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'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'

Germany
© Shengel/Wikipedia
Mafia infiltration has reached Germany's Rhineland.
Italian mobsters have infiltrated "every sector in Germany", according to investigators, with the Sicilian mafia particularly active in the Rhineland.

Last Friday, a Cologne court began the trial of Gabriele S. - a Sicilian immigrant accused of tax fraud.

The case is part of the larger investigation called the Scavo Commission into mafia outreach in the Rhineland that has uncovered far more than shell companies and tax evasion.

"The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany from construction to alternative energy, from waste management to shareholding of large companies or banks.

"They buy votes and influence elections through bribery, corruption", said Roberto Scarpinato, attorney general of Palermo's court of appeals and anti-mafia pool, in an article published in Wired Italia.

According to Wired Italia, and in collaboration with Investigative Reporting Project Italy (IRPI) and media publisher Funke, the mafia is "increasingly present in Germany".
House

The rental affordability crisis

miami apartment
© Angel Valentin
Christine Menedis tours a condominium in Miami Beach that rents for $7,000 a month. In Miami, average rents consume 43 percent of the typical household income, up from a historical average of just over a quarter
For rent and utilities to be considered affordable, they are supposed to take up no more than 30 percent of a household's income. But that goal is increasingly unattainable for middle-income families as a tightening market pushes up rents ever faster, outrunning modest rises in pay.

The strain is not limited to the usual high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco. An analysis for The New York Times by Zillow, the real estate website, found 90 cities where the median rent - not including utilities - was more than 30 percent of the median gross income.

In Chicago, rent as a percentage of income has risen to 31 percent, from a historical average of 21 percent. In New Orleans, it has more than doubled, to 35 percent from 14 percent. Zillow calculated the historical average using data from 1985 to 2000.
Arrow Down

Free annual physicals under Obamacare are not actually free

Obamacare
© Personal Liberty Digest

Obamacare patients who go to their doctors for a free annual checkup are finding out that they may have to pay for the preventive healthcare visit after all.

They are angry to learn that if they mention past or ongoing health concerns during the physical, that can result in co-pays and deductibles, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Under the Affordable Care Act, preventive care includes screenings for high blood pressure and high cholesterol counts, evaluations for several cancers and diabetes, and vaccinations. The patient is allowed, in most cases, one checkup per year.

But "wellness" care on potential new health issues is viewed as "evaluation and monitoring," and leads to patients having to fork out for the "free" annual physical.

"Patients are scheduling physicals because physicals are free," Randy Wexler, a family physician in Columbus, Ohio, told the Journal. "But they come in and say, 'I've been having headaches. My back has been bothering me, and I'm depressed.' That's not part of a physical. That will trigger a copay."
Bizarro Earth

People take selfies with suicidal man over Los Angeles' 105 Freeway as backdrop

© Marcus Smith/KTLA
People taking selfies on the 105 Freeway
When the 105 Freeway in Paramount was closed on Thursday evening because a man was contemplating a suicide attempt on an overpass, some Angelenos who were stuck on the road thought it would be the perfect time to take selfies.

Authorities received calls around 5:30 p.m. from drivers that there was a man threatening to commit suicide on the overpass, according to the L.A. Times. The CHP shut down the 105 Freeway from both directions starting at 6:30 p.m. and reopened it at 9:30 p.m. when they managed to convince the man to not jump, reported the Press-Telegram.
105 Freeway still shut down in Paramount as negotiation w/ man on bridge continuespic.twitter.com/2zfciugdVt

- KTLA (@KTLA) April 11, 2014
If u r driving do not get the 105 e & w this man stopped the whole freeway by the paramount/Garfield exit :o pic.twitter.com/gBtjoG6s3Q

- Casablancas (@asshhbamm) April 11, 2014
#Sad There's a jumper on the 105 freeway pic.twitter.com/gHbsR3Bocj

- CJ' CRUZ'n Keepers (@cjkpilot) April 11, 2014
Eye 1

Bundy Ranch: Fed retreat was psyop - next wave soon

New developments in the Bundy Ranch standoff. DHS insider reveals the Federal retreat was complete Psyop to study opposition to crush rebellion in next assault.

Comment: IF what the DHS insider says is true, welcome to the Orwellian nightmare!

Pistol

Florida closer to waiving gun laws during riots, other emergencies

© Reuters/Andrew Innerarity
Hurricanes, toxic events, riots, and other emergencies in Florida could soon be enough to allow residents to circumvent the state's gun laws and carry a weapon without a permit if a bill passed Friday is signed into law.

The bill would allow any Floridian without a criminal record to flaunt an assault weapon or pistol with a high-capacity magazine during a state of evacuation. Known as HB 209, the legislation passed in the state house by a 80-36 margin with support from the National Rifle Association. Six Democrats voted for the bill, ignoring Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's objection that the bill was too vague.

"To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity," he told the Miami Herald. "The bill is crazy, it's absurd."

Among Gualtieri's issues with the bill is the lack of clarity regarding how long, or over what geographic area, a firearm owner may qualify to conceal a weapon in an evacuation. Also, the bill permits those who are "in lawful possession" of guns to carry weapons. What exactly that means is unclear, with columnists speculating if the law would allow the adult children of gun owners to carry guns.
Chalkboard

Press kit on Human Rights violations in Ukraine

Barbed wire
© Unknown
The situation of human rights in Ukraine has deteriorated markedly since the pro-NATO coup. While the Western media turn a blind eye to this every day reality, Oriental Review highlights thirty particularly significant incidents, revealing that the street is in the hands of Nazi thugs who beat up and kill people with complete impunity.

The flywheel of political repressions in Ukraine is gaining momentum these days. In sharp contrast with the liberal approach by president Yanukovych to the "Euromaidan" rout, the interim Kievan administration did not hesitate much about cracking down the public uprising against the "neo-Nazi regime" on the rise in the East and South of Ukraine. Today only in Kharkov at least 70 activists have been arrested during the so-called "anti-terrorist operation" [1]. According to the reports, foreign mercenaries presumably from the US Greystone Ltd private military contractor firm were participating in the operation along with the National Guard (majorly consisting of the ultranationalist Pravy (Right) Sector fighters) and some loyal Interior Ministry units.
Sherlock

Clinton shoe thrower apparently conspiracy theorist obsessed with aurora shooter

Hillary Clinton
© AFP Photo / Isaac Brekken
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw an object toward her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on April 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada
The woman who threw a shoe a Hillary Clinton on Thursday night in Las Vegas appears to the be same woman who interrupted the court proceedings of James Holmes and filed a motion to have the confessed Aurora, Colo., theater shooter released from jail.

Alison Michelle Ernst was arrested Thursday after sneaking past security to throw a soccer cleat at Clinton during the former secretary of State's speech to an industry association in the city. The shoe missed its target, and Clinton laughed off the would-be attack unharmed.
People

Depopulation of rural America


New Mexico, 'where the Great Plains meet the mountains' - rural populations have declined for three years running.
The years 2010 - 13 mark the first extended period of depopulation in rural and exurban America, although the latest figures show the pace slowed last year.

US Department of Agriculture data indicate a net loss of 28,000 from rural and non-metropolitan counties between July 2012 and July 2013, following a decline of 48,500 a year earlier. The total net loss since 2010 has been around 100,000, despite growth in the general population.

"This period [of decline] may simply be an interruption . . . or it could turn out to be the end of a major demographic regime that has transformed small towns and rural areas throughout the country for decades," the USDA said.
Bad Guys

Bhakkar cannibals return to eating human flesh

© Express News
The cannibal brothers
Two brothers who were previously found guilty of cannibalism and detained by the police have now returned to eating human flesh and an FIR has been registered against them on the charges of terrorism, Express News reported on Monday.

Arif and Farman, who are from the small town of Darya Khan in Bhakkar district, were first arrested in April 2011 after they were found to have disinterred corpses in the local graveyard for the purpose of eating them.

It was reported that the brothers had dug up and devoured parts from upto 150 bodies before they were finally caught.

Today, the police conducted a raid at their house and recovered the head of a boy. According to DPO Bhakkar Ameer Abdullah, Arif has been arrested and he admitted to eating human flesh while his brother Farman is still on the loose.

Comment: Previously: Macabre meeting with Pakistan cannibal

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