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Sat, 13 Feb 2016
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Indiana workers react with outrage after being told their jobs are moving to Mexico

In a video uploaded to YouTube, a gathering of workers at an Indianapolis air conditioning manufacturing plant are stunned and enraged when told they'll soon be out of work because the company is moving their jobs to Mexico.

The large crowd of employees of a Carrier Air Conditioner manufacturing plant in Indianapolis can be seen milling around as a speaker — dressed in a suit and standing on a stage — addresses them and gives them the bad news.

"The best way to stay competitive and protect the business for long-term is to move production from our facility in Indianapolis to Monterrey, Mexico," the man can be heard explaining.


Pope Francis meets with head of Russian Orthodox Church for first time

© Adalberto Roque / AFP
Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian branch of Orthodox Christianity, is holding a historic meeting with Pope Francis in a meeting room at the international airport in Havana, Cuba. The two churches have been divided for 1,000 years.

"We are brothers, at last," were the first words Pope Francis addressed to his counterpart, TASS news agency reports. "Now, it will be easier," responded Patriarch Kirill. "It is evident that this meeting is God's will," said the Pontiff, in his native Spanish.

"We are meeting at the right time and at the right place. I want to emphasize once again that it became possible with God's will," Patriarch Kirill told the Pontiff.

The two religious leaders embraced warmly in front of the cameras before proceeding to hold closed-door talks that were expected to last two hours. The Russian Orthodox Church said Patriarch Kirill would discuss the persecution of Christians around the world. Pockets of Christianity in the Middle East have been some of the worst affected by the Arab Spring and the Syrian conflict.


Cardiff University report: 111 journalists were killed in 2015 - Syria most deadly location with 10 deaths

© Karam Al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images
Allepo, October 4, 2013
A biannual report has found that 111 journalists were killed in 2015.

Research data collected by Cardiff University academics in the biannual 'Killing the Messenger' report found that Syria was the location for the most journalists deaths, with 10 killed in 2015.

The below map is also available as a high resolution image, or as an interactive map:
© i100/CartoDB
Thirty-eight of the journalists killed were TV journalists, thirty were from print publications and twenty-seven were radio.

Comment: Reporters Without Borders reported 67 journalists killed in 2015:

2015 was another dangerous year for journalists


Sirhan denied parole, despite his innocence and pleas from Kennedy confidant

© Gregory Bull/AP/Pool
Paul Schrade, who was shot in the head by Sirhan Sirhan, reacts during Sirhan’s parole hearing Wednesday in San Diego.
After decades of investigation, Paul Schrade has no doubt about the identity of the man who shot him in the head shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, in the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel:

It was Sirhan Sirhan, the same gunman convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.

And yet, when Schrade came face to face with Sirhan for the first time in nearly 50 years, at a parole hearing in San Diego on Wednesday, he argued that the notorious gunman wasn't Kennedy's killer.

But the panel wasn't swayed and Sirhan was denied parole for the 15th time, according to the Associated Press, which noted:
Commissioners concluded after more than three hours of intense testimony at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Center that Sirhan did not show adequate remorse or understand the enormity of his crime.
Still, the AP reported, Schrade forgave his shooter during the hearing and apologized to Sirhan not doing more to win his release.

Comment: A travesty of justice. Just why should a man show remorse for something he did not do? Sirhan did not even kill RFK, has no memory of the shooting, and was in all probability hypno-programmed to commit the crime. He is a political prisoner, plain and simple, and all to reinforce the myth of the lone assassin in political assassinations. See also: RFK friend Paul Schrade to defend Sirhan at parole hearing, calls for his release. See also O'Sullivan's latest video on the shooting:


Capture or kill: The Burmese python has worn out its welcome in Everglades, Florida

© AP/Wlifredo Lee
Bill Booth of Bradenton, Fla., prepares to turn in a dead python at a Python Challenge checkpoint, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Florida Everglades, Fla. A cold snap may be giving humans an edge early in a state-sanctioned hunt for elusive Burmese pythons in the Everglades.
The Burmese python has worn out its welcome, and its time is nigh.

For the second time since 2013, Florida wildlife officials are inviting people near and far to search for Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) in the Everglades. Depending on where they spot the invasive species, participants can either capture or kill the snakes, which are generally about 6 feet (almost 2 meters) in length, said Carli Segelson, a spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

However, the snakes' brownish markings make them well camouflaged. So far, 1,035 volunteers have caught 95 snakes — more than the 68 snakes caught by 1,600 participants in 2013, Segelson said.

The 2016 challenge, which started Jan. 16 and ends Feb. 14, is the state's way of controlling the pythons' population. "It's not good for the ecosystem and the native wildlife to have an invasive species living in the area," Segelson told Live Science.

Either way, the pythons have prospered in the Everglades' hot, humid summers and mild winters. They're also eating the native birds, mammals, fish and reptiles, Segelson said. There are some reports of alligators eating the pythons (and vice versa), but other than that, the Python Challenge seems to be the only major way to get rid of them. Experts aren't sure how the pythons got established in the Everglades, but they have two ideas. Perhaps pet owners set captive snakes free into the wild, Segelson said. Or, maybe the snakes escaped from captivity during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, she said.

Volunteers can brush up on their python-finding and safety skills at PythonChallenge.org, which has videos and tips for capturing the snakes. On average, it takes more than 15 hours to spot a python, but participants might have more luck if they look in marshes, pine rocklands, canal banks and open areas, according to the site. Moreover, the challenge is held in the winter, when snakes spend more time basking in the sun (especially on levees or tree islands) due to the cooler weather.

Comment: US, Florida: Pythons Apparently Wiping Out Everglades Mammals


Neil Young is raising awareness, taking campaign against Monsanto and GE crops on the road

© AP/John Shearer
Neil Young
Grammy Award-winning artist Neil Young has been a powerful presence in music for the past 50 years. In addition to his artistic career, Young has become a vocal advocate for social justice, working specifically to highlight issues that impact farmers and the food system. In 1985, Young joined Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp to launch Farm Aid to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds for family farmers. Today, Farm Aid contributes to the campaign for transparency around genetically modified foods.

Comment: See also:
  • Thanks Monsanto: Toxic glyphosate is the most heavily used weedkiller in world history


America has gone PC mad: Street preacher gets a ticket for offending someone

If you live in America, please note, this just happened here.

Younger generations are being brainwashed that the only thing more dangerous than our Second Amendment is our First. They are being socially engineered to believe that it is literally a crime for anyone to offend them. They are being taught that they can run to a police officer and tattle like a bratty five year old if someone hurts their feelings and that the offender will actually suffer legitimate criminal prosecution for such a high crime.

The rest of us who haven't been sucked into the progressive education system that promotes trigger warnings, make believe microaggressions, and magical "safe spaces" know this isn't how reality works. There's no such whimsical fairy land where everyone holds hands and sings Kumbaya on every point and not a single person gets their feelings hurt ever.

In fact, if such a world existed, not only would it be dreadfully dull but eventually feelings would cease to exist, because people would forget how to have them. But I digress...

Snakes in Suits

It's not just Trump: Islamophobia in the U.S. elections is pervasive

The perpetual election season is in full-swing, as we are now past Iowa and New Hampshire. With November seemingly around the corner, the GOP candidates have honed in on cultivating Islamophobia as a sound strategy for drumming up their base.

While the media focuses on the demagoguery of Donald Trump, the war-mongering of Ted Cruz and the sheer-unhinged nature of Ben Carson - the reality is that even "moderate" candidates, such as Marco Rubio are riding a wave of anti-Muslim sentiment, in order to seem tough on national security.

Global Islamophobia continues to reach its crescendo, with anti-refugee and thereby anti-Muslim sentiment spreading like wildfire across Europe. This rhetoric has also continued to grow in the U.S. - with record numbers of Islamophobic incidents reported in 2015 against mosques. For American Muslims, it is now almost 15 years post-9/11 - yet the question remains on whether the continual scapegoating and marginalization of this community within the political sphere will ever end.

Comment: And it isn't only Republican candidates who have the drive and motivation to persecute Muslims:
One of Clinton's leading donors, billionaire Haim Saban, has given Clinton's super PAC at least $2 million and recently suggested that Muslims should face "more scrutiny and that profiling of Muslims should be permissible. "The reality is that certain things that are unacceptable in times of peace — such as profiling, listening in on anyone and everybody who looks suspicious, or interviewing Muslims in a more intense way than interviewing Christian refugees — is all acceptable [during war]."

Following a recent trend, Hillary Clinton has also gone on to praise George W. Bush for his post-9/11 response to Islamophobia. Six days after the September 11 attacks George W. Bush spoke at the Islamic Center of Washington, D.C., saying, among other things, that "Islam is peace." "America counts millions of Muslims amongst our citizens, and Muslims make an incredibly valuable contribution to our country...And they need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect." Yet the Bush administration that went on to torture and extrajudicially execute Muslims and deprive countless Muslims of their civil liberties.

Another arm of anti-Muslim bigotry is the drive for militarism, which both the Democrats and Republicans share, each using their own respective arguments in support of some variation of war-chasing. Hillary Clinton, lauded by progressives for her role as Secretary of State, pushed forescalating the war in Afghanistan, attempted to pressure Obama into maintaining U.S. troop presence in Iraq, voted for the Patriot Act in 2001 and again to reauthorize it in 2006, and pledged to further arm Israel while also threatening Iran.

The expansion of U.S. belligerence across much of the world has funneled billions into the arms and defense industry as well as aided local and national policy-makers in normalizing anti-Muslim enmity by way of surveillance programs, the banning of Shari'a law, and the recruitment of native "terror informants." The more entrenched the U.S. military becomes the easier it will be for Muslims, both local and abroad, to be otherized for sake of fighting terror. That the most basic of human rights are now being debated by candidates vying for an opportunity to become the next Commander in Chief has yet to genuinely register with either political camp, especially not those pardoning Clinton's hawkishness.

Anti-Muslim animus goes far beyond ornamented stenographers to power obsessing over the statements of Donald Trump. It is systematic, and often cloaked in the language of humanitarian hyper-militarism and even inclusion. Despite Hillary Clinton's sentimental rhetoric, her policies and political affiliations are concrete and show that she has never been a friend to Muslims, nor will her administration be one.


Biometric system to be implemented in US airports by 2018

© thefreethoughtproject.com
Orwellian, evil-ray, face-scanning robots.
A biometric exit system will begin to be implemented at airports across the United States by 2018, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said during a speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. "For years Congress and others have urged us to develop a system of biometric exit," Johnson stated on Thursday. "I have directed CBP (Customs and Border Protection) to begin implementing the system, starting at airports, in 2018."

A system of biometric exit involves taking the fingerprints or other biometric data of those who leave the country. According to Johnson, CBP has begun testing technologies that can be deployed nationwide. The system, which was originally slated for a 2016 rollout, will be paid for by $1 billion in fee increases over a period of ten years.

Earlier this month, House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul said a biometric system is imperative to prevent visa abuse by terrorists.

The Department of Homeland Security reported to Congress in January that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals in the United States who entered the country legally, but overstayed their visa.

Comment: The reason given to the public for this extreme measure is bogus. Statistics 2015: less than 1% of travelers overstayed their visa departure dates and 99% were confirmed departures. The percentage of the 1% that could even conceivably be labeled terrorists amounts to nil. The NSA has its "fingerprints" all over this...and airports are just the kickoff. Welcome to LOCKDOWN, America. Are you ready to pay for $1B in fee increases for this privilege?

See also: Half million foreigners overstayed US visa in 2015


Nearly 4 dozen Georgia officers arrested in massive FBI drug sting

As part of an investigation and crackdown on extensive contraband smuggling, drug dealing, and other criminal activity within the Georgia Department of Corrections, 46 people — mostly current and former corrections officers — were arrested by the FBI on Thursday.

Indictments for those arrested have been handed down over the last three months. So far in the FBI's sting, around 130 people have been taken into custody by authorities, reported local ABC affiliate, WJCL.

U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, John Horn, said the charges represent "staggering corruption within Georgia Department of Corrections institutions."

Comment: The cops don't want drugs out of the prisons, not when there's good money to be made.