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Sherlock

Woman in Spain charged with killing her babies because they 'were possessed by spirits'

© Reuters/Esam Omran Al-Fetori
A 27-year-old Moroccan woman has been accused of asphyxiating two of her young daughters and attempting to kill a third baby because she was convinced the children were "possessed by evil spirits."

The woman, identified only as Ikram B., has lived in Spain for six years. On Wednesday she pleaded not guilty to charges including two counts of murder, and one of attempted murder.

In a police statement written with the help of an interpreter, Ikram explains that she believed her children were possessed by Djinn, an evil spirit described in the Koran as attacking children under three months old, according to The Local. The woman also noted that she believed her house was haunted.

In November, Ikram, accompanied by her mother, arrived at the Fuentes Norte health center in Zaragoza with the body of her youngest daughter, who was less than three months old at the time. The child had died of asphyxiation, it was found out.

Comment: Did the evil spirits kill the kids? That seems highly unlikely. Strange case with many questions unanswered.

Attention

Now that's 'progress! 'Only' 6000 sexual assaults on military employees in last year

© Reuters / Omar Sobhani
Nearly 6,000 military employees reported sexual assaults this year, marking an eight percent increase compared to 2013. The Pentagon called the increase in reporting "progress" for its handling of sexual assault, but critics call the numbers "appalling."

Specifically, the Pentagon said 5,983 military personal reported to law enforcement and commanders they were sexually assaulted in 2014. Just 359 of those reports resulted in conviction, and 175 of those had to register as sex offenders.

The Pentagon also conducted an anonymous survey in which nearly 19,000 troops claimed they were sexually assaulted. About 10,500 of these claims were reported by men, and 8,500 were women - a drop of 6,000 compared to the last anonymous survey done in 2012, which led to a national outcry about what was described as a sexual assault epidemic in the military and created a clamor for reform.

Comment: What do people expect? For an institution that exists solely on its capacity for dehumanizing others and treating them as objects - which is what war essentially comes down to - the sexual abuse of women and men follows naturally. But it's worse than that - it's not just a bunch of 'bad apples'. Generals have the power to overturn verdicts - a power they put to use. What an utter perversion of justice. These generals and the abusers they cover should be dishonorably discharged, and thrown in the nearest cell.

Stormtrooper

Paul Craig Roberts: Goon thug cops murder at will - and get away with it

eric garner
Another goon thug gratuitous murderer has been let off by a grand jury and a prosecutor. Read the condolences offered by NY mayor Bill de Blasio, officer Pantaleo and the Obama Puppet. They are so sorry about the collateral damage of protecting the public from criminals and terrorists. But our society would collapse if people are allowed to sell on the street untaxed individual cigarettes out of a pack. Without the death of innocents, none of us would be safe. Our safety depended on the NYPD murder of Eric Garner, a father of six who was a threat to no one.

Another police murder of a US citizen who was no threat to anyone - just more collateral damage - as the US military calls it when US forces blow up kids' soccer games, weddings, funerals, and birthday parties. Any concentration of people, regardless of what they are doing, is considered to be an enemy force and legitimate target. This includes people picking their crops in fields.

Unfortunate perhaps, but soldiers and police and US presidents have the right to make mistakes. Only a dangerous "domestic extremist" would think that a goon thug should be held accountable for a murder. I mean, after all, the 21st century American courts have established that those in the executive branch are above the law. American judges are sworn to uphold the US Constitution, but this has not stopped them from subverting it in the interest of executive power in order to make us "safe."

Comment: Roberts nails it. Our society has become a caricature of everything bad about Stalin and Hitler's regimes. Freedom is slavery. Safety is fearing the police will kill you for no reason. Peace is war. And all those pesky laws just get in the way of keeping America the great, noble, free country it is and should be. That's what they'd like you to believe, at least. How many actually buy it? And how many saw the signs, and saw that this is what the U.S. would become? Because the signs were there. It's a shame nothing was done when there was still a chance.

Arrow Down

Sex crimes in the US military: The safety and protection of women in the Armed Forces

Female service members
© PressTV
Female service members in the US military.
March 2014 was a bad month for women in the armed forces. The bill sponsored by female Senators Gillibrand and McCaskill went down in defeat by five votes that would have transferred jurisdiction of all military assault cases away from the good ol' boys club of the male commander to civilian court.

On the same day the Senate was voting to leave sexual assault under military control, across the Potomac River the Pentagon was forced to make public the Army's top officer in charge of reducing the sexual epidemic in its ranks himself being investigated for sexual misconduct. Then in that same month of March the highest profile rape case in Naval Academy history resulted in acquittal of a former Navy football player. That same day the highest profile case of rape in US Army history against a general also resulted in a mere slap of the hand.

After the entire preceding year near daily headlines of rape in the military drawing continuous unwanted attention to the out of control sex crimes running rampant throughout both the services and the service academies, with over 26,000 reported assault cases in 2012 alone, these demoralizing March events cast a foreboding dark shadow on women in uniform's future safety and protection. The subsequent harassment and humiliation that the one in ten rape survivors who do come forth and report sex crimes are subjected to amounts to double punishment, being re-traumatized and re-victimized by a military system that fails to convict and imprison 99% of military rapists. Adding the turn of events from March madness to the already dismal record and the prospect that women would be any better protected in the future seems bleak to impossible.

The top military brass that have not won a war in seven decades were resoundingly victorious in their yearlong PR campaign at damage control, convincing Congress that long overdue improvements were actually being made. Those shocking headlines earlier this year spelled business as usual for young American women both in and out of uniform. At the same time rape on college campuses across America was also spiking out of control with headlines indicating that up to one in four females attending college in the US are also victims of sexual assault. And the cherished, most honorable military institutions of West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy that brag that cadets are our nation's best and brightest and so called cream of the crop turn out to be the worst offenders of all.
Stormtrooper

Timothy Loehmann, cop who shot Tamir Rice, deemed unfit for policing 2 years ago

Tamir Rice
© Unknown
The Cleveland police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old holding a replica gun in November was deemed unsuited for police service two years ago, newly released documents show.

Timothy Loehmann, now 26, was employed by the City of Independence Police Department in Independence, Ohio, for six months in 2012, the Guardian reports. In an internal memo from that November, Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak criticized Loehmann's behavior during a firearms training.

"He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal," the memo, available in full at Cleveland.com, states.

According to the report, Loehmann became "distracted and weepy," in part because of an issue with a girlfriend and uncertainty about his future. Polak criticized Loehmann for being "not mature enough in his accepting of responsibility or his understanding in the severity of his loss of control on the range," and concluded the report with recommending that Loehmann be "released" from his position.

The memo also cites several previous issues, including Loehmann removing a bulletproof vest at the wrong time because he felt too warm.

"I do not believe time, nor training, will be able to change or correct the deficiencies," Polak wrote.
Arrow Down

It's official: America is NOT the largest economy based on IMF numbers

chinese flag
© Reuters/Petar Kujundzic
A Chinese national flag flutters in front of the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, in central Beijing, May 16, 2014.
Hang on to your hats, America.

And throw away that big, fat styrofoam finger while you're about it.

There's no easy way to say this, so I'll just say it: We're no longer No. 1. Today, we're No. 2. Yes, it's official. The Chinese economy just overtook the United States economy to become the largest in the world. For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, America is not the leading economic power on the planet.

It just happened - and almost nobody noticed.

Comment: U.S.A and Britain are not champions of civil liberties or democratic processes or constitutional rights. It is a myth created by them at the barrel of a gun and with control over the press while they install their foreign vassals to legitimize their plunder.

People

Hundreds of Israelis protest Jewish 'nation state' law

Israelis demonstrate
© AAP
Left wing Israelis participate in a demonstration to protest a controversial proposed law that would define Israel as "the Jewish state" on November 29, 2014.
Hundreds of leftwing Israelis have demonstrated in Jerusalem against a controversial draft law enshrining Israel's status as the Jewish national homeland.

The rally was organised by Israel's Peace Now settlement watchdog and held across the street from the residence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Peace Now said the rally was "an opportunity to let the democratic camp's voice be heard" against the draft law, which embodied "nationalism, racism and aggression" threatening to "ruin our country".

As the demonstration got underway, police said that arsonists had torched an Arab-Jewish school in Jerusalem and scrawled racist anti-Arab slogans on its walls.

"Go home, release us from your oppressive, racist, extremist and inciting regime," MP Tamar Zandberg of the opposition Meretz party said at the demonstration.

Critics say the new bill - endorsed by the cabinet on Sunday - will come at the expense of democracy and institutionalise discrimination against minorities, including Arabs.

Netanyahu insists the law would balance Israel's Jewish and democratic characteristics.
Dollar

Who benefits from the American food stamp program?

food stamps
© Associated Press
More than one in seven people.

That's how many people are on food stamps in America these days. More than one in seven people.

In fact, the number of recipients of federal food assistance rose a whopping 171% between 2000 and 2011 alone, to an all-time record of more than 47 million Americans across the country now on the food stamp dole.

That means more U.S. citizens are receiving food stamp benefits now than in the entire history of the food stamp program ever.

One-sixth of the country is now receiving food stamps and the number just continues to climb.

Comment: Furthermore, being dependent on the government makes you less likely to step out of line and keeps you in a perpetual state of fear of when the rug will be snatched from underneath you.

Bandaid

Silicon Valley: One of the largest U.S. homeless encampments dismantled by city

© Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
San Jose police and city officials hand out notices warning residents of the homeless encampment known as the Jungle that they must vacate the premises. The city has spent $4 million over 18 months to relocate some of the inhabitants.
Veiled by the yellow willows and brush along a forgotten creek bed in San Jose, hundreds of people jerry-built a treehouse and constructed underground bunkers and ramshackle lean-tos to form one of the nation's largest homeless encampments.

The 68-acre shantytown is just minutes away from downtown and the high-tech giants that made Silicon Valley one of the world's most opulent locations. For years, the city turned a blind eye to "the Jungle." But the camp along the muddy bank of Coyote Creek has become more crowded in recent years and is awash in rotting trash, rats and human waste - so bad that the endangered steelhead trout have essentially disappeared.

After years of halfhearted cleanups, city officials on Thursday plan to begin shutting down the Jungle for good.
The sprawling camp has become a major embarrassment, and a potent emblem of Silicon Valley's homeless crisis. In 2013, San Jose and the surrounding Santa Clara County estimated almost 7,600 homeless people, more than in San Francisco. And 75% of them were sleeping outside, on sidewalks, in parks and under freeway embankments - a percentage greater than in any other major U.S. metropolitan area.

Officials have blamed soaring housing costs for the displacement. As Silicon Valley rocketed out of the recession, workers streamed in, driving the average apartment rent within 10 miles of San Jose up to $2,633 in September, from $1,761 two years earlier, according to the rental website RentJungle.com.

The median home price is nearly $700,000.

"It's a perfect storm of extreme wealth, a booming tech community and people priced out of the market," said Jennifer Loving, executive director of Destination Home, a public-private partnership to end homelessness in the county.

Comment: Is this what it means to live in America now: The homeless are presented as something other than human who need to disappear from view? Who don't need food, water, shelter or fellowship? You can easily judge a society by how they treat their weakest members.The reason people are poor and homeless is the psychopathic capitalist system is an epic failure. It was created to serve those at the top. The rest of humanity are there to serve them - serfs to be discarded when they are no longer profitable.

Take 2

'On the Side of the Road': New film exposes Israel's dirty, little secret

nakba
Here in Virginia, U.S.A., I'm aware that the native people were murdered, driven out, and moved westward. But my personal connection to that crime is weak, and frankly I'm too busy trying to rein in my government's current abuses to focus on the distant past. Pocahontas is a cartoon, the Redskins a football team, and remaining Native Americans almost invisible. Protests of the European occupation of Virginia are virtually unheard of.

But what if it had just happened a moment ago, historically speaking? What if my parents had been children or teenagers? What if my grandparents and their generation had conceived and executed the genocide? What if a large population of survivors and refugees were still here and just outside? What if they were protesting, nonviolently and violently - including with suicide bombings and homemade rockets launched out of West Virginia? What if they marked the Fourth of July as the Great Catastrophe and made it a day of mourning? What if they were organizing nations and institutions all over the world to boycott, divest, and sanction the United States and seek its prosecution in court? What if, before being driven out, the Native Americans had built hundreds of towns with buildings of masonry, hard to make simply disappear?

Comment: See also:

The Photos Israel Forbids You to See By Law

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