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Bad Guys

US-UK-Saudi attacks on Yemen leave 16 million Yemenis without clean water

© AFP
Yemenis wait to fill jerry cans with water from a public tap amid an acute shortage of water supply to houses in the capital Sana’a, on May 9, 2015.
The charity organization Oxfam says almost two-thirds of the war-hit population in Yemen have no access to clean water as Saudi Arabia continues its deadly airstrikes against the impoverished country.

The aid agency said in a statement on Tuesday that the constant Saudi bombardments have increased the number of Yemenis without clean water to at least 16 million.
"Ongoing air strikes, ground fighting and fuel shortages mean that an additional three million Yemenis are now without drinking water, raising the total number of Yemenis without a clean water supply and sanitation to at least 16 million," Oxfam said.
Oxfam's director in Yemen, Grace Ommer, said the figure is equivalent to the total population in the European capitals of Berlin, London, Paris and Rome.

Comment: See also:


Fire

Fire hits China nursing home killing 38


The blaze was put out in less than an hour but not before dozens had died

Bodies were burned beyond recognition and wheelchairs reduced to charred frames at the privately-run home in Henan province.


A fire has swept through an old people's home in China, leaving 38 residents dead.

Many of the bodies were burned beyond recognition and wheelchairs were reduced to charred frames at the privately-owned home in Pingdingshan.

The fire broke out on Monday evening at one of the home's apartments, according to the state news agency Xinhua, and photos posted online showed a thick column of black smoke coming from behind a petrol station nearby.

The blaze was extinguished less than an hour after it broke out but 38 of the home's 51 residents were killed. Two of the injured were in a critical condition in hospital.

"The bodies were so badly burned, we couldn't tell who was who," Xinhua quoted one victim's relative saying of the identification process.

"Only myself and one other roommate managed to get out," survivor Zhao Yulan, 82, who shared her room with 11 other people, told Xinhua.


Wheelchairs were reduced to charred frames by the fire

Eye 1

Pathological blindness: The secret country again wages war on its own people

Image
© JohnPilger.com
Australia has again declared war on its Indigenous people, reminiscent of the brutality that brought universal condemnation on apartheid South Africa. Aboriginal people are to be driven from homelands where their communities have lived for thousands of years. In Western Australia, where mining companies make billion dollar profits exploiting Aboriginal land, the state government says it can no longer afford to "support" the homelands.

Vulnerable populations, already denied the basic services most Australians take for granted, are on notice of dispossession without consultation, and eviction at gunpoint. Yet again, Aboriginal leaders have warned of "a new generation of displaced people" and "cultural genocide".

Genocide is a word Australians hate to hear. Genocide happens in other countries, not the "lucky" society that per capita is the second richest on earth. When "act of genocide" was used in the 1997 landmark report 'Bringing Them Home', which revealed that thousands of Indigenous children had been stolen from their communities by white institutions and systematically abused, a campaign of denial was launched by a far-right clique around the then prime minister John Howard. It included those who called themselves the Galatians Group, then Quadrant, then the Bennelong Society; the Murdoch press was their voice.

Evil Rays

StingRay - the cellphone tracking tech police won't talk about

© Noah MacMillan
There were some very bad vibes in downtown St. Louis on the night of October 28, 2013. The Cardinals had just lost Game 5 in the World Series, and the Rams had a pathetic showing against the Seahawks at Edward Jones Stadium. The streets were jammed bumper to bumper with disgruntled fans trying to make it home, and so Brandon Pavelich and Julia Fischer — two college friends on a kinda-sorta first date — decided to walk around a bit before attempting to leave the area.

Then they heard fast footsteps, and the next thing they knew, two men had guns pointed at their heads. They demanded money and cell phones.

Pavelich paused.

"Show him we're serious and shoot him," he remembers one of the men saying.

Instead, a gun smashed into Pavelich's face, opening a gash in his forehead and chin, and chipping a tooth. One of the men reached into Pavelich's pockets as he was reeling, and grabbed his iPhone and cash. They took Fischer's iPhone as well, and ran.

Luckily, Pavelich and Fischer found a St. Louis police officer nearby. They soon learned theirs was the last in a string of muggings that evening. In total, seven victims had their phones taken, though Pavelich was the only one who had to spend the night in a hospital getting stitches.

Fischer recalls that the police behaved as if they were hot on the trail of the stolen phones.

"They did say that they're tracking it," she says. She assumed that meant they were using the phones' GPS or something like the Find My iPhone app.

By the next day, four suspects were in custody, including a supposed lookout and a getaway driver. They were found in a hotel room in Caseyville, Illinois, allegedly with the stolen phones. Among the recovered property, Pavelich was able to identify the case he'd had on his phone. It seemed like a done deal.

Comment: StingRay's notorious history.


Bad Guys

139 graves, signs of torture found in Malaysia human trafficking camps

© Reuters / Damir Sagolj

Forensic policemen carry body bags with human remains found at the site of human trafficking camps in the jungle close the Thailand border after they brought them to a police camp near Wang Kelian in northern Malaysia May 25, 2015
A total of 139 graves have been found in Malaysia in more than two dozen human trafficking camps believed to have been used by gangs smuggling migrants across the Thai border. Signs of torture were also discovered, the nation's police chief said Monday.

"It's a very sad scene...to us even one is serious and we have found 139," Malaysia's inspector general of police, Khalid Abu Bakar, told reporters in the northern state of Perlis. "We are working closely with our counterparts in Thailand. We will find the people who did this."

Describing the conditions at the 28 abandoned camps scattered along a 50 km (30 mile) stretch of the Thai border, Khalid said authorities were "shocked by the cruelty." He added that signs of torture were also discovered, but declined to elaborate.

Photos of the camp show basic wooden huts built in forest clearings. Khalid said bullet casings were found in the vicinity, and metal chains were found near some graves.

The first decomposed body was brought down to a police camp set up at the foot of the mountains where the camps were found on Monday evening. Delivery of the corpse took nearly five hours, due to the rough terrain.

"The body was only bones and little bit of clothing on it," said Rizani Che Ismail, the officer in charge of the Padang Besar police department, as quoted by Reuters. He added that the cause of death was not immediately known.

Sheriff

Juice Rap News: Police States of America

© Juice Rap News
Today we seek to comprehend the cause of the tension gripping the 'Police States of America' following a series of seemingly unstoppable deaths of black people at the hands of 'Officers of the Peace.'

What is the cause of these #BlackLivesMatters hastags and the protests erupting around the country? What is this 'R-'word that everyone keeps bandying about...? What about that 'history' thing? Featuring newly installed Chief of Militarized Police, General Baxter, and a guest from the 'Civil Rights' movement, one Marvin Uggenrite, join indefatigable warrior for truth, Brian Washington, as he attempts to get to the bottom of this... or scrape the bottom of the barrel trying. For the first time ever Juice Rap News tunes into the Main Stream Media BS frequency for an entire episode... what could possibly go wrong?


Comment: For more information on these thuggish, power-obsessed, pathological cops; listen to the recent Truth Perspective show - Cops gone wild on the SOTT Radio Network.


Arrow Down

Australia's indigenous populations face food insecurity as government undermines native title to coerce people off their land

Image

Aboriginal people alleviate food insecurity by going crabbing or fishing on traditional lands. Tracey Nearmy/AAP
Access to affordable and nutritious food is an ongoing problem in remote Indigenous communities. These areas have an artificially inflated cost of living due to cycles of mining boom and bust, and suffer from a general unavailability of fresh fruit and vegetables and other high-quality foods.

As well as the high cost of living, limited educational outcomes and work opportunities coupled with insufficient social services, including public transport, create chronic economic insecurity for Indigenous residents. Food is often the first thing to go when there is not enough money to pay the bills.

Going without food, or going without nutritious food, has heavy consequences for Indigenous people, as we learnt on a recent research trip to the West Kimberley. Indigenous Australians are already twice as likely to have a disability or chronic illness as non-Indigenous Australians; poor nutrition compounds these problems, leading to further illness and secondary impairments.

In our interviews, Aboriginal people consistently reported alleviating food insecurity by going crabbing or fishing on traditional lands. Though this accounted for a small portion of total dietary intake, our respondents greatly valued having some control over this part of life.

Yet this may be jeopardised by the policy direction of the state and federal governments.

Nuke

Fukushima leak "could cause hydrogen explosion" at nuclear plant

© EPA
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant
Warnings of risk of hydrogen explosion due to build up of gases in containers leaking radioactive water at Japan's disaster-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant

Leaking containers at Japan's embattled Fukushima nuclear power plant are at risk of possible hydrogen explosions, experts have claimed.

Almost 10 per cent of recently inspected containers holding contaminated water at the nuclear plant in northeast Japan were found to be leaking radioactive water.

The leakages, discovered during inspections by Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco), the operators of the plant, were thought to be caused by a build-up of hydrogen and other gases due to radiation contamination.

The discovery was reported to the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA), which raised concerns surrounding the potential hazards of accumulated hydrogen building up in the containers.

"If the concentration level is high, a spark caused by static electricity could cause a container to explore," one NRA official told the Asahi Shimbun.

Tepco officials made the discovery while inspecting 278 of the plant's 1,307 containers and found that 26 - close to ten per cent - had a leakage or overspill from their lids.

Comment: As well as the risk of explosion from a 'spark', there is an ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima; as the skyrocketing cancer epidemic of local residents continues to be "swept under the rug", with devastating effects on insects, birds and marine life. A fresh nuclear leak 70 times greater than the already high radioactive status was detected at the plant recently, which the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) officials admit to concealing.


Megaphone

#SayHerName: Activists push to recognize black women victimized by police violence

© Reuters/Elizabeth Shafiroff
Much of the debate surrounding police behavior in the United States has revolved around fatal confrontations between unarmed black men and law enforcement, but a new movement wants to remind Americans that black women are also victims.

In order to do so, a new report was released Wednesday called 'Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women,' which documents cases in which black women have been killed, beaten or sexually assaulted by law enforcement. The report was authored by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF), the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia University, and Andrea Ritchie, a Soros Justice Fellow and expert on women's experiences with police.

"Although Black women are routinely killed, raped and beaten by the police, their experiences are rarely foregrounded in popular understandings of police brutality," said Kimberle Williams Crenshaw, Director of the African American Policy Forum and co-author of the report, in a statement. "Yet, inclusion of Black women's experiences in social movements, media narratives and policy demands around policing and police brutality is critical to effectively combating racialized state violence for Black communities and other communities of color."

The group is using the hashtag #SayHerName to get its message out on social media.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held at New York City's Union Square, where dozens of people rallied, and relatives of women victimized by police brutality spoke about their experiences.


Comment: For more information on these thuggish, power-obsessed, pathological cops; listen to the recent Truth Perspective show - Cops gone wild on the SOTT Radio Network.


Sheeple

Peel Region Public Health threatens to suspend boy who got vaccinations two days too soon

© Andrew Francis Wallace / Toronto Star
Caledon student was immunized two days before his first birthday and now Peel Public Health could suspend him because his shots aren't valid.

Cheryl Fulcher dutifully got her son Mason,6, his necessary shots and thought he was fine until she received a letter from Peel Public Health. Now, because her son got his meningitis shot two days before his first birthday, it doesn't count.

Cheryl Fulcher is no anti-vaxxer. In fact, she has been so zealous getting shots for her son, Mason, that she had him vaccinated ahead of schedule: two days before his first birthday.

Five years on, as Mason wraps up Grade 1 at Caledon Central Public School, Peel Region Public Health is threatening to suspend him — not because he didn't get his shots, but because they were 48 hours premature.

"My doctor's office never flagged that it was a day or two early. I'm pretty anal about getting those things done when they're supposed to happen," Fulcher told the Star. "It's a complete surprise. It makes you feel like you aren't doing your job properly — but I thought I was."

Provincial guidelines, updated for the 2014/2015 school year, require children to receive their measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) shot as well as a meningitis vaccination "on or after the first birthday." The Immunization of School Pupils Act stipulates that students can be suspended if they aren't properly immunized.

"We're required to adhere to the legislation," said Peel Region Public Health spokesperson Janet Eagleson. "We send out at least four different correspondences to parents well in advance, working (with them) because we don't want to suspend kids."

But Mason is courting suspension next fall because he got his shots too early and Public Health says they don't count.

"If you want to get technical, he was born five days overdue," Fulcher said.

Fulcher received a letter from Peel Public Health in March, claiming that Mason did not have his MMR and meningitis shots. Thinking there had been a mix-up, she says she called them up and explained that the record shows he received both shots at 11 months and 28 days old. She says the public health nurse told her that was too early and Mason would have to get another shot, be tested for immunity, or she could sign an affidavit saying that he wasn't being vaccinated for religious or moral reasons.

"I'm definitely not going to sign it because you have to say 'I refuse to vaccinate my kid,' which is not the truth," said Fulcher. "But if I don't do anything, they're going to suspend my kid until I do."

She appealed her son's case but found out this week that he wouldn't get an exemption.

"Peel Public Health will uphold the provincially legislated requirements for the 12 month minimum age cut-off for students," wrote Dr. Monica Hau, associate medical officer of health at Peel Public Health, explaining that the vaccinations aren't as effective if delivered before the first birthday. "There will be no exceptions made."

Comment: An authoritarian follower getting outdone by even bigger authoritarian followers. We hope for the best for young Mason.