‘Dark Ships’ Emerge From the Shadows of the Nord Stream Mystery
The first gas leaks on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea were detected in the early hours of September 26, pouring up to 400,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere. Officials immediately suspected sabotage of the international pipeline. New analysis seen by WIRED shows that two large ships, with their trackers off, appeared around the leak sites in the days immediately before they were detected.
According to the analysis by satellite data monitoring firm SpaceKnow, the two “dark ships,” each measuring around 95 to 130 meters long, passed within several miles of the Nord Stream 2 leak sites. “We have detected some dark ships, meaning vessels that were of a significant size, that were passing through that area of interest,” says Jerry Javornicky, the CEO and cofounder of SpaceKnow. “They had their beacons off, meaning there was no information about their movement, and they were trying to keep their location information and general information hidden from the world,” Javornicky adds. More
Fort Belvoir holds art made by the Nazis and found by a World War II U.S. Army officer
Army Capt. Gordon W. Gilkey had traced the missing art to a train that left Berlin for the Czech border two weeks before the German surrender.
The train had been strafed en route by American fighter planes, but the art survived. At the end of the line, a Nazi official and his wife carried much of it over a mountain trail and hid it in an abandoned cabin.
And there, at the close of World War II in Europe, Gilkey found it stashed under the attic floorboards, where it was tattered and mouse-eaten. This was not the famous art the Nazis had looted from collections across Europe, the stolen treasure the Monuments Men sought to return to its owners. More
Yes, Slavery Is on the Ballot in These States
More than 150 years after it was officially outlawed in the United States, slavery will be on the ballot in five states in November, as a new abolitionist movement seeks to reshape prison labor.
Voters in Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont will decide on state constitutional amendments prohibiting slavery and involuntary servitude, in some cases except for work by incarcerated people. Advocates say the amendments are needed to strip antiquated language from state constitutions and to potentially transform the criminal justice system by making all work in prisons voluntary. More
Tighter school security leads to lower test scores, study finds
As schools around the country consider ramping up security efforts in response to recent school shootings, a new study from the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis suggests that increased surveillance is having a detrimental impact on academic performance.
Heightened security reduces test scores in math, reduces the number of students attending college and increases suspensions, said Jason Jabbari, research assistant professor and co-author of the study “Infrastructure of social control: A multi-level counterfactual analysis of surveillance and black education,” published online Sept. 20 in the Journal of Criminal Justice.
In addition to being used to preempt school shootings, the authors found, surveillance measures may have increased schools’ capacity to identify and punish students for more common and less serious offenses, which may negatively impact the learning environment. More
'You can take someone's DNA and design a weapon that can kill them'
A member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee warned that bio-weapons are being made that use a target's DNA to only kill that person.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum on Friday, US Rep Jason Crow of Colorado warned Americans to not be so cavalier about sharing their DNA with private companies due to the coming of the new type of weapon.
'You can actually take someone's DNA, take, you know, their medical profile and you can target a biological weapon that will kill that person or take them off the battlefield or make them inoperable,' Crow said.
The congressman said the development of the weapons is worrisome given the popularity of DNA testing services, where people willingly share their genetic mapping with businesses to gain insight on their genealogy and health. More
NATO chief warns Canada that Russia, China have designs on the Arctic
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg ended his trip to Canada's Arctic on Friday by underlining the threats to the region posed by both Russia and China.
Standing alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at one of the country's principal northern fighter jet bases in Cold Lake, Alta., Stoltenberg cited a list of actions Moscow has taken in the Far North in co-operation with Beijing.
"Russia has set up a new Arctic command," he said. "It has opened hundreds of new and former Soviet-era Arctic military sites, including airfields and deep water ports. Russia is also using the region as a test bed for many of its new novel weapon systems."
China is also expanding its reach and has declared itself a "near Arctic" state, with plans to build the world's largest icebreaker, he added. More
New Paypal Policy Lets Firm Fine Users $2,500 for Spreading ‘Misinformation,’ ToS Condemned and Called an ‘Abomination’
The payments services corporation Paypal reportedly plans to update its user agreement with a new clause added that fights against so-called “misinformation.” A new update added to the restricted activity section of Paypal’s user agreement shows that people who post or publish hate speech or misinformation “may subject you to damages, including liquidated damages of $2,500.00 U.S. dollars per violation, which may be debited directly from your Paypal account.” The Daily Wire first discovered the upcoming terms of service (ToS) agreement.
The prohibited acts include “the sending, posting, or publication of any messages, content, or materials” that “promote misinformation,” the payments company warns. Of course, the news wasn’t taken too kindly by the general public, and a significant number of social media posts critized Paypal’s decision to implement the new user agreement. Canadian lawyer David Anber wrote: “[Hey Paypal] you have 30 days to explicitly renounce this abomination of a policy or I am permanently closing my account as will millions of others I am sure. Your subjective views on ‘misinformation’ or ‘discrimination’ don’t entitle you to your clients’ money.” More
Imported Energy Crisis Sees Wood Burning Stoves, Dry Firewood Sell Out in Germany
After years of being warned from abroad against relying on a belligerent Russia for a great proportion of their domestic energy, the hammer has dropped for Germany with Russia turning off the taps of natural gas supply.
Seeing their Red-led ‘traffic light’ coalition government paralysed by divisions in the environmentalist Greens and the pro-business Yellows, many Germans are taking matters into their own hands by falling back on traditional, decentralised heat sources.
But, reduced to the status of a niche source of energy for predominantly rural communities, supplies of new furnaces and wood to power them has failed to keep up with demand.
Indeed, demand for wood-burning stoves “exploded” in Germany after Russia invaded Ukraine, a spokesman for a German association of heating installers said. In further comments reported by the Frankfurter Allgemeine, there has been a comparable surge in purchases of firewood in the same period, so says the head of the Federal Firewood Association. More
Canadians Turn to Euthanasia as Solution to Unbearable Poverty
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's administration has expressed support for the Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) program being expanded to people suffering from irremediable mental illnesses. The implications of this option, however, have raised ethical concerns.
In 2016, by approving Bill C-14, a law permitting medical euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, the Parliament ruled that the Canadian State shall cover the costs of euthanasia for people who suffer terminal illness with foreseeable natural death and who are too poor to afford this procedure.
In March 2021, legislators repealed the "reasonably foreseeable" requirement and the provision specifying that the patient's condition should be "terminal." As a consequence of the above, all people suffering from an illness or disability that cannot be relieved under acceptable conditions can apply for the MAID program. More
Congress urges military to ‘do more’ to fix recruitment crisis
Lawmakers from both parties are putting increasing pressure on the Pentagon to fix the recruitment crisis that threatens to leave the military well short of its goals to bring new troops aboard this year, in what is widely considered the worst recruiting environment since the end of the Vietnam War, our LARA SELIGMAN, PAUL MCLEARY and LEE HUDSON report.
While leaders from the different military branches have all acknowledged the problem, they also have been unable to move the needle in a positive direction, as the desire of young Americans to join the military falls off the statistical cliff.
“We are on the cusp of a military recruiting crisis,” Rep. MIKE GALLAGHER (R-Wis.) told POLITICO, citing Covid, obesity among would-be recruits, competition from the healthy civilian labor market, and an overall low interest in serving. “When Republicans take control of Congress in a few months,” he added, “averting the recruiting crisis will be a top priority of the Military Personnel Subcommittee.” Gallagher is the top Republican on the House Armed Services’ subpanel. More
How MoMA and the CIA Conspired to Use Unwitting Artists to Promote American Propaganda During the Cold War
When the US government established the CIA in 1947, it included a division known as the Propaganda Assets Inventory, a branch of psychological warfare intended to boost pro-American messaging during the Cold War.
In the following excerpt from the new book ArtCurious: Stories of the Unexpected, Slightly Odd, and Strangely Wonderful in Art History, author Jennifer Dasal explores how the intelligence agency curated exhibitions of abstract art to wage its ideological war.
The secrecy with which the CIA pursued Abstract Expressionism was not only integral to successfully fooling the Soviet Union but also to keeping any associated artists in the dark. In [former CIA operative Donald] Jameson’s words, “[M]ost of [the Abstract Expressionists] were people who had very little respect for the government in particular and certainly none for the CIA.” Multiple artists self-identified as anarchists, particularly Barnett Newman, who was so taken by anarchism that he would later write the foreword to the 1968 reprint of Russian author Peter Kropotkin’s 1899 Memoirs of a Revolutionist, describing the anarcho-communist’s influence upon his life and work. More
Japanese population in Tokyo area marks first ever drop
The number of Japanese people living in the Tokyo metropolitan area as of Jan. 1 fell for the first time since statistics began in 1975, reflecting a continued decline in the number of births in the country, a government survey showed Tuesday.
According to the internal affairs ministry survey, based on the nation's resident registry, the population of Japanese people in Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa decreased by 34,498, or 0.10%, from a year before to 35,610,115.
The number of Japanese people living in Japan fell by 619,140, or 0.50%, to 123,223,561, down for the 13th year in a row. The decline was the largest ever on record.
The number of foreign residents in Japan dropped by 107,202, or 3.81%, to 2,704,341, down for the second consecutive year. The fall is believed to reflect a decrease in the number of people moving to Japan from overseas due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. More
Corruption concerns involving Ukraine are revived as the war with Russia drags on
WASHINGTON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's dismissal of senior officials is casting an inconvenient light on an issue that the Biden administration has largely ignored since the outbreak of war with Russia: Ukraine's history of rampant corruption and shaky governance.
As it presses ahead with providing tens of billions of dollars in military, economic and direct financial support aid to Ukraine and encourages its allies to do the same, the Biden administration is now once again grappling with longstanding worries about Ukraine's suitability as a recipient of massive infusions of American aid. More
Canada’s Boar War
Mary Delaney’s husband, Joe, was coming around the barn with a load of firewood when he saw the boars staring at him from behind the sawmill. Scary, if he’d had time to think about it. All those coarse, heavy bodies, tusks and teeth like sharpened knives.
For a moment, everything was still. Then it wasn’t.
“I call it the ‘ET in the cornfield moment,’” Ms. Delaney would say later. “They look at each other, and then everybody yells and throws up their hooves or their hands or whatever. Joe comes running to me, and the boars turned and ran the other direction. And he goes – I won’t use all the words he used – but he goes, ‘They’re right there! There’s a whole bunch of them, and they’re right there!” More
NYC Issues New Nuclear Attack PSA, Here’s The Reaction To The Warning
This week, if you’re in New York City (NYC), you may have seen a video that began with a someone amidst blaring sirens saying, “So there’s been a nuclear attack.”
Before you respond with, “OMG, why didn’t someone tell me this on Twitter,” keep in mind that this video was not a news update. Instead, it was a new public service announcement (PSA) from the NYC Emergency Management Department. In the video, the narrator walks along what appears to be a NYC street, which you’ll soon hear is something that you shouldn’t do immediately after a nuclear attack. In case you are wondering how or why this supposed nuclear attack has occurred, the narrator says preemptively, “Don’t ask me how or why. Just know that the big one has hit. OK. So what do we do?” More
Sudden Adult Death Syndrome baffles doctors
A strange new medical anomaly has doctors baffled as it sweeps across the country. Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) is on the rise, and it’s tragically claiming the lives of healthy young adults, sometimes in their sleep.
Essentially, people are dying without displaying any prior sign of illness. They simply do not wake up after going to bed, or collapse during the day. Reports of SADS have been increasing in recent weeks. A news.com web piece explains that, ‘Sudden Adult Death Syndrome … is an umbrella term to describe unexpected deaths in young people, usually under 40, when a post-mortem can find no obvious cause of death.’ More
Inflation Is a Problem. The Solution Could Be Worse.
Inflation continues to hover at its highest point in four decades. It’s no surprise, then, that the Federal Reserve took drastic action to curb rising prices, opting to raise interest points by three quarters of a point, to a range of 1.5%-1.75% on Wednesday. But the Fed’s inflation remedy may be a bitter pill to swallow for most Americans.
Many strategists applauded the central bank’s decision to be more proactive in cooling inflation, especially after a flurry of bad inflation data dropped over the course of the last week. Consumer prices rose by 8.6% in May from a year earlier, faster than expected, while a separate report pointed to a sharp rise in consumers’ long-term inflation expectations.
“The Fed needs to get out of its own way and stop doing nothing,” said Christian Hoffmann, portfolio manager & managing director at Thornburg Investment Management. More
‘They have a right to be angry’: Trudeau says residential school legacy continuing
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says it’s been a difficult year for many since the discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools and those expressing anger are justified in doing so.
Trudeau told reporters in Vancouver that Canada was responsible for “horrific things” happening to Indigenous people and the injustices are not isolated in the past. He says they continue today with socio-economic inequality, mental health challenges and other legacies of residential schools that require continuing action.
Trudeau made the comments following a tense appearance Monday at a memorial ceremony at the former residential school in Kamloops, where he faced angry chants from some. More
Protests against India's new military recruitment system turn violent
NEW DELHI - India's military is overhauling its recruitment process for personnel below officer rank, aiming to deploy fitter, younger troops on its front lines, many of them on shorter contracts of up to four years, defence officials said on Tuesday.
India, which shares a heavily militarised border with Pakistan and is involved in a high-altitude Himalayan stand-off with China, has one of the world's largest armed forces with some 1.38 million personnel. Soldiers have been recruited by the army, navy and the air force separately and typically enter service for a period of up to 17 years for the lowest ranks. More
AP analysis finds growing number of poor, high-hazard dams
Constructed four generations ago, the massive rock and clay dam at El Capitan Reservoir is capable of storing over 36 billion gallons of water, enough to supply every resident in San Diego for most of a year.
Today, it’s three-quarters empty, intentionally kept low because of concerns it could fail under the strain of too much water.
During “a big earthquake, you never know what’s going to happen, if this is going to hold,” said Samuel Santos, a longtime resident who frequently fishes near the dam. Seismic instability and a spillway in need of “significant repair” led El Capitan to be added to a growing list of dams rated in poor condition or worse that would likely cause deaths downstream if they failed. More
An algorithm that screens for child neglect raises concerns
Inside a cavernous stone fortress in downtown Pittsburgh, attorney Robin Frank defends parents at one of their lowest points – when they risk losing their children.
The job is never easy, but in the past she knew what she was up against when squaring off against child protective services in family court. Now, she worries she’s fighting something she can’t see: an opaque algorithm whose statistical calculations help social workers decide which families should be investigated in the first place.
“A lot of people don’t know that it’s even being used,” Frank said. “Families should have the right to have all of the information in their file.” More
Elon Musk: "The Real President Is Whoever Controls The Teleprompter," Biden Would Read Anything Like "Anchorman"
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took a shot at President Biden at a live event on Monday hosted by the "All-In" podcast, saying "it is hard to tell what Biden is doing, to be frank."
"The real president is whoever controls the teleprompter," he added. "The path to power is the path to the teleprompter."
"I do feel like if somebody were to accidentally lean on the teleprompter, it's going to be like Anchorman, 'UUASDF123.'" More
Half a tonne of cocaine seized at Swiss Nespresso factory
Swiss police have seized more than 500kg of cocaine concealed in a container shipped from Brazil to the Nespresso factory in the town of Romont in western Switzerland.
The drugs were discovered by workers unloading bags of coffee beans on May 2 and the police were informed immediately. A subsequent search of five shipping containers turned up more than 500kg of cocaine, according to a police statement on May 5. The street value of the drugs, whose purity was over 80%, is estimated at over CHF50 million ($50.7 million).
Preliminary investigations show that containers loaded with bags of coffee arrived by sea from Brazil before being transferred onto a train, the authorities said on May 5. The investigators believe that the drug was destined for the European market. The batches were isolated and the substance did not come into contact with any of the products used in production. More
Nearly 1,600 women volunteer for Finnish military service
A total of 1,588 women have signed up for voluntary military service in Finland this year. The number of applicants is the second highest in the country's history, with the record set at 1675 female volunteers last spring, according to a press release by the Finnish army.
The last date to apply for recruits was 1 March. Volunteers could apply online for the first time. Finland's Defence Forces have trained over 11,000 women in the reserve over the years. The Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General Kim Mattsson says that women are highly motivated to serve in the military and perform "extremely well." More
President Biden: There's Going To Be A New World Order, It Hasn't Happened In A While And America Has To Lead It
President Biden, the former Senator from Delaware, addressed the Business Roundtable on Monday afternoon.
"We're at an inflection point, I believe, in the world economy, not just the world economy, the world, that occurs every three or four generations," the president said.
"[A general told me that] 60 million people died between 1900 and 1946 and since then we've established a liberal world order, and it hasn't happened in a long while." "A lot of people died, but nowhere near the chaos."
"Now is the time when things are shifting and there's going to be a new world order out there, and we've got to lead it. We've got to unite the rest of the free world in doing it." More
Finland hit by cyberattack, airspace breach
Finland was hit with cyberattacks and an airspace breach on Friday while Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was speaking to the Finnish Parliament.
The country’s Ministry of Defense tweeted earlier Friday its website was under attack and it would shutter until further notice.
A few hours later, after resolving the issue, the department clarified that the cyberattack was a denial-of-service attack, which aims to shut down a website so users are unable to access its information. The attack also affected the Finnish foreign ministry’s websites, according to the ministry’s Twitter. More
There’s a WARMONGER-IN-CHIEF in the Oval Office & Nobody Seems To Care!
Russian President Vladimir Putin took advantage of the Biden administration’s decision to abandon plans to send two destroyers to the Black Sea by closing off the Kerch Strait, connecting Crimea to Russia, to foreign warships until next fall.
The action comes as Russia warned the US on Tuesday to stay away from the area “for their own good” after the Biden administration said it was going to send two destroyers — the USS Roosevelt and the USS Donald Cook — to the Black Sea in response to Moscow’s increasing military presence near Ukraine.
Putin will close the Kerch Strait beginning next week until October, blocking foreign warships that are conducting military exercises, including the US, the Ukraine foreign ministry said Thursday. More
Mom sues Instagram, Snapchat companies after 11-year-old’s suicide
The mother of an 11-year-old girl who killed herself last year after allegedly developing an “extreme addiction” to Instagram and Snapchat has sued the two social media companies in federal court.
She claims that her daughter, Selena, became addicted to the two apps — so much so that when she tried to limit her daughter’s access to them, she ran away from home.
Selena was taken to a therapist, who told the girl’s mother that “she had never seen a patient as addicted to social media as Selena,” the lawsuit claims. News of the lawsuit was first reported by Bloomberg. More
Hackers Just Leaked the Names of 92,000 ‘Freedom Convoy’ Donors
The Christian crowdfunding site that helped raise $8.7 million for the anti-vax “freedom convoy” in Canada was hacked on Sunday night, and the names and personal details of over 92,000 donors were leaked online.
The database of 92,845 donors is no longer available on the site, but VICE News was able to review a copy of the data.
While some of the donors did not provide their names—such as the person behind the current top donation of $215,000—the vast majority did provide them, including American software billionaire Thomas Siebel, who donated $90,000 to the “freedom convoy.”
While GiveSendGo does allow donors to make their donations public, many chose to use their company’s name or omit their names entirely, so the leaked database contains a lot of information that was never meant to be shared, data like donors’ full names, email addresses, and location. More
The IRS Needs to Stop Using ID.me's Face Recognition, Privacy Experts Warn
Privacy groups are demanding transparency following news that ID.me—the biometric identity verification system used by the IRS and over 27 states—has failed to be entirely transparent in how its facial recognition technology works.
In a LinkedIn post published on Wednesday, ID.me founder and CEO Blake Hall said the company verifies new enrolling users’ selfies against a database of faces in an effort to minimize identity theft. That runs counter to the more privacy- preserving ways ID.me has pitched its biometric products in the past and has drawn scrutiny from advocates who argue members of the public compelled to use ID.me for basic government tasks have unclear information. More
Study suggests Alberta First Nations people tend to get lower level of emergency care
Hospital emergency rooms in Alberta are likely to assess complaints from First Nations people as less urgent than those from other patients, even when their problems are the same, says a new study that looked at millions of such visits.
"If people have a long bone fracture, you might expect the treatment would be the same between groups," said Patrick McLane of the University of Alberta, a co-author of the study published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
"First Nations people in emergency departments were less likely to get the higher triage score, which would result in higher urgency of treatment." McLane and his colleagues analyzed more than 11 million emergency room visits between 2012 and 2017 from all across Alberta. More
Mother notices odd spot on banana, alarmed over deadly side effect
Michaela Egan, 24, thought she was going for a normal day at the grocery store shopping for bananas. Mother-of-two, Michelle noticed a suspicious spot on her bananas though.
At first, it wasn't obvious to her what it was.
Curious, she posted her photo to Facebook and to her surprise learned that the spot could cause 4-hour erections.
It turns out that the spot was from the deadly Brazilian wandering spider. The venom of this spider is so powerful that it causes 4-hour long erections that eventually result in death after a few hours. More
COVID-19 test shortage due to supply chain problems, surge in demand, health officials say
Virginia Health Department officials are blaming supply-chain disruptions and a surge in demand to explain the lack of easily accessible rapid COVID-19 testing for local health departments.
In a call with reporters Tuesday morning, the department’s deputy director of epidemiology, Laurie Forlano, said the department is making progress in securing additional rapid tests. But she said Virginians who have a COVID exposure or symptoms of the virus should quarantine and try to get tested between three and five days after the exposure.
COVID cases have hit historic highs in Virginia and across the United States, with the country reaching over 1 million new cases reported Monday as states cleared a holiday backlog. More
Facebook groups topped 10,000 daily attacks on election before Jan. 6, analysis shows
Facebook groups swelled with at least 650,000 posts attacking the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory between Election Day and the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, with many calling for executions or other political violence, an investigation by ProPublica and The Washington Post has found.
The barrage — averaging at least 10,000 posts a day, a scale not reported previously — turned the groups into incubators for the baseless claims supporters of President Donald Trump voiced as they stormed the Capitol, demanding he get a second term.
Many posts portrayed Biden’s election as the result of widespread fraud that required extraordinary action — including the use of force — to prevent the nation from falling into the hands of traitors. More
Whistleblowers to play key role in enforcing vaccine mandate
WASHINGTON — To enforce President Joe Biden’s forthcoming COVID-19 mandate, the U.S. Labor Department is going to need a lot of help. Its Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t have nearly enough workplace safety inspectors to do the job.
So the government will rely upon a corps of informers to identify violations of the order: Employees who will presumably be concerned enough to turn in their own employers if their co-workers go unvaccinated or fail to undergo weekly tests to show they’re virus-free.
What’s not known is just how many employees will be willing to accept some risk to themselves — or their job security — for blowing the whistle on their own employers. Without them, though, experts say the government would find it harder to achieve its goal of requiring tens of millions of workers at companies with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 4 or be tested weekly and wear a mask on the job. More
CEOs of Target, Best Buy, CVS and other retail chains ask Congress for help amid crime surge
The CEOs of Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, Home Depot and CVS are among a group of 20 retail leaders who sent a letter Thursday to Congress expressing their concern over a recent wave of brazen store robberies in major U.S. cities and urged lawmakers to take action.
The group called on Congress to pass legislation that would deter criminals from being able to easily resell stolen merchandise, specifically online.
"As millions of Americans have undoubtedly seen on the news in recent weeks and months, retail establishments of all kinds have seen a significant uptick in organized crime in communities across the nation," the letter said. More
An ‘Alt-Jihad’ Is Rising On Social Media
As Kabul fell to the Taliban in mid-August, a rallying cry inundated social media platforms globally: one struggle. The digital drumbeat could be heard across Facebook posts, Instagram comment threads, and Telegram channels. It was aided by digital characters now so ubiquitous on the internet that they go by singular names: Pepe, Wojak, and GigaChad. Those posting the memes were not just members of the so-called alt-right, though they too united around the call, but also young jihadists, who are piecing together a new online aesthetic inspired by the world’s most notorious trolls.
Unlike their predecessors, the post-September 11 generation of young internet jihadists is no longer simply defined by their ideological affinities. This is a generation that was born into a global war on terror, came of age during the rise of the Islamic State, and witnessed the Taliban taking back control of Afghanistan. A generation that no longer trusts its self-appointed leaders, others within its communities, or mainstream religious mores. More
Stowaway in Landing Gear of Plane Lands in Miami From Guatemala
A 26-year-old stowaway arrived in the landing gear compartment of American Airlines flight 1182 from Guatemala City to Miami International Airport Saturday.
Video from Only in Dade shows the man sitting on the ground as airport personnel tried to aid him and give him water.
"The individual was evaluated by Emergency Medical Services and taken to a Hospital for medical assessment," a spokesperson for U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a statement. "Persons are taking extreme risks when they try to conceal themselves in confined spaces such as an aircraft." More
‘Cloak and dagger’ military-intelligence outfit at center of US digital vaccine passport push
While vaccine passports have been marketed as a boon to public health, promising safety, privacy, and convenience for those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, the pivotal role a shadowy military-intelligence organization is playing in the push to implement the system in digital form has raised serious civil liberties concerns.
Known as MITRE, the organization is a non-profit corporation led almost entirely by military-intelligence professionals and sustained by sizable contracts with the Department of Defense, FBI, and national security sector.
The effort “to expand QR code vaccine passports beyond states like California and New York” now revolves around a public- private partnership known as the Vaccine Credential Initiative (VCI). And the VCI has reserved an instrumental role in its coalition for MITRE. More
More than two-thirds of Congress cashed a pharma campaign check in 2020
WASHINGTON — Seventy-two senators and 302 members of the House of Representatives cashed a check from the pharmaceutical industry ahead of the 2020 election — representing more than two-thirds of Congress, according to a new STAT analysis of records for the full election cycle.
Pfizer’s political action committee alone contributed to 228 lawmakers. Amgen’s PAC donated to 218, meaning that each company helped to fund the campaigns of nearly half the lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Overall, the sector donated $14 million.
The breadth of the spending highlights the drug industry’s continued clout in Washington. Even after years of criticism from Congress and the White House over high prices, it remains routine for the elected officials who regulate the health care industry to accept six-figure sums. More
Activists are Designing Mesh Networks to Deploy During Civil Unrest
Imagine waking up and checking your phone after several evenings of mass demonstrations. You try scrolling through your Twitter feed, but it won’t load. You turn your router off and on to no avail. You try texting a friend to complain, but the message fails to send. Frustrated, you walk outside. People scattered along the sidewalk look as disoriented and confused as you feel—except for police officers and the National Guard, who are forcefully telling everyone to immediately return to their homes over a loudspeaker.
Currently, most of us would have no choice but to retreat into isolation in such a situation. But organizers and programmers with the Mycelium Mesh Project are hoping to provide a solution by designing a decentralized, off-grid mesh network for text communications that could be deployed quickly during government-induced blackouts or natural disasters. More
Fauci Oversees NIH Grants Must Answer for Beagle Research
Here's something new ... Dr. Anthony Fauci getting grilled, but not over COVID-19 -- instead it's allegations his agency used taxpayer dollars to fund torturous dog research ... and a congresswoman's turning up the heat.
Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina explained why she fired off a letter to Fauci last week ... in which she and 23 of her colleagues (from both sides of the aisle) asked him to sit for a hearing on the subject. The Congresswoman told "TMZ Live" ... Fauci handles a lot of the National Institutes of Health's distribution of grants, and, therefore, he should step up to explain why it's backing such a brutal study. More
Video Shows U.S. Marshals Task Force Brutalizing Teenage Boys in Mississippi
U.S. marshals arrested two boys, ages 17 and 16, in Jackson, Mississippi, on September 16 on charges related to August shootings in the nearby city of Canton. Footage of the arrest shows one officer leading a shirtless, handcuffed boy past another officer, who reaches out and hits the boy across the face, making a loud noise on impact and leaving him bleeding from his mouth or nose. According to a lawyer representing one of the teens and his mother, both boys have said that officers physically assaulted them while they were handcuffed, including by whipping them with a green extension cord, outside the camera’s view.
The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating the arrest. The officers are part of the U.S. Marshals Service Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, a federally funded unit that shot and killed a 20-year-old man in Memphis, Tennessee, while serving a warrant for a Mississippi shooting in 2019. Established in 2006, the task force operates in Alabama and Mississippi and deputizes state and local officers as marshals, offering them expanded powers to target people wanted for violent crimes. Their conferred status provides them with privileges including the ability to work across jurisdictions and make arrests without warrants. The marshals do not wear body cameras. More
Road Deaths Keep Spiking in 2021 Despite People Driving Less
Last year was a strange one for travel, to say the least. Cannonball records were broken, triple-digit speeding tickets were way up, and more people died behind the wheel compared to 2019 despite fewer miles being driven due to the pandemic. Clearly, it was a bad time for highway safety, but 2021 is looking even worse.
According to a report released by the NHTSA, an estimated 8,730 people were killed in car accidents during the first quarter of 2021—an increase of 10.5 percent over last year's Q1 number of 7,900. For context, 2012 and 2016 saw increases nearly as high during the same respective period. However, the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled has gone up to its highest level since the administration began tracking that data point in 2009. More
Julian Assange, Donald Trump, the CIA and a crazy plot for revenge
Two years ago last month, Julian Assange completed his UK prison sentence, a 50-week term for breaching bail conditions incurred in 2012 when, facing extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual offences — although he claims it was to avoid US prosecution — he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He stayed there for seven years.
Despite having served his time, Assange, 50, remains confined in Belmarsh prison in southeast London — where Sarah Everard’s killer, Wayne Couzens, has just been sent — as he awaits the outcome of extradition proceedings at the Court of Appeal. Having been refused bail as a flight risk he continues to be detained, despite no convictions for years.
Last week, however, both he and the world learned that he could have faced a worse fate, when Yahoo News revealed that under President Trump’s appointed CIA director, Mike Pompeo, the agency discussed a variety of plans to kidnap Assange and extract him from the embassy. More
FBI Agent Accused Of Raping Women At Knife Point Now Arrested For Sodomizing Child Under Age 12
An FBI agent with a history of violent rape accusations was arrested last week for sodomizing an 11-year-old girl.
According to an April 27th report in local media, Christopher Bauer, an agent for the FBI's New Orleans office that became an Alabama state trooper, was arrested by the Montgomery police department for sexually abusing a young female relative.
A story released yesterday found that Bauer was suspended without pay from the FBI in late 2018 after an investigation found he had raped a female colleague at knife point. Bauer was never formally fired from the bureau or prosecuted. While suspended, he was able to get a job as a state trooper in Alabama using a recommendation letter signed by Performance Appraisal Unit chief Douglas E. Haigh from the FBI's headquarters. More
Spreading HIV Is Against the Law in 37 States – With Penalties Ranging Up To Life in Prison
Despite the fact that HIV is now a treatable medical condition, the majority of U.S. states still have laws on the books that criminalize exposing other people to HIV. Whether or not the virus is transmitted does not matter. Neither does a person’s intention to cause harm. A person simply must be aware of being HIV-positive to be found guilty.
These laws are enforced mainly on marginalized people living in poverty who cannot afford lawyers. The penalties – felony convictions and being placed on sex offender registries – are severe and life altering.
It is difficult to know exactly how many people are affected by HIV criminal laws, since a central database of such arrests does not exist. The HIV Justice Network has collected a partial list of 2,923 HIV criminal cases since 2008 based on media reports. More
Facebook or Twitter posts can now be quietly modified by the government under new surveillance laws
A new law gives Australian police unprecedented powers for online surveillance, data interception and altering data. These powers, outlined in the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill, raise concerns over potential misuse, privacy and security.
The bill updates the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 and Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979. In essence, it allows law-enforcement agencies or authorities (such as the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission) to modify, add, copy or delete data when investigating serious online crimes. The Human Rights Law Centre says the bill has insufficient safeguards for free speech and press freedom. Digital Rights Watch calls it a “warrantless surveillance regime” and notes the government ignored the recommendations of a bipartisan parliamentary committee to limit the powers granted by the new law. More
A former Marine was pulled over for following a truck too closely. Police took nearly $87,000 of his cash.
The Nevada trooper first told Stephen Lara the highway patrol was educating drivers "about violations they may not realize they're committing," and that he'd been pulled over for following a tanker truck a bit too closely. After some small talk, the trooper admitted an ulterior purpose: stopping the smuggling of illegal drugs, weapons and currency as they crossed the state.
Lara — a former Marine who says he was on his way to visit his daughters in Northern California — insisted he was doing none of those things, though he readily admitted he had "a lot" of cash in his car. As he stood on the side of the road, police searched the vehicle, pulling nearly $87,000 in a zip-top bag from Lara's trunk and insisting a drug-sniffing dog had detected something on the cash. More
Free Society Dwindles as Permission Requirements Grow
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a bonanza for government officials, allowing them to extend authority that they then exercise with relatively little oversight or restraint in ways that would have been inconceivable in the past.
It has accelerated the transformation of previously free societies into permission-based states, where things once done as a matter of right are now considered privileges to be dispensed or withheld by those in power. Case in point: the Biden administration reportedly discussed making travel within the United States conditional on vaccination status but is holding back out of fear that the public has yet to be sufficiently softened-up for such an intrusive restriction. More
Council Confiscates and Destroys Homeless Woman’s Possessions During Lockdown
A local council in Perth has confiscated the meagre belongings of a homeless woman located at a public park where she had been sleeping, affixed labels warning of a $5,000 fine for illegal dumping before destroying the belongings.
41-year old Vivian Porter, who is originally from Alice Springs, had been sleeping rough in Victoria Park, Perth with a group of other Indigenous people for about a year. She had just been released from a hospital when Premier Mark McGowan announced a city-wide lockdown. The next day, the group were approached by police and told to disperse.
With nowhere to go, Ms Porter wandered the streets for a few hours before returning to the park to find that her possessions – including a mattress, pillows and clothing – were marked with infringement notices, advising that a $5,000 applies for “illegal dumping”. More
China bars for-profit tutoring in core school subjects
SHANGHAI - China is barring tutoring for profit in core school subjects to ease financial pressures on families that have contributed to low birth rates, news that sent shockwaves through its vast private education sector and share prices plunging.
The policy change, which also restricts foreign investment in a sector that had become essential to success in Chinese school exams, was contained in a government document widely circulated on Friday and verified by sources.
The move threatens to decimate China's $120 billion private tutoring industry and triggered a heavy selloff in shares of tutoring firms traded in Hong Kong and New York including New Oriental Education & Technology Group and Koolearn Technology Holding Ltd. More
Ottawa outlines new legislation to define and crack down on online hate speech
The Trudeau government is proposing legal changes intended to curb online hate speech and make it easier for the victims of hate speech to launch complaints.
The proposed Bill C-36 includes an addition to the Canadian Human Rights Act that the government says will clarify the definition of online hate speech and list it as a form of discrimination.
"These changes are designed to target the most egregious and clear forms of hate speech that can lead to discrimination and violence," said Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada David Lametti at a Wednesday evening news conference. More
Bye, bye, baby? Birthrates are declining globally – here's why it matters
At the end of May, the Chinese Government announced that parents in China would now be permitted to have up to three children. This announcement came only five years after the stunning reversal of the 1980 one-child policy.
Something is clearly going on. That something is that China has experienced a fertility collapse. According to the latest census released in May, China is losing roughly 400,000 people every year. China still claims its population is growing, but even if these projections are taken at face value, the population decline previously projected to start by midcentury may now begin as early as 2030. This means China could lose between 600 and 700 million people from its population by 2100. That’s right: 600 and 700 million people, or about half of its total population today. More
Facsimile firearms create dangerous situations for Green Bay Police Department
GREEN BAY, Wis. – When police respond to a report of a person with a gun, they treat the weapon like it’s the real deal. But sometimes that weapon just looks a lot like a firearm. And that could carry dire consequences.
When police officers are sent out on a call involving a firearm, they respond, no questions asked. But from time to time the gun they are trying to locate, turns out to be what’s called a facsimile firearm.
“Officers assume that that is a real firearm, and they will respond accordingly,” said Commander Kevin Warych from the Green Bay Police Department. More
Okanagan business bans people vaccinated against COVID-19 from entering
An Okanagan business is causing a stir in Kelowna by banning vaccinated people and the wearing of masks inside the store.
“We would rather not be exposed to people who have been vaccinated and who could shed the virus,” said Steve Merrill, Sun City Silver and Gold Exchange’s owner.
Merrill says the ban on vaccinated people is to protect his clients and himself.
“Shedding is real, it’s a problem now and it is going to be a bigger problem as more and more people line up for these experimental vaccines,’” said Merrill. More
Deepfake pornography could become an 'epidemic', expert warns
A leading legal expert is warning of an "epidemic" of sexual abuse where images of people's faces are merged with pornography and made available online. Deepfake pornography is where computer technology is used to map the faces of celebrities and private citizens on to explicit sexual material.
Prof Clare McGlynn said it made it much easier for perpetrators to abuse and harass women. More
Adobe Flash Shutdown Halts Chinese Railroad for Over 16 Hours Before Pirated Copy Restores Ops
Supportive of everything from browser games to live streaming, Adobe Flash wasn't the internet's favorite multimedia platform without reason. Even in its heyday, though, Flash wasn't universally loved; it had security holes, could be tough to optimize, and wouldn't play ball with all browsers, especially those on mobile devices. When HTML5 hit the scene, Flash began to fall out of favor, and in July 2017, Adobe announced it would cease support at the end of 2020, giving users three and half years to switch to new software.
This message, however, didn't reach all corners of the IT globe, and when Flash's "time bomb" code went off on January 12, it did more than just make nostalgic browser games harder to revisit: It brought an entire Chinese railroad to a standstill. More
Long gas lines throughout Southeast
Long and winding lines outside gas stations were reported throughout the Southeast on Tuesday, as the impact of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack continues to be felt.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced a price gouging statute is in place because of the disruption. Colonial Pipeline said Monday it hopes to have services mostly restored by the end of the week as the FBI and administration officials identified the culprits as a gang of criminal hackers.
On Tuesday morning, the company’s website was down and unable to provide updates on the progress of its repairs. On Tuesday, the White House ordered the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin the process of waiving the Jones Act, which would enable foreign-flagged vessels to deliver fuel wherever there are shortages. More
How the government can convince doubters to get a Covid-19 vaccine
The government is being told it has some work on its hands to reach the one in four people who say they don't intend to get a Covid-19 vaccine.
Experts say the government will need to use trusted leaders in different communities to reach vaccine sceptics, and a failure to do so will worsen health inequities.
The government's information campaign about the vaccine is crucial - especially with misinformation to contend with - when considering the importance of a vaccination to dealing with the pandemic.
Otago University associate professor Dr Sue Crengle, one of the leaders of Te Ropu Whakakaupapa Uruta, the National Maori Pandemic Group, said a government campaign would need to get a bit creative and not be seen as coming only from the state. More
Justice Department seeks to build large conspiracy case against Oath Keepers for Capitol riot
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department and FBI are gathering evidence to try to build a large conspiracy indictment against members of the Oath Keepers for their roles in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to people familiar with the matter, but the group’s sometimes fractious and fantasy-laden internal workings may complicate efforts to bring such a case.
In the wake of the short-lived insurrection, the Oath Keepers is the most high-profile, self-styled militia group in the country. While members use the jargon and trappings of a paramilitary organization, in daily practice they are often more akin to a collection of local chapters with a similar, conspiracy theory-fueled ideology about what they view as the inevitable collapse of the U.S. government as it becomes more tyrannical. More
Fake accounts gain traction as they praise China, mock US
A pro-China network of fake and impostor accounts found a global audience on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter to mock the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the deadly riot in Washington that left five dead, new research published Thursday found.
Messages posted by the network, which also praised China, reached the social media feeds of government officials, including some in China and Venezuela who retweeted posts from the fake accounts to millions of their followers. The international reach marked new territory for a pro-China social media network that has been operating for years, said Ben Nimmo, head of investigations for Graphika, the social media analysis firm that monitored the activity. More
Waukegan Latinx activists protest renaming Thomas Jefferson Middle School after Barack and Michelle Obama
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (WLS) -- Waukegan's Board of Education met Tuesday night as it considers changing the names of two of its schools, Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Daniel Webster Middle School.
Jefferson, who was the nation's third president, owned slaves. Webster was a former senator who supported slavery. Renaming committees were formed for each school, and included people in the community, students and staff.
The school board heard concerns from the public Tuesday night over one of the finalists in the running to be the new name for Thomas Jefferson Middle School. The country's first Black President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama, is one of the top three choices for the school's new name, but is drawing opposition in the area with a large Latinx population. More
Family says county kicked them off their own land for living in RV
POLK COUNTY, Ga. — Many families are coming up with creative ways to make ends meet during this pandemic. But one man’s plan highlights a growing community issue: who is the true master of your land? Channel 2 anchor Sophia Choi started investigating, and learned the answer may come from a judge.
Choi spent weeks looking into this after hearing from Tim Leslie of Polk County. His plan was to buy land and live off it, after losing his job due to the pandemic. He bought the land, but the county says he can’t live there. More
Food Prices Are Soaring Faster Than Inflation and Incomes
Global food prices are going up, and the timing couldn’t be worse.
In Indonesia, tofu is 30% more expensive than it was in December. In Brazil, the price of local mainstay turtle beans is up 54% compared to last January. In Russia, consumers are paying 61% more for sugar than a year ago.
Emerging markets are feeling the pain of a blistering surge in raw material costs, as commodities from oil to copper and grains are driven higher by expectations for a “roaring 20s” post-pandemic economic recovery as well as ultra-loose monetary policies. More
SUV in crash where 13 died came through hole in border fence
HOLTVILLE, Calif. — Thirteen people killed in one of the deadliest crashes involving migrants sneaking into the U.S. had entered California through a hole cut into the border fence with Mexico in what was believed to be a larger smuggling operation, officials said Wednesday.
Surveillance video showed a Ford Expedition and Chevrolet Suburban drive through the opening early Tuesday, said Gregory Bovino, the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector chief. The Suburban carried 19 people, and it caught fire for unknown reasons on a nearby interstate after entering the U.S. All escaped the vehicle and were taken into custody by Border Patrol agents. More
How Woodrow Wilson Persecuted Hutterites Who Refused to Support His War
Campaigning for President of the United States in September 1912, “progressive” icon Woodrow Wilson said something that would gladden the heart of any libertarian:
Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of the government. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. The history of liberty is a history of the limitation of governmental power, not the increase of it.
That was two months before the election that Wilson won. He garnered slightly less than 42 percent of the popular vote in a four-way contest. Over the next eight years, he proved to be the most repressive, anti-liberty president to ever occupy the White House. More
Man arrested for using radio to redirect air traffic, police helicopters
When there’s a global pandemic happening, lots of people tend to stay indoors. Staying indoors for long periods of time can inevitably lead to boredom and, well, boredom can lead to some very questionable decisions.
As one German man recently learned, using your spare time to mess with air traffic is not a great decision. The unnamed 32-year-old man reportedly spent six months using his two-way radios to access the frequencies used by aircraft. He used those radios to send instructions and directions to planes and even police helicopters. He effectively impersonated an aviation official, and while none of his erroneous directions led to anything super serious (like a crash), police still needed to track him down. More
Virginia Health Commissioner says he’ll mandate a COVID-19 vaccine
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver told 8News on Friday that he plans to mandate coronavirus vaccinations for Virginians once one is made available to the public.
Virginia state law gives the Commissioner of Health the authority to mandate immediate immunizations during a public health crisis if a vaccine is available. Health officials say an immunization could be released as early as 2021.
Dr. Oliver says that, as long as he is still the Health Commissioner, he intends to mandate the coronavirus vaccine. More
US detained migrant children for far longer than previously known
In early June, a 17-year-old girl from Honduras got what she’d desperately wanted since she was 10: freedom from U.S. custody.
She’d been shuttled around the country for a good part of her childhood, living in refugee shelters and foster homes in Oregon, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas and New York, inexplicably kept apart from the grandmother and aunts who had raised her.
Cut off from contact with her family, she had begun to self-harm and was prescribed a cocktail of powerful psychotropic medications. She hadn’t been taught English or learned to read or acquired basic life skills like cooking. She hadn’t been hugged in years More
Why the Bill Gates global health empire promises more empire and less public health
President Donald Trump’s announcement this July of a U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO) set into motion a process that will have a dramatic impact on the future of global public health policy – and on the fortunes of one of the world’s richest people.
The US abandonment of the WHO means that the organization’s second-largest financial contributor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is soon to become its top donor, giving the non-governmental international empire unparalleled influence over one the world’s most important multilateral organizations. More
As pandemic lifelines expire, Americans in housing free fall
NEW YORK - Clarence Hamer doesn’t expect to hang on to his house much longer.
His downstairs tenant owes him nearly $50,000 in back rent on the four-bedroom duplex he owns in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Without those rental payments, Hamer has been unable to pay the thousands he owes in heat, hot water and property taxes. In September, after exhausting his life savings, he stopped paying the mortgage, too.
“I don’t have any corporate backing or any other type of insurance,” said Hamer, a 46-year-old landlord who works for the city of New York. “All I have is my home, and it seems apparent that I’m going to lose it.” More
Army spies to take on antivax militants
The army has mobilised an elite “information warfare” unit renowned for assisting operations against al-Qaeda and the Taliban to counter online propaganda against vaccines, as Britain prepares to deliver its first injections within days.
The defence cultural specialist unit was launched in Afghanistan in 2010 and belongs to the army’s 77th Brigade. The secretive unit has often worked side-by-side with psychological operations teams.
Leaked documents reveal that its soldiers are already monitoring cyberspace for Covid-19 content and analysing how British citizens are being targeted online. It is also gathering evidence of vaccine disinformation from hostile states, including Russia, More
‘Sovereign Citizens’ are claiming ownership of occupied Seattle mansions
Police are warning Seattle-area homeowners about a group that is knocking on the doors of pricey waterfront properties claiming to be their rightful owners — and in one case, told a woman she was being evicted.
The individuals identify themselves as Moorish Sovereign Citizens, CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO-TV reported. The group believes they are independent from any government interference and own all the land between Alaska and Argentina, according to Edmonds police Sgt. Josh McClure.
“They have basically come to say that they’re from this particular group and they’re there to repossess the home and want the people to vacate the premises,” McClure said. More
Conflict beef from Nicaragua feeds US market amid pandemic
In February, three teenage girls waded into a small creek in northeast Nicaragua, near the town of Santa Clara, to bathe. As the girls rose from the water and dressed, a shot rang out. One of the girls, a 15-year-old member of the Indigenous Miskito community, fell to the ground. Blood pooled from a hole in the side of her face.
Someone was sending a message to the Miskito community in Santa Clara, according to the girl’s family.
In a pandemic, no one wants to touch it. Why cash has become the new Typhoid Mary
LOS ANGELES — “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” That’s what it says right under “Federal Reserve Note” and “The United States of America.”
But legal tender won’t be accepted to play at one of the city of Los Angeles’ dozen public golf courses. Or for the $15 charge to enter the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens in Arcadia. More than 30 Armstrong Garden Centers around California also ask for “touchless” payment options, as does the Beehive clothing boutique in Manhattan Beach and the Munch Company sandwich shop in South Pasadena. More
A history of American anti-immigrant bias, starting with Benjamin Franklin’s hatred of the Germans
In the 1750s, the United States of America was not yet a country, but its trouble with immigrants already had begun.
People of non-WASP (white Anglo-Saxon Protestant) descent were crossing the ocean to start new lives in the new world, and earlier Colonial settlers were none too happy about it.
Among them, with ferocious conviction, was Benjamin Franklin, noted inventor, eventual American founding father—and hater of Germans.
In short, they were not to be liberally admitted to Pennsylvania, because as Franklin argued, “Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.” More
‘Morality pills’ may be the US’s best shot at ending the coronavirus pandemic
COVID-19 is a collective risk. It threatens everyone, and we all must cooperate to lower the chance that the coronavirus harms any one individual.
Among other things, that means keeping safe social distances and wearing masks. But many people choose not to do these things, making spread of infection more likely.
When someone chooses not to follow public health guidelines around the coronavirus, they’re defecting from the public good. It’s the moral equivalent of the tragedy of the commons: If everyone shares the same pasture for their individual flocks, some people are going to graze their animals longer, or let them eat more than their fair share, ruining the commons in the process. Selfish and self-defeating behavior undermines the pursuit of something from which everyone can benefit. More
Cop Back on Duty After Executing Unarmed Woman in Her Parked Car Over Speeding Ticket
Sedalia, MO — In June, family and friends of Hannah Fizer, 25, were shocked to learn that their beloved daughter and friend had been killed during a stop over an alleged speeding violation. Now, four months later, they have just learned that the officer who killed the unarmed woman as she sat in her vehicle — is back on the job.
The Pettis County sheriff’s department claimed that the officer shooting an unarmed woman during a traffic stop — dumping five rounds into her as she sat in her car — did not violate any department policies.
After receiving nearly four months of paid vacation and the benefit of anonymity from the press and his department, the Pettis County sheriff’s deputy was reinstated last week. He shot and killed an unarmed woman over a stop for speeding and he is back on the streets to potentially do it again. More
In 1914, US Military Slaughtered Kids in Colorado and JD Rockefeller Had Media Cover It Up
On April 19 and 20, 1914, during a miner strike in Colorado, the National Guard killed dozens of people—though the exact number of casualties is disputed, most sources agree that at least four women and 11 children were among the dead. When the workers first went on strike, they were evicted from the company-owned houses in the mining town, so they set up massive tent colonies outside of the towns. The workers were protesting for higher wages and better work qualities but were making very little progress.
The largest of these tent cities was in Ludlow, just outside of John D. Rockefeller’s Colorado Fuel and Iron Company. The tent city in Ludlow housed over 1,200 people, and entire families, including children, were living in these tents. The strike had been going on for months before the massacre, with tensions rising between the military and the strikers with every passing day. More
Ohio Football Mom Tased and Arrested for Not Wearing Mask at a Game
Alecia Kitts drove an hour and a half from Marietta to Logan, Ohio to watch her son’s football game.
In the first quarter she was approached by an officer from the Logan Police Department because she was not wearing a mask.
According to Tiffany Kennedy, the woman who shot the above video, Kitts had not been warned for not wearing a mask prior to the officer approaching her. Kennedy also said that Kitts has asthma and that’s why she was not wearing a mask. “There is no reason to tase someone and arrest them for not wearing a mask,” Kennedy said. More
The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush's Many Atrocities
Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”
Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and atrocities that permeated his eight years as president. More
'We are not guinea pigs,' say South African anti-vaccine protesters
JOHANNESBURG - Anti-vaccine protesters took to the streets in Johannesburg on Wednesday to voice their concern over Africa’s first human trials for a potential coronavirus vaccine.
Last Wednesday, the University of the Witwatersrand in partnership with Oxford University rolled out South Africa’s first clinical trial, which will consist of 2,000 volunteers.
The involvement of South Africa in vaccine trials is intended to ensure the continent will have access to an affordable vaccine and not be left at the back of the queue.
About 50 people held protests at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, saying they did not want Africans to be used as guinea pigs, reflecting concerns among some on the continent over testing drugs on people who do not understand the risks. More
Coronavirus: Governments slammed for 'treating celebrities different to residents' in quarantine
Australia's governments have fallen under heavy criticism over enforced hotel quarantine measures, accused of treating mega-rich celebrities differently to the average resident.
Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, as well as Dannii Minogue, have all been granted quarantine exemptions to self-isolate in their mansion homes in NSW and Queensland.
The celebrities were allowed to pay for their own security teams to ensure they could stay in their own homes while filming television programs. More
Forced sterilization policies in the US targeted minorities and those with disabilities – and lasted into the 21st century
In August 1964, the North Carolina Eugenics Board met to decide if a 20-year-old Black woman should be sterilized. Because her name was redacted from the records, we call her Bertha.
She was a single mother with one child who lived at the segregated O'Berry Center for African American adults with intellectual disabilities in Goldsboro. According to the North Carolina Eugenics Board, Bertha had an IQ of 62 and exhibited “aggressive behavior and sexual promiscuity.” She had been orphaned as a child and had a limited education. Likely because of her “low IQ score,” the board determined she was not capable of rehabilitation.
Instead the board recommended the “protection of sterilization” for Bertha, because she was “feebleminded” and deemed unable to “assume responsibility for herself” or her child. Without her input, Bertha’s guardian signed the sterilization form. More
Chad slows down internet to curb 'hate speech' on social media
The African nation of Chad says it has cut back the speed of the internet to check the spread of messages "inciting hate" on social media.
Government spokesman Mahamat Zene Cherif said late on Monday a "temporary measure" to slow the internet was introduced on July 22 because of "the dissemination of messages inciting hate and division".
The measure will be lifted soon, said Cherif, who is also the communications minister. But telecoms officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the restrictions had been triggered by a video showing a Chadian military officer in a dispute with two young mechanics. More
Food bank doles out tons of food as Texans, like many Americans, fight to feed themselves
Dallas (CNN)American food insecurity is an under-told story amid the coronavirus pandemic, but as more people find themselves unemployed or underemployed, it's a reality with which too many are grappling.
At the North Texas Food Bank in Plano, government relations director Valerie Hawthorne sees up close the toll Covid-19 has taken on the 13 counties it serves, and she's working to keep food on tables. On Tuesday, she and about 100 volunteers handed out much-needed grub at Fair Park in Dallas, where they hoped to help out about 2,000 households, or about 8,000 people.
It's a new way of giving for the food bank, but it's the fourth time since the pandemic that volunteers have doled out food at Fair Park, the last time coming in May. Since then, conditions in Texas -- like the rest of the country -- have gotten worse, Hawthorne said. More
Why Colleges May Be Able To Order Students To Get Covid-19 Vaccinations
Should a coronavirus vaccine be developed, students may hesitate to return to campus if their peers refuse to get vaccinated. But refusing a coronavirus vaccine may be illegal.
“If you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm,” explained Alan Dershowitz in an interview earlier this week.
Dershowitz is a Harvard Law school professor emeritus known for his civil liberties defense work. This law only applies to those vaccines which prevent the spread of contagious disease, Dershowitz further explained. It does not apply to those vaccines for diseases which only threaten the individual. A coronavirus vaccine, should one be developed, would fall under this category. More
Protesters Say Tear Gas Caused Them to Get Their Period Multiple Times in a Month
On May 30, just five days after Minneapolis police killed George Floyd, Charlie Stewart joined hundreds of protesters outside the Ohio State House in Columbus. Stewart, who uses they/them pronouns and identifies as gender nonconforming, had gone out that day to protest police brutality with members of the Black Queer & Intersectional Collective, a grass roots, radical queer organization based in Columbus.
“People thought that they could bring their children” because it was during the day, Stewart says. “Every radical organization that I know was there, as well as other organizations that are more politically affiliated; a lot of establishment Democrats were out.” More
The booze in blue: Free State cops arrested for drinking on duty
Several police officers, stationed at Namahadi in Phuthaditjhaba, Free State, have been arrested for drinking alcohol while on duty.
While most employers take a dim view on drinking on the job, being drunk on duty is especially damning when you’re donning a police badge. Under normal circumstances, it’s bad enough that six police officers in Phuthaditjhaba were caught red-handed at a local tavern while still on the clock; during a time of lockdown, however, with the sale of alcohol strictly forbidden, these tanked-up cops face fierce criminal charges. More
The War on Drugs Drug Spurred America's Current Policing Crisis
While growing up around Philadelphia in the 1970s, I had a number of interactions with police—none of which were particularly harrowing. On the night before Memorial Day, for instance, a friend and I were drinking beer (yes, we were underage) in a cemetery by the Delaware River when we saw lights flashing and were approached by officers.
Apparently, the police had gotten a tip that someone might be stealing the brass placards from the gravestones and we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We didn't have any ID, so my friend handed a stuffed animal with his name on it to the officer.
The policeman laughed, realized that we weren't up to any serious mischief, made sure we were OK to drive home, and sent us on our way. More
How to stop the coming meat shortage
“Where’s the Beef?” was once just a funny (yet successful) advertising slogan. But now, it could soon be an actual question on the minds of many shoppers.
Amid the coronavirus crisis, some are calling attention to the coming meat shortages the United States faces as the virus continues to ravage our economy. Rep. Thomas Massie has been sounding the alarm for weeks, and the Kentucky Republican recently introduced the “PRIME Act” in an effort to address the coming crisis. The congressman is right to be concerned.
Tyson Foods, one of the nation’s largest producers of meat, confirmed Massie’s predictions just this week as it announced a halt in production at many of its plants in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Its CEO warned of a coming break in the supply chain. More
The Great Land Robbery: How Federal Policies Dispossessed Black Americans of Millions of Acres
Over the 20th century, black people in the U.S. were dispossessed of 12 million acres of land. Half of that loss — 6 million acres — occurred over just two decades, from 1950 to 1969, a period largely associated with the civil rights struggle. This mass land dispossession, which affected 98% of black agricultural land owners, is part of the pattern of institutional racism and discrimination that has contributed to the racial wealth gap in the United States. Many of the driving forces behind this land theft were legal and originated in federal policies, as documented by Vann Newkirk, staff writer at The Atlantic. His latest piece for the magazine is the September cover story: “The Great Land Robbery: The shameful story of how 1 million black families have been ripped from their farms.” More
FBI raids Allure Medical Spa in Shelby Township for alleged fraudulent COVID-19 treatments
The FBI raided Allure Medical Spa in Shelby Township on Thursday as part of an investigation into allegations that it provided fraudulent treatments for COVID-19
The clinic has been offering high dose, intravenous injections of vitamin C as treatment against the virus, according to a recent magazine article.
FBI spokeswoman Mara Schneider said the investigation also includes allegations that the clinic "did not observe proper protocols to protect patients and staff from the virus."
"If any patients or staff have any concerns about their health or exposure to COVID-19, we urge them to consult a trusted health care provider immediately," she said in a statement. More
Ghana Minister Invites African-Americans to Re-settle in Africa If They Feel Unwanted in the U.S.
The debate about race following the killing of George Floyd has reverberated across the Atlantic Ocean, spurring the tourism minister of Ghana to appeal to its diaspora, including in the U.S., to "leave where you are not wanted," and return home.
A ceremony marking the death of Floyd was held at the W. E. B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in the capital Accra during which Barbara Oteng Gyasi made the plea that her country is open to those fleeing racial tensions.
"We gather in solidarity with brothers and sisters to change the status quo. Racism must end. We pray and hope that George Floyd's death will not be in vain but will bring an end to prejudice and racial discrimination across the world," Oteng Gyasi said, according to Ghana Web. More
Senate votes down anti-surveillance amendment, as both parties back warrantless spying on Americans' browser history
The US Senate has voted down an amendment that would limit surveillance of Americans’ internet records. Apparently, the true divide in Washington is not between Democrat and Republican, but those for or against the police state.
The US Senate met on Wednesday to debate the reauthorization of some provisions of the USA Freedom Act, an expansive domestic surveillance bill that expired in March. As Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brought the Act to the floor, a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced an amendment that would explicitly bar law enforcement from snooping on Americans’ internet browsing and search histories without a warrant. More
These 30 Regimes Are Using Coronavirus to Repress Their Citizens
As most governments around the world confront the unprecedented scale of the coronavirus crisis and what they need to do to protect their citizens and economies, dozens of others are seizing on the moment as an opportunity to crack down and consolidate their power.
Authoritarian leaders from Belarus to Venezuela have all looked to take advantage of the outbreak and the ensuing chaos to give themselves extraordinary new powers, while elections get delayed or forced to go ahead, depending on what suits the incumbent rulers. Security forces have been empowered to conduct brutal crackdowns, free speech has been censored, privacy has been eroded. More
Here's Who Just Voted to Let the FBI Seize Your Online Search History Without a Warrant
A bipartisan amendment that would have prohibited law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, from obtaining the web browsing and internet search histories of Americans without a warrant failed to pass in the U.S. Senate on Wednesday by a single vote.
Twenty-seven Republicans and 10 Democrats voted against the amendment to H.R. 6172, which will reauthorize lapsed surveillance powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The amendment offered up by Sen. Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, and Sen. Steve Daines, Republican of Montana, would have forced the government to get a warrant before obtaining the internet search history of Americans. More
28 Million Mail-In Ballots Went Missing in Last Four Elections
Between 2012 and 2018, 28.3 million mail-in ballots remain unaccounted for, according to data from the federal Election Assistance Commission.
The missing ballots amount to nearly one in five of all absentee ballots and ballots mailed to voters residing in states that do elections exclusively by mail.
States and local authorities simply have no idea what happened to these ballots since they were mailed – and the figure of 28 million missing ballots is likely even higher because some areas in the country, notably Chicago, did not respond to the federal agency’s survey questions. This figure does not include ballots that were spoiled, undeliverable, or came back for any reason. More
Can the Feds Close State Borders to Stop COVID-19?
On March 28, President Donald Trump floated a drastic idea for combating the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He told reporters outside the White House that he was considering closing the borders of New York, the state with the most reported cases of infections and deaths, and neighboring areas as well.
"I'm thinking about that right now. We might not have to do it but there's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine," Trump said, according to the White House transcript. "Short-term, two week on New York, probably New Jersey and certain parts of Connecticut." Trump soon afterward reiterated the idea in a tweet, saying that "a decision will be made, one way or another, shortly." More
Arizona Bill Would Require Conviction Before Asset Forfeiture
PHOENIX, Ariz. – A bill prefiled in the Arizona House would reform the state’s asset forfeiture laws to prohibit the state from taking a person’s property without a criminal conviction in most situations. The proposed legislation would build on important reforms signed into law in 2017.
Rep. Bob Thorpe (R-Flagstaff) filed House Bill 2149 (HB2149) on Jan. 9. Under the proposed law, Arizona prosecutors would not be able to proceed with the asset forfeiture process without a criminal conviction. HB2149 is similar to another bill prefiled for the upcoming session (HB2032)
An AZCIR analysis in 2017 found that Arizona agencies seized nearly $200 million in property between 2011 and 2015 from people who may never have been charged or convicted of a crime. More
‘Officers are scared out there’: Coronavirus hits US police
WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. — More than a fifth of Detroit’s police force is quarantined; two officers have died from coronavirus and at least 39 have tested positive, including the chief of police.
For the 2,200-person department, that has meant officers working doubles and swapping between units to fill patrols. And everyone has their temperature checked before they start work.
An increasing number of police departments around the country are watching their ranks get sick as the number of coronavirus cases explodes across the U.S. The growing tally raises questions about how laws can and should be enforced during the pandemic, and about how departments will hold up as the virus spreads among those whose work puts them at increased risk of infection. More
Federal Government trying to Outlaw Tiny Homes and RV Living
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is in the process of putting the finishing touches on proposed regulations that would make living in an RV or a mobile Tiny Home illegal for most people.
The proposed regulations, entitled “FR–5877–P–01 Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations; Revision of Exemption for Recreational Vehicles”, will redefine the industry, and force HUD regulations on those that live the lifestyle. The new regulations are set to modify a current exemption in the Manufactured Home Procedural and Enforcement Regulations. According to the proposed docket information, RVs would be defined as “a factory build vehicular structure, not certified as a manufactured home, designed only for recreational use and not as a primary residence or for permanent occupancy.” More
When the U.S. Used 'Fake News' to Sell Americans on World War I
Tweets and accusations of “fake news” may be issued from the White House today, but in April 1917, the U.S. government created a whole committee to influence media and shape popular opinion.
When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson faced a reluctant nation. Wilson had, after all, won his reelection in 1916 with the slogan, “He kept us out of the war.” To convince Americans that going to war in Europe was necessary, Wilson created the Committee on Public Information (CPI), to focus on promoting the war effort. More
Afghanistan Papers Confirm That the Longest War Is a Lie
The Washington Post’s Afghanistan Papers, detailing a true history of the nation’s longest official war, reveals nothing new about the war’s futility or about the fact that it was doomed to failure from almost the beginning. The Post fought a legal battle for three years to obtain the documents from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a federal government watchdog agency that interviewed hundreds of officials about their honest assessments of the war.
What the Afghanistan Papers do offer is a confirmation of what critics had already been asserting for nearly two decades: that there is no clearly defined goal or endpoint to the war to help determine when to stop fighting, and that our efforts have been futile at best and deeply destructive at worst. More
Tables and chairs removed from Cumberland St. Tim Hortons
OTTAWA -- All tables and chairs have been removed from the Cumberland Street Tim Hortons in an effort to curb drug use and other criminal activity at the location.
“It does suck, you can’t come and enjoy a coffee in the morning but I understand where they’re coming from to be honest,” said customer Mario Brisson. Tim Hortons said it wants to provide a safe environment for guests and staff.
“This restaurant has recently had several occurrences of inappropriate customer behaviour in the dining area, some of which have been violent and have required police intervention,” the company said in a statement. More
Exposed: China’s Operating Manuals for Mass Internment and Arrest by Algorithm
A new leak of highly classified Chinese government documents has uncovered the operations manual for running the mass detention camps in Xinjiang and exposed the mechanics of the region’s Orwellian system of mass surveillance and “predictive policing.”
The China Cables, obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, include a classified list of guidelines, personally approved by the region’s top security chief, that effectively serves as a manual for operating the camps now holding hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs and other minorities. The leak also features previously undisclosed intelligence briefings that reveal, in the government’s own words, how Chinese police are guided by a massive data collection and analysis system that uses artificial intelligence to select entire categories of Xinjiang residents for detention. More
9 Farm attacks in South Africa, 1-15 January 2020
In the first fifteen days of January 2020, there were nine farm attacks, whilst one farm attack was successfully averted. And whilst the government denies the existence, thirty six farm attacks and two farm murders took place in South Africa during the month of December 2019, whilst three farm attacks were successfully averted.
There were forty six farm attacks and three farm murders in South Africa during the month of November 2019, whilst only one farm attack was successfully averted. From January 2019 to December 2019 there were 472 farm attacks and 49 farm murders. More