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No place to hide: Fraternities' sexist and racist exploits revealed on social media

© Matt Rourke/AP
Students and others demonstrate against frats on the Penn State campus, 20 March 2015 in State College, Pa.
It has not been a good week for frats - the all-male university societies named after Greek letters meant to provide students with a family-like support system.

Sordid images were discovered on two private Facebook pages operated by members of Penn State fraternity Kappa Delta Rho, including some of naked women, not all of them conscious or awake, according to a search warrant. Some were fellow students, others strippers the frat hired.

When news of one page - Covert Business Transactions - leaked, the frat shifted operations to "2.0", another private page. Under one photo, a group member commented: "Lol delete those or we will be on cnn in a week." It got 11 likes.

Penn State suspended the fraternity this week and its actions were condemned by the frat's national headquarters.

Comment: For more on what happens when psychopaths go to college see:


Stock Down

Pink slips: Oil sector job losses 'spreading like cancer'

Low oil prices are good for America according to President Obama. In fact, he has personally taken credit for the savings you're experiencing.

In a normal economy lower prices at the pump would certainly help to spur growth in other sectors. The problem, of course, is that the new normal means that oil companies and banks leveraged heavily as prices rose. They assumed, like real estate speculators ahead of the 2008 crash, that the price of oil could only go in one direction. As we've seen in recent months, however, oil speculation is exactly that and despite our dependency on black gold the energy industry is not immune from massive price swings.

The consequences will be two-fold and the cracks are already starting to appear.

First, according to a new report from Zero Hedge, over 100,000 jobs have been lost globally as a result of lower oil prices and more are pink slips are coming:

Cell Phone

Colorado mom takes away iPhone, 12 year old daughter tries to poison her - twice

© shutterstock
Police on Friday arrested a 12-year-old Colorado girl accused of trying to kill her mother twice by poisoning her with bleach for taking away her iPhone, authorities said.

Boulder County Sheriff's Commander Heidi Prentup said in a statement that the mother drank the caustic fluid on one of the two attempts, which both happened within a week this month.

On March 2, the girl poured bleach into a breakfast smoothie that she had prepared for her mother, Prentup said.

Pocket Knife

New Orleans TSA agents attacked by machete-wielding man

Image
© Reuters / Jonathan Bachman
A man allegedly used a can of wasp spray against a TSA agent in New Orleans before pulling out a machete and stabbing another agent at the Louis Armstrong International Airport near New Orleans, Louisiana, according to local media.

Police are currently investigating the incident and officials said the airport has now been secured. It appears that two Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents were injured in an attack at a security checkpoint and that the man responsible for the violence has been killed. The assailant has been transported to a hospital but is not responding, WVUE reported.

The conditions of the TSA agents have not been confirmed.

Arrow Down

Seed sharing is illegal in nearly 30% of US states

© Natural Society
It is time for some outdated, unconstitutional laws to be scrapped. Informally sharing seed with a neighbor who gardens down the street is illegal in multiple states in the US. The penalty for violating this ridiculous law is a fine of up to $7,500 a day. Like so many other senseless laws, this rule needs to be put to rest.

You can't even give away seeds to someone in your own neighborhood under certain laws. For example, in Minnesota, where seed laws on the books are so laughable that unless you buy an annual permit and submit each lot of seeds for germination testing, you are defying the law.

You even have to attach an appropriate label, even if you aren't sharing the seeds with a local seed sharing library and just want to give them to your daughter-in-law for her new garden.

Even the 300 seed libraries throughout the US can't give away seeds or facilitate the exchange of seeds between organic gardeners unless they purchase a permit.

If this smacks of corporate farming infiltration to you, you aren't alone. Just 6 companies in the world have patented most of the seeds grown in the entire global agricultural market. Our food diversity is crumbling and it's largely because corporations, not people, are in charge of the supply.

Neil Thapar, an attorney for the Sustainable Economics Law Center, has reviewed laws like these in 30 states so far and found that many of them define seed sharing without a permit as an illegal act.

Arrow Down

Cops tase father multiple times as he tries to save his 3-year-old son from house fire in Louisiana

© Free Thought Project
Missouri — On October 31, 2013, the house of Ryan and Cathy Miller caught fire. In that fire, their 3-year-old son, Riley Miller was killed.

The 9-1-1 call came in at 12:58 am and firefighters showed up just 5 minutes later.

Ryan Miller knew his 3-year-old stepson was trapped inside, and he was going to do whatever it took to get him out.

However, as he kicked in the front door to the home in an attempt to save his child, police showed up.

As Miller tried to run back into the house, police grabbed him. Obviously Miller pulled away from the officers as he and his wife's 3-year-old was trapped in a deadly inferno; that's when the taser came out. Miller was tasered several times as he fought to save his son.

"He tried to get back in the house to get the baby," Lori Miller, Riley's grandmother said. "They took my son to jail because he tried to save his son."

Ryan Miller's sister-in-law doesn't think the police handled the situation correctly.

"It's just heartless. How could they be so heartless? And while they all just stood around and waited for the fire department, what kind of police officer wouldn't try and save a 3-year-old burning in a house?" said Emily Miller. "We've been going through pictures and he's just smiling in every picture. He was just a happy, go-lucky kid."

"He was my best friend," Ryan Miller said told the Press Journal after the fire. "He was everybody's best friend. If you would have met him, you would have loved him. He was the joy of my life."

Stormtrooper

Even some cops are telling people to mistrust other police

About six years ago I had pretty disturbing run-in with law enforcement and the justice system, which I talk about some in my author profile. During the course of these events, my bicycle was taken into custody and put into police storage. It took a few days before I was willing to go and face those horrifying monsters again in order to get my bike back. When I did walk all the way to the station to get it, I was told that it was 'actually probably' in another storage area a mile away and that I should walk there and someone would meet me. It was not accepted policy to have an officer transport me there. I had to walk there and then call them when I arrived. They made it clear they didn't want to waste even a moment of their time waiting on me, a wait that was necessitated by their hijacking of my main source of quicker transportation during a nightmarish episode just days before. As I sat there in the cold evening air waiting almost a half an hour for the officer to arrive I went over all of the awful scenarios in which I was about to be harassed for being a cop assaulter. I was sickly anxious, terrified and felt alone and helpless. At this point, my whole life seemed ruined.

When the officer finally arrived to meet me, it was an older gentleman who was part of the Community Services Division. He immediately seemed kind and asked me how long I had been waiting and where my car was. When I told him I had walked from my house to the police station and then here and had been waiting for almost a half an hour he shook his head and said he had only gotten the call ten minutes ago. Furthermore, he cautioned, my bike was unlikely to be at our current location and was almost certainly across the street from the police station where I had been originally told that it would be. He motioned for me to get in his vehicle and looked perplexed when I hesitated. I asked if it was okay or if he could get in trouble for giving me a ride on non-official business without prior consent from his department superiors (which I had earlier been informed was absolutely necessary by the dispatchers at the station, who had sent me on this sadistic goose chase). He simply stated that it was just fine to ride along.

As soon as I got in the vehicle he introduced himself. He asked me my name and what it was that I did in Iowa City, was I a student or did I work and live here full-time? I answered those questions and then he asked me what had happened to get my bike locked up. I was too nervous to make something up or even to tell the real story in a very concise way. Also, he seemed kind and trustworthy and I felt I did not have much left to lose at this point. I gave him a crash course on the events and he shook his head and gave me a sympathetic look.

"It's not the same as when I worked these streets." he said. "I couldn't work with these young guys so I took partial retirement and do this part-time, now. I warn my own kids and their kids and everyone else I care about that they have to be very careful and not trust these cops these days. They are cutthroat. It's like a competition to them and they don't really care about the people or the community. I myself am scared of them and I was a cop here for almost thirty years."

Gear

The Russian students are coming! 2 Lithuanian railway stations cordoned off after 'train with Russian conscripts' scare

Police and border guards briefly surrounded two railway stations in Lithuania's Vilnius and Naujoji Vilnia after an alleged tip-off suggesting Russian troops were heading to the country by train, local media reported. The scare turned out to be false.
Image
© RIA Novosti / Ivan Shapovalov
Law enforcement representatives were on high alert on Thursday after the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs tipped-off security officials that there were "a lot of young men eligible for military service" heading from Russia's Kaliningrad via Lithuania, a border official said, as cited by local media.

"That's the reason why we heightened security. Our employees checked the train, however all passengers had valid documents, visas. We had no complaints, so we couldn't deny entry to our territory," a representative of the border guard, Rokas Pukinskas, told lrytas.lt

Camcorder

German TV presenter admits to altering video showing Greek FM Varoufakis giving middle finger

Image
© Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
A German TV presenter has claimed he doctored footage showing the Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis, giving the middle-finger to Germany. It comes after a scandal, in which the Greek politician denied the video is authentic.

The footage was shown on Sunday, at a weekly talk show on the German ARD channel, hosted by Günther Jauch. The Greek minister, who was a guest on the show, denied the actions depicted in it.

Varoufakis claimed the video had been doctored, and that he had "never given the finger ever."

Jan Böhmermann, host of the satirical programme Neo Magazin Royale on public broadcaster ZDF, confessed in a video posted on YouTube on Wednesday.

"Dear Günther Jauch, dear ARD, dear editors of 'Bild', you must now all be very strong," Böhmermann can't help laughing at his own words, as he starts to reveal what he did.

"Sorry, Mr Varoufakis, we won't do it again," Böhmermann added, providing the details on how the video had been faked.


Handcuffs

Patsy? Woman arrested at Turkish airport for "preparing acts of terror"

Image
© Reuters / Luke MacGregor

Comment: This looks like a case of someone being arrested for something they haven't even done yet. What evidence is there that she planned to "prepare acts of terror"? Using someone else's passport is not evidence of terrorism, nor is traveling to Turkey. But in the Orwellian world we live in, apparently those are acts worthy of being charged with terrorism. She may very well have been planning to join ISIS, but there is scant evidence provided other than the assertions by police and media.


A British woman has been arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terror when she arrived at Luton Airport from Turkey.

Jamila Henry, 21, was detained at a bus station in the Turkish capital of Ankara as officers suspected her of attempting to enter Islamic State-controlled territory in Syria, according to the BBC.

Henry is believed to have traveled to Turkey using her twin sister Jalila's passport.

She was arrested by Metropolitan Police officers on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts as she disembarked the plane from Istanbul on Thursday.

She is the latest in a string of young Britons trying to leave the UK to join Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq via Turkey. Would-be jihadists use Turkey as a gateway into neighboring Syria.