Society's Child


Cover-up? Plane crash that killed Brazilian presidential socialist candidate had black box that 'recorded data of different flight'

© Reuters
Air Force investigators have been combing the crashed site for clues into the cause of the accident
The black box recovered from the wreckage of the plane crash that killed Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos did not record his flight, Brazilian Air Force (FAB) says. It said the audio recording FAB experts had analysed was not related to the flight that crashed on Wednesday.

A spokesman said they were trying to determine what the recording was. Mr Campos and six others died when his private jet crashed in bad weather in the port city of Santos near Sao Paulo. Experts from the Centre of Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautical Accidents in the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, have been trying to reconstruct the audio files from the black box in search for more clues as to what happened in the lead up to the accident. "The two hours of audio, the maximum recording capacity of the equipment, which were received and validated by certified technicians, were not of the flight of 13 August," air force spokesman Pedro Luis Farcic said in a statement (in Portuguese). "It is not yet possible to determine the date of the dialogue recorded in the CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder), given that this equipment does not record this information," he continued, adding that an investigation would determine what may have happened.

All 365 of Sierra Leone's Ebola-related deaths traced to single village healer

© Reuters / Tarik Jasarevic
Sierra Leone's Ebola crisis has been traced back to a single healer in an isolated border village, who had claimed to be in possession of special powers to cure the deadly disease that started penetrating the border, it has emerged.

"She was claiming to have powers to heal Ebola. Cases from Guinea were crossing into Sierra Leone for treatment," top medical official, Mohamed Vandi, who was based in the crisis-struck Kenema district, told AFP.

"She got infected and died. During her funeral, women around the other towns got infected," he told the agency. The woman was based in the eastern border village of Sokoma.

Mourners at the funeral of the healer prompted a chain reaction of sorts, and what was initially a more confined outbreak materialized into a severe epidemic when, in June, the virus struck a city of 190,000 called Kenema.

At least 1,350 people have died since the virus spread out of southern Guinea at the beginning of the year. More than 2,200 people have been infected across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

The disease spreads through direct contact, for example through broken skin or bodily fluid exposure, and is characterized by fever and bleeding disorders, as well as vomiting, diarrhea and a rash.

There is no cure or vaccination for it, and 90 percent of cases result in death. Its severity and destructiveness to organ tissue has earned it the description of "molecular shark".

In part, its rapid transference has been blamed on funeral rites, during which relatives touch their dead. Mourners, family members, and health workers are the most at risk in the event of an outbreak. Twelve nurses out of the 22 infected have died since the virus first hit Kenema.
Brick Wall

Desmond Tutu: Suspend Israel from the international architectural body

Desmond Tutu 2
Desmond Tutu:"If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor."
Social rights activist and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has used his closing message at the International World Union of Architects Congress to call for the suspension of the Israeli architects association.

In a message delivered at the 25th meeting of the International Union of Architects (UIA) today in South Africa, Tutu said he believed a suspension of the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) would be an "appropriate" message of support for justice in both Israel and Palestine.

"As you have gathered in Durban this week, the world news has been dominated by the carnage in Gaza," said Tutu. "I have condemned those Palestinians responsible for firing rockets at Israel, for violence is not the solution to human crises. The disproportionality of Israel's response, however, has been utterly horrendous."

"I believe it would be appropriate for the UIA to send a clear message of support for justice in Palestine and Israel by suspending the Israeli Architect's Association from the world body," said Tutu.

crane and wall
The International Union of Architects (IUA) discussed on Wednesday a call for expelling the Israeli Association of United Architects (IAUA) from the union against the backdrop of the association's refusal to oppose settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
Tutu said that architects, as part of "civil society", had to step into a void created by politicians and diplomats, in order to persuade Israel to find a peaceful solution that is acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians.

He also called on Israeli architects to "actively disassociate" themselves from the design and construction of "infrastructure related to perpetuating injustice, including the separation wall, the security terminals and checkpoints, and the settlements built on occupied Palestinian land."

Comment: The Israeli Association of United Architects claims that it is only a professional association, and it does not have a political agenda. However, this claim does not hold because the IAUA is not neutral. It does have a political position in support of the status quo. The only country in the world that was previously expelled from the IUA is South Africa.

Arrow Down

Hiding something? LAPD blocks release of autopsy report on shooting of unarmed man

LA police
© Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images / AFP
Those waiting for the preliminary autopsy report regarding the officer-involved death of a young, unarmed black man in Los Angeles are going to have to wait a little longer, as officials have delayed its release.

According to the Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have placed an "investigative hold" on the report detailing Ezell Ford's cause of death in order to preserve the integrity of witness testimony, which is still being gathered.

"Pending further investigative and forensic analysis, the LAPD Force Investigation Division investigators have requested that The Los Angeles County Coroner place an investigative hold on the pending autopsy report," the police department said on Monday.

Speaking with NBC Los Angeles, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said the department is looking for additional witnesses before the report is out in the public eye, adding that its release could potentially influence any statements given.
Chart Pie

More sanctions blowback: EU countries whine that Russian food embargo is hurting their economies

© Reuters / Filip Klimaszewski
Apples are pictured at a fruit and vegetables market in Warsaw
Poland's Economic Ministry has sent the European Commission a request to launch an official complaint to the WTO to examine Russia's EU food embargo.

Polish Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki filed the request Tuesday with the European Trade Commissioner Karel de Gucht after a meeting in Brussels, Reuters reported.

"The US's, Australia and Canada's opinion will also be important," Sawicki told Polish state news agency PAP, adding he believes the country's Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski will lead the discussions with other EU states.

A final verdict could be made as soon as September 12, but Brussels worries about the consequences of escalating the trade conflict by bringing it before the WTO.

Many politicians in Brussels want to see an end to the food standoff as soon as possible, and do not want to trigger more sanctions from Moscow.
Stock Down

30 stats showing that the middle class is being eviscerated

american house
© unknown
The 30 statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class in America is being systematically destroyed. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a staggering pace. Yes, the stock market has soared to unprecedented heights this year and there are a few isolated areas of the country that are doing rather well for the moment.

But overall, the long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class just continue to accelerate. Over the past decade or so, the percentage of Americans that are working has gone way down, the quality of our jobs has plummeted dramatically and the wealth of the typical American household has fallen precipitously. Meanwhile, we have watched median household income decline for five years in a row, we have watched the rate of homeownership in this country decline for eight years in a row and dependence on the government is at an all-time high. Being a part of the middle class in the United States at this point can be compared to playing a game of musical chairs. We can all see chairs being removed from the game, and we are all desperate to continue to have a chair every time the music stops playing. The next time the music stops, will it be your chair that gets removed?

Did Ferguson cops use a livestream 'kill-switch' to hide the chaos they created?

Ferguson police
© Reuters / Mario Anzuon
A police officer holds his riot gun while demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014
It seems like the police state is using protests in Ferguson as a testing ground for all of their crowd-control weapons. Many are obvious like the curfew enforced by platoons of soldiers, armored tanks mounted by snipers, stun, tear and smoke grenades, no-fly zone, sound cannons, and designated free speech zones and media zones (apparently they're different now).

However, some weapons are less obvious like technology to kill livestream feeds during questionable police activity. And that's precisely what happened last night according to Ferguson's most prolific livestreamer Argus Radio.
No Entry

Air France union calls for cancellation of flights to Ebola-hit countries

© Reuters / Charles Platiau
The union behind Air France has launched a petition to immediately stop flights to Ebola-hit countries until the virus is under control, as fears flare up over the largest epidemic the world has ever seen.

Air crews are still made to fly to Conakry in Guinea and Freetown in Sierra Leone, according to Le Parisien. Those are some of the most afflicted by the Ebola virus, having now lost more than 1,200 people.

"We are afraid," one employee told the newspaper. "We know that this is a risky career - countries at war, dictators, OK, but this... it's different."

The employee is one of 700 who signed the petition.

Although Air France staff had already been given the right to refuse to work on flights bound to the two West African countries, they didn't go as far as British Airways and Emirates, who canceled the routes altogether.

Calls for media blackout of James Foley execution video gaining attention on Twitter

© Reuters / Ammar Abdullah
Celebrities and commentators have led calls on Twitter for the video depicting the beheading of US journalist James Foley not to be shared online to avoid handing the Islamic State a platform for its propaganda.

Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy, former Tory MP Louise Mensch and Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire are among those urging social network users not to forward the footage on to their contacts.

Guru-Murthy said: "The intended effect of beheading James Foley on video is to spread fear of IS [the Islamic State]. Don't help by watching or sharing it."
The intended effect of beheading James Foley on video is to spread fear of IS. Don't help by watching or sharing it #JamesFoley

- Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) August 19, 2014
Meanwhile, Mensch urged her followers to share a picture of Foley alive rather than "any of him in the hands of his gutless murderers."
Che Guevara

Desmond Tutu calls for global boycott of Israel

© AP
A child next to a picture of Nelson Mandela at a pro-Palestinian rally in Cape Town. August 9, 2014
The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel's disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine - in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities - this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we'd see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday's turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.

I asked the crowd to chant with me: "We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews."

Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.