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Breaking news! Watch first video of the AH5017 crash area

First video of the Air Algeria AH5017 crash area.


Comment: More information and discussion on this forum thread.

Pumpkin 2

Cost of fracking boom? California farmers' water costs surge 700% after government cuts supply

When we reported on the government's decisiosn to withhold irrigation water to California for the first time in 54 years, we warned there would be consequences: farmers are hit hardest as "they're all on pins and needles trying to figure out how they're going to get through this." Fields will go unplanted (supply lower mean food prices higher), or farmers will pay top dollar for water that's on the market (and those costs can only be passed on via higher food prices). Sure enough, as Bloomberg reports, farmers in California's Central Valley, the world's most productive agricultural region, are paying as much as 10 times more for water than they did before the state's record drought cut supply.

Comment: Apart from drought, these cuts to water for agricultural use, wouldn't have anything to do with fracking or would they? Efforts are underway to make California the biggest on-shore oil producing state in the nation and all due to fracking, which is very water intensive.

Gear

Ethiopia: Where China goes to outsource its own rising labor cost

© Bloomberg
Ethiopian workers strolling through the parking lot of Huajian Shoes' factory outside Addis Ababa last month chose the wrong day to leave their shirts untucked.

Company President Zhang Huarong, just arrived on a visit from China, spotted them through the window, sprang up and ran outside. The former People's Liberation Army soldier harangued them loudly in Chinese, tugging at one man's aqua polo shirt and forcing another's shirt into his pants. Nonplussed, the workers stood silently until the eruption subsided.

Shaping up a handful of employees is one small part of Zhang's quest to profit from Huajian's factory wages of about $40 a month - - less than 10 percent the level in China.
Handcuffs

City Council bans saggy pants in Ocala, FL

Baggy pants
© Reuters / Mohamad Torokman
A city in Florida doesn't want people showing off their 'whale tails,' 'plumber's cracks' or boxers on public property so much that they banned the saggy-pants fashion statement within city limits.

"Lookin' like a fool, walkin' downtown with ya pants on the ground," 'General' Larry Platt famously sang in his 'American Idol' audition. "Giddy up! Get ya pants off the ground!"


Comment: Another sign of our totalitarian society, where people are forced to conform to the values of the rulers. For an interesting study about conformity and the types of people who are enforcers of conformity, read the book by Bob Altemeyer called "The Authoritarians".

USA

Teen girl raped on field trip then treated horribly by Seattle high school that refused to help her

© Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons
Editor's note: The alleged victim in this case did not participate in this report. Because naming her parents would identify her, her first name and her family name are pseudonyms.

Emily Miller was on a three-day nature field trip with Seattle's Garfield High School in November 2012 when her parents got a call that their 15-year-old daughter had been raped and was headed to a hospital.

Teachers, Garfield's principal, district officials, a rape advocate, the National Parks Service and the FBI, which has jurisdiction over the national park, were all alerted, and details tumbled out quickly: The alleged perpetrator was a classmate, who admitted that he had had anal sex with her. He acknowledged to law enforcement that she told him to stop several times but said he persuaded her to "roll with it."

Medical records reported mild vaginal trauma, semen streaked on her pubic hair and in her anus and a diagnosis of rape trauma syndrome. Emily vomited, possibly because of a nauseating megadose of prophylactic antibiotics. Her rape advocate at the hospital, who had 10 years of experience working with rape victims, said she "presented as one who had experienced a rape."
Eye 2

Two men pose as father and son on Instagram to lure 14-year-old girl and repeatedly rape her

© WJLA
Orlando Jones, left, Javon Henson
A 45-year-old convicted sex offender partnered with a 19-year-old District Heights man in Maryland to lure and rape a 14-year-old girl that they met on Instagram, an online photo sharing service.

Washington, D.C. police said that Orlando Roberts, who is a sex offender, and Javon Henson met the 14-year-old girl on Instagram, and then continued contacting her using the Kik online messaging service.

According to WJLA, Roberts presented himself as Henson's father, and offered to lie to the victim's mother about the age of his "son" so they could all go on a picnic together.
Vader

Watchlist report shows how Obama administration easily marks individuals as terrorists without any concrete proof

airport homeland security
© AFP Photo / Getty Images / John Moore
A never-before-published document released by The Intercept on Wednesday reveals the flexibility with which United States officials may place individuals on watchlists and deem them terrorists without obtaining concrete proof.

The 166-page document, the "March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance," suggests that the US government relies on "a secret process that requires neither 'concrete facts' nor 'irrefutable evidence' to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist," journalists Jeremy Scahill and Ryan Devereaux wrote this week.

According to an excerpt of the lengthy but unclassified document, the guideline was "developed to help standardize the watchlisting community's nomination and screening process," which federal agencies implement when encountering persons that officials may believe are linked to terroristic activity.

The document suggests that those officials have a wide breadth with regards to evaluating suspects, however, and that one White House official even has the power to unilaterally place "entire categories" of people onto lists that may bar those individuals from traveling by air. The Obama administration, the journalists claim, "quietly approved a substantial expansion" of the list last year, allowing more individuals to be targeted than before with less evidence than before.

Comment: The ruling psychopaths are stealthily herding the populace into ever more control - they are evidently very frightened of normal human beings who might at any time begin to awaken and actually resist.

We're all terrorists: Secret Government can label anyone a terrorist without facts or evidence
875,000 left in bureaucratic black hole that is U.S. terror watchlist system
US 'No-Fly' List of Suspected Terrorists Doubles in 12 Months
FBI adds people to No Fly List for refusing to become informants
Boo! When the going gets tough, the president talks terror, terror, terror

X

New York rated as least happy city in America

new york city
People living in the Big Apple are in rotten moods more often than people in other cities, according to a new study.

New York City was ranked the least happy city in America when adjusted for income, according to a working study, titled "Unhappy Cities," released by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study leaned on a questionnaire that has been administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the last several years and asks respondents: "In general, how satisfied are you with your life?"

The study ranked those self-reported answers and adjusted them for income, housing prices, age and other factors that might influence how happy a place could be.

It was also found that new residents were just as happy - or unhappy - as older respondents, which the study's authors said suggested that happiness trends are sustained over time.

It also found that people were willing to trade happiness for better wages or lower housing costs.

Comment: Perhaps the daily grind of living on an island with millions of other struggling individuals accounts for the grim mood of New Yorkers. No doubt this is exacerbated by the fact that New York is dominated by Wall Street and is where evidence of the rule by the 1% is most striking.

Treasure Chest

Economic impact of sanctions on Russia like peanuts say Russian ministers

Andrei Belousov

Andrei Belousov, the Kremlin's top economic adviser, denied Russia's economic growth had been dampened by sanctions.
Russian officials on Wednesday lined up to dismiss the economic impact of Western sanctions imposed for Moscow's role in the Ukraine crisis, saying they were "peanuts" compared to what their country had to face during Soviet times.

In a show of unity a day after an ally of President Vladimir Putin warned that Russia's anti-Western rhetoric could derail the economy, ministers said growth had not been dampened by the sanctions which include measures against some major companies.

The economy is on the brink of a recession as a result of the sanctions and a broader risk aversion towards emerging markets that have sent equities and the rouble tumbling and spurred nearly $75 billion in capital flight so far this year.

"The sanctions in their current format don't have a macroeconomic effect," Andrei Belousov, the Kremlin's top economic adviser, told journalists.

Comment: The Russians are well aware that the sanctions are more likely to negatively impact Europe:

Is it worth it? Sanctions against Russia affect quarter of German exporters
Association of European Businesses: U.S. sanctions will hurt Europe
Russian sanctions? You Must be Joking! Russia Holds All the Cards!
Russia dismisses sanctions, knows energy needs will weaken EU resolve

Airplane

MH17 victim bodies arrive home in Netherlands; no sign of tampering with black boxes say investigators

Kharkiv airport
© AFP Photo / Sergei Bobok
Flowers lay on the tarmac as a ground Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Dutch Airforce, carrying bodies from downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 prepares to take off from Kharkiv airport on July 23, 2014.
The bodies of the first victims from Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 have arrived back in the Netherlands following the crash in eastern Ukraine last Thursday. Investigators say they have found no evidence that the black box recorder was tampered with.

The Dutch Safety Board said it took charge of the international investigation, adding that the "cockpit voice recorder was damaged but the part that contains the data was intact, nor was there any evidence or indication that [it] had been manipulated."

The authority said it would coordinate a team of 24 investigators from Ukraine, Malaysia, Russia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). It added that four Dutch investigators are currently operating in Ukraine.

The board says it will now work on assessing the information it has downloaded from the black box, a process which will need more time. It said the examination of the airliner's other black box, the flight data recorder, would start on Thursday.

Experts have been downloading data from the Boeing 777's voice and data recorders at Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch since anti-Kiev militia forces, who control crash sites in eastern Ukraine, handed them over early on Tuesday.

The body said it would also conduct separate investigations into the decision-making processes behind flight routes and the availability of passenger lists.

"Despite the fact that evidence and traces have been damaged or lost, the Dutch Safety Board expects it will be able to gather sufficient relevant information from the crash site," the board said.
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