NAR teaching (chronicled in a glossary on Talk 2 Action, a blog that tracks the extreme religious right). Getting them out of the way involves atoning for past mistreatment of native populations with apology events and also breaking invaluable artifacts. Rachel Tabachnik explains;
The apologies appear quite sincere and result in multiethnic and multicultural partnerships. However, the process of reconciliation is for the purpose of taking “Christian dominion” over other religions, ethnic groups, and belief systems. It requires renouncing of former cultural practice and artifacts which can not be absorbed in evangelical practice, as demonic. The Transformations videos reenact a number of examples of destruction of native artifacts, and leaders have claimed that their prayers resulted in spontaneous destruction of buildings and icons of other religious practices.
5. Your Towns and Cities, the Entire World
The main strategy Charismatic Christianity has brought to demon-fighting is so-called spiritual warfare or spiritual mapping. The idea is to find demon-infested geographic locations and pray the evil spirits away. According to Bruce Wilson, “Prayer-walkers pray for unknown city residents and they are also encouraged to map and and take notes on alleged ideological enemies, who are held to be under demon influence.”
Occasionally this involves the following questionable use of public resources, as Wilson writes, “Components of the prayer-walking and demon-deliverance ideology are being incorporated into the police practices of Orlando, Florida and Peoria, Illinois, in novel and factually challenged efforts that partner local Christian churches with police departments of those cities; teams of church members, with police backup for safety, walk high-crime areas and try to pray down violent crime and murder rates.”
But why stop there? Bruce Wilson has documented the massive global effort of the international Transformation network, linked to the larger NAR project. Characteristically, participants in the ITN believe homosexuality is caused by demons that must be eradicated. “The ITN is one of several global efforts operating under the ‘transformation’ brand, that are re-engineering along theocratic lines cities and even entire nations.” writes Wilson.
They have taken a particular interest in Uganda. “For the Transformation movement, which claims homosexuals are possessed by demons and that prayer and faith healing have cured thousands of HIV and AIDS cases in the nation, Uganda is a prototype.”
“For over a year ITN representatives have been at work to setting up a training network spanning approximately 14,000 evangelical churches in Uganda, and ITN’s head Africa representative states.”