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Quenelle

Basque town votes in referendum on independence from Spain

Citizens of Etxarri Aranatz in Navarre voted in an unofficial referendum on Sunday over whether they wished to be citizens of a separate Basque country and secede from Spain.
© AFP Photo / Rafa Rivas
File photo. Thousands of people take part in a Basque separatist demonstration demanding autonomy for the Basque Country and Navarra province, in the northern Spanish Basque city of San Sebastian.
From 9am, nearly 2,500 eligible residents voted on the question: "Would you be a citizen of an independent Basque Country?"

The Basque country is made up of the regions of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, in Northern Spain. The area has had a long history of regional demands for autonomy along with Catalonia, and both regions have their own language.

Locals of Navarre celebrated over the course of the day with Basque songs and traditions. Support for Basque independence is particularly strong in Navarre.

"This is a significant and meaningful day today, not only for the Basques but also for the Catalans and also for all nations in Europe that actually are in the process of self-determination," Anna Arqué, Catalan spokesperson for the 'European Partnership for Independence' (EPI) told RT.
USA

Bodies of seven babies found in Utah house


Megan Huntsman, 39, apparently kept her pregnancies hidden from her husband, neighbours and her other children
A Utah woman has been accused of killing six of her own babies after their bodies were discovered in cardboard boxes at her former house.

Megan Huntsman, 39, gave birth to the babies between 1996 and 2006.

Seven bodies were found by police at the house in Pleasant Grove; it is unclear why she has only been charged on six counts.

Her estranged husband, who has not been charged, discovered the first body in the garage before alerting authorities.

Megan Huntsman was charged with six counts of murder at Utah Country Jail on Sunday.

Darren West, who has himself been in prison recently on drug-related charges, is believed to have been her partner when the children were born.

"We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation," police spokesman Michael Roberts said.

When asked how the husband could not have known his wife had given birth to seven children, Mr Roberts replied: "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."
Pistol

Three dead in Kansas City Jewish Community Campus shootings

Three people, including a man and his grandson, have been shot dead at a Jewish community site and a retirement home in Kansas City in the US Midwest.

The shootings occurred at the Jewish Community Campus at Overland Park and a nearby assisted living centre, Village Shalom, local media said.

Police said a suspect, a bearded white man in his 70s, was in custody.
Sheriff

Dallas police insist filming cops 'a major safety issue' for civilians

© Reuters/Jim Bourg
Dallas police officers, including the union that represents them, are asking citizens organized to keep watch over cops with recording devices to stop filming law enforcement because it is causing unspecified "major safety issue[s]."

The calls for camera disarmament come after an incident two weeks ago that seems to have shaken the Dallas Police Department. According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, a woman with the local police accountability group Cop Block was "following" a police officer, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, recording him making traffic stops with a "video camera."

"He was conducting traffic stops," DPD Sergeant Derek McCarter told CBS-DFW. "The officer called for cover to further investigate. The woman refused information and gave leading answers."

Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston said this business of taping police officers is worrisome, as these citizens could get hurt.
USA

America's ghost malls

Randall Park Mall
© architecturalafterlife.com
Randall Park Mall, North Randall, Ohio
Shopping malls are not meant to be sinister. And, yet, in 1977, George A Romero chose to film sequences of Dawn of the Dead, his cult horror zombie movie, in a deserted mall. Shorn of life and light, the great echoing chambers of the enclosed shopping centre took on a very eerie tone indeed. Curiously, Romero's set design has much in common with photographs of the ever-increasing number of abandoned malls strewn across the United States from California to New England. There are well over a hundred of these lifeless concrete and steel behemoths sprawled beside freeways on the fringes of far-flung American suburbs.

Economic decline in certain areas − notably the mid-West − combined with an accelerating trend towards online shopping and new forms of urban shopping centres have pushed the once seemingly invincible and all-American shopping mall into decline. Many are thriving, and being renovated and extended, yet 'ghost malls' are fast becoming the 'ghost towns' of the early 21st Century, and photographers have begun to see them as fascinating, if decidedly disturbing ruins.

Inside, their acres of kitsch design seem even sorrier than a seaside funfair out-of-season. All that marble, those wall tiles, the broad, Hollywood-like stairs − leading nowhere today − and sorry details like a sign on a wall of the Crestwood Court mall, St Louis, reading "Rest Easy", is both a little trashy and rather poignant.
2 + 2 = 4

Three Missouri teachers take stand against Common Core

© BlazeTV
Three educators who have taken a stand against Common Core in Missouri speak on the Glenn Beck Program April 9, 2014.
Susan Kimball, Tonya Pobst, and Heather Drury are all educators in the state of Missouri who have taken a stand against Common Core, a controversial new set of academic standards that critics say will "dumb down" America's children and open the door for data mining activities on students.

"When my students walk into my classroom, I have a responsibility not only to those students - I have a responsibility to those parents," Pobst said on the Glenn Beck Program Wednesday with guest hosts Stu Burguiere and Pat Gray. "These parents are entrusting me with their children ... and I feel it's my duty morally, ethically, to let them know, this is how your child has to be taught now. I don't have any freedom."
Eye 2

Parents devastated after police say "We don't have time for this!" and murder their mentally ill child (updates)

A family is deeply devastated after police murdered their mentally ill son in cold blood, according to reports. Mark Wilsey called 911 because he was worried that his son was having a medical episode.

The boy, Keith Vidal, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and suffered from depression. The 911 call was made after Keith wouldn't let go of a small screwdriver. Mark wanted some medical assistance to calm down his son responsibly, so that he didn't accidentally harm himself.

When personnel arrived, they were able to control the situation by negotiating with the boy. The father thought that everything was under control, but he never expected what was about to happen as a cop, who has not been named, entered the home.

Comment: Be sure to check the original link and see the video of the press conference about this horrendous act and the efforts to cover up the story.

Ambulance

Bus crash in Mexico results in at least 36 dead after collision with truck

© Felix Marquez/AP
A soldier guards the site where a passenger bus slammed into a broken-down truck and burst into flames near the town of Ciudad Isla in the Gulf state of Veracruz, Mexico
Passenger bus en route to Mexico City slammed into a truck Sunday, catching fire and reportedly killing most on board

A passenger bus slammed into a broken-down truck and burst into flames, killing at least 36 people on Sunday in southern Mexico, the Veracruz state government reported.

The accident came two days after 10 people died in a similar crash between a truck and a bus in California.

In Mexico, state and federal officials said that four people survived the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight in the southeastern state of Veracruz.

A communique from the state civil defense agency said the victims were business people from the region who were travelling from the Tabasco state capital of Villahermosa to Mexico City.
Arrow Down

Homeless people are reportedly living inside the Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge
© joel raskin's flickr
The homelessness epidemic in NYC reached new highs last year, with HUD reporting that 64,060 people were living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, in abandoned buildings and on the streets. While the national rate has been in decline, homelessness in NYC increased by more than 13 percent from the year prior. So where have all these homeless people been living? According to the Post, some of them have been getting comfortable INSIDE of the Manhattan Bridge.

The Post reports that there are spaces built into the underside of the upper deck of the bridge (above the bike lanes, below car traffic) that a few homeless people have converted into "coffin-sized living spaces." That includes one space built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance where a Chinese man in his 40s has been staying. Police only discovered these spaces when that man was spotted last Sunday climbing a fence to get to his space; he was mistaken for a jumper, which led cops to discovering his shack.

"It's pretty cool, it's a very New York story," said West Village resident said Debra Vitale. "I mean, hopefully, he's safe, and he has some way of supporting himself so he gets food." It's a very NY story, and certainly the Manhattan Bridge has a hell of a view, but it's not "pretty cool" to be forced to resorting to live in a 10.5 foot space sandwiched between a bellowing subway line and a major vehicular bypass - especially when local government helped foster the environment in which this has to happen by enacting rules making it tougher for those in need to enter the city's shelter system. But hey, homeless is a good sign of a vibrant economy, and god works in mysterious ways, right?
Arrow Down

DOJ investigation confirms: Albuquerque police 'executing' citizens

Albuquerque Police
© Cole L. Howard
Protesting against systemic abuse by the Albuquerque Police Department on Sunday April 6, demonstrators encountered officers in riot gear.
Residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico are marching on the police department Saturday to demand retribution against the city's mayor and police chief for their role in the police force's documented "execution" of citizens.

The march comes after the Department of Justice slammed the Albuquerque Police Department for their frequent use of excessive and lethal force in a damning report released on Thursday.

Though, according to advocates, abuse by local law enforcement has been systemic for years, calls for increased scrutiny of the APD were amplified following the police shooting death of James Boyd, a homeless man suffering from mental illness, on March 16.

Advocates welcomed the DOJ's findings, saying the report was "spot on" in terms of identifying the root causes of this behavior, such as the "aggressive culture of the department" and the way in which "force is prioritized in training."

However, according to David Correia, an organizer with the Task Force for Public Safety who has been working with families of victims of APD violence, the DOJ's inclusion of Mayor Richard J. Berry and police chief Gorden Eden in the negotiations for the consent decree, which will dictate how those recommendations will be implemented, is a "non-starter" for the community groups.

The systemic deficiencies identified by the DOJ are "all produced and reinforced through leadership," Correia told Common Dreams. "To say those people should be involved to us is 'no go.' We don't want them to be a part of it."
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