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Fire

Tear gas and Molotov cocktails deployed during one of the largest protests in Greece since 2010

© Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters
Riot police react to petrol bombs thrown by masked youths in Syntagma Square during a 24-hour general strike against planned pension reforms in Athens, Greece, February 4, 2016.
Tear gas and Molotov cocktails have been deployed during a demonstration in Syntagma Square, Athens, where a general strike is taking place.

Around 50,000 Greeks marched on parliament in Central Athens on Thursday.

Groups of youths then broke away from the crowd and began hurling stones and petrol bombs at police. Officers responded with rounds of teargas and stun grenades, witnesses told Reuters.


Black Cat

Latest subway slashing has NYC transit riders terrified

There's been another slashing on a New York City subway, and terrified riders are calling for protection.

This, as Police Commissioner Bill Bratton insists the subways are safe.

As CBS2's Alice Gainer reported, a 30-year-old man is recovering after being slashed with a knife while on a No. 3 train Monday around 12:40 p.m.

Police said a suspect in the case, 37-year-old Stephen Braithwaite, has been arrested and charged. Police said the victim was standing with a friend on the Pennsylvania Avenue platform when he saw Braithwaite walking back and forth.
The victim told police Braithwaite asked him what he was looking at, challenged him to a fight, threw coffee at him and then slashed him on the chin with a pocket knife once they got on the 3 train.

"Every night I see a different slashing," one woman said. "It does concern me because I have to take it every day. So it's kind of scary," another woman said. "We're living in fear of being slashed on the subway; something needs to happen," Kyle Millionmile, of Inwood, told CBS2's Jessica Schneider.

Megaphone

Telling it like it is: Woman shouts 'it's you who created Daesh!' to Kerry at press conference in Italy

© Nicholas Kamm / Reuters
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks next to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni during a news conference following a ministerial meeting of the so-called "anti-Islamic State coalition" in Rome, Italy, February 2, 2016.
US Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to Italy was disrupted by a cry of protest at his joint press conference with Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni, when a woman in the audience shouted, "it's you who created Daesh!"

The press conference was coming to an end, when the woman stood up from the public, her head covered up by a black veil.

"It's you who created Daesh!" she shouted at the two ministers, using another name for the terror group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), reported the Italian state-owned television channel RAI.

The woman was dragged away from the conference by the Carabinieri.

Calculator

College graduates know next to nothing about their student loans

© Mike Segar / Reuters
Seven out of 10 college graduates are leaving school with student loans to pay back, and a new poll shows that these young people have a startlingly low level of knowledge about what debt they owe and what are their payback terms.

In January, loan refinancing information company LendEDU asked 477 undergraduate and graduate students from three Bay Area campuses ran a study that shows that shows that most American students don't know basic facts about the money they owe and how it can be collected from them.

Only 8 percent of those interviewed surveyed know the current interest rates of their loans, and just 6 percent know how long it will take them to repay their debt.

Comment: See also: America's debt serfdom: Spiraling household debt, mortgages, student loans and credit cards


Water

Health officials blasted at congressional hearing over handling of Flint water crisis

Anger ran hot and fingers of blame were pointed every which way at the first congressional hearing about the water disaster in Flint, Michigan. Health officials faced withering criticism, while the committee vowed to "hunt down" missing witnesses.

"This is a failing at every level. The public has a right to be outraged and it must be fixed," thundered the chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) in his opening remarks.

"This is the United States of America - this isn't supposed to happen here," Chaffetz said. "We are not some Third World country."


Comment: Unfortunately there are plenty of cities across the US that have been deprived of needs for so long by psychopaths in power that they are more like Third World countries than First World.


Flint's water supply became contaminated by dangerously high levels of lead following the decision to use Flint River as the source, instead of paying nearby Detroit for properly purified water. The switch took place in early 2014. Sorting out who was responsible for the decision, however, proved as contentious as establishing who among the relevant state and federal officials knew about the lead problem, and when.

Attention

Court clears way for revival of Dow's Enlist Duo - A worrisome weedkiller

© reuters.com
A federal appellate court decision this week handed a victory to Dow Chemical Co.'s efforts to revive a World War II-era weedkiller and brought the next generation of genetically modified crops closer to America's dinner tables.

In a case that has seen one surprising twist after another, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's request to vacate its own scientists' 2014 approval of the Dow weedkiller known as Enlist Duo. The three-sentence order did not elaborate on the judges' reasoning.

Dow genetically engineered corn and soybeans so they are immune to Enlist Duo — a mix of glyphosate, the nation's most popular weedkiller, and 2,4-D, a 1940s herbicide linked to cancer and other health problems. The new chemical will give farmers a one-two punch to wipe out field-choking weeds that have become impervious to glyphosate, which also has been linked to cancer.

Comment: Senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council, Sylvia Fallon, has a lot of faith in the EPA. How many times does the EPA have to 'fully evaluate' the effects of Enlist Duo? They already gave it a green light, failing humans and the planet! It's basically a component of the toxic Agent Orange herbicide used during the Vietnam War, which has been linked to numerous health issues including increased risks of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Parkinson's and immune system problems. Not to mention the EPA intentionally "fudged the numbers" to make poisonous DOW chemical appear safe.

So Fallon believes that the agency is going to get it right?! It would be wise to wake up to the reality that there is and has been surging hubris at the Environmental Protection Agency for decades! And when it comes to 'protecting' anything...it's the chemical industries profits first.


Bad Guys

German gov't: Around 5,000 refugee kids missing in Germany, police say some could be victims of crime

© Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters
The German government says nearly 5,000 child and teenage asylum seekers have gone missing from refugee homes since the start of 2016. Police believe that figures could be distorted but have not ruled out that some might have been the victims of crime.

A spokesman for the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) told the German newspaper Frankfurter Rundsch that a total of 4,749 unaccompanied children and teenagers had been reported missing since entering the country, The Local reported.

Around 10 percent of those who have disappeared are under the age of 13 and 4,387 were between the ages of 14 and 17.

Speaking to The Local, the BKA said that some of the children will turn up again, and that the figures could be misleading if a child has been reported missing at a number of different locations. However, the organization did not rule out that some of the minors could have been the victims of crime.

Heinz Hilgers, the president of the German Child Protection Agency said that lone children could be "easy targets" for criminal gangs.

Comment: Under cover of war, mass migrations, etc. the most atrocious crimes known to us are made even easier to perpetrate by the intra-species and human-looking predator, the psychopath. And now, with the world becoming ever more chaotic - thanks to psychopaths in positions of power - things have just become that much easier for those who predate on the most innocent and vulnerable; our children.

The following are only two very recent stories that speak to this evil:


Eye 2

Prosecutor says of psychopathic child sex abuser Matthew David Graham: He had a video that was 'one of worst things you could see'


Matthew David Graham, 22, was described as so depraved that even other paedophiles did not like him ‘because of his cruelty’
A prosecutor has described a video used by vile child sex abuser Matthew David Graham, showing an assault on an 18-month-old girl, as 'one of worst things you could see'.

The case, presented by prosecutor Krista Brekweg, was named as one of the most distressing ever to come before the court.

The video description was contained in a statement made after Graham pleaded guilty to 13 child pornography and sex offences on Wednesday in the Victorian County Court, The Herald Sun reports.

Judge Michael Tinney only reluctantly agreed to view edited images and video. One video as evidence was titled 'Daisy's Destruction'.

Graham was allegedly so cruel even other paedophiles could not stand him, the court reportedly heard.


Comment: What an absurd thing to include in this article. Who gives a hoot what other pedophiles think?! As though what they do in person, or virtually, doesn't in some way contribute to the same abhorrent and psychopathic behavior!


Graham pleaded guilty in September to setting up child pornography websites on the 'dark web'.

When Graham was 18, he was on the cusp of graduating from Epping Secondary College, in Melbourne's north, and lived a quiet life with his parents in the neighbouring suburb of South Morang.

But behind closed doors he was leading a very different life. Under the name 'Lux', he controlled a network of concealed 'dark web' websites and forums used by paedophiles, The Age reported.

Comment: For those creatures out there who are not yet behind prison walls - bring on the comets!!!


Hiliter

Reversal of fortune: Poet sentenced to beheading has reprieve - 8 years, 800 lashes...in 50 installments

© news.artnet.com
Ashraf Fayadh, poet
A poet sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia for abandoning his Muslim faith has had his sentence of beheading commuted - but must still face 800 lashes and eight years in jail. Ashraf Fayadh was detained by the country's religious police in 2013 in Abha, southwest Saudi Arabia, and rearrested and tried in early 2014. His conviction was based on evidence from a witness who claimed to have heard him cursing God, Islam's Prophet Mohammad and Saudi Arabia. Other evidence which led to the barbaric sentence was found in the contents of a poetry book the 35-year-old Palestinian refugee had written years earlier.

The new ruling, posted by Fayadh's lawyer on his Twitter account, said the court has decided to 'go back on the previous death sentence' but confirmed the charges that prompted the death penalty. 'The accused is sentenced to a punishment of eight years in jail and 800 lashes divided into installments, 50 lashes for each installment,' the ruling stated, according to the Twitter posting.

A spokesman for Saudi Arabia's justice ministry could not immediately be reached for comment. A lower court had previously sentenced Fayadh to four years in prison and 800 lashes. The case went to the Saudi appeals court and was then returned to the lower court, where a different judge last November 17 increased the sentence to death. The second judge ruled defence witnesses who had challenged the prosecution witness' testimony ineligible.

Comment: Finally, poetic justice? See also:


Laptop

Windows 10 will now try to install automatically even if you don't want it

© Microsoft
The default desktop background for Windows 10, known as "the Hero image".
Windows 10 is now a "recommended" update in Windows Update for computers running Windows 7 and 8.1. This means the new operating system may try to install itself automatically in a move that will further annoy users who don't want to upgrade.

Microsoft first announced its plans to promote Windows 10 to a recommended update last October. Because Windows Update's default - and most secure - settings automatically install updates listed as recommended, the first steps of the Windows 10 installation process may now complete without user intervention on Windows 7 and 8.1 computers.

The user will still be shown a final warning that the update is about to be installed and can opt-out at this stage. The new method of delivering Windows 10 is different to that used in the past as Microsoft has abandoned its old reservations model in a bid to get as many people as possible running the new OS.

Microsoft said the move will "help" its customers to migrate to the new operating system. A spokesperson told ZDNet: "As we shared in late October on the Windows Blog, we are committed to making it easy for our Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 customers to upgrade to Windows 10. We updated the upgrade experience today to help our customers, who previously reserved their upgrade, schedule a time for their upgrade to take place."