Savage killing of Iraqi mother in California – it looks like hijabs scare bigots as much as hoodies

California police say an Iraqi-born mother of five who was beaten to death may have been the victim of a hate crime. The killer of Shaima Alawadi, 32, left a note reportedly reading: “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”

Alawadi, an immigrant, died on Saturday after the attack last Wednesday. Police said her 17-year-old daughter, Fatima, found her unconscious in the dining room of the family’s home in El Cajon, California at about 11:15am. Alawadi died soon after being taken off a hospital life support machine…

According to El Cajon police lieutenant Mark Coit, the family told the police that another threatening note had been found earlier this month outside their home. But they told police that they had not reported it after dismissing it as a prank…

The attack had been a shock to the Muslim community in the area, said Hanif Mohebi, director of the San Diego chapter of CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group. He had been speaking to the family. “The family is still numb. They are trying to figure it all out,” he said. He said there had been an outpouring of support for the family from across California and the nation…

El Cajon is a conservative city of 100,000 people 15 miles from San Diego that has become popular with Iraqi immigrants. The city is home to some 40,000 Iraqis, the second largest such community in the US after Detroit…

The family had only recently moved from Michigan to a house on a suburban street in El Cajon. A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told a San Diego newspaper that the attack apparently happened after Kassim Al Hamidi, Alawadi’s husband, had taken the couple’s younger children to school. Alzaidy told the newspaper that Alawadi had been a “respectful, modest muhajiba,” meaning she wears the traditional hijab headscarf.

Al Himidi and Alawadi migrated from Iraq to the United States in about 1993, according to local reports. Al Himidi had worked as a defence contractor in San Diego, serving as a cultural adviser to train soldiers preparing for duty in the Middle East.

There have been hate crimes in the past but I have not seen anything like this,” said Mohebi. “At the end of the day there are a very small number of people who act upon such ignorance. In general our neighbours are supportive of the community.”

There is no shortage of stupid people in the United States who equate the wearing of a hijab with wearing a hoodie. Simple articles of clothing popular in different communities for different reasons – strike terror in the hearts of bigots who choose violence and murder to resolve their fear.

Dumb crook of the day

Here’s a cautionary tale for would-be thieves.

A Connecticut man accidentally called 911 on his cell phone while he was allegedly stealing 700 pounds of scrap metal from a local business Thursday.

Police initially thought the call was a medical emergency, since they could only hear rustling in the background before the call disconnected…But once identified the caller’s location using GPS, they arrived at the scene to find Michael Gorneau, 46, had transferred the metal from a local business’s dumpster into his pick-up truck.

Gorneau accidentally called 911 while crawling under a fence, police told Southington Patch…The metal belonged to a company that makes metal doors, NBC Connecticut reported. Far from being trash, it’s generally sold to help pay for the employees’ benefits.

Gorneau was charged with third-degree trespassing and sixth-degree larceny.

Has anyone written a book yet called “Stealing for Dummies”?

NASA releases new moon pics decided by students’ requests

More than 45 years after the first “Earthrise” picture, fourth-graders got to pick their own shot of our home planet peeking over the moon’s horizon, courtesy of NASA’s GRAIL mission.

The new views of Earth from the moon are included in GRAIL’s first batch of student-selected images, snapped by the Ebb spacecraft’s MoonKAM camera from March 15 to 18 and released today. Ebb and its twin, Flow, are orbiting the moon to study the lunar gravity field — and students get to choose what the small cameras on the washing-machine-sized orbiters take pictures of…

The first targets were selected by fourth-grade students from Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont. They earned that honor as a reward for coming up with the names for the spacecraft, Ebb and Flow, during a nationwide competition last year…

More than 2,700 schools in 52 countries are in the pool for target selection. Suggestions for picture-taking are funneled through the GRAIL MoonKam Mission Operations Center, at the University of California in San Diego. The MoonKAM program is led by Sally Ride, who became NASA’s first woman astronaut in 1983 and is now president and CEO of an educational company called Sally Ride Science.

“What might seem like just a cool activity for these kids may very well have an profound impact on their futures,” Ride said in today’s news release. “The students really are excited about MoonKam, and that translates into an excitement about science and engineering…”

Some experts believe seeing Earth from this perspective gives viewers more of an appreciation for its beauty and fragility, leading to a spiritual phenomenon known as the “Overview Effect…”

Simplistic, I think. Schoolkids – if they haven’t already been conditioned by the excuses their parents offer for doing nothing – are likely to understand the good sense of environmental activism. Their families may work hard at getting them to not make waves, don’t do anything that makes you stand out from the herd. Sooner or later, the most curious will act up. Sooner or later, those who learn to care about life and living on their own – will consider dissent from stolid obedience – as worthwhile.

The Glasgow Sunday Herald publishes the secret report that could have cleared Megrahi

The controversial report from the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission (SCCRC) has remained secret for five years because, until now, no-one had permission to publish it.

The Sunday Herald and its sister paper, The Herald, are the only newspapers in the world to have seen the report. We choose to publish it because we have the permission of Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the bombing, and because we believe it is in the public interest to disseminate the whole document.

The Sunday Herald has chosen to publish the full report online today to allow the public to see for themselves the analysis of the evidence which could have resulted in the acquittal of Megrahi. Under Section 32 of the Data Protection Act, journalists can publish in the public interest. We have made very few redactions to protect the names of confidential sources and private information.

Click here to read the report in full

The publication of the report aGdds weight to calls for a full public inquiry into the atrocity – something for which many of the relatives have been campaigning for more than two decades…

The SCCRC rejected many of the defence submissions but upheld six grounds which could have constituted a miscarriage of justice. The commission made clear that, had such information been shared with the defence, the result of the trial could have been different…

Megrahi was convicted of murder by Scottish judges sitting at Camp Zeist in 2001. He unsuccessfully appealed in January 2001. He dropped a second appeal shortly before the decision to release him on compassionate grounds in August 2009. He was expected to die from cancer within three months.

Critical portions of the evidence used to convict Megrahi of the Lockerbie bombing were not only flawed; but, contradictory and possibly contrived. No one doubts or denies the complicity of the Libyan government of Muamar Ghaddafi in the terrorist bombing. But, the uniform condemnation of Megrahi and the possible reasons for the Scottish government allowing his release has been another holy crusade by politicians and pundits unaccompanied by facts.

Which is why this police report, the result of several consecutive examinations and re-examinations of the evidence surrounding Megrahi’s trial, has been kept secret. In my opinion, because publication would show up once again that political decisions have been more important to verdicts of guilty or innocent – than justice. Resulting from pressures from the United States at least as much as anything else.

In addition, a criticism of prosecutors that never seems to end appears in this document. Prosecutors deciding which evidence will be allowed to the defense. Instead of free access to all the evidence collected – the prosecution decides some must not been seen for whatever reason.

Cisco says they can secure employees’ BYOD personal devices

Cisco Systems is expanding its services to enable companies to manage and secure private mobile devices used by employees at work, aiming to benefit from the trend widely known as BYOD or Bring Your Own Device.

While corporate IT departments have systems in place to ensure desktop security and to prevent data loss over the Internet or through emails, they are now facing the challenge of dealing with devices such as smartphones, tablets, USB drives or laptops that can open the door to malware or data loss.

That’s where Cisco sees growth opportunities for its services, which it has expanded to enable businesses to provide control over individual access and security, beyond merely connecting outside devices to a company network…

Allowing staff to use any device they choose is becoming a differentiator for companies seeking to hire young employees but it can become a nightmare for the IT department.

According to a study…”Fifty-nine percent of respondents report that employees circumvent or disengage security features, such as passwords and key locks, on corporate and personal mobile devices”. However, only 39 percent have the necessary security controls to address the risk, and only 45 percent have enforceable policies, the study also said.

Cisco, which allows staff to use their own devices, said earlier this month that staff using personal devices at the company grew 52 percent in the past year…with iPhones dominating…devices being used by employees.

Now I have to go to Cisco’s site to see how they provide this management because the bloody article doesn’t tell me a damned thing.

UPDATE: The Cisco info is obviously written by a geek robot managed by a lawyer.

“Discover a truly experience-centric solution with context-aware on-boarding, secure access to resources, and high-performance network connections for any mobile device. These capabilities are complemented by new end-to-end wired, wireless and VPN performance management. The result is a superior user and IT experience without sacrificing security, visibility, and control…

Simplify deployment, accelerate troubleshooting, and lower your operating cost with Cisco Prime management capabilities.

Cisco Prime Assurance Manager provides simple dashboard visibility into application performance across wired and wireless networks and end devices.

Cisco Prime Infrastructure offers a consolidated bundle of wired and wireless lifecycle management plus new branch network management functions.

Integration of the latest WLAN controller capabilities into the Cisco ISR G2 and Catalyst 6500 Series helps optimize operational model in the campus and branch.

£10,000 bill after man kept pig in living room of council home

A council is attempting to trace a tenant who caused thousands of pounds of damage to a house after keeping a pig inside the property.

Housing staff from Derby County Council found the Gloucester Old Spot roaming around the bottom floor of the property in Kingsley Street, Sinfin, Derbsyhire, when they went to evict the tenant following complaints from neighbours.

The carpets were muddied and covered in droppings, and rooms were so full of boxes of junk that officials could not get into them.

It is thought the pig had been kept at the house for a year.

Derby Homes, which is responsible for managing council houses in the city, said the cost of repairing the damage caused to the property would be between £10,000 to £15,000.

When housing officials and the RSPCA turned up to evict the tenant on March 15 after gaining an eviction notice from court, the tenant took the pig away. Council officials are now trying to trace his whereabouts. The tenant, I presume.

Maria Murphy, director of housing and customer service at Derby Homes, said: “This is a disgraceful waste of money, caused by a tenant who failed to show respect for this property or his tenancy agreement.

“The individual will not be eligible for housing with Derby Homes in the future.”

My wife still wants to know the pig’s name?