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Fri, 12 Feb 2016
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Indigenous native inhabitants seek apology from Pope Francis for genocide during his visit to Mexico

© Flickr/Gabriel Saldana
Indigenous ritual.
Ahead of a February 12 visit by Pope Francis to Mexico, around 30 indigenous communities in Michoacan, Mexico, have released a statement demanding that he apologize for killings of some 24 million aboriginal inhabitants, committed with the complicity of the Catholic Church during the colonization of the Americas.

The Supreme Indigenous Council of Michoacan, Mexico, accused the Catholic Church of being involved in mass genocide, which started with the Spaniards' arrival to the Central American region in the 16th century.

The statement noted that, by the beginning of the 17th century, there were less than 700,000 native inhabitants left alive, from an original population of about 25.2 million, which makes the Spanish intervention and invasion of the Americas one of the largest acts of genocide in history.

"For over 500 years, the original people of the Americas have been ransacked, robbed, murdered, exploited, discriminated and persecuted," the statement reads. "Within this framework, the Catholic Church has historically been complicit and allies of those who invaded our land."

Stock Down

Ukrainian bonds plunge after Econ Minister resigns due to rampant corruption

© Ukrainian government press centre
Aivaras Abromavicius was one of the faces of Ukrainian reform
While the rest of the world's bond yields are collapsing and prices soaring (as NIRP sweeps the globe), Ukraine's 'young' implicitly-US-taxpayer-backed bonds have plunged to record lows. The reason - aside from simply disturbing economics...

© Thomson Reuters Datastream
...is, as The FT reports, the dramatic resignation of the economy minister accusing a senior presidential ally of blocking his attempts to root out graft and stymieing his plans for reform. Abromavicius exclaimed, of the Washington-installed elite at Kiev's heart, "I realised there is an intention to unwind the process of making all of this transparent."

Comment: Further reading:
[T]he reason for his departure casts a cloud over the whole governing coalition. The failure to launch reforms was a conscious decision and not dictated by war, as the authorities have been claiming. The government and the president who had promised a war against corruption, who gained power from the Euromaidan protests with the promise to change the system and stop corruption, in the end decided to benefit from corruption mechanisms, not to fight them. What was only discussed and suspected before, has now been confirmed by a top official.

Ukraine economic minister's resignation 'could herald the collapse' of Kiev regime


Ignored by Western Media: Heroic refugee saves drowning man celebrating German Carnival

© Ina Fassbender
The Rhine river in the western German town of Krefeld.
Don't expect this story to be shared on the anti-migrant hate sites popping up around Europe, but people who aren't xenophobic are celebrating one refugee's Sunday heroics in Germany.

A 21-year-old Pakistani walking with a friend in the city of Krefeld spotted a man fall into the Rhine river while urinating, the Local reported, citing a German police report.

After telling his friend to contact emergency services, the migrant jumped into the chilly waters and bravely rescued the 20-year-old "Krefelder" who had been one of the 80,000 people at the local Karneval celebration.

Police described the rescue as a "selfless" act.

The unnamed migrant currently lives in a communal refugee home in the city.

Both men emerged from the water uninjured.

The only arrest made during Krefeld's Karneval was of a local man, police say.

Comment: Do you get the impression that the Western press has a definite agenda in hyping the hysteria over refugees to the exclusion of the more nuanced truth? If you do, then your perceptive abilities are working fine.


Good cops get fired: Officer Carol Horne is fighting for her pension after she was fired for stopping a brutal assault

Good cops get fired, attacked and otherwise marginalized by a system that encourages violence
Officer Cariol Horne did what any good person would do, when she saw a fellow cop choking a handcuffed suspect. She stepped in, and stopped the attack on the defenseless citizen. In a story that garnered national attention, Horne was fired, then dismissed from the Buffalo Police Department after 19 years of service.

She was one year shy of her required 20 years, to get her pension. Now, she is fighting to get the money that she worked so hard for - only to have it stolen out from under her for taking a stand against illegal police violence. It all started back on November 1, 2006, when Officer Horne arrived at the scene of an officer in distress at 707 Walden Avenue, in Buffalo, New York.

That officer was Gregory Kwiatkowski, had responded to a domestic dispute between Neal Mack and his girlfriend. Officer Horne entered the house and saw Mack had already been placed under arrest. Officer Horne told local 7 Eyewitness News that Mack had been handcuffed in the front and was sideways. He was unable to move, and was being punched in the face repeatedly by Officer Kwiatkowski.

Horne says that she and 10 other officers brought Mack outside, but Officer Kwiatkowski got right back to work on him, choking the handcuffed suspect.

"Gregory Kwiatkowski turned Neal Mack around and started choking him. So then I'm like, Greg! You're choking him! I thought whatever happened in the house he [Kwiatkowski] was still upset about it so when he didn't stop choking him I just grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack's neck," Horne recounted.

Horne says that's when Kwiatkowski physically attacked her, "He comes up and punches me in the face and I had to have my bridge replaced," Horne explained.

But no charges were ever raised against Mack or Officer Kwiatkowski. Horne was, however, charged with obstruction - 13 counts in total, including obstruction for "jumping on officer Kwiatkowski's back and/or striking him with her hands."

Comment: This is pretty standard. Cops are granted the freedom to brutally attack suspects, when anyone gets in their way, especially other cops, the reaction is swift, violent and designed to prevent other potential #GoodCops from behaving similarly. Go like her facebook page and help spread the word. A quick tweet or a post on your wall helps!

Star of David

Israeli forces shut down village of 25,000 following deadly attack by three teen boys

© Abed al Qaisi
Israeli forces closed all seven entrances to the village. Each entrance has seen clashes and protests, as residents continue to demand their village be opened.
Israeli forces closed down Qabatiya village in the northern occupied West Bank overnight Wednesday, following an attack carried out by three teens from the village who shot and killed a 19-year-old Israeli police officer, and seriously injured another. All three teens were shot dead at the scene, but Israeli forces retaliated by closing down the attackers' hometown.

Around 25,000 people in the large northern village are on lockdown. All seven entrances to the village are closed, and only a muddy path through a farm field remains open. Residents told Mondoweiss that if Israeli forces found that they had been using the path, it too would be closed.

Comment: Israel doing what they do best, brutal oppression against the Palestinians.

Snakes in Suits

A neurologist explains why it's hard to look at Ted Cruz's creepy 'unsettling' face

As he has risen in the polls, more attention is being paid to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's overall electability as a man who looks, as one fellow Princeton classmate described him: "about as telegenic as an undertaker."

The answer as to why so many people dislike the Texas Republican instinctively is one that intrigued Dr. Richard E. Cytowic, a professor of neurology at George Washington University.


Texas town sees FBI arrest nearly every elected official for corruption

© KENS 5
The FBI and local law enforcement agencies investigate officials in Crystal City Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016.
Only two of the elected officials in a remote Texas town were left unscathed after the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) arrested six members under a federal indictment that accuses them of taking bribes and helping an illegal gambling operator in exchange for favors, the Associated Press reported. Those arrested in Crystal City, Texas include the mayor, the city attorney who is also the city manager, two current councilmen, and a former councilman.

"The indictment alleges that these public officials and this businessman solicited and accepted bribes in exchange for official action, such as voting to award city contracts to, waive certain tax payments by, and conduct certain inspections to give unfair advantage to those paying bribes," Richard Durbin, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, said in a press release. One of the two remaining top officials was previously arrested on federal charges of smuggling immigrants across the southern U.S. border.

Card - VISA

American economy on the skids - a personal glimpse

Announcing the latest in financial engineering: The all-new short-term revolving-loan-financed margin trading account
Margin trading takes on a whole new dimension in the hand-to-mouth U.S. of A

A little break from Russia's economic crisis and adventures in Syria...

I called one of my credit cards for some routine matter. Before letting me go, the company's representative on the phone made a pitch, evidently reading from some kind of script or talking points.

It went as follows:

Phone rep: Thanks again so much for your business. I notice your available credit (amount one can spend on the card) is quite high. We're offering a special where you can get a cash transfer direct to your bank account, zero interest for 13 months. I know a lot of our customers have been calling in and using that to pay taxes or make investments.

Me: Oh yeah? What's the interest on that?

Phone rep: Well, it's zero interest for thirteen months. It's a really great offer we're able to make. Also there's a four percent transaction fee, minimum of ten dollars.

Me: OK, and after that?

Phone rep: Well that would be 14.35 percent annually. But you can pay if off within 13 months and not pay any interest. It's a great way that a lot of customers have been using to pay taxes or make investments.

Me: So basically, my investment that I'm funding with your money... If I want to pay you in full after 13 months plus let's say one year, paying just interest during that year... Given your transaction fee, I'd have to find something that returns 18.35 percent within 25 months just to break even. I dunno. Thanks anyway.

Comment: Wise words.


The rapture, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and 50 other reasons people use for not prepping

Have you ever come away discouraged after trying to talk about prepping with friends or family members that just don't seem to be interested? Over the years, I have heard countless excuses from people for why they aren't getting prepared for what is about to happen to America. Some of the excuses, like a lack of money, are definitely legitimate. But in many other instances, the objections don't seem to make a lot of sense. In America today, most people let others do most of their thinking for them. And in general, our political, religious and cultural leaders are telling Americans that there really is no reason to be overly concerned about the future. They assure us that they have everything under control, and that life is only going to get better in the years ahead. Bad beliefs lead to bad decisions which in turn lead to bad actions, and most Americans have chosen to believe what the elite are telling them at this point. As a result, only a small fraction of society is getting physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared for the exceedingly hard times that are rapidly approaching. The following are 53 common excuses that people like to use for not prepping...

Comment: Did he miss any that you have?

Arrow Down

Cooking oil cans found 'reinforcing' concrete walls of high-rise building which collapsed in Taiwan quake

© Tyrone Siu/Reuters
Rescue personnel work at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed, after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan February 7, 2016.
The only high-rise building to have collapsed in the Taiwanese city of Tainan following a major earthquake on Saturday seems to have had serious constructions flaws. The collapse has exposed cooking-oil cans embedded inside the building's concrete walls.

Witnesses at the scene have told Reuters that they saw large rectangular, commercial cans of cooking-oil packed inside the wall cavities of the 17-story Wei Guan Golden Dragon Building, apparently having been used as building material.

A BBC correspondent reported from the scene that the collapse has exposed blue-and-white cooking oil cans that "appear to have been used as filler inside some of the concrete beams."