Society's Child


Teen Pilot on around-world flight found dead in coast of American Samoa

The body of an Indiana teenage pilot attempting to fly around the world with his father was found off the coast of American Samoa after their single-engine plane crashed in the South Pacific Tuesday night, Coast Guard officials and family said Wednesday. Haris Suleman, 17, was found unresponsive by the American Samoa Marine Patrol, while his father, Babar Suleman, remained missing, officials said. The father and son had left Pago Pago, American Samoa, and were headed for Hawaii, where they were expected to stay a couple of days before leaving for California, family and friends said. They planned to arrive in California on Friday before flying home to Indiana.

Comment: This is another flight crash on the heels of Flight MH17, AH5017,GE222.


"I lost everything": Israeli strike wipes out Gazan man's family

Kenan and Saji

Hassan Al Hallaq's sons Kenan, 6, and Saji, 4, were both killed by an Israeli strike in Gaza City
Hassan Al Hallaq did what any sensible parent would do: When the latest bout of violence erupted here, he moved his family - heavily pregnant wife, Samar, and two young sons - away from their apartment on the outskirts of town and into the middle of Gaza City.

Away from the border, away from the tunnels, the rockets and the front line, All Hallaq thought his wife and sons Kenan, 6, and four-year-old Saji would be safe.

The IT manager at a Palestinian bank had lived with his family through two previous wars and knew his neighborhood in East Gaza would be targeted by the Israelis because it is close to the border.

Turkish Freedom Flotilla II being organized for Gaza will have military protection

Mavi Marmara
© Associated Press
Photo of Mavi Marmara taken on May 22, 2010
Media report says activists - the same behind 2010's 'Mavi Marmara' - scheduled to take off with Turkish military protection.

Amid Israel's Operation Protective Edge to stop Hamas attacks from Gaza, a "Freedom Flotilla" is being organized in Turkey to bring humanitarian aid to the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave with the protection of the Turkish military, according to an unconfirmed media report.

The flotilla, called "Freedom Flotilla II," is being organized by the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), the same organization that was behind the Mavi Marmara flotilla that sought to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010.

Israel Navy commandos boarded the ship, were attacked, and killed nine of the attackers.

IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim was quoted by The Middle East Monitor as telling Gulf Online last week that the activists would set sail as soon as they receive the necessary permit from the authorities in Ankara and that the Turkish military would provide protection to the ship.

Diplomatic officials said Jerusalem was following the reports carefully, but stressed that it was not clear whether the flotilla would ultimately set sail.

Comment: Israel has slaughtered over 1,000 Palestinians in the past weeks and destroyed entire communities. And then they turn around and say that aid will only hurt the Palestinian people. It should be blatantly obvious that Israel's intentions are singularly focused on the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians.

Readers may recall the propaganda surrounding the international effort for the 2010 Gaza flotilla. It was Israel who attacked and killed nine civilians and wounded dozens more. See the following article by Joe Quinn in 2010 for more information:

Fireball 3

Neil deGrasse Tyson: Things have to get worse before Congress will take action on climate change

In an exclusive interview with Salon, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson talked about his role as a scientist, how the media presents scientific breakthroughs, and about how climate change will have to get worse before citizens force their elected representatives to do anything about it.

Tyson explained that he doesn't see himself as an advocate, but as an educator whose job it is to present "emergent scientific consensus," in the hope that the public and policy makers will use it to make informed decisions.

"I'm just trying to get people as fully informed as they can be so that they can make the most informed decisions they can based on their own principles or philosophies or mission statement," Tyson explained. "What concerns me is that I see people making decisions, particularly decisions that might affect policy or governance, that are partly informed, or misinformed, or under-informed."

Tyson notes that during the Cold War, physicists actively advocated for specific policies because those policies were directly related to their work in developing nuclear weapons. When it comes to climate change, he would like to see more climate scientists take the lead instead of an astrophysicist like himself just because he's famous.

ABC: Man may need to live in space to survive cometary impacts, global disasters
We live in a cosmic shooting gallery

See also:
Celestial Intentions: Comets and the Horns of Moses

Red Flag

Man left 98-year old wheelchair-bound mother in sweltering hot car while he gambled

Dwight McGinnis Jr, 67, of Raleigh, North Carolina, faces a charge of vulnerable adult neglect after he left his 98-mother-old in a hot car while he played at a casino on Monday night.
Police in Maryland arrested a visiting North Carolina man after discovering he had left his 98-year-old mother in his truck in the sweltering heat while he was in a casino gambling.

Dwight McGinnis Jr, 67, of Raleigh, faces a charge of vulnerable adult neglect.

According to police, a passerby called 911 to report seeing an elderly woman sitting alone in a truck in the parking plot of the Maryland Live! Casino, according to WBAL.

Responding, the officers found the woman, who is wheelchair-bound and can't take care of herself, sitting in the truck with a single window cracked open in the 80-degree heat. Investigators said there was an empty soda can in the truck but nothing else for her to eat or drink.

According to the parking lot records, the woman had been sitting in the truck for over five hours.
People 2

Vancouver's Oppenheimer Park: A reminder of aboriginal title to urban centres

Protesters hand City of Vancouver eviction notice over park occupied by homeless

Homeless in Vancouver

A 65-year-old homeless pensioner known as JT told CBC News he had a rude awakening Saturday morning when he was handed an eviction notice from the city, telling him he had to leave within 24 hours. Since then, the city itself has been handed an eviction notice by First Nation members. (CBC)
When Vancouver police served an eviction notice to a small group of homeless people camping in a downtown park recently, the protesters responded with some paperwork of their own.

They served an eviction notice on the City of Vancouver, stating Oppenheimer Park is on unceded aboriginal land - and that no one could make them leave.

Ukrainian soldiers flee to Russia: Refuse to fight against their own citizens

Kiev soldiers desert to Russia
More than 40 Ukrainian soldiers have abandoned their military posts and crossed into Russian territory, stating that they refuse to fight against their own people, a Russian Federal Security Service spokesperson said.

At least 41 Ukrainian soldiers have made it to Russian territory after asking self-defense forces for help, the spokesperson from the Federal Security Service's Rostov region border patrol unit, Vasily Malaev, told Itar-Tass.

"At around 20:30 Moscow time, 41 Ukrainian soldiers left their military bases and arrived at the Ukrainian border crossing checkpoint Izvarino. They appealed to the militia there for help to with cross into the Russian territory, in connection with the fact that they do not want to fight against their own people," Malaev said.

All of the soldiers were able to cross into Russia at the Donetsk checkpoint, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, a Russian hospital near the Ukrainian border has been treating wounded Ukrainian soldiers. Some of them have expressed their unwillingness to fight for the Ukrainian army, blaming mobilization laws for forcing them to do so.

Jonas' tomb in Iraq destroyed by ISIS

People walk through the rubble of the Prophet Younis Mosque after it was destroyed in a bomb attack by militants of the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Mosul, July 24, 2014.
The shrine of Jonas - revered by Christians and Muslims alike - has been turned "to dust" near Iraq's Mosul. Footage of the event was posted online, and witnesses said it took ISIS militants just an hour to stuff the mosque with explosives.

"ISIS militants have destroyed the Prophet Younis (Jonah) shrine east of Mosul city after they seized control of the mosque completely," an anonymous security source told the Iraq-based al-Sumaria News.

The extremist group ISIS changed its name from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) to just the Islamic State (IS), after formally declaring a new caliphate in Syria and Iraq at the end of June.

Muslims know the tomb as the shrine of Younis, whereas Christians refer to it as the tomb of Jonas.

Jonas is renowned for having been swallowed by a fish or a whale in the Bible's Old Testament, with a similar story being present in the Koran. The site upon which the mosque had been built dated back to the eighth century BC.

"[The] Islamic State completely destroyed the shrine of Nabi Yunus after telling local families to stay away and closing the roads to a distance of 500 meters from the shrine," an anonymous official from the Sunni Endowment, which manages Sunni religious affairs in Iraq, told AFP.

'He had a gun to my head': Freed journalist chronicles Ukrainian captivity

Graham Phillips
© Image from
Graham Phillips
RT has managed to re-establish contact with Graham Phillips, a news contributor who was captured at Donetsk airport on Tuesday night while covering the Ukrainian conflict. Philips shared firsthand details of his three days in captivity with RT.

"I am in Poland. I am not exactly sure where I am. I just got to the border by the SBU (Ukrainian Security Service) quite recently, so I am getting my bearings," Phillips told RT, which contacted the journalist via Skype after his release.

Phillips said he was deported from Ukraine and banned for three years on the grounds that he works for RT. "The reason they gave [me] that was simply that I work for RT, that was all it said in the form. They wouldn't let me take it or copy it. Just said that 'you work for RT, it's the enemy.' I wasn't given the chance to defend myself. I was just taken to the border."

The journalist said it all started three days ago when he was on his way to film fire exchanges between government forces and militants just a few hundred meters away from the airport in Donetsk. He was with Vadim Aksyonov, a stringer for ANNA News agency.

"RT told me not to go in strong terms, but I went anyway with the local journalist Vadim. And we were taken by Ukrainian soldiers and Vadim was pretty badly beaten right in front of me by Ukrainian soldiers. He was on the ground, his head in the ground, just a young guy punching him and kicking him," Phillips said.
Light Saber

In Tel Aviv, around seven thousand protest against the Gaza operation

Some 7,000 protesters were estimated to attended in the biggest protest against the operation thus far, alongside a small protest in support of the IDF.
gaza protest in tel aviv
© Tomer Appelbaum
Protest against the Gaza operation, Tel Aviv, July 26, 2014
Thousands assembled at Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Saturday evening for what became the largest protest against the Israeli military operation in Gaza thus far. According to official estimates some 7,000 protesters attended.

Meanwhile, a smaller group rallied in support of the operation in Gaza. The police served as a barrier between the groups to prevent clashes.