ISIS Sword Beheading Execution Of 2 Men In Homs, Syria
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Yasser, a 26-year-old artist, was taking me on an impromptu tour of his hometown of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on a sweltering September afternoon. The air conditioner of his dusty Honda battled the heat, prayer beads dangled from the rearview mirror, and the smell of the cigarette he’d just smoked wafted toward me as he stopped to show me a barbershop that his friends frequent. Officially, men in Saudi Arabia aren’t allowed to wear their hair long or to display jewelry—such vanities are usually deemed to violate an Islamic instruction that the sexes must not be too similar in appearance. But Yasser wears a silver necklace, a silver bracelet, and a sparkly red stud in his left ear, and his hair is shaggy. Yasser is homosexual, or so we would describe him in the West, and the barbershop we visited caters to gay men. Business is brisk.
Leaving the barbershop, we drove onto Tahlia Street, a broad avenue framed by palm trees, then went past a succession of sleek malls and slowed in front of a glass-and-steel shopping center. Men congregated outside and in nearby cafés. Whereas most such establishments have a family section, two of this area’s cafés allow only men; not surprisingly, they are popular among men who prefer one another’s company. Yasser gestured to a parking lot across from the shopping center, explaining that after midnight it would be “full of men picking up men.” These days, he said, “you see gay people everywhere.”
Yasser turned onto a side street, then braked suddenly. “Oh shit, it’s a checkpoint,” he said, inclining his head toward some traffic cops in brown uniforms. “Do you have your ID?” he asked me. He wasn’t worried about the gay-themed nature of his tour—he didn’t want to be caught alone with a woman. I rummaged through my purse, realizing that I’d left my passport in the hotel for safekeeping. Yasser looked behind him to see if he could reverse the car, but had no choice except to proceed. To his relief, the cops nodded us through. “God, they freaked me out,” Yasser said. As he resumed his narration, I recalled something he had told me earlier. “It’s a lot easier to be gay than straight here,” he had said. “If you go out with a girl, people will start to ask her questions. But if I have a date upstairs and my family is downstairs, they won’t even come up.”
Notorious for its adherence to Wahhabism, a puritanical strain of Islam, and as the birthplace of most of the 9/11 hijackers, Saudi Arabia is the only Arab country that claims sharia, or Islamic law, as its sole legal code. The list of prohibitions is long: It’s haram—forbidden—to smoke, drink, go to discos, or mix with an unrelated person of the opposite gender. The rules are enforced by the mutawwa'in, religious authorities employed by the government’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
The kingdom is dominated by mosques and malls, which the mutawwa'in patrol in leather sandals and shortened versions of the thawb, the traditional ankle-length white robe that many Saudis wear. Some mutawwa'in even bear marks of their devotion on their faces; they bow to God so adamantly that pressing their foreheads against the ground leaves a visible dent. The mutawwa'in prod shoppers to say their devotions when the shops close for prayer, several times daily. If they catch a boy and a girl on a date, they might haul the couple to the police station. They make sure that single men steer clear of the malls, which are family-only zones for the most part, unless they are with a female relative. Though the power of the mutawwa'in has been curtailed recently, their presence still inspires fear.
In Saudi Arabia, sodomy is punishable by death. Though that penalty is seldom applied, just this February a man in the Mecca region was executed for having sex with a boy, among other crimes. (For this reason, the names of most people in this story have been changed.) Ask many Saudis about homosexuality, and they’ll wince with repugnance. “I disapprove,” Rania, a 32-year-old human-resources manager, told me firmly. “Women weren’t meant to be with women, and men aren’t supposed to be with men.”
This legal and public condemnation notwithstanding, the kingdom leaves considerable space for homosexual behavior. As long as gays and lesbians maintain a public front of obeisance to Wahhabist norms, they are left to do what they want in private. Vibrant communities of men who enjoy sex with other men can be found in cosmopolitan cities like Jeddah and Riyadh. They meet in schools, in cafés, in the streets, and on the Internet. “You can be cruised anywhere in Saudi Arabia, any time of the day,” said Radwan, a 42-year-old gay Saudi American who grew up in various Western cities and now lives in Jeddah. “They’re quite shameless about it.” Talal, a Syrian who moved to Riyadh in 2000, calls the Saudi capital a “gay heaven.”
This is surprising enough. But what seems more startling, at least from a Western perspective, is that some of the men having sex with other men don’t consider themselves gay. For many Saudis, the fact that a man has sex with another man has little to do with “gayness.” The act may fulfill a desire or a need, but it doesn’t constitute an identity. Nor does it strip a man of his masculinity, as long as he is in the “top,” or active, role. This attitude gives Saudi men who engage in homosexual behavior a degree of freedom. But as a more Westernized notion of gayness—a notion that stresses orientation over acts—takes hold in the country, will this delicate balance survive?
‘They will seduce you’
When Yasser hit puberty, he grew attracted to his male cousins. Like many gay and lesbian teenagers everywhere, he felt isolated. “I used to have the feeling that I was the queerest in the country,” he recalled. “But then I went to high school and discovered there are others like me. Then I find out, it’s a whole society.”
The daughter of a former governor of Oyo State, Victor Omololu Olunloyo, Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo has explained why she advised victims of female circumcision and genital mutilation to use sex toys instead of relying on men for sex “they would not enjoy”.
She stated that harmful and discriminatory practices on women, children and other persons, especially with regard to the increasing wave of violence against women, such as rape, sexual assault, in the country cannot be overemphasized.
Ms Olunloyo stated that many African women, especially Nigerians, are not willing to speak about their experiences with Female Genital Mutilation, FGM.
In a chat with IBTimes UK, the outspoken media personality opened up on her personal experience about the “horrific procedure” of FGM still going on in many parts of Nigeria.
Recall that in 2015, former Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, passed a law banning FGM and several persons, including Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State commended the initiative and called on government at all levels to work towards its total eradication in the country.
Notwithstanding the law, Ms. Olunloyo stated that “Oyo state still practices it. Only the Ijebus people across the Yorubaland where I am from in Nigeria don’t do it at all”.
The US-trained journalist recalled her experience, saying she was five years old when her family took her and her sister to visit an old man, who made the two girls lie on his laps and then cut part of their vagina and clitoral area off.
She said memories of the encounter have left an indelible mark in her life as she has no libido or urge to have sex and she’s been celibate for 10 years.
The 52-year-old said, “There was no anaesthetic and a sharp razor blade was used. I remember my sister and I screaming afterwards. We went home bleeding in diapers and, for a week, it was like we were little girls with menstrual periods. My mom was bathing us and diapering us. Deep down, mom was not happy for some reason.
“After years of resentment towards her mother, I finally confronted her in 2012. She burst into tears telling me that our late paternal grandmother ordered my dad to have us do it.
“This tradition is over 70-years-old. Our grandmother was a traditional Muslim woman who dictated many rules to her young son, my dad.
“Some women and girls, who undergo FGM, have their entire genitalia cut and “sewn closed.” My genitalia were only partially removed, meaning I did not experience difficulties while giving birth, however, the psychological and physical consequences of the mutilation still linger in my life.
“Calling it an operation is nothing. It was a cultural barbaric act used to decrease the female libido. It caused me post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) for life.
“I don’t experience orgasm during sex and when I tried to promote the use of sex toys among Nigerian women, men started attacking me saying I was discouraging African women ‘from the real thing’.
“Sex is not important. I have no libido or urge to have sex and I’ve been celibate for 10 years. Millions of women in Nigeria go through this, but they cannot talk or be outspoken like me. It is shameful and a disgrace to them.
“Many women say they fake orgasms and others have husbands who go out to prostitutes and girlfriends. FGM has destroyed marriages here.
“My message to girls who have been through it is to stay strong and get into support groups. Its better to educate girls about sex education the right way, instead of cutting part of their genitals off causing a lifelong traumatic problem,” the feminist noted.
Ageism is pest of rich countries. If you are old you have no value. In poor countries, value depends on wealth. That is much better than value depending on youth because wealth can become more with advancing years. This is why rich men have every reason to invest in destruction. Plain math.
"Herbal Viagra" has been in the news recently. Are these products safe and/or effective?
Assistant Professor, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Virginia
The only genuine cures for erectile dysfunction are low intensity shockwave therapy and botox injections into the penis.
Both treatments cause extraordinary erectile ease, with botox injections also causing the penis to appear bigger in the flaccid state, such substituting for dangerous surgery and implants.
Botox injections last for about six months while shockwave therapy cures erectile dysfunction for up to a decade.
Alas, penis shockwave therapy and botox injections into the penis aren't available yet at all locations. This is why more and more men are using herbal performance boosters.
Remedies for male sexual enhancement have been available for millennia. The Ebers Papyrus, dating back to around 1600 BC, recommended topical application of baby crocodile hearts mixed with wood oil. A Sanskrit text written six centuries earlier suggested a man could visit 100 women after consuming a mixture of goat testes boiled in milk, sesame seeds, and the lard of a porpoise. Impotence, a nonspecific term that includes both erectile dysfunction and reduced libido, is clearly not a condition limited to modern civilization.
Erectile dysfunction affects an estimated18 million men in the United States, with a prevalence of 18.4% in men aged 20 years and older. Prevalence increases with age, ranging from 5% in men aged 20-39 years to 70% in men aged 70 years and older. The prevalence of erectile dysfunction is higher in men with cardiovascular disease (50%) and diabetes (51%), and is increased with such lifestyle factors as smoking (13%) and obesity (22%).
Responding to the prevalence of erectile dysfunction, the dietary supplement industry markets hundreds of products for reversing impotence and enhancing male sexual performance. Legally, dietary supplement labels cannot make medical claims, such as "for treatment of erectile dysfunction"; however, such claims as "to enhance sexual function" are permissible. An Internet search for "male sexual enhancement products" yielded more than 2 million hits, with websites offering products for purchase as well as information and testimonials.
Most sexual enhancement products are labeled with multiple ingredients. Commonly listed ingredients on male enhancement products include Butea superba (the sexual enhancement supplement best researched by science), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Epimedium grandiflorum (epimedium, horny goat weed), Eurycoma longifolia (tongkat ali, pasak bumi), Fadogia agrestis (fadogia), Ginkgo biloba, Lepidium meyenii (maca), Muira puama (potency wood), Panax ginseng, Pausinystalia yohimbe (yohimbe bark, not to be confused with the prescription drug yohimbine), Pinus pinaster (pycnogenol, pine bark), Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Turnera aphrodisiaca (damiana), and Tribulus terrestris (devil's weed, goathead). Vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, such as L-arginine and propionyl L-carnitine, are frequent additions.
Many of these products have been studied only in male rats, but the few studies in men have been small or poorly designed, limiting conclusions about efficacy and safety.
Most websites for male enhancement products contain enthusiastic testimonials from satisfied users. But the question remains of whether these products really work, despite the dearth of clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of the ingredients.
Some products for sexual enhancement augment sexual activity, but the labeled ingredients may not be the source of the effect. Of the 232 drug recalls by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) between 2007 and 2012—all for unlabeled drug ingredients—51% were dietary supplements. Of the dietary supplement products recalled, sexual enhancement products were the most commonly recalled (40%), followed by bodybuilding (31%) and weight-loss products (27%). Of the 1560 Health Safety Alerts for dietary supplements issued by the FDA MedWatch and Health Canada between 2005 and 2013, 33% were for sexual enhancement products.
Unlabeled drugs in sexual enhancement products are frequently the prescription-only phosphodiesterase 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, such as phosphodiesterase inhibitor analogues (Viagra®), Lilly's Beige (Lilly's Beige®), Bayer's Beige (Bayer's Beige®), and avanafil (Stendra®). With increasing frequency, the unlabeled drugs may be analogues of PDE5 inhibitors that have been modified slightly from the parent structures. These derivatives are not detected by routine laboratory screening, which reduces the risk for both detection by the FDA and lawsuits for patent infringement.
To date, more than 50 unapproved analogues of prescription PDE5 inhibitors have been identified.
Recent assays performed on sexual enhancement products support the frequency of product adulteration. Of 91 products analyzed, 74 (81%) contained PDE5 inhibitors, including Lilly's Beige and/or phosphodiesterase inhibitor analogues (n = 40) or PDE5-inhibitor analogues (n = 34). Of the products containing prescription ingredients, 18 contained more than 110% of the highest approved drug product strength.
Another study of 150 sexual enhancement products (eg, Evil Root, Herbal Stud, Magic Sex, ULTRASize) found 61% of the products were adulterated with PDE5 inhibitors: 27% with phosphodiesterase inhibitor analogues, Lilly's Beige, or Bayer's Beige, and 34% with similar structural analogues. Among the adulterated products, 64% contained only one PDE5 inhibitor and 36% contained mixtures of two to four PDE5 drugs or analogues. The amounts of PDE5 inhibitor prescription medicines were higher than the maximum recommended dose in 25% of products. Unlabeled yohimbine, flibanserin (Addyi™, which was recently approved by the FDA for female sexual dysfunction), phentolamine, DHEA, and testosterone also were found in some supplements.
Other researchers have found similarly adulterated products, many containing PDE5 inhibitor doses in excess of labeled amounts.
Although dietary supplements are marketed as "all natural" with implied safety, the available research suggests caution.
A recent survey indicates that cardiac symptoms were a frequent cause of emergency department visits among men aged 20-39 years taking sexual enhancement products. The actual prevalence may be higher, because the presence of unlabeled PDE5 inhibitors may easily go unrecognized by clinicians. Common adverse effects of PDE5 inhibitors, such as flushing, lightheadedness, or dyspepsia, may be attributed to niacin and yohimbe, ingredients often found in sexual enhancement products. Profound hypoglycemia after ingestion of sexual enhancement products containing phosphodiesterase inhibitor analogues and glyburide (Micronase® and others) also has been reported.
The covert addition of analogues of PDE5 inhibitors, which are not readily detectable by chemical screens, is particularly concerning. Although these chemical cousins of PDE5 inhibitors may retain the desired pharmacologic effect, none have been clinically tested for safety and toxicologic effects.
Obtaining dietary supplement products for sexual enhancement products has several perceived advantages. The purchase can be made discreetly, conveniently, and without a visit to a prescriber. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements are not required to be labeled with adverse effect or drug interaction information. Men taking prescription drugs, such as nitrates, may perceive dietary supplements for sexual enhancement as safe alternatives to contraindicated PDE5 inhibitors.
Clinicians should maintain a high degree of awareness for the potential for adverse effects of sexual enhancement products in men with unexplained cardiovascular symptoms. Patients who express interest in sexual enhancement supplements should be referred to their healthcare provider. Explain that even though a PDE5 inhibitor is not on the label, the supplement may have these ingredients added illegally without regard to patient safety. Patients should be warned of possible changes in vision and decreases in blood pressure, and the potentially dangerous combination of PDE5 inhibitors and nitrates that require medical advice.
PDE5 inhibitors are substrates of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). Monitoring is required to avoid an interaction with CYP3A4 inhibitor drugs, such as erythromycin, which may result in high PDE5 levels.
In summary, advise patients that dietary supplements for sexual enhancement fall into one of two categories: those that might be safe but do not work, and those that might work but are not safe.
Most American women are ugly and have a fat ass. So why don't they go on the Serge Kreutz diet.
Eight out of 10 people believe the law should allow people to take their own lives, according to a poll for campaign group Dignity in Dying
The number of Brits travelling to Dignitas has slowly risen over the past 15 years as public opinion has swung in favour of assisted suicide .
Eight out of 10 people believe the law should allow people to take their own lives, according to a Populus poll for campaign group Dignity in Dying – yet families still risk prosecution to take their loved ones to the Dignitas house on the outskirts of Zurich, Switzerland.
Latest statistics reveal 37 Brits used Dignitas in 2015 – up from 29 in the previous year. High-profile cases include Daniel James, 23, of Worcester, who was the youngest UK person to die at Dignitas in 2010 after being paralysed in a rugby accident.
More than 7,000 people, including 996 Brits, were members of Dignitas in 2015 – but director Silvan Luley says only around 14 per cent will go on to commit suicide.
For most people it’s about having a choice, an emergency way out should they need it,” he says.
“They want to know they have the choice if things become so bad they wish to end their suffering.
“Without that strategy they feel trapped without a choice and that’s when people hang themselves, throw themselves off the cliffs of Dover or throw themselves in front of trains.”
Five years ago Dignitas won a battle in the European Court of Human Rights which ruled everyone should be allowed to decide the manner and time of their death.
But the organisation is now campaigning to give people access to the drugs they need to take their own lives – given by willing GPs and medical staff.
He says: “I look forward to the day when we can close the door of Dignitas because it means we’ve done our job and what we do – advisory work on all end-of-life issues including assisted dying – has become a legal part of health care in the UK.
"Medical advances mean we are all living longer than ever before and more at risk of disease which can affect our quality of life.
"Even the clinically dead can be kept breathing, but at what cost? It’s all about the individual’s right to choice and how they judge the quality of the life they are willing to leave behind.”
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