## Sunday, March 29, 2015

### Czech women kidnapped in Pakistan freed after 2 years

Two years ago, two Czech women (Antonie Chrástecká – the skinnier one – and Hana Humpálová) were going to spend 8 weeks in India. However, before they got there, they were kidnapped by a militant group in Balochistan, the largest province of Pakistan.

Czech government's negotiations with Pakistani authorities have been useless. After one such failed attempt, the Czech president Miloš Zeman told the Pakistani ambassador to Czechia that "your secret agency is worth a pile of cr*p. Can you explain to me how it's possible that two weeks after our compatriots were kidnapped, the governor of Balochistan was abducted as well?"

It looked hopeless but three days ago or so, the Turkish humanitarian NGO called IHH managed to convince the Pakistani radicals and the girls were freed. They spent a day in Turkey and returned to the Czech homeland on the following day.

In Pakistan, they have been kept in the same room for 2 years. They couldn't see the sun. Now they're free. One of them still thinks that their freedom may be just a dream.

It's pretty much a happy end. An NGO from Turkey – where women are not just furniture, as in Pakistan, but something in between furniture and a human being – is arguably the optimum player for similar negotiations. They sufficiently understand both cultures which is helpful. After many previous attempts have failed, the women's families directly asked IHH and IHH succeeded after two months of efforts. But we're also being told that Qatar – asked by the Czech authorities – has contributed to the success in some way.

People are sort of happy but the president won't meet those girls. "I will definitely not meet these two women," Zeman said during a radio interview today. "They have acted irresponsibly and created lots of anxiety for their families, friends, and also for the Czech state. They're nothing like Zikmund and Hanzelka, two famous Czech travelers half a century ago. It's more likely that I will secretly invite those who have liberated the women. When it comes to these two girls, I will just remotely wish them not to repeat the same stupidity again. And I also urge everyone else who would think about visiting similar places to learn a lesson from the women's experience."

Most Czech folks, including Zeman's traditional foes, agree with him, and so do I. It is just stupid for people – especially women – to travel to these dangerous places of the Muslim world without some sensible protection.

1. Hmm, what would be a sensible protection in this case, given above about the governor of Balochistan? A brigade of French Foreign Legion? Chuck Norris and Rambo ;)

2. I agree with you. One should really avoid going to these wild places of the Muslim world without a full-fledged military unit that is capable of defeating a medium-size terrorist cell.

3. But Markov chains are supposed to model well the real-life phenomena. Wouldn't it be even better that arrows on 2 and 4 go to 0 since 'new' Sunday follows 'old' Monday or Tuesday?

4. people ought to avoid going to wild places like Detroit, WashDC, Newark, Newburgh, Philly, etc etc etc. But that never gets reported.

5. Being a member of the EU seems of little value in these cases. Glad the women are back home.

6. Not in the international news.

But it *may* get reported in the local news, assuming you can bring yourself to watch it.

I remember when German tourists were killed in Miami, like two years in a row? That was some bad rep.

These days you will see more German (and overall European) tourists in Caribbeans, even (or should I say particularly in) Cuba than in the US.

7. The 'rules' for the Europeans when in comes to the US, are pretty simple, though, even if they are very non-PC: you go where the rich, white people go, and you'll generally be fine. At worst a rich kid on cocaine may try to rape your daughter, but hey, he's rich.

8. When I was a student in the US I used to travel on holidays to big cities because they have cheap hotels. Walking the streets at night I would pretend to be crazy talking to myself when I felt that some dangerous people approached. That worked great!

In UK I was attacked by a guy twice my size, throw a punch and I ducked, he hit me on my forehead and broke all his knuckles.

I complained to the police and showed them the scratch on my forehead. They interrogated me for four hours and convinced me that I was in an accident. The almighty British justice!

9. If you are an American travelling to Europe it is generally safe. However, avoid public transport(buses and trains) on weekends and on football matches nights. Lots of drunk people of all ages especially the young.

The Europeans are very reserved people under normal circumstances but get very wild on weekends when they get drunk to let all out.

11. The skinnier
one!!!…………OMG you best watch where you travel from now on ;0)

Hey. There’s a bigger story here between the lines.

Proctor & Gamble is (still) working to promote cold water laundry detergent use to help control climate change everyone…………. Because the science is settled???

From 2005: http://www.dmnews.com/pg-heats-up-tide-coldwater-challenge/article/86678/

From 2012: http://www.makingtimeformommy.com/2012/01/25/tide-coldwater-challenge/

Seems to me I’ve been washing clothes in cold water for at least 20 years now????

But there are still skeptics …………

“WASHER CARE

Recommendations
to Help Keep Your Washer Clean and Performing at its Best

1. Always
use High Efficiency (HE) detergents and follow the HE…………….snip…………...

2. Use warm or hot water washes sometimes (not exclusively cold water washes), because they do a better job of controlling the rate at which soils and detergent accumulate.” ooops

12. You are making British an example of all Europeans. That's so wrong. The above doesn't apply to Southern Europeans. They are not reserved and they rarely, if ever, get drunk on wine. Every day is a weekend. Etc.

13. "talking to myself" would not work now with the cell phones and hands off. They would attack to get the phone.

I used to change sidewalks when my path crossed people talking to themselves. Now the probability is they are arguing with their mother.

14. Only if Sleeping Beauty had a time machine in real life.

15. You are right about southern Europeans, they have a bit of middle eastern looks and temperament. But northern European share the reserved trait.

16. http://www.jamaicancaves.org/jamaica-crime.htm

This is a discription by a local of the general hospitality of the place when a tourist ventures out of "tourist compunds". Not the official 'roses and sunshine' that a tourist bureau would like to project.

Outside of the resorts, regular harassment can be expected to varying degrees. If you are white, and driving around, expect to hear regular yells of "White man!", "White bwoy!", "Joe!", "Jakes!", etc, in most districts, whether urban or rural (this does not apply to Kingston and the corporate area, where the population is more mixed - it primarily applies to the western half of the island). Ignore all of this and keep on driving - you'll get used to hearing it eventually, and it will then be less irritating. When walking or bicycling (and we do not recommend this), things can be more intense. You will be approached by people who are very insistent that you stop and talk with them. If you do not, you will be accused of disrespecting them, and berated in an intimidating way. If you do stop, tremendous pressure will be put on you to give them something (money). You cannot win either way. Keep in mind that they are unlikely to chop you, so don't fear for your life, but it's not particularly enjoyable having to put up with that crap. Bottom-line: don't walk - drive.
Widespread discrimination and racial hostility from the black population.
To a lesser degree it's possible you will run into this in America, but not as a general rule. We've had plenty of experience getting along with people, are more homogenized, less cloistered. Ironically when these types of things happen in America, it's mostly around cities like Miami with a large population of Caribbean immigrants.

In Jamaica, if it is not locked-up, or nailed-down, it is liable to be stolen. This does not just apply to tourists and their touristy things, but to farmers, shop-keepers, and environmental NGO's. It is a rare person, whether tourist or resident, who has not had something stolen in Jamaica (having your car broken into is a given, unless you, or an employee, keep a close eye on it). You must always be on guard for this. Even if you are very careful, the thieves will get to you eventually. When it does happen, don't blame yourself for having slipped-up - consider it as inevitable.
I can't speak for all of America, but just from my own experience in my small corner, I leave the light on and most nights the door unlocked. Rarely does my stuff get disturbed. A couple times I've had the car rifled through and lost some cd's and a couple sodas out of the back. One time a guy came forward to admit the crime and apologise for taking a soda. I shit you not.

Obstructing roads with debris, burning tyres, etc, has become a popular pastime in Jamaica over the last few years. This can happen for almost any reason, from an increase in electricity rates to a local case of food poisoning. It is unpredictable and can often happen on main roads (such as Mount Rosser). If you run into one of these, it is important to know an alternate route.

Never happens in America. Lots of highway patrol to keep the highway men at bey. Drunk driving check points are the only thing you have to watch for here.

17. after junkies burglarized my apt i got a large rip-saw at the hardware store and EVERYBODY changed sidewalks to avoid me on the way home. A lesson in there somewhere !

18. So Sunday after Sunday after Sunday ...means we are all living in the time loop? You can always add one increasing index to states 0,1,2,3,4 you know.

19. Tony - Of course it doesn't mean that. The nodes are indexed by the day. Days occur only once. I was referring to the causal structure of the problem, which prohibits such loops. Your increasing index does not help with that.
Get real.

20. Nodes are indexed by the day *of the week*, not by some unique moment in the history of the Universe. Days of the week repeat every week. You should really start going out more often.

21. Tony - The index repeats, the days do not.
I don't think we have anything more to discuss.

Again, I bid you toodles.

22. Lubos - Please. I've asked nicely. A simple yes or no will do.

23. Dear RAF, as I wrote before, the same kind of correct thinking that yields 1/2 is saying 2/3 for the Monty Hall problem. They are not isomorphic problems.

24. Now Russia's invading Norway, so perhaps the Czechs kidnapped there can be freed.

25. anonymous cowardApr 13, 2015, 7:42:00 PM

Hana Humpálová She must be a cousin of Donald Trump's ex ... what was her name again -- oh yeah, Ivana Humpalot :p

26. anonymous cowardApr 13, 2015, 7:42:00 PM

Hana Humpálová She must be a cousin of Donald Trump's ex ... what was her name again -- oh yeah, Ivana Humpalot :p

27. anonymous cowardApr 13, 2015, 7:44:00 PM

Hana Humpálová

She must be a cousin of Donald Trump's ex ... what was her name again -- oh yeah, Ivana Humpalot :p

28. anonymous cowardApr 13, 2015, 7:44:00 PM

Hana Humpálová

She must be a cousin of Donald Trump's ex ... what was her name again -- oh yeah, Ivana Humpalot :p