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Fire

Huge blaze after blast rocks petrochemical plant in China (VIDEO)

© China Daily / Reuters
A dramatic video has been released capturing the moment when a huge explosion broke out at a petrochemical factory in east China's Shandong Province triggering a massive fire. Over 130 firefighters were called to tackle the blaze, local media reported.

Comment: Foul play is suspected in the oil refinery blast in southern France this week. A few other recent plant explosions include: In Earth Changes and the Human-Cosmic Connection, Pierre Lescaudron presents the possibility that certain types of buildings or factories can act as attractors for dramatic electrical discharges, whether 'sparked' by incoming comet fragments or atmospheric electrical conditions. So could something similar be responsible for some of these fires?

SOTT Exclusive: Solar System 'grounding':Transformer explosions and electrical anomalies


Airplane

Eleven commercial airplanes hit by laser beams in New Jersey

Aviation experts say they're alarmed by a growing trend of "shooting" US airplanes with lasers, as 11 commercial flights reported they were hit by the beams while flying over New Jersey Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) started an inquiry after 11 commercial planes were struck by what officials believe to be handheld lasers between 9:00 and 10:30 PM on Wednesday evening. The beams hit cockpits from both the left and right sides along with other parts of the planes, according to officials. Although there were no reports of injuries, and all aircraft landed safely, one pilot reported blurred vision after the flight, according to ABC News.

"This is an assault on a pilot as far as I'm concerned ... It is a criminal matter. You're putting the lives of not just the pilot but everyone on the plane at risk," Rich Frankel, the FBI agent in charge of Newark, New Jersey, told ABC.

Comment: Laser pointer attacks on airplane pilots have jumped 1100% since 2005


Hardhat

Hide the money: Oil industry stalls law to force disclosures on payments

© Gates Foundation/flickr/cc
Here, students eat lunch at a school in Osagbo, Nigeria. According to Oxfam, the country's oil sector is one of the most corrupt in the world.
Thanks to "foot dragging by the Securities and Exchange Commission" combined with "aggressive lobbying and legal challenges by oil industry laggards," a U.S. law meant to increase transparency around fossil fuel operations in developing countries has been stalled for nearly five years, charges a new report from Oxfam America.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act sought to help citizens "follow the money" by including the groundbreaking provision known as the Cardin-Lugar provision, or Section 1504, that would require all oil, gas, and mining companies listed on U.S. stock exchanges to disclose payments made to governments around the world for each project.

Such payments include taxes, royalties, fees, production entitlements, bonuses, dividends, and payments for infrastructure improvements.

Comment: It seems fairly obvious why the industry is fighting against transparency in their financial dealings:


Stormtrooper

SOTT Exclusive: Finnish police fired guns just 6 times in 2013 - US cops have killed over 500 people so far in 2015

© Armstrongeconomics.com
Militarization of American Police
Police violence in the US is now so prevalent that it has become 'the new normal', although just how extreme the situation it is becomes apparent when we compare it with other developed countries. Take my country, Finland, for example, where cops discharged their firearms just six times in 2013, and 120 times over the last decade, with the use of firearms by police rarely resulting in death.

Finnish police have fired guns about 120 times in the last ten years, and the use of firearms by police rarely results in death: the Finnish National Police Board reported that police killed just three people from 2003-2013, and injured 20.

However, in the US, 2015 statistics show that by June, police have killed over 500 people, and it's understood that this number is under-reported due to a lack of official record keeping. The London Guardian is keeping track of American police killings, and at the time of writing the count was about 540. A similar number of people were killed by US cops last year.

Arrow Up

Quebec bill changes animals from "property" to sentient beings and includes jail time for cruelty

© www.dogheirs.com
Animals will be considered "sentient beings" instead of property in a bill tabled in the Canadian province of Quebec. The legislation states that "animals are not things. They are sentient beings and have biological needs."

Agriculture Minister Pierre Paradis proposed the bill and wants to change Quebec's infamous image as a haven for puppy mills

The legislation specifies that animals have biological needs and includes fines of up to $250,000 for those who are cruel to animals, as well as jail time for repeat offenders.

Paradis said the bill puts Quebec more in line with other Canadian provinces like Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba. The act will apply to all domesticated and farm animals and certain wild animals. Paradis said he wants to see animals "treated with dignity as much as possible" it doesn't matter what animal.

"If you have a goldfish you have to take care of it," he said. "Don't get a goldfish if you don't want to take care of it."

Under the bill inspectors will have the power to demand to see an animal if they have "reasonable cause" to suspect the pet or animal is being mistreated. They also can also obtain a warrant to enter a home and seize animals. Repeat offenders would also come under fire as authorities and judges would have the discretion to increase fines and sentence serial violators to jail for up to 18 months.

Pistol

At least 5 dead, 3 injured in shootings at 2 Tennessee military recruiting centers

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© AP video still / AP
Shootings occurred at two military recruiting centers in southeastern Tennessee leaving five people dead, including the gunman, with three others wounded. One person is in critical condition. Another victim, a police officer, is stable.

The active shooter situation is over, the Chattanooga Police Department tweeted. The shooter and four other people are dead, Mayor Andy Berke told reporters during an afternoon press conference.

Comment: Here we go again with a 'terrorist' situation.


Megaphone

Chris Hedges on Bernie Sanders' role within the corporate Democrats

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Bernie Sanders
Bernie Sanders is the only major party candidate for President who favors a single payer national health insurance system.

What's not to like?

That was the question Ralph Nader asked Chris Hedges on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour.

"Bernie Sanders wants to break up the New York banks, he wants to impose a Wall Street transaction tax, he wants to regulate drug prices, he's for full Medicare for all — everybody in, nobody out, free choice of doctor and hospital — he wants to get rid of these corporate tax havens, he's pushing for a $15 dollar an hour minimum wage, he wants to stronger labor unions. What's not to like?" Nader asked Hedges.

"Because he did it within the Democratic establishment," Hedges said. "He's lending credibility to a party that is completely corporatized. He has agreed that he will endorse the candidate, which, unless there is some miracle, will probably be Hillary Clinton."

"So what he does is he takes all of that energy, he raises all of these legitimate issues and he funnels it back into a dead political system so that by April it's over."

Comment: A lot of people think Bernie Sanders is the answer to the corrupt presidential candidates. As this article shows, having faith in politicians that look on the surface to be different and for the people is a hopeless exercise. In politics, nothing happens by accident, and that truism is definitely relevant with Bernie Sanders' entrance into the presidential race.


Cult

Pastor arrested and charged with sex abuse of 13-year-old girl

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© San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department
Yanhao Ren booking photo
California youth pastor has been accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl after police found him in the backseat of a car with her on a highway turn out.

Yanhao "Eric" Ren, 24, of the Los Angeles County community known as Rowland Heights, was arrested Monday on suspicion of a number of sex crimes with a child, local station KTLA reports.

Ren has been a pastor for Evangelical Formosan Church of Rowland Heights for two years and has allegedly carried out a sexual relationship with the child since May, the station reports.

On Sunday just before midnight, the California Highway Patrol found him parked with the girl off of Highway 330, a low-traffic road that runs through the Angeles National Forrest, the Highland Community News reports.

Sheriff

Woman who decried police brutality on social media dies in police custody

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Sandra Bland (Screenshot/ABC News
Grieving friends and family of Sandra Bland want to know how the 28-year-old wound up dead in a Texas jail cell, and they don't believe the story they're being told by Waller County authorities.

"The Waller County Jail is trying to rule her death a suicide and Sandy would not have taken her own life," LaNitra Dean, a long-time friend, told ABC 7 Chicago. "Sandy was strong. Strong mentally and spiritually."

Bland, who was outspoken about racism and police brutality, had just gotten a new job at her alma matter, Texas Prairie View A&M, and was on her way from the Chicago suburb of Naperville to her new home near Houston when she was stopped by police for failing to signal during a lane change on Friday afternoon, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The simple traffic stop escalated, according to video of the arrest that has emerged on YouTube. The video shows officers on top of Bland as she cries out that they had slammed her head into the ground and were being too rough with her. An officer is seen telling the person shooting the video to leave. The recording does not show the beginning of the encounter.

"You just slammed my head into the ground," Bland yells as she is being arrested. "Do you not even care about that? I can't even hear!"


Fire

Fires and explosions: Whistleblowers reveal the dangers of smart meters

© Dees Illustration
The situation with smart meter fires is worse than we thought — and now we know why. This new investigative video tells all.

In studying and doing presentations and making videos on 'smart' meters for nearly 5 years now, personally I had my doubts I would learn anything new when I first connected with a utility worker whistleblower through Take Back Your Power.

I was completely wrong and they are right. It is worse than I thought — than we all thought. A major and critical error has been brought forth.

This new video (below) explains in simple terms these new revelations from the insiders, as well as new court documentation and other insights.