Current Affairs

Articles on Current Affairs in Europe and the US

Reformed Sinner Walks Tennessee Roads

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A reformed Tennessee sinner walks the roads with his sign as a badge of honor.

After “living a life of Sin”, illness and god brought him to this way of life.  He was calmly walking along as grid-lock rush hour traffic hummed quietly at intersections in Chattanooga.

He feels his message is one that needs to be shared, many honked their horns at him as he waved and smiled back, others showered abuse and children gesticulated rudely from car windows.

I took the time to hear his story and see what truly inspires him to do what he does.

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A Tornado Survivor

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A brutal Tornado destroyed homes and took lives in Adairsville Georgia in January 2013.

I spent time speaking to the victims for WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga and one women’s sheer disbelief left me speechless.

This short interview sums up what it is like to have everything and then nothing.

The Year The World Didn’t End

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It’s that time, when one sits back and reflects and comprehends what we saw in a year that went too fast for some and not enough for many more. A year that exploded with talks and murmurs of the Euro Crises and Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Yemen led to the western world holding its break as North Korea launched and defied sanctions with a rocket that came down faster than it rose.

The Summer months saw a build up of election madness in the US that carried controversy after controversy before London 2012 temporarily reduced unemployment in Great Britain and produced stars and inspired a generation. Mr Munch’s Scream, moved on for just shy of the cost of Christiano Ronaldo as CERN and The Mars Rover push the boundaries of science and exploration.

The first Bionic Eye opens a window to a new world as Islamic blinkers are tightened with the Innocence of Muslims while Felix Baumgartner shows the potential of the human mind and body with Hurricane Sandy reminds us Mother Nature can take lives in the blink of an eye.

The Gaza crisis heightens as children are blown to pieces in Connecticut without the feeble excuse of a superhero movie while lunatics and fanatics destroy one of the greatest monuments from the ancient world as the world almost ends.

Why the EU got a peace prize and Obama got awarded is still a wonder to most as Dick Clark and Whitney Houston show awards are worth very little when life ends and we move into the next realm of our existence.

With a world that didn’t end surely we can dare to dream and hope for a better 2013, a year where less innocent people die where drought and mother nature can be tackled better  and harnessed and where  many must not only see a new year but also a new fishing bowl of possibility where all one can do is cast a line and wait for a bite.

Is this Life or Debt?

“Running into debt isn’t so bad. It’s running into creditors that hurts”
With the lack of job prospects in the UK affecting so many, hundreds of Britons are being forced to turn to alternative means to get enough money to get by, week in week out.

The Sheffield Debt Support Unit has found it’s resources pushed to the limits over the past twelve months as the number of debt related issues get more common and more complex. The main issue with the cases Steve Wilcox and his team are dealing with seem to be with money lenders who charge inflated interest rates to those who are desperately in need of pay day loans and emergency loans.

With banks getting more restrictive and credit ratings plummeting, the uptake in online loans and demands on doorstep lenders is getting to the point where the bubble has to burst.


Debt Advice

Getting advice and good advice at that can either bring you out of debt quickly and effectively or push you further in. With debt advisors popping up across the UK and online, getting impartial and full advice seems to be the key to moving forward. Yet many advisors are only in the game to prey on those who are vulnerable and tie them into five and six year debt management plans that leave many in a far worse situation than when they started.

Ralph Keene, is a debt advisor with charity Christians Against Poverty and feels that debt is an issue that can easily affect any or all of us in our lifetimes.

 

“Internet is the quick and easy option”

With mounting debts and the current recession showing few signs of recovery, Jacqueline Halliwell of Sheffield Credit Union feels Yorkshire and the UK needs to curb over spending and cut down on a lifestyle that British citizens take for granted due to credit cards and loans. She says she has found that the internet is proving to be the get out card for people in Sheffield and beyond when they owe money to loan sharks. She said the Credit Union has found that they are now dealing with clients who not only owe money to doorstep lenders but money to e-loan websites to keep the doorstep lenders at bay.

Future

With stricter licensing laws for money lenders and caps on interest rates may come the suppression of lending at the outrageous rates of over 100% apr that have affected so many in the past few years. Yet it seems as though while as soon as the Office of Fair Trading shuts some lenders down others will appear or the previous ones will reappear under different names. As long as demand exists for quick loans and we continue to buy beyond our means then loan sharks and shrewd debt advisors will continue to practice.

Olympic Getaway of Ireland,

Ireland as a getaway from London, not Scotland, not Wales, but a different country! Seems daft, but could be quiet a clever move for the recession hit nation.

During the Celtic Tiger years the Irish tourism industry boomed. Riverdance, dodgy international boy bands and a history of strong American visitors helped the nation establish itself as a beacon of peace and tranquility for visitors.

Now with just under ten days until the Olympics kick off, Tourism Ireland is never one to miss a genuine opportunity. Whether it was drafting in Jedward after their Eurovision appearance for an ad campaign or now hopping on the Olympic bandwagon.

The clever and quirky campaigns feature the theme of “escape the madness” with Ireland portrayed as a quieter, relaxing alternative to the bustle and madness of inner city London.

The video is partially voiced by The IT Crowd actor Chris O’Dowd and maximizes the humorous side of a culture known for its happy-go-lucky attitude to life.

Genetic Sexual Attraction?

Over 2600 years ago the tragedy Oedipus Rex by Sophocles touched on the issue of incest in our society.

With the high profile case of Gerry Ryan and Penny Lawrence and now Mistie Atkinson and her teenage son, it is an issue that is making headlines across the world.

In the late 1980s incest was elaborated on and a new term GSA, or Genetic Sexual Attraction was created by Barbara Gonyo, the founder of Truth Seekers In Adoption. The GSA website states “Genetic Sexual Attraction or GSA occurs between two adults who have been separated during the critical years of development and bonding and are reunited years later as adults.”

With relaxation of adoption laws in the 1970s and now with more prevalent use of sperm banks the issues of impregnating your unknown or recently known offspring or siblings has come more and more into mainstream media.

Gonyo herself met the son she put up for adoption when he had grown up and found herself sexually attracted to him. With the advances in social networking those who are put up for adoption can trace their birth parents quicker and more effectively. This was the case in both the Ryan/Lawrence and Atkinson examples.

When not growing up in the same environment the desire for a connection between family members can manifest itself in the form of the Atkinson and Lawrence/Ryan scenarios. The Westermark Effect coined by Finnish anthropologist Edvard Westermark, has found close domestic proximity between children and parents during the first few years of their lives leads them to becoming desensitized to later sexual attraction which was lacking in the aforementioned situations.

Atkinson says that “I don’t feel like I should have the charge of incest because there is something called genetic attraction that is a very powerful that happens to 50% of people becoming reunited with a long-lost relative”. Her use of the defense of Genetic Sexual Attraction more than likely will not stand up in court and she faces charges of lewd contact with a minor and distribution of lewd material to a minor.

Yet her drawing on the issue will generate further discussion on an issue that psychologists have and continue to argue over for the past three decades.

Luka Magnotta’s search for fame

In a society that tells us being famous is perfection, becoming a celebrity is a goal and true success comes in magazine covers and news headlines one man has achieved all he ever dreamed of.

Luka Rocco Magnotta desired fame to the point of creating a life he did not lead. His social networking profiles and pictures showed a jet setting lifestyle yet behind it all was a young man taken in by celebrity culture. He desired fame so much he associated himself with serial killer Karla Homolka to gain exposure in media circles.

In an audition tape for Cover Guy, Luka whose birth name is Eric Newman seemed uneasy with taking criticism to his physique when auditioning as a model but compensated by mentioning he was “devastatingly good looking”. The young man with a deep voice also surfaced in a NakedNews interview where he spoke of his career as an escort and model. He portrayed his lifestyle of “lots of sex and lots of travel” as an enviable one and described himself on more than one occasion as a “people person”.

Luka came across as proud that through his escorting he moved in circles of influential people and those with power,  he felt in turn that he held power through his sexual prowess of which he alluded to on numerous occasions in the NakedNews interview.

It is a bizarre world where the search for fame leads you into lap dancing and escorting to feel influential and “celebrated”, but one that is not uncommon.

Last summer i spoke with a young escort in New York who also dreamed of fame and fortune and said his tale was not unique. A broken home, rejected for his sexual orientation and taken in by a life he desired but could only live through selling his body lead to situations where Luka Magnotta’s are created.

Luka once tweaked Karla Homolka’s wikipedia page to gain fame and see himself as a celebrity but now his own page stands as a testament to the fact he has fulfilled his life goal. Luka Rocco Magnotta is known the world over, not for being a model but for being a cannibal.