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A dark alliance and a lasting shame: Remembering investigative reporter Gary Webb

Kill the Messenger is currently playing at mostly empty theaters, which is a pity, because it's an important movie about a real-life story: A reporter who becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into Southern California. That reporter is Gary Webb, played on the big screen by Jeremy Renner of The Bourne Legacy fame. This is what I wrote in December 2007 about Webb's expose and investigative journalism in general, with a few embellishments and a new footnote added:

I worked with a goodly number of great investigative journalists over the years, men and women who risk career, life and limb to get the story, and I can say with some satisfaction that this bunch usually did.

But beyond the glamor of the Woodward and Bernstein portrayed by Redford and Hoffman in All the President's Men is a dark side: Investigative reporters and their editors can be an intensely jealous lot, and except for the biggest stories (like the Pentagon Papers, Watergate and the My Lai Massacre) rival papers are more apt to ignore an investigative story than mention it in their own pages, and sometimes even dump on it.
Handcuffs

Teacher charged after video surfaces of him forcefully dragging student into pool


Comment: Teachers are supposed to be the caretakers of our young, those who are present to protect and be the example for our children to learn from while parents are away. It's infuriating seeing what this teacher has done, and it will probably scar this poor girl for quite a long time to not trust adults around her. And who can blame her? This a**hole teacher somehow thought it was a good idea to force the girl into the pool, for no good reason. He should never be allowed to teach again. The parents should sue the pants off him.


A California physical education teacher has been charged with corporal injury to a child after video surfaced of him attempting to throw a 14-year-old girl into the pool during his class, News10 reports.

On the video - taken by another student - Edison High School P.E. teacher Denny Peterson can be seen dragging the girl toward the pool while she yells, "My top is falling down."

The lawyer representing her, Gilbert Somera, admitted that the girl was lying about her reason for not wanting to go in the pool - she had had her hair done earlier that day for an event she was attending that evening and didn't want it ruined - before adding that it was immaterial to the way in which she was treated, given the claim she was making.

Stormtrooper

Why on Earth are police going to a class called "Killology" and training to be "warriors"?

killology
© Killology
Albuquerque, New Mexico - Just over a week after the City of Albuquerque signed an agreement with the Department of Justice, promising to scale back aggressive police tactics and address police brutality, the Albuquerque Police Department has found themselves in the midst of another scandal.

This week, it was revealed by local KRQE News 13 that a retired Albuquerque Police Officer was teaching a class that was seemingly designed to instruct other cops on how to be more aggressive.

The class is run and operated by retired Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, and is called "killology - the study of killing." The retired officer instructs a number of similar classes, including his most recent, "The Bulletproof Mind: Prevailing in Violent Encounters Before and After."
Eye 2

5-year-old raped by psychopathic teen relative also contracted STD


Luis Arevelo
Police in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania accused an 18-year-old native of Ecuador of raping a 5-year-old relative and causing her to contract chlamydia, WCAU-TV reported.

"I guess the best way for me to describe this guy is an animal," superintendent Michael Chitwood said of the suspect, identified by the Philadelphia Inquirer as Luis Arevelo.

The attack allegedly happened months ago, but the victim's illness was not discovered until her mother took her to a Philadelphia hospital on Tuesday. The girl's mother also reportedly told authorities that she had been told about the attack.

Arevelo was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, indecent sexual assault, and rape of a child. He allegedly admitted to police that he has chlamydia, while denying that he attacked the girl. He is currently being held on a $250,000 cash bond.

Chitwood also said that the suspect, who is residing in the U.S. legally, asked to be tried in his native country.

"My statement to detectives was, 'If they want to come and fly him out, that's good with me,'" he told reporters.
Sheeple

Sheeple scanner: The FBI is very excited about this machine that can scan your DNA in 90 minutes

dna scanner
© IntegenX
A scanner, quickly: The RapidHIT 200 can generate a DNA profile in about 90 minutes.
Rapid-DNA technology makes it easier than ever to grab and store your genetic profile. G-men, cops, and Homeland Security can't wait to see it everywhere.

Robert Schueren shook my hand firmly, handed me his business card, and flipped it over, revealing a short list of letters and numbers. "Here is my DNA profile." He smiled. "I have nothing to hide." I had come to meet Schueren, the CEO of IntegenX, at his company's headquarters in Pleasanton, California, to see its signature product: a machine the size of a large desktop printer that can unravel your genetic code in the time it takes to watch a movie.

Schueren grabbed a cotton swab and dropped it into a plastic cartridge. That's what, say, a police officer would use to wipe the inside of your cheek to collect a DNA sample after an arrest, he explained. Other bits of material with traces of DNA on them, like cigarette butts or fabric, could work too. He inserted the cartridge into the machine and pressed a green button on its touch screen: "It's that simple." Ninety minutes later, the RapidHIT 200 would generate a DNA profile, check it against a database, and report on whether it found a match.

The RapidHIT represents a major technological leap - testing a DNA sample in a forensics lab normally takes at least two days. This has government agencies very excited. The Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Justice Department funded the initial research for "rapid DNA" technology, and after just a year on the market, the $250,000 RapidHIT is already being used in a few states, as well as China, Russia, Australia, and countries in Africa and Europe.

"We're not always aware of how it's being used," Schueren said. "All we can say is that it's used to give an accurate identification of an individual." Civil liberties advocates worry that rapid DNA will spur new efforts by the FBI and police to collect ordinary citizens' genetic code.
Dollar

Skyrocketing water bills: Utilities and cities using underhanded tactics to gouge customers

water
"In places like Benton Harbor, Michigan and Detroit, there is something called the emergency manager, which essentially is a local dictator. He can depose the mayor and offer decrees and answer to no one except the governor. In these two cities and others, because they are lacking tax revenue (because of lack of industry) they are jacking up the water rates as much as 40%. ... One of the people who was leading the charge against this stuff was recently convicted in a kangaroo court in Benton Harbor and is now facing 20 years in prison. He is Reverend Pinkney." - Brandon Turbeville

"Little bitty Benton Harbor was the testing ground. It was the testing ground to see what they can get away with. ...It's comin' to your city next, whether you like it or not.
- Rev. Edward Pinkney

Readers may remember my past article dealing with the apparent corruption regarding water rates in places like Dekalb County, Georgia. Electricity, Gas, Water. It's crucial that people be aware that they are not safe from those providing these services and necessities. They should know that their "government" can even move to take water from them.

Comment: Although city governments are becoming rapacious because of a lack of tax revenues, another reason this may be occurring is that Wall Street banks and elitist multi-billionaires have been buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace. Goldman Sachs called water "the petroleum for the next century" and has been gobbling up water utilities, water engineering companies, and water resources worldwide. Considering the rampant greed of Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street banks, it's not difficult to see a connection between their ownership of water utilities and price gouging, as it's just another example of predatory capitalism.

Ambulance

Man dies after being burned alive in industrial oven

factory chimney
© Reuters / Nigel Roddis
A Liverpool man suffered horrific burns and later died from shock after becoming trapped in an industrial moulding oven when co-workers failed to notice he was cleaning inside, a court has heard. The oven can reach temperatures of 280 degrees Celsius.

Alan Catterall, 54, went inside the oven at Pyranha Mouldings Ltd to clean the equipment, but a co-worker switched the machine on without realising Caterall was inside.

The ovens at the plastics manufacturer are fitted with an energy saving lock, which automatically engages when the machine is in use. The court heard a safety door has now been installed, but at the time of the accident Catterall had no means of escape.

The firm is on trial for corporate manslaughter. Brothers Graham and Peter Mackereth both face criminal health and safety offences.

Another man on trial is Paul Keddie, who designed and installed the oven's control systems.

All of the accused deny the charges against them.

Andrew Thomas, QC, prosecuting, told jurors at Liverpool Crown Court: "The circumstances of Mr Catterall's death are quite horrific.

"On the morning of the accident a fault had developed in one of the ovens. It was out of service for about an hour whilst maintenance work was carried out. The initial fault was fixed and one of the operators turned the machine back on. Tragically, what the operator did not realise was that Mr Catterall was still working inside the oven."

Thomas further told the court that due to the insulation, there was no chance his cries for help would be heard. He reportedly attempted to escape using a metal crowbar, but was unable to force the door open.
Pistol

'Totally innocent' unarmed man 'accidentally' shot dead by NYPD police

© AFP Photo / Timothy A. Clary
A rookie NYPD officer "accidentally" shot and killed an unarmed African-American man in a staircase in a New York apartment block. It happened as Ferguson is tensely waiting for a grand jury decision on a police officer who shot Michael Brown.

Akai Gurley, 28, and his girlfriend Melissa Butler were entering a staircase on the seventh floor in Pink House project in Brooklyn late Thursday evening when two policemen came down from the eighth floor. Peter Liang and his partner, Shaun Landau were doing a top-to-bottom patrol. Liang, a rookie on probationary assignment, fired a shot in Gurley's chest without a warning, Butler said.

"They didn't present themselves or nothing and shot him," Butler told DNAinfo New York. "As soon as he came in, the police opened the [door to the] eighth-floor staircase. They didn't identify themselves at all. They just shot."

Gurley and Butler tried to go down the stairs but reached only the fifth floor where Gurley lost consciousness. There a neighbor called an ambulance. Butler says the policemen did not come to help nor called the ambulance. Gurley, who has a 2-year-old son, was pronounced dead on arrival to hospital.

An NYPD spokesperson said the police department's internal affairs bureau is investigating the shooting. Liang has been placed on modified assignment and was relieved of both his badge and gun.
Heart - Black

Woman inmates at prison in India allege guards forced them into prostitution

© YouTube
Mention Parappana Agrahara to someone in India and they're not likely to assume you're talking about the neighborhood in India's fourth largest city, Bangalore. Instead, the name will probably bring to mind one of India's most infamous prisons, which has housed high-profile Indian celebrities and politicians.

The prison is an island surrounded by an urban ocean, walled off from the city of Bangalore by monstrous gates and barbed wire fences. For years, the jail has suffered from overcrowding, leading prison officials sometimes to let convicts out early in an attempt to shrink the prison population.

Last week, Indian officials investigating the prison presented a file to the local high court that included two hand-written letters by anonymous female inmates alleging that guards forced them to have sex with male prisoners. According to the letters, the guards charged between 300 and 500 rupees (between $4 and $8) to sleep with the women, a high price considering prison inmates earn about 20 rupees per day making furniture, weaving clothes and doing other odd jobs in the jail.

Investigators discovered the letters inside the grievance boxes in the women's wing of the prison. The court ordered that an inquiry of the complaints, which will be carried out by the Prisons Department and the Women and Child Welfare Department.
War Whore

'Shame on you!' Ukrainian president booed by protesters on Maidan

© RIA Novosti / Michail Polinchak
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks with Kiev residents after the ceremony of laying flowers to the Celestial Hundred Heroes Cross on the anniversary of the beginning of Maidan protests.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was heckled by protesters as he tried to pay tribute to the victims of the last year's Euromaidan riots in Kiev, which saw around 100 dead and led to a regime change in the country.

"Shame on you!", "Who are your heroes, Poroshenko?" and "Down with Poroshenko!" people shouted as the president lit a candle at the memorial at Institutskaya Street in central Kiev.

Around 50 people were killed on Institutskaya Street during clashes between the police and protesters, in which firearms were widely used, with the rest of the victims dying at the nearby Independence Square or Maidan.

Comment: And there won't be any resolution to the conflict anytime soon: Ukrainian Nazis threaten military takeover 'if things don't change within 6 months' - Reports of Ukrainian Army teaming up with eastern rebels

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