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41 wounded, 7 dead in Chicago weekend shootings


In one of the most violent weekends Chicago has seen since the temperature has risen, seven people were shot dead and at at over 40 were wounded in incidents, police said.

Overnight from Saturday into Father's Day, six were killed and 13 other shootings happened across the city.

The bleak news comes after Chicago experienced a 34 percent drop in murders compared with last year this period, a rate the city hadn't seen since the 1960s.

A series of deadly shootings

On Friday, the weekend's first fatality happened at 11:34 p.m. on the West Side of Chicago. Police said two men were shot during a "dispute," according to NBC Chicago. A 24-year-old man was taken to Loyola University Medical Center and later pronounced dead, police said. According to reports, the other man, a 23-year-old, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

On Saturday, 21-year-old Ricardo Herrera was shot and killed at about 10:50 p.m. when two others were wounded in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago, police said.

Later that night at 11:45 p.m., police said a 16-year-old boy was shot by a gunman who rode on a bicycle on the West Side of the city. According to reports, he tried to escape, but collapsed steps away from where he was shot. The boy sustained gunshot wounds to the back and arm, police said. He was pronounced dead at 1:37 a.m. at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Police said Sunday the teen had gang affiliations, according to NBC Chicago, and although his death was ruled a homicide, police said no one was in custody as of Sunday morning.
X

Four hospitalized amid explosions at military range in Samara region

Five artillery projectiles exploded at a range near Chapayevsk, the Samara region, at about 7:30 p.m. Moscow time.

Two fire trains were sent to the scene, and Defense Ministry and Emergency Situations Ministry special hardware has also been engaged in dealing with the emergency situation.

Samara regional police spokesman Sergei Goldstein said there were about 13 million rounds of ammunition at the range depot. The range had been cordoned off, and roads leading to it blocked, he said.

Four people have been injured in explosions of projectiles at a range in Chapayevsk, the Samara region, a Samara medical source told Interfax.
Chart Pie

Debt-burdened poor students subsidize multibillion-dollar college sports


Student loans have eclipsed credit cards as the number one cause of debt, but it might come as a surprise to struggling students that part of their college tuition is subsidizing the multibillion-dollar world of college sports.

According to research by Jeff Smith at the University of South Carolina Upstate, 227 public colleges at the NCAA Division 1 level made more than $2 billion in athletic fees from students during the 2010-2011 school year.

Ironically, the colleges and universities with the higher percentages of poorer students (with large debt) are the institutions charging the highest "student fees" for sports.

All students have to bear the burden of college athletic programs, but few actually benefit. Critics say this creates a "regressive tax" on low income students.
Health

Not Brave: Melissa Etheridge calls Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy 'most fearful' choice

Melissa Etheridge
© Christopher Polk/Getty Images
Melissa Etheridge performs on stage at Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest at the Montage Deer Valley on December 8, 2012 in Park City, Utah.
In case you've been completely unplugged and are just tuning in now, Angelina Jolie revealed last month that she had a preventative double mastectomy. The controversial procedure nearly broke the Internet, with supporters applauding her bravery and others scorning American healthcare. Her husband Brad Pitt called her choice "absolutely heroic," but not everyone in Hollywood is as in awe of the actress - notably breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge.

During a recent interview with the Washington Blade, the 52-year-old rocker was asked her opinion on Jolie's double mastectomy, and her sentiments did not echo those of other celebrities who lauded the 38-year-old mother of six. Etheridge said, "I wouldn't call it the brave choice." She added, "I actually think it's the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer."
USA

Bank of America employee bonus for illegal foreclosure: checks, lies and bankster red tape

bank of america
© Pranav Bhatt
Surprise, surprise.

Just when we thought the big banks couldn't hit a new low, they do.

Six former employees of Bank of America have come forward, alleging that the big bank intentionally denied eligible homeowners mortgage loan modifications, and lied to those homeowners about the status of their mortgage payments and documents.

Bank of America allegedly used these dirty tactics to lead homeowners into foreclosures and in-house loan modifications, both of which helped reap massive profits for BOA's bottom-line.

The employees who have come forward have also said that the big bank rewarded customer service representatives with hefty cash bonuses and gift cards to popular stores when they foreclosed on homes.

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, a Bank of America employee who placed ten or more mortgage accounts into foreclosure a month could get up to a $500 bonus.
Heart - Black

Civil disobedience is domestic terrorism?: Keystone XL activists labeled possible eco-terrorists in internal TransCanada documents

eco-terrorism cartoon
© Susie Cagle of Grist
Documents recently obtained by Bold Nebraska show that TransCanada - owner of the hotly-contested Keystone XL (KXL)tar sands pipeline - has colluded with an FBI/DHS Fusion Center in Nebraska, labeling non-violent activists as possible candidates for "terrorism" charges and other serious criminal charges.

Further, the language in some of the documents is so vague that it could also ensnare journalists, researchers and academics, as well.

TransCanada also built a roster of names and photos of specific individuals involved in organizing against the pipeline, including 350.org's Rae Breaux, Rainforest Action Network's Scott Parkin and Tar Sands Blockade's Ron Seifert. Further, every activist ever arrested protesting the pipeline's southern half is listed by name with their respective photo shown, along with the date of arrest.

It'sPSYOPs-gate and "fracktivists" as "an insurgency" all over again, but this time it's another central battleground that's in play: the northern half of KXL, a proposed border-crossing pipeline whose final fate lies in the hands of President Barack Obama.

The southern half of the pipeline was approved by the Obama Admin. via a March 2013 Executive Order. Together, the two pipeline halves would pump diluted bitumen ("dilbit") south from the Alberta tar sands toward Port Arthur, TX, where it will be refined and shipped to the global export market.

Activists across North America have put up a formidable fight against both halves of the pipeline, ranging from the summer 2011 Tar Sands Action to the ongoing Tar Sands Blockade. Apparently, TransCanada has followed the action closely, given the level of detail in the documents.
Bad Guys

Iceland resumes controversial fin whale hunt

© News of Iceland
Kristjan Loftsson, CEO of the the company Hvalur hf
Iceland has resumed its disputed commercial fin whale hunt, with two vessels en route to catch this season's quota of at least 154 whales, Icelandic media reported on Monday.

An international website that tracks vessels showed two Icelandic whaling ships, Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9, well west of Iceland on their way to whaling areas, while national media said the two ships left port late Sunday.

Hvalur, the only company that hunts the giant mammals, was unavailable for comment on Monday, which was a public holiday in Iceland.

Hvalur killed 148 fin whales in 2010, but none in 2011 and 2012 due to the disintegration of its only market in quake- and tsunami-hit Japan.
Briefcase

Sources: Atty. charged in home invasion commits suicide

© NBCWashington.com
Paul Mannina, the U.S. Department of Labor attorney charged in a home invasion, was found dead in a D.C. jail cell of an apparent suicide Tuesday, reported NBC4's Mark Segraves.

Mannina, 58, was arrested last week in connection with a violent home invasion at the residence of one of his coworkers.

He was "found unresponsive on the bunk in his cell by facility security staff" around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, D.C. police said. Police said in an official release that the cause of death is under investigation.
Heart - Black

Infant dies after being raped; mother encouraged the attack and watched

A mother is under arrest after allegedly allowing her boyfriend to rape her infant child, causing the child to die.

Jessica Lynn Howell, 25, of St. Charles County, Missouri, was arrested in connection with the death of her four-month-old daughter, Ashlynn Lilith Peters. Ashlynn died December 3, 2012.

Originally Howell was not charged as she claimed innocence in the attack, but prosecutors say text messages between Howell and her boyfriend Jordan Lafayette Prince are conclusive and damning.
Che Guevara

'People Revolution' spreads to Brazil: Thousands take to streets in anti-government protests

What started as small protests about higher bus fares has swelled into nationwide, massive anti-government demonstrations in Brazil. Last night, reports O Globo, more than 100,000 protesters filled the streets of Rio de Janeiro, while an additional 65,000 hit the streets of São Paulo. Nothing tells the story quite like this video of the streets of Rio posted by Lucio Amorim on Twitter: Reporting from São Paulo, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro tells our Newscast unit that people on the streets are demanding that the government pay attention to them. "The cost of living here is extremely high, there's a massive rate of inflation, and so people say that they are fed up, that they want their government to do something for them," Lourdes said. One of the big issues is that Brazil has been gearing up for the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016. Lourdes says people feel as though the government has been focusing on those big, international events while allowing them to languish.


Planetary meltdown: Stressed by the physical changes sweeping the planet, civilizations and governments, already burdened by deception, debt, inequality, and corruption could begin to crumble one by one. Change has come to planet Earth.
The New York Times says the protests are the largest and "most resonant since the nation's military dictatorship ended in 1985." What's more, the Times reports, the protests share something in common with the mass protests occurring halfway across the world in Turkey. The newspaper writes: "The demonstrations in Brazil intensified after a harsh police crackdown last week stunned many citizens. In images shared widely on social media, the police here were seen beating unarmed protesters with batons and dispersing crowds by firing rubber bullets and tear gas into their midst. "The violence has come from the government,' said Mariana Toledo, 27, a graduate student at the University of São Paulo who was among the protesters on Monday. 'Such violent acts by the police instill fear, and at the same time the need to keep protesting.'"
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