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The corruption of science: Russian parliament gives approval for state to take over Academy of Sciences

© RIA Novosti. Alexey Naumov
Russian Parliament Gives Approval for State to Take Over Academy of Sciences
A bill to hand over control of research institutions in Russia from the country's Academy of Sciences to the federal government was approved on Wednesday in the federal parliament despite vehement objections from the scientific community.

The landmark bill, which has yet to be approved by the upper house of parliament and signed by the president, was hurriedly passed by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, on Wednesday in the second and third readings while hundreds of scientists were rallying outside the legislature's building.

Despite decades of decline since the end of the Soviet Union, the Academy of Sciences is still the country's leading scientific research establishment comprising about 50,000 researchers across its 434 scholarly institutions.

6 CUNY students violently arrested protesting ex-general David Petraeus, group releases statement to the media

cuny activist arrested
© Unknown
New York, NY - Six students were arrested Tuesday evening in an unprovoked police attack against a peaceful protest lead by City University of New York (CUNY) students and faculty decrying the University's appointment of former CIA chief and ex-General, David Petraeus as an adjunct professor to the Honors College. Students were punched, pushed against parked vehicles and thrown to the pavement by police captains and officers after the NYPD forced them off the sidewalk and into the street. Tuesday's demonstration was called for by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY.

The arrested students were arraigned Wednesday evening, September 18, at the Manhattan Criminal Court located at 100 Centre Street. The courtroom was flooded with supporters ranging from activists, to fellow students, to CUNY faculty outraged at the NYPD's response to their student's attempts to peaceably assemble.

"As students were chanting 'War Criminal Petraeus Out of CUNY Now,' I was shocked to see several police officers grab and brutalize one of the demonstrators," said City College student Yexenia Vanegas. "This was completely unprovoked, as demonstrators made [it] clear that they were there to defend our university in a peaceful protest."

The attack occurred in front of CUNY's Macaulay Honors College, where Petraeus has been appointed to teach a class on public policy. "Protestors were marching in a circle on the sidewalk and chanting, but the police forced them into the street and then charged. One of the most brutal things I saw was that five police officers slammed a Queens College student face down to the pavement across the street from Macaulay, put their knees on his back and he was then repeatedly kneed in the back," said Hunter student Michael Brian. "The student was one of those pointed out by 'white shirt' officers, then seized and brutalized. A Latina student was heaved through the air and slammed to the ground."
Arrow Up

Food prices rose 157% between 2004 and 2013

Onion prices rise
If you were to ask any random aam aadmi anywhere in India what is the single biggest failing of the UPA, the answer would be - price rise. This is so because the most important items of family spending - food items - have relentlessly risen for the past several years despite repeated promises to bring them down by the economic mandarins and policy wonks that run the country's economy. Poorer families have had to stop eating various foods in order to save crumbling family budgets.

Criminalized poor are swelling Britain's slave labor private prisons

Wormwood scrubs
© Reuters/Paul Hackett
Click! Another notch on the ratchet turning the UK from civilization to fascism this week as Britain's Justice minister, Chris Grayling, announced ten year jail sentences for those who claim too much state benefit.

The latest statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show that £1.3bn was fraudulently claimed in 2012/13. Tax Justice Network figures estimating tax fraud by the super-rich at £60bn, which is around 50 times greater, seem to have 'evaded' Grayling; as has the estimated five times greater figure of £10bn in unclaimed benefits.

The sad fact is simply that tyrants are running the show and rather than pay their fair share they intend to squeeze the poor until the pips squeak.
Red Flag

Greece seized by new sense of foreboding as violence flares in Athens streets

Clashes between far-right Golden Dawn and anti-fascists raise fears that crisis has reached new stage

Athens protest
© Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images
Anti-fascist demonstrators in Athens after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas.
It was not the scene that Greece's international stewards envisaged when they last visited the country at the epicentre of Europe's financial mess. When representatives of the "troika" of creditors arrived in June, book-keeping in Athens had been problem-free and monitors described their inspection tour as "almost boring". The great Greek debt crisis, it seemed, had finally gone quiet.

But when mission heads representing the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank fly into Athens on Sunday - for the start of a review upon which the future of Greece will hang - what they will find is a country teetering on the edge: its people divided as never before, its mood brittle, its streets the setting for running battles between anti-fascists and neo-Nazis. And unions girding for battle.

After six years of recession, four years of austerity and the biggest financial rescue programme in global history, it is clear that Greeks have moved into another phase, beyond the fear, fatigue and fury engendered by record levels of poverty and unemployment.

Along with the teargas - fired on Monday for the first time in more than a year outside the administrative reform ministry - there is a new sense of foreboding: a belief that they might never be "saved" and, worse still, could turn against each other.
Eye 2

850 snakes part of New York man's home business, authorities say

An animal control officer on disability kept 850 snakes, including two 6-foot Burmese pythons, while running an illegal snake business out of his suburban New York home, according to authorities who made the discovery on Thursday.

Richard Parrinello, of Brookhaven, New York, kept the snakes in his detached garage, all neatly stacked in containers and at the right temperature, according to Roy Gross, chief of the Suffolk County SPCA.

Burmese pythons are illegal in New York, and Parrinello's were taken from the house to a reptile sanctuary in Massachusetts while the rest of the snakes are still in his garage, according to Jack Krieger, communications director for the Town of Brookhaven on Long Island.

Gross said all the snakes appeared to be in good health and there was no animal abuse or neglect.

"It was a well-maintained facility, it was very clean and organized, it was a business," Krieger said.

Two Michigan drivers shoot and kill each other in road rage incident

Two Michigan drivers shot and killed each other Wednesday night after a road rage incident took a fatal turn in a drive-in car wash parking lot, police said.

Robert Taylor, 56, and James Pullum, 43, were driving on a highway in Ionia, Mich., when Taylor began to closely follow Pullum, according to the Ionia Public Safety Department, based on witness reports.

The two drivers eventually pulled into the parking lot of Wonder Wand Car Wash, at the intersection of M-66 highway and Steele Street. where they got out of their vehicles and fired shots at each other, police said. The two men exchanged a total of eight to nine shots, police said.

Austrian police storm hideout of gunman who killed 4 people

Kollapriel, Austria - A gunman in Austria killed four people, including three police officers, and fired sporadically at police on Tuesday after barricading himself in a farm building, officials said.
© Hans Punz/Associated Press
Austrian army soldiers in an armored vehicle arrive near the villages of Grosspriel and Kollapriel some 90 kilometers (55 miles) west of Vienna, Austria, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013, where a man is barricading himself inside a farm building after he killed two police officers and the driver of an emergency rescue vehicle as the dpa news agency said, citing an unidentified police spokesman. Interior Minister spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said a third police officer was apparently being held by the shooter in the village of Kollapriel. He confirmed that three people were shot but refused to say whether their injuries were fatal, explaining that officials did not want to give the gunman information through news reports he was likely monitoring.
After a 12-hour standoff, police stormed the building with body armor and assault weapons and were searching for the suspect, Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck told The Associated Press. It wasn't immediately clear whether he was still in the building and the search was widening to other nearby buildings on the farm grounds.

The hunt stretched on more than three hours. Grundboeck said police were moving carefully in an area with many possible hideouts and locked doors. "The safety of our police is our top priority," he said, shortly before midnight.

2 gunmen open fire at Chicago basketball court, at least 13 wounded, including 3-year-old

© Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP
Police investigate the scene in Cornell Square Park on the Southside where 11 people including a three-year-old child were shot on September 19, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.
Chicago police say two gunmen attacked a crowd on a park basketball court, with at least 13 people injured in the shooting, including three-year-old, their conditions from serious to critical. The gunmen haven't been taken into custody yet.

Chicago Fire Department officials report the child is in critical condition.

"They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house," Julian Harris, uncle of the wounded child, said. "They've been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It's what they do."

A witness at the scene told the Chicago Tribune that three police officers carried the child to an ambulance.

"I didn't hear any sounds from the child," the witness said.

China's smallest ethnic group seeks new future in Himalayas

Lhoba People
© ChinaTibetNews
Lhoba people in traditional costumes.

Wearing beaded necklaces and traditional wool costumes, members of the Lhoba people dance around the Yin-Yang tree, a real-life version of the Tree of Souls from the movie Avatar.

Unlike the mysterious Na'Vis, the Lhoba people, with a total population of more than 3100, are performing a traditional sword dance to entertain visitors to the forest-concealed area in the southeast of the Tibet Autonomous Region.

"The costume has been listed as the nation's intangible cultural heritage," said Dawa Chodron, a 31-year-old local tour guide who has returned to her hometown after graduating from a high school in a second-tier city in southwest China.

The sword dance is a Lhoba tradition celebrating harvest, hunting or the practice of becoming sworn brothers, according to Chodron.

"Visitors from home and abroad are also attracted by our ancestral customs and religious practices," she said.

The Lhoba, one of China's smallest ethnic minorities in terms of population, live mainly in Mainling County of Nyingchi Prefecture in Tibet.

Located near the Brahmaputra River, Chodron's hometown of Qionglin Village in Nanyi Lhoba Ethnic Township is the largest inhabitation for the ethnic group.

Chodron's ancestors were the first cultivators in the Himalaya mountains, but they led a primitive life even as late as 1950.