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The West has forgotten us: Children of Donetsk having their say

© Mark Batalmai
Paulina, Nastya and Katya: We hope that other children do not need to see this, that they are doing well at home
Three girls sitting in front of my camera. Shy you might think. But this shyness is something else - they are traumatized. From a war that does not exist actually, if you would believe the western and German media. A war in Europe that no one sees. Because it does not take place in the media. Because it is hidden and hushed up. And though it exists here in Donetsk in southeastern Ukraine, where I live since over 2 months. In the middle of a metropolis that is heavily bombarded daily by the Ukrainian army.

The war is here among us, it is in the midst between us, between me and these three girls - Paulina, Nastya and Katya. It is in their eyes, their voices, burned into their souls. And they recognize me, because I also now live in this war like them.

It is mid-September 2014 and we are sitting together in a bare room of a refugee house in Donetsk. It took us some time to get this interview. The people in Donbass no longer believe in the West, in Europe, in Germany. For the West, they say, "they have forgotten us, they let us down". The West knows nothing about the dead civilians, the bombing demand here every day. "The West does not care about us. Assists even the junta in Kiev, which kills us here." I always swallow when they tell me - I know that they are right. No one in Germany knows that children like Paulina, Nastya and Katya have no home, that it was bombed away. Just like their school and the kindergarten there in the northwest of Donetsk, close to the airport. Just as the homes of more than 100 other children and their families solely in this house of refuge. And there are many of these refugee camps and homes in and around Donetsk.

Comment: The difference between these girls who in the midst of turmoil and misery still feel empathy and compassion for others and the cold-hearted and cruel actions of the psychopaths in Kiev is humongous. Thank you, girls, for sharing your experiences with us. We need to know about this.

Stormtrooper

Cops sued for breaking into home, arresting woman for recording their actions

Screenshot from NBC10
© Screenshot from NBC10
A Pennsylvania couple is suing three Collingdale police officers for entering their home without permission in an effort to confiscate a cell phone legally used to record the officers during a February confrontation in front of their home.

In the lawsuit, Kia and Michael Gaymon say that Officer Carl White entered the home without a warrant and arrested Kia after threatening to use a Taser on her. The officers are accused of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, retaliatory arrest, and unlawful search, according to NBC10.

The Gaymons say the incident on Feb. 22 began when police were notified to address a car allegedly parked illegally on the curb of the Gaymons' next-door neighbor. The car belonged to Michael's visiting mother.

The Gaymons said they had done nothing wrong, and that the neighbor was falsely accusing them. Kia Gaymon said that one officer began to yell at them in an "aggressive and accusatory manner," leading her to retrieve her cell phone and record the interaction.

"His behavior was so aggressive that the first thing I thought was to pull out my phone and video," Kia Gaymon told NBC10.

Filming on-duty police officers is legal in all 50 states as long as the filming does not physically interfere with officers' ability to work. A federal appeals court recently affirmed this First Amendment right, as RT reported.
Stock Down

New survey reveals one out of five U.S. workers laid off in past 5 years, 22% still unemployed

© Andrew Burton / Getty Images
A job fair at the Bronx Public Library in New York last week.

Comment: The true numbers are probably much worse than this survey suggests.


One in five U.S. workers was laid off in the past five years and about 22% of those who lost their jobs still haven't found another one, according to a new survey that showed the extent Americans have struggled in the sluggish labor market since the Great Recession ended.

Those who did find work had a difficult time with their job search and the effects of unemployment, the survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University found.

Nearly 40% said it took more than seven months to find employment and about one in five of laid-off workers said all they could find was a temporary position.

Almost half -- 46% -- of the estimated 30 million layoff victims who found new jobs said they paid less then their old ones, according to the survey of 1,153 U.S adults done over the summer.

"While job growth has been consistent, it has been insufficient to produce enough full-time jobs for everyone," the study said.
Star of David

Israeli-Arabs citizens in Israel decry systemic racial discrimination

israel arab discrimination

Judge Asher Grunis, one of the five judges who sided in favour of the law which legitimises the use of admission committees to reject potential applicants based on "social suitability"
As a Palestinian citizen of Israel, 21-year-old Shadan Jabareen says she has experienced institutionalised discrimination since she was a child. In 1994, her parents wanted to get away from the constant noise and the overcrowded Umm al-Fahm and move to a Jewish-Israeli community.

"My dad heard an advertisement on the radio for homes in Katzir," she said, referring to a kibbutz, or Jewish agricultural community, in the country's north. "The admissions committee told my dad that they didn't want Arabs because it would lower the community's value in Katzir," Jabareen, who studies literature at Tel Aviv University, told Al Jazeera.

After a legal struggle, her parents eventually were admitted to buy a home in Katzir, where they lived for seven years. "The neighbours were usually okay with us, but the admissions committee never wanted us."

Admissions committees are common in small semi-cooperative Jewish communities across the Negev and Galilee regions in Israel. In compliance with larger regional councils, these admission committees evaluate potential residents and ultimately decide whether to accept them into the communities.

In March 2000, just a few years after the Jabareen family's struggle, the highly publicised Kaadan case made waves when the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that it was illegal to discriminate in housing admission based on ethnicity or religion. The Kaadans, an Arab couple from a nearby town, waged a long legal battle to protest their being rejected by Katzir's committee.

Fourteen years down the line, on September 17, the Israeli Supreme Court essentially undid that ruling when it dismissed petitions put forward by rights groups challenging the Admissions Committee Law.

Passed in 2011, the legislation legitimises the use of admission committees to reject potential applicants based on "social suitability". If admissions committees view applicants as "harmful" to the "social-cultural fabric of the community town", they are permitted to turn them down.

Falling short of a majority, four judges ruled against the law. Judge Asher Grunis, one of the five judges who sided in favour of the law and struck down the petitions, ruled: "The court does not have a sufficient factual basis for a decision" because the objections raised in the petition are "hypothetical and theoretical claims".

Nonetheless, several rights groups say it is most frequently employed to block Arab citizens from living in Jewish communities.

Comment: Israel can bleat on all it wants, that it is the 'only democracy in the Middle East". Acts trump words.

Stormtrooper

Psychopathic officer said he was 'going to shoot him in the penis' before killing homeless man, James Boyd

 Keith Sandy
© Unknown
Perhaps due to the pressure now being seriously put on departments across America to not be brutal psychopaths, new information has been released on the murder of homeless man James Boyd by APD officer Keith Sandy.

It has been revealed that prior to the murder of James Boyd, officer Keith Sandy already had plans to seriously injure the innocent homeless camper.

He was recorded talking to another officer, saying he was going to "shoot him in the penis with a shotgun".

Yes, you heard that correctly.

The Boyd Family's civil rights attorney has this to say on the matter.

"It's chilling evidence and stunning that he has not been criminally indicted. He says to a state police officer 'that f'ing lunatic, I'm going to shoot him in the penis.' It's crystal clear and he says it with contempt in his voice."

The killer cop tried to defend his words, saying the gross phrase was uttered "Jokingly, just kind of locker room banter, just told him, you know, 'Don't worry. I'll shoot him in the pecker with this and call it good."

He still seems to not even take this seriously; when you actually do something similar to what your 'locker room banter' was, it becomes not 'locker room banter', but the words uttered before murder.

What more needs to be said here? The info you take away from this must be abundantly clear.

Please share this with as many people as possible. Hopefully with our continued efforts to expose criminal cops, these events will happen in less and less frequency.
Stock Down

Ukraine on the brink of economic collapse

© Reuters/Gleb Garanich
An elderly woman begs for money near a currency exchange office in Kiev
While we see a great deal of media coverage of Ukraine-related geopolitical risks, there hasn't been sufficient discussion about the dire economic and fiscal conditions the nation is facing. Writing about men in masks fighting in eastern Ukraine sells far more advertising than covering the nation's economic activity. However it's the economy, not the Russian army that has brought Ukraine close to the brink. And just to be clear, some of Kiev's economic and fiscal problems were visible long before the spat with Russia (see post from 2012).

Ukraine is now in recession. Deep economic ties with Russia have resulted in painful adjustments in recent months. The nation's exports are down some 19% from last year in dollar terms and expected to fall further. A great example of Ukraine's export challenges is the Antonov aircraft company known for its Soviet era large transport planes as well as other types of aircraft.

As the military cooperation with Russia ended, Antonov was in trouble. It had to take a $150 million hit recently by not delivering the medium-range An-148 planes to the Russian Air Force. The Russians will find a replacement for this aircraft, but in the highly competitive global aircraft market, it's far less likely that Antonov will find another client.

Here are some key indicators of Ukraine's worsening situation:

1. The nation's GDP is down almost 5% from a year ago and growth is expected to worsen.

Comment: Ukraine is in dire straights and the economy has been a primary tool used by the US to create instability and chaos.The current plan in place with the EU is helpful for no one - not for the EU and certainly not for Ukraine. The only party that 'benefits' are the psychopaths in Washington hell bent on waging economic warfare. The question is how long the EU and the Ukraine are willing to participate in their own destruction. The EU has recently opened the doors to further negotiation with Russia, but time will tell if it is just more smoke and mirrors or if they are finally coming around to recognize the lunacy of aligning themselves with the sinking U.S.S. Carnage.

Info

England's midwives vote to strike for the first time in 133 years

Midwives Strike
© Alamy
The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) said 82.2 per cent of midwives were prepared to take action.
Midwives in England have voted to go on strike in a dispute with the Government over pay, the Royal College of Midwives announced today.

The four-hour walkout would be the first in the group's 133-year history.

NHS Employers said the decision was "regrettable" and could worry pregnant women.

The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) insisted that no mothers or babies would be put at risk and said midwives will still be there for women giving birth.

Ante-natal and post-natal appointments will be targeted by the action, scheduled to start at 7am on Monday, 13th October.

Midwives will join NHS members of the Unison and Unite unions, who have already voted in favour of strike action scheduled for the same day.

Last week the unions Unison and Unite, which represent nearly 400,000 workers between them, voted in favour of a strike. Their actions will target non-urgent and non-emergency services, meaning hospital outpatient appointments and community clinics could be affected.

The RCM said 82.2 per cent of its members voted to say they were prepared to take part in the strike, while 17.8 per cent were not. More than 94 per cent of midwives say they are prepared to take part in action short of a strike.

The turnout of those eligible to vote was 49.4 per cent.
Light Saber

Lock 'em up! Moscow launches criminal case against Ukrainian officials for genocide

lugansk
© RIA Novosti / Evgeny Biyatov
A shopping center damaged by artillery shelling in Lugansk.
Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case against Ukraine's military and civilian leadership, accusing top officials of "genocide" against the Russian-speaking population in southeast Ukraine during this year's conflict.

According to Russian investigators, "unidentified people from the country's highest political and military leadership of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine and Right Sector gave the orders aimed at the complete destruction of Russian-speaking citizens living on the territory of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics."

As a result of those actions about 2,500 people died, said Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee.

"The investigation has found that Russian-speaking citizens were killed during attacks with multiple launch rocket systems Grad and Uragan, aviation rockets, tactical missiles Tochka-U and other kinds of heavy offensive weapons," he said.

A total more than 500 residential buildings as well as local social facilities, including hospitals and schools, were damaged since April 12, the Investigative Committee said.

It estimated that over 300,000 local residents have been forced to leave and seek asylum in Russia.

Comment: No state in the West is calling for real justice in Ukraine; only Russia and her allies. What does it say about the integrity and character of the U.S. and her partners that they would support such a regime as that in Kiev and turn a blind eye to the willful barbarism inflicted on the people of east Ukraine? Rape, murder, destruction of infrastructure, torture, mass killings... The people behind the attack on civilians in east Ukraine are war criminals and deserve to rot in prison.

Stop

Post-ceasefire violence at Donetsk airport kills 15 in east Ukraine

Donetsk airport

Donetsk airport
At least 15 people have been killed in the worst fighting in eastern Ukraine since a ceasefire was declared between government and pro-Russia forces three weeks ago, official sources say.

Presidential aide, Yury Biryukov, said in Kiev that the shelling erupted around the airport of the flashpoint city of Donetsk -- which is currently being controlled by pro-Russians - and left seven government soldiers dead and nine others injured.

Pro-Russia sources said five of their fighters died and eight were injured in the shelling.

According to the City Council of Donetsk, three civilians were also killed in the conflict.

Several residential, industrial, and government buildings were also destroyed over the weekend.

Since the five-month-long conflict in eastern Ukraine officially came to an end on September 5, both sides have been accusing one another of violating the ceasefire pact.

Comment: See footage of the recent fighting at the Donetsk airport below:



For more on the recent offensive, see: The Battles for the Donetsk Airport - September 25-26, 2014


Snakes in Suits

Corporations, 'the cancer' that are slowly killing American middle-class says 'Wire' creator David Simon

© John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
David Simon
The writer's next show, Show Me a Hero, is the true story of a battle over public housing that convulsed New York in the 80s. Here, on location in Manhattan, he talks about how money corrupts US politics, the erosion of the working class, why it's a crime to be poor in America - and why he likes to argue

At the end of a long day scouting locations for his new TV miniseries, David Simon is sitting in his Upper West Side office in New York describing the type of person who needn't bother tuning in to his new show. He's speaking as a TV writer but also as a citizen angered by a political system that he thinks fails many of his fellow countrymen.

"People who think we're being well governed at the moment... well, there's no reason for them to watch. People who look at the inertia of Washington, at the partisanship, at the divisive and polarised discourse... people who think that's the way to build a just society, well, don't watch the show, because I got nothin' for you."

If, on the other hand, "You're starting to believe that even the vernacular we're using to argue about solutions to problems is dysfunctional, watch this show because I think it's a perfect metaphor for what the American government is no longer capable of doing - addressing problems in a utilitarian fashion for the good of most people. American politics has left the room when it comes to finding solutions for our problems."

Show Me a Hero, which will appear on screens late next year or in spring 2016, is based on a non-fiction book of the same name by former New York Times writer Lisa Belkin. It marks the time, says Simon, when American politics left the room.
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