Society's Child


Lip service: UN Security Council calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

© RIA Novosti. Alexei Panov
United Nations Security Council
The UN Security Council expressed "grave concern" over the renewal of combat actions in the Gaza Strip and urged the warring sides to reach an immediate agreement on a lasting ceasefire, Reuters reported Thursday, quoting British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the council for this month.

A five-day truce in Gaza between the Palestinian Hamas movement and Israel collapsed on August 19, some eight hours before the official deadline.Israel blamed Hamas militants for disputing the ceasefire and ordered the army to resume airstrikes against the Gaza Strip. According to media reports, about 50 rockets have been fired at the Israeli territory since the resumption of hostilities; at least 15 of them have been intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system.

The 35.4 percent: 109,631,000 on welfare in the U.S. in 2012

109,631,000 Americans lived in households that received benefits from one or more federally funded "means-tested programs" - also known as welfare - as of the fourth quarter of 2012, according to data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau has not yet reported how many were on welfare in 2013 or the first two quarters of 2014.

But the 109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.

When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs - such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits - were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.

Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans' benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans' benefits.

$125k settlement for man arrested for filming NYPD stop-and-frisk operation

© Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
The New York Police Department reached a $125,000 settlement with a man who says he was arrested and strip-searched for photographing officers performing a stop-and-frisk operation in 2012.

Dick George was sitting in his car in Flatbush on June 14, 2012, when he spotted three African-American youths getting searched by police employing the NYPD's controversial stop-and-frisk policy. The 45 year old pulled out his cell phone and began taking pictures, the New York Daily News reported.

After the youths were let go, George advised them to note the cops' badge numbers next time. The cops overheard his remark and violently pulled George out of his car, court papers stated.

"Now we're going to give you what you deserve for meddling in our business and when we finish with you, you can sue the city for $5 million and get rich, we don't care," Lt. Dennis Ferber told him,according to the suit filed in Brooklyn Federal Court.

The officers arrested George and charged him with disorderly conduct. He was in police custody for a total of 45 minutes, but he said he suffered a torn meniscus of his knee while being handcuffed.

U.S. journalist: Police militarization aggravated tensions in Ferguson

© Reuters/Lucas Jackson
A protester picks up a gas canister to throw back towards the police after tear gas was fired at demonstrators who are continuing to react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
The increased militarization of local US police forces is an alarming trend in America that contributed to rising tensions in Ferguson, Missouri, according to Cheryl Chumley, author and news writer for The Washington Times.

"Police are supposed to be tasked with serving and protecting the American public - not treating the streets of America as if they're military war zones," Chumley told RIA Novosti on Monday. Chumley, author of Police State USA: How Orwell's Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality, noted that "the trend in America is alarming." Chumley said, "Police in Ferguson came out with a level 10 response, when a level four, maybe five would have sufficed. By that I mean police rolled out the full-body armor, militarized gear and armored vehicles - equipped with what appeared to be a 50 cal[iber gun] mounted on top - prematurely, and in so doing, ratcheted tensions and quite possibly turmoil in the streets of Ferguson."

Protests have continued in Ferguson for a week following the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager by police on August 9. When protests erupted, Ferguson police responded by deploying heavily into the neighborhoods where they were centered. A state of emergency was declared on Saturday by Governor Jay Nixon and included a curfew imposed on the city from midnight until 5 am. When protesters refused to disperse and obey the curfew over the weekend, police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and other crowd control measures. On Monday morning, Governor Nixon announced the deployment of the National Guard to Ferguson.

Comment: "America has been at war for 13 years at vast costs against Muslims deemed to be a threat to our safety; yet American police have murdered more Americans than we lost in the Iraq war. We need to discover who trained our police to murder us, and we must hold both the criminals responsible for the "training" and the criminals in the government who financed the "training." The most fatal mistake that any American can make is to call the police. "

Goon cops have gone wild all over America

See also:
  • Militarization of local police means that now cops kill 8 times more Americans than terrorists do
  • Police State USA: Dozens arrested, reporters detained, assembly rights restricted


Video of deadly St Louis police shooting raises questions: Kajieme Powell was mentally ill

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has released mobile phone footage that seems to be at odds with parts of its story surrounding the officer-involved shooting of Kajieme Powell in the weeks after Michael Brown's death.
© Reuters/Mark Kauzlarich
According to St. Louis Public Radio, the police released the video Wednesday evening as part of an effort to be more transparent when it comes to violent incidents involving law enforcement. In addition to the cell phone footage, the department also released security camera footage of the alleged robbery, as well as the two 911 calls made to police.

Police were first called to the scene - less than four miles away from the spot Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, was killed - when a local store owner reported the 25-year-old Powell for stealing drinks and snacks. A separate woman, meanwhile, also reported Powell for allegedly having a knife in his pocket and acting strangely.

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.

About time! Missouri Governor calls for 'vigorous investigation' in death of Michael Brown

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon
Not content with a regular prosecution or a vigorous investigation, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he hopes that Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson will receive a "vigorous prosecution" in the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9.

"A vigorous prosecution must now be pursued," Nixon said in a five minute video address posted to his website Tuesday.

"The democratically elected St. Louis county prosecutor and the attorney general of the United States each have a job to do," said Nixon, a Democrat.

"Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly, and correctly," said Nixon of investigators.
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.