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Bulb

China, Russia & North Korea will create international duty-free tourist zone

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© Reuters / Kim Hong-Ji
The authorities in China's northeastern Jilin Province plan to create an international visa and duty-free tourist zone in the border region with Russia and North Korea.

The territory will lie along the Tumen River and will include the Chinese city of Hunchun and a ten square kilometer area in Russia and North Korea, the Xinhua news agency reports Friday. The infrastructure will be constructed jointly by the three countries participating in the project, the news agency reports.

Comment: Bad 'ole Russia creating tourists zones whereas "exceptionalist" America creates war zones. Meanwhile Russia is also doing the same with Egypt.


Heart - Black

Georgia police shoot man, handcuff him to hospital bed and deny family access until he dies

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© Davis Family
Kevin Davis and family
Police in Georgia who cuffed a man to his hospital bed for two days after he was fatally shot by an officer have been accused by his family of barring them from visiting him to stop full details of the shooting from being disclosed.

Kevin Davis was detained at Grady hospital in Atlanta after being shot three times by a DeKalb County police officer, who was responding to a 911 call made by Davis and his girlfriend when she was stabbed by another man at their apartment in the suburb of Decatur.

His sister, Delisa, said she spent his final hours begging police to allow her to see him, but that they refused until he died. "They denied us access to him because they didn't want him telling us what really happened that night," she told the Guardian. In his last known remarks, Davis told a medic that an officer simply arrived at his home "and began shooting".

Jeffrey Mann, the DeKalb County sheriff, said in a statement on Thursday that his department showed "appropriate compassion" to detainees' families. "It is mandatory, however, that security protocol is applied consistently in order to protect the safety of both the inmate and the general public," said Mann, who denied that his officers on duty had blocked relatives from visiting.


Comment: How is preventing a dying man from seeing his family protecting the 'inmate' or the public?


Davis had been arrested and charged with aggravated assault against the police officer, Joseph Pitts, because he allegedly ignored an order to drop a revolver he was holding. Davis's girlfriend, April Edwards, said he grabbed the unloaded gun and approached their front door after their dog was shot and they feared that her attacker may have returned with a gun.

Pitts shot Davis in disputed circumstances. Police have said that Davis approached Pitts, who was in the corridor outside the apartment, shouting: "You shot my dog." Pitts had shot the three-legged pitbull dead, later alleging it "charged" at him after he opened the door to Davis's apartment. Police also said Pitts ordered Davis twice to "put down the gun".

But according to hospital files obtained by the Guardian, after arriving by ambulance Davis told an emergency room medic in his last known remarks "that police came to his house after there was an altercation with his girlfriend and began shooting".

Arrow Down

Iowa widow faces federal charges because she deposited inheritance money in lumps

© Police State USA
Justice in America.
Dubuque — A widow's bank account was seized by the IRS and she now faces criminal charges for depositing her legal inheritance money in lumps instead of all together.

Janet Malone, 68, had $18,775 seized from her — money that was legally earned and was legally bestowed to her by her late husband, Ronald Malone. The problem, according to the government, was the fact that she deposited it in several lumps instead of all at once.

According to the Associated Press, Mrs. Malone deposited the cash in increments between $5,800 and $9,000. The widow's private financial affairs evidently set off red flags under the watchful gaze of the federal government.

The IRS sought out and obtained a warrant in 2013 to seize Mrs. Malone's bank account based on suspicion that the transactions were sized in strategic amounts meant to avoid federal reporting requirements, which take place on transactions valued at $10,000 or more. The crime is referred to as "structuring" one's deposits.

Dollar

Woman files lawsuit claiming cop caused miscarriage after slamming her to the ground and sitting on her

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A Georgia woman claimed in a lawsuit that police officers in Albany beat her so badly that she had a miscarriage.

In a complaint filed in federal court, Kenya Harris explained that she went to the Albany Police Department in May 2011 to pick up her minor son after he was arrested, according to Courthouse News.

Harris said she waited five hours for her son before informing Officers Ryan Jenkins that she needed to return home to take care of her other children.

"Defendant Officer Jenkins stated that he did not appreciate the tone in which she was communicating with him, and further stated that if she continued he would take her head and 'put it to the floor,'" the lawsuit stated.

The mother once again insisted that she needed to leave, and that's when Jenkins decided to use force.

"Defendant Officer Jenkins, without provocation, grabbed plaintiff, who weighs less than one hundred twenty (120) pounds, by her neck and slammed her to the ground," the lawsuit said. "Plaintiff momentarily blacked out and came to with defendant Officer Jenkins sitting on her back, and with his knee on her arm. Plaintiff was pregnant at the time."

Comment: Police have clearly lost all rational thought. There is no law that says people must speak in a respectful tone to police, and certainly police do not have the right to cause physical harm because of any tone in a person's voice. In this case, the officer's response was totally out of line and she absolutely should sue.


Sheriff

Cop who was fired after testing positive for cocaine after killing rape suspect could be charged

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© Tribune Review
Former Allegheny County Sherrif's Detective Richard Dwyer
A Pennsylvania sheriff's deputy could be charged with manslaughter if investigators determine he was high on cocaine when he shot and killed a rape suspect last month.

Richard Dwyer was fired by the Allegheny County sheriff after he tested positive for cocaine shortly after he and a U.S. Marshal fatally shot Leslie Sapp as they attempted to arrest him Jan. 6 at his Knoxville home, reported the Tribune-Review.

The 44-year-old Dwyer fired at least one of the seven shots that struck Sapp, who was accused of sexually assaulting a young girl.

Prosecutors said Sapp took a shooting stance with what was later found to be a pellet gun as deputies and members of a U.S. Marshals task force attempted to take him into custody.

Dwyer could be charged if investigators are able to determine his cognitive abilities were impaired at the time of the shooting.

"If an officer is under the influence of drugs and it affects his cognitive skills, and somehow this person is dead because he didn't act properly because of the drugs, that could be involuntary manslaughter," said District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

Drug tests are part of the standard investigative procedure during officer-involved shootings.

Eye 2

Chapel Hill shooter Craig Stephen Hicks had ongoing parking dispute with victims

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© AFP Photo/Sara D. Davis
Craig Stephen Hicks sits in the Durham County courtroom for his first appearance in the shooting deaths of three University of North Carolina students on February 11, 2015.
Police say that an ongoing dispute over parking may have led a triple murder on Tuesday night, but CBS affiliate WRAL reports that the local prosecutor is not ruling out the possibility that the shooting was a hate crime. All three victims were reportedly Muslim.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.

Sources told WRAL that all three victims were shot in the head.

Comment: Killing over a parking dispute? This is purely a hate crime despite what Hicks' wife claims:
The wife of alleged Chapel Hill shooter Craig Stephen Hicks may have defended her husband in the wake of the murder of three Muslim students Tuesday, but Karen Hicks is now seeking a divorce from the suspect, according to a report from the Associated Press. After saying her husband "champions the rights of others," Hicks released a statement through her lawyer saying that she was divorcing Craig, who many believe targeted the students because of his anti-religion views.

Hicks, who had been married to the alleged shooter for seven years, told reporters Wednesday that the shooting had "nothing to do with religion" but was related to a long-standing parking dispute with the victims, CBS reported. Her lawyers also asserted that the suspect, 46, was a "champion of Second Amendment rights" who "believed everyone is equal."

Hicks is accused of murdering Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. The three were found shot dead in their apartment in the condominium complex where Hicks also lives. The killings have sparked outrage among people who view it as a possible bias attack based on Hicks' social media postings expressing anti-religion views.

"When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me," Hicks wrote in a post on his Facebook page, according to the Raleigh News and Observer. "If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I. But given that it doesn't, and given the enormous harm that your religion has done in this world, I'd say that I have not only a right, but a duty, to insult it, as does every rational, thinking person on this planet." The father of the female victims said he believes the students were targeted for their Muslim faith and that his daughters had previously told him that Hicks "hates us for what we are and how we look," the News and Observer reported.

Cynthia Hurley, the suspected shooter's ex-wife, told the AP that prior to their divorce 17 years ago, his favorite movie was "Falling Down," a 1993 film about a divorced unemployed engineer who goes on a shooting rampage. "That always freaked me out. He watched it incessantly. He thought it was hilarious. He had no compassion at all," she said.



Eye 2

Man fatally shot by police for throwing rocks

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The death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes at the hands of police has sparked protests.
Police in Washington fatally shot a man who was throwing rocks at them, officials confirmed Wednesday, as purported footage of his death sparked protests and online anger.

Officers responded to a busy intersection Tuesday after receiving reports that a man was throwing rocks at vehicles, according to Police Chief Bob Metzger of the Pasco Police Department.

Metzger said Antonio Zambrano-Montes threw at least one "softball size" rock and did not respond to the officers' orders to put down the projectiles. He said officers deployed a Taser, but that it had no effect on Zambrano-Montes.

Police said Zambrano-Montes was pronounced dead on the scene and identified the officers as Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright, and Adrian Alaniz. The shooting is under investigation and the officers have been placed on administrative leave, according to the statement.


Comment: That police chose to fire in a crowded intersection at a man who was simply throwing rocks is unconscionable. As the cousin of the victim says, there are other ways of dealing with this than simply killing the man. As the video shows, the man was running away from the police and was unarmed. The officers who murdered this man should be fired, charged, and jailed for cold-blooded murder.


Padlock

U.S. jail system full of poor, mentally ill, non-violent and drug-addicted detainees

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© Reuters/Tony Gentile
Local jails in the US are full of poor, mentally ill and drug-addicted detainees accused mostly of minor violations, and they have been jailed for longer periods over the past 30 years given their inability to pay court-ordered fines, a new report says.

According Vera Institute of Justice's new report, "Incarceration's Front Door: The Misuse of Jails in America," there are, on any given day, about 731,000 people held in America's 3,000 local and county jails - nearly 20 times the number of annual admissions to state and federal prisons.

Even though both violent and property crimes in the US are down 49 and 44 percent, respectively, from peak levels more than 20 years ago, the annual numbers of those jailed has doubled since 1983, to 11.7 million, many of whom are repeat offenders.

The study found that those incarcerated in local jails are spending an increasing amount of time in jail, staying there from 14 days to 23 days given bond requirements that are out of their financial reach. Three out of five people there have not been convicted of a crime but are too poor to post bail while their cases are processed.

The overwhelming majority of jailed pretrial detainees and sentenced offenders are in for nonviolent infractions, such as traffic, property, drug or public order infractions.

"Underlying the behavior that lands people in jail, there is often a history of substance abuse, mental illness, poverty, failure in school, and homelessness," the study found.

The report echoes typical grievances surrounding the US police-court-prison mass incarceration system, which has received heightened scrutiny since the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., last August.

On Feb. 8, lawsuits were filed against Ferguson and Jennings, another St. Louis suburb, alleging systems akin to a modern debtors' prison. The mass of excessive fines and jailings over minor offenses issued in those cities, they argued, amount to a "municipal scheme designed to brutalize, to punish and to profit."

The new study also focused on the disproportionate amount of people of color within the local jail system.

Comment: The prison-industrial complex profits by keeping prisons full. Most of the prisons and jails in the U.S. are outsourced to mega-corporations who are concerned about profits not rehabilitation. The way the police state is progressing in our society, with the restrictions on our freedoms, there is not, and will not be much difference between being locked up and living in society.

The prison state of America


Stock Up

Why public banks outperform private banks and how the private banks intend to destroy them

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© Unknown

Public banks in North Dakota, Germany and Switzerland have been shown to outperform their private counterparts. Under the TPP and TTIP, however, publicly-owned banks on both sides of the oceans might wind up getting sued for unfair competition because they have advantages not available to private banks.


In November 2014, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Bank of North Dakota (BND), the nation's only state-owned bank, "is more profitable than Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has a better credit rating than J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and hasn't seen profit growth drop since 2003." The article credited the shale oil boom; but as discussed earlier here, North Dakota was already reporting record profits in the spring of 2009, when every other state was in the red and the oil boom had not yet hit. The later increase in state deposits cannot explain the bank's stellar record either.

Then what does explain it? The BND turns a tidy profit year after year because it has substantially lower costs and risks then private commercial banks. It has no exorbitantly-paid executives; pays no bonuses, fees, or commissions; has no private shareholders; and has low borrowing costs. It does not need to advertise for depositors (it has a captive deposit base in the state itself) or for borrowers (it is a wholesome wholesale bank that partners with local banks that have located borrowers). The BND also has no losses from derivative trades gone wrong. It engages in old-fashioned conservative banking and does not speculate in derivatives.

Lest there be any doubt about the greater profitability of the public banking model, however, this conclusion was confirmed in January 2015 in a report by the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC) (the Sparkassenstiftung für internationale Kooperation), a non-profit organization founded by the the Sparkassen Finance Group (Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe) in Germany. The SBFIC was formed in 1992 to make the experience of the German Sparkassen - municipally-owned savings banks - accessible in other countries.

Comment: Is there an area of public interest that the Obama administration hasn't tried destroying yet?


Bug

Florida man sexually assaults six-year old; claims it's her fault it happened

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Andres Bartolome Juan
Authorities say they've arrested a South Florida man who admitted to sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl but claimed it was the child's fault.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reports that 23-year-old Andres Bartolome Juan was arrested Saturday and charged with two counts of sexual assault.

The girl told detectives that she had been riding her bike outside her Lake Worth apartment Jan. 31 when she went into the laundry room. That's where the girl says Juan assaulted her twice, according to reports. The attack was interrupted when the girl's mother found her bike unattended and began calling out for her.

The girl ran out the laundry room "with a panicked look on her face," the report said. The girl's mother went inside the laundry room and found Juan trying to exit through a back window. His belt was unbuckled, his pants open and his zipper down, the mother told detectives.

The Palm Beach Post reports that a neighbor later identified Juan to detectives. A resident in the apartment where Juan once lived told detectives that Juan came to him and said, "I touched the little girl."

While a DNA swab sample was being obtained from Juan, he told a detective: "It's [the girl's] fault this happened," according to the report.

Comment: Such horrendous sex crimes against children is a global epidemic. The best defense we have to protect ourselves and our children is to learn more about how these predators operate. The book: Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, and Other Sex Offenders, Who They Are, How They Operate, and How We Can Protect Ourselves and Our Children written by psychologist Anna Salter is invaluable in exposing and understanding these predators. As Dr. Salter says: "Knowing how they think and act and operate is the only protection we have." You can listen to our interview with Dr. Salter here.