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Texas woman killed after non-impaired driver taking breathalyzer test hits her

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A Texas woman died Friday afternoon after being hit by a non-impaired driver who was taking a breathalyzer test while operating his vehicle.
Alexis Butler, 18, was backing her car out of a driveway on Nov. 10 when the passenger side of her car was hit by a pickup truck, KXAS reported.
An investigation by the Arlington Police Department didn’t find any track marks from the 31-year-old unidentified driver on the road that would indicate he tried to stop the car. 
The driver reportedly told police that he couldn't see Butler’s car because his eyes were off the road while performing a breathalyzer test on a court-ordered device “for three to four seconds.” Police said he was non-impaired at the time.
The ignition interlock device prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver is found to have been drinking.
“Number one thing we’ll look at is tracking down the original court order to read exactly what it said,” Lt. Chris Cook told KXAS. “And more importantly for us, as a police department, is to determine what the manufacturer recommendation is as far as the guidelines in how to operate this type of equipment.
“It’s very concerning to us, as a police department, that an individual may be operating some type of ignition equipment while they’re in a moving vehicle,” Cook said.
Butler’s family told KXAS the 18-year-old was “large than life” and that “everyone loved” her.
“She was larger than life - everyone loved Lexxy - Her laugh, her smile, her bubbly personality,” Butler’s family said. “She touched so many people’s lives in just her short 18 years, more than most will touch in a lifetime.” 
The department, according to KXAS, said even though the driver hadn’t been drinking, he could still be charged.
Authorities are planning a reconstruction of the crash, as well as a review of the data recorder, in order to investigate further.

Victims 'told not to report' Jehovah's Witness child abuse

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Children who were sexually abused by Jehovah's Witnesses were allegedly told by the organisation not to report it.
Victims from across the UK told the BBC they were routinely abused and that the religion's own rules protected perpetrators.
One child abuse lawyer believes there could be thousands of victims across the country who have not come forward because of a "two witness" rule.
The organisation said it did not "shield" abusers.

'Bring reproach on Jehovah'

BBC Hereford and Worcester spoke to victims - men and women - from Birmingham, Cheltenham, Leicester, Worcestershire and Glasgow, one of whom waived her right to anonymity.
Louise Palmer, who now lives in Evesham, Worcestershire, was born into the organisation along with her brother Richard Davenport, who started raping her when she was four. He is serving a 10-year prison sentence for the abuse.
The 41-year-old, formerly of Halesowen, West Midlands, said she was told not to go to police.
"I asked [the organisation], 'what should I do? Do you report it to the police, [or] do I report it to the police'?
"And their words were that they strongly advised me not to go to the police because it would bring reproach on Jehovah."
Another woman, from Worcestershire, said she was sexually abused as a child by a friend of her brother.
She said she told her parents and elders in the congregation what happened and they advised her not to report it.
"It started off just being very cuddly and I was always a very tactile little girl, but it gradually got worse and worse.
"It escalated until... he started raping me."
Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a movement best known for their door-to-door evangelistic work.
Child abuse lawyer Kathleen Hallisey said there were concerns that the organisation's procedures compromised child safety.
"[For example] in order for [victims] to take allegations of sexual abuse further, they have to have two witnesses to the abuse," she said.

The 'two witness' rule - Felicity Kvesic, BBC News

I've spoken to multiple victims who have told me of the abuse they have suffered while in the Jehovah's Witnesses organisation.
What most of them keep coming back to is something known as the "two witness rule".
It is a procedure set by the main governing body of the religion and means for any sin committed, there must be two witnesses to it in order for the elders of the congregation to take any action.
The problem with this is it can be rare to have witnesses in cases of abuse.
The victims I've spoken to said the organisation self-polices and teaches members to avoid interaction with outside authorities or to take another member of the religion to court.
To do so, they say, could lead to expulsion from the religion.
In a statement the organisation said "any suggestion that Jehovah's Witnesses covered up child abuse was absolutely false".
It said victims and their parents had "the absolute right to report the matter to the governmental authorities" and reporting so was "not contingent on the number of witnesses to the offence".
It described child abuse as a "heinous crime and sin" and said the congregation did not "shield abusers from the authorities of the consequences of their actions".
The statement added "loving and protective parents" were the "best deterrent to child abuse" and elders provided "abuse victims and their families with spiritual comfort from the Bible".
In 2013 the Charity Commission started an inquiry into safeguarding issues in the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain - the UK's main Jehovah's Witnesses organisation which the commission regulates.

Fox 17 Investigates: Child sex slave in Nashville prison for killing man who used her

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A child sex slave in Nashville is behind bars for killing the man who used her.
Cyntoia Brown was physically, sexually and verbally abused. The Department of Corrections declined Fox 17 News' request to interview her, but Filmmaker Dan Birman shared video from his seven years documenting Cyntoia Brown's case.
In the film, Brown explains her abuse and how it made her paranoid.
Brown is convicted of murder for killing a Nashville realtor who'd bought her for sex.
“She was picked up by a 43 year old man.” Birman said. “Cyntoia was 16 years old.”
Birman's documentary gave voice to her childhood horror.
“We started the conversation, this is a young girl who's at the tail end of three generations of violence against women,” Birman said.
Cyntoia, her grandmother, and mother were all raped.
“She had no chance,” Birman added.
In her 2004 trial, Brown explains how there was always a gun being pointed at her. She was being hit, choked and dragged. Derri Smith, the Founder of End Slavery TN, shares the perspective.
“She did kill someone, she deeply regrets it, but she was a child and she was being exploited,” Smith said.
Also in her trial, Brown testified she was fearful of the man, 'Mr. Allen,' who’d picked her up.
“He was a sharp shooter in the Army. I'm sitting here thinking if he does something, what am I going to do?” - Cyntonia
Further affecting impulse control, her mother testified drinking at least a fifth a day while pregnant. On appeal, her attorneys were able to show she suffered from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder which affected her brain and showed up on medical brain scans.
“She was being sex trafficked. The pimp's name was Kutthroat.” - Kathryn Sinback, Davidson Co. Juvenile Court Administrator
The jury sentenced Brown under the law at the time giving her life in prison. She’d only be eligible for parole is after serving 51 years. She would be 67.
Birman's film on Cyntoia helped change Tennessee law for children like her in 2011. Now, anyone 18 or younger can't even be charged with prostitution.
“[There's] no such thing as a child prostitute or a teen prostitute, I think we've had to have a cultural mind shift,” Smith said.
If Brown's case were heard today, the court would treat her as a child human trafficking victim.
Though Birman's not involved, there are now plenty who want her set free. It’s a very dedicated group of people working on a clemency campaign for Cyntoia. They want the Governor and the Parole Board to really look at the unique factors of her case. Unique factors like the work she's done behind bars for years, long before anyone floated the idea of clemency.
Fox 17 was provided Cyntonia's graduation pictures from Lipscomb University for an Associates Degree. She's now working on her Bachelors while working side by side with the courts and the Juvenile Justice system as an unpaid consultant. She’s a friend of the system.
“I myself can create opportunities to help people [behind bars],” Brown said.
Brown is hoping for a second chance.
"She has used her experience to be able to make things better, juvenile justice, human trafficking and safety and security for youth and so I think what she has to offer is invaluable," Sickback said. 
There’s a young woman sitting in a prison in Nashville for life, and there’s mounting pressure to set her free.
In 2017, Cyntoia Brown would be classified a sex slave. She was a little child manipulated and threatened, who didn’t stand a chance against the men who used her.
However, that wasn’t the case back in 2004 when Brown got arrested. The laws, which she later helped change, were completely different back then.
Fox 17 News explored what her case would be like if she were tried today under new laws that classify teen girls as victims of sex trafficking and manipulation rather than labeling them as teen prostitutes.

The International Church of Cannabis

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The psychedelic interior of this 113-year-old converted Lutheran church in Denver’s Washington Park neighborhood is appropriate, for it’s the International Church of Cannabis. It’s a unique community where members, who call themselves Elevationists, use cannabis for spiritual purposes and to positively influence their lives.
“The International Church of Cannabis’ mission is to offer a home to adults everywhere who are looking to create the best version of themselves by way of the sacred plant,” reads the mission statement on their website. “Our lifestance is that an individual’s spiritual journey, and search for meaning, is one of self-discovery that can be accelerated with ritual cannabis use. Elevationists claim no divine authority, nor authoritarian structure, therefore, those of all religious and cultural background are welcome to visit our chapel and take part in our celebrations.”
International-church-of cannabis-_R2A7194.JPG
Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post
The church opened its doors on April 20, 2017, a day celebrated by cannabis users as a kind of unofficial holiday for consuming pot. Surprisingly, the International Church of Cannabis is the third of its kind in the country; the other two are located in Lansing, Michigan, and Indianapolis, Indiana.
The community’s headquarter is located in a century-old brick structure which used to be called Mount Calvary Apostolic Church. The church property was purchased by the parents of Church of Cannabis co-owned Steve Berke with the intention of turning it into apartments. However, Berke and his friends convinced his parents to turn the church into the headquarter for their newly founded religion.
Berke hired legendary artist Kenny Scharf, whose work adorns the halls of Whitney and New York’s Museum of Modern Art, to provide a makeover. Berke also flew in Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel, who had already painted abandoned churches in Spain and Morocco, to do the interior.
On the day of the opening, some 50 people visited the church. As word got out, the number of subscribers rose to 200 in less than a week. As of August the church had the names of 1,400 on their list.
Marijuana is legal in Colorado but only if you smoke at home or in private clubs. To comply with local laws, smoking is not allowed inside the church during viewing hours from Thursday to Sunday. But on Friday nights private cannabis services are held. After services, members go downstairs for the “after party” and play ping-pong, or board games and munch snacks. Aaron Millar, who attended the private smoking club and wrote about his experiences on The Guardian, called it a stoner’s paradise.
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Photo credit: Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post


Lebanon’s Thinnest Building Was Built Out of Spite

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Locals call the building “the Grudge” and rightly so. This extremely narrow building standing on a mere 120-square-meter piece of land in Beirut was built specifically so that one man can block another man’s view of the ocean.
According to the prevailing lore, these two men were brothers, who each inherited a plot, but were unable to arrive at a mutual agreement on how to develop their respective properties. One of the brothers owned a minuscule plot of land, and was bitter for receiving the short end of the stick. Unable to build anything useful on his property, the jealous brother erected a narrow building, which was more or less a wall, so that his brother’s view of the sea was blocked in the hope that this would cause the value of his land to decrease.
The building is 14-meter-high and no wider than a meter, but from the front it appears wider than it actually is, thanks to the numerous balconies and windows that provide the impression of spacious rooms behind.
According to residents in the neighborhood, The Grudge, or 'al-Ba'sa' in Arabic, was built in 1954. The livable wall ranges in depth from four meters at its widest, to sixty centimeters at its slimmest. Each floor is divided into two apartments. Each apartment is a series of rooms joined together by a corridor. The rooms diminish in size as the space gets narrower with each room, until it ends in a very tight space that functions as a walk-in closet. The other apartment, on the wider side of the building, is comparatively spacious. Each room has two windows, one opening towards the brother’s plot—now occupied by a German school—and the other opening towards the Mediterranean with its beautiful, uninterrupted view of the sea.
Although the building is practically useless, the Grudge’s current owners have no intention of demolishing it because if he does he won’t be able to build anything else in its place as the land where it stands is too small to be developed under the city’s current building and zoning laws. So letting the building stand and renting it out is more profitable for its owners than tearing it down. As of 2014, the ground floor is rented out to a mechanic who runs a shop there.
View of the wider side of the Grudge.



Yemen children are dying at a rate of 130 a day while Saudi-led blockade continues

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An estimated 130 children or more are dying every day in war-torn Yemen from extreme hunger and disease, according to ​Save the Children, an international aid group
The charity said a continuing blockade by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels aligned with the country's former president was likely to further increase the death rate. It said more than 50,000 children are believed to have died in 2017.
Now United Nations sanctions monitors have told the Security Council in a confidential report the coalition is threatening the peace, security and stability of the country by blocking humanitarian aid. 
The UN has appealed for the blockade to be lifted, saying it could spark the largest famine the world has seen in decades. Some seven million people are on the brink of famine and nearly 900,000 have been infected with cholera.
"Saudi Arabia-led coalition restrictions to the delivery of humanitarian assistance fall under resolution 2216 (2015) as an obstruction to the delivery of humanitarian assistance," the UN monitors wrote in the executive summary of their report.
The independent monitors also called on the coalition to provide evidence backing Riyadh's claim that Iran was supplying missiles to the Houthi rebels, warning that a failure to do so would violate a February 2017 council resolution. 
That resolution, adopted by the UN Security Council in April 2015 shortly after the Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen, states that obstructing aid access and delivery is an act that threatens the peace, security and stability of the country. 
The UN monitors also questioned the coalition claims that Iran was supplying missiles to the Houthis.
In a November 7 letter to the Security Council, Saudi UN ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi said Riyadh had examined the debris of missiles fired by the Houthis into Saudi Arabia on July 22 and November 4 and confirmed "the role of the Iranian regime in manufacturing these missiles." 
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said Iran's supply of rockets to militias in Yemen was an act of "direct military aggression" that could be an act of war.
The UN monitors said they had "seen no evidence to support claims of SRBM (short-range ballistic missiles) having been transferred to the Houthi-Saleh alliance from external sources." 
The Houthis are allied with forces loyal to Yemen's ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh was ousted by the Saudis in March 2015.
The monitors said the coalition reported in public briefings and statements that the July 22 missile was a Qiam-1 short-range ballistic missile made and supplied by Iran. 
"The supporting evidence provided in these briefings is far below that required to attribute this attack to a Qiam-1 SRBM," the monitors wrote, adding that the coalition had not yet said what type of missile was fired on November 4.
The United Nations said in August that Yemen needed $US2.3 billion in humanitarian aid this year. The warring parties are among the greatest aid donors, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates both giving significant sums. 

The United States is also a major donor, as well as a primary supplier of arms to the members of the Saudi-led coalition. Although the US is not directly involved in the conflict, it has provided military support to the Saudi-led coalition, and Yemenis have often found the remnants of American-made munitions in the ruins left by deadly airstrikes.